Anything Good About Being A Sex Object?

cans1When I ask my students if they can think of anything good about being a sex object they think there must be something positive, since so many women put a lot of effort into being sexy, with some aspiring to “sex symbolness.” Here’s what they say:

  • Sexy women get attention. They feel attractive and admired, so it’s a source of self-esteem.
  • It’s nice to feel wanted and desired. It’s easier to attract mates or just get sex.
  • It can be fun to feel sexy.
  • Sex is a historic source of power for women. Sexiness can gain women resources, whether through marriage or getting men to do favors. It puts women in control over men.

Then I ask if there’s a downside. More comments:

  • It can be uncomfortable being gawked at. You can feel like you’re only a sex object – and that’s all, like you’re not worth a lot.
  • You can feel disrespected. Guys just want one thing. You get used.
  • When women are seen as all about sex, and they don’t want to put out, they’re seen as bitches.
  • You aren’t seen as intelligent. You aren’t taken seriously.
  • Your personality disappears.
  • It can feel inauthentic, feeling pressured from friends or society to look sexy.
  • Sexual objectification leads to sex trafficking. Treating young women and girls like they are nothing but objects that exist to pleasure men. They have no lives. They’re all about sex and nothing else. And they’re not given an opportunity to be anything else.

But there are problems when you don’t meet sex-object standards, too:

  • You feel like you’re constantly being judged, and not coming out well.
  • You may starve. Or get implants and die (that does happen). You have false hope, and when you don’t meet the standard you lose self-esteem.

So much contradiction. Is there any way to get some of the positive upside without all the downside? I’ll admit to feeling the world would be a bit dull without any spice of sexiness.

How about distinguishing between sexy and sex object. And broadening our notion of what “sexy” means?

Objects are treated as little more than a means to others’ pleasure. They are not people with lives, goals, thoughts or emotions. It’s one-dimensional. A limited box. And who cares how you treat an object?

So if a woman does have – and is seen as having – a life, goals, emotions and intelligence, and sexiness is one part of all that, then she can be a full person – who is also sexy.

But still, can we move outside the narrow notions? Who’s sexy to me? Women and men who are classy, smart, talented, confident, and who make a difference in the world.

I nominate:

Nancy Pelosi, Thandie Newton, French politician Marie-Ségolène Royal, Helen Mirren, Angelina Jolie, Jackie O, Jennifer Lopez, Toni Morrison, Queen Rania of Jordan, Barbara Walters, Sandra Bullock,  Zhang Ziyi, America Ferrera, Diane Sawyer, Jennifer Aniston, Queen Latifah, Gloria Steinem, Julia Roberts, and Maria Shriver.

And men? My list includes:

Ezra Klein, Benico del Torro, Ed Harris, New York Times columnist, Princeton professor and Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman, CNN anchor T.J. Holmes, Tom Brokaw, Brad Pitt, Barack Obama, Stephen Colbert, Gabriel Byrne, Japan’s former Prime Minister Koizumi Junichiro, JFK Jr., Antonio Banderas, Sidney Poitier, Javier Bardem, and White House corresspondent, Jake Tapper.

Yeah, sexiness can be fun and alluring, when moving outside narrow limits. But sex objects are just trapped.

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About BroadBlogs

I have a Ph.D. from UCLA in sociology (emphasis: gender, social psych). I currently teach sociology and women's studies at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, CA. I have also lectured at San Jose State. And I have blogged for Feminispire, Ms. Magazine, The Good Men Project and Daily Kos. Also been picked up by The Alternet.

Posted on May 23, 2011, in body image, feminism, gender, objectification, sex and sexuality, sexism, women and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 56 Comments.

  1. I don’t think it really matters how a woman dresses, there will always be some man who will see her as a sex object. Whether she is wearing a business suit or wearing sweats and a sweatshirt, they can be looked as a sex object. In the blog there are examples of the positive side of being a sex object. However there are many more downsides of being a sex object. If there are so many negatives then why try to be a sex object? I see many women working in financial areas who look good wearing their casual business attire. I also see women in the same areas wearing clothing such as skirts way to high and sexy to really be looked at seriously. If someone wants to be viewed as sexy there are ways to do that. When someone ups the ante and puts on that super short skirt and top with her breasts hanging out makes her go from possible sexy to sex object. I understand people need to let loose, like on the weekends, and dressing like a sex object is their right. Being their right, they understand that they are going to attract men’s attention which in many situations can turn out to be negative just because of the type of clothes that were warn. Dress for what you want. To be sexy, or to be a sex object. There is a difference.

  2. The problem is not be a sexual object when its appropiate, the problem its lack of other
    virtues important on a woman too.

    • Well, that’s the definition of a sex object: seeing a person as a thing, not caring about her emotional state of being, and not recognizing her as having multiple dimensions.

  3. I would feel like a total object if all guys wanted me was for sex. So yes a woman can be sexy but why not have a little mystery? You have to make the men work for it. So be sexy and intelligent.

  4. After analyzing this article, I can see how being a sex object has its advantages as well as disadvantages. Many women feel empowered by feeling sexy and they use it as a weapon because they feel that they can do anything they want. It is manipulation at its best. However, it can also have it’s downfalls because nothing comes without a price. As many women pursue what they want by using their sex appeal, many requests can be made by others especially men to do certain favors for them. This article has a lot of different opinions about what it feels to be a sex object. Women need to feel empowered and being a sex object isn’t the only way to do it. But it seems to be the easiest way to feel power which is probably why many women don’t mind being sex objects.

  5. In a female perspective I belive women use being a sex object to their advantage because if you notice often at bars women use their sex appeal to get free drinks. I belive that all women are meant to be sexy and feminine but to a certain extent. Being sexy is a whole diffrent thing then bejng a sex object, When a wonen dresses sexy she does it to look confident and sure of herself not as a sex sbymbol.

  6. I think this article is interesting because it gives both points of view, between being a sex object than from feeling and looking sexy. I witnessed many situations of this happen where my girlfriends would feel uncomfortable and used because many guys they were encountering just wanted that one night stand, yet when guys don’t do not endure them they don’t feel sexy or womanly enough, thinking they are doing something wrong. The article really introduces a woman’s view on the differences between easy and sexy.

  7. As a woman, I would never want to be looked at as a sex object. It would be degrading to me if men saw me as an object. I’m a person not an object. I’m smart, educated, funny, easygoing, and confident. However, when women are looked at as sex objects it dehumanizes them. And I believe this happens because some women let themselves be seen this way. Or maybe guys see women as sex objects because they suffer from the misassumption that women like getting their sexual attention. For example, I had a friend who would hook up with many guys. Sometimes she would hook up with two guys in a day. She confided to me that she only had sex with men because that’s all they wanted from her, and since she knew this, she was ahead of “their game”. She also claimed she was a head of the game because she USED Men for her own pleasure too. Later on when my friend wanted a stable relationship, she suffered a lot because men couldn’t take her serious. After talking to her for months, she realized she suffered from low self-esteem and she had a low self-concept about herself.

  8. It is interesting for me to reconsider about sexiness. After all, I think the balance is the most important to make better women’s life. For example, if women care so much about their body in order to get their own ideal sexiness and emphasize their legs or breast too much, they are seen as bitches or lack of intelligence by others. On the other hand, let’s say in opposite way, if women don’t care their sexiness at all, they tend to have low self-esteem and they may be seen as women who have lack of attraction. So the best way to solve both disadvantages is to try chasing their own sexiness as much as they can, but do not just focus on that only. Women who gain some abilities, talented something, independent, and also have sexiness is the best attractive women I think. Actually not only I think, but I want to be the one someday.

  9. I really enjoyed reading this blog post. I liked how there was the distinction made between sexy and sex object. In my honest opinion I do not believe it is ever good to be seen as a sex object and was rather surprised to see so much response of all the positives that come along with being classified as such. However, as a man, I more than likely do not have the full understanding of the pressures that females go through which is why I can be so certain of my not seeing any positives in being a sex object. Sexy on the other hand I believe to be a whole different thing. It is different for everyone and it is what that person is attracted to. It doesn’t always have to be looks, it can be a variety of things from a person’s intelligence to their personality.

  10. I think that i can agree that some women like to be a “sex object” because they feel very beautiful and i guess theirs a good side and bad, but i don’t like women been shown as a sex object because other women who are just as beautiful don’t feel beautiful, they are pressed by the media that women should look very think and sexy, but not all of us can be same or else this world wont be the same. But in my opinion i really dislike the fact that girls have to be perfect or else they are not attractive or “perfect”. i believe that no matter what how a person looks like they should always have self esteem it should be about looking what the media wants us to look like. Media is a JOKE!

  11. I have fought weight problems my whole life and I’m a guy so it would be hard to say I know what what a women goes through in this situation. I do understand how this phenomenon ultimately destroys women though. When you are a woman who is thought to be attractive or “sexy”, at that moment it seems that you become an object to people rather than a complete person. Let’s talk about all straight men who will at every moment of every day drool and break their necks gawking at you, not to mention the men that will constantly approach you, and not always in a positive way. Then there are the other women who have a tendency rip each other to shreds out of competition or jealousy, and this is all happening to them before they even open their mouths to someone. So-called “beauty” is so coveted in our society that it forces some women to base their entire sense of self-worth around it, and what happens when you get older and your looks go? Can anyone say plastic surgery? Looks are great in a magazine but our over fascination with it is ridiculous, I have met plenty of models who were gorgeous, but I would never date them because that’s all they had to offer. This very limited interpretation of beauty should be altered and revisited by our society because it’s killing gender relations, and it’s killing women in all sorts of ways both mentally and physically. Men and women no matter their talents or appearance are not to be worshiped, period. We as human beings are to be appreciated and respected, and nothing more.

  12. I can totally relate to this topic. What woman doesn’t like to feel sexy or get a little attention from men? It feels nice to be wanted or desired but some men treat women like sex objects. we dont like to be “gawked” at and feel like a piece of meat. For example, men are very attracted to me (especially my body parts) and most people might think that I’m lucky and that my self- asteem is very high but it’s not. When men make you feel that your only good for having sex or an object to show off to his friends it doesn’t feel good. You feel cheap and worthless. Maybe that’s why a lot of girls who are pretty are “slutty”, because they may feel that that’s all they are good for.
    Most people may think that putting on a really short skirts or having your boobs out may be sexy but it’s not. Sexy is how you carry yourself, your intelligence, your confidence, and what you do to make a difference in the world. Here are a few sexy women: Michelle Obama, Madam C.J. Walker, Oprah, Sandra Bullock.

  13. Samantha Morales

    I think that some women may like being a sex object because they might like the attention. When a women dresses sexy, that usually attracts men’s attention. However I don’t believe that it is a good thing at times because when a women is looked at as a sex object it can be difficult for a man to take her seriously. In a work environment this can be difficult because a man might just want to hire someone or promote a woman who is “sexy” rather than a woman who might not be as sexy but has the capability of doing as good, if not better job than the other woman. Being a sex object and being sexy are two different things. Its okay to be sexy but when being thought of as just a sex object it is hard to be taken seriously.

  14. I think that there is a difference between a sex object and being sexy. Women can be sexy while staying true to there qualities like smart, funny, confident and so on. A sex object is seen in a physical way, like you’ve mentioned, one-dimensional. More so like they are a possession for one specific use. There are a lot of women who like to feel sexy(including me)maybe by occasionally putting on a new dress or a figure flattering outfit for the night, and I don’t see anything wrong with that, but there are just some people who look at you and almost already label you as a sex object, something that is very generalized at times.

  15. Above are many good responses. I would answer that by saying that it builds self esteem because guys want to have sex with you, but can also bring down your self esteem because you wouldn’t be seen as anything more than a sex object. A man would just know your body not who you truly are. Our society is shaped in a way that women want to be known as sex symbols. We want to be sexy but most importantly want to feel sexy. Being sexy gets you a lot of attention whether it’s good or bad attention. Sometimes that’s all a women wants.

  16. I can agree with some of the comments that are on here already, that some women use being a women to their advantage. Many might say that they disagree with men and that they do not like to be seen as sex objects. yet they use it to their advantage and help them with their self esteem. Being sexy is just a normal thing to do and now a days you see it everywhere and woman being sexy, seem to have more confidence in themselves. some woman that see themselves as sex objects use it to their advantage and feel like they have a sense of power over men.

  17. Amy (Hojung) Park

    I think “being sexy” comes from confidence which is highly related to self-esteem. Self-esteem is so reflective that it affects tons of aspects and characteristics each individual has. For example, I feel sexy when I finally finish difficult tasks that I’ve struggled with for months. In that moment, I do not care about my looks since finishing the work is more meaningful to me. However, whenever I’ve failed to achieve something that I want to do, I’m so inclined to shop for clothes or cosmetics so I can hide my failure behind my splendid outfit and can be seen as sexy, whether or not it is successful.

  18. melissaprice2010

    I think a woman needs to take things to very extreme measures in order to be considered a “sex object”. The definition of a “sex object” is ‘A person regarded by another only in terms of their sexual attractiveness or availability.’ Not in an attempt to start a debate, but in my opinion you have to have almost virtually nothing going for you as a person in order to be a sex object. The definition is very absolute by saying ‘A person regarded by another ONLY in terms of their sexual attractiveness or availability”. ONLY is a pretty absolute word. But then you look at a different part of the definition and you get a whole other topic of discussion. “A PERSON regarded by another only in terms of their sexual attractiveness or availability”. Reading the students responses to the questions of positive and negative aspects of being a sex object, most of them automatically refer to women. Why is it that when you hear “Sex Object” one’s mind typically reverts to FEMALE?

  19. I agree with your statement about how a woman can be sexy AND have other interests, hobbies, etc while being intelligent, funny, careful, etc. basically creating a well rounded woman. I’m constantly going back and fourth between letting my sexy side out and my relaxed more conservative side out. It does feel good to be sexy, get attention, and even show off a little about something you are proud of, but when is it too much? Half of my friends think im too sexy, while the other half don’t think so at all? Where’s the balance? I guess that is up to me and my own standards, because after all we are all divided by our own perception of things and we all have our own opinions based off of our past and our environment we grew up in. As long as I feel comfortable with myself and happy with the way im living then it shouldn’t matter what others think. I also believe that being sexy does not equal you being a sex object. It’s those who perceive you as ONLY a sex object and is unable to see anything past that. Then that’s not necessarily your fault but the viewer’s mindset.

  20. Women want to be sexy, and men like sexy women. This is not someone’s fault; it’s just what is. I think being sexy is not always being sex objects. Women want to be beautiful and sexy, so they can attract more people and gain some resources. For example, if a pretty woman and a normal woman are doing interviews at the same time, the pretty women would get more chances to get this job. For women, building your inner self such as getting a good education and working hard is much more important than being sexy. Only being sexy will get you only being treated as sex objects, but if you are as good as men or even doing better than men, you will get more respect, and being sexy will leave a good impression instead of to be treated as a sex object.

  21. I do not believe that there is anything wrong with being sexy, but there definitely is something wrong with being a sex object. I believe the difference is that the latter has respect while the former does not. It is not solely men’s faults or women’s faults that certain people are seen as sex objects. It is how people are taught to treat the opposite sex. Women can treat men as sex objects as well, and that is not any more right than when men treat women as sex objects. I think people need to learn not to judge a book by its cover. I have had men question my intelligence because they thought I was too pretty to have an insightful opinion, and it really is hurtful.

  22. I really enjoy reading this article. To be a sex object is not unconditional. I don’t want to be loved only for my body, at least not always. There will be times when I won’t mind at all. But mostly I’d like to have my intelligence and sensitivities being recognised as well. We want to be seen as individuals. Some want to be noticed for their sex appeal, some for their heart, some for their brains. To me, you can’t control what people think but what I know is all about attitude and the way people may act.

  23. often my cousin feels like a sex object . she says she cant take feeling this way because she feels so unimportant, only a thing, to be used. ecxactly she feels they dont even see her personality! any ideas on how i can make her feel better?

    • Having a conversation with her partner about how she’s feeling could help. That seems like a good place to start.

      Developing a friendship and developing parts of the relationship that don’t involve sex, should also be helpful.

      If none of this works then she might want to find a different person, because luckily not everyone behaves this way.

  24. It is very interesting article for me. To me sexy means being comfortable and confident in one’s own skin. It means feeling attractive while you all dressed up in a dress with heels and full make up on, but also feeling sexy with your hair up, work out clothes and sneakers. But sex object is just give a pleasure for guys. It is completely different meaning. So if the women want to overcome this kind of situation, we have to improve our ability and step it up to world.

  25. Personally, I do not think a woman has to be sexy to be seen as a sex object. While being sexy does give an advantage to this, it is not a necessity. It is not just, you can be sexy but not a sex object, it can be the other way around as well. Another thing is that for men, they can treat objects with a great amount of respect and care; I base this off their treatment of cars. Even if a woman is seen as a sex object, I do not believe that it automatically turns to “And who cares how you treat an object?”

  26. From a male point of view I see being a sex object definitely does have its advantages. I have seen it first hand, men going out of their way to be friendlier and more helpful to women they find attractive. It doesn’t even matter if we know that we are being used by the woman in question. It has become almost a tradition in this country to sexualize our female counterparts. Not to say that it is right or even positive, but it does have a side that could be seen as beneficial. On the flip side once a woman has been categorized in this fashion it cannot be undone, once they have actively participated in this it will forever be their identifier. They are dismissed on the basis that since they put this much effort into looking good or social activities they are unintelligent or slutty. Being a sex object has its positive aspects, but the cost is unforgiving and permanent.

  27. From my point of view, being a sex object is very different from being sexy. Moreover, I think a woman considered as a sex object isn’t sexy at all, but she is vulgar. To me, sexiness is part of beauty. I think it is all about the attitude, and the way somebody may act.

  28. I really enjoyed reading this article. I also think it matters a lot who is seeing you as sexy, or at least to me. If it is someone my age who sees’ me as sexy, not a sex object then, ok, I’ll take it as a compliment. When it is an older person, I have a real problem with it, and it really creeps me out, but I am sure that has to do with my past. I totally enjoyed the list of people who you thought were sexy. It was nice to see they are real people who are as you said, smart, real, and make a difference in the world.

  29. there is a big difference between being sexy and being a sex object. Being sexy is in your control; its your own sexiness. Its something that you control the look, the attitude, your thoughts go into you being sexy. There is no harm in people noticing that you look good and making it known. Meanwhile, a sex object is not in your control it is an idea that the media has introduced into society with a negative connotation, such as, only being used for sex and looking good. Basically, women should be seen and not heard due to the fact that this term dehumanizes women; having no value or worth. Which then leads to global issues such as, incest, rape, sex trafficking, and prostitution.

  30. Melina Yousef

    I think it is NOT okay to view women as sex objects and it is for this very reason why women are ALWAYS trying look sexy. Because people pay way too much attention on “sexy” women and therefor the rest try to fit the picture as well. And yes, I agree with Hannah that the “sex object” IS an illusion and it takes away from a real woman.

  31. Hannah McDonald

    This is a great argument. I see both sides clearly. Humans are visual creatures, and so it does become easy for women to get what they want if they have a guy’s attention. It feels empowering at times, because women usually get the last word. But, it can also get exhausting, constantly putting up an image, and men start to expect you to look or act a certain way all the time. It is unrealistic, and so this whole “sex object” is an illusion. It takes away the spirit and honesty of the real human being in a woman.

  32. Tatiana Dehnad

    We live in a society where sex objects are considered to be attractive, and everyone has a different perception on what being sexy means exactly. Although everyones perception, a lot of people aspire to be considered sexy because to some it means that they are desired and wanted by the opposite sex. However, I believe that being considered a sex object is degrading and has a negative connotation simply because you are being viewed as a mere objects that does not have much depth other than physical appearance. For some, this may be the greatest compliment they ever receive, being considered a ‘sex object’, because yeah to those shallow individuals, you are considered ‘hot’ and ‘desirable’; but in my eyes this is not the same thing as being considered ‘sexy’. I agree with this blog post in that someone sexy to me is someone who is classy, self-respecting, respectable, confident and influential–JFK Sr. and JFK Jr. as well as their wives, Jackie and Caroline respectively I would consider sexy. Jackie Onassis Kennedy is one of my absolute favorite individuals and I find her to be a classy lady who still manages to pull of being ‘sexy’ and appealing, while keeping respect for herself and teaching women around the world that they too can be sexy and do not need to expose their bodies and disrespect themselves for men to notice and to be considered ‘sexy’. I think that knowing you do not need to expose yourself in order to be considered sexy is a concept difficult for many to understand.

  33. Deirdre da Silva

    There is no doubt that it makes a woman feel good to know that she is desired, and it can be a huge boost to one’s self esteem, but today’s society has definitely put way too much attention on how one should look in order to achieve this. I think it is sad that there has become a set image of what sexy is, and those that are considered to be sex objects are often those who rely on their looks and not much else to get by. In my opinion, one should not have to try in order to be sexy, it is something that should come naturally, because you have the self confidence to achieve it, and not because you went out of your way to change your outward appearance to appeal to certain people’s definitions of sexy…because in truth, looks can only get you so far!

  34. Being sexy, I believe, would boost women’s self-esteem. All women or girls wants to look good, and this is the reason why selling women’s clothing makes big buck. When women dress nice, they think they are pretty, and would go compare with other women. Most of them would find themselves better than other women. Hence, their self-esteem goes up. Nowadays, nice and beautiful fashion can be found everywhere, then how should a women stand out from the crowd? Dress sexy! Now, girl wants to pull attention from a guy, but a guy will not see her talent or inner ability first, but her physical apparent. Also, as most of the bosses or high level faculty are male, being an attractive female enhances her chances to be offered the job.

  35. In my opinion, the interpretation of “sexiness” varies between different people. For example, some men find intelligence as sexy, whereas others find physical traits as sexy. From my view, I hate seeing other women being gawked at in public, and personally, I hate being hit on. It’s really awkward for me and I’m not quite sure what to say at times. I always wonder, how do men distinguish sexiness from “cute”, “pretty”, “hot,” or “beautiful”? What do men see ME as? Which category do I fall under? The word, sexy, itself has so many different meanings. I think the most on point one is that it is someone is SO attractive, and they have so many attractive features, that it makes you want to sleep with them RIGHT away. I honestly pity women who solely rely on their physical features. Like I mentioned before, most people think the brain is sexier than one’s bust. With that said, it is so displeasing to know that even smart women succumb to hypnotized ritual of other women who urge to become “sexy” with boob jobs, and other procedures when there are so many other healthy ways to become “sexier”.

  36. I feel really bad for women who rely on their looks in order to survive in this world. Looks eventually fade and lets face it – you can’t make a man or yourself happy by just sitting there looking hot. I feel even worse for women who have to surgically change how they look because they feel it would get them more attention. Celebrities like Heidi Montague and Tara Reid, who were both gorgeous to begin with, underwent surgeries that just made them look disfigured. Of course, we all blame the standards Hollywood has set for men and women who want to be made famous. We should all stop encouraging unrealistic body goals such as a size 0 waistline and double D breasts. The most beautiful female celebrity to me is Natalie Portman. She is healthy and naturally beautiful, but her mind and acting talent are her most sexy qualities. These are the kinds of qualities people should look for in a public figure. Maybe that way more girls will be hitting the books, eating healthy and hitting the gym rather than getting boob jobs and starving themselves in order to look and feel sexy.

  37. Kristina Mardinian

    This blog posting actually puts the definition of a “sex object” into perspective for me. Before I had never truly thought of the consequences and stereotypes that are placed on women who are seen as these sexual objects. And very much like this posting, I also agree that there is a big difference between being seen as a “sex object” and being sexy. Being sexy can include many different qualities far from appearances, such as intelligence, sophistication, and modesty. These characteristics are widely seen in women today and they are referred to as “sexy” in society. I hope that men will slowly learn to look less for women as “sex objects” and embrace sexy women for their intelligence and inner beauty.

  38. Today society its influencing girls to become what we call a sex object. From commercials that actually make them into objects that gratify men, to simply creating images for girls to follow. Women can significantly take advantage of being sexy. This is a important influence that allows women to have power over men. However I believe there is a balance between being a sex object and being sexy. Being a sex object is surrendering yourself and your body to become “one-dimensional”. I see it as just the body and not the soul, because objects clearly have no depth and feeling. FInding this medium is hard for girls to behold. Being sexy is a mix between physical attributes and personality, and these templates could be hard to decipher and fit into. The line could be hazy and difficult to understand.

  39. Personally, as a young woman I would never take pleasure in being aware that I am being seen as a sex object. I completely agree that it is okay to be sexy and take pride in that, but never in being a sex object. To me sexy means being comfortable and confident in one’s own skin. It means feeling attractive while your all dressed up in a dress with heels and full make up on, but also feeling sexy with your hair up, work out clothes and sneakers. While being a sex object is getting dressed, revealing more, etc. for the pleasure of someone else. Ideally, women should find a place where they can project their femininity while not over sexualizing themselves, hence sexy and not sex object.

  40. It is interesting. I love feeling like a sex object at times. It feels amazing to be desired sexually. But I would not want to feel that way all of the time. I have a friend who is just so gorgeous. Everywhere we go men ogle over her, try to talk to her, ask for her telephone number, buy her drinks and basically just bug her. In that respect there are times when I thank God that I am not so attractive as to have guys bothering me.

  41. Coming from a male in a religious middle eastern household I have always been taught to respect women. It’s one of the biggest things my mother is constantly telling me about. She is always telling me to respect women, and to not sexualize them in anyway. Does that mean that I never have thought of a woman as a sex object? No way. Obviously even the most religious and most respectful men will still from time to time envision women as sex objects but the important thing is to make sure the majority of the time that we are not doing so. Yes I know here in the U.S women sometimes wear revealing clothes and what not but that does not justify how we as men should act. Yes the way a woman is dressed will make us fantasize or think about something, but we should not get carried away.

  42. Now that media employs sex in order to sell products, women are indeed underrepresented only as objects, which is used only to fulfill men’s sexual desire. Such false images that today’s media and adults have popularized females misunderstand that as long as they have sexual appeal, they can be fully accepted as a human in the society, forgetting the importance of the quality of the other abilities, such as intelligence, a good personality and a physical strength, which are important to survive in society. If such women who only tries to be attractive superficially, the quality of the culture will get lower, immoral, unintelligent and less diverse in personality and physical appearance that it segregates the exception who cannot represent themselves in appearance. It is important that we humans rediscover the importance of the diversity of valued personalities, which are not limited only in physical attractiveness.

  43. Taddshana Kelly

    For a woman to be labeled a sex object can be both negative and positive. Now if you are a man and you use a woman only for sexual pleasure and labeling them your sex object then that’s were the negative aspect comes into play. Not only is that negative but it an awful thing to do. If you’re a woman and are married or even just in a committed relationship and you enjoy sexually satisfying your husband then it’s ok. That’s when the word “Sex Object” takes on a positive meaning. I am in a committed relationship and as a woman I love being able to sexually satisfy my husband. It’s then that the term sex object doesn’t sound to bad. Sex plays a major role in a relationship, especially with men. Being sexually compatible with your partner is definitely a plus!

  44. Elizabeth Wright

    In society (especially American society), the line between being sexy and being a sex object seems to be blurred. We’re taught that being sexy is equivalent to being a sex object. Men can definitely be used and portrayed or even pressured into being a thing whose sole purpose is to please their viewers. However, women are disproportionately used more in this fashion. Since we live in a patriarchal society, women are raised with the mentality that our number one goal in life is to be wanted by men. This is a degrading and harmful thought process. I truly believe that women (as well as men) would suffer less from low self esteem and would be seen with respect if these lies cease to be told. We should, instead, be told that being sexy is a good thing, but it is not the end all be all and that it doesn’t involve being objectified.

  45. i agree, i look at many sexy ladies when i am out and about. i appreciate beauty so i “gawk” haha. The very definition of beauty and sexy for me differs, i personally like smart and down to earth type of person. For those women who feels judged and objectified i’m sorry. i believe there is a place and time for everything. Example: if you were to walk down a street looking great, and a man was staring and undressing you with his eyes then that’s inappropriate. He truly needs another lesson in manners but if you were at a bar, a place where people can meet and approach other strangers then why feel degraded? You are there for a reason no? ok say you are there to be with your friends and want to see the sharks game. but you dress super sexy, i’m sorry to be sexist but i think that would be the wrong time to dress up if you don’t want to be approached. i’m sounding mean and judgmental because as a male we have to look good and we’re judged/rated also. if we approach women, she has to agree to talk to us just base on how we look and their preference.

  46. I really enjoyed reading this article for many reasons. First of all I liked how it brought up the idea of being a sex symbol in different ways. I liked how the students responded and explained the positives, negatives, and downsides to being a sex symbol. I did agree that for ages now it has been an honor for a woman to be called a sex symbol. However, some of the lengths that they go to, to be called this, can be an unhealthy way to connect with other women. By being a sex symbol one can either embrace the moniker or let it degrade them.

  47. I found this article interesting and made some very accurate points. Now a days women are faced with the choices of going with media pressure to look a certain way or againist it. When they decide to dress a certain way that can be more provacative, it can be empowering in a way that all women like to feel pretty and receive attention from others but this can have consequences. Women can gives others the wrong impression by dressing a certain way which shows too much skin. This can lead to trouble and attract negative attention from both men and women.

  48. From my point of view, being a sex object is not a good thing and it is definitely different from being sexy. Sex object, just like what is said in the article, is just a functional object with no inherence. Women who are just pay attention to their physical appearance are more likely to become sex object. I think women should keep balance on their attention on both physical appearance and personality. They can be sexy, which is the most important part for being a sex object, but they also need to be smart and confident, which makes them different from sex object. Only being smart and confident but ignoring physical appearance makes women less competitive. In general, it is better for women to improve their ability while still being beautiful.

  49. Coming from a female perspective I believe it can be a good and bad thing to be seen as a sex object. Most women can complain and say they don’t like it but the simple fact is women use being a woman to their advantage. For example when you go out to a bar or a club you dress up and dress to accent your best features so that you can get free drinks or make a few new friends. Pending on how you present yourself it may have its down sides but women see men as sex objects as much as men see women as sex objects.

  50. Very intelligent and thoughtful distinction between being sexy and being a sex object.

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