I am a new member to this site. It really is an excellent site. Sex addiction is a serious thing.
I will share my story and experiences with this site. I am in recovery, but if you are attempting recovery too then you know how wild and unpredictable it can get. I hope that my share can provide you with understanding of your own journey. I would identify myself as a sex addict mostly, but it seems like I could and have been addicted to just about anything. But it is sex that is ultimately bringing me down to my knees.
Raised by a single mother. Alcohol use in the extended family. Shame and denial very common, especially concerning sex, even though we were not explicitly religious, there was an overall baptist tone from my mom. My dad would keep porno mags in the bathroom and I would occasionally peak. Though my mom seemed to not like any of this. I would do seemingly innocent 5 year old things and she would call me a "pervert" and seem very unhappy with me. Anything related to sex was a weird thing. When I was a teenager I discovered the treasure of masturbation with late night skinamax. I would spend hours "cruising" the late night stations waiting for the perfect image or scenario. I would stay up late and do this as well as play video games. My working mother let me have free reign because she was concerned with work and ridiculous men. I developed little self-discipline and pretty much did what I wanted. My masturbation later progressed to finding images around the house in lingerie magazines, bikinis, etc. After a year or so, when I was about 15, I found access to local pornography magazines advertising prostitutes. They had enticing softcore images that were way more interesting than the catalogs. About a year later, I fully had access to porno mags and movies and was the normal teenage boy with a stash. I didnt think much of it because everything seemed normal.
I soon discovered drugs and alcohol. Pornography was kind of secondary at this time as I was discovering new ways of thinking. I got way into marijuana. Smoked it every day and drank alcohol for fun. I was soon experimenting with psychedelics and wasnt much a sexual creature at the time, but I was still using the porn on the down time from drugs. This went on until I experienced a situation while high that made me question everything about what I had been doing. It was a kind of religious epiphany with christian tones. Afterwards, I felt very much against drugs and sin and started with an obsession with "purity". The difference now was that I would feel guilty every time I smoked pot or masturbated or drank. But it seemed like I was more or less addicted to these things. I did not stop partying or masturbating, I just felt guilty about it. At this time, I felt a lot of religious type of thoughts. Some kind of crazy, but they seemed very real. I was evangelicalizing my friends, reading religious scriptures, going to spiritual services, everything. I was kind of hooked on metaphysical subjects. I was 18 when I met my first girlfriend. During this time I had my first sexual experience. We were close and the sex satisfied me enough to where I did not need any drugs. Quitting was easy with sex and romance i guess. After about 8 months, I was not satisfied with her and wanted a different partner. We had a messy break up and I was then free to meet another partner. I started partying again and was meeting all kinds of partners and having sexual experiences, but still had this very guilty and unresolved conscious. I hit another bottom and started feeling the religious thing again. I joined a Hare Krishna temple and started following the religion. It was a nice experience, but I started wanting to do my own thing, so I quickly left. I did not stop partying. I was addicted to pot and would masturbate at least twice a day. I was feeling very daring and spiritual and probably high, so I gave up all of my material belongings and set out on an adventure. I bought a van and travelled around the country. I had a "wandering bug" where I could not settle down. I travelled, then worked, then travelled, worked. It was fun, but I ended up noticing things like social phobia, hypochondria, paranoia. I stopped using drugs completely, but i became obsessed again with purity. I thought that I had cancer several times, lupus (because my dad died of this), AIDS, or that the world was going to end.
I stayed free from all drugs for a long time and just worked and kept reading books on religion. I still thought that I had cancer for some reason though. I then got the urge to travel again, this time soberly, so I travelled again and stayed at temples and worked and enjoyed myself and life. During this time, I refrained from masturbation and it seemed very nice, easy, and natural. I was very satisfied at this time. I did this for about a year and moved back to the city and worked and lived a somewhat normal life without drugs. I was masturbating again and wasnt much focused on religious things. Then I became bored and left everything behind again and joined the Krishnas again. More traveling and celibacy for about 7 months. I again felt the need to settle down and I did for the longest time in my life. I was then about 24 and I moved back to where I lived originally during my party days, but I was not partying. I got a job and met my second girlfriend and we lived together. Although we had sex all the time, I was still checking out porn. I became started becoming dissatisfied with her in a way similar to my first girlfriend and I broke up with her. As soon as I did this, I met my next lover and we started a relationship immediately. I was starting school, working, and trying to get my life together. I became increasingly dissatisfied with this lover too, even though she was beautiful and everything I had desired about a partner. I focused on school and did not pay much attention to these thoughts except the one: when you get a chance..RUN! I decided not to live with her because deep down inside I knew I would leave her again. I would spend time at her house, but would come home and need my space. I filled this space with internet porn. It was interfering with our relationship because I was not available, she became needy and depressed and blamed it on her insufficiencies.
As soon as I got accepted to a university, I broke up with her. I was focused on my studying and did not want a relationship. I was also extremely attracted to all the new prospects at my school. I did not return her calls and immersed myself in my studying and was satisfied with porn. After finals I kind of felt bad and missed her. She had moved on with another guy in the time. I ended up taking it very bad. I became very depressed. It was kind of a nervous breakdown. I felt totally betrayed and rejected. I was depressed. My world had fallen apart and the floodgates seemed to open at this point. I was trying to call her. Text her, email. None of it was working. She was moving in with her new boyfriend and I was confused. I went through this for a while. Received some counseling, but refused medication. School was very difficult at this time. I kept up for a while, but as my depression got better, I seemed to slack of a little more with some apathy. I was also using quite a bit of internet porn too at the time.
I would get a call from my ex every once in a while when things werent working out for them, often at 2 in the morning. She even came by to spend the night one night. This happened for a while. I desperately wanted her back in my life. She would give me a little hope, then I would not here back from her again for a long time. I would send her a letter, but I would only here from her when she was upset over her current lover. I wanted desperately to get over her because it had been about a year and I was thinking about her every day. I had gone on a few dates with girls I met on campus or online, but unless the girl the had a ton of problems like me, she didnt want to have much to do with me. I was a sad man and I reeked of it. I was using women I met online because they were needy and desperate and so was I. I felt a lot of guilt over it. So I decided that I wanted to have sex with no consequences and expectations or heartbreak. As I was exploring porn like I always was, I decided that I wanted something more. Porn wasnt enough, so I used a popular classifieds site to find a prostitute. It was the first time I had experienced unattached meaningless sex. I felt very weird afterwards and was convinced that I had HIV, even though I used a condom. I was checked out in a few weeks and I was fine. I was using porn regularly and often bingeing. It was not long before i felt that I needed to experience a prostitute again, so I did. I did this several times and then became obsessed with the ritual of finding and pursuing it until it happened. My school work went downhill and I spent most of my time trying to recover from each experience and obsess with my HIV status. I had taken out a lot of money in student loans and I was shopping and paying for prostitutes all while trying to finish my degree. I found it out of control, and I hit a bottom. I was depressed, confused, isolated, worried, and a little suicidal. I found SLAA (sex and love addicts anonymous) online and started going to meeting regularly. I was still acting out and seeing prostitutes very regularly. I got a sponsor and kept in touch with other sex and love (romance) addicts who had a similar history. I was going out late at night and I was struggling intensely. All I could really do is keep going to the meetings and hope that they would work eventually. I felt like I had no free will, I was totally consumed when the urge to act out hit. I was very scared at this time. despite all of this, with the help of supportive members of the group, I was able to space the frequency of my acting out further apart and finish my degree. I had stopped completely seeing these women of the night, but my addiction went back again to real women and romance coupled with frequent porn use. I met several women that were all sick and into drugs and alcohol. My sex addict was way into this because they were as sexual as they were unstable. I have been in about 4 of these little flings since I have stopped seeing prostitutes. i still get checked out after each for HIV.
Recently i met an unstable girl whom I connected with immediately. We had a lot of unprotected sex and then I did not hear from her. I became a little upset and felt rejected. My hypochondria is kicking in and telling me that I have HIV because she was particularly promiscuous. I have not looked at porn or masturbated in 4 days.
I feel sick, worried, rejected, (the whole low dopamine checklist).
My withdrawal symptoms-
- Lack of energy
- Small cold (or flu, or whatever else my mind can conjure up), sore throat
- weird sexual dreams of ex's.
- lack of motivation (I have an assignment due and i cant stop obsessing over this stuff)
- I have texted my ex's even after a long time
- lack of appetite
I feel like a mess.