Posts Tagged ‘masturbation’


by Kristen Jenson

by Claudine Gallacher, MA

A teenage boy reveals how early pornography exposure (at the age of nine) pulled him towards porn and shares the seven steps he used to cast porn out of his life.

When I met 16-year old Brian (not his real name), I knew I wanted to interview him. His peers would call him a people person, friendly, and helpful.  After talking with him for several hours, I agree.

Porn Talk is Common in Middle School

Brian was exceptionally open with me about his personal experiences with pornography. He was exposed to pornography (in the form of scantily dressed sexualized females) at age 9. When he was 11, friends told him about Playboy, a term he quickly typed into an iPod.

At some point he realized that pornography was a “bad thing” and that it led boys to see girls as objects. Brian didn’t like how watching porn was affecting him. Still, porn had a powerful pull and he kept coming back to it for years.

“Pornography is constantly talked about in middle school,” Brian told me. “Probably every day you could walk around the lunch tables and hear boys discussing videos they had seen or telling stories about porn stars.” He emphasized that porn was new and exciting for tweens.

By high school, watching porn was so commonplace that it wasn’t talked about as much. But occasionally, Brian would hear about the experiences of friends. Brian knew a freshman boy that said he had to masturbate to porn at least twice a day or he would get the “jitters.” The boy knew he had a problem, but was afraid to tell his parents. Another friend told Brian that he had to masturbate to porn after getting home from a date where he “almost kissed a girl, but didn’t.” The sexual tension he felt seemed unbearable.

Why Kids Use Porn

“Most boys see masturbating as a great stress reliever. That’s the main reason why they do it,” Brian explained. And with porn, it’s easy. Some young men cannot imagine what boys of previous generations did without easy access to porn.

By the time Brian was almost 15, he decided to get off porn for good. Fortunately, Brian has a good relationship with his parents and they helped him with his goal. Within six months, Brian was able to stop using pornography.

What did Brian do?

  1. He sacrificed having Internet on his phone by deleting his app for the internet. His parents also utilized restrictions (protected by passwords) and disabled the Internet on the phone.
  2. He sacrificed watching some TV shows or movies with sexualized girls. He learned to be conscious of how the things he saw made him feel. He practiced walking out of the room and distracting himself when images initiated arousal. His parents supported him in this.
  3. He sacrificed his person email account. He had given this email to a pornographic site advertisement and was bombarded with inappropriate spam. He terminated this email account and now only uses the email account provided by his high school.
  4. He sacrificed privacy and left his bedroom door open at night.
  5. He learned to distract himself any time the desire to watch porn came to him. He’d ride his bike, go to a friend’s house, or find other ways to get active and around people.
  6. He had lengthy conversations with parents, who encouraged him, accepted him, and kept him accountable. They often asked him how he was doing with his goal to avoid porn.
  7. He started small. His first goal was to go one day without porn. When he made it, he tried for two. Eventually, he tried for a week, then two. If he slipped, he got back on track. Brian says, “Tell everyone the first month is by far the hardest. After a month it gets WAY easier. I had times I would wonder, ‘Why am I doing this?’ But I would fight it and remind myself I was doing it because I wanted to and I believed it would get better. It has.”

The secrets to Brian’s success?

Brian was able to make changes in his life because:

  • He was humble and honest;
  • He relied on others to keep him accountable;
  • He was willing to make changes to his environment that limited triggers;
  • He had a plan to distract himself when temptations came (like the CAN DO Plan!).

Brian told me that most teenage girls believe, like Hunger Games star Jennifer Lawrence (“…either your boyfriend is going to look at porn or he’s going to look at you”), that they have to compete with porn to maintain a boy’s attention. Though a lot of boys (and girls!) are getting hooked on porn, guys like Brian prove it doesn’t have to be that way.


1 Thessalonians 5:11 – “ “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up.””

When my wife, Barbi, and I (Dr. Townsend) were first married, we used to have conflicts about conflict. Looking back, it’s kind of funny as I later went on to write a Christian relationship book called Boundaries in Marriage. Imagine watching us have boundary conversations about how bad our marriage boundaries were. Barbi’s approach to conflict was to avoid it. My approach tended to be more blunt. We’d talk about a problem and it wouldn’t go well. One of us would misunderstand, we would pull away from each other, and the problem wouldn’t get solved.

One day, I asked Barbi, “When we argue, I never stop loving you. Is there anything I can do to make this better for you?” She thought a minute and said, “Maybe if you let me know you love me before you confront me, that might help.”

I thought that was a good idea, so I agreed. The next time I wanted to have a talk with her about a concern, I walked in the room and said something like, “Honey, I just want to let you know I really care about you and I hope you feel safe with me.” Then when I brought up the problem, things went better for her and for us.

This method of having successful conversations went on for a while. As time passed, however, something changed. I needed to bring up an issue, so I began with, “Honey, I just want you to know…” Barbi said, “Stop! It’s okay. I know you love me; just get to the problem.”

We had a good laugh about it. Over time, she had begun feeling safe enough not to need reassurance before each conversation. She realized that I love her even in the midst of confrontation, and she was ready to go straight to solving whatever problem needed to be solved.

When God created marriage, he gave us one of his best gifts. He provided a permanent and safe connection for a man and a woman to experience love, joy, meaning, and purpose together. Genesis 2:24 says, “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.” God designed marriage to be a whole-person connection. This means that, more than in any other human relationship, every part of you ideally is to connect and cleave to every part of your spouse. The love you share should be complete as you intertwine your lives and emotions around each other.

Because marriage is such a wonderful type of relationship, confrontation within the marital relationship is very important. Who is better qualified to understand and speak to someone about a problem than the person who is living life right next to him? You are intimately involved with him. You see the real person, imperfections and all. His ways and actions affect you; you are not dispassionate about him. More than anyone, a spouse should be able to see what her partner’s true problems are.

Marriage is not about making each other happy; it is about growing and helping one’s spouse to grow. For instance, Ephesians 4:16 says good marriages are a large part of how the body of Christ “grows and builds itself up in love.” Happiness can and does come to a good marriage. Happiness, however, is a byproduct of growth and life. It is not the goal.

Confrontation brings empowerment, which is the ability to make choices and changes in your relationship. God created all of us to be change agents for each other. We have a responsibility to influence the people in our lives to be the best possible people they can be. For instance, 1 Thessalonians 5:11 says, “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up.”

Healthy confrontation helps us grow by making us aware of what we are doing and how our behavior affects others. God uses us to deliver the ingredients of growth to the people in our life. Part of the reason we are with whomever we are with is to provide those ingredients for those people. While most would agree that we can’t make someone change, it is also true that we can do much to encourage change.

As Barbi and I have learned to confront each other lovingly, directly, and effectively, we are often pleased in the change not only in our marriage but also in ourselves. We feel a sense of power that we can make changes and that we have choices. God designed all of us to connect and act, and confrontation helps put the “act” into the connection.

Today’s content is drawn from Boundaries In Marriage by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend. Copyright 2014 by Zondervan; all rights reserved. Visit for more information.


At the end of each 12 step recovery meeting, we read a section called “The Promises,” taken directly from Alcoholics Anonymous. In my first few weeks of recovery, I yearned and prayed for these to be real. I held on to these promises as a life preserver in my depth of shame and uncertainty of the future. Mostly though, I was afraid they wouldn’t be true for me. That I wouldn’t be able to be changed.

I wrestled most of my life with the question of why God wouldn’t take these flaws and sins out of my life since I had sought Him out as my savior. I didn’t get why He didn’t just change me. This was the source of one of my excuses for turning from God and turning more to myself. Maybe it was just an excuse for my behavior. Maybe it was justification for me to explain my real powerlessness. Still, I held on tight to the promises in each meeting and every day as I held on tight in recovery, trying not to drown.

I have been in recovery now for a few months if I am rigorously honest. One of the leaders at a recent meeting told the group that if he wasn’t actively working recovery, he wasn’t in recovery. I agree. That’s how I define recovery for me. So I am in recovery and actively working my recovery plan of meetings, step work, meeting with my sponsor and accountability partners, check ins with my wife. Trying to continue to add in parts to my life to replace the time and thought and effort I used to spend in my addiction.

I was at a meeting recently, a smaller one which I like, and I noticed something very obvious to me in retrospect. Two of the guys who entered recovery not too long after me were….different. I didn’t see it immediately. I don’t know exactly when it happened. But I knew that with absolute certainty. They were not the same. Either of them. It was as if the entire time I had known them in recovery that they had just adopted a posture of defeat and despair and then suddenly, they looked completely different. I don’t believe in “auras” or any of that new age garbage but their attitudes and countenances were different.

After the meeting, the three of us ended up alone in the small room together. So I asked them, what happened? Because you both have changed. They both responded with very similar answers, answers that mapped out exactly what was written in “The Promises.” Each related their experience of a new freedom and happiness, the new found willingness to own and tell their story to those who had earned the right to hear it, an ebbing of self pity and uselessness.

As I reflected on this conversation later, I started reviewing these promises to see if they had impacted my life. Specifically, what had others noticed that was different. I started just meditating on this to ask God to reveal to me where this had happened.

Later that same night, my wife and I were having a intimate conversation (I really love saying that and it being true) about what was going on in each of our hearts and minds. One part of these nightly conversations is that we each name one thing we love about our spouse. That night, she said the following:

“I love that you have compassion and care for your friends and that it is real. That’s something that is new.”

I guess the answer to am I changing is yes. All I could think of after she said that was the end of “The Promises” which asks: “Are these extravagant promises? We think not…”

Marsha Means and Dr. Magness are co-authoring a new book that is designed to be a resource for therapist, addicts, spouses and family. Their new book “Real Hope/True Freedom: Understanding and Coping with Sex Addiction” is designed in a “FAQ” format to be a resource.

In this podcast they discuss the book as well as practical advice for recovery and spousal support. The share from their vast personal experience working with couples, addicts, and spouses.

This is a 2 part series, so make sure to listen to episode 40 before listening to this one to get the full picture.

For more information on the work of Marsha Means, please visit, and to learn more about the work of Dr. Magness, please visit or listen to his previous podcast.

As always, email us at for more information!

No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

– 1 Corinthians 10:13


Looks like this dog, being tempted by chocolate, is setting a good example to us humans on what to do when tempted; especially when tempted by things that are unhealthy for us!

You and I live in a trashy world. Unwanted garbage comes our way on a regular basis… Haven’t you been handed a trash sack of mishaps and heartaches? Sure you have. May I ask, what are you going to do with it?

You have several options. You could hide it. You could take the trash bag and cram it under your coat or stick it under your dress and pretend it isn’t there. But you and I know you won’t fool anyone. Besides, sooner or later it will start to stink. Or you could disguise it. Paint it green, put it on the front lawn, and tell everybody it is a tree. Again, no one will be fooled, and pretty soon it’s going to reek. So what will you do? If you follow the example of Christ, you will learn to see tough times differently. Remember, God loves you just the way you are, but he refuses to leave you that way. He wants you to have a hope-filled heart … just like Jesus …

Wouldn’t you love to have a hope-filled heart? Wouldn’t you love to see the world through the eyes of Jesus? Where we see unanswered prayer, Jesus saw answered prayer. Where we see the absence of God, Jesus saw the plan of God. Note especially Matthew 26:53: “Surely you know I could ask my Father, and he would give me more than twelve armies of angels” (NCV). Of all the treasures Jesus saw in the trash, this is most significant. He saw his Father. He saw his Father’s presence in the problem. Twelve armies of angels were within his sight.

Sure, Max, but Jesus was God. He could see the unseen. He had eyes for heaven and a vision for the supernatural. I can’t see the way he saw.

Not yet maybe, but don’t underestimate God’s power. He can change the way you look at life.

Copyright 2013 Max Lucado. Used by permission. All rights reserved.