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PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2015 11:55 pm 
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I am wondering about this. I rarely noticed my ex-husband scan other women while we were together. However, since we have been separated, I have watched him openly stare and flirt in front of me and have found it quite rude behavior honestly. My first husband had a hard time not looking at pretty girls walking by. In hindsight I believe he had a porn addiction along with his alcohol addiction.

So I have been dating a new man for awhile now. Long story short, I broke things off for several months because I wanted to go through my divorce on my own. We found our way back to each other recently and it's very nice. But I noticed him watch a woman, dressed in a revealing dress, walk across the room after she had passed. He waited though until she had passed our table before he looked. We were at dinner with his teen son who was quite obvious with his staring of this same woman.

I thought about it for awhile and maybe my radar is up more than most would be but I decided to ask him what the purpose of watching women was. So I did today and his response was he's a guy. Hmmm, and what does that mean exactly? I realized as the conversation went on that some of this could be my own issues feeling from being with addicted men in the past. He reassured me that he doesn't want to do anything to hurt or offend me and will work on not doing that. It hasn't been something I've really noticed a lot and it could be I'm just sensitive but I'm watching to see what he does next and how he handles this. Heck, just for fun, I think I'll watch myself too :s: see what I do next and how I handle this. lol

This got me to wondering is there just noticing a woman and scanning? I honestly don't really believe I have ever 'scanned' men or women as in using for sexual reasons later. But I have noticed. I noticed this woman as well because of how provocatively she was dressed. When does it become scanning? How could I tell the difference as a partner? Is that even possible - to know whether a man I'm with is scanning or noticing? I wonder because my ex-husband had me convinced when we were married that he didn't scan and later he told me he did, just never in front of me. I try to not let my experience with him make me unnecessarily suspious but I also want to be smart.

Thanks for helping me think this through.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2015 9:22 am 
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hi autumnrose,

I appreciate your question and curiosity and have pondered this, too. Where is the line between 'biological' (I use this loosely in quotes for a reason) responses and addictive or borderline-compulsive behavior?

Because I am not a man, I cannot speak from a male's perspective. But I have read enough men online stating sometimes a woman will catch their eye, and they will glance, and that's it, because their focus and desire is for a relationship with the woman they are with (e.g. a wife, etc).

What troubles me about your date's response is "I'm a guy." If anything, it's his response that to me is more a red flag than the act of the looking. While it doesn't indicate a pattern of compulsion or addiction, it does reflect a quite blase attitude toward himself and toward women. Dismissive, and unwilling to reflect further. His option was to go with the easy, 'social construct' answer instead of looking for a moment of sharing and reflection with you and himself.

Look forward to hearing anyone on the other side weigh in, too.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2015 5:36 pm 
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Hi AutumnRose,

So nice to hear that you're dating after your momentous decision to divorce. What a wise insight to know that you needed the time to deal with it on your own before dating again.

I agree with meepmeep that the disturbing behavior is in his response. "I'm a guy," sounds an awful lot like something an SA would say. No wonder it raises a flag for you.

What you're describing is what I fear in potentially dating in the future--that I'll inadvertently end up back in the same situation I started in. I think the only way to avoid that is to be clear on your values and boundaries and meticulously enforce them from the start of a relationship. It doesn't matter WHY you may be sensitive to scanning. The fact is that you are. And rightfully so. The old gut instinct flaring up. Don't neglect it.

You're wondering what the difference is between scanning and noticing, and I'd say the answer lies not in some definition outside of you, but in how it makes you feel. I think what happened here clearly made you uncomfortable, which indicates that a value has been violated--FOR YOU.

I think the best way to handle it is right back to our hard-earned values/boundaries lessons. What is the value here? What is the boundary? In my case, I would let him know that I value mutual respect in a relationship, which includes not obviously staring at another woman. Sounds like this is just what you did. And the boundary for me would be first to be clear about that value and the boundary. Then if it happens again in the future, getting up and walking out.

The point is not to worry about whether your past experience has made you sensitive. Perhaps it has. Consider it your early warning system that your hard-earned experience has endowed you with. Honor it. Use it to make sure you have boundaries in place to protect your values, which which were clearly violated here.

Great work paying attention to your gut. It's a great sign that the work you did here is serving you well.

- Rising


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2015 10:55 pm 
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Hi there, AutumnRose,

I'm afraid you cannot possibly know the difference between scanning and noticing in your partner. It is what they "do" with those images that makes it scanning or noticing. There is no way you can have access to such information unless he admits to it. Or unless it happens all the time and you get the feeling it is compulsive, maybe like trance state oggling ... but most times I believe it can be discreet, especially if he knows you have your eyes on him. Also, remember, chances are he does not possess the information you possess, he did not have exposure to all this knowledge about sex addiction and scanning ... Even if you were to explain to him in detail, he would still need to grow awareness and catch himself in the moment and analyse his thoughts. I know from my own experience with scanning that it might take a while to realise you are indeed doing it yourself.

I also believe that his answer about being a guy is a huge red flag. But, still, if he has not been exposed to these SA things, he is bound to take it lightly ... as probably most people would ... If I couldn't play the ignorance card (which I can ... unfortunately ...), I would be terribly ashamed to say that I was actually a supporter of porn ... well, I was a supporter of freedom to choose and do whatever you like ... I had no idea about the meaning and effects ... even though I was suffering from them already ... so, it takes much more than you asking and him answering half-jokingly ... It's about understanding and awareness ...

IMO what you could do is to really get to know his value system ... especially around these issues with love, romance, fidelity, looking at people, respect, objectification ... chances are you will have to "educate" him as to what you mean and how you see things. See how he reacts, see what he thinks ... but don't judge only by words ... see if his actions align to the stated values ... Also, his ability to be intimate with you ... sexually and otherwise would also be a good indication of his general health state ... I'm afraid there is only you, your experience and your intuition ... try to keep an overall view, not judge isolated cases ... and if you get more red flags, trust your gut that there's a good reason for that.

Hope this helps a bit,
Ursula

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 25, 2015 3:45 pm 
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Thank you very much for the replies. I am still thinking this all through. I can't remember a time ever scanning so I've never fully understand it. In reading up on male and female differences that also seems interesting. I read one article that men typically get a brain chemical hit when they notice a pretty woman. That's hard for me to understand as I don't experience that.

Still processing all of this and what it means in my life now.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 25, 2015 4:21 pm 
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I've honestly withheld comment on this because I'm concerned I might either distort the view of what is or isn't appropriate. I was also concerned that being a lone male in a group of females that I might offend the very people who are offering me support.

I don't know the difference between scanning and noticing. I do know that occasionally a woman will catch my eye for one reason or another. Not necessarily for their outfit, their body etc, but just because. I remember being supremely confident in the beginning of my relationship with my partner, she was the most amazing woman on earth to me. I can honestly say it would have taken something drastic to remove my focus from her, from our conversation or from our time together.

I began noticing how my partner would become easily distracted by another man's attention if we weren't standing together and was offended. I felt violated. I became acutely aware of how often I noticed other women. Often, despite knowing there was no chance it was her, I would notice women who had similarities to my partner, I missed her. Later as more information came out, more offensive behavior and many more lies I began to become aware of different aspects of women, the way a woman's hair bounced, or their body language, the way their perfume or hygiene products smelled. There was nothing sexual about it to me, it was purely a heightened awareness of females.

I'd like to think my behavior was normal but I can't be sure. Reading through these forums have made me abundantly aware of how often women feel objectified, offended or even just uncomfortable being noticed. I don't want to think that I have been that offensive, but I also can't deny that I've noticed women because of whatever spark attracts me to women. I've thought about your post for quite some time and I don't think I can provide any help but hoped maybe hearing a male's truth about noticing females might give some insight.

I'm truly sorry if this offends anyone, I assure you it was not the goal or intention of the post.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 25, 2015 7:57 pm 
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This is really a third rail issue. Let me try to get at it in a different way. What is healthy attraction? How is healthy attraction expressed? Here are my views.

We're all human. We all notice attractive people. We know men are more visual than women. We also know about the tremendous cultural influences that objectify women. That said, there is a difference between noticing and appreciating attractive people, and doing something obsessive or compulsive about it.

Women want to be noticed and desired, especially when we are younger and when we are single. Did I want men to think I was pretty and sexy? Yes. Did I want men to ogle, stare, and objectify me? No. Did I want men to "take me in" and store my image to masturbate to later? No. Did I want them to romantically fantasize about me in some kind of role that was not really about me? No.

And, for you men, we looked at you too. We noticed you and your various parts and we had different likes and dislikes. We evaluated too. We tend to be more subtle about it and we tend to not tell men directly about it. We tend not to openly compare our partners to other men, either by our behavior when we are out with our partners or in conversation. I never criticized my husband's body or appearance. So we all do a bit of objectifying. But, we need to be aware of that. We need to say to ourselves, "that's good looking man and I could imagine him without clothes" but that's just a brief fantasy that I can stop at any moment. I really do not know this man. If I knew him, would I really want to see him without clothes? And, if I'm married, didn't I agree I wouldn't do that kind of thing?

Healthy attraction recognizes that we are only looking at one aspect of a person: their appearance in the moment. Healthy attraction recognizes that this is a multi-faceted human being, not an object.

Healthy attraction does not involve obsession or compulsion. My husband's addiction progressed to the point that he HAD to look at all women. If they were attractive, he HAD to stare, take them all in, stare as long as he could, start the fantasy, and fantasize as long as possible. He had to look. He had to scan. He had to search. He could not leave it alone. He could not get the image out of his mind. He had to fantasize. He had to masturbate. He had to have a romantic fantasy of the perfect woman. Healthy attraction does not involve any of this. Sure, there can be fantasies, but they are not compulsive. They are not obsessive. Healthy attraction does not involve a trance.

dnell


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 26, 2015 6:58 pm 
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Hadenuff, your contribution to this thread is appreciated and respected.

It is helpful to hear the ways in which you notice attractiveness. It's validating.

For some of us, the SA mindset became such a norm that we (well, me) really wondered if the "men are visual" phrase meant the majority of men then engage in SA-type rituals with mental undressing, fantasy, etc.

To hear your perspective and experience helps further solidify our RN lessons about rituals, stimulation, and the sexualized mind and that our partners indeed have minds and processes that are far more sexualized than those who are not addicted persons.

The other day I was waited on by a nice looking server. Beyond his physical appearance I noticed his body language, his kindness, his efficiency. But I also could let that all go in an instant. There was no compulsion or obsessiion with him, at that time or later. As dnell noted, this is healthy, normal human attraction. This is noticing, but not scanning. And, he was in my radar because of interaction between us.

It's no wonder you felt violated by your partner,mhadenuff. You wanted engagement from her. She was enough for YOU, but consistently she showed you you were not enough for her. That takes its toll.

Thank you again for your honesty and sharing. And for being kind and empathic about what we experience as women.

If anything, hadenuff, your sharing here helps me feel more clear about the line between SA and normal attraction, and this bolsters my knowledge that SA is NOT something we can dismiss as "guys being guys."


Last edited by meepmeep on Mon Jul 27, 2015 5:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2015 7:29 am 
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Hadenuff - Just posting to back up that we do appreciate the honest viewpoint of a 'normal' guy. I met my SA when I was 18 and I was completely faithful, so for 24 years all I got was an SAs take on life, which was utterly distorted. Please don't feel we don't value your voice just because you've got a y chromosome.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2015 1:21 am 
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Hi Autumn,

You've received a lot of great answers here, and the first thing that should be noted here is, how many different angles there can be in terms of analyzing a single relatively straightforward behaviour. This is actually way more complicated than people would think, much like defining the difference between compulsive behaviour and voluntary choice. My answer is going to be an amalgamation of things already said, but I'm going to split it into two different perspectives: internal and external. I'll talk about internal first.

In "noticing", you consciously become aware of someone you're attracted to for whatever reason...as noted, you may noticed different things about them. And there is a conscious acknowledgement that you find them attractive, pleasant, etc.....but that's where it ends, for whatever reason. Usually, for healthy people, there would be an internal recognition that "I shouldn't stare/be creepy/I have a partner, etc." and so you look away. And this happens quite naturally. There is also no objectification; while you may have noticed attractive aspects of someone, they are still perceived as a complex person.

What I don't think anyone here has mentioned yet, is emotional stimulation. This becomes highly important for understanding scanning.

In "scanning", the entire purpose for the behaviour is immediate emotional gratification...whether the person initially has a negative emotional state they are trying to remedy, or they see someone, feel the stimulation, then continue scanning others. While noticing may result in emotional stimulation, it is not the intent of the act. Addicts who scan constantly (dozens if not hundreds of times a day) get a little blip of emotional stimulation each time. As part of the scanning process, the person objectifies those who they see, so they are not a complex person, but simply an object for satisfying their emotional balance. Quite often (but not necessarily), this is paired with fantasy, or other compulsive rituals. And, like in other compulsive behaviours (and unlike in noticing), the consequences of the behaviour are not considered before or during the behaviour in anything more than a cursory, intellectualized way, if at all.

That's internally. Externally, as ursula says...it would be very difficult if not impossible to tell the difference. The only thing I can think of is that, in scanning, there can be a very automatic-looking "tracking" of the person's head as the person who they're scanning walks by (hence the name, "scanning"), almost as a robot would track something (as in that moment, they are essentially unconscious and not aware of what they are doing).

But just to note here: both healthy people, and people with addictions, can both scan and notice. It's not one or the other. It's not like those with these addictions never just notice people, without sexualizing or objectifying them, or that those without addictions can't compulsively scan. To think this way is to see these concepts in black and white, when it is never like that.
I'll confuse things further. You could also notice someone, then consciously and intentionally choose to sexualize them or fantasize about them. You could also scan someone instantaneously, then recognize what you're doing, give your head a shake, and not go any further. Human behaviour doesn't often fit into easy categories.

For that reason, I would also not take someone saying "I'm a guy/that's what guys do" as indications of a "SA mindset" or anything like that. Could it be used by someone with an addiction? Of course, but there are substantially more factors that go into determining whether someone has an addiction (most of which couldn't be determined simply by analyzing the person's behaviour from the outside). What I would consider this more to be is a deflection or justification based on an embedded social norm. This is a common enough rationalization in our current society (in people who wouldn't understand the difference between noticing and scanning...which would be most), that it really doesn't indicate anything. Ignorance, immaturity, and immorality don't equal addiction, even though they all play a role in addiction. However, that response could still be a red flag, as I'll note.

So what should you do? For one thing, much like you don't want to police someone's internet behaviour, you don't want to spend time "looking for" times when they're scanning...lest someone else's lack of values or self-control causes you to distort your own and waste your own time trying to "catch them" in the act. Especially with someone new you're dating...they're an adult and should be treated as an adult. If you see something like that, whether it's noticing or scanning, it's against your values, so you did the right thing to address it with him.

Now, you've given him the chance to change, so if he is sincere, he will actually work on it and discuss it with you; if not, then it will likely only be a matter of time before you see this again (without having to look for it), and it will likely be followed by dismissiveness, defensiveness, rationalizations, etc...in which case, you'll have to cross that bridge when you get to it. It could still be a red flag, for sure...but again, I do think many guys, plenty of whom don't have addictions, learn through social understanding that "this is just what guys do"...so now that you have identified it as an issue for you, what matters is how he reacts to it...whether he actually puts in the work to change and communicates this with you, or whether bringing this up just leads to the behaviour becoming more secret (though if that is true, it'll again just be a matter of time before you notice a pattern). In the meantime, ursula made an excellent suggestion in terms of trying to understand his other values in regards to love, intimacy, trust, etc., and judging based on actions rather than words. And as has been already mentioned, keep listening to your gut.

Hope that helps. :g:

Boundless

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2015 3:13 pm 
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Getting back to replying to this. Sometimes I need to let thoughts percolate through all of me for some time.

meepmeep wrote:
Because I am not a man, I cannot speak from a male's perspective. But I have read enough men online stating sometimes a woman will catch their eye, and they will glance, and that's it, because their focus and desire is for a relationship with the woman they are with (e.g. a wife, etc).

Yes I think this is a natural thing and different from scanning.

meepmeep wrote:
What troubles me about your date's response is "I'm a guy." If anything, it's his response that to me is more a red flag than the act of the looking. While it doesn't indicate a pattern of compulsion or addiction, it does reflect a quite blase attitude toward himself and toward women. Dismissive, and unwilling to reflect further. His option was to go with the easy, 'social construct' answer instead of looking for a moment of sharing and reflection with you and himself.

Yes it concerned me too. This was the only time I have seen him even notice another woman in 2 years so I feel this is more about me and my old wounds than him. Still want to be observing though. Our conversation also went much deep than I posted and while "I'm a guy" was his first response, it isn't where we ended. One thing I pointed out was I guess I could also say "I'm a gal" if caught doing negative things that are more associated with women, like pms.

RisingtoChallenge wrote:
What you're describing is what I fear in potentially dating in the future--that I'll inadvertently end up back in the same situation I started in. I think the only way to avoid that is to be clear on your values and boundaries and meticulously enforce them from the start of a relationship.

I understand your fear and think it is wise to more forward based on values. I after all, married 2 men who had addictions....30 years of my life. So I am in a eyes-wide-open mode this time around in dating. But will say this about fear of dating and ending up in another relationship, I've decided if I find myself in that situation again, I know I can handle it and end it much more quickly, mostly because I am living life more based on my values than ever before. For quite awhile there, I would ponder what value different activities, feelings, thoughts were building on. One day as I was cleaning my bathroom, not a favored activity for sure :s: , I realized the values were self-care, family....and it actually made the cleaning more pleasant.

RisingtoChallenge wrote:
It doesn't matter WHY you may be sensitive to scanning. The fact is that you are. And rightfully so. The old gut instinct flaring up. Don't neglect it.

Yes and no. Yes I have ignored glaring, flashing red light signs with my former husband and I don't want to do that again. And no, I do want to know where my responses and reactions come from. It could be my instincts. It could be an old wound, scar has been bumped. It could be both. Or something else entirely. I just want to stay open to the possibilities. I have tried to adopt a role of observing myself. Sometimes I think to myself, well that's an interesting reaction to have, what is happening and where is it coming from? Other times I react and observe my reaction after the fact.

RisingtoChallenge wrote:
I think the best way to handle it is right back to our hard-earned values/boundaries lessons. What is the value here? What is the boundary? In my case, I would let him know that I value mutual respect in a relationship, which includes not obviously staring at another woman. Sounds like this is just what you did. And the boundary for me would be first to be clear about that value and the boundary. Then if it happens again in the future, getting up and walking out.

Yes I agree with values and boundaries assessment. I would have agreed with getting up and walking out with my last husband. But I have determined I don't want another relationship where I have to repeatedly ask for change and have to place boundary after boundary after boundary around my values. It's different to me with a new relationship than my last marriage and ironic I guess that I would have continued to work with my ex-husband had he shown any real commitment to making lasting changes. And feel much less inclined to do that kind of work for a new relationship. Maybe I will feel differently if in say 5 years I discovered something. But I feel committed to never being in an intimate relationship with another person with an addiction again unless they have years of recovery already behind them and even then I think I'd pause.

ursula wrote:
I'm afraid you cannot possibly know the difference between scanning and noticing in your partner. It is what they "do" with those images that makes it scanning or noticing. There is no way you can have access to such information unless he admits to it. Or unless it happens all the time and you get the feeling it is compulsive, maybe like trance state oggling ... but most times I believe it can be discreet, especially if he knows you have your eyes on him.

I am not sure if there really is no way to know. If we watch behaviors, actions to me it will become obvious over time. And then again, I am not sure it matters if I know if a man is scanning or not, if I pay attention to the actions and whether his life is healthy or damaging to be around. I'm thinking of how my ex-husband almost never noticed women when with me, but was never the less quite unhealthy.

ursula wrote:
Also, remember, chances are he does not possess the information you possess, he did not have exposure to all this knowledge about sex addiction and scanning


Yes I agree with this completely.

ursula wrote:
IMO what you could do is to really get to know his value system ... especially around these issues with love, romance, fidelity, looking at people, respect, objectification ... chances are you will have to "educate" him as to what you mean and how you see things. See how he reacts, see what he thinks ... but don't judge only by words ... see if his actions align to the stated values ... Also, his ability to be intimate with you ... sexually and otherwise would also be a good indication of his general health state ... I'm afraid there is only you, your experience and your intuition ... try to keep an overall view, not judge isolated cases ... and if you get more red flags, trust your gut that there's a good reason for that.

Yes absolutely agree with all of that and have been doing some of those things already. I talk about values a lot so he's used to that. :sat: His ability to be intimate on many levels has been really wonderful because he seems to see and enjoy all of me, not just one part of me like I've experienced in the past. But there are some areas of his life, his life/values aren't lined up with what he does and that does concern me. It isn't in the area of sex or women, but still something I notice. Mainly the occasional jealousy and occasional reactive breaking up, then take it back. Both feel immature and like deal breakers but he's working on it and trying to address it, so I will wait and see as I overall enjoy our relationship.

I think I should post this and continue on another post so this isn't the longest ever written post. :s:

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2015 6:24 pm 
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hadenuff wrote:
I've honestly withheld comment on this because I'm concerned I might either distort the view of what is or isn't appropriate. I was also concerned that being a lone male in a group of females that I might offend the very people who are offering me support.

hadenuff, Thank you for your input. How you describe it is how my boyfriend describes it. At the beginning or our relationship he shared with me how he knew he was totally in love with me because he didn't even notice other women, that nothing could shake his attention on me. It's been 2 years now and maybe the honeymoon is starting to wear off, especially since we were apart for 6 months too. Since this time when I noticed him notice, he has been very observant of me and us when together. One thing I appreciate about him is I can have these conversations with him, asking for change, we talk, he listens then he will try to change, adjust his behavior. I do the same thing and it's very nice.

hadenuff wrote:
I don't want to think that I have been that offensive, but I also can't deny that I've noticed women because of whatever spark attracts me to women. I've thought about your post for quite some time and I don't think I can provide any help but hoped maybe hearing a male's truth about noticing females might give some insight.

This is an interesting journey to get on, to heal from another's actions. We look much more closely at things most others take for granted. We observe our own behavior, our own auto-pilot habits. We ground ourselves. We heal. We change. We grow. We also realize this or that we questioned in ourselves was completely healthy afterall. Hadenuff, I appreciate your perspective as I am sure others do.

dnell wrote:
This is really a third rail issue. Let me try to get at it in a different way. What is healthy attraction? How is healthy attraction expressed? Here are my views.

Great way to look at it.

dnell wrote:
Women want to be noticed and desired, especially when we are younger and when we are single. Did I want men to think I was pretty and sexy? Yes. Did I want men to ogle, stare, and objectify me? No. Did I want men to "take me in" and store my image to masturbate to later? No. Did I want them to romantically fantasize about me in some kind of role that was not really about me? No.

Yes I agree mostly. When I was single, I can't say I wanted all men to notice me. I can honestly say when I was younger I probably didn't really care or notice if a man stared or objectified me. As a young woman that seemed par for the course but my view of the world was skewed then since my step father had molested me as girl, so I just expected sexual attention from men as normal. That said, I have had 2 men in my life "confess" they fantasized about me later. Really startled me both times as I was married and both of them were married as well. That to me is beyond healthy attraction and out of line. And I believe most understand that line and most don't cross it.

dnell wrote:
And, for you men, we looked at you too. We noticed you and your various parts and we had different likes and dislikes. We evaluated too.

Yes and I wonder if it's more auto pilot. I have noticed when I was single a man who might not be immediately physically attractive to me, could become more physically attractive by his personality, smarts, funny....etc. I found that interesting actually.
dnell wrote:
So we all do a bit of objectifying. But, we need to be aware of that. We need to say to ourselves, "that's good looking man and I could imagine him without clothes" but that's just a brief fantasy that I can stop at any moment. I really do not know this man. If I knew him, would I really want to see him without clothes? And, if I'm married, didn't I agree I wouldn't do that kind of thing?

I've paid attention to myself when I have noticed a man and can honestly say it goes no further than noticing. Both ex-husbands and other men have asked if I wonder what a man (or woman) would look like naked or if it turns me on and I don't imagine them naked and it almost never is about sexual fantasy. I'm still wondering what it is about and maybe its no more than just noticing the world around me. Not sure.

dnell wrote:
Healthy attraction does not involve any of this. Sure, there can be fantasies, but they are not compulsive. They are not obsessive. Healthy attraction does not involve a trance.

Good points. Fantasy in and of itself isn't unhealthy. It's the compulsive nature they can take on that makes them unhealthy.

CoachBoundless wrote:
n "scanning", the entire purpose for the behaviour is immediate emotional gratification...whether the person initially has a negative emotional state they are trying to remedy, or they see someone, feel the stimulation, then continue scanning others. While noticing may result in emotional stimulation, it is not the intent of the act.

What's interesting in this to me is if it's true that men experience a little chemical hit when they notice a pretty woman, that would be a normal response. Maybe it's just another example of an addiction hijacking a healthy male way to experience woman and skewing it into scanning. :pe:

CoachBoundless wrote:
But just to note here: both healthy people, and people with addictions, can both scan and notice. It's not one or the other. It's not like those with these addictions never just notice people, without sexualizing or objectifying them, or that those without addictions can't compulsively scan. To think this way is to see these concepts in black and white, when it is never like that.

Yes I totally agree. Thank you for putting this into words.

CoachBoundless wrote:
Externally, as ursula says...it would be very difficult if not impossible to tell the difference. The only thing I can think of is that, in scanning, there can be a very automatic-looking "tracking" of the person's head as the person who they're scanning walks by (hence the name, "scanning"), almost as a robot would track something (as in that moment, they are essentially unconscious and not aware of what they are doing).

Yes and that is what I noticed my boyfriend do briefly, but only after she passed our table and was across the room. Maybe thinking about this, I did notice my ex-husband do this more than I thought as I am sensitive to it.

CoachBoundless wrote:
For that reason, I would also not take someone saying "I'm a guy/that's what guys do" as indications of a "SA mindset" or anything like that.
CoachBoundless wrote:
What I would consider this more to be is a deflection or justification based on an embedded social norm. This is a common enough rationalization in our current society (in people who wouldn't understand the difference between noticing and scanning...which would be most), that it really doesn't indicate anything. Ignorance, immaturity, and immorality don't equal addiction, even though they all play a role in addiction. However, that response could still be a red flag, as I'll note.

I agree this is an auto-response based in social norms. Thinking about this with him in particular, I have never even noticed him notice another woman before. But what I bring to any romantic relationship includes a sensitivity to these issues and as ursual noted, I may need to educate him some.

CoachBoundless wrote:
Now, you've given him the chance to change, so if he is sincere, he will actually work on it and discuss it with you; if not, then it will likely only be a matter of time before you see this again (without having to look for it), and it will likely be followed by dismissiveness, defensiveness, rationalizations, etc...in which case, you'll have to cross that bridge when you get to it. It could still be a red flag, for sure...but again, I do think many guys, plenty of whom don't have addictions, learn through social understanding that "this is just what guys do"...so now that you have identified it as an issue for you, what matters is how he reacts to it...whether he actually puts in the work to change and communicates this with you, or whether bringing this up just leads to the behaviour becoming more secret (though if that is true, it'll again just be a matter of time before you notice a pattern). In the meantime, ursula made an excellent suggestion in terms of trying to understand his other values in regards to love, intimacy, trust, etc., and judging based on actions rather than words. And as has been already mentioned, keep listening to your gut.

Yes agree. I actually feel fine with me moving forward in this or any romantic relationship. He shows me in many ways that I can trust him, that he is invested in our relationship and cares about how he affects me. As in he and I both try to adjust if something bothers the other. Time will tell but so far his response to this issue has been healthy or seems so to me.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2015 6:03 pm 
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Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:07 pm
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Location: UK
Coach AR
I have followed your post over recent weeks and wanted to comment but all I wanted to say has already been said
except
Quote:
I actually feel fine with me moving forward in this or any romantic relationship. He shows me in many ways that I can trust him, that he is invested in our relationship and cares about how he affects me. As in he and I both try to adjust if something bothers the other. Time will tell but so far his response to this issue has been healthy or seems so to me.


fantastic
great for you
and
Quote:
I may need to educate him some.
:g:
if he deserves you he will appreciate this

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Remember recovery is more than abstinence
Every transition begins with an ending
Do not confuse happiness with seeking pleasure
stay healthy keep safe
Coach Kenzo


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2015 1:53 am 
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Thank you Kenzo. You are right about him appreciating understanding. It used to frustrate me that people thought I just stayed with my husband while he cheated for years when instead our relationship was wracked with lots of addictions with affairs like bookends at either end of many years. So I've let go of some of that frustration because it's hard to view the world from my shoes but I do appreciate when he and others try. :sat:

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2015 10:26 am 
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Posts: 70
I'm not sure if I am doing the right thing in responding. Since I have never attended SA meetings and I am new to RN. I will try to comment from my point of view. As a mature adult you have a right (as much as anyone else) to an open, honest and mature relationship. Probably, the large part of men today are ignorant (no offense intended) to all the nuances of relationships since there are still fewer adults who explain them to children.
It is sad that most people, including myself, do not, and have not, had mature discussions with a potential partner or mate about sex, needs, sexual preferences and the like while dating. The result is disfunction and incompatibility.
What a wonderful time this is for you two mature adults (which I do feel that at least you are) to begin a wonderful journey of dialog about things mature adults need to talk about. And if he is not mature enough, for whatever reason, how can you possibly proceed?! You are giving him an opportunity for freedom and honesty that he, as a slave of his compulsion will never know. That's "a guy thing" -ignorance.
When I was, and still do at times, scan a woman (as you all are calling it), I know in my heart that it is wrong. And I know when I cross the line. And so does this individual you refer to. We all do, as do you when and if you scan someone.
My relationship with my wife allows me to say to her: "She's pretty", when an attractive woman is near and she has said to me: "He has pretty eyes", etc. All of us know that we don't stop noticing just because we vow to.
To be brief and to close my comment, as a friend among RN. Know that there are good, mature men out there as there are good women. Yes, it's hard to find, and it's nothing wrong with helping someone to grow. Just don't settle for less. Your radar is just detecting immaturity that says that he may not be ripe enough. You and you alone can and should determine if you are concerned or satisfied enough to proceed. But you are important to at least one person -yourself.


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