Any female addicts out there?

Submitted by Celeste on
Printer-friendly version

I'm not sure if this site is open to homosexual users, but please do not tell me that I *should* become straight or that lesbianism is a symptom of porn. That is not helpful to me in any way. I have felt non-heterosexual most of my life and heterosexual porn is something I've used to punish myself.

My real name is not Celeste, otherwise I wouldn't use it here. I'm a lesbian and I have dealt with a lot of shame and bigotry (much of it coming from my own parents). For a long time I used porn for mostly self-abusive reasons. I created this persona for myself that was what I thought a detached, angry, abusive male would be like (I in no way assumed that ALL men were detached, angry, or abusive but this persona was based on that). I was abused sexually by a female and watching violent anti-woman porn allowed me to pretend I wasn't a woman and that I was "punishing" the abuse I experienced. It also allowed me to "fight back" against people putting heterosexuality on a pedestal. But eventually I realized that no matter what persona I created I WAS a woman and the women in porn were not my abuser, they were just women like me. I stopped watching porn and now I'm engaging in self-abusive masturbation. I find penetration and all things very painful and sometimes I want the porn back to just make the physical pain less. I masturbated last night and it was seriously triggering for the rape as well as SERIOUSLY physically painful. I still hurt right now. I dream about porn and think about it a lot although I'm two and a half months sober. My last time watching porn was in March. I watched it once in March after having a relapse in January (I had to visit my family which always breaks me psychologically). January was a sad relapse since I hadn't done it in about four months before that. I'm doing well I suppose with not doing porn but now I'm just in an awful lot of pain, hating myself and wanting sex to go away. People tell me that engaging in sex or having a sexual partner isn't *required* but I feel like my worth as a human being will be compromised if I don't find a way to "take it" or endure whatever a partner would want to put me through. And the "lesbians won't want to hurt you" argument doesn't work because my experience tells me that women can be just as sadistic and demanding and cruel as male abusers can be. Abuse and violence aren't about gender as much as people think they are I don't think.

Anyway...that's my situation :-(.

Celeste

I think one thing you will find here is that we are ALL struggling. I think you found a great place to learn in a non-judgmental way. Just wait until you hear the wisdom of Marnia.

Good luck, we are already pulling for you.

Hi

Not sure I have any wisdom. But you're certainly welcome to hang around and share your insights with us. I'll enable you to blog, in case you want to start a thread.

I'm not completely clear about your goals. I get that you want to remain a lesbian. Smile And I congratulate you on more or less meeting your goals on getting away from porn. Are you also wanting to stop fantasizing about painful sex in connection with masturbation? Find a loving partner? Or?

I'm sorry for what you went through. This is a very tough planet at the moment. Does anyone remember why we decided to hang out here anyway? Wink

Are you getting the support you need? It sounds like a support group or counselor might be really helpful in sorting through those childhood experiences.

*big hug*

Thanks for responses.

I should specify 90% of these experiences were adolescent, not childhood. It's weird, some people talk about being affected towards homosexuality because of porn and I've been pressured and guilted toward heterosexuality because of it so I guess I can understand how sexual orientation can be confused by this stuff. I feel like lesbianism isn't something I chose. I think some people have more of an ability to adapt their attractions than others and I think the idea of actually being with a man repulses me way too much. The idea of sex in general repulses me quite a bit but with men is even less appealing to me. Not that I think men are repulsive, only that men being WITH ME is unpleasant to me.

I don't know what my goals are because I don't know what my options are. Does that make sense? Right now I've realized that masturbation is hurting me VERY badly, physically and emotionally. It's not that I'm just fantasizing about painful sex it's that masturbation hurts more than self-injury like cutting. It is unbearable. My body is never "ready" enough yet I feel like I NEED an orgasm from penetration. Perhaps that's an addiction? I don't know.

I'm trying to get to a place where I don't *need* to masturbate. It's not a want for me, it's a need. A requirement. And feeling *required* to masturbate makes me feel *forced* to masturbate which contributes to me feeling like sexuality "owns" me and dominates me. I dislike counselors and support groups, they've mostly re-traumatized me and messed me up further (partially because I'm dealing with some RA which a lot of those groups and counselors don't know how to deal with). Therapy has basically robbed me of a portion of my self-worth, "support" and "counseling" don't even belong in the same sentence in my cognitive processes. I know they work for some people but right now I'm not interested. I also don't really have the money anyway. I've bought some books and I'm working on some things there as well as on sites.

The big lesson

I've learned (and that I share here) is that normal libido is "wanting," or a desire to connect. But when you're feeling like you "must have sex" (what you call "needing"), then it's likely that something else is at work. That something else is a temporary neurochemical hangover (probably depleted dopamine receptors in a key part of the brain). It's what drives us past our normal tastes...so we keep going. Have a look at this article:
"Has Evolution Trained Our Brains to Gorge on Food and Sex?"
http://www.reuniting.info/has_evolution_trained_our_brains_to_gorge_on_f...

This means, the more you masturbate, the greater the "need," because it's actually dampening the sensitivity of your brain.

If you want to see if this phenomenon is at work, you could try this experiment for a few weeks: http://www.reuniting.info/sexual_energy_and_the_single_woman

Seems like you've already taken the first step

I identified a lot with what you wrote especially about how there are cruel people in all manner of shapes and sizes, backgrounds. Actually there's a few feminist anti-porn authors I've read recently who believe that cruelty, in our culture, has become the *default* way to treat a person whom you are in a relationship with. Certainly, it's the standard that is portrayed in the thousands of porn movies that are produced every year.

I also really respect you for coming here and opening up. It took me years to even admit what I was doing to myself (let alone admit what abhorrent things I was gaining sexual pleasure from.) We are people who are saying no to porn, who are rejecting the sexual status quo and trying to regain a sense of humanity in the process. That is what *I'm* after anyway. As a hetero man I want to reject porn, not just because it's a compulsive problem for me, but because the ideas and actions expressed in porn is antithetical to my core values and beliefs.

Also, as a hetero man something we may have in common: I also find the idea of sex with men repulsive. Wink (a little levity?)

Anyway, I was really influenced by the book Getting Off: Porn and the End of Masculinity by Robert Jensen published in 2007 when I first identified this constant need for masturbation as a problem. He is a devotee of Andrea Dworkin - an outspoken anti-porn feminist in the 80's and 90's (You may already know about her.)

I had very little success until this year and I attribute some of it to expressing myself here on this forum. Today I've gone about a month and a half without porn and have only masturbated without porn twice in that time. Before that the longest I had clean was 11 days! For you to go four months without masturbating or looking at porn is something that you should really be proud of "relapse" or no "relapse." See the thread "don't call it a relapse" for thoughts on that.

That's interesting, Dano

Personally, I think you should be pretty impressed with your own progress, too.

It's a shame something so harmless as intense sexual arousal can twist our priorities and meddle with our humanity, eh? But you're proof that we can step out of it, too.

Dear Celeste

It could help for a while to leave these issues alone and look at other aspects of your life. What about your career interests? What about your hobbies? What about your dreams? If you are ready to share I am ready to listen, if we could for a few days forget that we are men or women and just interact as two souls sharing ideas.
I have a feeling there are a lot of beautiful things hidden deep in your heart: dig some of them out for us.

Love, light and peace

Thanks.

Thanks all. @ Dano_Clark, I really respect you for giving up porn BECAUSE IT'S WRONG. Many people don't see a problem until a spouse or girlfriend gets angry at them and that's part of the problem. It's hard in our society to see it as wrong for its own sake. You sound like my (male) best friend. He's in a similar situation to yours.

Hope things are going well for you.

There are a lot of men who want to quit and want to focus on just the negative impact porn has on *their* lives and sexuality. I have women in my family that I love and respect and when I think of men doing to them what happens to the women in these films it doesn't get me aroused it makes me angry. Rage Against the Machine taught me well...."Anger is a gift!" Hang in there Celeste.