The Boys' Growing Up in the Lord

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Question

I am a 17 year old male with an issue. Since puberty I have always been curious of what other guys "things" look like. Eventually I started to watch porn and masturbate which led to my curiosity to become stronger. Eventually I didn't even become aroused by girls anymore, but when looking at a guy I was instantly aroused. However, I don't see myself as gay because I don't wish to ever be with a man or anything. Although, I could agree that I was never close my father really until I started high school. But my curiosity was still there and it eventually got so strong that it eventually overcame me into hooking up with a guy. I really wish I would've found this site way before any of this happened. Yet it happened already and now I'm stuck with this disgust and guilt. I have already asked God for forgiveness, but these feelings are still going through me. How do I get rid of these feelings and the thoughts of it going through my head constantly? Should I open up to my family about it? How should I do it? I just want to get rid of these feeling and thoughts. I want to stop thinking about it and just forget it. I feel like this is going to be an issue with my future spouse because in my mind I know that I did this and they don't. Please just help me get out of this and get rid of the thoughts of it so that I can stop thinking about it and get on with my life. What do I do?


Answer

I too wish you had contacted me earlier, but we can't reverse the clock. We learn to move forward. You committed an act of homosexuality, which is a sin. But like all sins, it is forgivable. Notice the last statement in: "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). Sexual sins are not permanent.

One of the problems is that you are using your feelings as a guide to making decisions instead of your head. You know things like homosexuality is wrong, but you did it anyway because you followed your impulsive feelings and your curiosity. The memory of what you did can't be erased, but it can fade. You can look at your past and feel guilty for giving into sin, but you can also know that you are no longer the foolish young man who let his curiosity get the best of him. You can see yourself as someone new and different. "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).

In your note you made an important observation. You saw yourself change under the influence of pornography. Girls once got you excited for a while, but it was overwhelmed by your obsession with the male body.

Arousal is a complex operation. It is a mixture of both your physical desire and your mental thoughts. Physically, the male body has a strong desire to ejaculate. It really doesn't care how that comes about. It is your thoughts that reign in those impulses, otherwise teenage boys would be acting like young dogs -- humping everything in sight. What you observed is you training yourself in the wrong way. You allowed yourself to get aroused by guys and told yourself that this means you aren't attracted by girls (remember, your body doesn't care). But such thinking can be reversed.

First off, we need to cut off the source of the problem. No more pornography -- period. Pornography warps your view of people and sex. See: Lies Pornography Tells Men. You can and should continue to relieve yourself when your seminal vesicles get full, but do so without using any visuals. It is harder to do and not as much fun, but it avoids the sinful aspects of pornography. What you are going to find is that over time what you find attractive is going to shift. Instead of look at the physical attributes of a person, you will be more interested in people for who they are -- and your body will follow along.

Second, I want you to start using your reason for all decisions. Yes, your emotions are there and at times might be going wild, but you need to learn to make choice based on what is right and wrong despite your emotions at the moment. You won't always succeed, but the more you practice this, the easier it will get.

Yes, I really wish health class would educate peers on the effects of pornography on teens and such, for most are completely blinded to it. But I will admit that I wasn't very close to God like I should have been until that hook up gave me a wake up call. I didn't enjoy it nor even had the slightest liking of it.

I think I forgot to mention that when I started watching porn I turned over to gay porn for it gave me more excitement and watched it for years. Now I'm terrified that I can't ever be attracted to a woman anymore, that it turned me gay and that I did irreversible damage to myself. I'm started to believe that im suffering from unwanted same sex attraction. I have many guy friends and I don't try to have a sexual relationship with any of them for I don't see them as that.

I have been doing some research and I'm trying this 90 day and even pushing it too for good challenge of no porn and even no masturbation unless it's an absolute must but with no visuals. I'm hearing that this reboots the brain from all the porn watching and will rewire itself to normal circumstances. Hoping that this will give me the relief of ensuring that I am not gay for I don't go to men for an emotional type of relationship (they are like brothers or buddies for me). I'm only drawn to them physically (probably because of porn) and am able to be attracted to a woman again but not in a lustful manner. I will report back to you on my results with this!

Meanwhile, do you have any suggestions on how to deal with this shame feeling? I know I really disappointed God and myself, and I even feel like I disappointed my family. I'm not able to tell if I should open up to them about it. Any suggestions will be of great help!

And thank you so much for your consideration and reply. It really relieved me!

"Irreversible" is the wrong word. I Corinthians 6:11 proves that people can and have changed. That is what being a Christian is all about. No sin is permanent, unless you decide to remain in it.

Staying away from porn will let you heal. I rather you see masturbating as a bodily function that needs to be done when necessary. I agree -- no visuals. But also it isn't a big deal if you have to ejaculate.

It may seem odd, but shame (or guilt) has a proper role. For example, suppose Sammy stole from Jimmy and didn't feel any guilt. That would be a bad thing because it means his moral system is all messed up. He ought to feel ashamed about what he did because that will encourage him not to do it again. And the same thing applies to you. Your guilt tells me you didn't totally lose your moral compass. And your shame will keep your pants on when temptation strikes again.

But what helps most is realizing that you have changed and you are no longer the foolish boy that you used to be.