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Where Is The Line?

I have lots of inquiries from well-meaning individuals who want to know where the line is as it relates to infidelity.  Some wonder if the adage “you can look but don’t touch” counts as infidelity.  Most people would agree (minus Bill Clinton) that any sort of sexual contact is considered infidelity.  I prefer the use the following definition that was given by a religious leader by the name of Gene R. Cook.  He said, “You are not to turn on or be turned on by anyone that is not your spouse.” 

This definition requires the listener to consider how their actions, thoughts and feelings are affecting them and those around them.  I believe we could all use a little more self and other-awareness.  I like that his definition refutes the “look but don’t touch” belief.  Additionally, it keeps sexual energy where it belongs – in the stability and safety of a marriage...

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Porn And Culture

Here is a recent article from Newsweek:  http://www.newsweek.com/id/162792/output/print

I appreciate the writer’s desire to expose the effect that pornography is having on popular culture, but I believe they are victims of the same seduction.  They seem confused by whether or not porn really has a place in our culture.  Of course, I do not believe it has a place.  I believe it miseducates and distorts and destroys healthy sexuality, men, women, and intimacy.  Read it for yourself and decide what you think!

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Who Should We Tell?

Those who struggle with pornography addiction and other compulsive sexual behaviors often wonder how to handle disclosure about their struggle.  Many of them spend years trying to keep their addiction secret.  However, there comes a point where they desire to share the burden with another.  This may happen accidentally when they are discovered by a loved one, an employer, or a friend.   Sometimes they decide that they are finally going to say something and decide to break the silence on their own.

Living with a secret like this creates a fiery inner conflict that is hard to quench without opening up to another person.  For those who haven’t told anyone of their struggle, my advice to you is to tell someone who you trust.  There doesn’t need to be any script or rehearsal.  Just open up and tell them that you are struggling.  You’ll feel better and then you can start planning what to do next. 

If you were discovered...

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What is Addiction, Really?

In my work as a sexual addictions therapist, clients often wonder if they’re really addicted to pornography or other forms of sexually acting out.  I think the word “addiction” freaks people out.  The idea of being an “addict”  usually kicks in the denial system and prevents them from ever looking at how serious their problem might really be. 

If you’re not sure, then consider the following thoughts:

  1. If you want to stop, but can’t, then you’re probably addicted.  In other words, if you cannot control the rate, frequency, or duration of the behaviors, it’s unmanageable.  (example:  every three months he looks at porn.  He promises himself he won’t do it again, but finds himself sneaking a peek for a few minutes and keeps it secret). 
  2. If you require more experiences to get the same effect, then you’re probably addicted (example:  he keeps looking for different...
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