Lust and Sexual Sin Assessment Tool

This resource is taken from the “False Love: Overcoming Sexual Sin from Pornography to Adultery seminar.

Instructions: Read the following descriptive statements. As you read them, think of your total experience of sexual sin; not just where you think you are “now” after committing to change. The purpose of this evaluation is to give a complete picture of what needs to be changed. Any dishonesty on this evaluation will severely impair your ability to overcome sexual sin and live in healthy, real relationships. Mark the answer that best fits how you respond:

(N) almost never, (R) rarely, (S) sometimes, (F) frequently, or (A) almost always.

When completing this evaluation, it is important to note that “sexual” or “attractive” do not have to mean visual. They are meant to carry the broader connotation of the word “intimate.” This involves both closeness and excitement.

Click here for 67 question assessment tool and scoring key: Sexual Sin Evalution

The progression of this evaluation goes from objectifying people, public visual lust, private narrative lust, soft pornography, hard pornography, interaction with a real anonymous person, emotional affair without touch, sexual touching without sex, one time affair, affair in an ongoing relationship, pseudo-marriage affair, illegal sexual activity, and same sex attraction. However, this progression is not meant to imply that this is the developmental cycle of sexual sin.

There is adultery that did not begin with pornography. Pornography does not necessarily lead to adultery. The purpose of the progression is to provide the rational for why Jesus would teach that to look at someone with “lustful intent” is a form of or seed for adultery. While the progression is not an inevitable slippery slope, reading the descriptions of the full journey into lustful depravity should sober you towards your sin. Figure 1 provides a visual of the “small steps” between lust and adultery.

1. Objectifying A Person: Reducing people to a certain set of appealing features and measuring people’s value by how much they please you.

2. Public Visual Lust: Using the objectification above as a scoring system and savoring actual people.

3. Private Narrative Lust: Allowing the scoring system to develop into a story in which you interact with someone in your imagination.

4. “Soft” Porn: Using television or catalogs to provide more “choice” but non-nude objects of lust and imagination.

5. Full Porn: Pursuing nude images and videos on the internet or other media forms and having the imagination expanded by professional “story tellers.”  The frequency, duration, and perversion of this activity can vary.

6. Interaction With a Real, Anonymous Person: The other participant in the story becomes a real person with a real voice and a free will.  This can be 1 (900) numbers, provocative chat rooms, strip club, or “sexting.”

7. Emotional Relationship with a Known Person Without Touch: No longer is the other real person unknown.  They have a real name, face, and history. They know your real name, face, and history.

8. Emotional Affair with Touch, Without Sex: This is probably the rarest item on the list, although it is frequently said to exist.  This is a relationship with a real person with kissing, massage, and other non-intercourse affections.

9. One Time Sexual Affair:  Now the intercourse barrier has been crossed, but (as in the case of a prostitute or drunken business trip fling) the relational connection may be low.

10. Affair in Connected Relationship: In terms of marital threat, the sexual affair is now secondary to the deepening “love” between the spouse and adultery partner.  Sex is no longer a mere expression of passion, but also devotion.

11. Affair as Pseudo-Spouse / Leaving: No longer is the faithful spouse making the decision regarding divorce.  The unfaithful spouse is the active party seeking to dissolve the marriage in order to pursue their adultery partner.

Read Matthew 5:21-30. In this passage Jesus deals with two subjects—anger and lust—in the same way: identify the heart issue, warn against the full grown sin, and call for radical action even at great personal cost. If your instinct is to rebuttal that people should not face prison time or execution for common anger, you are both right and completely missing the point. Jesus is warning you not instructing your spouse. If you focus on what Jesus did not mean (even if you are correct), you will neglect what He is saying to you… personally… right now… in this passage. Jesus is saying, “Take whatever steps are necessary to remove lust from your life. Unless your excuse is of greater consequence than losing an eye or hand, it is just that—an excuse.” The question before you now and throughout this study is, “Am I wanting to hear from God to receive words of life or am I distracting myself by arguing with the words of others?” With that question in mind, score your evaluation.

Question: Am I a sex addict? Is “sexual addiction” even a real thing? Would that make my sexual activity not sinful? The relational dynamic of sexual sin complicates the traditional view of addiction, even if you adhere to a disease model. Many of the books referenced in this study use the language of addiction (we reference these books because they have valuable insight into the description and assessment of sexual sin struggles). The False Love materials use the term addiction to refer to a life-dominating sin struggle, but do not believe that all sexual sin addressed in this study are necessarily mean you are an addict. If you wonder if your sexual sin has an addictive quality, answer the ten questions below. The more items you mark “yes” the more life-dominating your sexual sin has become.

“This is the way sin always is. It will always demand more of you. And meanwhile, as you have been more or less certain that you’ve been controlling your sin, it has actually been controlling you. Subtly, unrelentingly, it has reshaped your mind and your heart in very real ways (p. 21).” Tim Challies in Sexual Detox

  • Repeated failure to resist sexual impulses
  • The amount of time and degree of offensiveness of your sexual sin is increasing
  • Unsuccessful efforts to stop, reduce, or control your sexual sin
  • Spend a significant amount of time obtaining sex or arousal
  •  Preoccupied with sex, sexual behavior, sexual humor, or planning for next arousal episode
  • Engaging in sexual behavior when it interferes with job, school, home, or social expectations
  • Continue sexual behavior when it negatively impacts marriage, social, emotional, or spiritual life
  • Increasing in intensity, frequency, depravity, or risk is necessary to obtain the desired effect
  • Sacrificing social, recreational, or other healthy outlets for sexual release or relationship
  • Experience distress, anxiety, restlessness, or irritability if unable to engage in the behavior