How do you control sex drives? Its perfectly natural to have them, but as such a large driving force in our life, its important we learn how to control them!
It’s not wrong to have sexual desires. It’s what we do with them in our thoughts, words and actions that can be good or bad. So here are some tips that may help.
Build strong friendships with good people
Begin by trying to form friendships with people who will always be supportive of you, not will force you into situations which may compromise your morals. Think about the impact your friends have on your well-being. Good real friends accept you for your beliefs and choices even if these differ from their own.
Consider what you are are taking in
When it comes to songs, films and TV shows it’s important to remember that they are all trying to sell their product to you. Unfortunately, ‘sex sells’ so many companies employ this tactic as a cheap sell. This means that it’s very easy to become surrounded by media designed to tempt us. Try to take what’s being shown with a pinch of salt and, where possible, find alternatives which keep the quality but drop this tactic.
A brilliant idea is to take up a hobby and fill your time with positive experience. Keep yourself occupied with friends, family, sports, hobbies, volunteering and similar activities. An old saying is that ‘the devil makes work for idle hands’ and so a fantastic way to counter this to fill up your time with good things.
Be intentional with following this up and keep your goals high
Developing a healthy control of your sex drive can take time. There will be many times you’re tempted and may be times you fall. This is not the end though. Stick to your guns get back up and push yourself to achieve more. This all requires a determination for purity. But consider how people deny themselves to get the perfect body. If people spent one-tenth of that time caring for their souls, we would be a world of saints.
No one thinks a man is unhealthy by repressing his desire for chocolate if he eats healthy food to prepare for a marathon. In the same way, what we are preparing for – love and holiness – requires serious training. You will not be repressing your sexual desires but redirecting that energy toward selfless love.
Don’t be afraid to ask for spiritual support
We are not alone in our struggle with temptation. In fact, even the saints endured similar battles. In the words of Saint Paul, “I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do… But I see in my members another law at war with the law of my mind, making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members” (Romans 7:19, 23). During this struggle, remember that God’s grace is sufficient, for his power is made perfect in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9).
Ask God for the wisdom to avoid temptation and the grace to please him. He will give these spiritual gifts, and many others, to those who ask for them. In the words of a wise priest, “The one obstacle that can turn our lives to misery is the refusal to believe that God will give us the victory of perfect chastity.”
How do you obtain that victory? The best way is constantly asking for Gods’ companionship and help in the form of prayer. Consider starting a daily prayer ritual; find a form of prayer that works for you and try to do it every day at roughly the same time. Whether that’s writing to God in a prayer journal, saying a standardised prayer, like the rosary, or simply taking ten minutes at the end of the day to quietly thank God and ask for his help tomorrow, having a prayer ritual will not only help you in your struggle but also will build your personal discipline and willpower.
Receive the Eucharist often
When possible, you may also like to consider going to additional Masses. The Eucharist is the fountain of love, so take advantage of those graces. Going to Mass will not take away all your temptations, but it will give you the grace of charity. In the Eucharist, Christ gives himself fully to us so that we might give ourselves fully. This is the foundation of chastity, because love motivates us to live for others instead of for ourselves. While this might be difficult to manage if school or work clashes, even just popping into a church and spending time with the Eucharist either in adoration or while it’s still in the tabernacle is incredibly life-giving.
Finally, when trying to develop good habits and control our sex drive it’s very easy to feel like every time we fall to temptation that we have failed. However, we need to get beyond this way of thinking. The devil will want to make you feel that one slip will damn you, but God does not condemn. Instead, God always provides the grace and strength we need to return to Him.
If you fall, ask God for those graces and, better yet, receive the sacrament of reconciliation when next you can. With God’s companionship we will reach the end goal of living lives of love and holiness.
 Paul M. Quay, S.J., The Christian Meaning of Human Sexuality (San Francisco:
Ignatius Press, 1985), 106.