8. October, 2013Mental Health Counseling, Ministries, SexualityNo comments

All addictions require more and more stimuli to attain the desired effect. Smokers don’t start out smoking two packs a day. They build up to that level over time. Gamblers start with one bet. Those addicted to power started with their first position of authority. The love and hoarding of money began with not sharing. The same is true with pornography. What excited you sexually when you began using pornography is most likely boring and blah to you now. To get the level of excitement they need, men will seek more graphic, explicit, and lewd materials so they can become aroused and climax. Addictions are progressive, and even if they are put aside for a time, the person will pick up right where he left off. For example, if a one-pack-a-day smoker quits for a time, when he resumes the habit he will be back at one pack in no time—and will most likely advance to two packs a day. With any habit, you cannot go back to the beginning stages and go through the initial steps again. The addiction controls the need to get to the point of destruction. That is the only expected and logical outcome of an addiction. The addiction requires more and more, because what was once tantalizing is no longer enough. You now need to go deeper and deeper into the types of materials—maybe even more graphic or to images of children or animals or to sadism or masochism. The endless degree to which some men will go creates greater isolation. Part of the effect it has on you and the people around you is that you are taking away from them. Whether it is the sleep you miss while engaged in activities you prefer to keep secret, the time you spend with your family, the sexual intimacy you are taking away from your wife, or the honesty—being truthful and realistic with her. Take an inventory of the effects this addiction is having on your relationship. Is there open and honest communication with your wife? What else are you hiding that also needs to be revealed? If you think that using pornography affects only you, you are lying to yourself. It doesn’t affect only you—it affects all the people around you. The closer you become to pornography, the greater the distance you are building between yourself and your wife and family. By requiring more and more, the addiction also takes more and more away from those people around you. It erodes the very hearts of your relationships. It is truly a roaring lion seeking whom it may devour.

Points to Consider

1. What level is your behavior?
2. How deep are you into this?
3. How many hours a day, how many days a week? How graphic is the material you need to become aroused?
4. What is the outcome of my choice to use pornography?

Scripture Reading: Ephesians 4:15-19

Frederick, Dennis (2011-07-29). Conquering Pornography: Overcoming the Addiction. WinePress Publishing. Kindle Edition.

Sexually Addicted People

15. July, 2013Articles, Mental Health CounselingNo comments

New cover for 2013 edition.

Sexually addicted people are preoccupied with or persistently craving sex. Sex addicts want to cut down and often have made unsuccessful attempts to limit sexual activity. Continually engaging in excessive sexual practices despite a desire to stop is another symptom of sexual addiction. Sexually addicted people often spend a great deal of time in activities related to sex, such as looking for partners or spending hours online visiting pornographic Web sites. Neglecting obligations such as work, school or family in pursuit of sex is a common trait of those who are sexually addicted. Continually engaging in the sexual behavior despite negative consequences, such as broken relationships, financial hardships, or potential health risks is a symptom of sexual addiction.

Sexually addicted people escalate the scope or frequency of sexual activity to achieve the desired effect, such as more frequent visits to prostitutes or more sex partners. The withdrawal symptoms of sexual addiction include: Feeling irritable when unable to engage in the desired sexual behavior. Also, an individual must show a pattern of sexual activity in response to unpleasant mood states, such as feeling depressed, or a pattern of repeatedly using sex as a way of coping with stress. A sex addict will continue to engage in certain sexual behaviors despite facing potential health risks, financial problems, shattered relationships, or even arrest. As a result sexually addicted people suffer from increasing feelings of guilt, remorse, and even suicidal thoughts. Common behaviors exhibited by active sexual addicts include: Compulsive masturbation with or without pornography as well as exhibitionism or voyeurism.

Sexually addicted people abuse sexual fantasy to produce the intense, pleasurable feelings that provide temporary relief and freedom from life stressors. Over time, the hidden fantasies, rituals and acts of the sexually addicted person can lead to a double life of lies to self and others, manipulation, splitting, rationalization, and denial. These defenses allow sex addicts temporarily to escape their core feelings of low self-worth, fears of abandonment and depression or anxiety, as sexual fantasy and sexual acts are abused in an attempt to fulfill unmet emotional needs. For sexually addicted people sexual acting out most often takes place in secret. The problem can occur regardless of outward success, intelligence, physical attractiveness, or existing intimate relationship commitments or marriage. Adapted from “Symptoms of Sexual Addiction” by Michael Herkov, Ph.D.

At Tern Christian Counseling we believe that an intimate relationship with God is a crucial to dealing with all addictions including sexual addictions. Adopting a Biblical view of sexuality as He designed it is an effective weapon in battling sexual addictions. Dr. Frederick wrote and publish a very practical approach to sexual addictions in his book “Conquering Pornography: Overcoming The Addiction”. Dr. Frederick’s book is available through as well as Barnes and