A moment in the life of a full-blown sex addict
Someone shared on GYE that he has found a tool to help him. When he feels the temptation to stare at and/or follow these women with his eyes, he thinks about the realness of this woman that he is worshiping, and tries to use that realization to snap him out of it and treat her like a real human.
That is a fabulous idea and I am so glad he shared that here!
But I have found that, for myself, the technique that he described is just not going far enough. I need to actually pray to Hashem for the woman I don't let go of. To ask Him to help her in every way He sees fit for her. To bless her with health, save her from the horrible pains of real life (death is not very nice, getting old and losing your loved ones sucks, too, and most of us will have to confront some very frightening disease eventually and there really is no escape for most of us; then there are many who suffer the pains of wayward children, painfully screwed up marriages etc, etc - and all these things must be even harder for goyim than they are for us Yidden, for at least we have a strong moral compass and a Torah and Torah-community that makes facing real life challenges easier.......don't we? If I were brought up as she was, gevalt, how lost would I be! So, I often have an easier time feeling for their pain, as strange as that may seem.)
Thinking about her as a real person is nice - but it is still thinking about her. And thinking about her is never a good idea, for me. If you are lusting after her and wishing to snatch a better look at her, then you are obviously worshiping her on some real level. That needs to be recognized first and foremost, and faced squarely. Denial is no escape - it is just a feeble lie that will get us nowhere. Once that is accepted fully, we can start to take real action for her - not just to 'think about her.' Concrete actions are usually what speaks much louder than thinking... and thinking will often just breed more thinking. Thinking is also way too close to fighting. And we know the Kotzker tells us that wrestling with a muddy man with just make us more muddy in the end, even if we win. Sincerely praying for them is very different than thinking about them. It's magical, actually... if it is sincere.
And one caveat for this technique:
It's very poor as a first line of defense. In fact, as a first line of defense it is usually just a trick our desire uses in order to keep holding onto the person/image/lust object. It then backfires. I use dropping it as my 1st response. I admit (usually verbally, speaking the words quietly to myself and to my G-d, not just thinking them) that, "She isn't mine and won't be mine and I have no business with her." I usually have a faint smile when I say these words, because I find it a bit comical that I would entertain any thought that she really is mine or that I have any real business checking her out. I have gotten used to laughing about most lust temptations. And they just pass, like driving by an interesting road-kill... yeah, it's interesting to see if that deer has his brains or intestines splattered open and what they actually look like... but - I think I can go on without stopping on the highway right now, cuz 1- I'm busy going somewhere and 2- it's really none of my business anyhow.
Don't you find it a bit comical, too? Can't you honestly apply it to lusting, as well? I do. And I am a full-blown, powerless sexaholic. Just cuz I have been sober today for many years does not mean I have forgotten an iota of the pain you go through when she passes and you feel you must, must check out her bottom and waist - or else.
I have not forgotten, Boruch Hashem. And I am still free, and not asking G-d for for more than today.