From the moment I became sexually active, I knew that there weren't a whole lot of benefits to orgasms for me (teen me would think - "well let's not do that again because I feel very lousy now"), but they were addictive and it took me many years to seriously consider what I would do about this issue.
In my twenties, I started seeing a girl who was usually up for sex, to the point where we were in bed whenever we were together, during the early stages anyways. I was feeling more troubled in the mind and body as this relationship went on and suspected that these orgasms were playing a part. I stumbled upon reuniting.info while trying to figure out if other men were feeling really lousy after orgasms too. I didn't commit to much at all back then, but over the years I had periods where I would abstain from orgasms and I felt better within myself, but in periods of stress it was way too easy to fall back into the habit and I didn't take it seriously enough. I also didn't have much of an understanding about it all, other than the concept that avoiding orgasm was beneficial for me (I've since read Cupid's Poisoned Arrow - a book that has given me more understanding than any other, after feeling like I was simply too broken to function in a relationship for a long long time).
Eventually, that relationship wasn't able to continue, it was too hard for both of us. The last big fight began within the hour after sex - we even came together, which many would think would bring us as close as two people could possibly be. But neither of us felt understood afterwards and neither of us felt like the other cared or listened. I ran away and she wasn't able to take me back this time. I truly believe that our approach to sex and intimacy was making things very tough between us because in reflection, this cycle had happened so many times before. We were often infatuated with each other, but this led to more sex with less of the important bonding behaviors. Both of our minds and bodies craved the pleasure and passion to such a degree that it was too hard to slow things down and focus on what our souls needed - the cuddles, hugs, stroking and kisses, eye contact, laughter and smiles.
I remember a time when we had decided that we could only be friends, but we still allowed for cuddles and holding hands. These times are when I remember real magic happening, being able to feel sparks between our fingers and it felt like this was the really good stuff. It felt like we were both sensitive to these feelings of connection, but I fear that it meant we were also very sensitive to the other side of the coin, and it wouldn't take long until that thought of "being even closer" would hijack us and we'd be in the same situation again and stuck in that passion cycle.
For so long, the main reasoning we could come up with for the disharmony between us was our childhood traumas coming together harshly. No matter how we tried to address these issues, it always failed and eventually "it's not meant to be" was the only thing that made sense, despite how much we wanted to live a life together. It's taken some real heartache and losing my favourite person to understand how different approaches to intimacy and sex may help bring about harmony in a relationship.
I enjoy reading the experiences of others and wanted to share mine too, so thank you for reading and thank you Marnia for the website and the book.