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How Do Sexual Images Make You Feel?

87 women and 244 men have answered

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  • Thirty percent of women, but only 12% of men manage to ignore sexual images.
  • Twenty percent of men and 17% of women find sexual images mildly distracting.
  • A third of men and 13% of women find sexual images moderately distracting.
  • Twenty-one percent of men and 17% of women find sexual images very distracting.
  • Forty-one percent of women, but only 16% of men say sexual images offend them.
  • Twenty-eight percent of women and 17% of men feel harassed by sexual images.
  • Twenty percent of women and 14% of men feel assaulted by sexual images.
  • Half of men and 9% of women enjoy sexual images – mostly secretly.
  • For men age did not significantly change the percentages for these answers.
  • Women age 35-44 were more likely than both older and younger women to find sexual images offensive or harassing. Women 25-34 were almost twice as likely as other women to say they pretty much ignore such images, and only half as likely to find them very distracting.

© surveymonkey.com

  • Eighty percent of men and 35% of women say sexual images increase their desire for sex to some degree.
  • Seven percent of men and 14% of women think sexual images decrease their desire for sex to some degree
  • Sixty-one percent of women and 15% of men say sexual images make then worry they are not enough for their spouse.
  • Forty-eight percent of women and 11% of men say sexual images make them worry their spouse will not desire them.
  • Forty-one percent of women and 2% of men say sexual images make them worry their spouse will look at porn.
  • For men, “They significantly increase desire for sex” was twice as common for those 25-34 as it was for the three older categories. Additionally, sexual images causing worry that he’s not enough for his wife or she won’t desire him was two and three times higher for those 25-34.
  • Younger women, 25-34, were far more likely to report sexual images increase their desire for sex, with the total percent giving one of the three increase answers dropping for each higher age range.
  • Sexual images causing worry that she’s not enough for her husband, he won’t desire her, or he will look at porn were high for those 25-34, and very high for those 35-44. After 45 the rates for these fell.

© surveymonkey.com

  • Two-thirds of men and 23% of women say sexual images increase their temptation to look at porn.
  • Six percent of both men and women say sexual images increase their temptation to cheat on their spouse.
  • Nine percent of women and 1% of men say sexual images increase the odds they will say no to sex.
  • Six percent of women and 10% of men say sexual images decrease the odds they will say no to sex.
  • For men, increases my temptation to look at porn was true for 86% of those who were 25-34. This dropped to 70% for those 36-44, 63% of those 45-54, and 58% of those 55 and better.
  • Among women, increases my temptation to look at porn was true for 31% of those who were 25-34. This was 23% for those 36-44, 18% of those 45-54, and 20% of those 55 and better.
  • Women 45-55 were seven times as likely as any other age group to say sexual images increase the odds they will say no to sex.

Female Comments:

  • Fascinating survey. Very curious how this will turn out in terms of male response and female response. I live much of the time in Europe where these images are much more common, and I recognize the challenge this is to the young people growing up there. I’m glad the responses have an age category as this will be significant too. Seems that our enemy is taking something beautiful and taunting us with it.
  • Are you kidding? Say no to sex? I would NEVER say no to sex with my husband.
  • I THINK THAT THE USE OF SEXUAL IMAGES IN ADS AND COMMERCIALS SHOWS A TOTAL LACK OF INTELLIGENCE.
  • I think sexual images tempt my spouse. It puts us on opposite sides because he thinks I’m a prude because I believe that sex is sacred and should only be between husband and wife. I don’t have a problem with all sexual images, it’s just too much everywhere. I have children under the age of 10 and I don’t want them exposed to it so much and I don’t want them to have a distorted view of it.
  • We live in a hypersexual society. It desensitizes us to sex and makes it an act instead of what God designed it to be. In having to guard against the onslaught…I shut down and that’s not fair to my husband.
  • The images don’t typically have an effect on me but I know my husband is easily tempted by them. It really upsets me that he looks at this stuff and makes comments.
  • I am in a zero sex marriage not by my choice. I have to be super careful what I see because sexual temptation is everywhere and I am vulnerable.
  • It’s rough. I feel like I can’t compete. My husband tells me I’ve already “won”, but I have eyes. I know those images are appealing to men, even good men. It hurts. I think it hurts a lot of women far more than most men realize. I stay fit, but I will never come close to the beauty, whether real or unreal, of these images. It feels like a losing battle. It makes me sad in so many ways.
  • I love my husband and want only to be sexual with him. He is asexual. He loves me is kind to me enjoys cuddling and holding hands. Just doesn’t have any desire for taking it any further. He has been this way since our wedding 28 years ago. I love him so much, but I really desire making love. My body needs it. In 2013 I decided that I was going to see just how long he could go without. It made me become better at masturbating. I purposely didn’t say anything about sex or try to come on to him. Twice I was unable to keep it up and he felt bad for me, he knew I was in need of him sexually. So even then it wasn’t for him. It was for me. It is a struggle. I try not to think about it Buy it’s the last thing I’m thinking about at night and the first thing I think of in the morning.
  • These images don’t tempt me to look at porn (I’ve never looked at it intentionally) but they are attractive and “secretly enjoyable,” as worded by the question, but I don’t enjoy that it is enjoyable. I am slightly turned on by them but don’t want to be. Does that make sense? I think I am more visual than a lot of women and I actually am more drawn to the female form than male. I suspect it’s not an attraction as much as a comparison. And is very damaging and depressing to me. I desire so strongly to look like those images and never will. They don’t impact my desire for sex, I don’t think, but they do impact my sexual confidence both in my own body image and in trusting my husband not to be tempted to think of other women. I know he works very hard not to, but if even I am drawn to these images, how much more must he be? It’s just depressing to think about. I’m exhausted for him just thinking about what those temptations must feel like and I wish it were easier for him.
  • Found out my husband saw a news article about a famous person walking nude on a beach and he googled her name with the word nude. He actively searched to see her nude. Bad that it’s so easy to see these images.
  • My offense to these images are for my children. It makes me angry that my young/teen boys are bombarded with them.
  • Frankly I am tired of the overuse of sex to sell. I am annoyed that comedians so often use sex a sure thing joke. I am annoyed that pop music singers feel that they have to use sex to get attention for their voices. I don’t enjoy seeing other people have sex, so instead of turning me on it turns me off. When sex scenes come up on video it is so often a couple that shouldn’t be making out. It is usually a couple that recently met and cannot (won’t) control their passion. That may be why I find video sex scenes annoying and distracting. I love teasing and playing with my husband. I don’t mind a bit of sexual banter. I do think we have a serious overload.
  • After discovering my husband’s porn use a few years ago, sexual images cause bad anxiety attacks that make it difficult to feel like I’m enough. The trauma from finding the porn use has made it so hard to even function in the world sometimes. There is barely anything we can watch on tv anymore without causing an attack. It’s very hard to go to restaurants and sports bars because the waitresses are dressed to get big tips. It’s so insulting, degrading, embarrassing and humiliating that even though he knows how much it hurts me he still finds one hottie that he can’t keep his eyes off from everywhere we go. It’s so disturbing how strong that pull is. There’s a house in our neighborhood that has a hottie there and every time we go past he has to look for her. When we are driving somewhere and pass a jogger, all the rear view mirrors get a second and third glance. His radar “goes up” when we are near another car that looks like it could be s girly car and if there’s a female in a car around us, he has to check her out. If I call him out on it (and I am always kind about it), he will deny it. It’s such a deeply ingrained bad habit he doesn’t even realize he’s doing it, but it is so hurtful and destroys me. Even in church he has one picked out that he looks for every week and will physically turn around 7 or 8 times a service to get a look at her. I don’t see any men trying to restrain themselves, come on Christian men, step up!!
  • Living in a sexualized culture, as a woman, makes me constantly feel less. I’m never enough….I need better hair, tanner skin, bigger boobs, a firmer butt, less weight (aka: size 0) and I have to keep things interesting or I just as well forget it. THAT other woman will always win because she’s better than me. I wish to be her so I’ll be wanted and looked at by my husband as much as she is and I’ll be what he thinks about when he’s alone and have everything he secretly wishes I had. Because at the end of the day, no mater how “good” of a wife you are, if you can’t measure up in looks and sex you’re worthless. Never mind the toddler and a baby on the way, a tight budget, weathering the storms of life, battling for my husband in prayer in the middle of the night while he’s asleep, a complete house reno, endless piles of laundry, long days full of hard work, full time ministry. I’m the wife and, by definition, am no longer REALLY wanted. I’m old news because I have nothing exciting to offer but a mundane life with married sex. I’m not saying this is true or I believe it all…I have a wonderful husband who loves me and keeps me *very* happy. We have a great sex life. This is just an example of what I feel is conveyed when I see those images of other woman and what sometimes rushes through my mind (true or not). I don’t mention anything about seeing guys because I could care less and they don’t effect me. What wife needs TWO men, anyways?! 😀 hahaha!
  • I used to have a porno addiction, so these images make me angry! Angry at Satan for perverting a beautiful God-given gift. I don’t usually have a problem with sexual images, but on rare occasion, it gently fuels that desire to look at porn. I don’t act on it, but it bothers me that the desire is still there sometimes (I’ve been “clean” for 6 years).
  • I don’t like how overly sexual almost everything we see is. I don’t feel that it tempts me… just makes me feel insecure.
  • It decreases my desire for sex.
  • Makes me want my husband more.
  • Perhaps it’s just me, but in seeing sexual ads/scenes in movies/books/tv, but I tend to replace the object with my husband (and myself where there’s two people.) It makes me want him more than wanting to look elsewhere.

Male Comments:

  • As honest as this site and blogs are, I think these surveys and content often do that. An honest place trying to help and believe it does also affects one to think something is broken, want more, etc. The comments are often not different I imagine than romance novels or soft porn literature. I have to guard what I do and even ignored my better judgement today
  • I know sexual images are not good for my relationship with my wife or with Christ, and indulging in looking or fantasizing is not good for my sex life. It feels like everyone is trying to get me to set foot on the slippery slope that leads to pornography.
  • At this point in my life, I’m more concerned with how these images impact my kids. I’m an adult and although I don’t like it, I can handle it, but my kids shouldn’t have to see this stuff and they don’t always have the tools to deal with it appropriately.
  • I “like” pix of naked women, and I HATE that. They have always been a distraction and temptation. I’ve begged God to remove or reduce the desire, since I can’t seem to control it. Sigh…
  • Extraordinarily difficult to handle, especially given sex has ALWAYS been a problem in our 30+ year marriage, even after multiple counselors on multiple occasions. I have taken to leaving the living room when something comes on TV. She, of course, doesn’t see the problem.
  • They bring back a feeling of guilt of long past sins.
  • Been 10 plus year of being free from sexual addiction in that time I’ve trained my eyes to “bounce” away from sinful sexual images. Whenever I feel sexual temptation from the Devil getting to a “boiling point” I fast and pray more. The Lord Jesus is more than faithful to give grace to stand against the temptations. ( I Cor 10;13 & Romans 6 & 8)
  • This brings to mind the prior generation’s prohibition on mixed bathing. To enforce that position would now prohibit Christians from visiting beaches and many public places. The modern approach of expecting people to be able to see physical beauty without losing self-control is more reasonable. But nothing could increase or decrease my need for sex or masturbation twice a day for 25 years.
  • Sexual images used to affect me much much more, but I am older now and have trained myself to tune them out.
  • My routine now is to look away and re-engage GOD in prayer.
  • It keeps getting more and more open. The recent blitz around Victoria Secrets show. Much of that would not have been allowed on TV a generation ago. Often leaves little to the imagination and what they imagine as provocative is getting distasteful to me. I try to ignore, but is pretty pervasive now.
  • Sexual images affect me differently depending on the day I see them. Sometimes I look away or shut my eyes readily. Other times I find myself staring. And I haven’t found a pattern to know why.
  • How images can affect my sexuality or sex life is a tough question. It usually makes me want to have sex with my wife. Sadly my wife doesn’t like sex much and after two years I’m just tired of initiating. Sexual images have been giving me the pleasure I need to decrease my desire for my wife. It’s sad but I don’t know what to do.
  • Porn has been a problem for me for many years. I’ve been working hard to fight it and have had some success recently. The prevalence of sexual images makes it really difficult to maintain sobriety.
  • They are doing too much . I wonder many of us will do the same thing or not if placed in their situation.
  • My secret addiction to porn has greatly reduced (once a month from almost every day 🙁 ) since I got married. I am still fighting to stay clean.
  • Sexual images are distracting, and being a man I secretly enjoy it even when I know I shouldn’t considering I’m married. I feel that I disrespect my wife when I look at them, but we’re growing together with me looking at the images and I’m starting to trust in sharing how I feel with my wife. I just wish sexual images weren’t there, that’s all.
  • I’ve been separated for almost a year. I haven’t physically cheated on my spouse. But by viewing porn, from a biblical perspective I’ve cheated. But most of the desire comes from the knowledge gained from this blog. I have a better understanding of how uncreative and how cold my marriage was made by me.
  • It would be much easier to deal with my wife’s constant refusal if I weren’t always reminded of what I’m missing.
  • It is way easier to ignore and even not notice the images if my Wife is actively being present in our sex life. When it is clear that she is having sex with me out of love even when she isn’t fully in the mood. Or when she is clearly in the mood and actively pursuing our sex life it’s easy to ignore all of it. What’s even better is if she is active during sex and does things that she knows will be considered naughty in the bedroom for us. The times that she does these things get saved in my mind and the times I know she is not in the mood I can recall those images when I fullfill my needs. It helps me futher ignore porn and actually fantasize about my wife.
  • I appreciate beauty but the human body is the human body. I don’t view it as an object to lust after but instead it’s just “common”, we all have a body and it’s just not a big deal to me. I’ve never struggled with lust or sexual issues because of sexualized images.
  • They make me feel inferior (ugly in comparison, less masculine). That is like a punch in the face and compromises pleasure and even performance when wife and I have sex – even though she likes me and feels attracted to me. I readily recognize it’s all in my mind, but the bad effect is nevertheless real.

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