Tag: Sexual integrity

Masturbation: Pseudo Intimacy

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.

Broken Relationship

“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.    

Empathy for Her is Understanding ‘Why’

By Eddie Capparucci, LPC, CSRRS, CCSAS, CPCS

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.

3 Messages You Send Her When You Watch Porn

“I don’t know what you are so upset about. Every guy watches porn. It’s no big deal so why don’t you just leave it alone.”

I am blown away by the number of men I meet in my counseling practice who have uttered those words to their wives to justify their pornography addiction. In fact, many men believe watching pornography is as harmless as watching football. In their minds, since “every guy watches porn,” then it’s a harmless activity.

But they’re wrong.

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Viewing pornography is far from harmless, especially to the emotional well-being of our wives. When we watch porn, we are sending extremely hurtful messages to our spouses.

While we may not intend to communicate self-worth eroding messages, nevertheless these messages are coming through loud and clear. Here are three of them.

Continue reading “3 Messages You Send Her When You Watch Porn”

4 Reasons Why Women Are Not Sex Objects

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the definition of objectifying is as follows:  “to treat (someone) as an object rather than as a person” Now think for a moment if people started looking, referring, and treating you like an “object”? How do you believe you would feel? Insulted? Demeaned? Dishonored? Befouled? Humiliated? Tarnished?

How about outright pissed? You know you would be! So why then is it considered cool or even natural for us men to look upon women as playthings created simply for our own gratification? This type of behavior rings with an air of superiority, which we have no right to claim.couple-913236_640

“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:28,

There is no mistaking that men and women are different. However, they also are seen as equal in God’s eyes. And if the Creator sees them that way, then how can we not? There are many reasons why women are not sex objects and should not be treated as such. Let’s take a look at four. Continue reading “4 Reasons Why Women Are Not Sex Objects”

So You Think Women Enjoy Being in Porn? Think Again.

Readers, the following first appeared on the website ThePornEffect.com. It is a letter written by a young woman who spent time in the pornography industry. For those men – and even some women – who think there is nothing wrong viewing pornography, you need to read this.

Dear Porn User,

I want you to know that I don’t write this with any hostility to you. Maybe you watch porn but don’t want to. Maybe you watch porn and don’t want to stop. Either way, thanks for reading.internetporn

I was a “porn star” for only six months but featured in over twenty films. I’ve been there, I’ve done that, and I’ve seen the reality of what the porn industry is really like. I think many people believe falsehoods about porn. Falsehoods which, if they knew them to be such, would probably try harder (or try at all) to stop watching porn. Continue reading “So You Think Women Enjoy Being in Porn? Think Again.”

Let Her Grieve Your Betrayal

Let Her Grieve Your Betrayal

When a married man gets caught abusing sex, he is immediately faced with two serious challenges. The first is learning to overcome his sexual addiction and work to become a man of sexual integrity. The second challenge is starting to re-building trust with his wife. And for many men, that process can be more difficult than dealing with their own sexual indiscretion. Continue reading “Let Her Grieve Your Betrayal”

Should I Tell My Spouse about Struggles with Sexual Purity?

Great article by Garrett Kell on being upfront and transparent with our wives about the struggle of sexual sin. This article originally appeared on the website “For The Church’. Read and take the advice to heart. One of the biggest issues facing couples in this situation is the husband lacks the courage to be honest and open. It is a BIG mistake and only leads to further pain and mistrust. 

Continue reading “Should I Tell My Spouse about Struggles with Sexual Purity?”

Can Sex Addiction Recovery Be Permanent?

By Eddie Capparucci, MA, LPC

Quite often I am asked by one of my clients who abuse sex “what is the time frame for being cured?”. They are a little taken aback when I respond “never”.  Their wives also are disappointed and worried when they hear this news.

However, it is not all bad news. Like any other addiction, the desire to abuse sex doesn’t evaporate into thin air after a man has done his work and followed a recovery program designed to achieve sexual integrity. And I do not need to tell you that sexual temptation loudly surrounds us. jesuswithyou

In fact, there is really little escape from the endless imagines and triggers that engross us on a daily basis. That is why the focus of recovery needs to be not simply on changing our behavior but instead changing our hearts. A critical component of that change is realizing we could become vulnerable if we let down our guard. Read what the Apostle Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 10:12. Continue reading “Can Sex Addiction Recovery Be Permanent?”

Stop Adding to the Pain of Hurt Women

I am going to share a story of a brave woman named Madeleine Black who suffered through being raped, tortured and humiliated at the age of 13. Following her assault, the shame and self-loathing she felt led her to act out in a promiscuous manner as a teenager. Finally, she found love with a healthy man and peace when she learned to forgive.

I am sharing her story not only because it demonstrates the strength and courage of one woman, but also to illustrate how as men when we seek to engage in a casual sexual encounter with a willing woman who we found in a chat room or through a sex app, we are adding to the insult they had suffered earlier in their lives. We are stripping away from them another sliver of their limited self-worth. We are contributing to the self-loathing they experience by using their bodies for our own sexual pleasure. We are as guilty of hurting them as the individuals who originally caused them emotional, physical and sexual pain.  Continue reading “Stop Adding to the Pain of Hurt Women”

Porn Thrives in the Dark

By Eddie Capparucci, MA, LPC

Do you have a secret? If so, you have come to understand the best way to keep it a secret is to guard it. You must keep it out of sight from others so that no one ever discovers it. And what better place to keep it hidden than in the dark. 

Black silhouette of teenager sitting at the computer on blue bacThe dark is a wonder place for secrets because it’s difficult for people to see through darkness. Jesus knew this. 

“This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed.” John 3:19-20 

Pornography addicts hate the light because it’s impossible to act out when being exposed. They need the dark in order for their secret to remain hidden. It is in the dark that a pornography addiction can manifest itself and become deeper and more intense. It is in the dark that a pornography addiction can thrive and work to destroy the addict’s mind as well as relationships.

One of the first steps necessary to recovery is admitting we have a problem. And that requires taking our addiction out of the dark and exposing it to the light. You hate reading that don’t you? Come on admit it.

But if you want to be free of this 10-ton weight you are carrying you must expose it. We do that by finding a trusting friend or accountability partner. We join a support group in which we are surrounded by like-minded men who understand the struggles. We admit our sins to our wife or partner and ask for their support as we tackle what could be the biggest challenge we have ever faced.

Let’s go back to Jesus as he continues discussing the need to bring sin into the light. But those who do what is right come to the light so others can see that they are doing what God wants.” John 3:21 NLT

Doing what God wants. How different is that then simply indulging in our own selfish pleasures? Doing what God wants. Come out of the dark with your pornography addiction and start on the road of recovery today.