“Wow! Who knew that I would get such a response from my last entry. I should’ve written about masturbation a long time ago…lol. It turns out that being vulnerable FIRST, makes it easier for others to be vulnerable with me. In less than a week, my last post has gotten the most traffic in the history of my blog! What encourages me is the light being shed in the secret lives of so many of us. Below is the “refined” response of a three page letter I received from a reader. It is my greatest hope, that as my vulnerability inspired hers, her story would trigger yours.”
Dear Naked Writer,
This topic requires exposing parts of myself I want hidden, but your post encouraged me to start speaking up.
I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve masturbated, but only God can tell you the number of fantasies and mental images of masturbation and [insert X-rated items here] that consumed my mind. For years.
I love reading. In late elementary school I encountered romance novels, beginning a multi-year journey in reading erotica and fantasizing about what I’d read. (Stuff children SHOULD. NOT. READ. I read most of Zane’s novels – including Addicted – before many adults knew she existed). For years I controlled my fantasies but I eventually began involuntarily having intense, realistic, oppressive dreams at night. By then, I was in high school. I felt ashamed, out of control, hopeless, and alone. The dreams stopped after I began verbally declaring they couldn’t control me.
But in college, the dreams defiantly returned. Someone told me prayer could reveal the root of a repetitive, seemingly inescapable issue, so I prayed. The Holy Spirit reminded me of a childhood event: the time my 14-year old female cousin, for her sexual pleasure, took advantage of me at 5 years old. I’d buried this memory so deeply I thought I was lying to myself, though I remembered it as though it were yesterday. I prayed, and again the dreams ceased.
Years later – in my mid-20s – I started exploring my body. And liking it. But afterwards I felt ashamed, guilty, and unfulfilled. Before this point, I’d stopped regularly praying, reading God’s Word, or seeking to hear His voice. I’d been exclusively listening to love and baby-making songs, watching loads of romance movies and actively watching sex scenes, and reading Christian romance novels. I daydreamed about life with a boyfriend (I’m single), remembering cursing lamenting over (…all of the above…) guys in my past who rejected me. I was vividly fantasizing about sex again. And somewhere along the way, though my mind knew My Guy will come at the right time, my heart stopped believing it and I began losing hope.
After experiencing an orgasm for the first time, and feeling empty, I cried, “God. I need help. I can’t do this alone. You have to intervene.” Minutes later, a verse I learned years earlier flashed through my mind: Romans 8:6 – The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.
So, where does that leave me now, Naked Writer? Relying on God’s daily grace and help.
I don’t do love-jam sessions (though I listen here and there), I read different genres of books, and I avoid sex scenes. I don’t want to set myself up for the wrong seed to again take root. I find different activities to fill my hours, taking it one day and one battle at a time. And I’m sharing my story – hoping it encourages someone somewhere, just as you encouraged me.
Finding Life and Peace in Vulnerabilty