I was reading an article earlier today entitled, "Women's Exposure To Violence Linked To Risky Sex, Study Finds" and I sat and thought about it. In my past sex life, more times than not, a condom was not in use. *I* thought it was because I wanted to feel exceptional to the guy (yeah...*so exceptional* that he was sleeping with me *and* his girlfriend without protection-SMH), but as I'm processing the fact that I grew up in a sexually, physically and emotionally abusive environment for a lot of my childhood and adolescent years, I can't help but to wonder if that was my *root reason* why I put my health at so much risk. Especially in light of this liner that was in the article:
"'These findings put sexual risk in the context of broad traumatic experiences, and they suggest that the type and characteristics of violence exposure matter in terms of sexual health outcomes,' the authors concluded."
SEXUAL RISKS=BROAD TRAUMATIC EXPERIENCES
And then I read another piece: "Top 5 Reasons Women Relapse". It was delving into substance abuse and alcoholism (two things that I thankfully have not battled with, although I come from a relatively long line of substance abusers and alcoholics). It cited that the top two reasons why women relapse is due to getting into romantic relationships too soon and there being *unrecognized* love, relationship or sex addiction within them:
"'Women who stop using drugs or alcohol but have not fully addressed their underlying emotional challenges may find themselves 'transferring" their addiction to the obsessive pursuit of love, romance, sex or relationships. Some who used to be hooked on drugs may now obsessively search for a romantic or sexual partner, pick up strangers at AA meetings, masturbate compulsively, have multiple affairs, or spend much of their day looking at pornography or seeking out partners online.'
Early recovery may present new challenges for some women: the challenge of being alone, feeling worthless or unloved when not in a relationship, or needing the attention of prospective partners to boost self-esteem can all point to a deeper issue of sex and relationship addiction. Women may start using drugs with their partners or cruising for partners in bars, clubs and other places where drug and alcohol use is prevalent. Not only are these hook-ups distracting and dysfunctional, but they also put the recovering addict at increased risk of drug relapse."
A lot of times when I public speak on behalf of X3Church, while I do get into porn and women (because there are A LOT of women who engage in porn that are not just the victims of boyfriends/husbands who watch it), I tend to go a bit broader because I agree a lot with the author of the relapse piece stated. Women oftentimes don't find themselves in porn addictions and if they do, that tends to be more symptomatic. We actually gravitate more to sex addiction that still comes from the *extreme neediness* for love and attention. Unfortunately, because the world is, well...*so worldy*, it doesn't address the need for a relationship as being "a problem" so much as "the norm"---that it's OK to go from guy to guy in search "of love" and if there are risks that come with it, that's simply the price that must be paid. Even if it makes us spiritually and emotionally bankrupt.
How sad that so many of us have to learn *the oh so hard way* that we don't have to "look for love". God is love (I John 4:16) and we were made in his image to reflect his likeness (Genesis 1:26-28). This means that love is already within us. Relationships are to *add to our love experiences* not *fill some kind of void*. But if we're not told this on a regular basis, we'll be believe otherwise. We'll partake is risky sexual behavior. We'll relapse by abusing love and relationships rather than embracing them. That said...
When you think about your own past and the relational cycles within them, would you say that the good outweighed the bad?
When you engaged in risky sex, what was your reason for doing it?
When you've relapsed, either into substance abuse, alcohol or even relational brokenness, what's the root cause?