Day 10 - double digits!

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As a gift for my 10th day I'm giving myself a porn binge with multiple orgasms!!! ... Haha, actually, no way! But I'm very happy to be here. It's been such an interesting (albeit awful at times) 10 days. I'm not anywhere near fully functional, but something inside does feel a little more sunny. The journey continues, and I will need courage, because I'm starting to see how I may have urges to relapse - not because I need to self-medicate so much, but because I'll be horny. And the HOCD will reemerge (though it fortunately doesn't give me as much anxiety at times, only a few hours of dysfunction a day, which is still progress). I think I'll need to occupy myself with non-sexually geared activities and making out with my clothes on. But 10 days is a proud achievement! Looking forward to 20 now, but taking it one day/moment at a time.

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Thank you!

That's great to hear! Looking forward to it. Even last night, going through the HOCD dysfunction and later dreams, I have a little more energy and slightly less HOCD.

Good job

The spikes will have less and less power, once you're through the withdrawal. Withdrawal creates anxious feelings for everyone...and then your brain tries to "fit" them to your old anxious patterns. Just laugh at your brain's antics and shift your attention to something else.

Yes, I'm going to do that.

There are definitely ups and downs with this whole process. I had an interesting experience today, and I wonder about your guys' takes on this:

I was fooling around with my girl today with my pants on, and I notice I get a rock-hard erection, like 85-90%. I'm really roughing around with her (monster libido compared to a week ago even), but then all of a sudden my libido drops completely, and it almost feels like an orgasm. I almost felt like my pants were wet, but then I checked and they weren't. I don't know if what I felt was some sort of internal orgasm or just a serious drop in libido. I totally understand that libido, especially in the early stages, will do some seriously funky things, and this can be one of them. What I'm concerned about was if this was some sort of internal orgasm, thus relapsing me or just setting me back? Sad .

Also, Marnia had mentioned that it may be better to hold off on the passion, but I got my girlfriend to orgasm today and I was seriously aroused (almost pornographic, but more intimate and with my pants on). Would that be a setback for me? I did it in part because I feel so bad for my girlfriend - she's just so horny throughout this whole process. She's very understanding, so I'm wondering if it would be better to talk to her about laying off the orgasms for a while? But I'm also concerned for her well-being, because I know she LOVES orgasms, in spite of the fact that they may cause hangover, and she doesn't see it as a problem (which is perfectly ok with me). So I was wondering how detrimental is this passion to my reboot, and if it would be better to lay off orgasms for a while for her, while replacing them with bonding activities. I also don't want to really do something she doesn't want to do (like laying off her orgasms) because I love her . Or is the passion really not so detrimental for me, so long as I'm not orgasming?

I think I'm trying to find an appropriate strategy to all this right now. Thanks for your input Smile

Also,

I shook my best friend's hand and it felt so soft, yet masculine. I can't believe I'm turning gay! Ugh! Please tell me it's the dopamine fucking with me! I've had such feelings of love for male friends before, but never such physical arousal from a handshake! I always viewed it as platonic. I must have been secretly gay or in denial all those years. It's very sad, because I always wanted a woman. I want my libido back, but for women. I never bought a Playgirl in my life! I was always disgusted by male porn and cock. But seeing my friend in person changed that. It was always the hottest chicks in magazines. I loved the hottest chicks in magazines, but I was too shy in person, and would always feel like I'd be rejected, so I stayed away from them for fear of being a creep. And maybe my libido was low. Idk, this sucks. Sorry, I just needed to vent. Having such a "crush" on my friend is "nice" but fucking traumatizing. And maybe gay people find out this way (as I've read from some accounts on EmptyClosets) but I don't want to be this way. But I might be going through stages of grief.

Breathe

And stop analyzing  every HOCD spike for a month or two. Seriously. You can figure all this out a couple of months from now.

Yes, brains do strange things with libido during a reboot. Relax. Personally, I'd emphasize bonding behaviors more than orgasm with your girlfriend, but if she's going nuts it's fine to help her out...unless of course she would like to experiment with karezza while you're rebooting.

Keep in mind that just as you evolved to check out naked bodies, we ladies evolved to seduce men and draw out their semen, so if you two keep up the hot foreplay it will be hard for her not to let biology take over.

The alternative is to emphsize tamer activities like those at the link on the lefthand side of the page. Or let me talk with her. Wink

I will talk to her about this

OMG it's so hard to breathe, I'm panicking so much! And like ready to cry about this. I'm losing my mind and am so sad. When I saw my friend, I wanted to lick him from head to toe, and it felt so right. But how to rationalize my opposite-sex attractions my whole life? Anyway, I know, I know, it's not important right now. It just sucks, my girlfriend went to the beach with my parents and I just stayed home because I was SOOOO depressed over all this. Nothing could have gotten me out of the bed. Please tell me that after all this there is some chance I may be straight? If there is, I will be very relieved, though I don't know anymore. After how nice that felt in my mind with my friend, I'm totally fucked up and confused. I'm so sad. But if there's a chance I may be straight it will give me hope, though many gay people feel this way at first. Also, I read Gary says "if you think you're straight, you're straight". I don't even know anymore. I'm so sorry to be going on like this, I'm just so sad, grieving, totally messed up.

It's becoming more and more clear I'm becoming gay. I'm so sad. I want to love women again. But I think my chemical/romantic high for my girlfriend is ending and I'm gay. This is horrible. Want to cry.

I think you've definitely answered one question

whatever you did earlier with your girlfriend in terms of getting all hot and bothered has thrown your brain into a classic neurochemical hangover. Next time, don't do it.

Tell her that you need a long time out of a month at least with no "near orgasms," and ask that she go slowly with you. It won't hurt either of you to pass on hot foreplay for a month. You may even find it surprisingly delicious.

But you have to exercise some willpower.

And yes, you can still be straight...not that that answer will reassure you. OCD cannot be reassured. But it can gradually be overcome.

It's so easy to get self-indulgent on this planet that when we really need to get consistent about something it's a totally unfamiliar skill. But you can do it. It's how you learned to play music. Discipline and one step at a time.

Haha

I wish I could say I was so disciplined. My girlfriend is a crazy disciplined musician (and yes, we perform often together! - piano (me) and violin (her) classical music), and she serves as my inspiration. Actually, in my depression, I have not been meeting my goals of time practiced per day, and I would like to make improvements, but I haven't been able to get out of this rut. But that's a side note.

What happened with this panic ultimately resolved itself into 20 minutes of uncontrollable sobbing in front of my girlfriend. That looking with such lust at my best friend wasn't bad in itself, but that it went against my whole life of feelings towards women, women, women, women, women, women, etc. God, my whole life has been devoted to the love of women. And now this! In my hangover, do you think my messed up, rebooting mind could have caused me to do this?

But, I do feel happy that my gut tells me about how much women really mean to me, and most importantly, my wonderful, amazing, beautiful girlfriend. And this whole experience will teach me to make adjustments in the reboot process. Live and learn. Thanks for guiding me through this. I don't know what I would do without you, Marnia!

Hugs

Here's what I think

The ripples after orgasm can be extreme...especially during withdrawal from an addiction. We hear over and over that guys (sometimes) have extreme mood swings and cravings and anxiety, etc. when they relapse.

During those mood swings, your brain will propose all kinds of temptations to feel better and "explanations" for why you don't, or why what you're doing "obviously isn't working because you feel rotten." All of it is meaningless...because the problem is coming from the ripples themselves. See?

This means that nothing you change in the external world will solve the problem...because it's between your ears and needs time and consistency to heal.

By the way, it's not unheard of for men to experience tears during this "hangover." Read the first few paragraphs of this article: Women: Does Orgasm Give You a Hangover? Here's the key bit:

Despite a wealth of evidence from specific internet sites and forums suggesting that irritability, crying and mood swings after sex seem to be common in females and males, to date no scientific study has tried to explore the nature of the phenomenon. ... Reports from female sufferers describing their condition suggest that [postcoital symptoms] can occur after sexual intercourse, both with and without orgasm.

It might not be that bad,

because yesterday, fortunately I gave her an orgasm with my pants on, so I wasn't stimulating my penis, just with my fingers. But I guess this is because just the sheer pleasure of watching her moan like that was feeding my dopamine cravings, if I understand all this correctly? So I guess it would make total sense to have those ripples? 

I read a story last night in a prominent online newspaper about how one man cheated on his wife with 40 women. She never considered herself the most beautiful and played off her imperfections as not to be noticed. The man didn't love her imperfections either, in spite of the fact that he was the only guy in her life that serenaded her in the beginning of their relationship. And she had tried to get all the "cool" guys before but couldn't. It seemed like he cared about her in the beginning but then he was so hooked on the dopamine rush of going for other, more seductive women, that he did such an awful thing to her. And I'm sure they weren't bonding. Do you think that could have been the case with them?

By contrast, I read this marvelous quote from Al Franken about his marriage:

"Franni Franken is not just my wife, not just the mother of my children, not just the woman who cleans my house -- she's also my best friend. By that I mean we have sex together. But after the sex, we often have a conversation. That's what makes us not just friends but best friends."

So would you say that marriage/relationships are what you make of them, and replacing dopamine highs with bonding can lead more like the second scenario rather than the first?

You nailed it

If you read our book, you'll see the whole concept spelled out: the tension between our evolved mating and bonding programs, and why daily bonding behaviors/gentle intercourse can increase the "volume" on the bonding program, while not exhausting our sexual desire with climax-seeking can quiet the desperate need for that dopamine buzz.

But there's more, because when you're consistent for a while, the entire balance of your brain improves...causing all those amazing benefits guys often report when they give up Internet porn: confidence, charisma, feeling more "alpha", better sexual performance, decrease in weird sexual tastes, improved concentration, etc.

I am definitely going for it,

and will continue to bond, but I'm scared this alpha-ness will completely ignore my girlfriend and go for other, more seductive girls. For example, we were bonding today, and I couldn't look at her face for too long (which has been a bit of an issue sometimes from the start). Meanwhile, I rested my head on her body and I breathed such relief to be on her body and not looking at her face. I hope this can all change. It really depresses me Sad

I will have patience

Well, she looks sexier with her new haircut. I'm definitely more of a man, and everyday she tells me "you never touched me like THIS before" so I think everyday I break new barriers in touching her. Other guys adore her, and I don't think they're being polite, which is mostly good news for me, so long as I keep up my good work.

We spend a long time lightly bonding each day, so we are building our friendship, through all its ups and downs. The sexual orientation issue still needs to be worked out, but I don't know when I'll get answers, and maybe not soon. I was over a couple's house with her today, and I wasn't getting so turned on by our male friend there, who according to her is really hot. But I don't know if I'm getting turned on by anyone, so we'll see. But I love bonding with her. Truthfully, I'd almost rather be attracted to nobody than to men. But who knows, that could just be denial. Gf and I just put on either R&B classics or easy listening and go (both new tastes, acquired post-reboot). I think it's gay, but she assures me she hasn't seen me more male before. We'll see. I don't know how obsessed I am anymore. Definitely somewhat, but not so much. And we bond for hours, just lightly touching and kissing. It's really quite beautiful.

So good night.

Do your best

not to analyze your every feeling for a month or two. It just increases the anxiety and takes you "out of the present moment," as the sages say.

You're doing great. She sounds like an amazing, self-confident woman.

Thanks, I will

Marnia, thanks so much for the kind words, and I'm sorry I'm having you repeat yourself so much. I'm really depressed at this time, and the withdrawal doesn't make it easy. I'll try to keep myself as occupied as possible, though it's hard. And try to be kind to myself. Any other ideas, please tell me. I don't know if I should get antidepressants. I did that a few years ago, and it was a horrible experience but it stabilized me. It was horrible because I couldn't get it up, but that's not really my worry too much now. Anyway, back to life a little. Thanks again!

Yep,

I will do that. Anything to take my mind off 24 hrs of crazy, dysfunctional homosexual anxiety. It's really bad.