Moving forward

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I want to mention that I had a couple of relapses, about 50+ days in. On the bright side, my sexuality is restored. I am not even gay or bi. I'm feeling better and my relationship has improved. The key word is "happier". I have not been able to use that word in a very long time.

On the bad side, this leaves me with choices to make. Women get me off. Masturbating to fantasy sucks - I need a visual, yet I get horny. I see something arousing, and I want it. It seems perfectly natural. I likely won't defeat that. Yet, I don't want to deal with the negative effects of porn, because of habituation. I've seen where that goes, even though it feels incredible.

I think I am at a point where I might want to give Karezza a more serious look. I think logically, it's a better decision for what to do with my body. It's a similar lifestyle choice as when I chose to cut back on red meat. Yes, I've always loved red meat. Very very much. BUT, I didn't like the effects it was creating in my body after I ate it, especially at night. So maybe, on occasion, I'll have it if it's prepared well. On the whole though, I think I'm better off without it. And maybe Karezza will pan out to be a similar lifestyle choice, one where I may be happier. I've fooled with it, so now I more seriously think of all the positives, such as maintaining and possibly growing my relationship with my girlfriend, while not falling too hard for lust, because I will be sexually satisfied, more or less. I don't know how it will work out, but as a person who loves to problem-solve often, I think that like many other things, there can be an elegant solution to the problem of my sometimes-erratic and misdirected sexualness ("ness" because of the living quality of it), especially thinking in the context of my relationship. I don't believe in eternal suffering as a necessity, and though at times we may (or may not) convince ourselves of this necessity, I don't believe it. I do, however, believe in elegance and grace, if we are faithful enough to the cause to find it (or even fall into it).

On a related note, I think my mind has gotten very tired of HOCD and all the stuff. So, after a while, I think I'm ready to move forward and playfully experiment with what might make me and others around me happier.


A married man's perspective on making choices

Being married (for 19 years), my sexual goal now is to enjoy being with my wife. I think this gives me a different perspective on Karezza. A brief history will help me explain.

Before knowing anything about Karezza, I was addicted to porn, had porn-related ED issues, used pot to compensate for them, and ultimately, my wife and I had experimented with polyamory. She even identified herself as bisexual. We both believed that all of this extra stimulation was needed in order to maintain interest in "married sex". After all, to an internet porn addict, the same woman starts to look pretty boring; especially compared to all of the "available" 2-D mates in the endless supply of porn material I had 24x7 access to. And those "mates" didn't have any preconditions, they never said no, and they would always do exactly what I wanted them to whenever I wanted them to do it. My wife also believed that pretty much all guys use porn which makes it normal.

Now that I'm aware of the havoc all of those "super stumuli" were wreaking on my brain, I avoid them like the plague. On occasion, I still struggle with the urge to self-pleasure, but only when I'm feeling the chaser effect after an orgasm (which I mostly avoid now too).

I can relate to your comment about women being appealing. I find my wife to be very sexy. But I can now see that even though lust / mating-style sex feels great in the moment, it leads me away from the feeling of balance that I have come to enjoy, so I try instead to focus on the pleasure of being with her rather than the fantasies that her body can elicit in me if I allow myself to indulge in them. I don't always succeed, but I am getting better at noticing when I am falling into old patterns and reminding myself of the associated costs. I find it easier to make a good choice when I have some distance from the intense cravings.

The Karezza lifestyle is serving me well at this point in my life and marriage. Actually, I can't imagine how we could go back to the old way and feel good about it. However, if I were young and single / dating, I would probably struggle to avoid orgasms. To extend your food analogy, maybe the key in your situation is to consider sex more like a long, slow, delicious sensual treat of a meal rather than fast food you gobble down as quickly as possible. In the former case, the pleasure of eating is in the moment you are tasting something amazing. The experience continues to be amazing as long as you are focused on what you are tasting right then. In other words, the goal is to taste, not to become full.

Cool approach

There are two things that stand out to me:

1) Balance. I think that's key.
2) Tasting - and being somewhat of a foodie, that's also very appealing to me. Just being with it, fully present and enjoying it. It's a lifelong process, and I guess this is the path.