Young Men, Sex, and Urge Ownership (And Why It’s Not The Girl’s Problem)

Young men, I need to tell you something; something that maybe your fathers or your coaches or your uncles, or your buddies never told you, but something that you really need to hear.

Your sex drive? It’s about you.

I know you’ve been led to believe that everything is the girl’s fault; the way she dresses, the shape of her body, her flirtatious nature, her mixed messages.

I know you’ve grown-up reading and hearing that since guys are really “visual”, that the ladies need to manage all of that by covering-up and keeping it hidden, that they need to drive this whole physical relationship deal because we’re not capable.

That’s a load of crap.

You and me, we are visual.
We do love the shape of women’s bodies.
We are tempted and aroused by their physicality.

And all of that is on us, not on them.

You see, we actually live in our bodies.
We direct the limbs and the words.
We choose what we grab and touch and rub-up against.

Our bodies ultimately do only what our brains tell them to do.

Men, this is not a sex issue, it’s a brain issue.

This is about what we’ll choose to cultivate in our heads and what we’ll choose to do with our hands as a result.

If I’m in a grocery store, and a woman’s standing next to me with a wide-open bag, filled with money; bills practically spilling-out onto the floor, is it OK to reach out and take any of it?

If I’m a man of integrity, decency, and restraint—of course it isn’t.

The “visual” of that money will certainly be tempting and I’ll probably instinctively run down the road in my mind about what I’d like to do with that much cash. Does it mean that it’s mine for the grabbing?

No, and why not?

Because the money’s valuable, and it doesn’t belong to me.

Would it ever be acceptable to rationalize, that because the woman is so careless and reckless with her own money (money that I find enticing), that I’m somehow justified to take it?


Because the money’s valuable, and it doesn’t belong to me.

Guys: the girls you date, the ones in your class, the ones you meet on social media, the ones you pass on the street, the ones you hook-up with at parties? They’re not only not property, and they’re not only valuable, they’re priceless—and they don’t belong to you.

Sometimes, doing what’s right toward someone even needs to transcend someone’s opinion of themselves. Even if you think that a girl you know shows too much, advertises too much, and offers too much, it doesn’t mean you can take too much because it’s about the value you assign to her.

At the end of the day, young men, this is a matter of ownership.

You don’t now, and you never will own her, and so any part of your actions that break the plane of her body, aren’t your jurisdiction, they’re hers.

The only thing you own, the only thing you’ll ever own, are your choices. 

That’s why it’s called self-control.

That’s an old-school idea and it isn’t particularly “sexy”.
It’s not typical pop music fodder.
It’s not something you’ll brag about in the locker room, and it won’t make a good multiplex movie.

It also the place where we move from being men in theory, to men in practice.

I’m sorry to have to break this news to you, as I know it’s probably difficult to hear.
It will certainly make life much more challenging and you’ll probably have to make some changes as a result.
I also know that these words could alter your relationships now, and preserve your marriages someday.
They can protect women from damage and nurture your character.

Control yourselves, men.
Be responsible for your responses.
Own your urges.

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383 thoughts on “Young Men, Sex, and Urge Ownership (And Why It’s Not The Girl’s Problem)

  1. It is the man that has to have self control and discipline I totally agree. However I think as a society of men we should try to seek the help of woman to stay strong. Yes it is our bodies, yes it is our minds. We should let them know What is to be sexy and hot, a good Heart that is and amazing personality those things are greater then sexy or hot they are beautiful and beautiful lasts a lot longer then hot. What also is an old school concept is modesty he should write an article about that. Because I doubt less then half the United States knows what that means and they definately don’t apply it. I know it’s our bodies but I would be grateful to women if they would respect and have confidence enough to dress modestly. It definately would help the both of us.

    • For one, modesty is intensely subjective–what’s modest to me might not be what’s modest to you, and holding anyone up to your own standards is unfair and self-centered. I dress in a way that makes me feel happy and confident–modesty doesn’t even come into my thought process. Secondly, even if a woman is walking down the street naked, your response to her is YOUR problem. Not hers. Not anyone else’s. Yours. There is no inherent shame in the naked body, nor in the healthy sexual urges it can produce. But if that woman doesn’t agree to be your sex partner, then you have no claim or right to her body–and you have also no right to say she should have dressed more conservatively so as not to stir up said sexual urges.

      There’s no reason I should have to dress in a way YOU deem modest if it doesn’t fit in with my belief system and worldview.

  2. Thank you so much for writing this. I can not tell you how many times I’ve hated being told how to dress so that I wouldn’t tempt some man. I finally realized in recent years that if I’m dressing to be comfortable and as an expression of who I am and it tempts a man, then it’s his problem, not mine.

    I’ve read some of the comments and for those who think women should be more covered than a two piece bathing suit, may I suggest you read Genesis 3 and the Song of Solomon. I would also remind you that clothing was not God’s idea. He did not force us to wear clothing. In Genesis 3 we read that AFTER Adam & Eve ate of the fruit from the tree of knowledge they knew they were naked and were ASHAMED (emphasis mine). They made coverings out of fig leaves, which God later replaced. Modesty is more about attitude. If I’m wearing skimpy clothing with the intent to entice or tempt a man, then I’m in the wrong. If I’m doing so because that’s how I’m most comfortably dressed and I like how I look, then I’m okay. A woman can be covered from head to toe and still find ways to seduce and tempt men.

    I appreciate the men who realized that truly mature men can control themselves. To you I say, “Thank You!”

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  4. Reblogged this on The Bishop Dr. and commented:
    I don’t advocate “hooking up” with any girls, like the author of this article does. But, what he says is very applicable to the church. Job said “I have made a covenant with mine eyes.” (Job 31:1) We ought to do the same.

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  7. John – I’m with you on about 97% of this. Many guys absolutely do need to hear this message. And yes, it is our responsibility to learn to control our eyes and our thoughts, and submit all our thoughts and actions to the lordship of Christ. We need to own our urges; it IS on us. Thank you for addressing this.

    … but I believe the other 3% is pretty big. (And we may not even disagree; it may just be a word choice and how I took it. You may not have given it much thought; it certainly isn’t the main point of your blog.)

    My problem is with the word “problem.” Our God-given sex drive is a problem? God had no positive purpose in creating us guys this way? That isn’t how I see things. The way many guys misuse their sex drive is the problem.

    To me, this is all about the difference between teaching kids “No, no, no,” when it comes to sex, as opposed to “Wait, wait, wait” (the better message). Is the idea that sex, in the right context, is a great gift from a marvelous and creative God? Or is it something our culture has hijacked and made shameful and sinful because of all the ways it is misused?

    If it’s true that God had a positive reason for creating men this way, why perpetuate this notion that we are somehow flawed because a vast majority of us have a high sex drive and are visual?

  8. Ah good point. But I must address this 1 Corinthians 8:12-13 where Paul clearly states do not do anything that causes your brother to stumble. In a sense this article is saying it’s okay for women to dress unlike a daughter of Jesus Christ, and we men should except that and control our urges. While yes we as men should have better self control but what it boils down to is that it’s a two way street when it comes to Sex, Lust and a Mans Mind. That being said women especially in the Church of all places should not dress or act in a way that tempts her brother in Christ and causes him to stumble.

    • Nick, I’d encourage you to go back to the passage in 1 Corinthians and re-read the context surrounding these verses and think about what Paul meant IN that context. I’ve heard this passage used to pressure congregations to abstain from drinking alcohol or swearing or any behavior deemed “unsavory.” Paul’s instruction to the Corinthians was a worship issue and a personal conscience issue. If we follow the logic you’ve given here (that is very common in many churches) then I should not eat in front of a glutton and should not talk in front of a gossip lest I make them stumble in their weakness. Taken to the extreme, this is the exact thinking that justifies making women wear Burqas. What John is saying is that we are all responsible for our actions and resisting temptation no matter who we are or what the situation. Men are not excluded in the case of lust, no matter what temptation presents itself. LOVE, not rule following, is the absolute best motivation for obedience…love for God and love for women…even and especially women and girls who, for what ever reason, may be looking for love in all the wrong places in the ways they’ve been conditioned to. There are no shortage of boys and men who will line up to take advantage of that. Perhaps John is trying to whittle down the numbers of those trolling in for an easy fix. I really wish the boy who backed up behind me in a crowd in junior high and fondled my very modestly covered rear end had heard this message. I was terrified, humiliated and violated.

    • Concerning causing brothers to fall because of our actions.
      The subject of this blog has nothing to do with brother (or sister) causing a brother to sin. The subject of this blog concern sin.
      The Bible is as clear about men’s lust as it is on women’s modesty.
      If you want men to be chaste you have require women to be modest.
      You cannot let the women off the hook without letting men of the hook.
      Men sin when they lust
      Women sin when they are not modest.
      The problem with this blog it is unbalanced. What it says about men is correct. How it relieves women of their responsibility is irresponsible.

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  10. Men are RESPONSIBLE for where your hands, eyes and thoughts go.
    Males have a sex drive that is fueled by sight as much as any other factor.
    Women who do not recognize both facts create problems.
    Women who do not believe men can control their sexual impulses add to the problem of men Not controlling their sex drive.
    Women who do not take into consideration of the power the sex drive has on men are on dangerous ground. The vast majority of do not control their sex drive so if a woman dresses or acts in a manner that (intentional or not) excites the sex drive they are not thinking well.
    A woman dressing and acting provocatively should expect men to provoked.
    The mystery to the idea that women are not responsible for how the act or look but the man is responsible for how he reacts is beyond me.
    A man is asked to resist an essential urge designed to ensure there is another generation so a woman unlimited options on how they dress or act.
    Good idea but it hasn’t worked and won’t work.
    To use a trite old phrase, “Don’t spit in the wind if you don’t want to be spit in the face”.

  11. Thank you for your boldness in speaking out about this! I know you have and you will continue to get a lot of backlash from men who will do anything to place the blame on women instead of owning their lust. It’s the holier-than-thou type of man who cares only about his self-righteousness and nothing for the degradation that women face every day at their hands.

  12. Thank you so much for this. You took thoughts that I struggle with as a mom to a 5yr old daughter and the teacher to 12 pre-teen boys (at an urban christian school). I want my daughter to be proud of the woman that God has made her…something that I was constantly shamed for as a child, learning to hide everything including my inner self because that is what girls should do (this lead to lots of spiritual bondage that I am now becoming free from). But I also teacher my students that they need to be responsible for their actions and thoughts. Once again, thank you.

  13. Great article. Lots of truth here.

    But i have to ask…

    What about the girls that are visual? I have friends that look at a guy in a tank top just a man would look at a girl with tight pants on. There is lots of truth in this article, but it is a lie to say that it’s completely one genders “fault”. The fact is we both have to work hard at keeping our minds pure and trying be pure in our lives. When one gender thinks that the other gender should change or be aware of the other is when things get sideways such as the bad outcomes stated in the article.

    Good article, just need to look at the picture

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