Welcome to the "Habit to Harmony" Forum

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This forum is for visitors to the "Reuniting" site, and readers of Cupid's Poisoned Arrow and Peace Between the Sheets.

Once you have joined the site, you will be able to comment on any forum post. To blog, contact me, and I will enable you to start your own threads on subjects you want to talk about. Blogging instructions.

Most members follow the action by clicking on All recent posts, which tracks every new post since the previous visit. However, if you are seeking support related to a particular subject, you may wish to start with the threads listed below. If you are here primarily due to your interest in karezza, stick to the ♥ posts. The "All recent posts" includes the posts of a lot of people struggling with recovery. Incidentally, these links integrate both blog posts and forum posts. The outline below only relates to posts in the (less active) forum itself. Most of the really juicy discussions occur in the blogs, so be sure to check "Recent posts!"

If you wish to delete material you have posted, contact Marnia or Janitor, and we will help you. We can temporarily mask, or completely delete any blog thread, but comments you make to others' posts have to be removed individually. You can track all your posts from your account page. You can also edit your blog posts.

Please post all links promoting services and products in the “Commercial” forum. And please do not post links to pornographic materials anywhere.

% of Population that do not experience major drop after Orgasim

Thank you for your very insightful work. I have just come out of a relationship with a woman who had been celibate for more than 5 years. We had that intense pleasure to discover each other and lots of orgasmic sex. After a year, she started menopause. Then, she also became very withdrawn after sex and looked at me with very different eyes. She ended the relationship after six months of going back and forth, deciding that I was no longer any good for her. My affection and regard for her did not drop off after we had sex. Hers did, very sharply. after the "honeymoon" year. What are the explainations for my feelings? Did my climax produce less of a dopamine high for me and thus be followed by much less of a drop off for me? I do not associate "conquest" and fertile sex with the pattern of male disinterest that you describe, that does not seem to be part of my personal cycle. In the wide variety of humankind, how many of us do not experience this biochemical emotional drop-off after orgasim, or experience it very mildly if at all. And I have not felt the kind of drug-like orgasim high that crosses over into other parts of my life and decreases my functionality that you have described as occuring in some peoples experiences. Since I am new to this forum, please recommend other posts with relevant comments, and thank you for your responses.

Welcome to the forum

You ask good questions. And I'm very sorry about what happened in your relationship.

I never recognized the drop after my orgasms either...but I sure did pull away from partners, just as your sweetheart did! My husband didn't notice them either...but he drank heavily at those times. Hmmmm.....

I think men often don't see this effect because it can actually make you (and some women, too) hornier than ever when your dopamine drops - although you may feel especially turned on by novel potential partners. Low dopamine makes cues associated with "feeling good" draw your full attention, and send dopamine way high. You may feel like you have a monster libido, even though your neurochemistry hasn't fully restored itself.

You're actually seeking a form of "medication" via sex. (Other dopamine raising substances/activities, such as alcohol, gambling, risky behavior, junk food are also more attractive at this point in the cycle.)

We all suppose that "libido is libido, " but maybe you've noticed a difference between types of libido over the years. Sometimes you feel like the romantic lover, with all the time in the world. Usually a sign of inner balance. Other times you just want orgasm, and have no time for foreplay. That's often a sign that you're in hangover mode, seeking relief by using orgasm as a drug. (Mind you, the desire to seek daily intimacy is VERY healthy. More in a moment.)

The problem with seeking orgasm as medication, is that it can be a real turn-off to your partner (and make you hornier and hornier). You are using her as a fix, rather than participating in an exchange of mutual gifts with each other's best interest at heart. If you've ever had a lover who wanted more sex than you felt like delivering, you know what I'm talking about. You get the sense that you're not even a *person* in their eyes for that moment. You're merely an "orgasm opportunity." Wink

Over time, this can build up strong feelings of habituation between partners. Typically the woman shuts down first, but I assure you that there are many couples in which this situation is reversed. And some of us have seen both phenomena. I'm sure menopause was a contributor, but this can happen at any age.

Our point is that biology is at work in creating emotional distance between partners...however it shows up. New partners mean more diverse genes (and immunity) in our offspring. This is what lovers are up against, whatever the particulars.

Remember, These genetic programs behind such gut feelings come from the primitive part of the brain which controls mating and loving feelings...at a subconscious level. Then we use our "big brains" to explain those gut feelings.

So, never mind what she said about her reasons for breaking up. You are correct when you said her feelings changed. The good news is that if she's willing to try again...there is a way to speak directly to her limbic system and outsmart it, reviving those loving feelings. See "The Lazy Way to Stay in Love." http://www.reuniting.info/lazy_way_to_stay_in_love

But you would be wise to combine these tactics with a minimum of orgasms unless you want to set off the same habituation. (Gentle intercourse without orgasm is fine, though.)

Since Poet said it was helpful for him, I'll repeat some other remarks I shared here:

our thought is that the cycle after orgasm is similar to a menstrual cycle in the sense that it's an actual biological program.

A menstrual cycle is generally 28 days, but some women suffer from PMS always, others never, others now and then. Same thing with the orgasm cycle. It's there...and we know for sure that it lasts for at least 7 days in men, and for 15 days in both males and females of another mammal. But we don't know exactly which neurochemical dominoes are involved. And the experience of those going through it can be quite different.

Depending upon what else is going on, how many bonding behaviors the couple uses to soothe their nervous systems, what *kind* of sex they have (intercourse has been shown to be more relaxing than oral sex or masturbation over the days following), how sensitive they are to particular neurochemicals, etc., the hangover will look different. In fact, I'd venture to say that no two hangovers are identical...but then my period was never regular either.

Feel free to start a blog if you like.

hangover?

a pulling away?

i have looked for signs of this in both myself and my partner since first hearing of it (peace-sheets)and i gotta say, i'm baffled. i want to cuddle very strongly after sex - especially when i've experienced orgasm, as it feels to me like it truly is a bonding experience. my man never gets up and leaves right after he's had his...he always puts his arm around me.

am i missing something?

Please help, I need to know how's it supposed to be?

Hi , I was just hoping that you could help me with a worry I have. I'm doing the exchanges with my husband at the moment but have a reccuring thought that keeps spiralling my mood down to very very low each day. I am 32 and my Husband is 40 this year. Last year our relationship was badly strained - we know now that we habituated (after 9 years), had way to much make up sex, masturbation etc. and drank too much wine in the evennings. My husband had work stress and overate etc. He projected that I was never satisfied and was too demanding while I felt he was lazy and selfish - same old stuff we now realize and we have worked with Cupids Poisonned Arrow and the website and feel very close now apart from my fear.

My husband dabbled with some sex dating sites which really hurt me during that time and we are now overcoming it. He is such a lovely man and this was very out of character. I just need an outsider to give me some more perspective. Since this happenned I have developed some ideas that really, really hurt me.

I am afraid that men in general including my husband see an attractive woman in the street and really want to have sex with them and that they crave sex with someone new all the time. I feel insecure now whenever there is someone good looking around. I know it is weak and pathetic and I will deal with it but I need a bit of help. I read somewhere on this site that sexy women made this happen - how sexy? attractive or overtly inviting? Does this always happen or not if the man is balanced.

I feel comfortable that PEOPLE (not just men) like getting compliments and like to know they are still attractive and that if something fell into there lap they would sit up and register it and that if they were in balance would not feel compelled to go along with because there is not that much real life opportunity out there really if you take care of your environment. I see how dopamine extremes will make him more likely to chase more stimulation when real opportunity does come along.

I suppose what I want to know is is it that do men in their natural state crave and imagine other women sexually and should I resign myself to this? Or, do they just get a little nudge when something is overtly sexual, like porn or sex toy adverts or a woman trying it on with them etc? This is based on them being in a marriage with lots of bonding behaviour and no hyperstimulating behaviour or substances.
Is it likely that if everything is happy that a man will just crave new flesh even if there is no obvious opportunity? (no porn involved)
Men always comment on how tempted they get on a daily basis (on TV or husbands mates). Is this just men trying to big up their sexuality or are they really that desperate? There was a reference made to how all the sex surveys were done on uni students which really doesn't represent your average 40 year old man?

I need a framework on which to base my future expectations. I really need to know what to believe in in terms of a mans sexuality compared to that of a woman. I know I don't sit around wishing I could have sex with random men when I'm at home doing the washing. I also see that if I've had too much to drink, I am more interested in how others view me and look for more complements (I don't drink anymore!) and assume this is associated with the high dopamine that alcohol creates. When a man sees a good looking woman is it 'nice tits nice arse' and then forget all about them or is it 'Oh God I have to have sex with someone glittery like that'.

Do men just get on with their family life and enjoy it or are they always on the look out. Sometimes your book makes me feel hopeful and sometimes it seems very harsh and scary when I'm feeling paranoid. I feel like there is no real love after all.
If my husband and I stay balanced is it fair to assume that he will not be bothered unless someone actively tries to get his attention?

I often hear that women like to be desired and that men desire. How can I overcome the horrible feeling this gives me? Is it true? I feel like my head is going to explode.

Please, please give me something to believe as I am going crazy by asking questions in my head.

Porn Addict

The image excites me and I want to have sex. It doesn't matter with who or how. The glitter just gets it going.
When I feel loved and cared for and am at least 2 weeks post orgasm (and......) I can see the image and have a whole variety of responses. I can say, "Nice tits, she sure got her money's worth" or "OMG! I'm looking at her tits...again" or "Oh I miss my Isadora" or "What a beautiful woman" or "She really put some effort into that look" or "Nice tits and what a nice smile" or ......
We can speak more, but I've really got to get some work done today
I wish you well. You will find lots of support here.

Hi mrsb

I think AC gave you a good answer. There's no set "male" (or "female") response to sexual cues. It all depends on what's going on in that primitive reward circuitry. When it's out of balance, libido can be unusually low or unusually high. That said, a healthy interest in sex is part of our natural magnetism. If a pair bond is strong, then it feels right to express it with a mate. If the bond is weakening due to too much stimulation, then the person will be feeling "hungrier" than usual and looking for more stimulation. That's when novelty is especially compelling, because it releases more dopamine.

But forget all that. Smile What you're feeling is normal and typical. It's very unsettling for a partner to realize her/his partner found a synthetic substitute compelling. Maybe it's that old pair-bonding program being especially sensitive to potential threats to a union. Of course, visual erotica isn't necessarily a threat, but it triggers those feelings. And it does make mates restless for more stimulation, which is an unstable situation. So no matter how innocently he looks at other women or ads, you'll be hypersensitive sometimes.

I've just been reading a new book that was written for couples in your situation...by a (male) marriage therapist with years of experience. It's called Love You, Hate the Porn. It's short, but full of anecdotes that you and your husband will relate to.

The good news is that these feelings of mistrust will fade in time. And the further good news is that your husband is actually "good medicine" for you, if he's willing to keep sharing himself via those bonding behaviors. One of the most important is to just listen and let you talk when those natural insecurities arise...maybe holding your hand while you do it.

I'm glad you see that your husband is really a wonderful man. The temptation of today's Internet porn is like nothing our ancestors ever faced. If we were men, we would no doubt have checked it out by now ourselves. And without a working knowledge of why it's so much more stimulating than "Playboy," we, too, might have felt drawn to keep using. Forgiveness is totally appropriate. And if he needs help, he shouldn't hesitate to get it. Brains can be rewired, for ill...and good. He may find Doidge's book interesting: http://yourbrainonporn.com/doidge-on-pornography-and-neuroplasticity

Also feel free to start your own blog if you'd like to hang around for support: http://www.reuniting.info/resources/bloggers

The main cause of addictions is not chemical.

Hello everyone,

I am happy to find a place where sympathetic people have opened themselves to help others in a genuine way. Beautiful! I too have been engaged in the process of unlearning what I have discovered to be the true causes of my suffering with addictions, and am reaching new understanding with every setback during which I make a conscious INTENT to learn about my pain rather than run from it. I find that "distracting" myself from my addiction only transfers the addiction to something else, or causes me to avoid exploring my feelings by "abandoning" them, almost as if I have a child and instead of tending to it's needs when it suffers, I just switch my attention to something else... that still leaves me feeling empty inside, although proud I avoiding the lure of pornography.

I studied neurobiology, neurochemistry, natural medicine, homeopathy, naturopathy, Ayurveda, Reiki and allopathic modalities, and I am not saying this to sound pompous or toot my own horn, as a matter of fact, I have rejected all the above fields as I understood they all miss one critical aspect of cause and effect in ANY human suffering/dis-ease... they do not address the invisible operator (senses+volition) of the natural body, instead, they aim to correct the effects, and they often claim certain things are causes, but when asked "well what caused the cause", I quickly saw there's something else behind their "cause", therefore it was only an effect masked as the cause... So I pressed forward through the wilderness of human mind... and traced the causes from the body to the fluids, within the fluids I found neurochemicals and hormones, and behind the chemicals and hormones I found thoughts, beliefs, ideas... and finally landed to where there is some element of man, which cannot be seen, is not material, and cannot be changed, yet notices everything else change. If anyone wants to meet their true self, simply answer the question... "when your mind and body changes, what is the element that is noticing the change?"

So this invisible "observer" gets stuck in the thoughts and beliefs we form early on in childhood, learned from our caregivers. One of my beliefs was that when you feel unpleasant feelings or emotions, you need to get rid of it because it doesn't feel good. So instead of opening to my sensations of guilt, fear, worry, I learned to close myself off with... take a guess?... Addictions (Drugs, Sex, Porno, Internet, approval of others, blaming, etc, etc.) I can keep counting the number of ways I learned to avoid taking responsibility for what I feel, which paradoxically causes me more of the feelings I am protecting or running from.

By now you may be thinking, wow this is interest, I agree... or.... Where are you getting at, what's your point? My Point... If we are to truly solve the main cause of our addictions, we need to understand how it masks itself behind the false 'causes'.

Pornography and addictions to Dopamine (which is a messenger hormone) are not the true causes of our suffering, only effects of an act, which comes from a belief, which comes from our mind... if we ask ourselves... when I get the urge to look at porn or act out additively in any way, what am I really feeling underneath that urge? Sadness, Helplessness, Hurt, Sorrow, Aloneness, Loneliness, Boredom? And am I really open and willing to truly feel these feelings with the intention to learn from them?... or, do I want to avoid them at all cost and turn to my addiction. Your answer to this question (every time you feel something unpleasant, sad, etc) determines whether you will progress out of your addictions, or revolve back into it. Many would be surprised that remembering to pay attention to these feelings may be harder than it seems... and this is precisely why we often slip into our addiction and can't figure out why.

So, there you have it, my introduction and contribution of years of learning (and then unlearning), which has given me wisdom to not only deal with, but learn from my feelings which lead to my addictive behavior. I am now not as much focused on distracting myself from my addictions as I am on listening to the feelings which precede the urge.

I will stick around here, as I did find some comfort in what others are sharing.

All my best to everyone here who is on the path to break free from their invisible prisons of misery and suffering. Also, I am open to reason with anyone of you who has a desire to, I'm sure we'll learn something together and move higher, as it is said, when two or more are gathered in the name of Wisdom (of Truth), Truth will be there with them.

Sometimes, threads need to resuface..

No need to worry, sometimes these posts need to resurface for a reason. We are all still learning on this path.

Quizure

"If you can’t be emotionally engaged friends with women, I don’t see how one can ever have a serious relationship or even good sex."
--Freedom

Any place is fine

Thanks for sharing your views. I guess I'm of the opinion that this is not an "either-or" proposition. The method you propose has been effective for many for a very long time. That's great. However, it can be empowering for others to learn more about what brain balance entails and why so many techniques, many quite ancient, make it more achievable.

In my experience, personal growth is a sort of spiral, and there's no reason one can't move from the science angle to the spiritual angle (or vice versa, as in my case), or even integrate the two, as part of one's journey.

It's great that you have found what works for you.

I can understand your

I can understand your position, and the vested interest in writing about the subject of brain chemicals, but would agree to disagree. Are you open to reason further with me about this, or are you fixed in your opinions?

Vested interest...wow

If the Dalai Lama can combine an interest in neuroscience and spirituality, I reckon others can too. I guess my mind is a bit closed on the idea that this must be an "either-or" discussion, so I decline your invitation to reason further.

Ok, so much for harmony and

Ok, so much for harmony and reason. I am open to speak about your ideas, just so you know, and this is why I offered to reason, where you could have share more about your understanding, quite the opposite of "either or" (It's interesting to note you gave my words such power as to steer you away from reason),... but if you shun newcomers simply because they disagree with you and assume what they're gonna say before they say it, than this is a hypocritical endeavor and not a site for true openness and desire to progress. Is this a place to support addiction or to cure it?

I don't know if you are new

I don't know if you are new to the internet, but Marnia sure isn't and I bet she knows that "discussions" like these lead to absolutely nothing except a drain of energy and and the frustrating knowledge that you have sold yourself short.

If you have found your way to battle addictions - that's great, congratulations. If you want to tell others about it, open your own homepage and put it out there. Or just open a topic or blog and share you experiences. Why would you try to religiously "convince" anybody about your ideas (or you are *really* willing to change your own opinion?)

Nobody here is trying to "fight dopamine". The power to change always comes from understanding, in one way or the other.

Marnia is putting an almost crazy amount of energy and time in this site and is answering the questions of almost everybody. That's something really worth appreciating and quite rare. It also makes yourself kind of vulnerable and may attract people who try to exploit that.

Imagine Sigmund Freud would live today and had a forum. He would want to help as much people he can. Every day he gets like a thousand messages. Where should he put his time and energy? Where he feels he can make a difference and to people who are *truly* ready to listen or should he waste his time in useless conversations *which don't help anybody*.

What Marina and Gary do here has had positive effects on so many people. There is no doubt about it, just look at all the rebooting accounts. That's all there really is to say about that.

So true Antiochos. I'm not

So true Antiochos.

I'm not sure MP if you're open to reasoning, or perhaps more inclinded to try and force your views onto someone here. Forgive me for being so crass, but half-insults and manipulation aren't particularly inviting to a discussion. Shame, because I think you make some poignant points.

On what MP was saying, I too personally think that my addiction has partly developed as a means of dealing with uncomfortable emotions. Whether it started out that way is harder to tell; perhaps I was just sucked in as a kid by the incredibleness of porn...

With that in mind, sure, it's easy to say "just stop looking at porn, and deal with the emotions". What you seem to forget is that, if one was inclined to deal with these feelings, one would have already done so. You're coming across a bit like the guy who says to the addicted drug user: "well, just stop using it? It isn't hard".

Sometimes we all have trouble seeing things from another's point of view, and unless we've been in there shoes ourselves, we can never know what they are truly going through. Sometimes understanding is the most appropriate action.

There's also a warning I was told once, which is when one is so sure of one's position, one tends to ignore all conflicting evidence that may prove otherwise. You seem to have ignored that chemicals are the (a) basis of human emotions and bodily function, so yes, a main cause of addiction is chemicals.

Back to me now: in my case, i think my addiction is strongly rooted in dealing with emotions that are uncomfortable - or damn painful. I do need to learn to cope with these feelings, to embrace them also. But that's hard to do - and why the approach taken by this site seems to help. If you stop taking your numbing pill, you eventually will need to face these feelings. I'm not at a stage yet to testify that it works, but from the rebooting accounts I've read, the future looks bright.

I've tried a number of sites to try nd break my addiction, and none of them focused on the neurological aspect of pornography use, including the mental and social (and of course intimte) consequences. This is the first site that actually convinced me that: porn = unhealthy.

And you eventually get your brain back in balance, which - considering the information-overload world we live in today, instant gratification, etc. - is a very important thing.
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