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.
the difference, as i see it, between looking at erotica/smut/porn/whatever-you-choose-to-call-it featuring anonymous forms and that of friends is that with friends, you are transcending a pre-established boundary of interaction, whereas with someone anonymous, there is no history to draw from and thus no need for awkwardness. you are seeing your friend in a completely new light- as a sexual being- and only looking at them via that light, and that breech in roles may be causing you confusion.
i don’t think it says anything about objectification, necessarily…at least not in a negative manner; we all objectify the people we are sexually attracted to even if just to a degree. it’s what we choose to do with that desire that marks it as subjectively good or bad. as far as i’m concerned, appreciating someone’s nude form- or the deliciously salacious things said person may choose to do with their nude form- is a form of complement.
with friends, you are transcending a pre-established boundary of interaction
Thank you! There are advantages to having a sociologist on my friends list! Thank you for putting that into words.
as far as i’m concerned, appreciating someone’s nude form- or the deliciously salacious things said person may choose to do with their nude form- is a form of complement.
My feelings exactly, which is why I was so surprised when I felt uncomfortable.
i don’t think it says anything about objectification, necessarily…at least not in a negative manner; we all objectify the people we are sexually attracted to even if just to a degree.
I have to respectfully disagree. Honestly, I do think that it says something about objectification, just as much as it says something about transcending boundaries and roles. You are very right, though, to say that we all objectify people we are sexually attracted to to some degree.
my quick opinion is knowing them and not knowing them, but all still inviting you to see. anonymous on the web, yes you may have stumbled in and found it all, but reguardless, they invited you, if they did not invite you, it would not be on the web. knowing the person, means you have a larger and deeper connection with them(assumed). and perhaps, it is just something outside the enviroment that you know them in, maybe compare it to sleeping/seeing someone for the first time after months of dating them, or something of that sort. eh, but what do i know.
THat was really interesting; it’s given me some things to think about as well… Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
You’re welcome 🙂
I fantasize about people I know all the time… however, I’d probably do what I was fantasizing about if I got the chance……
So consistency is, in a way, preserved.
I could see fantasizing about a friend if a) I found them attractive; b) I had good reason to believe they felt the same about me, and would be open to fooling around with me; and c) I knew
would be OK with any such fooling around. Then it’s close enough to reality that fantasizing wouldn’t feel discordant.
perhaps the difference is the concept of how close they border to a possible real sexual distraction or encounter. you do not interact with women from porn or paintings in other contexts – any attraction you feel is easily controlled and limited and clearly represents no threat (either to avivahg, or to your own decisions about behaviour). an attraction sparked to a friend may be less under your control, in that you might feel attraction at times other than only those exact times you choose to admire a female form.
A very good point.
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