I’m single and trying to regain the purity I had before being introduced to pornography; I understand all the logic and theology, except perhaps this: Why can’t I simply not become sexually aroused? Why won’t God give me a “sexual arousal” switch that I can turn to the ‘off’ position until I get married, or am in a position to find a spouse? It seems like evidence that God is not really there. What good or use is there for sexual arousal in such a circumstance?
Longer (slightly rambling) version:
I’m single and trying to regain the purity I had before being introduced to pornography; I understand all the logic and theology, except perhaps this: Why can’t I simply not become sexually aroused? Looks like a design flaw to me. Women have the advantage of having their genitals tucked away; mine’s right out there, so I can’t ever “forget” about sex. It’s like a curse to be male, not a blessing. (I suppose regular menstruation reminds women of the call to be mothers, but hormone pills can stop periods – and perhaps cause cancer – which it seems fairly common for women to use, to lessen or cease menstruation.)
Is sexual arousal fundamentally different from stomach arousal? When I’m hungry, I need to eat. Period. It’s difficult to think about anything else, and I can distract myself sometimes, but if I don’t eat, I’ll die.
Clearly, sexual arousal is different: Nocturnal emissions are not necessary (contrary to popular myth): The body breaks down and reabsorbs the semen (which remain inactive and immobile until after ejaculation, by the way). So the male body has no ‘need’ to ejaculate. (Recent research regarding prostate cancer and stored fluids have not convinced me that such fluid storage causes cancer – as far as I’m aware, they’ve only just begun such research.) But why is God bothering me with sexual arousal when I have no means to act on it?
I’m in graduate school and don’t have the time to attend social events, so I don’t think I’ll even be able to begin looking for a wife (life partner) until after I finish my education and get a job. (I may have to move across the country for a job, so I can’t start dating in Philadelphia and then move to Nashville, for example …) So I cannot even use my sexual arousal as an impetus to strike up conversation with women (I’m very shy).
So, in short, it looks like I experience sexual arousal for no reason whatsoever, except perhaps that I have tricked my body into thinking its married through regular internet pornography use (which I’ve quit yesterday, prior to Confession) – I suspect it may be like being accustomed to eating at regular intervals, the body may become accustomed to sex at regular intervals. And I realize that I’ll be going through pornography withdrawal for some time …
But how do you deal with sexual arousal when you’re not married (and especially when you can’t even look for a spouse)? Priests struggle with masturbation also, which to me lends credence to the idea that it’s better for priests to be allowed to marry.
Sometimes I’m able to distract myself (“shake off”) sexual arousal, but it doesn’t seem like a solution. Imagine you’re in a fortress and the enemy is besieging you – you can hide in the closet until he goes away for the time being, but that’s not really conquering your enemy. Why won’t God give me a “sexual arousal” switch that I can turn to the ‘off’ position until I get married? It seems like evidence that God is not really there. What good or use is there for sexual arousal in such a circumstance?