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God's Way Christian Fellowship Forum

God's Way Christian Forum. A place to be 'refreshed and built up in the Lord Jesus'. Where Christian 'Believers' can fellowship together to talk, discuss, enjoy, pray for others and give testimonies, chat.
 
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The Dark Side of the Internet: Love and desire online can lead you astray EmptyFri May 23, 2014 12:22 am by Camille
God always provides for our needs according to His riches in glory through Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:19

As long as we are doing the work of the Lord God will always meet our needs. As long as we are pointing others to God, He will always see that you have plenty.

Do the work of the Lord share what you know from the bible and share your testimony of how you were healed or set free and God …

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 The Dark Side of the Internet: Love and desire online can lead you astray

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Camille
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Camille

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Join date : 2013-03-21
Age : 72
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The Dark Side of the Internet: Love and desire online can lead you astray Empty
PostSubject: The Dark Side of the Internet: Love and desire online can lead you astray   The Dark Side of the Internet: Love and desire online can lead you astray EmptySat Jun 29, 2013 11:39 pm

By Emma Tennant

I receive scores of messages like this one on my online referral service: "Please help me. I am having trouble in my marriage. I love my wife but our love life is terrible and recently I have started "sexting" with a woman I met online. My wife has found out about it and said she wants a divorce, unless I stop and get counseling. I also am looking at porn more all the time and can't stop. I don't want to lose my marriage."

What puzzles me about this pattern of inquiry is how often -- when I suggest we meet to talk -- I never hear from the writer again. I believe there is some connection between seeking online sexual satisfaction, then seeking help for it online, and then being unable to "consummate" the therapeutic contact in the real world. It's as if the real "addiction" is not to sex or romance, but to the world of fantasy itself. So seeking help for the addiction to fantasy is itself another fantasy. At any cost, the membrane between the world of fantasy and a face-to-face encounter that might be intimate and scary must remain intact.

What is certain is that there is an explosion of "addictions" to online fantasy, whether it is pornography, "dating," or gaming. Those of us who came of age before the Internet can't quite grasp how much the sexual and romantic imaginations of subsequent generations have been shaped -- and continue to be modeled -- by the Internet and in particular the mainstreaming of pornography. Google reports that over 775 million pages on the Internet carry sexual content. In his book, "Porn University," Michael Leahy writes that based on his surveys, 70 percent of boys have been exposed to pornography before the age of 14; almost 10 percent before age 6. Any desire we are capable of imagining can be explored, deepened, enjoyed, and intensified online in almost perfect anonymity.

But focusing on pornography and getting caught up in the debate over whether we should be talking about exploitation or empowerment -- is porn liberating or alienating -- misses the larger point. People are also "dating" online, meeting strangers, and developing grandiose romantic fantasies from these encounters. One woman, despite all my efforts, moved to Delaware to be with "the love of her life." They had never met in person, and yet she was sure that "God made him for me, and now he's finally arrived." She went. They married. It didn't work out. She's back and crushed.

So what is happening here? In part we need to look more deeply at the nature of appetite itself to explain why the Internet and the sexual and romantic grandeur it dangles before us has served as a kind of lobster trap (we go in after the bait, and then we can't turn around and get out).

We do have "drives," as Freud called them (in translation). We want stuff -- food, love, power, to be known, and sexual pleasure. These drives, or desires, can never be fully satisfied by their very nature. I can never be known as deeply as I wish to be known, so perfect love eludes me. The more I eat, and the more refined my palate becomes, the more and better food I require to be satisfied. There is no final or perfect meal. Then think of sex: I have a limitless capacity to imagine pleasure, and there is no final, perfect, sexual climax.

For most of us, and through most of history, what we could reasonably expect was limited, and so the limitation of our circumstances tamed our appetites. Food was limited. Sexual activity was limited by social and family circumstances. As Flaubert dramatized in "Madame Bovary" and Tolstoy explored in "Anna Karenina," the social cost of allowing your romantic appetite get the better of you was ruin. Now the Internet offers the elusive promise of a limitless series of partners, lovers and scenarios. The curbs on the appetites have been lifted.

It's an illusion in any case. What I find when somebody actually does come into the office and we begin to talk about her use of pornography or her compulsive online behavior, is that it usually masks tremendous disappointments in real life that have been pushed underground. Facing those losses and accepting them -- that loss and limitation are integral to life as it is -- is a maturational step, and often the first step toward being able to have a real relationships with a person again, face-to-face. HL

E-mail your questions to askemma@healthylifect.com and check out her blog at www.healthylifect.com.

http://www.healthylifect.com/home/article/The-Dark-Side-of-the-Internet-Love-and-desire-1351475.php

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Cami flower
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