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Porn “And Stuff”

by Tyler Ingalls on September 4th, 2013 in Students

As an unashamed, former addict who overcame porn and became a youth pastor, cabin counselor, and small group leader, I have the porn conversation pretty often. In our groups, it starts with a few comments about respect to each other’s story, then I tell my story of struggle and freedom. This usually leads to a time of confession and place for openness. It’s great!

The problem for students is this: while it’s easy to say “porn,” it’s a lot tougher to confess to masturbation.

Hence: “Porn ‘and stuff.'”

Like, really. . . what else could “and stuff” be?

Researchers are finding through the field of neuroscience that porn is really bad for our brains and for our culture, but let’s be real: masturbation is the same thing, yet even more hidden! As teen guys, looking at gorgeous girls is a popular thing to do, while masturbation is hidden and embarrassing – and intensifies feelings of guilt and eventual loneliness.

While there are many differing opinions on masturbation, habitual masturbation will almost always lead to more pornography – that’s the thing with this “stuff”: we always want more and we always want something we haven’t had before! So let’s stop pretending that “and stuff” isn’t an issue, let’s get real and honest!

Now, I’m only 23, but have worked with hundreds of young men through this “stuff.” The battle is big and we need a lot of support – but the relief and freedom that flood over a young man when he confesses that, maybe, just maybe, there is a bit more to the story than just “I looked at porn once or twice when I was younger” is intense. And at XXXchurch.com we are all about freedom!

And of the hundreds of students I’ve worked with, I’ve never heard a story of when they confessed to a father, brother, or mentor, that the other person loved them any less. In fact, it’s always been the opposite – the relationship always got more real, which is what we are searching for in the first place! Masturbation and porn are just ways we try and feel love, so replacing them with a true, real relationship is one of the powerful things we can do in our battle!

In light of this truth, let’s get honest! Tell someone who you know loves you! Then have a cookie, give yourself a high five, or grab ice cream with a friend. As you begin to fight the battle of masturbation and porn, celebrate your victories and know that we are cheering and joyful right along side of you!

One last word of encouragement. As you consider confessing and getting open (check out Craig Gross’s new book Open) do not feel guilty for not having the guts to do it right away. As much as we push openness and honesty, sometimes failure at this honesty actually leads to more guilt – ignore it! Confession or not, we still care about you and are rooting for you!

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  • Overwhelmed

    Funny but confessing my issues and expressing them to my father actually has ruined our relationship. He is deeply addicted to pornography. This is where I picked it up as well, at a very young age. I blame him a lot for such early exposure to this filth and eventually my full blown raging addiction, because he had it in the house. I however, did not blame him when we talked I thought maybe he would seek help too. Not so much, now we have a relationship that is strained at best. I unfortunately do not have family, mentor or anyone to talk with about these things. My wife God bless her has been very forgiving and supporting but there is only so much she understands and that you really want to talk to her about. I just try my best at overcoming one day at a time. It is funny how this grips your life and makes it very very hard to have normal relationships with people. Especially finding people that don’t participate and support pornography.

  • Steven

    In Jesus there is freedom from both porn and masturbation, and fornication. It’s now more than 5 years since I have masturbated (and I am single!), and I don’t miss it at all (at least while awake). Praise God! What Jesus did for me, He will do for others. I am no one special to God.

    BTW, masturbation is wrong. It’s physical and spiritual uncleanness.

    Victory in Jesus

    • Tyler Ingalls

      I agree on masturbation being sinful. I didn’t mean to sound as if differing view points were legitimate, but was rather acknowledging that we have been taught different ways. The point is then that, no matter what you’ve been taught, masturbation and porn go together and are addictive and sinful!

      But I do see what you mean :)

      And definitely. Victory in [only] Jesus.

  • Hunter Rayborn

    The bible doesn’t mention masturbation, true. But what happens when a man is erect? If he isn’t married, he is lusting after another woman/man. And the only way to get in that position is to be lusting.

    • Corvus Suri

      The bible doesn’t condemn lust either – so long as it isn’t directed at a married woman. The Song of Solomon celebrates lust.

  • Yookno

    So, what about the (us!) girls?

    • Tyler Ingalls

      I was speaking in terms of my experience, which considering the nature of the discussion has been with males. But anything can be paralleled to ladies!

  • Ricky

    Be smart, and never feel condemned for wanting sexual fulfillment. Masturbation is no sin. Telling people that it is, when God is silent about it, is a sin. Recommended boysunderattackDOTcom and many other similar common sense websites. Lust is only a sin if you are desiring to commit a sin listed in Leviticus 18. It’s not a sin to orgasm or want to orgasm. lots of reality checks needed here. Guys, young guys especially, have a regular legitimate need for ejaculation. If there’s enough sexual activity, then there’s little interest in masturbation, as there isn’t sufficient build up in the interim. google: ” family men need sex ” read first article from Focus on the Family.

    • Jake

      Matthew 5:28 “But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart”.

      I’m not really sure where you were going with that Leviticus 18 comment but it seems out of context. I’m not trying to bible bash, just pointing out that you’re view points don’t line up with scripture! Get with the creator man! Praying for you Ricky

      • Ricky

        Perfectly scriptural. You’re confused about Matt. 5:28 which is a warning against lusting for sexual sins, not about desiring sex itself. The links I suggested will help someone. There is no sin of masturbation.

  • Dan

    What about the gays… ?

    • http://www.facebook.com/muslimsare.deceived Justa Guy

      there is no difference from a Salvation point of view between gay and straight – all sin (except blasphemy) shall be frgiven. The only difference is that gay people can’t have families, but that has nothing to do withe Salvation. They have to controll themselves and follow the New Covenant just like straight people.

  • Erma

    I am a 19 year old girl and I need HELP! I just want to scream!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I struggle with both…..Oh God, I just need help. I’m desperate and broken

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