The Flip Side of Lust – Part 2 | What Very Few in the LDS Church Understand About the Drug Behind Sex and Porn Addiction

Lust is the drug behind porn addiction - and few Latter-day Saints understand the difference

Lust is not well understood in the LDS Church–especially among the “Internet generation.”

“We lusted and wanted to be lusted after.”

As discussed in Part 1 of this post, that simple but loaded sentence is found in the White Book of Sexaholics Anonymous. It is part of the explanation of “The Problem” and it caught my interest for a number of reasons when I first read it. Most importantly, it described the progression of my disease of sex addiction–something no Latter-day Saint had ever been able to articulate to me. But it also opened some windows of understanding about the vast territory that the drug “lust” occupied–even within the Mormon community.

“We lusted and wanted to be lusted after.”

My junior high school was down by Geneva Steel

Beautiful Utah County – my junior high school was right down by Geneva Steel, near Utah Lake.

I grew up in Utah County in the late 70s and early 80s. My junior high was situated down near Utah Lake in the shadow of Geneva Steel. It was a tough place for a twelve-year-old from up in the cherry orchards to go to school. It quickly became clear that observant Latter-day Saints were laughed at and picked on. If your dad worked for the LDS Church, that was a big strike 2.

What I have been thinking about recently, however, is not the rough kids, but rather one of my teachers. She taught my first period seventh-grade English class. She was the first teacher I saw on my first day of school. She was young, attractive and well put together. She wore the brightest red lipstick I’d ever seen before or since. And she wore low-cut blouses.

On that first day of school she sat on a high stool in front of the room, welcoming us and letting us know what to expect in her class for the year. Then she walked over behind her desk, opened the role book, leaned over with elbows locked and hands on her desk, and methodically proceeded to take role. She certainly hadn’t told us to expect what we would be seeing at that moment.

With the low-cut blouse and the leaning over, practically nothing was left the the imagination. I had been watching my new teacher with interest during those first few minutes of class. I liked her. At the moment of the “Reveal,” I saw way more than I’d ever seen before of a woman in real life. If I had been a cartoon character, my eyes would have popped from their sockets. I still remember the giant rush of embarrassment and excitement that blew through my brain. It felt like it was going to explode.

After a few moments in la-la land, I looked away, embarrassed. I glanced around the room to see if any of the other kids had seen what I had seen. They had. Like me, many were looking away and wore bewilderment on their faces similar to what I felt on the inside at that moment. Several of the boys, however, leered, clearly as giddy as if they’d just won the Lotto (although they would have had to leave the state to buy a ticket).

Nearly every morning for the rest of the school year, we engaged in a ritual. She would welcome us to class, walk to her desk, lean over, call role and give us a show for a minute or ninety seconds. We would give her our absolute and undivided attention. Sometimes I looked. Sometimes I averted my eyes. (Always, I felt guilty and ashamed.) While some of the other kids did the same, several of them never missed a single second of the display. Over the course of the year, the shock gradually wore away and I looked away less and less. On rare occasions, she wore a turtleneck. I remember feeling disappointment, but not before experiencing the euphoria of lust and fantasy. So each morning at approximately 8:15, I got a lust hit. So did every other boy and girl in that class.

During that year and for decades after, I felt kind of sorry for my teacher. I felt embarrassed for her that she had been showing her breasts to the entire class and didn’t seem to be aware of it. For a millionth of a second during the first week, I thought about letting her know, but then quickly realized that doing so would only reveal to her that I’d been naughty and had been looking. I wanted her to like me. I didn’t want her to think I was a pervert. I kept quiet. Apparently so did everyone else. For one whole year, she sexualized an entire classroom of twelve and thirteen year olds.

I say now that she sexualized us because I understand now what was going on. When I recently told my wife about this year-long experience, she shook her head and rolled her eyes and assured me that every woman on the planet is completely aware at any given moment of what her cleavage is doing and how it appears to the general public. “There is zero chance that she was oblivious to what she was showing you,” she told me.

My teacher wanted to be lusted after and a room full of pre-teens was available to lust after her. We gave her what she wanted. She took from us what she wanted.

I’m not saying she was a sex addict. I don’t know that she was and it’s not my job to decide or even worry about it. I’m also not saying she was a “pervert,” although what she was doing was clearly wrong and harmful to her students. Again, that’s not my job. I do know, however, that lust was part of her life and she fed her lust through exhibitionism. Thirty kids times six class periods a day meant that possibly as many as 180 sets of young eyes were looking at her as she showed herself to us.

I also know that she contributed to the blossoming of my addiction to pornography, sex and fantasy. In retrospect, I see that she was right there, front and center.

Regardless, something inside her was broken. She hurt and she was trying to mask the pain with the balm of fleeting euphoria that comes from lust–lusting or being lusted after. She was self-medicating without concern for the consequences for herself or those around her. She was willing for us to pay the price for her to get her drug.

“We lusted and wanted to be lusted after.” I am grateful for a clearer understanding of what’s broken inside me on account of my addiction. I am grateful that there is a solution, a spiritual program that, if I work it, will make it so I never act out on my addiction again. I am also grateful for how it helps me understand and have compassion for the broken people around me. Compassion was a trait that I could never feel before recovery. Addiction doesn’t allow it.

Part 3 coming soon.

Image 2 credit: By Svartulfr1 [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

About Andrew+

Latter-day Saint, sex and pornography addict in recovery, dealing with depression, returned missionary, father of a bunch of kids, graduate degree, self-employed, Book of Mormon reader, writer and thinker. Working on understanding and overcoming resentment, the number one killer of addicts.

Comments

The Flip Side of Lust – Part 2 | What Very Few in the LDS Church Understand About the Drug Behind Sex and Porn Addiction — 4 Comments

  1. Pingback: Flip Side of Lust | LDS Wives and Husbands Learn that Lust Kills Love

  2. Pingback: Few LDS Understand The Flip Side of Lust - Wanting to Be Lusted After

  3. I don’t agree that the teacher wanted to be lusted after, but i don’t know for sure? I do know that in the past I have worn clothing that would be considered reveling. But it was because it was hot or I thought it was cute. But that was before I knew how men thought. I have been told my whole life how pretty I am. Not that it matters. I have also noticed when men gawk at me sometimes and find it really annoying. especially if they are with their wife. That makes me very angry. I still had no idea what went on in their minds or that they could even get a high off of looking at someone. I have since learned about it after my ex boyfriend and also husband was discovered to be a porn and sex addict. I now realize that everyone I thought loved me never did. I’m old now and am still single and unable to date with this knowledge. It makes my physically ill. I have no idea how to even go about dating. I went on a dating site and have hundreds of men who want to get to know me. But i realize that none of them give a crap about getting to know me. They only want to date me because their lust addicts. I think of everything I have been taught growing up. How men wouldn’t even get married if it weren’t for their sex drive. In today’s society a man does not need to get married for sex. They still would like to so as to add you to their collection. I’ve always wanted to be loved. I never have been I think because of the way I look? I have lost all belief that men are even capable of it. Reading some of these post gives me some hope. But still it seems like men will forever be desiring some other woman of fighting it every minute of the day.I have been used by to many men I know see. Stupidly assuming that they had love for me and that was what was causing their desire to be intimate with me. If not at the very least their being intimate with me caused them to love me. But it never did because they had the same desires for a virtual harem of women. All my love my heart and soul, my very life that I had devoted to them. Meant squat! It really doesn’t matter how modest I dress. They find a way to lust. But without that lust would one ever want to date me at all? Nope! So I have given up dating all together and will live my life alone. I keep waiting until I get older and uglier so maybe someone will see me and want to love me. But they don’t change. All their is is a bunch of young boys who have deviant minds and older men who have worse. I fear that all the men in the world are porn addicts. Utah has the highest rate of porn lookers in the nation. I had a pervert for a step Dad so I knew that they existed. I cant seem to quit attracting more of them into my life. I do not want to be lusted! I never have. I do need to be loved and to be beautiful to the one who loves me. I want them to desire only me in that way like I would them. But this is not how God made men I guess? I don’t want to give up hope in being loved before I die. But i don’t want to be a fool for believing all the crap men say and so I have too. I know the pain that this addiction causes a woman in her marriage and engaged to be married as well. i have been in both situations. I’m glad I found out before getting married a second time. Why do men lie and say they want to marry you when they really just think that your the real thing? i.e their porn fantasy come true. They lie and figure that it’s my responsibility to cure their need for porn. Unfortunately it doesn’t work that way. Lust always want’s what it cant or doesn’t have. Lust and love cannot co exist. One will destroy the other. Unfortunately to many men excuse their lust as a natural part a the way God created them. Thank you for fighting for love and your marriages. I really needed to see that their was at least one man out their that could even want anything more than lust. I don’t think their are any single ones that will do the same? I’m just really grateful to know that their are still some people who are standing up to defend what it means to be a man. I don’t understand lust so I find it hard not to be judgmental of those who don’t. It is just very hurtful to be reduced to something so shallow as a lust object. No matter how pretty I may be it will not make me amount to more than worthless or only as good as until the next person catches their eye. And besides the way I look has nothing to do with the person I am. I know Jesus loves me because he can see me. But it’s still a pretty lonely life when no one else seems to. If I ever dare to try to date again i fear I will be faced with the same situation. men who lie or the men who tell the truth about how men think. Both seem to be equally unable to love in my eyes. i can’t figure out how any men can even fall in love? From all I’ve learned is lust is love to them. Well maybe if I have faith I will be able to find a man in his 40’s who is willing to wait for sex until marriage? Not be lying about getting it online while he waits. Ha ha ya right. Men trying to save their marriage fret abstinence for a few weeks. Men without a wife hardly consider abstaining until they find one. Sorry for the rant I’m just so sad and haven’t ta;led to anyone about this and it’s been years with no healing. I don’t think it’s possible to heal from this and with dating a possible option in life. It’s to discouraging. I’d like to know if anyone has ever heard of a single man who is not a lust addict? Why do I get laughed at and accused of wanting to control someone if I even suggest not wanting to be with one? Is it not possible for a man to see an attractive women dressed or not and not have his mind explode? It’s only a body! Who really cares how hot it is? And how does one take it to the point of getting high off of it? I would have to put a lot of mental effort and therefor value on a body to even begin to have it affect me like that. I’d never be able to convince myself that that body could love me back. I think their are a lot of people out thee who may be missing their souls? I just cant figure it out?

  4. Pingback: Addict Recovery LDS | Free from the Obsession with Lust Like Joseph