As a response to the success of the “Fifty Shades” trilogy, American author Shannon Ethridge addresses the issue of sexual fantasies in her new bookLa falacia de Grey (Thomas Nelson) (The Fantasy Fallacy: Exposing the Deeper Meaning Behind Sexual Thoughts). With a Christian view of sexuality, Ethridge explains the deeper meaning of sexual thoughts. TintaFresca recently had the opportunity to speak with Ethridge about her latest work.
Your book aims to help people examine sexual fantasies and to invite God to help them heal their pain. Does that mean that the root of sexual fantasies is pain?
I think normal, healthy sexual fantasy (those involving our marriage partner and our own marriage bed) come naturally simply because we’re wired by God as sexual human beings. However, many of our fantasies don’t always line up with our spiritual beliefs as committed Christian spouses. Sometimes they deviate from the healthy norm, and I believe those deviations are most often rooted in childhood trauma or unresolved pain.
Some examples include women who fantasize about other females because they’ve been so sexually abused by men…or older men who fantasize about a much younger woman because of an overwhelming fear of aging or impotency.
Why has religion shunned the topic of sexuality?
Some religious leaders are simply not that knowledgeable about sexuality, and some churches are fearful of offending its followers. However, my experience is that most Christians are clamoring to discuss all things sexual! Why else would so many Christians buy into a fiction trilogy about bondage, domination, and sadomasochism such as Fifty Shades of Grey?
The world speaks so loudly and graphically on the topic that it’s hard to imagine sex being a pure and natural gift from God, but that’s exactly what it is.
How did the cultural phenomenon of the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy hasten your writing of The Fantasy Fallacy?
For about three years, I’d been thinking “someday I need to write a book about sexual fantasy!” But the Fifty Shades trilogy helped me realize that the time for such a book wasn’t “someday!” It was “NOW!” I wanted to help readers understand more about where sexual fantasies come from…what they really mean…and how to control them before they control us!
It seems that otherwise respectable Christian leaders often fall ingloriously from grace in the sexual areas of their lives. Why does this happen? Is fantasy linked to living a double life?
Christian leaders (and followers) often have a hard time balancing their sexual energies. They invest such energy into “repressing” so many of their natural sexual desires because of guilt, shame, or a feeling that they should be focused on “more important ministry matters” than enjoying a vibrant marriage bed.
About the author
Shannon Ethridge is a million-copy bestselling author, speaker, lay counselor, and advocate for healthy sexuality. She lives with her husband and two sons in a log cabin in East Texas.