Engaging culture

It’s Not Just About Men

A word from an anonymous female EFCA lay leader

June 01, 2009

Whenever sex addiction is mentioned in the church, it’s always addressed to “you men.” Women are “the ladies”; they’re not expected to be looking at pornography. So if you do, you feel like a freak, which increases shame and guilt.

The stereotype excuse has been that men are very visual. Well, I’m extremely visual, and I’ve been looking at this stuff since I was 5 years old. That stereotype is shifting because of how we’re visually bombarded in our culture. With sex addiction, the playing field is becoming level.

It wasn’t until recently that I embraced that I am a female with a sex addiction.

I guarantee: Women who struggle with this are coming into our churches, and we’re not ready for them.

After I got married, I faithfully attended churches and Bible studies, and I learned the Word, soaking it in. But my childhood pornography addiction came along with me.

From time to time I would re-collect pornography, feel the guilt, repent, get rid of it. The pattern continued throughout my marriage. It wasn’t until recently that I embraced that I am a female with a sex addiction. As with other women, it’s not just a matter of reading romance novels. It’s a deep-seated, not-pleasant-to-talk-about, hard-core pornography addiction.

We need to talk about women and sexual addiction. The longer it’s kept secret, the more the enemy feeds on that. Churches need to create an environment where it’s safe to come forward with anything.

This piece was originally published in the Summer 2009 issue of EFCA Today, along with "Sexual Sin Among Us."

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