Jay Stringer joins us to talk about unwanted sexual behavior (pornography, buying sex, affairs, etc.). Jay is a licensed mental health counselor, ordained minister, author, and speaker on the subject – his research revolutionized my view of this topic. His research shows a strong tie between past experiences, and sexual behavior and what we can learn from that connection.
He’s spent the last decade helping men and women gain find freedom from unwanted sexual behavior by helping them identify the unique reasons that bring them to this behavior in the first place. Jay talks to us about his book, “Unwanted: How Sexual Brokenness Reveals Our Way to Healing” and the research he conducted on over 3,800 people living with unwanted sexual behavior.
We explore how the standard response by many people to the topic of sexual brokenness looks a lot like what we call “lust management.” This approach seems to work temporarily with some people, but ultimately it fails to bring people to lasting freedom. Jay explains that by listening to our lust, we can reveal the unaddressed and unresolved stories of our life in order to find true healing.
Book: Unwanted: How Sexual Brokenness Reveals Our Way to Healing (link here is to Amazon, but the book is also available on Audible)
HERE ARE SOME OF THE THINGS WE TALKED ABOUT:
- What is sexual brokenness? In this conversation we define the topic, what the behaviors look like, how to know if you need help, and where to get help. We talk about how our understanding of sexual brokenness has evolved over time and what the latest research tells us about this behavior.
- Where does sexual brokenness come from? Can we predict it based on childhood and life experiences? Jay’s research says, YES, and explains why.
- “Unwanted sexual behavior” vs. “sex addiction” – Jay and I explore the language of unwanted sexual behavior, how we talk about this behavior, how society has labeled it and why these words matter based on his decade of research on the topic.
- What does the science say? We talked about the neuroscience of sexual addiction / unwanted sexual behavior and why these behaviors exist, when they are learned / formed, and what we can do about them.
- The main thesis of Jays’ book is that our involvement with unwanted sexual behaviors / sexually compulsive ideas is not random. These behaviors are often driven by some key childhood drivers (family system, sexual abuse, etc.) and “unconscious” arousal which should be explored, and understood, not ignored and punished in order to seek freedom.
- We talked about his research on this topic and what Jay found including that how our porn or sex fantasies could be predicted, based on the parts of our story we have not engaged with. Knowing this, makes our treatment efforts far more effective than ever before. Jay explains in his book, and this podcast.
- We talked about the role the church, and faith communities in addressing sexual brokenness and how stigma plays a part in people getting help, especially at church.