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A healthy sex drive is a totally normal thing that most people experience. Sexuality should not be taboo (other than illegal acts) or something anyone should be ashamed of.
However, there are healthy and unhealthy ways to express sexuality.
Healthy ways of embracing your sexuality can help foster intimacy, provide fulfillment and satisfaction, and fill that desire for pleasure. Unhealthy ways of embracing your sexuality can cause problems and perversion.
Perversion can lead to social problems, prevent intimacy, mess up relationships, and cause issues in your personal and professional life.
But what does it mean to be perverted in the context of this article? Well, most people would consider a pervert to be someone who shows unsolicited sexual interest in another person. That might include suggestive comments, paying someone too much attention that’s focused solely on physical attributes, or invading someone’s personal space in a sexually-charged way.
Basically, any form of behavior that focuses entirely on the physical aspects of other people and that is outside of what society deems acceptable.
To be clear, we are not discussing sexuality and socialization that don’t fit the traditional social model. Straight, gay, other, BDSM, or whatever isn’t nonconsensually hurting or victimizing another person is perfectly acceptable and not perversion. And if you feel it is, it would be a good idea to discuss that matter more with a relationship and sex therapist.
But you’re reading this because you think or feel that you act in a perverted way or have perverted thoughts.
So how do you go about curbing your perversion?
Well, let’s break it down into two sections: firstly, the thoughts you have, and then, secondly, behaviors that stem from those thoughts.
The Psychological Side Of Things
How can you begin to change your mindset and the thoughts you have regarding sex and other people?
Let’s not pretend this is going to be easy, because it won’t be. This is especially true if you are a young man who is full of hormones that heighten your sex drive. And neither will it be easy if you’ve had thoughts you consider to be perverted for a long time.
The way the brain works means that thoughts that you regularly have reinforce neural pathways and make those thoughts more likely to occur again. It’s no different to someone who has anxious thoughts whose brain changes in ways that mean those anxious thoughts come back time and time again.
With that said, there are things you can do to interrupt thought processes that you consider perverted to slowly weaken those neural connections and make it progressively easier to avoid those thoughts in the future.
1. Stop sexualizing everyone you see.
There is a big difference between finding someone attractive and undressing that person with your eyes or imagining sexual acts with them.
You can appreciate a person’s curves, muscles, lips, or other physical features and not take those thoughts any further. That might not be the case for you right now, but it is how most people think and you can think that way too.
Importantly, you need to be aware of when you are sexualizing a person you see. You need to catch yourself having the sorts of thoughts you want to stop having; the thoughts you see as perverted.
And when you catch yourself, you need to bring your thoughts to something else. That can either be other, more acceptable thoughts about the person you are looking at or interacting with, or thoughts on an entirely different subject.
Let’s look at these two things in more detail…
2. Start appreciating the person behind the looks.
You are thinking sexualized thoughts about an actual person, and that’s easy to lose sight of when your mind is fixating on particular parts of them or what acts you would like to do with them.
They are not an object, and you shouldn’t think that you can treat them as such. You need to try to look past the surface, no matter how appealing you find that surface, and consider the person and all their non-physical attributes.
They have a personality, they have wants and desires, likes and dislikes, thoughts and opinions, and a whole life which often you won’t have any knowledge of. They are someone’s son or daughter, they might be a brother or sister, they might be a boyfriend or girlfriend or husband or wife, and they might even be a mother or father.
The more you can switch your focus to these types of things, the easier it will be for you to pull your mind away from the sexual thoughts you might be having about them.
3. Distract your mind with other thoughts.
It’s impossible to truly focus your mind on more than one thing at a time, and you can use this fact to your advantage when you want to stop being perverted.
The key is distraction. When you find your mind drifting to or dwelling on something sexual, find a way to distract it. This might be another train of thought that you can shift to such as planning out your weekend, thinking about a big news story, thinking about food, or something else.
You also have the option of engaging yourself in an activity that requires your full attention. When you occupy your mind on something else, you can’t think sexually-charged thoughts at the same time. Perhaps you play some video games, read a book, do some puzzles, or chat to a friend on the phone.
If you are talking to someone and having perverted thoughts about them, try to truly listen to what they are saying by focusing on each word that is spoken. Think about questions you might ask them or relevant thoughts or opinions you might share with them. Don’t simply coast through the conversation on autopilot while allowing your mind to wander to what you’d like to do with them in the bedroom.
Or, if you find that too difficult to begin with, simply make your excuses and say goodbye to them and then try to immediately shift your attention to something else once you are no longer in their company.
4. Limit or stop consumption of adult material.
This tip straddles the line between mental shift and behavior. The act of looking at or watching adult entertainment only serves to heighten arousal and bring your focus to sex and sexual acts. And as we’ve already discussed, your brain will strengthen thought patterns that you regularly engage in. So, the more porn you watch, the stronger those neural pathways get and the more your mind will want to drift toward sexual thoughts.
Cutting out all forms of adult material is going to be a challenge if it’s something you currently do a lot. If it is that much of a habit for you, you might want to first try to just cut back on the amount of such material you consume.
There are ways you can make this easier for yourself, and part of that is to actually make it harder to access or come across this type of imagery.
For example, if you follow particular Instagram accounts that show scantily clad women or men, just unfollow them and they’ll no longer appear in your feed. The same can be done on any social media platform you use.
If you have any apps on your phone that take you directly to adult-themed material, delete them. If you have any bookmarks on your browser that do likewise, delete them. If you have subscriptions to magazines that regularly feature images of beautiful women or men with few clothes on, cancel them.
However you currently consume adult material, find ways to make it less of a temptation. If it’s not available to you at the click of a button, you have to work harder to seek it out, and although you’ll still be able to access it if and when you really want to, you should be able to reduce the amount of material you consume.
5. Challenge any negative thoughts you may have about your perversion.
Listen, no one ever got very far with personal changes by beating themselves up about the thing they want to change. Change comes from recognizing the steps you have to take, taking them one at a time, and having compassion for yourself when you take a backwards step.
Right now, you might feel ashamed of the thoughts you have or the behaviors you engage in, and that feeling is valid, even if it’s not helpful. The issue with shame is that it’s aimed at you as a person, not actually the thoughts or behaviors themselves. You see yourself as the problem.
The word ‘pervert’ has such negative connotations in society that to even consider yourself as one is like labelling yourself as a wrong’un or disgusting or broken. But the truth is you are none of those things.
In fact, since you are here reading this right now, you have recognized that you might want to change how you think and act in this particular regard. That’s a place that many people haven’t yet reached or never will reach. So, congratulate yourself for seeing an issue and having the determination to address it.
The Behavioral Side Of Things
Being perverted is more than just the thoughts you have. In fact, for most people, a pervert is someone who acts on those thoughts and makes others feel uncomfortable or threatened in the process.
What can you do to change your behavior and stop creeping people out like that?
We really do recommend that you seek professional help from one of the therapists at BetterHelp.com as professional therapy can be highly effective in helping you to get a handle on your perverted thoughts and behaviors.
6. Understand that no means no. And an unenthusiastic yes is a no.
No means no. It’s a complete sentence. Other people do not need to justify their no. You may find that you want a justification but are not entitled to one.
Furthermore, it’s disrespectful to push and push on a no because that usually ends in a person trying to find a way around the no to get what they want.
A no is not a commentary on your person, whether you’re unworthy or not, or saying anything other than, “I’m not interested in this.”
Learn to accept a no with grace. Yes, you may feel bad about it. Yes, it may feel like a personal attack on you. Yes, it may feel grossly uncomfortable. However, you must keep in mind that our feelings do not always reflect reality. All you need to do to accept a no with grace is to say, “Okay!”, smile, and move on to something else. That’s it. That’s all you have to do.
An additional angle of no that many people don’t consider is a tepid yes. And by tepid yes, we mean the person isn’t really sure. They may seem like they aren’t all that into the idea. But, let us save you a ton of grief and possible embarrassment; wait until you get an enthusiastic yes from someone. An enthusiastic yes means the person is into the idea of dating, friendship, or whatever.
Consider a tepid yes to be no. If they don’t seem into it, all you have to say is, “You don’t really seem into the idea. If you’re not interested, that’s okay. You can say no.”
7. Avoid flirting, innuendo, or sexually-charged conversation in professional settings.
There are certain settings where there is an unspoken assumption that flirting is okay. A bar is probably the best example of that. And there are other settings where there are other unspoken power dynamics at play where flirting or innuendo becomes creepy behavior. Those settings include areas where the other person doesn’t have the freedom to say no or walk away from the situation.
Do not flirt with people working. They’re being friendly to you because that’s their job to keep you coming back and buying more things.
Do not flirt with coworkers. They can say no, but they can’t leave if the situation is comfortable for them, which it will be because they know they can’t just leave.
Do not flirt with random people just being nice or polite to you. Nice and polite are not flirting. Nice is the bare minimum. It is not an indicator of interest.
8. Avoid sexual or sexually-charged comments in inappropriate social settings.
Do not make sexual or sexually-charged comments to other people in inappropriate social settings. What is an appropriate social setting for sexual comments? An orgy. And chances are pretty good that you don’t need this article if you’ve been invited to an orgy.
It is just a good rule of thumb to not make sexual comments to anyone in a public social setting. That includes school, work, walking down the street, catcalling, in a library – wherever! A majority of people will consider that behavior creepy and perverted. Save it for the bedroom and with consensual people.
9. Avoid asking questions that are too personal.
There are appropriate questions to ask, and there are inappropriate questions to ask.
Appropriate questions to ask include:
– How have you been doing?
– Are you passionate about anything?
– What do you do for a living?
– Do anything interesting this weekend?
– Got any big plans coming up?
Inappropriate questions to ask include:
– Where do you live? Is it near here?
– What size
– Have you ever had a threesome?
10. Don’t send sexual messages or dick pics unless asked.
Gentlemen, no random person wants to see your dick. Dicks are a dime a dozen, and yours isn’t so special that it should be thrust upon any unsuspecting soul. It’s creepy, weird, and violates consensual boundaries. It’s unacceptable behavior, and no one has ever said, “Wow. I’m so glad I got that unsolicited dick pic!”
But let’s take it a step further. Sending any kind of nudes, in general, is a bad idea. If it’s consensual between the parties, then great! However, things may not always stay good between you, and those pics can be used later as ammunition. And though weaponizing nudes is becoming illegal in many places, you’d still have to deal with the legal system and the years of headaches that entail attempting to get justice. Save yourself the headache.
Additionally, scammers out there will phish for your nudes to blackmail you. Look, I hate to break it to you, but no beautiful woman will randomly message you on social media and want sex from you. That’s not how the world works. It’s a scammer who will probably ask for a dick pic with your face in the picture so they can demand money to not send it to everyone on your contact list.
11. Keep compliments at a friendly level.
To keep compliments to a friendly level is to reign them in at a level that you’d say to someone you’re not romantically involved. And if you don’t have a good idea of what that may look like, let’s give you a few rules of thumb that will help you better understand.
Acceptable compliments include:
– That’s a nice
– Hey, you look great today!
– I like your haircut! Looks good on you.
– You did a great job on
Unacceptable compliments include:
– You are so sexy.
– You are the most beautiful person I’ve ever seen.
– That dress really shows off your legs.
– Just staring.
Friendly compliments are the goal. But, it’s important to remember that there are no hard rules to compliments. You may pay someone a compliment you think was innocent, but they don’t feel it was. If you compliment someone and they get offended, just say, “Hey. I’m sorry I made you uncomfortable. It was not my intention.” And hopefully, that will smooth over the rough interaction.
12. Be mindful of personal space.
People generally do not like to have their personal space violated. The best way to think of personal space is to ensure at least an arm’s length distance between you and other people. That way, people have the freedom to move around and don’t feel overwhelmed by your presence.
Another less common issue is that some people with mental health struggles can react badly to having someone too close or touching them. So just don’t touch anyone you don’t know and have the kind of relationship where touch is okay, except for the offer to shake hands.
You can offer to shake hands but understand that some people will turn you down. Be mindful of your grip, and don’t crush their hand. A good rule of thumb is to apply an equal amount of pressure that they do or be slightly firm if they offer you that dead fish handshake that isn’t actually a handshake.
Oh, and don’t hug people you don’t know – many people aren’t huggers and find it weird and awkward when someone they don’t really know tries to hug them.
13. Take responsibility for any untoward actions.
Learning appropriate social skills can be a hit-or-miss thing. Sometimes you’ll get it right; sometimes, you won’t. It’s okay if you don’t. Just take responsibility for the screw-up when you screw up, and most people will let it slide.
Listen to the people you’re interacting with and pay attention to their body language.
Are they giving you a weird look? You’re probably being inappropriate. Stop doing what you’re doing, even if you aren’t sure what it is.
Did someone say they are offended by your action? Then, all you have to do is say, “I apologize. I didn’t mean to make you uncomfortable.” and let it go.
Did someone tell you “no”? That’s alright. It’s not the end of the world. Say, “Alright. I’m sorry for bothering you. Have a good day.” and move on.
Someone tells you to leave them alone? Then leave them alone. Move on. There are billions of other people in the world. No reason to mess around with someone that’s not interested in your presence.
Don’t be the creep who continues to push a person’s boundaries when those boundaries have been clearly and even forcefully stated. That’s where perversion crosses into illegal activity in many cases.
Still not sure how to stop being a pervert? Talking to someone can really help you to handle whatever life throws at you. It’s a great way to get your thoughts and your worries out of your head so you can work through them.
We really recommend you speak to a therapist rather than a friend or family member. Why? Because they are trained to help people in situations like yours. They can help you to slowly adapt your thought patterns and the way you behave around others.
A good place to get professional help is the website BetterHelp.com – here, you’ll be able to connect with a therapist via phone, video, or instant message.
While you may try to work through this yourself, it may be a bigger issue than self-help can address. And if it is affecting your mental well-being, relationships, or life in general, it is a significant thing that needs to be resolved.
Too many people try to muddle through and do their best to overcome issues that they never really get to grips with. If it’s at all possible in your circumstances, therapy is 100% the best way forward.
Click here if you’d like to learn more about the service BetterHelp.com provide and the process of getting started.
You’ve already taken the first step just by searching for and reading this article. The worst thing you can do right now is nothing. The best thing is to speak to a therapist. The next best thing is to implement everything you’ve learned in this article by yourself. The choice is yours.
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