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Wayne suggests adding some spiritual dimensions to the basic definitions of sexual terms. He has some good thoughts so I’m highlighting them here and including some additional comments.

1. Lust – According to my understanding, lust is equivalent to a ‘sexual poverty mentality’. When a man has sexual access to a worthy woman, he doesn’t indulge in lust or porn. He simply gets to work on it. To get sexual access, a man needs to have an ‘abundance mentality’. If he languishes in a ‘sexual poverty mentality’ (i.e. lust), then he will have difficulty in his sex life, and will resort to porn.

This makes intuitive sense to me. The less sex a man has the more likely he is to fill the void with porn. I actually read a conversation on Twitter awhile back started by Hunter Drew (of Family Alpha) where a lot of men admitted the reason they watched porn was because they were insecure about their dick size and felt they were unable to satisfy their own wives in bed. So sex ends up turning into a “spectator sport” for a lot of men. They simply don’t feel qualified to participate.

Though I wouldn’t go so far to say these men are ‘lusting.’ I think there is a key distinction between having a burning desire to possess something and merely wishing you had something. I suspect the problem with the stereotypical porn consumer is that he does not truly desire sex enough. He does not desire sex enough to work through rejection and ‘failure’ to get what he craves. He only half-heartedly wishes his wife would do more things in the bedroom and he finds a variety of obstacles (such as the size of his plough) that supposedly prevent him from getting what he wants. In reality, it is the scarcity-based beta mindset that prevents him getting to bedroom paradise.

2. Erotica, Porn, and Art – I would argue that the greatest difference between erotica, porn, and art (from a spiritual perspective) is the mindset which a man entertains in the viewing. A man in a poverty mindset will view porn and erotica as a vehicle of sexual expression (i.e. masturbation). But when a man shifts to an abundance mindset, porn and erotica are merely seen as art. He makes some comments about the art to his woman, they laugh, and then they go home and do it. No lust there. There is desire and passion, sure, but no lust. If the man resorts to lust (i.e. the sexual poverty mentality), she’ll be creeped out and he’ll end up with porn for the night.

Wanking off while viewing porn certainly changes the experience. Many Christians would argue that masturbation is proof of lust. I wouldn’t be to quick to make that conclusion. Practically speaking, the women in porn are not seen as “real” women. In other words, most men don’t obsess over them, try to stalk them in real life, or even entertain the idea of actually having sex with them. It’s just fantasy.

I think regularly using porn for “solo sex” is akin to what Dr. Robert Glover, in No More Mr. Nice Guy, describes as “settling for bad sex.” No sane man would argue that masturbation is preferable to real sex. It doesn’t exactly leave a man feeling proud when he’s finished. We’d all rather be like this guy:

I think the the risk of jerking off while watching porn is that it can easily become an addicting experience. Since it’s more convenient than going through the trouble of learning how escalate with a real woman, it can become a crutch that prevents a man from making the real-life improvements he needs to make to get laid.

But these men already feel bad enough about themselves. Equating their porn viewing habit with adultery on top of being a loser is not going to help them change. They need encouragement, not brow-beating.

3. Sexual Immorality – This is an insightful start. We could make this better by describing what sex is sold in exchange for, and why.

As best I can tell, the biblical problem with sexual immorality is that it shows contempt for one’s own body. God gave us our bodies so that we could manifest spiritual truth. Having sex within marriage is a manifestation of Christ and the church. But having sex outside of marriage indicates that you only see your body as something to barter with for temporal gain. Money would be the obvious exchange. But I think other forms of “currency” would be included such as using sex to “win friends and influence people.”

I am sure we’ll have to add a definition of idolatry to reach a full understanding of this.

As I mentioned in my previous post, I think the equation of sexual immorality with idolatry is an example of “common sense” being incorrect. The New Testament equates idolatry with greed for material gain, not sexual immorality. Though I suppose one could “sell off” one’s body in service of material gain.

It’s possible I’m wrong about this. If anyone can find a passage of Scripture that clearly equates idolatry with sexual immorality, I’ll adjust my opinion accordingly. But since I’ve already searched the ends of the earth (i.e. quickly scanned through Page 1 of a Google search), I don’t think anything’s going to show up.