For about three years now I've been struggling a lot with many different things from pornography to not knowing my sexual desires (whether or not if I'm gay, bi, or straight).
The first question I have for you is this. Am I gay or bi if I'm attracted to the upper portion of a male's body? I'm not whatsoever attracted to a male's private parts at all. I mean I could never ever picture myself wanting or having sex with the same gender. It grosses me out beyond words. But if I'm at the beach and I see a fit shirtless male my private part becomes stiff. This bothers me very much and I would do anything to change it.
Also, I have become a slave toward masturbating. Sometimes it's so hard for me even at school. Out of the blue I have this burning desire to masturbate. I have to go to the men's room, I go in a stall, do it and try to get it over with as fast as possible. I've been fighting against this for so long that I've become so used the feeling of masturbation. This masturbating problem has become such an extreme that I don't care anymore. I just do it to get it over with. I don't know how to get anymore motivation to fight against it because I've been fighting against it for so long and I'm almost at the point of giving up.
Another problem I've been having ties in with masturbating and my not knowing if I'm straight or gay or bi, which is pornography. I know it's a sin and I've tried again and again to stop. What even makes it worse is that sometimes I have looked at gay porn, I've always buzzed the parts of the penis sucking and the -- whatever you call it. -- penis going into butt hole parts -- but I only masturbate to the beginning of the porn video when they're like shirtless and making out.
I honestly don't want to send this email, but I know I have to because I need help. I have so many plans for myself to glorify God and use my talents to influence the world, but how can I do all of that when I'm struggling with these addictions?
I look forward to your response and thank you for taking the time to read this email.
I prefer to use biblical terms which makes the situation clear rather than modern terms which are designed to obscure the truth. Let's begin with defining some basic terms. These will mostly come from James 1:14-15m "But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death." James says the steps to spiritual death are:
- A desire for something
- A temptation, which is an offer to gain what is desired with the trap that you have to break a law of God to get it.
- Lust, which is an acceptance that breaking God's law is worth getting what you desire.
- Sin, which is the actual breaking of God's law.
- Licentiousness, which is sin full-grown. That is when a person gets to the point that he doesn't care what anyone thinks about his sins, he is going to do it anyway. He thinks he has a license to sin.
- Death. When a person stops caring there is no way to bring him back.
Let me illustrate it this way: Hunger is a desire -- it is neither right nor wrong. Temptation is when you are in the convenience store and see a candy bar, but realize you don't have enough money to pay for it. Lust is when you tell yourself that the store can afford to lose some items and that they are expecting some loss, or telling yourself that you could pocket it now and pay for it later and you accept that these are adequate justification to steal. Sin is when you walk out with the candy bar without paying for it. Licentiousness is when you think it is fun to take things off the shelf even though you have adequate money to pay for it. And from there it is a short step to spiritual death.
Now, a question for you. When does a guy become a thief? Is it when he gets hungry, when he is tempted to steal, when he wants to steal so badly that he lusts for it, or when he actually takes what doesn't belong to him? According to the Bible, it is when a person commits the act that he is guilty of that sin. Lust for a sin is also a sin, but it is a different type of sin.
In the same way, when is a guy a homosexual? When his penis gets erect, when he realizes it is possible to have sex with another guy, when he daydreams about having sex with another guy, or when he drops his pants to have sex with a guy? According to the Bible, homosexuality is the act of having sex with another guy. "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" (I Corinthians 6:9-10). Homosexuality is just as much as sin as a guy having sex with his girlfriend, which is called fornication.
Being a young male, your body desires sex. It responds to anything that even remotely hints at being sexual in nature. The body doesn't care about the viewpoint. A lack of clothing hints at sex, so the body responds, whether it is male or female. Acts of passion arouses desire in the body no matter who is involved in the sexual foreplay. Guys can respond to the thoughts of a woman being the subject of sexual acts or men. To put it simply many things can turn on your sexual desire, but none of those things need to be chosen or chased after.
To have a desire for sex and an erection is not a sin. Where it becomes wrong is when you want something, such as sex, so badly that you are willing to consider sinning to get it. This is why pornography is wrong. "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). See: Lies Pornography Tells Men.
By itself masturbation can be just relieving your body of the excess semen that builds up, but like desire it can be used wrongly. What often happens is that guys blame the tangible -- the things that they see and touch -- instead of realizing the true problem is with the intangible -- the spiritual ideals. I would like you to read Is masturbation sinful or not? Read all the referenced links and especially all the passages cited. There is a lot of misinformation being spread today and I want you to see for yourself what the Bible says about the subject.
To claim you are a slave to masturbation is equivalent to saying you are a slave to eating or using the toilet. Ejaculating is a required bodily function of males and masturbating is one of several ways the body has to relieve itself. Like I said, it can be done wrongfully, such as a girlfriend giving you a hand job. But it doesn't mean that all ways are wrong.
Thank you for responding so quickly and providing all these links. I understand about how pornography destroys you and about the situation about masturbating. But to make it clear: you are not gay if your penis becomes stiff when you see a shirtless, fit male? I just don't see how that is natural for a straight male to be "turned on" when he sees the same gender half naked.
I also have a new question for you. I don't think it has to do with a male's body, but it definitely has to do with a male's spiritual life. Is it wrong for a male (or any gender) to go to a nightclub? I mean I wouldn't be tempted to drink or bring a woman home (because not only is that a sin, but I'd never want to have sex with a woman who had sex with multiple men). If I just went with a couple friends (when I get older) and stay pure but at the same time have a great time hanging out with your friends or dance with your girlfriend.
I'm sorry for asking another question. I'm just curious what your perspective is and what the Bible has to say about clubbing. Thank you again for responding so quickly.
It isn't being turned on by another male as much as it is being turned on by something you perceive as being a sexy concept. It can be as simple as thing you would be sexy if you were fit and ran around shirtless, it could be a wish that you were as attractive as this other guy, or it could be the idea of having girls going after a sexy looking guy that also gets you aroused.
"Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God. For we have spent enough of our past lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles -- when we walked in lewdness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries. In regard to these, they think it strange that you do not run with them in the same flood of dissipation, speaking evil of you. They will give an account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead" (I Peter 4:1-5).
It is wrong for a Christian to be involved in revelries (parties where people tend to get drunk) and drinking parties (parties where people drink casually). The reason is drinking lowers your inhibitions making the possibility of sinning more likely. "You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night. But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation" (I Thessalonians 5:5-8).
While your intentions are to go but not participate, the problem is that you are purposely walking into an environment where there would be strong pressures to conform to what everyone else is doing. "Do not be deceived: "Bad company corrupts good morals"" (I Corinthians 15:33). This isn't a maybe, but a simple statement of fact.
Proverbs gives similar warnings about avoiding immoral women. "Do not let your heart turn aside to her ways, do not stray into her paths; for she has cast down many wounded, and all who were slain by her were strong men. Her house is the way to hell, descending to the chambers of death" (Proverbs 7:24-27). The safest route is to avoid the temptation. Every man thinks he is stronger than he really is and thus such a man becomes prey for such women. "Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall" (I Corinthians 10:12). Not only does such women see a guy who resists as an interesting challenge, but because he is certain that he won't give in, he doesn't keep his guard up like he should.
All sins are dangers that should be be avoided. To see how close you can get to sin without giving in is only making Satan's efforts to make you fall easier.
Thank you so much for all of your help. I appreciate all of your biblical advice. If there is any other questions I have for you, I will be sure to email you in the future.