The Boys' Growing Up in the Lord

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Question

Hello,

I was reading your web site. I have struggled with gay porn addiction for a while now. I don't believe I'm gay, but the porn has been something I've struggled with for a while now. I'm 20 years old, and I am sick of it. I always tell myself I will quit, but I always end up back falling into the temptation. I hope one day that it will be completely gone. I am attracted to women, but when I watch the porn it consumes me --I realize it's wrong. I am just looking for some answers. I know that as Christians we are supposed to discuss our sins with one another. It's hard to discuss this with people that I know. Thanks for offering help. I just want to be free from this. I struggled with drug problems for a while as well, but God has slowly been removing the desire to do them. I am thankful for that.


Answer

I'm glad you wrote. I use a strict definitions regarding sins because the world likes to confuse terms, which makes it harder to combat sin. Homosexuality is having sex with another guy. Since you are not involved in that sin, you are not a homosexual -- just as you are not a thief if you haven't stolen anything. What you are struggling with is lust -- a very strong desire for something that is unlawful. In this case the temptation is a lust for homosexual sins, but what I would like you to focus on is conquering the lust.

Lust undealt with will leave you vulnerable to actually doing the sin you are lusting after. "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). Sexual lusts of any sort is wrong for a Christian. "For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God" (I Thessalonians 4:3-5).

Pornography in all its forms is a trap. In this case, you've conditioned yourself to ejaculate to thoughts of men being sexual with each other. It doesn't take long before you begin to be convinced that the only way you can ejaculate is to pornography. The catch is that your body needs to ejaculate to get rid of excess semen. The average young male ejaculates twice a week and during some periods of adolescence it can be daily. Thus, your body's desire to get relief drives you to what you are more familiar to gain that relief.

This leads to the mistake that many young men make. They know it is wrong to masturbate to pornography. It is easier to focus on the action than the thoughts, so they think they can overcome the problem by not masturbating. It works for a short while, but eventually the body's need to ejaculate drives the young man nearly nutty and instinct takes over. Barely thinking of what he is doing, he is wildly driven back to pornography. Once he ejaculates, reason takes back over and he berates himself for his weakness. He tries harder, but it happens again. Over and over it happens. Eventually the young man is convinced he is worthless because he has no control.

And the problem all stems from the fact that he tried to control the symptoms and not the problem itself. The problem is the pornography and the lustful thoughts, so here is what I've told numerous young men to do to break the cycle, and it does work.

First off, plan on the fact that you need to ejaculate. Trying to not ejaculate will only increases your temptation. Put it off long enough, your body controls you instead of you controlling your body. Therefore, give yourself permission to masturbate or have wet dreams or both whenever it is necessary.

However, the second piece is that you are not allowed to look at any form of pornography to get you stirred up. If you can't ejaculate, then obviously it isn't necessary at the moment. If the temptation to look is hard to resist, then limit where you allow yourself to ejaculate. It has to be in a place that is private and where you don't have access to pornography. I usually suggest the shower.

Once you realize that you can ejaculate without looking at porn, then the next step is to start getting control of your thoughts. That is a bit harder and will take effort over time, but again it is doable. The trick is to wait until the need to ejaculate is strong. Then when you take care of the matter, you end up ejaculating quickly and without much thought. If you find yourself drifting into forbidden territory, stop, and wait another day.

Notice that this method is the same no matter what kind of pornography a person gets caught up into. What you are doing is controlling your body's need to ejaculate by giving it an outlet that you control and that doesn't involve sin. You are control your body instead of your body controlling you.

Thanks for the response. I have never had sex with a guy before, but about two years ago I did do some other things. Does that mean I'm gay? Ever since then I have regretted doing that and it has been something that I wish I could remove from my life.

If you stole in the past, but you changed and no longer steal because you know it is wrong, does that mean you are still a thief? The answer is "no." You sinned in your past, but you have changed and no longer do those sins. Those sins no longer define who you are today.