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A sticking point for many sex and porn addicts is the objectification of women. When addicts are out in public and see an attractive woman, she does not necessarily register as a person — someone with a career, a family, dreams, fears and aspirations — rather she is viewed as a thing. The rational part of your brain understands that women are not merely on this earth so that you can act out your sexual fantasies, but the addict inside your brain doesn’t see it that way.
Objectifying women is often part of your story as an addict. It likely began in your childhood or adolescence, and your addict clings to the practice. He needs you to see women as objects, because if you begin seeing them as people, your addiction will begin to crack and fall away. Your addict doesn't want you to know you have a choice — but you always do.
There are 3 techniques you can use to help you make the choice not to objectify.
When your addict sees a woman passing you on the street, he wants you to imagine her sexually. It is easy for your addict to do this, because he has no idea who she is. A way to combat this is to tell your addict a story about her.
She's someone's daughter, she's someone's mother, she's someone. Perhaps she's carrying groceries, in that case you can give her the story of having a family – people around her who care for her, and love her, and see her for everything she is. Perhaps she's jogging, and maybe you could give her the story of training for a marathon — she's a woman who strives to better herself athletically, and who looks after her health, so she can live a long life with those she loves.
By giving a woman her humanity back, your addict will be fighting a losing battle. He has a much harder time sexualizing a person, which is what women are.
If you catch yourself looking at a woman you don't know for more than three seconds, make the choice to look away. You have the power to shift your focus away from sex, and toward something positive instead.
Sometimes, our triggers are internal, but sometimes they're external, and coming from the world around us. We may not always feel prepared for these external triggers, because they can happen at any time. Driving past a lingerie store, seeing an attractive woman getting onto the elevator, or even seeing a woman wearing your favorite color – these are all things which can sneak up on you.
Even when you are unprepared, you have the choice to look away. Give it three seconds, then take control back for yourself.
When you feel yourself in danger of slipping into compulsive behavior, remember your Red Light Guy. Remember that your brain has this wonderful ability to avoid bad situations without even having to think about it – like stopping at a red light.
Stop, observe your feelings, and make the choice to put your compulsive energy into something positive.
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