It's coming together, but more to figure out.

Submitted by Cole on
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Greetings. I recently joined up here after reading several of the articles on this site. And I have to say, thank you. It has opened my eyes to a few things.

First some relevant history. I'm happily married for 27.5 years now. But I've also masturbated on average daily since around eleven. My wife and I have sex around one to two times a month on the average, assuming no other problems get in the way of it.

Porn hasn't been a huge part of my sexual experience, but it has come and gone. I'm addicted to it on one front, but no so much that I can't quit. The usual cycle is I'll be off of it for a period of time, then one day, usually when I'm having trouble getting there, I'll think, "I could go over real fast if I watched some porn." So I'll give in to the idea. Being fresh, it feels so good that I start returning to it. Then at some point I'll realize that I can't hardly get there at all unless I'm looking at porn. What I usually do is masturbate for a while, and then if I don't arrive and I get tired of waiting, I'll then go watch the porn. When I've realized that, usually I'll think, "I'll stop because I want to get back to the good feelings minus the porn, I know I'll have to put up with feeling 'dead' for a while, but it will eventually get better when my body readjusts." I've known for a long time that watch porn has that effect on people, but it always starts out with me thinking, "Just this once so I can get there this time."

But I've realized lately that I've been on the porn cycle too long, and a renewed conviction that I shouldn't be on it at all. But always in my mind the desire for it says, "What does it hurt? It's innocent enough." Well, thanks to the info on this site, I have plenty of reason why it may hurt me, more than just a moral issue. So a few days ago I decided to cut it off, and not go back. I've done that before, so the real key is not allowing my brain to convince me to look again as I have before, even after a few months of not looking. It's now so easy to access it than it was when I was a teen (prior to the Internet and all) that one has to rely upon self-discipline. But it helps to have some real scientific reasons and evidence as to why I shouldn't look again. My brain can no longer say with a "straight face" that it is innocent entertainment.

So, I think I was on track to a more firm addiction with porn, and I would say I had some addiction to it, it is a temptation, but I don't find it too hard to stop watching it even as I continue masturbation, so that is step one, where I start.

The other area I start is I decided I don't do enough bonding with my wife. Not like when we were first married, or dating. So I've worked to give her more hugs, kisses, caresses, etc. She noticed too. She said, "You want it now? I can't because I've got...." "No," I told her, "I just wanted to hug you." Unfortunately, those activities had become so linked with sex that any physical touch triggered the, "He wants it" reflex in her. I know that will diminish if I keep this up. But I think doing that if the science I'm reading is right, will help with the last step.

And that last step is masturbation itself. As I've mentioned, I've done it regularly since eleven. There have been several times in my life whether through guilt or just the realization that I was addicted to it, that it would be a good thing to gain more control over, that I have tried to stop. The longest by far was a month. In other times, it was a week or two, often a matter of days before I returned. As a matter of fact, the last time I tried, I didn't last a day. That was several months ago. A few years, actually.

I will say that I don't appear to experience some of the down time others do. I don't know why. When I'm finished, I don't feel depressed, I feel contented. I enjoy all of it, start, trip up, climax, and the after glow. Consequently, it is hard to find a reason why I should stop.

Mainly because I think I don't ever feel like I'm experiencing down time. I feel as energetic as ever (though lack of sleep could be a cause of some lack of energy at times). I'm a creative person. I write fiction (I'm no big name anyone would recognize if I were to tell you my true name, though). People marvel at the imagination I have. So I have a hard time believing it is affecting my creativity to masturbate everyday.

Then again, hardly ever having lived without it, it could be I would have more energy. The times I've stopped for a period, I wasn't checking to see how I felt overall, energy levels, etc. and I may not have made the connection if I did. So it could also be that I've simply become used to a lower energy level as "normal" and learned to work in that state, and am really living under "normal" balance for chemicals. And maybe I would be an even more creative and amazing writer if I stopped.

There's really only one way to find that out, but I have to get myself ready for that. For now, I'll cut the porn, and do more bonding activities with my wife. And when I'm ready, give myself a break from masturbation to see if I can detect the results. Two weeks should be enough time to notice a difference, right? If the cycle is about a week. If I have a goal, like running a test, it might provide more motivation to actually follow through on withholding.

But I'm thankful for the information here, and the apparent supportive community. Maybe with some help, I can eventually feel like I can stop masturbation when I want to. That's really what bothers me about it even though I enjoy it, I know right now it is near impossible to stop. I've pretty much given up mentally on that count after countless times of trying to stop and failing. And while I enjoy the practice, and don't think I want to give it up completely, I do want to say, "I'm going to abstain for a week, a month, a month and a half, or even just one day" and be able to follow through on that. That's my goal. I knew I had become really addicted when I couldn't refrain for even one day.

Thanks for listening, and I'll keep reading.

Thanks for your

heartfelt post, Cole. I've enabled you to blog in case you want to share your journey there instead. Sounds like you'll work it all out for yourself due to your willingness to experiment.

Well put!

Hi Cole,

I'm new here too, but am already struck by the refreshing openness and support that goes on around here :) I work as an addiction counsellor and had my own experience of compulsive porn use, so I can certainly relate to your post.

What you say about the habit 'coming and going' is spot on. It can be tempting to think of porn addiction as an all-or-nothing hijacking of our time, energies and focus. Some people are living in this extreme, but the addiction can be much less intense. The craving to absorb porn might only come around every few weeks or months, or in a specific set of circumstances.

As Marnia commented, it sounds as if you have a good handle on the nature of your own habit cycle. A big part of breaking the habit is learning to recognise and manage the persuasion tactics of our own brains. When the habit instinct is telling us that watching porn again will bring us heaps of satisfaction and excitement, even when our own experience has proved otherwise. We can learn to develop an observing self that steps back in these moments and says "Aha! It's that old misplaced anticipation again!".

So. Looking forward to hearing more about your journey, and wishing you every success.

Good luck!

I'd like to suggest you to abstain completely for 3 weeks (It sound's difficult first, but it becomes really easy after 2 weeks).. If you want to experience real difference in your creativity.
Good luck!

Hi Cole,

Welcome! Thanks for sharing your experiences. It's true that different people are affected very differently by porn and masturbation. For example, in the literature there are documented cases of men who have no refractory period at all and can have 20 orgasms at a stretch on one hand, and on the other extreme are sufferers of post-orgasmic illness syndrome in which some people are practically incapacitated for days following a single orgasm. In your case it will be interesting to see how you feel after abstaining for a while. After hearing your story, it sounds like you're in pretty good shape, but I'm not convinced it hasn't affected your marriage at all. For one thing, you report having sex with your wife about once or twice a month, which is something like 1/8 of the average frequency. That's not to say how often it *should* happen, or that you two are unhappy, but I think that if you cut back on the P/M and increased your bonding behaviors, the two of you would be able to enjoy more physical closeness than you do currently. I guess we'll see what happens!

Thanks for the support!

Appreciate the comments.

I am aware that we don't match the "average." Actually, I'm not sure what that currently is, but several years ago I heard it was four times a week.

Mostly this is due, and I've come to realize this over time, that my wife just isn't wired to think about doing it much. Unlike before, if I broach the subject, she is open to doing it if we have time, and we have a standing Saturday time...but unfortunately she sometimes has client work to do that day, or she's in the flush part of her cycle, etc. So it ends up being closer to twice a month than four. It wasn't what I expected going into marriage. I saw no reason we wouldn't be doing it every night barring circumstances preventing it. So with that, and her initial shame about sex, there was some sexual stress in our relationship for the first several years of marriage.

But, the way I'm wired, at least how I have wanted to be wired, is frequent sex. If we had been doing it every night, I guess I wouldn't masturbate much. I thought that was how it would be. But since it isn't, the masturbation fills the in between times. So I've just accepted that up to this point. Now it's possible with my experiment of doing more bonding actions, that it may change for her. But I'm not going to push her on that front. If she changes, she does. If not, I can live with that.

And on the quiting masturbation front, I know it's possible to stop. I have to get into the right frame of mind for that. I'm not there yet. But I'm hoping to get there. But right now, I can't just stop by pure will power. I have to get my brain to think about it the right way first. Right now, if I miss an opportunity to masturbate, I feel deprived. Like it was a wasted chance.

But I'm doing the stop porn thing now, in part because I know I can do that, as I've done it before. And two, because I think for me, if that is out of the way, it will be easier to get my brain and thinking to the right place. I'm also hoping that the bonding activities with my wife will help get me there as well.

I also had another thought today. In part because when I have gone to the porn is after masturbating for a while and not getting there, as I mentioned. So I knew after giving up porn that the time would could when I can't finish. And that has happened today, for the first time (I think there may have been one time Saturday...can't recall for sure).

One, after going for a while this morning, I did have an orgasm. But it was nearly "forced." And unlike the usual, I wasn't left with tingly and content sensations, more like a slight soreness, but not exactly. More like it really wasn't ready for that and complained that I forced it. But I didn't look at any porn to do it. So twice today I played around, and it felt really good, but I never arrived, and eventually just stopped. No going to the porn.

That made me think, if one practice might be to do something akin to the katan... (can't recall how to spell it), but with just myself. Not making the goal to reach orgasm, and at a certain point train yourself to just stop and give it a rest. I'm wondering if that might help someone to be able later to say "no" when they see an opportunity and want to, but want to refrain for whatever reason. The idea being getting used to controlling it that much could help to control it all the way, if that makes sense.

Thanks!

May I ask

Cole, welcome, and I wonder if I might ask a question of you?

Does your wife know about the porn and the daily masturbation? If so, does she tell you how she feels about it?

rediscovered

She knows

about the daily masturbation. I don't think she knows about the porn. It's possible she might suspect it at points, but as far as I know, she's unaware of that.

As far as how she feels, she's told me she's okay with me masturbating. I think she's afraid I would be constantly trying to get her into bed if I didn't. Generally she's not aware when I'm doing it, though there have been times when she watched, and I knew she was. I think she found it interesting. But that's about the extent of what she's expressed to me about it.

One more thing.

Oh, I should add...

She knows I've dealt with porn in the past, and I've told her pretty much what I've said here, that sometimes it is a temptation. But she didn't know to my knowledge that I was watching it recently.