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What Rock Music is Teaching Me About Sexual Addiction

April 9, 2010

A friend of mine in sexual addiction recovery mentioned the other day that it was “hard to think clearly with all the distortion going on in his life. 

I was intrigued by that statement. 

If you’re playing rock guitar, you don’t hook your guitar straight into the amplifier, you hook it up to a board that has effect pedals.  One of the most popular effects is distortion.  Distortion has been used since the late 1950s to add “crunch” and “growl” to the sound of a guitar. Distortion can also amplify and expand the sound of any note or chord.   

Ike Turner is rumored to have been the first guitarist to use distortion in his playing after accidentally discovering the effect when his amp was dropped and caused his guitar’s sound to become distorted. 

Distortion gets the guitarist away from the pure sound of the guitar and brings dissonance.  This dissonance actually becomes the preferred way for many to play the guitar.  For many, distortion is the right guitar sound for good music.  Many music fans have become accustomed to the distortion sound and prefer it. 

What a surprise it is to hear rock artists take their most popular rock songs and put them into acoustic format.   They like to call this “Unplugged”.  

I remember hearing Eric Clapton’s Layla for the first time on his MTV Unplugged special.  Weird!  It was still good, but different.  I understand Bryan Adams is going on tour this summer with an acoustic only setup.  I remember Pat Benatar doing several acoustic gigs last year.  

We are not used to hearing the “pure sound” of the guitar.  We are used to noise, the effects, the layers of the band, the electronics and the amplification.  

It takes us a while to appreciate music without distortion.  It takes us a while to get used to the pure sound of the guitar.  


1.  God calls us to a pure sexuality, but we have gotten used to a distorted version of sexuality.

2.  We don’t know what pure sexuality is.  Nobody has taught it to us.

3.  We don’t recognize pure sexuality.  Nobody has modeled it to us.    

4.  The problem is not that we have a distorted sexuality, but that we think it’s normal.

A Typical Distortion Pedal

5.  We need to unplug from the things that are bringing distortion to our sexuality

  • Bad relationships
  • Bad habits
  • Lust
  • Triggery things in our house
  • Our job

6.  The standard of our purity must come from God’s Word

A major goal in recovery is to learn what pure sexuality is.  We have believed many lies about sexuality that we need to identify.  Indentifying lies begins with an infusion of the truth.  Consider some verses: 

Ephesians 5:3
But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. 

Hebrews 13:4
Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral. 

1 Thessalonians 5:23
May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 

1 Corinthians 6:12
“Everything is permissible for me”—but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible for me”—but I will not be mastered by anything. 

Galatians 5:22-23
 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”

One Comment
  1. April 9, 2010 9:46 am

    I so relate to this post. I actually had the distorted sexuallity modeled for me by my father, and affermed by my mother. They thought there was nothing wrong with it. They had never heard what their parents were trying to teach them. I heard the stories of what was expected and the laughter at the ways they got around this.

    And we are constantly bombarded with this distortion. A recent commercial had me jumping latetly. It is a mother nursing her child. I was shocked and taken aback by this. Then I realised that if it was not for the distorted and twisted way my mind had learned to view things there would be no problems with that commercial. Nursing is a natural thing, the best way a mother can feed a child. But not when viewed with the out of whack mentality of the sex addict.

    I find that the more I am in Gods word the better my vision is. Its like slowly getting lazer surgery on my eyes, so that they will see what they are suppose to see, not the cloudy merky garbage filled images that use to draw me close.

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