Guest Blog: Four Reasons Why Women Are Not Sex Objects

By Eddie Capparucci, LPC, CSAS, CPCS

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the definition of objectifying is as follows:  “to treat someone as an object rather than as a person.”

Now think for a moment if people started looking, referring and treating you like an object. How do you believe you would feel? Insulted? Demeaned? Dishonored? Befouled? Humiliated? Tarnish? Women-Objectification

How about outright pissed? You know you would be. So why then is it cool for us men to look upon women as playthings created merely for our own gratification? This type of behavior rings with an air of superiority, which we have no right to claim.

“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:28 ESV

There is no mistaking men and women are different. However, they also are seen as equal in God’s eyes. And if the Creator sees them that way how can we not? There are many reasons why women should not be treated as sex objects. Let’s take a look at 4.

  1. She is a Princess of the King

We’re asking for trouble because we are messing with God’s daughters. Wow, how stupid are we? We are taking the King’s princesses and reducing them to nothing more than toys. How in the world could we never believe that is ok?

We are commanded to be respectful and loving of others – both men and women. However, there is nothing loving about objectifying more than half of the world’s population. We must elect to treat women in a Christ-like manner and provide them with the respect and dignity they deserve as children of God.

  1. She’s Entitled to be Feminine

One way men justify their objectification of women is based on how some dress. But there is nothing wrong with women expressing their femininity and wanting to feel pretty. They are entitled to experience those feelings without having to worry about men objectifying them. Instead, we should learn to admire and directly observe a woman’s beauty instead of lusting after it. They should not need to wrap their bodies in burlap because we lack control over our lust.

  1. She has a Brain

Women are not inanimate. They breathe, walk, talk and think. They have a brain. So, what gives men the impression women are playthings to use and discard? Over time women have demonstrated their equality on many levels. They serve in leadership roles in churches, universities, corporations, and heads of state in many countries. Yet, we prefer to view them as body parts instead of appreciating the whole person.

“Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.” Romans 12:10

  1. She Deserves Better

Life is difficult. As men we face enormous pressures every day whether it’s stress with our jobs; dissension in our families; conflicts within our church; the lack of me-time; or a battling lust. Well, women face similar concerns and worries. They often juggle multiple tasks as a housewife, mother, employee, friend, and daughter. And with each of these hats come challenges and obligations.

But nowhere on that list of duties is the role of sex object. They deserve better than that of men. If she can stand toe-to-toe with men and manage the day-to-day responsibilities and challenges that the world throws at her, shouldn’t she be treated with the utmost respect? The short answer is yes – because she deserves better. It is our obligation as men to view her through different lenses that don’t focus on her sexuality but instead on her personhood. To treat her as Christ treated all women.

Eddie Capparucci is an LPC, CSAS, CPCS, a licensed professional counselor, and certified in sexual and pornography addiction. He is the author of the soon-to-be-released book “Going Deeper: How the Inner Child Impacts Your Sexual Addiction.” Pre-orders are now available at  https://www.blackrosewriting.com/nonfiction/goingdeeper  Use the promo code PREORDER2019 to save 15%. He can be reached at edcappa@gmail.com.

The One Thought That Won’t Leave You Today

Ok I warned you, it’s not just a clickbait headline.

Set a 10-minute timer on your phone, then come back to this…

In the time you were away, there’s a 12-year-old kid with internet access somewhere who has just seen more hardcore sex acts than his ancestors did in their entire lifetime.

Have a good day.

Pornography Has Been Around A Long Time, Regardless of What Grandma Says

I’ll admit it. I’m surly today. I just found out I’m going to have to drop $3K on my daughter’s dental work and it’s the first Halloween that neither of my kids are doing anything and I really just want to turn off my lights and draw the shades. But, while I was in the waiting room at the dentist I just read an article from some senior citizen’s magazine where several people over 65 were complaining about how the world has changed, specifically sexual standards including pornography. Their attitudes and white-washing of the history was frustrating to read.

I’m not here to defend pornography at all, but I think it’s buffoonish to pretend like it didn’t exist in the first 80 years of the 20th Century. I don’t mean to attack senior citizens at all, and if any read this blog, I’m not talking about you. It’s your Golden Girls-watching brethren who need to recognize they hold some responsibility for where we find ourselves today. It wasn’t my generation or the next one making sex-soaked films in the 60s and 70s that became the norm in Hollywood.

If you want me to point out 1,000 things that are better now than they were in the past, I easily can. From safety standards to communications to health care to transportation, it’s impossible to make a solid argument that things were better back then…whenever you decide “then” was.

Yeah, maybe you didn’t have to have school shooter drills, but you did have air raid drills. If you’re going to believe you had a more moral, less sexualized society, I’d point out to you the teenage (15-19) pregnancy rate in 1957 was 9.6% while in 1979, that figure was 11.1%. In 2015, it dropped to 4.3% — less than half of what it was during your romanticized vision of society.

There’s too much sex on TV compared to your day? We have 800 channels now. There’s too much everything on TV compared to when there were three channels. Times Square in NYC became a cesspool for strip clubs and adult theaters in the 1960s. Sixty years later, you won’t find any adult entertainment there. Exponentially more cities and towns have strict rules about or against adult entertainment businesses than ever before.

The reality is, those who condemn the youth of today as immoral were once labeled that as well and it’s been happening for ages:

“The free access which many young people have to romances, novels and plays has poisoned the mind and corrupted the morals of many a promising youth…” – Rev. Enos Hitchcock, 1790

“Never has youth been exposed to such dangers of both perversion and arrest as in our own land and day.” – Granville Stanley Hall, 1904

“Many young people were so pampered nowadays that they have forgotten there was such a thing as walking, and they make automatically for the buses… unless they do something, the future for walking is very poor indeed.” – The Falkirk Herald, Scotland, 1951

If you want to believe there really wasn’t porn in the 1950s, one only has to point out that Playboy made its debut in December 1953. That means somebody who is 70 today was 4 years old when it debuted. You can look back into the 1920s and see widely distributed magazines with naked people that were produced specifically for titillation. Let’s not forget all of the art created between 1500 and 1900 that had adult themes. I’m not talking about naked angels. There was plenty of hardcore nudity in paintings during those 400 years. Want to go further back? There are erotic paintings and carvings that have been found in caves dating back to the paleolithic era more than 50,000 years ago and plenty also found in Mesopotamia 5,000 years ago. Let’s not even talk about what the Greeks and Romans were into.

The world has always been a sexual place; it’s how we get the new humans here. I understand that we have technology that makes ease of access to sexually explicit materials easier than in the past, but Playboy isn’t still around because the Internet appeared 20 years ago. Playboy is struggling because the Internet appeared. Somebody caused its circulation to rise to 7 million per month in the 1970s, when these moral people interviewed for the article were in their 20s and 30s. But I’m sure they never looked at one.

I take exception to the romanticism, nostalgia and rose-colored glasses that the past is looked upon and the scorn with which the present and future are seen. I hear the word “millennial” tossed around like it’s a horrible thing, but I’ve never seen a more ethically conscious, morally aware generation. I think the future is in good hands with your grandchildren. Perhaps your distaste comes from the job you did raising my generation. Maybe my generation took notes and tried to do better.

I could give more than enough examples to fill volumes of books, but I know that the current group of older, conservative people who rue the day and wish things were like they were in the good old days are simply not going to understand what the rest of us already know: There never were good old days and if there are, these are the good old days for today’s youth. Your generation brought the same things every generation brings to the table, advancement of science and culture that scared the people who came before you.

 

Stories from Jail: Realizing the Role Intimacy Plays in Sex and Porn Addiction

As a man of above-average means and intelligence, I was thrust into a world very unfamiliar to me with men I otherwise would never have had the opportunity to engage with when I served six months in the local county jail in early 2016.

There was the occasional outlier (I was in minimum security and in jail, not prison, so I admit I didn’t see the worst of the worst), but I would guess that 60% were there tied to drug/alcohol abuse, 25% for domestic violence and 15% for sex crimes. Maybe some were awaiting trial, while others were serving their sentence, or temporary locked up because of a probation violation, but in my non-ethnically diverse area, this is how it broke down with the 60-80 guys I got to know during my time there.

For someone on the outside who enjoys buzzwords of the day, they would have seen this group of men and immediately said, “This is the very definition of toxic masculinity.”

As somebody who, at the time of my sentencing, had just done nearly four months of inpatient rehab for alcoholism and sex/porn addiction, along with hundreds of hours of one-on-one and group therapy, I think I served as a bit of a de facto life coach/advisor for many of the men.

One of the reasons so many of these men trusted me with their stories was because they knew I sought help for my porn addiction. Despite being locked up for other reasons, the vast majority of these men had clear issues with both sex and pornography.

I recall one man (a domestic violence offender) who came to me off to the side one day and told me that he’d heard me talking to other guys. In his early 30s, he said if he did the math, he probably had slept with 1,500 women. When you break it down as two or three one-night stands per week over a little more than a decade, the number isn’t so unrealistic.

I remember his saying to me, “It sounds like a lot of these have only been with three or four women in their life. It makes me think I may have a problem.”

Another man, there for a probation violation because he was belligerently drunk in public (again), confided in me that he watched 5-6 hours of porn every day and even when he was holding down one of his rare jobs, he’d go to his car during his lunch break and watch porn on his telephone. It had never occurred to him that this could be an issue.

“Sometimes I watch with buddies, sometimes by myself and I don’t *Insert your favorite euphemism for masturbation* a lot of the time. When I’ve had girlfriends we’ve watched it together,” he said.

“Why do you watch it with other people?” I asked.

“I dunno. Cause it’s funny. Or sexy. It’s like a bonding thing I guess,” he responded.

“How else do you bond with people?” I followed up.

“It’s not like I only look porn. I meet a lot of people in bars,” he said.

“Isn’t that the reason you’re here?” I asked, motioning to nothing in particular in the room, about the same size as a doctor’s office waiting room we shared with 6 to 10 other guys.

“I’m gonna think on that,” he said.

Later that night, he came to me, asked to sit on my bunk (standard jail protocol) and said, “I feel good when I drink and I feel good when I watch porn. I don’t feel good too many other times. So maybe like you, my porn watching is just as bad as my drinking and I never knew it.”

“At least it’s not too late for you,” I thought to myself, yearning for the day in the near future I’d be released, hoping he’d get help before his porn problem ever become as critical, or depraved, as mine.

It was in that moment that I recognized while I thought I had real intimacy in my life, I wasn’t unlike many of those men.

I was surrounded by plenty of people in my real life, just like my fellow inmates were. It didn’t matter mine had better jobs, higher educations and could afford nicer things. It didn’t matter that I had two loving parents, a supportive wife and kids who thought the sun rose and set with me while they may not have been that lucky. None of us were willing to stick our neck out and create relationships that went deeper that what was on the surface.

They never felt unconditionally loved, trusted and cared for by any parent or guardian early on, or by any partner as they grew and entered into the world of adult relationships because they were unable to give what they were getting…and when I thought about it…it was my story, too.

Isn’t the physical act of sex and the visual stimulus of porn completely just on the surface? We all intuitively understand the difference between “having sex” and “making love.”

Intimacy is vulnerability, and it’s not just about being physically intimate. When those men came to me with their issues, they were being vulnerable. They shared things with me I never would have shared with anybody.

Despite being more than two years sober at that point, it dawned on me that my recovery had miles left to go and it had nothing to do with porn or sex.

My Pornography Addiction was About Power and Control, Not Sex

I probably should have recognized this early in my recovery, but I’ve come to realize that my addiction to pornography was just an extension of who I was at the time: Somebody struggling greatly with a lack of power and control to the point I’d fool myself into believing I had both by almost any means necessary.

I recognize that this comes from the faulty survival skills I developed as a child when I was being babysat everyday by a woman who was mentally unstable. Looking back, I can now recognize the severe obsessive-compulsive disorder she had, along with a handful of other issues that led to an environment of multiple forms of abuse and one where I didn’t feel safe.

My outlook on life then, as it was for most of the next 30 years, was to simply survive to the next day. It didn’t matter how you got there, as long as you made it until tomorrow. Along the way, I developed a variety of coping and escape mechanisms. I’ve only recently realized that they were my ways of maintaining control.

I have been diagnosed with a detachment disorder. I think that developed, along with a lack of empathy, because it was easier to not care about things. Instead of being hurt, if I didn’t have any vested interest in most things or people, it wouldn’t have an effect on me when bad things happened. Detaching was control and control equaled power.

For several years in my late teens and early 20s, I had a daily marijuana habit. I can now see it was my way of taking control of my mind, emotions and thoughts. Yes, it was a dulling of the senses, but it was my choice. For the hours of the day I couldn’t control my natural reaction to things, there were those hours that I could check out – on my terms – with the marijuana.

The two constants for so long were alcohol and pornography. I think the alcohol was like a more socially acceptable form of marijuana at the time. Alcohol was my way of taking control and deadening my nerve endings temporarily so I didn’t have to feel.

When it comes to the pornography addiction, I believe that was more akin to the rest of the way I lived my life. I owned a business so nobody could boss me around. I was on the City Council because I wanted to decide what happened in my town. No matter the political or social issue, I’d be on Facebook advocating for my side and talking down to those who disagreed. I tried to create a world where I was in complete control, but the only person I fooled into thinking that was true was myself.

Pornography wasn’t about naked people doing sexy things so I could relieve myself. It was about controlling the people on the page of the magazine, in the videos, or the film clips on my computer screen. If they weren’t doing exactly what I wanted, I could just skip to the next picture or clip and eventually I’d find someone doing what I wanted. Since I couldn’t really control people in my real life (despite trying) I was able to use porn as surrogate.

When that stopped being enough, I made the transition to chat rooms. A lot of the time, things never even got sexual. I simply enjoyed steering the conversations and getting women to admit things they probably wouldn’t otherwise. If I couldn’t get the woman to acquiesce to my sexual requests, I’d get her to try on clothes, or rearrange furniture in her room…whatever I could do to gain power in my mind. Power equaled control.

I haven’t had much in the way of triggers or cravings with pornography in a long time and I was asking myself exactly what that was the other day. I was wondering if I reached a point of being “recovered” as you can read about in my most recent blog. I think that the relative ease that I am having being away from both porn and alcohol has to do with the fact that I don’t feel the need for power and control the way I once did.

I think my ordeal of getting arrested, going through the court system, spending six months in jail and being on probation for the past three years – not to mention the radical changes in my lifestyle and daily routines – have put me in a place where I know that there is just so much control I can exert over my life, and a lot of it is just out of my hands and none of my concern.

Truth is, I don’t care who the President is. I know they’re making decisions that may or may not affect my life, but whether I like it or not, I have no control, regardless of what I used to write in Facebook diatribes. My opinion about a border wall means nothing, so why fool myself into thinking it does? That’s a waste of energy I can use on healthier things. I can’t control who my daughter dates now that she is a legal adult and trying to force my will on her probably will do more harm than good. If my wife doesn’t cook me dinner, it’s up to me to get it for myself. I can’t control the people and happenings around me, especially when they don’t go the way I wish.

Those people who were depicted in the pornography I consumed were there because they were either making money or because they had deep-seeded issues…probably both. But they were not there with the sole intention of being used by me. That was a fantasy I concocted in my head.

Ironically, now that I’ve admitted my lack of control and power, I feel more in control and powerful than ever because it’s grounded in reality, not fantasy. And with reality, I don’t need the escape hatch of addiction to fool myself.