If you’ve known me for awhile, you probably know that consistency is very important to me. And by that I mean internal consistency. I strive to keep my thoughts, words, and actions consistent. I don’t like double standards. I prefer to live life as transparently as possible.
You also probably know that I’m a great admirer of the female form. From B&W art nudes to cheesecake pics to full-on porn, I’m an unabashed fan.
I had the opportunity this morning to see some mostly-nude photos a friend took of herself that, while tasteful, were definately sexy. And I found myself slightly uncomfortable looking at them. I felt a twinge of something like guilt.
This called for immediate self-examination. If I’m OK with girls choosing to expose themselves, and I’m OK with looking at them, why was it bothering me, even a little bit? Was this just a lingering taboo from my morally strict upbringing? Or something else? In particular, why did it only bother me when looking at a friend?
I examined the feeling some more and decided that it wasn’t a judgemental, shocked, or parental one. I had no problem with her actions. The feeling, instead, was one of having no business looking at her. I felt like I might if I had stumbled in on her unexpected and uninvited. I hadn’t “earned it”.
Of course, this immediately brought some questions to mind. Why, then, was I OK with looking at anonymous girls on the web? I certainly hadn’t “earned the right” to look at them any more so than I had from my friend. It made me wonder – have I objectified women in erotica more than I realize? Do I really think of them as women, or as simply images? If so, is that a problem? Would I feel comfortable masturbating to images of a friend? If not, why not, and what does that say about the anonymous girls I do feel comfortable using as visual aids to self-pleasure?
As a rule, growing up I never really had sexual fantasies about friends or even real people. This was both an result of my morality (Jesus said whatever you have done in your mind, you are already guilty of), and an aspect of my need for self-consistency. If I wasn’t doing it in real life, I didn’t want to be doing it in my head. Yeah, I’m wierd. Anyway, I still pretty much stick to that rule. It seems to make things less complicated. I wonder if this unwillingness to fantasize about people I know, and by extension, to see them as sexual creatures, plays a part in this?
It’s definitely given me cause for some soul-searching. It may not seem like a big deal, but it’s a break in consistency, and that requires self-examination. I’m going to have to think about this for awhile.