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3 Important Facts About Sexual Sobriety

Last Updated: August 9, 2021

by Frank Honess

Becoming sober from an addiction to pornography has cost me a lot. It’s come with a serious price tag attached to it. Years of my life were wasted on websites and women who neither knew me nor cared about me. Relationships were compromised sexually and crumbled to the ground. I was living as a shallow human being for close to 13 years of my life.

And yet…today I can say truthfully that I wouldn’t change a thing. Because while gaining sobriety came at a serious cost, it meant that I could finally live an authentic life. It felt like coming up out of a thousand feet of water breathing real air for the first time. I was free.

While I’ve been celebrating the gift of sobriety in my life for the last four years, it’s a gift that was not given freely.

First, sobriety needed to be earned. I needed to first become broken in my life, aware of the pain I was causing myself and others. There was work that needed to be done in my heart, my mind, and even in the area of my emotions. At first this was painful, but I began to get counseling for the addiction I had hidden for so long. The process of sobriety had begun.

Next, sobriety needed to be learned. In many ways, the initial days of sobriety made me feel like a little kid who tries tying his shoes for the first time: Either he gets frustrated and ends up tripping on his own feet or he ties the most horrendous knot you’ve ever seen in your life. For me, I had to learn to become credible again. I had to learn how to tell the truth—even when it hurt. I had to learn how to share my feelings to a group of men who struggled like I did.

Last, sobriety in my life has been continually cultivated over time. Quite honestly, sobriety takes practice. It doesn’t come all at once. It takes time to build integrity and be given trust again from other people. Sobriety takes work and thankfully it’s roots grow deeper every day.

Ultimately, sobriety comes at the decision of the one who is sick. It’s the greatest “gift” that must be pursued and tended to on a daily basis. And it’s also the greatest gift I could ever have on my Christmas list.

Photo credit: andrewrennie

Frank Honess hosts a weekly podcast, the Pure Life Podcast, which can be heard on iTunes, Stitcher Radio, and PureLifePodcast.com. Frank is married to his wife Tracey and lives in Seaford, Delaware.

  1. To me, sexual sobriety is so much more than just abstaining from sexually addictive behavior (although that’s a major part of it). Sexual sobriety means that I’m purposing to LIVE with sexual integrity in all my ways and through every choice I make from what movies I watch, websites I visit, men or women I talk to, even the thoughts I allow to inhabit my brain. It’s a lifestyle that someone chooses to live. And it seems to encompass almost every area of our lives.

  2. There are many definitions for sexual sobriety. How do you define it?
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