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A Vicious Cycle

—by Sharon, age 19

It is not just men who experience sexual addiction, many women do, too. “I feel very alone. I’m female, 19, and I am an addict. I’m so grateful for this site that I stumbled across. Women struggle with lust just as much as men. This is my story and I hope that many more will come from women after me.”

Students. Illustration copyrighted.

At the age of 14 I started dating. I went to a private Christian school with many strict guidelines and everyone in my family were Christian. I was very involved in my youth group, I helped organize youth events, and was the president of the youth committee. The point is that I had very pure intentions back then, and I was what people call the “good Christian”. I would talk to other teens in the youth group about why premarital sex is wrong before marriage; I was very convicted at that point.

That all changed with my first boyfriend. He was five years older than me, I met him at a church camp, and he convinced me that he was a youth leader. I was flattered by his interest in me and I agreed to date him. He was very nice to begin with, but as we became more intimate he told me that he wasn’t a youth leader and he wasn’t sure if he was a Christian. I knew that as a Christian I was supposed to forgive others, so I forgave him and we continued to date, hoping that I could change him.

Wine. Illustration copyrighted. His lifestyle was appealing to me because it was so different from mine. I went to my first “real” party with him, and I got drunk for the first time. We had a crowd that we hung out with that I saw in church every Sunday, and they were always at the parties, having sex, drinking, and talking about dirty things. I was very confused about what to think about what was going on around me. I don’t know why, but I accepted it. One day this guy I was dating showed me a porn magazine from a stash under his bed. I was disgusted at first and was angry at him, but I forgave him. The images stayed in my mind, and made me more and more curious about sex. I never had sex with him. It ended when he tried to rape me.

It started out with a playful game of tickling, then he pinned me down and handcuffed me. His mom came home just in time, and I never saw him again. I felt very worthless after that experience and it led to many similar ones afterwards.

I continued to date many guys after that, each one with better qualities than the one before, but each one had that same problem. They weren’t convicted about premarital sex. When I was sixteen I was dating a guy who became a Christian while I was dating him. He promised me that he was going to marry me, and that was all it took for me to give in to sex. He broke up with me after I thought I was pregnant. So much for promises and “love”. I was heart broken and I didn’t date anyone for more than a year after that.

During that year (16-17) I missed the intimacy, I had lost hope in God’s plan for me, and I got caught up in pornography. After that, I took the advice of my first boyfriend who, on many occasions, told me that I should try and masturbate—that it was the greatest thing in the world. “It takes away any bad feelings you have”, he said. So I did, and I haven’t been able to stop since. When we got the Internet in our house, that unleashed even more garbage for me to feed off of. I was satisfying myself and I convinced myself that no man could do the same for me; that I never needed anyone. I gave up on dating until university.

I’m in my second year of university now, and I’m still addicted. I’ve met the man that I am going to marry and we are getting married next summer. He doesn’t know about my addiction, but he knows that I am confused about premarital sex, and he is too. Needless to say, we are sexually active. We have tried to stop many times, but we have given up because we have discovered that we can’t stop now that we’ve started. Many excuses come up, like “we’re going to get married anyways,” “we love each other and this is building intimacy”, “we’ll be more experienced when we’re married”, etc.… I can’t help but blame this confusion and the dilemma we are in on the bad habits that I’ve developed in my past experiences. I regret having sex before marriage but I can’t stop.

I masturbate when I feel depressed, or when I can’t be with my boyfriend. I feel out of control and like I am damaging my future marriage. I don’t feel like I can be honest; I am always hiding things, not totally telling my boyfriend the truth about why I always want to have sex with him. He thinks it’s great that I am like this with him, but if he knew the other things that I do I know it would break the trust that he has with me. He also wants to stop and wait until we are married but he doesn’t know how. I don’t know what to do. I want to protect what I have with my boyfriend—I want to not harm him—I don’t want him to be like me.

This is the end. I need to stop. It has damaged my relationship with God so much that I can’t go to Him. The relationship that my boyfriend and I have with God is very important to us, but we are torn between the habit and the Creator. I’ve been wondering for a while if I need counseling specifically in this area. I know that my behaviour is not right.

I did go to a counselor a few months ago because I was in another province for a job and I had sex with a man that I only knew for one day. I was so ashamed, but I continued to talk to my boyfriend as though nothing was different. I lied to him when I got home and told him that I was raped, to have an excuse for the possibility that I was pregnant. He was crushed and I was shocked that I was telling him this bizarre story. He doesn’t know the truth to this day. He convinced me to tell my family, so I told them the lie, too. Then I went to counseling and I was going to tell the counselor the truth and ask her why I was behaving the way I was, but I told her the lie too. It’s such a mess! I’m in a vicious cycle and I am seriously concerned about what I will do when I am married. Will I be unfaithful then? The wedding plans will continue, and I need help FAST.

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