Am I the only woman who has this particular struggle?


#1

Hey, there! Apologies in advance if this is the wrong subforum for this.

I am a 20 year old woman who struggles with impure thoughts. In fact, it’s one of the biggest issues I struggle with. In and of itself, I know this isn’t that unusual, although men are the ones who are most likely to struggle from this.

However, one specific struggle is of some concern. I don’t have same-sex attraction. The very idea of sexual contact with another woman is quite repellent to me. However, when I see other women dressed immodestly, either in real life or in the media, this is a major trigger for impure thoughts. The thoughts aren’t ABOUT the women, per se, but rather seeing, for example, a woman’s cleavage, will conjure up sexualised images of women in my mind.

They’re only there for a moment before I dismiss them, but it can be embarrassing, having to very obviously avert my eyes from the women altogether. I’m a university student, and one particular situation where I struggle with this problem is when I’m waiting outside a lecture hall for the previous class to file out, and have to look away when seeing woman after woman and struggling with the thoughts. The women do not even have to be immodestly dressed - occasionally, if there’s a “larger” woman wearing a slightly fitted t-shirt, that’s enough, even if there’s nothing actually “showing” and she is by anyone’s standards just dressing as modestly as she can for her body shape.

Again, as I say, the thoughts are usually easy to dismiss simply from force of habit, and it’s usually only when I’m confronted with situation after situation that it becomes a problem.

It’s also important to understand that I DO struggle with men dressed immodestly, too, and in the same way, with sexualised images of men popping into my head.

As I said, I don’t have same-sex attraction - at least, I don’t THINK I do. Actually, if I turn out to be “bisexual”, I honestly don’t care, since I’m well aware that a mere attraction isn’t a sin. At least that way, I’d understand what’s causing this. But other than these situations, I have NO sexual interest in women whatsoever.

I just wanted to find out if I’m the only woman who struggles with this. I’m always reading articles on modesty which talk about women dressing to help men, but I’ve never heard it mentioned that dressing immodestly causes other women to struggle, to. Therefore, I’m slightly worried that it’s just me who’s weird!

Thank you in advance for your replies - I know this is maybe a strange topic (I haven’t found it anywhere else on the Forums)


#2

SSA isn’t about the desire to have sex with people of the same sex. It’s about sexual attraction to people of the same sex. I started experiencing it well before I knew how two men could “have sex”.

But it doesn’t “mean” anything to have SSA. It’s another sort of temptation to lust. No biggie.


#3

Hi sugarmouse,

I commend your courage for reaching out and asking for advice. God bless you. I’m not a doctor , and I don’t know anything about you so I could be wrong, but maybe you should research OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) and rule it out. It seems like you may be having obsessive thoughts which are intrusive (unwanted, uncontrollable, personally distressing/disturbing, obviously illogical) The only way to find out for sure if you have OCD is to speak to a clinical psychologist who is very familiar with OCD. If they are not properly familiar with it, they may not know how to teach you coping skills or they may misdiagnose you. Also, read this article: youth.anxietybc.com/faq/disturbing-thoughts


#4

These impulsive thoughts sound more like they’ve become habitual.

I think you’re looking at people as [sexual] objects rather than as people.

When you see something that incites lust, tell yourself, “This is a person with her own dignity and therefore, my respect.”

I’ll be praying for you and your encouragement!


#5

Hello Sugarmouse,

I recipient was talking to someone about how the media, Hollywood, the fashion industry, society, and women themselves objectify women.

I also was talking about the differences between being beautiful vs being sexy.

Today, a lot of women (young and older) are more focused on being sexy vs. beautiful.

Beauty comes from God. Being beautiful is to take care of and appreciate the beauty God gave you. People can often admire someone who looks beautiful without turning it into lust.

Being or dressing sexy is different. When someone dresses or tries to be sexy, the focus is lust. They are conscientiously trying to create a lustful or sexual response in another person. I believe that heterosexual women can be affected by this just like heterosexual men can be affected by men doing the same way. However, I think the only real difference is that men (even when trying to be sexy) are usually way more modestly dresses. Men’s fashion isn’t as immodest as female fashion (though some of it is getting there).

I’m 37, which might sound like I’m ancient to a 20 year old :smiley: , but I’m still relatively young. I used to have MAJOR issues with lust until I was 36! The trick I learned (after almost ruining my life) is whenever you feel an urge of lust, start praying several Hail Marys and Our Fathers until it goes away. This really works.

Also, increase your prayer life. Mine still isn’t where it should be, but the more you increase prayer, the more resistance to sin you develop. Also, attend Confession regularly, if you don’t now. On average, I attend Confession once a month. Sometimes more, sometimes less. But real Grace flows though that Sacrament.

Finally, to help you with your prayer life, I highly recommend the Liturgy of the Hours (plus the Rosary). I use the Divine Office app, which can be purchased at divine-office.com/ Currently, I’m not using the bigger, complete app. I’m using the 3 smaller Lite Apps which are for Morning Prayer (Lauds), Evening Prayer (Vespers), and Night Prayer (Compline). Those Lite apps have really helped me. I also listen to Lighthouse Catholic Media CDs/MP3s and Catholic Answers Live.

May The Lord Bless you and bring you strength and wisdom. Amen.


#6

:thumbsup:


#7

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.