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Freedom From Gay Porn (LIVE)

June 03, 2024 Drew Boa
Freedom From Gay Porn (LIVE)
Husband Material
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Husband Material
Freedom From Gay Porn (LIVE)
Jun 03, 2024
Drew Boa

Why do I struggle with gay porn? What does freedom look like? How can I stop using gay porn? In this episode, I answer these questions based on years of research and helping hundreds of men achieve lasting freedom from gay porn.

Recommended resources (including paid links):

Related episodes of Husband Material:

Ready to pursue freedom from gay porn?

Join the waitlist for HMA at joinHMA.com

***Save the date: HMA in a Day on Saturday, July 13, 2024!***

Take the Husband Material Journey...

Thanks for listening!


Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Why do I struggle with gay porn? What does freedom look like? How can I stop using gay porn? In this episode, I answer these questions based on years of research and helping hundreds of men achieve lasting freedom from gay porn.

Recommended resources (including paid links):

Related episodes of Husband Material:

Ready to pursue freedom from gay porn?

Join the waitlist for HMA at joinHMA.com

***Save the date: HMA in a Day on Saturday, July 13, 2024!***

Take the Husband Material Journey...

Thanks for listening!


Speaker 1:

Welcome to the Husband Material podcast, where we help Christian men outgrow porn. Why? So you can change your brain, heal your heart and save your relationship. My name is Drew Boa and I'm here to show you how let's go. Today, we are talking about freedom from gay porn. Maybe you want to be free from gay porn, or maybe you want to help others find greater freedom from gay porn. Maybe you want to be free from gay porn, or maybe you want to help others find greater freedom from gay porn, and even if you don't struggle with this, surely you know someone who does. I hope this will be really helpful for you. You may even want to share it with others to help them understand.

Speaker 1:

I have been building up to this episode for three years, learning as much as I can, working with men who are outgrowing gay porn, figuring out exactly what I want to say. In this episode, you will learn why so many men struggle with gay porn, what freedom looks like and how to stop using gay porn. I realize this topic is delicate. It's vulnerable, it may be triggering, so I want to give you permission to pause your listening or to take a break whenever you need to in order to be kind to yourself. And a disclaimer is in order this episode is not about sexual ethics. It's not about sexual identity or sexual orientation. We'll talk about same-sex attraction, but that's not the primary focus. We are talking about freedom from gay porn, specifically porn featuring men. Why am I qualified to talk about this? I specialize in helping men find freedom from porn and very particular types of porn because my own story involved a very particular sexual fetish that always felt irresistible and, as I share openly about that, I think a lot of men who are struggling with gay porn can resonate. They can resonate with loving it and hating it at the same time, and that's so much of my story. And so at least half of my clients are specifically wanting freedom from gay porn and I've helped hundreds of men achieve lasting freedom, not just temporary behavior change, but deep soul level healing, soul level healing.

Speaker 1:

And although I am primarily attracted to women, I do occasionally experience a mild sexual attraction to other men. It doesn't bother me, it's not something that I have sought out in porn. I've never watched gay porn. However, I have masturbated to a man before, particularly myself, and I've talked about that elsewhere. I've masturbated to myself and at least one other man, so I'm not completely removed from the experience of being sexually attracted to men, and our community at Husband Material has many men who are specifically wanting freedom from gay porn.

Speaker 1:

I find that when men are asking why do I struggle with this, why do I struggle with gay porn? A lot of times what they're really asking is why am I abnormal? Why am I different than all these other guys? Why can't I just struggle with the more typical sexual attractions and behaviors? Why gay porn? And underneath that, there is this deep-seated experience that I am not like other guys. I'm somehow weird, different. I don't belong. I'm somehow weird, different, I don't belong.

Speaker 1:

So for all of you who are here live, I want to ask you while struggling with gay porn, have you felt abnormal? 97% of you said yes. Core experiences where men who are attached to gay porn need something new and different and healing and hopeful. If you have felt abnormal because of your attraction or attachment to gay porn, I have good news for you, my friend you are not abnormal and I want to explain more about why. But first I want to ask okay, why have you felt abnormal? If you answered yes 97% of you answered yes why did you say yes?

Speaker 1:

You guys are saying I felt abnormal because I'm not attracted to men in real life, just in porn. Because I was told same-sex attraction is an abomination. I felt abnormal because I'm not gay, but I'm watching gay porn. Felt abnormal because a guy should be looking at a woman and not a man. And let me add there that looking at a woman lustfully is just as sinful as looking at a man lustfully. I mean, both are inappropriate, both are objectifying, both are dehumanizing. For some of us who grew up in purity culture, we internalize the teaching that I cannot think sexual thoughts about a woman ever, ever, ever, ever, ever. So thinking sexual thoughts about a man felt a little bit less inappropriate or maybe not as abominable, and so some of us developed a very negative association with women. Why did you feel abnormal? Because that's not what my other friends talked about while in school. It's taboo. I'm feeling adequate. I felt abnormal because other guys made fun of anything by calling it gay. Well said, yeah, I remember those days. I thought that my secret fantasies would be seen as disgusting by my peers. I believe there's something wrong with me. Hope you guys can resonate with some of these things. My friends, I have good news for you tonight. If you have found yourself attracted to gay porn or attached to gay porn, you are not abnormal, you are normal.

Speaker 1:

Even for so-called straight men, the male body can be very arousing. If you were to wear a blindfold and someone was going to touch your private parts, you would not easily be able to know if that person was a man or a woman, but it would be arousing. God made our bodies to be aroused by other humans, male or female. That's how our bodies are designed to work, and even for so-called straight porn, sometimes the camera will focus in on the man. Even during porn that you would think of as typical or so-called normal porn. There is no such thing as normal. There is no such thing as having an attraction or a fetish that makes you totally different from everyone else, because ultimately, our bodies are designed to be aroused. They could be aroused by anything, and if you feel aroused by men, that doesn't mean there's something wrong with you.

Speaker 1:

Here is a statement I have been thinking about whether or not I want to say. Over the past few years, I've been saying more and more that everyone experiences unwanted sexual attraction of some kind. Today I want to extend that I actually think everyone experiences attraction to the same sex at some level. It is not just a few of us, it is all of us, and God designed men to be drawn to other men. And I'm not just talking about sexually here, I'm talking about emotionally.

Speaker 1:

Think about the phenomenon of being emotionally attracted to someone. You meet another guy, you want to be friends with him, you want to hang out. That's an emotional attraction to someone of the same sex. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that. In fact, even within Christianity, the Bible celebrates brotherhood, saying oh how good and pleasing it is when brothers dwell together in unity. That impulse toward intimacy with other guys, with other men, is exactly what we need to feel in order to have community, in order to have camaraderie and, ultimately, in order to be healthy, mature men. We need men, men need men.

Speaker 1:

And that emotional attraction is not the only kind. There's also a physical attraction that men often feel toward other men in terms of wanting a hug, putting an arm around a shoulder, for example, physical contact through sports, through fun, through play. Many of us didn't really experience that when we were little boys, and that's part of what we need for normal human development. And then, as I was saying earlier. Our bodies are designed to be sexually aroused by other human bodies, male or female. That's how we're built. So, emotionally, physically, sexually, everyone experiences some degree of attraction to members of the same sex, and I would even add a new concept that I've never heard anyone talk about, but a spiritual attraction as well.

Speaker 1:

What I'm thinking about here is the fact that, as a Christian, I believe that I was made for deep spiritual union with a man named Jesus, and I believe that all of us are created with this Jesus-shaped hole in our hearts that nothing and no one else can satisfy. No one else can satisfy Sometimes. The man that you are seeking is Jesus. In the Bible, the church is called the bride of Christ. We are the church. We are made to be married to Jesus, who is fully God and fully man. So the reason I share all of that is simply to normalize the fact that if you feel attracted to a man emotionally, physically, sexually, maybe even spiritually, you're normal. You're not different than everybody else. You belong, you are part of the human race. You are not somehow separate and you are fully man. You are not somehow less masculine, you are not somehow other or strange, and so much of what we do at Husband Material is healing because it's integrating all of us together. Gay porn, other types of porn, doesn't matter. Our arousal is not who we are. Who we are is beloved sons of God, and at Husband Material we're reclaiming that truth together.

Speaker 1:

So this term of same-sex attraction is the most common phrase that I hear people using, and so I use it a lot too, and at the same time I kind of want to quote the Princess Bride and say you keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means. When most men talk about same-sex attraction, they're not talking about the normal mild emotional attraction to somebody you want to get to know better, or the physical attraction of wanting a hug or to hold someone's hand. I mean, they're talking about a same-sex sexual attraction, and I would add that it's actually a same-sex sexualized attachment. Charles says dang Drew, I've been saying that for years. That's why I don't like saying SSA. So oftentimes we use the term same-sex attraction and I think that's okay because it helps people understand what we're saying. It would be a mouthful to say same-sex sexualized attachment. So I understand why we use language for convenience and yet it's not always accurate to what we really feel, because I experience same-sex attraction sometimes and it's okay, it's fine, it's not a big deal. I think it's the sexualized attachment that can really feel irresistible and powerful and hard to get free from. I see some of you guys saying let's change it to SSSA. Oh, that's great. Maybe tonight is the start of a new phrase or a new acronym. I want to introduce you guys to a great book about sexualized attachment, specifically between men, called Healing and Recovery Perspective for Young Men with Sexualized Attachments by Dr Floyd Godfrey. This is a great workbook that can really help you understand the concept of sexualized attachment, how it happens and specifically how boys often develop a sexualized attachment to other boys and to men. So check that out if you're watching or listening to the recording. I'm going to put that in the description in the show notes Watching gay porn does not mean you're gay.

Speaker 1:

Some men are exclusively attracted to women, except in porn where they search for men. Other men are exclusively attracted to other men, but they have no interest in porn. So these issues of sexualized attachment and gay porn overlap but they're not exactly the same. And I would add, gay porn is not actually men, it's images and videos of men. It's not being attached to a real person. It's being attached to pixels on a screen, and that's different. That's not the same thing. A real person. It's being attached to pixels on a screen, and that's different. That's not the same thing. So when we talk about gay porn, we're not just talking about men. We're talking about pictures and images and videos of men. That's an important distinction, because you may think that your main issue is being attracted to other men, when, in reality, gay porn is about a version of men, a representation of men that feels perhaps safer, more controlled, more accessible, more predictable, more reliable and there are reasons why that has power rather than a real person.

Speaker 1:

What do you guys think so far? Tamim says I hate the label. Why do we have to have a label? Language is imprecise. We sometimes need an umbrella to be able to talk about our experiences and identify with other people who have shared similar lives and similar struggles, and yet, at the same time, those labels can be limiting. So I encourage you to find whatever label works for you.

Speaker 1:

The label of gay porn is very clear Porn featuring men. That's what we want freedom from. Why do we struggle with it? Before recording this, I asked a lot of you guys. What are your questions about freedom from gay porn? And the number one question I received was why, why, why, why do I struggle with this? And the truth is, attachment to gay porn is really not that different from attachment to other types of porn. Every man who I've ever met who's attached to porn has had a very similar set of experiences, a very similar storyline that set us up to carry this behavior from childhood into adulthood. And one of the primary reasons why is early exposure to porn In the chat.

Speaker 1:

Let me know how old were you when you were first introduced to pornography and how old were you when you were first introduced to gay pornography? 11, 8, 13, 7, or 8, 10, 6, 9, 20. Okay, 7, 11. Some of you guys are saying that you were introduced to porn at a younger age and then gay porn later on, and gay porn later on. Oftentimes porn that features men can initiate arousal towards men's bodies. That later goes into gay porn. Joseph says I was always drawn to the men in heterosexual porn. I hear that a lot and while masturbating to any type of porn, it's your own body that's arousing you. It's the body of a man. So I think the progression into gay porn makes sense. The vast majority of you are saying you were exposed at a young age, when you were a boy.

Speaker 1:

It's not men who get hooked on porn. Primarily it's boys, and that's why at Husband Material, we always go back to the boy Heal the boy to free the man. If you want a summary of what Husband Material is all about, there you go Heal the boy to free the man. And that's true for any type of porn, including gay porn. We have to heal the boy. Well, what do we need to heal him from?

Speaker 1:

I actually think early exposure to porn is sexual abuse. If you were introduced to porn at an early age, you are a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. And if you were introduced to gay porn or sexual activity with another boy or another man, it's likely that you have a sexual trauma imprint on men. That imprint is not who you are. It's what happened to you. That's one of the primary origin stories for struggling with gay porn.

Speaker 1:

Beyond early introduction to porn, another core experience is abandonment and neglect. For most of us, sex and porn was never talked about in our house. We were sexually abandoned. We were sexually neglected. Maybe we got one talk one time, but this needed to be normalized as a regular part of life, as a part of learning from our fathers and from spiritual fathers and brothers and mothers Like what does it mean to be a man? How does sex work, having a sense of blessing for our sexuality and boundaries and accepting our feelings? I mean, so many of us were not given any kind of guidance in this area other than through porn or perhaps through peers or through abuse, rather than from our parents, from the place where it should have come from. And a lot of men who are attached to gay porn never had a close, emotional, intimate connection with their fathers or with other boys. So abandonment is a core experience. Another core experience is alienation, that sense of I don't belong, I feel cut off from others, maybe especially from other boys. So many men who are attached to porn were bullied. So many men who are attached to porn were bullied. So many men attached to porn never really had a group of friends, never really felt like they fit in. Porn was our friend, it was our teacher. Porn fathered us. Porn mothered us. Porn was there when no one else was. And lastly, one of the core experiences underneath attachment to porn is abuse.

Speaker 1:

I've talked about how early exposure to porn is abuse, and also being awakened sexually by another boy, by another man, is a very, very common experience for men who are outgrowing porn. I see a question from Larry asking was I just born this way? No one was born attached to gay porn. Even if you experienced attraction to other men or other boys at a very young age, these categories can still apply. I just talked about four core experiences that contribute to attachment to porn early introduction to porn, abandonment, alienation and also abuse. Were you abandoned? Were you neglected, especially in the area of sexuality? Left on your own to figure this out. Were you alienated? Did you feel cut off from others? Were you alone in general, and were you exposed when you were still underage or did you have a sexual relationship with another man or boy that was abusive? So put that in there. Check as many as relate to you and yes, I want to include physical abuse and emotional abuse in there. 76% of you said you experienced abandonment, 84% of you experienced alienation and 65% of you have identified abuse in your story, including early exposure to porn, and that number on abuse is always lower. Because it is so difficult for us to face experiences of abuse. We often deny or minimize abuse in order to survive.

Speaker 1:

Any type of attachment to porn is often rooted in early exposure, abandonment, alienation and abuse. Specifically for men who are attached to gay porn, we experienced these same things and then pursued gay porn as a sexualized solution. So porn is not primarily a problem. It is a sexualized solution for emotional pain. That's why we say porn is a pacifier. All of us have sexualized our pain into pleasure of one kind or another, toward women, toward children, toward men and, as we talked about two weeks ago in the episode on why we sexualize emotions and how to desexualize them, there are three great sexualizers Fear, shame and loss. I want to suggest that men attached to gay porn have experienced these three great sexualizers.

Speaker 1:

In regards to men specifically, fear, shame and loss, fear of men, shame about myself as a man and a loss of male connection. Let's talk about what that looks like. First, fear of men. You may have heard the catchphrase what is exotic becomes erotic. What fascinates us is often the thing that we obsess over, and whatever we are afraid of can be very fascinating. I mean, just think about like being fascinated by dangerous wild animals, even from a young age, it's easy to be mesmerized looking at a shark behind a thick glass wall, of course, but there's a reason why Shark Week is so popular. What we're afraid of is also fascinating to us, and I think for many men attached to gay porn if not all men there is some feeling of fear in regards to other men. Feeling of fear in regards to other men. Let me talk a little bit about what that might look like. I've heard one man say that he was never touched by his father except when he was punished, when he was being beaten or spanked. And so those neural networks in his brain of fear and the touch of a man came wired together and fear and arousal are almost synonymous in the human brain. And I've talked about these three great sexualizers in other episodes, such as how to interpret sexual fantasies.

Speaker 1:

But fear of men often leads to fascination with men, and I think that's true of almost anything we're afraid of. So why would the same not be true for men? I think for other men. They grew up surrounded by women. Women are very familiar. Women are not fascinating, but men are. If you grew up feeling totally comfortable with girls and women and totally uncomfortable with other boys and men, that fear of men easily easily develop into a fascination with men, with men's bodies or being close to men being touched by a man. In other words, it can become a sexualized attachment For some men. There's also a negative association with women. We talked about this a little bit earlier. But if women or girls felt controlling or perhaps disgusting for one reason or another, then it would make sense that you might be more drawn to men.

Speaker 1:

I want to see if this resonates with you guys. Okay, quite a few of you are saying I can relate big time to all three. All right, I think I'm on to something here. So while the experiences of abandonment and alienation and abuse are not unique to gay porn, perhaps these three great sexualizers are of fear of men, shame about myself as a man and loss of male connection. So let's talk about fear.

Speaker 1:

Jacob says I only ever played with girls growing up. It felt safer and I got bullied for it. A number of you guys are relating and resonating with this. Tom says I had a controlling mom and an absent dad. Thomas says I used to fear the guys in high school who were super athletic and who would accuse me of being gay for not playing the popular sport, athletic and who would accuse me of being gay for not playing the popular sport? So naturally there is a legitimate need. There is pain, there is often trauma underneath these deep-seated feelings that become sexualized. And again, as we talked about recently in the other episode on why we sexualize emotions, that's true for everyone.

Speaker 1:

For men attached to gay porn it specifically manifests in this way. Chuck says I was taught by my parents that other boys were dangerous. I would get hurt if I played with those boys. Later the fear came from being physically exposed and potentially ridiculed. So yes, clearly men were dangerous. Could it be that pictures and images of men neutralize your fear of them? Because here's a version of men that are not going to hurt you, at least not overtly, in gay porn. Makes sense, doesn't it Right? They're behind a screen, they can't shame you, they can't mock you, they can't reject you, they can't touch you. So fear and a need for safety is oftentimes at the root of gay porn.

Speaker 1:

The second great sexualizer is shame. We are so often obsessed with the particular qualities that we believe we lack. That's true for any type of sexualized attachment, and gay porn specifically is often representing whatever I feel like I'm not Think of the particular traits or details that you might latch onto in another man. Oftentimes, those are the exact traits that you feel shame about in yourself. If you're attracted to a man who's very assertive and maybe even aggressive, maybe you feel shame about your lack of assertiveness. If you're attracted to a man who's very strong, do you feel weak?

Speaker 1:

Personally, I've been very attracted to a mouse and teeth and a beautiful smile, and that's exactly the opposite of how I felt about my own smile. I remember even being six years old and never showing my teeth in a picture because I was so ashamed to have teeth that were falling out of my mouth at that age. And there's a whole other story behind that. How about you? What is it in gay porn that grabs you and how does that relate to how you feel about yourself? Richard says I was a chubby kid so I focused on skinny guys. Tom says I was attracted to confidence Probably the exact opposite of how you felt. Maybe you felt very self-conscious. That's one I hear a lot, a number of you guys saying I am attracted to the man who is everything I'm not. I want to challenge you on that. You are attracted to the man who is everything you believe you are not.

Speaker 1:

I think one of the reasons why unwanted sexual attraction to other men can be so stubborn and persistent is because there is a part of you that is waiting for you to reclaim those qualities in yourself and to own them. It's not going to relax until you do. I talk about this in an episode called what If I'm Sexually Attracted to Myself? What if you have every single quality that you seek in other men and you just don't know it yet? Sometimes we need each other to help us see ourselves more clearly. Sometimes we need God to help us see ourselves more clearly and believe that we really are strong. We have the confidence, we have the assertiveness, we have the beauty and the goodness. We just don't realize it. We're out of touch with it. And when we feel most out of touch with it, that's when gay porn is most powerful. Really, that's when any type of porn is most powerful. But when you feel shame about yourself as a man, you are much more susceptible to seeking out a counterfeit version of it.

Speaker 1:

Jerry says my father told me I was ugly when I was a little boy, so I hated every physical quality about me. I'm so sorry. I wonder how many of us can relate to that hating physical qualities that we then find ourselves magically attracted to. We find ourselves magnetically pulled toward whatever we don't see in ourselves. So in some ways, what you might think of as homosexual is, in fact, autosexual. It's not someone else you're looking for, it's you.

Speaker 1:

Anthony says sometimes I don't feel manly enough. I feel attracted to men who seem to be more manly. I think the key word there is seem Men who seem to be more manly, oftentimes the guys who you might think of as the stereotype or the pinnacle of what it means to be a man. They don't often feel that way about themselves, which is why they have spent so much time working out or just being very, very particular about their appearance, maybe because they feel ugly or they feel weak, or they feel like that little boy. We all have inner children within us. We all have little boys who feel that way, and that's a huge part of why we need to heal the boy, because we feel this fear, shame and loss.

Speaker 1:

Jacob asks did you, as a non-SSA man, also struggle with feeling not man enough, ugly, weak, etc. Yes, I totally did. I experienced a lot of shame and that shame became sexualized in a different direction. It didn't go towards men, it went towards braces Often teenage girls in braces, sometimes older women in braces. Feeling fear, shame and loss is not unique to one segment of the population. But sometimes men think, oh, I experience sexualized attraction to other men and I struggle with gay porn because I've had these experiences.

Speaker 1:

Childhood experiences are not a cause, they are a contributor. They're a major contributor. But each of us have sexualized our childhood experiences in different ways. The loss of male connection is such a strong sexualizer For some of us. We used to have male connection and then we lost it. Some of us never had it at all, with a father, with brothers, with other boys, and that longing for connection is what God created us for. To have at least the slightest shred and symbol of male connection through gay porn, it's sometimes a way of settling for something close enough to the real thing. John says gay porn shows guys enjoying each other, super intimate and comfortable and confident with sex. Those are all good things, right Enjoying each other, being intimate, being comfortable with who you are. That does not have to be sexualized.

Speaker 1:

Sometimes men think they need to have connection with other men who experience the same struggles and there can be value in resonating with somebody who's gone through a similar set of experiences. And also, this male connection does not need to be with a specific type of man. Guys who are outgrowing gay porn don't need to have connection with other guys who are outgrowing gay porn, need to have connection with other guys who are growing gay porn. In fact, I hear from many members of the Husband Material community that they find a special profound healing when they're able to connect with men who don't share their experience, because there's that deep need to belong, to be one of the guys. And as long as you are siloed into a group or a ministry specifically for same-sex attraction, you're not fully integrated into the brotherhood of men as a whole. That's one of the unique things about husband material is we are a place where you can connect with men who have all kinds of different sexual histories and experiences and backgrounds, of different sexual histories and experiences and backgrounds, and sometimes you might think, well, I need to be friends with this specific type of man. Not true. In fact, I hear of men experiencing male connection that is deeply satisfying at a spiritual soul level with their sons, with father figures. It doesn't have to be a specific age or type of man. So many of you guys are saying I agree, 100% awesome. Male connection means being integrated into community of men. That doesn't have to fit one particular category. Okay, we've answered the question. Why do I struggle with gay porn?

Speaker 1:

The three core sexualizers for men attached to gay porn are fear of men, shame about myself as a man and loss of male connection. So what does freedom look like? Again, for the most part, freedom looks the same for men, whether they're dealing with gay porn or another type of porn, and it's the opposite of the three great sexualizers. The three great sexualizers are fear, shame and loss. And the three healing experiences are safety, glory and connection. And in the episode called how to Interpret Sexual Fantasies, I talk about how sexual fantasies symbolize moving from fear to safety, shame to glory and loss to connection. And for men who are outgrowing gay porn, it is the safety to be vulnerable with other men, glory in who you are as a man and connection with other men. That is what freedom looks like. Experiencing those things. Freedom is not the absence of sexual feelings or attraction to other men. Freedom is the ability to process those feelings so that they don't have power over you. Freedom is not some kind of guarantee that you will never act out again. Freedom is the ever increasing knowledge and skill and quality of character that allows you to not need porn anymore. Freedom from gay porn means that you don't need it anymore and you are finding ways to meet those needs that you can feel proud of. They're satisfying and deeply meaningful to you, with God, with other men and within yourself. Let's talk about those three healing experiences.

Speaker 1:

The safety to be vulnerable. Oh my word, there are not many spaces where men feel safe to talk about gay porn. It is so taboo to talk about gay porn. It is so taboo, it is so stigmatized, and I think it makes a lot of sense that many of us have felt unsafe, like I can't be vulnerable, I can't talk about this and especially to talk about the details of what arouses me. Certainly don't want to accidentally drift back into a relapse, but there are ways to deal with our deep-seated sexualized attachments that can be safe, and part of that safety means wisely discerning the appropriate context to share about these things and whether or not the people you're sharing with can really hold that space. For you.

Speaker 1:

The husband material community is becoming a safe place. My job is not to try to micromanage and control these guys, but we do take safety very seriously Because we know how important it is for you to have a place where you can just be totally honest, authentic and real and be loved and accepted exactly as you are. That's healing. When you experience that you find that the things that you feel most disqualify you don't disqualify you from being loved. You find that what you believe cuts you off from others can actually connect you with others, whether they struggle with gay porn or not. Those are the kinds of spaces we're creating at Husband Material so that you can experience safety and glory in who you are as a man. That's part of why I end every episode of Husband Material saying you are God's beloved son. In you. He is well pleased. There is a goodness, beauty and strength within you because you are created in the image of God within you. Because you are created in the image of God as you experience that truth, gay porn has less power because you already have the things that you were tempted to search for. Isn't that awesome For me?

Speaker 1:

Even just recording this episode is me embracing my glory as a man to be able to talk about this, to talk about this vulnerable, difficult, sticky subject and to say you know what? I've learned a lot about this and I'm going to own it. I'm not going to downplay who I am or how I've grown. I am going to speak even though I feel fear, even though part of me feels inadequate to talk about this Frankly. I've been waiting and somewhat avoiding this topic for three years because I haven't felt fully confident. One of the lies I was believing was I can't talk about this because I've never watched skateboard. I'm shedding that shame and stepping into my glory. So for me, even just doing this episode is an example of owning my strength, and I want to encourage you to do that in ways that are unique to you.

Speaker 1:

Whatever you love, whatever lights you up, however God created you that is so intricately integral to who you are, embrace it, own it, pursue it, even if it doesn't fit the stereotypical norm of masculinity, even if it's not the sports or the silly stuff that we think of as manly. If you enjoy arranging flowers, own it. If you're an excellent cook or baker, own it. If you really love choosing color schemes like that's lovely. That's part of how God made you as a man. You have to learn your unique version of masculinity and step into it. The more you do that, the easier it will be and the less you will need some symbolic version of masculinity to pacify you. When porn has nothing to pacify, it loses its power.

Speaker 1:

Jacob says what I am seeking in the men in porn is actually to be found in myself. Jacob says I am a man, I can be everything I am projecting onto other men. Yes, yes and yes. That's a big part of what healing looks like your glory and I'm not talking about narcissism. I'm not talking about becoming obsessed with yourself. I'm talking about becoming at peace with yourself, being content in who you are, confident in who you are, and you can be confident and kind at the same time. So many men view their sensitivity as a weakness, when in fact it's actually your strength, it's part of your glory. I could do a whole episode on that. You know what I probably will. However, owning your glory is still just one ingredient of healing. Glory is still just one ingredient of healing.

Speaker 1:

The last healing experience for men attached to gay porn is connection with other men that is authentic, that is emotionally vulnerable, meaningful, even embodied. I think embodied brotherhood is irreplaceable. The opposite of addiction is not sobriety, it's connection. As the famous Ted talk by Johan Hari said, real connection with other men might feel impossible. Keith is saying it's the most difficult part for me. How do you do this if you struggle with building relationships? Learning relational skills like attunement, empathy, curiosity and compassion, navigating conflict are things that we teach at Husband Material that can help you show up more fully in friendships and relationships and go deeper. In fact, we have a resource to help you develop deeper friendships with other men, called man Cards, which you can get at getyourmancardscom. These questions range from low vulnerability to high vulnerability and they allow you to talk about really important stuff with other guys and have a voice and a choice about how deep you go. This card deck has proven to be powerful and if you want some training wheels on finding connection with other men, get a deck of man cards, get Getyourmancardscom.

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Keith says if I'm wanting connection, why not binge on photos or videos of guys playing together, basketball, eating together, studying together? Why does it go to seeking photos of nude guys and of guys having sex? You know basketball and studying is not very vulnerable. Nudity is vulnerable and especially if you feel like connection is impossible or always a struggle, then maybe it's that vulnerability that's missing from your life, because in order to really feel connected, we have to be vulnerable, and so maybe that nudity symbolizes vulnerability with other men. I want to add that connecting with other men is a risk. It is a redemptive risk, and whenever you open yourself to the possibility of healing, you also open yourself up to the possibility of being hurt again and being re-traumatized again Just part of why safety is so important, and these three ingredients safety, glory and connection are a really good recipe for recovery for anyone.

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And we're talking about specifically what that looks like when you're outgrowing gay porn. What does freedom from gay porn look like for you? Eh says freedom from gay porn for me looks like not sexualizing men and pursuing a wife I can love without secrets Awesome. J says freedom from gay porn looks like godly confidence in who I am as a man, holding my sense of belonging among men and believing a woman would desire me as a romantic partner. Amen, brother, it's so, so good. Charles says freedom looks like actual intimacy with other men and women, and I think that's really important too.

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No matter what type of porn you struggle with, finding connection with women is important too. Michael says safe connection with other men has been an important part of my recovery, but very intimidating at first due to my same-sex attraction. Michael says, in addition to what others have said, freedom from gay porn means having healthy ways of dealing with stress and pain in my life today instead of gay porn. Well said, chuck says. When I first came to recovery, freedom from gay porn meant never again looking at these images. Then it became wishing. I had no desire to look at these.

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Sometimes we can become overly dependent on other men, which is why another dimension of freedom is finding our desires for safety, glory and connection with God, with Jesus, the true man who we were created to love and be loved by, and safety and glory and connection within ourselves. That's a lot of what we do with inner child work and internal family systems. At Husband Material. You are learning how to become the man that your inner child truly needs. Julio says freedom from gay porn is reclaiming the strength and assertiveness that I don't believe I have, owning it so I can relate authentically. Man, that's so good. You guys are on fire with these comments. Josh says it's amazing how, when I connect with other men in a non-sexual way, my sexual attraction sometimes becomes less or goes away completely. You might find that, as you meet the legitimate needs underneath the sexual impulses, that you experience a big shift, and I talk a lot about what that can look like in an episode called how my Sexual Fetish Shifted Over Time.

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Drew says freedom from gay porn means looking at men the way Jesus does, with admiration and delight and respect and joy and delight and respect and joy. Not taking from them to fill up a perceived lack. That is so critical. He didn't say it means never looking at men. He says it means looking at men the way Jesus does, with kindness, appreciation, and that's very different from resisting urges. It's very different from trying to avoid or ignore my attractions. I find this to be so true for my sexual fetish too. My sexual fetish has focused on braces and part of my more recent healing work has been to just thank God for the goodness of dental care. That might sound really weird to you, but to me it is a wild breakthrough and I think some of you need to have that same breakthrough for men. And just thank God for men. Just appreciate the goodness of what he created.

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Lust is different than just noticing that someone's attractive. That's not lust. Lust is a posture of taking and using, whereas love is a posture of giving and receiving. So truly giving and receiving real love is what we are moving into, not just trying to get rid of lust. Joseph says freedom means knowing who I am, what I want and faithfully pursuing these things. Ed says freedom means not supporting a toxic industry. Yeah, it can be helpful to recognize the humanity of the people on the other side of the screen in gay porn.

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Jason says freedom from gay porn means seeking Jesus for my deep healing. Andrew says freedom for me is no longer believing the lies I've grown up with and realigning my identity that I'm worthy, manly and enough. These are some snapshots of what freedom can look like. Some snapshots of what freedom can look like. How do you get that freedom? How is it possible to stop using gay porn? So many men feel exhausted from years of trying so hard to be free from gay porn. So I want to answer this question with sensitivity and compassion, because if you're asking this question how can I stop using gay porn You've probably been asking that question for a long time. I chose the word exhausted because I know that this is a long journey.

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Some other words might be feeling hopeless about freedom from gay porn, feeling powerless. Why? Ed says continuous defeat. Eh says it feels like no matter how hard I try to experience lasting freedom, I fall back into the barrel, tamim says because I can't seem to resist the pull. I'm disciplined in other areas, but this area is always there.

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If you're on the journey of outgrowing gay porn, I want to encourage you. The fact that you are listening to this tells me that you still have not completely given up hope. You are still open to learning something new. You have the courage to keep going, because the truth is you haven't tried everything. None of us has tried everything, and you are not powerless. I know the 12 steps start with admitting that you are powerless, but the truth is you're not. You are powerful and, as I've said tonight, part of healing means owning that you are powerful, that you do have a choice. You are not doomed or hopeless. A few years ago, I did an episode called the Exact Path to Freedom from Porn and I want to share it now again because I think it's still true.

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The exact path to freedom from porn requires passion, people and a program. You have a passion, or else you wouldn't be here, but many of us need to come to a place where I am committed to doing whatever it takes to remove porn from my life, even if it means giving up devices, privileges, time, money, energy, relationships. Need to come to a point where this is so important that you're ready to really take it more seriously than anything else. And then finding people, finding people who get it, who are on the same journey, and then, lastly, a program, not just a book or a course or counseling or a group. I mean, all those things can be helpful, but this is much, much bigger than just trying one thing and hoping that it's the magic solution that will deliver me from this forever. You may have tried many programs in the past. Maybe you gained some traction for a while and then, when it was done, you went back to the same old patterns. My hope is that you would find a program which allows you to experience safety, to be vulnerable with other men, glory in who you are as a man and deep, meaningful connection with other men.

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And we have a program just like that here at Husband Material called Husband Material Academy. It is opening up in July. We open it up twice a year. We're about to reopen it and when we launch it, we're doing something new. We're opening it up to all members of our community. On Saturday, july 13th, we will be hosting HMA in a day, a free, all day online workshop taking you through husband material Academy in one day. It's going to be awesome at HMA in a day. I will teach a condensed version of the entire course helping you understand unwanted sexual attractions, experience healing at a very deep level, growing in curiosity, compassion, courage and getting a taste of the professional support that you might need to succeed. We're going to have our whole team of coaches involved doing live demonstrations of how we help men get free from porn, and a couple of those demonstrations are specifically going to be working with sexualized same-sex attraction and gay porn. It's going to be amazing. Mark your calendars for July 13th. It's free 13th. It's free. That weekend we will be launching HMA again and this is the best time to jump in to the program. If you've got the passion and you're resonating with the people who are in our community, I want to encourage you to think about joining the program when we start again in July and, in any case, come to HMA in a day, saturday, july 13th. We've never done anything like this and I'm super excited.

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Here is a summary of what I've shared tonight. Men who are attached to gay porn often feel abnormal, and those who are pursuing freedom often feel exhausted, powerless and hopeless. Why do we struggle with K-Porn? It's a sexualized fear of men, shame about ourselves as men and loss of connection with other men. Freedom looks like safety, glory and connection. How do you experience those things? Well, it requires a passion to really pursue this. It requires people with whom you can take this journey and a comprehensive program HMA could be that program for you.

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Jacob says Drew, do you have any success stories you could share of clients who have gained lasting freedom from gay porn? I just received a message today from a member of our community who says I'm praying for your session today on freedom from gay porn. You sit with so many men who experienced these struggles and what you learn helps inform your work. Thank you for addressing such an important topic. Now listen to this next part. He says I will soon be celebrating a decade from watching gay porn.

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Even greater than just the absence of watching husband material has been so meaningful in helping me find the deeper healing I needed. That's what this is all about the deeper healing. There are many different tactics and techniques for short-term success and freedom from gay porn, but for long-term, lasting, satisfying success to the point that you just don't need it anymore deeper healing is needed, and that's why we focus on healing the boy at Husband Material. Whether you have experienced significant freedom from gay porn or you are still actively struggling with it, I want to speak to you. You are God's beloved son and in you he is well-pleased, not disappointed, not distant. He is overjoyed, thrilled beside himself because of you, because he loves you so much, because he delights in who you are, because every part of you bears his image and we are continuing to discover more of God in every part of us, including our sexuality. Always remember you are God's beloved son and in you he is well pleased.

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