Look for the root?

Submitted by hotelcali on
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Well, yet another slip up. Always frustrating to feel like you're watching what happens and not able to stop it. Since this keeps happening, I think I need to rethink my strategy. My abuse of PMO I'm sure would be fun on it's own, but I'm sure there's an underlying reason why I continue a behavior I know is self destructive. I'm gonna do some writing and look myself over to see what I come up with. I'll let you guys know.


OK, TMI time...

More confessions, but probably good for progress. Really getting into my shame about this and it's hand in hand role with my PMO issue. So, while I'm not really into anything really strange porn-wise, I am when it comes to my method. I get my biggest rush when I PMO in a public place, be it a library, car, bathroom, in front of a window, you name it, if there's a chance that I can get caught, I experience my peak dopamine rush. Now you guys know how weird I am :/ Anyway, I did some free writing and this is what I came up with:

My first exposure to PMO that I can remember was from a neighbor who showed me how to MO, I remember feeling shocked and ashamed that I had seen him doing this, I remember that shock, and it's almost the same as the adrenaline I feel when I PMO publicly now. My mom had always tried to shelter me from anything suggestive as a child, so I guess I learned that sexual pleasure was innately wrong. Another friend of mine used to want me to sit around with my pants off while he played with himself, I was uncomfortable with this and never consented, but this was around the time I was finding all my parts, so maybe this skewed my idea of being exposed around people. I dunno. Anyway, in this situation I felt uncomfortable and like I couldn't tell anyone: powerless.

My PMO habit is about power. It's safe. When it's just me and the porn, I'm in control and I don't have to worry about anything because I'm in control. Relationships and girls stress me out, I'm just not comfortable. I guess that feeling of being out of power is opposite what my sexual self has been trained to respond too. Also, sex with a woman is acceptable and not a turn on for me, because there's no shame involved. Shame has become essential for my arousal it seems. Also, my desire for a serious relationship seems frightening because I'm a very loyal person and I'm afraid I would become trapped or something.

So why do I continue this PMO bullshit? For the power and the rush. I feed off the shame, but it just hurts me more when I indulge. because after the rush is gone, it doesn't feel good, I just feel ashamed and worried that someone may have seen me or know. That was another reason I decided to try and go clean. If this continued more or if my behaviors escalated, I have no doubt I would have ended up in jail for public exposure. I've got too much ahead of me to fuck it up with something so stupid.

(sigh) well I hope this insight will help me refocus and if anyone sees any connections I missed, feel free to add anything. If nothing else, I feel better that I've come completely clean in the forum. Now that everything's out there, maybe it will be easier to move forward.

well this is maybe a little helpful

but maybe it isn't.

There are lots of stories about why we are the way we are.

They are stories and not necessarily true or false. But stories. And creating those stories in the present, can hurt our recovery in many ways.

The key really is to stop PMO and figure out why you PMO, what sort of situations result in your PMOing. Then you set up replacement behaviors so you don't get into these situations in the first place.

That and time going by causes the pathways in the brain that get off on this stuff to fade. Then you feed the "good" pathways with lots of cuddling and bonding and sex, especially non orgasmic sex, with a real partner.

The rest of this as I said more stories and really not helpful.

Now you know how Ted Haggard

ended up doing what he was doing. Your brain registers the neurochemical blast of everything connected with your early arousal, orgasm and fantasies - and if "forbidden" is one thing you associate with them, for example, then you can end up seeking forbidden thrills forever, without realizing it has nothing to do with your true sexual tastes.This doesn't have to be a life sentence, because our brains are plastic.

However, if you keep getting off to the things that (at the moment) are giving you the biggest buzz, you continue to strengthen the wiring behind your associations and your arousal. It's that simple.

If you don't "feed the wolf" that likes the public "buzz," it will slowly starve. At that point, your brain will look around for the cues it evolved to find, and they will now seem interesting. Same thing with junk food. If you suddenly stop eating junk, healthy food seems blah at first. But after a while, your brain actually starts to register it as increasingly delicious (as the brain grows more sensitive and less overstimulated with sugar etc.). And then one day, you are offered junk food...and it seems kind of icky. You know your brain has finally rewired.

In short, you don't have to "be" what you get off to, but you have to stop feeding any of the arousal patterns you want to see fade. This can feel like the death of your sexuality at first. But trust me...it isn't. Your genes' top priority is to get themselves into the future. So if you don't "feed" your brain the fare it has wired to, it'll start looking around for something else.

Here' an article on this:

"‘Straight Men, Gay Porn’ and Other Brain Map Mysteries"


This chapter is also about sex and brain plasticity: http://www.recoverypath.ca/UserFiles/File/Acquring%20tastes.pdf