It’s Not Just a Guy Thing—Oh Wait, Yes It Is


When I saw that a prominent Christian blogger, Tim Challies, had posted an article about sinning with your eyes titled It's Not Just a Guy Thing, I was excited. Ever since the Victorian Era de-sexed women, evangelicals have generally positioned things the sin of lust squarely in male territory. Now to be clear, I have a problem with this entire construction, and I don't believe visual sexual enjoyment is wrong---though exploitation clearly is. But when I saw the article title, I expected to find … [Read more...]

On Masturbating without Lust


Awkward as it may be, over the past several years I've written a number of posts on the impact of my upbringing, with its emphasis on sexual purity, on my sex life both past and present. This time I want to turn to a subject I don't believe I've explored yet, and that is my adolescent "struggles" and internal conflicts over masturbation.I've written before about the huge physical response physical touch evoked in my body when I first started dating. I've written, too, that early in my sex … [Read more...]

The Purity Culture and “Lust”


Growing up, "lust" was a big no no. No lusting allowed! Absolutely none! Lust was sinful, shameful, evil. It was the kind of word that was whispered. And what exactly was lust? Joshua Harris, the man who single handedly normalized the term "courtship" in evangelicalism, wrote a book called Sex Is Not the Problem (Lust Is) in which he offered the following definition: Lust is craving sexually what God has forbidden. In other words, conservative evangelicals and fundamentalists generally define … [Read more...]

Missing the Point: Sex Maniacs and Shamed Boys

Some time ago, a reader offered the following comment on one of my posts. You emphasized in other posts that you were taught that all that men think about is sex, but that is not true.In this post, you feel sorry for your brother because everyone knows that all men think about is sex, and fundamentalists tell him not to.Inconsistent? I was taught that men are basically sex crazed monsters. I was taught that the solution is to train boys and men to never think about sex at all, except … [Read more...]

Christianity, Sin, and Thought Crime

Growing up in a fundamentalist evangelical home, I had little chance to commit any serious sins. To some extent this didn't matter: I was taught that a sin is a sin is a sin, and talking back to your mother is just as bad in God's eyes as was murder. Practically, though, what sins I did commit - being mean to a younger sibling, not coming immediately when called, doing a chore sloppily - were rare and easily made right. What I was much, much more concerned about was committing thought crime. … [Read more...]

The “Problem” of Lust

Note: I am defining lust as "a feeling of sexual desire" and lustful thoughts as "sexual thoughts or fantasies."  This is actually the dictionary definition, when devoid of all the shame talk religion gives the word "lust."Just recently I tried to show some of my brothers a movie I really enjoy. After watching the beginning, they told me they could watch no more. Why? Because it included some nudity. This has made me realize how hard it must be to be my brothers. They have been raised to … [Read more...]