I’ve been sexually sober for over 100 days now — not a lick of masturbation, pornography, or promiscuity — and I get a lot of questions like HOW I DO IT. How do you stay sexually sober? How do you still the swirling rage? How do you DEFEAT HOMOSEXUALITY?
Well, my brothers, you’re in luck today. I’m here to help you. Do these five simple things, and you too can stay sexually sober and defeat homosexuality.*
*Doing these five things may or may not help you defeat homosexuality.
Staying Sexually Sober #1: Take Care of Your Body
In the immortal words of Reese Witherspoon in Legally Blonde:
“Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t
shoot their husbandswatch gay porn.”
The more endorphins flooding your system from exercise, the less likely you will be to act out. Climb from your hole of apathy and do something.
Go for a run. Hit the gym. Kayak down a river. Do something physical, preferably outdoors, that suits you!
As for me, I do around 60 push-ups every morning and 60 crunches before bed. I walk to work and to the coffee shop. I run once or twice a week. Soon I hope to dive into a regular biking routine, too.
Indeed, exercise gives me endorphins and makes me happy, and I generally don’t want to watch pornography after getting all sweaty and then stepping out of the shower.
Eating well goes a long way, too. I’ve cut my fast food intake to one trip a week. And it’s usually Chick-fil-A, so I’m getting my extra Christian points there.
Oh, and while you’re at it, set a bedtime and stick to it. I used to think bedtimes were for babies, but then I realized sleep is, like, good for you.
I don’t feel as tempted sexually when my physical body feels nurtured.
Staying Sexually Sober #2: Take Care of Your Mind
You are what you eat. This is true of physical food, and it’s true of mental food, too. If you play violent video games all the time, violence is going to seem more natural to you. If you watch a lot of nudity, you’re gonna crave more of it — on screen and off.
Fill the well with good water, and keep refilling it. It starts with Scripture, but it doesn’t stop there (sorry, Super Christians). Read books and blogs and articles that supply you with truth and inspire you.
Listen to podcasts. I listen to several ranging from Relevant Magazine to the Brant & Sherri Oddcast to BADCHRISTIAN to The Liturgists. Some are silly, some are serious, and all of them keep my brain gears turning rather than stalling.
I read at least 30 minutes before bed each night. I read mostly nonfiction these days, stuff about God or traveling or lifestories or personality models.
I don’t feel as tempted sexually when my mind doesn’t go hungry.
Staying Sexually Sober #3: Get (and Stay!) Inspired
I don’t know about you guys, but I get tempted and bothered when I’m not inspired. Whenever I start to feel sluggish and lazy and un-inspired, I change that. Pronto. I hop in my car and head for the hills — literally.
I go for a drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway and watch the sunset from 6,000 feet up. I hike a couple miles. I breathe fresh air from up high rather than the stale air down below.
I visibly see how small I am and how big this world is, and I’m reminded of how much bigger God is than any single struggle within any individual soul.
How silly am I to think this universe revolves around me and my temptations to check out the personal ads or fire up a web chat with some guy on the other side of the world. There is so much more than me, and there is so much more than the passing pleasure.
I don’t feel as tempted sexually when I remember my place in this world.
Staying Sexually Sober #4: Do Good Work
It’s one thing to be “inspired” — it’s another to do something with said inspiration. Inspiration hoarded for yourself isn’t the full manifestation of inspiration — it’s not really inspiration
If that doesn’t make sense, how about this: once you get “inspired,” do good work that inspires others. This can happen wherever you are: work, school, your living room, behind your laptop, at the grocery store, even online.
I go to a coffee shop multiple times throughout the week and write on this communal blog, my own blog, and otherwise connect with people online. I’m also working on my second book of stories collected from nine months spent around the continent.
I work with troubled youth, and I encourage them to keep going on their recovery journeys; they unknowingly encourage me to keep on my own.
I live in a walkable city where it’s impossible not to interact with someone on any given day. Even if I were a waiter or cashier or mailman, I’d have good work to do by making just one other person happier to be alive today.
I have stars on the horizon I’m shooting for and stepping toward, day by day.
Keep walking in your good work, and walk with confidence that your every step is changing the landscape.
I don’t feel as tempted sexually when I have something to live for everyday.
Staying Sexually Sober #5: Stay Connected
Finally, if you’re playing the temptation game like Solitaire, you’re doing it wrong. You might succeed for a day or week or month or two, but you will fall. Trust me. I’ve been there. Been there many times.
You need other people to walk this walk and fight this fight alongside. You need other brothers, SSA or otherwise.
I have a roommate, and we have weekly accountability meetings. We dive into the nitty-gritty together: how we’re doing spiritually, physically, emotionally, relationally, and mentally.
We call these weekly check-ins “SPERM counts,” for obvious reasons.
We discuss our temptation levels with masturbation, pornography, and promiscuity. We lay it all on the table.
Is it awkward?
Is it awful?
Is it the worst?
Oh yes. All of the above and more. It is not fun to announce your crap like a trumpet, week to week.
But this act of checking in from week to week is perhaps the most vital component that keeps me on the offensive against sexual temptation.
I never want to come to our weekly meeting with a confession of sin. I just don’t. The thought is sickening, and so I keep fighting.
If you don’t have regular accountability, you need it. You need to find it, and you need to plug into it.
Vulnerability with others will change everything about how you approach any struggle, lust-driven or otherwise.
I don’t feel as tempted sexually when I have brothers to share this road.
So, those are my top 5 tips for staying sexually sober. How do you guys do it? What would you add to the list?
* Photo courtesy chintermeyer, Creative Commons.