Am I Addicted to Pornography? An Important Message for LDS Men with a “Little Problem”

Speaking from my own experience, the last thing I wanted to admit was that I had some sort of addiction. After all, Latter-day Saints observe the Word of Wisdom; we don’t have addictions. Or so I thought.

The big question for many LDS men: Why can't I stop looking at porn?

It was, however, when I finally came to understand that addiction doesn’t care about the depth of my religious devotion that I was able to see things as they really were. I was a sex addict and had been a sex addict since I was six years old. I had fought it. I had struggled against it. But I was fighting something I didn’t understand and that was so much bigger than I was.

Also in my experience, a lot of the people around me who clearly struggle with sex addiction in one form or another have the same difficulty coming to accept that they have an addiction. We need to admit and accept so we can get well.

I once knew a woman who noticed some changes in her body. Things didn’t look right and things didn’t feel right. She suspected it was cancer, but fear kept her from going to the doctor. She didn’t want to get the diagnonis. She put it off for months until family members finally took her in for a checkup. She did indeed have cancer but it had now progressed to the point that treatment was no longer possible. She died a short time later. Like this woman, denial keeps us in our illness and will eventually kill us.

I have read several lists of questions intended to help the sex addict come to consider the possibility of addiction. Some of them go into some pretty big detail. This one that follows comes from the White Book of Sexaholics Anonymous. It’s tough for some to read, but it lays things out there is a way that is difficult to shrug off:

_ 1. Have you ever thought you needed help for your sexual thinking or behavior?
_ 2. That you’d be better off if you didn’t keep “giving in”?
_ 3. That sex or stimuli are controlling you?
_ 4. Have you ever tried to stop or limit doing what you felt was wrong in your sexual behavior?
_ 5. Do you resort to sex to escape, relieve anxiety, or because you can’t cope?
_ 6. Do you feel guilt, remorse, afterward?
_ 7. Has your pursuit of sex become more compulsive?
_ 8. Does it interfere with relations with your spouse?
_ 9. Do you have to resort to images or memories during sex?
_ 10. Does an irresistible impulse arise when the other party makes the overtures or sex is offered?
_ 11. Do you keep going from one relationship or lover to another?
_ 12. Do you feel the right relationship would help you stop lusting, masturbating, or being so promiscuous?
_ 13. Do you have a destructive need-a desperate sexual or emotional need for someone?
_ 14. Does pursuit of sex make you careless for your self or the welfare of your family or others?
_ 15. Has your effectiveness or concentration decreased as sex has become more compulsive?
_ 16. Do you lose time from work for it?
_ 17. Do you turn to a lower environment when pursuing sex?
_18. Do you want to get away from the sex partner as soon as possible after the act?
_19. Although your spouse is sexually compatible, do you still masturbate or have sex with others?
_ 20. Have you ever been arrested for a sex-related offense?

There is no magic number that makes someone fit the definition of sexaholic perfectly. Rather, the questions are intended to get people to think about their behavior and their history. Also, it’s important to keep in mind that “the other party,” “sex partner,” and “others” here means not just actual human beings, but also “cyber persons” (i.e., porn sites, chat rooms, forums, web cams) on the computer and internet, as well as sex with self.

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you might do well to ask yourself one more question: “If I know this is wrong and I commit time after time after time that I will never engage in this conduct ever again, why do I still go back to it?” Perhaps you should consider the possibility that you have a problem that is beyond your ability to overcome on your own.

The purpose of this site is not to beat people over the head to get them to accept that they are addicted. Rather, we just want to give you information and instill a sense of hope so you can get help if you feel you need it. Please remember, you can’t recover on your own. We will help you. Email us. We’d love to hear from you.

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