Nearly two months ago I wrote about some advice my counselor gave me, here. In a nutshell, my counselor advised that one way to help me recover from my pornography addiction was to actively engage in conversations with women, especially women I ran into in public. This probably doesn’t sound like a big deal to most people, but my recovery program advises against exactly this kind of behavior. Of course ‘one size’ never fits all, and while the authors of my recovery program probably have the right idea 80% of the time, my own issues in recovery are hindered by their advice.
Like some of you out there, I have a tendency to…well, not ‘obsess’ about women, that would be too strong a word…Let me put it this way: Growing up, women were an unknown to me; very mysterious and foreboding. I never felt ‘good enough’ around them and I viewed them with a sense of mystical fear. As I grew up (or I should say ‘as I got older’; I only started ‘growing up’ rather recently) this sense of mythical idolatry toward women grew in proportion to my use of pornography. Women ceased being female humans and became objects wielding a greatly desired but seldom experienced sexual energy and charge; women became sex objects thanks to pornography.
It is precisely because of this objectifying view of women that my counselor advised me to begin interacting with them. He wanted me to see that women are just people, like me, and like me, are not to be worshipped. So like a good patient I started conversations with dozens of strangers: On the bus, on the street, in my office building, etc.
Guess what? It worked. As soon as I walked into his office two weeks ago I delivered the good news: “You ruined it!”
Here is a list of things I learned during my ‘experiment’ talking to women:
- Women really are just people. They look and act very different, but in the end they are just like me. They worry, dream, bite their nails and pick their noses.
- The saying “Hot ’til they talk” is quite literally true.
- While many women are physically attractive, many of those same women have habits that would drive me up the wall if I had to talk to them for more than 30 seconds.
- Many women who aren’t “hot” who are a lot more fun to talk to than those who are “hot”.
- A lot of the women I talked to seemed desperately lonely.
- “Bigger” women seemed to respond more warmly to me than their thinner compatriots…I’m not sure what, if anything, that says about me…
- There was no predicting how women would respond to my conversational overtures: Some of the most beautiful women I spoke to were very friendly, while some of the least attractive women were also the coldest, and vice-versa. In other words, looks and personality are not correlated.
If you struggle with pornography and/or you are self-aware enough to realize that you objectify members of the opposite sex, why don’t you try this little experiment and see where it leads you?