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Mini Man-sode 19: Sticky Eyes…Are Men More Visually Wired?


JJ Tomlin

Join JJ as he tackles the question of if men are more visually wired and what to do with that knowledge. 

Men, in general, are more programmed by nature, not society, to desire, crave and primarily be stimulated by visual stimulation. This is shown by anecdotal evidence like..

  • Soft porn purchases, like Sports Illustrated and cultural content like commercials catering to men’s eyes via females bodies. 
  • Hardcore pornogrpahy use statistics: 91.5% of men watched porn in the last month, 60.2% of women and this one is definitely growing 
  • Women are way more likely to consume written pornography
  • Masturbation statistics are closer at 95% of men as opposed  to 89% of women.  
  • In the church… 1 in 5 youth pastors and 1 in 7 senior pastors are REGULAR porn users.
  • 88% of porn in the US is accessed by smartphone. 
  • Men generally overvalue physical attraction and appearances, overlooking character and emotional attraction 

In general, it takes more visually to excite a female than it does a male and men get turned on by really any part of a women’s body leading to the explanation of fetish porn.. feet, legs, back, cartoon and anime.

  • Are men more visually stimulated and is it substantially more powerful than women’s visual stimulation?? Is this.. Every man’s battle?? 
  • The reason why this is a big deal is because if men do generally hold the decision making power, then to cope with this battle and struggle, they can make decisions to enforce a pretty logical and rudimentary rule like dress code. 

Here are some popular excerpts from some Christian books on men, marriage and lust..

  • Tim LaHaye, in “The Act of Marriage,” echoes this: “Women must cultivate the problem of visual lust, whereas men almost universally must cope with the problem just because they are men.”
  • Once he tells you he’s (quitting lust) cold turkey, be like a merciful vial of methadone for him.” Proving the metaphor was deliberate, the authors repeat it: “Your wife can be a methadone-like fix when your temperature is rising.” No talk of intimacy or dignity; she is simply a “methadone-like fix.”
  • “The Power of a Praying Wife” says: “For a husband, sex is pure need. His eyes, ears, brain and emotions get clouded if he doesn’t have that release.”

So really what this can be reduced to might be…

  • Men have a need,not desire… for sex because they are more viusally stimulated and their need for sex is bigger than your need for anything else. 
  • And when women don’t put out? Men can retaliate, use porn, withhold love, find somebody else. 
  • Now don’t you see the issue in that logic?? Where all of sudden did we get to this place that men have a larger need for sex because they are more visually stimulated?? 
  • Where all of sudden did it become a need and not a desire?? See this is the biggest challenge I have. All of sudden, we cannot admit something that seems pretty obvious because a consequence of admission… could be really ugly!! 
  • But why can’t we say men are more visually stimulated? That physical appearance is more engaging and thought provoking for men? 
  • Why does that truth have to evolve and give permission to terrible and destructive theology? Just because it might be many men’s battle that he has to fight, why does it mean he is helpless? See the massive jump in theology? 
  • How does admitting to the nature of man give a hallpass to sin? This is a massive deal! 

What does research say.. How do we back this up ??

  • Most research at this point in time is commonly agreed that men in general are much aroused by visual stimuli. It’s absolutely clear!  They generally show stronger and more consistent than women, whereas women tend to show a lot more variability in their response to stimuli.
  • Quite literally, the man’s brain is lit up with activity when triggered by physical stimuli and attraction. Studies have found that men are more likely to be visually stimulated and responsive to sexual images and videos, while women are more likely to be stimulated by a combination of sensory, emotional, and contextual factors, such as touch, intimacy, and emotional connection.
  • Additionally, men tend to have a more intense and focused physical response to sexual stimuli, while women's sexual response is often more diffuse and more strongly influenced by emotional and contextual factors.
  • One recent study published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior found that men tended to be more responsive to visual sexual stimuli than women, regardless of whether the stimuli were explicit or relatively tame. 
  • Another study published in the Journal of Sex Research found that men were more likely to report being turned on by erotic images and videos than women.

OPPOSING CLAIMS might say something like this…

  • Women and men are both sexually aroused by visual stimulation, there is no difference. There was a great study done comparing 12 men and 12 women’s reactions and they did display the same patterns of sexual arousal from visual stimuli. 
  • The problem here is that they used erotic content, which I would say of course triggers arousal in both and women. 
  • The argument here is an argument of sensititivity.


  • We must admit this is a battle for most men (and women) but if it is comparison, it is not necessarily close on a GENERAL basis.
  • We are talking about the jump from noticing to AROUSAL… 
  • YOU CAN NOTICE, that does not mean AROUSAL 
  • YOU CAN NOTICE.. And then decide to run with that thought!! 
  • When a man notices visual stimulation, there is a decision to be made. 
  • Men are MORE visual to many different physical stimuli. As in there is much more temptation for men. Requiring them to be much more ruthless and disciplined with their eyes and thoughts!! 
  • Doing this research blows me away and strengthens any willingness to slack here. There is zero room for me to take this casually if I am serious about a desire to be holy, to pursue purity in thought, to think about whatever that is true, good and righteous. 

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JJ Tomlin

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JJ Tomlin is a missionary kid born in Belgium, originally from Tennessee, and currently residing in the OC. He currently works in Gaming/E-Commerce, enjoys watching his Tennessee Titans on Sundays with his Goldendoodle Teddy and loves working with Christian men to raise the bar in singleness and dating.

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