The Flip Side of Lust – Part 3 | What Very Few in the LDS Church Understand About the Drug Behind Sex and Porn Addiction

The last of a 3-part series on the Flip Side of Lust from the LDS perspective

A third and final look at the flip side of lust from the LDS viewpoint.

In Part 1 and Part 2, I talked about the flip side of lust–“wanting to be lusted after” as opposed to the more familiar “lusting after someone else.” Today, I again want to holler from the rooftops about the harm caused by lust and the peril that members of the LDS Church face when they ignore the pernicious reality of lust.

Lust is a drug–a debilitating drug–so it modifies the way we think and feel. It also creates a false reality. It is never satisfied. Lust creates more lust which then demands even more lust. Lust makes people unhappy. It drives a wedge between husbands and wives who then can’t understand why more and more and still more sex doesn’t seem to strengthen their relationship, but rather seems to weaken it.

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: Lust is not passion. Lust is not passion. Lust is not passion! But lust fools a lot of people–including Mormons–into thinking that it must be the highest form of passion out there.

Passion has two sides: godly passion (a component of pure love and charity) and carnal passion (a component of lust). Carnal passion is always present in pornography, masturbation, flirting, adultery and objectification–including the objectification of one’s wife. Carnal passion is never good. It is always harmful to those who engage in it and to those who surround them.

Godly passion in contrast is noble, selfless and edifying. Jesus Christ is the ultimate example of godly passion. “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (Matt. 15:13). Godly passion, pure love and charity are infinitely more satisfying to the soul than lust and carnal passion ever can be.

Now here’s where people get confused about how sex fits into the equation. We have dumbed down our understanding of love, passion, sex and lust to a point where pretty much the only two things we consider about sex anymore are where we do it and who we do it with. Many LDS men now adhere to the notion that as long as they don’t touch anyone but themselves or their wife and as long as their wife is involved–at some point–in their sexual behavior, hey, it’s all good. “Lustful sex is OK as long as it’s with my wife (and if we ignore the issue of masturbation)!”

What too few Latter-day Saints realize and what even fewer of them ever experience is that a lust-free intimacy which can include wonderful sex and godly passion is way better than lust-driven sex. Way better, as in “night and day” better.

Pornographers sneer that Christians (obviously including Latter-day Saints) are uptight about sex and that there’s nothing better than “uninhibited sex,” whatever that is. They’re wrong, of course. We who claim to follow Christ are not uptight about sex, but we are uncomfortable with the type of lust-driven sex that they’re trying to force-feed us and our kids. Discomfort can often be mistaken for uptightness.

As for the unsupported assertions that nothing beats “uninhibited sex,” we need to remember that these statements are coming from those who have never in their lives experienced lust-free intimacy. It’s like a stubborn pre-schooler insisting to a world-renowned French chef that nothing beats juice boxes and Oreo cookies. The chef quickly realizes that it does no good at this point to encourage the pre-schooler to set his sights a bit higher. Pornographers have a pre-schooler’s understanding of love, passion and intimacy.

This is the truth:

We love and we want to be loved. (This is what Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ want us to experience.)

This is the counterfeit:

We lust and we want to be lusted after. (This is what Satan so desperately wants us to experience.)

Regarding the LDS men who consume porn, many of whom are now addicted, they no longer have the ability to love with the pure love of Christ. They are no longer able to aspire to lust-free intimacy because lust has choked the life out of the pure and noble feelings in their hearts. They lust and think that that’s as good as it gets.

As for the many LDS women who are now dating or married to porn-consuming men, they have been subjected to sexual objectification by so many boys and men for so long that they have now lost the ability to dream of true love. They want to be lusted after and think that that’s as good as it gets.

That’s the bad news.

The good news is that sex and pornography addiction can be overcome if the addict becomes willing to do whatever it takes–including coming out of secrecy and isolation, and getting involved in therapy and an effective 12 Step group like Sexaholics Anonymous. This is where growing numbers of LDS men are finding real recovery, a recovery that is wonderful. It makes repentance possible. It makes lust-free intimacy possible.

The other piece of good news is that an LDS woman can recover from the damage inflicted on her (knowingly or not) by her husband and his sex and porn addiction–and she can do it whether he gets on board or not. Again therapy and an effective 12 Step group like S-Anon are breathing life back into the downtrodden LDS women who had lost the hope of ever being happy again.

Heavenly Father hears and answers prayers. I have been watching it happen.

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 3 | What Very Few in the LDS Church Understand About the Drug Behind Sex and Porn Addiction — 8 Comments

  1. Pingback: LDS View of Flip Side of Lust - Wanting to Be Lusted After - Porn Help

  2. You guys need to get with the times. Lust isn’t just something that males do to females. My soon-to-be-ex-wife has a problem with lust that is just as big mine. Is there any site that doesn’t stereotype this issue???

    • I don’t get it, WM. I just did a three-part post on how the tendency to engage in lust-driven behavior also afflicts women, although sometimes not in a way in which we’re used to talking about it in the LDS Church. You just left a comment on one of them. Isn’t the whole point of those posts to address the very issue you say we’re not addressing?

    • During my husband’s ‘recovery’ he accused me of having an affair. During the accusastions he was not greiving that I possibly jeapordized our marriage covenants but wanted me to understand that I was possibly no better then him. I have not struggled with lust or fidelity so his attempt to demoralize me felt, well not to be unkind but, pathetic. I did battle with drug and alcohol addiction. I have been sober and clean for 30 years. When I read your ‘argument’ I felt inclined to share this idea. 30 years ago I could have pointed out that my best friend was also a drug addicted drunk but what help would that have been to my own recovery?

  3. Wow. I am grateful for your words regarding the subtle often inappropriate behaviors I have witnessed between ‘righteous’ Latter Day Saints. Thank you. Many suggest that this is “innocent flirting”. You are on target and I appreciate you calling it what it is. To seek a mighty change is what I hope for all those wanting to do and feel better. To suggest that “you guys need to get with the times” after reading all 3 parts of your essays seems like an avoidance strategy from one who is resisiting the help found on your website.

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

  5. I, being an addict that is working towards recovery, am having a hard time understanding lusting after my wife. You talk about a wonderful intimate relationship free of lust, but I have a difficult time either understanding how lust has crept into my views of my wife (I know I lust after others) or what a sexual relationship with my wife would be like without lust (if what I feel for my wife is lust). What I feel for my wife is desire to be sexual with her (and I do like seeing her dressed sexually, is being visually stimulated lust?), I get the part about wanting to be lusted after and am guilty of that. How is lust towards my wife different than pure and wholesome desire? I can accept when my wife isn’t in the mood and my reaction is dependent on my addiction, sometimes I can let it go and sometimes I get resentful (I know I need to work towards not being resentful ever). I can even see the value of taking the sexual fast, albeit in my present level of recovery would be a challenge for me. If what you say is the case that addicts lust after their wives, I would like to have an explanation of what a lust free sexual relationship is supposed to be like so I know what I need to work on freeing myself from or expunging from our relationship. What you are saying sounds a little too rigid to me and that may be a reflection of my addiction and present recovery state, I don’t know. Can you help me out?

    • I’m not sure why Andrew never responded to your post. I have not seen anything for a long time. Reading his posts are almost like an SA group for me.
      Anyway, I would encourage you to go through all of his posts as I do intermittently to help me more fully understand my addiction to lust.
      God bless you and I hope you are gaining progressive victory over lust.