What's the Difference Between Sexual Attraction & Objectification?

Sat, 03/26/2016 - 14:41
Submitted by Betty Dodson

Betty,

You're a feminist who is also very pro-sexual expression, so I'd like to get your opinion on this. What do you think is the difference between sexual attraction and objectification? Is there a difference? Personally, I think the lines are blurry as in my opinion all attraction is objectification to some degree.

B

Dear B,

Yes, Semantics is a bitch. While defining our individual meaning of words is important, it's also nearly impossible, I would agree with your observation that attraction and objectification are close to being the same thing. It could also be called "personal taste" in that we all have our favorite foods, colors, art, body types, etc.

If I say I'm only interested in fucking guys with eight inch dicks, yet one of my best lovers had five and a half inches, I'm on the other side of objectifying penis size. So maybe the difference can only be determined by each individual case. Next time you get accused of "objectifying" a woman, just smile and explain it's only your personal taste. We're all entitled to have our very own favorites in each category.

Dr. Betty

Liberating women one orgasm at a time

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Objects

Sun, 03/27/2016 - 07:39

Sexual attraction is the opposite of objectification unless you are entirely indiscriminate in your desires, unless it is all about you.

An object is interchangeable with any other object whilst a person is not, they're individual, unique and special. I am attracted to people not to objects, disposable and replaceable. Dicks are objects. Tits are objects. People are not. We are more than a collection of body parts.

So if you are told that you are objectifying someone, my best guess is that you are making that person feel less, less special, less unique, less individual. Sometimes this happens by accident, the cliche chat-up line, the clumsy or patronising compliment but it can also happen when we put ourselves first and foremost, when we start to see other people only in terms of what they can do for us rather than what we can offer each other, sexually or otherwise.

Perhaps the lines are only blurred to the person objectifying someone else. They always seem crystal clear to the person who is made to feel like an object.

Missed opportunity!

Sun, 03/27/2016 - 19:03
Jimbo (not verified)

My Wife and I were both virgins when we married. Due to ignorance, periods, and military duty it was several months before we made sexual love, somewhat clumsy at first, but Beautiful! Those were the pre Kinsey days.

Yes!

Wed, 03/30/2016 - 07:08
Melly Mel (not verified)

Thank you so much for this very thoughtful and clarifying comment. I read this post and was grappling with how best to distinguish these two--you've crafted something very easy to understand that helps me build my own vocabulary on this issue. So grateful.

Have I Objectified

Sat, 04/02/2016 - 04:44
ASP'-2 (not verified)

Almost certainly I have, but this was not a conscious act, rather I have been attracted to a diverse mostly sex-positive women, whether just by working together, chatting, as 'friends of friends' or whatever. So, do I objectify, No, but do I (we) select, yes. So I think the question could be put better as 'Do we unconsciously select?'.

Respect

Tue, 04/12/2016 - 05:03

The answer to this question is easy. Respect for who you desire. Even if your desire is intrinsically disrespectful, there is fantasy and reality. Reality requiring informed consent and shared desires. 

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