Category Archives: Pornography

Why accountability partners don’t work for pornography addiction

Most of the men I work with have a long history of failed attempts at overcoming sexual temptation. One of the most common strategies people in churches use is having an accountability partner. I have nothing against accountability partners … they just don’t work.

Listen to this recording – a short excerpt from an audio program called “The Spiritual Questions and Challenges of Recovery” – to find out why:

Show me a pornography or other type of sex addict who has an accountability partner – and is doing little else for his recovery – and I will show you someone who is struggling. Either acting out with whatever behaviors he’s dealing with, or hanging onto his sobriety with his fingernails and really struggling. Church leaders, spouses of strugglers, parents … please hear me on this … accountability is over-rated! It’s only part of the solution.

If you want to hear more about this and other subjects related to dealing with sexual struggle, check out this audio program

Free teleseminar: Understanding our Sexual Blueprint

Date: January 21 (Thursday)
Time: 7:00pm, central time

now available for purchase on the Recovery Remixed site

When we were young, we took in messages about ourselves and the world that powerfully shape who we are and how we live today. Because these messages were taken in at a young age, we weren’t developmentally able to rationally reflect on or evaluate them — we simply internalized them.

This conditioning powerfully affects our attitudes and actions related to sexuality. To move forward in our recovery from any kind of sexual struggle, we need to understand the messages we’ve internalized about sex, and learn how to “recondition” ourselves.

Click here for more information

Food and Sex: what happens when we move from famine to feast

People in Bangladesh don’t need Jenny Craig or Weight Watchers. They don’t get enough food. Calories are scarce there. But not here in the US. Here we have an over-abundance of food, and face an onslaught of temptations to over-indulge. If we’re going to be healthy, we have to be wise about our food choices and diligent about exercise. The overabundance of food creates a situation that forces most of us to make physical health a conscious priority.

(Of course, there are some people who can eat whatever they want and don’t have to worry about food and nutrition. But we hate those people and will not speak of them again.)

In a similar way, we are now in a unique historical situation: an over-abundance of sexual stimulation. If I am unsatisfied with the sexual experiences in my life, I don’t need to go to a cave somewhere and look at drawings of stick figures for sexual gratification. I don’t need to go to a museum and look at paintings of nudes. I can look at photographs, even video. And I don’t have to go to a cave – or even to a store – to do this. I can just turn on my computer, or open up my cell phone. The mechanics of finding sex partners have also gotten simpler and easier, given today’s technologies.

These technologies make sexual stimulation easily accessible and create a temptation factor that is enormously higher than it was in previous generations. We have to deal with it. Just as we have to be conscious about food and exercise choices if we want to avoid being fat and unhealthy, we now need to make conscious choices about the sexual stimulation we fill our lives with, and the sexual experiences we have. And just as some people truggle to control their weight more than others, some people struggle controlling sexual behavior more than others.

Sex Addiction: an overview for spouses and friends of the addict

Noryne Mascarella has written the best summary of sex addiction for spouses that I have read. She works with spouses, and her essay is written to help them understand sex addiction, and answer some of their questions. I think this is a great article for anyone to read, including addicts themselves. If nothing else, her discussion about how to rebuild trust should put addicts on notice about continuing the path of recovery. Here are the questions she addresses, which form the outline of the essay:

Facing denial in recovery from sex addiction

Denial is a refusal to admit the obvious. Denial is at work when you minimize, rationalize, justify, or blame. When you were in your addictive behavior, you may have denied your addiction by telling yourself things like: “I am no different than any other man (or woman) — everyone does this.” or “If I was addicted to sex I wouldn’t be able to control myself the way I do … I can go for long stretches without looking at porn (or going to a strip club, etc.) It’s not like I’m doing this all the time.” or the most common: “I just have a stronger sex drive than other people.”

Another form of denial is “forgetting” how often we engage in certain behaviors. We can practice selective memory when the truth is too painful to admit. For instance, a person might think he or she masturbates once or twice a week, when in reality they are masturbating every day.

A subtle form of minimizing often surfaces when people are first telling me their stories. As they start talking about their sexual acting out, they will include lists of things that they have not done. In fact, it’s not uncommon for people to spend more time listing the things they’ve never done than the actual things they have done. The reason for this is obvious: by placing the focus on the things they have NOT done, they can feel a certain reassurance that they are not such bad people. It’s a way of letting ourselves feel better about avoiding certain behaviors … and not having to face the reality of the damaging things we HAVE done. I am especially sensitive to this because I remember how much I used to do it myself.

Continue reading Facing denial in recovery from sex addiction

Training event for church leaders about how to help sexual strugglers

Helping the Sexual Strugglers*

A training event for pastors, church staff, and lay ministry leaders

June 4, 2009

Changes in society and the advent of the Internet have led to an epidemic of sexual struggle around the world. All are vulnerable, huge numbers of people are struggling, and for many the struggle has developed into a full-blown addiction. Church leaders are looking for ways of helping people caught in the web of compulsive sexual behavior. Our vision at Recovery Remixed is to provide teaching and guidance not only to sexual strugglers, but also to the ministry leaders who seek to help them. So we are jointly sponsoring this training event with Faithful and True Ministries for pastors, church staff, and ministry leaders.

Many people needlessly suffer because the church leaders providing teaching and care to them have limited knowledge about sex addiction /compulsive behavior and inadequate approaches to dealing with it. We want to present the findings from the latest research and our experience in working with strugglers, in the hope that more can be done to stem the tide of this growing problem.

Register today for this important training event for pastors and church leaders.

What is it?
Helping the Sexual Strugglers is a one-day training event for pastors, church staff, and small group leaders. Continue reading Training event for church leaders about how to help sexual strugglers

Interesting Web Use Info from “Click”

Bill Tancer, who leads global research at Hitwise (an online market research company), has written a book about Internet use trends called “Click.” It’s an interesting read, and has some information specifically related to online pornography use. I’ll share a couple of statistics, and then add some of my thoughts.

In the massive database of websites that it tracks and analyzes, Hitwise follows the usage logs of just over 40,000 adult sites. Tancer offers some insight based on the analysis of these sites.

Overall porn use

  • In August 2005, 16% of all web traffic was on these 40,000 adult web sites. In other words, 16% of all web use was focused on 40,000 porn web sites.
  • In August 2007, 10% of all web traffic was on these 40,000 sites. That represents a decrease in porn use, relative to other web traffic. (There are a couple caveats I would throw out, however. See below.)

Time spent on individual porn sites

  • in August 2005, the average time a given user spent on any particular adult web site was 5 minutes, 38 seconds.
  • In August 2007, that time had increased to 6 minutes, 29 seconds (an increase of 15%). Tancer suggests that the reason for the increase of time on each site has to do with the increased availability of video on adult web sites.

Percentage of women and men accessing porn sites

  • Of the 40,000 adult web sites Hitwise tracks, 73% of the visitors were male, and 27% were female.
  • Tancer doesn’t relate these figures to specific months of his study, and instead implies that this gender breakdown has remained fairly constant over the last couple years.
  • Some people might be surprised at how high the percentage of female visitors is to adult sites, because of the gender stereotype that women are not as attracted to visual pornography as are men (again see my comments below). But Tancer reminds readers that the adult sites also include erotic story sites, which have a higher percentage of female readers than male.

Continue reading Interesting Web Use Info from “Click”

Porn addiction among college students

Latest news from the “it’s about time” front: The University of Texas at Dallas is including porn addiction counseling as part of their counseling services on campus. By now, we all know what a problem porn addiction can be and it’s great to see colleges working to deal with this issue on campus. If you are in college and are spending more time looking at porn than studying, you may want to check out this website. Here is an excerpt of the article … which contains some basic info about sex addiction:

“Pornography as a potential addiction … can happen when people spend increasing amounts of time using pornography and begin using increasingly more extreme pornographic material. This increase in use occurs even though the use has negative consequences. Some people find that their entire sex life revolves around pornography and they are unable to be sexually involved with a real person without the use of pornography.

How would you know if your pornography use is harmful to you? The following are some signs that pornography use is problematic: