Regarding your question about thinking about sex, is that also one form of illicit sex or against our four principles?

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"Regarding your question about thinking about sex, is that also one form of illicit sex or against our four principles"

Correspondence

1972 Correspondence

Yes, even thinking sex is the same as illicit sex, but one who is not advanced cannot avoid it. But that does not disturb our regular procedure. We should strongly follow all the regulations and principles and chant and these thoughts will come and go away.
Letter to Kirtiraja -- Mayapur 28 February, 1972:

Regarding your question about thinking about sex, is that also one form of illicit sex or against our four principles? Yes, even thinking sex is the same as illicit sex, but one who is not advanced cannot avoid it. But that does not disturb our regular procedure. We should strongly follow all the regulations and principles and chant and these thoughts will come and go away. Thinking will come; even great saintly persons like Lord Siva are not free of thoughts that come, so what to speak of you. So we must say that such thinking is no offense because you are accustomed to this habit. But beyond thinking are feeling and willing, so even thoughts of sex connection may come, that is difficult even for saintly persons to avoid, still, in the further stages of feeling and willing we can easily conquer over this sex urge. Willing should be avoided and acting stopped, or else there is offense of breaking this basic prohibition of illicit sex-life. Because thinking comes I shall give it practical shape: that is nonsense, but because it is an old habit we are unable to check it unless we can understand the nature of feeling, willing and then action, and how by proper use of intelligence and prevent thoughts which must come from maturing into actions—that is the practical application of Krishna Consciousness regulative principles. Even Lord Caitanya Himself said that sometimes when I see a wooden form of a woman, my mind becomes agitated but that does not mean that we should give it practical shape, that is intelligence. One must be convinced that sex-life without exception means trouble, therefore he is able to stop it at the thinking stage by not allowing it to be felt, much less willed and acted.