Does He Worry He’s a Pervert?

Does your husband fear he’s a pervert? If he’s a decent guy he probably does. He may never share this fear with you, why put ideas in your mind?

I put “Are all men perverts” in Google and got over a million web pages back. A quick scan of the results suggests most of the pages answer the question “yes”. One of the kinder answers was:

“Not all men are perverts. Probably over 90% but that’s pretty much just natural.”

It’s enough to give a guy a complex. Either that, or decide it’s inevitable and just go with it.

Man wondering if he is a pervert. © feelphotoartzm |

The problem is we as a society are defining things in more and more feminine ways. To some degree, this is a good thing, as we have traditionally defined things in much too masculine a way. The error of both ways is trying to put men and women in the same box. When we judge men based on what is normal for most women, men fail. (Just as women fail when we judge them based on what is normal for most men.)

Most men think about sex far more often than most women do. This is not proof they are over-sexed; it proves God gave men a stronger drive. Most men can’t see nudity or near nudity without being affected, while most women often can. Again, this is not about being perverted, it’s about being male. Many men would have sex twice a day until they were 50 if they could, and they would engage in far more variety than most women would ever consider. These things are also a function of the sexuality God put in men.

Sure all these things can be twisted and perverted, but we’ve started applying the label perverted to things which are God inspired and blessed. If God called it good, I think it is unwise for us to call it bad.

Does all of this help you see why any self-aware decent guy would worry he might be a pervert? Within him are desires many would call perverted. He may have a few things that cross the line, and he may not, but most of what he fears is perverted probably is not.

If you want to help your hubby, try saying any (or all) of the following from time to time.

  • “For the record, I don’t think you’re a pervert.”
  • “I enjoy your sex drive.”
  • “I like your penis and what you do with it.”
  • “I’m glad you have such a strong sex drive.”
  • “Your sexuality blesses me.”

Personalise and build on those – it will bless him immensely.

~ Paul – I’m XY, and my wife does not think I’m a pervert. 

BTW: One of the articles that came up in my search was by my friend Sheila of to Love Honor and Vacuum. Give All Men Are Perverts: Lies We Believe About Men a read. 

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12 Comments on “Does He Worry He’s a Pervert?

  1. I wonder if God made women generally less affected by nudity because He made us natural caregivers. Not to say men can’t caregive, but the industry is largely dominated by women. Also, I have heard male emergency workers discuss the naked bodies of female patients/victims with pleasure, but I have NEVER heard a female emergency worker discuss or even mention getting to see a male patient/victim’s pleasurable nakedness. Kind of scares me that if I am ever in a car accident, the EMTs are going to later be discussing my sexual merit in the break room. I know not all do that, but enough do that it is a scary thought that the very people meant to help me will be abusing me later on.

    To me, a pervert is anyone who willingly twists God’s intended sexuality. Porn is a perversion. Illicit lust is a perversion. Rape (actual, visual, fantasy) is a perversion. Treating women as objects and not as sisters in Christ is a perversion of how God intends for a man to act. So in a broad sense, most of us are perverts. In the more specific sense of the word, many of us, male by and large, and a growing number of females range from dabbling in acting like a pervert to actually being a pervert.

    Hold fast to God’s truth and keep your eyes fixed on Him. It’s the only way….

    • @libl – Interesting thoughts on how men and women react to nudity.
      I think the reason it happen is most men are able to feel sexual towards a stranger, while most women are not. That changes the impact of nudity I think.
      I like your definition of perversion!
      Paul Byerly recently posted…Friday Flashback: What I BelieveMy Profile

    • Interesting thoughts, libl. Though, even if some medical care workers discuss the bodies of their patients on occasion, it is a stretch to say that they are “abusing” you. You know nothing about it; it is not affecting you in the least. Do I like that it might happen? No. Is it a good thing? Certainly not! At the very least, it is unprofessional. (It is also unChristian, but not all EMTs are Christian.) I’m not a man, but I suspect in some instances it could be a way to settle down and normalize the physiological responses that are automatically present. Everyone noticed the sleek body or the large-breasted woman they just wheeled into the ER. And for guys, their bodies also notice – whether they want them to or not (it’s reflexive, automatic). I’m not saying talking about the woman is the right thing to do but I can see it being a way to cut the tension and short-circuit some of those processes (and feel like less of a “pervert”) because men know that all the other men noticed that she was a knock-out, too.

      I highly recommend Shaunti Feldhahn and Craig Gross’s latest book, Through A Man’s Eyes: Helping Women Understand the Visual Nature of Men. SO amazing and informative. And very well- (and respectfully) written. Paul, if you haven’t read this yet it is definitely worth your time. It is written exclusively for women, so keep in mind you are not the audience. But as an educator of male/female differences, you’ll appreciate it. Blessings to you both!
      Kendra recently posted…Warrior Chicks – A Book ReviewMy Profile

      • @Kendra – I have friends who are in various medical fields, including emergency work, and I find they are all rather open about bodies and parts, including sexual parts. Not just the men, the women too. Of course our natural drives and natures show up, including cultural expectations, but I think spending one’s time with so many medical situations is a big cause of it too.

        Thanks for the heads up on the book, I’d not seen it. Like both the authors and am adding it to my list.

  2. I think this is part of the “empty place” that I feel our “purity culture” type discussions creates in us as men (see recent posts and comments on TGH blog). A good, Christian man wants to do what is right towards God and his wife/girlfriend. Some of our dialog around sexuality can leave us wondering if desires for ______ are allowed or not. Sometimes we wonder if any level of sexual desire is allowed. We feel an empty place for God’s and our wife’s “approval” of our sexuality, that I think can be exaggerated by “purity culture” type teachings that make it difficult for us as Christian men to really accept our own sexuality.

    I will agree with Paul that we want our wives to validate our sexuality, and anything women can do and say (such as the suggestions given) would be helpful. On the other hand, I just finished listening to a podcast where the therapist, leaning heavily on Dr. Schnarch, suggests that we as men need to do a better job of owning our own sexual desires, become differentiated enough that we don’t “need” women’s validation, because we know for ourselves that our sexuality is normal and God-given. Much of the value of these discussions is how we as Christians are trying to come to terms with our sexuality.

    I did find it interesting that you start with “90% of men are perverted and it is natural.” I have always used the term “perverted” to mean “rare, unnatural, and something that God would not approve of”. It seems like a “perversion” of the term “perverted” (ha ha) to apply it to 90% and call it normal. Perhaps it just highlights some of our difficulty with sexuality in general, that we can’t simply call 90% of men “normal”, we still want to call them “perverted”, but soften the tone of the word.

  3. I appreciate your suggestions, Paul. I enjoy my husband’s sexuality when it involves me, but still wish his sexuality (and our culture) did not cause him to struggle with visual temptation. I wish I was the only woman for whom he had that physiological response. Alas, we must accept the things we cannot change.

    I just read “Through A Man’s Eyes: Helping Women Understand the Visual Nature of Men” mentioned above. I agree it is well written, and I felt good that I didn’t have the violent reaction to it that I had to the visual temptation chapter in “For Women Only.” That is not to say that what is revealed in the book doesn’t knock the wind out of a wife’s sails. We must face that when it comes to our husbands’ responses to visual stimuli, we are common. There is nothing we can do for them that myriad other women cannot also do.

    Perhaps the conversation you suggest could also include the wife emphasizing her understanding and support of this struggle, that she does not consider him a pervert because of it, but also how it can put her on the defensive and make it difficult for her to feel that their sexual intimacy is exclusive to the two of them.

    The book mentions a conversation in which the wife makes it very clear to her husband that she doesn’t want to be the at the top of the list of the women he thinks about, she wants to be the only one. I felt affirmed that I am not the only woman who desires this.

    • @IntimacySeeker Glad you are dealing with it better. I would dispute one thing you said:
      “There is nothing we can do for them that myriad other women cannot also do.”
      On a knee jerk visual reaction level I suppose that is true, but on a brain and emotions engaged level it is false. My wife is the only woman I want to be aroused by, and what she shows and does touches me much more deeply than what any other woman could ever do.
      Being aroused is not a black and white, on or off thing. It is complex and nuanced, and my wife is able to bring out all the colours and nuances.
      My wife is very much the only woman I think about in a sexual way. If some other woman shows herself in a way that grabs my attention I find it an intrusion, a violation. It is hardly enjoyable. I realise not all men are this way, but I find it is far more common than women would think. This is especially true of men following Jesus, and even more so if they are becoming emotionally mature.
      Paul Byerly recently posted…Is What’s On the Other Side Important Enough?My Profile

      • Thanks for sharing that insight. Chapter Four of the aforementioned book is titled “The Internal Outcome of External Attraction.” The authors describe that what goes on automatically in the brain as the man sees images makes him feel like a man, powerful and desirable. Also that these feelings can be coping mechanisms for the pain and insecurities they feel around their capabilities to be good husbands and providers, and that holds true even for men who are married to extremely attractive women and/or are having plenty of sex.

        I hear you saying this: A mature man wants these emotions about himself to come from his relationship with Christ and with his wife.

        • Hey Girlie,
          I think we need to just remember, there are exceptions to every rule. Not every man struggles in the same way. And not every man reacts in the same way. So we shouldn’t take it all as absolutes.

          And please, don’t think of yourself as “common”! He didn’t pick you because you were common, he picked you because you were special, are special. We all want to be the “only one”, you aren’t alone in that. I liken it to how God wants to be the only one in our lives, and how hard we struggle with making it so. It probably hurts him (God) as much as it hurts us. It doesn’t make it easier to deal with, but just food for thought.

          I think we all need to remember to not take the book as an absolute our husband IS thinking this way. Instead take is as these can be struggles men have, so we need to be careful how we present ourselves. And only worry about our responsibility in the matter, not carry his burden too. We weren’t designed for that.

          • Hi there, Henri.

            I didn’t mean to imply that I think of myself as common overall, just in that initial knee-jerk (as Paul puts it) reaction to visual stimuli. The book mentions wives’ reactions, some of which mirrored mine when I first faced this issue. I was trying to pinpoint the root of my reaction at the time.

            And you are right about assuming responsibilities. I can love him, support him, encourage him, pray for him. I cannot change his wiring, rid his life of temptation, nor make his decisions for him.

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