I have been lurking on this forum for several months. Thanks everyone for your insightful and open discussions! I am impressed that people are willing to share and discuss such intimate issues with each other on here. I also admire the courage of many people on these forums who are struggling with difficult addiction and social anxiety issues. Many people could learn a lot from you!
I'm wondering if anyone here can relate to my experiences with abstinence and could share some thoughts or experiences.
I have been single for about 6 months now, and discovered Marnia's book and the website shortly after my last breakup. I had been a regular porn user, with occasional porn-free periods, for over 20 years. With a couple of exceptions I had not gone without an orgasm for more than a few days since puberty.
Last fall, I engaged in my longest period of abstinence so far - about 10 weeks. During that period, I felt some great changes in my emotional states and in my sexual feelings and triggers. I had greater energy in my life overall, and was quite happy about the experience. Because I had been through a recent breakup, I was not interested in dating, and just concentrated on understanding my sexuality on my own and how it related to my feelings and my meditation and awareness practices.
Over the holidays I had a few orgasms. I enjoyed the actual orgasms and the relief they brought, but not the "hangovers" that I experienced for a few days afterwards - headaches, a sense of drained energy, and a strange mixture of lowered sexual charge along with a desire for another orgasm! Hard to put that feeling into words.
So I started abstaining again. I'm now going into my sixth week. This time around, I am not finding the experience enlivening or peaceful, in fact, it is outright frustrating. I'm experiencing the increase in energy as an anxiety or desperation. There is a constant sense of unsettledness or discomfort in my body. It is hard not to discharge it through an orgasm - what holds me back is knowing that the discharge would bring only temporary relief, an annoying "hangover", and then the cycle starting over again. There is no balance - either I am drained or I am overcharged and uncomfortable. I am exercising regularly but it doesn't seem to help.
Also, for some reason I can't quite pinpoint, I have been feeling very unattractive and having a lot of negative thoughts about dating and partnership. While my attraction to women is higher than usual, at the same time I am finding it difficult to engage in any traditional "courting"-type behavior. I have definitely not had the experience of women finding me more attractive, which Marnia and some others have suggested is likely to happen after a period of abstaining. Also, I have quite a few female friends, and while none of them are really suitable for a relationship with me, staying just friends with them doesn't seem quite right either. There are just enough bonding behaviours with them (e.g., hugs, kisses on the cheek, prolonged eye contact) to set off some biological "triggers". Overall I would say the change in orgasm behaviour is very confusing for me both inside and out.
Can anyone (male or female) relate to this experience? What are your thoughts and feelings about the emotional issues of going through this process single?