I'd like to continue with this idea today by bringing a beautiful post from Dov in response to someone who posted the following question on the forum:
Ok, I fell because I looked at photos. Why did I do that? Because I get a "high" looking at beauty. I appreciate G-d's beauty in the world. Unfortunately, that leads to waste.... I feel that "staring" is a part of me. It's not like not eating kosher. There's something natural about a guy staring at a pretty woman. How can G-d expect us to not do behavior that is natural for us guys?
First of all, whaddayamean it's not natural for a guy to want treif? If he's used to treif, he wants more treif - we all have favorite foods, favorite restaurants, etc. So do the treif guys.
Second, who said that G-d expects us not to appreciate gorgeous women?! But what is pretty, really? Yeah, it implies sexual activity for the "guy", but isn't the beauty in any woman an apportionment of G-d's own beauty? If not, then where does it come from? Have you ever cried listening to Motzart, seeing a child laugh, or feeling true love for your wife, or even a friend? Where do these things come from if not from G-d Himself? The beauty is real. I believe it's G-d's. So why go for the girl if we can go straight for the G-d? She is but a spark, a shadow of His seductive and incredible beauty. This is clear in the s'forim. One who has a relationship with Hashem eventually lusts for closeness and attachment to Him with a constant preoccupation. The RMB"M says this clearly in the beginning of Hilchos Yesodei Hatorah. In the mitzvah of Ahava, He says that the lust for Hashem (one of the six constants!) is like the lust for a woman that can fill the mind of a man all day long!
It boils down to what you/I really want:
I can keep running after (the joke) of an image of a woman I know, a woman herself, a porn image, a fantasy - what will I get? Think a few scenarios through to the very end: the woman I may want has her own will and life, necessarily, including parents, brothers and sisters, body odor...sorry...and won't always put me first (except as long as it takes to get me interested and devoted to her, perhaps)... As much as that's the fantasy we all crave... the pretty (paid) image on the screen or paper will only grow into more powerful and advanced lusts within me clamoring for enactment - till I cross that next boundary that leads to - what? What end? Will I leave my wife? And if I respond in my heart "hell yes, I will", then where will that get me? To whom? To that true, me-adoring love of my life that will finally satisfy the lust I have forever? Really?
I have thought this through in years past, always to the bitter end. Do I really want to get old with this shiksa? I will, of course, one day.... so will she. Will we take care of each other as all old people are destined to do? Is that my joy? And if I just want to use her for the day or night, what does that say about my future? What next? Only more desire for someone even prettier, of course. Don't I know this in my very heart? I need nor want anyone to give me a shmuz about it. I am through with mussar about this - I am a recovering sex pervert. I look to sex and lust to answer my every need and it's stupid!
My lusting, the lusting of a man with a shred of conscience, inexorably leads me to shocking disappointment. It always wears off. And every woman comes with her blemishes. The ones without any blemishes on their outsides must have them somewhere, like in bitter selfishness, self-absorption, anger, or demands.... Those thing - when you live with them - become incredibly ugly. They have a horrible stench. And that's what I smell when I think it through. Two real people always means two contending wills - and that's forever.
So what is in it for me?