Granted libido plays a big part in the reproductive process—it supplies the lion’s share of motivation to get out there and create the next generation so the human race can go on. Libido, however, is not just about survival. I believe it says something about what we need to flourish as people. The famous Greek philosopher Aristotle described human beings as “social animals.” In other words, you and I are designed to connect with other people. It’s the same reason why babies who don’t experience enough love and affection get sick and die. And one way it is powerfully wired into our biology long after that is through the sex drive.
The kind of connection that most obviously satisfies sex drive is a sexual one, but experience reveals that all connection is important. The times that I’ve felt least connected to other people are the times I’ve felt most tempted to indulge in pornography. And vice-versa. Developing healthy relationships with people—and I’m talking about non-sexual ones—has eliminated a lot of sexual temptation in my life and made it easier for me to resist it when it comes.
I’m suggesting your pornography/lust problem may be a case of bad medication. It may be that you go to it in order to satisfy the basic need you have to connect with other people. I’ve observed that a lot of addicts have a deep-seated pain inside them that results from feeling disconnected.
The problem with porn is, like all bad medication, it doesn’t work. What’s worse is that it makes the original condition even worse. The truth is that pornography is an anti-social activity, and the shame and isolation associated with it leave us feeling even more disconnected than before. As a Christian, I believe the sex drive is designed to foster a healthy connection in a lifelong committed relationship. Porn and promiscuity work against that objective because they come with great baggage and don’t contribute to anything with a lasting positive impact.
Connecting with people is hard work. But the effort is worth it. It doesn’t mean you won’t experience temptation. Temptation may, in fact, go from being virtual to reality. What connection does promise is to bring us more in line with how God designed us to flourish, and that benefits us not only in the sexual area but in every other area of life.