The most difficult thing I have yet attempted

Submitted by buheryfi on
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I'm relatively new to this site and I have not yet posted anything, but this morning I have decided to do so. As many others have already written the porn masturbation addiction is frightful. I am currently 21 years old. I'm not quite sure how to structure what I want to write, or why I'm even writing it. Some of the other posts I have read have provided me with a bit of hope. I have been watching internet porn for some years now (years, and I'm only 21) and I did not think much of it until a few years ago, and still not not think much more of it until quite recently. I have started to become more aware of the feelings the addiction arouses in me (apart from just the desire to orgasm). It feels terrible sometimes. I have told myself many times that I would stop watching porn but I have never been successful. I have at most been able to go a few days or maybe a week, but then the urge gets too strong and sometimes I am not even present while I am doing it.

It is if something is clawing in my brain, and the more I resist, the stronger it becomes. Sometimes it subsides and other times it gets more intense. Sometimes after it subsides it comes back very subtley and without even thinking much then I just go do it. Most of the time I do not browse porn for the pleasure of viewing it anymore, but just to find that video that is just right, or good enough to let me orgasm. Throughout the years I have been a bit worried about if someone found out (which has happened once) when I view porn and or masturbate on their computers. I have viewed it on public computers at my school and then gone to the bathroom to masturbate (quite frequently fall 2008). When I first arrived at school I viewed it on my roommates computer until he came home early one day from class and walked in on me masturbating. He said nothing about it, which seems to be similar to many people. Even those who do not do it don't want to talk about it with those that do. About a year later he was no longer on the same campus but drunkenly called a friend who lived in the dorms with us (they did not continue talking after he moved out) and told him what happened. I was very surprised to say the least, as he never confronted me about the issue, but did start locking up his computer. I've watched porn on my brother's computer (he has an ample supply), my sister's, my friend's and even my roommate's computer which I am using now to type this. I could continue but these are the bulk of the times I have used other people's computers to do it.

I would like to overcome this, but it is extremely difficult and I quickly get disheartened. I have read several of the posts and am even a bit envious of those that go more than a week, because I feel even that is difficult. Apart from the pressure that accumulates, the hijacking of my brain by past images, by sexual feelings in my center get so strong that sometimes I indulge them. Other times I am aware of what I am doing, but am almost powerless to stop it. Almost immediately after I ejaculate though I feel like crap. I feel like I have just thrown away the time I was successful at holding it at bay (sometimes I am able to fight off the impulses) and nearly feel despair. I used to never get these negative feelings but they keep getting stronger. I don't know if I am making any progress at stopping. I don't want to quit ejaculating (potentially with a partner) but I am starting to get sick (very figuratively and perhaps literally as well) of the power that it has over me.

Some have mentioned when the feelings start to go and do another activity, but I find it nearly impossible to redirect my mind to focus on anything else. Strangely enough though, I was able to resist more when I was overseas last year. For about 9 months I was living with my sister in Myanmar, where my access to porn was non-existent (I did manage one night out of all the time to get private access to internet which allowed me to watch porn and masturbate, and I felt terribly guilty afterwards. It felt good though, not having all of the distractions and the clic away porn that is here in the US. As soon as I came back to the US though it started up again.

I have also started seeing a girl and I very much enjoy her company. We have kissed and been naked together (no sex) and I very much enjoy the time we do (even when those other images pop into my head while I am kissing her). I have no problem getting aroused with her, but I feel even more guilty about watching porn now.

I don't know if any of this goes anywhere but it seems others have found some solace in posting their stories - hopefully it will help me as well. From reading the posts it does appear that ending this addiction may be arduous, but if the final goal is to be released, it can be achieved. I am writing now because just this morning I was reading a book and then all of a sudden I am clicking through youporn and then bam. I ejaculate and feel guilty and shameful again. I do appreciate the words that temper resolve and encourage us not to give up, and I do in part realize that there is a success for every failure, and if I do keep trying it should get easier.

Hopefully writing this will help me along the way.

Hi buheryfi

Writing here has helped me very much. It helped get my feelings in order and the encouragement I received from fellow members helped me very much and sort of made me feel accountable to them. This is a very hard addiction to beat and I think it's also the most difficult thing I am attempting myself, but as many members here have displayed, it can be done and it is very worth it. Read through the site, read through the wiki on porn recovery and get educated about your addiction. Knowledge of how your addiction works and how it feeds itself will help you very much to beat it.

The most important thing is that you've realized there is a problem and you want to fix it. If you're going to beat this thing, no matter how many times you fall you'll always keep on standing up and continue fighting until you eventually do beat it. Fighting this addiction requires a lot of faith and courage.

I wish you all the best on your journey
Courage

Good to have you here

Feel free to start your own blog, too, if you like.

Yes, this is a tough challenge. Make sure you check out the "Wiki" link at the top of the page. There are some good articles there on the practicalities of turning this around. For example:

The Start and Continuance of Recovery and Withdrawal
http://www.reuniting.info/node/3254

How Others Have Recovered from Porn Use
http://www.reuniting.info/node/3228

Lots of things can help you regain control. Take your pick: vigorous exercise, daily meditation, hypnosis, time in nature, etc.

You are lucky to have a sweetheart. That should make the transition easier. If possible, spend some time around her each day. Even a few minutes is good. Instead of focusing on your arousal, focus on making her feel safe and loved. Strangely, that will soothe your nervous system automatically and deepen your satisfaction in the relationship. (See this article for a better understanding of what I'm talking about: http://www.reuniting.info/lazy_way_to_stay_in_love )

You're also lucky to have had the time in Myanmar, because you now know what's possible, and exactly what the issue is. You don't have to argue with your brain about that!

If I could make a suggestion...try not to feel any guilt, even when you relapse. It just makes the feelings more intense and a binge more likely. Just say, "Whoops! A primitive part of my brain has tricked me again! Damn!" and then get back on the wagon. Every bit of "muscle-building" resistance helps, even if it's only a matter of days. Did you read these excerpts from "The Brain That Changes Itself?" http://www.reuniting.info/node/1808

That said, it may take a month or two of complete avoidance of porn to "reboot" your brain. (And then you still have to stay away from it.) Meanwhile, if you do masturbate MAKE SURE YOU DON'T USE PORN or fantasy based on porn. The goal is to unhook your arousal from those stimuli...so your brain gets more responsive to natural stimuli. When you're feeling really good without porn, you won't feel as drawn to its "superstimulation."

The "autopilot" feelings you experience are perfectly normal, and it can be very disheartening when that happens. If you can...get up and pour cold water over your genitals instead. That's a very ancient technique for soothing "excess yang."

Keep us posted on your progress!

*big hug*

Welcome!

I'm curious about a couple things in your story...

You say access to porn was difficult in Myanmar. Do they censor the internet there?

You say you've been naked together with a girl without sex. I'd say that's rather unusual. What were your motivations for doing that? What sort of negotiations took place for that to happen?

Many years ago, I spent some time in bed naked with my wife-to-be without sex. At that time we were both virgins, and I figured, we've lasted all this time without sex, we can wait a few more weeks until we get married. No need to "jump the gun."

And I had a similar experience a few months ago. You might find my story at http://www.reuniting.info/node/3111 interesting.

Anyway, I think you are very lucky to have someone you can get intimate with without being in a rush to have sex. I'd recommend that you continue to take it slow, and if/when you do decide to have sex, that you try to avoid orgasm - a practice called karezza which is talked about on this site.

Good luck with kicking the P&M addictions. I'm now 20 months masturbation-free. http://www.reuniting.info/node/1505

Wow

Hi Curious Fellow

just wanted to say that i think its really quite amazing that u've managed to go 20 months Masturbation free!!! Wow this really gives me some motivation and strengthens my resolve to keep abstaining. I also noticed that u have ADD. I haven't been officially diagnosed buy a practitioner, but after having done extensive research on the subject, i can say almost for certain that i have ADD; so that piece in your thread on how abstaining has helped with your ADD is also very encouraging. Anyway,, thanks for posting that thread about your journey.

Diamond

You're on the right track

Acknowledging that it is something that needs to be dealt with is the first step. Making the effort to deal with it is the next. Being committed to the process, no matter how long or how hard, is the next. These things can't be changed overnight. It will take some withdrawal pains, and some training of the brain that you can control this. You're body and the addicted brain doesn't want you to think you can control it, that you have to go with the flow. But you can. I know, it isn't easy at first to accept that. It feels so much like you have no control.

But it takes some time to change the paths in the brain to get away from the addiction and pull. It will take some slip ups, no doubt, along the way. But it can be done.

I've gone through my own personal program of convincing my own brain just that, and I've been delighted with the results so far. I've actually gone a week without orgasm for the first time in years, and in June I'm about to attempt to go for a whole month which I'd only done once before, when I was a teen back in the 70s. And the strange thing is, I'm actually looking forward to it and I think I have a good chance of pulling it off. If you'd asked me that back in January of this year, I'd said you were crazy, it would be near impossible for me to pull that off again anytime soon. And I certainly would not have *wanted* to do that. I would have ran from any such suggestion.

But knowing what I know now, I feel committed to learn the truth of how I will feel, and whether I want to make this a way of life. But I can only find out by doing.

Porn for me is a little different. I was addicted, but for some strange reason I can stay off the web as long as I don't have any on my hard drive to look at. Don't know why, and at the time, I'm not going to question it too deeply, because I know how little control I had when it sat on my hard drive, and I don't want to allow the brain to feel its free to jump on the net. I guess that was an addictive pattern that wasn't previously established. I only went on the web when what I had on my hard drive didn't quite do it for me anymore, but it always started with what I had on my hard drive. Having got rid of that, I'm now over two months since quiting, with only one 3-time binge one month in.

But it is those addictive pathways that need to be cleared out, unlearned, and rewired as Marnia says. And that isn't an easy task. So it takes persistence to get the job done. It appears you are a good bit of the way there.

Myanmar

Porn is an excellent stress reliever. Unfortunately in my experience that relief only lasts while you're watching it and comes back even stronger when you're finished. I'd wonder if your stay in Myanmar gave you a break from the pressure of academic life, and you weren't generating the same kind of levels of stress as you were before you went or after you came back.

I thank you all for your

I thank you all for your responses. I read them all after they were posted and have just not had the opportunity to reply yet. It has been about 5 weeks and while I may not have stopped completely, my frequency of viewing has dropped. It still gets very difficult after about 3 or 4 days. It also appears that when I am in certain environments I am much more likely to do so. One of these environments is at my brother's house, and I think it may be because of the amount of porn he has available to view on his computer. I tried the cold water on my genitals to cool off excess Yang, and it may have worked, but only for about an hour.

I agree with WolfInSheepsClothing that it is an excellent stress reliever, but that only lasts until I ejaculate, and then immediately afterward everything I was stressed about comes back.

I was wondering, has anybody seen or heard of the movie "The Price of Pleasure"? I was doing some surfing the Internet yesterday looking for "behind the Scenes" look at pornography. I have become more curious what the reality behind the videos and images we are given is, but I have not had much luck. I did find this film, but was unable to find anywhere to view it online. I did watch an excerpt on YouTube with Noam Chomsky on his views and it seemed like an interesting film.

I have read some of the material on this website but have not had much time in the past month but hopefully now that summer has started I can read a bit more. It is interesting that the more I read and think about my life, the more I learn and think of how much pornography and television have shaped my views about sex. I have never had a problem having sex, but even when I am with my ladyfriend at times images and ideas will flash through my head. When they do I think, man, I don't actually want to do this stuff, but I do when I watch porn. It is really weird.

In response to CuriousFellow: I don't know how much porn is specifically censored there, but many things are. You can still access just about everything, but you have to use proxy servers and different URLs. It's kind of interesting; I learned things about the internet there that I never knew before.

As for being naked without sex, it was with my ladyfriend and we did make out and fool around a bit, but just no sex. There were no negotiations, we just didn't proceed any further. As for what exactly to do with her to not have sex, it's difficult. I'm not sure which things we do encourage my drive to ejaculate and which ones just make me want to be closer to her.

I will write more soon and I appreciate the comments:)

PS

It sounds like you're making some good progress, actually.

Incidentally, just because something "only works for an hour" at certain points in the recovery cycle doesn't mean it's ineffective. Smile It takes time and repetition to mold the brain, or cope with discomfort during its return to homeostasis. Just as it take time to get the brain "hooked" and intensely craving certain kinds of stimulation in the first place.

hello, buheryfi - just to

hello,

buheryfi - just to find that video that is just right, or good enough to let me orgasm.

that's just it... even tho i spend most my time in chatrooms (with porn typically being posted amongst the chat), even though i'll sit there for HOURS engaged in sex chat, it's not til i find "that" pic that i let myself orgasm...

buheryfi - I find it nearly impossible to redirect my mind to focus on anything else.

this is the hardest part. if you can find something, ANYTHING, to do at the time when you normally go and jerk off, then you've won half the battle.

i picture laura dern in jurassic park. raptors on her trail. she's tired, sore, exhausted... but she says to herself - c'mon! and races across the clearing to safety...

c'mon! let's go watch a movie! c'mon! let's go read a book, go for a run, do some baking, clean the pool, wash the car, mow the lawn... (ok, i can't mow the lawn when i normally masturbate cos the neighbours would complain).

when - before - you are headed towards the computer to do IT, tell yourself - c'mon! and go find something else. distract yourself from it. every time you get the urge, c'mon! let's find something else enjoyable to do.

that's one of the things that helped me see my addiction. i could see that i was wasting SO much time that i KNEW i'd rather be spending doing things i used to enjoy. i have heaps of dvds to watch of shows n movies i love (not the XXX ones!) which sit unwatched because instead i masturbate. find something you are passionate about, that you enjoy, and use it as your distraction.

The limbic brain

can hijack the rational brain pretty easily. There are lots of reasons for that. The main one is that it's also what gets you out of harms way in an emergency. It's the "act first, think later" part of the brain...which can be a problem when it's low on dopamine (or sensitivity to dopamine), and therefore SEEKING RELIEF at any price. Sneaky!

1 year later

It's hard to believe that it has already been a year since I posted on this site. While I have not forgotten about my sturggles with pornography, I did kind of forget about this site for some time. Last summer my girlfriend went home and so I did not see her for a few months. During that time, my porn use did lessen, but was still existent. I find if I keep myself away from certain places where I traditionally viewed it, then it is easier to avoid. I did make it about 17 days, twice through the summer, but relapsed both times. My girlfriend came back and then things changed again.

Throughtout the school year I did not watch so much porn, but lessened and changed what I did see. I would still type in certain words into googles images bar, kind of to tease myself, to see what I could see without actually going to any websites, but I never went to vidoes, just images. I don't know if that's progress at all, but it feels like it in a certain way. I recall reading someone else's post about a similar experience, but then seeing just the images on google would raise his libido until eventually he relapsed, and I think a similar thing happened to me.

As for masturbation and ejaculation. My masturbations has decreased significantly, but I think this is due to the fact that I have been having regular intercourse with my partner during the past 6-9 months. When we started out, I used to have intercourse to the point of ejaculation infrequently, but as time has progressed I do not even remember the last time I did not ejaculate from intercourse. At the same time, I have not masturbated to pornography for months, except for one recent relapse. She has gone back home for the summer again, and shortly after she left, I relapsed. I was feeling pretty crummy, and I told her about it, which understandably and obviously upset her, but since then, and currently, I am on day 14 of no porn and no masturbation.

I've been wondering how having sex with her affects my pornography addiciton. I wonder if ejaculating each time with her is somehow a trigger for pornography. I still do sometimes see porn images from the past when we are having sex, but I try to not focus on them and let them drift away, but it is very distracting when it happnes, it's like, "what are you doing here?", and "you don't belong, go away."

AS for the quitting this time around, it has been going pretty well. I even discussed a bit about it with my mom, not so much the sex and masturbation but just the pornography, and aksed her about other men and stuff like that, and it was kind of neat, to be able to talk with her so openly. I have not been tempted so much to watch it yet, and have not even teased myself a single bit. i do think I am getting more sensitive to all sexual images though, like "sexy" advertisements and such. I tried the 6th Tibetan Rite from another post a few times, and it really does work taking my mind off whatever had come up. Also been utilizing the mind as a stage idea that only one thought can be entertained at a time, so if I don't like the thought, put another one on the stage. I have been feeling lots of evergy in my body sometimes during the day, and it can become very intense. Sometimes it is mroe geared towards sex, both with my partner and with pornographic images, but I am trying to redirect it to better ends, just circulating it and thinking of my partner.

So, all is going pretty well for me now.
Thank you everyone in the forum for all the posts.

Thanks for your thorough report

It sounds to me like you've made a lot of progress. So glad you can talk to your mom about this. And that your relationship is going well. Smile

I think you'll really be able to relate to this article, "Do You Need A Chaser After Sex?" http://yourbrainonporn.com/do-you-need-a-chaser-after-sex (The link is to the new site that we set up since you were here. You may want to check out Gary's videos in the right-hand margin, too.)

Price of Pleasure

I did eventually find the movie, but I checked it out from my university library. It is indeed quite graphic at times and could be dangerous to anyone avoiding triggers. I think it was a good film though and provides some more insight into "the price of pleasure." Well worth watching.
As for the Chomsky bit, he is not in the movie directly, but in extra clips I think.