We’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.