Day 4 no porn, complete

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I'm killing the porn. It really messed with my head. I may be straight after all. I don't care. I just want to get my head clear and come from a good place.

I'm meditating and I'm riding a bicycle now. Feels good. Will update more later.

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I've read it - worth re-reading again

I have a bit of a different situation. During my latest episodes, I was definitely masturbating to guys, fantasies of guys, etc. The situation was unpleasant though, yet arousing. And I had tried coming out, but I was still unhappy. But after watching this Ogas and Gaddam video, where he mentions that sexuality is formed between the ages of 12 and 22 (earlier for me), I knew then and there I should be straight, based on overwhelming evidence. Even my therapist, who has a gay orientation himself, doesn't believe at all I'm gay, and that I was "eroticizing" men, and that I would have known a long time ago if I was gay or bi. What's most important, I think, is to get to the bottom of my emotional baggage, which probably means instead of fapping, deal with the emotions rather than drowning them in some fantasy - whether it matches the orientation or not, and move on and be healthy. That needs to happen with a more stable mind, and porn was an extremely destabilizing influence, in my opinion.

More importantly, I also knew that my testing and chronic masturbation wasn't normal, so I've decided to quit porn and achieve more stability in my life. My mind was/maybe still is messed up. So regardless of orientation, I just need to take care of myself and give myself self-love. Which means cuddling and hugging and kissing too.

I turned myself around very quickly

Bravo for the choice to quit porn. I think once you fully commit to that direction, it's actually not so hard to stick to it. Prior to quitting porn, I had indulged in some pretty unpleasant fantasies. I was worried that I had somehow permanently linked sexual arousal to these unsavory behaviors I was fantasizing about.

I required these fantasies to become aroused and orgasm during sex with my wife. I couldn't penetrate her face to face; I think it was too hard for me to project her into the fantasies that way. Intuitively I think I understood this, but it was impossible to change while I was using porn.

No porn, no fap and adding Karezza with my wife; those three things caused the fantasies to lose their power. Now my wife and I make love in a variety of positions, mostly face to face. That transition took a few weeks for me. I was shocked and relieved at how quickly my sexual response rewired. Some of those fantasies were formed in my early teen years, so I was pretty convinced they were either permanent, or would take a long time to overcome.

I don't know if my experience is typical, but I'm pretty sure that quitting the porn and fapping can't hurt in your situation.

Glad to hear that

We've been amazed at some of the self-reports about fantasies/fetishes fading too.

Is the brain just more plastic than we thought, or is some of that porn-related conditioning more superficial? Or both? Or something still to be discovered? Is there a spectrum for different brains/circumstances? Anyway, it's encouraging that people may have more choice than they thought. No one wants to feel trapped.

In theory, yes

In practice, there's a large lobby of sexologists who (profess to) believe that any efforts to re-conditionion sexuality (even efforts to overcome addiction) constitute "reparative therapy." But there's a nasty inconsistency in their thinking because they're the same ones who try to argue that sex can't be conditioned in the first place!

Since it can be conditioned by powerful conditioning agents, like traumatic childhood experience and, apparently, highspeed porn overconsumption, this is a double whammy for the public, who are encouraged to walk off of very dangerous cliffs they aren't being made aware of - and are then assured that they now can't do anything about their circumstances. Apparently their brains were plastic after all, but now, suddenly, have no plasticity at all. Wacko

Of course the truth is messier on both ends. Some people may not be able to avoid the experiences that condition their sexuality, and if they reinforce the unwanted pattern too much they may not be able to change it later.  But others clearly could avoid the phenomenon if they understood how plastic their brains are, particularly during key developmental windows, and others can clearly reverse with situation with good understanding and consistency. 

In short, all of this needs to become public knowledge so people are encouraged to understand more, and make their own experiments with reconditioning.

Above all, this issue of sexual conditioning and brain plasticity needs to be divorced from diversity politics completely.

There are some wise people

who understand sleeping with men or watching gay porn doesnt necessarily make you gay, or even bi, though if you're gay, then that's what you will likely do if you're well-adjusted, so I think. That straight people may do it for a myriad of reasons, even exclusive of porn addiction. Joe Kort is one example of having this train of though, based on what I've read from him. He's gay, yet he understands that there may be emotional issues that might need to be resolved if you're putting yourself in distressing sexual situations, if they are contrary to your actual orientation, which is established early on. Sometimes, and I paraphrase, you have resolve your issues before you come back to your orientation.

Makes sense

I agree that addiction isn't the only form of neuroplasticity that can be problematic. Recent research is showing that a key mechanism behind sexual conditioning is the same one behind addiction, so (as I visualize it...simplistically) pathological learning is on a spectrum where one can move from unwanted conditioning to addiction and anything in between.

And yes, sometimes our egos are in "runaway horse" mode, and can only be redirected by first giving them their way...and seeing that we've taking a detour that hasn't really improved our lives. I've learned a lot of lessons that way. Ultimately, the lesson/insight is the gift, however we get there.

That said, in my experience the journey is more enjoyable without the ego-driven detours. Dash 1

Hahaha

Well, I wasn't going to mention it, but coming out as gay and living that way, in fantasy, was definitely a detour like that. Valuable lessons there. But I think therapy also helped me come to grips with some emotional things.

I'm feeling a bit better today, in terms with my sweetie, though I was on the train today, and I saw a guy scratching himself below, and it triggered this horny porn arousal response. Watching guys masturbate and really being aroused by that. It still kinda stuns me. I wouldn't fantasize over him or anything without the porn, just because it doesn't really feel right. Still, sort of annoys me. We'll see, with more time, snuggling, therapy, etc. maybe or maybe not that holds the answer. I'm not pushing anything at this point, hope not, at least. I've done that before, and it produced more anxiety.

Remember that those cues for arousal

happen because of neuronal connections in the brain. You keep expecting them to either disappear because you "tell" them to...or have deep significance in terms of your "true" sexual orientation.

But neither is going to happen. To the extent they're a product of porn use, they're just like any other porn-enhanced fetish. They fade slowly, and only if you stop reinforcing them by focusing your attention and analysis on them. They'll pop up for a while...just as any fetish would. The less attention the better.

So stop writing them up in glorious detail. Wink