Author Topic: This I vow (until it sticks ). Gay Male 44  (Read 31925 times)

BlueSun

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This I vow (until it sticks ). Gay Male 44
« on: April 13, 2016, 09:48:30 AM »
I've been spending some time reading posts here and in other forums.  The struggle is real.  The addiction is real.  And I've realized the struggle is real for me.  The addiction is real for me.

Brief history.  Standard stuff, not a lot different from others my age.  Magazines as a teenager when I could get them, starting as early as possible.  I realized (and hid - even from myself) that I was more attracted to the men in the magazines than the women. A couple of my buddies and I would 'experiment' with each other.  By 'experiment' we really had an almost every weekend j/o session together, or more.  Porn wasn't involved there, at least not always.

There are a couple of episodes of sexual abuse by older men.  Lots of therapy in later life to make some peace with that.   Contrary to some opinion, I don't think that this abuse contributed to my being gay. ( I'm pretty sure I was born that way.  The signs are all there from a very very young age. ) 

Similar to some people's experience with nighttime Cinemax, we had a satellite dish which opened us to quite a few interesting possibilities.  I still recall satellite S1, channel 18.  No idea what that was, but I do know that when I was in the mood, S1-18 was the place to go. 

Back when the internet was young and the Usenet wasn't ridden with spam, there were some pretty good sites with pictures to download. It took forever and it was a lot of work to get them all pieced back together.  Erotic literature was out there, though.  And I read it plenty.  This must have been '94 or '95.  There was also IRC chat rooms, where I experimented with my first one-on-one text-based chat session with guys from around the planet.  I came out and got pretty sexually wild physically.

By '97 downloading pictures was a part of my routine.  It was fairly standard for me to spend time pants down around my ankles with the latest crop of photos downloaded.  Still no movies.

I think by 2000 or 2001 I had the internet access to start watching streaming movies.  I can't remember how it worked then.  I think real-player or something of the sort.  It opened a whole new world for me.  As my use increased, my ability to orgasm with another person decreased.

Coping with the abuse, however, later in life it helped me justify withdrawing into my own private world of auto-erotica.  Porn seemed to be safe, controllable, didn't require any trust effort, boundaries.  I could stop and start when i needed to and wanted to. I gave myself carte blanche with it.  Then i'd try to stop.  Then i'd go full force. You know the drill.

By '04 and '05 I had memberships to a variety of services.  I remember watching the same videos over and over.  That stopped working for me a few years later and I would need a constant stream of new stuff.  Sometimes pictures fit the bill, sometimes video.  But it eventually had to be new.

I had been in a relationship with my current partner starting in '01.  as time progressed the sexual spark between us went out.  Or more accurately, my ability to stay up to the occasion fizzled out.  Around 4 or 5 years ago, we reached the point in our relationship where we had decided that we were going to open our relationship up.  He had other sexual partners.  I dated the internet.

We spent a year in separate places, not because of a fallout of any kind, but because we wanted to see what independence felt like.  I continued my dedication to internet porn, and by this time any consideration of self-stimulation without porn was out of the question.  Probably had been for years.

I first found your brain on porn about 4 years ago.  Dedicated myself to quitting.  And promptly forgot about the whole thing.

Found it again a year or two ago.  Forgot all about it again.

Most recently my use had escalated to such a degree that I had been watching straight porn ( huh ? ) and some other kinda disturbing stuff.  I didn't have erections at all but i managed to PMO anyhow.  I would get sucked in and hours would go by.  At the end I'd be a mess, my neck would be sore, my back would be stiff, and 3 or 4 hours would have passed. 

I decided to quit.  Joined the forums here and started reading.  Went hardmode for 7 days.  Then relapsed.  Twice one day.  Then the next.  And the next and before I knew it I had a 5 day streak of relapses.  I had dinner scheduled with a friend.  I ended up being late to our dinner because i was looking for the right video to culminate to, while i PMO completely soft.  I lost 5 days without even realizing it.

I quit again on Apr 2.  I counted days for a bit.  I think I got to 7 and realized the counting thing wasn't going to do it for me.  I needed to just take Porn off the list.  For good. 

I've had some interesting realizations since then, but those are for another time. 

At the moment, the only rule i'm following is no porn.  Of any kind.  That, unfortunately, includes science fiction novels starring sexy gay characters (which i decided was ok to read on day 3 of my recovery - ugh - and then realized i was *waiting* for the sex-scene.  DELETE).
« Last Edit: July 12, 2016, 01:20:07 AM by BlueSun »

harry

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Re: On reclaiming my power (43 Year old gay man recovery journal)
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2016, 03:52:24 PM »
Hey BlueSun,

Welcome to the forum. It's a great place for support and recovery.

That your porn use has escalated to viewing straight sex is not uncommon. I've read about the reverse happening to straight guys on this forum and on your brain on porn. It's the never ending need for novelty.

This forum has been exceedingly helpful with my recovery. In fact, the recovery process has become my new addiction for the time being.

Stay strong, and keep posting.


BlueSun

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Re: On reclaiming my power (43 Year old gay man recovery journal)
« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2016, 06:05:00 AM »
I Won't say that this has been easy. But I also won't say impossible.  Mostly, slow and steady, one day a time.

Observations.  Reading the forums has been overall helpful. 

It has helped me realize the obsessive parts.  How often I planned edging sessions, how I would leverage free time.  How habitual the process was.  How easily the routine filled in the empty spaces.  How it began to creep into other parts of my life.

How obsessed I was with my junk, with the whole process in the early days. (don't get me wrong, I realize I'm just getting started). I started reading up on WD and began looking for the more physical descriptions in other guys reboot stories.  Some of it reads like erotica to me.  I was looking for the details, scanning for the juicy bits.  I stepped back from that. I generally don't follow the threads that are overtly obsessed with their genitals or hyper descriptive of fantasies, dreams or other erection related gymnastics and logistics any more. It just doesn't matter, and I suspect if it seems pornish to me, it probably is.  Maybe its a gay thing.

I did MO without any porn, visual stimulus, fantasy. It  was probably the first time in years. Since I can remember   It helped. It felt like there was pressure building.  If I count anything, it will be to increase days in between MO just based on other tales of recovery recommendation.  But again, for me the only hard rule is no porn. It was affirming because it feels like I'm going in the right direction.

Some guys speak of a 'purity' feeling they experience.  I didn't understand, thought it was a Christian thing (I'm not Christian), but I get it now. There is a subtle difference. I'm clean now.

I mentioned the scifi-fantasy novel w the gay main character   that bummed me out .  Someday, perhaps, I'll be able to gloss over a graphic scene in a novel without issue, but that isn't right now. 

I've stepped back from social media about 80%.  The biggest temptation there is scoping out pictures of cute guys.  Don't need that distraction.  Although FB isn't porn, I'm starting to recognize the feeling of wanting MOREMOREMORE pictures. And it's then that I close out or do something else. Or watch a video of animals doing funny things (the cat jumping into the beanbag video is hilarious).  Anything to break the cycle.

One of my favorite shows, Farscape, apparently hits all of my eye candy buttons. I've had to lay that down. 

My brain is so clever in trying to find workarounds to this puzzle, other ways to get a pixel fix. Each one, when or if I get caught up in it, I just try to recognize how it ensnared me, and how I could have avoided. Make a note and move on.

I have told a good half dozen people.  There is no shame in recovery. It's not info I share with everyone, but the less secretive I am about this, the better my chances of recovery.  I will leverage my supporters.

Whether or not return to regular sexual capacity with other men is important. And it'll happen.

  But secondary to regaining an intimate and sensual relationship with myself based in self respect.   Which will happen.  Is already started.

Which is secondary to alleviating the symptoms of lost time, obsession, guilt, pied, separation from who/what I am naturally as a gay man.  And these, secondary to the contribution this addiction has had to my depression anxiety separation and other brain imbalances that have almost certainly contributed to a whole host of maladies.

It will be a long journey. I probably won't be counting my steps, but I will be taking them one at a time.

BlueSun

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Re: On reclaiming my power (43 Year old gay man recovery journal)
« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2016, 10:48:46 AM »
Feeling ok.  Music is sounding good to me lately, in a strange way, like I'm craving it.  I'm also craving sugar which is less positive. 

This is probably the flat place.  Honestly, I'm good with it.  Libido is low, which is perfectly fine; if I had gone through all the strain I put it through, I'd be on strike too. Plus, I don't think i'm really in the place to deal with it anyhow.  Libido can stay offline for a while, ok by me.

Noticing extra time here and there.  That's fun.  I've been filling it with Stephen King novels, Sci fi, journaling and other stuff. It feels like my soul is getting nutrition it didn't get before. 

As far as goals go, to rephrase some of what I said before, my goal is first and foremost to reclaim my connection to myself, my inner power, my original design.  I'm not as concerned with intimacy with others, pied, or that stuff.  I know that will sort itself out in time.  Worrying about those things will only delay their progress.  As it is, I can tell something is changing in my brain.  Something is moving around, something is different. 

Every time i find myself tempted with some kind of porn-like behavior, I chuckle at it.  They're so fricking creative.  I mean REALLY creative ways to get me hooked again.  If i were able to tap into a fraction of that creativity in other way, wow.  I know my brain thinks it wants it, but no can do. As alluring as its attempts are, not an option. 

Facebook usage is down to about 10% of what it was.  Web surfing is too.  I try to stick to sites I know the contents of.  Wikipedia, Rotten Tomatoes, Imdb, a few others.  Just slow and steady.  Slow and steady.  This is a waiting game.  And I'm plenty prepared to do just that. 

BlueSun

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Re: On reclaiming my power (43 Year old gay man recovery journal)
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2016, 11:25:29 AM »
I think i'm going to read this every day for a while: http://yourbrainonporn.com/my-thoughts-rebooting-extremely-long-post

Phase2

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Re: On reclaiming my power (43 Year old gay man recovery journal)
« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2016, 11:35:02 AM »
Welcome buddy. I think you're off to a good start. Sounds like you are learning a lot. This process isn't easy to grasp in the beginning and you will find the journey has many layers. I do think if you want to cure PIED you should stop masturbating. I know that sounds crazy at first, but it's very do-able.

I think you hit on it when you said you craved moremoremore pictures. This is an important lesson. You are addicted to the dopamine. That's why porn, facebook, scruff, tinder, etc. have such a powerful hold on us. We crave that dopamine hit. In my experience, the best way to overcome this is to get rid of all of it from your life, 100%. Temptations lead quickly to relapses. Nip it in the bud by installing a K9 blocker and never letting it get a hold on you.

Anyway, glad you are here. Keep posting and ask question. Read posts in Success Stories too for tips. Cheers.



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Re: On reclaiming my power (43 Year old gay man recovery journal)
« Reply #6 on: April 17, 2016, 12:14:44 PM »
Bluesun,

Welcome and congratulations on starting your journey to freedom from PMO. As you have already realized, there is a wealth of information on this site and the members here are always willing to offer help. I look forward to following your progress.

We can do this!

BlueSun

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Re: On reclaiming my power (43 Year old gay man recovery journal)
« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2016, 02:28:23 PM »
Last night strange fantasies, i was almost trying to force-feed myself these imaginings from old sessions as I lay there trying to go to sleep.  As soon as I would get one out of my mind, another would come.  I spent some time doing a body scan, relaxing each part of my body, like i normally do at night, but this time it was pretty tough.

Today a brand new thing.  This strange sick-to-my stomach phantom feeling.  Like nausea but not.  Like butterflies in my stomach but not.  Almost like that feeling when you get an initial spark with someone, that moment before first contact, except this one is crosslinked with nausea.  Maybe its libido back-firing.  I have no idea.  Very strange.  Whatever. 

I took some suggestions and switched from counting days to the spreadsheet method.  I added daily mood counter so i could see the patterns.  I'll probably post a link here eventually.  For now I'm just putting the finishing touches.

BlueSun

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Re: On reclaiming my power (43 Year old gay man recovery journal)
« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2016, 05:41:27 PM »
Welcome buddy. I think you're off to a good start. Sounds like you are learning a lot. This process isn't easy to grasp in the beginning and you will find the journey has many layers. I do think if you want to cure PIED you should stop masturbating. I know that sounds crazy at first, but it's very do-able.

I think you hit on it when you said you craved moremoremore pictures. This is an important lesson. You are addicted to the dopamine. That's why porn, facebook, scruff, tinder, etc. have such a powerful hold on us. We crave that dopamine hit. In my experience, the best way to overcome this is to get rid of all of it from your life, 100%. Temptations lead quickly to relapses. Nip it in the bud by installing a K9 blocker and never letting it get a hold on you.

Anyway, glad you are here. Keep posting and ask question. Read posts in Success Stories too for tips. Cheers.

@Phase2 - I've been resisting making the commitment to stop MO.  Not that I've really had the urge.  I've commited to no PMO.  Not to no MO.  There's a lesson in my resistance.  I'm going to work on it tonight.

BlueSun

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Re: On reclaiming my power (43 Year old gay man recovery journal)
« Reply #9 on: April 19, 2016, 07:51:57 AM »
As a matter of record - Day 24 since PMO.  Day 6 since last MO.

So last night as I was reviewing my intentions, I discovered that I was trying to negotiate an "easier, softer way".  Program folks will recognize the phrase.  And by negotiate, I mean control.  And control is a means of power.  And at the root of it all, when it comes right down to it, is that so far I haven't done a very good job at that.  To continue the AA idea, I'm powerless over internet porn. 

When I look at these forums, I see several folks with more than a year of success.  Just watched one leave the boards, ready to move on in life.  And for these success stories, there is essentially one thing in common that I clearly didn't want to face: not only did they abstain from looking at porn, which I have accepted, but they also for an extended period of time, abstained from MO and more or less were asexual for a pretty good length of time.  90 days.  Hard mode.

Some of these success stories had partners they explored rewiring with.  And some did not.  But all in all, the ones who really seem to make it are the ones who keep their hands on the wheel (as opposed to other places), and their eyes on the road (as opposed to other places).

So, here goes.  My reboot continues, in hard mode.  I'll reassess the situation then. 6.26.16.  Until then, eyes on the road, hands on the wheel.

Boo

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Re: On reclaiming my power (43 Year old gay man recovery journal)
« Reply #10 on: April 19, 2016, 10:23:10 AM »
Hard mode can be tough but works for many. You come out the other end much more resilient, even if you end up having a slip. I think people who can successfully "hard mode" it for 90 days have a much better chance of keeping lapses from turning into relapses, because there's a BIG difference. Your setting yourself up for some significant progress. Way to go. Just don't give in.

I have to say this as a word of caution. Dabbling in MO leads a lot of people to eventually edging to porn. You yourself admitted to looking for a softer way at one point. The counters can be easily gamed by a skillful addict and lead to a bit of self delusion on making progress. I'm just trying to keep it real for you here. We ALL tend to want to bargain with this thing. Either way, I support your efforts and wish you the best.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2016, 10:27:58 AM by Boo »

BlueSun

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Re: On reclaiming my power (43 Year old gay man recovery journal)
« Reply #11 on: April 19, 2016, 12:59:54 PM »
It's funny you mentioned gaming with the numbers.  Something didn't feel right after my counting this morning.  I counted from when I very began this, which includes 5Pmo and 2mo which I Coventry didn't count.  I'm cheating myself.  I didn't even realize it. Just had a nagging feeling to look at my calendar.  (I arranged it by lunar months) It didn't look right.  And it wasn't.  So target date is hard mode till at least 7/12/16, then I'll have a clearer perspective.

I'm over the numbers game.  90 days clean is completely reasonable. I don't want to obsess on the numbers too much, I realize nothing magical happens on day 91.  And I don't want to shortchange my healing.

That one was completely subconscious.

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Re: On reclaiming my power (43 Year old gay man recovery journal)
« Reply #12 on: April 19, 2016, 02:03:49 PM »
I also think when you are jerking off, you can't help but think about old fetishes or porn scenarios--the very things you are trying to free yourself from. Is it possible to jerk off just to 'touch', keeping your eyes on the chandelier and your imagination free of old well tread sexthoughts?? I guess possibly, but not probably. If you really want to give your brain a long rest, so it can recalibrate itself, hard mode has got to be the way to go. Just work yourself to the flatline and then ride it out. When your brain and dick start to sync up and the horniness returns to the point where you feel like Tyrannosaurus Sex again, you'll know--and then it's time to rewire.



BlueSun

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Re: On reclaiming my power (43 Year old gay man recovery journal)
« Reply #13 on: April 20, 2016, 12:33:09 PM »
I've had relatively little temptation so far.  Probably in the flats which is fine by me.  I realized yesterday that I was trying to negotiate an easy path through this, one where I had to do as little as possible to heal.  I even discovered that I was fudging my numbers after deciding to Go hard mode for 90 days.  Subconsciously sabotaging my recovery. I recalculated the real 90 days end date and marked it in my calendar.  7/12/16.

And I realized I've been taking the easy road for a while.  Bad day?  PMO.  Good day? PMO.  Bored? PMO.  Any uncomfortable feeling? Pmo. Dealing with abuse issues from childhood?  Aah, PMO. Intimacy issues? PMO.  I remember deciding that I was fine with my porn use, because intimacy with people was just too complicated.  Kinda sad.  And, even if it's true, the cost is too high.

Pied was an annoyance and a red flag but it isn't why I'm doing this.

The very fact that I've never given my junk more than a week off...  It was one of those lightbulb moments.  For my entire adult life I've favored fantasy and porn as my sexual outlet.  Channelled all of my sexual energy there.  And when that ran out began siphoning energy from other parts of my life.  No area was not robbed at one point or another. Depression.  Fibromyalgia.  Fatigue.  Anxiety.  All related.

I am generally not the kind of spiritual person that thinks there is a plan for me, a true form, an authentic pure spirit.  That's all philosophical bling in my opinion.  I am however a meditator.  And my observer sees that there is an essence, a raw and vital component of my being which has been hijacked into providing dopamine hits instead of serving me in pleasure and love and intimacy.

I don't want to write about and be obsessed with MW and WD and such.  But i hope they come because they seem to show up when others are healing.  Today in the shower there was a little stirring down there (the shrinkage thing is bizarre but true for me).  I stood there and felt it coming on.  Realized I've never allowed myself to reach this point, to have this feeling, to learn to control it, to realize that because I may have an erection it doesn't mean i need to do anything about it.

What i needed to do was finish getting ready for work.  So that's what i did.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2016, 12:42:14 PM by BlueSun »

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Re: On reclaiming my power (43 Year old gay man recovery journal)
« Reply #14 on: April 21, 2016, 01:03:44 AM »
Hey BlueSun,

Great to have you here, and see your progress. Sounds like you're doing really well, you have a good grasp of what you're up to, and the intelligence to find your way.

You said earlier that this is a waiting game and that has been my experience. I think if you commit to hard mode it's easier in the end. The longer you wait, the more benefits you discover, and the more understanding you gain. Waiting becomes its own reward.

Keep going! Wishing you well.

BlueSun

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Re: On reclaiming my power (43 Year old gay man recovery journal)
« Reply #15 on: April 22, 2016, 12:14:35 AM »
And after being honest with my math: Day 8
Under the weather yesterday. Still a little bit today. Don't think it's related to this, just stomach intestinal stuff. 

In the Flats.  About a 7/10 in mood which is just fine. Deleted Facebook account. Oddly liberating.

Moments of cloudiness. Insights often. Glimpses of freedom.  But 8 days seems like an awful long time. 

I would tell you I want to feel normal again. But I don't really know what that is like.  I don't know what my moods and energy levels are like when I'm not sapping away all my energy.  Don't know what it feels like to be genuinely horny honestly.  Even writing it feels strange.  I have always reacted to impulse by MO early on and the by PMO as the years progressed.  I watched my tastes change from week to week, then from day to day, then nothing turned me on in the end.  When I am honest I have really redirected every single ounce of my sexuality to PMO.  Expressing it in any way at all outside of that just never occurred to me any more.  No innocent flirting.  No not-so-innocent flirting.  No romance, no sensuality.  Just the O and all that brought on the O, even if I had to struggle to get there.  And in the end with one of my partners, it would only happen every third or fourth time.  The rest felt incomplete, unfinished, diminished.  I never needed to feel sexy, never needed to even try.  Which meant the gym didn't matter. 

All this is a spaghetti dialogue, wandering in and out of the same and different points.  Mostly related.  Random-ish. 

I think about what would have happened if I took a different route.  Saw men as people rather than pecs, biceps, ass, and other parts. Enjoyed closeness rather than chasing the O. Treasured moments of togetherness rather than jerking it with my pants around my ankles.

I am angry. And ashamed. And relieved. And proud. And hopeful. And Leary. And distrustful.  And I have faith.  And I am scared.   I remember that I am making the right decision right now.  And I don't know what it will be like.  And it is frightening.  And I may fail.  Or I may succeed, and become who I set out to be.

In the first sentence above I think I wanted to say that this isn't too bad.  But I'm terrified.  Not of anything in particular.  Porn has served me as friend, confidant, lover, and eventually tormentor and maybe someday assassin.  Saying good bye to it, opens so many spaces that it once filled.  The place I went for refuge in sadness, grief, celebration, love, solitude, fortitude, to bring me up, and to put me to sleep.  So many spaces.

Only someone else who has been through this can know.

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Re: On reclaiming my power (43 Year old gay man recovery journal)
« Reply #16 on: April 22, 2016, 07:41:58 AM »
Nice post Blue Sun.

The interesting thing about the reboot is that everyone here pretty much starts out with the same goal: to end our erectile dysfunction. In the beginning, if we could do that, we'd probably happily go back to porn and not think too much of it any more. Our thinking is that simple: We just want our boners back. But for those of us that get far enough along, once you break the chains of porn, so many other possibilities and questions arrive. It's more of a rebirth than a reboot. The guy inside, whose every mood and feeling is controlled and sated by porn, is suddenly free. Your libido is free to act naturally--perhaps for the first time ever. Your time is free to pursue other interests. Your energy is free to plug in to productive pursuits. Your addict mind is free to see clearly and get off other addictive things like alcohol or pot or facebook or video games. It's simple in the beginning, but in the middle and end, it's complex but also exciting, energizing, hopeful and rewarding.

So don't get too terrified. I bet you are going to like how you continue to evolve. You sound like you are approaching this the right way, with intelligence, information and determination. This is going to work for you. Enjoy this ride!!
« Last Edit: April 22, 2016, 09:52:08 AM by Phase2 »



BlueSun

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Re: On reclaiming my power (43 Year old gay man recovery journal)
« Reply #17 on: April 23, 2016, 04:41:16 AM »
Today as I lay in bed to go to sleep I decided to test the waters and see what works downstairs.  Was pretty sensitive and loved that part.  Flag was only flying at half mast.  And then I felt myself beginning to fight to get to the O. It wasn't fantasy based at all... all sensory based.  But still, fighting for the O, that same uphill battle from before, gotta get there, gotta get there.  Fortunately, my equipment gave out and my rational thinking kicked back in and I was able to stop, roll over and sleep for a while.  I'm not going to count this as a reset because it was a really good lesson and no O.

Lesson one.  Try to leave it alone. If I hadn't started, I wouldn't have had to fight off the MO impulse.  I haven't really been horny, just.... restless? antsy? some-emotion-that-i-dont-have-a-word-for-but-its-damn-uncomfortable.

Lesson two.  I didn't read or post to the forums before nightfall today.  Not sure if there's a definite correlation but it looks like there is.

Lesson three.  My rational decision maker is not so strong.  I need to do pre-frontal-cortex pushups or something. 

Status update.  Day... I dont really know.  week 2 i think.  Mostly flat-ish.  Really, no activity downstairs.  Little desire.  LOTS of realizations.  I objectify men a lot.  A LOT.  Bummed about that. It's one thing to notice someone who's attractive.  It's quite another to try to make out the topography of his basket, which apparently is my favorite mental pass-time. 

Read on now-man's posts about the morality of this and non-traditional relationships.  My partner and I are in an open relationship.  He and I have not really had a physical spark between us sexually for quite a while.  I'm not sure how much of that is my porn-addiction, and how much of it is being with someone for 15 years and discovering that we're partners, husbands, best-friends, companions and that the physical parts were such a small part of our total relationship that we stopped worrying about it.  When we opened our relationship, I basically continued my affair with Sean C***'s boys.  I've had one other partner than my husband in our entire time together. 

When it boils down to it, I'm just not that outwardly physically sexual of a person.  And I wonder if its because i've been routing all that mojo to pixel-of-the-week, or if that's really what i'm like deep beneath this brutish exterior. 

Time to go back to bed. 

Boys and girls, this sucks.  And its good.  But it sucks. 
« Last Edit: April 23, 2016, 09:59:41 AM by BlueSun »

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Re: On reclaiming my power (43 Year old gay man recovery journal)
« Reply #18 on: April 23, 2016, 09:27:37 AM »
As I have been reading other guys recovery journals, sometimes I would think "Man, quit being so obsessed with your penis and move on."

Today, as I reread my recovery journal I think to myself, "Man, quit being so obsessed with your penis and move on."

For 31 of my 43 years, I have jerked it daily, just letting off steam I'd tell myself.  For most of that time, while my right hand was doing it's job, the left had a magazine, then a remote control, then a mouse, then a tablet, then a phone, full of unexplored tabs of escalating disquiet.  This habit wasn't built in a day. 

One day at a time.  And today, one hour at a time.

I was watching Battlestar Galactica, and was looking to find an actors real name, and to see if he had done other work.  Clicked on a picture of him in tshirt and jeans, just a normal fully clothed pic.  I stared at it, frozen, hungry.  My eyes crawled all over the photo, crotch, biceps, eyes, smile, neck, hair, waist, arms, fingers.  That is the pull. And for a moment I was transfixed by artificial beauty, stirring in my stomach, hesitant to do anything but stare. Even thinking about it now stirrs my stomach.

After who knows how long, I came here to post.  My stomach still butterflying, my throat tight, slight movement you know where.

Hating this. 

Deep breath. 

Read a message from another guy in my inbox, thank you for the support.

It's like discovering there's a monster living in my head. 

I've tried to talk to other guy friends about this.  Mostly and probably not on purpose it is dismissed in passing.  "Addicted to porn dude? You're a guy, of course you are!" Yeah, friends, that's not what I meant. 

BlueSun

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Re: On reclaiming my power (43 Year old gay man recovery journal)
« Reply #19 on: April 23, 2016, 11:48:20 AM »
MO.  I'm playing games with myself now.  No hands.  No porn. No fantasies.  Managed it anyhow.

I remind myself the nofap thing is specifically to heal my neuro-pathways. 
I remind myself that this is not a moral dilemma.
I remind myself not to feel guilty or weak or ashamed (but I'll be honest, I do).
I remind myself that  17 Days without PMO is a win. 
And that 10 days without MO is probably the longest I've ever gone.  Definitely the longest I've ever gone.
I remind myself that this started last night with my exploration.
And i remind myself, that this is how we learn, by testing the waters.

As Lyon said so often, Porn is not an option.
Healing is an option. 

I added a counter here.  I have a spreadsheet started.
I will continue to read literature.  Continue to post (even if it feels like all I'm doing is whining -- sorry guys).
I am not going to surrender to this. 
I will win my life back.
90 days may seem like a long time, but its a personal challenge. 

90 days hard mode isn't going to kill me. It isn't going to damage anything.  I wont suffer in any way that is life-threatening.
And it will heal me.  As it has healed so many others. 
I can do this.  And I will keep trying until i do. 

now-man

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Re: On reclaiming my power (43 Year old gay man recovery journal)
« Reply #20 on: April 23, 2016, 03:32:16 PM »
Hey BlueSun,

You're doing really well, and it sounds like it's going exactly the way it's supposed to. You said:

"Read on now-man's posts about the morality of this and non-traditional relationships.  My partner and I are in an open relationship.  He and I have not really had a physical spark between us sexually for quite a while.  I'm not sure how much of that is my porn-addiction, and how much of it is being with someone for 15 years and discovering that we're partners, husbands, best-friends, companions and that the physical parts were such a small part of our total relationship that we stopped worrying about it.  When we opened our relationship, I basically continued my affair with Sean C***'s boys.  I've had one other partner than my husband in our entire time together. 
When it boils down to it, I'm just not that outwardly physically sexual of a person.  And I wonder if its because i've been routing all that mojo to pixel-of-the-week, or if that's really what i'm like deep beneath this brutish exterior."


There is a fair amount of moralizing in some postings here. I feel for guys who have that whole element added to the process - it's not necessarily helpful for me, and it sure looks like it makes it harder for some guys than it might be otherwise. But I don't know anyone else's process. And I have a lot of respect for everyone's intentions. There are many ways to get the results we're all looking for, and whatever helps you is a good thing.

If you go through with hard mode for 90 days, you may be pleasantly surprised with what you find on the other side. It's really not all that surprising since you're already wondering if your lack of sexual spark is "because i've been routing all that mojo to pixel-of-the-week". That's what I was doing before my reboot. But for me, it has still come as a very pleasant surprise to discover that, yes, since I completely stopped routing the mojo that way, a whole new (old) internal sexual mojo has been resurfacing. It's more personal, organic, intimate - more of a connection with my own real sexuality, which naturally leads to a turned on connection with my partner (and with some hookups I've had as well).

It's great that you're noticing the degree to which you objectify men, and especially the auto-pilot setting it's on. I totally relate. I don't think it's something you have to worry about or figure out. I practiced with a "2 second rule" some other guys mentioned in here (when you see something 'hot' look away after 2 seconds - you don't have to pretend it's not there or beat yourself up for looking, in fact you get 2 whole seconds of appreciation. Just look away then.) For me it wasn't about changing my behavior forever, it was about giving myself a rest right now. It could be a helpful tool for awhile. These days I don't really think about it, and it's not an issue. And I see and appreciate attractive men.

You said:
"90 days may seem like a long time, but its a personal challenge. 
90 days hard mode isn't going to kill me. It isn't going to damage anything.  I wont suffer in any way that is life-threatening.
And it will heal me.  As it has healed so many others. 
I can do this.  And I will keep trying until i do."


I think you're right on. There are a lot of benefits available, things you're going to like way more than jerking to porn. I think it's much easier and faster to get there without MO. Find whatever you need to replace M with, whatever you need as a distraction when the urge hits - go for a walk or run or exercise, read Your Brain On Porn, post here, meditate, contact a sobriety buddy. Or my personal favorite - cold showers! But keep your hands out of your pants, play the waiting game, and reap the rewards.

Feel free to reach out or message. Wishing you well man. Keep going!
« Last Edit: April 23, 2016, 03:47:46 PM by now-man »

BlueSun

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Re: On reclaiming my power (43 Year old gay man recovery journal)
« Reply #21 on: April 24, 2016, 08:04:22 AM »
Day 23.

Ok.  New day.
Yesterday I had an MO situation. 3 times, all solo. First two no fantasy. Third had flashes of fantasy, some from PMO days, and some imaginary. Last night I was pretty upset about it. I logged in to update last night, saw some posts in my journal,  (THANK YOU) and decided to sleep on it. 

Heres the deal.  I've been porn free for 23 days.  Thats a huge win, the longest streak ever.

And yesterday I MO three times with NO porn. 23 days ago I thought that would be impossible, couldn't have forced that to happen no matter what I tried.  Without P my body was not in the game at all.  That also is a huge win.  Its growth. Flogging myself for not making hard mode 90 days on the first few attempts is futile.

Beating myself up for beating off is just as unhealthy as the addiction I'm repairing.  I'm dealing with raw power from within me that hasnt seen anything but artificial light since whoknowswhen. Achieving 90 days hard mode is a great goal, it has served many in the healing process and I shall not let it out of my sights.  But I must stay focused first and foremost on the primary goal: identification and elimination of Porrn and Porn Subs.  Thats Goal 1.

Ok so I didn't make 90 days hard mode.  Goals goals.  The point of this is to teach my body to behave like a normal gay man's body, and I am on my way.  I repeat, I am on my way, I am healing, change is happening. I have routed just aboit every imaginable emotion to the need for PMO. 

Remove the P, I can expect some unexpected urges to MO.  I acknowledge that MO may slow my recovery time. And I need to build in some healthy coping mechanisms to disarm the urge, distract the attention, and give it a chance to heal.  Im not giving myself blanket MO hall passes here, just trying to stay focused.  First no P or PSubs. Then 90 days hard mode or as much as I can handle while my healing continues. Right now I see that on day 10 hard mode, I've relapsed on two different cycles.  That in itself is learning.  Im making a day full of plans 10 days from now.  I will be  otherwise occupied that day.  In order to reach 90, I need to reach 11.

I can see that my perspective is moving all over the place.   Im glad I'm getting this down in a journal, this will be useful for my growth as I look back . I began this entry with the day im on in my recovery... 23.   I have a counter in my signature that reports 23 days since I watched porn, 6 hrs since my last O.  Although I have a spreadsheet documenting my recovery,  my main goal right now is to start living my life. So my journals will hopefully reflect that too.

Always, we begin again.

emotional.   I think I emptied out my libido yesterday.  Reading Wack by Noah Church. It's going to be a good day.

blinker12

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Re: On reclaiming my power (43 Year old gay man recovery journal)
« Reply #22 on: April 25, 2016, 08:39:07 AM »
Thanks for your journal, BlueSun! I'm a gay man about your age (41) at the beginning of my own reboot. Will look forward to continuing to read about your path.

BlueSun

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Re: On reclaiming my power (43 Year old gay man recovery journal)
« Reply #23 on: April 25, 2016, 10:45:20 PM »
I looked at my counter and the date for the last MO was wrong by one day.  I sighed and thought, 90, 91, I really need to work on #11 first. Decided not to mess with it.  I think that my obsession with the number of days feels less important.

As for MW or any activity down south, back to the shriveled actionless sleeping soldier. Waiting for the chaser, so far so good, but I've heard its rough. I keep having these thoughts of what I would have looked like on my 3 MO binge day had someone entered the room.  Hungry  desperate in need of a fix.  I imagine myself standing there looking down at myself, elated that my body was working without P with touch alone after SO LONG, but more and more disappointed as one MO trial run turned into a 3 time marathon performance.  One just wasnt enough.

But the disappointment is short lived.  Compassion takes its place soon after.  How many years have I stuffed every uncomfortable emotion into this activity.  In some ways, my body is just doing what it knows how to do to deal with whatever.  I havent given it new routines yet.  Havent given it new outlets, new tools.  Ive only taken some away. 

Not using P isnt the big deal at the moment. Figuring out what to do with the cravings as my brain rewires, finding healthy means of reaching joy, and of blowing off steam, in essence, the other 98% of my life that addiction drew its power from

I had no idea that receiving messages in my inbox would be as supportive as it is.  No.  Idea.  Or that seeing a post on my story, hearing 'yeah, man, me too'. 

I read stories of fathers who are raising sons and daughters.  And the fathers aee getting unhooked.  And wondering when or if its time for the subject to be breeched and what that will look like.

I read stories of HCOD and oh guys I feel for you! I cannot even imagine.  How scared, lonely, how broken it must seem.   

And most importantly, I read success stories of all of these situations.  Cases where all of it was reversed.  All of it.  That is a rare deal in life.  A rare deal indeed.

Stay strong gay men!  Stay strong straight men!  Lets give this some time to work, keep our eyes on the future, on recovery, on each others success stories.  When were on the other side, again centered in our sexual beings, then we can look back and go, phew! And know we did it together.

BlueSun

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Re: On reclaiming my power (43 Year old gay man recovery journal)
« Reply #24 on: April 27, 2016, 02:00:27 PM »
Check in for the day.  Slow and steady.