one step at a time

Submitted by looking4balance on
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Been working some serious overtime lately but, somehow, despite the urge to numb out to the stress and worry with porn, i haven't. It's been about 3 weeks. That isn't to say i haven't orgasmed since i have, but it was with a partner and it was slow and conscious. I think it makes sense to deal with these issue in order or porn (1) and then (2) sacred sex. For me, i think there needs to be some levels of competence and progression if this will work in the long run. It's cool some people can do them at once. Spending so much time working and stressed brings up all kinds of crap that i felt like justifying with porn use, like entitlement (hey, i work hard so i deserve some pleasure!) or rationalizing (well, if i do it, then i can sleep better). Just BS to escape feelings and numb out. I really think staying in the dis-comfort teaches competence, that i can survive stress and worry and fatigue WITHOUT pulling my pud...

Lately the idea of porn or fantasies of using women as objects for my sexual satisfaction is weakening. It almost is starting to make me sick a little. I look at a pretty girl and imagine that stuff and then its like the reality of what the fantasy is about and how you cant ever know the essence of that person in that kind of sexual exchange is so clear. You can put anyone in her place and it wouldn't matter, wouldn't even notice. it's just flesh and hair, and person there, no soul, no essence. The same sickening feeling would happen as in after porn use, were those fantasies to come true. So i feel good about that. I can see the inhumanness, utter selfishness, and lack of meaning of the kind of sex in porn and in my fantasies. I think this is about becoming human again in a sort of way. Porn and sex addiction take one far away from the soul.

I am also really impressed with the effort the guys are doing here on this site lately..really encouraging and helpful..thanks for sharing guys! Also hearing from the ladies about their experiences helps us know women in a more real way so thanks to the fairer sex as well!

I realized some of the impulse to use porn also had to do with the discomfort of feeling happy. Its not just when things were bad that I am tempted..if things feel TOO good or i had some sense of accomplishment, i am also just as tempted. Interesting, that one. Well, thats it for now..

Keep up the good work people!!!
Peace, clarity and strength



Right on!

Hey Balance - sounding good! Inspiring. I hear you on the not comfortable being happy. For me it is almost as if I don't deserve it, so I slink back to that shameful place that porn brings me too.
This resonates with me too: "Spending so much time working and stressed brings up all kinds of crap that i felt like justifying with porn use, like entitlement (hey, i work hard so i deserve some pleasure!) or rationalizing (well, if i do it, then i can sleep better)"
You do deserve something but pulling your pud won't get you there. You will only waste time.
My thing is I am alone at night - the dark quiet hours, don't want to sleep but what to fill the time with? Hmmm - PORN! Yuck.
I'm on 16 days now and I agree, the revulsion is growning as I think of regression which helps.
I don't know how you can orgasm and not slip back. I have not but I do feel that "it would help me sleep, I deserve it.".
I am resisting so I can fully pull the physical addiction out of it, see clear, and then maybe then I might be able to without a regression, relapse.
How do you feel after you cum? Relaxed? Fulfilled? Low? Guilty? Pleased???
Keep it up Balance!!!

thanks, TLR

I am really inspired by your posts and thanks for commenting on mine too!
i think there are some common point for all addicts (shame default feelings, uncomfortable with stillness, emptiness, etc). It helps knowing that others experience it so we can all overcome together.

How do i feel after coming? well, i feel better than i do if it were porn, but since I am not with a person i feel is a good match for me in relationship, i feel a bit bad, guilty, low. Physically I feel relaxed, but the few days after tired and the world is colorless and hopeless feeling. I dont know if that's 'cause of the orgasm (probably) or just depresssion about not being able to end a relationship i know isnt what i want for fear of not having an emotional anchor/close 'someone in my life'. Maybe a bit of both. Either way, i need to end it so not use sex and emotional dependence as a reason to stay together. thats not much better than porn. Ive told her many times we should just be friends, but she still treats me as a BF. I am putting the decision on her, which isnt fair. Not being a man here....hhm. When i think about it, i have never been able to be the 'break up-er'. I just arrange it so they break up with me. kinda f--cked, what is that all about? Fear, fear, fear....

well, despite that issue, still porn-free today! thats something i guess...

Comments, thoughts appreciated..
Thanks bud

Sounds farmiliar

Sounds farmiliar, that is - the man leaving the breaking up to the woman. It's really not a fun thing to have to do. Plus, it assumes the woman will actually have the balls to do it. Often she will, but what if she doesn't?

In many of my relationships, there were issues that may have been worth working out, but in the end, it was the sense of complacency on the part of the male (he has food and sex, any lady will do to serve these functions) that is the real clincher and can cause the woman to actually cut it off despite how hard it is to do or what else might be worth salvaging.

You don't need most of the feedback in this forum - people reiterating to you what you are saying very loud to yourself in your own posts. But I agree there is a lot of value in this forum to hear oneself think outloud and learn what one really values and believes.

Show yourself you've got some cojones outside the bedroom!

i can

always count on the tough love from HS..

the reason I ask for feedback is maybe there are some people with simillar issues or have dealt with those things and maybe they had some thing that helped them. I was just seeing if there was someone with that experience. The sharing of experiences is sometimes enough to give add some strength to one's resolve or look at it a different way and i think thats pretty common benefit here on this site. It's also a good place to learn where you are in the process as you pointed out.

I was sharing feedback as

I was sharing feedback as someone who has experienced that same dynamic, only from the perspective of being the one who had to do the breaking up.

Why is it tough love for me to point out that in your posts, you seem very clear already about what you want to do and what would be best for you? You already have the wisdom inside you. It may be hard to apply your wisdom if you aren't aware you have it. So LISTEN to yourself.

I wasn't implying you don't have balls. I was saying that you do have them, so use them!

i see

i guess i misinterpreted ... sorry...
Its just frustrating to know what the right thing to do is but not have the courage to do it. I feel shame about not having the courage, so I am a bit sensitive about perceived judgements, thus my misinterpretation..

it also reminded me of my dad saying when i was having trouble with things, " just stop complaining and suck it up" football-tough guy type of statements that never resonated well with me.

thanks for letting me hear the other side of this dynamic

Just because you haven't had

Just because you haven't had the courage up to this point doesn't mean that you can't at any moment choose to have it. Maybe it's not in your realm of experience of yourself to do things like be the one to break up, so it's much easier to identify with "not having the courage" because it has been true to this point. But each moment is new.

While the topic of tough love has been raised, i thought I'd share some words from Carolyn Myss - a no-nonsense, tough-as-nails medical intuitive (by the way, my tough love extends to myself as well, if it's any consolation). I thought her hard questions were worth considering. You may or may not find them relevant. She asks:

Do you have the courage to own your power?

Trust of self = dependability, courage, inner authority, self-respect, accountability

Can you face your shadow in terms of what your fears give you permission to do?

Do you respect yourself enough to live the answers to the questions you're asking?

There's a whole part of you that is mismanaged deliberately to maintain chaos.

Spot your saboteur. The saboteur is a power that makes you confront the fears in you that you empower to disempower yourself. How do you sabotage the journey of your empowered self?

There is a fear of being empowered because of the life changes it will require.

Say to your spirit: I am going to operate from a much higher level of accountability.

Keep your eye on your agenda. Keep yourself accountable. Earn the respect of your spirit.

The development of the self is inevitable.

Small choices can redistribute your power and energy.


some worthwhile points to consider and very appropriate..that is no nonsense you are right..thanks! i will reflect on those...
thanks HS :)


yea, right! : )

but see that's the thing...dont the exchanges make you feel closer and more bonded with your partner? i cant imagine doing them with a friend, for example, or someone i dont want to have a relationship with. If my goal is to distance myself from her, then doing the exchanges would be the opposite of that and give mixed signals making it even harder to do what needs to be done, no?

Emotional dependence


I don't understand what you mean when you say you don't want to "use sex and emotional dependence as a reason to stay together".

Can you explain what you mean by "emotional dependence"; and what, in your view, would be valid reasons to stay together?

I don't mean these to sound like trick questions! I'm genuinely interested.


Hi Sood,

Hi Sood, :)

thanks for your reply. Yes, I can see how that might be a vague sounding statement. It's kind of hard to explain in words but I will try...

What I am refering to is a kind of unhealthy reliance on a person being there for you for your emotional stability. Almost like as long as there is ONE person that i can go to, talk to, count on when I feel lonely, knows all my private stuff, etc..than I don't feel so alone in the world. It's almost a motherly kind of attachment (i guess I still long for that). It differs from a healthy, mature adult sharing of emotions where there is still a sense of boundaries and responsibility for your own emotions.

In a healthy framework, the concept of breaking up means, yes, you will be lonely perhaps, but you know and FEEL you would survive. But with this kind of attachment disorder or abandonment/existential fear (i dont know what else to call it), it FEELS strongly as if I would die or go crazy (not from missing THE other person perse, but the person who I assigned this role mentally). I had some severe episodes with this in the past. I suspect this might be a trauma from my childhood that gets triggered when splitting with a person with whom i am closest with at the time.

I know its an extremely unhealthy, neurotic and very old pattern and I am working on it currently with a counselor. Its not a reason to stay with someone, just like sex isn't, so that's what I meant. I goes a little deeper than just having 'the balls' for me...


Okay, thanks.

It seems like it's a matter of degree. Because I've always believed I ought to be more, rather than less, emotionally dependent on my wife, I felt I needed to know what you meant.

I think there's a lot to be said for following Marnia's suggestion of doing the Exchanges with your friend. It might, as you say, draw you closer, when what you're conscious of wanting is to separate; but it might enable you to experience your relationship in a completely new way, one that is outside the pattern you speak of. Of course, she would have to be willing, too.

I say this, having never tried the Exchanges myself, mostly because I like (or rely on) the current pattern I'm in too much to want to change it.

I suppose part of me finds it hard to believe that someone you're sleeping with (if you are sleeping with her, besides having occasional sex) isn't worth cultivating a different sort of relationship with, if the current one is troubling, rather than engineering a terminal split; but maybe I'm being naive here.

Never be afraid of earning good karma ;-)

I don't know what the right thing is L4B, but I'm sure there's a part of your mind that does. I'd suggest some inner listening, if you're not totally clear yet.

In any case, the Exchanges aren't superglue. They're healing...for both people. It seems to me that healing, defined as losing one's subconscious fear of the opposite sex, is always a good thing.

Notice that our concept of relationships is either "this is just for the sex/gains to me" or "this is going to be a suffocating/scary commitment." While we're on biology's script, there's a certain truth to these unfortunate manifestations of lack/scarcity/low dopamine which take very familiar forms: selfishness, victimhood, etc.

The alternative is to stop using each other and make healing (generous, safe exchanges) your sole objective. The relationship may end, but the goodwill seems to remain. In short, the practice is far less scary than the imagined dangers.

Mostly this practice brings wholesomeness and sanity into the relationship. That makes the evolution of the relationship smoother, whatever the outcome. The person, at a deep level, feels somewhat respected and cared for, in contrast to feeling used and resentful about it.


when you put it like THAT... :)

sounds like a win win....
will report back any findings

thanks M. that made whole lot of sense and you wrote it so beautifully clear