Submitted by Celeste on
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I haven't masturbated in FOUR weeks. I'm female and a lesbian but I was suffering from porn addiction for a while (I would watch heterosexual porn and pretend to be male). I started to realize that what I was getting off on was abusive to women AND that I was a woman contributing to people like myself being hurt. I had the same problem many of you report having, that I kept masturbating and kept thinking about what I used to see in porn. Once THAT stopped, I started doing a lot of self-abusive things. So now I'm trying NOT to masturbate because I want to be free of this. I'm in a situation right now where I can't even sneak it. It's driving me crazy, not because of arousal but because EVERY night I have these dreams where I'm trying to do it and I can't. I feel owned by sex, like I owe sex something. Like sex is better than me and if I'm not being sexual I'm worthless and don't deserve to exist.

I don't have a partner, nor do I want one. I'm doing this on my own. It's weird...I don't feel aroused I just feel BAD. I miss being able to watch porn and feel powerful and let out the aggression instead of having to just feel all of my messed up feelings all the time.

Also the fact that I'm not really aroused...ever is strange. It suggests I really was just masturbating to self-abuse. I rarely actually do it based on desire.

I'm trying to teach myself that masturbation and orgasm are WANTS, not NEEDS and that I don't have to do sexual things to be worthwhile but it's hard when I go to college and everyone around me is telling me NO we need it and "denying" your sexual self is anti-feminist. I don't think I'm denying a part of myself though. I don't really conceive of the sexual self the same way most people do because I think of sex as something that is created between people and not like a quota you need to fill each day with orgasms. I wish I could get my body to see things the way my mind does.

You are wise

to have a firm idea of your values when you get to college. Of course college is a great time to explore and experiment, but it's also a time where people who don't really have your best interest in mind can really mess you up.

Bravo to you for tackling this journey at such an early age. I wish I did it decades ago like you.

David

Scramble your habbit steps.

Celeste,
As with any addiction it takes time to change habits. Remember how long you have been in the habit and allow yourself time. Time is the big equalizer. Also I believe that if you can change some of the ways , places and triggers by turning over the way you do things it will become easier. We sometimes use a technique in hypnosis where we look at the steps of a habit, and then scramble the order you do it in, hence kinda confusing the brain 's habit map. If you always find yourself triggered at a certain place, with a certain object or at a certain time, change things around and see if it doesn't help. If you shower before bed and that triggers the urge, shower only in the middle of the day or in the morning. What you need to do is change things enough
that the sequence is really weird, enough for your brain to take notice.
The other thing is that when we try really hard not to pay attention to something, it tends to get BIGGER. I often suggest to my clients that they set up a specific mental vision, activity or imaginary place to go to instantly, when they find a craving popping its head up. Some chose to include actual physical removal of self from the trigger area or item. by focusing on the new mental or physical activity the craving seems to get smaller, or disappear.
Looking forward to hearing about your continued journey.

Regards,
NP

Sobriety.

Hmm...Marina I would say one thing that helps is trying to focus on redefining what I want LOVE to be. Just forgetting about sex and imagining all the other things a relationship could and should be. My last girlfriend made me feel like sex was this demanded requirement you "owed" someone for caring about you. My best friend is giving up masturbation in solidarity with me and we've both decided that love should be a thing unto itself and sex should be one way to feel close to others but not the be all and end all of the relationship like many people try to make it.

I've noticed that since I gave up masturbation I've had an easier time dealing with a few things. I was once entangled with a VERY abusive woman and when I masturbated she would always come into my mind. I realized that orgasm was keeping me literally addicted to my own abuser. I'm able to think about her less now that orgasm isn't reinforcing the "love" I felt for her. Thanks for asking the question, it has gotten me thinking a little bit.

I might like to blog. I'll ask you more about that in a bit I think.

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David, thank you for your words of encouragement! I've been through a lot and so I was able to recognize my need for change much earlier. I tried the experimenting stuff and I realized it left me feeling emotionally starved and even worthless which isn't how intimacy is supposed to feel at all!

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NP, I think you're definitely right about the time it takes. My best friend is giving up porn and he's been sober for almost three months now (I've been porn-sober since March). I'm so proud of him right now. Less proud of myself because the March viewing was a single slip-up after a long period.

Showering doesn't trigger my urge (shower masturbation is off-limits at my house plus it's really a lot harder to do as a female). Sleeping in my bed does though and that's why I'm sleeping in the living room all the time. I'm mostly only triggered in my sleep which is weird.

Its amazing that a couple of

Its amazing that a couple of weeks away from porn and masturbation can allow us to see all these other things behind sex. All of these sexual hang-ups are like a giant rats nest, a clusterfuck in our heads. Once we start getting at this sexual thing, we start unraveling years of garbage we've stored up. Im not sure if I will ever be the same, but it sure feels good to get some relief from some of these heavy things in my mind. Be patient and let recovery take its course.

4 weeks is great, good work.

Courage is knowing what not to fear.
-Plato

Orgasm.

I don't know if I'll stay orgasm-free forever. This is only my second sincere effort and this is the longest I've gone without orgasm since I started masturbating at 16. I'm not sure what I want to do right now but I don't want to self-abuse anymore and I often had to to get orgasm.

It's great

that you're experimenting. At least you'll understand your options a lot better.

Your comment reminds me that I was just listening to an interview with Dr. Beverly Whipple (who writes a lot about orgasm). She was commenting that the parts of the brain that become activated during (conventional) orgasm are the same as (overlap with?) the parts that light up when someone feels pain. So that could explain some of your experience, perhaps.

I couldn't help wondering what research on bonding behaviors and karezza would show.

Im not sure if I will stay

Im not sure if I will stay orgasm-free forever either, but Ive recognized this as a great tool to get my life together. I will know veeeeery early on whether Im having ill effects from orgasm. Porn is definitely out of the picture for me in my life. That has no room, but I remain open to sexual experiences still. Trying to stick with healthier women though, I dont have room for disaster and drama in my life either!

Courage is knowing what not to fear.
-Plato

Ugh.

I'm kind of hating myself right now because a couple of days ago I ruined my record in a pretty self-abusive way. I didn't mean to be self-abusive but it ended up hurting a lot and just being awful. I know why, specifically why, fairly well. I don't really need help figuring out the whys of it. I don't necessarily want to talk about it but I do just want to apologize for seeming like I'm effective at this but ultimately not being good at it at all.

You can't fully appreciate success without failure.

Failure is part of the journey, but luckily with this road trip the flat tire isn't the end. Sometimes you may run out of gas, and have to push to keep going, and sometimes you feel like you totaled it. There is always road side assistance when it is needed, so never feel too run down. Regular maintenance and care go along way to keep on going. Kicking yourself will probably just lead to frustration and backfire.

Yeah,

it's good to think of it as just starting a new cycle, and to be pleased with your progress up to the "blip on the screen."

Another post of yours (about how you don't plan to have a sexual partner for a while) got me thinking about an article I read on asexuality. The thing I liked about the concept is that people still exchanges a lot of hugs, even sleeping over with friends. Do you have this type of contact in your life by any chance? It might help you stabilize your energy.

http://www.reuniting.info/science/asexuality

Sex and pain often get linked. Alfred C. Kinsey tried to scratch his itch with all kinds of S&M techniques (too gruesome to discuss). Any association between orgasm (neurochemical reward) and ANYthing is tough to erase. I think you're going about it the right way. It's just that you may need to substitute a new kind of "reward" for the old one. That's where exchanging touch with a friend can really feel good. Doesn't have to be sexual.

*big hug*

@ Marina, I am interested in

@ Marina, I am interested in asexuality (not sure if I am asexual or not - I know some asexual folks masturbate and fantasize but don't want to act on those fantaseis so it's confusing). I do have someone I can hug and hold but it's non-romantic.

@ jake, I haven't been back in my bedroom for sleep yet. I just cleaned up some blood from "the last time" which was the time I posted about :'(. It'll be a while.

Well the beauty

of the asexual idea is that it doesn't have to be a lifelong commitment. And you can tailor it to your needs for the moment. I just thought you might find it interesting reading in light of your comments.

*big hug*

Asexuality

Having tried this (with the all too human weak moments and setbacks), you're far from alone in either the concept or the desire to avoid self-degradation/humiliation. It works well for me on most days, the only trigger/backslide I've had to deal with in a few weeks was dream triggered - if I could purge those, I'd have it made.

Sometimes the truth isn't good enough. Sometimes people deserve more; sometimes people deserve to have their faith rewarded.

No argument

Granted, you know me too well, Marnia - I simply am trying to live within the circumstances :) General dreams woulda been one thing - but having spent over 2 decades thinking that spousal-based dreams were a good thing, but in this case, it wasn't.

Sometimes the truth isn't good enough. Sometimes people deserve more; sometimes people deserve to have their faith rewarded.

At the risk of receiving...

a blunt instrument upside my head - I completely, sincerely appreciate your thoughts, support, and cheerleading from the stands. Yes, seriously.

The abstract side of me finds himself thinking - I hold a vision of people in hell getting a glass of ice water - and the odds of that are probably better :)

Oh, come on, at least let me occasionally joke about it, I do have some level of dignity - or at least sanity - left in me!