Is it wrong for a man to have sexual fantasies about a woman he has no intention of pursuing as potential wife in marriage? Does God condemn sexual imagination that does not have as it’s focus either a real potential spouse or one’s current spouse if they are already married?
Many Christians believe the answer to both of these questions is a resounding “YES”. AnnaMS, a regular commenter here on BiblicalGenderRoles.com, recently represented this popular position in response to some comments on my post “Are some wives tempting their husbands to lust?”.
AnnaMS’s Statement on Sexual Fantasy
“Yes men are going to desire sex with a woman they are not currently married to. Both genders should have a healthy desire for sex although of course a man’s will normally be stronger. This desire needs to be channeled.
If the woman he is thinking about is a girlfriend or a fiance, he should channel that into excitement about a future marital sexual relationship. That is desiring sex in marriage.
If the woman is not someone he is in a relationship with but wants to be, he should channel that into trying to start a relationship which will hopefully lead to marriage (assuming other requirements like her being a Christian, both of them being single, etc. are all worked out). That is also desiring sex in marriage.
If the woman is someone he is extremely unlikely to ever be married to (like the guy at the supermarket who is married already and will likely be married for quite some time still), he should channel that desire into something that he can put sexual focus on (a wife), or if that is not possible, something that will distract him (like sports, or whatever). That desire is not sex in marriage because any sex that might happen between them will not be in marriage cuz they are extremely unlikely to ever be married.
So redirecting his attention to sex in marriage or something else entirely if that is not an option, is his best bet. Imagining being married to someone we are never in a million years going to be married to is hardly the same thing as actually pursuing a woman as a future wife.”
Sex is reserved for marriage
First let me state where I and most Christians like AnnaMS would agree. Sexual acts whether they be intercourse, oral sex or manual sex are strictly reserved for marriage. The Bible makes this clear in the book of Hebrews:
“Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.” – Hebrews 13:4 (KJV)
God is clear that the only sexual relations between a man and woman that he honors is that which occurs in the covenant of marriage.
If the physical acts of sex itself are reserved for marriage, then aren’t thoughts of sex reserved for marriage as well?
This is the logical question and conclusion that many Christians have come to and one that AnnaMS holds. Now there are some divisions within this group. Some Christians believe it is ok to have sexual fantasies about a potential spouse (someone you are dating or engaged to) while others believe all sexual fantasies before marriage are sinful. I believe taking the statement above as well as others I read from AnnaMS that she believes it is ok to have sexual fantasies about someone you are pursing for marriage, but sexual fantasies and thoughts without this context are sinful in her view and the view of many Christians.
This leads us into the key area of this discussion of sexual fantasy – and that is the thought life of a believer.
Does God care about our thoughts?
One of the things that distinguishes the Christian faith from others is that it shows us that God cares not only about our actions – but also our thoughts and intentions.
“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” – Hebrews 4:12 (KJV)
So Biblically speaking our thought life is VERY important to God.
Most people think that Jesus was the first one to speak on the fact that God judges not only our actions – but out thoughts as well. But they would be wrong. Moses actually elaborated on how important our thoughts are to God when he wrote the 10th commandment:
“Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.” – Exodus 20:17 (KJV)
Covetousness is a thought sin. It is thinking something God does not want us to think. Envy is also a thought sin along with hatred. Lust is synonymous with covetousness as we see here from the Apostle Paul:
“What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.” – Romans 7:7 (KJV)
Coveting something is not the same as finding it desirable. You can find someone’s home, their car or even their wife to be desirable and there is no sin that. Coveting is when you desire to take possession of something God did not intend you to possess. So in the case of your neighbor it is when you desire to take possession of his wife sexually that you are lusting (coveting) after her.
Christ spoke again on this matter of coveting a man’s wife and he even classified it as a new form “mental” adultery when he stated:
“Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery:
But I say unto you, that whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” – Matthew 5:27-28 (KJV)
So yes as we can see from Moses first mention of coveting, God very much cares about our thoughts.
So how does God judge our sexual fantasies?
Up to this point we have proven two things that are clear from the Scriptures – the physical acts of sex are reserved for marriage and God does indeed care about our thought life.
But where the gulf begins between believers on this issue of sexual fantasy is what thoughts God judges as sinful, and what thoughts God honors?
God definitely does not want us thinking about how we can get another man’s wife to have sex with us or how we can get some single girl into bed with us without being married to her first. That is something we can all agree on from Scripture. But what about our imagination?
How men and women imagine differently
Just like in many other areas, men and women tend to exercise their imaginations in different ways. Now this is not to say that some men don’t have imaginations similar to that of women and that some women don’t have imaginations similar to men but there are some distinct differences between the genders in this area.
Let me frame this outside the sexual arena first.
I have loved science fiction from the time I was little. I grew up on Star Wars and all the Star Trek TV Shows and movies. I was a big fan of the Lord of the Rings books and was thrilled to go and watch each one at the movie theaters. I loved and still love the Marvel and DC comic super heroes and there is are few super hero movies that I have not seen.
Is it a coincidence that the majority of Science fiction and fantasy fans are men? I don’t think so. I am not saying there are not women who are into these things as well because I know of them. But they are the minority.
Now some men may not be like me and they may hate sci-fi. But often they have some other area that they spend a great deal of time imagining about like sports, hunting, combat or architecture.
Women have been brought more into the fantasy worlds with series like the Twilight saga and other books but the way they are brought in is because of the romance and relational aspects.
So as we can see while both men and women do engage in various forms of imagination – men’s imaginations tend to be “action” based while for most women their imaginations tend to be “relation” based.
Let me say this another way – we as men imagine ourselves doing things like fighting the bad guy in a superhero or war movie or flying that star fighter while women typically imagine relational things like a man kissing them, or their wedding, or how they will decorate their house or holding their child for the first time.
Now let me bring this back to the sexual arena. A man imagines having sex with a woman much in the same way he might imagine himself scoring that touch down in the super bowl, firing that sniper shot that killed the bad guy or flying the millennium falcon in Star Wars. These are all actions to him.
A man can imagine having sex with a woman completely outside the context of any kind of relationship.
I am going to make a statement here that will make a lot of women upset but it is the truth about how a man’s mind works by the design of God.
A man can imagine having sex with an attractive woman in the same way he can imagine driving that speed boat he sees in the dock of some harbor.
Yes men see women as sexual objects to be used for their pleasure.
But we also see women as people too. These two things are NOT contradictory and every woman needs to realize this truth. Every man needs to be honest with himself about this as well.
The fact that we as men see women as people too is the reason why men don’t just grab and have sex with every woman they see. It is why husbands don’t try to have sex with their wives when they are sick or after they have had a baby. It is why Christian men do their very best to not engage in sex before marriage. But make no mistake, we as men see women as objects of sexual pleasure – it is built into our DNA by God himself.
This is where men and women’s imaginations sharply differ. For most women – they cannot imagine sex with someone without a relational context and this is something that women cannot grasp about men how they can do this.
So in the same way that a man would NEVER be Iron Man but can imagine himself flying through the sky in that suit he can also imagine having sex with an actress in that same film that he will probably never meet and he has no intentions of pursuing for marriage.
So is sexual imagination outside a relational context sinful?
This brings us to the answer to our question. Are Christians like AnnaMs and many others right that God intended for our sexual imagination to always have a relational aspect to it(it must be about a person who we could actually marry or are currently married to) or can a man imagine sex with a woman totally outside of any relational context?
God created, understands and honors our ability to imagine things and he only dislikes wicked imaginations:
“And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the Lord searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever.” – I Chronicles 28:9 (KJV)
“These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:
A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,
An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,
A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.” – Proverbs 6:16-19 (KJV)
So as long as we are not imagining doing something evil – then we are free to imagine whatever we like. Whether that be with flying a space ship, scoring a touchdown or having sex with a woman outside of any relational context.
Sex is a good thing to imagine about. God designed us to imagine sexual situations – especially as men even more than he did women. We are hardwired to imagine every physical aspect of sex.
It is only when we add the relational context to a sexual thought that it becomes sinful or not sinful. If you imagine having sex with a woman by itself there is no sin.
But when you imagine having sex with her in the relational context of actually getting her to have sex with you outside of marriage then you have just had a covetous and wicked imagination. But if the relational context you add is that of marriage and you possibly could marry this woman there is no sin that either.
The answer to the question posed at the beginning of this post is this.
Relational contexts are NOT required for sexual imaginations any more than contexts are required for us imagining ourselves to be Iron Man or superman.
The scriptures never constrain sexual imagination to be limited to potential or current spouses in marriage.
Our ability to imagine things whether it be being a super hero or having sex with that beautiful blonde on the cover of that magazine is not something to be suppressed or something we need to distract ourselves from – no my friends it is a gift of almighty God.
To Christian young men and old men alike reading this. You have a choice. You can continue walking around the rest of your life condemning yourself for any sexual thoughts you have outside a relational context or you can embrace the fact that you have the ability to have sexual imaginations outside a relational context and this is a gift from God.
The enemy is not your sexual imagination, rather the enemy is lust which is covetousness.
Do not let other Christians, even well-meaning Christians steal your freedom to imagine or put constraints on your imagination that God has not placed, but rather do as the Apostle Paul admonished the Galatians:
“Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage… For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.” – Galatians 5:1 & 13
Freely imagine my brothers, but do not allow your imagination to turn into covetous or evil thoughts. Your desire and ability to imagine the female form in all its splendor is a gift from God, just don’t allow your sin nature to corrupt this gift into thoughts of premarital sex or adultery.
73 thoughts on “Is sexual fantasy outside a relational context sinful?”
There is a distinction between wanting a wife with the attributes you see in another woman and wanting that woman. Contrary to modern psych-myth men do not treat sex as purely physical, just as women do not treat sex as purely emotional/relational. When a man sees a Ferrari he may imagine the feeling of going fast, being surrounded by glamorous metal or being the envy of his peers, but in most cases he doesn’t want the mechanic bills, the speeding tickets and the insurance bill. Sure he will daydream that he is speeding along the racetrack or in a James Bond type car chase, but he really doesn’t want the whole experience.
When a christian husband sees a lingerie model and is aroused, the desire is more about wanting to posses a beautiful wife who is willing and eager to satisfy him sensually more than he wants an anorexic, attention whoring prima donna model. He wants his own wife to help him create the feelings he imagines that model might in a fantasy scenario. Just as he might drive his own minivan pretending it is a Ferrari for a moment or two, he imagines his own wife as able to satisfy his desires.
For many men the attributes that most “turn him on” are contentment, a smile, sexual enthusiasm, wise financial stewardship, and joy at being with him. In other words the voids created by discontent and fear are ugly and men will imagine filling those voids; a Christian man will likely imagine his own wife to posses the desired attributes and repent of the sins of discontent and anxiety.
Beauty is a gift, as is a good spirit, women should not despise it themselves or in others, nor should they despise their husbands for appreciating beauty of appearance or of the inward beauty of the spirit. If a wife is upset that her husband would rather look at the Victoria’s secret catalog than at her, she might try to give him what he desires in her; that might be lingerie and a visual treat, enthusiastic sex or just the fantasy that he is highly desirable and greatly valued by at least one woman, his woman. A woman’s attempt to control his eyes and thoughts is disorder and will end in resentment. Such attempts are in the end a spiritual castration and the end of masculinity in the husband.
I believe that Christ is grieved that His words in Matt 5:28 have been used by His church to justify sin; namely fear and discontent in wives, even as the reason for divorce which God hates. The magnification of the sin of coveting should convict every sinner, not be a club to bludgeon men so they submit to their wives.
Wow! This is dead on! Wife can’t figure out why husband doesn’t think she is sexy – wife never dresses or acts sexy. It’s a problem that is simple to solve. Be your mans fantasy and his mind will wander less off of you (it will never stop wandering, men are just built this way).
I agree with you that there are some universal attributes that Christian men would like to see in their wives – like a submissive and respectful spirit and her making a genuine effort to keep up her appearance and meet his needs for visual and physical sexual intimacy. However men are also creatures of variety(and this is demonstrated in men having multiple wives in the Bible). A man could have had 4 wives and each of them might be wonderful women. But each had their own distinct personality and physical characteristics. Maybe one evening he would feel like spending the evening with his fuller figure, more outgoing wife. Another night he might want to spend the evening with his quieter, dark skinned and slender bodied wife.
My point is the things we see in other women are not always necessarily things we want our wives to change into to. It is just the fact that we as men can enjoy a variety of women.
Now for Christian women – if their goal is to wear lingerie and do everything possible to get their husbands to never look at or possibly think of another woman that goal may never be met. However if a woman is doing these same things(good things) not to make her husband think ONLY of her and no one else but rather simply to please him and do everything in her power to keep him from true sexual temptation then this a realistic and noble goal that can be met.
BGR – However men are also creatures of variety(and this is demonstrated in men having multiple wives in the Bible).
I have reservations concerning a defense of polygamy, but I think this desire can be used for oneness. It is a good use for fantasy,: a wife can playact and a man can fantasize with his one wife. Costumes, make-believe scenarios and play acting could make a single woman have the appeal of many if only the church didn’t spend so much effort suppressing desire and sexual play.
I have no wish for this discussion here to spiral into a discussion of whether God designed men as polygamous beings or if man’s polygamous nature is a distortion and corruption of his original design by God. As you know I have discussed my understanding of that issue in dedicated posts elsewhere.
But I can definitely see where if you as a Christian man do reject the idea that God created men to desire not only variety in their wives, but also a variety of women you would feel the need to center all your sexual fantasy and thoughts back toward your one wife and I can respect that position even if we don’t agree on the validity of polygamy.
It was definitely good to spend a few days away from internet service at a cabin with friends and the hubs, but a lot to wade through here. My apologies if I miss anything (and I may break this up into multiple comments for clarity, so hopefully that will not be an issue).
BGR, it looks like you have an issue with my husband drawing a difference between sexual imagination and imagination in general. However, I would submit that Jesus does the exact same thing in the Bible. Of the small number of 10 commandments, Jesus chose to address one on coveting and an entirely separate one on adultery. Not to mention the separate Bible verses about sexual purity. Basically, you see verses on coveting and other verses on sexual purity. You do not see verses about coveting and separate verses about Ferrari purity, or steak purity, or hamburger purity (gotta say, I did prefer when I wasn’t something you could get on the dollar menu, but whatever). When you say things like ‘let’s replace the Ferrari with Jennifer Love Hewitt”, you’ve already gone past what the Bible does. And this isn’t about objectifying women, it’s about how God did see fit to expand more on sexual purity than he did about coveting a Ferrari. Although honestly, if you’re driving by a Ferrari shop each day, with no ability to buy one, and wistfully imagining driving one, and frustrated that you dont’ have one, that’s coveting. When we’re fantasizing about something that we are never going to actually have, that’s coveting. Now before we get to that point, we could have easily displeased God by showing either discontentment or wasting time, but that’s another issue. The difference with women, is that even driving by a ‘women shop’ (aka porn, VS magazines etc.) each day quickly becomes coveting. But again, the Scriptures make sexual purity a separate issue and a primary issue. Paul even says that sexual sin is set apart and unlike other sins. In context, he is talking about adultery (although most cases of adultery begin with mental sin especially the sin of discontentment). Now sin is sin to God (as in they all by themselves required His blood), but some have greater affect on people. I would rather someone rob me than rape me. Sexual sins have greater affect on people than other sins do. It’s probably why God spent so much time talking about it.
Sex is inherently possessive (which I think we both agree on). When people are fantasizing about sex, that means that they are fantasizing about possessing someone sexually. When that is outside of an existing marriage (which would be where I have an issue with fantasies about woman men aren’t married to but they are imagining are), that is the sin. You want to have a fantasy that’s not possessive? Go fantasize about taking a lady to dinner, keeping your eyes on her face the whole time, and shaking her hand afterwards, but if we’re honest, that’s not what we are referring to when we speak about fantasies. Honestly, if someone claimed to be fantasizing about having sex with someone they had no desire to have sex with, outside of the impossibility of that statement, they gotta just have way to much time on their hands. If it’s not something they desire, why spend time on it? Do men honestly fantasize about how terrible sex with an actress would be? Of course not…it is always something that they are enjoying and desiring. We are responsible to God for how we spend our time. If a man has no desire to have sex with an actress, and fantasizing with her does nothing to make him a better Christian, husband, father, citizen, etc. why in the world would he do that? More importantly, he is wrong to. It’s a psychological reality that if we don’t think things are going to work towards our happiness, we don’t do them. Now happiness can be short-term (eating dessert) or long-term (avoiding eating dessert for health reasons), but as human beings, men don’t spend time fantasizing about things they don’t actually think will make them happy.
Finally, about separating a person’s sexual objectivity from their personhood. It seems we have three options here. 1: they are linked. 2: They can be separated. 3: They are so separate it is hard to link them again. The first is ideal. This was the pre-Fall world. The second is the result of the Fall and sin. Sure, it’s possible for men to do that (just like a whole ton of ‘men can’ statements are), but it is sin (again, like a ton of ‘men can’ statements end up being). The scariest thing about the second option though is that when it is ignored or worse, encouraged, it can lead to option 3. This is something Tobias has seen numerous times with people he has talked to about heavy porn addictions (there is also a lot of research done on this that is very easy to find…i can link a source if you want, but I’d rather not post articles about porn without your approval). And it does not happen overnight so please do not think that because it hasn’t happened yet, it won’t. These men spent so much time seeing women as a compilation of sexual body parts on screen, paper, or film, that they had re-trained their mind on how to respond sexually. When faced with an actual woman, their body didn’t respond. There was no longer anything sexual about a real woman. Please do not see your ability to separate the two as a blessing.
I think there is a very valid point to be made about exploring sexual fantasies and desire with a spouse. However, the danger there is that we can end up simply labeling a fantasy as a fantasy with a spouse when upon closer examination, it is not. This was a point that our pre-marital counselor brought up and I had not considered it previously. If I’m fantasizing about having sex with my six-pack husband, i’m not imagining sex with my husband, because that is not my husband. Similarly, if Tobias is imagining me loving giving him oral sex, that is also not imagining sex with me, because that isn’t me (i’m hoping it will be someday, but as of now, it is not). I think imagining having actual real sex with our spouse can be a very fun and healthy thing to do, and it’s definitely great foreplay, but we need to be careful that we’re not using that to allow discontentment to grow.
Jeff, I get what you’re saying about wanting your wife to be enthusiastic about sex even if it came at the cost of some extra pounds, less tasty food, and a little clutter around the house. However, that’s not what a lot of Red Pill blogs teach. God will not be mocked. Play with fire and you will very likely get burned. Your wife is probably responding to living with a Red Pill man. Now i don’t see any reason why she needs to let any of the above go in order to be enthusiastic about sex in the moment, but that could explain why she is more paranoid about things like maintaining her weight. Now I do not know your wife and it is very possible that I am wrong here, but when I read a lot of Red Pill blogs, the first thing in my mind is “I’d better not gain any weight and my feminine skills had better remain perfect”. And yeah, for awhile, I responded in paranoia that took Tobias quite awhile to work through. Thankfully this was before we got married. Honestly, I think Red Pill theory has been the #1 source of damage in our relationship. It still rears its ugly head occasionally although not nearly as bad.
SnapperTrx, I am also not a Bible scholar (although my husband is). So I definitely appreciate and value your opinion. However, when you say, “It’s a problem that is simple to solve. Be your mans fantasy and his mind will wander less off of you (it will never stop wandering, men are just built this way).”……….it honestly just sounds like you’re saying “women, do your best and you will still fail but less than you might otherwise”. Not terribly surprising that a lot of women aren’t running to catch that train. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for encouraging lingerie, enhancing sex appeal, and finding out what really gets my husband going, but I don’t do any of that out of a desperate desire to merely stay afloat in life (with the knowledge that my head will still go underwater occasionally). I can’t imagine how depressing that must be.
Your reply assumes that a man looking at another woman he finds attractive as a failure on his wife’s part, I intended it as an observation on the nature of men, but your interpretation sounds like the common one amongst women. The majority of men would be happy if their wife was half as enthusiastic in keeping her self looking good and providing great sex as any movie star, but it seems as though they find it as too much work.
Far from it actually. Some women do find it too much work and that is sad….wrong really. My point wasn’t that women shouldn’t put in the effort, it was why they were putting in the effort and what their husband really wanted. Of course it’s possible that some of the failing women were told that regardless of what they did they were going to fail, and so they chose the easiest option and just gave up. Women, and really people in general, tend to do better when they’re not set up for failure.
Of course I also find a huge difference between noticing a woman is attractive and fantasizing about her. Neither are ultimately the wife’s fault. The first is natural, the second is ultimately a failing on the husband’s part. Although of course individual wives may or may not have made it easier for their husbands to fail in this area. I have absolutely no problem advising a wife to be as beautiful and sexually pleasing for her husband as possible.
I want to thank you and your husband Tobias for keeping this discussion civil as tempers and emotions can flare easily in these discussions. Some men might read these comments of yours and feel degraded as men, and some women might read my comments and feel degraded as women.
But as I have said many times on this site and will continue to say for as long as God gives me breath to do so – we cannot base our theology, our soteriology, our views of the natures and roles of men and women, marriage or child rearing on our feelings or our cultural upbringing. If we are to fully understand God’s Word we must divorce ourselves from our feelings and our cultural biases. We must start at Genesis 1 and move to Revelation to see the full will of God on these important areas of life.
With that said this will be my last response to you in this thread as I realize like some other topics we can beat a dead horse. I will also say though that I am thankful that we had the discussion because you have represented well what I and many other men were taught about themselves and their natures growing up in Church. You have also helped me to sharpen my arguments – especially in the particular word choices that I make so I can more effectively communicate these Scriptural principles to those men and women who are willing to remove their cultural biases and feelings and look these issues in a fresh light.
Yes we definitely have a difference on this issue of imagination. While Christ did speak on a specific form of covetousness – that of coveting another man’s wife (which he called adultery of the heart) more than other forms of covetousness he did not place any extra restrictions for one particular form of imagination (sexual) in order to guard us from sexual covetousness. Our war is with covetousness, envy and obsession which can lead to other sins like fornication, greed, theft and murder. Our war is not against our imagination or our sexual natures which God has gifted us with.
I agree the Scriptures show us that sexual sin is set apart as an especially grievous sin before God – no argument there. And yes sexual purity is seen in the Scriptures as very important to God (all the laws on virginity prove that point). But it is how the Scriptures define what God calls sexual purity where sharp disagreements begin to emerge.
We would agree that thoughts or actions pertaining to prostitution, pre-marital sex, adultery, homosexuality, rape, wife swapping, orgies and homosexuality are all sexually impure thoughts and actions. But what many in the church have done for centuries is to add things to what God calls sexually impure and that is what I am fighting against on this site.
It is completely and utterly sexually PURE and honorable before God for a young man, old man, single man or married man to enjoy that glance of a woman’s cleavage, or the small of her back, or wonder what she looks like naked or imagine what it would be like to have sex with her. This is a gift from God – not something to be suppressed and or for women to condemn men for or for men to condemn themselves for. Obviously as with all of God’s other gifts (like our ability to see, smell and enjoy the taste of food) we must always be on guard against our sin nature perverting our God given sexual thoughts and desires into a desire to fornicate.
I know you have good intentions and you only want to serve God and see other Christian men serve God and avoid sin. These are admirable goals and I share these goals with you. But I sharply differ with you (and many in the churches) on how God wants us to reach those goals and the methods we must employ to meet them. And with all due respect, I believe you and a great deal of Christians have unknowingly allowed yourselves to follow the false doctrines of Christian asceticism although today the church primary targets it asceticism at male sexuality. “Sex is dirty”, “Men are shallow”, “Men are pigs” – all these came from Christian asceticism targeted toward male sexuality and they have been engrained for many centuries.
That’s actually not supported by the Scriptures or any definition of fantasy. The entire point of fantasy whether it is in the sexual arena or other arenas is the ability to imagine going places, doing things or even having things we may never be able to do or have. God does NOT condemn fantasy in any area. What he condemns are wicked thoughts. Thoughts of discontentment, Thoughts of stealing (while desiring to have things is not wrong), thoughts of fornication (but sexual desire itself is not wrong) and thoughts of murder (not killing itself as there is a time and place for killing). We are to war against wicked thoughts – not our imaginations by itself.
Again this is a twisting and knotting of my words. Let me reword this statement of yours so it correctly reflects what I am saying:
A man can fantasize about having sex with a woman without actually desiring to fornicate with her. Men do it every day!
I have a great real world analogy for you that just happened to me. My wife and I went out for New Year’s Eve to a fancy Steak restaurant with her sister and her husband and another couple. My wife and I decided to go big and get the $40 dollar fillets – the best steak in the house. Then other couple decided that was outside their budget and they got the $20 sirloin steaks. They even commented on how good our steaks looked.
Now if that man who could only afford the $20 steak was simply appreciating the look, the smell and imagining how great my fillet tasted as I ate it – he did not sin. But if he allowed himself to desire to steal some of my steak he has just coveted. If he starts formulating a plan on how he might steal a bite of my steak when I go the bathroom he has furthered his covetous sin.
This EXACT same principle would apply to if this man was looking at my wife in the same way as he was looking at that steak. I agree with you that the consequences of him coveting my wife or actually planning on sneaking a touch of my wife would be far greater than him desiring to steal a bite of my steak. But the principles are identical!
Ok so we now have the “when all else fails are there better ways to spend our time” attack on male sexuality and sexual imagination. I agree that God cares about how we spend our time. God wants us to spend time with our wives, and our children. He wants us to spend time in service to him through Church or other para-Church activities. But God also wants us to rest, relax and rejuvenate. God wants us to enjoy his creation in us and around us.
God loves it when we sit out our porch and see the beautiful colors of the leaves as they change in the fall. God loves it when we admire that beautiful rainbow in the sky just after it rains. God loves it when men play football and compete hard as he designed them to do. God loves it when an architect designs a beautiful building and takes joy from just imagining how wonderful it will be when it is constructed. God loves it when we smell that fresh bread our wife is baking in the oven and we are enjoying the thought of sinking our teeth into its soft yumminess.
God loves it when a man has a dream to stop working for “the man” and build his own business one day even if he might not ever be able to make that dream a reality. God loves it when men think of other worlds and dream of other dimensions and write stories about these imaginary worlds for others to enjoy.
And yes contrary to what you and many Christians believe – God loves it when a young boy notices a woman’s cleavage for the first time as she bends over in front of him in the store and it send chills up his back. God loves it when a man is walking through the mall and sees the small of a woman’s back revealed between her blouse and her pants and this sends sheer joy throughout his brain. God loves it when a man sees a woman across the room and he is able to imagine how soft she would be to touch and how wonderful it would be to have sex with her.
No my friends – this is not sin and it’s not a waste of our time as men. Can it become a waste of our time if we obsess and spend every waking hour? Of course but that applies to all good things that God has given us.
How does a man enjoying the pleasure of his God given sexual imagination make him a better Christian, husband, father and citizen? This same thing – a man taking pleasure from his God given sexual imagination can be blessing or a curse to his life depending on how he uses it. If he uses it wisely and in moderation (as opposed to obsession) this will make him calmer and more relaxed. It will put him in a better mood when perhaps he was having a bad day from other circumstances. It could arouse him and make him brave enough to ask that girl on date. It could arouse him and cause him to sexually desire his wife once again.
It interesting to me that we always look at the dangers of overindulgence and obsession with sex (as with porn addiction and other areas) but in the church we ignore the dangers of sexual suppression in men.
No one wants to talk about how perverted men’s minds become when their sexuality is suppressed – rather than allowed to be expressed in and experienced in healthy ways that do NOT violate God’s law.
We see it in the Catholic priest’s sex scandals or in the fact that men in prison for long periods often turn to homosexuality. There is as much danger from sexual suppression of the male sexual nature as there is in over indulgence of the male sexual nature. That is a FACT that is never talked about in the church.
One last note – I realize you hate women being compared to cheeseburgers, cars or other non-person type things but God did it right there in the 10 commandments:
Women are compared to a house, an ox, a donkey and all his other possessions.
And yes a man’s ability to separate a person’s body (or the function of their body) from their person is indeed a GIFT from God. If men could not do this most companies would go out of business and we would never be able to defeat our enemies in battle.
Can this ability that men have to objectify people for their functions be abused? Absolutely. But women face this same dilemma in their ability to empathize. If a woman applied her ability to empathize with her children as she cares for them and empathized with the plight of a poor man as he stole her car that would be a problem as well.
Anyway –that’s it that is all I have to say on this thread to you. The last word is yours.
Thanks for your response, BGR. I’m going to leave most of it be as there really is no point in beating a dead horse as you say. I did want to make two quick points.
First, you distinguished between having sex with someone and fornicating with them. To the extent that the ‘sex’ i was talking about was between two non-married people (which is what I was referring to), than the two statements are the same. Imagining having sex with Jennifer Love Hewitt is imagining fornicating with her because she is not and will never be your wife, my husband’s wife, or anybody else who is likely to be reading this (and I mean no offense by stating that). This is where my issue with men who magically involve a non-existent wedding ring in their fantasies comes in.
Secondly, and this really isn’t my hill to die on, but if men are not being compared to donkeys in Exodus 20:10 where it says that neither they nor his animal should do work on the Sabbath, than women are not being compared to donkeys in the verse you mentioned. The grammatical structure and the point is the same. The lists themselves are strikingly similar. Now I think you can mention things in a list without saying that they are all comparable so I don’t think either person is being compared to an animal there. I could just as easily say that me and my couch are both located in the apartment at present and I’m not comparing myself to a couch.
Oh wow lots of comments!
AnnaMS I’m so glad you wrote this comment:
“Jeff, I get what you’re saying about wanting your wife to be enthusiastic about sex even if it came at the cost of some extra pounds, less tasty food, and a little clutter around the house. However, that’s not what a lot of Red Pill blogs teach. God will not be mocked. Play with fire and you will very likely get burned. Your wife is probably responding to living with a Red Pill man. Now i don’t see any reason why she needs to let any of the above go in order to be enthusiastic about sex in the moment, but that could explain why she is more paranoid about things like maintaining her weight. Now I do not know your wife and it is very possible that I am wrong here, but when I read a lot of Red Pill blogs, the first thing in my mind is “I’d better not gain any weight and my feminine skills had better remain perfect”. And yeah, for awhile, I responded in paranoia that took Tobias quite awhile to work through.”
^So a lot of the crazy non-Christian red pill blogs may say that women need to be absolutely perfect, but keep in mind the red pill community is huge, over 100 blogs maybe even over 200.
The Christian ones (which are very few) don’t seem to promote a wife needing to be kept in perfection, in fact, Athol Kay’s blog Married Man Sex Life actually goes into what Jeff is exactly talking about with a wife not needing to be so perfect all the time, but men craving a better sex life. I think he explains it in a way of saying that their wives get the grades of A- housekeeping A – cooking A – parenting A-financial planning D or F- sex life … whereas these men would MUCH prefer for it to be more balanced with a wife that was even: B housekeeping B- coooking, B- parenting, B- financial planning and B- sex . I’m pretty sure he talks with a lot of men who claim that their wives are perfect in nearly everything just because they value those things themselves, but when it comes to their sex life, that’s where it drops off the wife’s radar completely.
Good point, Dragon Fly. I had read Athol Kay’s post previously and I thought he explained that concept beautifully. Although I wouldn’t call his blog a Christian blog…he claims to be atheist if I remember correctly. Haven’t been on his site for awhile. I think the same concept is true for women whose husbands are hard workers, great with the kids, and provide all their needs, but never tell them they’re beautiful or that they are loved. I definitely think that women should work on having a straight B wife report card rather than AAAAAF, but I can see how some women might become so paranoid about certain other things (especially weight from what I’ve read). I’ve been there and it sucked. For both me and Tobias.
One of the things I’ve found to be true for me, is that when I’m enthusiastic about sex with my husband (it really can be quite a joy and very fulfilling knowing our husbands have this huge need that we alone are intended to fill), it spills over into the rest of my life and it’s easier to find joy in things like making him food, doing laundry, tidying up the house, or being pretty. The first month of our marriage when sex wasn’t an option, I found myself doing those same things as a way to prove that I wasn’t a totally useless wife (I should mention that my husband actively fought against that mentality and never once demeaned me for my struggles). There was no joy in that, just desperation and a sense of constantly trying to keep my head above water. It’s much more freeing now. I wonder how many women would find the same to be true for them if they were able to adjust their priorities a little bit.
I don’t know as much about the red pill communities as you and AnnaMS but if they are preaching that women need to have perfect bodies they are idiots. It is absolutely true as Jeff said and you have said that most of us guys don’t expect women to have perfect bodies. Most of us can overlook bellies or some love handles and some extra weight.
I think from a visual perspective we just like to see that hour glass shape and we are wired for it. But most women wrongly think you have to be skinny and petite and not have any extra weight to have an hour glass figure and that is completely false. Many heavier set women and older women have gained some weight with babies and age but they still have that curve between their breasts and their hips that men desire.
I wrote a post about this subject almost two years ago that was primarily written toward single women who were looking for men but I do talk at the end about married women who have gained weight. I am moved to the front of my blog to high light this important discussion.
I totally agree with you about men and the weight thing! Unless it’s that she completely let herself go, most men aren’t like that. It’s funny this topic has come up in our household recently… I’ve gained 20 pounds since August which is not the norm for me, but my husband doesn’t care and says he doesn’t even notice. I notice though lol, but I think us women are harder on our bodies than our husbands are. He is upset that he’s gained weight himself in the last year – it’s probably a little of the new baby and stress in his job, so he’s gotten us a gym membership mostly so he can lift weights and stress relief that way.
It’s mostly only the extremist red pill single men blogs that are nutty about weight perfection – Chateau Heartiste (who also denigrates down syndrome people 😦 ) and Matt Forney are the ones who have pretty bad views on some things.
BGR, I have another man that I’m sending your way, Blurkel from Spawny’s Space (blog) he commented here –
Oh and Anna, I wrote about the weight topic back in 2014 from a husband’s point of view about his wife’s self-consciousness … I hope it helps 🙂 You’re pregnant!! I know I was terrified with our first baby that I would never lose the weight, but as long as you try to eat healthy, exercise and try not to stress about it, it usually comes off. With our second baby I think i was more prepared how pregnancy would affect me… so I didn’t gain as much as the first time (45 lbs) and only gained maybe 25 lbs and it came off within two weeks of the birth. The main thing is just to not stress about it during pregnancy. You don’t need those horrible stress responses in your body at this time, because the cortisol is known to have negative affects on the baby – even in extreme stressful conditions (starvation and faminine) they have linked it to causing schizophrenia in the babies later in their lives. So don’t stress about weight, it’s really pretty trivial and women are WAY harder on themselves than their husbands are.
Sorry! Forgot to include the link to that post!
I agree with what you said there in that post that men just want their see their wife’s nakedness and they don’t care about the extra weight or imperfections. Often times it is women being too hard on themselves and hiding their bodies from their husbands that cause problems.
I have actually offered the same advice you did about exercises women need to go through to build their own confidence in their body:
Thank link to comment did not work – in fact it was not a link to comment at all by rather your stat screen. Please try again to send the comment link.
Wow!! my stat screen!! I thought that was private or something… Can you delete it Larry?
Don’t worry I could not see your stats screen and nobody else could. If they were not logged into wordpress it would ignore the link and have an error or bring them to your home page. For me since I was logged into wordpress it took me to my own stats screen.
Thank you for referencing that post, Dragonfly. Honestly, Red Pill blogs biggest affect on me wasn’t really about weight as I’ve always been quite petite (although I did become more aware and hateful of the pinches of fat that naturally settle on my body), and more just of how it claimed men viewed women (the whole AWALT, men only want you for sex, etc.) However, I’d be lying if I said that my weight gain this pregnancy hasn’t affected me. I LOVED the sentence you wrote here. “You are your husband’s only sexual outlet, that’s too big of a responsibility to let self-consciousness get in the way!” It helps to get the focus off of myself and my expanding belly and put it back on my husband. And yes, of course he still finds me attractive so I end up worrying about nothing lol.