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Submitted by elevener on
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so. Okay this is really hard. but I guess I'll go. I wasn't sure If I was an addict or not. I'm not sure of a lot of things at the moment. But, I figured I'd run down the line of where I've been and let you guys decide.
So...I started looking at porn when I was probably 11 or 12. I forget which. But. I distinctly remember first being aroused by the women in one my dads body building magazines. It was a swimsuit issue.
I was set off so quickly. It wasn't long after I discovered anime...which is chock full of fan service and what not. And I remember getting off to that. Then I discovered the internet around that same age.
And thats when, things took off.
It was like a whole world opened up to me....I distinctly remember searching for sites catering to my needs of women with big chests. And I remember going fairly often to a website with lots and lots of hentai.
This went on for years. I hit a point where i was masturbating atleast once a day if not more.
And then one day I fell into something called futanari. For the uninitiated, its basically a chick with a "certain" male part. It was strange, but it excited me....and I began to search for more. Then came the downward spiral. The same toon fetish lead me into transgender porn. To which I distinctly remember feeling really guilty and depressed after getting off to it. Then came anime's second influence on me which was the femboy stuff. Where you have males who's bodies and facial structure are distinctly female in shape and form. Which again, was exciting and new, but left me feeling guilty and sad. Eventually, like the futa stuff....it lead me into the gay porn crap. To which again, I was trying to find something that mimicked the fake cartoon stuff I had been getting off on. I had a hard time sifting through it, and felt so sick of myself while I did it. and when I did find something that did kind of relate...it still felt off and not right. And yet my brain was like...go for it. Masturbate to this.
I am always off put by these things when I did look at them. I never found them EXTREMELY attractive. And I can still look at regular porn....just not with the same enthusiasm I did when I was a kid. It's like its dry and ho hum. I can occasionally find regular porn that gets me going, but it has to be something pretty hardcore. And occasionally I get this intense need for regular porn.
In real life though, I can walk around, and never really be attracted to men. For the most part. There's been times where I'm like maybe, but that was only cuzz they looked like women. And even then, I was rather put off by them. The thought of kissing a man too, or being romantically involved, doesn't really excite me.
Why post this now.
Because, since I started looking at porn at the age of 11/12...i've masturbated once a day...and at max....5 times a day. I am now 24. Even more disturbing, I find myself fondling myself through my pockets when I'm in class sitting at my desk. For no reason. Its almost like a compulsion.
So I'm worried on 2 levels.
Mainly because I recently started dating a female. I really had an attraction to her when I first met her. But now that we're dating the fact that I've been looking at all this weird gay porn is confusing the crap out of me. I am a virgin, and never really dated much before this. When I am around her, and when we make out, it is very easy to get excited, and get a quick erection. So I know that my basic love for women still exists....but I'm worried that all this weird porn i've been into, says otherwise. I've been worried that I might eventually just not care for her. I'm worried this addiction could lead to stranger things. I'm really confused. I don't know if I'm gay. Or if I have a really bad addiction. These past few days I've felt really depressed...and even more so after I masturbate to said fetish's. I've also been an anxiety wreck, Questioning, and worrying so much, I don't know what to believe anymore.
I dunno. What do you guys think?

It's natural

that you found you needed, shall we say, more and more unusual or extreme images to get off on. That's the way this addiction works, I know cos I deal with this every day. I started off with mags from the local sex shop. They gradually got more intense in quality. Then they were no longer enough, and I needed the internet. And so on...If you read some of the introductory information about dopamine (a neurochemical), and how our body gets addicted to it, and how our primitive brain actually rewards us for 'novel or shocking' images (which is why sometimes we get off on things that in normal consciousness we don't really like at all), you will find that what you are experiencing is normal in terms of porn addiction. You have taken an important step by talking about it. The addiction thrives in isolation, but with the support of others and most importantly, knowledge about the process you will find your way clear of it (if that is what you want).

Don't worry about 'being gay' just because you have been aroused by certain types of porn. The fact that you are confused about how you really feel, and that you feel a natural and spontaneous attraction with the girl you have met, suggests that you are not. But there's another reason I would invite you not to 'worry' and that's because (I'm going out on a limb here) being gay is not a criminal offence (unless you live in Saudi Arabia), nor is it immoral. So I wouldn't 'worry' in either case...though my intuition is that you are not gay, rather you have simply 'spiralled' into more and more 'shocking and unusual' material because your primitive brain wanted you to. Just like many of us here. (By the way I'm not gay either but I just wanted to clear the air, that it's not a moral issue like some think).

You are a brave soul and do stay in touch. Remember to read the info about porn addiction here, it explains all that dopamine stuff much better than I could. Check it out, it certainly opened my eyes to what's goin' down here between my ears. And be patient with yourself. If it is breaking free of the cycle of addiction to porn that you want, know that you can and will do it, if that is what you really want. It takes time but the freedom is sweet (I have a measure of freedom from it, and though I still have a way to go, the effort has been so worth it).

Asher.

Hi Elevener!

I thought something I wrote in another thread may be appropriate here..
[quote="Spiritual_Hardship"]
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!
[/quote]

When that is said I think Asher is right, this is probably your animal self just looking for a harder, faster dopamine fix. I definitely know what you're talking about being turned on by things that in a sense disgust you at the same time. Not an easy thing to cope with.. I would definitely reccomend trying to leave your porn habits behind. It's been a while since I watched porn now, I would lie bigtime if I say that I never get the urge to but it really helps with harmonizing the mind.

Better and better every time! Wink

Welcome Elevener

These guys have done a great job of explaining what's really going on. I'll just repeat the key idea. The *content* of the images that turn you on are pretty much irrelevant as regards your actual sexual orientation (whatever it may be). If you lined up all the images that you have found exciting in order of "hotness," and then lined up an "equivalent" alcoholic beverage next to each one, you'd find that those on one end of the line up are the equivalent of "beer," and those at the other end are hard liquor. (As you probably realize, each person would come up with a different line up depending upon which cues their brain had arbitrarily linked with sexual arousal from very early on.)

Content doesn't matter...intensity of reaction in the brain does. These images are like alcohol in their effect on the brain, or like gambling. Instead of "bigger bets" to get a "bigger buzz," *your* primitive brain just reacts to "weirder, wilder, even more guilt-producing" images. The same part of your brain governs ALL such thrill seeking - whether alcohol, porn or gambling, etc.. This part of the brain is where all addictions and compulsions arise - especially when we are not experiencing enough trusted companionship and soothing touch from others. (The brain seeks a substitute form of "feeling good.")

So although you may be attracted to weird stuff, while someone else is attracted to violent stuff, or misogynistic stuff, YOU are not necessarily weird, violent or misogynistic. Isn't that nice to know?? *hug*

That's the good news. The bad news is that if you want to free yourself from what is, in fact, an addiction, then you have work to do. Right now your dear, old primitive brain thinks it knows the fastest path to relief every time you feel stressed (which intense sexual stimulation can bring on...because the cycle of orgasm has both a high and a *low* phase). IT is the culprit that is urging you, compelling you, to find that porn, or even more intense porn. And if it can't get you to find it, it may even prompt "flashbacks" to "hot" images.

The cure, just for any addict, is to *stop strengthening that pathway in the brain* by NOT using it. The withdrawal can be miserable - because your brain, right now, thinks of porn/orgasm as "good medicine" whenever you are stressed. But the gift is that you will start to find other things in your life, like your real sweetheart, more fulfilling and pleasurable...even though they are less intense forms of pleasure.

This re-training can take weeks. One man who recovered said that it was about six weeks before he felt back in balance...and that was with no porn, and NO ORGASM. (The reason to give up both is that first, one is a cue for the other. In other words, even if you decide to masturbate without porn, those flashbacks are likely to come up, which is strengthening the pathway you want to leave behind. Second, orgasm sets off highs and lows, and the lows are stressful, which means you will be VERY tempted during the misery of the low part of the cycle. When dopamine is low, we are *really* sensitive to any cues that will send it soaring again.)

I assume you've read this material, but if you haven't, have a look: http://www.reuniting.info/resources/porn_masturbation_addiction

NOW, for me the really important thing is what you can do in your new relationship, so that it helps balance you, and makes the relationship as nurturing as possible to both of you. I suggest you have a look at this article: http://www.reuniting.info/wisdom/bonding_magic. There are certain behaviors that soothe the brain, and increase feelings of deep connection with our lovers. They are *not* hot sex, believe it or not. They are behaviors that make both partners feel safe and cared for.

When you are ready to have sex, consider a more relaxed approach. That way, sex, too, can become more soothing and balancing (and, ironically, more fulfilling): http://www.reuniting.info/wisdom/neotaoism_and_karezza

Thanks for sharing your story. Let us know how you get on.

Thanks for all the advice

Thanks for all the advice everyone.
Marnia,
When you say, no orgasm....are you talking about just orgasm in relation to masturbation or sex? or both? This girl I met with...we haven't done the deed...but I could see it happening soon. Should I avoid that situation?

Well, don't rush into it!

Emphasize these bonding behaviors instead:

· smiling, with eye contact
· skin-to-skin contact
· providing a service or treat without being asked
· giving unsolicited approval, via smiles or compliments
· gazing into each other’s eyes for several moments
· listening intently, and restating what you hear
· forgiving or overlooking an error or thoughtless remark, whether past or present
· preparing your partner something to eat
· synchronized breathing
· kissing with lips and tongues
· cradling, or gently rocking, your partner’s head and torso (works well on a couch, or with lots of pillows)
· holding, or spooning, each other in stillness for at least twenty minutes to a half-hour
· wordless sounds of contentment and pleasure
· stroking with intent to comfort
· massaging with intent to comfort, especially feet, shoulders and head
· hugging with intent to comfort
· lying with your ear over your partner’s heart and listening to his or her heartbeat for several moments
· touching and sucking of nipples/breasts
· gently placing your palm over your lover’s genitals with intent to comfort
· making time together at bedtime a priority (even if one partner has to get up and work on something afterward)

I know it *seems* like you should be in a rush...but actually there *is* no rush. Take your time!

Hugs,
Marnia

yea

lol.
I'm new to this whole dating thing. I'm definitely not trying to rush things...they just seem to be happening all by themselves with out any effort. Which, is what threw me into this tail spin. Because most of the time, I am a worry wart with women, and it's what drove many away. Then I met this new girl, and everything seems to be happening with ease...and I feel very comfortable. And because of that, it felt like something was missing.
We've only been together all of a week, so at the moment it feels more like friend I can make out with. Not a lot of deep bonding just yet. And I dont want to rush things to that level just yet, I could just see it happening eventually. But I have done most of whats on that list, and continue to do them. Because I very much enjoy that kind of intimate bonding, and making people feel like they belong. I kind of get off on it.
I'm hoping the deep stuff comes later, if things stay how they are anyways.
But I haven't tried some of the things on that list. And I think I will.
Thanks again Marnia.
I just hope I can get through this no porn thing. I went 3 days a week before I found this site...and that was hard enough.

It sounds like

You've been given a real gift in this woman. (Obviously she knows a good thing when she sees it. Wink )Her presence *should* make abandoning porn a lot easier. Trusted companionship and generous touch are both naturally soothing to your nervous system, which makes letting go of addictions easier. (If you want to know more, have a look at this article on the benefits of the "cuddle hormone," oxytocin: http://www.reuniting.info/science/oxytocin_health_bonding)

I'm glad you like the bonding behaviors. It's no surprise, because we mammals are *programmed* to like them. They are what bond us to our parents and our kids. (Mammals need these bonds, because otherwise they don't survive. Reptiles, in contrast, don't need them because once they hatch they can survive on their own.)

These behaviors are also good for bonding us to our lovers. The trouble is that once we start having sex we tend to de-emphasize them - and rush toward orgasm. But moving away from these behaviors sends a subconscious signal that weakens our emotional bonds. Interesting, eh?

Wishing you well!

About Marnia's lovely list...

As I was reading that 'list' I could see in my mind's eye myself going through all of those things with a woman, and got, well, you can imagine...but in a gentle and sweet way, not like I want to masturbate or anything. Wow you have whetted my appetite for some real loving exchanges. That felt good even just with a virtual woman created by my mind! The real thing must be sweet indeed.

I have one last fear I want

I have one last fear I want to throw out on the table to everyone. Cuzz if I don't, it'll end up bothering me.
The fact that I'm a virgin....and never really had a girlfriend... Could me getting excited easily around this girl I've started dating....just be me getting excited because I've never been with a woman before? Never made out before? I'm worried that, these feelings i'm getting when I'm around her. When we make out, when we kiss. When I scoot closer to her. I'm worried that my arousal from these things may be just that I'm a virgin. And its just new and exciting. Not that i'm actually attracted to women. I'm worried that I wont get excited anymore after a while. That the novelty will wear off. So far it hasnt, even when It's between short intervals of long kissing sessions...
I know this sounds stupid, and I'm worrying too much. But yeah.
I'm also wondering if its normal that some things that used to be really exciting...like holding hands...and embracing one another...I'm wondering if that can have a less impact the more I'm with her. The first 2 times...it was like...hooowahhh. But now its like...eh. I mean...I still like to get near her. Close to her. Feels nice. but yeah.

I dunno. I'm probably just thinking too much into this...I've actually gone to a psychiatrist in the past. I've been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. so ....It's probably just me thinking too much into it is making this seem like something its not. I'm ignoring the common sense signals...and just questioning everything.

Well,

The first couple of times you hold hands, kiss, etc., you probably get that crazy exciting adrenaline-rush like feeling. It's normal for that to fade as you start to get more comfortable with the person, regardless of your sexual orientation. But don't worry yourself about it, because there are other more subtle but even lovelier feelings to be experienced once you get through that initial phase. Smile

Mitsiky's right...as usual

In a sense there are *two* sets of good feelings. One is the slightly insane, Wink but fiery, "honeymooon neurochemistry," which Mother Nature uses to drive us into each other's arms without thinking very clearly.

The other set of good feelings is based on deeper, less fiery feelings of well-being, and a different neurochemical cocktail. By using the bonding behaviors you can steer for the second set from the start. Why would you ever *want* to de-emphasize those fiery feelings? Keep reading.

The good news is that the second set of feelings IS sustainable. In fact, it can gradually get stronger over time (because of the way oxytocin receptors multiply on nerve cells when oxytocin is produced). Keep in mind, though, that after each orgasm, you will go through periods of finding your partner less interesting (and any *other* partner far MORE interesting) over the next two weeks. This is normal, but very bad for relationships. It actually says nothing about your sexual orientation, as it happens to many straight men (and women), too. Smile

The bad news is that the first, fiery set of feelings is NOT sustainable...whether you're with a man or a woman. In order to keep yourself in that "feverish mindset," you have to change partners constantly. Changing partners works because biology generally gives you a dose of that "honeymoon neurochemistry" around any new partner.

This constant "new partner" pattern is easier to achieve with a gay lifestyle, of course. However, I recently read a book called "The Man Who Would Be Queen." It gave me new sympathy for gay men. First, there are way more gay men looking to be "bottoms" than are looking to be "tops." Gay men know this, so there's a real pressure to work out and get those muscles rippling...because it's so attractive to other gay men. However, there's a saying in that community that goes something like, "macho in the streets; a fem between the sheets." This means that many men are doomed to rapid disappointment, as their "hot, muscle-bound" dates turn out to be looking for even *more* macho men, not more feminine men. Second, gay culture is *very* youth oriented (maybe because of the strong appeal of those macho muscles, which are harder to sustain as one ages). This means that as gay men age, most find they are no longer "hot" properties, and often have to "pay" for sex with money or influence. And, loneliness and lack of touch are killers. In other words, despite the "benefits" of a gay lifestyle, in terms of partner switching (and lots of fiery sex) early in life, the long-term picture isn't so rosy.

Guess I got a bit off topic there,;-) but I found that information interesting.

I see. so my question about

I see. so my question about "I'm worried that my arousal from these things may be just that I'm a virgin. And its just new and exciting. Not that i'm actually attracted to women." is basically just nonsense.
I wouldn't be feeling any attraction at all if that were the case?

Nothing is "nonsense"

All of us make important life choices based on impulses all day long, so impulses matter.

And there are no clear rules someone *else* can give you. You have to make your own choices in life.

That being said :-), this whole website is devoted to encouraging people to look beyond their fiery, powerful mating urges when making decisions. That is because those impulses serve our genes before they serve us.

Happiness lies not so much in figuring out which are *strongest* yielding to them...as in finding balance and aligning with the best "flow" for our lives. Sexual impulses often lead *away* from the highest "flow" in our lives, because they are, at base, impulses that serve our genes. (Even sexual impulses that make sensational porn, or homosexual things attractive may be, at base, just extra fiery neurochemistry that "associated itself" with a particular brand of arousal. )

You will have to sort all that out for yourself. The point is just that finding some images "hot," while noticing fluctuating feelings toward your sweetheart during the days after orgasm, doesn't "prove" anything about your sexual orientation. (See this post by Mars, if you doubt that feelings can shift toward women after orgasm: http://www.reuniting.info/node/1228)

So, my only advice would be: don't give your impulses undue weight. Make an effort to find the highest "flow" for your life, however you can (I sometimes use oracles, such as : http://www.reuniting.info/wisdom/inner_wisdom_oracle, but meditation, journaling and prayer work for others). Don't just trust the strength of your impulses alone in making important mating decisions - whether your ultimate path is gay or straight.

I know this is difficult. It is for all of us! Wink

So, I hung out with her

So, I hung out with her again tonight. It started out well enough. I hadn't seen her in a while...so when I embraced her it felt wonderful. But, as the night wore on, I don't know...I just....I didn't feel any kind of passion when I kissed her. Or anything. I never said this before...but since I started dating her....Just sitting around and snuggling and stuff....I just...I wasn't' sure what I felt. It felt like nothing. Like static. I mean...the first 2 days with her...just her touch and stuff set me off. but now. nothing. But even so, I figured that maybe it was too early on to make any judgment calls. It's been almost 2 weeks now...and shouldn't there be a trace of something? I don't know. I just....I'm uber depressed over all this. Not only was I not feeling much just being around her...but when she invited me to touch her bosum...I didn't feel any kind of firey impulse. I mean...I was somewhat riled up already, kind of half mast cuzz we had been kissing...but I expected something like that to set me off. I mean...her chest isn't like huge or anything...but I figured I'd have some kind of reaction. It just felt, didn't feel like what I expected it would.

I haven't masturbated since tuesday, and it hasnt crossed my mind but once. I dunno if maybe I'm feeling affects from that....or if....if maybe I'm not who i think i am. This entire week I've just been so down, and depressed. And tonight didn't help either. This girl is head over heals for me....and I'm not feeling anything, other'n maybe a fleeting sexual desire...that doesn't feel nearly as strong as it did at first. Sometimes I find myself asking am i doing these things cuzz i want to or cuzz i feel like i have to? And it's killing me. I don't want to hurt this girl. She's been through so much. Part of me hopes maybe I'm just not in the mood. And that my anxiety and depressed nature is killing my buzz(i was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder a long time ago). Part of me hopes that maybe I'm just experiencing some withdrawals without even knowing it. But my biggest fear out of all of this is still what if I am gay. I just...I never wanted that. I have no beef with the gay community. I don't hate them. I just never wanted it. I always wanted to be with a loving girl, have a family. And now...Everything just feels so gray and confusing. I feel so flustered.
I wish I wasn't me right now.
And the only people I ever talk to about personal problems are my parents.
And I don't know how to go about this with them.

God dammit all.

Dude.

It sounds like you're rushing yourself. In order to be with a girl, you don't have to have "fiery impulses" at every second. In fact, if you did you'd probably find it distracting, and she would stand the chance of feeling really objectified. Can you do some other activities that allow you to just enjoy each other's company for a while? Just do some stuff to pamper her?

*hug* You'll be fine.

I'm sorry

you're having these confusions and difficulties, Elevener. I just want to let you know that, despite being quite straight,

- I've watched gay porn when I ran out of straight porn to watch,

- I don't get turned on by touching women's breasts. I don't mind touching them, and my wife used to often ask me to massage her nipples at times when she wasn't interested in sex, and I was willing to oblige to satisfy her... but it just wasn't (ever) sexually exciting for me. What I do like is cuddling, full-body embraces, etc., and intercourse, although these days I think I would prefer the non-orgasmic variety.

The woman you're dating sounds delightful. I hope you can find a way to be together that is enjoyable for both of you. Good luck!

Quite honestly...

orgasm on Tuesday *can* cause that gray feeling off and on for two weeks...especially if you have been orgasming frequently...and have forgotten what withdrawal can be like. (Withdrawal is lots of periods of very flat, gray periods, interspersed with *intense* cravings for whatever you *know* would make you high - or, in this case "hot").

So gay or straight, what you're actually feeling right now is right on schedule (post-orgasmically speaking Wink ). You are probably trying to figure out your future based on what you're feeling at a time when your judgment is most distorted. This is not the best plan. Smile

I'd at least avoid orgasm (and fantasy) for the rest of the two-week withdrawal period, and hang out with her as much as possible. Do things like take walks and hold hands. Stay away from forced intimacy unless you feel like it.

This is an important decision, Elevener, and it won't hurt you to give it a bit more time. Did you ever hear this Native American story?

A wise elder explains to a little boy why people sometimes do stupid things. "Inside of me there are two dogs. One of the dogs is greedy and untrustworthy. The other dog is reliable and generous. The two dogs fight all of the time."

When the boy asks which dog wins, the elder reflects for a moment and replies "The one I feed the most."

Like all of us, you believe your feelings are reliable guides, and that you have no choice about what you "feed" yourself. However, feelings fluctuate...especially during the two weeks of withdrawal when you give up orgasm. Just for the 3 weeks from Tuesday, try "feeding the dog" that most matches your vision of what you want for your life, and see what happens. If, at the end of that time, you *still* feel nothing, it may be time to test a gay lifestyle the same way.

*big hug*

I hope you don't mind me saying,

but you mentioned earlier that maybe you are just thinking and questioning too much and ignoring your senses. Once again, and I'm not making this up, I am 39 years old now and still live too much through the filter of my intellect, and not enough through the direct evidence of my senses, though I'm also teaching myself other modes of being. Now there is a time and a place for everything, and thinking certainly has it's proper place, but tuning into your body and feelings is, as you have intuited, more useful when dealing with the romance thing.

You have gifts but don't realize it yet. It is difficult in our culture being an anxious, sensitive and thinking person. I was a virgin until I turned 20. That was really painful for me, because everyone else I knew had already been 'doing it' for quite a while (that's what they all said and I faithfully believed them). But is there any shame in having saved up the magic of sexual discovery? Everything being written here is true regarding orgasm, porn, dopamine, etc. But something within me says that you should, when you are with your girlfriend, just tune into your body and your feelings and yes, try to stop excessive thinking. I know how hard that can be, I am an anxious thinking type myself! For me to stop excessive thinking at times when thinking is not needed but rather, would only get in the way (for example while watching a sunset together), I talk to myself. 'Let go. Just be here. Be in this moment, feel this moment.'

Mind moves rapidly, it's nature is movement. Sometimes it can cut us to pieces just like a gale! It takes time, but you will learn to master your mind in time, to make the most of your ability to think (it can be put to good use) and to value your thinking nature, while simultaneously knowing when to give it a rest and ignore it. The main thing is not to worry. Many of the concerns you now have will be answered in good time, we can't always think our way through problems. We have got to learn by experience too, and through the evidence of our feelings and senses. That will mean taking some risks, trying different things. (I don't mean to become unethical, by the way! Just not to constrain yourself in a box.)

Old virgins

My wife and I were both virgins until four days after we got married at age 27. (I got the flu or something and nearly died on my wedding night! I can laugh about it now... Lol

It was painful being single and lonely for so long, but I don't regret keeping my virginity until marriage. Perhaps if I had had multiple sexual relationships, I would not treat my marriage as special and work so hard to preserve it.

We did get naked in bed together and kissed and cuddled, before we got married. Wonderful, wonderful memories... Smile I think I was the one to suggest that we wait until we were married to have sex. "We've waited this long, we can wait a few more weeks, can't we?"

I'm not suggesting that anyone SHOULD save themselves for marriage. I'm just relating my own experience. Make your own decisions, folks!

There you go, Elevener :-)

A woman (Marnia) thinks it's "sweet" for a guy to be a virgin at age 27. Don't worry about it, man! SmileSmileSmile

The women here can correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems to me when your girl offered to let you fondle her breasts, she was holding up a Las Vegas sized neon sign for you saying "I'M READY FOR ACTION WHEN YOU ARE, BABY!"

It seems to me that in your situation, you are the one who is feeling a bit pressured or rushed. I can certainly understand if you feel that way. I think it would be quite alright if you tell your girl that you are a virgin (she probably suspects that anyway) and you don't want to have sex yet - but would it be ok if you get in bed with her (clothes optional, as you wish) and just cuddle and talk?

And be firm about the no-sex-for-now thing, if that's what you want. I can pretty much guarantee that saying you want to wait a while before having sex won't ruin your relationship with this girl.

Another thing... I don't think you mentioned it as a worry, but I'll mention it just in case... Don't worry about whether you do or don't have erections, or about the size of your "equipment". This is from one of the Reuniting women:

[quote=hotspring]Something about this topic makes me feel a little uneasy. Maybe because we all know that part of healing the rift between the sexes is not through finding out whether women in truth prefer men with long schlongs, or men in truth prefer women with big knockers - but through realizing that there is delight in the variety and uniqueness of each person, and how their body expresses their soul. Women, like men, can appreciate and enjoy a wide variety of "tools" - like breasts, they each have their own distinct personality - from arrogant to divine to adorable. Probably most men don't want to think of their penises as adorable, but sometimes they really are (and not just the small ones). I love how relaxed they are when soft, they are so sweet.[/quote]

Relax, enjoy yourselves. You must have some awesome karma to have attracted such an angel.

I have also been sucked into transexual porn

I am a 25 year old male. I started watching porn when I was 11 years old. The easy access of internet porn and having a computer in the privacy of my room led me to watch porn and masturbate for hours everyday. I generally masturbated between 2-5 times per day (everyday) since my early teenage years and throughout college. During all this time, I had no problems being aroused by real women and had very pleasureable sex with girls. I was easily aroused and always excited to have sex with women.

Through my teenage years, my taste for porn began to escalate from regular heterosexual sex to extreme fetishes. I found that I was watching increasingly graphic/extreme porn. I eventually began watching transexual porn about 2 years ago. Sometimes I felt I was even forcing myself to watch this kind of porn because I needed a new "kick" or "thrill" to my porn habit. I eventually became comfortable with watching transexual porn and became sexually aroused by it. I didn't really have any problem with this new taste of mine until I began losing sexual interest in real, regular women.

For months, I thought that I had lost my sex drive because of losing interest in women. Before I began watching transexual porn, I was constantly checking out girls around me and fantasizing about having sex with them. Now, after beginning to become aroused by transexual porn, I find that looking at women does nothing for me and I feel very little sexual interest for them. This has been emotionally devastating for me because I am now so confused and concerned about my sexual health, especially because I intend to marry a regular woman. I constantly feel like I have no sex drive anymore. But if I try to fantasize about the transexual characters in the porn I've watched, I immediately become aroused.

I don't think I would have naturally gravitated towards transexuals unless I had been exposed to this extreme porn. I have now cut out porn and masturbation for about 7 days and I hope I don't look back (at the porn at least). I am hoping that these images/thoughts of transexuals will disappear from my mind and that I will regain my lustful desire for regular women. This has destroyed my confidence and sense of identity.

Please direct me to any posts or threads that you think are relevant or may help out. Any advice is appreciated...

Welcome!

Sounds like you're figuring it out for yourself. You've brilliantly described how the primitive part of the brain (reward circuitry) looks for "kicks." Novelty and shocking images can have virtually the same effect on the brain as drugs, once your brain links them to The Big Pay-Off of orgasm. And believe me, that part of your brain doesn't care what happens in the long run (like changes in sexual orientation). It can't even think. It just knows how to urge you toward whatever it has linked with "reward."

So your "tastes" may have little to do with "who you really are." You figured this out for yourself, but I just want to reassure you that this is the case. *pats back*

You may find this thread helpful: http://www.reuniting.info/forum/428 And this one, which has excerpts from a recent book by a psychiatrist, who explains how the brain works, and discusses how things can escalate with porn: http://www.reuniting.info/node/1808
I would also be happy to share a copy of a chapter from our forthcoming book, "The Road to Excess," if you want to learn more. (PM me)

I wish I knew more about how to restore balance, but I can offer a few clues. First, yes, with a couple months of abstinence from porn and orgasm, people seem to "reboot." And discover that their sensitivity to real sweethearts returns. It may be that you need that long, due to a protein that hangs around in the reward circuitry for that long. It seems to play a role in making "learning" more permanent in the brain. (If that sounds like an impossible period of abstinence, I understand, but after a couple of weeks of agony, it gets easier.)

The reason you need to give up both orgasm and porn for a while is to allow the brain pathways that have linked the two to weaken. Otherwise, orgasm reminds you of porn, and porn reminds you of orgasm, and each will set off powerful cravings. Moreover, each orgasm will send you on a two-week cycle that has recurring "lows" in it. During those "lows" you'll just want relief so badly, that you'll rush toward anything that promises an orgasm. Obviously your transexual porn images will do the job most efficiently (until that brain pathway weakens), so instead of weakening it, you will tend to strengthen it. So both must go for a bit.

Also, if you can engage in any kind of friendly, non-goal-oriented contact with some female friends, you may find that very soothing. (Trade foot massages, hugs, smiles, laughs, whatever.) This kind of contact produces oxytocin, which soothes withdrawal and addiction symptoms. For more on the power of this gentle, non-orgasm-driven contact, see: http://www.reuniting.info/wisdom/bonding_magic

Once you have completely "rebooted," you'll be able to chart your course with more freedom. However, you may find that there are benefits to learning to make love with the emphasis on generous affection, rather than orgasm. No need to decide that now.

I'm really sorry for what you're experiencing. But don't despair. You could be learning, rather early, things it took us decades longer to figure out. Wink

Blog if you like: http://www.reuniting.info/resources/bloggers

*a big hug*

Marnia, thank you for your

Marnia, thank you for your advice.

I wanted to ask you about your thoughts on "orgasmic reconditioning", by which an individual uses their unwanted fantasy to masturbate, but then switches their thoughts to conventional sex at the point of orgasm. During each successive session of masturbation, the individual is supposed to begin thinking about conventional sex earlier on in their masturbation session until they eventually begin purely thinking about conventional sex for the entire time masturbating.

For the next 6-8 weeks, I plan on stopping orgasm altogether. But there seems to be evidence that repressing unwanted fantasies just makes them more powerful. I will just try to see if these images fade from my mind, but if they don't, I wanted to try this reconditioning method. Of course, "reconditioning" myself with REAL women and having REAL sex is probably the best way to re-train my mind, but this isn't always a readily available option.

Do you know about the effectiveness of this style of "orgasmic reconditioning"? Maybe I should start a thread for people who want to rid of unwanted fantasies and try this method and see the results.

If you are really looking

If you are really looking for a powerful tool for reconditioning, consider looking into lucid dreaming. From what I have read it can be learned, and the opportunities to confront the subconscious directly and thus be active and proactive in transformation of specific areas of your psyche are great, unimited actually.

When I recently read an account in an old lucid dreaming book I have about an inmate in a prison who used lucid dreaming to get laid, I thought of some of you guys (the prison metaphor is apt) and your desire to reconnect with the divine feminine. Many of you are already experiencing very intense graphic dreams in your withdrawal. Why not use these dreams to become liberated?

Here is one interestin excerpt from the book "Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming" by Stephen La Berge:

"I am an inmate confined in a federal prison. When I read the article about being conscious in the dream state I became very interested in it for I was able to do the same thing. I have had such experiences while dreaming and I have loved them. They have at times given me a way to escape from being confined.

In one such dream I started realizing that if I wanted to I could control the environment here, for this was created by my subconscious, therefore subject to my conscious will. I thought for a moment of what I would like to do. The first thought that came through my mind was the fact that I had not been with a woman in years and this is what I most wanted, for eventhough it was only a dream, everything there was just like here, there was no difference.

So as I sat there I looked at these two guys and told them that this was no more than a dream. I then told them that I have been prison for awhile now and that I wanted a woman to have sex with. Neither of them said anything but looked at me in a crazy way. I then repeated my desire and began to think upon it. The guy at the table then told me that I should go into the other room. So I got up, went to the door, and before entering concentrated upon my desire.

I was then in the room. There on the bed was lying a woman who had been in the dream earlier. I took my clothes off and got into bed with her. Throughout the entire sexual act I kept concentrating onkeeping in a conscious state of mind, because in previous such dreams I would panic or lose myself and fall out of the dream.

There was total awareness of every moment of our sexual act, from beginning to end. After we were finished I rolled over on my side. As my head hit the pillow I felt that drifting feeling coming over me and realized that I was getting ready to pass into the blackness that I always find myself in when I leave these types of dreams and wake up." (D.M., Terre Haute, Indiana).

What really interests me about this passage is that because sex with a woman was such an impossible occurence, when he was able to achieve union with woman in the dreamworld he focused on being completely conscious of every moment, and was careful not to "slip" into unconsciousness that he was dreaming and lose himself and fall out of the lucid state. While he probably culminates his sexual experience in orgasm, I think this fear of slipping (losing consciousness) is apt for the discussions on this site. One could argue that getting swept away in orgasm is like losing consciousness in an experience that is otherwise so lucid and intense that some part of the physiology tries to shut it down. If we keep waking up while making love, if we stay still enough in our power to be present and awake in this exchange, then desire is transformed and experienced as something more than a physiological drive for relief (distraction from self-awareness). The energy behind desire can instead fuel a broader and more all-encompassing awareness and bodhicitta (loving-kindness) can emerge in this gap. In Tibetan Tantra, a gap is also known as a Bardo state, or interim state of wakefullness that is always available between different events where we are usually going on autopilot.

The prisoner describes entering a space of blackness that he has frequently identified as being that state before waking. He is describing exactly the same phenomenon that you will see clearly outlined in a Tibetan Dream Yoga manual (Bohn Tradition), in which it is noticed that there is a dark void that is passed through before the dreaming state begins. These correlate to different brain wave patterns. And according to Tibetan Buddhism, dream yoga is the ideal place to practice liberation, because the stages of sleep mirror the five bardo states - the states one passes through during death during which each one is given the opportunity to step out of illusion and entrapment in egohood and become fully liberated.

May it be so!

"Whether awake or asleep,

"Whether awake or asleep, our consciousness functions as a model of the world constructed by the brain from the best available sources of information. During waking conditions, this model is derived primarily from sensory input, which provides the most current information about present circumstances, and secondarily from contextual and motivational information. While we sleep, very little sensory input is available, so the world model we experience is constructed from what remains, contextual information from our lives, that is, expectations derived from past experience, and motivations. As a result, the content of our dreams is largely determined by what we fear, hope for, and expect."

This taken from "Dreaming & Consciousness", LaBerg: http://www.lucidity.com/Tucson2.abs.html

Hotspring - interesting you metioned lucid dreaming

I actually just finished reading "Creative Dreaming" by Patricia Garfield. I specifically began reading this particular book because I wanted to "investigate" my subconcious through my dreams for answers to my sex drive and porn problem. There are many techniques in this book for becoming concious during your dreams. After 3 weeks of effort, I had my first lucid dream, but I became too excited about it during the dream and instanty woke up.

Anyways, it is a very exciting and revolutionary way to find answers to personal problems and "observe" your subconcious.

Well its been 10 days since

Well its been 10 days since I've ejaculated. The images and thoughts of these transexual porn characters are more powerful than ever. So I know my sex drive is still intact and okay, but I need to try to channel and divert this sexual energy towards REAL, NORMAL women. I feel trapped (i.e. only aroused by) by shocking fantasies that my mind has picked up from porn.

I know stopping porn is a first step towards recovering from transexual fantasies, but I also need to actively train my mind to become aroused by normal, regular sex with women. I need help in shaping my subconcious for this. The best way to do this is going to be interacting with real women, but I keep getting this anxiety about NOT being aroused by them. I am trying my hardest to let go of thinking in sexual terms and just enjoying their company.

Any other studies, books, advice? Thank you so much for your help Marnia.

Wow!

That's great progress. Frankly, I wouldn't pay much attention to the garbage that shows up on your inner screen for a while. Remember, your brain is just urging you toward relief, and so it's picking the images that it *most recently* associated with quick orgasm. Truly...if you had been watching girls with goats, THEY would be showing up now.

I know it's unnerving to make this huge effort, and not see more immediate results, but I feel sure that you *will* see results if you continue to be patient (or continue biting your nails Wink ). With this challenge, progress is not linear. It has ups and downs, but two months from now, when you look back, I think you will be amazed how things have shifted.

For me, the second week is the worst. That's when everything seems the most pointless and hopeless. So pay no attention to such thoughts. They are just neurochemical ghosts. I want to hear how you feel in about 5 days.

I think you realize what you need - friendly contact with women. Frankly, I would just treat time with women as "medicinal" for now. In other words, don't worry about your level of arousal. Just like them for themselves and enjoy the smiles and laughs. The rest will follow.

Brave man! I really admire your determination.