In case you missed it, read "Part 1: An Adrenaline Addiction."
Each one of the following elements plays a part in increasing the sexual-adrenal response in your body. If you understand these dynamics, you’ll be more aware of the nature of the battle, allowing you to guard yourself against lust and temptation. Below are 5 points that summarize the very core of sexual addiction.
1. The unexpected is more erotic than the expected.
You’re at the beach when a “girl gone wild” suddenly decides to expose herself. You open an email to find yourself staring at a graphic pornography site. You’re watching a movie when, without a warning, a steamy shower scene pops up. All of these situations are unexpected, and thus, carry a greater sexual punch.
One time, I went to a notary to have some papers stamped. The female notary was wearing a low-cut blouse, and as I filled out the papers, she started picking things up off the floor, presenting an easy opportunity for me to take a glance. I knew she was being intentional, and the temptation was certainly there. I thank God that His Word helped me respond the right way, averting my eyes in this unexpected and tempting situation.
Many men have failed to keep up their guard up against the enemy. I once counseled a wife struggling with a husband who had been caught off-guard and had given into temptation. Over time, he had developed a close friendship with an attractive female coworker. They both enjoyed the emotional attention they received from each other, and one night the unexpected happened. They embraced, kissed, and had sex. Both are Christians with families, now living with the consequences and regret of being caught-up in an unexpected moment. Unfortunately, stories like this are incredibly common.
2. The greater the breaking of the innocence-threshold, the greater the adrenal/sexual rush.
Sexual addictions can take men into a multitude of dark corners, where they create a rush of counterfeit intimacy, breaking yet another innocence barrier.
Child pornography is rampant everywhere in the world. Why? Because perverted, self-centered men are seeking to break new innocence thresholds. To my horror, I learned about women in the sex industry who live in cages and are often murdered in sex acts on camera for the black-market. Quite often, serial killers are driven to violent sexual acts in search of an adrenaline rush. A well-known example of this is Ted Bundy, who confessed to murdering women in search of new sexual highs.
Although these are extreme examples, they are, unfortunately, not at all uncommon. Maybe you would never kill someone or touch a child inappropriately, but what happens when your sexual drive escalates out of control? Perhaps you begin a mad quest to find a unique type of body on a kinky internet site or partners staging a new sex act, or you rent a video where usually well-behaved girls flash their breasts at the cameras at some public event. For some, breaking the next innocence barrier may easily lead to viewing violent rape scenes—or even attempting it themselves. For others, it may mean reading a book about people’s first sexual encounters.
However “severe” the result, it all leads down the same dead-end street. Sexual addiction is an endless quest for the ultimate delivery which never fully arrives, except for a fleeting moment.
3. What you’re not used to creates a greater sexual rush than what you’re used to.
When an act becomes familiar, it gradually loses its innocence because it no longer feels like a first-time experience. When this happens, the act may still feel sexual, but it becomes less erotic, as it has become familiar. This is why many secular books recommend pornographic sexual fantasizing to enhance one’s sex life. These books suggest fantasizing about being with someone else, doing kinky things, getting seduced by a neighbor, etc. I am opposed to this kind of advice because it encourages you to exist in a pretend world, instead of helping you access sexual fulfillment through your God-given sexuality.
Early in our marriage, a neighbor phoned my wife to ask if we wanted to get involved in a local wife-swapping party. Ruthie was quick to rebuke the man. Activities like this may have a certain thrill or temporary high, but their consequences ruin lives. There is always a dear price to pay for a few moments of ungodly fun.
4. Acts connected with conscious or subconscious emotional pain are greater adrenal trigger points than those that are not connected.
Consider the following examples: A man who is angry because he was abused or humiliated by a woman may get an erotic thrill from abusing other women; Someone hurt or abused as a child may be sexually inclined to view child porn; A man who felt left- out most of his life may have intense fantasies about being sexually involved with multiple women at a time. A large percentage of homosexual men are deeply angry or wounded because they never had a satisfying relationship with their father. Such a wound can drive them to seek male affection for their sexual/adrenal, erotic fix.
Some of the connections between erotic fantasy and emotional pain may be elusive. One reason could be that you have many pains from life and getting to them is like peeling an onion—layer after layer must be exposed, one at a time.
In my journey to sexual healing, it took years to get through all of the layers, and I still have a few to go! But now, I can more clearly distinguish between my heart’s places of self-protection and my sexual trigger points.
5. Secrecy and taboo create a fear factor that releases the adrenaline.
Jansen’s parents were friends with his girlfriend’s parents. When the families got together, he and his girlfriend would slip away to have sex. Jansen told me the sexual high was better when there was more of a chance or fear of getting caught. This was an adrenaline rush for him.
Although this may not be something you are actively trying to achieve, your journey might someday drive you to take a major risk with hopes that you won’t get caught. For instance, your heart beats hard and fast. You watch everything and everybody around you, as you secretly break a taboo by entering a local strip club. You hope like mad that nobody is there who knows you, even though worrying about such a thing gives you an even greater high.
I believe most of the adrenal surges that illicit sex produces are a direct result of denying the caution factor built into every person’s consciousness. In other words, doing “bad” things almost always produces a thrill. I hope that learning about these five particular elements and their roles in triggering your body’s sexual response will help you be more aware and cautious of negative sexual/adrenal triggers.
If you missed Part 1 of "How Much Do Hormones Influence Sexual Impurity?" be sure to read it here.