Tuesday, December 30, 2008


I'm looking through movie trailers, wondering if I should go and watch one.

Just seeing the good-looking people on screen incites some sexual excitement within.  Crazy.  They are not even doing anything, just standing and talking.  Why does it illicit such a response in me?


I've been connecting and creating neural pathways in my brain that associate fantasy with sexuality.  Movies are very fantasy like.  Good-looking folk up close and personal, displaying their deepest emotions on screen for you, like they are in bed with you, sharing with you their hearts.  Worse, the lighting is perfect and so is the soundtrack.  Better than life, actually.  But not life.  Just fantasy.

I have a friend (also ssa struggler) who stays away from anything tempting.  He doesn't ever go to the beach anymore because it is a place of temptation for him.  Another can never step into a shopping mall.  Because of his advice, I stopped using the gym showers.  So, now that I am having a sexual feeling from watching movie trailers, should I also avoid ever going to the cinema, even for a PG-13 movie?

I don't think it is realistic.  The issue is a matter of the heart.  Perhaps abstinence for a temporary period would be a good thing.  But if the world--which is highly sexualized--is a problem for me, should I avoid it completely?  Or should I be healed within so that I can be in the world even though I am not of it?

I will decide to go and watch this movie if I feel that the time spent will be better for my soul, which includes some "me-time."  I enjoy watching a meaningful movie that lets me think about life more deeply.  If it sets off a "cycle" for me, then I will deal with it here, on this sanctified blog.  I will write about it, process it, and watch the cycle pass over.

In the meantime, I feel like a cow that has not been milked for weeks.  The last time I went without sex for a while, I had a wet-dream.  It was a relief, but it was also disturbing because the sex came into my mind in technicolor, 3D, and with all the physical sensations.  But at least, I did not need to blame myself for it.  That helped me to keep my spiritual integrity.

The wife continues to be in trauma mode.  And I... all I can do is walk with Jesus, one step at a time.

Turn me around, pick me up, undo what I've become
Bring me back to the place of forgiveness and grace
I need You, need Your help, I can't do this myself
You're the only one who can undo what I've become

Cracks in the Mannequin

Last Monday night, I spent about 3 hours on the internet looking at pornography.  I did not disable my accountability software.  And I knew I would be "caught" when the report came.  But I didn't care.  Then again, maybe I should say I did care because a part of me knew that the shame the report would bring on me would cause me to stop.

That shame came tonight.  My wound is now open for my accountability partner to see. The presentable mannequin that I pass off as me on the outside has cracks all over it.  And they have become gapingly visible.  Yet if one were to look closely, beneath the cracks, past the rotting blood and puss, there is a glimpse of flesh.  There is hope.

According to the recent post on Covenant Eyes' blog, Christian musicians are speaking out to those who are tempted by porn.  Rush of Fools, Casting Crowns, Kirk Franklin, and others are singing openly about their own failures.  And their songs minister to me: I am not alone.

Their message is clear.  We need to stop hiding.  We need to be open, real, vulnerable, as Rick below shares.

Can I be completely vulnerable, or will I let the cracks seal up and I retreat behind the flawless exterior of my mannequin self?

That depends on me for the most part.  But it also depends on you, my accountability brothers.

Do you have what it takes to reach in through the cracks of mannequin exterior, dirty your hands with the blood and puss in order to touch the flesh within?  

Can you handle the me that I hate so much?  Or will it ignite in you the painful hate that you have for yourself?

Will you keep the cracks in my mannequin open with your deliberate care?  Or would you prefer to relate to an intact mannequin--spotless, presentable, and not in the least bit burdensome?

Monday, December 29, 2008

My Acceptable Fast

My loins are aching, my heart is aching.  It has been a week since I last had any sexual release.  The lesser temptation is to succumb to internet pornography.  Or perhaps masturbation without pornography.  The greater temptation is to ignore my feelings and go and do work.  I know if I gave in to the greater temptation, my need for a sexual release will come back to bite me, hard.  Why? Because if I just ignore it, I am going into isolation.  Not calling out for help when I need it.

And I do need it.

My wife does not want to have sex with me.  Anything remotely sexual will set off past trauma.  Even in her dreams she is being traumatized.  Today, she tells me that she is feeling sick, so sick she could not read to the kids.  I sent her off to bed with a hug, and an empty feeling.  No, not "no feelings," but a feeling of "empty."  Like a eunuch, with his manhood cut off.

The last time I was very sober (or pure, or not acting out — there never seems to be a good word for it), I remember that I had forgotten what my sexual organ looked or felt like.  I went for months without masturbating or paying any attention to it other than to wash or to urinate.  It was a wierd feeling, not to be intimate with your friend down there when you have known him so well–sometimes several times a day–for so many decades.  But what I was able to do in my purity (I’ll use the terms interchangeably) was turn to God.  I was able to pray on command with no sense of guilt or remorse.  And it was rewarding to be able to do that because I was regularly helping other guys with their own walk in sexual purity.

I don’t have regular sexual purity groups to run.  Have not in over half a year now.  The result of which is that my journey in purity feels empty, purposeless.

But I know it’s not purposeless.  It is better to be pure than to allow lust to control my life.  God WILL bring people into my life whom I am called to help.  I need to trust that this journey I make has a greater purpose than just to suffer and to know His suffering; that it has some practical value.  Hmm.  Actually, sexual purity does have practical value even if I am not running a sexual purity group.  I am a more ready and armed servant of God.  I am useful in His kingdom on command, without feeling like I need to first repent and get right with God.

I need to pray more.  Turn my physical and emotion aches into prayer to God.  Draw close to Him.  Consider this my "acceptable fast."