Intro - happy to have found my way here

Submitted by Lincoln on
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Hello, I just came across this site the other day and am extremely grateful for all the material provided. It's been fascinating to read through articles and find the same dynamics at play with others as with myself.

I've been struggling with pornography for...jeez, about 16 years or so. Well, I suppose I only really started to struggle with it for the past eight or nine years, which is when I first realized I didn't have any control over it. I've tried many different programs and recovery techniques and while some would work for a little time, porn would eventually find it's way back into my life. About two months ago I reached a point where I really wanted to end my porn use and so I shared my addiction with my very supportive community of close friends and family. The support I received was like nothing I'd ever felt before and the relieve that brought was absolutely incredible. However, the fear remained because I knew after a period of abstinence, I'd need some 'relief' eventually and in my past experience that always brought a growing urge for pornography. So I got rid of my computer for a month. It helped. The plugged in experience of internet usage can bring the same over-stimulating and dissociative influence that invites porn, so I needed some time to develop stronger healthier behaviors before I thought I could tackle my temptations. So far, mostly good.

During the first several weeks I had some of the most crazy sexual dreams I could ever imagine. I'm talking 70's disco massive orgy dreams... at that point I suppose they were more nightmares. I really didn't know what to do with my pent up sexual energies so I began to cautiously release them. Yeah, you end up loosing caution, at least that's the way it's been with me and fantasies started entering my mind. By and large it was and has been fantasies of past love making (not porn), and I've been able to resist looking up any kind of porn online. But it feels as though this too is turning into a compulsion, and I don't like it.

There have been a bunch of friends of mine who have read Cupids Poisoned Arrow or Peace Between the Sheets, and one friend provided me with a great article on this site (which I think is a transcript of one of the main videos here too). So I found myself looking around and I have to say the thought that many are able to find a nurturing way of utilizing their sexual energy in ways other than orgasm is truly liberating. Had I realized these books were so connected to my addiction, I would have been over here much sooner! :)

I actually just had an interesting experience too. Yesterday I was reading about how the addictive mind will basically implant tension to persuade you into giving it more of whatever it's craving. Today I was doing a search for finding some posters for the retailer I work at, and naturally came across some posters with scantily-clad women on them, which caused a strong buzz and an opening of the gates, so to speak. I moved on and occupied my time with other things, even if aroused. Several hours later I found myself in a fairly poor mood. Actually I was angry, irritated and I had no clue why. I had a good day with no issues to speak of. But then I connected it to the tension the addictive mind will create (so you can relief it). At that moment the sour mood was instantly gone - in fact I had to laugh out loud at the sly maneuvers of my internal Don Juan. Sly, but his moves are becoming transparent and he missed the mark. In the words of Beyonce, "Wha-oh-oh-oh-oh-ooh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh"

Hi Lincoln

Thanks for your post. Start a blog if you like, too.

Yes, it was a surprise to us, too, to realize there was a connection between what we were learning about the subtle neurochemical changes during orgasmic sex and the dependence that today's hyperstimulating porn can create. It all comes down to dopamine in both cases, looks like. Smile

Sounds like you've been making good progress. It's not easy to find the right balance, even once you successfully take porn out of the picture. You might find it helps to set a masturbation schedule and stick to it. The advantage is that you will know if you are escalating if you depart from it...and that's a sign that someone else is driving your bus. Wink

I assume you've already visited our sister-site. http://yourbrainonporn.com/ If not, have a sniff over there, and check out "Tools for Change." All are suggestions from guys here for how to make changes over the long-term...because, face it, without other habitual ways to regulate your mood, you'll be white-knuckling for a long time. Who needs it?

The most important tool is the one you've already mastered: understanding the sneaky little tricks your brain plays on you to get its fix. But when you're under stress for some other reason, it can be really difficult to stay focused on that. So you want to add all the tools you can to your arsenal.

Do you have a relationship now? If so, daily bonding behaviors, or experimenting with sex without orgasm (to the extent you can manage), can also ease recovery. Close, trusted companionship is "good medicine."

Let us know how you get on.

Thanks Marnia

I would love to start a blog. I appreciate the invitation. I've been wanting to journal my thoughts, experiences and goals for a while and a blog here would be perfect.

I thought it was a little amusing to see that you set up the site with your research and then 'the porn guys' showed up on their own. It's a testament of the value and effectiveness of the work here. an additional reason things work so well here is that the sole focus isn't on recovery from pornography. I certainly know how obsession can play a part in addiction, whether it's in terms of actually viewing porn or in terms of obsessing over the addiction itself. It's also easy to obsess about your recovery, which ironically pulls you right back into the addiction. So, it's healing here in the sense that the overall picture is varied, fluid and open.

I also think the initial stages of uncovering old wounds can be quite difficult when it is the primary focus - like sitting in a therapists office one-on-one to talk about what's bothering you. It's much easier to talk things out when on a smoke break, going for a car ride with someone or while walking with another. Similarly, the environment here feels varied enough to make it more comfortable to discuss such things.

The idea of a masturbation schedule is a good one. first I'm going to try and see how long I can go without any orgasm and see where that goes. I'm not in a relationship, but I'm going to try and incorporate some of the ideas here in ways to soothe, nurture and essentially love myself.

I have visited your sister-site and I'll be spending lots of time reading the articles over there. I was happy to find the 'tools' section too. I currently relieve stress through meditation and breathing exercises that stimulate the vagus nerve, which releases pro-social hormones like those that are released during cuddling with a loved one or petting your dog, etc. I'm sure much like what happens during karezza too.

I think you're right

that isolating the porn folk isn't the healthiest idea, which is why we decided to keep the one forum for the two sites. It's strange...but it works.

Sounds like you have some good tools in place for regulating mood...and loving yourself. I like the sound of that. Smile

Vagus nerve

I have been doing a great deal of research on the vagus nerve. I am so interested about the breathing exercises that stimulate the vagus nerve you mention. Could you please explain how to do this?

Vagus Nerve

It's a fascinating nerve isn't it. The breathing exercise I do restricts the glotis, which controls the air flow coming in and going out from the throat. The restriction causes a vibration that stimulates the entire nerve, which creates a pretty quick relaxation response. I've also used it effectively for muscle inflammation too. The technique is called pipe breathing and it's one part of a breathing and mediation program called Eiriu Eolas and there's a video of the technique here: http://eiriu-eolas.org/online-version/ The online version is free and there is also a DVD available at the site. There's a forum there as well to answer any questions, if you're doing it right, or any other things that might come up. Those resources would explain the 'how-to' much better than I could.

I'm curious if you'd be interested in sharing how you came across the vagus nerve and things you've found out about it? I ask because although it is being used in some medical research, it doesn't seem to have reached the mainstream yet - even though it does some pretty amazing things.

hiya

Hi Lincoln, I'm new here too. Interesting what you say about the "addictive mind" "implanting tension" to get what it wants. I'm dealing not only with porn addiction by also trying to quit smoking and that description hits close to home with regard to those cravings. Sounds like you have got a good approach there.

I applaud you for chucking your computer for a month. I'm not sure I could do it, but I'm intrigued by the idea...

Hey Philo

Thanks for the feedback. The article I was talking about is this one:

http://yourbrainonporn.com/doing-what-you-evolved-to-do
[quote]Excess consumption (food or sex) is the signal to your primitive brain that you have hit the evolutionary jackpot. With sufficient stimulation dopamine receptors begin to decline. This leaves you dissatisfied, craving more. This numbed pleasure response is your genes’ way to get you to gorge on food and mating opportunities.[/quote]

I supplemented this with some other ideas and practices I'm into. I've been interested in the concepts Carlos Casteneda wrote about in the 70's. I don't know if you're familiar with the guy or not, but he wrote a series of books about being an anthropologist studying under a mexican medicine man (or what he called a Yaqui sorcerer). Anyway, one of the ideas he put forth was that people have a foreign installment in our minds, which he called the predators mind. What he describes is pretty much on the money for what we term the primitive brain. The language is descriptive and a bit more imaginative, but it's fun and as such I think it's a great way to think about these concepts. His work has also been compared with the gnostics, which may interest you or not. Here's a link to a section from one of Casteneda's books about the predator's mind, if interested:

http://www.examiner.com/religion-spirituality-in-nashville/the-predator-...

And yeah, going without a computer was difficult. But it did help. I often found myself just sitting on my bed or in a chair just thinking about stuff and before I knew it a half hour past by, then an hour and so on. I would never just sit and deeply think about whatever is on my mind. How novel! :) I would think the brain needs a time to process all the stuff we're overloaded with, and all the time spent on the computer, and particularly with viewing porn, it doesn't always leave much room for processing things going on in life. After a period, I felt I was ready again so I hooked my computer back up and have been good about staying away from tempting sites, and sites that lead to being tempted.

re: the computer

One thing I didn't mention is that I was still able to connect with a supportive network that is partially online during the day at work. It was important for me to have that connection. So, I think completely getting rid of a computer for a period of time is really dependent on an individual's situation. One of the other reasons I got rid of it was because I have an incredibly old computer and I wasn't able to find a blocker or a firewall that could be installed on it. If you're able to get a good blocker, then that could work too. Just make sure you're not able to disable it if urges get really strong.