Men and Adventure. Like peanut butter and jelly, the two just go together. It is hard-wired in our DNA as men to be risk takers and adventure seekers. Did you know that for some guys it is a primary driver in sexual acting out? There are sexually addicted men who have become so emotionally numb that day-to-day life is no longer felt. The upside of coping that way is that you don’t feel the lowest of lows or the most hurtful things of life. But, our hearts are holistic; becoming numb to lows also means we become numb to highs. In an effort to protect ourselves from the reality of dealing with emotional life our hearts become hard and our emotions become dulled. Yet we long to feel.
Most men, if they’re honest with themselves, will admit that they long to feel; loved, accepted, wanted, significant, adequate, powerful, respected, challenged, a sense of belonging, a sense of adventure. With a hard heart these things are out of reach. So it takes something outside the norm to feel again. It takes intensity.
Enter sexual addiction. Very few things on the planet, if any, rival the intensity of emotion that accompanies our sexual passion. For some men, it is the only way they feel anything. Much of their emotion becomes sexualized and the experience of acting out sexually becomes a brief moment of electricity where they actually feel alive. It may be the thrill of the hunt for the right picture, prostitute or encounter. It may be the moment of engagement where they cross a line into something taboo. For some it is the moment of orgasm.
Did you know that healthy, God honoring adventure is an offset to acting out? It is stunning at EMB when I ask how many men in the room have an adventurous hobby they are passionate about; I’d guess 10% of the guys raise their hand. So many men have lost their sense of adventure. Granted, it’s a ‘chicken-or-the-egg’ type question: did sexual integrity issues rob them of their sense of adventure or did a lack of adventure lead them to sexual integrity issues? Either way, finding a source of adventure today is an antidote to sexually acting out. It doesn’t have to be about adrenaline pumping, X-games, jumping out of airplanes type of adventure. It just has to be something that strikes the nerve of awe and excitement. It could be fly-fishing, hiking, bike riding, cooking, traveling or stamp collecting.
I urge you to find your sense of adventure. Try some new things; take a few risks (albeit calculated and get your wife’s sign off first please). Create some space in your life for a God-honoring hobby. You may well find yourself less tempted to act out again.