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The Fantasy Fallacy: Exposing the Deeper Meaning Behind Sexual Thoughts

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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 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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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 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.

30 review for The Fantasy Fallacy: Exposing the Deeper Meaning Behind Sexual Thoughts

  1. 4 out of 5

    Justin Robar

    If you managed to get past the terribly invasive, "talking-down-to-you-as-a-potential-customer" description on the back of the book, I commend you for your strength. It almost pushed me away, but I was so dumbfounded at how THAT description of the work could POSSIBLY have prompted ANYONE to publish this trite piece of garbage, that I was simply compelled to read on. Luckily, working in a book store has its perks, as I didn't have to indirectly consent to the ideas presented within by spending If you managed to get past the terribly invasive, "talking-down-to-you-as-a-potential-customer" description on the back of the book, I commend you for your strength. It almost pushed me away, but I was so dumbfounded at how THAT description of the work could POSSIBLY have prompted ANYONE to publish this trite piece of garbage, that I was simply compelled to read on. Luckily, working in a book store has its perks, as I didn't have to indirectly consent to the ideas presented within by spending money on it. I have to admit up-front, I did not finish the book. As a matter of fact I think I finished... about 15% of the book, 20% on the high side. Why, you might ask? "Doesn't that mean you have no credibility in your review?", you may ponder? Perhaps. But you're already here so you might as well read on. The book claims to "expose" the true meaning of sexual fantasies. To quote the author, "Sexual fantasies are simply the brain's way of trying to heal itself from unresolved tragedies and traumas". Ethridge goes on to explain that the only way to "heal" ourselves from the "grip" of sexual fantasies is to, surprise surprise, SUBMIT YOUR FANTASIES TO GOD, to allow God to help heal the things that cause these, quote, "inappropriate" fantasies. Should I have expected anything different from fundamentalist Catholic literature? Probably not. She then has the gaul, the flat-out GAUL, to say that she isn't being judgmental or condemning -- then proceeds to talk about "healing" people from liking pornography, being gay, or fantasizing about aspects of BDSM. I have no doubts that Mrs. Ethridge... and I have to assume it's "Mrs.", because I'm pretty sure not being married by her age would probably be considered a sin from some Catholic perspective (and what a happy vanilla marriage THAT must be...)... is an otherwise-intelligent individual... and by all indication, her books have sold very well. Then again, hers are certainly not the first books in the Christian lexicon to sell very well and be full of nonsense. Not only is the author making an arguably pitiful attempt to cash in on the "Devil's Advocate" (pardon the "offensive language") aspect of what she so lazily deems "the 50 Shades phenomenon", but she's doing so in such an additionally-lazy, overly-simplified, ignorant, arrogant, judgmental (no matter what she says to the opposite effect) and ultimately STUPID way, that the only individuals I could consider to be slightly MORE stupid would be the individuals who offer up MONEY to consume her "theories". As I said, I work in a bookstore -- and I would rather sell a million more copies of the 50 Shades series (a series that I consider to be poorly crafted, especially in the face of other, similar literature), than to sell ONE SINGLE COPY of this book. The author has zero understanding of the reality of the sexual mind. She argues repression over expression, claims that people need to be HEALED of their fantasies and then tries to say she's not being judgmental or condemning! Because we all know how awesome Christianity is at not being judgmental or condemning. Sexual fantasy is not something which needs to be "healed", and commanding women to give their fantasies over to God almost makes God sound like a pervert. Is that what the author was going for? Furthermore, commanding women to abandon their fantasies and repress their sexuality is EXACTLY what the Catholic church has been mistakenly doing for centuries, and goes against every ounce of feminist theory and medical research on the health benefits of safe, active and healthy sex lives. Does George R.R. Martin need to be healed of his "fantasies" that ultimately became "A Game of Thrones"? Or is it really all about repressing human sexuality? We all know how awesome the Catholic church is at doing THAT, too... Mrs. Ethridge... go to a BDSM club. Have an open mind. TALK to people in that lifestyle. Talk to gay people. Talk to subscribers of "Playboy". I see no evidence that you have done ANY of that. Who knows, you might have a little fun while you're at it! Understand sexual fantasy before you publish a book on it. Don't buy this book. Don't take it out from a library. Don't let the cover (which again is nothing more than a cheap money grab by trying to make it look like the erotic literature it goes on to blast) trick you into thinking it will be any good. But try not to spit on the book, either. I've got to clean that up.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jen

    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) 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. Stephen Arterburn, who wrote the foreword, puts it this way... "But the truth is these erotic books are dragging readers into a world of fantasy in a way very similar to how pornography hooks male viewers. No man can create a sexual experience that parallels those in the books. No man can be viewed as adequate when compared to the erotic excitement found in these novels. The fantasy world that a woman enters will leave her very dissatisfied with the reality of her man and her marriage." xiii God gave us the gifts of imagination and sex and but they quickly turn into burdens when not used wisely.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Tamara

    As a recovering sex addict who struggled with fantasy for 50 years, I couldn't be more excited about this book! With a women's ministry that's called to reach women who struggle with this and other life issues, I'm always looking for supportive material. I've read and recommended many of Shannon's books, so I'm not surprised...Shannon has done it again! Well researched, with gripping personal stories, Shannon goes behind the veil of every possible fantasy you might ever have. Not only discussing As a recovering sex addict who struggled with fantasy for 50 years, I couldn't be more excited about this book! With a women's ministry that's called to reach women who struggle with this and other life issues, I'm always looking for supportive material. I've read and recommended many of Shannon's books, so I'm not surprised...Shannon has done it again! Well researched, with gripping personal stories, Shannon goes behind the veil of every possible fantasy you might ever have. Not only discussing the hard truths of fantasy in all walks of life, but helping us understand the root causes so we can overcome the guilt, shame and condemnation. One of the most relative books I've read this year! I will be pushing it like crazy on my blog and Twitter and Facebook! Way to go Shannon!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Harold Cameron

    “Exposing The Deeper Meaning Behind Sexual Thoughts” Description of the book: “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 “Exposing The Deeper Meaning Behind Sexual Thoughts” Description of the book: “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.” (From the Thomas Nelson Publishers Website) About The Author: Shannon Ethridge is an international speaker and certified life coach. She has a master’s degree in counseling/human relations from Liberty University and is author of the million-copy-best-selling Every Woman’s Battle series. My Thoughts About the Book: There is not doubt in my mind that we live in a time and society of unprecedented and significant exposure to sex. Sex is used to sell just about everything today from clothing to cars, from cologne to travel. The overtones of sex may vary from medium to medium and ad to ad but if you have any exposure to TV or the Internet at all, you will be bombarded with ads where a product or service is sold using sex or sexuality in some way to communicate the advertiser’s message. And the effects of this “sexual revolution” in the lives of the people and families in our society today have been beyond devastating. In her book, author Ethridge takes a hard and realistic look at sex, sexual fantasies, and pornography and what the effects and consequences are of indulging in sexual fantasies or viewing pornography. She pulls out all the stops telling a truth that is not often heard in our society today and that is even though sex may sell, and sex may satisfy (though only for a short period of time), sexual expression fulfilled outside the perimeters of God’s will ALWAYS has negative consequences. Using Scripture, referring to the writings of others who are experts in their field, as well as sharing the real up close and personal stories of people who have somehow been negatively impacted by sex and indulging in sexual fantasies, she makes her point and makes it well that sex does indeed look appealing, that if indulged in it does satisfy though only for a season, BUT then there is the pain and the devastation to deal with afterwards. However, if you trust in Christ completely, obey him fully and yield your sexual desires to Him to be fulfilled through a healthy marital relationship…then and only then can real and lasting beautiful satisfaction be found. And it’s true. We as people living today are led to believe by influences that do not have our best interests at heart that indulging in sexual fantasies or viewing pornography is a “victimless” sin or is harmless as long as no one gets hurt. But as author Ethridge writes in her book in the chapters “The Faces Behind Sexual Fantasies” and “Pornography: The Fantasy Factory,” people do get hurt and lives do get destroyed because of the wicked, godless, and inappropriate responses of people to sex and sexual temptation. In author Ethridge’s book there is a chapter titled “Grappling With Gay and Lesbian Fantasies,” in which she writes about the issue of people today struggling with homosexual or same-sex attractions as well as homosexual lifestyles. Hers is a Biblical and balanced view about the issue with the concluding paragraph of her chapter being, “We are captains of our sexuality ships. We may not always have control over what thought initially come into our minds when we are sexually aroused or understand why they include certain scenarios, but we have complete control over how much energy we want to give them. We decide which ones we pay attention to and which ones get ignored. We determine which direction to take at every turn, and with God’s help, we have the power to stay completely on course as we navigate the waters of healthy sexuality.” Amen. And having been saved out of over 40 years of living as a homosexual I can state that I agree with the author that one is not born with a “gay gene” or born gay, but rather, it is a choice and sadly for me it was the wrong choice for the years I lived in that wicked and debauched lifestyle. But by God’s grace I am free from that sin today. If you or someone you know or love is struggling with sexual issues then I recommend “The Fantasy Fallacy.” I believe in the reading of it and following what author Ethridge suggests that anyone who is a believer in and disciple of Jesus Christ can experience sexual purity and a glorious, fully satisfying freedom…the likes of which has never been experienced by them before. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received the book at no cost from the Thomas Nelson Publishing Company for review purposes. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

  5. 5 out of 5

    Sheyenne

    Erotic fantasy novels seemed to be all the rage this past year. Racy, elicit tomes that were once reserved for a dark corner in a dusty bookstore now found themselves on best sellers lists and film versions made their way to the tops of entertainment charts. Things that were once taboo to talk about- lusting, sexual self-fulfillment, and fantasies- were suddenly front and center at every girlfriends' get together, office lunch and even *gasp* church small groups. As the back of this book says, Erotic fantasy novels seemed to be all the rage this past year. Racy, elicit tomes that were once reserved for a dark corner in a dusty bookstore now found themselves on best sellers lists and film versions made their way to the tops of entertainment charts. Things that were once taboo to talk about- lusting, sexual self-fulfillment, and fantasies- were suddenly front and center at every girlfriends' get together, office lunch and even *gasp* church small groups. As the back of this book says, "Erotica has invaded more than our minds-- it has exploded onto our bestseller lists and into our bedrooms." Last summer has been dubbed by many the 50 Shades of Magic Mike summer. The "Fifty Shades of Gray" novels, which are about a young woman's journey into sexual fantasy exploration, were reaching pandemonium levels of fandom and a major film company had just released the movie "Magic Mike" about a company of male strippers. To say that both were gratuitous and graphic would be an understatement, though my commentary is only an assumption derived from the reactions of many others- I did not see or read either of these titles. But one thing I know for sure... it was the topic of much discussion in nearly every circle of women I encountered. From the hair salon to my Bible Study group, someone was saying something about one or the other. To be honest, I was shocked at the number of my friends who so cavalierly admitted to reading the 50 Shades novels, or to seeing Magic Mike. My heart broke a little each time, knowing that in most cases, my innocent friends had been desperately deceived into thinking that these exploitative variations on an otherwise sacred act were all just for fun, and that filling their minds with them would have no repercussions in the long run. How thankful I am for Shannon Ethridge's book, The Fantasy Fallacy. Her response is the perfect voice of reason to respond to this latest phenomenon, and I was continually pleased with each chapter of her book. The book delves into the deeper meaning behind sexual thoughts and desires. Most of the time, its men who these types of books are written for. But the hunger with which the 50 Shades books- and others like them- were met with are evidence that it is not just a man's problem. So what is the big deal? Fantasies can't really hurt anyone because they're not real, right? Shannon Ethridge does a great job of laying the foundation for which the rest of the book is built upon, and that is: Sexuality is God's invention. We know it is supposed to be great and wonderful and pure, but in a world so saturated with sin, what does a godly sexual relationship with ourselves and significant other look like? She takes the reader through many different points & scenarios, interweaving real case studies from her years of experience and counseling. Though her approaches to many of the subjects seem clinical at first, they are paired with a true story or examples from real people, which help bring it all together. Shannon doesn't wholly condemn fantasy, rather, she suggests boundaries, and seeking the reasons behind some of the fantasies people may have. I appreciate that she does not shy away from difficult topics like pornography, sexual violence and same-sex attraction. In my opinion, each topic is met with compassionate but biblically sound advice that does not leave room for errant interpretation. This book is definitely not a 'light read'. It takes time to process what you're reading and much of it can be very heartbreaking. But, it is a topic that comes up so flippantly in conversation these days. As such, I was glad to have read this book so that when the opportunity does come up again, I can have an opinion to share that is both different from the world, but also educated. While this may not be the book for everyone, it is a great answer to the questions so many women seem to be asking these days. You can view this book on Amazon (along with a video from the author) HERE. I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

  6. 5 out of 5

    Erlyn Lazaro

    Shannon Ethridge did hit that nail on the head with this book of hers - The Fantasy Fallacy. I wasn't actually expecting it to be so powerful and riveting and not to mention downright enlightening. I believe that she was moved by God to write this book as a bondage breaker for most people. Although I do not have any specific fantasy that I needed deliverance from, I would be hypocrite not to say that I have read some materials that would be, in a way, classified as glorified porn. Novels by Shannon Ethridge did hit that nail on the head with this book of hers - The Fantasy Fallacy. I wasn't actually expecting it to be so powerful and riveting and not to mention downright enlightening. I believe that she was moved by God to write this book as a bondage breaker for most people. Although I do not have any specific fantasy that I needed deliverance from, I would be hypocrite not to say that I have read some materials that would be, in a way, classified as glorified porn. Novels by famous best-selling international fiction authors have graphic and vivid descriptions of sexual encounters between their heroes and heroines. In fact, I probably would have read the Fifty Shades series had I been in the same state spiritually and emotionally as I was about ten years ago. Actually, come to think of it, the Fifty Shades series is what really drove me into getting this book. I was baffled at the thought that people are going crazy over the said book, which I browsed and was completely mortified at the story line. And so I decided to read this book instead, hoping to somehow understand some people's fixation over S&M and other sexual fetish, and I am thankful that I did. Everyone should get a copy of this book, since we're all sexual in nature. Shannon Ethridge is no doubt a gifted writer and a godly woman and is definitely passionate about the ministry that God led her into. Even if you are not struggling over some sadistic or masochistic fantasies or some weird sexual fetish, this book will still give you an insight on how to self-analyze your thoughts and why you sometimes have a sexual fantasy that is somewhat appalling. Aside from taking things in a spiritual vantage and psychological view point, the book also presents compelling facts and statistics making it more concrete. There is also a part of the book that tackles the issue of homosexuality and how some, if not most, homosexual individuals, through some incidents in their past, came to be. I only wished that she did spend more time discussing how people can be delivered from it, although I'm sure it will be too long that it would have to be another book altogether. It was one of the book that highlights my 2012 reading list and I recommend it to everyone.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Joseph Ramiscal

    “The Fantasy Fallacy” book review: I borrowed this book from my voracious reader friend of mine that I think I’m not gonna return his book (LOL). I borrowed it during the time when me and my group mates from our term paper research about “The Role of Pornographic Media in Rape Culture” in our subject “Building Bridges in Social Science Disciplines”. It was a great reference book that I used in our research. The topic about pornography in this book was a great help in giving us insights about the “The Fantasy Fallacy” book review: I borrowed this book from my voracious reader friend of mine that I think I’m not gonna return his book (LOL). I borrowed it during the time when me and my group mates from our term paper research about “The Role of Pornographic Media in Rape Culture” in our subject “Building Bridges in Social Science Disciplines”. It was a great reference book that I used in our research. The topic about pornography in this book was a great help in giving us insights about the mysteries in porn industry. I was shocked when I read the “behind the scenes” of filming a porn video. It was an abusive experience especially by a female actress (prostitute) in a porn film. Imagine that they will shoot it in almost 9 hours! Stating that both the actor and the actress must maintain their erection by using some drugs or pills. This book exposes the reasons behind our sexual thoughts/fantasies and found out that the author’s arguments are mostly based on experiences from the people she interviews. Of course, the author was a licensed psychologist/therapist and a counselor. She was an expert when it comes to this psychological issue about sexual addiction/fantasies. It was argued that our sexual fantasies are rooted from our emotional holes and baggages from our past. She said that, “We cannot change the fruits until we trace the root” is a statement of rooting the problem that we tend to struggle. At the 2nd to the last chapter of this book, I was ministered by the author’s words and preaching about Christ’s mercy and grace to our sins. I was also amazed by her convictions that she always think before she act on it, thinking about the consequences if she will act on it. I really love how she counter-argue the temptations she encounter. Another thing that caught me is the statement she said that “We are the captains of our sexuality”. Even if temptations strike us, we are still in control whether we dwell or run from it. I highly recommend this book, specially to Christians who are struggling from sexual fantasies that is outside the will of God. This book is framed by Christian/Biblical perspective that will help and inspired us from our walk with God.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Shannon

    This is a gift. It is refreshing to read about a topic no one ever wants to talk about. The truth is revealed that it can break down strongholds and deliver people from walking in shame. Both bold and healing.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Amber

    Great book for introducing the topic of sexual fantasy & thought life. Shannon does not make it awkward at all - I highly recommend reading it!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Henk-Jan van der Klis

    Where the Fifty Shades of Grey novel by the British author E.L. James which glorifies BSDM and the young girl versus old man role playying got the of attention by millions of female readers last year, a critical look for the reason for reading and watching books and erotic movies, pornography or practices like prostitution and incest is necessary. In case you’d think that Christians aren’t fantasizing and practicing these, you’ve been living on another planet, didn’t watch the news and need to Where the Fifty Shades of Grey novel by the British author E.L. James which glorifies BSDM and the young girl versus old man role playying got the of attention by millions of female readers last year, a critical look for the reason for reading and watching books and erotic movies, pornography or practices like prostitution and incest is necessary. In case you’d think that Christians aren’t fantasizing and practicing these, you’ve been living on another planet, didn’t watch the news and need to wake up. Maybe you recognize some or much of it in your own life. Then you may expect a harsh preaching from a well-known Christian writer with a black or white approach, pointing the finger and pulling the trigger. No, Shannon Ethridge, known for her contributions to the Every Women’s Battle takes a different approach. Her thesis: “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.” She has lots of statistics and people that came to her for counseling. Fantasy can be healthy, but also undermine healthful relationships and personal development. Fantasies may harmed your self-image and did serious psychological damage. Don’t let fantasies rule you, let’s take out the sting and bring the sexual oriented fantasies under God’s rule, get healing from the brokenness, loneliness and insecurities. With an open-mind, free from condemnation Ethridge explores the fascination with pornography, the mental or actual pursuit of multiple partners, the lure of gay and lesbian desires and the fascination with pleasure, pain, And power. It’s has a balanced psychological / theological approach, much like Michael John Cusick – Surfing for God: Discovering the Divine Desire Beneath Sexual Struggle intended for male readers. A book can’t do it all. And so, a 12 steps to recovery and recommended resources for your church / home library are given as well. And if you want to know why and how you should respond to the Fifty Shades of Grey Phenomenon, Shannon shares her thoughts.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Naomi

    "The Fantasy Fallacy: Exposing the Deeper Meaning Behind Sexual Thoughts" by Shannon Ethridge was written primarily as a response to the "Fifty Shades of Grey" trilogy. However, it goes far beyond being a simple response. Ethridge digs deeply into the uncomfortable world of sexual fantasy. A topic that is generally seen as a taboo subject among Christians is covered in great detail and depth in this book. The book includes nine chapters, covering topics such as why do we even need to talk about "The Fantasy Fallacy: Exposing the Deeper Meaning Behind Sexual Thoughts" by Shannon Ethridge was written primarily as a response to the "Fifty Shades of Grey" trilogy. However, it goes far beyond being a simple response. Ethridge digs deeply into the uncomfortable world of sexual fantasy. A topic that is generally seen as a taboo subject among Christians is covered in great detail and depth in this book. The book includes nine chapters, covering topics such as why do we even need to talk about sexual fantasies and then delving into what some common fantasies are, and five appendices with great resources for individuals or churches. I appreciated that Ethridge was so very real in this book. She talked about her own issues with fantasies. She really took the time to explain common fantasies and helped the reader to explore the deeper meanings behind them. She helps the reader to address their fantasies and channel them in the appropriate, healthy context of marriage. This is a book that is long overdue for our sex-absorbed culture. Christians are not immune to the temptations and the pull of fantasies. It's time for the Church to start confronting some of these elephants in the room, and this book is a great starting place for the discussion. "At times, we may need to look to the God-given gift of mental fantasy to fuel our sexual passions and imaginations in marriage. Other times, we may need to reel in our thoughts to stay out of dangerous territory. Either way, whether we are intentionally opening our minds or trying to guard them, there are great benefits to peeling back the layers of our sexual thoughts to under their deeper meaning. And once we've done so, we're better equipped to help others do the same." (p. xxvi) (I’ve received this complimentary book from Thomas Nelson Publishing House through the Book Sneeze program in exchange for a review. A positive review was not required and the views expressed in my review are strictly my own.)

  12. 4 out of 5

    Richard

    In the craze of Fifty Shades of Grey we get a book detailing how people's fantasies stem from mom & dad issues. Okay, so it's a little more complicated than that but most of the issues covered in this book come back to childhood experiences and how the brain is trying to protect you from pain. Ethridge has plenty of education in this topic. She has a Masters from Liberty University in Counseling/Human Relations. She uses this book to help us understand the underlying root of these fantasies In the craze of Fifty Shades of Grey we get a book detailing how people's fantasies stem from mom & dad issues. Okay, so it's a little more complicated than that but most of the issues covered in this book come back to childhood experiences and how the brain is trying to protect you from pain. Ethridge has plenty of education in this topic. She has a Masters from Liberty University in Counseling/Human Relations. She uses this book to help us understand the underlying root of these fantasies and how we can bring them under God's rule. Ethridge unpacks topics that include: distorted fascination with porn, the mental pursuit of multiple partners, the lure of gay and lesbian desires and the BDSM craze. There are nine chapters that cover much more than those topics and they all include sections after each chapter that brings us into a little more detail from a counseling point of view. Ethridge talks about things that many Christians are too embarrassed to talk about. She does it in a way that is nonjudgmental and that seeks to get to the root or childhood experience and then offers advice as to how best to gain control of the mental images. Some Fundamentalist may criticize her apparent "acceptance" of certain practices and fantasies but this book isn't written as a do/don't so much as it's a book to help us understand and take steps that expose the deeper meaning behind the thoughts. She is not afraid to talk about pretty much anything in regards to sexual thoughts. This is a very upfront and honest book for those asking questions about this bondage/domination fad. It may work as a group reading possibility; maybe even as a small group book for a church. I see this book being the commonplace Christian "reaction" resource to anything that gains a following. (Think Matrix, Harry Potter, Star Wars) This book was provided for review, at no cost, by Thomas Nelson Publishing.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Karla Rose

    The Fantasy Fallacy: Exposing the Deeper Meaning Behind Sexual Thoughts by Shannon Ethridge In this book Ethridge looks at sexual issues dealt with by both Non-Christians and Christians, she takes from her own personal experience through her on sexual struggles and as a life coach and councillor, she also utilises the testimony of clients (who have given permission for her to use their experiences) in a compassionate and informative way. This book was catalysed by the emergence of the '50 shades The Fantasy Fallacy: Exposing the Deeper Meaning Behind Sexual Thoughts by Shannon Ethridge In this book Ethridge looks at sexual issues dealt with by both Non-Christians and Christians, she takes from her own personal experience through her on sexual struggles and as a life coach and councillor, she also utilises the testimony of clients (who have given permission for her to use their experiences) in a compassionate and informative way. This book was catalysed by the emergence of the '50 shades trilogy' and covers not just issues brought up in the trilogy but other sexual issues that enter into people's life from pornography to sexual abuse. Ethridge approaches everything (including homosexuality) in an understanding and Christ like way, she often sights biblical reference and uses the thoughts, statistics and comments of other authors in the same field. This book is a helpful tool in not only dealing with sexual thoughts and ideas (so often streamed to us through the world) but taking a look at where they stem from (often childhood experiences and loss. Overall Etheridge has written a book that empowers the reader to get to know themselves and self assess where thoughts or certain actions are stemming from. (though as someone who is straight I would be interested in the take of somebody viewing the book from a homosexual perspective)

  14. 5 out of 5

    Lauren Flesher

    As an atheist, feminist, sex-positive, kinky, porn-enjoying, polyamorous, somewhat bisexual woman, I think it's safe to say I was not the target audience for this book. I picked it up out of a bargain bin at the bookstore and was initially intrigued, because I enjoy books about human sexuality. When I realized this was a Christian sex book, I laughed to myself but cracked it open to read the first few pages anyway. I don't agree with Mrs. Ethridge's beliefs. I disagree very strongly with most of As an atheist, feminist, sex-positive, kinky, porn-enjoying, polyamorous, somewhat bisexual woman, I think it's safe to say I was not the target audience for this book. I picked it up out of a bargain bin at the bookstore and was initially intrigued, because I enjoy books about human sexuality. When I realized this was a Christian sex book, I laughed to myself but cracked it open to read the first few pages anyway. I don't agree with Mrs. Ethridge's beliefs. I disagree very strongly with most of what she had to write. But I'm giving this book three stars because it was very entertaining and insightful to read. I read the anecdotes she provides and though I don't take away what she has intended the reader take away - that porn, lesbianism, bdsm, and extramarital desire is wrong and has its roots in personal trauma - I do take away that a sex-negative upbringing and culture can harm women incredibly much. Mrs. Ethridge and I have in common that we want women everywhere to feel sexually fulfilled, and have a healthy relationship with sex. We're both big on consent education and adult women feeling empowered by their desires. We just disagree about the manifestations of the desire. Though I disagree with her beliefs, I respect her personally, and I thank her for sharing her thoughts in a way that made this reader interested in hearing what she had to say.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Alana

    The world is a super-sexualized environment. Topics/events related to sex and sexuality flood the media and personal interactions constantly. In the midst of this hum, I think I've found a book that puts things in the right perspective. For Christians especially, this book is a boon. I say this because the subject matter is often taboo in church circles. Shannon gets right to the heart of the matter. As you read, you come face to face with your sexual history; but the author doesn't leave you The world is a super-sexualized environment. Topics/events related to sex and sexuality flood the media and personal interactions constantly. In the midst of this hum, I think I've found a book that puts things in the right perspective. For Christians especially, this book is a boon. I say this because the subject matter is often taboo in church circles. Shannon gets right to the heart of the matter. As you read, you come face to face with your sexual history; but the author doesn't leave you there. She gives you tools to explore what has worried your consciousness from time to time or moment to moment. From both a theological and psychological perspective, she shows how our sexual thoughts/fantasies/dreams have significance, how they have their place, and that we need to pay attention to these things. Reading the book helped me to be more gracious to myself and others. I now have a better context for understanding that there can be many layers behind sexual behaviors. And that while there is a reason behind each sexual thought/word/action, unhealthy tendencies and abuse must be dealt with. One of the best things about this book is that it's very readable, due to the author's conversational tone. I've already recommended it to several people.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Molli

    This is a book written by a Christian for Christians and, while the psychology is sound and applicable outside of the parallel theology, I doubt someone reading this from the non-Christian perspective would get as much out of this. It's also heavily, though not exclusively, geared at the Christian married person or couple. Etheridge hits a lot of points with this book and its difficult to try to sum it all up effectively. Perhaps most prominent is the focus on the Fifty Shades series and the This is a book written by a Christian for Christians and, while the psychology is sound and applicable outside of the parallel theology, I doubt someone reading this from the non-Christian perspective would get as much out of this. It's also heavily, though not exclusively, geared at the Christian married person or couple. Etheridge hits a lot of points with this book and its difficult to try to sum it all up effectively. Perhaps most prominent is the focus on the Fifty Shades series and the wider cultural fascination with relationships that are as abusive as they are (supposedly) loving (as with seemingly any given paranormal "romance" on the shelves these days). Etheride gets down to the psychology of such fantasies, focusing less on the moral implications as on the traumatic implications (that is, a given fantasy does not immediately equal perversion, rather, it may be a symptom of a deeper pain the brain is trying to process or heal.) Of course, Etheridge works from a Biblical basis, too, offering Chrisitan advice and perspective without shame or belittlement. In fact, she speaks with such frankness and intensity that it's easy to get a little rosy in the cheeks from the text. Overall, a very helpful book on a very difficult subject.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Stacie Wyatt

    I read the Fantasy Fallacy: Exposing the deeper meaning behind sexual struggle, in exchange for review from Booksneeze.com. The book was written by Shannon Etheridge and Steven Arteburn. I chose this book because I have been celibate for almost two years. I had a serious sexual addiction, porn addiction, and masturbation addiction. I still struggle with issues, but not as bad as I used to be.This book is written from a Christian perspective. The book talked about how fantasies can make you want I read the Fantasy Fallacy: Exposing the deeper meaning behind sexual struggle, in exchange for review from Booksneeze.com. The book was written by Shannon Etheridge and Steven Arteburn. I chose this book because I have been celibate for almost two years. I had a serious sexual addiction, porn addiction, and masturbation addiction. I still struggle with issues, but not as bad as I used to be.This book is written from a Christian perspective. The book talked about how fantasies can make you want more sex. Fantasies also can cause unwanted expectations in relationships. Fantasies also can depersonalize sex and may ruin potential relationships. Not all fantasies are bad, a fantasy can help heal pain, motivate towards a goal, or help you through a life transition. The book also discusses types of fantasies (autoerotic, erotic, and illicit). It also discusses the repression of fantasies and sublimation (redirecting sexual energy elsewhere). The book also discusses how porn and voyeurism affects individuals. Finally, the book discusses new ways to look at fantasies. Maybe the fantasy fulfills a psychological need. Posted by Stacie Wya

  18. 5 out of 5

    Todd Mccracken

    Over the years, I have read almost all of Shannon's books as well as Stephen Auterburn. This topic, is essential for today's Christians and churches! It seems that human sexuality is a taboo subject for Christians as well as their families. We are taught to guard our mind and hearts, and to keep our thoughts subject to the will of Christ, but seldom if ever do we talk about HOW to accomplish such a feat! With the onslaught of today's secular culture, we as Christians can be overwhelmed in a Over the years, I have read almost all of Shannon's books as well as Stephen Auterburn. This topic, is essential for today's Christians and churches! It seems that human sexuality is a taboo subject for Christians as well as their families. We are taught to guard our mind and hearts, and to keep our thoughts subject to the will of Christ, but seldom if ever do we talk about HOW to accomplish such a feat! With the onslaught of today's secular culture, we as Christians can be overwhelmed in a subject that is so limited in discussion. Additionally, this book gave me some insight with how to love, cope with and help friends and family members that are now a part of the gay and lesbian society. Marriage, is a difficult relationship at best. Seldom do we realize the baggage that we are carrying into that relationship. This book has been an experience in self realization and self examination in order to be a better, husband, father, and person. I HIGHLY recommend reading this one more than once as doors will begin to open in closets that have been closed for years. Only then, can the healing begin! Thanks Shannon for a GREAT message, ministry and book!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    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 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!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    *The Fantasy Fallacy* is like a healing salve on a deep wound. It is the single most refreshing, influential, and grace-filled book dealing with human sexuality I have ever read. Ethridge eschews the misconstruction that psychology and a Biblical worldview do not belong on the same team. Instead, she seamlessly weaves truths from both, showing how our needs for healthy sexuality and spirituality are interwoven into our DNA. I especially appreciate the chapter examining the "softer side of God", *The Fantasy Fallacy* is like a healing salve on a deep wound. It is the single most refreshing, influential, and grace-filled book dealing with human sexuality I have ever read. Ethridge eschews the misconstruction that psychology and a Biblical worldview do not belong on the same team. Instead, she seamlessly weaves truths from both, showing how our needs for healthy sexuality and spirituality are interwoven into our DNA. I especially appreciate the chapter examining the "softer side of God", God as perfect Mother as well as Father, and Ethridge's practical tips for allowing God's grace (power to avoid sin in the first place) into our sexual and relational temptations. Through *The Fantasy Fallacy*, Ethridge not only gives a timely response to the *50 Shades of Grey* phenomenon, she also offers so much more... an invitation for readers to honestly and compassionately (re)examine their sexual fantasies as a tool for discovering the beautiful, God-given gifts of true sexual and spiritual intimacy.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Brandon H.

    This is an excellent response to the 50 Shades of Grey phenomenon that has been sweeping our nation. Shannon Ethridge takes a look behind the many fantasies people have... or perhaps under them. She looks at the roots of what causes people to sexually fantasize the way they do. She also seeks help bring healing to people who are either tormented or at the mercy of fantasies and addictions while not walking in the two extremes we see in our culture - the liberal extreme that says to act out on This is an excellent response to the 50 Shades of Grey phenomenon that has been sweeping our nation. Shannon Ethridge takes a look behind the many fantasies people have... or perhaps under them. She looks at the roots of what causes people to sexually fantasize the way they do. She also seeks help bring healing to people who are either tormented or at the mercy of fantasies and addictions while not walking in the two extremes we see in our culture - the liberal extreme that says to act out on any and every fantasy and the legalistic extreme which says that all sexual fantasies are BAD!!!!! Her extensive research, and personal counseling all show that often sexual fantasies are an effort by the brain to heal emotional wounds from the past. Good book! My only complaint was that it wasn't longer.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Debra Oehlberg

    Considering the topics reviewed (porn, BDSM, alternative lifestyles), I really wasn't sure if I would get a real benefit out of reading this book. However, the topics covered, including sexual fantasy, were very educational. It wasn't just about what those things entailed, or how people incorporated them in their lives, but the book also explored the "whys" people are driven to do what they do. The book was able to explain effectively the difference between normal sexual fantasy versus crossing Considering the topics reviewed (porn, BDSM, alternative lifestyles), I really wasn't sure if I would get a real benefit out of reading this book. However, the topics covered, including sexual fantasy, were very educational. It wasn't just about what those things entailed, or how people incorporated them in their lives, but the book also explored the "whys" people are driven to do what they do. The book was able to explain effectively the difference between normal sexual fantasy versus crossing the line. The book does not condemn those who are struggling, and yet it does not cross the line to stimulate the mind to want to act on those hardcore fantasies. I would definitely recommend it to any adult.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Joy Matteson

    There are few, if any, books on sexual fantasy written from a simultaneously spiritual and psychological perspective. Shannon Ethridge explores the "why" question of why people have certain fantasies, realizing that with the answer to that question may be the solution to understanding why they happen. A great read for those who follow Christ, and those who don't, who want answers as to why they have certain fantasies.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jessica Haynes

    Very good, kind of a response to the Fifty Shades of Grey phenomenon as it says. This book was really good and helped bring a complex and sometimes scary topic into a hopeful and understandable light. My only wishes are that it would have spent more time addressing Christian singles, and also that it were longer, sharing even more of her insights!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Lynley

    A book that every Christian ought to read. She sheds light on many of the roots behind the the sexual promiscuity of our culture and gives balanced insight into how to approach these issues as Christians. Well worth the read!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Patrick

    My study of psychology is too sparse to know the degree to which the arguments in this book are sound or speculative; still, much of the book seemed insightful and legitimate. A helpful perspective on subjects that few dare to raise.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Nataleigh Robinson

    Very eye opening. I appreciate the upfront honesty that Shannon uses and how she isn't afraid to talk about things that a lot of Christians try to avoid. Definitely information that I see myself using in my counseling practice. I would for sure read more of Shannon's book.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Melissa Muender

    MUST read! This book will help you understand some of the crazy thoughts that run through your mind from time to time. Understanding the root cause of random thoughts/feelings helps us to deal with these thoughts/feelings in a more healthy way.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Dave Lohman

    My wife read this book and put it on my pile of books. It's a very good read, and I'm impressed with Shannon's look at how our fantasies are linked to our past. I'll be spending some time journaling about some of the insights this book provided.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

    Good insights into fantasies and where they come from. Helpful.

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