Reordering Our Sexual Desires?
Most of you know that I've struggled with self-abuse since childhood. Every day I battle impure thoughts and inclinations to sin. I've had 3 boyfriends that I've committed various impure acts with. It's become clear to me that I have an obsession, or perhaps even an addiction, to sex (which is funny because I've never actually had intercourse).

I've been to many different therapists for this problem of mine, and all of them are eventually baffled because I've had no past abuse or childhood mishaps that usually cause people to engage in these sorts of destructive behaviors. I honestly just love sex, or at least the idea of it, and even though I am a "good Catholic girl" in most other areas of my life, this is the one battlefield I cannot conquer.

You see, the problem with sexual desires is that they are a very real and physical thing, like hunger for food. It's easy for some people who are naturally chaste to say "just pray that God will fulfill you in your sexual temptations." But in actuality, that works about as well as praying for God to fulfill you when your stomach is growling for a cheeseburger. You would never tell someone to just "pray away" their physical hunger for food. It works the same way with sexual desires, at least for me. And because our sexual desires are good, God isn't going to take them away any more than He would take away our desires for bread and water.

God is a spirit. He cannot physically satisfy us the way a cheeseburger in our belly would. That is why it is so hard for me to just "give my sexual desires to God" because He can't do anything with them. He won't take them away. He isn't going to give me sex. So I just have to suck it up and deal with it, which is about as easy as ignoring your body when you've been physically depriving yourself of food for days and weeks on end. Soon, all you can think about is food. It's the same way with sex.

You see, the thing I am struggling with is that I want to blame God for my sexual struggles because He gave me the disposition towards that kind of behavior in the first place, and He allowed my desires to remain so unfulfilled that I finally had to take matters into my own hands and take care of myself. I prayed and begged God for companionship and fulfillment when I was in High School and college, and it never came. I got tired of begging God for help that never showed up, so I felt like I deserved the pleasure of fantasy and masturbating because, if God would have just come through on His end, I wouldn't have had to resort to such measures. This is God's fault. If he would just give me a boyfriend/husband, I wouldn't have to masturbate or fantasize.

Someone said that I have trouble abandoning myself to Divine Providence. Damn right I do! I cried out to God in the desert, and nothing happened. No help came. My hunger was worse than ever, while everyone around me seemed satisfied, happy, and fulfilled. Does God truly expect me to just grin and bear it? I'm not Superwoman. So I did what I had to do, and here I am. It didn't really help, but neither did waiting on God.

You see, then, that this problem of mine goes a lot deeper than just liking and wanting sex. I don't know how to pull myself out of this because God doesn't seem to give me any tools to do it, and He isn't going to just take away my sexual desires. I can't just crack open my Bible when the urge to masturbate strikes, and poof, it's gone and I feel all better. It doesn't work that way, and unless you've been in my shoes yourself, you won't understand that (not to dis anybody who has offered me advice, but that's how it be Confused ). I can't just say "God, fulfill me in my sexual desires" and everything is instantly all better. The need is still there, the lion in the cage is still hungry, and I can't feed him with Scripture.

Somebody mentioned that I'm probably not receiving grace to help me in this fight because I'm constantly in a state of mortal sin. I'm glad they brought that up. I have met with 2 different, very Trad priests who have both instructed me to continue receiving communion as often as possible, and to only go to confession once a month (I had been going up to 4 times a week, with no noticeable improvement). So that is what I have been doing, and I have seen a little improvement, at least more so than when I was rushing off to Penance every other hour.

Again, to reiterate what I said earlier: I want to blame God for giving me this very heavy cross that keeps crushing me. Sometimes, as horrible as this sounds, I wish I were handicapped, or obese, or addicted to something, anything else, but this. The only good thing I can see that has come out of it is that I am not so quick to judge others who commit sexual sins, because I haven't got a leg to stand on. But besides that, this is really ruining my life, and I feel like I am making such little progress.

St. Mary of Egypt, Ora Pro Nobis!

I actually do understand. I was abusing myself since before I had hit puberty. Some very odd childhood interactions lead to me being sexually awakened from a young age. I wasn’t molested because they were too young to know understand the weight of what they had initiated, so although different, I feel certain kindred spirit with you.

But these physical urges you feel are not a default part of who you are. Yes just about everyone experiences sexually urges, but the more often you give in to it, the more you are engraving that vice and these urges into your brain. You’re engraving it into how you subconsciously react to your environment. “Oh. I’m in bed. And I don’t want to sleep yet?” Urge to abuse pops up. “Oh I have the Saturday alone in my house?” Urge to abuse pops up. Breaking these bad habits will not be easy. But the more often you make the right decision, the closer you get to making a habit of virtue.

As many have said before, an Ignatian retreat (maybe even one with room mates?) would be a great place to start because it would give you an opportunity to start fresh. Get a few days in a new environment and start on denying these bad habits.

It’s sounds impossible. I wish I could convince how much I relate. I’ve wasted entire evenings torturing myself over lustful thoughts trying to avoid self abuse. But the more often you make the right decision, the easier it gets.

Also, maybe keep track of how many days in a row you go as a way to reward yourself.

I’m sorry if you don’t find any of this useful. But I really hope you can find a way to move forward.

God Bless
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  • Ptochos
Have you ever tried an SSRI? They can radically affect the libido. Or if you're scared of that, try St. John's Wort (don't take the two together).

If you try an SSRI, know that you will have to wean yourself off when you quit taking them -- a very serious consideration. Some SSRIs  can be rough to stop taking.
T h e   D u d e t t e   A b i d e s
(08-07-2018, 08:29 PM)VoxClamantis Wrote: Have you ever tried an SSRI? They can radically affect the libido. Or if you're scared of that, try St. John's Wort (don't take the two together).

If you try an SSRI, know that you will have to wean yourself off when you quit taking them -- a very serious consideration. Some SSRIs  can be rough to stop taking.

There is also vitex also known as chasteberry and monk's pepper.  It's not proven or anything but monks used to use it in the Middle Ages.  Here's are two websites about it:

Also, the appetites are considered to be linked together under the virtue of temperance.  So maybe reducing the pleasure of food and drink, such as limiting yourself to water and not salting your food as much, might help.
(08-07-2018, 11:55 AM)SacraCor714 Wrote: You see, the 
i don't think
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  • mpk1987, Some Guy
(08-07-2018, 11:55 AM)SacraCor714 Wrote: You see, the t
i don't think
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  • mpk1987, Some Guy
The fight for chastity is indeed an extremely difficult battle. It takes a long time to make progress and all it takes is a single moment for it to all go out the window. Once you get that "lust brain" where all you can think about is getting off, breaking that is tough. Even if you allow yourself to start doing it and then stop yourself after a while before finishing, your body craves the climax and won't leave you alone until you give it to it. Want to just sleep it off? You may end up waking up tomorrow morning just craving it. It sucks.

The thing is that it's a war that never ends. It needs to be seen as such. Those who fight against lust have an enemy who attacks them in a way where they abuse themselves rather than others. A person who struggles with anger, gossip, lying, among others typically need someone else to inflict their sin on. Masturbation does not. Add in the fact that in general there's no injured party except oneself (and God) and it's a habit that becomes extremely difficult to break. 

What's hard about it too is that eventually if you can knock it down to once a week or every couple weeks it still plagues you. Have a good run, feeling good? Boom, knocked back down. In a way, it's really humiliating to realize how weak we are... and maybe that's the lesson that needs to be learned by everyone who struggles with masturbation whether it's with porn or without. You're weak and without Christ you're nothing but sin and misery. You just need to accept it and embrace it. Sure, it's easy to say after you've fallen, it's easy to say after you've gotten out of confession. How about when you last longer than usual and you're feeling good about yourself? That's when it's hardest.
Blood of Christ, relief of the burdened, save us.

“It is my design to die in the brew house; let ale be placed in my mouth when I am expiring, that when the choirs of angels come, they may say, “Be God propitious to this drinker.” – St. Columbanus, A.D. 612

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GangGreen I would like you post more than once if I could.
(08-07-2018, 11:55 AM)SacraCor714 Wrote: But besides that, this is really ruining my life, and I feel like I am making such little progress.

Think of it this way Miss, your sexual fantasies may be ruining someone else's life.

A few thoughts.

Stop obsessing about this. You need to take this one day, one hour, one minute at a time. This is not a competition; this is your ETERNITY at stake.

Every time you entertain these thoughts and/or write about this issue you are "resetting" your healing and digging yourself a deeper ditch. Stop thinking about this, stop writing about this (Blind Horus has a point, these posts could be causing other people difficulty) ... Sorry, but that is something that needs to be considered. 

LEARN the 3 Hail Mary's devotion every time these thoughts enter your mind USE the 3 Hail Mary's devotion.

Are you going to have setbacks, yes. Are you going to get frustrated, yes. If you stick with this and give this over to God and Our Lady will you succeed, yes.

With God's help, and only with God's help, you CAN do this! 

"There are in truth three states of the converted: the beginning,  the middle and the perfection. In the beginning, they experience the charms of sweetness; in the middle, the contests of temptation; and in the end, the fullness of perfection."
-- Pope St. Gregory

Cor Jesu Eucharistic Miserere Nobis 

Salus animarum suprema lex

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