Months ago when I first turned to the internet for help and support, I came across Andrew at Row Boat and Marbles. He was so helpful to me those first few weeks, and was the first to introduce me to the idea that before it was a porn addiction, it was an addiction to lust. And even abstinence from pornography doesn't resolve the insatiable desire for lust. I didn't understand this at first. But I've learned a lot about lust since.
Lust is so ugly. I have a scowl on my face just writing the word. For more eloquent, experienced, and inspired words on the subject read Elder Holland's talk here or watch it here.
Lust is to me the most carnal of man's desires. It is arousing, it is exciting. It produces adrenaline, and causes the blood to pump. It is both the parent and the offspring of fantasies. In the beginning it is appeased by said fantasies, then it demands more. The addict of lust turns to self-gratification and pornography, but the lust grows and demands more.
It has been said that "sex sells", in commercials, video games and movies. It is because lust buys. Lust is subtle, it is easily justified because at first it exhibits no outward behaviors. A man and his lustful thoughts are seen by no one. But lust becomes a master and the slave makes his soul for payment.
I hate lust. Lust is the shadow I see behind Pete's eyes. It makes me nervous and nauseous. I'm learning to recognize it in his behavior and his mood, and when I see it I want no part of it. Sex to satisfy lust is hallow and empty. It feeds the beast but provides no lasting satisfaction.
I do not want to confuse lust and passion. Passion is healthy, and good. Intimate relationships with passion are fun and meaningful. But lust is greedy, forceful and self-serving. Passion is giving, emotional and mutual.
Learning to recognize and eliminate lust is fundamental to recovery. I can't say personally but I can suppose that this is extremely difficult because lust is a thrill, and a man might be sorry to destroy his relationship with it. Many men embrace lust, rationalize that it is "natural" or even "helpful". But overcoming lust is why Mrs. A's husband chose left, and why the Nephite Warrior doesn't watch tv, and why I will not let it be the third wheel in my relationship with Pete.
I am done now. I hope you can check out the links, and here's one more. (Some more insightful words from an essay on Row Boat.)