Personal Stories from those affected by sexual sin
One Man’s True Story
—by an anonymous male
I write this in the hope that others who suffer from the same problems can learn from it. I also write for all you parents who live in an age of unlimited pornographic access, to let you see how dangerous this pornography can be. I do not wish to give any advice, just explain what happened to me.
I came from a solid church going family and was surrounded with love. I was, in every sense of the word, a normal boy. I was first exposed to pornography when I was about 8 years old. After school I would sometimes go back to my friend’s house to play. He had an older brother who owned various pornographic magazines that my friend showed to me.
At first I remember being curious and a little confused—especially when my friend told me that my parents “did that.” It seemed “dirty” to me.
I remember many times going to my friend’s house and looking through these magazines, and it wasn’t long before those images were permanently placed in my mind. Even to this day I can still remember some of those pictures and stories.
My understanding of the marital act and its proper place was now distorted. Sex became more of a focus, and my imagination would wander into all sorts of daydreaming about it.
By the time I was a teenager, I would think about it every night. It wasn’t long before I was adding impure actions to my impure thoughts. I so much wanted to be with a real girl.
When I was 15, I began dating. My friends and I would all talk about sex and joke about it. With the peer pressure mixed in with what was already going on in my life, it wasn’t long before I convinced my girlfriend to be sexual with me. I remember it being a weird and scary experience, but we were soon engaging in the activity regularly. Sex was all I really wanted from this girl. Although we dated for about 2 years, there was no real love in the relationship. It was purely physical.
From that time on I was physical with almost every girl I dated. The “world” was telling me that this was absolutely normal and in fact healthy. But something inside of me never felt right about it even though I tried to play down that feeling. In addition to my acting out with girls, I would still occasionally act out on myself.
I would often pray for the Lord’s forgiveness and resolve not to engage in that behavior any more. When I did control myself, I had periods of contentment. However, these periods were always brief and my regular habits would soon return, because I didn’t understand the nature of what I was dealing with.
I eventually met a girl and fell in love and we were married. I vowed that I would become more holy, and I would clean up my act in regard to my sexuality. However, I was soon to learn that I couldn’t control myself. I would often look at other women and think impure thoughts about them.
I continued to act out on my own, even though I had a healthy physical and emotional relationship with my wife. I felt terrible about myself and continually tried to get myself under control, but again I really didn’t understand the nature of what I was dealing with. I had no idea about addictive tendencies, and I knew that I was “normal” and “healthy” in every other facet of my life, so there was no way that I could be an addict.
I began trying to work on areas which caused me to sin. The greatest success I had was when I began to get my thoughts and imagination under control.
However, I was to suffer a big set back with the Internet. I needed Internet access for my business. It wasn’t long before I typed the word “sex” into a search engine. I couldn’t believe what then poured into my life. I became more out of control. I even had experiences in chat rooms and had a couple of private, explicit online conversations with other women.
With the Internet, it was all so easy and fed my compulsive behavior. I always felt so low and ashamed of my actions afterwards and vowed “never again.” But inevitably, the next time I was searching for some information on the Net, I would end up right back in the place I vowed no to go.
As time went on, I began to have a better understanding of the power of sin, especially the power of a habitual sin.
I once heard a sermon that spoke to me of why it had become so difficult for me to overcome my sinfulness. Satan is always tempting us, as the apostle Peter wrote, “Like a roaring lion your adversary the devil prowls around, looking for someone to devour.”
When we do fall into his trap, it is like he has succeeded in wrapping a thin piece of string around us. Of course, one piece of string is very easy to break out of. Most times we can do that—especially with our Lord’s help. But when that sin becomes habitual, then each time we engage in that sin, he ties one more piece of string around us until we are tightly wound in hundreds or even thousands of strands of string that are almost impossible to break free from. It is then that we are addicted and caught in Satan’s web.
Satan knows our weaknesses because he has carefully nurtured them, so that when we are virtually powerless he moves us into addiction. It is then that we really need help, not just from the Lord but also from others.
That is where I was. The insidiousness of the sin had worked its way into an addiction. I had no real control over my actions. It was as if I was on auto-pilot doing the same sin, knowing it was wrong but powerless to control myself.
I believe that I am not a rare case and that there are huge numbers of people just like me who struggle and don’t know why they can’t seem to get themselves under control. Just as it is with other addictions (drugs and alcohol), the addiction wasn’t instant, but rather, it slowly grew until it was a fully mature addiction.
I am grateful that through the grace of God I have finally been led to understand what I am. I have a sexual addiction.
My actions to the “world” are somewhat normal, but I now know how wrong the “world” is. My discovery came when I found a book through the Internet titled “Hope and Recovery,” a twelve step guide for healing compulsive sexual behavior (Hazalden). The pages spoke clearly and concisely about what I was doing and why I was doing it. It was as if a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders and a great light began to flood into my life.
Through the book, the psychology of my addictive tendencies was all explained to me and the techniques to help me were now at my disposal. I have been following the 12 steps to recovery and I have now remained “sober” for sometime. As a Christian the method fits in very well with my knowledge of the Lord. I can now say that I am a recovering sexual addict, and only God has the power to help me. It is truly a joyful feeling. (The book is written to fit modern Western secular society so a caveat I have is that the book does contain a chapter on sexual orientation which is more a politically correct statement rather than an objective guide to overcoming personal problems.)
If you think that you have a sexual addiction, perhaps you will recognize some of my actions in your life. There are recovery groups in most areas of the US and they are a lifeline to the sex addict. Your pastor or healthcare provider will likely know where one is; they are not advertised because of the nature of the addiction.
As a parent I am now very vigilant to watch what my children are exposed to. From the above you can see that I have a good grasp of the dangers caused through the abuse of one of the greatest gifts God bestowed on the human race. I plan to do all I can to help my children so that they don’t have to suffer from sexual addiction. I now have good blocking system, Hedgebuilders, of course, and it has been a real blessing to me. It is the best system available. I had tried other blocking software companies, and I would always manage to find a way around them. Also, I radically review what my children watch on television. (I don’t even watch TV anymore because it tends to feed my addiction.)
I will fully educate my children on the real meaning of the marital act at the appropriate age. I am only now beginning to understand sex in the light of God’s plan .
Sex is beautiful, but if it is abused it has the power not only to destroy your life but also your soul. I know it was destroying mine.
Thank you for reading this and please pray for me and all other addicted persons.
Editor’s note: According to the Christian Alliance for Sexual Recovery, as much as ten percent of the total Christian population is sexually addicted.