Reverse Lust: Anyone else have it?

I hope this topic is in the right place. I really hope this isn’t too inappropriate either

I suffer, like many young men and women from lust and masturbation. But instead of being aroused by pretty naked women, I’m aroused by pretty modestly dressed women. I don’t fantasize of undressing the woman. Rather, for some perverted reason, I get aroused by imaging them getting “poofed away into nothingness” (yes I know all of this sounds disturbing). I know the advice for breaking this perversion is the same as for dealing with regular old lust. But I just want to know if anyone else suffers from this. Sorry if it sounds like I’m trying to glamorize or show off my sin.

There are many things that arouse and “turn-on” people. I have never heard of your case specifically, but yes, I have heard some strange things that arouse people. The important thing is that once these thoughts pop up, you do not linger and entertain them. Your head can be a dangerous place sometimes. Say a quick prayer, thank God for the gift of your sexuality, know how it is supposed to be used, and occupy yourself with something else.

Lust is a poor, weak, whimpering whispering thing compared with that richness and energy of desire which will arise when lust has been killed. - CS Lewis

One, don’t be overscrupulous and think that anytime a sexual thought pops into your head, it is a sin: it is not. It only becomes a sin if you willfully consent to it AND know it is wrong at the same time. If you know it is wrong, and you do not consent it is not a sin, and if you consent without knowing it is wrong in that moment, it may be a material sin, but it is certainly not mortal.

Next, you seem to have a really poor self-image. Stop viewing yourself as perverted and disturbed. It helps to create a cycle of depression, despair, lapse into sexual sin to compensate, repeat. If you continue to be disturbed by these thoughts, even if you don’t want them, that can actually be a subtype of OCD, and would be something to talk to a psychologist about (please don’t self-diagnose with OCD simply based of this random internet person’s mention of it).

Finally, plenty of people are aroused by different things. Compared to some people I have met, yours seems fairly tame. I am not saying that you should embrace lustful thoughts, just that we don’t really control what we are attracted to all of the time, and that you really shouldn’t feel weird or “perverted” or “disturbed” compared to the rest of the population.

Everyone struggles with something. The key to it is offering up our daily struggles with Jesus on the cross for the salvation of mankind. Pray to Jesus to help you with this, and to Mary, who is the Queen of chastity. I am also a fan of telling people who seem to struggle with issues of purity and anxiety/stress/despair to pray to St. Alphonsus Ligouri. He was a model of purity who also struggled deeply with scruples and anxiety but nonetheless continued to love Jesus so much without despairing.

I dont remember who said it, but I once remember hearing someone say, “You can’t help it if a bird lands on your head, but you can stop it from making a nest up there.” It was a metpahor for thoughts. Sometimes you can’t help the thoughts that pop into your head. That’s just the way it is. But, you can certainly “shoo” them away with your best intentions as soon as you realize they are happening.

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