a GLOWguys discussion
October 28, 1999
I am a sex addict, with a strong attraction to men and pornography. Of course along with that comes the masturbation, even though, I have been celibate since December of 1994
I have recently been struggling very hard with the issue of pornography, chat rooms and phone sex. The reason that this has become such a real struggle is that I love the Lord, and I desperately want to live with Him in heaven. I found a group very much like the Exodus ministries, here in Ohio area. It is the "Healing Touch Ministries." I have gained so much strength from counseling sessions with the leader and counselor for the Ministry. There is a lot to be said about accountability. The first thing that I was able to do, was to destroy my stash of pornography (pictures, and stories). The second thing that I have done is switched to a Christian, pornography free web server. Midwest Internet Connections and Service. One of the first challenges that I was given was, that if I felt an uncontrollable urge to masturbate, to do it without the lust and defamation of a human being which to me would take the eroticism out of it.
I'm asking you guys whether you think the act of masturbation in itself is an evil act or whether it is the thoughts that you think while you're doing it? Please respond and give me the reasons that you feel the way that you feel.
Luv you guys,
October 28, 1999
I am also happy that you got in with a good group. It was a wonderful growth experience for me while in a men's group here. The first six months were pretty rough as I had excess baggage that I had not been able to talk to anyone about before. I am sure you will find this group a real blessing and no doubt you will be able to give encouragement to someone else that has temptations. How many of you are in the group?
October 29, 1999
God bless you Ricky, I knew that if I threw that question out there, that someone would be able to give me something concrete to build upon. I never thought of it from the standpoint of misused and misguided energies, but since you pointed me in that direction, I'm sure that it's another rung in my ladder. One thing for sure, I do love God and through all of my weaknesses and struggles, I want to be more like Him every day. Thank you for those thoughts. Again I praise God for you guys, you'll never know how much strength I've gained from you all.
Yours in Christ,
October 29, 1999
I think it is almost impossible to masturbate without lustful thoughts. The fantasies are the key point here. Even if you just 'release tension,' you feel pleasure as well -- and the more intense your fantasies, the more intense the pleasure. So, one cannot separate one thing from another.
Is masturbation destructive? I guess so, at least in the context of male-to-male attractions. The more often you experience orgasm with homosexual fantasies, the stronger become your attraction to men.
On the other hand, I didn't overcome this, not at all. As far as I remember -- since the age of 11 -- I have been masturbating quite often, and still cannot get rid of it. Sometimes I attempt not to do it, but it seems like I simply can't help. I try not to be discouraged by this. God is good.
In short, what I want to say is this -- if one cannot live without masturbation, well... but it is better not to do it, for it strengthens your attraction to men.
October 29, 1999
By the grace of God, I have basically overcome this problem physically. I don't masturbate and I don't allow fantasies to carry me away. What I do still struggle with is seeking out pictures of (clothed) men with attractive beards and/or long hair. Even though I don't actually masturbate and I don't generally fantasize about actual indecencies, the fact that I have gone looking for attractive men and that they often are gay men who are showing their pictures -- even if they do have their clothes on -- strengthens my feelings of gayness and makes me think about cuddling a little or combing their hair or stroking their beards and I feel that this is not good spiritually.
October 30, 1999
Not sure why but the past 3 or 4 weeks my struggle with pornography and masturbation has pretty much dried up and blown away... If I knew what it was I did to achieve this I'd share advice with you all, but I have no idea what happened. I've been struggling for what seems forever with these issues, and at the beginning of this summer I committed to defeating them, but it seems this summer was worse than anything before it... I remember lots of days coming home from work at 4:30 and immediately going to a porn site... The harder I struggled the more temptation came and the more discouraged I became when I fell and the more discouraged I became the stronger the temptations became...
The only thing I can think of that I've done differently is that viewing the struggle from a different perspective. Before I was fighting the monster within, I was focusing on achieving a victory. Now I'm trying to take my focus off of my SGA [same-gender attraction] totally and trying to focus more on Christ. As a part of this I'm trying to think of myself more as a child of God first before a homosexual...
The other thing that I think was important for me was getting in contact with a guy (over the Net) whose writings on the homosexual struggle had touched my heart. I emailed him, he responded, I responded, next thing you know we talked on the phone one night for four hours... I think what really helped me was the level of comfort that he had. He was willing to talk about things that I would have shied away from, and was even willing to laugh at some of the situations he'd found himself in as a closeted (and even as an open) gay man. It helped me, I think, to not see myself as such a monster and to see that other gay guys my age were achieving great things. (He's a volunteer at an AIDS hospital and much more).
So somehow, through a path I'm not even sure of I've suddenly found myself not struggling with what was once a life controlling sin. Perhaps this is only God's way of giving me a breathing space before he takes me to the next struggle. I don't know. Nonetheless I am rejoicing and wanted to write and offer hope that the monster can be beaten :).
Your brother in Christ,
October 30, 1999
One other thought regarding last night's discussion from me...
I thought of one other thing that has been a big change over the past month or so. Previously I always wondered what I would do if an opportunity ever arose to act out with another guy. I always hoped I'd be strong enough but kind of doubted it. I guess I could say that I was celibate, but it was more from circumstance than choice. Now I believe I'm able to say that I have chosen celibacy, and that makes a huge difference. Instead of wondering where I stand I know that when an opportunity arises I will say no because the choice is already made in my mind. Not sure if that makes sense. It seems so simplistic when it's written, but it's involved a change in mind set for me.