Christian Life Articles

Title: Lasciviousness    Author: Unknown   This Writing Is Rated G


It is important that the writings here at do not condone or include lascivious behavior. We will be reevaluating the "risque" category in light of our Biblical research on "lasciviousness".

Lascivious or lasciviousness comes from the Greek word aselgeia.

Licentiousness means lacking moral discipline or ignoring legal restraint, especially in sexual conduct. Having no regard for accepted rules or standards.

Wantonness is a synonym, which is the quality of being lewd and lascivious.

The definition of lewd is "sexually unchaste or licentious."

The idea I get from studying the definition of "lasciviousness" is that it is when someone does something that is immodest in order to sexually excite themselves or others.

However John McArthur in "New Life, New Walk" writes, "The Greek word translated "lasciviousness" (aselgeia) refers to the person who is so dominated by sin that he doesn't care what people say or think. He is not shocked by his own sin--he has no sense of decency or shame."

This word lasciviousness is found in the following verses in the Bible.

1 Peter 4:3 ("when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries")

2 Corinthians 12:21 ("have not repented of the uncleanness and fornication and lasciviousness")

Ephesians 4:19 ("Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness")

Galatians 5:19 ("the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness...")

Jude 1:4 ("ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness");

Mark 7:22 ("...wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness...")

Does lasciviousness apply to a marriage? Can a husband or wife or both be lascivious?

Why is it that for some married couples get turned on when a wife does things that are risque, like not wear panties when going out to the restaurant?

Why is it that sex is more exciting for some married couples, when they have it with the window open where someone most likely would not see them but might walk by?

Why is it that for some married couples, having sex outdoors is exciting when most likely no one will see them, but there is that small chance someone might see them?

If the definition of "lasciviousness" is when someone does something, like expose their body, in order to cause them self or their spouse or someone else to be sexually excited, then are not married couples being "lascivious" when they have sex in semi-private places, because it is more exciting because someone might see them?

And is it not being "lascivious" when a couple takes their clothes off and engages in foreplay in a car, because it is exciting that someone might see them from a truck?

And is it not being "lascivious" when a wife wears no panties, because this is exciting to her husband because he thinks, just maybe someone might see up her dress while she is being seated?

But the counter argument goes something like this. Isn't it ok for a husband and wife to do things to turn each other on? Isn't it ok to do things to add passion to their marriage? So why would it be "lasciviousness" to not wear panties, or have sex outdoors, or take clothes off in the car - if the purpose is to turn your spouse on? After all, in Bible times it was common for people to be totally naked. So why would it be sin if someone saw a split second of nudity today, when in comparison nudity was common in Bible times?

Is "lasciviousness" really more like the definition that John McArthur suggested, that the word "refers to the person who is so dominated by sin that he doesn't care what people say or think. He is not shocked by his own sin--he has no sense of decency or shame."

Is lasciviousness" referring to conduct which leads to adultery and fornication, such as Mardi Gras and Las Vegas or Amsterdam style living? Is it referring to those who live to have sinful sex, who disregard the norm of marriage completely and have sex repetitively outside of marriage?

Does this sin not apply to married when they are simply trying to add a little spice to their marriage and their ultimate goal is to have pure God blessed sex with each other?

What is the Bible referring to when it uses the word "lascivious"? If nudity was common in the Bible and during the period these verses on "lasciviousness" were written, do these verses apply to a husband and wife taking chances with their modesty in order to add a little passion to their marriage?

And why does having your wife wear no panties, and having sex in semi-public places turn some men on? Is it their high level of testosterone at the time? Why is it exciting for them to risk allowing some stranger to see their wife naked? Is it a twisted version of "do unto others as you would have them do unto you"? And they know they would enjoy seeing other women without panties or having sex, and therefore they find it exciting to let others see their wife?

What do you think and why do you think the way you do?

Comment by: Old Site   Date: 2/9/2013 7:49:13 PM

A reader says ... A goggle search turned up the discussion below. (T aken from It appears from their interpretation that this web sites "risque" writings are not lascivious. Lasciviousness is reflected in our society when those who are not married have sex together and openly flaunt their immoral lifestyle - as do those who are homosexual and openly flaunt their immoral lifestyle.

Normally people hide their sin, but when they do not hide it, and they are proud of it - it is lasciviousness.

See below:

Sensuality - the Greek word aselgeia originally referred to any excess or lack of restraint, but came to be primarily associated with sexual excess. It is not a stretch of the imagination to understand the kind of unbridled unrestraint that is associated with the word. All we have to do is take a look at our society today with its fixation on sex at every turn, and you can easily understand the meaning and implications of the word. The same Greek word appears in:

Ephesians 4:19 (NASB) and they, having become callous, have given themselves over to sensuality, for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness.

It speaks of someone who flaunts their immorality, throwing off all restraint and having no sense of shame, propriety, or embarrassment. William Barclay wrote of this word sensuality: "The great characteristic of aselgeia is this, the bad man usually tries to hide his sin; but the man who has aselgeia in his soul does not care how much he shocks public opinion so long as he can gratify his desires."

One of the big problems we have in our culture today is pornography, and specifically, internet pornography - it's a monster that's loose among us. Far too many people are thinking, "If I just turn off my computer, I've solved the problem." But you haven't touched the problem. The only way you are ever going to get beyond that is if you are walking by the Spirit. That's the only way you will ever win that battle.

A reader says ...