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Messages - Psyc Ops

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76
Partners of Rebooters and Addicts / Re: Boundaries?
« on: October 14, 2018, 11:20:21 AM »
Gee.  How to begin?  First, this has to be his decision, 100%.  You cannot decide for him.  If he is addicted, then his decision to "cut back" as opposed to quit, is a decision to stay addicted.  Is he addicted? Does not really matter if you put that definition on him.  It only matters if he puts that definition on him, and then decides to become unaddicted.

You mentioned, so I will ask.  Is porn affecting your sex life?  If it is not, maybe he is not addicted.  Not everyone who watches porn is. 

But, if he has told you he is committed to using porn, which is an honest answer, you have to decide, do you want to plan on a future with an active porn user.  I presume the reason you are here is, in part, to decide whether you want to be with him in the future, as in build a life together, going forward.  At this point, my honest opinion is do not build a life with a guy committed to using porn if the use of porn is causing you a problem.  If it causes you a problem now, it is not going to suddenly quit cause you a problem in the future.

77
Porn Addiction / Re: fail around 14 day
« on: October 12, 2018, 09:00:50 PM »
Nothing is "just you."   You should probably see people as cells in the body of humanity.  We put a lot of emphasis on our individuality, which is OK, but, in reality, we are all pretty much clones of each other.  Sure, our environments lead us all in different directions, but the beginning software and hardware of the brain:  pretty much identical. 

There is no science on the ten day thing.   Quitting porn is about retraining your brain, exercising your brain, not to use every day, not to want to use every day.   It is a process, not an event.  Do I want to use porn, daily, every day, as a means of achieving a dopamine high?  Probably not a good question because this far out,years, no.  But, from time to time do I wish to use it do to that? Yeah.  Thanks to DeltaFosB, I will never forget it can be used to do that.  You need to think of quitting porn as training for a marathon.  You are not ready the first day, but, train long enough, and you will finish it.  There is a point in your future, if you train enough, where you get up in the morning and you don't want it, don't miss it, don't think about it. 

You need to have a "I am quitting forever" attitude. The whole "I am seeing how long I can go" attitude, not especially helpful.  If you are here to make a change, then get determined to make it. Only way to overcome an addiction but....this addiction can be overcome.  I predict you will overcome it. 

78
Porn Addiction / Re: Masturbation without orgasm during nofap
« on: October 09, 2018, 11:55:26 AM »
I am going to chime in and say that during the reboot, all artificial sexual stimulation should be avoided.  If it is not sex, it is not sex, meaning it is artificial sexual stimulation, including MO without P.  The purpose of the exercise is to wean you off your dependence on a dopamine high, so, avoiding them, especially during the reboot, is the entire point.  Get rebooted first, then ask what you want in your life when you are no longer a slave to the habit.



79
Porn Addiction / Re: Masturbation without orgasm during nofap
« on: October 01, 2018, 01:52:05 PM »
Yes it does.  The biggest lesson any addict has to learn is that the addiction is 100% a brain problem.  For a porn addict, aka dopamine addict, we can get a dopamine hit via a lot ways that are not porn.  I would say avoid MO as much as PMO during your hard 90 reboot to make the reboot most successful. 

80
Porn Addiction / Re: Good News About Fetishes Going Away
« on: September 24, 2018, 01:58:33 PM »
In the beginning, when we first realize we have a big problem, we come to places like this with a lot of preconceptions that are inaccurate.  Here, and other similar places, we begin to learn and study the problem, and along the way we begin to see that what we, initially, perceived as a huge problem, is actually quite a small one.  We have a brain problem, one of our own making, though at the time we are making it, no one understands that they are altering their brain's reward and motivational pathways to prefer and even need porn. 

(Note:  no one ever actually needed porn, but to an addict, an addict quitting, if feels like we need it, our brains tell us, essentially, we need it.  Of course, we do not, but that is the reality the addict in recover perceives).

Mr. Wizard asks if there is a difference between porn fetishes and sex fetishes.  It is an excellent question revealing a common preconception most of us have at the beginning. 

The obvious answer to the question, but one not so obvious to newbies, is:  Yes; the two have nothing to do with each other. 

One of the preconceptions we all have to lose to move forward is that porn is an extension of our sexuality.  In their minds a lot of porn addicts almost view their pornography consumption as an extension of their sex life, when, in fact, it is obvious the two things are radially different. 

I believe it was Gabe Deem who said "porn is not sex, sex is not porn."  That is a very obvious statement, but one that is, often, counterintuitive to newbies.  This is often because it takes studying the problem a bit before the problem is understood.

The problem is not actually porn.  The problem is using porn, and having used it this way daily, for years, to chase a neurological brain reaction that involves a lot of processes, but which can be radically simplified and defined as a dopamine high or dopamine rush.  Humanity invented a way, about 15 years ago, with the invention of High Speed Internet Porn, to press that trigger to get that high. 

With regard to porn fetishes, I would invite you to think not in terms of fetishes, but in terms of porn categories.  You know what I am talking about.  All of the sites break down the vids by categories.  If it was just thinking of sex that gave us the high, any type of sex, there would be one link on all the sites:  "Sex."  And, if you could go back in time, 15-20 years ago, the sites that allowed for downloading of porn had far fewer categories then, than now.  In fact, the sites are constantly adding new categories.  Why? 

It is not because, as a species, we are inventing new ways to have sex.  In fact, but for porn, many of the categories would seldom, if ever, actually be engaged in, sexually. 

So, to answer your fetish question, porn is not sex, sex is not porn.  Porn fetish, or category, is not the same as wanting to engage in that behavior in reality.  I will ask, but I think I already know the answer:  Are gang bangs part of your sexual reality?  I doubt they are or that you have ever participated in one.  Your actual sexual reality is probably a lot more vanilla than that.

So, if your sexual reality is one thing, how did you get to a fetish preference in porn--as many of us do, by the way?

This has to do with some concepts you can borrow from AA and NA:  sensitization, desensitization, and escalation.

By the time a person recognizes themselves as addicted most have a porn fetish, and often that fetish involves humiliation and often hints of violence, or actual (acted) violence.  However, their sex lives, if they have a sex life, is still pretty basic, and vanilla.  In fact, most porn addicts do not begin with a porn fetish, but start watching porn that does not shock them, vanilla porn, porn in which they see what they conceive as their "normal" sexuality, whatever that normal is for them.  I suspect, Mr. Modem, this applies to you to.

But, remember, porn has nothing to do with your actual sexual tastes.  Porn is the use of artificial sexual stimulation to chase a dopamine high.  For a second, I would like you to step back, and forget everything you think you know about porn.  I want you to think of porn as a tool.  I would like you to think this thought:  Porn is a tool I use to obtain a dopamine high.  That is all porn ever was, for you, for everyone on the planet who uses that particular tool.  The only reason any human being has ever used, consumed, viewed porn is because porn is a tool they are using to pursue a dopamine high.  But for the dopamine high that porn tool helps produce, we would not watch porn, and it would be boring to us.

So, how do we get to fetishes?  Once you divorce the concept of porn fetish from your actual sex life, and understand porn is just a tool you have been using to pursue a dopamine high, you can begin to understand the answer.

Years ago you began watching porn.  You did not know how it was resulting in a brain reaction because, at the time, no one did.  The brain science did not really exist to explain these concepts when a lot of people began tubing High Speed Internet Porn.  The porn you began watching almost certainly reflected the sex you thought was normal.  Kinda vanilla porn. At that time in your life you were sensitized to that type of porn; the harder stuff may have even repulsed you.  Then, one day, that type of porn was suddenly a bit less interesting.  Still interesting, but it was not giving you the rush you had previously gotten from it.  In terms of the addiction, you had desensitized to that category, whatever that category was.  For reasons we do not entirely understand, in order to get that dopamine high back, that you initially got from the first category, but then did not quite, you had to move on to a new and different category, a somewhat more shocking category, and that category almost always involves some element of humiliation and, at least, implied violence.  When I say "violence" I do not necessarily mean portrayed, actual, violence--though there is plenty of that out there--but it can be something as subtle as implied threat or domination.  It tuns out that once you desensitize,you need something someone more shocking in the category you move on to, to obtain the dopamine high you initially got from the discarded category.  That necessity, of getting your dopamine highs via darker porn is called escalation.  The point I am making is that once you desensitize to the vanilla porn that initially interested you, or got you that dopamine high, in order to get the high again you have to move to some category that is subtly darker, and certainly no longer vanilla.  That has been called "moving through the categories", and do it long enough and you will find yourself watching porn that you see nothing of what you consider your normal sexuality in.  Watch porn long enough, and go through the sensitization, desensitization, and escalation cycle for a few years, and many report needing to watch porn that is no longer consistent with the user's gender and or sexual orientation.  Anyone reading this could ask how and why would that happen.  The answer must be understood in terms of using porn, like a tool, to obtain a dopamine high. Don't think of porn as an extension of your sexuality; think of it as a means to an end, but do to desensitization, the means must constantly be, at least, subtly altered to achieve the same end, the same high. 

And that is how, for a porn addict, the fetish they end up at, by the time they decide to quit, has nothing to do with their actual sexuality.

 

81
Actually, the survey was the best I have seen.  It was open ended, meaning I could write anything I wanted in it.  The questions were not, especially, loaded.  The last survey I took that allowed open comments was so loaded I finished every comment by signing off as a well known serial killer, because it felt like the survey was attempting to "profile" me.  And therein lies the rub, no pun.  A lot of the researchers--not you Gary--enter the inquiry with a false presumption, that being that an addict's brain is different than a normal brain.  Sort of like presuming a serial killer's brain is different than a normal brain.  The reality is that all those brains, all those adjectives, have normal brains whose reward and motivational pathways light up via stimulation that many do not consider normal.  It is not that the brain is abnormal, it is that the stimulation the user uses light up their reward and motivational neuropathways are deemed abnormal.  That has far more to do with environmental events in the addicts background than about differences in their brains, per se.  True, there are differences in an addict's brain and a so called normal brain after the addict has become addicted, but prior to engaging in, and being captured, so to speak, by the addiction, the brains are the same.  It is not that differences in the brain caused an addiction, it is that the addiction causes changes in the brain.  That takes training, which the addict does unconsciously by using, usually for a second. 

The reality is that physiologically, genetically, almost every human brain on the planet, whether belonging to a saint or a sinner, addict or totally sober, serial killer or just the rest of who occasionally think we wouldn't mind someone dead (you know that thought has occurred to you), have, practically speaking, identical hardware and software between our ears.  I like the "addiction as disease" approach because it allows for a treatment model, as opposed to addicts are just criminals, so lock them up model. But, the "addiction as disease" model carries an inherent presumption, that the brain of the addict is "sick", or that addicts have sick brains.  That is a false premise.  Addicts's brains are normal brains, it is just that the addict, almost always unconsciously at the time, has spend a lot of time and effort training their brain to induce a neurological brain event in the form of a reward/motivational neurotransmitter. 

As for the studies themselves, and people studying this particular addiction, I cannot imagine they could improve much on the work of Gary Wilson.  I think, sure, over the coming decades and centuries Gary's work can be refined, but those studying this problem should not consider themselves studying "porn addiction", but simply studying the many ways we (humanity) have invented to use super stimulation to achieve a brain reaction. Researchers should focus less on the button we use to get the result, and more on how getting the result makes us want to push the button. 

All addictions are addictions humanity has invented.  It is not that large portions of humanity are suddenly born with a craving for A, B, or C; it is that A, B, and C have suddenly been invented, meaning A, B, and C are suddenly in our environment (whereas before, they were not), and A, B, and C are available.    Availability should be a key concept in addiction studies, and the history of addictions, because until a thing is available, an addiction to it cannot form.  That is a concept a lot of addiction studies fail to truly appreciate.  That part of our brain which can be abused to obtain a neurological reward evolved to its current form millions of years ago.  It quit evolving because it did not need to evolve further to be successful.  Nature found out a long time ago that rewarding sexual thoughts encourages reproduction.  It worked fine then, it works fine now.  Porn, however, is not a naturally occurring stimuli.  Nor are drugs.  Nor is alcohol.  Nor are cigarettes.  There is nothing that we deem addictive that naturally occurred, or existed, at the time that primitive section of the brain evolved to where it is that allows for the formation of addiction.  I hear you say 'but sex", but while sex can be the basis of "sex addiction", sex addiction would have been an unsuccessful survival trait in that much more hostile environment.  Sure, back then, if they could get it they got it, but getting it in the midst of predators (including other humans) and a challenging environment meant they spent much of their time surviving, rather than "getting it."

One of the concepts I did try and impart to the surveyors was the concept of addiction and efficiency.  There is a reason we use whatever substance we use, and that is because use of that substance, that super stimuli, results in a brain event, a reward.  We don't, often, think of it in those terms, but that is the very simple, and very obvious, reason any addict uses: the reward.  No matter what other adverse consequences using causes in the addict's life, that momentary reward, that neurological, momentary, euphoria in the brain, causes the addict to go back, over and over and over.   We can get that neurological, euphoric, reward via means that occur naturally, including, for instance, sex itself.  However, porn addicts learn (though they may not say it so literally as I am saying it here) that porn is a far more efficient, and less costly, means of obtaining the reward. I don't see porn addiction researchers thinking about the addiction in terms of efficiency, that efficiency, that ability to get what we want with almost no effort or cost, and endlessly, is a big part of how and why this addiction forms. 

Again, anyone reading this, I suggest you take the survey.  Don't do it so they can study you.  Do it because it will help you study you.  If you are addict and you wish to get free, then you are going to have to become a student of your self, of your brain, of the human brain.  Class is in session. 

PS:  No part of this post was meant to demean or insult any serial killer reading it... Hey, I hate Cheerios as much as the next guy; they are sooo fucking positive all the time.  Maybe if they were named depresseddios....

82
Porn Addiction / Re: Sissy porn.
« on: September 15, 2018, 02:55:21 PM »
Let's start with defining success for a porn addict.  For a porn addict "success" is quitting watching porn, completely, forever.  The first step is, for most, the hard 90, 90 days hard mode, no porn, no PMO, no MO, no O, no sex, no sexual thoughts (or minimizing them as much as possible).

I think you will find success more likely if you don't think of it as porn, sissy porn, or any category of porn.  We call it "porn addiction" but thatterm was created before we understood that what is addictive is the brain reaction following exposure to porn, and because porn causes hypersexual thoughts.  It is oversimplification to call it a dopamine high, but, that is OK, addicts benefit from oversimplifications. 

You are not addicted to sissy porn, or any type of porn; you use porn to obtain a dopamine high.  That is the only reason any of us watch, like, or perceive liking, porn. The dopamine high is what we chase.  We get that reaction from good, old fashioned sexual thoughts, it is just that porn allows us to have more sexual thoughts than life without porn.

As for your category, most addicts end up at a category way outside the category they started with (usually vanilla or just all American sex).  It takes addicts a while to reach whatever fucked up category they end up at.  This is due to sensitization, desensitization, and escalation. As with any drug, take the same thing in the same amount all the time, and we desensitize to it, meaning, it ceases to get us high, and to reach the high we got from it in the beginning, we need more or different or both. Same as in drugs and porn. 

So, it is not that you "like"that category, it is that you have desensitized to less shocking categories you watched in the beginning,  and you need something shocking to get your dopamine high.  This is common in porn addiction, it is not just you; it is every single addict.  It will be helpful for you to think of it in these terms.  You don't like a category of porn, you need a category to get your dopamine hit, because all the categories you watched before you have desensitized to. You are not addicted to porn, you are addicted to a dopamine rush that porn makes getting very easy and efficient.  Sexual thought are rewarded with that dopamine high, so, during the reboot, you are not merely avoiding "porn" you are avoiding the thing that gives you a dopamine reward; sexual thoughts themselves.

When you talk about cravings, it will be helpful if you understand what you crave.  You crave a dopamine high. You will, probably, until the day you die like dopamine highs.  If porn had never been invented, you would still crave a dopamine high. Before porn was invented we liked dopamine highs.  All of us.  Humanity.  That is because it is nature's way of encouraging reproduction.  Not just in humans, but in all mammals.  It has worked well since the human brain evolved to its current model.  It is just that, through porn, we figured out a way to amp that up to unnaturally intense and prolonged dopamine highs, higher even than we can get with sex.  Once you have rebooted, if you do it the right way, you will still like that dopamine high, but your brain won't miss getting it through porn, not nearly as much as it does when you first start quitting.  When you first start quitting your brain punishes you for taking that hit away.  Those are the withdrawals.  Those eventually lessen and go away, and if you do it right, one day you wake up, and don't miss it at all, don't think about it. Then you will be free.   Avoid the button, avoid the high, and many report feeling much better after 90 days hard mode.  You can do it. 

Don't panic, don't freak out.  You need to conceive of active porn addiction, of using porn daily, for years, a bit differently than you have.  You need to understand that addiction does not "just happen." We do it to ourselves.  It takes time and effort.  You need to conceive of using porn all those years as training.  You trained your brain to become addicted.  Of course, no one thinks of it in those terms at the time, but that is exactly what we are doing to our brains.  There is a reason there is a picture of a brain between Reboot and Nation at the top of the page.  Gabe understands it perfectly.  Quitting porn, like training our brains to become addicted, takes time and effort, also.  You have to train your brain back to normal.  That starts with the hard 90.  Denying yourself that dopamine rush, which in the beginning you have to do about 400 times a day, is where your training starts. You can do it. 

83
I took the survey.  It was refreshing.  It actually allowed me to answer questions, as opposed to check one through five, when all five are loaded presumptions. 

84
Porn Addiction / Re: Do you need to quit technology to recover??
« on: September 08, 2018, 11:11:01 AM »
@Depressed.  If you have to ditch your tech during the reboot to quit, ditch it.  The reboot is temporary. 

@Reformed.  I agree with everything you said.  And, thanks for ruining clowns for me forever.

85
Porn Addiction / Re: Saturday = 5 months porn free
« on: September 04, 2018, 07:27:48 AM »
Congratulations on 5 months free.  One of the ironies of porn addiction, and quitting, is that once we have quit, we are still left with living, which has plenty of challenges, addicted or not.  Good luck. 

86
Porn addiction and quitting porn addiction can, really, only be understood by porn addicts who have quit.

I am listening. 

Regardless of... the whole fucking thing...great story...epic.  As in totally great fucking story!!!

Much love.

Satisfied. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SJUhlRoBL8M

87
I watched the video.  I liked it.  I think porn addiction must be understood, as you recognize, in terms of two things:  evolution, and the human brain response to our environment. 

Our environment, now, is much different than our environment was when the current version of the human brain evolved.  Back then, in Africa, the human brain, in its current form, was constantly stimulated.  You talk about the "cave man", but you are really just talking about the first of us, us being homo sapiens.  We don't live in caves, anymore, so to speak.  Our brains have not changed so much as our environment has.  When we think of anxiety, now, we think of it in terms of a negative feeling, and it is, anxiety sucks.  But, for the first homo sapiens, anxiety was a successful survival trait; it helped us live in a challenging and dangerous environment.  A cave man who was anxious was more likely to survive that challenging and dangerous environment than one who was blithely unaware of his or her surroundings, and, for instance, did not really care if there were crocodiles in the water; they wanted to sunbath and swim, regardless.  Point being that today we think of anxiety as a negative trait, and for most it is, but back then it was a successful survival trait.  Context is a lot.   

As we existed, when our current brain evolved, we were swimming in stimulation.  You might even say we were swimming in super stimulation.  We were busy running down prey, figuring out how to predate, and running for our lives as other predators predated upon us.  We were, and are, very good predators.  Yet, today, very few of us do predate.  The dopamine rush our brains experienced when the brain got to its current form is no longer experienced, for most of us, for the reasons it was experienced 20 to 40 thousand years ago.  We do not think of that void in terms of missing it, but, as a species, we miss it, and we have found a lot of things to fill up that void, to replace it. 

Don't get me wrong.  There are a lot of places and environments where a lot of that primitive super stimulation can still be found.  Hunting, to an extent.  War, to an extent.  Sex, to an extent.  Eating, to an extent.  But look at western culture.  Look at our entertainments and our distractions.  Violence and sex permeates our culture, on television and in the movies.  It is (mostly) fake violence and fake sex, but just look at the biggest television series and movies playing, and many, maybe most, are in large part an homage to sex and or violence. 

One of my favorite television series is Fear the Walking Dead.  In it the protagonists deal with an environment that is lethal, or, perhaps I should say an environment that has returned to lethal.  the new, lethal, environment in the show is not the first time the human brain has experienced a lethal environment, just the first time the species has experienced such a widespread lethal environment in a long time.  I propose the environment that our current brains evolved in was also lethal.  It is not that we liked it being lethal, but, only that it was, and our current brain evolved to make us most successful in dealing with it.  Consequently, we became lethal as well.  In an interesting twist on addiction, the writers of Fear the Walking Dead created the character of Nick Clark.  At the beginning of the series he exists in our environment, the one we inhabit currently, and he is hopeless addicted to heroin.  By the end of season one, his environment having become lethal, he is no longer addicted to heroin.  In a sense his brain has, by that time, been dropped back into an environment somewhat similar to the environment our current brains evolved in.  He no longer craves external stimulation or super stimulation, because the environment is sufficiently stimulating that external stimulation is a distraction that could lead to death.

The cave man in your video is not, really, a cave man; he is just early homo sapiens who existed in a lethal environment we had not yet tamed.  He did not need super stimulation because he lived with it daily.  We miss that, which is one of the reasons we fill that void with stimulation in the form of those you have mentioned, including porn. 

This explains our desire for stimulation.  We desire it because at the time our brains evolved, we had it constantly, it being stimulation and dopamine response.  Gary Wilson's vid explains perfectly why artificial sexual stimulation can become addictive, but underlying the explanation of addiction, we must understand the human brain evolved in a lethal environment of super stimulation, which is the underlying reason why we crave, or expect as normal, stimulations that trigger a dopamine reaction.  That reaction was present when the current version of the human brain evolved; it is not that it became possible only with the invention of High Speed Internet Porn.   

Thank you for the video, and the insight.  Enjoyed it. 

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