"When I look back upon my lifeA character with this state of mind believes that Sex Is Evil, but can't escape their own sexuality. Operating under ethical guidelines completely opposite to those of an Ethical Slut, the character who employs this trope is likely to care little, if at all, for their sexual partners, as they consider them "dirty" and might resent them or worse for "leading him into temptation." The character isn't necessarily a rapist (though he might well fear becoming one if he isn't careful); it's enough for them to be a Jerkass about their sexuality under the presumption that Sex Is Evil, "unmarried non-virgins are whores," or similar. They are likely to eventually take it out on their partner(s), themselves, or both. If they do commit sexual harassment or worse, they might be Obliviously Evil about it. They are likely to show their consideration by choosing victims who are already Defiled Forever, so that some extra abuse won't make any difference… to them, that is. In a setting where Sex Is Evil, this character will exemplify the evils of sexuality. If they make a Heel–Face Turn and become good, they are likely to forgive their victims for "tempting" them. In a setting where sex is not evil, the character is likely to be contrasted with a Chivalrous Pervert, Good Bad Girl, or fully operational Ethical Slut. A character with this mindset is likely to think that at least some men are incapable of controlling their sexual urges, so women should expect them to commit sexual harassment or worse and be Crazy-Prepared in various ways. Such as second-guess what these men might find attractive and then try her best to not look attractive, lest these men might get their urges. Of course, since each individual man has his individual preferences (and also since the whole "oh no, I got aroused" thing is just an excuse anyway), even wearing Crocs would not be safe in this regard. Yet some particularly unsympathetic or tragic character may take this attitude one step further, demanding the Double Think that we should all consider men to be some kind of monsters while still considering them to be the superior gender—morally and otherwise. This is done by blaming women for (by their appearance or mere existence) "tempting" men and thus making any sex-crimes against them their own fault. Naturally, many works portray this attitude as barbaric misogyny. With or without any such aspects of ideology or social structure, a character of either gender may use another character's attractiveness or way of dressing as a Lame Excuse to misbehave and then claim Never My Fault. While this trope seems like it would fall into the "Always Male" category, and traditionally it was, these days it is branching out to other genders. Having said that, the way it's played out does tend to be sexist: a woman bearing this trope tends to be self-destructive, while men use it to be destructive and abusive to others. Makes for a particularly tragic Politically Incorrect Villain—or Anti-Villain. See also Troubled Sympathetic Bigot, Then Let Me Be Evil, and Internalized Categorism. Contrast the two tropes that oppose this one, Celibate Hero ("Sex Is Evil, So I Won't Have It", which can also be Paralyzing Fear of Sexuality) and Ethical Slut and Chivalrous Pervert ("Sex Is Not Evil, And I Am Horny"). Contrast Romanticized Abuse for when abusive sexual gratification is played for Fetish Fuel rather then angst, contrast the polar opposite I'm a Man; I Can't Help It when the male character doesn't even try to keep his sexual urges in check. Examples of how real cases have been portrayed in media are okay.
It's always with a sense of shame
I've always been the one to blame
For everything I long to do
No matter when or where or who
Has one thing in common, too
It's a, it's a, it's a, it's a sin."
It's always with a sense of shame
I've always been the one to blame
For everything I long to do
No matter when or where or who
Has one thing in common, too
It's a, it's a, it's a, it's a sin."
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Anime & Manga
- In Neon Genesis Evangelion, Asuka tells Misato that she has never seen "such an inappropriate relationship" by someone who is supposed to be her guardian regarding Misato's relationship with Kaji. However, she makes several passes at the man herself, including trying to seduce him the night before they arrive in Japan, but he flatly turns her down. She also makes several less than subtle attempts to get Shinji, who is so socially awkward he doesn't get it.
- Jirou from Kamisama Kiss is pretty much the walking embodiment of Straight Edge Evil, the Evil part doesn't last, but he soon starts becoming attracted to the heroine Nanami. Unfortunately for Jirou, Tomoe (a Kitsune and Shapeshifting Seducer) notices this...
- Ai no Kusabi has Iason Mink who is The Beautiful Elite that must abide to the No Sex Allowed law. He chastises his eventual Sex Slave early on for being disgusting and having no value other than to perform sex acts as low class scum. Then he starts engaging in sex himself realizing he quite enjoys it.
- Tokyo Ghoul: Mutsuki is a trans man who was initially depicted as finding Male Gaze and attention to be disgusting owing to being a victim of implied sexual abuse by his father and later Torso. However, it's seeing Sasaki interact with Touka that makes him jealous and realize he has feelings for Sasaki and secret resentment for Sasaki leaving the Quinx squad. It results in Mutsuki stabbing Uta when he is wearing Sasaki's face while proclaiming his love and begging Sasaki/Uta to Please Don't Leave Me. He then undresses from the waist up and is implied to do something sexual to Uta/Sasaki while calling himself embarassingly female and cuddling close to him.
- A Beetle Bailey strip illustrated how the Reverend Staneglass dealt with the trope in him regarding Miss Buxley. It shows Staneglass and Miss Buxley walking their separate ways, and two privates talking about them:
Private 1: [asks how the Chaplain avoids Miss Buxley's charms]
Private 2: He just closes his eyes to it.
[the Chaplain crashes into a streetlight]
- In New Mutants Wolfsbane's guardian Reverend Craig was a preacher of the hellfire and brimstone variety, and he basically beat it into her that she was going to hell because her mother was a prostitute. It was later revealed that he used to have sex with prostitutes, one of them being Rahne's mother. She realized this later on and went to confront him revealing she knew his secret and that he was actually her biological father.
- The general gist of this fanfic on a Pokémon kink meme involves Cyrus feeling this way about Cynthia. Considering that Cyrus's canonical motivation is "Emotions Are Evil And I Am Passionate", it's not surprising that fanfic involving sexuality sometimes takes him in this direction.
- A lot of fic involving N and Hilda is like this, with N raping her because he's too overwhelmed by confusion over his sudden sexual urges and attraction to her.
- Some Kim Possible fanfics feature Ron feeling guilty over thinking of Kim in this manner.
- Briefly touched on in The Prayer Warriors, when Michael, a fundamentalist Christian who's infiltrating Hogwarts to get information on a planned attack on the Christians, meets Ginny. He briefly finds her "hot" but forces those thoughts out of his head because they're evil, and is deeply uncomfortable when she pats him.
Films — Animation
- The Hellfire sequence from Disney's The Hunchback of Notre Dame is the epitome of this trope in song-form; Claude Frollo constantly tries to convince himself that his attraction to Esmeralda is her fault and not his and that "God made the devil so much stronger than man". This leads to him trying to have her burnt at the stake to rid his mind of her, or be his and his alone.
Films — Live-Action
- The master of the reformatory for wayward women in Diary of a Lost Girl. He confiscates a tube of lipstick from a particularly pretty prisoner, then puts the lipstick on himself. Then he writes "Punish Erika" on his day calendar with the lipstick. Then he draws a heart.
- Dark Shadows: Barnabas, in his attitude to his attraction to Angelique. He is quite unapologetic about the way he used her for sex and broke her heart. This being a setting where a witch is created as a woman makes a deal with the devil, it is heavily implied that it was his cruelty that turned her into a witch… Just like it was her cruelty that later turned him into a vampire.
- The bad guy in Preaching to the Perverted spends the movie fighting against harmless sadomasochists. At the end, it turns out that he is a sadist as well, but has avoided taking part in the "perverted" lifestyle by living out his sadistic lusts in a "more acceptable" way… taking it out on children.
- The protagonist of the movie The Good Girl is so repressed that it leads her into a destructive adulterous relationship.
- One of the main themes, if not the main theme of The Wicker Man (1973) is the conflict between the stuck-up, virginal, devoutly religious Sgt. Howie and the sexually liberal, promiscuous pagan islanders. The filmmakers have stated that Howie's decision of whether or not to have sex dictates what happens to him in the end.
- In the movie Crimes Of Passion, "Reverend" Peter Shayne mixes moralism and horniness into a combination that grows more and more destructive. Stalking a prostitute he has the hots for as a misguided crusade to "save her soul." His sexual harassment of her eventually forces her to kill him in a final confrontation. Afterwards she and the protagonist (who tried to save her from the psycho, but she saved herself instead) become a couple and presumably live happily ever after.
- In Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Judge Turpin fills this role, fooling himself that he can protect young Johanna from the evil of other men's sexuality by forcing her to marry him and satisfy his own selfish lust.
- Various theater versions of this musical have various takes on this. Some make him a more clear-cut example by highlighting his self-loathing, while others make him more one-dimensional.
- His solo, "Mea Culpa," exemplifies this much the way "Hellfire" does for Hunchback's Claude Frollo.
- In Disturbing Behavior, this is the most frequent cause of the mind-control chips glitching out—fundamental instinct on the part of former teen delinquents straining against puritanical brainwashing resulting in temporary Ax-Crazy. Either that, or it's a form of pon farr.
- In Secretary, this view on his own sexuality seem to be the core of Edward's internal conflict.
- Greg Pilkington in Priest (1994). The conflict is pretty natural since he's a gay Catholic priest, but the way he treats his sex partner is still pretty appalling, and father Matthew calls him out on it.
- Amaro, the eponymous priest of the Mexican film El Crimen del Padre Amaro, being under the Catholic Priesthood's vow of celibacy he becomes infatuated with a beautiful teenager, he at first rejects her advances and performs acts of penance for his lust, but then he later gives in and goes full swing from this trope to I'm a Man; I Can't Help It.
- Subverted in The Seven Year Itch. Richard Sherman knows full well that "The Girl" is sexually innocent and theoretically shouldn't pose any threat to him, and that his own subconscious lust is what is sorely tempting him to ravish her. But that doesn't stop him from temporarily entertaining the idea of murdering her in order to end his torment.
- In Sadie Thompson, Davidson the puritanical Christian reformer kills himself after he can't overcome his lust for Sadie (see Theatre below for the stage version, Rain).
- In The Marriage Chronicles, Ethel shown as enjoying the sex antics of his wife, but repeatedly protests that he "don't want no freaky things" during the therapy.
- Dr. Strangelove's completely insane Brigadier General Jack D. Ripper believes that because he feels sleepy after sex, that therefore means women are trying to steal his essence (he also seems to have no concept of the refractory period). However, he still has lots of sex, he just tries to not let them steal his essence.
- Mark, of The Sessions, has great guilt over his sexual feelings, both due to his Catholic upbringing and because of the profound guilt he feels over what he perceives as the sacrifices that everyone makes for him. It is only after Father Brendan gives him his blessing that he pursues losing his virginity and even then, his negative feelings toward sex make it difficult for him to make progress.
- The Barretts of Wimpole Street: In his Villainous Breakdown, Edward more or less admits that his own unyielding grip on his daughters Elizabeth and Henrietta is driven by his own belief that sex is sinful, because his own urges led to him raping his wife.
"You know nothing of the brutal tyranny of the senses, and how even the strongest and best are driven by it to hell!"
- Implied in Deathgasm during the fight at Brodie's uncle and aunt's house. After they—religious fundamentalists—become possessed, Brodie finds a variety of sex toys in the closet which he uses as improvised weapons.
- Jeanne Dielman, 23 quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles: Jeanne is a Single Mom Stripper prostitute who entertains callers in her apartment. She receives men with the same rote dullness that she peels potatoes for dinner or does the laundry—until she gets a strange expression on her face when a client is on top of her humping away. Out of nowhere, and clearly to her own shock, she gets an orgasm. As soon as she gets out of bed she murders her client by stabbing him in the neck with a pair of scissors.
- The villains in the first book of The Millennium Trilogy. The original title translates to "Men Who Hate Women," and that sums it up quite nicely. The villains are distinguished morally upstanding gentlemen who happen to be serial rapists and sexual serial killers. They are contrasted by a protagonist duo of Action Girl Hacker and Knight Errant Journalist who are both Ethical Sluts.
- John the Savage, from Aldous Huxley's Brave New World, is a classic example of this trope. He's completely confused thanks to an upbringing consisting of a mother from a society where all desires including sexual ones are instantly gratified, the traditional "savage" society in which he's been living as an outcast with her that shames female promiscuity, and reading a lot of Shakespeare. When he falls in "love" with someone from the hyper-liberal society, he wants to think of her as pure and is terrified that she actually wants to sleep with him because that's dirty. Yet he certainly has his own repressed urges.
- In Victor Hugo's The Hunchback of Notre Dame, the villain, Claude Frollo, has this with his mix of lust and loathing for Esmeralda.
- Angelo in Measure for Measure. He considers himself wholly above carnal desire but is horrified when he finds himself sexually attracted to a virginal nun. In fact, this messes his head up so bad that he almost instantly descends into Then Let Me Be Evil and becomes one of the most duplicitous bastards in the whole of Shakespearean canon.
- Carrie's abusive Bible-thumbing mother from Carrie was convinced that sex was evil, even within the confines of marriage. However, her husband managed to pressure her into having sex (or outright raped her, it's a bit ambiguous), the result of which was her telekinetic offspring. She never got over the fact that she enjoyed the act.
- Keira in the Dark Heresy books is a religious fanatic who believes that sex is evil and killing people is good. She is also a teenage girl. Needless to say, she is very confused.
- Baelor the Blessed, a Targareyan king in the backstory of A Song of Ice and Fire was a fairly decent king and laid the foundation for unification with Dorne, but he was also a religious nut who imprisoned his three sisters (one of whom was also his wife) so that he would not be tempted by the sight of them. This meant he was indirectly responsible for the founding of House Blackfyre, who rebelled no fewer than five times against the crown, and his refusal to father an heir cleared the way for Aegon the Unworthy, arguably the second or third worst king of the Targareyan dynasty (after the Mad King and Maegor the Cruel).
- Alec D'Urberville in Tess of the d'Urbervilles morphs into this trope. After he seduces Tess (read: rapes her while she sleeps) and she leaves, he has a spiritual "reawakening" that causes him to become a man of God. When he meets Tess again, he blames her for his fall and makes her swear on a roadside cross to never tempt him again. Which is of course his way of trying to cover up the fact that he still wants her, bad. In the end he drops the religion.
- Played with in The Belgariad with Relg, a religious fanatic and zealot. He believes that sex is evil, and hates himself and by extension the women he desires, because of it. The rest of the characters think he's off his rocker, including the woman he eventually marries, who confronts him about it, arguing that the 'sin' is in his mind, not hers. It's the first step towards him getting over it, which he does.
- Important in his case (to avoid other Unfortunate Implications that would be the inverse of this trope) is that the woman in question is from a race thought extinct so she is motivated to reproduce, and Relg's god UL has told him the next religious leader of his people will come 'through him.' Relg assumes this means he'll discover the new leader, when in fact what UL meant was that the next leader would be Relg's son. So if he did NOT reproduce, he'd actually be defying his god. Though in fairness UL was a little vague.
- The villain of Whispers, and one villain in Watchers, both by Dean Koontz. Actually, the vast majority of Koontz' villains (more so in his early work, but still present today) have major issues with sexuality.
- In I Shall Wear Midnight, this trope is what drives The Cunning Man.
- In Atlas Shrugged, Hank Rearden displays this about having sex with protagonist Dagny Taggart and cheating on his wife, Lillian.
- In a Nightside short story, this trope is used as a spiritual weapon that backfires. A fanatical trio of Christian fundamentalists—one man, one woman, and one ghost—uses the cumulative power of the abstinent living members' sexual frustration to power magical attacks against pagans and their deities on the Street of the Gods. As it happens, the Street is a place where any revered figure can take on spiritual power, and when the holy trio make the mistake of coming too near the Church of Marilyn Monroe, the first two are overwhelmed by the Horny side of this trope, and start tearing each other's clothes off, oblivious to danger or their ghostly associate's protests.
- In The Redemption of Althalus:
- The protagonists have to rescue Leitha from being burned as a witch. It turns out that the local priest is constantly getting aroused by seeing pretty girls, but since he's a holy man and assumed to be above that sort of thing, he assumes they're using witchcraft to "corrupt" him, so he has them charged and executed instead of dealing with his own weak moral fiber. While Leitha (who did actually have supernatural powers—that let her figure out the whole tragic mess, to boot) survives, it's revealed that he's murdered a very large number of girls beforehand.
- Heroic character Bheid has a bit of this going on, he's eventually forced to get over it, and ends up married to the above mentioned Leitha.
- In The Poisonwood Bible, Orleanna indicates that her husband Nathan is a prime example of this trope. She mentions that he would rarely sleep with her, and when he did, he would end up begging God for forgiveness and blaming her for having led him into temptation. Somehow, they managed to have four children, a fact that Orleanna wryly lampshades.
- In one of the Aubrey-Maturin books, a sailor comes to Stephen asking if there's such a thing as the opposite of an aphrodisiac, and if so, can he have some—because his wife is a very religious woman and is disgusted by the idea of sex being pleasurable, so even when she's willing to sleep with him, he freaks her out with his enthusiasm, and then he feels even worse. He's concluded that his only chance of ever having the thing he wants so badly is not to want it.
- In In the Time of the Butterflies, Patria describes her hands "wandering" at night and her desire to lick the fingers of every man that walks into her father's store, despite the fact that she wants to be a nun.
- Being what he considers an upstanding Christian man, John struggles with sexuality in Dirge for Prester John.
- Song at Dawn: Raymond De Toulouse is described as having a 'priest's mentality about sex and a fifteen year old's restless penis'. He reconciles this by deluding himself into thinking he's a Knight Templar and therefore he can rape the daughter of a vassal because that somehow fits into God's plan. Everyone else thinks he's evil.
- W. Somerset Maugham's story Rain ends on the strong implication that the reason Rev. Davidson killed himself is that he tried to act on his unspoken lustful attraction to Sadie Thompson while trying to convert her to lead a more decent life. The notorious stage adaptation makes the implication only slightly more explicit.
- Two of the young adult characters in Needful Things are saving their virginities for each other until after they marry, leaving them both incredibly sexually frustrated. It leads one of them to being seduced by the cursed items from the store.
- The Big Bad in Bertram Fox's Impudent Crimes gets his start when a prostitute mocks him as a nervous virgin and he pounds her to the floor. He concludes that he's been given a calling to fight the evil of sex and goes on to be an evangelical preacher, but still beats up whores in his spare time.
- A major theme in The Naked Sun. Solaria is a planet where all physical contact is obscene, and tolerated only for purpose of procreation. The main suspect is the murder victim's wife, Gladia, who was actually curious about sex and sexual pleasure, which led to a lot of problems between her and her "Good Solarian" husband. The criminal turns out to be a person who lusted after Gladia and hated her for it, especially after she refused what passed for his "advances". She refused to become his assistant. There is no way he could compromise with his feelings beyond that; he was the one person on Solaria who would (and did) rather die than see another person face to face.
- The antagonist in one of the Night Huntress novels, the ghost of Heinrich Kramer, the guy responsible for the Malleus Maleficarum, could be described as this. He's intensely obsessed with women, and resents them for it so much that he's spent five hundred years raping, torturing, and burning them at the stake under the pretext that he thinks they're witches. Their real crime is obviously that they make his pants fit funny.
- In one episode of Sex and the City, one of the main characters dates a guy who gives her a hard time for "making him dirty" by allowing him to have sex with her.
- In the miniseries version of Les Misérables (NOT the novel by Victor Hugo and not the musical either—only the miniseries version), the protagonist Jean Valjean has been given a dose of this. In all versions of the story, he loves his adopted daughter, but in the miniseries this has been given creepy undertones of him having pedophilic urges that he needs to fight with himself to keep in check.
- This is the reason behind Karofsky's bullying of Kurt in Glee, although in his case it's more of a case of Homosexuality is Evil and I Am Gay.
- Brandon Hantz from Survivor states in a confessional that Mikayla "flaunts herself" and that as a born-again Christian he has trouble being around her. To their credit, the editors show no sympathy toward this attitude, putting together a montage of Mikayla obliviously working around camp whilst Brandon stares at her in the creepiest way imaginable.
- Marco Polo: Jia Sidao is traumatized by his sister becoming a prostitute when they were both children, especially because he had to hide under the floor boards while she did so. When he actually falls for a woman he has trouble expressing it.
- Substitute "illogical" for "evil" and you get a Vulcan going through pon farr. They're so ashamed of it that they can barely discuss it among themselves, much less with any offworlders.
- The Alice Cooper song "Nurse Rozetta".
- The Pet Shop Boys' It's A Sin.
- hide's Genkai Haretsu, and its PV. The lyrics and PV depict a Villain Protagonist who believes this—and who drugs his female companion and is implied to either kill or put her into a coma and enshrine her on a bed of flowers that looks like a funeral bier out of this.
- The Nine Inch Nails song "Kinda I Want To". Or at least up until the end. "Maybe just for tonight, we can pretend it's alright…
- The Dream Theater song "Voices" is straight up this. Songwriter John Petrucci was raised Catholic.
- The Genesis song Jesus He Knows Me, about a televangelist.
- Implied in Nirvana's "Lithium": "I'm so horny, but that's okay, my will is good." I.e. I can resist my urges.
- A lot of newspapers accused themselves, each other and a certain politician of internalizing this trope in their portrayal of a horrific event where eighteen men gang-raped a eleven-year-old girl. The politician was portrayed as thinking it was the kid's own fault she got raped — and thus really her parents' fault, since they are responsible for her — while the papers, in reporting on how the girl seemed to dress way above her age, cast unfortunate overtones of, "Did you see how she was dressed? She was asking for it!"
- One book for Mage: The Awakening features a town where a mage with strong ideas on wholesomeness and youth morality created a working that would keep teenagers away from sex, especially "aberrant" forms of sex such as homosexuality or kink. The good news is, it's worked, as most of the youth have sublimated their sexual desires into other hobbies. The bad news is, besides being as homophobic as all get out,if they ever give in to their sexual desires outside of the context of heterosexual marriage, it's a sin against the Karma Meter—with premarital sex being as bad as manslaughter, and homosexual or kinky sex being as bad as torture. Which means the Mage has effectively created a ticking time bomb for mass-producing sociopathic sexual sadists and serial killers.
- The Werewolf: The Apocalypse book Posessed features an old man who spent many years standing with bible in hand at the collage gates, berating female students for their skimpy clothing. Turns out that his true motivation was that he enjoyed staring at beautiful young women and comment their bodies and clothing. The whole moral superiority thing was merely an excuse that he used to trick everyone (surely including himself) that his behavior was acceptable. To make it worse, indulging his hatred of beautiful young women and his self-inflicted sexual frustration opened him up to what can be called demonic possession. Having turned into a Formori minion of the Wyrm, he ends up attacking a young beautiful female coed werewolf, making himself the first kill in her new career as a slayer of wyrm-tainted monsters.
- In Tsukihime, this trope is more or less the entire reason for Michael Roa Valdamjong's Face–Heel Turn in the past. He became insane and evil because, as a man of the Church, he was unable to come to terms with his attraction to Arcueid (or even realize that it was love/lust that he was feeling for her).
- Joyce from David Willis' works It's Walky! and Dumbing of Age, both incarnations of her. In both she was raised a strict fundamentalist Christian. She eventually overcomes this in It's Walky! (and in fact, sex SAVES her boyfriend, Walky, or rather is responsible for his resurrection, turning the Sex Is Evil trope on its head. In Dumbing of Age, she is still battling her urges against her faith.
- In a series of strips in Sinfest where Monique dressed as a Gypsy girl, at one point she ran into Seymour, who accused her of inflaming lust. She paraphrased Matthew 18:9 to imply that Seymour's just as inflamed.
- In Scandinavia and the World, among the Anthropomorphic Personifications of countries, Faroe Islands. Since the Faroes are more religious than most of Scandinavia, he gets the whole repression thing full force. He also reacts to Denmark and Netherlands petting in the same way as Sister Japan—with a Nosebleed.
- The satire newspaper The Onion commented on the scandal of the Catholic Church covering up for pedophile priests (by moving them around instead of firing & reporting them, thus covering their tracks and giving them access to new victims) with a fake announcement from the Pope, who announced that God will forgive the children for their crime of leading his priests into temptation.
- The controversial South Park episode "Red Hot Catholic Love" combines this trope with Pedophile Priest. Due to the law forbidding catholic priests from marrying, the priests have decided to turn to sexually abusing children instead since this isn't specifically prohibited by the Holy Document of Vatican Law. Aside from the alien priests of the planet Galgamesh who apparently practice pedophilia because the adult females of the species have enormous genitals lined with teeth.