Bow Drill Fires—A Metaphor for teens for overcoming sexual addiction

By Matt Bulkley | Blog Education Series

STAR Guides Wilderness - Bow Drill Fires—A Metaphor for teens for overcoming sexual addiction

In our modern society we take for granted things such as light and heat. Light is as simple as flipping a switch on the wall and heat is as simple as tapping the thermostat control up a few notches. For many youth, it is not until they experience life away from the amenities of society that making fire with sticks and rocks is an amazing sight that provides much needed light in the dark night and heat for cooking and staying warm.

Building fire with the bow drill can be a difficult and demanding experience for those new to the skill. It requires a great deal of time and effort to find and craft the sticks and rocks needed. Equipment typically consists of a tamarask bow, a sage spindle, a juniper root fire board, a piece of sandstone rock and juniper bark for a nest. It can take hours and hours to carefully craft these pieces of the elements to create a bow drill fire set worthy of building fire.

Once fire equipment has been crafted, then the process of learning the technique and science of fire occurs. Initial failure is guaranteed and it is only after overcoming the frustration and discouragement of trying and failing over and over that success is achieved. For some, fire is achieved after many days of effort and for others the fires come after many weeks of effort.

Students learn that there is no way to cheat or short cut their way to a fire. The flames only come through persistent effort over time and are the result of the students literal blood, sweat and tears. After so much effort and pain, the satisfaction of blowing the first coal into flame is truly an unforgettable experience.

This experience serves as an in vivo metaphor for students working to overcome a pornography and/or sexual addiction. Porn/sex provides teens with the experience of temporarily feeling good through virtually no effort on their part. This would be compared to using a match or lighter to build a fire. It takes very little effort to strike a match or flick a lighter.

The antithesis of addiction is effort and work. There is no immediate pay off and pain and struggle are the short-term result. However, as a person persists in effort and work, they begin to find satisfaction in their effort and over time, the long-term satisfaction that comes from effort and accomplishment carries a far greater sense of worth and contentment than the temporary pleasure that addiction provides could ever bring.

STAR Guides Wilderness - Bow Drill Fires—A Metaphor for teens for overcoming sexual addiction

The same can be said of building fire with the bow drill. The bow drill process requires constant effort and work. There is no short-lived pleasure in the process. Rather, the path includes initial pain and struggle. Sometimes the frustration can become nearly intolerable and thoughts of giving up are common. However, those who persist, endure and continue to try eventually succeed. The resulting payoff is a level of satisfaction that can never be obtained with addiction. The same can be said about striving to live a life free from porn and sexual addiction. The long-term satisfaction of healthy relationships and peace of mind and conscience far outweighs the temporary and fleeting pleasures that porn and sex addiction offers.

About the Author

Matt is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has been working in the field of youth treatment and psychotherapy since 1995. He did his undergraduate work at BYU and earned his M.S.W. at the University of Utah. He has worked in a variety of treatment setting in his career ranging from wilderness therapy and residential treatment to outpatient treatment and state government.

Leave a Comment:

Leave a Comment:

Call Now Button