The Pursuit of God

Serious Topics for Serious Christians

Misdirected Sex Drive: Why do I feel aroused by inappropriate targets?

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We use the term sexual target to define what turns you on sexually. The world is full of potential targets, but God puts out a very narrow definition of what appropriate targets are. For men, women are the only appropriate targets. But not just any women. God says you’re not supposed to be lusting after some other man’s wife or little girls or your mother. The list goes on and on, and there are similar restrictions for women. Women are supposed to be sexually aroused by men. Not little boys, not their friend’s boyfriends, not their grandfathers—you get the idea. God is a real stickler when it comes to defining morally acceptable sexual desires and activities, and then He slaps the label of perverse onto anything that falls outside of the morally acceptable zone. Well, now what?

In real life, things often don’t work out the way God says they ought to. Some of you have made the distressing discovery that there seems to be something very wrong with your internal wiring. For you, the targets that God says are acceptable leave you feeling totally flat while the targets that God says are sick and perverse intensely arouse you. What does it mean when you’re a guy who finds himself turned on by other guys? What does it mean when you can’t stop fantasizing about doing it with kids? What does it mean if you can’t experience an orgasm unless you start fantasizing about graphic torture? What does it mean if you want to have sex with animals? This is real life: some of us are intensely attracted towards very wrong targets and try as we might, we can’t seem to fix ourselves. So what does it mean and how did we end up like this? Here’s where we need to learn some basic facts about how the sex drive works.

THE SEX DRIVE

All humans have a sex drive, but in the early years of our lives, we just don’t care. We aren’t thinking about sex when we’re kids—we’re busy thinking about other things. An interest in sex develops when those hormones start riling up during the not so fun period of life called puberty and then suddenly we’ve got sex on the brain and it starts becoming very clear to us that certain things turn us on while other things don’t.

Well, that’s one way it works. But it’s a very common story that sexual arousal gets forced upon us long before we would naturally develop an interest in the topic. Sometimes a caretaker starts messing around with us in a sexual way before we’ve even had time to figure out what the point of all that pelvic equipment is. When sexually arousing experiences are forced upon us early on, the nature of those experiences has a drastic impact on what kinds of sexual appetites we acquire.

To understand how the sex drive gets misdirected, let’s set a toy train at the top of a downhill track. Halfway down the descent, the track splits into three branches. If the train is left alone, it will go roaring down the center track and we’ll end up developing an attraction to appropriate targets. But if someone throws a switch on the tracks, then when the train hits that intersection, it will go flying off to the right or the left because the straight path has been physically barricaded. The point is this: you aren’t controlling that train, and you’re not controlling the switches on the tracks. You aren’t the reason that your sex drive is all warped. Sexual perversion is a result of our sex drives being manipulated apart from our wills. No one says, “Pedophilia? Sounds good: sign me up.” But when our first experience of sex is Dad groping us, we go through a very traumatizing mental experience and suddenly we find ourselves fantasizing about passing that degradation on to targets who are as defenseless as we were when we were being abused.

The sex drive is a very powerful force. Toss a rope around the neck of a wild stallion who is tearing across a field and you’d better be ready to eat dirt, because there’s no way you’re going to singlehandedly restrain a beast who is that muscular and determined. In the same way, you can’t just mentally seize hold of your sex drive and reprogram it. Once it makes up its mind about the kinds of targets it wants to feast on, there’s just no reasoning with it.

The range of experiences that can result in perverse sexual appetites is surprisingly broad. It all comes down to earthsuit associations. Your earthsuit has three basic components: mental, emotional and physical. Your sex drive is part of the physical component, but each component affects the other two. This means that when you experience sexual arousal in your physical body, your emotions and your mind are strongly impacted. Sometimes our first associations with sex are formed during experiences that have nothing to do with it. Your father is a creep who likes to strip you down and terrorize you just for kicks. He isn’t being primarily sexual with you, but by the time he’s done manhandling you, your earthsuit has formed strong associations between sexual arousal, physical pain, emotional humiliation, and psychological degradation. Now as an adult, you can’t get sexually excited unless you are fantasizing about someone sadistically tormenting you. If people could see what you think about today, they’d write you off as a disgusting little pervert. But if we were to take a closer look at your history, we’d find your earthsuit using a stream of logic which really makes a lot of sense given the kinds of experiences it has been through.

Your earthsuit isn’t born with God’s moral code imprinted on it. Your sex drive is a very moldable, impressionable thing. Many things impact it: unmet core needs, sexual traumas, and early sexual experiences. When we stop freaking out over the pervert label, we can start to appreciate the very logical way that your earthsuit operates.

WHY WE LOVE PERVERTS

We love working with sexual perverts—especially those who have a bunch of sex crimes on their record. Why? Because there’s just so much good news that we can tell you which no one else wants to talk about. We know that you’re getting seriously desperate by the time you become an active sex offender, and the higher the shame piles up on you, the closer you’re getting to your breaking point, and that’s when you will finally become receptive to some critical truths that can radically improve your quality of life. One of those truths is that you simply had no say in defining the basic appetites of your sex drive. Sure you can do things to warp it further once it’s already in motion, but when it comes to defining the kinds of targets that it initially wants, that’s just not in your control. Just as God didn’t ask you which flavors of food you’d like your tongue to enjoy most in life, He didn’t give you a say in what kinds of targets your sex drive would fixate on. And where God gives you no choice, He doesn’t sit around blaming you for being who you are.

While it’s commonly believed that God hates homosexuals and pedophiles, this is simply not true. God loves all souls, and He doesn’t confuse your soul with your sex drive. Every human is packed with depravity, and every human is filled with perverse sexual desires. While your society uses a very narrow definition of the term sexual pervert, God’s definition of the term is so staggeringly broad that we all qualify. This means that if God isn’t willing to seriously love on sexual perverts, then no one can get saved, and we’re all on our way to Hell.

God has a glorious of way of leveling the playing field so that no one can pull rank on anyone else. While  straights look down on gays and pedophiles, they’re no better in God’s eyes. By the time we’ve got men jumping in the sack with every sexy babe that they meet and women fantasizing about fictitious dream lovers, no one is anywhere close to meeting God’s definition of sexual purity. We’re all in the cesspool of perversion together, and God is right in it with us, calling us to stop using our sexual issues as an excuse to keep our distance from Him.

Is it a drag to be stuck with a sex drive that is lusting after the wrong targets? Yes, it is. And does being stuck with depraved desires mean we have some pity pass from God to go ravage whoever we want whenever we want? Certainly not. God calls us to come to Him and surrender ourselves into His hands—perversity and all. He tells us that if we do not hold back in the submission department, He will use our perverse desires as a catalyst for positive transformation. Show us a mind that is plagued with sick fantasies, and we’ll show you a breeding ground for fabulous compassion, mercy and love. It’s by getting continuously pummeled with defeat that we acquire true humility and a strong grip on our dependency on God. Nothing shatters the illusion that we are intrinsically good like a perverse sex drive. Nothing crushes the delusion that you can rise above sin like having those disgusting fantasies running in a continuous loop through your brain. Sexual perverts are like diamonds that are buried in a swamp of sludge: they’re just waiting to be fished out and washed off so that their beautiful sparkle can be seen by all. So if you’ve come to realize that something is seriously warped way down deep in the core of your being where you just can’t get at it, realize that a perverse sex drive isn’t cause for despair. It’s evidence of thrilling potential.

FURTHER READING:
The Purpose of Dysfunction: Understanding Why God Messed You Up
Voluntary Castration: The Solution that Makes Everything Worse (Help for Sexually Frustrated Men)
Overcoming Shame
Understanding the Love of God: The Five Versions of You
The Great Gift of Sin: Why Our Depravity Gives Us Hope
Understanding Divine Judgment: Illumination, Empowerment & A God Who Delights In Mercy
Brain-Soul Mechanics: Why God Doesn’t Expect You to Have Pure Thoughts
Broken to Thrive: Help & Hope for Pedophiles

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