Hi Jeff Hamilton,
I went to your web site and was intrigued by the answer you composed for a 17-year-old male who considered himself gay. I'm a 23-year-old, Christian male who has struggled with attraction to men since puberty. Despite knowing that the Bible explicitly states that homosexuality is wrong and my desire to be straight, I have not been able to overcome my attraction to men. I'm not attracted to women. I have been told that I need to reprogram my mind and though I've tried multiple times, I continually fail. I've abstained from masturbation for as long as 3 months, but ultimately return to that behavior. It's pleasureable, comforting, curbs my boredom, and sometimes I'm so aroused and sexually charged that I can't think about anything else until I masturbate and ejaculate. Typically, I watch gay porn online.
Here are my questions. How am I suppose to overcome this struggle? I've continually asked God to help me. Is masturbation sinful? How can I relieve the sexual tension that builds up? Lastly, why is the male "g-spot" on the prostate? That seems to support anal actions to stimulate an orgasm.
How is it that some people find inanimate objects, such as shoes, socks or underwear, sexually arousing? Why is it that some guys are sexually turned on by women's breasts, others by a woman's bottom, or some by their legs? What I want you to realize is that during adolescent, it is very common for young men to find some visual ideas that get connected to sex in their minds. If the fact that this happens, then it isn't a big leap to realize that for some guys this same process locks on male features.
The problem is that we live in a society that claims people are what turns on their sexual desire. Sadly few people question this false conclusion. When boys first start having erections, everything, anything, and nothing in particular will trigger the body's sexual response. Just because a boy gets erect seeing a bare foot, it doesn't define who he is or what his sexual options are. Just because a boy gets erect seeing a girl, it doesn't mean he has to drop his pants and have sex with her. The arousal, especially early on, is separate from what a person does when he is aroused.
I'm concluding that your struggle is not with acts of homosexuality, but with lusting for it that is reinforced by your use of pornography. A guy is guilty of the sin of homosexuality when he as sex with another guy. He is a homosexual only in the sense that he is currently guilty of the sin, just as a man is adulterer if he has sex with a woman who is not his wife or a guy is a fornicator because he is having sex with his girlfriend. Sin is an act and sin can be forgiven. "Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God" (I Corinthians 6:9-11). A person forgiven of adultery is no longer an adulterer, even while he continues to struggle against the temptation to go back to his sin.
I hope you see the distinction because it is an important one in overcoming the sin in your life. It is why the advocates of homosexuality adamantly deny that people can stop having homosexual sex. They want to redefine what sin is to make it appear impossible to even try to get out of it.
Conquering homosexuality is no different than the fornicator who is constantly having sex with women he is not married to. The first step is to stop the sinful behavior, so for a homosexual, it is to stop having sex with other men.
The second step, it to stop the lust for what is wrong. This is where repentance comes into place. "For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death. For observe this very thing, that you sorrowed in a godly manner: What diligence it produced in you, what clearing of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what vehement desire, what zeal, what vindication! In all things you proved yourselves to be clear in this matter" (II Corinthians 7:10-11). It is not just that you are sorry you sinned, but that you've changed your mind and changed your behavior in regard to that particular sin. Thus, if you are going to reject homosexuality, you have to quit watching stuff that promotes it as being acceptable. Such stuff influences how you think and what you eventually do. "For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within and defile a man" (Mark 7:21-23).
A part of this problem is that you trained yourself to ejaculate to images and thoughts of homosexuality. Masturbation, by itself, is neither right nor wrong, but it can be used in a wrongful manner. See: Is masturbation sinful or not? A typical mistake young men make is to think they can just stop ejaculating. But seminal vesicles continue to produce semen and as they fill up, the desire to ejaculate increases. The desire continues to build to the point that you can't think straight and the next thing you know, you give in to pornography again. Therefore, instead of fighting against your body I want you to learn to manage your body's desires. When you feel the sexual desire building and especially when you are tempted to look at pornography, I want you go take a shower and masturbate there. I pick the shower because it is private, you can clean up easily, and you can't look at pornography there. Once you ejaculate, you'll find that the desire to look at pornography will have disappeared and you can go on about your business. This gives you a way to relieve yourself without pornography being involved. It will still be a struggle for a while. Just because you got rid of the bad input doesn't mean that what you've stored in your brain will go away. You'll have to fight to keep your thoughts away from sinful ideas, but eventually it will fade. The point of this is to break the false connection you've made that you need to look at pornography in order to ejaculate.
The third prong is something you've already discovered. Having someone to talk to helps when it comes to struggling against sin. "Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much" (James 5:16). Just knowing someone understands and cares makes battling sin easier. You are, of course, welcome to talk to me anytime you have something on your mind.
In regards to the fact that pressure on the prostate causes ejaculation, let me illustrate it this way. Why do girls have long hair? Since it is so easy to grab a hold of, then it must be designed for boys to pull. Of course that is silly. But it illustrates assuming something is there solely for the purpose we happen to choose to use it. The prostate responds to increasing muscular tension to trigger an ejaculation. Normally this comes during sex. As the actions of sex increases sexual arousal, the male body responds with increasing tension. Eventually a point is reach, which is commonly called "the point of no return." Tension on the prostate trips the switch, if you will, and the sequence that causes ejaculation is executed. What people have discovered, is that the lead of up to tripping the switch can be bypassed by applying direct pressure to the prostate. But just because it can be bypassed, it doesn't mean that it ought to be done. In fact, there are known problems with pressing on the prostate repeatedly. "Vigorous prostate massage has been documented with consequences that are health- and life-threatening: periprostatic hemorrhage, cellulitis, Fournier's gangrene, septicaemia, possible disturbance and metastasis of prostate cancer to other parts of the body, and hemorrhoidal flare-up." [Wikipedia]
I apologize for taking so long to get back to you. With much frustration and embarrasment, I've struggled to do much more than go to work and watch Netflix. I just don't have the motivation, interest, passion, etc. However, I do want you to know that I greatly appreciate your previous e-mail.
This morning, I finally got tired of being a slug and chose to spend some time searching about unwanted same-sex attractions. These past couple of hours have been enlightening and encouraging. I am looking to get involved in a group that "help[s] the sexually and relationally broken find healing and restoration through relationship with Jesus Christ." Also, I am trying to get plugged into a church and am looking for a counselor that might be able to help me.
Anyway, just wanted to let you know about my current disposition and that I'm grateful for your e-mail.
I'm glad you have decided to do something instead of wanting something done to you. Find a good church, one that teaches sound doctrine. While any church might seem better than none when you haven't been a part of any, a bad church can do much damage too.