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Christian Counseling - Are You Addicted to Pornography?

There are likely two assumptions that many will make regarding the question--Are you addicted to porn? The first is that the topic is aimed at men, and the second is the behaviors of the world versus Christians are vastly different when it comes to porn use. Here are some rough and quickly changeable stats retrieved from Focus on the Family's website today:

1. 30% of the 75 million monthly visitors of adult websites are women.
2. 45% of Christians have domestic problems as a result of porn use.
3. 34% of women who read Today's Christian Woman have purposely searched the Internet for porn, while 17% struggle with porn.
4. 54% of pastors confessed to viewing porn in the past year.

The usual course of pornography begins with visiting sexually-related chat rooms, or engaging in phone sex with a stranger, or the accidental or casual viewing of magazines, pictures, clips and videos. The person goes on to develop a desire for more hardcore viewing, then a longing or craving that becomes obsessive and compulsive. These behaviors are almost always accompanied by masturbation. In the last stage of addiction, people will act out their fantasies by seeking multiple sexual partners, and, for some, become sexually violent, which includes rape and murder.

An example of this is Ted Bundy, the serial-killer who, in an exclusive interview the day before his execution in 1989, told Dr. James Dobson that his path of sexual violence, and that of most of the inmates he knew, started with porn. Fortunately, the average person will not follow this course, but porn is a serious and potentially dangerous behavior, aside from spiritual concerns.

How do you know if you are addicted? Here are some questions:

1. Are you preoccupied with sexual thoughts, viewing porn, masturbation and/or needing sex four or more times a week?

2. Does your partner question, feel anxious or complain about your sexual behavior?

3. Does your sexual behavior in any way interfere in your marriage relationship, i.e., diminished frequency or desire for your partner due to porn use and masturbation?

4. Do you hide your sexual behavior from others for fear of their response?

5. Do you have a tendency to be obsessive (thoughts) and/or compulsive (behaviors), and also engage in any porn viewing or other extramarital sexual behavior?

6. Are any of your sexual fantasies or behaviors against the law?

7. Do you suspect or have you ever been sexually abused?

8. Do you spend more than a half-hour a week searching for or in viewing porn.

9. Is there a cycle of abstaining from porn, being tempted, engaging in viewing porn, masturbating, feeling guilty and depressed, and vowing not to do it again?

If you answered "Yes!" to any question (1-8), you may be at risk for sexual addiction. If you answered "Yes!" to three or more of questions (1-8) and/or question nine, you probably are addicted.

The majority of people cannot overcome this problem without help from a sexual support group and/or counseling. If you or someone you know has struggled with this issue for longer than six months, and there have been repeated failures to stop the behavior, getting help now, rather than later, is important.

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