Hello, people of reuniting. It's been quite a while since I have contributed or read anything on this site. Given some recent experiences though, I think the timing is perfect for me to jump back in to this community. I have questions that I hope someone can answer. I also have experiences that I hope can inspire some to realize that change is possible, even when the things you're trying to change have been around for years.
First off, I would like to say, without a doubt, that I am free from the addiction that once held me so viciously in its grip. I'm talking about PMO. Since I was about 12 years old, all the way up until about 4 months ago (a grand total of 17 years), I was hooked on self-pleasure and the amazing feelings that orgasm generated.
But in December, something just decided to shift. At first it was a conscious effort not to give in to the same old patterns, but eventually the urge just faded. Since December, I have probably masturbated 4 times, none of them with the aide of pornography. This is how I know I am finally free from this addiction. Normally if I would go several weeks without masturbation and then do it again, it would cause an avalanche of compulsive behavior and I would find myself falling ever deeper in the downward spiral of self-pleasure and shame. But all 4 occasions have been isolated incidents, with no such "binges" occurring afterwards.
So what has caused this shift? Ever heard of Network Spinal Analysis? It is a form of chiropractic created by a man named Donny Epstein. It involves very light touches to the spine that serve to unblock "stuck" energy in the spine and nervous system. The way my chiropractor explained it to me is that humans, unlike other mammals, do not have physical mechanisms whereby they release tension and stress. Some animals shake, some literally "unwind" their bodies. Humans don't do this. We simply let the stresses, traumas and burdens of daily life build up inside of us (literally- emotional trauma and stress is physically stored in the body) until we are completely closed off from the world, ourselves and our true potential. I don't want to get too deep into discussing this practice though, as it is not the point of this post. Needless to say, in the 6 months I have been working with it, it has changed my life. Please PM me if you would like to know more about Network Spinal Analysis.
So now that I'm free from the constant urge to pleasure myself, what am I doing with my life? Well, I started seeing a new woman a couple months ago. From the first date we hit it off so extremely well. We are now "exclusive" and are enjoying all the great feelings that come with being in a new relationship. The problem? I'm already feeling like I don't want to be with her anymore. We get along great and have an awesome time together, so what gives?
I blame the way in which I have rewired my brain over the past 17 years. With so much excitement induced by thousands of pornographic scenes, I have trained myself to constantly seek novelty. I know that our brains do this post-orgasm anyways, but I think with my chronic use of pornography I have exaggerated the effects. R and I have slept together 5 times now- all of them being amazing experiences, but ending with orgasm every time. We had amazing sex two nights ago, and now my feelings for her kind of just have this "take it or leave it" mentality- like I could care less whether we're together or not.
I have been honest with her about my past struggles with PMO and mentioned to her that I'm getting more and more interested in tantra/karezza, where orgasm is not the goal. She is a very sexually "liberated" woman, and I think the idea of foregoing orgasm seems a bit strange to her. I have expressed the interest in having slower sex and abstaining from orgasm. She wasn't totally opposed to or for the idea, so I decided to just try it out. When we slept together 2 nights ago, it was very slow and deliberate. Neither one of us knows how long it lasted, but there was a very long period of time where we went "somewhere else." As things tend to do, we ended up falling into our old patterns in the end and both of us had an orgasm. Now I'm feeling it. The roller coaster of brain chemicals. I'm still attracted to her both physically, emotionally and mentally, but something is "off."
This is a woman that I was so into during the first several weeks of our relationship. Now that I "have" her, the wiring in my brain tells me that I need to move on. Over years and years of novelty-seeking, I have trained myself to want instead of have. So even though I have effectively overcome my compulsive behavior with PMO, the residual conditioning is still there. When thinking about my desire to have a long-lasting, satisfying relationship, this conditioning is very troubling. Will I ever be able to be satisfied in a relationship?
I think karezza could be the key. There was a time when we were making love the other night that I felt my heart burst open and just couldn't help but smile from ear to ear. Then we both got off and the roller coaster began. I think tonight I'm going to tell her that I'd like to refrain from orgasm for the next couple of weeks, just to see what happens. I don't want to tell her that I've had feelings of not wanting to be with her anymore because I don't want to scare her. At the same time I also don't want to keep having orgasms and potentially ruin something that could be really great.
So here are some questions I have:
For those who have also struggled with PMO and an inability to "settle" into a relationship, how have you overcome this feeling? I really want to be happy with her and enjoy being with her, but my biology seems hellbent on the opposite.
Is there hard science behind the "orgasm hangover" theory? I would love to introduce these topics to her, but is very much a skeptic- meaning she needs hard facts to back things up. We both understand the neurochemistry of orgasm, but I would really like specific studies/experiments to be able to show her that prove the 2-week hangover theory. I think this would make it easier for her to understand why I want to abstain from orgasm and also pique her interest in reading CPA.
Is there any general length of time that it takes the brain to "recover" from pornography use? I haven't used it in months and I'm hoping that its effects will eventually wear off so that I can enjoy a happy, committed relationship without the need to seek novelty.
Any insights any of you have would be much appreciated. And like I said, if you have questions about Network Spinal Analysis, definitely ask me more. It is amazing what I've been able to let go of over these past several months. Peace to you all!