Hi - new to this, help, advice, anything!

IM1969's picture
Submitted by IM1969 on
Printer-friendly version

Hi
I'm 40yr old married male. Porn and masturbation have spiralled out of control for me over the past 10(?) years for me, since access to the i/net was easier. I had always masturbated quite frequently but previously it wasnt a problem. Over the past 10 years - I have let it cause me to lose hours of time (I work for myself from home) and I am letting huge opportunities slip away. It really spiralled when I went to a chat room which led to webcam encounters then regular webcam 'partners' then webcam sites. I get whatever it is we get from 'showing' and being watched/appreciated/directed. If it can't get this then I fall back to porn. I have been off porn/masturbation and 'storing' sexual images mentally for 12 days now, in this time I have had sex with my wife 3 times.
I had been to one porn addiction website already but most of the people there are 12 steppers and some of it isnt resonating with me and I feel like they are saying to me that if I cant do it their way then I am bound to fail. ("well if you aren't powerless then quit" - well if we are powerless then why try I think to myself. I have power over me as if I didnt believe this I wouldnt be able to succeed) however alot of reading there has been helpful. I have found the info here and attitiude useful - THANKYOU!
The things on my mind are -
There must be a way other than 12 steps? (there is I suppose because I'm doing it?)
To get things in balance do I have to stop having orgasms for a time? (I cant tell my wife about the problem now as she has had a very bad year with bereavement, panic attacks and work stress - I am not saying never just not now) I have shared with a friend though.
The withdrawal - headache, so tired, teeth hurt!
I think I know why I do it. Is this useful? The masturbation - for many reasons I didnt experience girls until I was about 18 and before this porn/masturbation fuelled by interest. After this I just seemed to have a higher libido than my partners and was weak and cheated. Since I met the woman I married this stopped but I think that my lack of 'experience' when I was younger has me looking for approval and trying to make up for lost time - hence the webcamming.
Now I have stopped and read ALOT on the subject and taken real action. It is making a big difference - understanding me and the problem. Focusing on love for my wife, this seems to have reduced my urge to masturbate in the day after sex (I always used to think that sex would lessen the webcamming and masturbation but it used to increase it. I understand why now) Counting the days, keeping an online journal, looking for support, letting the thoughts just pass through, no sneaky stares and learning about the topic has all meant that I know this time it will work (I grew up with an alcoholic step father and have heard that before) but I have a feeling that it is so different to any other time that I have stopped that I know it is the time.
I am looking forward to getting more involved here. How do I blog?
Thanks M

Hi

I've enabled you to blog, so find the "My blog" link in your left-hand margin.

Glad you're making an effort to sort things out. I don't know that "12-Step" is the only way. I guess I'd say that one reason it works because the companionship it creates is so soothing to the human brain. If you have other ways to create that, without shame in the picture, you may find you'll succeed, too.

I'm glad that understanding the brain chemistry is helping.

Orgasm with your wife can send a mixed message at a subconscious level. The connection/intimacy is very healthy and soothing. But the orgasm, especially if too frequent, can make you "hungrier" and a bit less sensitive to subtle pleasures for a time. This can make the need for a chaser stronger. (You probably saw this: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/cupids-poisoned-arrow/201008/do-you-...)

One way to find out is to engage in daily affection *without* orgasm for a few weeks and see if you actually feel less "hungry." I don't think you have to tell your wife about the addiction to try something new in the bedroom. For example, you could show her this article and see if she wants to explore bonding behaviors: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/cupids-poisoned-arrow/200909/the-laz...

Even those who don't get a late start can get stuck in today's superstimulating porn. It produces such exciting neurochemical bursts that it registers as "really valuable" with the brain...leading to dopamine dysregulation for many people.

In any case, it's courageous of you to try something new. Looking forward to your blog.

*big hug*

Hi

IM1969

Perhaps my story will resonate with you and provide some help. I don’t feel qualified to generalize based on what I have observed, so I will let you decide if my experiences are in anyway applicable to you.

I found this site about two months ago and it has changed my life for the better in so many ways. I’m a couple of decades older than you and have used porn to masturbate since the 50s. It really got out of control about five years ago with the easy availability on the internet. I never got into chat rooms or the really wicked stuff. I was attracted by what I would call “wholesome” porn (oxymoron?) consisting of amateur videos of a man and woman engaged in loving sex. I didn’t like the crotch shots and preferred a stationary camera, which contributes to the perception that they are alone and are doing it for themselves, not for the camera. Anyway, it was taking a lot of time and now I see that it seriously interfered with my perception of my wife and drew me away from a quality relationship with her – sexually and in everyday affairs. We became nearly asexual, only having sex three or four times a year.

Like you, I find the info and attitude on this site to be extremely informative and supportive. Within a couple of days of my first visit, I resolved three things: (1) quit porn – cold turkey, (2) stop STRIVING to have an orgasm every time I have sex with my wife or masturbate, and (3) don’t masturbate alone, i.e., only in the presence of my wife. These three things are in order of importance. Notice that I did not resolve to eliminate orgasm, but because of the other three resolutions, the orgasms are naturally less frequent.

After almost two months, I have not viewed ANY porn – even soft-core. It took me a week to get over the habit of “going for” an orgasm during sex – three violations in the first week. Since that time I’ve only done it once. And I have masturbated alone only once in the two months. This has been a MAJOR change for me, for I was viewing porn/masturbating 3-4 times a week, all in secret.

The benefits of my new behavior are many. Most importantly, my wife and I are reconnected. We get along much better than before, both in the bedroom and everywhere else. Once I quit porn and quit the GOAL of orgasm during sex, my perception of her changed dramatically and almost immediately. She is again the love of my life, my best friend, my confidant and my sex partner. I have returned her to a pedestal and she loves it. Next, because I am not ejaculating as frequently, I don’t feel sexually depleted, my libido is stronger, and my erections are more frequent, firmer, and longer lasting.

Also, I have expanded my definition of an orgasm. For me, the “traditional” or peak orgasm included about 15 seconds of intense pleasure accompanied by an ejaculation. They could only be achieved after an hour or so of vigorous stimulation – visual, manual, vaginal, oral or some combination. My “new” orgasms are mellow. I’ve only had three or four, but they have lasted from two to twenty minutes. They are more like a continuous group of waves of delicious pleasure in which time seems to stand still. I don’t want to let them become a goal of our lovemaking, or I’m afraid they won’t happen. I believe I just have to let them arrive when the conditions are right. There is no ejaculation of semen, but plenty of natural male lubricant. They are brought about by a period of gentle snuggling and caressing and fondling and loving conversation with my wife. No vigorous thrusting or gyrating. And a key for me seems to be to utterly ignore my own pleasure, and focus entirely on pleasuring my wife. Spending a lot of time in bonding behaviors is fundamental.

My experience seems to be a bit atypical since I don’t notice any withdrawal symptoms from giving up porn. Also I have not chosen to completely abstain from peak orgasm/ejaculation, although I think I would like to move in that direction because I think there was better balance in our relationship during a four-week period when I was disciplined enough to avoid a “spill.”

Some suggestions:
• Get all you can from the site – Marnia and Will have assembled lots of great information and there are wonderful contributions from some very sympathetic and insightful bloggers.
• Get the book Cupid’s Poisoned Arrow and STUDY it.
• Consider telling your wife you are giving up the goal of orgasm. Maybe you don’t want to bring up the porn withdrawal. It may be helpful for her to understand what you are going through because there are so many ways she can ease the frustration. (That’s what I have done. My wife is fully aware of the practice of karezza and has glanced thru the book. However, she has no knowledge of my porn use – guess I have been pretty sneaky.)

Hang in there.
Give it some time.
Be kind to yourself.

Jesse

Hey IM,

First of all, deep breath, you are in the right place. All is well. You have identified this as a problem you want to work on but remember there are a lot of bumps on the way to getting porn free.

You don't have to do the 12 steps. That's just one way. Feel free to take anything that *works* from anyone anywhere. Develop your own approach. What matters is results not dogma.

As for going without orgasm for awhile that's up to you, you may find it helpful as you "reboot" your system. I've been porn free for about three months with two slips a week apart. I don't believe I will have a slip again as my girlfriend has the password to the porn blocker I downloaded, it's called K9 and I recommend you give it a try. Beats an unfiltered connection, even if at first you do have the password. Later you can give someone else the password for safekeeping.

There are a lot of books on the topic around, I liked Porn Trap for describing the problem and for motivation to quit. I have to say Marnia's book Cupid's Poisoned Arrow brings the soon-to-be-ex-porn-user thoroughly up to speed on the latest science and what we are up against in our own brains as we rid ourselves of this really hard to quit habit. You should get your copy asap (and I don't work for her or anything, I'm just another wanker on this site trying to stay away from porn.)

Forgive yourself and know that the more you stick around and really give it a go the better you will get and in the process understand your triggers and how to avoid them.

Good luck.

Dano

MASSIVE Thanks

Hi
Firstly thankyou so much for the time you took to say something and for what you said. Dano, Marnia, Jesse you are great!! It was all useful and really appreciate your openness
The 12 step has it's good things and I think it is the companionship that helps but there was an underlying tone of "heard that one before", "thats what I thought", "I think you'll find this is the only way"but there cant be only one way to do most things. So refreshing to read that. I will still look there as there is a focus an staying 'clean' and thats good for me! As you say take something from everything if it works.
I have blogged just now - thanks for that.
In the bedroom I have been focusing on slowing down, loving and not letting the 'lust' get the better of me - also the frequency that we make love is 'normal' (I hope you know what I mean, I realise there probably isnt a normal!). Maybe it will take a bit longer for things on the brain to reach equlibrium this way?
Thanks for the reading tips - it has to be online stuff really as books lying around about porn addiction would give it away. Also we live in the middle of nowhere and there is only a visiting mobile library - I came from London and after the first week I realised that you cant hide anything and people talk! It's funny I still have to wipe the laptop after I have been reading and posting here but it doesnt feel this same this time
Got to go now as I have nearly spent as much time reading about this addiction as I had been when I was 'using'! but I know that it is time well spent this time.
Thanks again