When Women Lust

We all know that men struggle with lust. But what about women? While it’s becoming more common to hear of women’s struggles with pornography use, many women still perceive that they have the moral high ground over men. Such comparisons don’t help because men and women often struggle in different ways.


When a beautiful woman walks in the room or flashes on a screen or billboard, all eyes are transfixed. While men might be thinking about sex, a woman might be thinking, I wonder what it would be like to have such a body? Men want the body, women want the body. They want the body that attracts everyone. Lust can be either a strong feeling of sexual desire, or a strong desire for something.

We know when a man has sinned as he takes the body he wants through indulging in pornography or visiting a prostitute. But what does it look like for a woman to act out on her lust? She cannot take the body she desires to have, so what does she do? For the most part, her sin remains hidden. Still, there are some tell-tale signs of her sin, which I will describe in the first person because I struggle with this too.

Signs of Struggle


The first feeling lust produces in a woman is dissatisfaction with her own body. We have compared our body with someone else’s and fallen short. We imagine the other woman is sexier, more confident in herself, and overall better off. This leads us to self-pity.


Feeling sorry for ourselves makes us feel insecure. We feel threatened in our own femininity and start worrying about our husband or fiancé or boyfriend finding a new woman more attractive. We transpose this subjective fear into reality. Because I am struggling with lust, I assume my man must be, so I fear our relationship is threatened anew with every new attractive woman we encounter.


We feel the need to put down other women. We rationalize our struggle by leveling the playing field in our own minds. The thinking goes like this: “Well, she may be very sexy, but she probably isn’t very intelligent,” or, “Her hair is perfect, but I’m sure glad I don’t have those legs.” We would never say anything cruel, but we think it to make ourselves feel better.


If none of this makes us feel better, we embark on a never-ending cycle of self-improvement. We feel the need to regain ground because our place at the top has been threatened. This is a form of works-righteousness in which we attempt to prove to ourselves, the world around us, and ultimately even to God that we can change ourselves into our own image, the perfect one we’ve created, one we so desperately want to attain. We make new dietary resolutions, new and better workout plans, and buy new clothes and cosmetics so we can look sexier.

Putting God on the Dock

Lusting after some other woman’s body is a symptom of deep dissatisfaction with the way we look. It’s a matter of pride. We feel we deserve better. When I was a teenager struggling to accept my body and all of its changes, my mother once said to me, “Complaining about you figure is like slapping God in the face!” That really caught my attention. My dissatisfaction with my body was shouting out to God, “You made me wrong!” But as my maker, did he not have the right to make me as he pleased? Does not God look over his creation and pronounce it good? Who was I to contradict him?

Our bodies are important to God, so we need to care for them as good stewards. We need to eat right, exercise regularly, and sleep enough. Nevertheless, the fall affects our bodies so that they age, wrinkle, sag, and eventually die. God knows this process and in his mercy, he sent Jesus to die on the cross to reverse the deadly effects of the fall.

Through the resurrection, God has assured us that he is capable and in the process of making all things new. But interestingly, God is in the business of renewing us from the inside out, not the outside in. “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day” (2 Corinthians 4:16 NIV). He starts with our hearts because that is where the core problem resides. He sees into the recesses of our hearts, where those dark, lustful, self-destructive thoughts lie, and he chose to plunge into that cavern to shine his light. When we start seeing our hearts through his redemptive purposes, we will see where the Spirit is initiating change, bringing us to repentance and giving us new longings. The rest of the effects of the fall will be overcome on the final day, and then we will also receive perfect bodies to go along with our perfected hearts.

Maybe that is why he constantly frustrates us in our striving to renew ourselves from the outside in. He wants us to realize that we are made for something more. To be a self-made woman based on the ideals put forth in women’s magazines or comparing ourselves with other women we admire is not God’s goal for us. It’s far too small! In fact, those magazines can be just as bad for our souls as pornography is for men.

Rather, God changes us into the image of his son, Jesus, the perfect man. He wants us to experience joy in how he intended us to be. He fulfills all his purposes in us. Let’s not waste precious time trying to be someone else. Being satisfied in God alone will make you and me an irresistibly attractive women, inside and out, because his love will shine through us for the world to see.

  • Hillary

    I love this article because it highlights a lot of problems women face with self image issues. I do, however, wish it covered a bit more in the way of lust as most people conceive of it. Beyond one quick line about the rise of pornography use among women, the article deals with what might better be categorized as jealousy. I know several women, myself included, who have struggled more with the other kind of lust–the one that is labeled as a “men’s problem,” with little recognition of it from the church.

    • http://theeowiggle@blogspot.de Eowyn Stoddard

      Yes, I’m sorry this article is limited in scope. I chose to focus on my own struggles and those of many women but don’t mean to downplay the real struggle many women have with pornography. That will have to be for another article! Maybe you should write it =)
      I wanted to make clear that a woman’s lust is just as bad as a man’s, as it is not often identified as such. At the core of all of these issues is a lack of satisfaction with what God has given each one of us to deal with.

    • Ben

      A few years ago my wife and I confessed to each other that we had both been trying to deal with pornography for years on our own (we were both too embarrassed to confess it to each other.) She, in particular, was devastated beyond being broken over her sin. She thought there was something wrong with her that she could struggle with a “man’s issue.” I believe the root of her temptation and lust were likely different than my own, as this article alludes to, but I have come to find that the means (porn use) to justify the ends (satisfying our differing needs) are much more similar than most in the church realize. My guess is that it is mostly naivety, but also great shame from women, like my wife, who feel as though they shouldn’t be struggling with this. I constantly hear from pastors that “men want sex but women want such and such…” Hello! God created both male and female as sexual beings who – despite our physiological differences – both desire sex and who are each prone to the sinful distortion of what God created as beautiful. I truly hope you are able to find other women who are willing to talk honestly with you and be accountability for you. Grace and peace to you. ~ Greg

  • Aaron Bruce

    Good morning Eowyn —

    I really enjoyed reading your article, especially the section where you drew a parallel you between men’s and women’s struggles (opening three paragraphs).

    Ironically, I do believe that men similarly wrestle with this ‘body image’ idea – that is often associated with being merely a woman’s struggle. I would even go as far as to suggest that pornography is the means by which men cope with a bodily dissatisfaction, because it allows them to fantasize about a woman’s – or women plural – unconditional affirmation of them. There is much more to be said about this.

    That said, I am really encouraged by the insight you have brought to this conversation. This is a necessary read for both women and men.

  • Tess

    Body image is an important issue but the title of this article is misleading. I thought that Eowyn was actually going to talk about LUST!

    Because women really do struggle with it! I’m a life-long celibate woman and I have often been tempted by porn.

    Hard porn turns my stomach. It’s quite easy for me to repudiate THAT. What is far more subtle and difficult to resist is the lure of erotic fiction. And I do mean explicitly erotic, NOT romantic, fiction. It is an old cliché that men are more turned on visually and women are more turned on by words, but in my case, both these things can be true.

    Eowyn’s article is very good but the problem of coveting other women’s bodies is not my problem. Whereas lust, i.e. the inappropriate use of my sexuality, most definitely is.

    Come on Gospel Coalition, find a woman writer who will actually tackle this subject for the benefit of her struggling sisters.

    For once I’m not brave enough to sign my real name, for obvious reasons.

    • Eowyn Stoddard

      Dear Tess,
      I can understand your frustration with my article because that is not the focus of it–see my comment to Hillary. It is meant to be provocative and if you look up lust in the dictionary, you will find that it does mean much more than sexual lust.
      Merriam Webster defines it as

      noun \ˈləst\

      : a strong feeling of sexual desire

      : a strong desire for something

      It is the second definition I am addressing. But I also completely agree with you that the first needs to be addressed in women. There are good resources out there for that. If you would like some recommendations, please feel free to send me a message and I can point you toward some. Thanks for reading!

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  • http://kataney.wordpress.com Kat

    Thanks Eowyn (And if it’s Eowyn after the character in LOTR – SO COOL!)

    Anyway – I appreciate this blog. I know I battle dealing with the lust of a body image that is not my own; at some points even obsessing and wouldn’t dare to leave the house without any make-up on, for example. It’s a struggle drenched in bondage so, amen – but I would agree with Hillary and Tess on (somewhat) missing the mark on what the title suggests.

    A women’s struggle with lust, in the traditional sense, is perhaps a lot darker than a man’s because no one expects it beyond watching the Notebook and reading romance books. It’s the same with pride because for sins that are typically gendered, women are likely to suffer alone and maybe even longer. The risk in confession feels greater and the weight heavier because she is fighting many layers of her flesh influenced by a society that categorizes sin.

    Could it be that men in church leadership who hear of women lusting are even pleasantly intrigued rather than urged to call a sister to repentance? That may be part of the problem.

    Although this comment might be scratching the surface – I’m thankful that your posting has created an outlet for women like me to explicitly pursue this topic and share our personal struggles in the freedom the Gospel allows. It’s a light burden the Body can share so thanks for sharing yours.

  • patrick mayoh

    I am a man but I was profoundly blessed by this article. Thanks sister.

  • http://www.theinsidecardboardworld.blogspot.com Anthony

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us – I appreciated what you had to say about accepting how God made us and not slapping him in the face.

    See my response to your post here:


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  • Lisa Donald

    I appreciate this article and find it very thought provoking. Thank you. I started thinking of the different ways in which we lust … not only for Cinderella bodies but also for the Prince Charming experience (perfect mind-reading, doting husband), the Cinderella-at-the-ball experience (euphoria of falling “in love”) the Cinderella-becomes-rich experience, the Cinderella-at-the-centre-of-the-universe experience (being goddess & having the “worship”/admiration of others), the Cinderella righteousness (as compared to those wicked stepsisters/stepmother, as if Cinderella wasn’t a sinner, too) … We become disappointed, our disappointment turns to bitterness, blinds us to our own sin and prevents us from entrusting our lives & situations to God, ruins marriages and other relationships … Lord have mercy! Hebrews 12:28-29

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  • Melody

    Thank you for letting God use you to write this for me and other women like me. I know some are upset because God didn’t use you to write something for them but I think they are looking at it in a very restricted way. There are those of us that do not struggle with pornography that have issues too. I wonder if a woman that struggles with pornography would realize that this applies too because it speaks to the base lie. That what we look like and the ability to seduce will bring the satisfaction that we seek. It doesn’t. It’s a lie.

    Sex implies power. Sex and being desired implies being the one in power and not the slave. It’s all lies. That goal of being a “hot wife” is an enslaving thought even while thinking we have found this world’s true love. This world’s true love doesn’t even compare to Christ’s love. If a man isn’t turned on by the love and sacrifice that a woman gives in agonizing birth, cooking, cleaning, organizing the children while still loving him through ear/nose hair, bad breath and gas then there is something lacking in his heart. Boaz recognized something in Ruth that makes no mention of her looks. Christ recognized that heart in Leah. He blesses us based on our heart and not our looks.

    God gives us that freedom in Christ. He tells us over and over that He does not look at the things of this world the way that we do. He tells us to concentrate on the condition of the heart and not the condition of our hair.

    I struggled with this all my life and thought I had conquered it when following Christ but found myself challenged at church and specifically women’s bible studies. Do we really have to worry about having the latest fashion on? Do I really have to have the overly tanned, low light/high light $200+ hair style, expensive outfit Christian woman tell me that I won’t regret coloring my hair because it will take ten years off my looks at a bible study about spiritual gifts during the small talk time? See how just thinking about it made me feel snarky? I know she is a nice lady and didn’t even realize how she sounded. While I only took minimal notice of how she looked before but that was my instant defense. I sized her up and found her wanting. I don’t want to feel that way and I’m not blaming her for my response. I want to love her in her insecurity while hanging on to my security, what little I have. So I’m going to print this and hang it up.

    As for porn or dirty novels_
    I no longer have a man and I never want another one. I used to read those secular romance novels. Glorified date rapes are all they are. General Hospital Luke and Laura stories written over and over again in different time periods for women. I don’t know what people want to be said about them to help them. It’s sin. Don’t buy them. If you don’t own them then you won’t read them. Don’t watch the TV shows that lead down that path with the seduction scenes. Do you really need to drilled into your head that it is sin? You know it is sin. You know that God sees you every time you read one or are watching one. It’s not like He isn’t paying attention because He is busy with everyone else or someone more important. He is bigger than that.

    Maybe Tess if you signed your name the struggle wouldn’t be so large. Find a friend that you can confess to and make yourself accountable. That is what the men that struggle with porn do. That is what I do with other things like cussing. Iron sharpens iron. If you don’t have a godly friendship like that then it is time to cultivate one. Maybe you are going to have to lead on this one.

    • Andrew


      Thanks for sharing your experience. I’m sorry to hear you never want another man – can I encourage you to consider how those romance novels (which are indeed pornography) may have implanted in your mind a distorted view of manhood? I suspect that many more Christian women than we realize avoid men (via feminism, same-sex relationships etc) because of these distortions, to the detriment of God’s church. It’s heartbreaking to think that real men may be going without the womanly care God may have implanted in them for this purpose.

      This thread suggests that the problem of female-oriented pornography is more widespread than many might have thought. It’s fairly evident in the culture, so it surprises me that Christians avoid the topic as much as they seem to. The stunning success of novels like Eat Pray Love and Fifty Shades of Gray is sufficient proof that rape fantasies are widespread amongst women. They’re proof also, I suspect, that there are terrible consequences when we ignore the fact that women are as susceptible to objectifying the opposite sex as men.

      I’m very thankful for this post as it opens up the dialogue necessary to appreciate the many ways God has created men and women differently. I agree with a previous commenter who suggests that the problem of pornography has for too long been incorrectly diverted into the male domain. Understanding the psycho-sexual differences between men and women will hopefully help to identify the triggers, tools and mechanisms of pornography in all of its forms and perhaps start a wider conversation so women like yourself who have suffered in relative silence might know they’re not alone.

      The challenge, I suspect, will be in agreeing on the triggers, tools and mechanisms of female-oriented pornography. There still seems to be a lot of misplaced chivalry and male-shaming around that pushes this problem squarely into the male domain. Once this barrier is overcome, hopefully with the assistance of the complementarian church, churches might be able to establish accountability measures and remedial pathways for women who are struggling.

      So what are the triggers, tools and mechanisms? Unlike men, a lot of women seem to equate sex with power. If this is true, it suggests that submissiveness, or rather the feeling of submitting to a dominant man, is the gratifying instrument. In romance novels, a dominant man is the sex object, just as an alluring and compliant woman in male-oriented pornography is the sex object. Both are distortions and an objectification of the opposite sex, as both are imputed with the most desirable qualities the objectifier can conceive for that sex. The man in the romance novel may be dominant for any number of reasons – just as there is variety in men’s preferences for women’s looks and figure – and the lust, I suspect is the same. A man with the ‘right stuff’ – money, power, fame, intelligence, position etc seems to be a pornographic object to women as much as an alluring naked woman is to men.

      Those kinds of men are a far cry from the self-abasing Christian men who seek quiet lives in God’s service, who may have little going for them in any material sense. Such men are everywhere but I suspect they’re invisible to most women, especially those who have indulged in romance fantasy. Instead of giving up on men, can I encourage you to look for these men in your church and pray for them?

      For pastors and elders who might be reading, I wonder if the constant lament by church women that more men are needed in church, even when men are everywhere (just not men with the ‘right stuff’!) is evidence of unchecked dominance fantasy indulgence. Another, less obvious, way of putting this might be ‘unrestrained hypergamy’. I can envision this happening in congregations in which an empowered worldly mindset has been baptised as a spiritual norm or in which misguided chivalry protects women from needed admonishment. I pray for fruitful conversations on this topic for the sake of the spiritual health of women and those around them.

      • Tess

        Andrew, a lot to respond to there but I don’t have much time.

        “Unlike men, a lot of women seem to equate sex with power.”

        Woah! Really? For one thing, abusive men most certainly equate sex with power! For another, I and many women have no desire to equate sex with power, thank you very much. :) Because women, like men, want to feel safe in their relationships. Normal men and women don’t want to abuse or control their partners. Abusive men and women do.

        I see Christian marriage as a safe haven in which husband and wife are utterly free to be themselves with each other and please each other sexually however they see fit (with certain caveats … personally, I do not agree with BDSM practices in the Christian bedroom.)

        You’ve touched on the dark side of sexuality we can all be tempted by and you seem to assume that many women have rape/submissive fantasies. That can be true, yet those are not the only fantasies that women can be tempted by.

        Also: I know many good, quiet men married to women who love them. S

        As for the ‘complementarian’ church, that can have its own problems.

        My thanks to Eowyn for graciously allowing this conversation on her thread.

        • Me

          Yes, women often do equate sex with power, but in a different way than men. It is (for many) a means by which to try to get and keep a man, or if she has him, to manipulate him into doing something she wants him to do. She has something he wants, and so she has the power to give or withhold it at will, sort of as a means of positive-reinforcement behavior modification. That is very much a power grab in a relationship, and a destructive one but one that is VERY common and even celebrated in the secular female culture.

          • Philippa

            Dear ‘Me’,

            Yes, but when men and women respect each other as equal partners in a relationship – different, but equal – there is no need for power games of this kind. When men and women respect each other as equal partners, each with different strengths and vulnerabilities, neither tries to dominate or manipulate the other.

            (In traditional patriarchal societies, sexual power is usually the only kind of power that women have.)

            • Me

              Agreed. But that is very rarely the case. Dating/Marriage is typically about what the other person can give to me, how they make me feel, how they please me. People choose their partners based on that. Only a Gospel approach can change that, but apart from that (and sometimes even with that, since we are not yet fully sanctified), sex becomes just another battleground for power in a relationship, especially of the passive-aggressive sort. It may not result in physical bruises, but it is heavily destructive to both people involved.

              My point was that unsanctified sex is no less a power issue for women than it is for men. It does no one any favors to miss that.

        • Andrew

          Tess, thanks for your comments. I think you may be incorrectly imputing assumptions to my contentions. Allow me to clarify.

          I wrote:

          “Unlike men, a lot of women seem to equate sex with power.

          This is a perspective, not an assumption. It’s not about all women, or abusive men. I don’t have sufficient intimate personal experience with all or even “many” women or abusive men to know with certainty how either group as a whole perceives sex, but I have spoken with lots of what you might call “normal” men on this topic and power is very rarely mentioned. Most of these men have expressed dismay at the feminine (feminist?) view that equates sex with power, as this seems to exclude men’s loving personhood from the equation.

          The men primarily equate sex with two things (there are others, of course):

          1. Affirmation of their masculinity;
          2. Reasonable restraint of their passions.

          On the whole, the second seems to govern the first quite well, even when the need to affirm is strong and when the man is inept at governance. That women are free today to move in almost any circles is evidence that this is true for most men. Obviously, there are those who can’t govern their passions and become abusive but this, as you say, is not normal.

          “…you seem to assume that many women have rape/submissive fantasies.”

          I don’t see where I did this. I contend that the worldwide success of sexualised dominance stories (Eat Pray Love, Twilight, Fifty Shades of Grey etc) is proof of widespread rape fantasies amongst women…which is not the same as making an assumption.

          • Tess


            Most of these men have expressed dismay at the feminine (feminist?) view that equates sex with power, as this seems to exclude men’s loving personhood from the equation.

            Indeed so, but it was in fact patriarchy that originally cast men in the role of hunter and women in the role of the hunted. Blame the patriarchy for doing that to men, for telling them the lie that the only way to be a ‘real’ man was to subjugate women.

            And when feminism sought to address this, some radical feminists then fell into the trap of casting men as the villains. This, of course, was not helpful either (to put it mildly) and also alienated many moderate feminists who were in happy, healthy relationships with men. But it would be a mistake to think that all feminists took such an extreme and polarised view.

            I don’t see where I did this. I contend that the worldwide success of sexualised dominance stories (Eat Pray Love, Twilight, Fifty Shades of Grey etc) is proof of widespread rape fantasies amongst women…which is not the same as making an assumption.

            Well, no, it’s not proof, because Eat Pray Love is not actually about sex and Twilight has no explicit sex scenes! :) I haven’t read the book Eat Pray Love (and by the way it’s biography, not a novel), but I saw the film, which was an extremely tedious account of one woman’s journey of self-discovery: it bored me to tears, and I wished I hadn’t seen it, it was so self-indulgent. But it wasn’t about sex. Twilight, a romantic fantasy novel for young adults, has been criticised for the power dynamic between its hero and heroine. But I don’t think anything in Twilight remotely qualifies as a rape fantasy (and yes, I have read the first book, which I found pretty bland). The author is a devout Mormon and I fancy she would be pretty shocked at the notion: I surmise that her aim was to write a traditional romance with strong Gothic overtones in which the hero is strong and protective and the heroine is so deeply in love with him that she is prepared to sacrifice everything for him. Now you can criticise that, sure. And many have! But you can’t call it a rape fantasy, IMO.

            So we come to the true villain, 50 Shades of Grey (which I have no desire to read), which is about a consensual D/S relationship between an experienced older man and an inexperienced younger woman. You might be aware of the controversy which blew up around July 2012 when a prominent male Christian blogger claimed that the dominant/submissive relationship in ’50 Shades’ was an ungodly distortion of women’s true inner desires because what all women really want is to be subordinate to men … and it was right (according to this blogger) that they should desire this.

            I think you can imagine how that went down. :) And then people act all surprised because women ‘equate sex with power’ …!

            Extreme patriarchy seeks to control women so they ‘know their place’. Extreme feminism blames all men for this state of affairs and warns women to keep their distance from men. Both these attitudes are very damaging to both sexes, obviously.

            • Andrew

              I’m not too concerned with the contents of a particular story, as these can be interpreted differently by different people, and also in different ways to which the author intended. The common elements in the examples I’ve cited are psycho-sexual dominance and fuzzy approaches to the matter of consent, which is why I’m calling them rape fantasies.

              Psychology Today has published several articles suggesting that up to 60% of women have rape fantasies, with up to 10% having them several times a week (I won’t provide any links – these are searchable online). While these data don’t appear to be taken from scientific studies, they do support my contention that this problem is widespread.

              As for sex scenes, I don’t believe sex needs to be shown or depicted to render a story sexual. To qualify, it need only elicit sexual lust in the beholder. If the beholder then imagines themselves a participant in the scene, then it is a sexual fantasy, whether or not this was the creator’s intention. For example, nude works by painters are artful studies in the human form but the instant they elicit vicarious feelings of lust in someone – anyone – they become a sexual fantasy for that person. The danger is not so much in the works themselves but in the lustful feelings they induce.

              Looking at the psycho-sexual differences between men and women more closely, a rape fantasy may have nothing to do with sex at all. If male sexuality, as you say, is expressed as hunt-pursuit-capture, then female sexuality is about being desired, pursued and caught. Sex may be merely incidental. The titillating (and addictive) part for women may not be sex but a game of brinkmanship with consent and the negotiation of desire that accompanies it. It doesn’t matter if a story is non-fiction, or written for a different purpose then I’m comfortable calling it a rape fantasy.

            • Andrew

              Just one more thought to share. If the rape fantasy involves or includes a game of brinkmanship with consent, and the man in the fantasy is imputed with the idealized attractive elements of the objectifier, then consent is attached not anything the man himself does but whether or not the woman is attracted to him. If the definition of consent is narrowed and the definition of rape broadened it is easy to see how an ordinary man who falls victim to a played-out rape fantasy but at some point becomes unattractive to the woman could justify in her mind an Eat Pray Love style of divorce. Worse, he may be falsely accused by a woman desperate to be free of him of violence and/or rape. I wonder if the ‘rape culture’ the feminists are fond of promoting is an attempt to criminalise the sexual interest of ordinary men and legitimize the rape fantasy.

        • Melody

          Old enough to know better means that she has been around enough and been taught often enough to have the discernment to know that it is sin and that sin is affecting her heart.

          In the animal world the males get all the coloring to attract the best mate. The females do not have to work to attract attention. I don’t know why it is reversed for us. Perhaps it is because of the fall. It is most evidenced by the fact that females will pick the disinterested, neglectful jerks that they think they can change with their special brand of love while ignoring the “nice” guys except for the purpose of friendship. In the same way, many nice guys are seen with attractive shallow mean-spirited women. I guess it comes down to not having our hearts set on the things of God but on what makes us feel good. What makes us feels good is usually based on some dysfunction from our family of origin, in other words sin.

          We compete for men. What I want to know is if it is just about men then why does it carry over when there are no men around?

          The first women’s retreat I attended I was both shocked and not surprised at how many women were all gussied up. Women that didn’t even bother with makeup through the week were all made up. What was that about?

          • Tess


            This must be a cultural difference thing. I’m British and have been to plenty of Christian women’s retreats and conferences. Nobody gets ‘gussied up’. And I’m talking about the 20s to 70s age range …


            Rape culture and sexual violence are not baseless myths dreamed up by feminists. Read up on sexual violence in India, for starters.

            • Melody

              I’m wondering if very much of any of this conversation is translating across cultures. I certainly don’t understand why Andrew thinks he knows so much about women.
              I can be a know-it-all in my own right but I don’t think I have ever attempted to explain the male world point of view to them. Well except in a marital argument when I wasn’t playing fair, maybe.

            • Andrew


              “Read up on sexual violence in India”

              I have – in detail. I’ve also lived there for extended periods. I see no evidence of a Rape Culture there. What I see are a few sensationalised cases and a pantheistic culture prone to amorality and mobbishness that has been stirred into a frenzy by an international media strongly influenced by the Western Feminist narrative. I also see an increasingly incoherent response by the gullible and the foolish. We should pray for everyone concerned.

      • Melody


        I read four novels when I was in my 20’s. I noticed the lack of variety in storyline and grew bored with it.

        My distaste for a relationship at this stage of my life is due to real life men. I do not have to fill that God size hole in my heart with anything less than God anymore.

  • Ann

    Thanks for your article Eowyn. Like Tess I wish someone had the courage to write about the other aspect of lust that some women share with men. Not porn, but the desire/lust provoked by words. Now a widow and old enough to know better, I still struggle with this. It was interesting to me to find someone else whi does and I am sure we are not the only ones, Perhaps there is a woman out there with the courage and ability to write an article for TGC that we, and others can share, on this topic.

    • Tess

      Ann, thanks for your encouraging words. You say that you are ‘old enough to know better’ – but I don’t think that age has anything to do with it. People don’t stop being sexual just because they get older, or because they are mature Christians. God made us to be sexual, relational beings: we don’t become magically asexual because we are widowed, or divorced, or single.

      I will say this: when my prayer life is strong, the compulsion to escape into a sexual fantasy world decreases, because I find my satisfaction in Christ to be enough.

      But. That doesn’t stop me being sexual. We just need to channel our sexuality the right way, in a way that honours God. I don’t think that’s always easy, but nothing is impossible with God.

      It is good, as you say, to know that others struggle with the same things.

      Blessings to you.

  • EJ

    Just wanted to point out (as I think others have) that many women certainly DO lust in the way that many men do–masturbation, pornography, etc.–but unfortunately this isn’t something that churches are comfortable acknowledging. And the church’s socialization of women as pure vestal virgins would rather pretend they don’t.

    And at the same time, men struggle with the issues the author brings up in this article, but of course the church’s socialization of men as “strong” would rather pretend they don’t.

    • Melody

      These type of comments always make me extra grateful for the church that I belong to.

  • Jen Altrogge

    This is the best, clear writing I have read on this topic. Very helpful. THANK YOU!

  • Eowyn Stoddard

    I would encourage you to visit my blog. At the end of the original article there are some links to a couple of great organizations that deal head-on with female sexual lust. They have written materials and support groups for women struggling with sexual sin. Please don’t be ashamed to make contact with these wonderful folks who have a no-nonsense and realistic gospel-centered approach to dealing with all the things brought up in all the comments.
    Thanks for reading and interacting. It seems to me that this discussion has barely just begun!

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  • Manda

    For any ladies (or gentlemen, either) struggling with the issue of pornography – be it in the form of visual or written media – or with any other sexual sin, I highly recommend Setting Captives Free – The Way of Purity Course. It’s free online at settingcaptivesfree.com and has helped me to gain victory in this area, after struggling with it for many years. It is completely Christ focused and teaches you how to find your satisfaction in Him and forsake trying to satisfy yourself in sinful ways. I highly recommend it.

  • http://paperfences.wordpress.com Sara F.

    Thank you so much for this article! You have genuinely changed my thinking about this topic, and have pointed out my sin to me in a new way that enables me to deal with it at the root. Specifically, I had never before thought about insecurity being at its root a lust issue, but now I think it definitely is, and can deal with it as such! I think that generally (and obviously, there are exceptions as others have noted), men want to worship women’s bodies, and women want to be worshipped. Thank you for writing this!

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  • Melody


    I won’t insult you with a “no offense but” comment tho I will say it isn’t meant as a personal attack tho it may be offensive.
    We don’t know you. You are a faceless linkless first name that claims to have lived in India. I would hope you would understand there is no reason to give what you say credibility.
    You could be some woman sitting in your mothers basement in the dark playing on the computer all day for all we know. The lack of humanity toward females in India is well documented in more than just the rape culture. It’s a big country. You do a disservice to all the women to suggest to possible gullible readers that no one is really suffering and it is just hype. I have personally never seen a rape but I would never ever make that claim any where. It’s odious.

    • Andrew


      You preface your remarks with care, which is appreciated, but they cause offense nonetheless. I’ve offered opinions and perspectives on a discussion topic that is obviously of concern to me as well as others, yet you’ve aimed some strong language directly at me personally. Aim at my comments or arguments but not at me personally. I do not deserve this.

      Everyone here is a “faceless linkless name”, including you, so I’m not sure of your point here. How can anyone know who’s the real person behind the name on the internet? For my part, I have faith that the people who are reading and commenting here are doing so to edify the body of Christ and are sharing their thoughts and perspectives without personal animosity or rancour. Things may get a little abrasive from time to time and people may not agree with each others opinions or conclusions, but as long as we agree in the Lord we can be assured of His covering hand. We should give thanks for this.

      I appreciate your concern for the women of India, but your accusations of disservice on my part are misplaced and without substance. I did not make any statements suggesting that “no-one is suffering and it is just hype”, presuming you are referring to rape. My comments were not about rape at all, which sadly does occur far too often in India (and elsewhere), they were about ‘Rape Culture’ which is something different entirely. The ‘Rape Culture’ I was referring to is the artificial feminist construction built around the premise that all men are rapists and that all sex is rape. The Bible of course does not support this, nor do Indian attitudes towards women affirm it.

      Do take the time to consider my words more carefully if you intend to address me personally. I’m of course happy to clarify anything I’ve written.

      • Melody

        Since my picture shows up as it does with all my accounts I assumed I was linked to my blog. I do not consider myself anonymous.
        I do not even take what family members or church members say as 100% fact without checking it against what I know to be true or what scripture says. There is no reason why you should be counted higher than people I know and see every day. I’m sorry that you cannot understand that or that you have a different standard. I attempted reverse humor about who you might be since often women do not consider who is really behind the computer and just believe everything. They end up duped and often penniless. People that leave themselves that open to being fooled are not really putting God center in their lives.

        As for India, humanitarian organizations report on the abuses of the Indian culture regularly. There are also documentaries that do not have a feminist agenda that report on it.

        What you need to comprehend about feminism is that it would not happen if men did not abuse their position in the first place. What they call attention to is real. Their solution is a sinful one and ends up hurting women too. What they are claiming isn’t untrue. It really has nothing to do with the discussion of fantasy.

        What you need to understand about the rape fantasy is that it is based on a woman wanting to be pursued, longed for. She wants a man that dreams of her. Who is willing to work seven years for her. Who sees her as the most beautiful woman on this earth. It’s all tied up in emotion. When a woman’s emotion reaches it’s peak then it will lead to what God intended. What God intended as been distorted from the very beginning. Why wouldn’t the fantasy get distorted even more?

        To tie this all back into the original blog, Rachel was beautiful and desired. Leah was not. Jacob worked for seven years while loving and wanting Rachel. Can you imagine the mixed feelings Leah experience? To experience all that walled in love and desire on the wedding night knowing that it wasn’t really for her? She got to experience something that would never again be hers when the morning came. Day after day she was blessed by God but she still had to look at her prettier, more desirable sister be loved in a way that she never would be by a man. I can’t even imagine how hard that had to be. Still this life is but a blip compared to what God has planned for us.

        When I see a woman that has something I wish for, I make myself take the thought a step forward in the fantasy. I imagine myself with her misbehaving children, mean mother or other aspects of her life that I have absolutely no desire for and face the sin of not being thankful for my blessings and content with the circumstances that God has put me in. 1 Thessalonians 5:18

        Though I confess having the things that I have come to terms with deteriorate with age presents renewed challenges and new sins.

        • Andrew


          Thanks for the clarifications. I wonder if those humanitarian organisations you refer to are trying hard like the feminists to overlay a ‘Rape Culture’ on entire countries just because rapes occur there. I truly hope not, as that would be a real disservice to women, most of whom are not raped and who might love their culture and fear for the innocent men and boys who might become targets of media-induced gender bigotry as a result.

          A hypothetical question for you: should the US should be called a Murder Culture because of its homicide rate, or a Debauched Culture because gay marriage is celebrated, or a Pagan Culture since all manner of godlessness takes place in the US every day? I note that India has far more Christians (20mill+) than proven rapes…why not call it a Christian Culture?

          Regarding your comments on why feminism came about, I disagree that it arose because men abused their position. Adam was tempted by Eve, who was tempted by the serpent to disobey God (Gen 3:4-6). God’s Word tells us the order. Feminists call attention to the condition of women and blame men instead of the serpent. This is not real. It’s a fantasy, just like Eve’s fantasy that she could be as wise as God. Rape fantasies seem to work in the same way. They seem to put women’s emotions first, claiming as you do that a woman’s ‘peak emotion’ will lead to what God intended. If you think this last part is true, can you provide some Bible references in support?

          If, as you say, rape fantasies are based on a woman’s desire to be pursued and longed for, then I wonder if they’re part of a woman’s being and therefore present to some degree in most women. If so, it suggests to me that the ‘Rape Culture’ feminists are fond of promoting originates from women’s own collective being, possibly in imitation of Eve, or perhaps out of revenge against Adam for following Eve, rather than from the violent actions of abusive men. More thought is needed here.

          Lots of interesting ideas here. Thanks for sharing!

  • Philippa

    Thank you, Melody.

    Andrew, would you be so dismissive of the experience of Christian girls who are raped in countries where Christians are persecuted? – this is reported by Open Doors, an organisation with a long history of advocating for the persecuted Church.

    According to you, reports of rapes in India are ‘sensationalised’. That would certainly be an interesting way to regard the gang-rape of Jyoti Singh, the 23 year old who died from her horrific internal injuries in December 2012 and whose rapists are now facing the death penalty. What of women in the Central African Republic, Syria, the Balkan wars of the early 1990s, etc., who have been raped? Are their cases also ‘sensationalised’?

    Of course, it is not just women who are victims of sexual violence.

    • Andrew


      Thanks for weighing in. I’m not dismissive of anyone’s experience, least of all the victims of rape. One rape is one too many.

      You’ll notice from my comments that I was not commenting on rape itself but on the feminist construction called ‘Rape Culture’, and whether or not I see it in India.

      I’m happy to discuss this feminist construction and the consequences of attempting to overlay it onto the Indian culture, or rape fantasies (as I began) but I’ll not discuss actual rape cases. That’s a different subject for a different thread.

      Eowyn has been very gracious in allowing the discussion to continue along this tangential track so if we’re to continue let’s be careful not to take it too far off point.

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  • Melissa

    I saw this link and was so excited to read it, because I have recently developed my own problem with lust. But I was very disappointed with the interpretation of lust. Seems to me that what she is describing is really just discontentment & jealousy, NOT lust. To me, lust is looking at a man that you aren’t married to and being sexually aroused; desiring sexual intimacy with that person, perhaps based solely on looks. I’ve often wondered if many other women have this struggle. I LOVE sex. I love sex with my husband and am very attracted to him. But I am also very much attracted to an in-shape male physique. How do I balance a healthy libido without being a self-denying prude???

  • Mickey

    Most of this is pretty good, but I have to disagree about a woman buying nice clothes or dieting. I think it does glorify God to take care of the body He gave us by trying to maintain a healthy weight. I don’t take it as a sign that we are slapping God in the face or that we are in competition with other women. I could let myself go and eat junk food and blow up like a balloon, or I could starve myself to stay a size 0, but neither of those things would glorify God. As usual, the issue is what is in our hearts.

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