The Boys' Growing Up in the Lord

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Question

Dear Sir,

I have been struggling with gay pornography for the past three years. I really do not know who to turn to as homosexuality is a highly controversial subject in my country. I used to lust over girls and watch straight porn, but when I was 18 I stumbled upon gay porn. At first I found it a bit disgusting, then interesting, and then a few months after that I was hooked onto it. I am 21 now. I had a girlfriend before but I am really struggling with this addiction. It is worse than nicotine and alcohol addictions.

Hope you can advise me, sir.


Answer

Yes, I can help you, but I can't make you do the right thing.

The trap you are in revolves around lust. "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).  In particular, your weakness is pornography. The way pornography works on a guy is through shock. That causes your heart to pump harder, making it easier to have an erection and from there get involved in masturbation. You originally got hooked on gay pornography because it was shocking and disgusting. That is why you are always looking for new scenes to watch -- the old scenes are no longer surprising.

The first rule is that there is to be no more pornography of any sort. "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). "Passion of lust" refers to sexual things that are designed to get you aroused, such as pornography.

When you feel the need to ejaculate rising, you can masturbate, but it has to be without pornography involved. At first it will seem difficult because you have conditioned yourself to only ejaculate when you are watching pornography. If it doesn't work the first day, that is fine, just wait another day. Eventually you'll ejaculate. It will probably take several months to condition yourself to not immediately turn to pornography when you need to ejaculate. Whenever you have the urge to look at pornography, use that as the signal that you need to ejaculate. Once you are done, you will find the urge to look at pornography will be gone for a while.

Once the problem of wanting to look at pornography to ejaculate is broken, then we can discuss things like controlling your thoughts. You will find that the urge to look at pornography will hit you suddenly at times you least expect it. Take note of these times and see if there is a pattern to the situations.

Sir,

I really appreciate your reply and advice. I will take the first step by conditioning myself not to look at pornography whenever I need to ejaculate, but sometimes, sir, it can be really very hard.

I agree that it is very hard. People go back to it almost without thinking. Thus, I usually ask the person the details about when it happens and why. From that we lay out a plan that when the person knows it is likely to happen to go and ejaculate immediately instead of waiting for the compulsion to hit. Also the goal is to make the access to porn inconvenient. For example, if you usually look at it late at night in your bedroom, then put all your electronics on the other side of the house each night when you go to bed. Then if you have the urge to go look, you have a chance to remember to relieve yourself instead. Persistence is the key. You might relapse, but you just have to figure out why, make that inconvenient and keep going. Usually in a month or two the new habits start to set in. It won't mean that you are over pornography -- it can hit you when you least expect it, but you know how to manage it.

Sir,

I really appreciate your sincere advice. I usually watch pornography at late night when everybody else is asleep. You are absolutely right, sir, when you mentioned that I have conditioned myself to ejaculate when I am viewing pornography. I have done what you have advised and stop watching porn, but because the images of pornography or the girl or guy that I feel sexually attracted to is burnt into my memory (I have sinned repeatedly by watching porn for many years), whenever I try those images would surface even without any pornographic material.

Warmest regards,

That will be true for a while, but you'll find in a month or two that the images fade, get jumbled, and become less effective. That is because you are not refreshing your memory with new content. When you get to that point, we can then start to work on controlling your thoughts while masturbating. For right now you have enough to do just with staying away from porn.

Alright sir, I will try my best to refrain from all types of porn. If I have a relapse, I will tell you immediately. Thanks for guiding me so far. I really appreciate it.