Monday, 19 December 2011

It's more than a 'Schmutz' Problem

by Dov (See all authors)

Many people come to GYE with a "looking at porn problem". I assume their worthy goal is mainly "to not look at any porn". This is limiting for two reasons I can think of.

First, the goal itself is only negative - so there is no inherent personal change necessary - it is just about living while not using schmutz. "Habituation" and that's it. While it is a wonderful goal for anyone, it still seems a very different process than any 12-step recovery I have experienced or witnessed. The job is essentially done as soon as one isn't looking at schmutz for a while. Yay.

Or perhaps they are working the steps, but I wonder if the steps play any necessary and real role in their rehabilitation. And if it does not, then it is unlikely that these folks would feel any need to retain the benefits of their step-work once they are "cured" and not using schmutz for a while. I probably wouldn't...

Second, I wonder how many of these guys really have a problem that is restricted to "looking at schmutz". It seems quite possible that in some cases their problem is lust, in general. They see it manifest in porn and masturbation and throw their efforts at stopping them. I would, too. But if their real problem is a deep feeling/perception that in order to survive, they truly need things and pleasures that Hashem has not given them - then what good will it do them to just quit the schmutz?

Then when marriage comes along and sex is introduced to the mix they will discover an entire new field to sow their lust in. Then they will wonder why the heck mar'eevo savah and pas b'salo are not working!!

They do not really see themselves as essentially different or abnormal. And they may not be!! I may be the last person to cast the label "addict" on anyone other than myself. But if they find that are unable to enjoy sexual pleasures with true joy, control and moderation, I'd suggest that they are gravitating a bit toward the "addict" side. Particularly if their lust outlets are encroaching on other areas of their lives - or into the lives of other people. They can only decide this for themselves.