Author Topic: I think I have a problem  (Read 20947 times)

Detente

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Re: I think I have a problem
« Reply #125 on: December 16, 2018, 02:27:20 AM »
NewVerse, thank you for reading my story and chiming in. I just read your journal: "I'll pass on the fantasy today. Thanks." So well put. Welcome back and I wish you all the best in your fight.

I hadn't even thought about dating sites lately, because I haven't been dating, but they have been a bit of a problem for me as well. I know the rush of getting a new message from someone new, or just matching with someone new. And then keep swiping or searching for more. Avoiding any kind of earnest effort to meet someone to develop a real relationship. I've also had some meaningless or regrettable encounters, leaving me feeling empty.

I'm in emotional pain right now. I've been to several holiday gatherings in a row, feeling overwhelmed, lonely, and the odd man out. And tonight with my female friend at another party, hearing about  the guy she's dating, see her text him. I know for certain we are not compatible, but I have to acknowledge I feel hurt and jealous and lonely and deficient. I just said in my last post how I've become more comfortable with my flaws and strengths, but man, certainly not tonight. It's times like these that I have so much remorse about wasting my time, including with PMO, instead of pursuing love. But at least I feel something. It shows I'm starting to care again and open myself.

It's time to open my heart up to love and reconnect with who I am. And somehow, someway, develop a true feeling of self-acceptance and worthiness.

To ask for prayers for me is putting that into action. Why should I deserve anyone's prayers when billions of others have it worse off than me, around the world and among friends and family? Because we all have worth, and therefore I'm worthy of compassion for my suffering as well.

I'm not very religious and in fact am pretty much agnostic, but I'm asking for your prayers.
I abstained from PMO for 458 days, until June 29, 2018. After several relapses, I have had to start again, last PMO session being on March 31, 2019.

NewVerse

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Re: I think I have a problem
« Reply #126 on: December 16, 2018, 05:01:58 AM »

I'm not very religious and in fact am pretty much agnostic, but I'm asking for your prayers.

Done. And thank you  as well for your well wishes.
I fall on the agnostic side myself. Well really, I don't know what I would call myself. I usually don't react well to anyone trying to convince me either way. There are times I pray, there are times I feel like an athiest. There have been times I have literally dropped to my knees cried and begged God to help me with this addiction. Whether I found it useful is another story, but it's something I can look back on when I have urges on how much I want to not give in to them.

I'm sorry to hear you are going through a hard time. I know what you mean about the holidays. I went to a gathering tonight of people close to me. Most of them are married or have children. I have been single for well over a decade. I mentioned in my journal a couple years ago sneaking out of a wedding reception due to feeling like the odd man out. That night I binged on chat. Now I'm trying to take the other route, and use times like this as motivation. I have never had too much of a problem attracting women generally, but fear of ED has kept me from many opportunities. At other times like you I have met women I don't feel would be a good match, then get bothered once they move on to someone else. I get bothered or sometimes even panicked wondering what people think of me. Like possible whispers that maybe I'm gay. Which I wont lie would bother me, but I would rather they think that than ever know the truth of why I have been avoiding opportunities.

All we can do is keep pushing and try to stay as clean as possible. No PMO isn't a magic key to happiness but I do know 100% I feel better clean than not.
"It's not real"

Detente

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Re: I think I have a problem
« Reply #127 on: December 16, 2018, 02:32:35 PM »
Thanks NewVerse. Knowing someone is out there thinking of me or praying for me and wishing me the best helps a lot. It takes the loneliness away a bit. I'm moved by your description of calling out to God in desperation. I've been there with regard to PMO and loneliness and shame in general. I've also been in the situation you faced last night. It can be torture being the only single person among couples and families. I've suffered through wedding receptions as well. I also have wondered what family and friends think of my solo life, whether I'm closeted or immature or selfish or just weird. That fear has lessened in recent years, but might be a sign of resignation, which is not good. That's more numbing.

If I recall, I was feeling somewhat similar to how I feel now a year ago at this time. I think it was triggered by another year with family alone at Christmas. Like you, I want to use these episodes as motivation. What trips me up is the weekly grind I think. Living week to week, and soon months start passing by with no change. Then I get numb and stop feeling highs or lows, and I think at that point I'm at risk of relapsing. Chatting with women online does provide stimulation and a sort of connection that I don't generate in my day-to-day life.

No PMO isn't a magic key to happiness but I do know 100% I feel better clean than not.

Amen. "No PMO" to me seems simply the removal of a symptom of the illness. Other symptoms that arise out of my feeling defective include reading the news online for hours at end, wasting time at work, avoiding making plans with friends and, most significantly right now, not trying to develop an intimate relationship with a partner. Like you, NewVerse, I also am generally successful at attracting women, especially online. My fear is the rejection and embarrassment I might encounter after letting a woman into my life and seeing my flaws and weaknesses. (But in my gut I think of those outcomes as things I can expect to encounter.) Like when I attend a wedding or a holiday party, I'm suddenly jolted out of my day-to-day, low-risk, comfortable life and am confronted with where I've ended up and what I don't have. It's like that when I meet someone new, and in that situation there's no hiding it.

I stumbled into a few relationships earlier on in life with women who developed strong feelings, even love, for me after getting to know me. Pathetically, I remained in them long past the time I should have, causing painful breakups later on, simply because I'd gotten past the terror of being rejected early on.

At the same time, once accepted by someone, I can become complacent, cocky, inattentive, judgmental, withdrawn, etc. I certainly can take someone for granted.

In the end, I just have to make a go at intimacy and see what happens.
I abstained from PMO for 458 days, until June 29, 2018. After several relapses, I have had to start again, last PMO session being on March 31, 2019.

NewVerse

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Re: I think I have a problem
« Reply #128 on: December 16, 2018, 04:23:24 PM »
I relate to most of what you wrote here, especially about time passing, and how chatting provides that form of connection you are missing. I have been there too many times, and unfortunately they are usually artificial connections. I would search for that constant feeling of when you first meet someone, then I would delete my account and feel like the biggest piece of trash because I'm pretending to be someone else. Some of the people I chatted with were as well. I was almost relieved knowing  I found another "pretender" just so I knew I wasn't screwing someone over out of a human connection.

The feeling inadequate thing once they get to know you is another thing I can relate to. I always either feel like I'm not good enough, or I can do better.
"It's not real"

Detente

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Re: I think I have a problem
« Reply #129 on: December 16, 2018, 10:02:47 PM »
Yes, those connections are usually artificial.  For me, the thrill is (or "was," hopefully) being aroused by a woman's arousal, if that makes sense.  Getting turned on by chatting with women are who getting turned on.  So I'd often seek out images and videos to share or respond to postings that held no interest to me just so I could get the chance to connect with horny women.  On rare occasions I connected with women who shared similar sexual interests/fantasies, but either way I emerged exhausted, ashamed, and lonely.  Actually those were in a sense worse because it sometimes led me to keep my Reddit account alive, write to them, and pathetically recheck my inbox to see if I'd gotten a reply.  Ugh.

Well, I wrote/rewrote the intro portion of my dating profile today.  I have several sections left.  I'm kind of overdoing it.  Some perfectionism at play, but progress being made.

I've said this before I think, but I'll try to document my dating highs/lows/fears/adventures/progress here.
I abstained from PMO for 458 days, until June 29, 2018. After several relapses, I have had to start again, last PMO session being on March 31, 2019.

Detente

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Re: I think I have a problem
« Reply #130 on: December 17, 2018, 11:49:57 PM »
More progress on my dating profile.  There's going to be a risk here as I get back into dating.  It's been a while since I've been on these dating sites.  I can already feel tempted to pursue women interested only in sex or into open relationships and whatnot.  I went from a depression and fear and loneliness last night to confidence and excitement today over the prospect of meeting someone and making a genuine connection, but now I can sense a pull toward pursuing something that isn't a genuine connection.  I'll need to keep in mind how much more meaningful and rewarding it would be to in a real, loving relationship with someone.
I abstained from PMO for 458 days, until June 29, 2018. After several relapses, I have had to start again, last PMO session being on March 31, 2019.

Detente

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Re: I think I have a problem
« Reply #131 on: December 18, 2018, 10:29:48 PM »
I completed my dating profile and it's live. I'm very confident that I'll get responses and dates. The question is, what kind of intention I set when I go back out there? Will I seek a real connection and relationship with someone? And if so, will I be able to again face my fear of rejection and let someone get to know me? And will I not become a complacent asshole if someone accepts me and falls for me?

Also, can just have some fun with this process and not take myself so seriously? I suffer from analysis paralysis a lot.

Today I'm back to feeling a bit blue, still thinking about my friend and her dating someone new. I know we're not compatible, but it's still gnawing at me. We met through a dating app a while ago, so I feel this undercurrent of romantic connection even though it didn't go anywhere romantically.

This is good though, because I'm feeling vulnerable and somewhat rejected. It's good to be in this space because it keeps me humble and more committed to finding something real.

I abstained from PMO for 458 days, until June 29, 2018. After several relapses, I have had to start again, last PMO session being on March 31, 2019.

uncreatedlight

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Re: I think I have a problem
« Reply #132 on: December 21, 2018, 09:22:36 AM »
It takes a lot of courage to be where you are right now.  I'm going to have one last conversation with my wife in a week or two then I am going to get in the game again too.  I'm nervous about dating complete strangers.  It has been a long time!

Detente

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Re: I think I have a problem
« Reply #133 on: December 21, 2018, 11:16:59 PM »
Thanks Uncreatedlight. I'm not sure I am courageous at the moment but I need to be. Like you said:

I'm nervous about dating complete strangers.  It has been a long time!

One thing I think we can take heart in is that the women you meet will almost certainly be nervous, too. And they have to be on guard, more than me, about true psychos. But yes, I understand. I hope to document my journey here.

I had dinner with my friend tonight who started seeing someone. It was tough for me. I'm jealous that she found someone, and someone not like me. I can't tell if she's rubbing it in, but she talks about qualities of his that I don't have. (She is the type I think to sort of passively aggressively try to one-up people. I've seen it, and that's one reason I know we wouldn't be a good fit. I wouldn't be able to trust her.) But I might be imagining things. But I'm again feeling like a loser again, alone. It was so easy for her to find someone and I've spend a lifetime agonizing and also fucking around. Either chasing something superficial or, more lately, wasting time with PMO. My self-esteem is in the shitter right now, after feeling fairly OK.
I abstained from PMO for 458 days, until June 29, 2018. After several relapses, I have had to start again, last PMO session being on March 31, 2019.

Detente

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Re: I think I have a problem
« Reply #134 on: December 21, 2018, 11:23:34 PM »
I've had a few drinks in me and it's revved my emotions. Now might be a time I'd go back on Reddit and start the downward spiral, only this time it would be out of severe loneliness, and not boredom. Usually when I've done that it's out of boredom and, I'd say, arrogance, when I feel everything is fine and I can indulge. Now though it'd be to truly escape loneliness and connect in an albeit dysfunctional way. But actually I'm already feeling so bad I have no desire to do that. I know it would make me feel so much worse. This is a good feeling, this feeling vulnerable and a bit hurt. I'm feeling again.
I abstained from PMO for 458 days, until June 29, 2018. After several relapses, I have had to start again, last PMO session being on March 31, 2019.

NewVerse

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Re: I think I have a problem
« Reply #135 on: December 22, 2018, 02:10:32 AM »
I've had a few drinks in me and it's revved my emotions. Now might be a time I'd go back on Reddit and start the downward spiral, only this time it would be out of severe loneliness, and not boredom. Usually when I've done that it's out of boredom and, I'd say, arrogance, when I feel everything is fine and I can indulge. Now though it'd be to truly escape loneliness and connect in an albeit dysfunctional way. But actually I'm already feeling so bad I have no desire to do that. I know it would make me feel so much worse. This is a good feeling, this feeling vulnerable and a bit hurt. I'm feeling again.

Very familiar feeling. I tend to fall from boredom or restlessness or overconfidence. Sometimes I just crave a connection even knowing it's not real. It only makes everything worse, and robs you of actual connection. Embrace the pain and recognize it for what it is
"It's not real"

Detente

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Re: I think I have a problem
« Reply #136 on: December 22, 2018, 02:52:41 AM »
Yeah I'm in pain alright.  I desperate to chat with someone, and I have a friend on the other side of the world I've chatted with, sometimes about sex, but I needed anyone right now. So she was there and gracious and understanding.  She is a real person and has hurts and dreams and joy and everything.  We didn't talk about sex.  She just listened to me.

I feel somewhat rejected, but I think I'm also sad simply that I'll be losing a connection with my friend (the one here, not overseas). She'll spend more time with her new partner.  But to be honest I'm sad I don't have a partner.

And I'm freaking out about scared and hopeless I feel.  It's crazy how I can go to feeling generally OK to desperate.  I'm reading things like this after Googling "I feel defective":

https://www.whywesuffer.com/are-you-hopeless-of-ever-finding-love/#more-1862

I've been down this road before.  Panicking and binging on self-help/psych material to try to find a way out.  I did this last week as well.  I haven't done that in ages.  Maybe it's similar to my PMO binges, a way to escape or deaden my feelings.  But I do know that at the moment I'm absolutely terrified of meeting woman and letting her into my life and seeing who I am.  I used to discuss this in therapy but haven't gone in ages.  I stuffed all this down and now that I think about dating again, it's all coming back.  I was in my safety zone where I wasn't risking or trying at all.  I know I've been talking about it with some resolve and confidence, but Christ I'm scared.

I'll take more prayers please...
I abstained from PMO for 458 days, until June 29, 2018. After several relapses, I have had to start again, last PMO session being on March 31, 2019.

NewVerse

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Re: I think I have a problem
« Reply #137 on: December 22, 2018, 05:14:51 AM »
Yeah I'm in pain alright.  I desperate to chat with someone, and I have a friend on the other side of the world I've chatted with, sometimes about sex, but I needed anyone right now. So she was there and gracious and understanding.  She is a real person and has hurts and dreams and joy and everything.  We didn't talk about sex.  She just listened to me.

I feel somewhat rejected, but I think I'm also sad simply that I'll be losing a connection with my friend (the one here, not overseas). She'll spend more time with her new partner.  But to be honest I'm sad I don't have a partner.

And I'm freaking out about scared and hopeless I feel.  It's crazy how I can go to feeling generally OK to desperate.  I'm reading things like this after Googling "I feel defective":

https://www.whywesuffer.com/are-you-hopeless-of-ever-finding-love/#more-1862

I've been down this road before.  Panicking and binging on self-help/psych material to try to find a way out.  I did this last week as well.  I haven't done that in ages.  Maybe it's similar to my PMO binges, a way to escape or deaden my feelings.  But I do know that at the moment I'm absolutely terrified of meeting woman and letting her into my life and seeing who I am.  I used to discuss this in therapy but haven't gone in ages.  I stuffed all this down and now that I think about dating again, it's all coming back.  I was in my safety zone where I wasn't risking or trying at all.  I know I've been talking about it with some resolve and confidence, but Christ I'm scared.

I'll take more prayers please...

Hang in there  Detente. May I ask why you stopped going to therapy? Was it helpful when you went? I am asking because I hve never gone but have always considered it. I cant imagine telling anyone in person about my weird online activity. My substitute online connections were all phony. I was playing a role and being  deceptive which always made me feel like a scumbag but I did it anyway.  Many times pathetically chatting with another phony which at least brought on a sense of relief because I couldn't hurt anyone. The more I chatted the more I would have to up the stakes with fetishes which brought far greater highs (and lows).

With real relationships my early ones ended the same way with her thinking less of me than in the beginning. Looking back this was partrtially because I wasn't being myself to begin with and uncomfortable in my own skin. Other times I'd feel I was too good for my partner,  and others I would end early out of fear of being hurt or rejected. This addiction took me back to square one since I at least need to be able to get it up to go back to any of it. Even thinking about any of this drives me to binges because it seems overwhelming.

I guess this is my way of saying I relate to feeling defective . We can only try to push through it
"It's not real"

Detente

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Re: I think I have a problem
« Reply #138 on: December 22, 2018, 10:26:14 AM »
Thanks NewVerse, I'm trying. It's really hard right now. I haven't been back in this emotional space in a while. I know being back in my heart and yearning for love again is necessary, but it's scary and it hurts. I forgot how tough this is for me. I feel a bit foolish thinking I could get into a relationship by simply following a process (Step 1, online profile, Step 2, contact women, Step 3, go on dates, Step 4, develop trust, etc.).  There's the whole fear and risk of rejection element that I need to confront.

I've been in therapy off and on pretty much from 18 on. I was a regular in the counseling center in college, then saw various therapists in my early- and mid-20s. In my 30s, I saw one fairly regularly, with breaks in between.  I stopped last year when I took a new job and felt I needed to focus my energy on that.  That company ended up being a shitshow and now am back where I was, with a lot less stress.  I had thought of working with a life coach but this emotional storm makes me think I should go back to therapy, but focused on support as I go out and date.

Writing this out reminds me for the first time in a while how much I've struggled in life with low self-esteem.  At my core I feel defective, and that leads to depression, anxiety, loneliness.  Being in therapy was helpful.  There were times he was really the only person I could talk to.  I pretty much had no friends, or no close friends I felt I could talk to.  There were times he talked me off the ledge.  Sometimes I felt I was just wallowing in my muck and just talking, checking off the "I'm in therapy" box and not making any progress.  Sometimes I'd feel more hopeless and terrified after a session.  But for me I think it might be good to see someone to keep me in touch with my feelings.  All of us, and maybe men especially, have to stuff our emotions down to some extent to get through day-to-day life -- work, chores, etc.  I've done that when I felt I had to, but I can't get lost in the grind anymore.

I may try someone new this time.  I've never really tried cognitive-behavior therapy.  But I think there are some practical tools they use to explore one's global attitudes toward self-worth and self-esteem, as well as addressing fears and negative thoughts.

This is getting long.  I'd really urge you to not let the fear or discomfort of opening up to someone about your online activities stop you from pursuing therapy.  I know it wouldn't be easy.  I felt ashamed when I brought up porn use, and I'll feel ashamed if I go to someone new and explain I'm a never-married 43-year-old terrified of meeting women to date.  But these folks are empathic and their goal is to help.  And certainly they've worked with people dealing with all sorts of issues.

When you are dating women these days, are you now able to be yourself and more comfortable in your own skin off that bat?
I abstained from PMO for 458 days, until June 29, 2018. After several relapses, I have had to start again, last PMO session being on March 31, 2019.

NewVerse

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Re: I think I have a problem
« Reply #139 on: December 22, 2018, 06:08:14 PM »
It's always a scary feeling to put yourself out there. I think you should continue to push forward in dating. I have never handled rejection well. I haven't dated anyone in almost 7 years, partially due to having to deal with other things in my life that required most of my time and energy, and more realistically out of fear of PIED. I don't want to go through that again, and not wanting to go through that drove me to the safety of the thing that caused PIED surely making it worse. I am not the kind of person who has a hard time being alone so it's not a terrible existence for me but I don't want to live this way forever. I have had women interested in me within that period who I had to find an excuse to turn down. A few years ago, one girl I had dated a couple times in the past but was never intimate with wanted me to come out to las vegas to see her. She was out there on business and it isn't terribly far from me, she had a room. All I had to do was go. My weekend was wide open and I could have gone. Of course I didn't go because I was knee deep in a binge using a phony dating site profile. It sucks remembering these things.

As far as being comfortable, it always depended on the person. The pattern was usually the less interested I am in her, the more comfortable I am with me. :(

Therapy continues to be a consideration.
"It's not real"

Detente

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Re: I think I have a problem
« Reply #140 on: December 22, 2018, 08:17:22 PM »
I know that pattern well -- if I"m not all that interested in a woman, then I'm comfortable because there's much less risk of getting hurt; I'm in the "driver's seat" so-to-speak.

Have you dated women when dealing with PIED (even if they only knew it as ED)? If so, were they understanding? I'm worried because I don't seem to be able to get it up these days on my own. I hope with a woman there it would be different. It was when I had that episode with a coworker last spring.

If you had visited the girl in Vegas, do you think you would have felt good about it? Would you have pursued a relationship do you think?

I friend of mine who I am 100% sure is interested me is in town next week and weekend and we're getting together. But I've felt conflicted about the idea of dating her. I've broken hearts in the past (once I get past the terror of letting a woman in), and I'm scared of repeating that.

I will push forward in dating, but the terror I'm feeling tells me I need some support around this, through a therapist that can help me confront my thoughts about being a loser, worthless, how horrible rejection would be. Otherwise I would feel utterly alone. I have this space here, but it's not quite the same. And dating is not really on topic, although I realize my PMO'ing is a result of feeling so bad about myself.

Thanks for reading NewVerse and everyone and for your support.
I abstained from PMO for 458 days, until June 29, 2018. After several relapses, I have had to start again, last PMO session being on March 31, 2019.

Detente

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Re: I think I have a problem
« Reply #141 on: December 22, 2018, 11:40:54 PM »
I MO'ed, which I think is ok. I thought of a loving scenario, not porn. Really I wanted to see if I could get an erection. It took effort. I may have PIED. Does it matter that I have long times (a few months or many months between brief relapses? I thought that maybe my brain is less messed up because I wasn't a heavy user, i.e., not daily or weekly.
I abstained from PMO for 458 days, until June 29, 2018. After several relapses, I have had to start again, last PMO session being on March 31, 2019.

NewVerse

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Re: I think I have a problem
« Reply #142 on: December 23, 2018, 03:53:46 AM »
I know that pattern well -- if I"m not all that interested in a woman, then I'm comfortable because there's much less risk of getting hurt; I'm in the "driver's seat" so-to-speak.

Have you dated women when dealing with PIED (even if they only knew it as ED)? If so, were they understanding? I'm worried because I don't seem to be able to get it up these days on my own. I hope with a woman there it would be different. It was when I had that episode with a coworker last spring.

If you had visited the girl in Vegas, do you think you would have felt good about it? Would you have pursued a relationship do you think?

I friend of mine who I am 100% sure is interested me is in town next week and weekend and we're getting together. But I've felt conflicted about the idea of dating her. I've broken hearts in the past (once I get past the terror of letting a woman in), and I'm scared of repeating that.

I will push forward in dating, but the terror I'm feeling tells me I need some support around this, through a therapist that can help me confront my thoughts about being a loser, worthless, how horrible rejection would be. Otherwise I would feel utterly alone. I have this space here, but it's not quite the same. And dating is not really on topic, although I realize my PMO'ing is a result of feeling so bad about myself.

Thanks for reading NewVerse and everyone and for your support.

My very first attempts at sex as a teen were failures. My first try was a one night stand, my second was my first ever girlfriend. We dated months and I never was able to do it. She cheated and I broke up with her. The third try around 19 or so I had successful sex with a girl in my car the first night we met. The next one was a longer relationship. I failed at first and she was understanding and we worked through it, and it was never a problem through a few of years of our relationship. After we broke up for other reasons, smooth sailing for over a long time, and not even a concern until high speed internet and my own fetishes and compulsions eventually ruined it. The last time I tried, she was understanding but I could tell it ruined everything. I can't say I ever had a detailed discussion about it with any of the partners I "failed" with.

With the girl who was in Vegas the ball has always been in my court. I've always been confident around her mainly because I'm not all that interested in her. It sounds like a similar situation to your friend who is coming to town (Driver's seat as you said). She's a great person and there are things about her I really like, but in many ways I don't feel we're a good match. In her defense I never gave it a real shot. Much of it is probably due to the ED fears. Knowing her and the kind of person she is, she would be understanding about it. It's hard to say if a relationship would come of it.

My first try at rebooting, i considered trying an escort as "practice". It's not something I have ever done and it's still a consideration honestly. The problem was when searching, I got that same "fishing" rush I got from chat and porn so I stopped looking.

The last woman who was interested in me before this current streak, I coudn't risk it because she is so close to my circle of friends. I can't handle everyone knowing if I fail. Even if she told just one person, it would get out and I found it too terrifying to risk. But it did motivate me to stay clean this long
« Last Edit: December 23, 2018, 01:50:20 PM by NewVerse »
"It's not real"

Detente

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Re: I think I have a problem
« Reply #143 on: December 24, 2018, 09:44:53 AM »

My very first attempts at sex as a teen were failures. My first try was a one night stand, my second was my first ever girlfriend. We dated months and I never was able to do it. She cheated and I broke up with her. The third try around 19 or so I had successful sex with a girl in my car the first night we met. The next one was a longer relationship. I failed at first and she was understanding and we worked through it, and it was never a problem through a few of years of our relationship. After we broke up for other reasons, smooth sailing for over a long time, and not even a concern until high speed internet and my own fetishes and compulsions eventually ruined it. The last time I tried, she was understanding but I could tell it ruined everything. I can't say I ever had a detailed discussion about it with any of the partners I "failed" with.

With the girl who was in Vegas the ball has always been in my court. I've always been confident around her mainly because I'm not all that interested in her. It sounds like a similar situation to your friend who is coming to town (Driver's seat as you said). She's a great person and there are things about her I really like, but in many ways I don't feel we're a good match. In her defense I never gave it a real shot. Much of it is probably due to the ED fears. Knowing her and the kind of person she is, she would be understanding about it. It's hard to say if a relationship would come of it.

My first try at rebooting, i considered trying an escort as "practice". It's not something I have ever done and it's still a consideration honestly. The problem was when searching, I got that same "fishing" rush I got from chat and porn so I stopped looking.

The last woman who was interested in me before this current streak, I coudn't risk it because she is so close to my circle of friends. I can't handle everyone knowing if I fail. Even if she told just one person, it would get out and I found it too terrifying to risk. But it did motivate me to stay clean this long

Those first tries, do you think it was tied to porn or fantasy habits or more youth or nerves or whatever? With the high-speed-internet-related-PIED, did you actually talk about how internet porn may be causing the issue? I hate to pry but I learn a lot here about how men navigate relationships in general and on this issue in particular. When, not if, I get into a relationship, I'm not sure I'd ever bring any of this stuff up, especially if the cravings to binge go away and my body is working.

The girls who would be understanding about this stuff are probably the keepers, but there still has to be a connection. I'm 100% sure the girl coming to town would understand and I would be able to trust her to be sensitive about it either me not getting it up or, more likely, PE.  That's usually been my problem, at least very early on.  Looking back, I'm pretty grateful that women have been understanding about that with me.  But in college, after drunken sex with a girl who was in a group of friends I was with freshman year, I knew word got out after that I didn't last long. For some reason it wasn't as devastating as I think I'd feel today.  So I understand about staying away from the woman who's in your circle of friends, as hard as that must be.

As for "practice," I understand about the idea of seeing a prostitute. Have you considered a sex surrogate? That would be ideal, but I think there are very few of them, and I believe it would have to be coordinated with a regular therapist, so it'd be complicated. You could also try out a therapist that focuses on sexual issues.
I abstained from PMO for 458 days, until June 29, 2018. After several relapses, I have had to start again, last PMO session being on March 31, 2019.

uncreatedlight

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Re: I think I have a problem
« Reply #144 on: December 24, 2018, 12:27:55 PM »
Praying for you, man.  I think that taking drugs to fend off some of the anxiety for the first few times in bed is fine.  You will be fine after that.  Keep bringing yourself back to the moment and away from your fears and let the interaction come naturally...

Detente

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Re: I think I have a problem
« Reply #145 on: December 24, 2018, 04:05:53 PM »
Praying for you, man.  I think that taking drugs to fend off some of the anxiety for the first few times in bed is fine.  You will be fine after that.  Keep bringing yourself back to the moment and away from your fears and let the interaction come naturally...

Thanks. It's one of those issues that I will just have to address is it happens. But I can draw on my experience of having PE go away pretty early on. I have not dealt with ED and I fear that a bit, but we'll see. The most pressing thing is getting the courage to go out there and try.

I'm with my family now, and it's painful and semester to see and hear about people moving forward in life, like family friends younger than me and even my niece. This is a challenge to see if I can maintain self-respect and self-worth regardless of where I am in life.
I abstained from PMO for 458 days, until June 29, 2018. After several relapses, I have had to start again, last PMO session being on March 31, 2019.

NewVerse

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Re: I think I have a problem
« Reply #146 on: December 25, 2018, 12:14:30 AM »

Those first tries, do you think it was tied to porn or fantasy habits or more youth or nerves or whatever? With the high-speed-internet-related-PIED, did you actually talk about how internet porn may be causing the issue? I hate to pry but I learn a lot here about how men navigate relationships in general and on this issue in particular. When, not if, I get into a relationship, I'm not sure I'd ever bring any of this stuff up, especially if the cravings to binge go away and my body is working.

The girls who would be understanding about this stuff are probably the keepers, but there still has to be a connection. I'm 100% sure the girl coming to town would understand and I would be able to trust her to be sensitive about it either me not getting it up or, more likely, PE.  That's usually been my problem, at least very early on.  Looking back, I'm pretty grateful that women have been understanding about that with me.  But in college, after drunken sex with a girl who was in a group of friends I was with freshman year, I knew word got out after that I didn't last long. For some reason it wasn't as devastating as I think I'd feel today.  So I understand about staying away from the woman who's in your circle of friends, as hard as that must be.

As for "practice," I understand about the idea of seeing a prostitute. Have you considered a sex surrogate? That would be ideal, but I think there are very few of them, and I believe it would have to be coordinated with a regular therapist, so it'd be complicated. You could also try out a therapist that focuses on sexual issues.

The first try was a shock to me. Not being able to perform was the last thing I expected. After that it definitely became a fear. For a long time I chalked it up to nerves, and being uncomfortable with my body because I was kind of skinny. Once I was more able to perform, i know on some level porn had a part in it which was why I kept those habits under control. Looking back now, it was more porn than nerves. I could always MO then thinking about me and a girl, but my porn viewing has just about always been girl/girl.  So "natural" for me meant me thinking about her, or watching two girls on a screen. In many ways I always enjoyed it more than real sex, even though I enjoyed real sex a lot. When high speed came around chat took the fantasies to another level. But no, to this day I never talked about it with anyone, partner or otherwise.

I relate to what you were saying about family members whose lives are moving forward, or people younger than me seeming like more of a "grown up" than me.
"It's not real"

Detente

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Re: I think I have a problem
« Reply #147 on: December 25, 2018, 12:20:24 PM »

The first try was a shock to me. Not being able to perform was the last thing I expected. After that it definitely became a fear. For a long time I chalked it up to nerves, and being uncomfortable with my body because I was kind of skinny. Once I was more able to perform, i know on some level porn had a part in it which was why I kept those habits under control. Looking back now, it was more porn than nerves. I could always MO then thinking about me and a girl, but my porn viewing has just about always been girl/girl.  So "natural" for me meant me thinking about her, or watching two girls on a screen. In many ways I always enjoyed it more than real sex, even though I enjoyed real sex a lot. When high speed came around chat took the fantasies to another level. But no, to this day I never talked about it with anyone, partner or otherwise.

I relate to what you were saying about family members whose lives are moving forward, or people younger than me seeming like more of a "grown up" than me.

At some point my MO'ing, even without porn, mainly became based on fantasies I'd conjured up, maybe based on porn scenes I'd watched or just my own thoughts. I think it would be better to get back to becoming aroused about the thought of being with a real woman in a real relationship, thinking at least of a real person and a real connection, like when I was a more innocent teenager, even if that's a fantasy for now. Or a past experience, if doesn't bring up emotional pain. I was able to get fairly aroused while driving the other day just thinking about a one-night stand of sorts I'd had with a friend. It wasn't a real relationship, but the experience was real, and more touching and emotional than what my fantasies are.

On seeing others move forward, yes, I'd seen you post about that and I really identified with it. It's hard not to get down on myself and not think I'm a loser. I also feel some sadness and envy, which I don't feel as much as I did before, when I see the young adults and kids in the family so confident and outgoing and happy, when I didn't usually feel that way and struggled.
I abstained from PMO for 458 days, until June 29, 2018. After several relapses, I have had to start again, last PMO session being on March 31, 2019.

Detente

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Re: I think I have a problem
« Reply #148 on: December 25, 2018, 01:05:30 PM »
It's really up and down being with family. Hard not to feel like a loser. And hearing or thinking about friends, present and past, who are married and have families. Hard not to think about how much time I've wasted, how weird and left out I feel.

At the same time, I get some hope in thinking about pursuing therapy again and particularly cognitive-behavioral therapy, which I've read about and understand, but never really applied it. I hope it could help me when I deal with emotional storms to come in the dating world. And with these feeling of loneliness, low self-worth, pessimism. On the other hand, a typical pattern for me has been to get to a point of despair, frantically search for some technique or plan or method or philosophy that might be "the way," and then basically not follow through and give it a serious try. Just get caught up the week-to-week life, work, groceries, working out, a happy hour maybe, movies, game nights, etc. Kind of go into a hypnotic state until I'm confronted again with how I'm living life, like seeing family during the holidays.
I abstained from PMO for 458 days, until June 29, 2018. After several relapses, I have had to start again, last PMO session being on March 31, 2019.

NewVerse

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Re: I think I have a problem
« Reply #149 on: December 25, 2018, 03:47:47 PM »
Therapy might do you some good, especially since you have had some experience with it. This is my first experience being "clean" during the holidays. It sucks that It either came at a time where my momentum has stalled or if everything caused it to stall. I get that left out loser feeling that you speak of and it's yet another thing to fight off. I don't want to dwell on it, because it never makes anything better. I hope you push through and find a helpful groove to get into.

As far as MO'ing to a person and relationship as opposed to fantasy, I have tried that route. it usually starts out that way and my mind starts searching for fantasy because I get bored in a way. I'm hoping as my brain heals that can change. As much sex as I have had in my life, it has been so long I feel like a virgin sometimes. I'm glad I didn't grow up with high speed internet, because I'm sure I would be.
"It's not real"