QuestionI found your web site by chance and I just thought I could get some advice! I'm a 15 year old female teenager and I've been struggling with porn for about a year. If I see anything suggestive, or even when I'm doing biology and they say something about sex, my senses get awakened! That desire stays until I can get on the computer when I'm alone in the house. Afterward I feel, horrible, dirty, and disgusted with myself at what I know I shouldn't do, but the drive is so strong. Sometimes I'll go about a month or two with no problems, and then, I'll go maybe only two or three days without going on the computer again. I know a lot of guys do this, and it's almost normal to think that guys have this problem. But I'm not a guy! All the web sites I go to looking for help say, "Oh, this is a normal urge that guys have and blah blah blah!" But what about girls. I feel like I was wired like a guy but just look like a girl. Please help me get through this.
Let's start with the basics. When you look in the mirror, what do you see? A girl. If someone examined your DNA, what would be discovered? That you are a girl. The conclusion must be that you are a girl. (I know, amazing logic ...)
Human beings are blessed with a wide range of looks and personalities. For example, the average man is 5'9" tall. Does that mean everyone is 5'9" tall? Obviously, not. Does that mean there is something wrong with the 5'1" guy or the 6'5" guy? No. They aren't a typical height, but their height is still within a normal range for human beings. In the same way, humans are wired for sexual arousal -- not just males -- both males and females. Male arousal tends to be triggered by visual things. It isn't limited to just the visual, but visual is the most prevalent. Female arousal tends to be triggered by emotional things. Since words carry heavy emotional elements, females tend to respond to words more than males. But these are generalities regarding trends. It doesn't match any one individual.
Males can be aroused by words because those words generate visual images in their minds. Females can be aroused by images because some images generate an emotional response when viewed. Still, arousal can be triggered many different things: thought, touch, or even a smell.
The primary reason people think males get more aroused than females is because their sexual anatomy responds noticeably. Female sexual arousal is more subtle, but subtleness doesn't mean it isn't there or in a lesser amount.
One of the classes I teach is the Song of Solomon. This book is a large play in poem form that describes what a relationship is like from a woman's point of view. A point that is repeatedly brought up is the struggle the heroine has in controlling her sexual response to her fiance. "He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love. Sustain me with cakes of raisins, Refresh me with apples, for I am lovesick. His left hand is under my head, and his right hand embraces me. I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem, by the gazelles or by the does of the field, do not stir up nor awaken love until it pleases" (Song of Solomon 2:4-7). The scene is a formal dinner in which the woman's fiance keeps "signaling" his love for her by his glances and other body language. The fact that he is showing his attraction to her in such a public fashion triggers sexual arousal and fantasies in the heroine -- she feels faint from the reaction and begins imagining the two of them lying down together. But she gets a hold of herself and warns others not try forcing feelings of love before its time. Doing so will cause you to lose it; it flees like a startled deer.
When sexuality first develops in a human, the brain response to the new sensation by creating thousands of connections to what it thinks are related ideas. As you are exposed to repeated situations, connections that are repeated are reinforced. Those never used or contradicted are dropped.
The danger in pornography is that it re-enforces connections to sexual arousal with concepts which are just plain wrong, whether visually, verbally, or emotionally. Pornography gets its "strength" from the shock it gives. It is designed to be rude, dirty, and disgusting on purpose because those generate strong emotions in you which then gets connected to the feelings of pleasure from sexual arousal. The creators of porn knows that shock doesn't last, so the user of porn must then look for more shocking ideas to get the same high. Eventually they will manipulate a person to the point that they are willing to pay for the highs.
In a very real sense, the use of pornography is forcing "love" by trying to experience sexual feelings before there is even a person to focus those feelings on. Because of this, when the real thing happens, your response system is corrupted. It won't tie you as strong to any one person. Your mind is filled with ideas that sex is something unmarried, uncommitted people do and so much of the pleasure is lost and the stability that should be there is missing. Saddest of all, people don't realize what they are missing because it is all that they know.
So let's put things back into perspective. It is perfectly normal for girls to experience sexual arousal. But it is wrong to wallow in those feelings through pornography, romance novels, or whatever other means which glorifies fornication, adultery, or perverted forms of sex.
Thank you so much for your advice and your time. This helps me a lot and means more to me that you took so much time in this. But, I still have all this garbage in my mind. Pictures that I've looked at. I know that they'll stay there until the day I die, which saddens and frustrates me greatly. How can I help overcome the need, or the want, to look at those pictures in my mind? How can I defeat Satan and his quest to destroy me?
I've always gone to church, grown up in a loving Christian home, but just accepted Jesus as my personal Savior a few months ago. The day I got saved my dad gave me a Bible, and in it, he wrote "This book will keep you from sin, or sin will keep you from this book." That really struck home for me. But, I thought when I became I Christian I might actually have the desire to read my Savior's words. I thought it might be easier to want. But it's not at all. My parents gave me the Daily Bread to read every day, though I might only read it once a month.
I don't know what I'm trying to get out of telling you this because I know anything you tell me won't make me have the want to consistently stay in God's word. But it feels good just to tell someone else. I mean, I do have good, strong Christain friends, but none of them know of my porn adiction. Only you, and my mom know about it. Well, and God.
You are correct that you can't remove memories. I can't begin to list all the people who tell me that the worse thing about sin are the memories about what you did. But you're wrong about one thing, when you leave something behind your memories begin to fade -- not quickly, not all at once -- but if you don't keep calling them to mind, they don't keep intruding and eventually become hard to bring to mind.
The key to successfully overcoming sin is not in the removal of sin but in the replacement of sin with something better. "When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none. Then he says, 'I will return to my house from which I came.' And when he comes, he finds it empty, swept, and put in order. Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first. So shall it also be with this wicked generation" (Matthew 12:43-45). Only removing sin leaves a whole in your life that wants to be filled.
What you need to pay attention to is when do these urges to look at porn come at you. Often people establish habits to sin. Is it when you are bored? Alone? Have excess energy? Whatever it is, when you realize it is happening, find something else to do that is good and productive. At first it will be hard, but gradually it will be come a habit. I had a friend once who every time he felt himself getting angry would take a walk around the block. It wasn't unusual to see him leave right in the middle of a meeting to go take a walk. He stayed calmer and got a lot of healthy exercise that way. You can do the same -- distract yourself with something useful until the urge isn't there any more.
Yes, many people think that becoming a Christian will suddenly erase all temptations and make them want to do good things. The simple fact is that temptation is a lifelong battle that won't cease. And a desire to do something, such as read your Bible comes because you are interested in what you are reading. Just to show you the difference, I would like you to read the book of Esther. It is a short book. You don't have to read it in on sitting, but read at least a chapter each day. Then tell me what you thought about the story.
I spend a lot of time reading my Bible, but I grew to that point because I keep teaching people about the Bible and needing to search the Bible for answers. Now I find delving into various sections fascinating, but it came much later in my life. Even today, just reading the Bible from cover-to-cover is not my favorite way to learn. I do better when I have a reason or need to learn, so I provide myself with many opportunities where I need to learn something more in order to address people's questions or to write a workbook someone needs. In the same way, try various ways to use your Bible. Eventually you'll find one that works well for you.