My Sexuality is Driving Me Crazy – Please Help!!!

Hey, everybody.

I posted about my struggles once before. But it’s been a long time since then, so I thought it best to start over, from the beginning.

I’m a 38-year-old single man. I was raised in a legalistic home where even the word “sex” was never spoken outside of condemnation. I didn’t even know the proper names for my own body parts until I was in my teens. That came from health class at school rather than from my home. I have struggled with my sex drive ever since, almost 25 years. Every fight feels like an internal war against my own mind, heart, body, and soul.

When I was 20 years old, I met a woman I fell in love with. She became my first (and thus far, only) sexual partner. But neither of us were following Jesus at the time. After several attempts at a relationship across a decade or so, we finally broke apart.

What clinched it for me was when she said nothing about my Mom’s death in 2015. I had kept her informed because I still loved her, and thought it the right thing to do. But I never got a reply back of any kind. I saw the timestamps on Facebook, so I know she got my messages. But she never sent anything in return. I tried to track down postal addresses and sent letters…all to no avail. So, I gave up and accepted that I would have to move on without her.

How does this factor into my present struggles? Well, I also went through a porn addiction, from my mid-teens to mid-20s. I knew it was wrong, but I didn’t want it to be wrong. I cared about what was right in God’s eyes, but I wanted sexual satisfaction more. With Michelle (my ex-gf) it was different. I would often pray for forgiveness after we had sex because I was so ashamed over betraying God. Nowadays, its something else entirely. I battle lustful thoughts about almost everyone I encounter. I go to Wal-Mart, and when I see even the most remotely attractive woman, sexual crap fills my mind. It’s not just women, either. I fight back against sexual thoughts that God’s word clearly condemns.

It’s like this storm of constant lust raging inside of me, and nothing I do makes it stop for very long. If I go a couple of weeks without masturbation, I end up having a “wet dream.” That just reminds me of how terrible this whole situation is for me. And when I do give in, it’s often thoughts of Michelle or different celebrities that fill my mind. I’ve asked God to take these thoughts and this entire waking nightmare away from me, but it hasn’t stopped yet. I’ve even read stories on Marriage Heat, desperate for a release that’s Godly in any form. But then I feel condemned for at least a full day over lusting after another person.

To say I am “fed up” with all of this is the understatement of the millennium. I can’t even listen to some of my favorite bands’ music a lot of the time. I keep seeing them in my mind and I keep asking God to take the lust away that goes through me. It’s not like it’s sickening music, either. I enjoy Rascal Flatts, Backstreet Boys, Michael Jackson, and even Christian artists Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith. I want to enjoy their music again without lust getting in the way. I want to have peace with my sexuality. Instead, I’m living through a waking nightmare every day. I’ve even sought professional help, going to four psychological hospitals last year. At the moment, they have me on an anti-psychotic drug every night. But it’s not helping much.

I guess that’s it for now. I wanted to post this where I thought a group of people would read it who seem to have much more peace with God and with their sexuality compared to myself. If you have any ideas that can help me, I’m all ears. Thanks for your time and prayers. God Bless.

[MH: Reminder to OP and readers to take all responses as personal opinion, friendly advice, and food for thought, not medical or professional advice.]


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10 replies
  1. PacMan says:

    Man, this is really heavy stuff. The important thing to realize is A) you are not beyond repair, B) it will likely be a long road of baby steps in the right direction, and C) God has not abandoned you or loves you one ounce less than someone without these struggles.

    It is very likely you *might* have issues with sexual addiction. This is not a stamp of condemnation. We all struggle with stuff: money issues, eating issues, substance abuse, anger, pride. It’s OK to step outside of the thing and name what it is, and it might be a step in the healing process. The good news is that there is professional help for all of these issues, even sexual addiction. I would turn to professional counseling from a reputable agency (maybe not so much weekly chats with an Assistant Pastor, who might not be as qualified to help you recover — just saying).

    And my little bit of personal advice (what I would say to a dear friend if they needed help in this) on a first action step… I suggest you masturbate daily. At this point don’t be too hard on yourself about the sexual thoughts that enter your mind. Use them as a means to an end: a masturbation aid. (Those sexual thoughts during masturbation might need to be addressed down the road, but I would say don’t overly worry about that at first.) Masturbating 7x a week or more will be a healthy habit for your body, and might help curb your thoughts and actions at the grocery store, Church, and elsewhere. Choosing to refrain from masturbating does not win you any spiritual brownie points, and it seems to only exasperate the sexual thoughts you are having in “the real world.” This encouragement does not solve all your issues… but might be one of those baby steps in the right direction.

  2. lovinliving says:

    Your pain it really hurts to see. I was raised in a similar legalistic setting. Shame will destroy you and drag you back into the cycle of porn/masturbation again and again. I was stuck in that cycle for years. Im currently reading Shameless by Nadia Bolz-Weber. Highly recommend it especially where you are. Stop beating yourself up. You are loved by God just as you are. Your actions can't change his love.

  3. Hotnorthern says:

    You have my empathy. First of all I think you need to stop hating yourself for your thoughts. You’re fighting it so hard you can’t think about anything else. God does not hate you. He loves you deeply. When these thoughts come into your head give it to God and say “God you know how much I want a partner and I want to honour you with my life”. Don’t allow the negative thoughts of “God is disappointed in me because I thought this” to crowd in. He understands your struggle and loves you. He is only disappointed when we try to hide it from Him. Have a straight talk with God and tell Him all your thoughts and struggles and temptations and tell Him your deepest desires and how much you want Him to be honoured. You don’t need to hide from God. Talking to Him about all of this straight up and openly will make a world of difference. He wants you to come to Him and share everything, only then can He help you.

  4. HeSaid-SheSaid says:

    Hello, I know people will say that you are suffering today because of your repressive upbringing. While that may certainly be true, from what you describe above I believe their is more at play here. I think your suffering from spiritual bondage. Our enemy the devil may very well have a legal foothold in your life because of your past (ie: upbringing, porn, immoral sex, etc..). Now you may have asked God forgiveness a million times, but if you have, lets say, bitterness or unforgiveness towards anyone in your life, that keeps the door open to spiritual torment. Also, a sexual connection to someone forms what is called a 'soul tie'. There is holy soul ties (bond with a spouse) and unholy soul ties (affairs, sexual abuse, unmarried sex, intense lust, ect..).
    As a believer in Christ, a Christian has the power and authority through the Holy Spirit to break unholy soul ties. One must examine their life and ask God to bring to mind any and all things that may stand in the way of cleansing. Things like unconfessed sin, bitterness, anger, resentment, inner vows and the like. Confession of ones sin to another person (James 5:16) is also important because secrets that are held onto give satan the ability to accuse us of our sin, and confession brings healing.
    Dr. Neil T. Anderson wrote the book 'The bondage breaker', he also has a video curriculum by the same name, and goes into better detail about what I mentioned here. I suggest you look them up if you haven't already. IIRC, Dr. Anderson describes that he believes that up to 70% or more of people who are diagnosed with mental health problems are actually people who have unconfessed sin in their life and are under spiritual torment.He says that many people are essentially medicating evil spirits, evil spirits that have a legal right to be in someones life. Deal with the sin, evict the spirits, invite God to cleanse and fill you.
    Go check into it. I pray this helps.

    • Southernheat says:

      I agree about renouncing unhealthy soul ties and dealing with any unforgiveness. Not just forgiving others but forgiving ourselves. I’ve prayed with people who were not getting freedom in their life. I finally asked them if they had forgiven themselves and they said no. And that was the doorway the enemy was using to keep them from walking in the total freedom God has for us. I dealt with health issues in my own life that were due to unforgiveness and bitterness; once I forgave, I began to get better. There’s a great book by John Bevere called *The Bait of Satan*. It’s all about unforgiveness and offense.

      We are to put on the armor of God, but if our armor has holes in it then it’s not effective. Need to find out the doorways that poked holes in our armor.

      Jesus paid the price for us to walk in freedom. He knows everything that concerns us.

  5. CrazyHappyLoved says:

    I know the struggle of which you speak: invasive thoughts that are feeding off the things we've allowed into our minds. There was a time when I doubted that I could possibly be forgiven if the thoughts wouldn't stop coming. Shouldn't my mind be "renewed" already?

    What I learned from many Christian books and speakers was that "be ye transformed" is the command and a process. I learned that I couldn't stop the thoughts from occurring and the more I tried, the harder it became, like trying not to think of a pink elephant. My failure to control my thoughts just fed the "I can't" mentality. Instead, I had to learn to acknowledge the thought, disassociate from it, and replace it. That's my understanding of "working out your salvation" in that scenario. Here's how I did that.

    What I've learned from the Word is that "sin is at the door and its desire is for you, but you must master it." The intrusive thoughts are not me and don't define me, they are the remnants of the sin I allowed into my fleshly mind. So when one occurred, I could say, "Nope. That's not me anymore. That's just sin rearing its ugly head, wanting to control me and lie to me about who I am. I am God's: mind, body, and soul. I choose to believe Him." Then I could set that thought aside, choosing not to dwell on it, neither to enjoy it nor to beat myself up about it. (Some refer to this as taking the thought captive to Christ – a more active response than asking Him to take it from us.) Hannah Whitall Smith's book *The Christian's Secret of a Happy Life* taught me so much about this. There's a kindle version for a buck.

    But setting the thought aside wasn't enough. Like the man freed from demons who was like a house swept clean and inviting to more demons, I was trying to leave my mind empty and expecting the thoughts not to return. I needed to redirect my mind in a healthy way. It became clear to me that direction was love. So if, for instance, I had a thought that hurt my conscience, I would recognize the thought, disassociate from it, and then pray for God's best for that person – for their salvation if I wasn't sure they knew the Lord or for a special blessing or a need to be met or a real sense of His presence today. If the thoughts reoccurred, I did it again. And again. One writer described it as being an offering that crawls back onto the alter minute by minute. But it trained my mind to dismiss those thoughts more and more quickly and easily.

    I dug into God's word and prayer, wanting to feed the "good dog" and to see things His way. Getting involved in work, church, Bible studies, mission and charity work, anything that helped me focus on others rather than myself made an immense difference. I had to learn to see people through God's eyes, not as sexual objects. (I think it helped me see myself as more than one as well.)

    None of us is perfect. "If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us." If we could live perfectly we would never have needed a Savior. But we have One. And He will deliver us from this body of sin. If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord – the boss of you, give him control and focus on obedience to Him – and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead – conquering death, the consequences of our sins that He died for – you will be saved! Not a license to act on those thoughts (nothing should be allowed to control us but Him) but an assurance of hope and His power to work in you.

    tldr; I had to learn to Recognize the thought, Disassociate from it, and Replace it.

    • JAM777 says:

      Wow…! Well said! This was encouraging to me too!! I have fallen to watching porn several times in my life and those images are so insidious that they can plague my mind over and over again.
      I am a single 29 year old and my sex drive can be very abrasive sometimes. Sex definitely plagues my mind more than I care to admit…

  6. ArtRutherford says:

    Thanks for sharing. You may try a Celebrate Recovery program in your area or another 12-step program. I've been through it and it really helped. You may not have anything to recover from, but the fact that you share it and hear about others with the same struggle is very beneficial. It was for me.

    Pray about it. I'll be praying for you. Our Savior is the Wonderful Counselor don't forget.

  7. Southernheat says:

    We are all a work in progress. Take it a day at a time, sometimes just focusing on the next hour and then the next hour. Take baby steps, renew your mind with the word of God, and listen to praise music. It helps. I will be praying for you.

  8. MaxLoving says:

    From much spiritual warfare of the monks, they have learned that one cannot take on sexual sins directly. As already pointed out, it ends up fostering the very thing you're struggling to fight. The key, they say, is to use distractions. One such recommendation from our pastor is to use pain. Nothing damaging, but a rubber band worn around the wrist can be popped when you realize your thoughts are headed in the wrong direction. The sting of the rubber band can bring you back to reality. Other forms of distraction would be positive music, a good hobby, prayer (especially one that you can say quickly, like, God have mercy on my soul), and memorize a section of scripture that you can quote during such times, like Psalm 51, David's repentance for his adultery and murder.

    Then with some proper training, you should be able to view sex properly, as well as other people not as sex objects, but as real humans created in the image of God just as you are. Along with the proper balance of appreciating the beauty that God has designed, yes, including the human body, without desiring to have sex with that person (the definition of lust, not merely appreciating beauty), I believe you will be well on your way to spiritual health in this matter. Make no mistake, this is hard to accomplish, but it can be done because "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." I will also pray for you as well. We can't do this without His help. That is for sure. Otherwise, we would be just like the animals in this regard.

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