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Barnabas Center
Barnabas Center

From Pornography to Prostitutes: The Progression of Sexual Addiction in Men by Bill Immel, LPC

Did you ever wonder how a man could become a two-term President of the United States and be caught in a sexual affair with a young intern during the time he was being sued for sexual harassment by another woman?  Unfortunately, former President Clinton is in good company with the greatest King of Israel (David), the wisest and wealthiest man (Solomon), and the strongest man and judge (Samson.)  What they all had in common is varying degrees of sexual sin.  We use the word “addiction” to describe an unhealthy pattern of behavior that causes someone problems personally, financially, relationally, occupationally, and/or with their physical health.

This pattern is very predictable because it follows a progressive path in the life of the addict, meaning it takes more illicit content and greater risk to achieve the same level of “high” (the euphoric feeling associated with engaging in some form of sexual behavior.)  This can be looking at attractive women in public, sensual advertisements in the sales catalogs, picture pornography, mental fantasy, video pornography, phone sex, affairs, escorts, etc.

Generally speaking, these men become caught in a cycle of addiction that begins with 1. preoccupation of sex that leads to, 2. setting up an opportunity to act out sexually, 3.  the acting out itself.  The cycle always ends with guilt and shame.  Sadly, the temporary escape from guilt and shame is the next preoccupation event and the cycle begins again.  Sexual sobriety is best summarized in the acronym L.A.M.P, which stands for no lying, adultery, masturbation, or pornography.

At the Barnabas Center, we would love to help you achieve victory over sexual sin in your life.  We offer individual, marriage, and group counseling for people at any point in their journey in life.

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