This thread is for guys, especially those men who despair that they cannot stop the lust or the sin of impurity - but what I say can help women too.
First, I’ll share my “qualifications.” I am a recovering sex addict for the last three years. I used to commit the sin of impurity hundreds of times a month. My pornography collection took up many gigabytes spread over several computers. I fornicated with several women, and personally hurt them badly both spiritually and emotionally. There was hardly a female that I walked past that I didn’t undress with my eyes and lust after.
I was trapped and schackled. Thank God for sanctifying grace and for Catholic radio.
There is an escape, and you probably know what it is already, otherwise you wouldn’t be on this website - Jesus.
Oh yeah, I laughed at this idea too. Jesus doesn’t help, and he probably doesn’t care either. Even if he did care, all that stuff is for “saints” who have iron wills, not weak sinners like me. No way I can stop it. Lust feels too good - I miss sex and impurity too much when I’m not getting it.
Nothing could be further from the Truth. Entering into a true life with Jesus works. But, you have to accept that it will be hard. Here’s what I did, at least some of the following all the time.
Zeroth thing to do. That’s right zeroth - because nothing else will work till you do this. Say the perfect act of contrition (look it up online if you have to). Then destroy your porn collection - permanently. Then, do as much as you can of the following: get rid of all TVs and you stop watching the horrible garbage that’s even on supposedly family friendly networks, avoid your computer except for work or specific innocent things, permanently end all adulterous or illicit relationships (and don’t count the cost), throw out anything that incites lust in you, stop drinking anything caffinated and you eat as little candy as possible - these things stimulate you and make it harder to resist temptation.
First, if you are already Catholic, go to confession. Confess all of your sins as specifically as possible, including numbers of times, even if it’s 100,000 times of lust, impurity, and adultery each. Don’t shortchange it, be brutally honest. DO THE PENANCE THE PRIEST GIVES YOU. You will feel a TREMENDOUS weight lifted off of you.
Second, go to daily mass if you can - but never accept the Eucharist if you have engaged in a mortal sin (like impurity) until you have been to confession. Pray before the blessed sacrament, I recommend an hour per day. If you can’t do that, then half an hour once a week is better than nothing. Accept no excuses for not adoring Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament!
Third, pray almost constantly. Say the rosary and the chaplet of divine mercy once per day at least. Pray for all of the women you hurt, especially those you didn’t know who were on the other side of a camera. That’s right - you hurt them because you encouraged them to get into the porn by you watching it. Pray for all of the people exploited by the porn and sex industries.
Fourth, FIGHT! You feel the lust coming on, then get up and go do something else. Surround the places where you commit impurity with blessed sacramentals. Put a picture of the Blessed Mother and her Infant Son on the ceiling over your bed. Open your door at work. Don’t look at the women walking past you, look somewhere else, or look only at their hair and faces.
Fifth, offer up the pain of your temptations to be united with the Cross for the salvation of sinners. Remember that every time you sin you wound the body of Christ, and you literally added to Christs’ suffering on the cross.
Sixth, constantly remind yourself. Remind yourself that every woman you meet is literally a royal princess, a daughter of the most high King. Remind yourself that what you do unto her you do unto Jesus! Remember that she has her hopes and dreams, just like you. Remember that she was once a little five year old girl, hopefully full of joy and innocence. Remember that sex is ***beautiful ***in the context of *life-giving * unity of spouses.
Seventh, meditate on the fact that lust leads to not only pain and misery now, but everlasting death later. Read the visions of Hell by some of the saints, like Saint John Bosco - just google it, and you’ll be scared to life.
Eighth, if you are married, then ask your wife to help you. You will be ashamed to admit it to her, but if your wife is serious about her vows then she will help you. I was terrified to tell my wife, thinking she would scorn me, but once I did she cherished me.
Ninth, change your language, both inside your own head and externally. Stop using foul words. Speak of sex reverently, do not indulge in sexual jokes. Get rid of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issues and their ilk. Get rid of any posters of beautiful women, even if they are clothed. You have a higher bar than people that aren’t sex addicts.
Tenth, don’t ever get up. If you fall, go back to confession. Unless you are truly remarkable or blessed, you will fall. Last week I fell twice with impurity and several more times in lustful thoughts about women. However, I went to confession and I will not give up.
You know when I fall down most? When I get “busy” and stop what I described above. Nevertheless, don’t give up, absolutely don’t give into the lie of despair!
Yeah, you can say, “but you fell down and you still haven’t broken the lust.” I say, “maybe, but look at where I was and compare that to now.” By the grace of God I am improving - and the joy in my heart grows every day. I’m happier now than I have ever been in my life.
Is it hard and tough? You betcha. However, if an incredibly weak-willed sinner like me can do it with Jesus’ help then so can you. I promise it works. I guarantee it.