Your eyes are powerful. What you set your eyes upon can impact your future. It’s why we’ve written about vision boards.
Your gaze can be piercing. Much like Cyclops from X-Men, your eyes emit beams (sometimes involuntarily) that have the power to destroy, but they also have the power to edify and build. As men, just like Cyclops, we need to shield our eyes when our gaze is out of control.
Last week, we discussed the first of a three-part series, Do You Truly See Her? Beauty encompasses much more than appearance. We discussed some practical tips and questions to see the girl beyond her attractiveness.
Today, we are going to talk about seeing women as more than objects and overcoming lust. Women are more than physical beings, just like us. But, if you allow society to mold and shape you, your eyes will be trained to look at women merely as pieces of flesh for your enjoyment.
What is Sexual Objectification?
Sexual objectification is the act of treating a person as an instrument of sexual pleasure. Objectification more broadly means treating a person as a commodity or an object without regard to their personality or dignity.
People cash in big-time on lust. Porn and some mainstream media have taught us to sexually objectify women. Don’t believe me? When was the last time you looked at porn and considered the girl on the screen? She might be a mother. Did you ever think about the fact she’s someone’s daughter? Neither did I. These are the type of questions guys don’t want to consider because it ruins the fantasy.
The cure for porn addiction might simply be imagining the woman behind the perception on the screen. While you might lose your appetite for the sexual scenario, you’ll gain the realization that sex is more than fantasy and self gratification.
Does Shame Lead to Objectification?
Like many men, porn was my escape when I felt stress, anxiety, or feelings of being insubstantial or inadequate. I felt so disconnected, I had this distorted belief I could remedy that pain through internet connection. If I had considered myself powerful and “more than enough,” would I have looked at porn in the first place?
Confidence is powerful. It turns out happiness or feeling whole does prevent sexual objectification and lust. Not only that, but being in a good place mentally allows us to see people fully.
Being in a happy mood is related to global processing…so avoiding blue funks could help you see people in a holistic way, as could simply reminding yourself to step back and look at the bigger picture.
Other Ways to Train Your Eyes
You can also utilize avoidance and accountability strategies to help you on your journey.
As I was driving through a neighborhood the other day, I saw this club.
Ironically, you’d never find a gentleman here. While a strip club might be obvious, if you struggle with lust, avoid environments and places that are overly tempting. Choose safe environments for your eyes. A burkini water park?
Another great way to train your eyes is through the help of friends or a mentor. Sometimes you just need someone to talk to in order to get things off your shoulders. Having someone you can have “real talk” with, and can confess to, can take shame out of the equation.
If you struggle with looking at online porn, accountability apps and software can help as well.
Bottom line: lust or sexual objectification is an addiction, and it sometimes requires help from others. You are powerful. Your eyes are powerful. We’re basically X-Men.
Go to part 3: Modesty and a Guy’s Responsibility for His Gaze