lie5graphicaTruth: God made both men and women to be sexually aroused relationally.

Most Christians believe that God made men to be primarily visually aroused. However, a review of the Scriptures will show that God simply does not tell us that. And what we do find demonstrates that it is not God’s design – nor His will – for men. Let’s look at an important passage from Proverbs 5:18.
“May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth.” (NIV)
In the context of Proverbs 5, it is clear that the “fountain” is a poetic reference to ejaculation. In other words, this is specifically talking about sex. God wants us to “rejoice” (take sexual pleasure) in the wife that we took as young men. And he wants us to “rejoice” in them for the rest of our lives. If God made men to be visually stimulated, then this command would be cruel, for there is no way that the sight of an old woman’s body is going to be as sexually stimulating as a young woman’s body, if that’s what it takes. What if, after awhile, she ages, droops, gains weight, and/or loses her breasts to cancer, and he can no longer “rejoice” in her because she simply doesn’t have what it takes to “turn him on?” Should that man resort to fantasizing about the images in magazines so that he can “get it to work” with his wife… so long as he keeps his eyes closed?
Some do. But that is not God’s design.
However, that is the logical conclusion of thinking that men are visually stimulated.

The Allure of the Adulteress

I would urge you to read and consider the entire chapter of Proverbs 7. It portrays the enticement of an adulterous woman. Notice how very little of the sexual enticement of the adulteress is visual. The only mention of anything visual is that she is “dressed like a prostitute.” Even this statement is an indication that she was “dressed” (not naked). Clearly, her attire had been chosen to communicate something… it communicated sexual availability! The account is entirely about her communication to the man, not her visual appeal. In Proverbs 7:21, Solomon summarizes what happened to the man:
“With persuasive words she led him astray; she seduced him with her smooth talk.”
Do you see that it was her words and not her body? It was her communication that seduced him. Communication is a relational event, not a visual one! There is nothing more powerfully alluring to a man than a woman who communicates that she wants him. That’s precisely what the adulterous woman communicates to the young man. And it works, because we are relational creatures. Some might argue that much of what the woman did was visually perceived. But we call that “non-verbal communication.” Even that which the man picked up visually was part of her communication with him.

Porn Knows the Truth

At its core, the pornography industry knows this is true. Consider the images they sell… the subjects are photographed with a “come on” look which communicates “I want you.”  Pornographic magazines often include biographies on the girls where intimate details are shared… so that every guy looking at them says to himself “Wow, she’d really like me!” That’s a relational response. And consider the telephone sex lines… if men were primarily visual, those lines wouldn’t make any money, but they thrive. They hook people relationally. I cannot stress this point too strongly. I would even put it this way:
So long as a man believes that he is primarily aroused visually, he will never be able to break free from his bondage to pornography.
This is why the pornography industry wants you to continue believing and acting as if that lie is true… without it, they have nothing to sell you. This is why the marketing industry has contributed to the conditioning. Without it, they wouldn’t be able to capitalize on the mantra, “Sex Sells!” The baffling question remains… Why does the church continue to promote this lie?

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9 Responses to Visual Stimulation

  • Excellent post. Thank you so much for debunking the myth. I’ve read a LOT about porn addiction but never this – always ‘visual’, never ‘relational’. Your perspective is unique but clearly true. I’ll share links to your site on the forums, as and when appropriate.

  • Ur arguments are strong but its hard to believe that visual stimulation is irrelevant. Even from a christian perspective the scriptures do veeeery strongly imply that physical attraction is a thing and a very strong thing at that. (Various scripture calling various women beautiful, Jacob falling in lust with rachel … or the other one i forget the name, jesus warning a man not to look upon a woman lustfully which impliee that there is some type of pleasure associated with looking at women, etc) . How do i reconcile the idea that a logically consistent creator apparently exists and doesnt want me to sin (if He does indeed exist i def dont wanna sin against Him) with the reality that when i see a hot girl i have this tension that goes on inside of me? Whe i look at porn it feels wrong but i severely question whether it looks wrong cuz i was raised with that implication or cuz it actually is wrong. Then theres the side of me that truely feels like its not a big deal. But i dont know if thats cuz ive been conditioned by the society i live in or cuz its actually not a moral issue.

    • Thank you for writing, Frank.

      Be careful not to read more into what we’ve said in the article. We did not say that visual stimulation is irrelevant… but that it is not “primary.”

      The real point is this… How does God want you to respond to the sight of a beautiful woman, regardless of how much of her skin you see? Is it God’s will for you to automatically respond with sexual desire? The answer to that question is No.

      Does God intend for you to sexually objectify a woman simply because you see her and/or her form? Again, the answer is No.

      Did God make you to appreciate beauty? And to be particularly appreciate of Female beauty? Emphatically, Yes!

      That beauty is not forbidden… no beauty created by God is forbidden for us to see and appreciate! And no beautiful thing created by God is any sort of impediment to righteousness! Not even the beauty of a woman’s unclothed form!

      So, the only way that can be true is if it is NOT God’s intent for men to automatically (or even primarily) respond to physical beauty with sexual desire and lust. That sort of response has been assumed and taught and learned by our society today as to be presumed to be “natural” and God-given, but it is NOT! The “tension” you feel is a combination of a natural and God-given sexual drive combined with an unnatural and conditioned response to the visual perception of a woman, which objectifies her as a sexual stimulus instead of a person created in God’s Image and a person of intrinsic value.

      God’s intent is for men to find sexual arousal and attraction through relationship. And trust me, when the relationship is strong, not only is sexual attraction strong, but so is the appreciation of the woman’s beauty! The converse is true, too… if the relationship is bad, then regardless of how beautiful the woman is, sexual attraction can be completely short-circuited!

      And, yes, Rachel was described as Beautiful, and that drew Jacob to love (not lust after) her, but this never in any way indicates that God’s design for sexual arousal in men is supposed to be first and foremost visual.

      Jesus’ teaching on “lusting after” a woman indicates that it’s more than simple appreciation of her beauty, but beyond that, a desire to possess her… and it is the lust that is forbidden, not the sight. The tenth commandment (Exodus 20:17) tells us not to “Covet” (which equals “lust”) after anything that belongs to our neighbor… including his wife. We understand that well enough… and it does not mean that we must compel our neighbor to keep his beautiful house (or wife or servants or livestock) out of sight… That would be silly! Rather, it is for US to control our response to that sight!

      Yes, the simple sight of a persons form really is “no big deal.” But the sexual objectification of that person IS a big deal! That’s what makes porn wrong… not the simple sight of the natural human form!

      I hope this helps clarify.

      David Martin

  • David that’s a great response to Franks concern. I have been sharing a very similar response with guys and gals I speak with.

  • What is being said makes sense but one thing I don’t understand is how people often say that “badness” turns them on. Like say if one person is being naughty and it turns the other partner on. I’ve heard stories of people smacking their partners for “bad behaviour” and it sexually arouses them or something like that. Could you confirm that this is another learned stimulated attraction that is not of God and if so explain why this is the case?

    • John, it really boils down to this…

      Anything that demeans the humanity of a person who bears God’s image is a problem. That is the agenda of Satan, not of God.

      Is there anything possibly right about getting sexually aroused by abusing another person? Ever?

      No, not ever.

      But can someone condition themselves to experience that sort of response? Of course. Could someone even condition themselves to a sexual response even when they are on the receiving end of such abuse? Almost inconceivably, yes. But what self-loathing such a thing reveals.

  • I don’t mean it like that. What I mean is that say if someone is just being naughty in general, it sexually arouses their partner. It has nothing to do with being abusive on purpose. People have said to their partners before “hit me I’ve been very bad” and it turns them on. It wasn’t uncalled for. Now that i think about, I’ll bet you that is learned too seeing as people aren’t meant to feel aroused after seeing their partner doing bad things as evil is contrary to the will of God.

    • Hi John, I’ll chime in to add this. The Fall introduced sin into the world and that has resulted in many cultures over the years finding pleasure in watching others suffer. Think of the Roman gladiator fights or Christians being thrown to the lions. Consider the public hangings and mutilation/dismemberment common in the Middle Ages. Today, think of how many people are “entertained” by horrific and disgusting treatment of the body in video games and films. Consider how 50 Shades of Grey became a best seller (in Christian female and unsaved demographics). It is definitely part of the sin nature that sees hurting/hitting/abusing a person’s partner as a turn-on. We reject that as being contrary to the Redeemed View of the Body.

      • Great response Jason, your answer is clear and historically supported. The bottom line is fallen man, left to his own imagination will only grow more sinful with the passing of time. Without the Spirit of God arresting our conscience there are no limits.

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