Back when I was still a faithful fundamentalist Christian, I spent an inordinate fraction of the time trying to bear these verses in mind:
Matthew 5:27-28 — King James Version
27 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery:
28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.
Entire Bible study groups have been given over to the subject, not to mention books. It’s really sad to watch men struggle with sexual guilt imposed upon them by faith-based doctrines, but it is not remotely surprising. Christians have a long history of faith-based sexual repression, and we should not be shocked to see them indulging therein.
Given this personal background, I am still surprised and appalled to see modern secular people immersing themselves in this same internalized self-immolation, loathing themselves for having perfectly ordinary sexual urges. Even as I write this, I’m having trouble believing that this really happens, but here you go:
I assume that my “condition” is perfectly normal, because many friends I’ve consulted have admitted that they, too, might have graphic daydreams about a woman they saw for five seconds at a traffic light. And indeed, the academic research on the subject corroborates my informal polling. But I couldn’t get over the cognitive dissonance of the whole situation. How could enlightened, feminist guys like myself put up with these unbidden fantasies that violate our dedication to gender equity and basic human decency?
There is no way I can convey my complete and utter contempt for this sort of male feminist self-loathing without running afoul of my personal dedication to civility, so I’m just going to say this to Andy Hinds: Have a wank. Have a beer. Get a life.
Once feminists start making common cause with the Pharisaical puritanism of a certain rabbi from Nazareth, I completely lose interest in hearing them out. Shaming people for having ordinary and perfectly healthy sex drives is not moral progress, it is a two-millennial flashback to the sexual repression of ancient Judaea.
I’m not generally apt to agree with Amanda Marcotte on anything to do with human sexuality, but at least she manages to understand that the problem is not the indulgence of sexual imagination, but rather the failure to conceal what is playing out in the theater of the mind:
It’s OK to strip people naked in your imagination, as long as you respect their right to not know that’s what you’re doing. This is accomplished by not gawking, ogling, and drooling, but rather learning to be discreet. Nearly all women and a healthy percentage of men manage to do this every day.
I’m totally into what she’s laying down here. On that note, I’ll be in my bunk.