Reboot Nation

Journals => Ages 40 and up => Topic started by: now-man on December 02, 2015, 01:14:36 AM

Title: Gay guy reboot
Post by: now-man on December 02, 2015, 01:14:36 AM
I am a 54 year old gay man. I think I may have PIED and I’m doing a reboot to find out. I’m actually kind of hoping it’s PIED, and not just the aging process. I’m in excellent shape for my age, and I'm able to get hard erections watching porn, but over the last five years I've had increasing difficulty getting an erection with a sex partner. I would like to have a natural spontaneous erection with a sex partner without thinking about it.

I have a long term partner, we’ve been together 15 years, and we both have sex outside the relationship, as well as with each other. We’ve always had good sexual chemistry. We’ve been long-distance for a number of years, and only see each other once every month or two, sometimes longer. I’ve experienced lack of an erection with my partner and with others.

I learned about YBOP and Reboot Nation recently from an acquaintance, and it got my attention. I started right away by quitting PMO, and have been 36 days PMO free (and also no M or O). I have morning wood some days (which is the same as before), and one night last week kept waking up very hard through most of the night.

I haven’t found it that difficult to not PMO, but I have definitely noticed the impulse to do it. I've notice times when I feel bored, or don’t really want to think about my ‘to-do’ list or other things I could deal with, and these are times when I would have PMO’d. At first the impulse feeling was more frequent, maybe a bit less often now, but when it comes I feel the strength of the impulse. I’m able to resist it. I’m getting more things done in general, since I have the time available that I would have spent in PMO.

In the beginning I even noticed how I would look forward to a time later in the day, or even the next day on a work trip, where I would have planned to spend some ‘quality alone PMO time’ and I could feel the emptiness from knowing I wouldn’t be choosing that option. That feeling has mostly subsided.

One thing that has been really helpful, especially late at night, or when I’m on a trip (I travel a lot for work), is reading the YBOP website, and the posts in this forum. I’m very grateful for this community and the courage and kindness of so many of you.

I noticed in one of the forum posts a reference to ‘Porn Substitutes’ or Psubs, and quickly realized that I had been using these even though I wasn’t PMO’ing. There was a guy from craigslist who had been emailing for a while, trying to hook up. He asked if I was available and I wrote back that I wouldn’t be available for a couple months. He asked me to send a few more photos of myself and I did, and asked him for some too. I checked my email a couple times a day for 3 days before he did send me some photos, and then I looked at them several times a day before I read the reference to Psubs, and realized this was exactly what I was doing. It was a useful reference point, because I made the connection between looking at my hookup email, looking at the photos, and going into the whole mind-set of ‘getting off,’ feeling my attention yanked to that online world.

I also had scruff and grindr apps on my phone. I didn’t even use them to meet people, I just liked to look at who was ‘nearby.’ So I removed those apps. I removed the hookup-only email account from my phone. I took the naked selfies off my phone and transferred them into a locked photo file on my computer. I don’t see the naked selfies as ‘porn’ for me, and I don’t have any impulse to go into that file. So for now that seems to work.

That was a week ago, and I created my profile and started a PMO counter and a Psub counter. Since then I've noticed some more subtle things that could be Psubs, or maybe they’re just ’triggers.' For me, looking at some of the pictures in the newspaper sports pages are like that. Even being naked or seeing myself naked in the mirror gives me a hint of the feeling. That may not be an issue for straight guys. For me, I don’t see it rising to the level of being a Psub, but I can see where it could be a trigger.

So far, nothing has been a trigger that leads me to PMO, but I can feel the ‘trigger’ of when my attention goes into horniness. I was sitting with a friend who was reading a mainstream gay magazine while I was doing a crossword, and I was like a dog looking over every 10 seconds to see if there were sexy ads and underwear fashion shots, before forcing my attention back to my crossword.

I also signed on and checked my hookup email on my computer yesterday - I’d had a couple drinks and was feeling good and thought “I’ll just clear out the junk mail that’s accumulated" (oh, and maybe I’m just a little curious to see if anyone has been contacting me to hookup. There was someone who had written a couple days before, I ignored it).

I’ve been sitting here trying to write this in such a way that I don’t have to reset my counter for looking at Psubs, and rereading what I had written I could see it’s just defense and justification, to allow me to continue to have some little ‘cheats.’ So I deleted the excuses and I’m resetting the Psub counter.

I’ve read some posts where guys have said that casual sex is a relapse, or off-limits for them. I had a five year stretch of monogamy earlier in my relationship, and it did work well for me. I’m not looking for that now, but it may be where I’m headed, I don’t know. What I think I want from this reboot is to have a natural erection with a sex partner, whether it’s my partner or a hookup. If that happens, I think I’ll be fine with no porn and no masturbation. I’d rather be able to have an erection and orgasm with a partner, than masturbate.

I’m going to see my partner in a week or so, and if we have a chance to have sex I’ll see how things are working. Otherwise I’m not planning to be sexual with anyone else until I’ve had 90 days of no PMO (and no M either).

I’m grateful for the supportive environment here! Thanks guys.
Title: Re: Gay guy reboot
Post by: lyon03 on December 02, 2015, 01:30:04 PM
Thanks for sharing brother. Welcome to Reboot Nation's pink army. I look forward to following your journey. There are a lot of gay men sharing on this forum, both openly gay men and gay men in heterosexual relationships, so even if they don't reach out immediately, do keep posting as they'll eventually contact you. I found the love and support of the members, both gay and straight, very helpful.

With regards to your post, you're clearly taking a very thoughtful approach to reboot, relationships, and your sex life. That's to be commended. With regards to porn subs, I couldn't agree more. As I've often written, the alcoholic is still drinking even when she switches to lite beer. My personal rule in reboot is that if I'm looking at a screen to get aroused (or more specifically a dopamine hit), then I'm venturing into porn-like addiction. And if I'm jerking off with a screen involved, this is relapse. I'd suggest downloading a copy of "Your Brain on Porn" by Gary Wilson which taught me a lot about porn addiction.

As Wilson shares, we lose our erections because we are addicted to arousal (which releases dopamine in the brain) and our brains simply lose interest in the sexual act. That's why many porn addicts can still get hard during foreplay, only to lose their erections when 'gettin busy.' So I believe you'd made the right decision to stop using Grindr, Scruff, and email for hookups. I have nothing against open relationships, which are common in our community, but we porn addicts have to be mindful of getting the same 'lite beer' high from hook-up apps as well.

Thanks again for sharing and please feel free to reach out via private message with any questions. Many members have a lot more days porn-free than me, but I'm always happy to share my journey. Be well. PORN IS NOT AN OPTION.
Title: Re: Gay guy reboot
Post by: Patrick on December 02, 2015, 04:40:56 PM
Hello now-man, Welcome to the Nation! I believe you're in the right place, and your problems sound a lot like PIED. Thanks for sharing so openly and thoughtfully.

Yes, P subs are terrible traps on your way to full recovery, as I've painfully found out myself. I've come to the point where I'm willing to trust the cosmos to supply me with a long-term partner by socialising, not by hooking up online. This is hard for me as I need to face my social phobia. But I'm sure it's worth it. Today, I went to a small gay Christmas market where I live in Germany, and I talked to a guy, which was so much better than sitting in front of a screen, or sitting in front of a screen and fapping. I've been clean from PMO for roughly 5 months, and I can feel the benefit of finding it far easier to socialise than I used to. Still, it takes courage.

Another thing that helped me to stay clean are the 3 Principles. Just look up www.3pgc.org and immerse yourself in the free online material. Or hit me up if you have questions.

Good luck on your journey and keep posting.
Title: Re: Gay guy reboot
Post by: Phase2 on December 02, 2015, 05:52:28 PM
Welcome Now-man. Your story sounds very similar to mine. You are in the right place and it sounds like you are approaching this determined to succeed. Keep learning. Check out my Success Story post--you may pick up some tips. http://www.rebootnation.org/forum/index.php?topic=4018.0

You may want to consider dumping the emails from any tricks (or any hook-up email account). These tend to sit way in the back of your head ready to pounce as soon as you feel weak. I think it works best to get rid of all possible temptation so you stop the need for inner struggle. Quicker way to healing I think.

That said, I am also very aware of Psubs (I like that term). With time I learned that these (instagram, tumblr, dating apps, craigslist) were damaging to my progress. I still struggle with Scruff as it is the one reliable way I know I can find a partner, but hoping awareness keeps it from getting out of hand like it has in the past. I would def recommend trashing all Psbus if you are new to the reboot.

Good luck buddy. Gay men have unique struggles so glad you are here to ask questions and post. Hope we can all help!
Title: Re: Gay guy reboot
Post by: HARDWIRED on December 02, 2015, 05:57:47 PM
Hi now-man,
Thx for sharing.  This is a great place to be to relate to others experiences and accumulate all e knowledge that's afforded us here.  Definitely read YBOP and all the articles as well as the vids.  It's amazing how we find knowledge is power!!!   The two guys directly ahead of me have been great inspiration to me and we're all more than happy to answer any questions you may have if you want to pm any of us.  I'm fairly new to the site as well and have only made it to the 30 day point on two separate occasions but I'm determined I'm going to beat this!!! (No pun intended :))
Another great book that I read and found was quite clear on the subject is Cruise Control. It more or less discusses from a gay male point of view but clarifies that porn does not discriminate!   It definitely hit home. 
Good luck in your journey and we're all here if you need to vent!!!  Wishing you well.
Title: Re: Gay guy reboot
Post by: now-man on December 02, 2015, 10:44:30 PM
Wow guys, thanks so much for the thoughtful messages! I'm touched by your kindness. I do have some questions and thoughts to share, and I don't have the time now, but I'll post again tomorrow when I'm back home. Hugs to you :)
Title: Re: Gay guy reboot
Post by: avesraggiana on December 03, 2015, 06:26:36 PM
Hello, now-man.

Welcome to the forum.  And I commend you for starting your own journal entry, something I have not yet done myself. 

You will find a lot of support and empathy here, and you will be given a lot of good advice.  Not all of it may work for you, but most of it will, and it will always be given with the best of intentions.  Please keep us posted on your progress.

Best of Luck!
Title: Re: Gay guy reboot
Post by: now-man on December 03, 2015, 10:38:30 PM
Back from my trip.

Lyon, I just downloaded the 'Your Brain On Porn' book, thanks for that suggestion. I know I’ll be glad to have that reading material. The distinction you mention - that we are addicted to arousal - really makes sense. If I weren’t already 38 days into no PMO, I think I would find that hard to take; it’s dispiriting since I notice how very often my attention is drawn towards being aroused, and how I think I like that and want it. I've just returned from a trip, passing through airports and hotels, out in the world. I see sexy and attractive men of all kinds, and find myself devouring them with my eyes. I’m so used to it. If it is arousal that I am addicted to, I can feel my resistance to letting that go. It’s a voice saying “I won’t have anything fun left, I’ll have to become a nun basically.” It’s very whiny.

I see where hookup apps are likely to be porn subs. I wonder about how I’ll be able to hook up for sex outside my relationship without jeopardizing whatever I gain from my reboot. I’m not there yet, and I don’t need to figure that out now.

Patrick, I’ve read a number of forum posts on the site, but so far I think yours is the only thread I read (most of) from the beginning to the present. That was just the other day, and it was one of the things that inspired me to finally post myself. I’m grateful for your courage and feel close to you and to all the men who posted in your thread. It’s a lovely gift. I'm really happy to see the progress you have made!

Thanks for the link to the 3 principles, it’s open in a window on my computer now to check out. I’ve been to Christmas markets in Germany, they’re pretty special, but I didn’t know they had gay ones - that’s awesome :)

Phase2, I’ll look forward to reading your success story again (I read when I first found RN, I’ll check out the thread too - btw, love the rainbow flag on the moon! Now I want a groovy avatar).

You wrote: You may want to consider dumping the emails from any tricks (or any hook-up email account). These tend to sit way in the back of your head ready to pounce as soon as you feel weak. I think it works best to get rid of all possible temptation so you stop the need for inner struggle. Quicker way to healing I think.

I hear the wisdom in your suggestion - I could feel the relief when I deleted the hookup apps and email account from my phone. I can still access that hookup email account (it just doesn’t automatically load now), and though I’m not planning on checking it for the duration of my reboot, I’m not sure I want to dump all the emails. I have a couple of hookup buddies and a number of tricks for my travels stored there.

I started this reboot hoping it will cure PIED. My thought was that I can do no PMO, even no MO, if it means I can have sex with an erection. I want that with my partner, and I want it with others as well (after I feel ‘rebooted). Like I mentioned above, as I get further into this, I see the possibility that my plan could evolve and change. This may all be leading somewhere other than where I think it is. If hooking up with a buddy or an anonymous encounter is going to set me back, lead to PMO or ED, then I’ll have to reconsider. But for now, I’m not ready to say I’m not going to have sex outside my relationship. I’d like to have that option if it’s possible, and I would love to hear any feedback or experience from anyone about that.

Hardwired and Avesraggiana, thanks for your warm welcome, I really appreciate it. Hardwired, I’m putting ‘Cruise Control’ on my book list - do you know who the author is?

You guys are wonderful. We are so fortunate to have a site like this! Wow.
Title: Re: Gay guy reboot
Post by: now-man on December 03, 2015, 10:55:22 PM
Another question I just remembered:

Lyon you wrote: My personal rule in reboot is that if I'm looking at a screen to get aroused (or more specifically a dopamine hit), then I'm venturing into porn-like addiction. And if I'm jerking off with a screen involved, this is relapse.

I think I’m clear about what constitutes relapse, and what would make me reset my ‘Intentionally looking at Psubs’ counter.

But in light of the idea you mentioned that we are addicted to arousal, and noticing all the ways that arises in me, I’m wondering how or if to modify my behavior. Some examples: looking at attractive men, checking out the different views as they pass by; photos in the newspaper sports pages - when I see armpits, I would have to work hard not to look, and those Warriors! jeez.

My question: is being aroused or attracted like this a set back or slow down to the reboot, or is there just a normal and natural amount of attraction that is healthy and harmless? Thoughts guys?
Title: Re: Gay guy reboot
Post by: lyon03 on December 05, 2015, 04:30:27 AM
Hey brother. I'll try to answer your question. Perhaps the first way to understand a question is to re-phrase it so here goes:

"Question: is being aroused or attracted to men on the street or in different media a form of relapse, or is this type of arousal natural/healthy?"

That depends what you do once aroused I think. I'll share my own experience which may be helpful. Porn addiction made me see all men as potential sex partners, regardless of their sexual orientation. This is unhealthy sexuality in my opinion. It's like a virtual form of the sexual adolescence gay men experience after coming out. We are so happy and relieved to have come out that many of us go on a form of sexual binge that may last a few months or a year but it eventually calms down. Getting back to your question, going to the gym was particularly difficult for me for the first six months of reboot. Why? Because all of the gym bunnies made me horny. Long-term porn addiction skewed my view of the world into seeing life like some mega porn set. It's as if I thought some orgy would break out at my gym which is of course completely misguided.

When my brain no longer had a screen for it's dopamine fix, my world became a sexualized screen through which my brain was hungrily looking for its high. This seems to be what you're experiencing now. So yes this is a normal and natural part of the process in my opinion. However, you won't truly be rebooting if you spend all of your time watching (and then jacking to) fleshy tv, looking at muscle men in calendars, searching Grindr, or fantasizing about the boys at the gym. So it's just another form of addiction when you get the dopamine hit and then act out through quick masturbation.

What I'd suggest you do is apply something George Collins wrote about in "Breaking the Cycle." It's called "first thought wrong" if I remember it correctly. (I read the book last January.) This means when you see an image that arouses you sexually, you know this is your addiction speaking, and you choose not to act/react to it. You acknowledge the feeling (emotion), pause (thought), and move on (reaction). It's about slowly learning impulse control. So what's the goal? The goal is perhaps something like what I experience today. When I see an attractive man, I simply see an attractive man rather than a potential f*ck buddy. I can go to the gym and chat away with the cute guys working out, without making a pervy trip to the bathroom to rub one out as I fantasize about them.

Imagine it this way: a woman walks along a city street and sees a handbag in a window. She so obsesses about it that she can't work, goes online right away to look for the bag, and basically forgets all other responsibilities in her life (work, family, friends etc.) as she loses herself in a fantasy about owning the handbag. But she never actually buys the bag. Sad isn't it? We can do the same thing with porn-like fantasies. The reality was that I was never going to have sex with anyone at my gym. The reality is that I'm never going to have sex with people I see on tv, or in adverts, or in calendars. So why waste so much f*cking time obsessing about it?

So while I can window shop, I see it for what it is. Just a little tickle, not a full-blown obsession. I experience my own sexuality with my long-term boyfriend with whom I have both an emotional and physical connection. That's healthy sexuality. Gym fantasies are nothing more than a porn-like waste of time. I hope that helps in some way my friend. If not, just post again or send me a private message.
Title: Re: Gay guy reboot
Post by: avesraggiana on December 05, 2015, 06:08:37 AM
Brilliant reply as always, Lyon03.
Title: Re: Gay guy reboot
Post by: now-man on December 05, 2015, 07:45:10 PM
Thanks Lyon, good insights. I haven't been M'ing at all, but I see where my aroused viewpoint when I'm checking guys out is in the same ballpark as as my porn viewer mind.

I'm just about done reading my downloaded 'Your Brain On Porn" book (GREAT recommendation) and am seeing and learning a lot. Out on a trip again, but will post more when I'm home tomorrow.

Avesraggiana, loved reading your new thread, thanks for posting!
Title: Re: Gay guy reboot
Post by: HARDWIRED on December 06, 2015, 09:30:21 PM
Sorry it took me so long to reply but wanted to let you know the author of Cruise Control is Robert Weiss.  The book was so accurate I felt he was writing about me!!!  LOL
Take care. :)
Title: Re: Gay guy reboot
Post by: lyon03 on December 06, 2015, 10:37:52 PM
Glad you enjoyed the book brother and thanks to Hardwired for his book recommendation. I urge you both to keep sharing and posting on other threads here. Being open, honest, and encouraging others helped me with my reboot. As I close out 2015, I am very happy to be rid of this soul-destroying addiction and I'm thrilled others are rebooting their lives as well. Be well. PORN IS NOT AN OPTION.   
Title: Re: Gay guy reboot
Post by: now-man on December 09, 2015, 10:32:45 PM
Thank you gentlemen for the replies. I’m finally getting a chance to post after a busy travel week.

Reading the YBOP book was very illuminating and helpful. I’m so grateful for Gary Wilson’s intelligence, clarity and care in approaching this whole subject and laying it out for us. A little education can clear up a lot of misunderstanding.

It’s become clear to me that I don’t want to look at porn ever again. I don’t think I’ve suffered as much in relation to porn as some of the guys who have shared here, but I definitely relate to the sense of isolation and voyeurism that porn creates. I see my use of porn has become a ‘remedy’ for boredom, dissatisfaction, anxiety. It doesn’t really do the trick. It just numbs the sense of whatever feels ‘off.’ And there isn’t even anything that seriously ‘off!'

I’m starting to realize that the frequent and compelling ‘arousal’ I referred to in my earlier posts actually isn’t horniness. I think I’ve forgotten what it’s like to actually be horny! My sexuality for several years has been mostly expressed through masturbating to porn. So I’m visually hungry towards what looks sexy. But I don’t actually feel turned on to have real sex.

I’ve read a fair amount about the ‘flatline’ and I didn’t think I was experiencing it. Partly because I was still noticing sexy men or advertisements and feeling ‘aroused.’ Partly because I get morning wood sometimes. I haven’t felt ‘shrivelled.' But now I wonder if I’m experiencing a milder form of it because I really am not at all ‘horny.’ Also I have had zero interest in masturbating.

I got to see my partner for the first time in a couple months. We didn’t end up having sex, which I think is probably a good thing for me right now. Instead I shared with him about my ‘reboot.’ I think he was a little concerned - not immediately relating to the idea that porn might be a problem, and definitely feeling that masturbation is normal and good. I told him that it didn’t sound like it was a problem for him (and based on past conversations, it may not be at all.) And I shared a bit of what I’m finding for myself and hoping to experience by being porn free, and masturbation free for awhile at least.

I offered to be sexual with him if he wanted to, but the timing wasn’t really right. So I asked him to just lay down with me for awhile which he happily did, and it felt really good to have that contact. I almost thought I was getting an erection, but it was more of a ‘stirring.’ I just enjoyed the sensation.

So, not really ready yet. But very grateful that we can be honest and he can be patient. He’s a really good man that I love, respect and admire. I’d love to really feel turned on, physically/mentally/emotionally, and have sex from there. It’s amazing to realize that I haven’t really been turned on in a very long time - that without realizing it, I substituted being turned on with getting myself off to images.

I’m curious to see, however long it takes, if and when real horniness, desire to be sexual with a human being vs an image, returns.
Title: Re: Gay guy reboot
Post by: avesraggiana on December 10, 2015, 07:19:53 AM
I offered to be sexual with him if he wanted to, but the timing wasn’t really right. So I asked him to just lay down with me for awhile which he happily did, and it felt really good to have that contact. I almost thought I was getting an erection, but it was more of a ‘stirring.’ I just enjoyed the sensation.

So, not really ready yet. But very grateful that we can be honest and he can be patient. He’s a really good man that I love, respect and admire. I’d love to really feel turned on, physically/mentally/emotionally, and have sex from there. It’s amazing to realize that I haven’t really been turned on in a very long time - that without realizing it, I substituted being turned on with getting myself off to images.

I’m curious to see, however long it takes, if and when real horniness, desire to be sexual with a human being vs an image, returns.

Thank you for your update.  It’s still early in your recovery so Flatline may not yet have hit in its full force.  When it does, it’ll seem very disconcerting at first, but you’ll already know what it’s all about. 

You’re very lucky indeed to have an understanding and loving partner.  When I first started having to explain to friends and FBs about PIED, I would text them the link to one of Gabe Deem’s youtube videos.  I would say, “Watch the first five minutes.  It’ll tell you everything you’ll need to know about what’s going on and what I’m going through.”

Stay on path, and fight the good fight.  It’ll be worth it in the end.
Title: Re: Gay guy reboot
Post by: lyon03 on December 10, 2015, 09:29:47 AM
Well done brother. I particularly liked this:

"I’m curious to see, however long it takes, if and when real horniness, desire to be sexual with a human being vs an image, returns."

That's a fantastic goal my friend. No one ever got love back from a screen and I'm thrilled you enjoyed quality time with your partner. That's solid gold as many rebooters haven't found love yet.

As you read in Gary Wilson's book, we are addicted to dopamine which really means we're addicted to arousal or the brain's expectation of sex. We are so addicted to arousal that it actually kills sexual desire. Looking at your counter, it appears you've gone about 10 days without porn substitutes. Using these subs would still give your brain the dopamine (or arousal) hit it's looking for but perhaps not as big a hit as explicit pornography. This may be why you haven't gone through full-blown flatline/withdrawal. As I've often shared, porn subs are a bit like an alcoholic switching to lite beer because it's just a watered-down version of the same addiction. And be mindful that porn-subs include any screen stimulation that gets the dopamine flowing. This includes dating sites, dating apps, fleshy TV, and videos that get you going.

You should start to experience heavy withdrawal in the next week to ten days. I'm not going to lie, withdrawal is hell. But it's also healing. I'd recommend that when you get the itch to go back to screens, come here and post instead.

I look forward to following your journey brother. We're all rooting for you. PORN IS NOT AN OPTION.
Title: Re: Gay guy reboot
Post by: Patrick on December 12, 2015, 10:57:45 AM
Hi now-man, Thanks for your update.

For me, the most important question is whether any form of sex with a real human being is okay for rewiring or not. My 20 year old hook up doesn't let go, and I am tempted to fall for his advance again (he regularly texts me, and so far I haven't replied.) One side of me feels horny to have sex with him, and he for sure would be real, the other side tells me that this is a dopamine hit I give myself, although we would be together in the flesh (as I said, maybe my brain can't differentiate between young men in P and a real man that is young.) So I'm really confused. I also believe that the energy I would spend on being with him takes me away from finding a long-term partner. I can't imagine being with this guy. I'm also scared of another flatline. Can a human being be a porn sub?? Maybe you have some thoughts on this?

Anyway, I hope you're doing good, and please keep us updated. Take care.


Title: Re: Gay guy reboot
Post by: Phase2 on December 12, 2015, 06:26:27 PM
Hey Now Man. Glad you are chugging along. I appreciate your thoughtful approach.

1. I too had the realization midway through reboot that I truly had no idea what being horny was. I had hijacked my horniness for so many decades through boredom and anxiety-based masturbation that I never allowed my body to truly work up a natural hunger for sex. Even now I still must remind myself that I should ignore the HABIT and wait until I'm actually horny to seek sex. Now, after a yearlong reboot/rewire, I do have occasional days when I can honestly say I'm horny. There is a 'charge' in my loins that feels like it overtakes my cerebral thinking. I welcome this feeling. I had kept it under wraps for far too long. So I think you are right to mention this.

2. It's pretty common for my gay friends to defend porn and masturbation. I think the best way to talk about it is to allow the simple fact that it's not bad for everyone, but it's bad for ME, so I'm cutting it out. That way, they can relax. You are not attacking their choices, but making a decision for yourself. Still, I think a lot of my friends do have a porn problem. I'm just proud to be able to introduce the concept of abstention. Eventually I believe many will come around and realize porn is a problem for them. But they have to hear about it first from somewhere. I'm glad to help them along!

Great input guys. Stay strong this weekend.
Title: Re: Gay guy reboot
Post by: now-man on December 13, 2015, 03:06:52 AM
Thanks for the responses guys. I'm traveling, and will write in more detail in a couple days, but wanted to mention that I'm reading the book Hardwired recommended, "Cruise Control: Understanding Sex Addiction In Gay Men" by Robert Weiss. Really interesting and well written. If you haven't checked it out, it could be helpful.

As I read I go back and forth between identifying as a sex addict and thinking I'm actually not a sex addict, but can relate to some of it. Either way, it's illuminating and deepens my understanding of my reboot. Patrick, it might shed some light on your question.

I'll post again when I'm home. You guys are awesome. I feel like I have a tribe with me.
Title: Re: Gay guy reboot
Post by: lyon03 on December 13, 2015, 04:12:32 AM
Hey brother. I hope you're well and look forward to your update. Phase2 I really liked what you shared above: "You are not attacking their choices, but making a decision for yourself. Still, I think a lot of my friends do have a porn problem." You've hit the nail on the head...and it doesn't just apply to porn addiction. I think we have a general screen addiction. You reminded me of a realization I had last Friday night. I was out for drinks with a friend at a local gay bar. Two things struck me that evening: first, the fact that I wasn't drinking (virgin Bloody Marys) was highly unsettling for everyone ("Have a drink for God's sake!"); and second, I didn't once go on my cellphone yet everyone in the bar was constantly checking their phones for texts and sex app messages. Free of such distractions, I was having the most incredible conversation with a woman at the bar. There were actually four of us but my friend and her (male) friend kept pulling out their cellphones - roughly every 5-10 minutes I reckon - to check Grindr, Scruff or other sex apps. I realized this was me not too long ago. I also realized that every time someone checked their phone looking for sex, they were getting a dopamine hit. We left the bar and headed out for dinner. There were six of us in total. Two of the men at dinner were constantly on their phones trying to arrange for hook ups. I thought it was incredibly rude but checked myself because I realized this was me not too long ago. Why am I writing this? Phase2 makes a very good point that the gay community is now infected with a generalized form of screen/porn addiction. It is now socially acceptable to casually scroll through fleshy photos of half-naked men WHILE IN A BAR OR RESTAURANT. Calling this porn addiction is perhaps going to far just like calling everyone getting drunk at a bar an alcoholic. We all suffer our addictions to different degrees I guess. End of rant! Be well everyone. PORN IS NOT AN OPTION.     
Title: Re: Gay guy reboot
Post by: now-man on December 21, 2015, 07:52:59 PM
Plugging along in my reboot.

I’m still reading “Cruise Control” by Robert Weiss, an in-depth look at sex addiction for gay men. I'm about 2/3 of the way through, getting a lot out of it. After going back and forth in the beginning, at this point it feels pretty clear to me that I am not actually a 'sex addict.' I can certainly relate to some of it, but I don't think my behaviors fit the out-of-control definition as described in the book.

My partner has 22 years of sobriety in AA twelve step recovery, so I've learned something about the difference between an alcoholic and non-alcoholic. I enjoy drinking to a point, but the more I drink, the less I like it. So it's something I enjoy in moderation. I think sex is an area where I can go a little further than 'moderation,' but it doesn't lead me to out-of-control. He explains in the book that sex addicts deny there's anything wrong, so I keep that in mind as I examine my experience. But at this point in the book he has made several clear distinctions between how a sex addict and non sex addict respond to the same situation, and it seems pretty clear to me.

I suppose there's some grey area between classic dysfunctional addiction (as described in Cruise Control) and the kind of porn related brain re-wiring that is described YBOP. I think I'm not addicted to porn but, through PMO, conditioned my wiring to the urge towards arousal.

I’m approaching 60 days in my reboot. It feels quiet. I still don’t think I’ve flatlined the way I’ve heard it described. I don’t have much libido - I have yet to feel any impulse to want to masturbate. But I do get morning wood. I do feel attracted and aroused at times, though not to the point of erection. My equipment often actually feels bigger and fuller, rather than shrunk. But I suppose there are a lot of varieties of flatlines, and maybe this is mine.

As for withdrawal, I think I’ve had some symptoms, like sudden intense irritability. I’ve also had some very long nights of sleep, like 11 to 12 hours, which feels like healing going on.
Title: Re: Gay guy reboot
Post by: lyon03 on December 23, 2015, 01:54:56 PM
Hey brother. Thanks for sharing. Regardless of whether or not you're a porn or sex addict, or maybe even both, the most important thing is that you're staying proactive during reboot. Our addiction is to dopamine. Some get the hit via porn, others through Grindr, and some of us have a general sex addiction to get our dopamine highs. But it's all the same. Addiction is wanting to do something or ingest something that will never be enough. Learn everything you can about porn addiction, sex addiction, or any other problems that may be keeping you from having a kick *ss life. Just keep learning/fighting/going. With regards to flatline/withdrawal, I believe you're going through the classic symptoms: low libido and fatigue. If your junk is looking better and you're experiencing morning wood, bravo! These are usually signs you're coming out of flatline. If you have the same experience as me, you'll be ready to tear off your husband's clothes in the coming weeks. Be ready! Be well my friend. PORN IS NOT AN OPTION.
Title: Re: Gay guy reboot
Post by: now-man on December 31, 2015, 11:30:26 PM
Happy New Year gentlemen!

It's been an amazing week and a half since I last posted - an intense travel schedule combined with the spending the holiday with my partner. We had four days together. On Christmas morning he asked me about my reboot, and wanted to talk about where we are with our agreements around sex outside the relationship. It was a good conversation. Then we had his family over for the day.

Later that night when we were alone I noticed it was bringing up a lot of emotion in me. We sat and talked and tears welled up in me, and I shared my fears about not knowing where this is all heading for me - I don't know if sex is going to work well for me in or outside of our relationship. He was loving and understanding and we ended up hugging and I started feeling intimate. (Possible trigger material): We took a shower together and he got me hard. We moved to the bedroom and went for it. It's been quite awhile (months) since we'd had sex, and a couple months since I started my reboot and had any sexual activity. So it all felt a little wonky in my head. After the initial erect response, my boner didn't hold up. I thought about just stopping, but he seemed really turned on, and the intimate connection felt good, so I continued and we both O'd, though I was only partially erect. (end)

The next morning he asked how I was doing, and again emotion welled up and I shared that, while there were wonderful parts of our intimacy, I felt sad about my equipment's performance. He made a valiant effort to assuage my feelings, it was really endearing. For me it was very helpful just to express my feelings.

We were both leaving town that afternoon and laid down for a short nap together, after a hectic couple days of holiday activity.  Possible trigger material): I was nestling in hoping to catch a little sleep when he spooned me and had a raging boner (no ED issues on his end!). Then I got hard and stayed pretty hard and we had quite a fun romp. To O and beyond. (end) Afterward he was very cute and sweet with his enthusiasm for my 'success,' clearly caring and hoping I was feeling it. I did feel a sense of success, in addition to gratitude for his love, for the intimacy and the fun.

I don't at all feel that my reboot is complete. In fact I had wondered whether it would be better to avoid intimacy with him until I did. But I'm very glad all that happened. It felt like an early taste of 'rewiring.' And through several phone conversations we've had since then, when he has again brought the subject up and asked how I'm doing, I'm touched by his love and concern. And his willingness to let me share my insecurity and be there for me.

I waited to see if I were going to experience the 'chaser' effect, and I did notice it. It wasn't overpowering, but for the next few days there was a recurring impulse, not to PMO, but to hookup. I happened to be in two different situations where a familiar hookup was readily available. I watched my mind considering it, and then thought "Okay, let's really look at this. Is this going to move my reboot forward? No." End of consideration, end of impulses. One thing I liked about the impulse, though, was that it felt more like actual 'horniness' instead of the urge to 'get off.'

In the last ten days I also noticed another possible withdrawal symptom for a few nights, this time a bit of insomnia, rare for me.

I finished reading "Cruise Control," (such a wealth of information), and started reading the "YBOP" book again. Feels helpful to repeat it.

I've been keeping up on a lot of the posts in here. Sometimes I wonder if I'm in the wrong place. It seems like a lot of the guys are coming from a religious/morality perspective, or one in which the only viable option for sexuality is intimacy within committed monogamy. However, one thing I definitely appreciate about this forum is the respectful and supportive way everyone shares. Our culture is so polarized these days. The way it's presented in the media, people only want to hear what they agree with, and they demonize those who disagree. So I really like seeing the interaction here between men who may have quite different values, beliefs and lifestyles, supporting each other with respect and being genuine.

As I read numerous posts that seem to steer in the direction of 'monogamy and intimacy as the only healthy option,' I feel conflicted. I have considered that it might end up being the right option for me, and I'm open to that. I had five years of monogamy (on my part) earlier in my relationship, and it worked very well for me. But I'm not intending or planning that outcome. My relationship isn't set up that way. It's possible recreational sex can be a healthy option for some men. It seems to be the case for my partner. So, we'll see...

Those are my thoughts on this beautiful NY Eve. Off to enjoy time with a dear friend. Wishing you all well, and grateful for your presence and support.
Title: Re: Gay guy reboot
Post by: lyon03 on January 01, 2016, 05:54:24 AM
Happy New Year! Thanks for the update my friend. I'm so happy that you and your partner had such wonderful and intimate moments together. That's what reboot is all about. In reply:

"I've been keeping up on a lot of the posts in here. Sometimes I wonder if I'm in the wrong place. It seems like a lot of the guys are coming from a religious/morality perspective, or one in which the only viable option for sexuality is intimacy within committed monogamy."

Whether you reboot with a higher power, a loving partner, or in a 'monogamish' relationship (thanks to Dan Savage for creating that term), I've learned that reboot and perhaps happiness are highly personal. I enjoyed what you wrote about this being an open, honest and respectful environment. I must admit that I could be rather dogmatic and dismissive at times - wrongly thinking that my way of rebooting was the only way. Looking back, this was wrong. So what's my point?

I think it's a sign of intelligence that you're asking such questions. I also think that you should approach your reboot in a way that works for you and your partner. I'd recommend you start by defining what addiction means for you. You can then determine whether the occasional sexcapade is harmless or harmful to you and your long-term relationship. Personally I think this is where I'm headed. In a loving relationship with a wonderful man, but 'monogamish' enough so that I can enjoy the odd romp from time to time. However, I have to be mindful to avoid falling in to my old addictive habits of using screens, seeking, and searching like I did in the past. So my point is that you're not alone my friend.

As always, it's a pleasure to read your well-written and engaging posts. I look forward to following your journey. Be well. PORN IS NOT AN OPTION.
Title: Re: Gay guy reboot
Post by: Phase2 on January 01, 2016, 10:22:52 AM
Great post, Now-Man. Congratulations on making it to a point where you can start to reap some of the benefits of this journey. I agree that you are not done yet--but its clear you have a great perspective and understanding of the complexities of all this. And that includes relationships, monogamy and non-monogamy. Your approach is thoughtful and sincere. So keep going. Our challenges will continue, but it's great to see you are making progress. Happy New Year!
Title: Re: Gay guy reboot
Post by: now-man on January 01, 2016, 03:16:39 PM
Thank you Lyon and Phase2, it's really helpful to hear what you shared. I had felt at times like I was tying myself in knots if I had to view this whole reboot through a single lens. Thank you for letting me know I'm not alone. I like what you said about being mindful, sounds like the right approach for me.  :)
Title: Re: Gay guy reboot
Post by: lyon03 on January 07, 2016, 03:08:27 AM
My pleasure. As Leon has often shared, we need to define 'addiction' and 'recovery' ourselves. But we also have to be mindful that our basic addiction is to dopamine and we porn addicts get our dopamine hits from artificial sexual stimulation like screens. I'm actually quite happy to read about your open relationship. This is a debate we as a society need to have. (I am a huge fan of Dan Savage's column in "The Stranger" and have recently listened to his latest audiobook.) My own experience seems to gel with Dan's basic premise that human beings aren't naturally monogamous. Given the high divorce rate and amount of cheating, we as a society need to address a basic truth that something is wrong with the current paradigm.   

And I think the gay community is redefining relationships as we gay men tend to be more open (if not agressive) about our sexuality. While married, I 'cheated' on my wife every day by watching pornography. I was in fact having sex with a screen because my own personal sex life was so unsatisfying. Porn is often a gateway to hookups via Craigslist, sex apps (like Gridr), prostitutes etc. I like Savage's term 'monogamish' which means mostly monogamous, but in a relationship that is open and honest enough to allow for some extra-marital fun. If this works for you and your partner, great. This is what works for me but I've realized that it cannot be at the expense of my primary relationship.

But enough of my rant...how is your reboot going my friend? I look forward to your next update. Happy New Year to you and your husband.     
Title: Re: Gay guy reboot
Post by: now-man on January 08, 2016, 04:35:46 PM
Hello gents,
Great stuff Lyon, thanks for the insights. I'm still plugging along, my 90 days is within sight. Not that reaching that point will necessarily change anything, but I can certainly say that it's been worthwhile so far.

In the last week I've noticed signs I may be coming out of my version of flatline - I've felt a bit horny, noticed some smells that turned me on; found myself thinking about hookup options; had really solid, long lasting morning wood almost every day; got flirted with by a very hot guy, and watched my arousal meter hit the red zone.

I'm not doing anything about any of it. Just watching. I considered that I could M with my morning wood, first time I've had that impulse. But it didn't feel 'necessary.' I've been reading posts and YBOP, and I just don't trust that the dopamine circuits are rebooted. I guess my standard for knowing when it's time to 'do something' with my wiener is this: when I don't have to wonder, or decide, or think about it; when I am naturally led to it. I can wait for that. And I think I know the difference between being naturally led to it and feeling the craving for a dopamine hit. The first is easy, fun and light, the second is stressful.

I see how fortunate I am to have my partner. I'm going to see him again in a few days. It will be a brief visit, so don't know if we'll have the opportunity for nookie, but either way is good. I think that if and when I am naturally led to having sex, I want to do it with my partner a fair bit before I do it with someone else. I'm feeling as close to him as ever. Sometimes in our phone conversations I find myself getting chubby down there. Not full on hard, but it feels good.

After coming this far, I want to get as much advantage out of this reboot as I can, without being over zealous about it. I want long lasting effects, not an overnight change. I read an interesting thread earlier today, started by Stevew, titled: The longer you have an addiction the harder it is to quit... where a couple guys talk about the thrill of starting a reboot, making positive changes, then the challenge when the novelty wears off.

I noticed the benefits of being in flatline, where I wasn't at all thinking about M'ing, hooking up, etc. In the last week, when those things came to mind again, I almost felt a sense of disappointment. Like: is that all there is? Those things are so familiar. So, I'm leaving it alone. It's gonna have to come and find me. It's gonna have to draw me in with convincing genuineness and depth. I'm not budging that easily. :)
Title: Re: Gay guy reboot
Post by: lyon03 on January 08, 2016, 07:29:39 PM
Great post my friend. I see you're rediscovering natural sexuality and natural attraction. I'm not at all surprised someone flirted with you because when you radiate sexuality, people take notice. How wonderful that your partner's voice is also causing a stir. There is nothing more fulfilling than having someone desire you, or perhaps being desired. I liked what you posted about the 'novelty' of recovery wearing off. I think you're on the right path for more than just a porn reboot. Your insights suggest a deeper insight that this is truly a life reboot. Keep posting as I'm learning a lot from your journey. Be well. PORN IS NOT AN OPTION. 
Title: Re: Gay guy reboot
Post by: hans32 on January 09, 2016, 01:59:31 PM
I am very grounded and inspired reading your posts.  Keep up the good workmy pink army brother!
Title: Re: Gay guy reboot
Post by: bob on January 10, 2016, 06:24:11 PM
It seems like a lot of the guys are coming from a religious/morality perspective, or one in which the only viable option for sexuality is intimacy within committed monogamy.

I just wanted to say that I appreciate your thoughts on the religious/morality perspective.
Title: Re: Gay guy reboot
Post by: Phase2 on January 16, 2016, 04:37:41 PM
I guess my standard for knowing when it's time to 'do something' with my wiener is this: when I don't have to wonder, or decide, or think about it; when I am naturally led to it. I can wait for that. And I think I know the difference between being naturally led to it and feeling the craving for a dopamine hit. The first is easy, fun and light, the second is stressful.

I like this line. It took me a loooong time to figure this out so I wanted to highlight it again for anyone else looking around. There have been many times since my reboot that I have forced the issue of having sex only because I was able to get it at that time. (If it's not readily available, you have to take it when it comes). Which means that there were times when I had sex when I was probably not truly 'horny'. With the help of a small dose of Cialis (despite the side dish of anxiety), I've been able to do pretty well since my reboot--which is great. However, I feel best on those other occasions when sex is at hand and I'm not thinking about it at all. My body is simply ready, horny, not anxious at all--just eager to go. These are the times when I don't think Id need Cialis at all. And if it weren't for my reboot and abstaining from MO, I doubt I'd have ever had these feeling again. So, again, I'm thankful to YBOP for helping me get to the point where I can experience natural, eager horniness again. My goal is to find a partner with whom I can exercise these urges with when he and I are both ready--and not have to rely on random hookups or good timing to have a sexual encounter.

Anyway, I encourage all the men out there to concentrate on that subtle difference. Truly Horny vs. Bored/Anxious/Forced Horny.

Cheers!
Title: Re: Gay guy reboot
Post by: now-man on January 17, 2016, 02:11:01 AM
Greetings gentlemen,

Things are going well. I had a short visit with my partner, not expecting to have a chance for physical play. Surprise! We were going to head out for lunch but didn't make it out the door before our clothes were off. My equipment responded with initial robustness, then flagged a bit, then kinda met me halfway. This time I didn't mind. I appreciate whatever process it's going through, and it can take whatever time it takes. More importantly, I feel closer to my partner, and more turned on by him. That was a big bonus. I realized I had kind of numbed myself with porn viewing (and seeking hookups) to the point where I wasn't as turned on with my partner. It was a very good feeling to be really attracted and turned on with him.

I had to leave after the short visit, but then changed some plans to travel back and spend a couple more days with him. It just felt like we need more time together, and it's worth my making the effort.

We had another spontaneous session. It started out just playfully when he was headed out for an errand, but we were both getting more and more turned on. I said "you better get out of here" and before you know it, clothes were off and we were going for it. My member held up a bit better than the previous time, not 100%, but progress. But the feeling of connection and genuine arousal was solid throughout.

We've had a physical relationship for over 16 years. It's gratifying and humbling to feel as connected as ever. There's more depth to it now. He has been very supportive and encouraging around my reboot, and letting me know how much he wants to be with me. It's sobering to realize how my "little private sex life with my PMO" took me away from something that sweet and valuable.

I haven't noticed any chaser effect this time, maybe at least in part because I came down with a cold. Now I'm back home, just resting and getting well.

I'm noticing over the last week or more that I have less and less attention pulled when I see a sexy man. I notice, but I think maybe the dopamine pathway has calmed down, it doesn't have that 'grab you' feeling. Also, I've had zero experience of thinking about PMO (or MO for that matter).

I think I'm about a week from 90 days PMO & MO free. So far I really like the benefits! I think there's more to go.
Title: Re: Gay guy reboot
Post by: Patrick on January 17, 2016, 06:44:03 AM
Awesome post, now-man, this sounds wonderful and gives me hope. Take care and good luck. Life is magical without P.
Title: Re: Gay guy reboot
Post by: harry on January 17, 2016, 12:19:10 PM
Hello now-man,

Glad to read things are going well for you! It gives me hope for my future.
Title: Re: Gay guy reboot
Post by: now-man on January 24, 2016, 08:03:06 PM
Today is Day 90. It’s pretty quiet. I’m full of gratitude for what I’ve gotten from this reboot.

It feels like I’ve slowed down and become more present. Small things are more valuable.

A number of unusual things have happened recently - a close friend was killed in an accident; my next door neighbors' house burned in a fire; another friend had a medical emergency and died; I just had a minor surgery two days ago.

What I appreciate is that I feel simply present for these events. I feel more human. If I were still PMO’ing, I think there would be a numbing followed by a vague sense of disappointment in myself. With PMO’ing, and the dopamine rush as a familiar and ongoing experience, it’s almost as if "things should seem more important than they do.” Without it, things are more just what they are.

A small recap of my reboot thus far:

In the beginning I had a lot of urges to look at porn, surf hookup sites, and my attention was easily hijacked by seeing attractive men. It wasn’t especially difficult for me to not to give in to the urges because I had only just learned about the connection between porn and erectile dysfunction, and the chance to reverse my ED was a far more compelling goal.

After the first couple weeks I learned from this forum about porn substitutes, and realized I had been using a couple of those, so I eliminated them. I could feel the conflict within, a part of me not wanting to let go, but again, the chance to get my boners back was much more important to me.

Then, as the urges started to fade, I realized that I had not actually been horny in a long time. I had instead been getting off to images, using my body chemistry to get a high, basically out of boredom and avoidance. I was already experiencing the satisfaction of getting more things done and feeling like I was more fully inhabiting my life. And I was curious to see if and when I would feel a return of genuine horniness.

I has come in gentle increments as I’ve had a chance to spend short visits with my partner, who is currently long distance. He has been supportive, endearing, and quite the stud. In short, I feel as close to him as ever, and I feel turned on sexually with him - I hadn’t even fully looked at the fact that I had feared that was gone. I’m really, really glad that’s not the case. It was just displaced by the intensity and novelty in streaming porn.

I don’t even think about porn or masturbation now. I’m not concerned about whether I’ll want or need to M again. I'm also not as concerned about what my dick is going to do or not do. I don’t yet feel complete with my reboot, and for now I want to keep rewiring for the real thing with my partner. I may eventually have a romp outside the relationship (that is our setup), but it’s going to have to be really clear to me that it’s time, and that it’s not going to negatively impact what I’ve gotten in this reboot.

A few other things that have been supportive along the way:
-I cut back on my alcohol consumption, from having wine 5 nights a week, to having a drink twice a week or less.
-I’ve been seeing a chiropractor regularly for the first time in many years. He says he can repair a slightly squeezed disc in my lower back, and I’m going for it. Feels good to support my body.
-I haven’t changed my fitness routine too much, I was already pretty comfortable with that. It’s not very intense but it does the trick. I can say that I enjoy it more, so actually I think I am spending a little more time and effort on it.

Overall, I haven’t approached this thing zealously. I’ve kind of taken it slow and easy. The only thing I’ve seen as critical and been diligent about is: no porn and no masturbation. I started out wanting to find out if my ED was porn induced (and hoping it was, so I could reverse it). I’ve had lots of solid night and morning wood, and some successful boners with my partner. I wouldn’t say it’s 100% yet, but definite progress. But even if I hadn’t already gotten what I wanted with my member, the other benefits of being porn free would be well worth it. I really prefer the state of my energy and the way I spend my time.

A very dear friend came to visit from out of town. She looked at me and said “You look amazing, really, really healthy and shining” which was surprising because I felt quite tired at the time. I said “it must be the reboot!” It’s beautiful how the energy freed up from attention to PMO can be spent in ways that are more life enhancing.

Really glad I found Your Brain On Porn and Reboot Nation. And thank you gentlemen, for your support, camaraderie, and courage in sharing yourselves!
Title: Re: Gay guy reboot
Post by: bob on January 24, 2016, 10:07:20 PM
Wonderful post and great that you have had such success at getting to this 90 point.

Way to go!
Title: Re: Gay guy reboot
Post by: harry on January 25, 2016, 12:19:59 AM
Hey now-man, congrats on 90 days! Excellent post - I'm inspired by your success.
Title: Re: Gay guy reboot
Post by: Patrick on January 25, 2016, 01:45:10 AM
Well done now-man and congrats on 90 days! Being present is a wonderful gift of your reboot. I wish you many happy P and M free days. Good luck on your ongoing journey.
Title: Re: Gay guy reboot
Post by: lyon03 on January 25, 2016, 02:49:13 AM
Excellent post my friend. You are a very talented writer so I encourage you to keep sharing your reboot journey. You wrote something about living in the moment that really resonated with me. I probably didn't understand the concept of 'being present' until about last October. While a porn addict, my addiction was like a squirrel running around in my head. It distracted me from my life while also burdening me with a crushing sense of guilt/shame. Like you, I'm also enjoying the happiness that comes from living porn-free. But you completely nailed it: once free of addiction it gives me the peace of mind to deal with the highs, and sometimes lows, of my life. You're right that this is more of a life reboot. Be well my friend. PORN IS NOT AN OPTION.
Title: Re: Gay guy reboot
Post by: avesraggiana on January 26, 2016, 11:25:16 AM
Thank you so much for sharing your success.  What you've written inspires me to look back on the last thirteen months since my joining reboot nation. I know the successes have been there for me too. 

You're the third friend in a fortnight, amongst my friends in reboot nation, who has reminded to take a closer look at popcorn substitues and dopamine hits.   If I'm being honest with myself,  it won't take me long to realise that I haven't been completely scrupulous in not engaging in those behaviors - I engage sexual thoughts all the time, and while they feel good in the moment, I'm becoming aware of the possibility that doing so sets me back.

Thank you for your intelligently written and inspiring report.
Title: Re: Gay guy reboot
Post by: Beautiful Disaster on January 26, 2016, 12:09:57 PM
Congratulations on making your mark that you set out for yourself! I very much enjoy reading your posts and the encouragement that they offer. Chin up and don't look back!
Title: Re: Gay guy reboot
Post by: Phase2 on January 27, 2016, 02:45:37 PM
Congratulations Now Man. 90 Days is a profound achievement--proud of you! You write so well and have a clear, intellectual take on things: your contributions to Reboot Nation are very important so thank you from all of us for that! I'm sure you've helped a lot of us more than you know.

You have inspired me to stay strong against the P-subs. I dumped Scruff again about a month ago and plan to stay free of it. Without any real agenda, I have noticed I've drastically slowed down on my drinking too. I'm not sure if it's related to my reboot: it didn't start until recently--a year into it, but I welcome it. Clean living with a clear head (minus squirrels running around in it--haha Lyon), that sounds good to me.

Cheers everyone. Stay strong!
Title: Re: Gay guy reboot
Post by: now-man on February 05, 2016, 03:04:34 AM
Hello gentlemen,

Day 101 PMO and MO free. I’ve been keeping up on the posts here and feel supported by that. There’s a lot of really thoughtful, heartfelt sharing going on, and beautiful, loving support between the men in here. I’m really touched by it.

I’ve had a lot more close female friends than male friends in my life. I have valued women’s willingness to be vulnerable and share openly. I have thought that men didn’t have those qualities. I wonder now if it’s been more a case of me not being willing to be open and vulnerable with men. As a gay boy growing up in a military family I always thought it was just being smart to protect myself from ridicule. So I think I’ve been quite guarded in my interactions with men.

Whether that was a helpful strategy or not, my eyes are open now to a different perspective. I am very moved by the communication going on here between men. It’s one of the gifts to come out of the dysfunction of porn - for us to be sharing the basics about our sexuality, our fears, our equipment failure, our relationship struggles; and the ripples that flow out from there into our self esteem, shame, anxiety, and how to live each day.

I feel such connection with you men, and such gratitude for your honesty. Yes, it’s online and anonymous, but in a way that doesn’t matter - we’re human beings making contact, and from the stuff I’m reading, it’s the real deal. In some ways the anonymity and written format allow for more openness, without the filters of personality, identity, body.

I also feel myself relating to men in ‘real life’ differently, affected by what I’ve experienced here. I’m seeing men more without my filter of protection. They seem more endearing, I’m more open and interested. Actually, there are ways I sometimes find women annoying - talking too much, interrupting, over sensitive, emotionally needy - and I’m appreciating the male contrast - say what you mean, get to the point, stand up for yourself, show some guts. Of course these are generalizations, but I appreciate them in a new way.

So thank you men, you fucking rock!

My reboot is flowing along nicely. I have been home for a solid month, very unusual for me as I travel most of the time for work. I’ve loved being earthbound at home. I went off coffee, just figuring I’d throw another little log on the fire of this reboot. I really love coffee. I look forward to resuming our love affair. And for now, a little adrenal rest couldn’t hurt.

My partner has passed through several times in his travels, and we’ve had lovely close time together. Both of us getting over colds, then me recovering from minor surgery, so mostly low key. But I did get randy one day. (Possible trigger material): We were sitting together working when I snuggled up to him for a bit, and before you know it we got in the shower and he got me good and hard and brought me to O. It was especially nice because I didn't even touch myself, just made out with him and held onto him. (end)

I would say my boner gave it’s best performance to date. Looking forward to more :)
Title: Re: Gay guy reboot
Post by: lyon03 on February 05, 2016, 04:21:22 AM
100+ days! Where did the time go? Reading your posts is like getting an unexpected email from an old friend so thank you. For everyone who is wondering how reboot can change their lives, you've demonstrated how we can change in just two to three months. I particularly loved this:

"So I think I’ve been quite guarded in my interactions with men. Whether that was a helpful strategy or not, my eyes are open now to a different perspective. I am very moved by the communication going on here between men. It’s one of the gifts to come out of the dysfunction of porn - for us to be sharing the basics about our sexuality, our fears, our equipment failure, our relationship struggles; and the ripples that flow out from there into our self esteem, shame, anxiety, and how to live each day.
I feel such connection with you men, and such gratitude for your honesty. Yes, it’s online and anonymous, but in a way that doesn’t matter - we’re human beings making contact, and from the stuff I’m reading, it’s the real deal. In some ways the anonymity and written format allow for more openness, without the filters of personality, identity, body. I also feel myself relating to men in ‘real life’ differently, affected by what I’ve experienced here. I’m seeing men more without my filter of protection. They seem more endearing, I’m more open and interested. Actually, there are ways I sometimes find women annoying - talking too much, interrupting, over sensitive, emotionally needy - and I’m appreciating the male contrast - say what you mean, get to the point, stand up for yourself, show some guts. Of course these are generalizations, but I appreciate them in a new way."

I re-read this section substituting the word 'men' for 'me' because I think you've also started to see yourself differently. I've often referred to my own addiction as a 'porn fog' or 'porn glasses.' It was impossible for me to see the goodness in people (particularly men) when all I saw were potential extras in a mental porn orgy. Years of porn addiction wrongly trained my brain to see sex everywhere. You've reminded me that long-term friendship, caring, and intimacy are much more fulfilling than short-term erections & orgasms. Don't get me wrong, I love sex. But I now see sex as more of an intimate connection rather than some exercise that ends in a squirt. You're like the gay Oprah of reboot! "Now you get a car, and you get a car!" Happy Friday my friend. I hope to meet you some day for cocktails and a few laughs.
Title: Re: Gay guy reboot
Post by: thewhitewindow on February 05, 2016, 09:10:44 AM
Hey Now-Man,

I sent you an email asking about what the 3 principles were.  As a gay man myself I just want to congratulate you on your reboot. Day 3 of my reboot and trying to 'get clean' of 20 years of addiction to porn and sex.  Your words are very wise and and something I am looking up to.  You're really an inspiration to me.

I just posted something about my 'Day 3' in My Darkness (my story).  Making this forum count and work for me. 

Thank You and I'm so proud of you.
Title: Re: Gay guy reboot
Post by: harry on February 05, 2016, 11:08:30 AM
Hey now-man,

What an extraordinary post. You really captured the essence of how I feel about this forum. I was explaining it to a friend the other day, and I told him how touched and moved I am by the fact that men, who are total strangers, can come together in such a supportive and helpful way. Sure, the anonymity helps, but I agree with you, it doesn't really matter. There is a real connection taking place on this site, and people are improving their lives as a result.

I am really grateful to have stumbled upon this forum.
Title: Re: Gay guy reboot
Post by: now-man on February 05, 2016, 12:22:05 PM
Thank you gents, sweet to hear from you.

Okay Lyon, if I'm the "gay Oprah of Reboot" (ROFLMAO!!) ;D you've given me the perfect opening for what I came back to post.

TheWhiteWindow asked me about something I'd made reference to early in my journal, and this was my response to him:

The reference to The Three Principals is something that RN member Patrick shared with me. Here's a link: www.3pgc.org
I visited the site and saw that it could be helpful. I didn't really dive into it so I can't tell you much about it. You might reach out to Patrick for more information.

Something that I have gone into in depth is The Work of Byron Katie. I've taken a lot of different paths in my life in the self-help, life enhancement, spirituality domain. I've gotten tremendous benefits from all of them. But nothing comes close to the profound peace and understanding I found through Byron Katie's inquiry method.

It's a process of questioning your thoughts and beliefs, elegant in it's simplicity, but with radical (in the best possible way) results. It's a system of inquiry in which you guide yourself and find your own answers to some basic questions. It's a way of healing the mind from what turns out to be simple and innocent misunderstandings - the source of suffering. You can read her book "Loving What Is", and she also has a website with lots of information, videos, resources: www.thework.com

I'm glad you asked TWW, I hadn't thought to share this before.

Also, thanks TWW for bringing me and several others across the boundary or our 40+ thread. It's great to share support across the border!

Title: Re: Gay guy reboot
Post by: Harry Molaski on February 05, 2016, 03:54:05 PM
I'm going to stick around for the free iPad giveaway, Oprah!
Harry
Title: Re: Gay guy reboot
Post by: thewhitewindow on February 05, 2016, 04:14:06 PM
Thanks again Now-Man, today has been a windstorm of crying like a guest on Dr Phil to just going outside without my phone on me and staring at the river near my house. 

I was given the following video by Harry M (thanks buddy) that vid is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=98ApKUqb-RQ  it perfectly sums up my inner demons about being gay.  I'm not closeted, people know I'm gay, but I have always judged gay men because I hated myself.  I was never taught how to love myself from the people who were supposed to love me the most.  No wonder I chose porn.  No wonder. 

Delving into all those links you've been posting and educating myself beyond words.  Williams post is a hit.  I bookmarked it and made it a screen lock on my desktop.  This one if anyone's interested.  http://www.rebootnation.org/forum/index.php?topic=1256.0

My main question is this:  Why isn't the US government pumping millions into protecting and education on this?  It should be so much more visible.  I guess it took years before scientists realized cigarettes cased lung cancer, maybe it'll take just as long for porn. 

Title: Re: Gay guy reboot
Post by: now-man on February 05, 2016, 04:25:02 PM
Hahahaha Harry M - you want a car and an iPad? How about a nice glass of prune juice to go with it?  ;D

TWW, thanks for the video link, I'll check it out.

As far as your questions about campaigns for rebooting, and getting this message out in the world, my thought is don't worry about that right now. Just focus on you and getting through this. The world will take care of itself. The best way I can help it along is to take care of me.

There's a really interesting chapter in Gary Wilson's book about how this information is going to move in the world. It may take awhile. We're pioneers in a new domain of understanding. So you could consider yourself lucky.
Title: Re: Gay guy reboot
Post by: now-man on February 10, 2016, 07:34:42 AM
Someone recently mentioned an amusing aphorism in a post somewhere in here, something to the effect of: If you want to find out how enlightened you are, spend a week with your mother.

Or in my case, a day.

I've come to visit her for a few days. My, she's something. Let's just say - it's not easy being her. And in that sense, my heart goes out to her. (After my brain has silently screamed oh my m*ther f**king g*d! Are you kidding me!!?)

Interestingly what I noticed, when my discomfort started to rise and the internal noise level got loud, was that the thought of jerking off was right there, subtle, quiet, waiting like it would be a good solution later.

I kind of thought "Wow - smooth. Nice try." It's the first time in my reboot the thought of masturbating has appeared like a good idea. It hadn't even escalated to the thought of looking at porn, just this familiar sense of "oh, I'll make myself feel better later" to compensate for putting up with this madwoman (bless her heart). So who's not sane in this picture?

Fortunately I wasn't going to follow that slick little trail. And I had Reboot Nation to visit later, where I read Harry Molaski's excellent, revealing replay of a relapse, and saw that could have been me. Thank you Harry M!

I've been awake for awhile now in the wee hours, ruminating. Then I just remembered that today is my birthday. And  I realized I have some thoughts about it that I want to hide. Inspired by Harry M's example, here's what I don't want to say: I'm afraid I'm over the hill. I found myself thinking yesterday "oh, 54 is still young (the last remnant), but 55!" It's hilarious really - what a drama queen! Like the hours between yesterday and today have wrought some irrevocable change. A digit.

I even wondered if my RN profile would automatically display my new age (humiliatingly) or if I could just remain here in the gauzy youthfulness of 54!, fooling everyone. Oy, embarrassing.

People tell me I look much younger, 10 to 15 years, they're shocked. And I bend toward that as a flattering compliment. Watching for signs of it slipping away. And the internal result is fear.

I'm 55 f**king years old. I want to just be as I am. Isn't it silly how I make it all mean something?

Reminds me of my dear mother. Bless my heart.
Title: Re: Gay guy reboot
Post by: bob on February 10, 2016, 09:12:14 PM
Happy Birthday Now-Man!

Just want to tell you to have a great day and that you are still a kid.  8) Take care and be strong.

Peace
Title: Re: Gay guy reboot
Post by: now-man on February 10, 2016, 11:03:18 PM
Just ending a lovely birthday, spent with my mom. After achieving a little sanity at 4 am by posting in here, I got to have a very sweet day with her. It only took getting clear about where the source of trouble lies when I'm annoyed and impatient, and it ain't over there.

Grateful for this amazing forum, and a year ahead of more health, more joy, more connection, inside and out.
Title: Re: Gay guy reboot
Post by: Harry Molaski on February 11, 2016, 05:28:10 AM
Hi nowman,

Congratulations! And great writing. Here's my birthday gift to you. A poem by the Caribbean author Derek Walcott

The time will come
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other's welcome,

and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.
Title: Re: Gay guy reboot
Post by: avesraggiana on February 11, 2016, 09:08:55 AM
Hi nowman,

Congratulations! And great writing. Here's my birthday gift to you. A poem by the Caribbean author Derek Walcott

The time will come
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other's welcome,

and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.

That’s beautiful, Harry.  Even though you intended it as a gift for Now-man, thank you for sharing it with the rest of us.
Title: Re: Gay guy reboot
Post by: now-man on February 11, 2016, 10:10:02 AM
Beautiful. Wow. So beautiful. Thank you Harry M. I'm very touched by that.

It really describes the truth for all of us, even when we live in confusion - that wisdom and heart are always there waiting patiently with us.
Title: Re: Gay guy reboot
Post by: Patrick on February 11, 2016, 04:10:28 PM
Happy belated birthday, now-man! Wishing you much love and happiness.
Title: Re: Gay guy reboot
Post by: now-man on February 16, 2016, 09:45:48 PM
For the first time since I started my reboot I had a chance hookup. My erection worked somewhat, but less well than it had been working with my partner. I missed the closeness I’ve been feeling with him, and the experience left me feeling like I’d rather be sharing sex only with my partner for now. Which felt good. I figured that was a worthwhile experience.

And then came the chaser effect.

After five glorious weeks of being home, I went back out on my work travel schedule. Last night I had a couple drinks with a colleague at the hotel bar.

When I went back to my room I decided to go on my hookup email, which I haven’t checked in 78 days. I’ve thought about checking it recently, but concluded it would be better to wait. Being a little buzzed removed that inhibition. I had two hookup budddies whom I had told, at the start of my reboot, that I would be unavailable for 3 months. That time has passed. I wanted to check to see who may have contacted me.

There were a couple of emails from past hookups asking if I was available. One of them got my attention, and I responded, opening the possibility for meeting next week, depending on travel schedule.

Then I closed the email and went to bed. I woke up in the middle of the night and had a wave of remorse about even going into that email. Today I’ve had mixed feelings about it. At one point I thought - ‘well, maybe if the schedule works out, I’ll just do the hookup and take a pill to get hard.’ I can see my mind is struggling. I don’t want to force myself into some kind of guilt trip around sex. But I don’t want to lose ground in my reboot.

The truth is, I haven’t gotten to the point that I feel fully ‘rebooted’ in the ED department. And to paraphrase a friend, “why am I pursuing a hookup when my dick doesn't work right?” (yet.)

Phase2 and others have recently said in numerous posts - if you want to get through this to the other side, go hard. So for now, I think I should forget about hooking up, avoid dick pills, ignore hot guys. I guess I should even stop looking at the sports pages. I have justified that it’s such a very small thing, but I suppose it’s a very small hit of dopamine, and my mind is succeeding in having just that little hold. Maybe I need to squelch it.

The alcohol factor is clear - I’ve been drinking way less the last couple months, almost not at all, and I can see it’s been very good for me. I can probably do one drink and be fine, but more than one and it’s just an opening for mischief. Easier to just go without.
Title: Re: Gay guy reboot
Post by: Phase2 on February 17, 2016, 09:16:10 AM
Hey buddy. Good post.

If I were you I'd delete that email account. It's sitting in the back of your head: ready to pounce the moment you are weak--which is what it did in that hotel room. If it doesn't exist anymore, it's not going to keep you up at night. Looking at the sports page is one thing, having a hook up email account waiting in the wings is quite another. You just experimented with a hookup and it sounds like it was pretty unsatisfying...so why have it? Dump it. Go hard!

I've also slowed down drinking a LOT lately. Have you done it on purpose, or has it just happened? I feel like it must be related to my reboot. I was in the habit of a drink or two at cocktail hour pretty much every night. For the past 6 weeks I've virtually stopped all that. I just haven't felt like having a drink. Somehow I know they are related.

Thanks for the update, buddy.
Title: Re: Gay guy reboot
Post by: lyon03 on February 17, 2016, 06:12:12 PM
Thank you for sharing so honestly brother. I agree wholeheartedly with Phase2: the true you doesn't seem to need the booze nor meaningless hookups. This next sentence is going to seem strange so get ready. I see these struggles as positive developments. I think you're moving from the physical phase of addiction recovery (withdrawal, cravings, spontaneous boners etc) to the more challenging emotional phase of recovery. I ain't gonna lie: it's a bitch and for me was much harder than just stopping with the porn. But I did find help. Last year I read a book entitled "Breaking the Cycle" by George Collins. I'd suggest you download a copy from Kindle/Amazon because it might help with the issues you've shared in your latest post. Collins writes about something called "first thought wrong." In brief, this means the first impulse comes from your addiction and it's likely wrong. In the past, you probably wouldn't have hesitated to schedule a hook up and pop a d*ck pill. Now addiction-free, the negative feelings you're having about casual sex have changed. THIS IS A GOOD THING! It means the real you is starting to emerge. I think you made the right decision to hold off on the hookup for a while longer. I'm not saying you have to foresake casual encounters forever but it sounds like you've determined it's too early to try it now. I hope that helps somehow my friend. Be well. PORN IS NOT AN OPTION.
Title: Re: Gay guy reboot
Post by: bob on February 18, 2016, 07:55:30 AM
I agree with Lyon03 on the book, "Breaking the Cycle."

One point in the book describes an action that helps one break the process of objectification women; honestly, the book reads well for both straight and gay folks. The idea is to break your train of thought right at the point of objectification by doing some physical action and say something to yourself. George talks about taking his hand and putting in on his heart. I came up with the process of curling my index finger around onto itself and pushing the nail into the skin at the base of my thumb. Not to cause pain but to register the action.

The symbol is the half what is created when one puts their index fingers and thumbs together to show the shape of a heart. Mine is the half shape (kind of) of a heart to show myself that I am but one part of a whole. Together, my wife and I are what is important. I need to turn away when that woman walks by with the yoga pants, when she leans forward with that loose fitting clothing. She may be beautiful. I can acknowledge her beauty. I just need to transfer my thoughts before objectification.

I am but one part of that heart.  I need to remind myself of the whole heart and what it represents.

Peace brothers and sisters.
Title: Re: Gay guy reboot
Post by: thewhitewindow on February 18, 2016, 11:22:25 AM
Hey Now-Man,

Congratulations on your recovery and I must say you have wonderful insight.  Phase2 as well!  I quite enjoy this thread.

Reading a book right now called 'Cruise Control' and fascinating (thanks, Phase2 for the reco)  Really bringing to light my past behaviour and this loop I was in for so long.  I posted in Harrys forum about it.  I deleted my hook-up email about two months ago.  I had it since 2003 and I don't miss it.  It would be a very bad decision for me if I were to ruminate through it. 

Lyon03, your post about "first thought wrong." I never thought about it that way, so basically your 'knee jerk' response is the addiction behaving?  This emotional phase is interesting you talked about.  Hmm...


Keep posting Now-Man! 
Title: Re: Gay guy reboot
Post by: hans32 on February 18, 2016, 11:52:40 PM
Thanks for your insiteful and informative post.  Im emboldened to eliminate my sex emails now--  You had a very important test, much personal insite came from your process.  Your using it well and many will benefit as I have.
Title: Re: Gay guy reboot
Post by: now-man on February 19, 2016, 06:11:31 PM
Gentlemen, you are amazing. Thank you for your thoughtful support.

I vacillated the past two days about whether to go ahead with the hookup meeting or cancel it. This morning I cancelled it. You guys correctly pointed out that I’m not ready for that yet - which is in fact what I said myself in my last post - but I gave my mind a couple days to argue it. Interesting to watch. It takes me back to something I realized earlier - that I know the difference between what feels light and easy and what feels stressful. This one didn’t pass the test.

It also shows me the really great value of having this journal thread. The words are there in black and white.

Phase2, as far as the alcohol slow down, it started when my partner suggested that it could be a factor in the ED. He mentioned ‘whiskey dick’ from his AA knowledge base. I didn’t really think it applied, because I thought that came from heavy drinking, which I didn’t consider I was doing. But I’ve learned to listen to what he says, and after that, without really making a conscious decision to do it, I just cut back - from having a glass or three of wine most nights, or occasionally cocktails, to having a drink once a week or less. I’m kind of a wine lover - really good, kind of pricey wine - and these days it doesn’t taste quite right to me. It’s like my palate is taking a break.

As for the email account, I hear your wisdom, and I’m not ready to delete it yet. There are a handful of contacts in there that I want to keep for later when I do feel ready for a recreational hookup. I don’t really want to go in and weed through the whole thing to extract them now, it feels easier to just stay away. That worked until now - if it starts grabbing my attention again before I know I’m ready I will reconsider. Reading what I’ve just written I see that I’m probably full of shit on this. But I’m not sure. And I don’t want to take action zealously, I think that can sometimes lead to extreme swings in either direction. I seem to be able to tolerate a certain amount of temptation without going off the rails. So we’ll see. And I welcome your feedback.

Lyon, one of the best things that has supported my reboot was taking your suggestion in the beginning to read Gary’s book Your Brain On Porn. So I will happily take your suggestion to read Breaking the Cycle. I will also take to heart your observation that these struggles are evidence of positive changes. Your positivity is always encouraging and inspiring.

Bob, I love the specific example you give for how you practice ‘first thought wrong.’ Thank you for sharing that. I feel your ongoing support and I’m grateful for it, really glad to have you as part of my community.

WhiteWindow, yes, Cruise Control is a fantastic resource! Hardwired recommended it to me when I joined here and I got a lot out of it. I was surprised at how powerful and healing it was to see the subject specifically from a gay perspective.

Hans, I’m sorry if I’m a bad example in the ‘eliminating of danger email accounts’ department! There’s a saying I’ve heard to the effect of: if you can’t set a good example, you might as well be a horrible warning. We’ll see how that one turns out.  :P

However, in the ‘casual hookups before you’re rebooted and ready’ department, I really did give myself the option and permission to go ahead with the hookup I was considering. In the end my dear gentlemen, one of the biggest factors in my choice to wait is that I’m listening to and trusting what you have shared with me. I am very grateful to have you guys.
Title: Re: Gay guy reboot
Post by: Phase2 on February 19, 2016, 08:45:14 PM
Yes you are full of shit. {Haha.  :o Big hug.} But seriously, that email account has to go...BECAUSE...it is completely a p-sub. You know darn well, one dreary night with a glass of wine, you're going to open up the account 'just for a second to see if..." and then three hours later you've made plans to hook up with three different guys the next week and your dick is in your hand looking at 4 steamy pics of HornyNYBull's ass.

Now, I am all about the hook up. I'm not judging on that. But because of where we are, proud warriors against PIED, I think you need to disarm this little p-sub time bomb pretty quick. It's waiting to destroy all the work you've put in. If I were you, I think what I would do as sort of a middle ground is get the three or four email addresses of those top tier guys you are really excited about (dump alllllll the rest, go for quality over quantity) write them down on a little piece of paper and put that piece of paper in the attic, in the garage, at a friend's house, etc. Just make sure you have to jump through a few hoops and think about it before you reach out to these Prized Studs. Then delete that account. Don't go through it, don't save any pics, just delete it. Poof. Gone. Your brain is free. You don't have to go down that road again. I did this and you can too. And when you do contact those guys, do it from a new higher level. Use your real address, be a stand up guy, tell them the deal and try to be less porny and more awesome-dude about it.

Ok, those are my two cents. High five to all my bros.

Title: Re: Gay guy reboot
Post by: now-man on February 19, 2016, 09:14:06 PM
Okay Okay Okay Phase!!! I'm temporarily placing my brain in your trust!

I hear you, I trust you. I will do it. Thank you very much for the specific instructions - that is a huge help actually. Both in terms of validating the hookup, and the way to deal with the contacts and the email account, AND the suggestion for when and how to contact them in the future - that really works for me.

I will be stand-up guy awesome dude. Like you.

High five!!
Title: Re: Gay guy reboot
Post by: avesraggiana on February 20, 2016, 12:55:43 AM
Hi, Now-man.

Nothing more to contribute here, everyone else has already articulated very clearly what I would have told you.  Just to tell you, I really enjoy the way you write.  Clear, self-reflective but not self-pitying; direct, concise and so full of wisdom. 

Please keep writing and updating us of your progress.

Bully for you if you can follow Phase2’s suggestions to the letter.  If you really can’t bear to part with those “hot shots”, download the app, Photo Vault, and store them in there.  You can then delete said pictures from your email account, your naughty photo collection or what have you.  That way, you won’t so easily see them or be triggered, and just like writing down the email addresses of your favourite Boomerang Fuck Buddies, storing these pictures in an app will just make them that much more time consuming and tedious to get to.  And that’s the whole idea.

Love always,
Avesraggiana.
Title: Re: Gay guy reboot
Post by: now-man on February 20, 2016, 01:23:44 AM
Thank you Aves, I really appreciate you looking out for me. And I reeeaaally appreciate your hilarious sense of humor!

I had PhotoVault before and got rid of it early in my reboot. I actually don't want any hot pix - those are psubs for me. I only want to save the contact info for (as you so colorfully put it) my favorite Boomerang Fuck Buddies (LMAO). And I will make them time consuming and tedious to access. Knowing your blessings, love, and glitter dust are showering down upon me.  :)
Title: Re: Gay guy reboot
Post by: Patrick on February 20, 2016, 03:05:46 AM
Hey now-man, Just a quick note to tell you that I'm rooting for you. Thanks for your wisdom, love, and kindness - always inspiring! Keep on truckin'...
Title: Re: Gay guy reboot
Post by: now-man on February 21, 2016, 11:29:44 PM
Just a quick update. Been on an intense travel schedule. Yesterday I deleted all the hookup email. 6 years worth of emails, pix, contacts, etc. I wrote the addresses I wanted to save on paper and filed it away at home. Didn't quite get down to 3 or 4, but started with 25 and whittled it down to 8, not sure if I'll even use those. Not now for sure.  Feels like the end of an era.
Title: Re: Gay guy reboot
Post by: lyon03 on February 22, 2016, 01:54:38 AM
Well done brother! It's like getting rid of a beloved porn stash. Thanks for sharing. PORN IS NOT AN OPTION.
Title: Re: Gay guy reboot
Post by: Phase2 on February 22, 2016, 08:52:21 AM
Congrats Now-Man!

The further I move away from my pornhead life, the less important those old tricks I had--who I thought were essential--have become. I'm not saying I might not dabble from time to time if I'm visiting their city, but the pedestal that I placed them on, and the obsession, no longer exists. It's actually possible you will never look at or give two-hoots about the emails of that Elite Eight again. So good job! You are moving forward!

PS: can you forward me those eight emails? HAHA, that's a JOKE, goofball!!!!!
Title: Re: Gay guy reboot
Post by: thewhitewindow on February 22, 2016, 11:59:05 AM
Lol, I have to say...I still miss having hook-up sex.  I do.  Fully admit it.  It's been over three years since I've had sex with someone other than my partner.  I gotta say it's less stressful and less friggin' drama.  Cheap sex in hotel rooms was my crack cocaine in my 20's and 30's.  The debauchery! :(  Bear/chub parties and hotel rooms, been there.  Done that.  Got the t-shirt.  Thanks.

Someone said to me today 'how are you finding the strength to go this long?'.  I said to them very seriously and almost coldly: 'because I never, ever want to be that person I was in my 20's and 30's.' 
Title: Re: Gay guy reboot
Post by: harry on February 24, 2016, 05:19:32 PM
Wow, look at you! You snuck right past 120 days. Congrats on your big accomplishment. You are a role model for the rest of us with this and your wise, insightful comments.
Title: Re: Gay guy reboot
Post by: now-man on February 24, 2016, 06:21:37 PM
Thanks Harry! I did notice the number, and it just didn't seem like it meant anything. Which is good actually - I saw the 120 days on my counter and thought "oh, that's nice."

The links I shared on your thread yesterday confirmed for me that, at 120 days, I’m still in the ‘first phase’ of this reboot. I’ve had significant positive results, but if I were telling myself “well why the f*ckity h*ll isn’t my c*ck rock hard all the time yet?” it would be unrealistic. Good to know. I can still look forward to more improvement in the boner dept. And everything else that leads to that, namely: closeness and intimacy with my partner; a return of real libido vs arousal addiction; the productivity and life enhancing choices that have taken the place of PMO.

After my 'hookup email' check, and then deleting the entire contents of that account, I thought "I guess it's time to step back and slow down." But I've been feeling rather randy. It feels like actual libido. I've been trying to detect any mental mischief, and this just feels more like the real thing. I've been wishing I had some time with my partner, but he's away and we've both been too busy to travel and meet. If I could get my hands on him... :P ;D :o :P ::)  Rawr!! (as Phase would say.) I've had a lot of solid night and morning wood, and daytime swelling too. No impulse towards porn. No difficulty to resist masturbating (though the opportunity was presenting itself - and by opportunity I mean big boner), I'd just much rather save it for a real live human partner.

I had the most awesome physician for years and he recently retired. I finally got a new doctor and just met with her a few days ago. When I was assigned to her, I asked if it would be possible to get a male doc instead, but was willing to give her a try. Well, she's super awesome! She spent an hour with me and I ended up telling her about YBOP and RN. Before I got two sentences in, she said "I'm aware of exactly what you're talking about" and we had an in depth and wide ranging discussion. She suggested we test my testosterone level (along with thyroid, B12, something else..) - well, duh, as much as I've read in here I hadn't thought to ask for that. So I did that today, should have the results in a day or two. I expect it's normal, but who knows. Good to check.

I'm leaving this evening to spend ten days with my dad. My brother who lives with him, and takes amazing care of him, is going on vacation, and I fill in when he does. Growing up with him as a fighter pilot in the Air Force, I didn't really like him, I didn't feel close to him or safe around him. That has changed over the years, I've learned to be less judgmental and he has become very sweet with me.  I've had the chance to help him and take care of him after his wife died. I'm very grateful for that. So, looking forward to a quiet week, a long bike ride every day, watching old movies with him. (the same movies. over. and. over.  ;) ) Seeing a few old high school friends.

I got to do a work trip to Hawaii, where my friend was recently killed in an accident. I spent time with his partner, his daughters, his ex-wife. Very beautiful to share time with them, amazing to see their open hearts and maturity as they walk through their loss. It can put other 'problems' into perspective. And it makes me so grateful for my reboot - it is not a small thing. It's what really matters in life.

I have been spending time here on RN most days, and often. It definitely feels a bit like a replacement activity for other... internet activities shall we say? But I'm all for it. Even though I can see the parallel, this place is helpful to me now.

Oh and lastly, I'm totally into the cold shower routine! After a couple times of just starting cold until the warm water came, now I just go all cold. It's exhilarating!
Title: Re: Gay guy reboot
Post by: now-man on February 25, 2016, 10:48:09 AM
Got my testosterone level results - first time I've ever had it checked. It says the normal range is greater than 240, mine was 1124. I don't know how high it can go, or what would be 'too high,' but it looks like a good result.
Title: Re: Gay guy reboot
Post by: lyon03 on February 25, 2016, 03:00:37 PM
Well done brother on making it to 120+ days. That's a huge milestone. You are a million miles ahead of where I was at 120 days so I look forward to following your journey through the more emotional stages of reboot. What's great about these forums is sharing, encouraging, and learning from other members of the community. On a more medical note, clocking in a 6x the normal testosterone levels is probably another bonus of going porn-free. And it's great reading about your natural (and animal)  attraction to someone you love. Have a great visit with your dad and we'll see you on the boards very soon. Be well. PORN IS NOT AN OPTION.
Title: Re: Gay guy reboot
Post by: thewhitewindow on February 25, 2016, 03:14:25 PM
Now-Man, congratulations my friend.  That's incredible to read such a success story.  There really is nothing better than a physician who 'gets you', and can blabber on in their office.  You always leave feeling amazing.  Incredible about the test results as well! 

I hope you take meaningful and quality time spending with your father.  They don't live forever and it's those moments that are so important like watching the same movies over and over, lol.

Be strong on this vacation and I'll miss hearing from you. :)

Title: Re: Gay guy reboot
Post by: now-man on March 02, 2016, 10:45:13 PM
I’ve been staying with my dad for a week, taking care of him while my brother (who lives with him) is away on vacation.

I’m in the town where I lived from age 11 to 18. I left here three days after high school graduation and took the bus across the country to live in Manhattan and go to college. I was very happy back then to get far away. I actually like this town, but it is interesting to notice all the associations from my adolescence. In fact, I feel like I’m reliving a certain feeling-tone of that time.

My dad will be 89 soon. He’s in a long, slow decline. He’s doing pretty well, since my brother takes such good care of him. But he is a faint shadow of his younger self. He mostly sits in his chair and watches a limited number of movies or the History Channel. (I have a friend who calls it the Hitler Channel - haha). He drinks beer all day. He can’t really hold a conversation, but he can tell a number of stories, he has a limited number of stock responses. He whistles all day long and harmonizes with any music playing. He delivers the cue lines before the movie characters have a chance to say them.

All of which has a certain charm, and can be endearing. Overall, he’s really sweet with me.

I get his meals, feed him his copious pills, administer numerous inhalers, take him through a detailed bathing ritual every three days, slather his legs with steroid ointment, clean up after his spills, broken jam jars (he fought with me over the glass-shard infused bowl of jam he managed to salvage from the heap on the floor - “That’s good jam! I’ll work around the glass!”), and launder his blood stained and snot covered handkerchiefs, gingerly lifted from the various spots he leaves them around the house.

I often find myself feeling annoyed with him, if not disgusted. I’m a model of patience and kindness. I try to be cheerful. I just do what’s in front of me. I’m aware that I am grateful for the opportunity to be of service in this way. I’m deeply grateful to my brother who takes care of him the rest of the time, and seems to enjoy it, letting me and my other siblings off the hook.

And inside I feel this dull, aching boredom and low grade numbness. It’s okay with me. Just interesting to notice. There’s nothing else to do, so I walk through it. It’s funny really, how fine everything is, and how fortunate I am, and then have this internal dim feeling. A bit reminiscent of adolescence.

I go for a long bike ride every day, which I love, and feels really good. I’ve been taking cold showers every day, which is also very helpful - and the water up here is colder than in California.

I met up with an old buddy from here (one of the ‘elite eight’ as Phase called them) and we had a fun romp (my equipment performed well enough). It was a welcome distraction at the time, but I think has left me a little more ‘dim’ than I might otherwise be. Being here in my family context, it was reminiscent of old patterns. I have been filling in for my brother when he leaves town for a number of years now, and this is the first time since I started my reboot. In the past, my boredom here would be expressed in PMO and searching online for hookups that mostly didn’t pan out. I don’t feel any threat of moving towards PMO now. But I definitely feel the emptiness that I would have spent on it. Like I said, I'm willing to feel that and just wait. Another kind of withdrawal I suppose.

Also, I’m wanting more rewiring with my partner. We haven’t had a chance to be together for a month and a half now. I don’t want to interrupt what was building with him. I may get to finally spend some quality time with him this weekend.

The experiment continues. Learning by doing. Not perfect, but how else do you find the balance?
Title: Re: Gay guy reboot
Post by: Patrick on March 02, 2016, 11:09:39 PM
This is a touching story, now-man. Thanks for sharing. Take care.
Title: Re: Gay guy reboot
Post by: thewhitewindow on March 03, 2016, 08:42:58 AM
Now-Man, what a story.  I love your openness and your fathers story was both tender and bittersweet.  As parents age, we feel sorry for them because they're helpless in a way.  Age takes them slowly and it's harder for everyone around them.  It's so stressful, so much guilt around this.  I could go on about seeing both of my parents slowly passing away.  It still haunts me to this day. 

You're a saint for tending to him and so is your bro. 

You mentioned something that peaked my intrigue: 

Whenever I'd go back to my old stomping grounds visiting my mom/dad I'd feel a 'dim' sink in as it wasn't a happy place whatsoever.  It was a place where I was neglected, abused and traumatized sexually.  It was a place where all I had going for me was escape and fantasy.  I too have a member of the 'elite eight' that lives in the area. 

Five years ago, I realized I couldn't go back to my child hood home anymore.  I was visiting the 'elite eight' every single time I was home.  I recall actually leaving family gatherings early so I could act out with him.  Christmas and Thanksgiving - didn't matter.   

I know this isn't your story, but I can relate so much to that feeling of restlessness and 'dimness' you spoke of.  It's fascinating that our brain still recalls those feelings as soon as we're in that environment and goes into 'survival mode' as soon as it feels threatened.

Maybe I'm over thinking it.  I just find that intriguing. 
Title: Re: Gay guy reboot
Post by: lyon03 on March 03, 2016, 03:13:33 PM
Thanks for sharing brother. I liked what you shared about the 'dim' experience. What was fun and exciting previously, like a quick hook up, can often disappoint once we've experienced true intimacy with a loving partner. I look forward to reading about the fireworks when you reconnect with your husband. Be well my friend. PORN IS NOT AN OPTION.
Title: Re: Gay guy reboot
Post by: Gabriel1960 on March 06, 2016, 02:16:21 PM
I'm so happy to have found this web suite!

You guys are giving me so much optimism for a brighter future!

Gabriel
Title: Re: Gay guy reboot
Post by: now-man on March 21, 2016, 07:39:42 PM
Hello Gentlemen,

It’s been a couple weeks since I’ve posted in my journal. While I was away taking care of my dad for two weeks I had the hookup with a buddy from my list. Then I noticed the ‘hookup machine’ turn on, like a switch in my mind. I didn’t do anything about it, but it was like a constant presence. I felt bored, kind of numb, a bit of that ‘f*ck it!” state of mind. My bike rides and cold showers gave me a focus to return to each day.

At one point my partner passed through town and I got to spend an hour with him. We went for a walk along the river and had a little fight (about scheduling our time together). It was over quickly, replaced with a hug. I was just kind of worn out, and he could see that.

At the end of the two weeks with my dad, I traveled to where my partner is living temporarily and spent a day and night with him. We had a good time together. We had sex and I was expecting that I might see a setback in my member’s performance, after a week and a half in that ‘hookup’ mindset. It wasn’t as bad as I feared, not 100% throughout, but enough to have a great time. More importantly it felt very connected, which felt healing.

Since I returned home I have been busy with work-travel and doing small projects at home. It has felt like the ‘hookup machine’ just slowly wound down to a state of quiet. I’ve continued exercising most days, and taking cold showers. They really are exhilarating, they provide a mental/physical reference point that’s helpful. It’s a way of expressing and reinforcing my reboot. It takes commitment to start it, more guts to see it through, and when it’s over I feel really great. Actually, sometimes it’s starting to feel really good right in the middle of the bracing cold. Almost better than warm water.

My partner came home unexpectedly for a day and night this past weekend. I had just returned from a work trip and was a bit weary. I didn’t think we’d necessarily jump in the sack, but he was raring to go. Again I wasn’t sure how I’d perform since I wasn’t feeling particularly horny. I decided that whatever we did, I would approach it with no expectation to reach O. Surprise! With the internal pressure off, I found myself feeling naturally very turned on to him, like in our early days together. I had my best results so far in the equipment department. It felt like things are getting back to normal down there. That was a very nice experience. And it also felt really connected.

While PMO doesn’t draw me in, my challenge seems to be in the area of hookups - my mind gravitates to thinking about them. Given the setup of my relationship I still hope that the occasional hookup can eventually be a healthy option. For now, it feels more like a habit response, and one that detracts from the benefits I’m realizing in this reboot with my partner.
Title: Re: Gay guy reboot
Post by: harry on March 21, 2016, 11:19:46 PM
Congrats on your ongoing improvements, now-man!

You summed up the cold shower experience very well. It really does take a commitment since every morning I try to talk myself out of taking one.
Title: Re: Gay guy reboot
Post by: lyon03 on March 22, 2016, 12:30:15 AM
Well done brother. You repeated the words "connected" when referring to your partner. That's positive. I particularly liked this: "Given the setup of my relationship I still hope that the occasional hookup can eventually be a healthy option. For now, it feels more like a habit response, and one that detracts from the benefits I’m realizing in this reboot with my partner." I think this is a healthy progression my friend. I too used to believe that porn, anonymous sex, and masturbation were such incredible experiences. But eventually I realized that I was addicted to the dopamine-soaked hunt rather than the kill. For example, I would get incredibly turned on when using Grindr (a gay hook up app). But after having sex with yet another random nameless guy, I'd feel rather empty/hollow. The same can be written about the diminishing returns of masturbation. It was all about the anticipation rather than the post-climax feeling of, "Was that it?" What's my point? I believe your ambivalence about hookups is actually a positive development. You're enjoying the healthy connection/intimacy with your partner, while experiencing less and less excitement from meaningless sex. Thanks for sharing. I've learned something today.
Title: Re: Gay guy reboot
Post by: thewhitewindow on March 23, 2016, 09:53:19 AM
Congratulations, Now-Man!   :D  You are on a great path and I found your post relatable.  You have an insight that many people just don't possess.  A self-actualized awareness. 

That dopamine surge when a I start that pattern of seeking guys online is a DEEP addiction for me.  It's been three years since I've used and I know I could go right back to that, but I know I can't (partnered/monogamous).  Too much to loose at this point.  It would wreck havoc on my life.  However, there were times I've thought 'ah, fuck it'.  I must've used gay hook-up sites for 15 years, and the smart phone came out - another 3 years.  20 years!!!  All that precious time, lost.   

There should be more awareness about the addiction of gay hook-up sites.  Nobody ever talks about it because so many are addicted!  I bet the numbers are staggering. 

Congrats dude.  keep strong.  You're doing amazing. 

Title: Re: Gay guy reboot
Post by: harry on March 24, 2016, 10:06:07 AM
Hey now-man,

Wow, check out that counter! 150 DAYS!!!

While you've mentioned that PMO is not a big draw for you, the number above is still an awesome accomplishment. Being open to stopping porn has allowed you to see hookups in a different light.

Keep up the excellent work, my friend!

Title: Re: Gay guy reboot
Post by: now-man on March 24, 2016, 09:03:37 PM
Thanks Harry, I didn't notice til you mentioned it.

A lot of good stuff has come from no PMO and no MO. (And thanks to your inspiration, from COLD SHOWERS!! I'm loving them. I've turned into the cold shower salesman - I've taken over for you in the 'harangue everyone' dept. on that!  ;) ) I feel more present in my life. I'm more connected to my partner, more interested in him, I care more. It feels generous, not needy. And he's turning my crank like when we first met 16 years ago! I really didn't expect that. The man is HOT! and I get to see it again without porn goggles on.

I get to spend a whole long 3 day weekend with my partner starting tomorrow night. I'm looking forward to seeing what I experience with him.

I really appreciate your support Harry. It has meant a lot to me. Along with a lot of other really great guys here. I love this community! Thanks Gabe  :)
Title: Re: Gay guy reboot
Post by: bob on March 24, 2016, 10:47:58 PM
Way to go now-man.

150 days and still going strong. Keep it up.
Title: Re: Gay guy reboot
Post by: lyon03 on March 25, 2016, 01:31:42 AM
Well done on reaching 150+ days brother. Enjoy your long weekend.
Title: Re: Gay guy reboot
Post by: now-man on April 02, 2016, 10:58:09 PM
I had a long, three day weekend with my partner last week. We had a really great time together. I keep feeling closer to him, and really grateful for that.

He came to town to go with me to an awards ceremony - I was nominated for an award. He is so proud of me and enthusiastic about it, it's very endearing. He brought some of his nicest clothes, and asked me several times how much we should dress up for the event - not something we ever do. I shrugged and protested that I didn't really care - slacks and a nice shirt would be fine. In the end he took us shopping and got himself a sport jacket (I don't know if he's ever worn one before) and I got a beautiful suit. So we were decked out. We had a really fun time.

During the visit we also had fun in the bedroom. Once would have been enough, but we went at it two days in a row. Again, it just happened easily and naturally. I'm pretty happy with the continuing improvement in my equipment. I'm not having to think about it much, I'm more focused on just being turned on with him, and my member is responding in kind.

And then there's the chaser effect. Over the past four days since he left I have felt hor-nee. I don't want to MO, or look at P, I want to get laid! I went on a work trip and tried to find a hookup using my old favorite website. I didn't want to spend time cruising on the website, I didn't stay on it long. I wasn't looking for images, I just wanted to find a quick hookup. But it didn't pan out. Afterwards however, I could tell that just visiting that website created another level of hunger. I was no longer just naturally horny, I was aroused by the hunt. I wanted to go back and keep checking it. That was familiar, and a no-go zone.

So I'm just watching my case of the hornies recede slowly. I got home from my trip and have been pretty productive, doing multiple projects at my house, going for runs, taking cold showers. I talked about it with a sobriety buddy. I'm feeling more centered. But I have to say, that chaser effect really kicks in my hookup mindset. I have a couple hookup buddies I could contact here at home, and I considered it. But after seeing how the website visit started the dopamine hunt, I know it's not the right time.

I'll just use the experience as another reference point. I feel the sexual frustration, and I tell myself "okay, I just get to wait and save it up for next time with my partner." I feel very fortunate to have that option! I think it would be much more challenging if I didn't. The feeling of wanting to get laid has a pretty demanding, childish voice. "I want, I want, I want!" Knowing I can wait until I'm with my partner again gives me a chance to exercise patience. If I didn't have that option, I think the demanding voice might seem more insistent.
Title: Re: Gay guy reboot
Post by: lyon03 on April 03, 2016, 08:17:29 AM
Well done brother! I like what you've written here. What you've described sounds like your frontal lobe (logic, self-control, higher thinking) getting the upper hand on your primitive brain (primal urges). This is great progress friend and a super example for our fellow members. I always have to remind myself whether the short-term fixes like porn, masturbation, hook ups, are worth the time & effort when compared to true intimacy. Your post got me thinking so thank you. PORN IS NOT AN OPTION. 
Title: Re: Gay guy reboot
Post by: Phase2 on April 03, 2016, 10:57:02 AM
Excellent. I like Lyon's comment too. Sounds like you are getting a grip on things.

I was interested in your little experiment getting back on the hook up site. I have the same problem. I really REALLY want to just quickly use it for a hook up, but it comes loaded with so much dopamine drama. Argh. I've stayed off it for three months and the more I know the more I want to stay off of it. But still.... :P

Keep going buddy. You are doing GREAT. Proud of you!
Title: Re: Gay guy reboot
Post by: bob on April 03, 2016, 12:08:03 PM
Oh now-man, Phase2,

I really REALLY want to just quickly use it for a hook up, but it comes loaded with so much dopamine drama. Argh.

I sometimes wonder if you guys, my gay friends, have a more difficult challenge then us straight guys. While I know instant hook ups are possible with straight folks, it seems like the opportunities within the gay community are more intense, more available.

Just thoughts from an ignorant straight guy.

Peace
Title: Re: Gay guy reboot
Post by: Phase2 on April 03, 2016, 03:57:47 PM
Well generally, men are happily horndogs. So when you have two involved in the sexual negotiations, it's pretty easy. If the attraction is there, then BAM, it happens. When the negotiations involve a woman, there is often much more difficulty. Society puts a lot of pressure on women to be chaste, to wait, to have low mileage, to not be 'easy'. Men on the other hand, are applauded when they put another notch on their bedpost. He's a stud while she's a whore.

So, yes, it's a bit of a different deal. Maybe gay guys have a harder time getting off this 'crack' of social apps because we have more chances to get seriously addicted because the drug (sex) is easier to get.

But who knows. Seems pretty hard for all of us. Just glad I found RN to help me see through the fog. Thanks for staying involved!
Title: Re: Gay guy reboot
Post by: BlueSun on May 04, 2016, 08:37:39 PM
How awesome to see success!  I've been slowly making it through stories of those who have reached out to me. In every story I see something I relate to.  A lot of something's. And then some I don't (holy crap my testosterone was 200 when I had it checked -- what's your secret?!?!). I had just logged on to a hookup site a month ago before my reboot began and although I never hooked in the short week or so I checked manically to see who was on and to cruise their profile and pics of course.

Simply out of curiosity, of course. (lie)

I think because my pied and slavery to porn my confidence in meeting anyone, even for casual making out, is and was nil.  But it was a short leap before the dopamine "wants" tied me to that too.  I was actually trying to figure out which guys lived in my apartment complex, because it told me they were so many miles away.  Anything under .2 well, were practically in my back yard. And which apartment would that be...  How creepy is that?! 

I mention this because when I read about having a dedicated email account for it, I had decided to use my secondary account too and did the mental gymnastics calculating what it would take to delete it. An act of dedication to wellness.

But only today did I put it together.  I wasn't about to go that way, I was well on the way...
Title: Re: Gay guy reboot
Post by: blinker12 on May 11, 2016, 11:00:47 AM
Thanks for sharing your story now-man! I'm new-ish to the forum, and pleasantly surprised by the number of journals from fellow gay guys on here.

Sounds like you're doing great. I'm especially inspired by reading of your renewed connection to your partner. I'm in a new relationship (15 months). My last relationship lasted 8 years and while it ended for many reasons, I see in retrospect that porn-related complications were probably one part of the picture. I think we both gave up on working toward true intimacy at a certain point, and porn enabled that. Gave us a way to fill the void.

It's a pattern I'm definitely not looking to repeat!
Title: Re: Gay guy reboot
Post by: Phase2 on June 23, 2016, 07:59:08 AM
What's up NowMan? How are you doing?