“I agree with the visual “Rolodex” thing. I wish that “Christian” author had never written about it. I guess she thought she was being helpful? But I was much happier not knowing about it, not having that constant thought in my head. Now my poor husband wonders why I (who used to love sex with him and being sexy, etc.) isn’t really into it so much anymore.” ~ “Me”
To be fair to Shaunti, I think some have taken this way beyond what she intended. (I put a couple of posts about this by Shaunti at the bottom.) It’s an imperfect attempt to explain something inherently male to those who are not male, and as such it’s imperfect. I’m going to try to make it a bit less murky.
I think the way many see this only applies to men who are happy to indulge their sinful natural self. As with all such things, we should resist and do better. At first doing better may just change our outward actions, but ongoing efforts result in true inner changes. Doesn’t the Bible promise us this kind of change in general? Why should this be any different?
I’ve noticed a change in this in my life, and I’ve talked to other men who say the same.
Rather than a Rolodex, let’s talk about a computer folder. My mental folder of sexual images is 99% images of my wife – and this has been the case for a very long time. Yes, lovely Lori has been generous in providing me with things to put in the folder; without this, I couldn’t have a mental file full of her sexy body. But it takes more – I’ve actively moved all other content to the bottom of the pile. Much of it lived there for a time, eventually dying a quiet death unnoticed. There’s only so much room in the folder, and files which haven’t been accessed for a long time are marked for removal when new files come in. A few images not of Lori remain, but I don’t see these images in my mind unless I go looking for them – which I don’t do.
Another thing to understand is the power of being your husband’s lover. He’s having sex with you, not the waitress in the short skirt, not the half-naked lady on a women’s magazine cover, and not some girlfriend from long ago. Because he’s having sex with you, the mental images of you get favourited. This moves those images to the top, making them the first one’s he sees when his mind goes into the file. New images move down quickly, soon getting too far down to see on a casual browsing of the folder. This demotion of images of other women happens automatically if he’s got a good sex life with you. Additionally, he can choose to push images down. This is the continuation of looking away when he sees something inappropriate, and it can move a new image off the “front page” right away.
If he goes to his mental nudity folder while he’s having sex with you (and he may not) he’s going to look at what’s at the top. There are probably images in there of other women, but that doesn’t mean he wants to see them or does see them.
If your husband is a decent guy he’s not interested in seeing other women naked either in reality or in his mind. Avoiding it in his mind is actually easier than doing it in reality.
~ Paul – I’m XY, and I make all the room possible for my wife in my sexual image folder.
Rolodex posts by Shaunti Feldhahn: