Last updated on October 9, 2020
I am a 25-year-old male who has served the Lord most of my life and still does. I have a battle with masturbation and even more with gay porn. I know it’s all wrong, but I can’t stop! I’m not gay, I just get attracted to guys’ physiques (their muscular bodies, penis, etc.). Honestly, I envy them because I don’t have their physique. I am skinny but not muscular, which causes envy and attraction to them.
I’ve tried a bit of everything. I’ve deleted apps (Google, etc) to stop watching porn, but it doesn’t help because I end up downloading it again. I can’t even block the apps because I’ll end up remembering the password. I recently starting reading a Christian book that talks about the mind and that our battles all start as a thought, and we need to control them. Believe me, I’ve tried all this, even to listen to Christian music to control these thoughts, but it doesn’t help!
I truly want to stop all this, but I can’t! Why can’t I stop?
There are a few reasons why:
Like many young men, you would like someone to make the desire stop. However, the desire is something built into you by God and exists for good reasons — it is there to push you toward marriage and having children. Your habit is to handle this desire through the use of sin. Habits are hard to break, but not impossible.
Also, like many, you try to break your habit by denying your desire. It is much like a person who overeats deciding to fix the problem by not eating again. Sure, you can resist for a while, but eventually, instinct takes over to preserve the functioning of the body. You have two glands, called the seminal vesicles, which constantly produce semen. The glands have enough storage for about 3 to 4 ejaculations, but eventually, they become full and you have to ejaculate the semen to make room for more. Some guys handle over capacity by having a wet dream, which is basically masturbating in your sleep. Unfortunately, not everyone is able to have wet dreams because they wake up as soon as the body moves. These people quickly learn to stimulate their genitals to cause an ejaculation, which is called masturbation.
There is nothing morally wrong with masturbation by itself, but it can easily be abused in sinful ways. Just as there is nothing morally wrong with eating, but it can also be abused. (See: Is masturbation considered a sin?). You got into a habit of looking at pornography to mentally stimulate yourself while you are physically stimulating your genitals. The Bible says that pornography is sinful because it is stimulating lust (a desire for sin) within you. “For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in lustful passion, like the Gentiles who do not know God” (I Thessalonians 4:3-5). Every time instinct kicks in because your seminal vesicles are full, you don’t take time to think; instead, you go the route that you are most familiar with, so you pull up porn and pull your shorts down.
Therefore, the way to learn self-control in regards to sexual desire is to first keep the desire to ejaculate under control so that instinct doesn’t kick in. Purposely masturbate on a regular basis, often enough that your seminal vesicles don’t get overfilled. It won’t be as stimulating as when you are distracting yourself with pornography, but it will relieve the tension and allow you to make reasoned decisions.
Thank you for the advice!
I have another question: Normally when I look at porn, it’s not to masturbate; instead, it’s just for pleasure; although I do end up masturbating at times when seeing it. Most times I can watch it without masturbating. How can I overcome these desires to not only overcome gay porn but also to look at the physiques of men? Also, how can I overcome my low self-esteem? The main reason why I fell into all of this is because of envy that I don’t have these physical qualities.
While you tell yourself that you are not looking at pornography to masturbate, the fact remains that you do masturbate while looking at these images. I would guess that even when you don’t masturbate while looking, you do masturbate soon afterward while replaying those images in your mind. What you are doing is chasing after pleasure for pleasure’s sake. The fact that you are seeking pleasure from sin is the problem.
You need to be content with who you are and how God made you. Being envious of others does nothing to change you. Pulling down your pants while looking at other guys doesn’t change you either. Eat a well-balanced diet and exercise because it is good for your health.