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Sex Addiction, Lust, and Pornography

12 June 2010 6 Comments

Being a sex addict is not an excuse for lust or compulsive sex. Admitting you are a sex addict is the first step toward recovery. Recovery is a challenging process of weaning. The addict must learn to give up acting on impulse. He must give up the feeling of entitlement that he has a right to whatever he wants. He has to develop the boundaries and discipline to say ‘no’ to himself before engaging in sex, before touching, before flirting, before exchanging glances, before fantasizing. He must learn to focus all his romantic and sexual feelings on one woman only, his wife or his partner.
My client Jim was sexually abused by his mother and his stepfather as a very young child. By age nine Jim was sexually active with his peers. Lust has been a source of struggle his entire life. Jim has a good marriage to loving wife and he is a caring and involved father with his children.
Nevertheless, Jim struggles daily with his impulses to use pornography and to flirt. Lust interferes with his living up to his ideals as a man and a husband. On occasions he cannot resist using pornography, following which he feels “dirty and disgusted” with himself, full of shame that feeds his underlying sense that he is worth-less. He used to call himself a “dorky kid.” When Jim constrains himself and maintains his abstinence from porn, he rebuilds his self-image and self-respect until his next “slip” takes him down the slippery slope all over again.
Our society promotes the false idea that lust leads to good sex. Pornography is a big business as are magazines like Playboy and Hustler. They lead young people to believe that pursuing lust will lead them to having a good sex life.
Young men are particularly susceptible to pornography and lust. Men are very visual. We are attracted by sexual images that stimulate lust. We imprint on our early sexual experiences, and we become bonded to those images. This process is like the bonding of birds and animals to their mothers or primary caretakers. A baby zebra, for example, becomes bonded to the pattern of stripes in front of its eyes during the first minute of life. Following her instincts the zebra’s mother circles her newborn constantly during the first minute of its life so the baby will bond to her and come to her to nurse.
Having bonded to these images adolescent boys and adult men try to re-create them in their sexual experiences. I have counseled men who prefer to masturbate using pornographic images than to have sex with their wives. I have counseled men who try to re-create their early sexual experiences with their wives like the ones they had when going to a bar and a motel for a one night stand. I have counseled people with sexual problems who have been told by their counselors or therapists to watch porn together to stimulate their sexual lives. They reported that they did become aroused but did not end up more committed to one another.
Our society contributes to sexual addiction by supporting the idea that lust leads to good sex. Sexual addiction can be an unintended consequence of promoting lust and pornography. People, especially young men and women, need to be told the truth: lust does not produce good sex. Lust leads to more lust.
Good sex is about more than an orgasm and a temporary high. Good sex is about a relationship with your partner, whereas lust is focused solely on yourself. Our focus in lust is what our partner can do for us to provide excitement and a high. Lust does not lead you to care for your partner. Lust is the antithesis of caring for your partner. Lust does not lead to love. Love is focused on your partner and your relationship. Love arises out of caring for your partner. Love is to want for your partner what you want for yourself.
The time has come to speak the truth to young men and women before they get hooked by lust and develop sex addictions. They end up using sex to get high and relief from shame and feeling unworthy only to experience more shame. They do not learn how to be intimate, how to share themselves, and how to build a relationship with their sexual partner.
For more information on this subject see other articles on this website, recordings on this website posted from radio shows, my Ezine articles, and my Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/AttractLoveIntimacyandMoney?ref=sgm.

6 Comments »

  • Gregory Underwood said:

    These people who are porn addicts deny themselves from the fact that they already wasting away their productive life. A lot of relationships have already been affected with this matter. These individuals really do require immediate help in order to recover.

  • drwelpton (author) said:

    Gregory,
    Thank you for your comment. Yes, those who are addicted to porn need to face the consequences of their behavior on their marriages, their spouses, and their own self-respect. They need support to understand their addictions and to take the steps necessary to recover.

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