Sex for 1

The issue I want to attempt to tackle is lust. Plain and simple

In my opinion this topic is all to do with DESIRES. Now that word to my mind had a bad reputation so allow me to at least speak of what I would call reasonable desires.

Nothing wrong in wanting food
Nothing wrong in smiling or being smiled at
Nothing wrong in wanting attention
Nothing wrong in keeping fit
Nothing wrong in having wine
Nothing wrong in admiring beauty
Nothing wrong in wanting to breath

From these and many more desires can be seen as not only helpful but essential to our well being. However is does also appear (to me) that when one or more of these desires takes a larger role than that appropriate, it starts to dominate and then this leads to problems.


O.k. so that is my overall thinking on the subject but when you have a problem what do you do?

My initial thought is to take away the problem at the root. However this appears to be equivalent to chopping off a limb – fairly stupid and I don’t go in for that sort of thing!

So which way to turn, I look left and see my desires and feel overwhelmed and I look right and see a life with no desires which looks even more unappealing.

Now the subject of lust makes me feel ashamed and embarrassed of who I am which is why I decided to write this article since I believe it is still a bit of a taboo. I mean we know about sex and how it should be inside marriage but that is only one part of it. Lust is a thought which for me takes very little time and happens in the quiet secrecy of my mind. This is a much harder foe to beat, especially when the more I look to see who the culprit is the more I think it is myself.

Now I do not wish people to psycho analyze myself or anyone else but more see the problem as a whole. I can’t say for women but I am fairly certain every man on this planet has had a lustful thought. I don’t think there is a magic button for when your married either, I’m fairly positive that it is equally possible to have a lustful thought before and after your married.
This whole topic is horrifically difficult to separate from being to personal and specific (hence never making any headway into the issue itself) and to general as to do no good other than to say it is bad and you shouldn’t do it.


SO on to the next piece of the puzzle What is a lustful thought and what is a loving thought and exactly how do those two cross?

Mix in a little friendship and romance and I’m certain I can make the line go gray. This is an area I’m deliberately leaving blank since I have not formed any definite opinions because I’m not sure you can since they appear to change depending on age and situation but I’m very willing to hear peoples views.

Just to recap
Desire – not a bad thing, except when they are out of correct proportion.
Lust a difficult topic to talk about.
What is lust?


Moving along to the next question which is: How do you adjust the desire to the appropriate level?

I’m sure praying, fasting and reading the bible are the right answers but they seem to have what appears minimal effect for me. But this leads to a whole different topic which goes along the lines of “Deserted by God or growing in faith?”

For me my method revolves around logic and reason. This is where I try and work out logically why I am doing something and see if it is reasonable. However if you apply logic and reason to much into your life you lose that emotion which seems to make life fun and not just a program which needs to be iterated until it is the most efficient, cost effective and sacrificial life pops out.

So logic and reason seem to be inherently floored by emotion which is exactly where lust sneaks in.

So where next, I would try and be accountable to someone but this is not always possible (rarely when needed) and it is one reason why I write this article, so that I can be accountable to those that read it and hopefully give some form of hope to those that may be fellow sufferers of this most frustrating of sins.


So I now give some more questions just in case the previous ones were not enough!

Is lust a desire – just out of proportion?
What exactly is lust?
Is giving or having one of those smiles which mean so much more good or bad?
Do you have any issues with lust?
Does it disappear after marriage?
Is masturbation sinful?
Is it o.k. to lust after your wife/future wife/girlfriend?
How do you stop a thought when your asleep?
When does emotion turn from good to bad? Or is it neutral?

All pearls of wisdom or general ranting gratefully received.
~

21 Replies to “Sex for 1”

  1. Here are my ideas:

    Lust, in my opinion, can be defined as:

    1). thinking about someone *purely* in sexual terms (and/or acting out on those thoughts)

    2). thinking about someone in sexual terms when you are not in a relationship with them, and when the chances of you ever being in a relationship with them are unlikely. By sexual terms here, I don’t mean ‘finding someone attractive’; I mean imagining sexual scenarios. Porn, for example

    by ‘*purely* in sexual terms’ I mean thinking about someone only in conjunction with sex, i.e. not appreciating them for anything other than their ability (or imagined ability) to pleasure you sexually. Thus, 1) applies to those in a relationship. If the relationship is based purely on sex, then I believe it is lustful. If the relationship is based on things other than sex, i.e. love, respect, shared interests, then the sexual desires the people in that relationship have are not lustful. They are a normal part of a relationship. I believe that the only way people in a relationship can ‘lust’ after one another is if they view each other purely in terms of sex. If they don’t then it’s not lust, it is sexual desire, and I believe that sexual desire is acceptable for anyone in relationship to have, whether that relationship is a married one or a ‘going out’ one.

    It’s silly for people to say that you can’t think of someone in a sexual way before you marry them ‘because that’s lust’. I mean, surely one of the reasons you marry someone (or enter a relationship with someone) is because you are sexually attracted to them. Not the major reason maybe, but still a fairly important reason.

    As for masturbation…in my opinion it is absolutely not sinful…unless it is done in conjunction with using pornography or something. Masturbation is a fun, natural kind of thing to do.

    I hope that makes some kind of sense.

  2. On masturbation my head sort of agrees with Alice but my heart objects. I think my head is right: if you can do it without lust then great. Is that possible?

  3. > Is giving or having one of those smiles which mean so much more good or bad?

    Good.

    > Does it disappear after marriage?

    I think it does if you’re lusting after your spouse and your relationship isn’t utterly screwed. (Also maybe if you’re some kind of porn freak and you see him/her in those terms.)

    > Is it o.k. to lust after your wife/future wife/girlfriend?

    Try not to worry about it unless you think it’s making you act or think wrongly about them?

    > How do you stop a thought when your asleep?

    You can’t – guilt about this is clearly false guilt. This should help us to understand that we can have false guilt about this topic and therefore we shoulf carefully examine any guilt to see whether it is conviction from God or false. Presumably praying about it would help.

    > When does emotion turn from good to bad? Or is it neutral?

    I think emotion is neutral, but a lot of things cause emotions, and they are not all neutral. E.g. lust can cause emotion.

    I think what I am trying to suggest is that if we try to have a good relationship with God, spend time with him and think about what he wants for our lives, we will know what is ok and what isn’t.

  4. >> Does it disappear after marriage?
    >I think it does if you’re lusting after your spouse and your relationship isn’t utterly screwed. (Also maybe if you’re some kind of porn freak and you see him/her in those terms.)

    Sorry, can you say that again? It doesn’t make sense to me.
    On the topic of marriage etc., someone once told me he felt bad about the kind of (presumably ‘lustful’) thoughts he was having about his fiancee, but it seems to me that if he felt bad about it, it shows that she meant more to him than just the physical – and I know he respected her as a person. I suppose that’s the difference between ‘lust’ and sexual feelings – like Alice’s first point.

  5. >Lust is a thought which for me takes very little time and happens in the quiet secrecy of my mind. This is a much harder foe to beat, especially when the more I look to see who the culprit is the more I think it is myself.

    I think it’s important to distinguish between spontaneous thoughts and ones we nurture and cultivate. It’s pretty impossible i think to avoid sexual thoughts coming up in one’s mind, or other kinds of thought like “I wish you’d drop dead” etc. But it’s up to us whether we assent to them or disown them, and whether we revel in them or try to push them away. Though sometimes we’re in two minds about it…

  6. I think it does if you’re lusting after your spouse and your relationship isn’t utterly screwed. (Also maybe if you’re some kind of porn freak and you see him/her in those terms.)

  7. So lust is a corruption of sexual desire -which is good.

    Sexual desire is good but only in a relationship.

    I can go along with that – so what do you do if you cross the line? Even better how do you prevent yourself from crossing that line in the first place?

    The thing which is more annoying is that you have seemingly no control on who you find attractive, which takes the control away from yourself!

    ~

    As for Masturbation I agree with Andy in as much that I think it is almost impossible without lust as you have described it creeping in somewhere.

  8. Somewhere sexual desire which is ok and is generally essential for the human race to keep going is turned into lust. This is such a huge taboo that we have seemingly huge problems in dealing with it, since it is based on a good thing which we shouldn’t talk about generally.

    How do you retain sexual desire without the lust when not in a relationship?

  9. Crossing the Line: As I said previously, I think that a relationship is lustful only when you are in it only or mainly for the sex. I think it is pretty easy to tell whether or not you are in such a relationship.

    Attraction: While I agree that we have no control over who we find physically attractive, I think, as Midge said, that we can control our thoughts to the extent that we can choose not to nurture or cultivate certain thoughts. For example: I knew that I found one of my friends physically attractive and that I could very easily start to fancy him. However, because I thought that he was interested in someone else, I refused to allow myself to dwell on ‘sexual/romantic’ thoughts of him. (As it turned out, he fancied me and we are now engaged, but my point still stands…we were platonic friends for a long time before he admitted that he was attracted to me, at which point I allowed myself to start fancying him).

    Masturbation: Sorry if this is ‘too much information’…I remember masturbating when I was 4, at which age I didn’t even know such a thing as ‘sex’ existed, so I can’t have been lusting. I still think it is possible to derive enjoyment through touching yourself without lust. Who knows, maybe boys find it more difficult…

  10. Congratulations on your engagement!!

    Yes, I remember reading somewhere in a book about bringing up children that they often go through a period of ‘playing with themselves’ which may embarrass parents but (they said) passes once children start to take more interest in the world around them as well as their own bodies. I’m not sure about it being a passing phase, but it certainly embarrassed my mum when I did it in church. And she might have wondered why I asked her once whether angels can see through bedclothes. (Her answer was “I don’t know – I’m not an angel.”)

    I suppose the main thing is that these sexual feelings start off as just pleasure in oneself but when we get older they start to involve other people, and that’s when we have to worry about it being inappropriate.

  11. Thanks!

    Maybe children doing it in public is just a phase, but I don’t think they all stop doing it altogether.

  12. Te hülye! So you’re saying: Lust disappears after marriage if you’re lusting after your spouse and your relationship isn’t utterly screwed?

  13. I came across a quote from NT Wright today which fits in with what you said about lust and relationships. Apparently Pope John Paul II caused a stir when he suggested that the verse about looking at a woman lustfully could apply to a man and his own wife. And apparently this point was made by someone else long before that.

  14. How can lust have disappeared if you’re lusting? Or do you mean, if you’re lusting after your spouse at first, either it will disappear later or your relationship will end up being screwed up?

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