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How to Help Girls with a Cybersex Addiction

Girls who struggle with pornography will find hope and healing as they learn how to get out of a cybersex addiction and discover healthy sexuality.

Cybersex addiction affects far more of our young teens than we likely admit. When we talk about cybersex addiction, it goes beyond simple curiosity. As social media and the internet continue to dominate our lives, cybersex addiction widens its grasp on our culture. Unfortunately, girls of all ages struggle with pornography and cybersex addiction. However, there is hope for helping girls addicted to pornography and cybersex.

Stories of Cybersex Addiction

Anne stumbled across it when she was taking care of her neighbors’ house. The magazine in the trash can fell open to pictures that she still can’t forget. From that day on, Anne became more and more curious about sexual photographs, even searching for pornography on the Internet. Anne rationalized that she could stop any time she wanted, but found she never could. Each time she tried to walk away from porn, she was unable to break free. Anne felt too embarrassed and ashamed to spill her secret and ask for help.

One Saturday night, Kimberlyn was on her computer, when she entered a site she’d never visited. She gradually joined the conversation and even had some private messages from a couple of cute-sounding guys. They gave her the attention. And before she knew it, Kimberlyn was involved in a sexual exchange with the guys. That cybersex encounter was the start of an addiction that lasted for most of her high school and college years. As much as she tried, Kimberlyn couldn’t stop herself from looking for another encounter. Then, she searched for a more exciting way to respond to this addictive urge. Finally, she even entertained thoughts of becoming sexually involved with random men.

Pornography is Not Just for Guys Anymore

These stories are not at all uncommon. Pornography and cybersex addictions are becoming more widespread among females. Christianity Today polled their women readers and found that 34 percent admitted to intentionally accessing Internet pornography.

Although performing an online search tends to bring more links to porn than help for porn addicts, Christian Web sites such as SettingCaptivesFree.com are beginning to pop up in response to this struggle. The New York Times ran an article in 2004, noting even then the increase in viewership of porn among women.

For years, pornography has been considered a “guy problem.” But girls who have fallen into porn and cybersex addictions know that this isn’t true at all! Although many people, including some inside the church, still think that girls don’t struggle with porn, it’s becoming more and more evident that this issue is spreading among females.

So why are we seeing more young ladies, even Christians, becoming addicted to porn? Some think that the culture rewires women’s brains towards visual stimulation. Although we can’t be sure that this is the entire reason for the increase in female addiction to pornography and cybersex, it does cause us to reconsider the influence of the sexually explicit culture we live in today.

Struggling with addictions to cybersex or pornography can leave teen girls feeling lonely, isolated and distressed. Many say that they feel as though they are the only ones facing these difficult issues. Please know that you are not alone!

Myths of Cybersex Addiction

What is Cybersex?

Cybersex is a complex term. At times, it can encompass any sexual communication and expression through the Internet. In more simple terms, cybersex is real-time communication with another person through the Internet. These sexual activities can include masturbation, visual stimulation, and even fantasy sex.

In most instances, cybersex involves the use of webcams to stimulate sexual activities. In other cases, cybersex can involve animated characters, avatars, video games, or other means of online interaction. One popular synonym for cybersex is virtual sex, which can refer to the sending and receiving of sexually explicit messages.

In our culture, cybersex is an evolving problem for our teenagers, especially young girls. Continue to be aware of your daughter’s online interactions to maintain communication on difficult topics such as cybersex.

Myths of Cybersex Addiction

You Can’t Erase the Memories

One question teens often ask as they work through their addiction is, “How do I get rid of the images and stories and conversations that seem seared into my memory?” After overcoming addictions, people say that their sexual experiences are burned forever in their minds. Dr. Mary Anne Layden with the Center for Cognitive Therapy says that pornographic images are “burned into the brain’s pathways,” and one study recently showed that “the underlying nature of an addiction to pornography is chemically nearly identical to a heroin addiction.

This can seem overwhelming as you face recovery, but Christian counselor Joann Condie points out that images can become more faint as you consistently choose not to access or dwell on them. She likens the process to a deer path in the woods. You may have already mentally established a well-worn trail to those kinds of thoughts. As you consistently choose to break in the new path, you’ll find the old way becomes harder to find and overgrown by the surrounding woods.

What about masturbation? Often, there’s a link between masturbation and cybersex addiction. Because it’s difficult to separate masturbation from lust, we encourage you to seek help in overcoming the issues that are behind this behavior.

It Can’t Be “Managed”

Perhaps you may think that you can work through this on your own. Or you think that you can do it without letting anyone know. However, to overcome this problem and to gain a “lasting victory,” it is crucial that you seek Christian counseling from someone who handles intimacy disorders or sexual addictions.

You see, the real problem isn’t the addiction. Christian counselor Joann Condie, who specializes in treating people with these kinds of struggles, explained in a Focus on the Family broadcast that just stopping the behavior is a kind of “sin management approach.” That’s not enough. This isn’t a problem you can “manage.”

Is Temptation a Sin?

As you get help and begin healing, one of the hardest things to remember is that temptation is not sin. Jesus Himself was tempted, and 1 Corinthians 10:13 says that “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man [or woman!].”

The temptation may come around less often as you go through counseling and as God continues to heal your spirit, your mind and your body. But don’t confuse temptation with sin. How you react to the temptation is most important. Remember, the rest of the verse in Corinthians promises that “God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability. But with the temptation, he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”

Steps to Overcoming Cybersex Addiction

Steps to Overcoming Cybersex Addiction

Confess

First, confess your sin to God — what you’ve been doing is not unforgivable! He loves you so much and wants you to come to Him and ask for His help. Don’t be afraid that God will be angry with you and think instead of the mercy He loves to show His children when they admit their faults.

Remember all the great leaders of the Bible messed up — and some of them made pretty big mistakes. Think about King David, whose followed his adultery with a murder and coverup, rather than confession.

If you want to confess to God but are not sure what to say, look at Psalm 51. That’s David’s lament to God, when he asked for His forgiveness after his sin with Bathsheba. You might also consider writing in your journal to God, if you feel you put your thoughts together better on paper. Just tell Him. He’s waiting for you to come to Him and let Him heal this part of your life. We can go to Him with our struggles and trust that He will give us the strength we need to “take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5).

Talk

Second, you need to talk to someone. Although it may be tempting to simply tell a friend and ask for her help, it is necessary to involve an adult. James 5:16 says, “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.”

Find a Christian woman you trust — your mom, a relative, the youth pastor’s wife, a teacher — and ask to speak with her privately. I realize it can be extremely hard to let someone in on your struggle, but you need to break your secret. If you just don’t know how to tell her or don’t think you can find the courage to actually voice your struggles, try writing it out on paper beforehand and letting her read it. Be honest about your problem. Then ask her to pray with and for you and to help you get the help you need.

Eliminate

Third, you need to get rid of your access to porn and cybersex. Consider putting your computer in the living room so that the screen is visible. Choose to get on your computer or on the Internet only when there are other people in the room. Don’t chat online with someone you haven’t met in person.

Look into Internet filters and accountability software (take a look at the options available on our Family Safety Resources page, or consider getting rid of Internet access entirely for a while.

Encourage

We don’t mention this to add to the guilt you may be feeling! Remember that Romans 8:1 tells us that “there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus [emphasis added].” Rather, we want to help you understand why it’s so important to rebuild your understanding of sexuality.

Remember, you probably need to address a spiritual aspect to your girl’s behavior too. Although you have faced sexual struggles, you can rest assured that God is willing and able to heal your body, mind and spirit.

Working with a Christian counselor can help you to find healing and restoration. And we urge you to seek help from a licensed professional in your area.

What the Bible says about Cybersex Addiction

Whether porn or cybersex addiction is part of your life or the life of someone you care about, it’s important to know that this behavior is a problem. Cybersex is not something to do for flirting and fun. The Bible is clear in stating that sexual activity outside of marriage is sinful.

Girls who struggle with cybersex addiction confess that their addictions negatively affect their relationships with others. And many say that they had ongoing feelings of worthlessness as a result of this degrading habit.

To learn more about what it means to have a healthy, biblical perspective on your sexuality, we suggest you look at Focus on the Family’s statement on “The Value of Male and Female.” We think that you’ll find some interesting thoughts outlined there that will give you a glimpse of God’s wonderful blueprint regarding how men and women need to relate to one another.

Finally, the apostle Paul teaches us that “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things” (Philippians 4:8).

Final Thoughts on Cybersex Addiction

Whether you’ve started experimenting or you’ve been attracted to pornography for some time, you are probably well aware of its negative influences. Sadly, the farther down this road she travels, the less she will recognize the truth about herself. Then, the more she will be enticed by the lies of this world.

However, God intended sex for marriage. If an individual tries to fulfill her desires outside of God’s plan, she will always miss out on the blessings God intends for her.

He knows about your desires and cares about you like no one else in the entire world. Even now, as you read this article, our Heavenly Father is calling you to leave the lies behind and take hold of His higher purposes for you. He stands ready to reassure you of your worth and walk with you through the struggles that lie ahead. He wants to rescue you from the counterfeit activities you’re engaging in so that you can become everything He created you to be.

You likely didn’t get to where you are overnight, and it may take some time to get back on track. As your daughter strengthens her relationship with God, she sees the same beautiful young woman He sees. Know that you CAN overcome the temptations of the past, step by step.

 

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Unexpected Choice is told from the perspective of a doctor who actually performed abortions through Planned Parenthood. The book chronicles her journey from being a pro-choice physician to someone speaking on behalf of the pro-life movement.

Giving up Sugar, Tasting God's Goodness

As a latchkey kid, Wendy Speake turned to sugar for comfort. Every Friday, she would pedal to the candy show and use her allowance to fill her bag with candy. And one day, when she was older and a mom of three young boys, she came to realize that she was still “pedaling” away from her stress and using sugar as comfort, instead of turning to Jesus. She was joyless, worn out, tired, and in need of a change. In this interview, Wendy will challenge Christians to take 40 days to focus on fasting from something they turn to instead of Jesus for comfort. She invited people to break free from a dependence on sugar and taste the goodness of God.

Author Wendy Speake smiling as she holds up her book "The 40-Day Social Media Fast"

Mrs. Wendy Speake

With a background in Hollywood as a trained actress, Wendy Speake ministers to women as a bible teacher by applying the power of drama, poetry and comedy to the study of Scripture and real-life application of biblical truths. She has co-authored two books with Amber Lia titled Triggers: Exchanging Parents’ Angry Reactions for Gentle Biblical Responses and their latest, Parenting Scripts: When What You’re Saying Isn’t Working, Say Something New. Wendy is also the co-author (with Kelli Stuart) of Life Creative: Inspiration for Today’s Renaissance Mom.

Cover image of the book "The 40-Day Sugar Fast"

The 40-Day Sugar Fast: Where Physical Detox Meets Spiritual Transformation

Welcome to the 40-Day Sugar Fast, a fast that begins with us giving Jesus our sugar and ends with Jesus giving us himself–the only thing that can ever truly satisfy our soul’s deep hunger. On this 40-day journey you’ll learn how to stop fixating on food and other things you use to fill the voids in life and instead fix your eyes on Christ. Anyone who runs to sugar for comfort or a reward, who eats mindlessly or out of boredom, who feels physically and spiritually lethargic, or who struggles with self-control will discover here not only freedom from their cravings but an entirely new appetite for the good things God has for us.

Understanding the Root of Your Child's Misbehavior - Part 1

Often, children act out because they are used to getting attention through bad behavior. Dr. Kevin Leman offers advice to help parents transform their child’s behavior. He discusses the benefits of allowing your kids to learn from real-life consequences and describes the importance of understanding your child’s temperament based on his birth order.

Dr. Kevin Leman

Dr. Kevin Leman

Dr. Kevin Leman is an internationally known family psychologist and an award-winning, New York Times best-selling author. He is also a popular public speaker and media personality who has made countless guest appearances on numerous radio and TV programs. Dr. Leman has written more than 50 books including The Birth Order BookHave a New Kid by Friday and Making Children Mind Without Losing Yours.

Bundle of Why Your Kids Misbehave

Why Your Kids Misbehave and What to Do about It

Tantrums. Talking back. Throwing toys or food. Meltdowns. Slamming doors. Kids know just how to push your buttons. You’ve tried all sorts of methods, but nothing seems to work. In this book, Dr. Kevin Leman reveals exactly why kids misbehave and how you can turn that behavior around with practical, no-nonsense strategies that really work . . . and are a long-term win for both of you.

Understanding the Root of Your Child's Misbehavior - Part 2

Often, children act out because they are used to getting attention through bad behavior. Dr. Kevin Leman offers advice to help parents transform their child’s behavior. He discusses the benefits of allowing your kids to learn from real-life consequences and describes the importance of understanding your child’s temperament based on his birth order.

Dr. Kevin Leman

Dr. Kevin Leman

Dr. Kevin Leman is an internationally known family psychologist and an award-winning, New York Times best-selling author. He is also a popular public speaker and media personality who has made countless guest appearances on numerous radio and TV programs. Dr. Leman has written more than 50 books including The Birth Order BookHave a New Kid by Friday and Making Children Mind Without Losing Yours.

Bundle of Why Your Kids Misbehave

Why Your Kids Misbehave and What to Do about It

Tantrums. Talking back. Throwing toys or food. Meltdowns. Slamming doors. Kids know just how to push your buttons. You’ve tried all sorts of methods, but nothing seems to work. In this book, Dr. Kevin Leman reveals exactly why kids misbehave and how you can turn that behavior around with practical, no-nonsense strategies that really work . . . and are a long-term win for both of you.

Loving Your Spouse Through the Seasons of Marriage - Part 2

Debra Fileta has identified the four seasons of marriage that correspond with our natural seasons – spring (new life and new love), summer (things get hot!), fall (showing our true colors), and winter (long days ahead). In this interview, she will help couples better understand the four seasons of healthy relationships, what to expect during each one, and how to carefully navigate them for a stronger marriage.

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Debra Fileta

Debra Fileta is a licensed professional counselor specializing in relationship and marital issues. She is also a public speaker and the author of multiple books, including Married SexChoosing Marriage: Why It Has to Start With We > Me, Love in Every Season, and Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are, How You’re Doing, and Why It Matters. Debra’s popular relationship advice blog, TrueLoveDates.com, and her Love + Relationships podcast reach millions of people each year offering guidance on topics including love, sex, and marriage.

Love in Every Season: Understanding the Four Stages of a Healthy Relationship

Every relationship goes through four life-changing seasons: Spring. Summer. Fall. Winter. Each season plays an important role in taking your relationship to the next level. And depending on how you navigate each season, your relationship will either flourish and grow, or it will slowly die. Whether you’re single, dating, engaged or married, join licensed professional counselor and relationship expert, Debra Fileta as she takes you on an eye-opening psychological and spiritual journey through the four seasons that she has observed in every healthy relationship.

Reconciling Faith and Science in a Medical Crisis

Dr. Lee Warren is a neurosurgeon who has faced many heavy challenges in his life – from serving in the Iraq War to removing deadly brain tumors to experiencing the loss of a teenage son. He’ll share about his difficult quest to find answers to some of life’s toughest questions, while holding onto his faith in God and the sure hope of heaven

Headshot of Focus on the Family broadcast guest Dr. W. Lee Warren

Dr. Lee Warren

W. Lee Warren, M.D., is a brain surgeon , inventor, Iraq War veteran, and author of I’ve Seen the End of You: A Neurosurgeon’s Look at Faith, Doubt, and the Things We Think We Know, winner of the Christian Book Award®. His previous book, No Place to Hide, was included on the 2015 U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff’s Recommended Reading List. Dr. Warren has appeared on The 700 Club and the CBS Evening News, and his writings have been featured in Guideposts magazine. His Dr. Lee Warren Podcast, which is heard in more than 60 countries, helps listeners use the power of neuroscience, faith, and common sense to change their lives.

Cover image of Dr. Lee Warren's book "I've Seen the End of You"

I've Seen the End of You: A Neurosurgeon's Look at Faith, Doubt, and the Things We Think We Know

This gripping inspirational memoir grapples with the tension between faith and science—and between death and hope—as a seasoned neurosurgeon faces insurmountable odds and grief both in the office and at home.

Praying Scripture Over Your Child’s Life - Part 1

Jodie Berndt loves to pray for her children. She’s been doing that for the past thirty years. Now she helps other parents to talk to God, asking for the salvation of their kids, and for wisdom, self-discipline, purpose, a future and much more. She offers fun and practical encouragement that moms and dads can put to work immediately in their daily lives as they prepare their children for a life in Christ.

Headshot of Focus on the Family broadcast guest Jodie Berndt

Jodie Berndt

Jodie Berndt is a public speaker, a Bible teacher, and the the author of 10 books. Find out more about Jodie and get some free resources (including printable prayer cards and calendars) at her website, jodieberndt.com.

Cover image of Jodie Berndt's book "Praying the Scriptures for Your Children"

Praying the Scriptures Over Your Children

You will discover how using the Bible to shape your desires and requests opens the door to God’s provision—and frees us from things like worry and fear in our parenting! This expanded edition of the bestseller features updated content on issues like technology and identity, and comes with new material designed to invite children into the family prayer circle. Purchase now and receive 10% off your product.

Mothers and Sons: Being a Godly Influence - Part 1

Rhonda Stoppe describes her early motherhood challenges of raising a son, which was intimidating to her. She found help through group of older women mentors. She urges moms to see their role as ministry in shaping sons to be good and godly men. Rhonda outlines several practical suggestions to moms about spiritual training, how to communicate with boys, and supporting the father-son relationship as a wife.

Headshot of Rhonda Stoppe

Rhonda Stoppe

Drawing upon 35 years of experience as a mentor, pastor’s wife, and homeschool mom, Rhonda Stoppe offers encouragement and guidance to women as an author and public speaker. She is popularly known as the “No Regrets Woman,” as she is especially passionate about helping women live life without regrets. Rhonda’s books include Moms Raising Sons to Be MenReal Life Romance, and The Marriage Mentor, which she co-authored with her husband, Steve.

Cover image of Rhonda Stoppe's book "Moms Raising Sons to be Men"

Moms Raising Sons to Be Men

Mothers of boys have the special calling to shape future men of God. Popular speaker Rhonda Stoppe, mom to two sons, knows this opportunity is a challenge, a joy, and probably the most important work of a woman’s life. Drawing from years of experience, this inspirational resource will revive the faithfulness and fortitude a woman needs to partner with God as they shape the character and heart of a future godly man.

Identifying Triggers in Your Marriage Part 1

They were both convinced they had married the wrong person. From almost the very beginning of their marriage, Amber and Guy Lia experienced various tensions and personality clashes related to house cleaning, backseat driving, workaholism, and intimacy. In this two-day Focus on the Family broadcast, Amber and Guy discuss how they bravely faced the triggers head-on, and committed to working on their own relationships with Jesus. As you listen to the Lia’s story, you’ll feel hope that you, too, can see real marriage transformation!

Headshot of Guy and Amber Lia

Mr. and Mrs. Guy and Amber Lia and Mrs. Jean Daly

Amber Lia is a work-at-home mom, blogger, public speaker, and co-author of two best-selling books. Her husband, Guy, is a former TV, feature film, and VFX development and production executive who has worked on popular TV shows and films. Guy and Amber own Storehouse Media Group, a faith- and family-friendly TV and film production company based in Los Angeles,

Cover image of the book "Marriage Triggers" by Guy and Amber Lia

Marriage Triggers: How You and Your Spouse Can Exchange Angry Reactions for Gentle Biblical Responses

A husband-wife team offers practical advice for married couples to end the cycle of reactionary arguments by examining the most common issues that trigger disagreements and apply God’s Word to radically transform relationships.

What to Do When You're Not Okay - Part 1

Life can be pretty stressful. Between work, relationships, and other obligations, the pressure builds, and we lose sight of who we are. Counselor Debra Fileta helps you better understand your emotions, assess your mental, physical, and spiritual health, and intentionally pursue a path to wellbeing. In dealing with anxiety, depression, and panic attacks, Debra understands the importance of self-examination as well as the benefits of seeking professional help. She offers biblically-based advice, tools, and encouragement to help you get on a path toward healing and wholeness.

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Mrs. Debra Fileta

Debra Fileta is a licensed professional counselor specializing in relationship and marital issues. She is also a public speaker and the author of multiple books, including Married SexChoosing Marriage: Why It Has to Start With We > Me, Love in Every Season, and Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are, How You’re Doing, and Why It Matters. Debra’s popular relationship advice blog, TrueLoveDates.com, and her Love + Relationships podcast reach millions of people each year offering guidance on topics including love, sex, and marriage. Debra resides in Pennsylvania with her husband, John, and their four children.

Are You Really Okay?

Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are

In Are You Really OK? author and licensed counselor Debra Fileta challenges you to get real with who you are and how you’re doing spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and physically so you can recognize where you need growth and healing.

Navigating a Toxic Culture with Your Daughter - Part 1

As a pediatrician, Dr. Meg Meeker has seen thousands of girls come through her office through the years. They struggle with eating issues, sexual identity, social media…and many other challenges in this toxic culture. Dr. Meeker will encourage parents to invest love and time in their daughters and develop their character to give them the best opportunity for a bright future, all rooted in a spiritual foundation. The discussion also includes healthy feminism vs. toxic feminism

Mrs. Meg Meeker

Dr. Meg Meeker is a pediatrician who is widely recognized as one of the country’s leading authorities on parenting, teens and children’s health. With appearances on numerous nationally syndicated radio and TV programs, her popularity as a an expert on key issues confronting families has created a strong following across America. Her work with countless families over the years served as the inspiration behind her best-selling books which include Strong Fathers, Strong DaughtersStrong Mothers, Strong Sons and The Ten Habits of Happy Mothers

Cover image of Dr. Meg Meeker's book "Raising a Strong Daughter in a Toxic Culture"

Raising a Strong Daughter in a Toxic Culture: 11 Steps to Keep Her Happy, Healthy, and Safe

Meg Meeker has been a pediatrician for more than thirty years, is a mother and a grandmother, and has seen it all. She knows what makes for strong, happy, healthy young women–and what puts our daughters at risk. Combining that experience with her famous common sense, she explains the eleven steps that will help your daughter–whether she’s a toddler or a troubled teen–to achieve her full human potential.

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Newest Release - Episode 1: The Truth About Life!

In this episode, we will tackle tough questions like, “When does life begin?” and “What does the Bible
say about Life?” You’ll discover and understand the stages of pre-born life and that babies are more than
just a clump of cells!

Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

Will you pray for the pre-born and moms that are facing unexpected pregnancies? We will send you a 7-day prayer guide that will help guide you along this journey with us!! You can even choose to receive this great resource by text!

Thank you for committing to pray for the pre-born!

Sign up below for your free seven-day prayer guide. This daily guide will help give direction to your prayers for the pro-life movement. We will be praying with you! 

Focus on the Family

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