Sometimes I joke about things I am "addicted" to. Coffee and dark chocolate are definitely on the list. Honestly, we are all addicted to something—there are things in life that we just can't seem to get by without. You may be addicted to your husband's affection, a daily workout, talking to or texting your best friend, or spending time in prayer. At the most basic level, we are all addicted to things like food, sleep, human interaction, and oxygen. We simply can't live without them.
So why are some addictions normal, and others deadly? Why is it okay to joke about my need for a daily soy latte, but there is great shame surrounding a daily need for sexual stimulation?
Because sexual addiction is no joking matter. It has ruined millions of marriages, and keeps Christian men and women shackled in chains of self-contempt and fear. The roots often begin with children as young as eight or nine. When Satan gets a foothold, it seems as if a lifetime of struggle and failure is certain. Yet, many men and women have discovered freedom from sexual addiction.
What is sexual addiction?
A neuropsychologist could give an eloquent detailed explanation of what happens to the brain during sexual addiction. In layman's terms, your body was designed to experience pleasure. There are areas of your brain and body that are wired to bring excitement, euphoria, and feelings of peace and elation. Some people call these the "reward" centers of your brain—God wired your body to reward you and motivate you toward certain actions. For example, after exercising, your body often gets flooded with endorphins that release stress and make you feel great—a.k.a. a "runner's high."1