How do I overcome my fascination with muscular male bodies?

Last updated on October 1, 2020


Since I started puberty I have had a male muscle fetish.  I do not seek sexual activity of any kind from either males or females, but the only thing that stimulates me sexually in masturbation is male muscles, height growth, and basically anything that denotes an increase in masculinity.  I know part of the issue lies in my extremely low self-esteem regarding my own masculinity that makes me crave these characteristics for myself and, thus, lust for them sexually and mentally, but my self-esteem is not improving anytime soon. 

I do not want to continue in this life of jealousy and lust; it ruined the best friendship of my life because I craved the muscularity of my friend to the point that it overcame my ability to related to him normally. I have stopped masturbating for about two weeks and removed myself from the sites to which I went to see and read about growth.  I am going to the gym now to try to improve my self-image and hopefully stop craving muscle once I obtain it. 

What advice do you have for someone trying to break this habit amid a college full of top athletes?  I have stopped masturbation, but I need to overcome the mental and visual fascination, too. 

Thank you.


“Fetish” is too strong of a word for what you have been dealing with. You have found muscular men to be sexually arousing because you’ve concluded that sex is for men who are well-built. Of course, logically that cannot be true. There are lots of scrawny and overweight guys who have married and had children. But sometimes logic and your body’s sexual responses don’t always connect.

There is nothing wrong with improving your physique and your health. It isn’t vitally important, but it isn’t a bad thing either. “For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come” (I Timothy 4:8).

James details the process of sin in this fashion: “But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death” (James 1:14-15). The steps are:

  1. Desires: Each of us is born with a normal, natural set of desires. The physical desires are the consequence of the operation of our bodies. We also have spiritual desires, such as not wanting to be alone, wanting to be liked by others, or wanting something pretty.
  2. Temptation: Satan tries to place us in situations where it appears that the satisfaction of a desire will require the breaking of a law of God. Temptation is the forcing of a choice to be made: either to break a law of God and satisfy a desire or to forgo satisfaction in order to keep God’s law.
  3. Lust (desire conceived): When a person mentally consents that breaking a law of God is worth satisfying the desire, then the person has moved into the realm of lust. This is when the person justifies to himself that breaking God’s law can be excused, at least in some situations.
  4. Sin: This is when a person seizes an opportunity and actually breaks God’s law.
  5. Licentiousness (sin full-grown): Sin is rarely done just once. The excuses to sin come fast, such as “I’ve done it once, doing it again isn’t going to make much difference.” Eventually, the person becomes calloused to sin and no longer feels guilty about what he is doing. He doesn’t care what other people think. He may even convince himself that he has the right to sin. (Licentiousness means thinking you have a license to sin.)
  6. Death: A person fully convinced that he ought to sin and doesn’t care what even God thinks about his actions won’t be persuaded out of his sin. Since he won’t leave his sin, he will die in his sin.

As an example, hunger is a desire — it is neither right nor wrong. Temptation is when you are in the convenience store and see a candy bar, but realize you don’t have enough money to pay for it. Lust is when you tell yourself that the store can afford to lose some items and that they are expecting some loss, or telling yourself that you could pocket it now and pay for it later and you accept that this is adequate justification to steal. Sin is when you walk out with the candy bar without paying for it. Licentiousness is when you think it is fun to take things off the shelf even though you have adequate money to pay for it. And from there it is a short step to spiritual death.

Your body needs to ejaculate periodically, which produces the desire for sex within you. As your seminal vesicles get full, the craving to ejaculate rises until ejaculation occurs, and then the cycle starts again. Temptation has been occurring as Satan planted the idea that you can ejaculate to images of muscular men. Clearly, he is pushing you toward the sin of homosexuality by getting you to accept it a step at a time. Temptations can be rejected, but you allowed them to move into the realm of lust.

You are going in the right direction. You stopped feeding your obsession with muscular images. Instead of just thinking about improving yourself, and being envious of others, you are making an effort. But you won’t be able to stop the temptation since they come from Satan. Even Jesus was tempted, but he overcame the temptations and did not sin. You have to do the same thing. Jesus responded to temptation with knowledge about what God said and wanted. He did not focus on his own personal desires at the moment. Therefore, you know that lusting after muscular bodies is wrong, so that is the answer to settle the matter. “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you” (James 4:7). It won’t stop Satan from trying, but you don’t have to give ground to him when he does try.

One last point. You need to stop ejaculating to images of muscular men, but that doesn’t mean you can simply stop ejaculating. Your body might shift over and start using wet dreams to get rid of your excess semen, but there is a distinct possibility that it might not be able to do so. If your urge to ejaculate gets really strong — to the point that you start doing nutty things, or you are strongly tempted to look at muscular men so you can ejaculate — you may need to consider masturbating without the images simply to take the temptation away from you for a while. It is difficult to do at first, but it can be done. In this way, you retain self-control over your actions and thoughts instead of letting your body drive your behavior.