Posted by: zenmamajo | February 26, 2011

Why I Kissed Shirtless Dudes and Bikini-Clad Women Good-bye…

i’ll just say it now: when it comes to my viewing habits (tv, books, magazines, beaches, swimming pools) – i’m an absolute prude by today’s standards…i haven’t always been this way…i use to indulge in the latest movie releases, (within reason…okay…i totally feel obligated to clarify by saying i’d watch anything with an “R” rating or below…), read through the latest OK!, In Touch Weekly, or other gossip magazine. I didn’t think twice about spending the day at the beach or local pool surrounded by people rocking their newest (sometimes barely there) swimwear or scanning the latest victoria secret mag for something for me to rock for my husband – i mean, that’s typical, right? a little eye candy (think shirtless dudes or leading men in those romance scenes) is harmless, right?

i met my husband, let’s call him jm, about seven years ago and he *indirectly* challenged my acceptance of these habits (of all people – a man?). indirectly because he never told me nor implied my habits were wrong (not that i’m saying they were wrong – this is simply about how my viewing habits evolved over time – sooo not judging here). but he was in the midst of overcoming a struggle with certain viewing habits himself – okay – let’s call it addiction because that’s what he called it: sexual addition. at the time, he and several of his friends were going through a series called every man’s battle by Stephen Arterburn. he and those men were not like any i’d ever met. they were committed to training themselves to overcome (e.g. cease certain habits) and manage their addictions (put tools in place to reduce the risk of succumbing to temptation again). i remember my husband talking about Stephen Arterburn writing about men training their eyes to ‘bounce off’ certain visual stimuli (t.v., photos, women dressed in revealing clothing, etc) and that he encouraged married men to train themselves to feast their eyes solely on their wives (i’m totally paraphrasing…same idea though).

at the time we were not married. i was a pretty conservative dresser (e.g. no cleavage…not there is even cleavage too show…i’m ‘all chest’ – flat as a board – but i digress *hahahah*, mid-thigh shorts…i did wear ‘2-piece’ bathing suits…bikini top with boy shorts…). in spite of my conservativeness (for the record – i wore that 2-piece *maybe* twice when we were dating…) i’ll never forget my husband (then boyfriend) asking if i could refrain from wearing a certain pair of jeans until after we married because he found me attractive in them. (we were committed to ‘saving ourselves’ until we married, which we did).

i thought his request was flattering but odd. the jeans were form fitting but not camel-toes tight (is this okay to type???) – i could have easily done the splits without tearing them…but out of respect for him, i obliged.

my husband did gain victory over his sexual addition (by God’s grace. he has found himself tempted over the years but is diligent in maintaining accountability partners and not placing himself in tempting situations). after we were married – i remained intrigued by his commitment to reserving all his sexual gratification for our marriage. didn’t all men (and women) ‘look’ at others? isn’t that natural? what’s the harm in ‘scoping out the buffet as long as we don’t sample?’ as one friend recently said ‘doesn’t the spouse only gain to benefit from indulging in eye candy?’ (again – i paraphrased). but as time went on, i started seeing my own viewing habits change.

so how much has changed? well…i can’t recall the last time i watched something rated PG-13 (not just for the sensuality but language, violence…another blog about cursing and dreams another day), or watched any sort of ‘kissing scene’, i have trained my own eyes to ‘bounce off’ (photos) of hot dudes and even women who are dressed seductively (includes newspaper lingerie ads). it took some time for me to adapt my husband’s commitment in this area – again – without his prompting. now that i’m at this point – i can say i’m glad i made the change. i no longer even feel comfortable watching ‘kissing scenes’ or looking at certain photos. i mean, i wouldn’t stare at a couple making out in front of me or at someone at the beach in their thong underwear – neither do i feel comfortable seeing those imagines on the big screen or in print or at the beach/pool.

i think what’s also encouraged me is my husband’s always been very respectful of my drives (even during the lulls which can be often after having a child) and enjoys simply being together.

as for my friend’s statement ‘doesn’t the spouse gain to benefit from indulging in eye candy?”. i suppose the answer would appear to be yes. but i don’t think it’s that simple. sex is really a God-give gift that is suppose to resonate deeper between two people than simply achieving physical gratification. i think “sex” after “eye candy” is just that: sex. i had an itch. you scratched it. what’s next? kind of sex. but sex between two people who are committed to only one another is beautiful: there can be a physical, emotional, and spiritual connection (and yes – awkwardness at times – but that’s bound to happen between two naked folks, right? *hahah*).

i never would have imagined ten years ago that i’d be this prudish, but i am. and i dig it.

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Responses

  1. Interesting post. It seems to me that sex addiction is much like any other addiction. For instance, while I’ve known people who are alcoholics, for me, I can take it or leave it. I don’t feel the need not to drink, just because someone else can’t. Along those lines, I can look at Brad Pitt and think, wow, he’s hot and not have it go any further than that. I applaud your husband for recognizing his problem and being willing to change. None of us are perfect, but how many of us are will to admit our weakness, whether it be an addiction, or an overwhelming need to control, and do something about it?

  2. i agree that it depends on the individual – and yes – change (willingness to) is tough. his dedication to preserving the integrity of our family is such a great role model for our children and i really respect the peace of mind he’s given me as a wife through his commitment in this area of life.


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