Jul 312014
 

3We’ve been discussing three types of sexual thoughts:  auto-erotic, erotic, and illicit.  …We have to be incredibly careful when our erotic sexual fantasies turn into illicit fantasies—those involving unlawful or inappropriate relationships, which for Christians means anyone we’re not married to!

This definition of illicit fantasy can be disconcerting, because a lot of people’s sexual thoughts often fall into this category. In his book Who’s Been Sleeping in your Head: The Secret World of Sexual Fantasies, Brett Kahr conducted a large-scale study of the sexual fantasies of 23,000 adults and discovered the following:

About 90 percent of adults fantasize about someone other than the person they’re having sex with

  • 41 percent imagine sex with someone else’s partner
  • 39 percent fantasize about sex with a work colleague
  • 25 percent fantasize about celebrities12 

Gulp. Ninety percent are fantasizing about someone they shouldn’t? So can’t we just declare that fantasizing about someone other than the person you’re having sex with is “perfectly normal?”

No, we can’t. As Christians, our standards of “normal” are measured against the loving guidance of God’s Word, not the life most of the world is living, not even inside their heads.

The fact that the vast majority of us are sexually fantasizing about someone we shouldn’t have a sexual relationship with at all is a pretty clear indicator that (a) there are a lot of people “walking wounded” and trying to medicate their emotional pain through sexual fantasy, and that (b) this book is long overdue.

These three categories for classifying our fantasies—auto-erotic, erotic, and illicit—should provide some clear framework for sifting through our sexual thoughts and determining if any “mental editing” is in order.

12. B. Kahr, Who’s Been Sleeping in Your Head: The Secret World of Sexual Fantasies (New York, NY: Basic Books, 2008). Statistics found at:  http://www.shoppinglifestyle.com/love/the-truth-about-sexual-fantasies/911/1/

Excerpted from The Fantasy Fallacy: Exposing the Deeper Meaning Behind Sexual Thoughts  by Shannon Ethridge. Copyright 2012.  All Rights Reserved. Published by Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, TN. Used by Permission. Not to be copied without Publisher’s prior written approval.

Jul 292014
 

2Last time we talked of three types of sexual thoughts:  auto-erotic, erotic, and illicit, focusing on auto-erotic thoughts.  The next category is erotic thought, the goal of which is to intentionally arouse ourselves or our partners. As a single person, intentionally entertaining erotic fantasy is like playing with fire and is perhaps why Song of Solomon warns, “Do not arouse or awaken love before it is time!” (2:7; 3:5; 8:4, NIV)

But if you’re married, of course, intentionally arousing yourself and your spouse is a good thing! I’m reminded of a seventy-two-year-old woman who called me in response to my book The Sexually Confident Wife a few years ago. She explained that for the first thirty years of her marriage, she was sexually frozen. She didn’t want to entertain her husband’s sexual advances at all because she feared displeasing God with the thoughts that ran through her mind when having sex. You can imagine the impact this mind-set had on their marriage. Divorce court was the next scheduled stop in their relational journey, until her husband convinced her to see a therapist.

After hearing her concerns, the therapist simply asked, “If God created you with a brain that can imagine certain thoughts and fuel your own sexual energy and your marriage bed as a result, isn’t that a blessing rather than a burden?”

This woman proclaimed, “I decided I’d rather give up the guilt than give up my marriage, and I’m so glad I did!” The woman continued, “Our sex life over the past twenty years has been amazing, and I have more intense orgasms at seventy-two-years-old than I’ve had my whole life!”

I remember thinking, “Yes! Perhaps the best is still yet to come!” Seriously, I was so grateful for her brave confession and cherished words of wisdom! They’ve stuck with me, and hopefully they’ll stick with you too.

Excerpted from The Fantasy Fallacy: Exposing the Deeper Meaning Behind Sexual Thoughts  by Shannon Ethridge. Copyright 2012.  All Rights Reserved. Published by Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, TN. Used by Permission. Not to be copied without Publisher’s prior written approval.