At a very weird crossroads

Submitted by mountaincap on
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Hi all

Many thanks for this site Marnia it is an incredible resource and much of what I've resonates with me.

I'd really like to blog about my progress if you could enable me to do so.

So here's where I'm at. I would appreciate any thoughts or comments. This is a long post, but I've a lot to get off my chest so apologies in advance. I am seeing a therapist, but want to journal my progress and thought this site would be an excellent way to do this. Apologies, this post may be fairly crude at points.

Background:

I'm married to a wonderful woman who I love with all my heart. I'm over 30 and work from home which is pretty hard going and no doubt fuels some of my problems. I'm a friendly person and not your typical 'lad'. I've a good bunch of mates, but they're all in different places. I like sports and get around running a couple of times a week and play on a few sports teams. Never to any elite standard, more for recreation and fitness.

Growing up, looking back I've been fairly introverted and not very confident in myself, though this does wax and wane. At school I was a bit of a geek (still am), but always tried to fit in with the cool crowd without really managing it. I compensated by attention seeking behaviour. This usually backfired. I didn't really get a good core friendship group until 16ish. I played rugby at school, but didn't have much confidence in myself or my ability despite playing for the school and a local club. I usually too shy to join in the 'banter'.

My parents were and are very loving on the one hand, but on the other did not provide the most stable environment in other respects. There were shouting arguments literally every night with my father being very aggressive, throwing plates and threatening violence against my mother to the point where she would be trembling in the corner. He used to hit her my mother has told me, but I can't consciously remember any instance of this happening. My mother had affairs and although I don't remember much, there were times we were taken as children to her 'friend's' house for the weekend.

I certainly remember my mum conditioning certain male characteristics in me. If I was caught fighting it, it wasn't a telling off, it was more 'you're not that sort of person'. I remember having certain articles pointed out such as the danger of giving kids toy guns as it makes them too violent (perhaps true, but I also think war role play is natural in boys). I liked the fantasy warhammer stuff, but because it was 'fantasy' I had to physically stamp on my carefully painted figures. I was bullied sometimes but my mothers advice was 'turn the other cheek' rather than defend myself. Can't really remember my Dad's take on this.

Depression/ obsession:

Growing up I was fairly depressed and although I didn't realise at the time, I engaged in a lot of obsessional thinking regarding myself. My mind would ruminate over negative thoughts and often play out negative events. I was also obsessed/ anxious about death and my mothers teachings on Christ's second coming/ the end of days. Thoughts about this would sometimes border on the obsessional.

Abuse:

I have an unclear memory of potential abuse that I am attempting to reconcile. I remember one night being unable to sleep because I was obsessively thinking about death. I was so freaked out I had to go into my parents bedroom. After some reassurance we settled down to sleep. I think I was around 10 at the time. I have a very clear memory of my dad asking me to lie in a certain way (on my side). I remember not being comfortable (with it and literally) and him insisting that I 'lie like this' with him behind me. I remember it being uncomfortable and painful. I am not 100% sure on anything else. Separately I remembered a time I was in bed with my parents and my father trying to get frisky with my mother with her saying "no stop it, its painful". Was that the same night? Did my father act out his frustrations on me? Was it simply his hip bone or something more?
At best I feel this completely overstepped the personal boundaries I had created at that stage in my life. At worst my father may have rubbed himself against me.
I know enough about false memories to not force anything to come through, but it is confusing nonetheless.

Sexuality:

Growing up I had my first sexual experiences (excluding the above) quite young - Pre pubescent. This was with a girl down the road. General fooling around and fairly innocent fun, though I do remember what I think must have been an orgasm which weirded me out because I had no idea what it was at the time and I was too young to even ejaculate. Overall though I remember these being exciting, fun experiences, especially playing with her breasts.

I then grew up a bit remember a growing interest in girls including Pamella Anderson, the other girls on bay watch and some of the gladiator women, especially Jet. We also found a porn mag in the woods once which kept me entertained growing up.

There was an older girl down the road who you might describe as voluptuous who I developed fantasies over. She used to baby sit and we used to 'hug' a lot. One day while hugging things escalated and we kissed with some fondling. I remember it being tremendously exciting and naughty because she was older and the babysitter.

She stayed over one night and invited me up to the attic room I got up there and she was naked under her t shirt. I was incredibly excited/ nervous about this but there was a level of shame because the floor boards were wafer thin and my parents were directly below. We started fooling around and I came in my pants. I was immediately shamed and embarrassed by this and this certainly could have had some sort of impact on me.

Moving through school and college I had a few girlfriends with the usual increase in sexual fondling with age etc. All good fun, however, I was still very nervous of girls touching me in case I lost control or they thought my penis was too small. I suffered premature ejaculation in many of these early sexual experiences, fairly normalish, but I never acknowledged it or laughed about it. Most of the time I hid it because it would often happen while clothed (furthering my shame). Foreplay with my first GF was amazing her blow jobs felt unreal and when she was playing with me I had no anxiety about 'lasting'.

When it came to our first time having sex, I orgasmed fairly quickly, but instead of going with it, I found I was still hard so didn't say anything and just carried on until I orgasmed again. Great - I found a cheat way to have sex and not have to admit to prematurely ejaculating. With this girl I would nearly always orgasm twice.

With my next girlfriend, it was the same pattern, except I noticed I couldn't orgasm a second time all the time so would some times fake an orgasm until she came. After a while I couldn't keep hard after prematurely ejaculating so sometimes would flop. It got to the point sometimes where I would avoid sex for this reason.

When I met my wife we managed to work through this and mostly break the cycle and for the first time in my life I was really enjoying 'normal sex'. My performance anxiety has waxed and waned depending generally on my confidence levels at that point in time. When I'm feeling really good I just concentrate on the pleasure and it feels fantastic. When I'm down or anxious I can't enjoy it because I'm too focused on not cumming too quickly - which generally becomes a self fulfilling prophecy.

There have been a few one night stands before I met my wife which generally followed the pattern above.

Masturbation & porn:

I remember masturbating from a very young age. So young that I couldn't even ejaculate. Growing up, I couldn't tell you the frequency of this. I do remember masturbating a lot at the time of my first GF in an attempt to desensitise myself from PE. This continued through uni where I discovered internet porn. I would sometimes spend hours trawling through certain sites and I think I have probably masturbated nearly every day since the age of 15. I wouldn't say the porn escalated to anything particularly brutal at this stage. I didn't have a personal computer so would have to 'store' the images/ videos for later. This strangely stayed with me even when working from home with access to free porn sites. I rarely jack off directly to the porn, but rather store it then act on it elsewhere.

I have gone through phases of banning myself from porn (for reasonable lengths of time, but have usually come back to it). I went through a period of not masturbating though I found I had a couple of wet dreams which freaked me out so went back to it.

So I think my addiction is more masturbation than porn, though porn certainly has been a daily ritual sometimes. Often this is down to boredom and habit rather than desire. Aside from periods when I’ve been very physically active.
I’m currently 7 days without porn and 5 days without orgasm. See below for porn escalation

Sexual identity and HOCD (Homosexual OCD):

Over the years I had fears of being gay. This has varied from childish micky taking to one friend pretty much accusing me of being gay in front of other friends. I believe this may also have been related to him speaking to my ex who I sometimes avoided sex with.

Its not been persistent, but I laughed it off to start with but it increasingly became a fear. I would often obsess about the question of whether I was gay or not. I would ruminate, finding instances for (shyness etc) but managing to keep my fears manageable. It has increasingly knocked my confidence and I have become very conscious of myself. In all of this I had never been attracted to men or watched gay porn etc, but the thought was always there – What if? What if I’m repressing something?

I wouldn’t say I was homophobic, it was more about what it meant about my identity – What did these people know about me that I couldn’t see in myself? Did they know me better than I know myself. That my future is so uncertain because deep down there is something within me that I am denying. In fact I now have a much greater understanding of human sexuality than I ever have. It’s more about what it means for me and my identity, my future, my sense of self, that others are right and I’m wrong. I dream of having kids with my wife and settling down, getting a dog etc. The fear is that this dream won’t be realised.

OCD has been called the doubting disease, well that has fitted me to a T.

About 6 weeks ago, these fears reached a crescendo. My anxiety reached new levels. Partly as we are not looking to truly settle, buy a house and have kids. My fear was ‘shit what if I’m that guy, that guy you read about who comes out gay after 10 years of marriage’.

I engaged in what has been recognised as some classic HOCD behaviour – Checking coming out stories, reading ‘are you gay articles’. I watched some gay porn to ‘test’ myself and tried to masturbate while thinking about a male. I was so anxious these tests were pretty redundant.

I had a tremendous nervous energy around this time and didn’t know what to do with it. I masturbated to straight porn more than ever to ‘prove’ and ‘check’ then moved to lesbian porn for fear that it was only the guys turning me on. After a period of this, I freaked because I found myself going flaccid while masturbating to female fantasies and even lesbian porn. Obviously anxiety was playing a part but I worried it meant something else. I abstained for a few days and found things came back to normally but I was still a ball of nervous energy so I masturbated around three times a day and ended up back to the flaccidity.

Sex with my wife has been mixed, mainly because of there being so much anxiety in me “what if I can’t stay hard, what does that mean?” I found it hard to relax even more than normal.

I started getting anxiety ‘spikes’ when I saw other men, especially good looking guys or effeminate guys. Did I find him attractive? Do I look like that guy? Is that what I look like to other people?

This has become incredibly confusing because I read lots of websites about sexuality about exploring things. I didn’t want to let my mind consider certain sexual acts with men, because I found it disgusting then I read about other men who found it disgusting at first then started to like it. Right now If I think about a homosexual act, I wouldn’t say it turns me on, but because I thought about it so much, it no longer grosses me out.

What freaked me out the most was reading a bi-sexual forum which seems to be stacked full of men exploring their same sex attractions. For most of these guys it seems they always knew about them. For some though, it hit them out of the blue in later life (Which led to further fears).

In theory I am open to the possibility of bi-sexuality, but what really concerned me was ‘scratching an itch’ (if it is an itch I’ve got) and it developing into something I can’t control.

In many ways that website is the complete antithesis of this site. Lots of uncontrolled desires, lots of wanting to act out and fantasizing, lots of porn masturbation and some web camming. A lot of these men talk of very strong urges to meet up with other men.

The general advice is to take your time in discovering yourself, but reading between the lines, a lot of these guys seem to end up at least fantasising about it, some obsessively. There appears to be a fine line between exploring this vs denying and a fear of scratching an itch, an itch that may not even be there. Can you get to the point where anxiety focuses your attention so much that homosexual thoughts become appealing? Or if so, is this a sign that you may have been pre-disposed to like it in the first place so should explore.

I’m at a very confused place where this could be attraction, on the other hand it could be anxiety messing with reward patterns. This is definitely anxiety rather than pleasure led at the moment.

In some ways this is my deepest fear and its very hard to get to grips with. The ultimate success appears to be being able to accept the ambiguity of never knowing 100% if you are gay or straight. In other words being able to think about it without becoming anxious because either way anxiety is not going to help you address this.

Where I’m at right now:

I’m seeing a therapist, but as she’s more of a counsellor I’m looking for someone with specific CBT training for the anxiety.
I spoke about all of this with my wife recently and while she was shocked, she has been very supportive. I have not divulged the masturbation part of this.
I have felt straight all my life apart from the fear of being gay. We have recently started looking at houses which sparked my anxiety of getting to the bottom of this. Whatever the outcome I can’t live my life like this anymore. I can’t live with this level of anxiety.
My libido is flat at the moment as I think I’ve completely shut it down. I’ve also not been masturbating for around 7 days now and am committed to completely abstaining from porn and have even discussed no sex with my wife for 30 days which may be extended. We are going to engage in many of the bonding behaviours suggested here.
I’m looking into getting out of the house more and many of the practical suggestions found on this site.

With your permission I’d like to start blogging with my progress. Thanks for reading.

You're all set to blog

However, the guys here who recover from HOCD generally recommend NOT trying to "get to the bottom of it," but rather giving that brain loop a rest...permanently. No obsessing, no thinking about, no analyzing, and certainly no "testing."

It's normal for desensitization to lead to escalation. So work on returning your brain to normal sensitivity and you may find sex satisfying enough that you will respond as you used to. In any case, you won't be able to figure much out until your brain is back in balance. The best way to return to balance is to avoid porn, masturbation and orgasm (as much as possible) for a couple of months.

Have you checked out these links?

http://yourbrainonporn.com/ask-us-iam-attracted-to-gay-transsexual
http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/cupids-poisoned-arrow/201110/can-you...

Feeling better despite wet dream

Last night was good.

I gave my wife a massage. First time we've done just that with no sex to follow or with intention of doing it as foreplay. Felt very good and relaxed. I felt horny at points, but it was nice just to roll with it.

My HOCD levels dropped a bit too. Probably not in the way they are supposed to. I just remembered a girl at school I had the biggest crush on. I can still picture her now. I just cannot believe that was all a lie. This gave me a confidence boost. I know ruminating and checking is not meant to be part of the solution, but this was more a pleasant memory. It's given me a little boost and I feel more confident in not ruminating or feeling like I have to 'because there's something there'. If that gives me a better platform to tackle the recommended OCD strategies then so much the better.

The mind is a strange thing. Last night I had a wet dream. Unlike Freud, I don't buy the idea that dreams are wish fulfillment (at least most of the time). I believe they are mostly your brain playing out the days stresses and the days events trying to make sense of them. Kinda like a computer defragging. I was at a swingers party. I think it was a bisexual swingers party. I remember clearly only having eyes for the women despite men looking out me. Part of my anxiety is with other men looking at me and what it means. That felt good and anxiety free. Me and a buddy were checking out which girls to approach first when two women who I think I knew just bust over and started procedings. I was enjoying it but felt on the verge of orgasm quickly, there were other people around is which didn't make it an entirely relaxing At some point I orgasmed ( think it was the point leant over and kissed the other girl) but just about managed to wake up and stop myself.

I wonder if thinking about PE during the day and writing about my previous PMO abstinence which led to such dreams may have been a factor here? Certainly strange and interesting. Didn't make me anxious and I didn't read too much into it. That I suppose is a change. Last time I freaked out. This time I kinda welcomed it as a sign my libido was returning.

Any thoughts or advice on this? I read this thanks: http://yourbrainonporn.com/wet-dreams

Yesterday I'd say was 6/10 by the close of play.
8days without P or M.
0 days without O.

Welcome :)

Hello! :) Thank you Mountain Cap for the truly honest-to-god post about where your life is right now. It is in many ways a living hell but you can break through the gates and restore your life!!

Reading about a very personal post about your life. The beginning of how your mom was treated by your dad. That "mystery night"
where you do remember your father making you lie down in a certain way with him behind you then not remembering it all. Yes I
agree with you and your feelings. Your Father had no right at all to even make his son go into such a position. If he wanted you on
the bed. Then your father should being your father have gone to the floor and rested there. While you had the space to be on the
bed while your Mom is asleep. No reason at all should a father do that. It is certainly possible under hypnosis that you have these
"erased memories" which can be brought out to light. I am really sorry you had to go through so much. That is a lot of pain to
endure while still having a normal life.

Meaning you are not in a nut house with other guys. Locked away in a rubber room with a straight jacket on. I certainly sense you
have a good heart and soul. There are injuries that you are still recovering from just because it is not a broken arm. Does not mean
we still don't have other wounds to heal in our own lives.

It sounds to me like your Wife is very loving and supportive of you. That will make a world of difference. In fact she will love you
even more now that you face yourself in a journey of self-discovery. She should be there 100% and one day she will need your
love. Your warmth and you can heal her back.

As far as your other major concern about being straight, gay or bi-sexual. Well I can share my own experience. I started watching
pornography on the computer at 13 years old. I will post a full in-depth post like yourself maybe tommorw or today. Not sure yet
you have balls to let it all hang out here. That's why I really wanted to respond to you in a respect manner.

Well I started out watching pornography on the computer at 13. I was the failure in school, no one liked me because I wanted to
study. In fact the one break during the day when we eat lunch. I would use my lunch period to go to the library because in the
lunch room I would be bullied and called names. I learned to curse from hearing the bullies! Not from my parents!

Since I had no friends what so ever. I just decided to isolate myself and learn about the computer. It was at 13 when I was first
able to use a computer. For instance "How do I type on the keyboard?" that was a skill I badly wanted to learn. I have memories
of feeling stupid because I was using Mavis Beacon to learn how to type. It just wasn't the fast speed that I see many students
use when I would go to public library.

Sorry to go off topic. Back to your own sexual identity well from being alone and watching straight pornography. Over time I felt that
it just was not "fun" anymore. I mean I not getting erections as hard as I used to when I first saw straight porn. It took me a few
years of seeing straight porn for it to wear it's magic on me. The magic is - I would get hard instantly! Being happy to jerk myself
off to seeing a man and a woman go at it. Well the day came when the magic wore off. I was not getting hard or just a little hard
here and there. Eventually I asked myself "Who cares about straight pornography? It sucks!"

I then went to gay pornography. I felt like I had pretty much seen all the different kinds of straight porn out there. Naturally and being
curious about life I asked the question "What is gay sex?" That is how I even got into gay porn in the first place. Well my cock just
got really hard when I first saw gay porn. It was a shock to my system!! I was hooked seeing things I never even heard of before!
It got to the point where I would pretty much see gay porn and wanting more and more. I felt that maybe I was gay because I liked
it so much.

Well to this day I never had any sex with a man at all in my life. I happen to be 22 years old. My feeling is that it deals with the whole
"desensitization" to our bodies and minds. As you read the article on yourbrainonporn.com right here:
http://yourbrainonporn.com/ask-us-iam-attracted-to-gay-transsexual

That from this quote:

"Ultimately, any sexual taste is driven by dopamine. If you climax to something that is not consistent with your underlying orientation, but it releases enough dopamine and adrenaline in your brain (because you find it exciting or even anxiety-producing), your brain will wire it up to your reward circuitry as "valuable." It evolved when intense sexual arousal meant a potential fertilization opportunity was around—and that was always worth wiring up.
Now, however, extreme, synthetic Internet porn can make most any sexual scenario fool your brain into perceiving it as a fertilization opportunity...."

We have used up the exciting gift of sex in our brains by watching pornography for so long. It just won't go away any time soon. As
a result of always having the "magic" of straight porn work on me. I simply used it all up and had to gay porn to get hard again. Well
this is the brain's way of wanting to as the quote says "Synthetic internet porn can make most any sexual scenario fool your brain
into perceiving it as a fertilization opportunity..."

Using up one kind of pornography made my brain hungry for different, new kinds of porn. That is my own personal explanation for why
I feel that I only get hard to gay pornography. Well now I do not consider myself gay. I never kissed a guy. Talking about tongue action
here and no, none what so ever. No actual real life nudity with a guy who I am with. No physical contact in a sexual manner but my
brain and body are now craving new pleasure. A new "high" that is why like yourself I would think it would be gross to think of gay
sex but over time as the thoughts linger around in your brain. The brain accepts it as a new form of pleasure. The brain is amazing
in how it can transform our perception on life.

Best of luck to you!! You can do it!! :)

Thank you,
Thomas PMO Addict

Thanks for sharing Thomas

Needless to say, I think you "nailed it." As you reboot this will no longer be theoretical.

Fundamental sexual orientation just doesn't "morph" that easily. I'm working on another post about brain plasticity...in this case adults who watch hairless genitals suddenly being triggered by naked little girls...and finding it really freaky.

We humans need to take more care with what we wire our orgasms to. Who wants to have to spend months unwiring things...and still get freaked out by the occasional flashback???

While using porn for ages

While using porn for ages and ages, I watched many things I would never really do in "real life". I watched things and masturbated to all kinds of acts with multiple men and women, trans, etc. etc.. But, back to real life the only physical lovemaking I have enjoyed is with my wonderful wife. the stuff "on-screen" was artificial, other people were engaged physically I was engaged in my head.

I love my wife and the realness of her touch, her body her smell. None of those were ever evident while watching porn or mags.

Go easy on yourself, your whole perspective is changing.

your friend
fcjl8