Can “Looking” be a Symptom of Sex Addiction?

hypertrophied, huge balls bulging eyes

Can “looking” or ogling be a symptom of your sex addiction? Does looking trigger you into deep fantasy leading to compulsive sexual thoughts that won’t stop until you act out? Often times “ogling” is a step in the wrong direction for sex addicts leading to other unhealthy sexual behavior. It hurts spouses too – the web is chock full of articles from the women’s perspective describing the hurt caused by excessive ogling. In fact, a Google search of “ogling and cheating” pulls up ads for cheating website Ashley Madison.


Excessive ogling is not healthy for either partner, especially when sex addiction is involved. That’s why we developed a series of tools to help sex addicts avoid this trap. Can looking be considered a compulsive behavior — one associated with a sexual addiction?


bigstock-Vector-drawing-of-a-male-head--44340343The Science of Ogling
Science says that checking someone out is driven by an evolutionary mechanism rooted in our biology and quest for the right mate to ensure offspring, says Robert L. Trivers in his famous Parental Investment Theory, which predicts which sex will be the fast, indiscriminate mating sex and which sex will be the more discriminating sex. This doesn’t mean that this is healthy behavior, however, when someone is struggling with sex addiction or compulsive sexual behavior. One study claimed that ogling triggers the brain’s reward system and that men react to women’s bodies like they do to drugs and alcohol and literally get high. This is particularly significant for sex addicts.


The Traits of the “Looker”
We’ve all seen “that” guy. Maybe you are that guy. The one who rubbernecks while driving to look at an attractive woman. The guy who routinely cranes his neck in the restaurant to follow somebody’s form as they make their way to their seat or to the exit. Men are visually-based creatures and respond to what they see more strongly than women, and science says that this behavior is rooted in evolutionary biology.


When we work with clients who struggle with a porn or sex addiction, a common trait is an overactive “looker.” We make the distinction between just noticing somebody and actually looking in a fixated kind of way. For an addict, looking takes on more of an obsessive energy that feels like it is almost impossible not to look. Someone dealing with sex addiction tends to objectify the person (or people) they are looking at and view them as a collection of body parts (“Wow. Would you look at ‘that’?”)


Lookers think that they may possess what we call “x-ray vision,” a fictional belief that they can actually see what is under women’s clothing! Our clients notice during these times that they stare the longest and fall more deeply into a trance. Oftentimes they are not even aware that they are staring at somebody. Wives or partners of the sexually addicted person often complain about this looking behavior — and how they feel it reflects on them. We try to help our clients understand how this “looking” makes their significant other feel.


How To Work With the Overactive “Looker”
Like most problems, you can’t change anything unless you are first aware that there is indeed a problem. When we work with men with sexually addictive behavior, we examine this looking element as part of the compulsive behavior. Men who struggle with a porn addiction, for example, may obsessively look at women as a form of foreplay, a way to “research” so that they can later find a picture, movie, or a Webcam girl who resembles that person. They essentially use looking as a tool to further their compulsive behavior.

Here are some tools we give our clients to avoid objectifying women and triggering addictive thoughts and behaviors.


Two-Second Rule
A simple intervention is to use a two-second rule. This is essentially a self-monitoring tool to establish some control and boundaries around the looking. If this sounds awfully close to something you would do with a child — to set limits on computer use, watching television, etc. — you’re right, it is. This behavior is young and regressive. Most avid adult lookers have been doing so since childhood.  When a person notices that he is indeed looking too much, he then gives himself “permission” to look one time and one time only, but only up to two seconds. The idea is if you are aware enough to slap a limit on the looking, then you are aware that you are crossing the line.


Other Women’s Body Parts Are Not My Business
Reminding our clients the body parts of women they do not know or are not involved with are none of their business presents another valuable reflection. Men reveal that they often feel obligated to look, as if it’s a job, or they worry that they will miss out on something. A simple reminder, or mantra, is to remind yourself that a woman with whom you are not intimately involved is none of your business. She may not even know you. She did not wear those clothes for you. She does not welcome you. You do not need to look.


She Is A Person
Obsessive ogling usually involves objectifying. Notice what you are saying (internally or out loud). “Look at those breasts!” “How about that butt.” “Check out those legs.” The list goes on. Remind yourself that object of your fascination is a person by lending her some humanity. Remember that she is somebody’s daughter, someone’s sister, somebody’s mother. She is somebody. She is not an object.


Noticing when you cross the line and your looking takes on a more obsessive, out of control bent requires both awareness and practical tools and interventions to “snap” yourself out of this particular trance that can only hurt your recovery from sex addiction.

84 thoughts on “Can “Looking” be a Symptom of Sex Addiction?

  1. Matt

    Hi George, great book. I have listened to it a number of times but I struggle to apply things. I haven’t looked at porn for almost a year (apart from the occasional 2 minute blip) and things were good for a while but now I feel down again. I am and also am not attracted to my wife at the same time as I think my 30 years of porn on and off and seeings escorts for 10 years before I met my wife have completely shaped my view of sex. I also constantly stare at women and have also implemented the 2 second rule however it doesn’t stop me staring and even though I only stare for two seconds i get enough of a dopamine hit which is stopping me break the cycle. I am seeing a local counseller in the UK who specialises in addiction and have been on ssri’s for nearly 20 years. I also have ROCD and ADHD so my porn/ogling addiction feeds these as well making it very hard to break the cycle

  2. K mal

    My husband was addicted to pornography years ago for a while and he also has lied to me about several things. He has a problem being honest. He stopped watching porn before we had met, however the bad thoughts and fantisies about other women continued. He would constantly stare at women and he used to flirt. Sometimes he comes off as flirtations in a subtle way. He will not admit it but i constantly see him eyeing womens body parts and he cant help but to keep staring or looking while she’s looking at him. He no longer has bad thoughts(as he stated to me). However, i dont understand why he wont stop looking for the wrong attention from other women and why its so hard for him to accept that this is what he keeps on doing. He natural gets defensive and acts clueless or gets really angry in regards to this subject. I would like him to not have “wondering eyes” or a certain type of craving stares or to impress other women. I believe its an addiction. Would pornography recovery meetings help?

    1. Compulsion Solutions Post author

      Good to hear from you K. This has been one of our most “popular” blog articles. Do you have our books, “Breaking the Cycle” (for him) and “A Couple’s Guide to Sexual Addiction” (for the couple)? I’d be happy to do a brief (free) assessment of his situation with him if he’s like to talk. Let me know.

      Best, George (Director)
      (925) 932-0201

  3. Bonnie Green

    Hi. I am into a year and a half relationship with someone who use to look at me like a queen. Now i swim by him in the pool in a bikini and hes consistantly sairing other women down. Without a 2 second break.
    Until they leave the room actually.
    I am not insecure what so ever. Just feel disrespected. I am not one to tell him to change his person..You want it go get it.
    The other people must feel supper uncomfortable and probably think i am a fool.

    1. Compulsion Solutions Post author

      Bonnie, Good to hear from you. Looking at women comes from “conditioned response.” We men have been conditioned to do that since we were kids. Mature, well rounded men stop doing that when they grow up and understand intimacy (into-me-you-see). There are other factors that play into this and I’d be happy to talk to your BF about it if he’d like to call for a short chat. In any event, you deserve better so, if he doesn’t stop, get outa there. It doesn’t get better. It gets worse.

      Best, George Collins (Director)
      (925) 932-0201

  4. Donald

    I need help so badly,Legs,Feet and high heels I just can’t get enough.I was programmed from childhood both mother and father.soon I will be at my hour of judgment .how can I tell my wife I’m truly sorry?

  5. Heather

    My boyfriend has a sex based addiction too. His is not only porn, but paying women for personal videos of panty modeling and twerking. Apparently he has bought panties too before but doesn’t anymore. I just found this out. By taking back my computer from him to do a test for work and finding the excessive amounts of porn and panty modeling videos, and he had synced his iPhone to it l, so I was able to see the requests from women, sent vids and payments. He uses everything from PayPal, venmo, Google pay, cash app…etc to pay these women for their vids and pics. And it’s excessive like, thousands of videos sent and saved and payed for. It adds up to at least $300 a month spent to these women and sites to find them/porn. He also is doing all of this during owing me money and being behind on his part of the bills for rent/ our children. Our daughter will be one and I am pregnant again. He has been doing this the entire time I have been pregnant, as well as before this. His emails show this it goes back years. He admits to being addicted, but at the same time when I suggest counseling/ therapy he states that me finding out is enough to stop him from doing it again or things like I was going to stop eventually b.c I have too many kids around me. Which suggests to me that he doesn’t realize his addiction really, because one he was most likely still on it on nights I’m at work and the kids are sleeping, and two also because I have caught him buying things for women when we first started dating, he got caught and was still doing it, just this time not also hanging out with these women. I can understand his addiction. But at the same time. If I am being stupid for staying with him. I have my own issues from the past. I have had a rocky road with men made poor choices, I have a B.D.S.M fetish and I did struggle with sex addiction in the past. But the difference is I’ve worked on it, I’ve vented, ive gotten deep into why my brain works the way it does, why I have certain fetishes/ addictions. But I control it l because I don’t want past issues to hurt my family. Half the situations I’ve put myself in before werent safe for bringing your kids around so when I became a mother I stopped. Put my children first. I’ve learned certain things I can live with out and I really don’t need. But he is not putting his kids, his girlfriend, his finances first. Not when your willing to hurt the ones you love for this, lie for this, spend your money on this when it is most certainly on your families interest if you didn’t and spent it on them instead.
    I hope he can try to commit to finding where the roots from this issue Is lying so he csn try to stop It. But I know he might not want to talk to me/or his friends about it because it might be embarrassing for him, he thinks it will hurt me or it could be some very dark stuff in his past and he is reacting like this because he was molested as a child. I’ve been raped before, and I was s teenager and I’ve spoken to therapist s my friends. Men and some women are different some might not want to talk about it, they may have mixed memories or emotions about it. I feel like he would benefit from therapy, he’ll I think everyone can benefit from therapy but I do think he might be reluctant to go. I’ve offered to make these videos for him, do his fetishes in person now that I know this is what he likes. He has never asked me to before, though I have sent him my own twerk vids before. I don’t mind doing it for him, if it can help fill this need but I do not want him receiving this from others. Hell I don’t even mind if he watches it on free porn websites as long as he is not vesting too much time or money in it. But then again is tja t too much stimulation with it. I feel like with me it was better when I stopped it all then weaning with different addictions. But I’m also not trying to have him relapse so maybe this is just enough stimulation for him that he won’t need to take it further by paying money or asking women to do this. Good luck to anyone struggling with addiction or being in a relationship with an addict, it can be a really hurtful thing, and long road.

    1. Compulsion Solutions Post author

      Heather, Good to heard from you. I’d be happy to talk to your boyfriend and do an assessment of his situation with him. Sounds like he may be “in” pretty deep. However, there IS help and he can get over it. You could also get ahold of our books, “Breaking the Cycle” and A Couple’s Guide to Sexual addiction.” They are available on We do telephone/Skype counseling with me from all over the world. Let me know how we can bet help.

      George Collins, Director
      (925) 932-0201

  6. Karmen

    I’m currently 7 months pregnant my husband and I have been together for 6 years now. He has never given me reason to believe that he is unfailthful or maybe unfaithful to me but his lingering eyes are really starting to bother me. It not only makes me feel unfortable but very disrespected by the fact. I do agree that any one who is human will look at a beauty no matter what it is but I just find it that there are 2 different ways of looking. You can look at someone for a few seconds while your partner is with you and at least have the respect to make it look natural like your looking at something behind her or simply that she was in your field of vision. Then there is the obsessive look, which is what I feel my husband does, we were on vacation at one of the water parks, I was playing in the pool with the rest of the kids but he never joined to play because he was to busy staring at one particular women. Even before the women set foot in the pool my husband was already staring at her. Ones she came in he didn’t lose sight of her. She moved from one side of the pool to the other he kept staring. He even went as far as to swim away from the people that were obstructing his way. Needlees to say I felt like shit. To the point where I wanted to yell out something but I really didn’t want to ruin my kids vacation. What should I do???

    1. Compulsion Solutions Post author

      Karmen, Good to hear from you. The very best thing that I think you could do would be to confront your husband in as calm a way as you can and tell him that it’s clear to you that he’s objectifying and sexualizing women and that he needs to get some help for this. You read our blog about this phenomenon and it’s epidemic in our society. I would be willing to talk to him on the phone if he’d like some help in understanding what’s going on for him. The most important thing is to be very firm. He’s probably in denial. It would be best for you to give him some serious consequences for this sort of behavior so that he’ll wake up to the need for him to clean up his act. Let me know if I can help you or him in any way. Call me if you’d like to talk to Faye (our female therapist) and I’ll give you her number.

      Best, George
      (925) 932-0201

  7. J esp

    I like watching sexy girls online, most of the time because how they look on sexy dresses or sexy clothing, I like porn too and also like bdsm and that kind of sexual activities but my wife hates this and most of the time I watch it on my own because of it, how can I do to stop this, I love my wife but I also will like to try this things with her but I know she’s not into it. I don’t want to loose my marriage because of it. What can I do, I will like to tell her straight but I just can’t I’m ashamed of it I guess.

    1. Compulsion Solutions Post author

      Good to hear from you. Give me a call. I’d be happy to talk to you about your situation. I suffered from porn addiction too. I lost two good wives over it. My best selling book, “Breaking the Cycle” could help you end this problem and have a GREAT sex life with your current wife. Do the next RIGHT thing. Let GO of porn addiction. Life is WAY better without it.

      Best, George Collins, Director
      (925) 932-0201

  8. Linda R

    My fiance & I both look and seem very younger than our 60 yrs of age. We have been together for 3 years. It was fairly early when I started noticing him stare at women, young or old, as well as teenage girls. To say it creeps me out is putting it mildly. I finally confronted him about it & got the typical response: I’m imagining it…I’m crazy, etc. I told him it is a dealbreaker for me & things got much better….well, on the surface it appeared as such. He just got better at his ogling. We both recently retired & moved to a new state & this looking issue is worse than it ever was. At least I finally got him to admit that he does it, though he says he doesn’t know why. I gave him some “why” examples from what I’ve read up on this & he said he’s not looking at them in a sexual way at all. I call BS on that!
    So, he got a part time job at a sandwich truck & has been staring to his heart’s content. Since I drive him to & from, I sit in the lot waiting & have seen him looking at women. A few days ago, I was nearby his place & came out to talk to him & heard him joking & flirting with a 20 yr old. He actually couldn’t see me standing there off to the side because he was so focused on this young girl. Then he said this to his next customer: “look at that….wow, today I realized I’m an old man”. I made sure I was in his field of vision & said “really”. I left and later at home, he denied, denied, denied & finally admitted he made a mistake. I told him he needs professional help & he said he would talk to a counselor….that hasn’t happened yet tho. I feel less worthy when he does this….it actually breaks my heart. One of my girlfriends told me “well, all men do this & don’t forget that he comes home to you & goes to bed with you”. Somehow, I find NO comfort in that. It is a respect & betrayal issue here. I won’t even change clothes in front of him these past 3 days & have alternated with seething anger to just breaking down crying. I can’t believe everything we’ve built for ourselves is about to go out the window because I will NOT spend my golden years feeling uncomfortable every single time we go A N Y where! Just feeling very sad. I don’t find this harmless or typical male behavior….I have NEVER encountered this problem with any other man in my entire life. I am a confident, very attractive woman but am sick of seeing my self-esteem tank when these issues arise. I could or would never compete with a cute little 20 year old & definitely shouldn’t have to! I found this site by searching to see what others had to say about it or to find some advice & can’t believe how many women are dealing with this issue.
    This incident with the 20 year old occurred on May 16, 2016…..we went to couples counseling & the Dr felt he was not being forthcoming enough & recommended one-on-one. He went to two sessions. Now it’s nearly 2 years from The Incident & he HAS improved but still looks & looks. Something is forever changed in our relationship & we are basically living together as roommates. I honestly feel stuck with him as I feel very guilty throwing him out (stupid, right?) because he has no $$, no car, no where to go. I certainly don’t feel the love for him I once did.

    1. Compulsion Solutions Post author

      Linda, I’m so sorry that you’re experiencing this. I’m glad that our blog helped you understand that men objectify and sexualize women in this way. We get calls every day regarding this issue and we help men (via phone and Skype) unlearn this behavior. Please feel free to order the intro and first chapter of our two best selling books (“Breaking the Cycle” and “A Couple’s Guide to Sexual Addiction”} by going to our site and clicking on “get started free” button in the right hand side bar on this page. We’re here to talk to you if needed. Most of all…YOU don’t need to put up with this juvenile behavior. There are many good men who would be happy JUST WITH YOU.

      Best, George Collins, Director
      (925) 932-0201

  9. Adriana

    My husband of 15 yrs cheated on me over and over again as soon as I got pregnant with our son. In 2012 I decided to leave him because he wouldn’t stop , but he also wouldn’t admit it, he’d call me crazy for thinking that. For 6 months he begged me to get back to him and I took him back after he admit to cheating and he seek help from a therapist. He’s a sex addict . According g to him he had everything under control. 2 years ago my husband and I and two of my gfs went to Austin TX to celebrate his bday. Him and my friend decided to pay little to much attention to one another and decided to go dancing inappropriatlly and they got caught. Of course we had a huge fight but he said he was sorry and I decided to forgive him. Lately I’ve been noticing a lot of ogling. We are on vacation right now and last night, we had a dinner with our son and on our way back to the hotel this woman had a low cut shirt and he was starring at her while holding my hand and kept turning his head back and forth ,I was afraid he might snap his neck from turning. He already went to therapist for this and we went through separation. My question to him was , if Im not around how far would u have taken that look? A drink with her? Maybe sex? I don’t trust him at all!!!!!!!. I’m 36 yrs old and he is 53 and still not satisfied !! Sex life is horrible, maybe 10 seconds ones a week if I’m lucky , but he’ll have no problem starring and other women .it makes me feel very ugly and he managed to put some insecurities in me. Im ready to leave him but idk how to take that step again. I’m sick and tired of hearing , its a man thing , or, man do that all the time.

    1. Compulsion Solutions Post author

      Adriana, Good to hear from you. Time for him and the couple to do some therapy. I’d be happy to talk to him if he’d like to call. But, it sounds like he’s in denial. Best for you to consider separating your self from him if if he wont get some help. It wont change. Only get worse. I know. I lived that life. You could get our books, “Breaking the Cycle” and “A Couple’s Guide to Sexual Addiction.” Both are best sellers on Let me know if we can help.

      Best, George Collins, Director
      (925) 932-0201

  10. Wendy

    I’ve discovered my boyfriend has a Tumblr account and I can see pictures he has liked and when he is online. He is online liking pictures of women, some naked, some in underwear, almost all day long when he is at work, and before he goes to bed, and first thing in the morning before he even checks Facebook. I’ve noticed it’s excessive before we have a date or will be having sex. The pictures he likes are odd, he seems to like really really huge butts and boobs, even obese women. All different backgrounds. I am not like any of the pictures he has liked. I wouldn’t think too much about it, but it is so excessive. Also, sometimes there is a spike in activity on nights we don’t have a date, just like the nights we do. It makes me worry he is having sec with someone else. Also he is clearly objectifying these women, and only looking at specific body parts. He keeps his page public on purpose, I’m not sure why. And with his likes, he seems to be “collecting” women…maybe types of women he would like to have sex with? Also he likes very sexual pictures sometimes, of serious bondage and things like that. What is going on here? He is otherwise sweet to me.

    1. Compulsion Solutions Post author

      Wendy, Your BF is suffering from “Conditioned Response.” Guys are “trained” from boyhood to objectify and sexualize women. That can end up being addictive and compulsive. He could use some help understanding intimacy. Intimacy doesn’t often get role-modeled by parents. You could turn him on to our website and/or order the free intro and first chapters of our best selling books: “Breaking the Cycle” and “A Couple’s Guide to Sexual Addiction.” Call me if you or he want more help. We do phone and Skype sessions with men from all over the world. What we do WORKS.

      Best, George Collins, Director
      (9250 932-0201

  11. Annie

    My husband is 72. Married 32 years. He has always been a sex addict but denied it. Refuses counseling. Its been 6 years since i have been intimate with him. I have watched him hold and kiss others affair partners in front of me. I think hes to old to change anything. Says he has but i can no longer trust him. I cant stand to touch him or kiss him or even hug him. He cut me off from sex 20 years ago because masturbating to my friends and family and basicslly anyone was better than sex with me.
    He’s been this way for over 60 years. He cant empathize with me. Im only 60 and would like to feel love before i die. Ive been lonely way to long. No emotional connection after the first 6 month’s. How does a wife tell if hes changed. I just dont trust that. After all the masterbation its not likely he could even get an erection. Doesn’t matter anyway after all the filth i cant stand to touch him.

    1. Compulsion Solutions Post author

      Annie, Thanks for sharing. Be best if your husband called me and/or you get ahold of our two books, “Breaking the Cycle” and “A Couples Guide to Sexual Addiction.” You can order them from Please call our female therapist (Faye) if you need some guidance. The first call is free. Her number is: (510) 847-5703. or you can call me at: (925) 932-0201. You deserve a happy sex life.

  12. Fallon

    What if the looking is subconscious- where a person is trying to hold eye contact but accidentally ogling with peripheral vision?

    1. Laura Fresso

      Bullshit EXCUSE! Get HELP! Your are OBVIOUSLY letting your underlying desires control. It is called SELF-CONTROL FOR A REASON! Cut it off when you want to let your mind or desires wander.

    2. Joan Lynch

      Still not ok. Reread where he talks about setting limits to the behavior. If it is wrong to stare at someone or something, can I look with my eyes closed? No, it is a slippery slope, you will end up at the bottom of the slope bruised and horrified. Better not tread there.

  13. March

    I found this site and I think my issue with my partner is somewhat the same. I’ve been living with him for more than 2 years and we have a kid. Lately I’ve been seeing photos of different women in his computer some of those are women from his past, some of my friends and some girls online which are really good looking and I must say they are pretty. We’ve been dealing with this for how many years and I’m afraid that one day my heart can’t take no more. He’s staying up all night or even when I am asleep I will caught him viewing those girl’s photos. I don’t know how to deal with this anymore. I love him and he said he do too but these actions makes me fell less and I think I am not good enough for him or he is looking someone better. My self esteem has gone low over the past months and I do not know how to deal with this. Please help

    1. Compulsion Solutions Post author

      Great to hear from you. Best for you to get ahold of our book, “A Couple’s Guide to Sexual Addiction.” Have him call me if you’d like. I’d be happy to talk to him about what that’s about and how he can change. If he won’t cooperate with you….get out of there and find someone who can love you all the way.

      Best, George (Director)
      (925) 932-0201

    2. Laura Fresso

      Call the Doctor. Put an ultimatum down. IT WORKS! I am saving my marriage after almost 10 years of this CRAP! WOMEN! PUT your foot down! YOU ARE BETTER than this! You don’t need this behavior! HE needs to act like a MAN and CONTROL his own desires if he LOVES you!

  14. Star

    My boyfriend of four years has a ogling problem and a pornographer problem. He denies both and says I’m crazy. We can’t even go out and do fun stuff cause the ogling tears me up inside and if I let it slide my hurt turns into anger. Then he says all I do is bitch but it’s just me telling him what he’s doing and expressing my feelings. I’m not ugly and I want to ogle guys to show him how it feels but that’s just not my style. Everytime we try to go out it turns out all bad cause I let him know how disrespectful it is and he will swear up and down he’s not ogling and I’m tripping. His junk mail is full of females looking for low pro sex or a sexting buddy so I know he is doing things on porn sites. He says it’s from when he use to search those websites but I’m not dumb and I wish he didn’t treat me as such. He has a masturbating problem and has effected him physically but he still won’t face the facts of life. Then to top it off he has a drinking problem and that leads him to turn his feelings off and really ignore my feelings. I know he loves me but I don’t know if my heart can continue to take much more. He’s so in denial about everything and it is ripping us apart I’m trying my hardest not to give up on him but if he doesn’t want to face the facts then the only choice is to move on. I know I can’t change him only he can change himself . How do I get him to see the big picture???? One addiction is hard to kick so him having and seeing two and wanting to get help feels impossible sometimes. We go to church but I feel he goes most of the time just to pacify me. Even church leads to problems cause of his ogling but I don’t want to stop going to church cause I know we need that more than anything. Please give me some advice to my reality please.

    1. Compulsion Solutions Post author

      Star, Good to hear from you. You don’t have to suffer. The truth is: Unless your boyfriend gets help he’s going to stay this way and get worse. Addiction is a cruel master. I know. I suffered from it too. I’d be happy to talk to him if he’d like to call. You could also get ahold of our book, “A Couple’s Guide to Sexual Addiction.” It’s available at Barnes and Noble stores or If he doesn’t get help… need to leave and find someone who is clean and sober.

      Best, George Collins, Director
      (925) 932 0201

    2. Laura

      Star, I understand what you’re going through. My boyfriend has the same behavior. Church can be the absolute worst. Pretty Christian girls dressed in their Sunday best. Ugh…. I shudder to think how bad his ogling is when I’m not present and when he’s on campus or at the mall. Like you, I had some thoughts of getting back at him to let him know how it feels. I thought to ogle when we were out and about, or even to order a bunch of posters of seductive male models with bulging parts and tape them all over my dining room so I can enjoy them while we’re eating…. But I just couldn’t. I have no desire to look at other guys or see images like that. And yet, he hurts me this way continuously. Even though he admitted he has a problem and “tries” to not look, it seems he just finds new ways to look–ways that are more palatable to his conscience. For example, “I was just looking at her from the neck up so I wouldn’t be tempted.” Or, “I was just trying to figure her out. There is no attraction. I’m just trying to figure her out.” Ouch ouch ouch. NO MATTER THE REASON OR EXCUSE, IT STILL HURTS!! And, it always has to be drop dead gorgeous girls he’s looking at. And he expects me to believe there’s no attraction???? I finally ended the relationship just a few weeks ago. Let me tell you it was one of the most difficult decisions of my life, BUT I HAVE SO MUCH PEACE NOW. Star, know that you are highly valuable, precious, and cherished by God. “An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good, not harm, all the days of her life.” Proverbs 31:10, 11

      As I pondered how precious it is that God has prepared me to love my future husband and be his best friend and serve him (mutually) all the days of my life–and I pondered how my boyfriend squandered this gift by zoning in on pretty girls and investing his sexual energy towards them and other p0rn subs on Netflix, on line, etc., I just couldn’t participate any longer. The breakup, though excruciating, was the best decision. I’ve grown so much and eagerly look forward to the possibility of a relationship and marriage with a man worthy of this priceless gift God has prepared for him.

      You are extremely valuable and deserve to be treated so.

      1. Julie

        Star!! I’m going through the exact same thing from the ogling to the drinking problem. It’s so much worse with the drinking problem because like you said that turns their feelings off and makes them ignore ours. Idk what to do I moved away for school and now i worry even more. He’s the sweetest guy ever but when I think about what i see on his phone every time i’ve looked (by accident and by purpose) It kills me inside. KILLS me. He’s so perfect besides this horrible problem of his. When i try to talk about it he tells me “just stop. I don’t do it anymore” he won’t really talk about it or reassure me. Which leads me to believe he’s just trying to pretend it isn’t happening. The things he searches online are weird and concerning. I just don’t know how to break up with him without feeling like I am just insesure and overreacting. I never had this problem with past relationships and love him more than I loved them even though he does this! I don’t get it. It’s a constant everyday problem because I can’t erase what I saw. Laura, how are you doing with the breakup?

  15. Jackie

    I found this by accident. The thing is: Society says these behaviours are normal. That they are okay and so men don’t feel like they’re doing anything wrong. It’s bro code and everything else; it’s what they do together. Society says porn and looking and fantasy is okay, it’s normal healthy. Doesn’t matter if it’s teen porn or whatever…

    Me? I got tired of my husband always looking elsewhere, so I started having fun elsewhere myself. I just figure I’ll never find a guy who will be clean of these habit. I’m sure they are out there, but probably like winning the lottery. So yes, I’m not gonna waste my time being loyal. One might say having affairs doesn’t equate to porn/masterbating, but I don’t get off on porn/masterbating. It’s okay, I look occcasionally, but it leaves me feeling depressed and empty, not like what being with a man when his attention is on me feels like.

    Does he know? Don’t know; don’t care. He’s got his teen porn. Always catching him looking at young girls. My lover, though, likes women his age. I think because he genuinely likes kids, boys and girls. He has a little more respect for people, regardless of gender or what they look like.

    Not sure where it’s going. Not sure that I care.

    1. Compulsion Solutions Post author

      You guys need some solid couples counseling. And, your husband needs to do some individual work on his addiction. see my book, “Breaking the Cycle.” Click on the “get started free” button in the sidebar at the top of this blog page and I’ll send you the into and 1st chapter of my book as well as our book, “A Couple’s Guide to Sex Addiction.” That’s a great start. You can get the books on or Barnes and Noble bookstores in the US. We also do telephone and Skype counseling with men and women from all over the world. Be happy to do a phone assessment if you wish.

      Best, George Collins, Director
      (925) 932 0201
      Skype name: compulsionsolutions1

  16. Eric

    There are some great ideas here but I don’t like the idea of trying to limit oneself. There is a better technique that seems to work for many things including this. The “looker” can be brought to realize that part of him wants to look, and avoid “missing out”, etc… but there is another part of himself that he can become aware of that would rather not spend any energy in this pass time and would feel a kind of calm relief and peace of mind by avoiding it. Now the ego/I/eye just has say well I’m going to take the side of this other part of me for a while and see how it works out. It’s not as easy to implement this for looking since the looking can be a very ingrained, reflexive reaction, but instead of having an arbitrary 2 second limit the looker can just remind themselves as soon as they notice themselves doing it that they had decided not to so they can stop right away and feel a sense of relief instead of a sense of missing out. Seeing everyone as just another human being like oneself, beautiful people on the one hand, or those who annoy us with illogical behavior on the other seems like a great way to avoid being overwhelmed by a world characterized by a constant stream of strangers walking in and out of our present surroundings.

    1. Compulsion Solutions Post author

      Eric, Good to hear from you. I agree. IF you do your dialogues (Chapter two of my book, “Breaking the Cycle”) You will no longer need to practice the 3 second rule. It’s a process that works if you work it. Best, George

  17. Siobhain Connolly

    I read the book as a co-dependent at what I felt was the last stage of setting me free from the obsessive oggler. It worked! I realised at the end of the book that I was no longer the co-dependent. I had outgrown them both. It certainly broke my cycle!!

    Interestingly enough, my husband started reading the book and as things appear at the moment, the cycle shows signs of breaking for him too. I know it is early days for us both as a couple, this is the best help card we have had to remain together.

    A big thank you.

  18. Siobhain Connolly

    I have been with my husband for 19 years and finally I shut off from him emotionally and sexually for a number of years. I had a near death experience and decided I wanted to try and make a go of our marriage. We went to Relate and put all of our cards on the table. Things improved but the rot didn’t go away. In a drunken rage recently he called me a prude which has caused a rift in our relationship. I wonder is it because he has had to curtail his looking and porn activities. He owned up to oggling in Relate but left out the porn. He does not understand about the impact of his excessive oggling and use of porn has had on our relationship. He swears it is all in the past and wants to brush it under the carpet. This alone worries me. I have ordered your book and am hoping if we can both get to the bottom of it all, we may be able to move on.

    Any thoughts?

    1. Compulsion Solutions Post author

      I hope that the book helps. Please feel free to call us. We do phone sessions with people (and couples) from all over the world. Be happy to hear how we can help further. Best, George (925) 932 0201

  19. Steph

    I have not read your book. I stumbled on your site. I feel like I’ve lost my mind. I have been in this relationship for a while and tried over and over to reason with his behavior of sex addiction. I found it out by accident and he had been told go to meetings or I’m leaving. This was 3 years ago. he has been going to his meetings and hasn’t missed many. He tells me that he has been sober for 3 years of self love and porn. I have noticed a change in the past 3 years but I notice that his staring hasn’t stopped and we have talked about it. He finds every reason to rationalize his looking. We go places and it’s the same thing. He has to notice all girls and watch them. If we walk into a store together, he walks behind me. He uses mirrors, or any reflective items to see behind him if he is trying not to make it so obsious. The commercials, magazines, billboards and everything else he can get a fix from is always in eye shot of him. I’m always wrong and I cause all of the issues. when I text him to explain my feelings today, he cursed me and said that my feelings are not real and that I never listen to him and don’t believe him. I don’t know where some of his thoughts come from. It’s like a different conversation at times. I really don’t know what else to do. I do know that he loves his girls of all ages and that I become invisible when we are out in public. The conversations only go well if I say nothing and let him tell me how I’m wrongs and I make things up and that I don’t see things clearly. What the heck is wrong with him. It’s makes me question myself at times but I’m not delusional. What can I do to help him? He was abused as a child and neglected and I feel sorry for him. I think he’s repeating the patterns of his upbringing. Not sure. Any help would be great.

    1. Compulsion Solutions Post author

      Stephanie, Thanks for your post. You need to talk to someone. Give me a call. I will put you in touch with our female therapist who will be able to help you understand this better. If your partner is compulsively “looking,” that’s also sexual addiction. My book, “Breaking the Cycle” would be a big help to him. You could, also, read our book, “Couples Guide to Sexual Addiction.” Go to the HOME page here and right under my picture, order the free segments from both books where it says “Get started free.” I’d also be happy taking a call from your partner and talk to him about the harm that “looking” does to you both.

      Best, George

      1. Steph


        I really appreciate you responding. I will ask him to call you if we are ever on speaking terms again. It’s a roller coaster and I really don’t know if I want to stay on this ride. Everything seems to be around his issues and I feel that this has brought on some of my own insecurities from this. I really don’t know what’s happening to me. I’ve never been through this before. It’s hard to really stay in one place when his lips are moving and I don’t know what the truth anymore. He is clearly OK with a relationship that battles all the time. He doesn’t care as long as he’s not alone. Is there a good time that I can ask him to call. We are in Texas. I will reach out to you in order to speak with the therapist. It actually feels good to just put this in writing. I’ve kept this in for 3 years and have not been able to talk with anybody about it. I’ve felt embarrassed for so long. I do know that this is not my fault. I just don’t understand how a person can be so blind to things and be ok with his behavior.


          1. Stephanie

            Hi George,

            It was so nice speaking with you. You book has entered the home for his reading. I glimpsed through it and he says that it’s not really for him since he doesn’t go to strip clubs, or picks up girls. I don’t think he does that either. Where is the book can I push the ogling of females? He says he’s not doing it but I see it all the time. One of your guys has text him and he feels that it’s not a good match for him because he doesn’t do the above things. His understanding of things is way out in left field for his own protection. That I do believe. I know he know’s what he’s doing but is not able to make the stop. UGH!….. I’m very close to shutting the door on this and never looking back. Is there anything else that I can suggest to him. Thanks.

          2. Compulsion Solutions Post author

            Stephanie, Have him call me. Sounds like he’s in denial. If he won’t get treatment you need to leave and find someone healthy. Life is NO fun with a practicing addict. You deserve better. If you are serious about leaving he may reach out. We’re here if you need us. Best, George

        1. DJ

          There is help, Please read all of this through before thinking on any one statement below first….

          There is a lot more going on here than you might first recognize for both the problem and the solution. We like to think of things as black and white “Its not my fault….it’s his problem… I’ll leave and find someone else…”

          First you need to realize that he doesn’t “make” you feel… you have the choice to react to any situation the way You want to. If you want to have a good relationship with someone you need to realize every issue needs to be owned by both of you in support and understanding.

          Think for a minute, why are you being hurt by what he does? You probably have many ideas in your mind what you imagine he is thinking. Realize you don’t know what he is thinking, you can’t. Now consider when someone is accusing of another person, their instant reaction is what? To be defensive! Its how we all react. You want to really know what he is think though, don’t you? Then you will have to stop attacking and start empathizing with him. To get him as far away from being defensive as you can.

          Men are easily manipulated. We put up guards because we know this and from past experiences…here she goes again (guard up)… But the good news is, as Men we dearly crave to let our guard down and know it is safe to say anything. I am sure you have been there with him like that when you first met, no fear, only good feelings, you smiled and everything was right with your world. Remember what that was like and why.

          Rationalize all your fears. Understand how irrational many may be: He wants someone else? He likes her better than me? He wants me to change into that? He doesn’t respect me? He doesn’t respect women? If he cared he wouldn’t do this? … I am sure you have these thoughts and others. What if none of these are true? You would be beating yourself up for no reason, right? State your fears, write them down and hopefully when you get to a better communication point you can express these to him. Let him empathize with your fears, irrational or not.

          Do you realize as Men what do we want most in our relationship? We want to know that we are making our woman happy, pleasing her. When he has sex he gets turned on by your reactions to him pleasing you, not what he is doing to himself. You may think he is doing things for his own gratification, but think about that. If a Man only want his gratification he would chose masturbation over being with you. I am sure he can do it exactly like he likes it, better than you or anyone else can, just as you can please yourself better than anyone…but that is so unfulfilling. Just like any sole experience he would have on his own, looking at women.

          So if you want to start understanding what he thinks, you might consider for instance, sitting down with him side by side and let him open up and point out what it is he thinks when he is looking at any woman the both of you point out. You might be surprised with what he is really thinking. This may take some trust on your part and on his also. Explain that you want to share in this and see what he sees. Tell him you are not judging, and that you just want to be part of what he is interested in.

          Next you need to understand that its not black and white. Th idea of Choosing another guy, thinking this one is all bad (Black) and a new guy will be perfect (White) is a delusion. All men and women have a natural tendency to look at anyone causing movement, especially for someone with ADD or ADHD. We all look, what we do next is where the issue is. Each of us has different degrees of it becoming something unhealthy or an addiction. If you make a point with the next guy when he first looks up at a woman, you will start conditioning him into the possibility of it becoming a problem. Just like stating “don’t look up”…everyone will want to look up. Also at the first (imagined or not ) sign you will think that you just chose another guy that was like the last…

          You probably don’t realize that you notice women also. Maybe not for the same reasons, or you might even surprise yourself if you are truly honest. Do you notice when a really sexy woman, you know he is going to look at, walks by? How do you know she is really sexy? Because you looked at her. Why do you think he is going to look at her? Because you made a judgement about her appearance. Not so different from what he does, now is it? If you want him to stop noticing other women, you have to to.

          Think about when you walk into a building. Do you have your defenses up thinking you have to watch him and make sure he didn’t see that pretty girl you noticed when you walked in? What good do you get out of “catching” him? Don’t you want to be able to trust him on his own? Do you consider what he is like when he is away from you?

          Consider instead what it would be like knowing he loved you, thinks about you constantly, wants to please you more than anything, that nothing is more important than you, and that he doesn’t have to worry about doing the wrong thing or ever being caught doing the wrong thing if he even wasn’t aware of it if he did… And if some sexy woman walked by you could care less. Think about how that would feel.

          You want him to know that you know he understands your issue with what (you think) he is doing. He needs to be able to see in himself the issue and state what it is to you. We can only hope to control what we see in ourselves. No matter what you say, if he doesn’t want to make it better, even if he is convinced its your imagination, he can see that he can do things that would stop the issue if you work together. To do that there has to be an environment that is supportive.

          How do you get there? I suggest that you try using a code word. Sit down with him and discuss that you both realize he has a problem and you need to realize when he is working on it and is trying his best and he didn’t mean to stair but was unaware of his mistake. He caught himself but it had happened before he realized it. Use a code word like from the movie Ghost… say “Ditto”… meaning quickly in one word that you saw he was slipping but its ok, I know you love me and I know you are working on it, and I am here to support you, and its all ok, I know it will get better, I love you…and he can respond back saying in one word ‘Ditto’… meaning I’m sorry, I lost control for a second, I love only you, and I will do better with your support, thank you for being there for me, I can’t do this alone, I am getting better and will do even better every time I hear you supporting me with your love and understanding when you said that simple word, ditto.

          Then you should smile at each other and hold hands, you just shared a great experience together, and no body got hurt….and no one else was brought into your secrete glances to each other, the rest of the world doesn’t matter!

          It will get better and its not as hard as you imagine it to be. Take it as something positive for your future right now that you can say you got through. As someone that has done exactly as I propose, with someone that changed along with me, and got though it… it isn’t something we say we got through, because it isn’t even thought about as an issue…like it never was…

          I wish you all the best

  20. Jen

    This fact devastates me as my husband is a recovering sex addict. He hid it well for well over a decade. I didn’t know he ogled. Now knowing he did kills me and I’m not sure I can move forward with this relationship. We have four children. Such a tragedy.

  21. KL

    Hi I’ve bought your book today at Amazon. I’ll be starting my journey tomorrow, took a break with my partner to know if things should be continued forward or that I really loved her not just lusting for her. It’s just a waste for our relationship if we still linger but hurting the both of us together

      1. KL

        Hi I’ll try to call as soon as possible but I’m from the Philippines so it might be expensive to call from here. Do you have skype or something? Can you please email me how much for the rates of sessions? Cause I really want to heal from this addictions, I want to see my partner real bad, too much addiction cannot help me appreciate and build intimacy with her. It’s destroying both of us.

  22. KL

    Hi! I want to know if stopping pornography and sexual addictions would enable me to stop looking at women properly? I keep hurting my partner with looking and secretive viewing of pornography with associated masturbation. I watch them whenever I feel depressed, bored, or in pain due to relationship fights etc. etc. I use this as my escape mechanism in my life, I want to change. There is more to life not just sex, masturbation and pornography. I want to enjoy my life fully by engaging to develop my relationship with GOD, I know alot of people would disagree with me in this.

    1. Compulsion Solutions Post author

      KL, Thanks for your comment, I believe that your questions about “looking” and sexualizing women would be answered by getting ahold of my book, “Breaking the Cycle,” and reading it. Also, our book, “A Couples Guide to Sexual Addiction,” could be a big help. You can get free samples of these books by going to the right hand sidebar here and clicking on the “Get Started Free” button. Let me know what you learn.

      Best, George Collins, Director
      (925) 932 0201

  23. amber

    I love my boyfriend dearly. But I am so tired of his looking at every girl everywhere. He also watches porn everyday. He’s a sweet man but I’m tired of feeling like I’m not enough. Been together almost 2 years. Should I stay with him? He just calls me jealous and says I should just let him be a man. Hmm. It discourages me a lot.

    1. Compulsion Solutions Post author

      Amber, See if you can get your boyfriend to read my book, “Breaking the Cycle” or our couples book, “A Couple’s Guide to Sexual Addiction.” If he won’t…..move on. Life with a practicing sex addict is NO life.

  24. Cynthia Brotherhood

    Thank you so much, so relieved it isn’t me! I just broke up with my boyfriend of 4 months because of his problem of ogling women. My third such breakup.

  25. RKO

    I am “that” guy and I hate it. All these points are correct and although I will never go further than ‘ogling’, my behaviour is wrong. As such my doctor will not refer me for specialist counselling/therapy and I cannot afford to fund it myself. The best I can manage is telling my closest friends and colleagues about it and requesting they tell me when I’m being inappropriate. Good on them for agreeing to help but it’s not really their job to do so, I wish I didn’t have to ask this of them.

  26. Lisa

    My boyfriend is the same…. Just about to embark on a new life together…. I genuinely thought it was me so to read this makes my heart feel so relieved. Thank god.. Now to can reach a solution

  27. Nancy

    I been married two years, 3 months and within two weeks of marriage, my great husband started staring at ladies. He stared so much at married ones, their husbands was upset. Then he advanced himself to churches, young teen girls, always looking at butts first. I have cried for the two years each day when he does it from being with him . He refuse to acknowledge it, he says I am just jealousy of them. He has treated me like trash. A lady from church, took a interest in him and each Sunday/Wed she runs to him, calling his name, holding his hand, wiping his shirt with her other hand. He refuse to stop her. I am jealousy he says. This went on 8 months. We stop going to church to keep me from crying. He is up to 51 blondes, one black hair, one brown hair, all I have witness. He want stop. When he bend over to see a 16 yr old butt I lost it. He says he don’t see nothing wrong with it. I can’t go in public with him anymore. One of the days, he will be touching them in the butt or other places. He has excuses for all he does. His ex tells me he has always been selfish, self center and he is. Always thinking of himself.

    1. Compulsion Solutions Post author

      Nancy, Your husband appears to be in denial. He needs a wake up call before big damage is done. My book, “Breaking the Cycle” might help….if he’ll read it. I’d be happy to talk to him about this behavior if you can get him to call. Best, George Collins, Director

  28. Ellen mooney

    Please help! My husband and I have been married for twelve years together fifteen. He has had a problem with looking at other women this whole time. We have had thousands of fights over this. I am truly about ready to leave him. He is a wonderful man and does a lot for me and my children but I can’t live like this anymore. He had a very abusive childhood. And once he mentioned to me that he has slept with over one hundred women(this I believe). I had always had a bad gut feeling even before we got married and now more times then not, I wish I would have never married my husband. The bad thing is he is fifty seven years old and truly believes he has no problem. In his mind it is me with the problem!

  29. Sandy

    Wow…This is my husband.. Few people understand how hurtful this is to a wife.. She is just being too sensitive. Boys will be boys type of thing.

    1. Compulsion Solutions Post author

      Sandy, Good to hear from you. You might want to get a hold of our book, “A Couples Guide to Sexual Addiction,” by Paldrom (my wife) and myself and my book, “Breaking the Cycle.” They’re game changers. Best, George

  30. nash

    HI me and wife has been together for almost 5 years been married for only 1 year and ever since we got married a little bit later I started looking at outher women almost all the time cars, mirrors , public , family , friends pictures how can I stop iam hurting my wife very badly over this she even thought of leaving me over this guy’s please help I don’t want to lose my wife and everything we have together over this problem I have please help me fix it

    1. Compulsion Solutions Post author

      Nash, Good to hear from you. We CAN help you. Look around the website here. Watch some videos. Get my best selling book, “Breaking the Cycle.” Email me a contact form from our website and I’ll send you the intro and first chapter for free. We work, via phone and Skype, with men from all over the world. If you want to get over this stuff, get in touch. We care and we’re here. Best, George Collins, Director

  31. KM

    My husband is 13 mos into a sexual addiction recovery program. He has a polygraph in a few days, and we have disclosure shortly thereafter. A couple of days ago I stood inches away as I watched him repeatedly steal glances towards an attractive woman. He was oblivious and unaware that I was watching him watch her. He has been working on not ogling since about June with what appears to be progress. Until this “slip”. He said he wasn’t fantasizing/objectifying/undressing etc. but was trying to figure out her age and wondering about the book she was looking at. This seems like a lie, yet his polygraph so in a few days. I don’t know what to make of it.

  32. Myself

    Thanks, helped a lot, trying to stop mild sexual addiction right now myself. Your advice is really helping people and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

  33. Daniel

    For me, this behavior is a trigger, and when I catch myself indulging, I’ve started using the 2 second rule. I really liked what you said too about the object of my ogling is none of my business. He didn’t wear that tight shirt or those pants for me and I have no right to know or guess at what’s underneath them.
    What I’m working to remember is that catching that behavior is an indicator that I need to dialog with the looker and find out how he’s trying to help me. Then redirect that energy to something constructive. Otherwise the script starts and obsession begins to set in.

    1. James

      Hi Daniel,
      Good for you that you’re trying these “reminders.” There is a big difference between noticing an attractive person and looking at a sexual object. Relieve yourself of this burden of looking. Looker is indeed young–just help that part of you grow up.

      Be Well, James

  34. Jeff

    Got linked here via Reddit and this post is particularly useful! I feel that I’ve had a problem with ogling in the past, with recent resurgence. However I am able to consciously curb this, often telling myself that ‘she is a woman, not an object for your desire’.

    It has a complex series of reasons but I think I am beginning to overcome it. Great post!

    1. James Gallegos

      Hi Jeff,

      I’m happy you found personal value in this brief article/blog. It really is a personal choice as to decide whether our behavior crosses the line so good for you for tracking this. There is a big difference between noticing an attractive person and looking at a sexual object. Keep up the good work!

      Best, James

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *