Reboot Nation

Journals => Ages 30-39 => Topic started by: dharma108 on January 25, 2015, 03:27:38 PM

Title: 34 yrs old 20 plus yrs use time for honesty
Post by: dharma108 on January 25, 2015, 03:27:38 PM
This might be a long one....   I am new to the site. 

     I think my story starts out in a similar way to a lot of people on this site. Hitting puberty and starting to explore sexuality.  Like most men our first introduction to sex is through magazines,videos images, pornography of some type.  I was an early bloomer and started fapping around 12 years old.   I think I have always been a very sexual person and fapping became a regular part of my life in high school.  It is hard to remember back that far but it seems that my patterns have been similar since high school with escalations and more intense waves from moving into the internet world and having unlimited access to anything and everything.  I recognize that I have had a history with some levels of escapism.  In high school I started using drugs on a regular basis.  I pretty much did everything with the exception of heroin and cocaine.  I had periods where I was always high on something.   As I got into college I stopped using drugs regularly from witnessing the grip that addiction had on many of my friends.  PMO/Fapping was always there though.   It had become such a part of life in the sense that it was like brushing my teeth. Early on for me there was a rationalization that it was a healthy outlet for sexual activity vs extreme promiscuity.  There is no issue of disease, causing harm to another person and it was a way to relinquish a strong urge.   I had girlfriends and hook ups in high school and some in college but looking back I can see how PMO has lessened my engagement with real women and has put a damper on my ability to connect fully and perhaps I could have connected with more women.    I had a partner for seven years starting in my early twenties , we broke up and I hooked up with another woman and then more recently have been with a partner on and off for the last four years.  I think my sex life has been relatively healthy.  My PMO use with my partners has fluctuated in a similar pattern throughout my life.     I would have weeks where it would be once to twice a day to a few times a week with an occasional week off.     The consistent thing that I recognize is that there has never been a time period beyond 7-14 days where PMO was not in my life.  I can say that PMO has had a negative effect on the ups and downs of my sex life with my partners.  I had periods of loosing attraction to my partners and not wanting to connect sexually at all. 
    It has only been the last year that I have opened up to the possibility that I have a problem with porn addiction and within the last month that I have finally admitted to myself that yes I have an issue and I need to take steps to deal with it and try to stop.  There were also some articles that really triggered the process for me (included below).    There are so many layers to calling attention to how my relationship with porn is unhealthy.   I have not suffered from ED nor have I gotten to the point where my tastes have been getting more and more extreme.    But I do recognize that I have never not had porn in my life. I have had times where I would waste entire days surfing the web watching hours at a time for that endless search of novelty.  I have watched porn in what I admit are inappropriate places including work or on other peoples computers.  I have experienced the loss of interest in my partners where PMO has had a negative effect on my sex life.  I have had the feelings of lack of motivation, fogginess and have experienced periods of isolation, have felt desensitized and disconnected and have regularly felt that painful sense of guilt and shame after PMO.  It is not healthy for me to continue inducing the feeling of guilt and shame.
  The roots of the shame and guilt for me seem to stem from a number of factors.  I feel like there are some elements of cultural conditioning left over from the Protestant/Judeo-Christian perspectives that sex, sexuality and connection with the feminine are dirty hidden,bad aspects of our existence that should be repressed,subdued, hidden and resisted.   On a more personal level I am a practicing Buddhist and I feel shame/guilt from admitting that I am not necessarily in control of my cravings and desires and that I am acting in a way that is contrary to certain spiritual, psychological and social-political principles that I value.  Perhaps there is also some shame in the direct fact that I am connecting artificially with my sexuality for the benefit of myself.  This also induces a feeling of fear of human connection/fear of rejection of connecting to other humans in an intimate way.   Over the course of my maturation as a man I have developed close relationships with women and have had a tendency to feel more comfortable around women than men in general.   In these relationships I have had the heartbreaking awareness that many if not most of the women in my life have experienced sexual abuse and/or rape in their lifetime including some of my close family members.   I think the stats are 1 in 4 women will experience sexual abuse and about 1 in 6 women will experience rape.    In my life it feels like more than half.   I also have male friends who were sexually abused but it feels to me like more of an issue that afflicts women.  Due to this fact I have developed an appreciation for women and would like to consider myself as an ally in supporting the feminine energy on this planet.  I feel a great deal of shame that my PMO is an action that contradicts my principles.  To use a Buddhist term to me it feels like a violation of the precept to refrain from sexual misconduct.    I feel upset that I am participating in creating the demand for an industry that thrives and even triggers desire and craving. I feel guilt, shame and embarrassment for contributing demand to an industry based on the sexual exploitation of women as objects for male gratification.  This perpetuates a mentality of domination, control and power over women for the purpose of male consumption and pleasure.  To me this is an indirect feed to perpetuating violence against women and rape culture.  I recognize that a growing number of porn addicts are women and that there is gay porn, "female friendly" porn, softcore etc.  But I think the over arching target audience is the hetero-sexual male.  To me porn and my use of it contributes to a paradigm of patriarchy and domination of the feminine energy and principle.  This indirectly or directly relates and feeds into to the current macro-issues we face on the planet related to exploitation vs. stewardship and care for each other and our environment.   So I recognize my micro- personal contribution to creating an imbalance of the macro-masculine and feminine principles.    It hurts me to recognize this fact in myself.  It also hurts me to hear the stories from the women in my life, to hear their perspectives about porn and how it makes them feel and yet here I am in full participation.
  I feel that sexuality is important.  I have had some beautiful and mind blowing spiritually connected and engaged moments with my partners.   There is nothing that can touch that human connection especially when there is an openness to love involved.  I am here to strengthen my connection to human contact and re-commit myself to accountability and discipline to my spiritual practice.   My intention is to continue to engage in sexual contact that does not cause harm to myself and others.   I recognize and admit that PMO counts as sexual misconduct and I have an unhealthy relationship to addiction around that.  I am making the effort to move forward and keep engaged in this process.  I hope I can have patience and discipline to keep coming back for the moments when I relapse. 

Many blessings to the courageous people who are being fearlessly honest with themselves for confronting addiction....
   
I have some links to articles below that inspired me.

http://www.yesmagazine.org/happiness/my-year-without-porn-some-surprising-lessons?utm_source=FB&utm_medium=Social&utm_campaign=20140219

http://www.elephantjournal.com/2011/03/pornography-masturbation-the-spiritual-story-no-one-wants-to-tell/ (http://www.elephantjournal.com/2011/03/pornography-masturbation-the-spiritual-story-no-one-wants-to-tell/)



 
Title: Re: 34 yrs old 20 plus yrs use time for honesty
Post by: dharma108 on January 31, 2015, 08:22:20 AM
Day 6:

Moving into the one week territory.  I went about 6 days before I slipped up and then joined this site.   For me a few days is doable but once I get past about 3-5 days it is super challenging.    I am feeling surging energy and strong sense of urge.   Have been edging a little bit.   I have recently reconnected with my previous partner after taking a two month break.  I have found myself "mentally"  not "digitally" fantasizing about her quite a bit lately.

I have been walking around my daily life with moments of being seriously rock hard :-[    This is reminding me of this background rationale I have had about PMO.    My sex drive has always been pretty strong.   I have carried this thought that if I didn't "keep myself  in check"  that I would be in this continuous state of extreme desire and need to unleash a sexual rampage. 

At the moment it is extremely challenging but there is also this feeling of having a lot of energy and vitality.  I am feeling this sense of relief that there isn't anything I am hiding from myself and I can relate to what some other guys posted about not having to cover the tracks by erasing my phone history and hiding my browser history or stashing that hard drive somewhere.   There is a subtle shift from being honest about my situation and I think this is going to carry me with more wholehearted effort  passed the 7 days mark.    Right now I am keeping my goals in bite sizes starting with 30 days.  After I hit 30 I am aiming for the 90.    Challenging but I am holding out so far....