Series Code: IC
Program Code: IC180108A
00:01 The following program discusses sensitive issues
00:03 related to sexuality.
00:05 Parents are cautioned
00:06 this presentation may be too candid
00:08 for younger audiences.
00:30 Welcome to Intimate Clarity.
00:32 I'm Jason Bradley,
00:33 and I'm here with Jennifer Jill Schwirzer,
00:35 and she is a licensed professional counselor.
00:38 And today, we are going to be discussing
00:40 a very, very sensitive topic,
00:43 but it's a conversation we need to have.
00:46 So, parents, if you have young kids in the room,
00:49 now would be the time to ask them to leave
00:52 and return after this program.
00:56 We're going to be discussing the topic of self-abuse.
01:00 Jen, what's the medical term for that?
01:03 Well, self-abuse used to be the term used for
01:06 what we now call either self-sex or masturbation.
01:11 But if you said self-abuse today,
01:12 people would think you're hitting yourself or something.
01:14 Yeah, I mean, I wouldn't have known.
01:16 We don't use that.
01:17 Yeah, we don't use that term anymore.
01:19 That's what we're going to be talking about today, Jason.
01:23 It is a very, very sensitive topic.
01:24 Yes. Yes.
01:25 Well, let me get right into God's design for sexuality,
01:28 again, just to reestablish that starting point.
01:31 God designed sex to be a bonding experience
01:33 and there is a host of brain chemicals,
01:36 like a symphony of brain chemicals,
01:38 different physiologic reactions that all come together
01:41 to foster intimate bonding through sexuality,
01:46 and it's a beautiful thing.
01:48 And it lays the neurological foundation
01:49 for a lasting love in a marriage.
01:51 It's a beautiful thing when you begin to study it.
01:54 But self-sex brings about, or masturbation,
01:57 brings about the same chemical responses
02:00 or at least some of them but without the partner.
02:05 And so it seems to me that you would end up
02:07 kind of bonding with yourself,
02:10 that bonding mechanism in your brain
02:12 would be inverted to yourself,
02:16 and it would be really a form of self-love.
02:19 But I don't think in a good sense.
02:21 Like a perverted form of self-love.
02:22 I think so because from what I've observed,
02:26 I've never known a person who engages in masturbation
02:31 that feels great about it.
02:33 It seems that even people that might not have
02:35 an intellectual objection to it,
02:37 maybe have bought into the thinking
02:39 which is so prevalent today that it's normal and natural,
02:42 still feels a sense of shame about it
02:44 and aren't comfortable with it.
02:45 So I don't see it as something that builds,
02:48 what you might call healthy self-respect
02:50 or what some people call self-love,
02:52 but I don't see it as building any kind of positive regard
02:55 for oneself.
02:56 Yeah, it seems more of lustful and anything.
02:59 That's right. It does.
03:00 It's amazing when you start digging down
03:02 into the actual brain chemistry,
03:06 and this is interesting.
03:08 There is something called prolactin
03:10 that is secreted in the body during sex.
03:13 And if you take the prolactin...
03:15 The prolactin is responsible
03:17 for the feeling of satisfaction.
03:20 A sense of "Ah, you know,
03:22 I don't need anything else in the whole world, I just..."
03:23 Kind of like when endorphins are released.
03:25 It's kind of like that.
03:26 Yeah, exactly.
03:28 It's a particular chemical the body secretes in sexuality.
03:32 So it gives you that sense of satisfaction.
03:35 Prolactin secretion is 400% higher
03:40 in bonded sex than it is in self-sex.
03:45 So you take that very same sexual experience,
03:47 you put it in a bonded relationship,
03:50 and the satisfaction level is going to be 400% higher
03:54 than it's going to be if you're doing it solo,
03:57 so to speak.
03:59 Isn't that incredible? Wow, 400% high.
04:01 That's right.
04:02 And so what happens is that individual
04:05 with that sense of satisfaction,
04:07 you're in a partnered relationship
04:08 and you have that sense of satisfaction,
04:11 you're satisfied and you're not craving more.
04:15 But the person that doesn't have that satisfaction
04:19 is craving more,
04:21 and so it sets them up for addiction.
04:25 Wow. Isn't that incredible?
04:27 Yeah, that is.
04:28 And here's the tragedy of the situation.
04:32 Your body produces, in sex, dopamine,
04:36 the human body, I don't want to say yours
04:38 because you're single, you know.
04:39 Yeah, thanks. If you're, I assume.
04:41 So anyway, you produce dopamine.
04:44 Notice the opa in dopamine,
04:48 the same as opiates.
04:52 So basically, dopamine
04:53 which is the pleasure neurotransmitter
04:56 is your own inner heroin,
04:59 and the reality is that you can get addicted
05:03 to high levels of the heroin that you produce inside,
05:06 "so to speak."
05:08 Wow! That's right.
05:09 And don't you deplete minerals and all that stuff too?
05:11 Well, what happens
05:13 is the dopamine receptors that...
05:14 You start flooding your brain with dopamine
05:16 and your brain will start saying,
05:19 "Okay, we don't need as many receptors,
05:20 it will clean up the receptors."
05:22 Then you need more of the same to produce the same effect.
05:27 But here's another beautiful truth
05:29 and that is that in the presence of oxytocin,
05:32 which is the bonding hormone,
05:35 the pleasure of dopamine lasts for a longer period of time.
05:39 Wow! Okay.
05:40 So it makes me think of Psalm,
05:42 I can't remember what it is but,
05:44 "At your right hand are pleasures forevermore."
05:50 See, like the song says,
05:51 "Solid joys and lasting pleasures,
05:54 none but Zion's children know."
05:56 When we do things God's way, it's more satisfying.
05:59 When we do it outside of God's plan,
06:01 it's less satisfying
06:03 and it sets us up for addiction,
06:05 where we have to go back to the same thing
06:07 and do it more and more intensely
06:10 to get the same effect.
06:11 It always leads to more problems.
06:13 And pretty soon, we have desensitization
06:16 which happens with any drug addiction.
06:18 You need more of the same to get the same charge.
06:20 And then also a condition called hypofrontality,
06:25 which is where the frontal lobe
06:27 of the cerebral cortex...
06:28 This frontal part of your brain which houses reason,
06:31 and conscience, and creativity, and love,
06:35 and all the things that are made in God's image,
06:38 and that part of the brain becomes less active.
06:41 It becomes kind of compromised
06:44 by addiction, by addiction of any kind.
06:47 I mean, you hear about mothers, you know, heroin moms,
06:49 you know, selling their children in prostitution,
06:50 doing unconscionable things
06:52 that no mother would do in her right mind,
06:54 that's because of the destruction
06:55 of the forebrain,
06:57 the frontal lobe of the cerebral cortex.
06:58 That happens with addiction.
06:59 It can happen with sexual addiction.
07:02 So that person will be...
07:04 So it's over and reasoning
07:05 is out of the window pretty much.
07:06 That's right, that's right.
07:08 Do you have friends that struggle,
07:09 you know, with sexual addiction?
07:11 Have you heard about this?
07:12 I've heard of friends that have struggled
07:14 with that before, yeah.
07:16 We're going to devote an entire program
07:18 to pornography which tends to,
07:21 you know, combined with masturbation,
07:22 it tends to be something
07:24 that's used along with masturbation,
07:26 but yeah, people get set up for sexual addiction.
07:30 But the same experience in a bonded relationship
07:33 will enable them to enjoy that physical pleasure
07:38 for a longer period of time.
07:40 And, you know, the more I look at them
07:42 as I study this thing,
07:43 the more I see that God is just so all wise,
07:47 and He knows, right down to the cell level,
07:50 how to give us everything we really ultimately want
07:54 but then He has certain boundaries on it.
07:56 And like we talked about before,
07:58 in order to love and be loved, to move from what...
08:02 The book of Titus says,
08:03 "It's hateful and hating one another."
08:05 The default mode of humanity
08:07 into a condition of loving and being loved,
08:10 we need two things.
08:11 We need a source of love, the Holy Spirit,
08:15 be poured out from heaven into our hearts
08:17 and giving us the love that we don't have naturally,
08:20 but we also need a vessel that can carry that love.
08:25 And in order to have that vessel,
08:26 we have to have the structure of love
08:29 built into our lives,
08:30 and that's what the Ten Commandments is for.
08:32 The Ten Commandments, people perceive it as God,
08:34 you know, to test,
08:35 you can't do this, you can't do that,
08:36 but actually the Ten Commandments
08:38 is a document on how to love and be loved.
08:40 Yeah, it's a transcription of His character.
08:42 That's right. Yeah.
08:43 This is God saying, "This will work and this won't.
08:47 And so don't do it because I love you
08:50 and I want you to have the highest pleasure
08:53 and the highest joy in life and so don't do that."
08:57 So let's talk a little bit about withdrawal
08:59 and some of the things that we can do
09:01 if people have fallen into this habit of masturbation
09:03 or what can they do to get out of it.
09:06 We were talking before about exercise,
09:08 very important to get sufficient exercise,
09:10 particularly young males.
09:12 Young males need very taxing, demanding forms of exercise
09:18 to metabolize all of the testosterone
09:21 that is flooding their bodies.
09:23 No offense.
09:25 It's a good thing. It's life.
09:27 That's right.
09:28 And so, you know,
09:29 you're just at the highest levels of testosterone.
09:31 Testosterone drives sex drive in both males and females.
09:35 So particularly young males,
09:37 but also young females need lots of demanding exercise
09:43 to be able to control those urges.
09:46 I would also really encourage anybody with any electronics
09:50 to get nets and filters on their electronics.
09:54 Sometimes, you're in the situation
09:57 and you know that you're being tempted,
09:59 what do you do?
10:00 I would suggest if you're in bed at night
10:02 or in some situation
10:05 where you have a bathroom accessible,
10:07 jump in the shower.
10:08 Shower off, hot and cold, hot and cold.
10:13 Hot and cold showers can be used to treat a lot of things.
10:17 That sounds super uncomfortable too.
10:18 I know.
10:20 That would sober you right out from that.
10:22 Probably, yeah.
10:23 Also, distraction is really important.
10:27 They need to admit to themselves
10:28 that they are tempted in that moment
10:31 and they need to do something to distract themselves
10:33 because if you will postpone an urge,
10:36 postpone acting on an urge,
10:37 oftentimes, the urge will get...
10:43 Yeah, will dissipate to some extent.
10:45 Now with males,
10:46 there's a certain fluid buildup in the body
10:48 and it's kind of a supply and demand situation
10:52 where the more you're releasing that fluid,
10:54 the more your body says make more.
10:56 And so it's very difficult for males
10:58 to pullout of that sexual addiction
10:59 because the fluid is building up in the body,
11:01 the buildup of the fluid causes the sense of urgency
11:05 and the temptation.
11:07 Wow, that's interesting.
11:08 And so they have to really grit their teeth
11:10 through those initial,
11:12 you know, encounters with temptation.
11:14 But eventually,
11:15 what will happen is the body will signal,
11:18 "You don't have to make as much of this",
11:20 and then the temptation won't be so severe.
11:23 Wow. Okay.
11:24 I've encouraged men to get counselors.
11:26 I've encouraged men to build their lives
11:28 around recovery and women
11:30 if they're in sexual addiction.
11:32 Build your life around recovery,
11:33 take all the time that you were spending
11:34 on the addiction,
11:36 and put it into recovering from the addiction.
11:38 There are groups that they can meet with,
11:40 there are counselors they can see,
11:42 there are books that they can read,
11:44 there are online forums
11:46 that they can use to try to replace those behaviors
11:49 because Jesus Himself said,
11:51 you know, "If you clean out your house
11:53 and you get the devil out of your house,
11:56 seven more will come in
11:57 if you don't put something in there."
11:58 Yeah. So we need those replacements.
12:00 So there's help out there for people.
12:01 There is so much help out there
12:02 because sexual addiction is pandemic,
12:05 it's everywhere we look.
12:07 And so because it's pandemic, there need to be resources
12:11 and people are actually waiting to help, you know.
12:14 There are many different resources
12:15 for this type of thing.
12:18 Celebrate Recovery is something
12:19 I recommend to a lot of different individuals
12:21 because Celebrate Recovery,
12:23 you can find just about anywhere.
12:27 There are groups that meet all over the world,
12:29 and it's particularly in the United States,
12:32 in all the major cities,
12:34 you're going to be able to find a Celebrate Recovery group
12:37 and they're usually hosted by churches,
12:38 and it's a Christian-based recovery program.
12:41 I know someone who actually had someone up when you asked...
12:44 That question earlier...
12:45 And then you asked about
12:47 if I knew a friend or something like that,
12:49 I was thinking of someone who has that up.
12:52 A Celebrate Recovery group? Yes, yes, yes.
12:55 So, yeah, I mean it's important.
12:58 If you're struggling with an issue,
13:00 whether it's substance abuse, self-abuse, or self-sex,
13:05 or whatever, that you do seek help.
13:08 And a lot of times, with self-abuse,
13:11 with masturbation, self-sex, people will get into a cycle.
13:15 They'll feel so ashamed of what they're doing,
13:17 but that shame in and out itself
13:19 is a very uncomfortable experience,
13:21 and that will drive them toward their addiction
13:23 instead of away from it.
13:25 And so what I find is that if they can...
13:27 I believe that we should confess our sins to God,
13:29 but sometimes, you need to talk to another person,
13:31 it says so in the Bible,
13:32 it says, "Confess your faults one to another",
13:34 in the King James, the word is really sins.
13:37 And so there's a place
13:39 where we don't want to turn anything into a confession
13:41 but there is a place for breaking the silence
13:42 and confiding.
13:44 And I would recommend a professional counselor.
13:47 You can go to Abide Counseling,
13:49 a group that I manage
13:51 AbideCounseling.com. AbideCounseling.com.
13:54 To get your, you know, kind of an assessment
13:55 and they will be able to help you,
13:58 get to the help that you need.
14:00 There's a lot more we can say about it.
14:02 Yeah, I know. We need to have more time.
14:05 But we're going to have resources,
14:06 we're going to have resources on the website
14:08 that it's available.
14:11 That's right. Yes.
14:13 That's right.
14:14 Make sure you check out those resources.
14:15 And if you are struggling with anything,
14:17 please, seek help.
14:19 Join us next time on Intimate Clarity.
14:20 God bless.