The Issue of Issues
  Breaking Free Chizuk #1678  
In Today's Issue
Daily Dose of Dov: Issur is not the main issue
Link of the Day: Men's Peace of Mind
Testimonials: Hashem Helps Those Who Help Themselves
Text: Co-occurring and cross-addictions that accompany sex addiction
Text: Porn is not a "guy" issue
Q & A: Should I say anything about a guy’s SSA issues to his Kallah?
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Daily Dose of Dov
Issur is not the main issue
By Dov

Yaakov asks Dov:

If someone (who is likely an addict) asks us about the "issur" in these things, how do you suggest we steer them to the real issues?

Dov Responds:

Try to see if they are really convinced that if they could be convinced it were assur, they'd stop. Once they make it clear that they don't really believe they'd stop if they found out it were assur, your job is to help them admit why they are really concerned about their behavior. Sometimes it is because of punishment from G-d. Usually, they will admit it is because it makes them feel like idiots that they are impulsive, they are terrified of getting caught and know they eventually will, and other such real things. The teenagers usually still feel their main concern is that G-d will kill them, etc.

They need a good Rav - but if they are asked and admit they already have seen therapists for 'other issues', our job is to ask them why they never discussed this porn/sex matter with the shrink and are only coming to us about it. Often this is the case. If so, they usually admit they were too ashamed to tell the shrink and it is our duty to help them open up to the shrink they have a relationship with. Sometimes they say the reason they hid it (or sometimes just the full extent of it) was: "My shrink is a goy and he or she would just tell me that it's alright to do that stuff," - but they do not know that for sure, so it is time they found out. If the therapist really does say that masturbation is wonderful, then usually what happened was that they just told the shrink half the facts, as in "I masturbate and look at porn sometimes a bit, yeah," and that's a lie. They misrepresented the truth and didn't admit to the shrink all the pain and details and facts the way they just admitted it all to us. We need to help them admit they have been hiding from their own therapist and wasting their time and money even about all the other issues as well. And that if they do not trust their therapist, the therapy has been a joke, to some degree. But the truth usually isn't really the 'goy' business at all. The truth almost always boils down to this: Their therapist already knew them, has a real person relationship with them, and that made opening up about the truth much too embarrassing for them to do. Therefore they are on GYE hiding behind a mystery name and being 'honest' with us. It's useless, of course. They are playing, fooling themselves and playing the 'religion card'. But telling them that fact is very dangerous. Still, I tell them just that - but very slowly and in a way that they basically hang themselves with their own rope, as usual.

These are some of the threads I go on w these folks. Each one is different, each takes a different turn, but most fall into some of these directions. This is the start, of course. The next part is talking things over. After that comes advice on where to go from here. Usually, I give options, sometimes advice.

Hope that was helpful!

Link of the Day

Stressful marriage? Bad habits? In a rut? 

Join Rabbi Henry Harris for an opportunity to learn a simple, impactful  understanding that opens doorways to greater gratitude, compassion, and peace of mind.

Men's Peace of Mind

When: 9:30-10:30pm, Sunday, June 4, 11, 18

Where: Live teleconference 605-472-5367, access 267779#

Recordings available (immediately after live call): 605-472-4976, access 267779#, reference 4 (class 1), 5 (class 2), 6 (class 3)

Hashem Helps Those Who Help Themselves
By "Hashem Help Me"
By GYE Member

Someone asked member "Hashem Help Me" on the forum:

Apparently, you are not a youngster, have been using masturbation for many years, you came to GYE, went cold turkey and stayed clean. That's very impressive. Can you share with us how you achieved that?

Read article
Co-occurring and cross-addictions that accompany sex addiction
By Robert Weiss, LCSW, CSAT-S

Based on both clinical experience and research, I can tell you that sexual addiction is rarely a standalone issue. One large-scale survey of self-identified sex addicts found that 69% of heterosexual men, 79% of heterosexual women, and 80% of homosexual men also had a secondary addiction of some sort. Another survey of self-identified sex addicts found that 58% of sex addicts have secondary issues with drug addiction, 31% with alcoholism. Compulsive spending (49%), eating disorders (47%), addictive video gaming (37%), and compulsive gambling (29%) are also common.

Read more
Porn is not a "guy" issue
It's a human issue

I struggle.

I am not the only woman who does. Maybe you do, maybe you know someone that does.

I was convinced that I was the only one. I thought I stood alone and that sucked. I was so ashamed of myself and I felt like I was hiding all of the time. The struggle is real, I get it. A boy introduced it to me when I was fourteen. It’s like sinking sand with no escape.

That feeling of being alone changed my junior year in college when a counseling group was started for women struggling with pornography. I walked into that room and it hit me that I wasn’t alone.

Pornography is meant to make you feel isolated and alone. It did for me, but beginning to talk about it has changed my life. For the first time, I feel free and unashamed of who I am. Now, I don’t stop talking about it. It’s a comfortable topic that comes up easily. My friends are just used to it by now.

This Is An Everyone Issue

Probably one of the biggest and longest-held myths in our society is that it is normal for guys to watch porn, and included in that false belief is the idea that girls don’t watch porn.

Newsflash—women are human beings hardwired with sexual desire, and they struggle with porn as well.

Society’s stereotype is all wrong when it comes to this issue. A recent survey shows more of what we already knew: women are just as easily at risk of becoming dependent upon porn as men. The study showed that as many as 17% of women consider themselves addicted to porn, and that half of the women surveyed were internet porn users.

There are plenty more stats where those came from, including one study that found about half of young adult women agree that viewing pornography is acceptable and 1/3 of young women reported using porn.

At the end of the day, it makes no sense to view females as not having sexual desire or ability to be aroused by pornography. One of porn’s biggest traits is that it so naturally appeals to the natural sexuality that we all have as humans. For any of us to think that girls don’t have that same sexual drive as guys is completely mistaken. It’s heartbreaking to think that so many girls feel like they can’t reach out to anyone because of the stigma that porn is just a guy thing.

Q & A
Should I say anything about a guy’s SSA issues to his Kallah?
Do you think you may have a porn addiction?

Do you have a problem with obsessive and compulsive porn use? Have you seriously tried the tools on GYE and feel that you are not getting better? Maybe it’s time to consider joining a 12-Step program.

Porn Anonymous (PA)
If you’re compulsively acting-out with pornography and masturbation we suggest you explore joining Porn Anonymous (PA). If you need help deciding whether to join PA, call Michael at 347-699-2368, or email to schedule a time to talk. For more information visit (Hebrew: / Yiddish:

Sexaholics Anonymous (SA)
If your compulsive acting-out has progressed beyond the screen (with other people, paid sexual services, etc.) we suggest you explore joining Sexaholics Anonymous (SA). To figure out if SA is for you, call Dov at 917-414-8205, or email Dov at to schedule a time to talk. For more information visit

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