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Messages - dharma108

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Ages 30-39 / Re: Reset again and again and again....
« on: April 26, 2016, 01:36:52 PM »
Thanks nekkhamma.   I have been thinking about what you mentioned that part of the problem is  being online or constantly connected on phone.   My job requires email and computer and I work from home 1 day a week so I cannot totally not use a computer.  My partner lives about an hour away and we stay connected via gchat. The thing that I have been contemplating is maybe having a no screen time like after 8 or 9 pm.  That also tends to be my vulnerable time before bed etc. or on weekend with nothing to do.  I am also considering going to meetings.  The other challenging thing with P addiction is the tendency to isolate.  Today I changed my password to K9 and then threw it out so I couldn't turn the settings off.   Now I just need to find something for the phone.   

Going to start fresh.   I feel like I have made progress on depression.  I have been doing this new strength training program that feels great and has given me a boost in confidence and energy.  This takes the edge off of the shame and depression I feel from relapse.  Got to get back to recovery for long term.     

Ages 30-39 / Re: Reset again and again and again....
« on: April 19, 2016, 11:18:50 AM »
 Haven't posted or been on site for a little while.  Had a good run for almost a month and I have been back in relapse mode again.  I keep repeating the same patterns.   Off for a few days to a week and then back on.  Trying to make a sustained effort.  I have K9 software but I know the password.    I am wondering if there are other temporary solutions to web blocking where I could block and not have the option to unblock.  My thought is to do this for a month or a few months just to give myself some sustained time away from P.  I understand that eventually I have to build the strength to make the choice myself and that I cannot block myself off from the world.  Just thinking it would be helpful to get a head start and lay the ground for myself to not even have the option to view if I wanted to.


Ages 30-39 / Re: Reset again and again and again....
« on: March 17, 2016, 09:51:53 AM »
I haven't posted in a while, I have been very busy which on some level is good on another level can be stressful.  Overall I have been doing better I guess.   I went 35 days the longest I have gone ever which feels good.  I am feeling like I am getting some distance.  I had a really rough week last week.   One of my neighbors hung himself and I got to my apartment as the emergency responders were wheeling him out on stretcher trying to revive him. They wheeled him right passed me and I could see his face with no life in it  His girlfriend found him probably 30-45 mins before I got to the scene and she was in apartment hysterical and I was outside consoling one of my neighbors who got there as she was screaming.  .   Was a really intense experience.  I saw him everyday just about and said hello but I only learned his name that day.  I can't count how many times I have said to myself that I should introduce myself and just never did.  My apartment complex has felt very eerie since.    Last week I was struggling to get to sleep and had a relapse moment.  My first one was ok.  I acknowledged it and tried to let it go and move on.   I had another relapse moment last night too.  Just snuck up on me.  Feeling really upset with myself today.   I have been on this good streak lately.  I have been doing strength training really early on weekdays so I have been training and waking up early, meditating and practicing some discipline.    I slipped up last night and woke up late this am decided to work from home and skip my commute.  But just feeling really upset with myself and down.  Going to try to be more gentle with myself today if possible.

Ages 30-39 / Re: Reset again and again and again....
« on: February 23, 2016, 11:10:05 PM »
Ok just added the M and edging counter on board.  Trying to get real clear with myself  here.   I had a day that started today with edging  to fantasy and escalated to edging to softcore and then to edging to P.  But no O.   I took a look right over to the website for info about M and edging.

I am trying not to beat myself up or be discouraged.  There needs to be a moment of accountability that this won't ultimately help in my recovery process and that in complete disclosure it feels like another subtle level of denial to get through a slight cheating of the process.  With that being said, I can also celebrate the fact that I am 19 days without PMO, and I have built up a strength to resist and stop in these moments of edging or watching.   From here on out I will set the goal of no PMO and no M or edging to P or P substitutes. 

Carry on.

Ages 30-39 / Re: Reset again and again and again....
« on: February 18, 2016, 02:43:59 PM »
Two weeks this is good so far.  Had a rough day yesterday into this morning feeling really depressed.  I just left work yesterday feeling a tremendous sadness that felt like it was out of the blue.   Then just couldn't get out of bed today.    I mentioned before that during this two weeks I have a had a few moments of watching P but no MO.   I am curious how other people experience that?   For me personally I am not counting that as a mark off the counter.  I feel like there is a demonstration of restraint and mindfulness with the step of not following through. The P.M.O. are all connected and breaking a part of that chain for me feels like a success though there is a recognition of the gray area and the fact of wasting time watching P for a moment.   Trying to stick it out through the ups and downs here.

Ages 30-39 / Re: Reset again and again and again....
« on: February 16, 2016, 01:34:14 PM »
Thanks Cap,

I am a practicing Buddhist, meditation is definitely part of my "daily" life.  As in I commit to daily practice but sometimes it ends up being once or a few time a week. I find the more I practice the more beneficial it is.  I have been finding lately that I have had a lot of trouble just sitting with the agitation and I have been avoiding and resisting practice lately.   I can do it I have sat in stillness for long periods of time but seems like I am in a phase of resistance and agitation, fidgeting.  Yeah for me I notice if something major happens there is no choice but to deal with it and experience it.  I really struggle with the subtle day to day annoyances, probably due to the obvious lately that I am having that dopa mine withdrawal.

Ages 30-39 / Re: Reset again and again and again....
« on: February 16, 2016, 11:12:45 AM »
Day 12 this is the longest I have gone in a while.  I did have a moment or two of watching P/softcore but no PMO not counting it as a defeat.    I had a really rough day yesterday.   Just a lot of little things agitating me.  I notice I get more tripped up by the little things than the major things.  Like I was running late for work and then got to train station to realize they are on holiday schedule so was really late for work, then rushed to get stuff prepared for boss, then needed to leave due to snow storm, train delays going home and in the course of this I didn't get a chance to really eat anything.   Plus had some stirring correspondence with my partner (taking a break for a month).   Just seems silly but I was so torqued up by all these little things.   I realize I have been experiencing the withdrawal too.  I just feel this restlessness and agitation.   Interesting I am not feeling urges with it but rather seems like just random figityness and agitation. 

On a positive note it feels like I have been on track with making more healthy choices for myself in a consistent way.  I spoke to therapist and she recommended routine.   I have been on a good streak of going to the gym, eating better connecting more with community/friends.   I have also decided that I don't want alcohol in my life either.   I went to superbowl gathering at my sisters and drank root beer.  It felt really good though awkward at first.   It is amazing to me how hard it is to not drink in social settings.  Not for me but just it seems so acceptable and it is like weird if you don't.       

Ages 30-39 / Re: Reset again and again and again....
« on: February 05, 2016, 01:19:38 PM »
Yeah thanks for your support.  It's such an intimate thing.  I am pretty clear I don't feel like sharing with anyone other than the three people who know.  It's that awkward thing of someone picking up on the fact that something is up.  I am not going to cross the boundary for myself but it's awkward to be like yes something is up but I can't share it with you.

Ages 30-39 / Re: Reset again and again and again....
« on: February 04, 2016, 07:57:11 PM »
akpal2 I hear you about the binging, I went two sessions in a row the other day almost back to back.  When it happens its like welll eff it I already went over the edge.   I loose hours over this stuff.  Not sure if anyone relates to this specifically but I get caught in the search for the perfect scene  or the perfect V shot.

Anyway doing better so far.  Struggling with some loneliness and reflection on my relationship that is currently on hold for the moment.    But trying to keep myself busy with working out and been doing some creative art projects.

I don't know if anyone else out there struggles with close friends or family on this one?   But I had this tough moment today with my sister who I am really close with.   She reached out asking if I was okay, sensing distance and things of that sort.   I found myself struggling to respond.   We talk about everything and have been very close.   But I felt like I had to respond with vagueness and the "yes I am struggling personally but don't feel like it is something I want to share."    Right now my partner knows, my therapist knows and one of my male friends knows.  I really don't feel comfortable sharing with the world that I am a P addict other than that and meetings/forums.  Its challenging though because people pick up on the vibe and the struggle and then I have to be like yup but but nope.  I am pretty open with most things but this is like way too personal.   


Ages 30-39 / Re: Reset again and again and again....
« on: February 02, 2016, 09:43:01 AM »
I caved in last night.  I think that determines for me no cheating with softcore, youtube, pics etc.    All in all I still feel good.   I am trying not to hang on to guilt and shame.  Acknowledging, letting go and moving forward.  Of course I feel a little bummed but honestly 8 days was the longest in a while for me.   Going to try to keep stretching it. 

Ages 30-39 / Re: Reset again and again and again....
« on: February 01, 2016, 02:21:38 PM »
Really struggling today.  I have passed the one week threshold and freaking out a little bit. 

On the positive side:  I started going to the gym again which feels really good.  I have been everyday since Friday and looking to continue.  I find it really helps in so many ways.  Going to continue.  I definitely feel more energy and at times experience some mental clarity.

Negative side:  I have been getting headaches on and off.   The weekends are hard as I have a lot of time on my hands and mainly alone in my apartment.  Trying to find ways of getting out.  I slipped a little bit this weekend with watching some softcore/edging but no O.  I am not going to reset for that.   Sometimes I start off with softcore, then it escalates to PMO.  The no hardcore P to O for me feels like some progress.(I don't know maybe I am justifying) 

Today I decided to work from home, my sleep cycle is way off going to bed late and waking up late.  Luckily my boss and management are so flexible also my commute is long.    Feeling really anxious today and having trouble focusing.   Very ADD like.  There is this tension of resistance.  There are so many thoughts swirling around too.  I am working from home tomorrow too and have an appointment with my therapist.  I feel like I am just going to unload on her. I am coming to terms with the fact that I have honestly been an addict for most of my life.  Last year I admitted that I have an addiction to P. I acknowledged that I need to stop but I realize the last year I didn't fully own that.   1.  I didn't fully admit the range and scale of my addiction 2. I don't think I fully wanted to stop nor did I feel like I could.    Currently I am realizing all of this and I have to stop for so many reasons personally, spiritually and relationship wise.  My addictions just permeate everything not all of the time 100% but definitely throughout.   

I started M when I was around 11.  For me it started with imagination, or Victorias Secret catalogs,the squiggly blurred lines on the cinemax channel or anything I could get my hands on.  Eventually that continued through college and into the hight speed internet era which for me started post college.   The other piece for me is that I started smoking cigarettes at 12-13, was drinking at that age and then from 14-18 or 19 I was smoking pot almost everyday.  I started using psychedelics acid and mushrooms and there were a few years in there where I was always high on something.  I smoked weed daily but if that wasn't around it was snorting ridalin, or smoking hash/opium or taking painkillers.   I pretty much used anything but coke and heroin.   Throughout all of this P/M/O was always there.    So for me I realize from reading articles about dopamine and how I am chasing the rush physically, I noticed that I have always been an addict.   I gave up Pot/cigarettes and other drugs and replaced them with semi-regular drinking and P.    It's a real eye opener for me to see how long this has been going on and that it shifts.   P is always there but it can shift to drinking or shopping or over eating.  I also feel the pain of admitting that I have been caught up for so long and I have caused a lot of pain in my life and with my relationships especially my current relationship that is on hold.

Sigh!  Just trying to get through this day.  Feel like I am on the verge of breakdown.

Ages 30-39 / Re: Reset again and again and again....
« on: January 28, 2016, 10:35:31 PM »
Feeling a lot of gratitude for this forum right now.  I can relate to a lot of what people are expressing and feel inspired by some of the guys who are going a long time without PMO.  I am on day 5 feeling ok.   My partner and I have agreed to take some space right now while I gather myself together and she needs the same too.  Her father is a heroin addict and a real scumbag and she has expressed that my addiction has been really triggering for her which I understand and feel torn up about.   At the same time the two of us have been doing this back and forth thing for a while where we break up take space get back together.  We have a tremendously deep connection but I just don't know right now. 

I am feeling more determined to really lean into this thing and try to stop.  I re activated my K9 block on all my devices and I have an appointment to see my therapist again. 

I haven't really had a lot of craving for P the last few days.  Just one random P thought.   I saw someone on the train today (I am a daily commuter) and this creeper of a thought came in like "oh that reminds me of a scene in one P that went like this that and the other thing".    I have always been attracted to women and have had a strong sex drive so there are a few women I work with that I have crushes on and I notice how I get ramped up a little around them.    I am not sure if this is an addict behavior for me or not.  I am not saying inappropriate things or blatantly staring etc. But  I do feel like I need to reign in the vibe a little as I want to respect my colleagues' space.  A big part of my intention to quit P is that I want to be an ally to women in not perpetuating patriarchy/male privilege/rape culture.    I feel hypocritical that I watch P and feel that way about women.  It's a hard thing to navigate, in some ways I feel more comfortable around women and relate better, and then I can also see how P has effected my confidence around communicating with women and the obvious objectification that comes up.  Its hard to find that line of what is acceptable playful flirtation, what is inappropriate, and is this just human relation or am I perpetuating another potential addictive behavior?   Connecting with people is good.   I have this future fear that if I get over P that I might replace it with compulsive sex.    I think I am struggling too with whether space with my partner is an opportunity to meet other women, and is that something I am interested in? Oh well, feeling relatively alright so far and glad to have a space to air out my thoughts.

Ages 30-39 / Re: My New Life
« on: January 28, 2016, 09:40:06 PM »
Dude, The NewMe.   Thanks for your post I am feeling super inspired by your progress! Stay strong.

Ages 30-39 / Re: Reset again and again and again....
« on: January 27, 2016, 08:21:24 PM »
Thanks akpal2  I appreciate the link.  I have read and seen of videos on the subject.  But this was a great reminder of physiological changes and hurdles surrounding addiction.   I found a few other links and talks on the subject as well   Super helpful and for me this reminder that addiction creates these neuropathways that trigger chemical reactions and physical feedback loops, takes the edge off of the self criticism, guilt and blame.  It hits this common sense chord of "oh yeah of course, the dopamine rush feels better"  after years of habit forming it seems natural that this continually triggers bad choices.   I have been putting 100% of the blame and questioning on my ability.  I am not expressing this as an excuse, but rather a recognition that I can acknowledge for myself that this is also physical/bodily reaction as well as mental and mind based.

Thanks again for this educational reminder, so important.

Ages 30-39 / Reset again and again and again....
« on: January 24, 2016, 05:10:07 PM »
Resetting the counter again. Trying not to be discouraged and that's a hard one.  Part of me feels like at least I can make it 4-5 days and then again, I have been struggling to make it past 7 w/o PMO which feels like no progress and internally I feel stuck.

I mentioned in a previous post that I have been ignoring my issues and they have been getting worse it seems over the last year.  I am trying to re-commit to 1. Awareness and 2. Disciplined action.

These cycles seem to repeat.  My partner has been on the edge once again of giving up on our relationship due to the way I am engaging/not engaging.   I can see how much my addictions play out and effect the rest of my life and cause pain to those around me as well as myself.     I am making the commitment to try to stop.  I am making the commitment to re engaging in therapy.   I am making the commitment to engage in my meditation practice and to meet with my teachers around this.  Feels like I need anything and everything to step toward a more lasting recovery.

I am feeling exhausted with this and tired of the repeat cycles and hearing myself say the same shit over and over again.   What is it going to take to act in a way that will feel like consistent action?

To starting over again.       

Ages 30-39 / Re: Starting Over
« on: January 18, 2016, 11:59:31 AM »
Pinkerton, I hear you with the dark days.  It's been a year of "oh I have the awareness"but the follow through of action isn't as solid for me.    This is one of those cases where I feel like it's "simple" not "easy".  The simple part is porn as a habitual tendency causes pain, suffering, shame all the rest.  So the simple answer is stop doing that which causes such harm.   From my experience that is not easy at all it is an up hill battle against habits that are so ingrained.  Some of what you are saying I can relate it is like, almost uncontrollable at times.    One day at a time.   Stay strong brother.   

Ages 30-39 / Re: Starting Over
« on: January 10, 2016, 11:33:42 PM »
Pinkerton, right on in noticing the shift in confidence and self-worth.  Its good to see that progress is possible.  I appreciate your posts.  Everyone's journey is personal and up to them. Just to touch on the transparency with your partner. From my experience I realize that my P use effects my relationship and effects my partner whether or not they know about it or not.  I am less present, less interested in connecting intimately and the list goes on.  I think my partner now has a reason behind this behavior and I feel better being honest and I am no longer hiding anything.  I would be surprised if your wife doesn't already know something is up on some level??  But I understand people's thresholds are different my past girlfriend freaked out that I had a regular relationship to P and had no concept of how common it was for people to watch  on a regular basis (addicted or not).   Anyway thanks for your posts and stay positive.   

Ages 30-39 / Re: Sex with wife.
« on: January 10, 2016, 11:18:01 PM »
I will reiterate what some of the other folks have said that this process is personal.  Personally I choose that sex with my partner is to be encouraged.  I often find that my use comes from an actual desire to connect (not always sexually at times).  When I connect intimately with my partner it feels right and healthy.   With that being said be careful of the "chaser effect" I have experienced this where post sexual intimacy the urge for PMO arises.  Some people recommend a period of time at first of complete abstinence.

Take Care   

Ages 30-39 / Re: My New Life
« on: January 10, 2016, 11:04:32 PM »
TheNewMe,   Thanks for this post about "redefining".  I appreciate the depth at which you are speaking to.  About what is the root of the addiction?  I agree about the focus on the counter, it can become an endurance test and can contribute to major let down and failure mentality. 

Thanks to for mentioning the perspective of the "male gaze".  I think that gets overlooked on this site.  Porn objectifies women (one of the reasons I am trying to stop) and if we stop porn use are we still objectifying the women we come into contact.  Many of these sites promote the "no porn but try to score with real women sort of mentality".   It is refreshing that you address this. 

I appreciate the perspective from Gracie too and the fact that your posts incorporate the perspective of our partners.  Having a partner through this really adds another dynamic. 

Take Care     

Ages 30-39 / Re: Haven't posted in a while
« on: January 10, 2016, 10:34:12 PM »
Thanks y'all,  I appreciate the feedback, i figured a lot of people might not resonate with "religious" (I prefer the term "spiritual") perspective.   To me Buddhism isn't necessarily as much religion, but rather more of a science of the mind. It is not something to be believed or indoctrinated by but rather a living practice based on personal experience. 

I slipped up today.  Numez good points about the "positives".  I notice the positive tends to be so temporary then slips right into deeper suffering, shame and loss of energy/drain.  At times I see the whole thing happen with awareness and it is like, "I am making that choice again".    I appreciate your comment about the end game, working through the urge and seeing through the fact that there is no positive outcome.

Here's to another fress start. 

Ages 30-39 / Haven't posted in a while
« on: January 06, 2016, 11:05:08 PM »
Haven't logged in for 8 months, My tracker is not accurate.  Its been 7 days and honestly been struggling to get passed 7-10 days for over a year now.  My partner is an Al Anon family member.  Her family members have struggled with addiction for years.   We have been talking a lot about addictive behavior and how it manifests.  I have been noticing how my tendencies fluctuate from over eating and sweets, to drinking, to over working and even obsessive device tinkering (that check your smartphone itch).  It always comes back to porn for me though and I keep admitting to myself that I do not have control over my desires.

As a Buddhist practitioner, attachment to desire is a major root cause of suffering and that certainly rings true for myself.  I have been avoiding my practice because of the uncomfortable fact that I need to face myself and deal with this.  I recognize that I will not progress spiritually if I cannot work in a healthy way with my desires and cravings.  I notice how my major obstacle is discipline and consistent sustained effort with many things in my life from porn addiction to Dharma practice and meditation, to exercise and also applying myself to the things that bring me joy.   I have been questioning "what is it that holds me back from making effort?", "what is keeping me from doing the things that I enjoy?", "what is it exactly that triggers my addictive habitual patterns?"  I feel like I experienced a break through moment recently acknowledging that most often I am triggered by the fear and rawness of feeling vulnerable.  The acknowledgement that maybe I feel sad or uncomfortable or unsure, or that I don't quite have it together or under control.  I run from that feeling, engage in addictive behavior and then start the spin cycle of shame and unworthiness.   This cripples me from making future effort as "I will surely fail".  What really gets me is that I have a framework for working with all of this.  My practice teaches me to lean into the uncomfortable, look honestly at these cycles that vulnerability is what leads to compassion  and I am still not practicing.  Conceptual understanding doesn't mean anything without the application and discipline of practicing.  So I am trying to work one day at a time working mindfully and trying to attempt to give myself space with the struggle.



Ages 30-39 / Re: 34 yrs old 20 plus yrs use time for honesty
« on: January 31, 2015, 08:22:20 AM »
Day 6:

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

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

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

Ages 30-39 / 34 yrs old 20 plus yrs use time for honesty
« on: January 25, 2015, 03:27:38 PM »
This might be a long one....   I am new to the site. 

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

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


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