The following is an interview I did for Pure Sex Radio, in which I reviewed the 9 Reasons Why Men Abuse Sex. I came up with these reasons during my work with men to help them manage their sexual and pornography addictions.
Pure Sex is sponsored by BeBroken Ministries. BeBroken is dedicated to the healing of individuals and family dealing with sexual sin. You can learn more about BeBroken Ministries at its website: https://2.bebroken.com
By Eddie Capparucci, LPC, CSAS, CSRRS, CCSAS, CPCS
The question I’m
asked often by married men is masturbation “wrong”.
My answer is three-fold. First, masturbation leads to lustful thoughts. I have yet to meet a man who claimshe can masturbate without the aid of sexual thoughts. So, let’s stay here for amoment. I think we would all agree, men who struggle with pornography or sexual addictions should not be focusing on sexual thoughts or fantasy. In fact, we train them to do the opposite and learn to control compulsive sexual thoughts.
Scripture tellsus focusing on sexual thoughts is not healthy for our relationship or ourselves.
“Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us cleanse ourselves from everything that could defile the body and the spirit, and thus accomplish holiness out of reverence for God.” 1 Cor. 7:1
Notice the words in bold. Unhealthy sexual thoughts lead to erosion of men. Strike One against masturbation.
The second part of my answer is masturbation is pseudo intimacy. Sex is an amazing and wonderful gift designed by God to help married couples enhance their emotional intimacy and connection. In his book, Sacred Sex Tim Alan Gardner points out:
“Sex is comforting,and naturally reduces anxiety,” he said. “These are wonderful byproducts of healthy, marital sexuality. Sex is not meant, however, to be used like a drug.”
And when we masturbate that is how we use sex – like a drug. We use masturbation to help us distract from emotional/mental distress or obtain an adrenaline rush. That is the same as having a little too much to drink with the exception that it doesn’t produce a hangover. Instead sex is an activity we are to share and enjoy withour spouse.
The third and final point is this, clinical studies have been indicating masturbation can lead to a host of sexual dysfunctions including erectile dysfunction and retarded ejaculation.
So, to answer the question, is masturbation wrong? The answer is yes, in that it shifts true intimacy away from a couple and moves it to pseudo intimacy for an individual. The answer is yes, in that it results in men turning to fantasy for lustful supposes instead of turning to their spouse for mutual enjoyment.
If I asked you why you abuse sex you would probably give me one of the following: answers:
“I have no idea” “I wish I knew” “I think it’s just who I am” “It is the way God made me” “I think I am simply perverted” “I’m sick” “I’m disgusting” “I’m just a loser” “I’m a bad man” “I mentally disturbed” “I am too self-absorbed”
In treating men struggling with sex/porn addiction I have heard all those comments and more when I asked the why question. Without a clear-cut rationale for why we will simply default to believing it’s a character flaw. In our minds, the obsessed focus on sex is the result of our overactive sexual energy.
“I am convinced I am hard-wired differently than other guys,” said Connor, who at one time was spending nearly $250 a week on live sex webcasts. “There is no other explanation for why I am consumed with sexual thoughts around the clock. I can never get enough.”
Connor is right, he is hard-wired to abuse sexbut not due to anything biological or physiological. Connor’s obsession for sex was developed because someone(s) hard-wired him by causing emotional pain. He learned to block out the emotional distress by distracting himself with sex. To straighten out his wiring, Connor, like all sex addicts, will need to discover the true root of his addiction.
Her Need for Empathy
I truly believe uncovering the origin of a sex/porn addiction is vital in recovery process. The key to unlocking the power of a sex/porn addiction is for men to discover why it manifested in the first place. The answer to the why question provides a level of freedom and relief that enables us to feel hopeful we can get the addiction under control.
But this information is not only important for men dealing with sexual integrity issues, but it’s also valuable for their spouse or partner.
Why? Because it helps both parties clearly understand the addiction is not only about “sex”. This insight helps to clear up the misconception they are simply dealing with “an out-of-control pervert” who will never stop acting out. It provides a sense of hope needed, not only to manage the addiction, but to keep the relationship together.
When a wife or partner understands the ‘why’, it opens the door for them to develop empathy, which is needed for a couple to reconnect. Empathy allows those betrayed to see the addict through a softer pair of eyes that are not as condemning and judgmental.
“I was shocked to learn what Matt had been doing had nothing to do with sex,” said Rachel. “It was quite a relief to understand there actually was some rationale for the insane things he had been doing.”
Now don’t take Rachel’s comments wrong. It’s not that she was condoning Matt’s sexual addiction it was simply that she could now see why he had been acting out in such a destructive manner.
“Just because I now understand doesn’t mean I am ready to forgive,” she continued. “But I could see that day coming. Prior to this, I had no hope of ever forgiving him. It’s obvious he’s been dealing with a lot from his childhood that I never knew.”
When a woman develops empathy for her sex/porn-addicted partner she indicates an understanding of his problem. However, she is not, in any way, shape or form saying she is accepting of the behavior. She continues to despise it. By becoming empathic a woman can find a way to adjust her thinking to once again accept her partner if she sees he is taking steps to change.
Basically, she is saying “I understand why you do what you do. It all makes sense to me now. However, I still don’t like it, so what are you doing to fix it?”
IMPORTANT FACT: Discovering the reasons why a man abuses sex is not an excuse for his behavior. He had other options, including to seek help earlier. But he elected not to take them. He is still responsible for the pain he has caused to others.
As you know, we don’t cure sexual or pornography addictions, instead, we learn to manage them. To assist us, the following are 4 steps we should take when temptations hits.
Don’t React. Respond.
This is a critical step. If you don’t get this one you will not be successful. Slow everything down. The key is to not rush off and act out but instead to sit with the emotions that have been activated by the triggering event. Find a place to be alone with your thoughts and feelings.
He is not doing enough,” exclaimed Susan speaking about her husband Artie who betrayed her with his numerous affairs and pornography use.
Her statement left me a little puzzled since I thought Artie had been doing well in his recovery. And from what I could see, Artie certainly had been doing everything that was asked of him. So, I asked Susan, “What do you need that he is not doing?”
“I don’t know,” she answered. “But he is not doing enough.”
Then it hit me. “Are you saying he is not doing enough in his recovery or he is not doing enough to help your recovery,” I asked her.”
“It’s always about him,” she said as tears formed in her eyes. “What about me? When does he start to focus on how much I am hurting?”
Susan felt Artie was rushing her recovery and wanted her to “get over it” so they could return to their normal life. What Artie did not understand is they could not return to their former relationship. In Susan’s eyes that relationship didn’t work. And she was right. There was no going back. The only road to travel – if they were to remain together – was forward. Continue reading “Help Her Heal: Walk into the Fire”→
This article first appeared in the online publication The Blaze.
A Christian counselor penned a piece for the XXX Church ministry this week to try and explain why so many people struggle to overcome porn addiction, calling it “heartbreaking” to see peoples’ “endless attempts to get sober only to succumb to temptation over and over again.”
Eddie Capparucci, who is a sexual addiction therapist based in Georgia, said in a piece titled, “Why Can’t I Quit Porn? Get to the Root,” that people need to get to the root of their addiction if they truly want to conquer it.
“At the heart of all addictions is emotional pain,” Capparucci wrote. “Addictive behaviors are used in an attempt to conceal the hurt we feel by serving as a distraction. And they do an excellent job keeping our emotional pain in check – for a brief time.”
But he said that once the “high” wears off, people find themselves back where they started. It’s a dynamic that Capparucci said many porn consumers might not realize is unfolding.
“Now you may be saying to yourself, ‘I don’t feel any emotional pain. I use pornography simply because I like it.’ This is not unusual. It tells me you have done an excellent job suppressing troubling emotions,” he continued. “In fact, you may have a difficult time in expressing any emotion beyond anger, happiness, or sadness.”
In the end, though, he said that there’s something “lying at the core” of a person’s addiction: the reason why they “abuse sex,” saying that there are many causes, including: a need for affirmation, entitlement, control, a thirst for attention, weakness, a failure to emotionally engage, and a variety of other potential factors.
In the end, Capparucci argues that “a key to freeing yourself from abusing sex is learning to identify and manage your emotional pain,” urging readers to use XXX Church’s “My Pilgrimage,” a program intended to help people combat porn addiction.
As TheBlaze previously reported, porn addiction has been a subject of increased discussion of late. In fact, top medical researchers explained earlier this month at a pastors’ gathering in North Carolina how pornography use physically affects the human brain, revealing information not well-known outside of the medical and scientific communities.
During his presentation at the event, dubbed “The Set Free Summit,” Struthers explained and elaborated on many topics, from how the human brain changes under repeated pornography use to how the brain naturally has its own “mirroring” effect to how natural bodily hormones — such as oxytocin — can bond a person to pixels on a screen.“Porn is all of the sex — without the body,” Dr. William Struthers, a professor of neuroscience and psychology at Wheaton College in Chicago, told TheBlaze. “It gives you every aspect of a sexual encounter without the physical touch or the smells.”
Every year the conversation in our home surrounding what to sacrifice for Lent is pretty entertaining. Each individual throws out an idea, while other family members counter argue why they believe it is not a true sacrifice. It’s always the usual list including sweets, bread, or electronics. In reality, all are good ideas and serve the purpose of denying oneself over a period of 40 days.
Last year I proposed men make a sacrifice that could have long-term and healthy outcomes for themselves and their relationships.
Sometimes it is difficult to determine if someone is dealing with a sexual addiction. A man who views pornography a couple times a year may be acting inappropriately and hurting intimacy between him and his wife, but it doesn’t mean he is a sex addict.
A sexual addiction is diagnosed when sexual activity has a negative impact and effect on other parts of a person’s life including relationships, finances, health, safety, employment, and/or relationship with God.
The following is a brief assessment to help you get an initial read if you are indeed struggling with a sexual addiction. Check each one that applies to you.
Does your mind wander with sexual thoughts throughout the day?
Linda Egle first learned about the problem of sex trafficking in 2008. She had already been working with women in extreme poverty for years, but upon hearing of the enormity of the problem of trafficking, she wanted to get involved.
Soon after, Linda met our future partner who had established an anti-trafficking organization in Nepal. His goal was to stop girls from being trafficked into brothels in India and provide a safe place for victims of trafficking to live and heal. They formed a partnership and began to work together to put an end to the trafficking of Nepalese girls.Continue reading “The Red Thread Movement and Its Fight Against Sex Trafficking”→