Have you ever craved a date with pornography more than a date with your partner? Have you fantasized about a porn star while making love with your partner? Do you look forward to being alone so that you can have time to watch porn? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may have an addiction to pornography.
Pornography addiction is treatable with a combination of counseling and group therapy. Sexual addiction clinics provide people a chance to name their addiction, receive professional guidance, and develop accountability within a group of people dealing with the same issues. Faith can also play a central role in your recovery, by connecting with a sense of purpose greater than the instant gratification of pornography.
Addiction to pornography can have a significantly negative impact on one’s relationships. Trust can be destroyed, and intimacy is often compromised. Pornographic addiction will inevitably seep into the fabric of your relationships and slowly destroy them, if allowed to fester and grow. Seeking help from a trained Christian counselor is an important step to take in protecting your relationships from the toxic reach of pornography. Seattle Christian Counseling has a team of dedicated professionals ready to help you move away from pornograhpy and into lasting, successful relationships. Contact a counselor today, and begin your journey back to healthy relationships.
This article on help for sexual addition references the book, Ready to Heal, by Kelly McDaniel.
Love and sex addiction is a double bind. If we seek a relationship, which we are all designed to do, we will experience pain. If we then avoid relationships, which seems logical when we’ve been hurt, we will also experience pain – usually the pain of being isolated. When we are lacking healthy role models in our formative years, we may arrive at adulthood without the tools to navigate pain.
With repeated betrayal in relationships, we may end up with some of these feelings:
Shame sets in when we can’t seem to free ourselves from choosing destructive relationships. Aligning with this shame of failure may follow secret thoughts (lies) of being a bad person, of agreeing that we are unlovable, of accepting we can’t rely on others, or of equating sexuality with love.
Choosing behaviors (masturbation, sex, drugs, food, alcohol, affairs, etc.) that soothe the pain and...Read More
Part 4 of a 4-Part Series: Porn and Power
The first three parts of this series made some key observations about pornography:
Colorado pastor/counselor Michael John Cusick, in his book Surfing for God: Discovering the Divine Desire Beneath Sexual Struggle, outlines the “broken promises” of pornography:
Research studies note how boys lose touch with their inner world, and with the narratives composing their emotional core Selves, because they are shamed and socialized to avoid this terrain from a very young age. (See my father-son series here on “co-narrating” a masculinity beyond “the Boy Code.”)
Plugging in to our digital world makes it easier than ever to disconnect from this core Self, or the “soul” that Quaker writer Parker Palmer likens to tenacious, resilient “wild animal” timidly lurking at the edge of a forest. Do not mistake timid for weak. If anything, the “soul” Palmer describes has too much Self-respect to expose itself to a man who cannot...Read More
Porn and Power: A Christian Counselor Explains
Part 3 of a 4-Part Series
I’ve positioned the solution-oriented parts of this series (Parts 3 and 4) at the end – on purpose. Because waiting, and holding the tension of waiting, is critical to healing soul, body, and brain.
Many guys are already prone to a quick “fix-it” persona that conveniently bypasses the need for a deeper, more disciplined attentiveness to their inner life, to the emotional core Self. As men, often we want a 5-step plan for efficiently calculating and conquering the problem (or concealing it).
But that’s what made porn so appealing in the first place: it’s just a few pre-packaged steps or clicks towards “managing” an anxiety that’s often unnamed, even unfelt.
Pornography hijacks normal brain functioning by artificially stimulating a neurochemical cocktail. Naturally interacting levels of dopamine, norepinephrine, serotonin, and oxytocin become highly combustible when experienced outside of relationship – profoundly restricting our emotional bandwidth for genuine connection with another person.
The brain’s delicate reward-gratification circuitry goes haywire, which can lead to numbing depression, anger, anxiety and decreased motivation. The pornography user experiences a neurochemical charge of excitement, but soon struggles with reduced satisfaction or reward. He needs to give more and more in order to “get” the same high.
The thrill of novelty and exploration becomes the desperation of the chase. A tragic irony is that the added neurochemical buzz of shame – from the allure of doing something illicit or dangerous – can...Read More