Let me preface this by saying:
a) I didn't write this article (on Christian solutions to internet porn addiction), and
b) I think it's completely bizarre in its approach to defeating porn addiction and its attending horror, masturbation - a practice described in terms that remind me of an old Baden-Powell Scout manual from 1913.
That said, I actually do think we have a problem. I think we have a serious problem, because at least a few times, when I've tried to find something quite neutral on Google, I have found hundreds of very explicit images - to me, anyway, who grew up in the swingin' '60s, when everyone THOUGHT things were "liberated". At a click, even an accidental click under a very bland search term, I instantly see men and women, or men and men, having sex of all and every kind, inserting this into that, and most vigorously. Images of gigantic erect penises and spreadeagled, vulva-displaying women abound. The pictures are almost cartoonish in their exaggeration and have the posed, passionless quality that reveals just how much these participants are being paid to pretend they're having fun.
These are the milder, more bland public images Google has no problem with, so the humiliating, sado-masochistic stuff, mostly involving the shocking subjugation and abuse of women, must be much more extreme. And if people are addicted to THAT, they have to keep upping the ante to get the same thrill.
Any 9-year-old, or 6-year-old, could find themselves looking at the supposedly neutral Google images I stumbled on in half a second. Is this a good thing for kids, do you think? And what exactly does it contribute to the male psyche, let alone the greater good? I won't even answer that because I think it's fairly obvious.
Now everyone, especially the conservative Christian community, is trying to overcome porn-driven masturbation the way they did back in the Victorian era. Whole sites are devoted to it. As the images become more and more intoxicatingly extreme, men are exhorted not to touch themselves at all, but to go cold turkey (and I know that sounds weird). But does that mean they can automatically go back to enjoying so-called "normal" sex with their partners? Sex itself suddenly takes on the significance of "the enemy", or - much worse - "sin".
I used to go to 12-step meetings for alcoholism, and I would hear about Sex Anonymous, as if the goal was to give up sex altogether, or at least stop enjoying it and treat it as a fairly mechanical or strictly reproductive process not related to things like female (or male) nudity and/or passion/desire, or (much worse) pleasure. I had no idea how a person would moderate these things. I knew a lot of people in Overeaters Anonymous, and "success" meant adhering to a rigid and very UNenjoyable, lifelong bland diet. Any deviation from it caused intense shame and a sense of failure in the food addict. All the sensory enchantment and social pleasure we associate with food had been taken from them as a penalty for their compulsion.
It doesn't work. This kind of renunciation sets people up to fail.
I found the following article(s - I kept finding more and more) mind-boggling for a lot of reasons. If you're to believe the statistics, things are not so rosy in the bedrooms of fundamentalist couples - though other things are coming up roses late at night, sitting in the dark, alone at the computer. What's behind all this? Do their wives not put out, or what? Or do they, like a lot of people, have to resort to more and more extreme measures to feel anything at all? Is this, in fact, rewiring the male brain so that nothing but the smuttiest smut will do?
This article is a real artifact and shows how impractical and even ludicrous the "solutions" can be. It has a faint flavour of The Onion about it, but I honestly don't think it's a parody. I was going to highlight the particularly ludicrous and useless strategies in blue, then realized that practically the whole article would be in blue. So my comments appear in lavender italics. And don't forget, boys - if you want to stop being sexually enslaved, just give up dessert!
5 Practical Ways to Defeat Porn Addiction
JUNE 23, 2014 BY KEVIN KUKLA 2 COMMENTS
Over one billion times has pornography been searched for online… since the beginning of 2014. That’s one out of every eight internet searches.
Internet pornography generates three billion (with a ‘b’) dollars of revenue.
One half of all Christian men and one-in-five Christian women admit they are addicted to pornography.
ONE HALF? What's the general rate - about five per cent? Maybe going to church DOES change people's morals.
If you’re in that camp of porn addicts, you’re not alone. There is a way out.
If you do not struggle with this temptation yourself, likely someone you care about does.
There is no set magic bullet to get out, for most people. Multiple tactics will be necessary.
So, whether you can take advantage of doing these steps for yourself, or can recommend them to someone who confides in you their compulsion, here are five practical ways to overcome porn addiction.
1. YOU NEED TO BE ACCOUNTABLE—YOU CAN’T GO IT ALONE
“The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak,” Jesus says (Matthew 26:41).
You very well may hate what you are doing. If so, this is a wonderful and necessary response. But it is not enough. You need help.
What if you love what you're doing? Shut up, Margaret.
By making yourself accountable to someone else, who does not struggle with this sin, you will gain traction in your climb out. Yes, you will need to be vulnerable, exposing your sin to someone else, but this is necessary.
You can set up a weekly, or even a daily meeting with a trusted friend, an uncle, or counselor. You can discuss what temptations you faced and where you need help.
Or six times daily.
“Let us then cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light… and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires,” reads Romans 13:12,14.
A very wise step to take for those serious about wanting to break free from the chains of pornography is to install accountability software of every device that has internet access.
One of the best in the industry in providing this accountability is Covenant Eyes. They have affordable software that sends a report to an accountability partner.
His name, by the way, is Big Brother.
Installing this software would be a prudent for any parent. This way you be assured that such toxic material blocked from your child’s sight.
If you don’t think your child would be seeking this out, guess again. The average age for first porn exposure is 12 years old. Plus, more than 7 out of 10 teens hide their online behavior from their parents.
Get the software, Dad. Time to protect your kids, Mom.
(OK, I MUST say something here. "Go it alone"?)
2. PRACTICE PENANCE—DON’T LET YOUR FLESH DO THE BIDDING
Christ said some demons could not be driven out but by prayer and fasting (Matthew 17:21).
“Well, I do not run aimlessly, I do not box as one beating the air; but I pommel my body and subdue it, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified,” says Saint Paul (1 Corinthians 9:26-27).
"Pommel my body". This is just too good - I don't even need to say anything.
Due to our fallen human nature, being weak morally comes easy to us. A sexual addiction or a porn addiction obviously are a sin of the flesh. Thus, the flesh needs to be chastised, in order to be defeated.
If you want to defeat a vice, then you need to practice its opposite virtue.
A porn addict gets accustomed to feeding the body its desires. Thus, it’s time to allow reason to triumph over the flesh. It’s time to show your body who is boss.
Down, body! Down!
Here are some practical ideas of ways to overcome your flesh—to defeat your body’s will, so to speak.
A. Practice delayed gratification.
When you get a letter in the mail you want to read, wait ten minutes before opening the envelope. Be the last one in line to get food. Wait to read that internet news article until your next break, skipping this one. Basically, learn to tell your body “not yet.”
Since nobody ever gets letters in the mail any more, the wait may be several years.
B. Practice abstinence in food and drink.
Practice not eating meat on Fridays. If already doing that, add another day of the week. Skip dessert. When out to eat, identify what you want most, and order something else. Eat more of what you don’t like and less of what you do.
This is also known in medical/psychiatric circles as an "eating disorder". It can be pretty hard to explain to your friends: oh, I love burgers and fries, but I'm ordering liver and onions because I have a porn addiction.
Here, you’re literally denying satisfaction to your bodily appetites. Doing this is bound to have a positive effect when the temptation to look at porn comes. You are training yourself to resist. This is absolutely vital.
3. PRACTICE CUSTODY OF THE EYES—DO NOT LUST
“So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate” (Genesis 3:6).
Note. It's all Eve's fault for being such a seductress. Without her and her scandalous fruit-eating habit, we wouldn't even be in this mess.
One of the many problems with viewing porn is that is causes the addict to devalue the dignity of other people. Most commonly, men are viewing porn—although not exclusively. By doing so, he is training himself to regard and to treat women as sexual objects for his viewing pleasure.
Thus, porn addicts almost always succumb to committing lust throughout the day, not just when in front of the computer. He starts scoring every woman he sees, at the mall, at work, at church, on a scale of sexual desirability. This tosses out the woman’s dignity and worth, replacing her value with his selfish desires. It is degrading.
It's also what guys do.
In place of this, the addict must train himself to start looking women in the eye, not at her chest. I recommend making a concerted effort to determine the eye color of every woman he meets. If he is busy determining if her eyes are hazel or green, then he is not thinking about the size of her bra.
The porn addict can also practice looking away at other pleasures to better train himself. Not looking into the store window. Or skipping watching the sunset.
Look, God’s creation is beautiful, especially the female body. But proper respect must be paid. By looking away from other delights to the eyes, the addict to porn will help break his impulse to lust toward women.
WTF? Or should I say: WT-"I never beat off"?
4. GO TO CONFESSION WEEKLY—DON’T GIVE UP
“He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy,” Scripture assures us (Proverbs 28:13).
The Sacrament of Confession has many healing effects. For starters, you receive forgiveness for transgressions. You get to hear this from the priest and can take it to heart.
As well, God supplies you grace to avoid the very sins you just confessed. Confession is medicine for the soul.
If you are addicted to porn, then the Catholic Church would say you are guilty of a grave sin. As such, you ought not receive Communion until first going to Confession.
We're not WORRRR-thy!
How often should you go to the Sacrament of Confession? If you are addicted, then you need to go often, probably weekly. In fact, you can go daily, if needed.The idea is to break yourself of the bondage that sinful activity has over you. Go, receive the remedy, the grace, as often as you possibly can!
I think you should go sixteen or seventeen times a day, once for every manual transgression. That priest will soon be pretty tired of seeing your guilty puss and grant you a rubber-stamp absolution in a matter of seconds.
By humbling yourself before God, admitting you need Him to remove this scourge for you, He will honor that and oblige. The fact that He allowed you to have this Cross was a means to draw you to Him. He will happily remove the obstacle for you, in His time.
5. ATTEND EUCHARISTIC ADORATION WEEKLY—DO NOT TIRE IN SEEKING CHRIST’S HELP
Christ shares the parable of a widow who persisted in her petition to a certain judge. He became so annoyed with her, he finally granted her request, just to make her go away (Luke 18:1-8). He uses this as a model for us to follow in our prayer life.
We need to be persistent, consistent, and constant in prayer.
Where better to spend time in prayer than in front of Christ Himself, present sacramentally in the Eucharist? By committing to Eucharistic Adoration, for at least one hour a week, your prayer life will grow exponentially.
God will see you coming to Him personally, physically. He will hear your pleas to remove this Cross. And He will answer your prayer. In accord with His timing.
Have I forgot an obvious sixth method to overcoming porn addiction?
Has anyone deployed any or all of these methods in the past to overcome an addiction of any kind? Care to share your story?
Please ‘Share’ this post and let’s pray for those in bondage to sin.
Oh God, save me. Save me from reading more of this. I had not heard the term Custody of the Eyes since reading a biography of the celibate Jesuit priest/poet Gerard Manley Hopkins, who used to force himself NOT to look at the beauty of nature (upon which all his greatest poems were based) in order to punish himself for lustful thoughts about other men. Oh boy. But here is a whole 'nother article about it, making me wonder how we can be so backward in a time when everything seems to be moving too quickly.
Just when I thought I had seen it all. . .
You are here: Home / Chastity/Dating / 10 Reasons Men Should Practice Custody of the Eyes
10 Reasons Men Should Practice Custody of the Eyes
JULY 30, 2014 BY MARCEL LEAVE A COMMENT
10 – It helps teach discipline.
Men should discipline themselves to be in control of their passions and not allow passions to control them.
9 – It avoids the near occasion of sin.
To avert your eyes when you feel tempted to use a woman lustfully is a good thing.
“But I say to you, everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” -Matt 5:19.
8 – Custody of the eyes builds up chastity.
Chastity means properly ordering our sexuality to our current state in life (single, married, religious, priest). If we do not have custody of the eyes, it means our sexuality is dis-ordered toward objectification – not love – and needs to be healed.
Chastity? When married? There's another term for that: divorce.
7 – It is what every gentleman should do.
No woman who respects herself wants to be lusted after or looked up and down. No real gentleman would dishonor a woman by doing so.
6 – It helps a man to see the whole woman, not just parts of her body.
When most men see an immodestly-dressed woman, their brains automatically start to objectify her. Thus, men need to be able to see the truth about who a woman is – not just to break her down into objects he can use for his selfish pleasure.
5 – It avoids scandal.
Think of King David. If he would have practiced custody of the eyes he might have been able to avoid much worse sins – adultery and murder. Now think of what happens when a man is caught in a lustful look toward a woman.
THESE GUYS ARE REWRITING THE BIBLE! This divests it of every bit of wisdom through trial and struggle/redemption of sin in its pages. If these guys had their way, Onan never would've done all that dirty business, there would be no more "begin the begats", and Adam and Eve would've kept their fig leaves on and nobody would be here at all.
4 – It helps fight off temptation.
Men suffer from sexual temptation frequently. To have custody of the eyes helps a man to fight off an even stronger temptation of lusting after a woman after he looks at her.
3 – It helps our sisters not feel objectified.
If for no other reason, we should witness to the dignity of a woman by controlling our passions. While our sisters in Christ should also help by dressing modestly, even an immodestly dressed woman is made to be loved.
What - what- what???
2 – It is a virtue we should chase after.
It is related to chastity, modesty, and temperance. Without self-control, we are unable to give ourselves away in love. We can’t give what we don’t control.
Chase after. Odd choice of words, that. Freud would love all this.
1 – It focuses us back on more important things.
“Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides.” – Matt 6:33
Christ should be our first priority. Honoring the height of his creation (our sisters) should be the second. We should be third.
"Sisters" doesn't exactly fan the flames of romance, does it now? It throws the cold water of incest over the whole thing.
And this one, I swear it's real, or at least has been quoted in dozens of other articles (all furiously denouncing the very idea of a "Christian porn production"). In these productions, which I assume are videos and not live sex shows, the players must pray together as well as play together, and instead of crying "Jesus fucking CHRIST" in orgasm, they must shout "Hallelujah!" Other than that, it sounds to me like normal, old-fashioned, skeevy porn. The kind you beat off to.
Toward a Framework for Christian Porn
It must depict only married couples engaging in sexual acts. This means that any sexual partners in a Christian porn production must be husband and wife, both on and off screen. All actors must be married in real life and portray married couples onscreen. And they must only be depicted having sex with their wedded spouses.
It must portray sex within the context of a Christian marriage. It must be apparent through the actions, behaviors, and speech of the characters portrayed that they are Christian, lead a Christian lifestyle, and have a marriage in which their faith is central. This could be depicted in a variety of ways, with scenes showing a couple praying together, studying the Bible, attending church or church functions, and generally relating to one another as loving Christian spouses outside of the bedroom.
It must be instructional. Part of the mission of Christian pornography is to graphically educate married believers in how to achieve more sexual pleasure, intimacy, and closeness in their relationships. It can do this by dramatizing various sexual techniques and positions so that couples can learn how to incorporate them into their lovemaking routines. In their onscreen roles, the actors should model both correct sexual techniques and appropriate sexual attitudes, by being respectful and treating one another’s bodies as the sacred gift from God that they are.
Husband and wife must both receive their due benevolence. This is in keeping with the scriptural mandate of I Corinthians 7:3, which says “Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband.” This means that both sex partners must be shown getting equal pleasure and sexual attention from one another.
No extramarital sex, unless it is to illustrate the downfalls of adultery. The spouses in a Christian porn production must never have adulterous relations, unless they (and their partner in extramarital crime) suffer and are punished fittingly for their sins. (In deference to modern conventions, the punishment does not have to be one mandated by scripture, i.e., being stoned to death.)
It must be uplifting and inspirational, focusing on strengthening Christian marriage and Christian faith. Christian porn must have an overall positive message. Of course, its primary message would be to demonstrate the sacred use of sexuality and sensuality to reinforce the bonds of Christian marriage. But in all other respects, it should affirm Christian values of community, family, faith, honesty, charity, and so forth. It should show that having a joyous and fulfilling married sex life is one of the fruits of following the path of righteousness.
No profanity. Although exclamations of pleasure are acceptable, as are the natural sounds and vocalizations of lovemaking, Christian porn should contain no profanity or swearing. The participants should address each other lovingly and respectfully at all times. Of course, it goes without saying that the actors will not take the Lord’s name in vain, nor that of his Son.
And here is the most amazing strategy of all for beating porn addiction, and you can buy a bag of 200 at the Dollar Store for a buck twenty-five.
Before I tell you what it is, I am going to tell you what material you need to build the tool. This is all you need.
I know what you must be thinking. “I read two blogs, tracked my Triggers, Thoughts and Actions for a week and this is what I’ve been waiting for. “An Elastic Band??? Seriously??”
Yes, this simple elastic band can change the way you think, bring a deeper awareness to your compulsions, and drive behavior change. Period. If you don’t believe me try if for a week. All you have to do is:
Put elastic on wrist
Snap elastic immediately after you experience an unhealthy sexual or self defeating thought.
Use slight pain to snap back to reality
Take positive action instead of watching porn
Repeat as necessary
Yup, that’s it. That’s the secret. I have successful clients, leaders in their respective industries and communities, clients all over the world using this technique. Why? Because it works.
POST-BLOG BADDA-BOOM: That bit about Christian porn CAN'T be real. I even found (blush) some sites with dirty pictures of very, shall we say, ordinary-looking men and women (almost all women) doing various things with various orifices and bodily parts, all in the name of Jesus. Bad skin, stretch marks, unattractive teeth, the works. Kind of depressing. I guess Christians can look at porn so long as the people in it are ugly.
Now maybe these links are on the level. Who knows. Try it for yourself. Seek, explore, poke around in it a little bit. You may emerge dripping with sanctity and full of the fist-pumping ecstasy of spiritual fulfillment.
“[T]he exceedingly foul deed of Onan, the basest of wretches . . . is a most disgraceful sin. It is far more atrocious than incest and adultery. We call it unchastity, yes, a sodomitic sin. For Onan goes in to her; that is, he lies with her and copulates, and when it comes to the point of insemination, spills the semen, lest the woman conceive. Surely at such a time the order of nature established by God in procreation should be followed. Accordingly, it was a most disgraceful crime.”
“The voluntary spilling of semen outside of intercourse between man and woman is a monstrous thing. Deliberately to withdraw from coitus in order that semen may fall on the ground is doubly monstrous. For this is to extinguish the hope of the race and to kill before he is born the hoped-for offspring.”
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