Needing Porn-free Conversations at Reuniting

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It's been awhile since I've posted here. The reason for that is that after over three years as a member on this forum, I've started to realize how damaging my belief system towards men has become, which I attribute largely to much of what I have read here, and which is impacting my relationship negatively.

I want to give a deep bow to all of the men here who have struggled with porn addiction, and for everyone who has helped me in my own spiritual path here at reuniting. I now realize a need, however, to take real responsibility for my views of men, and unfortunately the bulk of the content in this site, which revolves around men freeing themselves from their addiction to porn, is reinforcing a view of mine that men are somehow all secretly this way. It just so happens that the man I am with is extremely healthy, does not watch porn, does not even masturbate, and while i know he does not fit into this category, my fears of his potential have only increased thanks to what I have learned about many men in this site.

I could stop coming here completely, but I think that this project and this community is very special. And I genuinely like many of the men here who are struggling with porn. I just don't want to be involved with their struggle any more.

I am wondering if there is a way to create a safe place on Reuniting where women and men who are exploring spirituality, sexuality, wholeness, and vitality can share what they are learning without framing it in terms of porn? What I mean is that I am not trying to exclude anyone from the conversation (even a porn addict), but I want a place to come where porn is not the main frame of reference. A place where we are not just sharing what we are struggling with, but what we have discovered, what we have created, what we are building, how we are taking responsibility for our quality of life not retroactively but proactively, ie - how can we frame our wholeness not in terms of what we are trying to reach, what we are trying to avoid, but what we are willing to do to be whole. And what that activity feels like.

Because wholeness is always available and in that moment, it cannot have any reference to any memory of any pathology, for then it is not wholeness. Maybe wholeness is becoming more simple and forgetting who we thought we were.

I'm not interested any more in the struggle. I'm interested in what actually works. What is spiritual liberation? We already know what enslavement looks like. We could look deeper into all the iterations of the enslavement and all the iterations of the struggle.

But who is reaching the surface, who is taking the first new breath, and what does that feel like. NOT, what does that feel like COMPARED to porn addiction. Just simply, what does it feel like to be whole.

I want a place to continue in this community. The porn story, as prevalent as it is, just doesn't interest me any more, and I'm wondering if we could try to create a conversation around sexuality that has no reference to porn, objectification, trauma, morality, inadequacy, loneliness, struggle, whatsoever.

Anyone want to join me?

Comments

Couples Experiences....

Within the list of Community Topics there is the following topic:

Experimenting with a partner

Do you have a partner? Want to try karezza (bonding-based lovemaking), but have questions? Have you tried it and want to share what it's like?

Along with other related topics. Is there another topic that could be added to fit what you're looking for? It may have to have a subtitle description about what is and isn't allowed to be discussed in that particular forum.

I know Marnia's intent of this website was to educate people on Kerezza and Oxytocin and many other things in her book, but unfortunately, as a result of the problems so many people face, there are more discussions on the negative things and the recoveries over those things.

It's just like when you're happy with a salesperson or service, people don't often go out of your way to compliment them and to let their superiors know about the wonderful job they've done, however if something is dissatisfactory, people will be more likely to lodge a complaint. Sadly that is what our world has become and Marnia's been generous in devoting her time to people struggling while IMO trying to keep the true original essence of this website. However, the posting members of this site's original intent aren't very vocal about their experiences.

I think what you're looking for is more activity on the wonderful spiritual side that connects with the website's original intent. One way to promote activity on this level would be in advertising. I don't know Marina's budget for this website but and she seems to have maxed out the Google keywords but if you can think of more, it might help promote the part of the website you're looking to see increase. :)

It seems that discussion of sexuality has been something hush-hush for many, many generations. The good as well as the bad aspects. It would be a wonderful thing to see the things you mention more popular in discussions across the internet. An education for all in love, bonding, spirituality, wholeness, and general good health would benefit the entire world! That is what the internet has become, an educational tool, a fun hobby, a place for people to exchange ideas. Now, making a healthy sexual website popular in today's culture...well that would be a miracle. And...I do believe in miracles. People are just now becoming more comfortable with discussing the bad aspects, hopefully the time to discuss the good aspects will become just as comfortable and popular! :)

The Outreach forum here has a discussion but it hasn't had a recent post in a long time. http://www.reuniting.info/node/370

reserved support

Coincidentally, today was my first day reading reuniting in some months. I stopped visiting largely because, thanks to the forum, I no longer need support in order to embrace life free from porn. I recall your effort to compile a list of couples engaged in karezza, but as you point out, this conversation was overshadowed by discussions about problematic porn use. There are doubtless many reasons why those who have moved on from porn / who never had a problem with it / who occasionally post about karezza and relationships but never about porn are less vocal than the struggling porn users. In my own experience, the biggest change that occurred when I stopped using has been an increase in engagement with my immediate present. Instead of checking reuniting.info (or the internet more generally) if a relationship problem (or success!) arises, I have begun either to reflect at length on the development or to actively communicate about it with my wife. Whereas I had typically been working through issues with the aid of forum comments, now that I resolve things 'offline' or in conversation, I am much less inclined to return to the forums and repeat the process.

Based on the little I know about your relationship from your posts, I suspect (as you have rationalized for yourself) that your man is in no danger of morphing into some sort of porn-viewing or prostitute-visiting chimera derived from what you have read in the reuniting forum. I see several ways in which he probably has a greater-than-average capacity to not only maintain successful monogamy but also work towards more advanced understanding of spirituality / wholeness. First, he did not develop a porn or masturbation habit from a young age--he is not importing sexual/psychological liabilities. Second, and more importantly, you both live somewhat outside of the orthodox consumer culture and seem devoted to maintaining an earth-based (lack better term) ethic. This gives you the massive advantage of genuine / literal common ground--a strong motivation to help each other succeed at an enormously challenging endeavor (that is, disengaging from the conversion of Earth into post-industrial effluent). Many relationships are based on substantially weaker commonalities: children, mutually-agreed-upon retirement goals, overlapping political views, compatible personalities. All of these are good reasons for couples to stay together and for men to maintain monogamy, but such commonalities do not necessarily give couples the sense of purpose that (and here I am being presumptuous) you and your man share. You have set yourselves up in opposition to much of the dominant cultural inertia, meaning that you should probably be worrying about battles far more significant than the (exceedingly unlikely) possibility that your man might look at porn (or stray from anything but 100% devotion to you in some other way).

This reply may not be useful for you--I have no suggestions for a way to create a constructionist space (as opposed to the larger forum, which is mostly concerned with deconstructing addiction). Is it possible that the kind of space you envision is not practicable online, or at least in affiliation with reuniting? Discussions of wholeness cannot be cursory--to meaningfully communicate about profound realization, it would be necessary for participants to provide extensive detail about their lives, ethics, goals etc., which, in addition to being incompatible with the basic anonymity of reuniting, is a challenge even face-to-face. I am also uncertain about what you mean by wholeness. It seems to me that, barring some kind of magical excision of memory, every person is present in every moment with access to every past action, whether positive or negative, and every prior experience, whether traumatic or ecstatic. Denying memories of pathology, becoming more simple or forgetting, cannot be a component of wholeness--in fact, I think they represent very useful metrics for personal progress, s.t. it would be most dangerous to forget them. Obviously remembering is very different from re-experiencing--actually feeling wounded by past injustice would certainly cloud any attempt to be tranquil right now, whereas remembering that you have felt wounded by past injustice but that you are now healed could be quite helpful.

I doubt, unfortunately, that I could contribute very much positive exposition about wholeness, whether in sexuality or any other aspect of life. The porn chapter was apparently only the beginning, with many other difficult subjects to address before the book is finished. The struggle with porn has been supplanted by other battles--finding purpose in derivative (rather than primary (i.e. subsistence or service)) work, for example. Or reconciling belief and behavior in a wide variety of areas--this is proving extremely difficult, particularly within marriage. Even if I resolve to maintain a positive behavior, if this behavior is not palatable or attractive for my wife, then not only does she undermine my effort, but my ensuing resentment at her lack of fortitude becomes a failure in its own right.

Spiritual liberation is probably 20 or 30 chapters away for me, or many, many years at the rate I appear to progress. Although if I have assimilated anything from my casual reading, it is this: there is no such thing as a constant state of being. Spiritual liberation will never be fully defined, as it must necessarily change continuously--a moving target. There may be some threshold, though, after which the evolving present might be considered 'liberated,' and in which the occurrence of any event does nothing to alter the conviction that one exists in freedom. This proposition simply delays solving the problem, however, as it is not at all clear what such a threshold might entail. I am becoming confused, so please forgive me for this digression. Is it possible that there is an event horizon for liberation? Some writers would say that anyone who crosses that line would be a stone Buddha, but I'm not convinced: it must be possible to return from liberation because someone had to have initiated the rumor about its existence.

I hope that my misgivings about your proposal for a new space in this 'community' are unfounded--we would benefit greatly if it could be realized. It is also quite possible that my skepticism derives from the near-total lack of real community in my immediate life.

If you speak about it here,

If you speak about it here, it will attract more like-minded individuals. I have benefited a lot from hearing about healthy sexuality and it has pushed me to want to try to achieve this. Deep down we all have a shadow, and if a person integrates this, we achieve wholeness and liberation. If we deny it, we go crazy. It makes sense that a community would heal together. I keep wondering where all the predecessors on this site who are more liberated and whole to exposit their great wisdom to addicts who have never experienced healthy sex and relationships?

Courage is knowing what not to fear.
-Plato

You still do not understand

You still do not understand or refuse to.

everything you say about men is offensive.

You keep saying men are flawed except the one you love.

You have read a lot on this site about men struggling with porn and still see the men here as flawed or something wrong with them.

You have understood nothing of the struggles all the men and women on here have shared about their struggles.

You still refuse to accept the people posting on this site as the same as you and everyone else.

There is nothing wrong with the people on this site stuck in porn struggles.

You still think the behaviour is that person. You are wrong.

"I'm wondering if we could try to create a conversation around sexuality that has no reference to porn, objectification, trauma, morality, inadequacy, loneliness, struggle, whatsoever." good luck with this thought. How is anyone going to live life without those things. not just sexuality but just live. There is no way to get through life without dealing with the things you listed. Trying to do so will cause you to be angry at the world. Sad and hurt. It will cause you to be bitter.

To top it off you just want everyone to think and do as you do. You need to work on your ego and then come back and read some of the stuff on this site again.

Be Safe
James.

PS You are in control of what you think, say and do. So nothing anyone has posted here should be effecting your relationship negatively unless you have decided to let it do so. It is your responsibility to deal with what you do. I do not have to alter my behaviour for you. If you have let what I have said or anyone else here effect you negatively then that is your struggle to deal with not mine or anyone else posting on this site. You control what you think, say and do. So do not blame anyone else for the struggles in your relationship or beliefs. Those are yours to deal with and I or anyone else here is not responsible for your beliefs.

You have caused the struggle in yourself no one else. Stop blaming others.

On a practical note...

You are not the only one, Hotspring, to desire a playground reserved for such discussions. The webmaster and I have had discussions about the possibilities.

The technical limitations of Drupal make such "subset forums" impossible, so I'm just accepting that the way things are is the way they are supposed to be for now. Like it or not, there's a subtle synergy between the folks posting here, whatever brings them. We are all one family, and all of us need a hand with some challenge now and then. Besides, the wisdom of the brave men recovering here often truly inspires me.

That said, we have revised the left-hand menu (an option we had been discussing anyway) to make the karezza discussions more visible. Anyone who writes on a topic related to using sex for healing or wholeness will help the effort by remembering to label his/her post with the topic "karezza" (among any other desired labels). That way it will come up under the Community Topics (karezza).

I will also continue to throw some of the juicier karezza threads into the item that remains near the top of the home page, to make it easy for people to jump right in - to which there is also a link in the lefthand margin.

I hope you will continue to post, Hotspring. Not only were you one of our first bloggers, but also much light has been shed by the sparks you generate.

*big sisterly hug*

interesting...from a man's perspective...

I know many, many, many women who have -- in their immature past years ago -- turned to a promiscuous lifestyle in an attempt to complete a void in their psyches that exists through no fault of their own. I'm 32 years old. Almost all the women my age or younger were (or are) part of the "hook-up culture", where sex was completely devalued, and both men and women used sex as a way to validate themselves. Now many of these women eventually come to realize that settling for sexual attention instead of love makes for a pretty hollow life. Ideally, they start to go within and search for more fulfilling ways to get their emotional needs met.

I gave up the hook-up culture after I become emotionally attached to a woman who was still addicted to sexual attention. After getting my heartbroken, I realized how much I had been hurting others as well.

Now here's what I've noticed...since ending that relationship with her, I've had to come to accept that almost all women in my generation or social demographic have gone through periods of promiscuity...and sometimes extreme promiscuity. The question I've had to ask myself is, can I be with one of these women? The answer I've finally come to is, Yes -- if I know she really has matured past that part of her life and has healed the wounds which brought her there to begin with.

So my question for you is this...even if every single man was either a porn addict trying to recover or a porn addict who has successfully done so, their intentions are directed toward love and intimacy, which is what you are valuing.

So what is it about their relationship to porn in the past which is triggering your reaction right now? For me it was a fear that a formerly promiscious woman would "slip back" and that I would -- again -- be abandoned. And so now I could no longer trust and would have to keep a watchful eye.

What is it for you? We're all here because we want better, emotionally close relationships free of porn. What is it about men and porn that threaten you?

Yes, mistrust and fear of

Yes, mistrust and fear of abandonment. That is it. I would answer your questions in more depth however, I was hoping to make this thread be about wholeness, not about my woundedness. You can read over three years worth of posts if you have any interest in my wound story. I'm personally getting bored with it.

So: wholeness. We don't have to cultivate wholeness. We have to cultivate our quality of attention to notice it. For me right now it means: I perceive that I have my body, I am sitting in this chair, and I have a complete wholeness, even a part of my psyche that isn't getting wrapped up in any internet drama. My low back hurts, yet I can notice this even while i notice that despite this, my body is a complete unit of function. Well, so big deal? The realization of wholeness maybe comes when the psyche, which is less attached to the body, comes back into now, into the 3-d, and isn't distracted. Can I write to you and still pay attention to this wholeness, or does any point of attention distract us from an awareness of the whole?

Here is what I have discovered in my massage practice: when we are perceiving from our conventional minds, thinking that the world is the object of our awareness, then we can only focus on one object at a time. We can't have a unified view, and so we cannot perceive unity or wholeness eventhough it is what makes life possible. We have tried to domesticate reality with the false notion that we perceive reality.

I was confused about this for a long time. I would have moments of merging, of unity, of feeling my blood, my bones, my thoughts, my sensations, all at once. I have even merged with people in sessions, with the room, and with the gentle expanse of space holding the building. All one unified field. But when I would then look at how my mind works, usually only able to focus on one thing at once, I couldn not comprehend how I had these experiences of unity, of wholeness, of SIMPLY BEING.

Now I have begun to perceive that the only way to feel this unity is to realize that I am the object of consciousness itself. That means that I am consciousness, but that consciousness is becoming conscious THROUGH me. I am an object of consciousnessess consciousness, and I can become conscious of this, but only if I surrender to being the object, not the subject, of consciousness.

If anyone else has had experiences of unity, merging, wholeness, broad spectrum awareness, in which the sense of a separate self dissolved, and a very fine sense of grace emerged, I would love to hear how it is that you perceived it, and how that differs from normal, conventional, domesticated experiences of perception.

Because personally, I feel like those experiences are not only more fun, but more humbling, more inspiring, more refreshing, than the significantly less interesting fixation on various wounds, stories of woe, and ego, that usually drag us about in the mud.

hot spring, have you ever

hot spring,
have you ever read "the power of now" by Ekhart Tolle? alot ot what you mention in your post reminds me of his teachings...especially what you say about feeling whole has much to do with where our attention is focused. he stressess throughout his book that to change the quality of onces conciousness that one needs to be aware of there "inner body" and that its possible to be aware of the inner body even when our attention is placed on things out side of ourselves.

thread fork

[quote=freedom] I'd say more, but I don't want to hijack the topic.[/quote]
Thank you for helping keeping the discussion focussed. :)

What you can do is create your own blog post, quoting what's necessary (with a back link) and say what you had in mind. Then come back here to post a link to your new blog entry, thereby "forking" the discussion thread. This is actually the ideal way to deal with long threads that often stray too far off topic.

Hello all - I hope that it

Hello all -

I hope that it is clear (perhaps not?) that I was not suggesting a place at Reuniting where porn addicts are not allowed or unwanted. Rather, I would like to create a thread where porn does not dominate the discussion. So: that means I am asking if there are any people who are willing to stop identifying with their struggle and their addiction enough to be able to have a conversation that doesn't reference whatever their trauma is? Clearly some people won't be able to. It might be interesting to try though. I don't even know if I will be able to.

I'm sorry Seeker, I simply don't agree with you that we control everything we think, say, and do. If this were the case, most of us wouldn't be in the mess we are in. We influence our reality, that is for sure, but I don't believe that we create reality. We have some influence over how we react to life, but we don't control life. Life is a cocreation in my opinion.

You do not see that I actually DO see that I am not much different from other people on this site. If you read far back enough in my posts, you'll see that I have acknowledged that all addictive behavior is similar, and that I have battled my own addictions.

Right now I am probably less addicted than I ever have been in my life, and I am digging deep and trying to look at the stories that i tell myself, how I reinforce those stories and belief systems. I have noticed that the wounded feminine in me is very triggered by much of the content shared in this site by porn users. To the extent that I read more of your stories, I am heartened and also rewounded. So, I'd rather not reinforce that belief system. Like a porn user, I am hoping to abstain from stories that trigger behaviors that I don't want to cultivate, such as believing that all men are fundamentally untrustworthy. It is precisely because I want to overcome this belief that I find it very important right now to step away from pornographic stories of all kinds, and create a safe space for myself where I am not constantly triggering that wounded reaction. I have that right to try to be a creator of what type of space I spend my time in as much as you have the right to have your own struggle and determine the best way to deal with it. This is mine.

It is not true that I see all men as flawed except for my love. What I am describing to you is the sadness at realizing quite the contrary: that no matter how loving and caring and dependable my man actually is, some part of me that is wounded is simply not willing to believe this is true, eventhough it is. And that is a REALLY big problem, one which comes from my belief that all men are untrustworthy, and which I am trying to change. Would you have me keep reinforcing that belief system by constantly reimmersing myself in this constant porn continuum? After all, this is a site for healing of both sexes. I'm sorry you're not able to get over your own reactivity enough to support me in my path to healing, which is what this community is for.

I am not wanting to create a space free from porn talk so as to judge porn watchers and to try to create a false belief that the man I have is somehow so unique. Exactly the opposite: I am hoping to invite a new space where people identified with porn addiction might realize and learn through the practice of speaking of themselves without that reference, that they might be much more special and whole than they realized. That we are all people seeking happiness, wholeness, and that at least i can speak for myself when I say that in my experience there is a point when the constant struggle, the identification with oneself as wounded, needs to be dropped.

I am trying to drop the identification with the wounded feminine by not indulging in wounding her more by reading more porn stories. This is as much my right as it is any porn addicts right to stop being addicted to porn.

That's interesting that you seem to reject the proposal that a place could be created where we can cultivating a sense of innate wholeness. Anyone addicted to porn who accepts my challenge might help create a single place in this forum to discuss all the parts of themselves that are actually totally okay and functioning and beautiful. I'm sorry if you have a hard time with this idea. I had no idea it could be offensive for us to simply realize that we are all actually fundamentally okay.

If that's the case perhaps there's nothing more to be said?
We may all already be whole.

I've simply noticed in my massage practice that health and wholeness is always present in the midst of dysfunction (otherwise, we would die). So, the question is quite simply, What is this wholeness that we so easily overlook, that allows us to continue to exist, that gives us life? Why can't we start focussing on that more?

It's up to each user to make

It's up to each user to make this site what they want it to be. I've been trying to contribute positive energy. Sometimes that might mean discussing addiction, but mostly it has not been. The openly discussed hardship reminds me of why I must move forward.

Have you tried just accepting that all men are untrustworthy, that your man is not unique, but that for other reasons you are willing to trust him? This seems better to me because you can let go of your societal gripes and not be bound/addicted to this uniqueness idea. Sure we are all unique, but if all men are untrustworthy, the unique ones are untrustworthy too. Once you let go and decide to trust one, you might find that some of us are actually very trustworthy.

Western vs Eastern Perception

Western vs Eastern Perception

"Asians and North Americans really do see the world differently. Shown a photograph, North American students of European background paid more attention to the object in the foreground of a scene, while students from China spent more time studying the background and taking in the whole scene, according to University of Michigan researchers. The key thing in Chinese culture is harmony, Nisbett said, while in the West the key is finding ways to get things done, paying less attention to others. And that, he said, goes back to the ecology and economy of times thousands of years ago."

http://www.wired.com/culture/lifestyle/news/2005/08/68626

I'm interested. What cultural background are you from hotspring? Are you Oriental or are you a European? Maybe a European who has Oriental/Buddhist leanings? You might find reading the rest of the article above interesting.

Really then, all you want to do is move on? Isn't that it? I can appreciate that. But you'd like to move on without leaving Reuniting completely. I can understand that too. If any of us focus on one thing for too long its not good. Much as water, once we've gotten to where we're driven to go we stagnate if we stay too long - much better to choose a different destination - to rechannel ourselves. Standing still is boring and going back over the same old pathways is boring too. Maybe the forum should be titled "What's next?" or something like that.

I'm not angry about or upset by anything I read on here. I do however continue to find it interesting to know what other people think and feel. I believe honesty is probably a lot more common on forums like this than it is in life in general. We are often too concerned about offending the ignorant (because of the hassle it could cause us) in our everyday lives. Many in society have either never develped or lost their powers of reason and need to debate.

As I understand it, most of us live behind a fascade in our everyday lives, and oft this might even slip into our personal lives and psyche. I can understand anyone wanting to cut through this to reach what's underneath. I think that life is not about reaching a permanent destination or "wholeness" but about constantly travelling towards it. When we get to a new place we face new horizons. I am probably more interested in what I read about women's perceptions on here than I am of men's. This is because I know less about them. It would be interesting to know what the ratio is of male to female users of this site.

I believe that life doesn't stop until we die (:)). I don't believe in an afterlife, I don't have a soul - I am a soul; so, like you I'm interested in making the here and now count as much as possible for me and the for the people I connect with. Each person must make up their own minds about what the right pathways are for themselves based on their experiences - that means trueness to themselves - and this is a perfectly valid basis for personal morality.

thanks for reading,

Brenmal

Such eloquent posts here!

Such eloquent posts here! Very humbling~

Very recently (actually, since my lovemaking experiences last weekend), I have had some thoughts about men and their innate, biological, spiritual need to be fully "accepted" (meaning, inside a welcoming vagina for extended periods of time) and to have that experience be one they can return to again and again with love and trust and with someone who loves all of them.

I'm starting to see porn-viewing as a futile attempt to somehow capture the yin or yoni of a woman when there is no partner present...and yet, it will never be satisfying because there is absolutely no substitute for the actual experience. But they continue to try and try until they have lost the reality of what being with a real woman can be like. And that is how I see all these posts here on the forum are interconnected.

The people who use porn are desperately trying to get to that place of wholeness, but cannot break the already broken cycle.

And how many men are blessed to have the pleasure of a woman who accepts all of them and welcomes them into their bodies with love and trust? I would have to guess there aren't many.

If you did have a partner like that, would you ever leave? I'm thinking probably not. There would be absolutely no reason, because you would have reached nirvana with your partner and there would be no reason to search elsewhere.

I may be way off here...but perhaps I am not.

rediscovered

Just beautiful rediscovered

And perhaps the most accurate and apt overview on porn-viewing and related addiction I have ever seen. My heart goes out to those struggling with this. I view the site almost daily as I am seeking to advance my knowledge of sacred sex practices, as well as the science that drives human behavior and I post when I feel my experience has merit. I have not been active much recently as the site has been seemingly over run with porn recovery threads and as I have no issues with porn addiction, etc. and no "real" experience with this I have felt that I have nothing relevant to offer these folks.

But perhaps I am wrong here. When I read rediscovered's words above I realize that I am blessed to have a woman that accepts me fully and am very close to "nirvana" as she describes. A very good place to be. And although I can not "help" those recovering from porn addiction with direct posts (will not for some of the same very relevant reasons fielded by Hotspring) perhaps I (and other fellow members of the community) could aid them (and others as well) by relating positive experience (in non-porn threads) that facilitates personal growth and development. I have viewed porn and will state that it cannot even begin to compare to to the actual experience of being totally connected with and fully accepted by a "real" woman. No porn star on the planet could even hold a candle to my lovely wife (she shines like a star but only for me [tanz] ) and it is my sincerest wish that all men find "nirvana" as rediscovered describes above. Once men realize and accept this is possible there is no need or desire for porn.

I am adding to this thread late in the game but do advocate some method of organizing posts so everyone can find the materials they find most relevant. The site is big enough for all but "porn addiction recovery" is not and (should not be) the primary focus here in order to be true to "Reuniting's" central philosophy. And please understand I intend no insult to anyone here.
Regards
Virgil

Virgil, see what you think

of the new system. Posts with ♥s are not focused on recovery themes, although such themes may be touched upon as part of larger discussions. Happily as our recovering pals feel more in control they often like to paddle around in the ♥ territory. In any case, everyone's welcome on all threads.

Self Sabotage

I understand your desire for reports of success. When I started here I wanted so much to hear from those who were practicing karezza. How does it work? Is it working for you?
I write to process my problems. I've told my children to keep that in mind if they find my journal. How delightful and inspiring for them if they were to find songs of praise, gratitude, love, and triumph rather than a muddled mess of darkness, confusion, and pain. Hmmmm....sounds like I should practice.
I wrote a lot here to get the demons out, get feedback, and to practice telling the truth.....oh, and to receive the love of Marnia....how she blesses us all.

Dear hotspring, you have started 2 threads (at least) asking for tales of success. May they flourish in light. May they inspire us all. Perhaps you could start some threads or wiki with a statement requesting no whining, no angst, no attacks, no talk of porn or addiction. Ask, up front, for safety in that space.
I'll whine elsewhere

contre temps...

This blog entry raises some important issues that I need to address here. Thank you Hotspring for bringing it up. There is a lot to say in reply. Unfortunately, this comes on a day when I was particularly busy, and just when I had the time to sit down to post a comment here, the whole server crashed and remained down for the whole time I had allocated to answer you. To make matters worse, the site was in bad shape when the server came back online. All this to say that I'll do my best to address what I can tonight, and the rest will have to wait for later.

Meanwhile, on this blog entry as well as generally speaking, we'd be grateful if users could keep discussion on topic, and fork the discussion into another blog/forum entry when the discussion strays too far off topic. Thank you everyone for your cooperation.

To be followed in my next comments...

growth

I am not sure if Marnia recalls, but one of the first things I told her when I approached her, is that it'd be fairly easy (ha!) to create a successful web site with an active community given the (static) content she already had at the time. And thanks to Marnia's continued efforts, the site has indeed experienced a lot of growth over the last few years.

As Marnia notes above, Hotspring was actually one of our very first active blogger. Before I managed to convince Marnia to enable the blogging feature here, we were lucky to have a few posts in the forum every month. Back then, it was easy for anybody to go through all the posts listed on the tracker page.

Obviously, today the situation is different. I dare say that the number of people who read every day absolutely every new posts and comments posted on this site can be counted on the fingers of half a hand! And yet, I affirm that Reuniting has not yet reached its full potential. We are only getting started. As a result, going through the tracker can be a challenge even on a "quiet" day.

It is therefore natural that each of us only only checks out the few blogs and threads that are of particular interest to ourselves. The needs of each of us are not necessarily the same. It's great that former PMO addicts support each other. It is understandable that others prefer to read success stories between couples. And as the community continues growing, the need to have separate areas for all the different aspects related to Marnia and Gary's work will become more and more important.

Also, we are not too far off the time when even the most dedicated soul will not be able to read absolutely every new comment and blog entry.

From that perspective, Hotspring's request is perfectly valid and understandable, all the more so that she took great care to phrase it in very respectful manner towards towards our very active (former) PMO addict community. There is room for everyone.

So, while on the principle, I am is complete agreement with Hotspring, the real question now is: how to organize the web site in such a way that each member feels safe, welcome, and can find the content that is of particular interest to her/him?

This is the real challenge, and the answer, as you may have guessed, is not a simple one...

... in my next comments, I'll address some technical issues, as well and a couple of community issues.

A welcome respite

I know I am someone who gets carried away sometimes by the problems associated with porn, I'll admit that right up front. A lot of this has to do with the books I'm reading right now that are centered on women's liberation and how that connects up with the porn culture that exists everywhere around us. Currently, this is the only place I come to write but that will change.

The reason there are a lot of men and women struggling with porn on here is: Reuniting.info is free and available to the whole world! Many sites don't have anything like the amount of resources to help kick porn. "Sacred sex" is not discussed in other forums as an alternative way of being and many of the other sites are there to make a profit and charge a hefty sum for their services. Modern conditions have taken this web forum in the direction it has gone. A very big re-evaluation is happening in the lives of hundreds if not thousands of people as a result of this wonderful place. That's no small thing. Ultimately, I think we agree, we all want to talk about the good things and not the bad in our lives. For some, especially in the beginning when we feel so powerless and alone, we write precious little about the former. New members also tend to be more prolific writers as they use the forum's mutual support system to ween themselves off porn. I've noticed if I post when I'm in a bad mood, I feel better and if I don't post for awhile...I'm likely closer to a relapse.

I'd like to draw a line of demarcation between attacking porn as a media institution and whatever my or anyone else's personal struggles are with the addiction. These things are interrelated but I'm wary of taking a position that if we ignore it, it will get better. In fact I think the opposite is true. The more we shine light on the actual conditions as they exist, the more likely we will understand it and hopefully take action to prevent it from happening to others. There needs to be more people, especially men, willing to take on this kind of work. I can also grant that Reuniting might not be the best place to do that so I've started looking for a site where feminist anti-porn issues are the main focus.

In addition to porn, there are many odious and dreadful things going on in the world that don't look anything like "wholeness" and cannot be ignored. Racism/sexism/homophobia, the war in Afghanistan, bank bailouts, ridiculously high CEO pay are a few. For me, opposing them and *proposing viable alternatives* is very much a part of my "wholeness." The ghettos and the prison industrial complex and the wanton destruction of the planet and it's natural ecosystems are all deeply disturbing realities that our children (if we choose to have them) and our children's children will have to experience, probably to a greater degree than we have. Porn is just the logical extension of a warlike and rapacious system as it relates to sex. Porn inevitably leads to larger questions and I want to be a part of that discussion.

Hope springs eternal and the future is *still* up for grabs. We don't have to go along with what we inherited from the past and many are choosing to change our personal alignments and priorities away from this system. I want to be part of the change we all want to see in the world, I believe this is what we really need in order to have true "balance." We can't be truly free, vital, whole and equal unless everyone is free, vital, whole and equal - until the conditions that created our mutual slavery and these social ills are swept away in a revolutionary transformation. To get there requires, well, struggle, but it can (and should) be a beautiful one.

This site is about reuniting the sex's and same sex oriented. It's about healing in relationships and trying new things and learning new ways of thinking and doing. The ideas I've gained here have been directly beneficial to me towards those ends. To the best of my ability I have put into practice the ideals that I've read about here. I have struggled (there's that word again lol) to integrate them into my life. I've had some modest success and it wasn't easy, but I have improved a lot of my attitudes and behaviors towards ends that I have decided on and not gotten tricked by reward circuitry (or the industry's clever exploitation of that circuitry.) Yet this kind of sea change isn't something that can happen in a couple weeks of bonding behaviors or witholding orgasm.

Hotspring, I'm glad you started this thread and hope you write others like it. The poster's you are directing this toward really could use the wisdom. We *all* need to have an expanded dialogue beyond (no offense to anyone) DAY 21 STILL ON THE JOURNEY, or just talking about our own individual suffering. It's pays to examine what works and I think I wrote a little while back that it seems to me that the people with the most time or "wholeness" do tend to fall away...they are more whole after all so why would they want to wade through a seemingly endless stream of people posting about how rotten things have been for them due to the scourge of porn. What's great about this site is that it lets each of us figure out our own solutions, together in a co-operative way. Not everybody agrees here but I think there are few such free and open places that are largely devoid of personal vendetta's and endless flame wars. For the most part people play well with others and that is a very good thing and highly prized.

A few months ago I railed against "married's" (couple's practicing Karezza) who didn't understand the single "porn addicts" dilemma. It was patiently explained to me that actually, they were painfully aware of those issues due to the fact that there were so many threads on the topic, that's when I realized that this place can be here for both, and inclusive for everyone. It is my hope that one day I will be on the list of couple's practicing Karezza. That too will take time. In the mean time I hope you stick around or at least pop in from time to time with your insight's and perspectives. They are valuable and we need more people like you to help us along as we evolve toward greater fulfillment in our lives, however that looks for us.

ps Whew I didn't know I'd write this much! Look what you've gone and done Wink Great thread sorry this is so long!

Hello all - Not sure that I

Hello all -

Not sure that I can respond to everyone, but thanks everyone for pitching in. I guess maybe my idea to have a THREAD, not a FORUM related only to the discussion of wholeness was unrealistic. I simply thought it might be possible to try to see if anyone was up to the challenge of exploring how we are already whole despite and even in the midst of any struggles we might have. Probably it is difficult to reference what wholeness is without referencing what it is not. So I'd like to revise my request and make it more inclusive, welcoming any person's exploration of what wholeness means to them or could or does or would look like, even if it includes a discussion of porn or struggle with anything. Who knows? Obviously watching porn provides some sense of wholeness. There might be wholesome instincts in porn that need to be acknowledged. Nevertheless, i would just love it if a request would be honored that if we veer too far in the topic of porn, if it dominates our discussion, if it gets very graphic, then this is not a very welcoming place for a woman who would love to believe that despite the prevalence of porn, there is something else going on in humanity, that we are exploring more than porn or our reactions to porn here at Reuniting.

Many of you have asked that we warn of explicit content so as to help recovering addicts not get triggered. Well, imagine if you were on the other side of the spectrum: a woman in this forum trying to help her wounded feminine from getting triggered. Do you imagine Reuniting would be a very good place for her to hang out? No. Reuniting for me has been healing to the extent that I have allowed myself to get very triggered and see that as an opportunity to look at my shit, to get to the bottom of what bothers me about porn. Still, it gets a bit ridiculous spending my time doing this, given that I am in a healthy relationship that is porn free. So, the question is just whether we can manage a little sliver of space for those of us who want to know more about what is available in human sexuality above and beyond the porn dilemma.

I know we are a diverse group. But if we cannot create this space, which means creating an intention in how we communicate at least in one measly little thread, and how we choose our words and take collective responsibility for what kinds of conversations we are able to have, and how comfortable women feel in here, then we have not done our job as a community.

Brick said that he had spent less time here because he was struggling with porn less and focusing on other things. Well, do we want all the people who are becoming healthier to go by the wayside? We need them to keep sharing, giving new frames of reference for what it means to be sexual and human and ultimately satisfied in life.

But I agree. If I were to write a post saying: "I feel completely happy, completely whole, completely at peace today". Likely that would be the end of it. We love our struggle. And those who stop struggling, and find more peace than disturbance in their lives, probably aren't going to take the time to write about it. They're just going to enjoy it.

As for my karezza practice: not much has changed. When we do have orgasms, which happens about once a month in a little patch of sessions, we both notice being more irritable and on edge the following few days. In general though, our lovemaking the rest of the time becomes more and more lovely, gentle, juicy, tender, ecstatic, nuanced, intimate. Without the goal of orgasm and performance, we are more free to open up more and more to the innate miracle of being together, of sharing our bodies. Sex is implicitly good, and the simpler the approach, the cleaner the feeling, and the clearer and cleaner the energy, the more energizing it is.

Much of my spiritual practice recently has centered around healing leaks in my energy body, energizing my energy body. When I cultivate this, then bring my body to my love, there are so many more exquisite levels of interconnection, so many layers of presence, ecstacy.

It all goes back to the solo spiritual practice, and being simply present. Simply being. Perhaps the most important skill in life.

Upon deeper reflection

Upon deeper reflection perhaps it is time to stop being Hotspring and get a new Avatar and username and account to signify my emerging sense of identity as a woman who trusts men and is actively orienting to her wholeness. Part of this new identification would be an unwillingness to explore my interest in the wounded feminine story any longer. If I needed to do that I could go back to being Hotspring in those posts. I would consciously use this new username/identity to direct my conversations and consciousness in the forum in a very particular way.

Would someone start a new thread

on this topic?

"do we want all the people who are becoming healthier to go by the wayside? We need them to keep sharing, giving new frames of reference for what it means to be sexual and human and ultimately satisfied in life."

I don't have a general-purpose blog.

Awesome!

Well Done! in creating the Hearts and Karezza areas!
I bask in the love and compassion that Marnia gives us.

I totally agree

We need an area in the forum, where porn and other negativity is off limits. I think talking and reading about it a lot doesn't help even people with porn addiction. If they focus on it, they are more likely to stay there.

Um....

Actually, talking and reading about porn recovery is the way to recover because for most people there is so much shame around it they have a very difficult time opening up about it to even the people who are closest to them. I would also point out that this website has a very large section on pornography and the brain science connected with it. Should we stop reading those articles because *they don't help?* Coming here and blogging out all the issues is the first step toward healing.

Negativity is all around in our culture. There is no such thing as an "off limits" place sorry to say. It's like those little playgrounds in the McDonalds. The kiddies play there safe and sound while unskilled, non-unionized workers are selling hamburger meat that used up so much energy in it's production it could have fed ten times as many people. Because people choose to ignore the facts doesn't make it any less of a fact. We shouldn't turn our backs on reality, as a rule.

I *do* agree that sometimes there are posters who are "stuck" in their problems through many years of porn use. I don't think they are the majority but they are here too. It takes them longer to get out of their closed negativity loop.

It is perfectly logical and good to devise a simple system for identifying posts that are part of this site's "central mission" without alienating or turning our back on people who are suffering.

In my humble opinion

Not all men are genetically predisposed to become hooked and addicted to porn to the point that it can become a problem or affect relationships.

The majority of men are not addicted and will never be.

I don't have statistics and numbers to back it up, but I assure you that MOST men do not have a problem with porn addiction.

How are you defining

How are you defining addiction?

[quote=TheUnderdog]Not all men are genetically predisposed to become hooked and addicted to porn to the point that it can become a problem or affect relationships.[/quote]

You are mentally boxing yourself into a position of sickness and shame. That makes it harder to dig yourself out. This process begins is in the mind. Don't make a difficult process more difficult.

My thought is that

your statement may have been true in the past. But porn ain't what it used to be.

Internet porn can hook a lot more people because of 24/7 access, cost-free, stigma-free, constant novelty, shockingness, and ease of escalation.

Playboys lacked all those factors. I just read one professor's blog post saying that 17% of Internet porn users are already showing signs of compulsivity. I think that number will be growing, as brains get number and users therefore more desperate for stimulation. The more extreme the stimulation, the faster the symptoms of "numbed brain" show up (ED, mood disorders, OCD behaviors, unhealthy isolation, more shocking tastes, etc.). It's a vicious downward spiral.

I agree Marnia

I am constantly amazed at how more and more people are openly sharing about their regular viewing of internet porn, both men and women. I don't know the numbers, but this is definitely considered the 'norm' today among the people I know here in Northern California. I guess the good thing is that all the crappy guilt and shame aspect of it has been diminishing. Unfortunately, the effects of porn addiction are still there and unavoidable in my opinion. It really is a much bigger problem than many people want to admit to. In parallel with that thought, I also talk to people I know quite often about the fact that there are very few, if any couples whose relationship I am inspired by. That is why I am here: not to just quit an unhealthy habit, but to educate myself and prepare myself for something deeper, something nourishing and more life-sustaining. I am ready.

I have been more open in the

I have been more open in the last few years too. I brought it up to a guy one time and he was pretty uncomfortable about it, he said he felt kinda gay talking about it. I forget how it is still a weird thing for a lot of people. I think of it as more like a biological thing I guess, nothing really taboo or weird about it but certainly powerful. I accidentally brought it up to a guy I met the other night who seemed open to these things and he recognized the rationale behind it and examined his own experiences with porn, masturbation, and addictions. Its seen as a creepy antisocial thing I guess by a lot of people, and I remember walking into my first sex addicts meeting and seeing "creeps", but as I got to know these people better, wow, was I wrong, met some of the strongest and most human people I had ever met up until that point. I hope the shame and creepiness factor can leave so that more men can reach out to other people and get the healing they need. I WISH I heard about this stuff about 15 years ago!

Courage is knowing what not to fear.
-Plato

Irony

It's ironic that porn in general has become the topic on Hotspring's very blog post asking for non-porn discussion!

Please do endeavour to keep the discussion threads on topic, and move any other discussion into a new thread.