Fear of turning gay (old thread)

Submitted by Frank on
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Greetings to fellow members,

Now, I know it's been a really long time since I posted anything here (let alone contribute)... I hope you don't think of me as a person who simply drops into a forum to ask for opinions and then disappear without contributing anything himself. I apologise for such conduct.

But what has been recently going through my mind is simply the fear of becoming gay. Now, normally when I look at guys, I don't really feel the kind of attraction that I feel for attractive girls. But these days I find that somehow a fear of becoming gay has just popped into my mind, I don't quite know from where. I have these occasional paranoid fears coming (related mostly to philosophical issues, but this time drastically different), and many (if not most) of them have forced me to change the way I think, but this one is really bothering me to a big extent. And this is why I am also afraid of even having this fear.

Often I also feel the attraction for attractive females dropping. I mean, some part of me thinks, "what's with the curvy erotic females? booooring, they're all the same". This contributed to the fear in the sense that "if my attraction to the opposite sex is falling away, probably attraction to the same sex is increasing?" no matter how illogical it sounds (as if attraction followed the laws of conservation or something). Fears such as these do not resort to logic, anyway, yet they are there, and fears are really hard to the consciousness, they're not something that can be dismissed verbally as "irrational" or "highly improbable".

Let me first tell you that for the past week or so I have come to change some notions regarding sexual attraction and addiction. Marnia had been trying to tell me this for so long, I realise it only now... attraction to females is not the cause of the sexual addiction. The attraction is really normal. I confused this attraction with the addiction, and hence went about trying to repress this attraction, cursing all the attractive females as being whores. I now realise that was a huge mistake.

But what can I do about the fear of turning gay? I mean, just today I've been reading some articles on "how to overcome homosexuality" (etc., but finding only those typical Christian sites). And after having read that some researchers "prove" that homosexuality cannot be overcome, I became all the more paranoid. (people can turn gay, but cannot overcome being gay, how pathetic is that?)

I will really appreciate any opinion and advice on this.

I also made myself look at

I also made myself look at some erotic pictures today, telling myself that I will reinforce more strongly the attraction to females. I mean, what the hell, I just don't understand myself. A week ago, I would have found myself avoiding erotic pictures, and now here I am, purposefully trying to download them.

Breathe.

You are not turning gay, you're just having a bit of a freak-out attack. If I were you, I'd try to go do something normal and comfortable (take a walk, talk to a friend, etc.) to calm yourself down, and then see if you can think about it more rationally afterward. Even if you were "turning gay," the fact that you could turn in the first place implies that it would be reversible.

Don't be scared

First of all, I think it's great that you are no longer viewing females as sexual objects. Possibly the fact that you've held this view of women for so long, you're brain is not quite sure what to think of us now. Here's a friendly little reminder: We're all human beings, and not one of us is the same, even though we have most of the same parts. :)

How about trying to spend some time with more women, time that has no sexual motivation, just simply to learn to view women through your new eyes. You never know what you might discover.

Hi Franc

First welcome back. I missed you.

Second, how are you doing with the porn thing? The sexual addiction cycle can make a person keep looking for the next "forbidden" thing (because it raises dopamine and seems thrilling or risky). If homosexuality falls into that category in your mind for some reason, "being gay" may just be the next magnet, if you know what I mean, and not really relevant to the issue of your actual sexual orientation. Here's an article by a gay guy that makes this point indirectly. http://www.reuniting.info/bathroom_sex_brainchemistry

Thanks for your

Thanks for your comments!

Mitsiky,

What my moronic/paranoid side has been trying to convince is that I could turn gay as a consequence of a latent tendency suddenly manifesting, not as a conversion to any new behavior.

Discordia,

I really liked what you said there. The problem is, I just can't find any girls that might be interested in me. Okay, I'll be honest, I haven't even tried -- but that's probably because I'm just clueless about approaching girls. I mean, I hate all the pre-friendship things you have to do, like first just smile at her, then try to introduce yourself, and then maybe after 3 months of this little stuff, we might actually begin to talk about what's important. Why can't it just be straight forward... will girls simply think I'm in it for "quick sex/romance"? I mean, I know it probably feels very wierd for them for someone to just come up to them and start having conversations. Of course, it's not like I'm going to go "hey what are your thoughts on sexual addiction?". Obviously not.

There are three problems for me in approaching a girl:

a) I tend to be wierd quite often (somewhat hyperactive or nervous) I have no clue about those influence-people-techniques (nor would I really bother to go really study them, because those kind of things just don't fit into my paradigm, I think they're really superficial)
b) I don't have an attractive physical body (I'm not overweight or anything, but I don't have a muscular build, I'm the average nerd body)
c) My parents are very conservative and they don't like having girlfriends or anything romantic at this age, and they would try to convince me more by saying this is the time for academics, not for romance; and I don't think many people understand that a boy and girl can be discussing alone and yet not be in a romantic relationship

Marnia,

You've pointed me out to a very important point that I've often missed while surfing this site -- thanks!

As for my p&m addiction, well, I've made some trials in the recent past, and what I've realised is that breaking an addiction like this is no joke. This is really deep stuff. It's going to take a lot more self-discovery and self-insight to solve this problem than I thought. A very big paradigm change for me recently was related to religious faith, skepticism and inquiry. I got rid of a lot of useless ideas that I had simply assumed (some sort of gullibility had taken hold of me). I feel much lighter and freer now in terms of pursuing my own inquiry instead of simply subscribing to a religion.

That change actually helped me consider some novel methods of building a new lifestyle away from addiction. I've been considering 30-day trials, getting rid of coffee/tea and drinking lemonade instead, replacing playing GTA Vice City with Dweep (and other such puzzle games), replacing grunge metal with New Age healing music, etc. These are all very important things. (Luckily I've always been 100% vegetarian so that's not much of a problem)

Once again, thanks to you all for considering writing your thoughts. I hope I will be enriched with more such advice. :)

Frank

Hi again,

The restlessness and impatience can be due to the addiction. After you left the site, some men began to make progress with their addictions, and noticed that they felt calmer once they had escaped the cycle. Also, subtleties, perhaps even subtleties like a smile from someone you think is interesting, Wink began to be more satisfying. Have a look here:

http://www.reuniting.info/node/1282#comment-3002

In other words, when you stop using sex as "relief from boredom" it gradually changes your whole nervous system...and perception of the world. (I have noticed this, too. So has my husband.)

Believe it or not, the people around you feel that change in your nervous system...and change their behavior toward you. (Girls, too.) http://www.reuniting.info/node/1246

In short, I don't think you've met the "real" you recently. So don't draw any fixed conclusions about who you are or what you need, or how you *need* to act around others, etc. Just balance yourself and see what you see.

You're right that it isn't easy, but if you want to set a short-term goal, we'll be happy to be your cheerleaders.

I love your broad mind and amazing range of interests, Frank. By the way, a little birdie told me you are quite cute. Smile!

Hugs,
Marnia

Reply

Yes, Marnia, I agree when you said that you haven't seen the real me recently. I don't quite know though, everything just keeps changing in my mind. With all the mood swings it's really very hard to figure out which of the patterns are really mine. (The kind of personality I adopt when I'm tempted is just way different from what I'd normally prefer to be... for example, if I see a really attractive woman across the street, depending on what I did prior to that [whether it was stressful or amusing, etc.], I can get very sexed up, and that just makes me abandon my sober rational attitude towards life, it just makes me feel like I've become unclean or something and that without doing some kind of special thing [like thinking "after this day of acting out I shall never again do such crap"] I won't be back to my rational self)

I'm going to follow a short-term goal now, of adopting a new lifestyle, as I hinted in my previous post. I've had enough of "this is the last day of addiction" crap -- I'm beginning to get sick of it now, probably even sicker of not realising it early enough.

Thanks a lot for your synopsis on the other thread. I guess I'm going to expand it for the purposes of addiction recovery, which I'll post in about a week. (I am allowed to access the internet only once in five days now)

Marnia, I also tend to be anxious (or perhaps outright skeptic) with the idea of involving a female friend in the healing process. First, I don't think the majority of females my age would actually consider this suggestion without thinking of it as something crazy. Second, what if she considers it and then thinks it'd be unproductive for her? Third, how can I ensure that with all the things like holding hands and smiling at each other, I won't get addicted to a romantic or even amusing relationship with her? I mean, I don't really want to substitute the p&m addiction with another addiction. My aim is to change the foundation of my current lifestyle -- the elimination of any need to resort to an addiction to survive or grow. (Of course, addiction can be difficult to define accurately, we could be all addicted to using pillows, for example)

Thanks again. I hope to be more active on the forums now. :)

Frank

You ask good questions, as always...

and of course I have answers...right or wrong. Wink

I'll start with your last question first. The neurochemistry of pursuing orgasm is different from the neurochemistry of cuddling. The first is based on dopamine highs (and lows). The second is based on oxytocin. You don't "desensitize" to additional oxytocin, in the way you do to excess dopamine. Your nerve cells actually produce more oxytocin receptors in response to oxytocin, so quite simple bonding behaviors can feel better and better, rather then less and less "interesting," as in the case of dopamine thrills.

When dopamine goes too high, it drops afterward. This is true whether you take drugs, or pursue sexual satiation. In the case of sexual satiation, a cycle is kicked off that takes two weeks to return to homeostasis (that assumes you don't orgasm again during that time...fat chance Wink ). During that time, dopamine is bouncing up and down...along with your mood. Your body also desensitizes itself to the effects of dopamine (because it senses that too much stimulation is your problem). But this attempt backfires because we use our human neocortexes to restimulate ourselves even more intensely...rather than wait for things to return to equilibrium naturally.

While we're less sensitive to dopamine, the lows are lower in response to the daily dopamine your body normally produces. This means you can feel like crap. What will get your dopamine back up when you're feeling irritable and depleted? A particularly exciting cue. (Porn, "fear of being gay," belief that you're "sinning," etc.) These things feel like "medicine" because they make you feel (temporarily) like Superman again. But you're actually hurling yourself back into the cycle of intense highs and lows.

The lows make people feel impatient, unwilling to invest themselves in a situation, or needy and clingy. The last two are more typical of females...but many of us have played both roles Smile In any case, all of these feelings are, at base, a "sense of lack" (low dopamine). Gary and I think these perfectly normal feelings of lack after sexual satiation are what so often throw couples into unhealthy co-dependent dynamics.

In short, you won't "addict" your girlfriends to you, or vice versa, if you don't work at getting each other off. Yet, you can soothe your irritability and longing for wellbeing, even without intercourse, if you put your attention on each other and focus on these bonding behaviors. http://www.reuniting.info/wisdom/bonding_magic There are many on this list that parents wouldn't object to at all. They sound really tame, but if you *try* them, you will see what they can do. They are all subconscious signals that your mammalian brain finds pleasurable, and which strengthen the emotional bond and trust between you and a partner effortlessly. They *relax* your nervous system, unlike pursuing sexual satiation, which is *performance oriented* (uses different set of nerves, known, paradoxically as "sympathetic" nervous system).

Consider the possibility that your true longing is for an intimate connection with the opposite sex, even if it doesn't feel that way while you're on the dopamine roller coaster. One way to test it, is to try the ideas. Again, amazingly enough, you don't even need intercourse to realize the power of this idea. Here's an account that involved a couple who only touched, side-by-side: http://www.reuniting.info/wisdom/von_urban_sex_perfection_and_marital_ha...

By the way, a friend showed my book to a psychiatrist in the UK, and here's what he said about our science. (He had just finished the chapter where we explain the post-orgasmic two-week cycle.)

I have read many books (and indeed have more than one degree) involving the neurochemistry that you describe and I can honestly say that I have never read a more accessible and well laid out description of it. Without sacrificing any detail (as far as I have read to date), you manage to paint very powerful images of how the limbic system works and its chemical substrates. Well done!

You, and me both, brother.

Well, it seems you have already gotten alot of advice on this issue, but I thought I'd chime in since it might help you to know that you are not alone on this one. I am in my mid 20s, and I have had the same problem since high school. The good news is I'm no more gay now then when I was 10.
I'm not going to tell you to "chill out", or "just calm down" because thats just irritating to hear when one is feeling stress. I will tell you this, though, it gets easier.
I would like to point out, even though I'm no expert and some nonsexual interaction would surely due us all some good, but I think you're right about seeking a female to help you. You spoke of problems meeting girls. Well, I wouldn't compound one challenge by adding another. And, between you and me its probably not as much your fault you have trouble meeting girls as you think. Studies have shown that females are the more picky gender when is come to dating (and just about anything some would argue). But, they have to be from the stand point of evolution.
Let me share something from my own struggles with this issue, and maybe it will help. I have a co-worker, who is also my superior, and is a man. I have always gotten along with him, but I have suspected from the start that he would not be reseptive to the whole of my personility. So, with that in mind I hold back at times. Also, I alway have to be wary of crossing the line of perfesonalism even though he, and I get along so well. This balancing act has been a challenge for me, and at one point I began to have these involentary metal images of a sexual nature involving this man, and my self. Now, like I said before I have been dealing with this for a while so I didn't freak out, but I was quite upset about the whole thing. Well, over the course of some time I have learned that the mind will force itself to face what it fears, or doesn't understand. Not only that, but as I'm sure you know that mind has a tendency to dwell on negative events. What this is is our mind's way of facing fear, or what have you, in a secure environment. In other words, I wasn't thinking about having sex with my friend because I was attracted to him it was because my mind was using sex as a vehicle to illistrate to itself the insicurity I was feeling. It is hard to be more voneralbe than when you are having sex. One its intimate, two your naked, and three sex in just about any form carries some sort of taboo. So, to deal with the insicurity in my relationship with my co-worker my mind used sex as a metaphor, and ran a sinero in witch I was forced to face my insicurity (and then some).
Now, you'd say, but why didn't your mind just come up with images more directly related to the situation? Well, from my research I have found a school of thought that suggests fantisies, and day dreams serve much the same purpose as dreams we have when we sleep. They help us work out our emotional baggage. And, just like a drean fantisies can seem to be about one thing, and turn out to be about something completly different.
Well, knowing this I performed an experiment. I just let it happen. Thats right, I stopped fighting it. When these images of my friend, and me in comprimising situations presented themselves I started to pay attention. I reminded myself that this was not about being gay, but about working out my insicurity. I stopped my impulse of disgust that would make me want to push the thoughts away, or fears that I might get excited about it, and took an anylitcal approach. I let it play like a movie. I never got sexually excited, but if I did I would have let it happen so that the seniro could play out. Next thing I know after a few days of this the problem was solved. No more images of my friend high jacking me, and I also felt better about my relationship with him. Sounds strange I know, but it worked for me. Anyway, thanks for being honest about your struggles. Its nice for me to know that I'm not alone either.

Dreams

I appreciate your discussion above. Carl Jung believed that everyone we meet in our dreams is actually an aspect of ourselves.
For instance, I had a powerful dream last night about my ex-husband. We were fighting, it was awful, I knew it was over between us, but I had a hard time letting go....I was moving back and forth between knowing I had to move on and feeling clingy. It became very clear to me over the course of the day as I allowed the energy and imagery of this dream to kind of percolate that my ex represents a piece of myself that no longer serves me. I was even gifted with some ideas about what that is. It's a part of me I am almost through the process of letting go of, but, because it has been a part of me for so long, it is a familiar part of me, and no matter how much I rejoice to be letting go of it, there is still a bit of grief in the parting.
Our minds are not trained to hear "no"; they respond to what we give energy to. You know that old thing, "Don't think of an elephant", and suddenly all you can think of are elephants?
Pushing against something, at least for me, gives it power. When I push against something, I am investing thought, time and energy, either physically or psychically, in whatever it is. If I withdraw the power, stop pushing and just let it be whatever it is, I either get clarity about it or it dissipates.
I liked your idea about setting aside any feelings of disgust, fear or aversion. After all, these images are being brought to you by something within you, and I believe our Highest Selves are much wiser than we give them credit for. There's a reason these things are brought up for review.
Thanks again for your post.
C

I'm wondering if there might

I'm wondering if there might be a higher incidence of men fantasizing about seemingly gay situations involving power plays among men who watch porn? I have heard from friends and observed in the little amount of porn I've seen, that the thrill of porn can have as much to do with the power play at hand than the simple viewing of sexually appealing bodies. I've also been told that, in the search for more and more of a shock that comes with the desensitization of intense porn usage, the porn that gives a hit or thrill can become increasingly violent towards women.

It would make sense to me that in a population of men watching a lot of porn, that the subconscious would automatically by default use the most prevalent imagery or metaphor available as the fantasy/fear surfaced, in order to best communicate to the psyche in its "chosen languege" or "reinforced map" the sort of power play going on in life (whether between a man and a woman or a man and a man).

So, if a man subordinating a woman is the dominant imagery in your mind in the map that you've reinforced for what "power" means, it makes perfect sense that this is the imagery your subconscious would use to communicate with you as you tried to resolve feelings about an imbalance of power. And, if your coworker is a superior, naturally you would fantasize yourself as the inferior or subrodinate one in the picture, not because women are naturally inferior to men, but because that is the paradigm and fantasy that you have reinforced through watching a lot of porn (unless of course you're into dominatrixes and humiliation by a woman - I apologize in advance if I've made any assumptions about your particular fetishes; i realize the realm of porn is broad-reaching and diverse; perhaps you're into nubile, unreachable young virgins? But, overall it seems the dominant theme in porn is that of women being subservient, ie, eventually taking it up the ass, then getting shot a wad on the face just to show who's top and who's bottom. Please correct me if I'm wrong).

Why have you reinforced this map? If it disturbs you to have feelings of perhaps being gay, maybe that is an indication that it is time to create a new mythology, a new map, a new notion of what power is, so that you don't have to be hassled with such gay fantasies, if you truly are not gay as you claim. For that is truly a deep irony, but also fitting and following the laws of nature - every extreme turns to its opposite. The overly-male man who defines himself in terms of what he has power over finds he subconsciously wants to be controlled, and so ends up identifying himself as a woman, because the power dynamic in his head is so polarized that the subconscious simply must switch roles from time to time in order to survive, integrate, and make any sort of sense of things within such an imbalanced framework.

I know this was written

I know this was written awhile back but I had to reply to this.

I think you are correct about some of that.

I did the ramp up to more more.

I went through the phase of watching men subordinating a women as the dominant imagery.
Even a phase a little after this of women being dominant over other women.

I then did have the phase we talked about in another post jealousy of women in images. I wanted to be them. Fantasies of being them.

that brought me to the last phase before I came here again. I was into hypnosis but not just any hypnosis it was dominatrixes and humiliation by a woman.
It was powerful for awhile too.

"man who defines himself in terms of what he has power over finds he subconsciously wants to be controlled, and so ends up identifying himself as a woman, because the power dynamic in his head is so polarized that the subconscious simply must switch roles from time to time in order to survive, integrate, and make any sort of sense of things within such an imbalanced framework."
yes this is what I went through.

I could not read this post and not comment. It was very accurate about my experience with this part of the porn addiction.

PS

Do you think that being a soldier makes the identification with domination/submission power plays more intense?

Philosophy aside (not to make light of it...),

a good (married) friend said that based on his experience heavy porn use absolutely does make homosexual relationships more likely...and he added, "and I had some when I was younger."

I still think it goes back to the thrill of pursuing dopamine recklessly. AIDS is on the rise again in NYC, and it's due to widespread "barebacking" (sex without a condom) among young men.

It's hard for a porn user to imagine that careful union could offer deeper satisfaction, when all his highs come from intense experiences, which have a tendency to escalate due to the neurochemical changes that follow sexual satiation. *sigh*

Thanks!

A wonderful discussion -- thank you for your inputs!

Josef, I tried out what you suggested, and I do feel different definitely. But as I said before, I really undergo some really fluctuating mood swings. One moment I'm flared up with romantic passion, maybe the next I'm getting angry at the whole thing of romance/love, cursing it with all the hard metal music I can load up in my mind to feed the anger, maybe next moment I'm just feeling hopeless, like just killing myself to escape it all (although I obviously know that that'll only make things worse). I'm really unable to control these fluctuations by myself. I have to rely on some inspirational audio to lift myself to a better mood, and I don't really like being dependant on that, but I don't seem to gather all my strength together to change my mood either. It's like my environment or the situation determines how I'm going to feel. I really need to work on this, although I have no clue how (except, well, broad guidelines such as those of Covey)

Dopamine cycle is very subtle

Let me share with you a curious phenomenon that I've been experiencing lately. (It is very strange, perhaps even descriptive of my immaturity, but kindly allow me to share and receive your input)

Whenever I see an attractive woman (on the street, in the shop, etc.), I just stare at her for about 3 seconds and mentally say sorry to her. I apologise mentally because I feel that I am casting my dirty eyes onto her for no fault of hers. Now, common sense may suggest that just by looking at her passionately does not affect her in any way, she's not even aware you're doing it, she's entirely in her own world. But somehow I think that when I look at her like that I send off negative energy to her, for no fault of hers at all (well, okay, on a few occasions I have found myself cursing attractive women as being plain whores, "why do they need to dress sexually attractively then, if they're already going out with someone and happy?") I guess I agree quite well with the Biblical statement (although I'm not a Christian): ...every one who looks at a woman to want her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

I have no proof of whether there is any such transfer of negative energy. But it just seems to be some strange idea that's probably a manifestation of my OCD. (And I do suffer from some very strange forms of OCD)

But, clearly, the three-second period of staring is really the committing of the adultery. It makes no sense then to first do the adultery and then say sorry. But on the other hand, if an attractive woman on the street just passes by (and I know she has passed only by a very vague picture from the corner of my eye, but it's clear enough she's attractive), I say to myself, "wait, you just looked at her lustfully... apologise!", and so I look back at her and mentally say sorry and move on. I have noticed that more than encouraging being a clean-hearted man, it actually hides the lust under the name of virtue... a most terrible thing to happen under any situation.

For the past three days this crazy thing has been the norm. Today I found myself almost convinced that I needed another acting out session to begin a new fresh journey. But when I read the earlier post about porn really contributing to all those fear-of-turning-gay feelings, I am now convinced the other way. I will begin a fresh new journey, but not by acting out.

Thank you for your thoughts. Such comments do really help.

Those mood fluctuations

are not really *you* Frank. They are the feelings that accompany major neurochemical fluctuations - which automatically follow sexual satiation. This means that you can either try technique after technique, or you can strive for equilibrium. Only the latter will lead to a noticeable, sustainable increase in wellbeing.

Alas, that means getting unhooked from the dopamine cycle. Otherwise, it absolutely *will* shift your mood/perception constantly- just as you have accurately described.

This is not a matter of "bad behavior," so quit criticizing yourself. It's a matter of an overactive brain pathway, which you laid down because of too intense erotic imagery, reinforced with orgasm. Talk to Lancer. Read his posts. I think you guys could really help each other. There is no comfortable solution to your problem Frank. You're going to have to go through an uncomfortable withdrawal if you want your freedom back. Short-term fixes just won't do it. Nor will imagining that you're unique in your addiction process (although everyone IS slightly different, I'm sure). What you're experiencing is typical, given the stimulation you've been engaging in.

I agree that what I am

I agree that what I am experiencing is not really unique for a sex addict. However, I seem to have one last question about the reaching-equilibrium-in-dopamine-cycle idea:

You see, sexual addiction is somewhat a defect of character. What a two-week striving for equilibrium will do is that it will settle the neurochemical swings into place. But I suppose that there is lot more to human behavior than plain neurotransmitters. Okay, character is again traceable to some chemistry in the brain, but I seem to find it not immediately convincing that just a two-week period of equilibrium will significantly cure the dopamine craving.

What, specifically, will the short-term striving for equilibrium (two or three weeks) do to the addiction? I've been told that you cannot really "overcome addiction" in less than 90 days of conscious striving. (Now, I know that it's just stupid to count the number of days for recovery, especially when addiction is such a crappy thing that I should strive to overcome it regardless of how long it takes -- my question is on the effect that only two weeks could have on the brain).

Truth is, franc, it doesn't.

Truth is, franc, it doesn't. Maybe a year or so will give you that relief. However, I found it's best not to focus on the length of time. Instead, it's best to focus on your security. I found that one of the things I lost after a major six week relapse is that I lost the security I had in this I wasn't going to go engage in destructive behavior. I'm now taking steps to address that and continue on. A focus on purity of thought is what I'm focusing on, and a focus on defeating a serious affliction to my mind.

Short-term is important. If you get through the short term, the long term becomes possible. It's the simple building block. You're right: the mind and processes are more than just the product of some neurotransmitters and firing of neurons. I think, though, that every addict has a piece of their brain they can latch on to and use to get them out of a rough spot.

So, two weeks is important. But it's just one brick in a long path. Keep that in mind.

Oh, as for your fears of homosexuality: while I was fully engaged in compulsive behavior, I found that I had flashes of homosexual thoughts. I would question my sexuality a little bit, but then realized I have no attraction at all to men, and still don't. It all comes back to the security question. The knowledge of knowing where you are is a powerful thing.

The post-sexual satiation cycle

is a two-week cycle of neurochemical highs and lows, but porn addiction is a different problem...as is any addiction. You stay *very* vulnerable to certain cues for a much longer time...because that pathway in your brain is very well established. Those cues send your dopamine soaring, which can set off another withdrawal cycle. So Stay Away From The Cues! Don't just "look" with the intention not to masturbate, or any of the other compromises that will (naturally) occur to you.

Make a list of other things to do, which you find rewarding, but which don't put you on that intense roller coaster. Especially do things that increase oxytocin (which eases cravings and withdrawal symptoms). Here's a list of things that research has shown increase oxytocin, but there are no doubt others:

· voluntary exercise,
· harmonious interactions with others, support group meetings,
· caring for pets,
· voluntary generosity,
· inspiring scenery, pleasant smells (pine forest, bread baking),
· calming music, singing,
· warm, supportive touch, therapeutic massage,
· companionship, and
· probably yoga and meditation

Writing us can help, even though it's a distant companionship. Wink

Hugs,
Marnia

More trouble

I just remembered that back in around 5th or 6th grade, when I was really starting to get curious about sex, my best friend (male) and I actually undressed together and probably fondled each other very briefly. Now, after that I have never actually related to any male sexually (in 8th grade I made out with two girls and since then I'd been in my solitary p&m addiction), but considering that event is just making me doubt myself all the more. (In fact, some researchers say that sexual orientations are formed in early adolescence)

Today I found myself thinking, "okay, what if you do in fact turn gay? well, you can either revert back to being heterosexual or not -- if not, then you'll just have to deal with it... what's the point of fearing it?"... but now I think the answer is that the mechanism of fear is about prevention, hence fear may be necessary.

Josef, I guess I'm having some fear of even trying out what you say (to calm down and not oppose these fears). How can I let them unopposed without actually intending in some way to become gay? I mean, if I try to not oppose them, won't it not feed my fear further because I would then be consciously entertaining these fears by letting them stay?

This is really not fine at all... it's not just the physi(ologi)cal sense of anxiety, it's the whole idea of turning gay itself that really is depressing me terribly.

Any comments will be appreciated. Thanks for reading.

It's a bit of what I said

It's a bit of what I said before, franc- you need to be secure in what you are. My advice to you (because I've had some questions on this when I was a bit younger) is walk around and see if you are attracted to men. I've talked to people who are gay before. It is not a choice that the person consciously makes. So, don't worry as much about it. Know what you are, and that will make you better able to handle what's going on with you.

Hey Franc

I don't want to minimize what you're feeling, but the truth is, I don't think I've ever met anyone who didn't experience thoughts similar to the ones you're dealing with right now. We live in a world that goes to great lengths to confuse the meaning of healthy sexuality, so it is no wonder that all of us experience sexual confusion.

Here's the thing, though: I've known many gay men, and not one of them was ever confused about it. They may have suffered a great deal of fear about what the repercussions would be, but they KNEW very early on the direction they were headed. I've also known several men who've experimented sexually with other men, coming from a place uncertainty like you are. In fact, two of these men were my ex-boyfriends. And you know what? It turns out they were totally straight, as were all the others who were suffering with "uncertainty."

I think it's possible that your confusion and anxiety right now has more to do with your P&M habits, than your actual sexual orientation. If that is not the case, you will find out once you've healed your addiction, and you'll be in a much better place to deal with it. Personally, I really don't think you have anything to worry about, though.

And think again...

about how daring/exciting such "naughty" fondling was when it happened. The brain *loves* to build pathways around any experience that is "unexpectedly rewarding."

I once stole a small, desk-size Playboy calendar from the desk of a colleague of my grandfather...and I can still see a picture of Miss August *chortles with laughter* even though I had to relinquish the stolen property as soon as we got home and the colleague called. My grandparents tried to be stern, but looking back on it, I suspect they got a good chuckle out of the whole affair.

I don't know why the calendar was so fascinating. I guess our brains are just wired to find *any*thing to do with reproduction compelling...especially when we're first awakening. I suppose I could have wondered if I was a lesbian, but that just never occurred to me...even though I could see Miss August was ever so attractive.

What do you mean "turning

What do you mean "turning gay"? Being attracted to the same sex is not the same as being gay. Turning gay implies becomming part of a group, a sub culture. Attraction to other men does not equal being gay.
Ok, now with that out of the way, attraction to both women, men, or anything is something beautiful. Allow yourself to see the beauty of the male body just as you can see the beauty of the female body. Being attracted to and seeing the beauty of the body could mean the same thing but these two are not the same as wanting the other body for your own pleasure. The last one would imply a proyection of your thoughts into the future, desire working in your mind. See how it is not the same to see an attractive body (male or female) than to desire that body or to think about that body in a fantasy (sexual or not). They can't be the same! One is originating from your own thoughts, the other is originating in your perception.
So, if you divide yourself and fight the desires and the urges you fail to see that he who fights is made up of those desires and urges. The content of the mind creates the struggling "I" while the struggling "I" reinforces the content it is struggling against. So that "I" can't do much about it in the way of struggling, for it is its struggle that prevents it from being free from its content.

Interesting site, Nonki,

Interesting site, Nonki, thank you. I thought this was interesting and pertinent:

"The sex drive is a very potent energy force created by Nature to override man's equally strong intellectual and emotional drives because without the imperative of instinct Nature had to be assured that procreation would take place, so employed the use of extremely potent sex hormones to do the job.

Sex was not created by Nature for the purposes of procreation alone or else each and every sexual encounter would result in a pregnancy, sex is also an expression of pure exuberance and physical joy.

Love is both a biological and a psychological necessity without which sex as such could not exist. The artificial division and separation of love and sex is indicative of a psychologically repressive culture. All life is sustained by love and sex is no exception, love also implies a willing offering up of one's attention, loyalty and commitment, even in the context of sex. The force of love provides all creatures small or large with a psychic hold on life without which nothing and no one would desire to be."

That from her site: http://www.hathayogalesson.com

"The power of Imagery is

"The power of Imagery is built into to our psyche. Our body is totally gullible to suggestions and the language of images coming from the mind. Our body will respond to a metal image as if to an actual real event, this fact is at the heart of the power behind guided imagery. We can deliberately change the condition of our bodies blood chemistry and it's ability to heal and produce energy by invoking healthy, peaceful, positive, life affirming, images. The body is persuaded to heal itself through suggestion and specific therapeutic images. Guided Imagery is the most easily learned form of self hypnosis and meditation because it works to harness the natural powers of the mind, our imagination, our intention, and our will."

This thread is too long to

This thread is too long to read in its entirety by my scatterbrained mind but I can throw in some words anyway. For my part I've never been afraid of "turning gay" as I have WAY too much appreciation for the female form in all of its sparkling varieties. BUT I've been having fantasies about sexual relations with other men and I've even acted on these fantasies. Thing is the male body does nothing for me in terms of getting turned on, but the "forbidden" aspect of it makes my dopamine craving mind play with the idea anyway.

I don't think there is such a thing as "turning" gay. I think one might be gay(or bisexual) and in denial about it, or heterosexual but open to the idea of sex with other men. And I think the main problem with both of these situations is not that it is a problem in and of itself, but how society looks on such things. Things have moved forward and being gay is more accepted now then it has been but it is still assumed that you are heterosexual until you inform the world otherwise. No one who knows me knows that I've explored this side of myself, I don't have the guts to tell them because it is still something that is looked down upon and more so for a straight man then someone who is openly gay I think.

IF you find in yourself that you actually are gay, the problem is not being gay. Nothing wrong with that, the problem is telling the world about it and having them accept it. Hope you manage to end the confusion in yourself as that is probably a lot worse then any conclusion you end up with!

Better and better every time! Wink

Meaning in the attractions

Hi, I am new to the discussion board here and I just wanted to add some thoughts to the above topic. I am a sex therapist and in my work I have found it helpful to question attractions and fantasies for underlying meaning. Why all of a sudden am I having sexual attraction toward men? What am I actually attracted to with this male? What does my fantasy involve? etc. etc. I have a client who never struggled with sexual attraction toward his own gender but just recently began having sexual attractions toward men and he is now concerned about being gay. However, if you look at his story and his circumstances, he grew-up feeling inadequate about being male since he was a "nerd" and didn't have a muscular body. He stated that he had a small penis compared to the porn stars, he didn't have many male friends etc. It made sense that he was attracted to muscular men who are well endowed and who present in an extremley confident manner. Also, there is an underlying need to connect with other men (nonsexually). It's as if these attractions are revealing his perceived deficits within himself and by sexual attraction/acts he can fill these deficits or voids.

Yes...

[quote=aslanson]Hi, I am new to the discussion board here and I just wanted to add some thoughts to the above topic. I am a sex therapist and in my work I have found it helpful to question attractions and fantasies for underlying meaning. Why all of a sudden am I having sexual attraction toward men? What am I actually attracted to with this male? What does my fantasy involve? etc. etc. I have a client who never struggled with sexual attraction toward his own gender but just recently began having sexual attractions toward men and he is now concerned about being gay. However, if you look at his story and his circumstances, he grew-up feeling inadequate about being male since he was a "nerd" and didn't have a muscular body. He stated that he had a small penis compared to the porn stars, he didn't have many male friends etc. It made sense that he was attracted to muscular men who are well endowed and who present in an extremley confident manner. Also, there is an underlying need to connect with other men (nonsexually). It's as if these attractions are revealing his perceived deficits within himself and by sexual attraction/acts he can fill these deficits or voids. [/quote]

When fantasies of sex with the same sex started, I noticed even back then they were born more out of negative feelings about myself. Interesting that you mentioned this man's insecurity of a small penis.

Although I hate to talk about it, I still remember very vividly one of the most early fantasies with homosexual content. I was masturbating when a male who was the stereotypical "hot" and "perfect" guy appeared. Muscular, well-endowed...basically based on the kind I saw in the porn mags I had. He told me that what I had wasn't a *blank* and that what I need was this, and grabbed him...and you can guess the rest. But even in my young mind I knew the sex act was symbolic for "getting it".

Yet, all my romantic/sexual/emotional attraction was for women. I also used had fantasies of women forcing me or encouraging me to engage in homosexual behavior while she watched or took part in it.

Is that because I am just a bisexual? Maybe I am gay and it's women's acceptance that I am most concerned about? Thus I sexualized that desire for acceptance from them? Maybe I am gay, but don't want to be...so I add a woman into the picture? Maybe it's just because I have an wounded self image and masculinity and feel like, but is not a "fag". Thus I sexualize a female enjoying seeing me do it.

Something about kick starts my Dopamine levels more than most things...so what why is that? There is also the element of transgressive, crossing boundaries and no limits, breaking of moral codes. The hedonistic element where only sexual pleasure with no limitation exists.

I often have dreams where I meet men that I admire and they reject me and very often I feel like I'm not "one of the guys". I remember always not wanting to be like my father too.

Joe Kort, who is an openly gay psychotherapist who specializes in gay affirmation, relationship problems and all kinds of issues is the only openly gay therapist that I've found that writes and believes that innately heterosexual men can develop sexual interest in other men, but are not gay or bisexual.

What you write, is often shunned by the gay community as it points to psychological issues as being a factor of homosexuality. But Joe, unlike "ex-gay" therapists makes the distinction between straight men with same sex behavior and gay/bisexual men. It still falls on deaf ears though.

My question now, is: are my negative feels and the fact I don't feel like "one of the guys" due to the fact I under the surface, might haven been gay all along? Or is the interest in gay porn, etc a result of those negative feelings?

Maybe a lot of those men have had all those negative feelings about weak masculinity, because they WERE gay.

Interesting

I have wondered about this phenomenon myself in connection with some of my lesbian friends, who seem to doubt their "goddessy" qualities, and therefore feel especially attracted to feminine women.

I think that many people choose qualities in a mate that they think they don't have, but could "possess" through hooking up: social standing, ethnic good looks of one kind or another, intelligence, talent, etc. In other words, it's my impression that this is not a phenomenon exclusive to those attracted to same-sex partners.

It may just be a signal that someone has to recognize that they are not deficient *as they are.* If we all had to look like porn stars, for example, the world would be a much poorer place in many ways.

Hmmm....

[quote=Marnia] If we all had to look like porn stars, for example, the world would be a much poorer place in many ways.[/quote]

I don't understand. On one hand, I have a very poor self image. But at the other hand, in real life..I don't want to be a body builder "hunk". Even though I know that's what a lot of women want.

So maybe my poor sense of self image is just an excuse for me.

Or maybe it's just at certain moments.

My poor self image and obsession with my looks. Squinting when I walked past a mirror and all the worry and stress that I am ugly in the eyes of the opposite sex has taken a back seat to my worrying about my what my sexual orientation is and if I haven't been lying to myself and other for 26 years.

So these days, I'm pretty fine with the way I look...kind of.

It's just

a matter of how you see yourself inside, and how you act. I know a lot of men who are technically "ugly" and yet, they score again and again. It's all about confidence and charisma. Looks never hurt, but they are secondary.

And when they are not, would you really have a relationship with such a superficial woman? Good riddance, I daresay.

The point is, people respond to your reality and viceversa; so as long as you are dissatisfied with your own self-image, other people will sense it.

I would recommend searching in YouTube a guy called Sean Stephenson. I won't tell you how he looks - just watch him and hear what he has to say. Astounding.

Very inspirational

I just spent several hours watching Sean's videos. Very inspiring. Thanks for the recommendation, Jkasali.

I recommend this particularly to people who worry about whether they are physically attractive. Real beauty comes from within ourselves.

A great introduction:
Sean Stephenson on Jimmy Kimmel Live 5-22-08 (6 minutes)

Sean Stephenson addresses a crowd about an interesting date! (4 minutes)

Believing is being, PickUp and reality DavidDeangelo guest (5 minutes)

Sean Stephenson on David DeAngelo Man Transformation (Part 1) (Part 2) (20 minutes)

This is my favorite. He talks about his experience working at the White House. Achieving your goals. Taking a stand. Love your bullies.
Sean speaking (Part 1) (Part 2) (Part 3) (30 minutes)

Getting off your buts
Sean Stephenson on WGN radio (part 1) (part 2) (12 minutes)

Advice on how to share feelings (in difficult situations - advice for me Lol
Sean Stephenson video newsletter "From Where I Stand" Vol. 2 (4 minutes)

Update: Sean Stephenson got married to a lovely lady: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=quAddzjBYw0

Happy

that you liked them! I love Sean. I don't know him personally, but he is a great guy. It transpires from his face, his speeches, and his accomplishments. Frankly, after seeing stuff like that you really have no excuses. If he can use his mind to overcome his challenges, so can we.

I had this feeling

Because of molestation in my past...also, because of the bullying, and other things that took place that made me believe I WAS gay. The feeling of being bullied by girls too. Especially when you like them, it hurts most of all. Then being called this no matter where you go. No matter who you meet. No matter what school you go to. It poisons your mind, and you have extreme disbelief in yourself. Some might have suicide thoughts and other things. I believe most gay people have been throught all these things I have been through. But you just have to believe in yourself no matter what. Tell yourself that they are wrong and follow your heart.