The Fantasy Fallacy: Exposing the Deeper Meaning Behind Sexual Thoughts [NOOK Book]

Overview

Erotica has invaded more than our minds – it has exploded onto our bestseller lists and into our bedrooms.

Many are looking to sexual and emotional fantasies as avenues to fulfillment.
Our fantasies, however, are not reliable guides into the future—they are actually rocky road maps from our past. Best-selling author Shannon Ethridge ...
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The Fantasy Fallacy: Exposing the Deeper Meaning Behind Sexual Thoughts

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Overview

Erotica has invaded more than our minds – it has exploded onto our bestseller lists and into our bedrooms.

Many are looking to sexual and emotional fantasies as avenues to fulfillment.
Our fantasies, however, are not reliable guides into the future—they are actually rocky road maps from our past. Best-selling author Shannon Ethridge theorizes, “Fantasies are simply the brain’s way of trying to heal itself from unresolved tragedies and traumas. We mentally compartmentalize our pain to make room for pleasure.”

Fantasies have deep psychological roots, and if acted on many of them can do deep psychological damage. Rather than let fantasies rule us, let’s take out the sting and bring them under God’s rule, allowing the Lord to heal us from the brokenness and insecurities that cause inappropriate fantasies to haunt us.

Without being judgmental or condemning, Shannon helps us dissect several common and often-disturbing topics, such as:

• a distorted fascination with pornography
• the mental pursuit of multiple partners
• the lure of gay and lesbian desires
• bondage, domination, and sadomasochism (BDSM)

With tips for controlling unwanted fantasies and resources for providing a safe haven for recovery, The Fantasy Fallacy helps us recognize and heal our emotional pain and equips us to help others do the same.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780849964282
  • Publisher: Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/16/2012
  • Sold by: THOMAS NELSON
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 283,451
  • File size: 970 KB

Meet the Author

Shannon Ethridge is a best-selling author, speaker, and certified life coach with a master’s degree in counseling/human relations from Liberty University. She has spoken to college students and adults since 1989 and is the author of 21 books, including the million-copy best-selling Every Woman's Battle series. She is a frequent guest on TV and radio programs and mentors aspiring writers and speakers through her BLAST Program. Twitter: @ShannonEthridge Facebook: shannonethridgefan

Steve Arterburn is host of New Life Live!, a radio and television program distributed across the country. He is a best-selling author with more than eight million books in print. He is also founder of Women of Faith®, a conference attended by more than four million women since its inception. Steve also serves as the teaching pastor of Heartland Church in Indianapolis, Indiana.

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Read an Excerpt

THE FANTASY FALLACY

Exposing the Deeper Meaning Behind Sexual Thoughts
By Shannon Ethridge

Thomas Nelson

Copyright © 2012 Shannon Ethridge
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-8499-6428-2


Chapter One

Why Discuss sexual fantasies?

After miles of wandering around in the dark, a weary traveler enters a lonely gas station. The attendant is perched on a stool behind the cash register with her eyes glued to the pages of a paperback novel.

Attempting to make his presence known, he clears his throat with great exaggeration. "Uh-huh-hum!"

"Yes?" the attendant asks, not bothering to lift her gaze.

"I'm looking for a road map," the traveler responds.

The attendant's head pops up, her brown eyes shifting all around the store to see if anyone else is hearing this conversation. With a deer-in-the-headlights look on her face, she responds directly, "No, sir. We don't carry road maps."

"Oh, well, can you tell me where another gas station is that might have one?"

Annoyed, the attendant looks up once again and replies emphatically, "You're not gonna find one around these parts."

"What do you mean? Surely there's a road map somewhere in this town that can help me figure out where I'm going!"

"Nope. Road maps don't exist for this area. And if I were you, I wouldn't go around asking for one, or else folks are going to assume you're one of those kinds of people."

"What do you mean, 'road maps don't exist for this area'? Surely this frequently traveled path isn't uncharted territory! And what do you mean, 'one of those kinds of people'? What are you talking about?" the traveler asks with great irritation.

"I mean no one is familiar enough with this region to create a road map! If you get caught asking for one, the police will know that you're one of those people—one who doesn't know where he's been and doesn't know where he's going! We don't allow that around here, mister, so get lost!"

"I am lost!" the traveler screams, quickly losing his patience. "That's why I'm here—asking for a road map!"

"Look, you're not going to find a road map around here! And if you ask again, I'm calling the cops!" the attendant threatens, hands on hips, eyeballs protruding out of sockets, and neck veins swelling with a combination of adrenaline and righteous indignation.

"This is ridiculous! Am I on Candid Camera? Am I being Punk'd? This can't be real!" the traveler insists.

Of course, this scenario is a bit on the ridiculous side. But I believe it is a pretty accurate description of what is happening inside the Christian community today. Too many folks are wandering around in a foreign land, some suspecting—but most not even realizing—that they are lost. They have no clear sense of direction. No one they can ask for a road map. Search for one and they may be labeled "one of those kinds of people."

The foreign land I'm referring to, of course, is this sex-saturated culture we live in, these sexually stimulated (or sexually dormant) bodies we inhabit, and these sexually motivated (or sexually frozen) minds from which we operate. With the promise of heavenly perfection, restoration, and complete redemption yet on the horizon, we are merely lost travelers here and now, trying to get our bearings and make sense of both our sexuality and our spirituality—the common denominators we all share regardless of our age, gender, race, denominational background, education level, economic status, and so on.

Trying to make perfect sense out of two such complex mysteries can feel as frustrating and fruitless as trying to brush our teeth while eating an Oreo. We all have to wonder at times:

• Where do our sexual thoughts come from?

• What do we do with them?

• Where are the mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual boundary lines?

• Can we be holy and horny at the same time?

• How far can we go in satisfying these overwhelming longings we sometimes feel?

Or, perhaps, a better question for some to ask is:

• If I'm a sexual being, why do I no longer experience any sexual longings at all?

GETTING OUR BEARINGS

When we have questions about sexuality, we consult the Internet, our medical dictionary, or that friend we have so much dirt on that she wouldn't possibly tell a soul we'd asked her that question!

Growing up, most of us never bothered consulting our parents, as they would have died of embarrassment and locked us in our rooms until we were forty. And we certainly didn't ask our spiritual leaders because we figured they probably didn't even have sex. Besides, they likely would have banned us from the church building altogether if they had found out what kinds of sexual thoughts actually go through our heads ... even on Sundays!

If sexuality is God's invention—and it is—then we should be able to consult the church for a road map as we search for answers to our questions about all things sexual. However, if we fear that our request will be met with shock, confusion, anxiety, horror, disgust, suspicion, or judgment, perhaps even with bulging eyes and popping neck veins, then how will we navigate our way through this foreign territory? Although I can't say this of every spiritual leader or follower of Christ, I think it is safe to say that a large segment of the church seems to have no clue as to where a road map can be found. And if you ask for one, well, you must really be lost! "You must not know Jeesuuuus!" said in my most sarcastic Church Lady voice.

Can we be real for a moment? I mean, really real?

Even those of us who know Jesus very personally and very intimately, those of us who read our Bibles, fast frequently, tithe regularly, and pray up a storm can still feel as if we need a road map to understand our physical, spiritual, and emotional cravings! But I've got really great news. We already have such a road map if we're brave enough to study it.

This road map to understanding both our sexuality and our spirituality is actually composed of our deepest, most intimate personal sexual fantasies. So we'd be smart to examine such landmarks as these:

• Who are the faces in our fantasies?

• What roles do they play?

• What roles do we play?

• What primary emotions do these fantasies elicit and why?

• What event in our history created the need to experience such an emotion?

• How does this fantasy medicate emotional pain from our past or present?

• Why would humans (even Christians!) fantasize about things such as the following:

• viewing pornography or engaging in extramarital affairs

• bondage, domination, sadism, and masochism (as glamorized in the Fifty Shades trilogy)

• prostitution, seduction, or rape

• same-sex trysts, threesomes, and orgies

And the most important question to consider is this:

• Could there be an even deeper spiritual longing beneath our sexual longings?

I'll pause a moment to let you gasp for air, loosen your tie, relax your jaw, take a drink of water, and regain your composure. You may or may not be comfortable with these topics, but we need to discuss them. We've needed to for a l-o-n-g time. As a society, as a church, as couples and single individuals, as men and women, as parents of boys and girls struggling to make sense of their own sexuality, we need to talk about this. Ignoring the elephant in all of our living rooms certainly won't make it disappear. In fact, ignoring that elephant is causing it to mysteriously grow larger and larger.

Maybe you are just reading this book to learn how to help someone else. If so, good for you! I pray it will give you many sharp tools in your ministry or counseling tool belt. But the best way to help someone else is to help yourself first.

Before we move on with this exploration, let's pause for a quick quiz to determine just how much we understand about sexual fantasy.

TRUE OR FALSE?

T F 1. The Sexual Revolution of the past forty-plus years is all about sex.

T F 2. The church does an adequate job of teaching Christians how to appropriately assess and discuss the topic of sexual fantasy.

T F 3. All fantasy is inappropriate, unhealthy, and sinful.

T F 4. Sexual fantasy and lust are the same thing.

T F 5. Christians control their sexual thoughts and actions better than others.

T F 6. Sexual fantasies provide a road map to the sexual fulfillment we crave.

T F 7. Sexual fantasies are better left unspoken and unexplored.

T F 8. Sexual fantasy is really just the brain's way of driving us to do evil things.

T F 9. Anxiety, confusion, or fear over sexual fantasies is not a common issue.

T F 10. Interpreting sexual fantasies isn't going to solve any of the world's problems.

Now let's see how you did!

1. The sexual revolution of the past forty-plus years is all about sex. False.

The Sexual Revolution actually isn't about sex at all. It's about broken people using other people, desperately trying to medicate their own emotional pain through sexual acts. It's about loneliness, isolation, rejection, insecurities, codependency, boredom, and selfishness.

God's intention for sexual intimacy is to provide a wonderful way for two people—forever committed to one another in a marriage relationship—to give to one another through intense pleasure, passion, affirmation, tenderness, mutual trust, and mutual euphoria. Just think of what the world would be like if we were to experience that kind of constructive sexual revolution instead of the destructive one we have experienced!

2. The church does an adequate job of teaching Christians how to appropriately assess and discuss the topic of sexual fantasy. False.

I don't know about you, but I've never heard a single sermon on the roles, the rules, the benefits, or the boundaries of sexual fantasy. Perhaps the reason is that the word fantasy doesn't appear in the Bible at all, at least not in the several translations I consulted.

The whole topic can be extremely difficult to discuss simply because of our lack of understanding. For example, I recently heard from a gentleman who was quite unhappy with me for addressing the topic of sexual fantasy in my most recent book, The Sexually Confident Wife. We exchanged several cordial e-mails back and forth before I finally thought to ask the question, "If I had used the term sexual thoughts instead of fantasies, would you feel any differently about what I had to say on the topic?"

After a few hours of contemplation, he replied that indeed, we all have sexual thoughts, and that's a perfectly appropriate thing to discuss. So then I posed the question, "Can you explain to me your perceived difference between a sexual thought and a sexual fantasy?"

Through continued e-mail exchanges, we together considered the following:

• Is it a matter of the content of the thought?

• Is it how the thought makes you feel in response?

• Is it a matter of how many seconds it stays in your head? Perhaps less than two seconds flat and it's merely a thought, but anything more than 2.1 seconds becomes a fantasy?

We both had to laugh at how difficult it is for Christians to have a clear conversation when we don't even have a clear vocabulary for the topic! So let's establish some definitions before we go any further.

Since the Bible doesn't specifically mention fantasy, let's consult the dictionary. Dictionary.com defines the word fantasy as:

1. imagination, especially when extravagant and unrestrained.

2. the forming of mental images, especially wondrous or strange fancies; imaginative conceptualizing.

3. a mental image, especially when unreal or fantastic; vision: a nightmare fantasy.

4. Psychology. an imagined or conjured up sequence fulfilling a psychological need; daydream.

5. a hallucination.

For the purposes of our discussion, I'm going to lean toward the fourth definition—that sexual fantasies are imaginative thoughts that fulfill some sort of psychological need. I believe examining the fantasy for the purpose of discerning the underlying psychological need is absolutely key to helping us control those fantasies before they control us!

3. all fantasy is inappropriate, unhealthy, and sinful. False.

From the time we are small children, we are encouraged by our parents and by society to fantasize. "What do you want to be when you grow up?" is one of the most common questions asked of a young child. How else are they to know if they don't daydream about different roles they could play in society? In this context, fantasy is healthy and even vital to growth.

Consider that ...

• to fantasize about where to go to college and what to study means that we are intelligent.

• to fantasize about getting more out of our careers means that we are ambitious.

• to fantasize about getting physically fit means that we are health conscious.

• to fantasize about getting more out of our sex lives, well, that means we must be lustful, perverted, sick, and twisted.

Of course, that last statement is simply not true. It is normal and healthy to want the most out of our sex lives, and sometimes fantasy is the best way to achieve that goal—to envision what you might find pleasurable and especially to envision what kind of pleasurable acts you would enjoy offering to your spouse.

As I was discussing this book idea with respected friends and colleagues, one of the most common questions I heard was, "Do you think all fantasy is wrong?" Let me state my position up front. I absolutely do not think that all fantasy is wrong, but those fantasies that push beyond what is socially or spiritually acceptable are most often rooted in childhood trauma or unresolved pain. The goal of this book isn't to judge whether fantasies are "right or wrong" but, rather, to help people examine sexual fantasies, recognize their roots, and invite God to help them heal their pain.

4. Sexual fantasy and lust are the same thing. False.

Now that we have established a definition for sexual fantasy, let's talk about lust. Any time the word lust is mentioned in the Bible, it is in reference to craving something that doesn't belong to the person doing the lusting, such as to "lust after [other] gods" (Exod. 34:15 NLT), "give up your lust for money" (Job 22:24 NLT), or "not to look with lust at a young woman" or "neighbor's wife" (Job 31:1, 9 NLT).

Lust is never mentioned in the context of a marriage partner wanting to please or be pleased by their spouses. Such desire isn't lust at all. As we are told in 1 Corinthians 7:9 (NLT), "It's better to marry than to burn with lust." In other words, the act of marriage transforms our lustful longings (to have sex with someone we are not yet married to) into longings that are holy, pure, and unequivocally right because marriage is God's ordained place for those passionate and pleasurable longings to be fully explored and enjoyed. (Of course, there are instances where people begin selfishly using and abusing their marriage partner sexually, so lust is possible in marriage.)

In his book The Bondage Breaker, Neil T. Anderson provides even more insight. He shows that while our sexual thoughts and desires are perfectly normal, they can begin to cross a line. He writes:

Sex is a God-given part of our autonomic nervous system. Normal sexual functioning is a regular, rhythmic part of life. But when Jesus said, "Everyone who looks on a woman to lust for her has committed adultery with her already in his heart" (Matthew 5:28), He was describing something beyond the boundary of God's design for sex. The word for lust is epithumos.

The prefix epi means "to add to," signifying that something is being added to a normal drive. Jesus challenged us not to add onto the God-given sexual drive by polluting our minds with lustful thoughts. The only way to control your sex life is to control your thought life.

Unfortunately, controlling your thought life is much easier said than done, but I pray this book will help you do just that—by helping you understand (rather than ignore) the sexual thoughts that often surface in your mind.

Another reason I don't think sexual fantasy and lust are the same thing is that many coaching clients tell me that their sexual fantasies often include something they don't desire at all. A man who fantasizes (or has a sexual thought) about being with another man often finds the thought rather repulsive, yet it can resurface time and time again. A woman who fantasizes (or who has an occasional sexual thought) about being raped doesn't really want to be raped. So for the purposes of discussion, not all fantasies can be classified as lustful thoughts. Sexual fantasies are merely thoughts that may be trying to tell us something our minds are not consciously aware of. There is no need to shoot the messengers.

5. Christians control their sexual thoughts and actions better than others. False.

While the answer to this question probably should be true in light of the amazing power we have available to us to resist temptation, I think we have to admit that the answer is all too often false. Christians struggle, just as much as anyone else, with sexual sin, which includes premarital sex, extramarital sex, and pornography usage.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from THE FANTASY FALLACY by Shannon Ethridge Copyright © 2012 by Shannon Ethridge. Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

Contents

Acknowledgments....................ix
Foreword by Stephen Arterburn....................xi
A Note to the Reader: Fifty Shades of Reality....................xv
Introduction: Reading Between the Lions....................xix
1. Why Discuss Sexual Fantasies?....................1
Behind the Curtain: How Is Fantasy a Friend?....................19
2. The Benefits of Boundaries....................25
Behind the Curtain: Retraining Our Brains....................40
3. The Faces Behind Sexual Fantasies....................45
Behind the Curtain: Sophia's Layers of Loneliness....................60
4. Pornography: The Fantasy Factory....................67
Behind the Curtain: From Pain to Pleasure to Pain Again....................82
5. Bartering with Our Bodies....................87
Behind the Curtain: Searching for the Softer Side of God....................100
6. When "One Flesh" Isn't Enough Flesh....................105
Behind the Curtain: Brent's "Rock Bottom"....................123
7. Grappling with Gay and Lesbian Fantasies....................129
Behind the Curtain: Tracing the Roots of Same-Sex Fantasies....................147
8. Our Fascination with Pleasure, Pain, and Power....................153
Behind the Curtain: What's Up with Sexual Fetishes?....................170
9. Putting Fantasy in Its Place....................177
Behind the Curtain: Free at Last!....................192
Conclusion: The Rest of the Story....................197
Appendix 1: Ten Excuses that Turn Fantasies into Painful Realities....................201
Appendix 2: Curing the Sexual Abuse Epidemic....................205
Appendix 3: Providing a Spiritual and Sexual Safe Haven....................209
Appendix 4: Twelve Steps to Recovery....................213
Appendix 5: Recommended Resources for Your Church/Home Library....................217
Notes....................219
About the Author....................227
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 12 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 12 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 11, 2012

    Refreshing Realism for Sexuality Today-A Must Read!

    Shannon has done an amazing job again. Healthy sexual relationships and integrity to God's word for how sexuality should play out in our lives is her forte.

    Today's age is bombarded with sexual innuendo and explicitness at every turn. It is becoming more and more extreme, like chasing the dragon, and people are trying to follow it in their bedroom. It is something that is an epidemic in the "real world" but something rarely addressed in the church. With this book Shannon opens the door to an equal playing field for both sides of the line to openly talk about and understand the elephant in the room, our fantasies, and how to deal with them properly.

    She has provided very thorough research on the psychology behind our thoughts that is worded for everyone to understand and real life, intimate testimonies that makes the reader know that they aren't the odd man out and not the only one having these thoughts. Shannon encourages us to glean the lessons from facing your past that your fantasies are trying to heal itself from.

    This is a highly, highly recommended book for anyone out there. It's something that relates to all!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 27, 2013

    Great insight!

    This book is like visiting with a counselor for free! Ethridge has great insight into a whole range of sexual fantasies and what the underlying emotions, longings or traumas might be. I would highly recommend this book to anyone struggling with guilt over fantasies or anyone who simply wants to know why they think they way they do during sex.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 1, 2013

    The Fantasy Fallacy is not the type of book I would typically ch

    The Fantasy Fallacy is not the type of book I would typically choose to, but with the recent popularity of books like 50 Shades of Gray, I thought it was an interesting topic that needs to be discussed more in the church. I also personally know people whose marriages have suffered because of issues such as these. I was given the opportunity to review it for Thomas Nelson Pusblishers.

    The author brings out a lot of interesting thoughts from her counseling experiences. She also addresses 50 Shades of Gray, why women read it, and the dangers behind the ideas presented in the series. It wasn't what I expected - she delves into the "why" behind fantasy and what causes issues in people's lives.

    This would be a great read for anyone who is in ministry or who mentors people. It could really help them understand the reasons behind issues like this and how you can help someone who is struggling with this.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 1, 2013

    The Fantasy Fallacy is not the type of book I would typically ch

    The Fantasy Fallacy is not the type of book I would typically choose to, but with the recent popularity of books like 50 Shades of Gray, I thought it was an interesting topic that needs to be discussed more in the church. I also personally know people whose marriages have suffered because of issues such as these. I was given the opportunity to review it for Thomas Nelson Pusblishers.

    The author brings out a lot of interesting thoughts from her counseling experiences. She also addresses 50 Shades of Gray, why women read it, and the dangers behind the ideas presented in the series. It wasn't what I expected - she delves into the "why" behind fantasy and what causes issues in people's lives.

    This would be a great read for anyone who is in ministry or who mentors people. It could really help them understand the reasons behind issues like this and how you can help someone who is struggling with this.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 3, 2013

    I Also Recommend:

    The Fantasy Fallacy Exposing the Deeper Meaning Behind Sexual Th

    The Fantasy Fallacy Exposing the Deeper Meaning Behind Sexual Thoughts By Shannon Ethridge takes a look at the other side of the argument for the Fifty Shades of Grey phenomenon. Delving into what some of our fantasies stem from and using Biblical references, Shannon explains some of the problems behind why we crave what we do on a sexual basis. Written in a very readable wand exciting format, you won't get bogged down in psychoanalyst mumbo jumbo, but come out of it understanding maybe just a bit more about the human psyche.

    I have never read the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy, and don't really have plans to in the near future, though I have read my fair share of erotic fiction. In the past I have struggled with some of my own thoughts regarding my own fantasies and I was quite excited to read Shannon's book even though I usually avoid 'self-help Christian' books. I flew through this book in a matter of days, enjoying every aspect of it, even the areas I disagreed with, which were very few. Whether or not you've read Fifty Shades, I would highly recommend The Fantasy Fallacy. Not only is it an enjoyable read filled with a lot of information , but it is excellent and thought provoking if you have struggled with your own fantasies. My only complaint would be that I wished it were twice as long because I want to know more about human behavior and I don't know what to read next! Definitely five stars.
    This book has been provided courtesy of the publisher, Thomas Nelson, and the Booksneeze program, for the purposes of this unbiased review.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 13, 2012

    The best-selling author of the Every Woman's Battle Series retur

    The best-selling author of the Every Woman's Battle Series returns with her latest book, The Fantasy Fallacy. Within the pages of the book, Shannon Ethridge explores the deep psychological roots behind our fantasies, noting that they are the brain's way of trying to heal from unresolved tragedies and traumas. She candidly takes a look at some difficult topics, including gay and lesbian desires, desires for threesomes, or fascinations with pornography, bondage or sadomasochism. Shannon teaches the reader how to take each fantasy captive to Christ and allowing Jesus to heal us from our brokenness that leads to inappropriate fantasies.

    Shannon Ethridge is a fantastic author whose book is extremely timely for a generation who has become addicted to pornography and enamored with books like "Fifty Shades of Grey". I greatly appreciate how she tackles each subject in a straight-forward manner, not shying away from disturbing topics, but instead addressing them in a non-judgmental manner. I found the book to be a breath of fresh air, a book that will absolutely lead readers to a place of freedom. I appreciated the practical nature of the book, that she includes ideas to control unwanted fantasies. She provides a wonderfully balanced look at the topic of sexuality, recognizing that sex is an absolute gift from God and is meant to be something good, and shows us how we can keep the perverse from twisting this wonderful gift. The book simply breathes with scripture, and as such you can read this book knowing it is based on truth.

    I strongly recommend this book, and award it a rating of 4 out of 5 stars. If you or someone you know is struggling in the area of purity, then this book may just have the guidance you are looking for!

    Book has been provided courtesy of the publisher, Thomas Nelson, and the Booksneeze program, for the purposes of this unbiased review.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 10, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    This is one of those books I wish I could get into the hands of

    This is one of those books I wish I could get into the hands of everyone I know because the information Shannon Ethridge shares is upfront, honest and informative. Having a background in counseling/human relations, she knows her stuff and she presents the material in a way that is neither condemning nor judgemental which I appreciated and I am a Christian. I read 50 Shades a few months ago, not because I wanted to but because I felt led to. So many in my social and church circles (surprisingly) were huge fans of the trilogy and I didn't really understand all the controversy surrounding it. I chose to "take one for the team" so to speak and I wish I'd had The Fantasy Fallacy to read immediately following it.

    Shannon shares her thoughts concerning 50 Shades in the beginning of her book and one of the quotes that jumped out at me was this one...
    "My heart broke for the naive twenty-one-year-old girl in the story who, after knowing him less than one week, gives her virginity away to a man who wants her to sign a domination/submission contract that will allow him to ritualistically beat her anytime he wants in the name of sexual pleasure." xvii

    I couldn't agree more! When I finished the books I thought of all the women I know with daughters who'd read it and wanted to ask them, "Is this really the message you want to send to your daughters?" My intention is not to be a judgy mcjudgypants but there are times when we need someone else to help us open our eyes and see things for what they really are and The Fantasy Fallacy does just that.

    This book addresses anything and everything concerning sex and the world of fantasy surrounding it; the pros and cons, what's acceptable (biblically speaking) as well as real life stories from people she's talked with. Shannon also explains the difference between sexual fantasy and lust because they aren't the same. In a nutshell, there's nothing wrong with sexual fantasy when it involves your spouse and doesn't include pressuring or coercing them to do anything that could cause them harm either physically or emotionally. Sexual fantasy is OK as long as you're fantasizing about what's already yours. Lust is craving something that doesn't belong to you. It's when you find yourself combing these two aspects, sexual fantasy and lust, that you enter the danger zone.

    Addiction to porn is just as much a problem in the Christian life as it is in the secular and it can leave women feeling inferior and hurt. But here's the thing, those perfect, gorgeous men in erotic novels who always say and do the right thing, satisfying the woman's every need ALL THE TIME? They're no different than the women in porn films and magazines. Both are an unattainable illusion. Men who are addicted to porn want the women in their real lives to be like the women in porn, and women who read erotic novels expect the same of the men in their lives. It's a lose-lose situation.

    God gave us the gifts of imagination and sex and but they quickly turn into burdens when not used wisely.

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  • Posted October 25, 2012

    In the mist of the Fifty Shades of Grey craze comes Shannon Ethr

    In the mist of the Fifty Shades of Grey craze comes Shannon Ethridge’s The Fantasy Fallacy and I can say with certainty that it’s right on time. The courage to stand up and speak out on a subject swept under the carpet by the church and society is commendable and gutsy. After reading The Fantasy Fallacy I’m more convinced than ever that we need to open up more about “what’s going on between our ears.” The Fantasy Fallacy pulls back the curtains and sheds much needed light on a once dark and lonely place in the minds of most human beings . . . the world of sexual fantasy. This book serves as an ice-breaker to give courage to those who feel trapped and controlled by their fantasies to discover the roots and break free from the bondage they create. The Fantasy Fallacy exchanges the label of “FREAK” for “HUMAN” and in doing so gives voice and power back to those desperately trying to find their way out of the tangled web of the fantasy world. For some it will serve as a GPS to freedom, for others it will serve as a loudspeaker to confirm what they already know and wake them up to the solutions they have been ignoring.

    Whether you are Christian struggling with guilt and condemnation from yourself or the church, or whether you are just the average person with no spiritual or religious affiliation; The Fantasy Fallacy is a MUST READ. Anyone who is a human being can and will benefit from reading this book. Whether you discover new principles for overcoming unhealthy fantasy or whether you are just building on a previously laid foundation, I can assure you this book is worth the read. The Fantasy Fallacy gives everyone the permission to be human, the courage to be honest, and the things we need to navigate our way from bondage to freedom.

    One cannot thank Shannon enough for answering the call of God and writing this book. The world has needed her bravery, her honesty, and her obedience. Thank you for daring to venture into taboo territory and by doing so freeing many captives.

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  • Posted October 25, 2012

    Let's talk about sex. With a series such as the 50 Shades of Gre

    Let's talk about sex. With a series such as the 50 Shades of Grey infiltrating homes all over America like a cloud of erotic smoke, it's no wonder why more people are wondering about the world of fantasy and caught up in it's allure.

    Shannon Ethridge has taken the topic of sex, sexual fantasy and pornography to a level most would steer clear of, especially it seems, those in the church. Her book titled The Fantasy Fallacy, goes beyond first impression of such topics and takes a deeper look into why we might think the way we do, exposing the roots of things such as fantasy or sexual addiction.

    Well researched and cited, the information is not only eye opening and thought provoking, but mind changing as it allows the reader to "think outside the box" in terms of their own sexual identity, someone they know or about sex in general.

    Shannon has taken a seemingly taboo topic and written in a way to bring light and understanding to the subject of sexual fantasy and has created I believe, an outline for conversation and steps to healing the pain and guilt that is most often attributed to sexual fantasy.

    A must read for both women and men, this book is a refreshing, healthy look into the world of sexual fantasy and how it affects our lives and relationships. Shannon's eagerness to see healthy sexual relationships in our unhealthy world today, is so strongly apparent in this book and the information could not have come at a more necessary time.

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    Posted January 31, 2014

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    Posted November 5, 2012

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    Posted October 20, 2012

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