8 minute read

What Your Sexual Fantasies (Might) Say About You

Last Updated: April 18, 2019

Jay Stringer
Jay Stringer

Jay Stringer is a licensed mental health counselor and ordained minister who has spent the last decade working on the frontlines of the demand for pornography and sexual exploitation. Stringer holds an MDiv and Master in Counseling Psychology from the Seattle School of Theology and Psychology and received post-graduate training under Dr. Patrick Carnes and Dr. Dan Allender. His book, Unwanted: How Sexual Brokenness Reveals Our Way to Healing, includes original research on over 3,600 men and women struggling with pornography. Visit Jay's website to learn more, and follow Jay on Twitter: @_jaystringer

For too long, the evangelical community has treated sexual fantasies and sexual struggles as something to condemn. Addressing sexual fantasies through the lens of abhorrent behavior intensifies shame and therefore deepens your involvement in the very behavior you wish to stop.

There is another approach. It begins by listening to your lust. Internet search bars and browser histories expose your sin, but far more, they reveal the unaddressed and therefore unresolved stories of your life. Sexual fantasies are roadmaps. They pinpoint the location of your past harm and highlight the current roadblocks that keep you from freedom.

Our Sexual Fantasies Are Not Random

This year I completed research on the key drivers of unwanted sexual behavior, be that pornography, an affair, buying sex, and the like. Over 3,600 men and women participated in the study. What I can tell you is that sexual struggles are not random or capricious. They develop in the formative emotional and sexual soil of your childhood and flourish in the unaddressed dynamics of your present life.

It is my conviction that God is neither surprised nor ashamed of our sexual struggles, but understands them to be the very stage through which the work of redemption will be played out. The sooner we assume a posture of curiosity for our sexual fantasies, the more we will prepare our hearts for the redemptive work ahead.

A client named Ben entered therapy in an attempt to stop the debilitating anxiety he was experiencing at work. Ben’s boss was emotionally abusive, even outright humiliating at times. Weekends offered no reprieve. Almost every Saturday morning an e-mail would arrive in Ben’s inbox telling him to complete a report by Monday. Ben was working 55 hours a week in a mid-level job and felt like a helpless teenager. A few sessions into our work together, Ben revealed a secret struggle: pornography.

There is a glut of information that tells us that Ben’s struggle with pornography is a common problem in our society. But this data tells us little about the ‘why’ behind our collective drive for pornography. My research found that the type of pornography and sexual behavior you pursue can be predicted by the major themes and significant relationships that have marked your life.

We will focus today on the ‘why’ behind two common sexual fantasies of men. In a future blog, I hope to explore the ‘why” behind particular sexual fantasies of women. My bias is that pornography for men is less about lust, and far more about the issue of power. This frames the language I use to interpret the research findings.

What Your Sexual Fantasies Might Say About You

One of the most common sexual fantasies for men had to do with the desire for power over women. Other popular fantasies for men included: a desire for women to have power over them, a diverse choice in sexual partners, sex that was aggressive or violent, an affair, and buying sex.

Men who wanted power over women tended to pursue pornography where women were younger, had a smaller body type, and had a particular race or appearance that suggested (to them) subservience.

What predicted this type of sexual fantasy in men? There are three key drivers:

  1. His level of shame
  2. His sense of futility
  3. Growing up with a strict father

Men with the highest levels of shame were those that wanted the most power over women. The writing on the wall is that men find power over women arousing precisely because it gives them an arena to find dominance amidst a life filled with shame and futility.

While some men found having power over women arousing, others in my research tended to want the woman in pornography to have the power. These men often fantasized about older women, attractive mother figures, or women in positions of authority who would pursue them. I examine this second fantasy in more detail in “What Your Sexual Fantasies (Might) Say About You–Part 2.

What were the key predictors for this type of sexual fantasy?

  1. A man’s depression
  2. A history of sexual abuse
  3. A father who confided in his son about his personal life and marriage difficulties

Once you dive deeper into the ‘why’ of your sexual fantasies, you quickly enter the stories that await your engagement. Let’s take a look at some of the stories that influenced Ben’s sexual fantasies.

Our Sexual Fantasies Are Roadmaps

I asked Ben to tell me about the origins of his involvement with pornography. Ben’s first exposure was in high school. Ben made his varsity baseball team as a freshman. The upperclassmen used his younger age as the context for emotional and sexual hazing. They ripped out images from porn magazines and scattered them throughout Ben’s gym bag and locker. A week later, Ben would undergo his official initiation to the team in the locker room. He was pinned down and forced to breathe through another teammate’s protective athletic cup as they stripped his shorts off and drizzled ICYHOT over his crotch. In the opening game of the season, Ben dropped what would have been the final out in left field, allowing the opposing team to win the game.

In my following session with Ben, I asked him about the particulars of his pornography searches. He looked down and then back up to me and said, “I have never thought about that. Why is that even important?”

I responded by telling him that everyone has an arousal cocktail–a mixture of thoughts, images, stories, and fantasies that influence the content we find arousing. In isolation or in toxic religious cultures, we believe sexual fantasies reveal our iniquity. In reality, sexual fantasies reveal our wounds and even the God-given desires we have for comfort, belonging, and risk. If you want to outgrow your need for pornography, you need to gain a sense of what it symbolizes to you.

Ben disclosed that he tends to scroll through pornography sites until he finds video stills with a younger woman’s face or body in a posture of submission to the men in the video. Ben paused after he said this and shook his head with disgust. He intuitively knew that this type of pornography was not so much about lust, but really about power. He said to me, “I know this probably sounds disturbing. I wish it wasn’t all true, but I really hate my life and I really love porn.”

Related: 19 Possible Motives Triggering Your Porn Consumption

As you may have noticed, Ben’s formative sexual experiences were marked by humiliation and powerlessness. The question must be asked–how could he expect his sexual struggles as an adult to be any different?

The evening Ben’s team lost the game, he was dropped off by a teammate and walked into a dark home. He was angry his parents did not wait up to greet him after witnessing his devastating evening. He took a shower and then pulled out one of the pornographic images planted in his gym bag. Ben stood over the image and felt an immense arousal at the power and pleasure it gave him.

Baseball, teammates, and home were all brutal realities. In contrast, pornography was a magical symphony of reprieve, pleasure, and eroticized power. That evening, the foundation of Ben’s sexual fantasy life was established. Pornography says to men, “Give me all your shame, humiliation, and futility and I will give you a world where it all goes away.”

Listening to Your Lust and Fantasies

Attempting to address your sexual struggles without understanding the unique stories you bring to the altar of pornography will be an exercise in futility. The irony of sexual fantasy is that it will be the most honest portion of your life until you begin to address your past wounds and the madness of your present life.

Ben attempted to bury the pain of his past and minimize the humiliation of his work life. His anxiety and lust however would have none of that. They continued to cry out.

Sexual fantasies are messengers. You may not like the news they bring, but they will knock on the door of your life until you listen to what they need to tell you. One evening of deliberate curiosity about your sexual fantasies will take you further into transformation than a thousand nights of prayerful despair.

In therapy, I began to work with Ben on the concept of sexual fantasy as a roadmap rather than evidence of his abhorrent behavior. Ben noticed that his pornography desires involved the humiliation of women. He recognized that power over women was appealing precisely because of the lack of power he seemed to have in reality. Ben hated his boss, but felt powerless to do anything about it. This hatred had to be directed somewhere, and as is often the case with men, Ben aimed his anger at women.

Attempting to stop Ben’s pornography use without addressing his humiliation or sexual abuse would never be effective. He had been involved with accountability partners in the past, but the focus remained solely on lust. The underlying factors that drove his pornography use were overlooked.

Related: The Importance of Accountability in Changing a Heart

The particularities of Ben’s pornography struggles were now opening the map of his life. He pinpointed story after story that cried out to be healed. Understanding his fantasy life reduced his shame and therefore reduced his need for pornography. As our first year of therapy concluded, one thing was clear: Ben was far less seduced by power over women because he no longer abdicated his power to care for himself.

Kindness Changes the Human Heart

Father Richard Rohr notes, “If you do not transform your pain, you will always transmit it. Always someone else has to suffer because I don’t know how to suffer; that is what it comes down to.”

One of the profound masculine questions of our day is this: is violence and consumption of women the way we want to atone for our traumas? Pain is transmitted when men abdicate responsibility to own their pain. Pain is transformed when men own the harm they have done and vulnerably pursue comfort for the harm done against them. Turning to face our wounds is the first significant step we can take on our journey out of unwanted sexual behavior.

Our sexual fantasies are not evidence of abhorrent behavior; they are roadmaps inviting us into the journey of transformation. As such, they await your curiosity and invite your kindness.

Romans 2:4 is clear that the kindness of God is what leads to change. Kindness, not new strategies to combat lust, not new books to understand addiction, not software to block erotic content. Very often, it is our self-hatred that blinds us from seeing the kind face of God.

Related: Shame’s Massive Role in Porn Use

One thing that always surprises me about God is that He asks questions to those in distress.  To Adam, God asks, “Where are you?” To Cain, God asks, “Why are you so angry, and why has your face fallen?” To Hagar, the angel of the Lord inquires, “Where do you come from and where are you going?”

If sexual struggles are not grounds for judgment, they become the very geography where we come to know the kindness of God.

Here are a few questions to consider:

  • What are the specific sexual fantasies or pornography searches that tend to arouse you the most? What might these sexual fantasies symbolize?
  • What age were these sexual fantasies established? What was going on in your life at the time?
  • Was there a time in the last six months when you used pornography or sexual fantasy to give you power in a time of futility or anger?

Jay StringerStart Your Journey to Freedom

To help men and women on the recovery road, Stringer, The Heart of Man movie, and Covenant Eyes are working together to provide support. Journey Into the Heart of Man with Jay Stringer provides a five-month course that includes inspiring presentations, a self- assessment for people to see how their story shapes their sexual choices, and exercises to bring change. Stringer said, “Just as our sexual brokenness is not random, our journey to freedom is not either. In the Journey Into the Heart of Man, I wanted to equip accountability partners, small groups, and faith communities in a way they have not been equipped before to find healing.”

The recovery journey takes time and focus…to grow, learn, have fun, explore, and discover. How long? Stringer said most of his clients find freedom in two to five years. That doesn’t mean they are acting out during that time, but it takes time to shake off the debris of the past and live free.

Start Your Freedom Journey Today

This post contains affiliate links. Covenant Eyes receives a portion of the profits of purchases made as a result of the links above.

  • Comments on: What Your Sexual Fantasies (Might) Say About You
    1. J J J on

      This was an extremely helpful article. I’ve always viewed fantasies as a bad thing that I needed to fight. My wife allows me to share them without judgment but I still feel bad when they come up.

      I know this article covered one example in depth but it is not one I can relate with. It would be a great followup in the series to cover other types of fantasies and the examples you’ve come across and what they say about the struggle to help decode them further.

      Reply
      • Jay Stringer on

        JJJ,

        Thanks for your response! I will be addressing other fantasies as the months go on.

        Jay

      • Kareem Sealy on

        I just have one query what about cases in which there are little or no appearance of a father in a son’s life what would be the effect in this situation?

    2. Erica on

      Wow
      This is good!

      I do wonder though if being “transformed by the renewal of the mind” through Christ as promised in the Bible is the only true remedy… or in addition to this.

      But yes, the church MUST be open to this need for help and not shame people!!!

      This is very good and well written !

      Reply
      • Jay Stringer on

        Erica,

        Thanks! Yes, yes, yes to the renewal of the mind through Christ. A good friend and theologian named Andrew Decort once put it like this:

        “Jesus’s basic message was a call to metanoia, which is unfortunately translated as “repentance” but means a revolution or turning (meta-) in the mind or consciousness (nous). The climax of Paul’s theology in Romans 12 is a call to be “transformed by the renewing of your mind” (again, he uses the word nous). Likewise, Paul’s prayer in Ephesians 1 is that “the eyes of your heart may be enlightened.” ”

        I believe our minds are renewed when we understand the “what” and the “why” of what we were turned towards in our sexual fantasies. When that occurs, we can ask ourselves what it would mean to turn our consciousness to a sexual life that bears glory and beauty.

    3. Ethan Robson on

      I wholly believe that this article addresses the crux of our collective porn issue; if we don’t seek to understand the “why” behind our specific searches for pleasure and affirmation, we will continue to fall into the pit of despair and labeling ourselves as “perverted, messed up, etc.” The latter mindset only perpetuates the issue. Freedom is found in allowing ALL of ourselves (the porn addicted self included) to be before God, and to be at peace knowing how HE feels about US. He is not ashamed, afraid, or disgusted by our sexual desires, even when they fall into sin. Rather, he understands that our sexual sin is a legitimate longing gone astray, and one that is only satisfied in relation to Himself as Creator. Armed with this understanding, I pray that we walk boldly forth into the landscape that is the kind and redemptive power of God.

      Reply
      • Jay Stringer on

        Ethan,

        Yes. Well-said!

      • Christine on

        Yes, God understands but He hates sin…. so He loves you but NOT your behaviour… so He is disgusted and repulsed by sin and your wrong sexual desires…. but He loves you anyhow… that is what is soooo amazing!

      • Julie on

        Wow Ethan- beautifully said!

    4. Jason Bolster on

      Thank you, Rev Stringer. For several years, my accountability partner and I never talked about anything else except the fact that we both consumed porn and treated women the wrong way. We got nowhere until we started to realise that we use it in very different ways. He looks at women he wants to dominate. My fantasies are matriarchal. Now, we’re starting to consider what that says about our pasts and what drives us to pornography. Pray that both of us find healing for those pasts through the Holy Spirit.

      Reply
      • Jay Stringer on

        Jason,

        Thank you for all your honesty in this response. Yes, accountability so often falls short for exactly the reason you named. So encouraged to hear how you two started addressing the main themes that bring you to your struggle.

        Jay

    5. Austin on

      I read the article about these fantasies that develop and I have one unusual one that may be interesting to identify where it came from.

      Reply
      • Jay Stringer on

        Austin,

        Thanks for your response. Curiosity is definitely the key. I always recommend a good therapist or pastor trained to explore these matters.

        Kindness to you,

        Jay

    6. Michael on

      Thank you Jay for writing this article.

      I feel very inspired to dig deeper with my personal struggle with pornography and identify those areas in my life that lead me to indulge in viewing pornography.

      I never realized that this pain can be transformed. Thank you for highlighting the need to make this pain redemptive and a pathway to finding peace in myself.

      All the best.

      Reply
      • Jay Stringer on

        Michael,

        All the best to you too. I’m grateful you feel inspired to dig deeper – it is truly the way this journey out of unwanted sexual behavior should feel. Pain can certainly be transformed. There is much beauty ahead.

        Jay

    7. Elizabeth on

      Was the follow-up article about the ‘why” behind particular sexual fantasies of women ever posted?

      Reply
      • Chris McKenna on

        Hi, Elizabeth, no, we haven’t posted that yet. It’s in the queue.
        Chris

    8. Jay Stringer on

      Michael,

      For sure. Your response is truly why I write. All the best to you as well.

      Jay

      Reply
    9. Britt on

      Thank you for this article, Jay. I’ve been chewing on it all week. It never occurred to me that understanding the content of my fantasy life might be a step along the path of freedom. As a woman who struggles with these things, I’m waiting on the promised “next blog” that may give some insight to women’s patterns. I very much appreciate the work you’ve done to compile this information, understand it, and share it with us.

      Reply
      • Jay Stringer on

        Britt,

        Thank you for your kind words, but even more for your vulnerability and courage. I am working on the “next blog” in the coming months. In the near future though I will be releasing a blog that addresses how many women’s first exposure to pornography is not an accidental discovery, but a set-up/introduction. Very often the sexual struggles we face are re-enactments of the very ways pornography first arrived in our lives.

    10. restored on

      by far the best article I have seen on this site addressing porn addiction. Will share.

      Reply
      • Jay Stringer on

        Thanks for your kind words and for sharing!

      • Skeets on

        Amen

    11. Scotty on

      This was an EXTREMELY helpful and eye opening article! I too feel that it would be great to address other specific types of fantasy in other articles. I’ve addressed the “drive” underneath my sexual struggles but for some reason, it doesn’t “stick” for me and I always seem to return to old acting out behaviors. I really need to read this article again as it really hits home for me and I know that I’m “Missing something.” I don’t want to just be in recovery because I don’t know what I’m trying to recover! I want to be transformed!!!!

      Reply
      • Jay Stringer on

        Scotty,

        Thanks! And I am taking note of your suggestion to keep writing into these themes in future blogs.

    12. Derrick Thomas on

      I haven’t reviewed the comments yet, but I was wondering your perspective on this. After, “Ben” understood what his sexual fantasy symbolized. What other steps of inner healing did you and him take. How did or how are you currently pursueing a God centered view of sex. Lastly, how did you phrase that conversation…. “okay Ben, now that we know your fantasy symbolized this to you, we are going to talk about …..?”

      Did you just encourage him with truth. I know the article talking about transformation from pain but did that come from leaning on God’s truth. And if so in what way!

      By the way thank you for reading this! I really really loved your article! I thought it was insightful and I plan on talking about it in detail with a couple people in accountability and that’s why I want to know more on the subject! Thanks again!

      Reply
      • Jay Stringer on

        Thanks for your kind words and thoughtful questions, Derrick.

        I will hopefully be addressing many of your questions in the following months as I blog with Covenant Eyes. For many men, there is a fundamental lack of purpose in their lives. Men often default to watching something – pornography, sports, television. We are drawn, magnetically, to arenas that do not require risk or imagination. This is why a singular focus on lust can be so detrimental to recovery – it over looks sooo many other areas that have to be addressed to pursue freedom. Ben had to discover more about what he wanted in his life – from career to sex to friendships. And yes, Jesus’ words of Blessed/happy are those who mourn, for they will be comforted, were certainly true for Ben. There is a lot more I could say, but as I said earlier, hopefully subsequent blogs will get closer to answering your questions. Really appreciate your response!

    13. Eliza on

      Have you written your blog post about women yet? Where can I find that? I am very interested to know what you learned about women and fantasies.

      Reply
      • Chris McKenna on

        Hello, Eliza, the blog post about women hasn’t been written yet, but if you’re connected to our blog updates, you’ll hopefully see it soon.
        Chris

    14. restored on

      I was wondering when you would write about more fantasies and what they mean.

      Reply
    15. Keith on

      When will you talk more about fantasies and what they mean? I would really like to hear about other common ones. I can relate to ones having to do shame, powerlessness, abuse, and betrayal, but it would be helpful to hear of more. This is so powerful! It takes what we are ashamed of and and lights it up to see hurt in our lives and turn to God for healing. Most of my life I have been ashamed about what I wanted to view, but after reading this today, I realized that I wanted to see different things as things happened to me in my life. I feel like I knew the reason why but did not remember when my fantasies grew. I thought it was just wanting more sinful things to try to be satisfied, which would lead to more shame. I know that sin grows, but there is also a reason behind it. Thank you for the great post, it was nice to read as I was tempted today, and could think about why certain fantasies tempted me. I am looking forward to reading more of your material and sharing it with other men as we are renewed in our minds and transformed from glory to glory. Also, I look forward to God redeeming sex for me, so I can love what He loves and hate what He hates.

      Reply
    16. Thomas Weyandt on

      I go through days without porn, days successfully resisting temptation and days when I sin. The thoughts in my mind, the feelings that I have, the words of my mouth seem pure evil to me after the orgasm ends. I look at myself and feel like a no good worm before God. I repent, confess, ask for forgiveness, scrub my history file and never download anything of porn and feel defeated. I know I’ll do this sin again, repent again, feel like a pile of human garbage and fact having to know that in a matter of days, sometimes more than a week, that I will give in again.

      I do not have a support system as I live in a rural area in a small college town and support groups are in or near cities. I go to a local church and enjoy being there.

      Compounding the problem is that I have a chronic mental illness going back to 1972-73 when I had a breakdown. I have schizoaffective disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder and panic disorder. I have urges to gouge out my eyes or to kill myself. When that happens, I call the MH Crisis Line with my last hospitalization being in Oct. 2016 or about every two years.

      I am 62 and never married and have not had a girlfriend in near about six years and several years before that. Never had kids, a handful of relationships, few friends and live alone in an apartment building on SSI, not SS disability, since 1975. Feel like my life is over and it amounted to very little. Men in family have always brutalized women but I and my brothers seemed to have escaped that inheiritance, at least, as far as I know.

      As to family, I was raised by my grandparents as mother had to leave home to find work after she divorced my father whom I did not meet until 1974. The mines shutting down meant my grandfather had to find what low pay work he could. My father died in 1987 while my grandfather died at home in 1972. My grandmother passed away in 2001 at the age of 98. She was a very strong coal miner’ wife and daughter and endured much misery. Dad, I called them Mom and Dad never hit Mom and she always stood up to him in there daily fights and would never let him run her like the other men in my family. Mother married again and divorced her wife beating, alcoholic husband and found a third marriage that worked for her. She had seven boys and one girl while my father had six girls and one boy. I grew up without having too much contact with them.

      At school, I was a bookworm, didn’t fight back the bullies and suffered my way through graduation alone in my thoughts and daydreams until 1973. The church was not there to help when the roof caved in. Over the decades, I saw the church ignorant of and not involved with the mentally ill and so I got my support from psychologists, supportive living services, crisis lines, blended case managers, psychiatrists, mobile psych rehab workers, drop in centers and those professionals were almost all women. Most of the women I’ve dealt with are mental health professionals and a female friend not interested in relationships.

      My life is a wasteland of aloneness, isolation, depression, self harm thoughts on occasion, type 2 diabetes, boredom and just…sad. I get some pleasure out of my books, comics, dvds, internet military forums and websites and watching Fox News. I have a friend in my bldg. who is a retired Church of the Nazerene minister who is facing Alzheimer’s. We share the same interests in SF, comics, movies, TV and politics.

      I have been a Christian since 1971 but am estranged from Him due to my illness involving religious obsessions called Scrupulosity, I do not trust Him like others do. I have this giant unhealed pain and psychology and pharmacology cannot heal a spiritual problem and yes, I take many psych meds and feel that my life is futile but I can and do know that God does care for me and He has been helping me so I can have hope. He never gives up on me.

      Reply
      • Joe on

        All things considered you seem to be doing okay. Living in a small town makes resources difficult. But if you could find just one man, one guy in the ‘church’ to meet with occasionally that could make a huge difference. That guy must be there. I know lots of retired men (most towns have them) who are looking for something to do, to feel some sort of purpose….

      • Chris on

        Hang in there man. Keep going. I know that sounds so lame, but you just have to live it out day by day, each of which, as Our Savior tells us, has enough evil for itself. Praying for you.

    17. J L on

      Yea, I think that’s the case. I think he’s got a good message for the church in that simply dismissing any kind of sex addiction out of hand without engaging with a potential underlying issue isn’t productive. But I wish he’d said that. Instead he takes this gnostic approach, implying he has some special insight on what causes more extreme porn addiction and how to cure it. I had two main issues with the article; firstly that he bases the whole hypothesis on some unpublished research which means it can’t be trusted. Any scientific research has to publish data, method and conclusion. I’m not saying he’s hiding it, it’s just poor scientific method. He does use a couple of examples but these are only anecdotes. I take issue with him extrapolating the stories of his patients to the general population. It seems his patients did need help processing their early sexual experiences, but this could be done directly rather than through the lens of sexual fantasies. It’s too sex-centric, even for sex counseling.

      Secondly, and this point is more nuanced and a personal preference, he conflates having sexual fantasies with watching porn. He keeps saying the church is against fantasies but it isn’t, it’s against porn. It feels like a rhetorical sleight of hand. Obviously having a fantasy falls into the realm of temptation, which we’d all agree isn’t sinful. Clearly acting on it outside marriage is. In conflating the temptation and the act, he seems to advocate that lusting after a woman who isn’t your wife should be treated with the same understanding that the temptation is. He should clarify this. His other confusion is with good fantasies and evil ones. Wanting your wife to do something kinky is okay. Fantasising about rape isn’t. Again, it’s an omission or a sleight of hand that encourages blanket compassion for one’s self rather than a targeted mix of compassion and self-disgust and self-discipline.

      Overall, I understand his point that just saying watching porn is bad won’t help, but few churches are this simplistic in their approach. Most offer a suite of engagement with the problem, including counseling. Getting into the specifics of an addict’s fantasies is a red herring; they’re too unique and they fluctuate over time. In our Christian context; what does the Bible say about dark fantasies related to sex or even violence? It tells us to resist, and think of good things instead. It tells us to sacrifice our right hand if it causes us to sin. The guy should be telling us to trash our PCs before we go delving into our often evil fantasies in case they hold some clue to our brokenness.

      Reply
    18. RickyB on

      @J L – “but few churches are this simplistic in their approach.”

      Actually, most churches are MORE simplistic. Most of them don’t even get to the point of talking about sexual sin except in the most superficial and harsh way. Most pastors are not equipped to properly counsel people in sexual sin because so many of them have their own to deal with.

      Sexual sin is so damaging because it deals with the core of our being. It must, therefore, be dealt with as both a cause and a symptom of deeper issues. Most anti-porn ministries deal with it solely in how it causes problems. This article is one of the few times I have ever seen a discussion of how it is a function of deeper issues that warrant examination and can point to the way of healing.

      Reply
    19. Skeets on

      Amen. Most balanced and helpful article I have seen on here. Lots to consider as this addiction and its impact is not simple.

      Reply
    20. Skeets on

      Most balanced and helpful article I have seen on here. Lots to consider as this addiction and its impact is not simple.

      Reply
    21. Robert on

      I find myself in a quandary. I had a single mother, never met my father. When my mom married my first step father I found his stash shortly after moving in with them. He explained sex to me by use of the magazine. I see how that is wrong. With them, I was left home alone a lot as they worked together and were managers. My fantasies have always been geared towards older women and or motherly types. Never really in a power construct except older teaching younger. Is this calling out to my cries for my mom to have been a better guidance in nurturing in my life? I always attributed my wandering fantasies as being open to all types, yet older women would always win out. Love the program as I feel challenged yet confused at same time.

      Reply
    22. Sally on

      I am a woman. Is the content going to focus at all on the causes and effects for women? I need help for myself but as I began reading it seemed to focus on mans issues exclusively.

      Reply
    23. David on

      Very curious to understand what a weak/neglectful father reveals about my style of fantasy life. I’ve grown, somehow, to understand that my cold, neglectful mother has encouraged my fantasies of “magically” bringing reluctant women to ecstasy (probably the best general description of my fantasy life). Add to that my visceral impression that this world is a cold and frightening place, and I’m left with even less self confidence. But I’m struggling to see how my father’s neglect is part of the equation. Have these few words just revealed my entire life to a sophisticated analyst? Ha! Thank you, Jay, for helping the lost.

      Reply
    24. Jb on

      Thank you for this article, it helps me as the betrayed spouse to try to unpersonalized my husbands betrayal.
      My husbands choice is extremely young looking girls, and as an aging wife- you can likely imagine what that does to me.

      Reply
    25. Sandy on

      I hope the article for women’s struggle against porn could also be posted. This is very helpful 😊

      Reply
    26. Ted on

      I am just starting my journey into my why’s. I have hurt my wife and hope to learn what it takes to heal pain. Both hers and mine.

      Reply
      • Dave Gallogly on

        I am about 2 1/2 years down the journey Ted. My wife was devastated by my sexual sin and is still understandability hurting and starting the healing. I felt at the end that the very breath in me was being squezed out of my sole everyday I went back to Porn. But reading the unwanted book multiple times and going through the online class has helped give me some direction. Understanding these deeper things inside of me has helped to lead me to freedom. I am seeing deep set hurt from being abandoned as a child and not truly wanted by my mother. But, as an adult man of 59, I am learning to allow God’s kind heart to nurse me back to wholeness.

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