My phone buzzed late at night. I reached under my pillow, pulled it out and read a text message from a friend of mine. She currently works at a youth ranch and they were having problems with one of their teenage leaders.
“Jessica, pray for me. We just found out that one of our teen summer counselors has been talking about sex during Bible study. No one gave her permission to do that, so the married women are going to go talk to her and tell her she needs to stop.”
There was an obsession with sex. Immediately, red flags went up.
“Be careful,” I replied. Based on other facts given about this girl, I suspected an addiction to porn or sex. “She might be addicted to porn, and if you come at her too strong, you won’t be able to help her.”
“We already know she was addicted to porn. She confessed that to us. She said she was fine now.”
Yes, teenagers have sex drives– we all do. There is a fine line, however, between an innocent curiosity about sex and a straight-up preoccupation with it.
A while back now I was speaking with a couple raising a rebellious teenage girl. They kept their eyes on her constantly, still she was able to sneak out and have sex one night. When they found out and tried to talk to her, she said, “You just don’t understand horny teenagers.”
For a porn addict, though, the obsession will often manifest itself in more subtle ways before becoming a full-fledged acting out. Most often, this is in speech.
Luke 6:45 (Amplified) says,
“The upright (honorable, intrinsically good) man out of the good treasure [stored] in his heart produces what is upright (honorable and intrinsically good), and the evil man out of the evil storehouse brings forth that which is depraved (wicked and intrinsically evil); for out of the abundance (overflow) of the heart his mouth speaks.”
This means that a porn addiction may manifest through what she says. What does she talk about? What does she ask questions about? When she feels safe, where do her words take her?
In the case of this young woman, she was given a position of leadership without accountability. There was no one there to supervise her. When given that freedom, she used it to discuss sex. More than likely, her heart got a twisted pleasure out of ‘sharing her knowledge’ with the younger girls. It made her cool. Made her accepted. Made her cutting edge. It made her sin not so sinful.
It manifests in other ways as well. If she keeps a journal, the thoughts in the journal may be strongly sexually-oriented. If she writes to her future husband, the letters may focus on their wedding night. If she has married friends, she may pry them for information. If it comes up in conversation, her ears will perk. If it is plastered on the front of a magazine, it will draw her attention.
It might take a while for you to catch on, but the signs will be there.
Some girls won’t want you to talk to them about sex and they will become agitated, not embarrassed- agitated- when you try. If you press, you might get a response, “I already know, thank you!”
Some girls will talk about sex all the time. They go on to forums and ask about wedding nights and preferences, and it all seems innocent enough. It’s the volume of the discussion and the details that is the red flag.
An older sister may take it upon herself to educate her siblings about sex (guilty as charged).
A young teenager may become frustrated with the idea of purity.
A woman in leadership without accountability may take the opportunity to discuss sex, sex, and only sex.
Some may make up stories of sexual encounters they’ve had that you know could not have happened.
Some will talk about pornography as a past sin in their lives and any wrong currently in their lives is blamed on the pornography that used to be a part.
Some will vehemently oppose pornography. Remember, addicts operate on extremes. So, if she is obsessed with being anti-pornography, it could reflect a battle raging in her heart. “Normal” women against pornography usually have a smidgen of compassion and grace. They don’t like it, but they don’t obsess over not liking it.