I heard recently if you take a hummingbird feeder, fill it with sugar water and get birds accustomed to feeding from it, then replace the sugar water with artificially sweetened water you will kill them. No, sweeteners are not toxic to hummingbirds; they simply die of mal-nutrition. They drink what seems like food but in reality has no calories for their bodies to use as fuel.
This is a great analogy for pornography and sexual addiction. God created us with an innate hunger and need for joyful, relational connections. We all long for and need to be with people who are genuinely “glad as glad can be to be with me.” Pornography seems to provide that connection; after all what speaks this message more clearly to a man (or a young boy for that matter) than a beautiful woman appearing naked as the object of his delight? It is close, but no cigar. It provides excitement, pleasure and chemical activity in the brain, but not in the right place. It becomes candy: lots of calories, but no protein. It feels good but has no sustaining power.
God gave the gift of sexual intimacy as a way for a husband and wife to share a powerful joy connection. He even placed the control of our genitals immediately adjacent to our attachment center so that sex would serve as “super glue” bonding man and wife together. However, when individuals act out with pornography, masturbation and insecure, non-joy filled relationships, they end up bonding themselves to computer screens, fantasy and/or serial relationships that have no sustaining nourishment. The momentary intensity is high, but the hunger returns almost as quickly as the shame. The shame, of course, compounds the hunger and the spiral continues at an ever increasing and destructive rate.
Sexual addiction is just like other addictions in most ways. However, the shame and social taboos associated with it often make it an even more difficult and baffling enemy. The good news, however is there is hope. We have seen many individuals face their addiction head on, in community and find freedom and healing.
New Hope For Sexual Integrity
Interested in healing? Find Darrell’s recovery manual, New Hope For Recovery From Sexual Addiction, at his website.