The Boys' Growing Up in the Lord

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Question

I'm worried that I'm bisexual because I get boners at girls and all the normal things, but I also get boners at the thought of two gay guys talking to each other or interacting even if they aren't interacting in a sexual way. I also get boners at the thought of being gay, but I know I'm not because I don't want to be and because I've never gotten a boner at the thought of two guys kissing or gay sex. I never had a crush on a dude or have been sexually attracted to one. I'm having a lot of anxiety lately and I'm worried I am bisexual. I asked God to help me and forgive me if I am sinning, but I still have loads of anxiety. I'm just really scared because I want to make it to Heaven.

Sorry if this question doesn't make much sense, but I saw how helpful this web site has been to some people and I'm hoping you could help me.


Answer

When you first started getting erections, anything, everything, and nothing in particular would trigger your penis to get big. That is because your body gained a few function, but your brain didn't know exactly what to do with the ability. Like a little kid who discovers the light switch, your brain kept throwing the switch to see what happens. These are called spontaneous erections because they occur without conscious thought. Over time you train your erections to behave ... well, most of the time. It continues to have the annoying habit of going off at weird and sometimes inconvenient times.

The actual mechanism for erections is a combination of increased blood pressure plus a small muscle at the base of the penis that clamps down on the vein that returns blood from the penis. The muscle keeps blood in the penis and the increased blood pressure pumps it up like a balloon. This then explains one cause of spontaneous erections. When you get nervous or excited, your blood pressure goes up and you get tense. But you haven't developed a refined control over what gets tense, so the muscle that clamps on the vein at the base of your penis is one of the muscles that tightens up. So talking to a new girl, getting up in front of the class to give a report, or getting upset can all cause you to have an erection.

Your penis getting erect says nothing about your current mood. Sure, it goes up when you are sexually aroused, but it goes up for other reasons as well -- and sometimes for no particular reason. Guys will tease other guys about sporting erections because they will tease about anything available -- even when they know they can't always control their erections either. Yet, hear something often enough and you begin to doubt yourself.

An erection doesn't mean you have to do anything about it. Having an erection doesn't mean you need to drop your pants and start having sex, even though just having a erection causes those feelings to be there. You're going to have erections around girls -- it doesn't mean you should be having sex with them. You're going to have erections around guys. You're going to have erections when you are by yourself. The only thing it really means is that your penis got big and it will go back down in a little while.

What has happened is that your penis went erect when you thought of something connected to sex, in this case homosexuality. You know it is wrong, but that very fact makes your blood pressure rise and you tense up because you are aggitated by your thoughts. But this same response also causes your penis to get erect. If you panic over it, it just makes the erection stronger and last longer. Eventually you get caught in a cycle of fear that any time you think of homosexuality your body will respond. So your heart rate goes up, you get tense, and it happens again -- "See! I was right!" It doesn't cross your mind that you are inadvertently causing what you are worried about.

One of the sad things that has happened in our world is that it has become popular to declare that the mere attraction means a person wants to have sex with whatever he finds attractive.

James details the process of sin in this fashion: "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 1:14-15). The steps are:

  1. Desires: Each of us is born with a normal, natural set of desires. The physical desires are the consequence of the operation of our bodies. We also have spiritual desires, such as not wanting to be alone, wanting to be liked by others, or wanting something pretty.
  2. Temptation: Satan tries to place us in situations where it appears that the satisfaction of a desire will require the breaking of a law of God. Temptation is the forcing of a choice to be made: either to break a law of God and satisfy a desire or to forgo satisfaction in order to keep God's law.
  3. Lust (desire conceived): When a person mentally consents that breaking a law of God is worth satisfying the desire, then the person has moved into the realm of lust. This is when the person justifies to himself that breaking God's law can be excused, at least in some situations.
  4. Sin: This is when a person seizes an opportunity and actually breaks God's law.
  5. Licentiousness (sin full-grown): Sin is rarely done just once. The excuses to sin come fast, such as "I've done it once, doing it again isn't going to make much difference." Eventually the person becomes calloused to sin and no longer feels guilty about what he is doing. He doesn't care what other people think. He may even convince himself that he has the right to sin. (Licentiousness means thinking you have a license to sin.)
  6. Death: A person fully convinced that he ought to sin and doesn't care what even God thinks about his actions won't be persuaded out of his sin. Since he won't leave his sin, he will die in his sin.

As an example, 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 this is 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.

To map to this to homosexuality, everyone has a desire for sex -- it is neither right nor wrong. Temptation is when you get sexually aroused and the thought crosses your mind that you really want to drop your pants. Lust is when you start justifying it in your head that doing it in this particular situation wouldn't be so bad, such as telling yourself that the other person wants it or that won't cause any harm because there is no chance of pregnancy. Sin is when you actually strip down and have sex. Licentiousness is when you think that it is your right to have sex with whoever you want. And from there it is a short step to spiritual death.

Let's put it together: Erections happen and are only sometimes connected with the idea of sex. Even then, you can end up erect just because the concept of sex is in your mind, not that you are actually wanting to have sex at that moment. But having an erection makes you aware of sex and your desire rises. The thought comes to mind that you could have sex -- that is temptation. It doesn't mean you've sinned, it means you are aware that you could sin. If you play around with the idea and decide that it would be fine to have sex, then you have entered the realm of lust. You are still not guilty of the sin you are lusting for, but the very mental act of accepting sin as something you believe you have a right to do is sinful by itself. It doesn't matter if you are thinking about committing fornication, adultery, or homosexuality lust is wrong because sin can never be justified. "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). If you act on the lust, then you have committed sin.

So are you bisexual because your penis gets erect? The simple answer is "no." Even if your penis gets erect because you think both the female and male bodies are sexy, it has no real meaning until you start thinking you have the right to have sex with anyone who is not your wife.