Lust vs. Porn vs. Love (the Lust Struggle)

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I’ve always thought I struggled with a porn addiction, but now I’m not so sure.

Let me explain what I mean…  Now that I’m removed from porn, I find that there is something else I find myself struggling with.  LUST!!

Porn is something more direct and actively pursued.  Lust is more indirect and seems to come to you rather than being sought out.

Any time I turn on the TV there are the bikini girls, the Victoria’s Secret commercials, etc.  It seems like all the girls on TV are beautiful, happy, polished, and perfect.

If I go to the mall, the girls are all stuffed into the tightest jeans and the lowest cut shirts possible.  They are there to flirt and flaunt it seems.

As a photographer, I enjoy looking at other people’s work, but I am constantly running into the scantily clad models (and sometimes quickly clicking past when I accidentally run into a nude).  It’s a mixed bag in photography and there’s a lot of impurity.

I also find I struggle having friendships with women.  When I am given attention, my heart becomes vulnerable to develop feelings if the woman is attractive to me as well.

From waitresses to grocery store clerks, from billboards to magazine racks, beautiful women are everywhere.  For someone like me that is a real problem!

I’m figuring out the porn thing and getting past it, but now I find a new area that needs some serious work.  I don’t want to just remove porn from my life.  I want to live a healthy, pure life with Jesus.  I want to view beautiful women, not as objects, but as God’s children.  I want to be impervious to the sinful sexual exploitation in advertising that is all around me.  I want to have healthy relationships with women where my heart is never led into a crush.

Speaking of the word “crush”, it’s something I’ve struggled with many times.  That word is so fitting because it is truly crushing to desire something you can’t have.  That is the worst side effect of lust.  When my lust becomes activated, my poor heart begins to ache and my emotions become crushingly painful to me.  Why?  I honestly don’t know.

I can remember as far back as kindergarten.  I had at least two girlfriends in kindergarten (yes at age 5) at the same time.  I was constantly running around town, going to girls’ houses and hanging out with them.  I was so into girls.  We would always be kissing and flirting.  It didn’t change much as I got older.  Girls were a very big part of my life until high school.  Then, life got awkward.  I found it really hard to relate to girls during those years.  I had one girlfriend in high school for only a short time.

When I got to college, girls started to become a focus again.  I had one girlfriend and then the next year I married my wife who I had met the summer before.  Then I became a Christian.

Although I now have a wife and am a Christian, I find that what started when I was five returned.  I struggle with feelings of wanting to experience other women.  But, those thoughts are devastating to me because I also have a strong loyalty to my wife who I deeply love and respect.  The thought of ever hurting her is absolutely heart-breaking.  My mind says “NO WAY”, my lust says “JUST DO IT”.

I must get this lust out of my life before it destroys me and those I love deeply.  It’s not enough to stop doing porn, the bigger problem needs to be solved.

The reason I’m writing this is because I am aware that many guys are struggling with porn.  There is quite a bit of help out there for porn addiction.  But, I think there may be a deeper problem than porn addiction going on.  I wonder how many people stop using porn, but never get past the lust.  It’s not so much about the porn–it’s the lust that’s the real problem.  As I’m becoming more aware of that in my life, I hope you can identify it in yours as well.

I’ll keep you posted on my progress over my addictions to women (porn/lust/”love”)

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10 Responses to Lust vs. Porn vs. Love (the Lust Struggle)

  1. Justin says:

    uhg.. I know what you mean. You are right that lust is the real problem. After training my eyes for years to be very attentive to any female shape that might walk by and then trying to stop that.. there’s a big problem. It’s a battle brother and I wish I had some better insight to give but I really don’t. It’s a constant struggle for me having to put my eyes in check – whether in line at a grocery store, driving by a billboard or just anywhere in public really. Just take it one step at a time and thank God for His amazing grace towards us and not giving up on us.

    • I think you’re right. Temptation is not something that we can expect to go away. But, God’s grace is sufficient to help us find ways to escape temptation. I’m planning my next post on a discussion of some of the passages from Proverbs about this. Thanks for your input!

  2. I’m so proud of you! You’re gleaning so much insight and growing at a rapid pace.

  3. Almost forgot..I nominated you for the REALITY BLOG AWARD! Pick it up here: http://lifeofafemalebiblewarrior.wordpress.com/2013/01/13/award-time/

  4. Sydney says:

    Justin, I really like the honesty of this post. Pornography is so often either a bandage covering deeper issues or just the first layer of sinful and harmful desires or behaviors that we need to deal with. Lust is such a powerful thing I think in different ways for males and females, but powerful none the less! It was good to hear about it from a male perspective.

    Side note, I love the graphic you included with this post!

    • Thanks! You got me thinking. You blog a lot about the similarity of desire for porn between men and women. But, you mention here that lust is different for them (which I agree with). You should do a post someday on how you think it’s different. I would be interested in hearing more about a woman’s perspective of lust.

      • Sydney says:

        Last night I was thinking about what I wrote and it was still rolling around in my mind this morning, which means I need to clarify what I said. It seems as though lust, as you described it in your post, occurs more often in males than it does in females. That is not to say that lust doesn’t occur in females or occurs for a smaller number of females- which I think you understood 🙂 Also, there is a similarity between men and women in that both can equally desire porn, but it does seem like they tend to desire it for different reasons- very generally speaking. Lust seems to be the primary factor for guys, where as intimacy seems to be the primary factor for girls.

      • Yes, that is how I’ve understood it to be as well. I’ve always thought that porn offers a “perfect” solution to our lust problems as both men and women. For men, we get to lust after the objects of our lustful desire and there’s plenty of it. For women, they get to be lusted after which is the object of their lustful desire and there are plenty of men to lust after them. So, it works out very well for both. As a woman who has turned to porn in the past, you obviously had a reason for it. You mentioned here that it is generally for intimacy for women. I can understand how being the object of men’s lust could fulfill that desire. But, you’ve also talked about enjoying looking at porn as well (not just being the object). That’s the part that I would be interested in understanding better. How do women (in general) feel intimacy by viewing porn? Maybe men also experience it to some degree. I remember feeling kind of “close” to those I was viewing–like virtual girlfriends or something. Is that the same?

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