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Author Topic: On appropriateness of admiring the fairer sex  (Read 1446 times) Average Rating: 0
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TheTrisagion
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« on: June 14, 2013, 11:03:01 AM »

So, here is my question for all you erudite scholars and Orthodox faithful.

I am married, but that doesn't always mean that I never gaze admiringly at an attractive woman who may walk past.  Is this a sin?  I'm sure I will get several "see your priest" comments, but I would like everyone's opinion here.  Is it possible to admire a woman without necessarily sexualizing her?  I make a concious effort never to do it in my wife's presence out of respect for her, although we on occasion may make jokes about seeing some hot guy/girl to each other.  If it is a sin to admire a woman's beauty, why did God make them so nice to look at?  If it is not a sin, where is the line drawn whereby you are crossing into sin?
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« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2013, 11:13:39 AM »


I think you may admire all of God's creations, as long as it's not a "lustful" admiration.

God has made some drop dead gorgeous men (and women), and there's nothing wrong with noticing.


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« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2013, 11:29:10 AM »

I've heard from RC priests that in such cases they just "give thanks to the God for such wonderful creation". So I think it's similar situation. And as also my (Orthodox of course) priest said, it's nothing wrong to notice handsome men (in my case), it's completely normal. If you didn't noticed the opposite set, it would be worse thing Wink

But, certainly, we shouldn't use the attractiveness of the opposite sex that's not our spouse in our mind, thoughts etc.
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« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2013, 11:58:00 AM »

You're married, not dead. Smiley I see no difference between appreciating a fine specimen of human beauty in the street and ogling movie stars on the big screen. Except perhaps we wouldn't be as impressed by the unretouched everyday images of movie stars, but I digress.

My husband looks at other women, I look at other men, we compare notes angel but at the end of the day we come home to each other and all the others mean nothing. It starts becoming a problem when the looker starts getting involved with the lookee, which can kick off with as little as an unsolicited comment (also known as 'corny pickup lines').
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« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2013, 12:18:10 PM »

What's with the heteronormativity? If there is no lust involved why not to admire both sexes?
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« Reply #5 on: June 14, 2013, 12:22:00 PM »

What's with the heteronormativity? If there is no lust involved why not to admire both sexes?

Well, because frankly, I don't find men's bodies to be attractive. If I did, perhaps I would admire them.

The Fathers always seem to be very anxious to suppress passions as soon as they begin to arise, but I wasn't really sure where arising started.

Oh...I just realized that that could really be taken the wrong way.  Shocked

On another note, I find it interesting that women were the first 3 respondents to my question.
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« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2013, 12:35:46 PM »

What's with the heteronormativity? If there is no lust involved why not to admire both sexes?

Well, because frankly, I don't find men's bodies to be attractive. If I did, perhaps I would admire them.

You admire female bodies when they walk past? In my country they tend to wear clothes. Tongue
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« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2013, 12:42:03 PM »

What's with the heteronormativity? If there is no lust involved why not to admire both sexes?

Well, because frankly, I don't find men's bodies to be attractive. If I did, perhaps I would admire them.

You admire female bodies when they walk past? In my country they tend to wear clothes. Tongue
Well then, I guess your missing out!  Kiss

I admire their...face.  That is part of their body, right?  Cool
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« Reply #8 on: June 14, 2013, 12:45:11 PM »

The Lord said that we commit adultery in our heart when we look lustfully upon a woman.  Noticing a woman's beauty does not necessarily mean looking lustfully, but "just noticing" in this way may be the beginning of lust and that adultery of the heart. 

If we do not control our gaze, the demons will find ways to put before our eyes those things which can distract and ensnare us.  The fact that we at least know not to look at other women while with our wives is an indication that  such looking is probably not blameless.  Of course, it may not be best to stare at the ground when a female boss or coworker is talking to us, but otherwise we should control our gaze to avoid all manner of temptations, lust being just one.  Looking around here and there can also be a sign of inner restlessness and a desire to find some fulfillment or diversion outside ourselves through indulging the senses and the flesh.  Instead, we could keep our gaze before us and keep our mind and heart in prayer, recalling our sinfulness and asking the Lord for His mercy. 

St. Gregory the Diologist said of St. Benedict of Nursia:
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  I said that this venerable man did dwell with himself, because carrying himself circumspectly and carefully in the sight of his Creator, always considering his own actions, always examining himself, never did he turn the eyes of his soul from himself, to behold aught else whatsoever.

Chapter 3, http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/basis/g1-benedict1.asp

We can also ask ourselves about our perception of beauty, and whether this perception of beauty is one that is fleshly or whether it is spiritual.  Do we perceive beauty merely in terms of the external appearance of the body, as does the world; or is our sensitivity to beauty a sensitivity to the beauty observed in a person who lives a life pleasing to God?  In other words, is it true beauty that gets our attention and causes us to marvel - a beauty that comes from within and animates a person with a certain light or glow; or is it the counterfeit and deceptive beauty which is of the flesh and often leads us into sin? 

Also, in noticing the beauty of the opposite sex, where is our mind afterwards?  Do we continue to think about this person, allowing this person's appearance to occupy our imagination?  If so, we are on a dangerous path.  These are at least a few things to think about. 
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« Reply #9 on: June 14, 2013, 12:50:40 PM »

Thank you Jah, that was very inciteful.  Smiley
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« Reply #10 on: June 14, 2013, 01:18:15 PM »

What's with the heteronormativity? If there is no lust involved why not to admire both sexes?

Well, because frankly, I don't find men's bodies to be attractive. If I did, perhaps I would admire them.

You admire female bodies when they walk past? In my country they tend to wear clothes. Tongue
It must be pretty cold in your country.
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« Reply #11 on: June 14, 2013, 01:20:21 PM »

Sex is never fair.
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« Reply #12 on: June 14, 2013, 01:26:35 PM »

Is it possible to admire a woman without necessarily sexualizing her?

Only if you are homosexual or European.
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« Reply #13 on: June 14, 2013, 01:27:04 PM »

Sex is never fair.
Do I have permission to post what I'm thinking?
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« Reply #14 on: June 14, 2013, 01:28:12 PM »

Sex is never fair.
Do I have permission to post what I'm thinking?

As long as you don't divulge too much about our relationship.
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« Reply #15 on: June 14, 2013, 01:32:59 PM »

Sex is never fair.
Do I have permission to post what I'm thinking?
Yes
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« Reply #16 on: June 14, 2013, 02:04:13 PM »

So, here is my question for all you erudite scholars and Orthodox faithful.

I am married, but that doesn't always mean that I never gaze admiringly at an attractive woman who may walk past.  Is this a sin?  I'm sure I will get several "see your priest" comments, but I would like everyone's opinion here.  Is it possible to admire a woman without necessarily sexualizing her?  I make a concious effort never to do it in my wife's presence out of respect for her, although we on occasion may make jokes about seeing some hot guy/girl to each other.  If it is a sin to admire a woman's beauty, why did God make them so nice to look at?  If it is not a sin, where is the line drawn whereby you are crossing into sin?

Great question!!

My understanding is that we commit adultery if we look upon a woman in order to lust after her.  Just noticing and admiring doesn't *necessarily* qualify as adultery.

One Orthodox priest I know says, "If in doubt, don't."  Grin
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« Reply #17 on: June 14, 2013, 02:33:48 PM »

So, here is my question for all you erudite scholars and Orthodox faithful.

I am married, but that doesn't always mean that I never gaze admiringly at an attractive woman who may walk past.  Is this a sin?  I'm sure I will get several "see your priest" comments, but I would like everyone's opinion here.  Is it possible to admire a woman without necessarily sexualizing her?  I make a concious effort never to do it in my wife's presence out of respect for her, although we on occasion may make jokes about seeing some hot guy/girl to each other.  If it is a sin to admire a woman's beauty, why did God make them so nice to look at?  If it is not a sin, where is the line drawn whereby you are crossing into sin?
It does not take much to go from one to the other.  Since people are different, there is not a specific time duration.  It depends on what is in your heart and what is in your wife's heart.  Let's say you look for 10 seconds.  Will you lust after that long?  If yes, don't.  How about your wife?  What would she think if you looked for 10 seconds?  Is that O.K.?  If not, don't.
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« Reply #18 on: June 14, 2013, 02:37:11 PM »

I feel sorry for many of you.
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« Reply #19 on: June 14, 2013, 03:46:39 PM »

Only if she is a 6 or higher.

Remember that 10s don't exist in real life.
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« Reply #20 on: June 14, 2013, 04:02:04 PM »

Only if she is a 6 or higher.

Remember that 10s don't exist in real life.
I would disagree.
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« Reply #21 on: June 14, 2013, 04:10:49 PM »

Only if she is a 6 or higher.

Remember that 10s don't exist in real life.
I would disagree.

Then you do not exist in real life.  Wink
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« Reply #22 on: June 14, 2013, 04:18:05 PM »

Only if she is a 6 or higher.

Remember that 10s don't exist in real life.

FALSE.

Mathematically, you would have approx 2.3% of females falling in the "10" category.

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« Reply #23 on: June 14, 2013, 04:27:57 PM »

10 = Flawless.

If you have seen a 10, you are pedestalizing.
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« Reply #24 on: June 14, 2013, 04:28:59 PM »

Only if she is a 6 or higher.

Remember that 10s don't exist in real life.

FALSE.

Mathematically, you would have approx 2.3% of females falling in the "10" category.



We're talkin' REAL life here, Beezelbub  Grin Grin.
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« Reply #25 on: June 14, 2013, 04:32:19 PM »

Only if she is a 6 or higher.

Remember that 10s don't exist in real life.
I would disagree.

Then you do not exist in real life.  Wink
Jeff you should know by now that I don't, based on my politics alone.

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« Reply #26 on: June 14, 2013, 04:33:05 PM »

10 = Flawless.

If you have seen a 10, you are pedestalizing.
Well in Omaha Nebraska of course you won't see a perfect 10
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« Reply #27 on: June 14, 2013, 04:40:52 PM »

Only if she is a 6 or higher.

Remember that 10s don't exist in real life.
I would disagree.

Then you do not exist in real life.  Wink
Jeff you should know by now that I don't, based on my politics alone.

Romantiscm has me roped in from the pit of despair.


So that's what it is.  And here I thought it was something else.  Are you quite sure, though, that it's from and not toWink
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« Reply #28 on: June 14, 2013, 04:42:25 PM »

I'm trying to be careful that my cynicism and romanticism doesn't do my head in.

It sure ain't healthy being cynical
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« Reply #29 on: June 14, 2013, 04:44:33 PM »

I'm trying to be careful that my cynicism and romanticism doesn't do my head in.

It sure ain't healthy being cynical

Life's a bitch and......Ooops... Grin Grin Grin Grin












then you marry one  laugh laugh
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« Reply #30 on: June 14, 2013, 04:45:01 PM »

Anyone's a 10 when you really love them.

</unbefitting naivete, but I don't care>
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« Reply #31 on: June 14, 2013, 04:46:46 PM »

Anyone's a 10 when you really love them.

</unbefitting naivete, but I don't care>

Now that I can agree with!!  Well said, good sir!
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« Reply #32 on: June 14, 2013, 04:49:15 PM »

I'm trying to be careful that my cynicism and romanticism doesn't do my head in.

It sure ain't healthy being cynical

Life's a bitch and......Ooops... Grin Grin Grin Grin












then you marry one  laugh laugh

And then you die. x_X

My husband calls me 'the most beautiful woman in the world', and that is enough. The top is the top, regardless of numbers. Wink
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« Reply #33 on: June 14, 2013, 04:52:46 PM »

I'm trying to be careful that my cynicism and romanticism doesn't do my head in.

It sure ain't healthy being cynical

Life's a bitch and......Ooops... Grin Grin Grin Grin












then you marry one  laugh laugh

And then you die.
x_X

My husband calls me 'the most beautiful woman in the world', and that is enough. The top is the top, regardless of numbers. Wink

Alex doesn't like that version  Sad.

Your husband sounds like a very good husband.  Keep him!  Wink
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« Reply #34 on: June 14, 2013, 04:58:09 PM »

Anyone's a 10 when you really love them.

</unbefitting naivete, but I don't care>
Yeah that's true.

yo girl after we broke up youre like a 6.7
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« Reply #35 on: June 14, 2013, 06:04:49 PM »

Anyone's a 10 when you really love them.

</unbefitting naivete, but I don't care>

That would be allowing emotions to warp rational quantification.

That would also be why we didn't go extinct after Lucy.
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« Reply #36 on: June 14, 2013, 06:05:48 PM »

10 = Flawless.

If you have seen a 10, you are pedestalizing.
Well in Omaha Nebraska of course you won't see a perfect 10

When I see an 8 in Omaha I levitate, my eyes burst out of my head, and my tongue rolls out in an anatomically implausible fashion.
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« Reply #37 on: June 14, 2013, 06:28:04 PM »

10 = Flawless.

If you have seen a 10, you are pedestalizing.
Well in Omaha Nebraska of course you won't see a perfect 10

When I see an 8 in Omaha I levitate, my eyes burst out of my head, and my tongue rolls out in an anatomically implausible fashion.
its that nebraska corn
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« Reply #38 on: June 14, 2013, 06:31:31 PM »

I'm trying to be careful that my cynicism and romanticism doesn't do my head in.

It sure ain't healthy being cynical

Life's a bitch and......Ooops... Grin Grin Grin Grin












then you marry one  laugh laugh

And then you die. x_X

My husband calls me 'the most beautiful woman in the world', and that is enough. The top is the top, regardless of numbers. Wink

AAARRRHHHH. Thought this was private . . .
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« Reply #39 on: June 14, 2013, 08:50:14 PM »

10 = Flawless.

If you have seen a 10, you are pedestalizing.
Well in Omaha Nebraska of course you won't see a perfect 10

When I see an 8 in Omaha I levitate, my eyes burst out of my head, and my tongue rolls out in an anatomically implausible fashion.
its that nebraska corn

Forsooth.
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« Reply #40 on: June 15, 2013, 07:43:12 AM »

If you're thinking of other women in terms of being "hot", or as some number on a scale of 1 to 10, that's a bad sign. If you're going to appreciate another woman's beauty, don't sexualize it. If you're sexualizing it, then as jah777 says, it's becoming lust.

The beauty of several female saints does not without mention in hagiography, so I wouldn't go to the other extreme and say we can't appreciate physical beauty at all. Just keep it Apollonian, rather than Dionysian.
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« Reply #41 on: June 15, 2013, 11:13:43 AM »

God made all of us beautiful. It is not a sin to admire each other's beauty; in fact, it is a normal reaction -- that's the point of beauty. However, I speak from an ideal point of view. In the fallen world, man has lost touch with the spiritual dimension. The whole person is not just the body, but also the soul. First and foremost you love and value someone based on the fact that they are a person and that person also radiates through a body. You do not admire the body separately. The higher the level of spiritual perfection you achieve, the better you able to appreciate someone's beauty.

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« Reply #42 on: June 15, 2013, 11:55:02 AM »

So, here is my question for all you erudite scholars and Orthodox faithful.

I am married, but that doesn't always mean that I never gaze admiringly at an attractive woman who may walk past.  Is this a sin?  I'm sure I will get several "see your priest" comments, but I would like everyone's opinion here.  Is it possible to admire a woman without necessarily sexualizing her?  I make a concious effort never to do it in my wife's presence out of respect for her, although we on occasion may make jokes about seeing some hot guy/girl to each other.

Dude you love your wife yeah? How would you feel if your wife stares at every goodlooking guy in a restaurant you are having dinner in with " admiring" gaze? While you are sitting right infront of her? Wandering eyes spell trouble my friend, I don't care what religion you follow or what book you have read. Aesthetically being aware dose not translate into eyes that tend to follow every beauty that passess by.

May I give unsolicited advise? You got your wife with you ? keep your eyes on her especially when a beautiful woman is passing by. Otherwise even if you get forgiveness from God , you might not get it from your wife, unless of course she is the type who doesn't mind sharing that bit of you or herself:) in that case you are in luck you might even get to comment on the hotness  of the woman that just passed by you guys.lol

You have said you make a conscious effort not to, good man! Smart man! Now don't mess up Wink


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« Reply #43 on: June 15, 2013, 12:00:52 PM »

If you have seen a 10, you are pedestalizing.
You need to stop listening to your dad's bro advice.

That would also be why we didn't go extinct after Lucy.

You need to stop listening to your dad's "wolfpack" evolutionary hypotheses.

I am seeing a pattern.
« Last Edit: June 15, 2013, 12:04:36 PM by NicholasMyra » Logged

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« Reply #44 on: June 15, 2013, 12:41:00 PM »

What's with the heteronormativity? If there is no lust involved why not to admire both sexes?

Well, because frankly, I don't find men's bodies to be attractive. If I did, perhaps I would admire them.

You admire female bodies when they walk past? In my country they tend to wear clothes. Tongue

But it's cold.
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