40 years of addiction are over

Discussion in 'Ages 40+' started by Paulier, Mar 7, 2012.

  1. Paulier

    Paulier New Member

    Yes, that's right: 40 years of wanking to porn are at an end. I feel a bit weird after 7 days of no PMO - strange dreams, emotions all over the place, strong urges for....something, not necessarily porn, just...release, relief.
    I'm 49 and started when I was about 10 with my dad's soft core mags. Then a typical trajectory (from what I read from others on this site) of escalation to more and more extreme porn and when the internet arrived things got really serious with 6 hour binges of new images every 20 seconds. I realise I've been 'edging' for many years, enjoying the dopamine rush - orgasm often feels disappointing compared to the idea that the next clip could be the perfect one.

    I've been married for 20 years and have a 13 year old daughter. The last time I had sex with my wife was when we conceived. I thought I'd just gone off her, but now realise that porn took her place as it was around this time that internet and access to hard core really took off for me. I can't believe she's still with me. We have fights about not having sex and she's really upset about it, but I've blamed it on my anxiety & depression due to physical and emotional abuse in childhood at the hands of my mother and she has bought this. To tell the truth I bought it too, and it wasn't until I found YBOP site that I saw my porn use in a different way. I know that the cause of my sexual problems is way more complicated than just brain chemistry, but what this theory has given me is a method to stop that is very similar to the one I used to quit smoking and marijuana: stop the behaviour and the neural pathways become overgrown and the cravings get less and less until eventually you just get the occasional, context-specific pang of desire that is almost like seeing an old aquaintance. I think this will be enough to put this behind me for ever. I'm hoping that after a couple of weeks I will start to desire my wife again and maybe we can start over. I think that if we don't do this then we'll eventually split up.

    I'm also really interested to see what happens to my anxiety and depression. For close on 40 years I've been masturbating compulsively every day (apart from meditation retreats and when I've had hot sex with girlfriends in my 20s)- sometimes wanking up to 8 times a day and even now I can manage 6 times during a porn binge (not bad for an old man, huh?) . Throughout this time I've suffered from low self-esteem, panic attacks, depression, which I managed with drink and drugs in my youth and with therapy and meditation from my 30s onwards. Because PMO has been such a part of my life for all this time I think I've been able to deny how serious my addiction has been. It's been the thought of my daughter discovering my activities and hating me that has caused me to start looking for help. I've been in psychoanalytic psychotherapy for the last two years, which has been helpful in terms of looking at childhood issues, but finding the YBOP site has been like finding the key to the jail cell that I've been locked in.

    Anyway, my goals are to just stop using porn and to start having sex again with my wife. I don't ever want to go back to what I was doing - and because I can now see why I kept doing it, I really think that stopping is possible. Hell - I've done a whole week without PMO and have even been on my own in the house for four of those days, which is my major trigger for a porn binge (almost like quitting smoking & weed and then spending four days surrounded by cartons of my favourite brand of cigarettes and some top quality marijuana).

    Power and strength to all you guys doing this with me - we can do it!
     
  2. geordie

    geordie New Member

    Re: First 7 days of no PMO after 40 years of addiction

    welcome to the foum Paulier. i hope we can all help each other out on our path to a normal balanced sex life.

    do you intend on sharing this with your wife? is your wife completely in the dark as far as you know with your porn habits?
     
  3. Paulier

    Paulier New Member

    Re: First 7 days of no PMO after 40 years of addiction

    Thanks Geordie. No, I don't see any way of sharing this with my wife. She's totally against porn - quite prudish (although a really great person) and I think it would be the end for us if she knew what I'd been up to. I don't think she'd be able to understand. She's not an observant person and is quite wrapped up in herself and I'm very sneaky, so I think she has no idea at all. Bottom line is I think this is one of those times when it's better not to tell the whole truth.
    Our sex life has never been brilliant. She was never particularly adventurous in bed and told me fairly early on in our relationship that sex was not the most important thing for her (which is probably why we're still together). She has some psychological issues too around self-worth and had a difficult childhood. We are a pretty good team still and have talked about this issue quite a lot (but without me mentioning porn at all of course). Our path to a sexless marriage was gradual and has many contributing factors which I won't bore you with. I've got a great therapist who I can share with, and of course I've got this site!
     
  4. geordie

    geordie New Member

    Re: First 7 days of no PMO after 40 years of addiction

    porn is a funny subject. some people think its ok when others are disgusted by it. im single but was thinking about telling my folks about this to bring my problem out in the open as this may have brought more accountability and made it more real - its easy to relapse by telling yourself its normal and it doesnt seem tangible in a way when you battle it alone. however just last week my sister caught her boyfriend with his pants down watching porn in their house. she told my parents whose attitude kinda shocked me. i dont know why i expected them to be anything less than this prudish. out there in the world porn is this cool thing that everyone indulges in. its cool, its hip and as time goes on stuff that once shocked society no longer does. i think that might explain how we can justify some of the acts we watch and fail to notice its actually dopamine response that drives wanting to watch wilder acts. i am even fooled by the garbage some girls spout before a scene when they tell us they really enjoy it and are excited - now i really really doubt it and feel foolish and sorry for them.
     
  5. Psychosis

    Psychosis Guest

    Re: First 7 days of no PMO after 40 years of addiction

    Welcome to the forum, Paulier. It will probably be nice to quit so you can stop hiding stuff from your wife, won't it?

    This was interesting to read. In fact, there's been a bit written on this subject in recent years--the mainstreaming of pornography. It's no doubt a horrible thing, since it's brutally exploitative of the female performers, not to mention what it has the propensity to do to the viewer. It's simply dehumanizing, and the strange thing is that I thought this was the case even while I was into it. The YBOP site makes it clear that feelings of revulsion, guilt, etc., only serve to make the dopamine rush greater, which in turn fuels the addiction, leading to the famous progression to more and more intense shit.

    At any rate, I've still got some ambivalent feelings on the subject--but the one thing that is clear is that I want nothing more to do with it.
     
  6. Paulier

    Paulier New Member

    Re: First 7 days of no PMO after 40 years of addiction

    i'm with you on this - the normalisation of objectification and abuse. I thought it was disgusting too - after I'd finished bingeing. And I too liked to believe that the girls enjoyed it when it's pretty obvious that this is most unlikely. There's a good paper called ' A Male Grief' about porn addiction that portrays it as abusive to the user as well as the performers - basically you have to be OK with abusing and debasing yourself to get off on it.
     
  7. FREE

    FREE New Member

    Re: First 7 days of no PMO after 40 years of addiction

    Hey Paulier,

    Thank you for sharing your story with so much honesty. I'm 39 and can relate to much of your journey (though I'm single with no children).

    I wish you the best as you get farther from porn and hope you and your wife can find a place of healthy sexuality again.

    Best,
    FREE
     
  8. 7maw4

    7maw4 New Member

    Re: First 7 days of no PMO after 40 years of addiction

    Paulier: thanks for your post. I am 15 years behind you, but see real parallels in our situations. I would have ended up just like you, in a sexless but otherwise loving relationship. We owe our wives this effort. Keep us posted - ill be rooting for you.
     
  9. Paulier

    Paulier New Member

    Re: First 7 days of no PMO after 40 years of addiction

    Thanks 7maw4. I hope it works out for you too. I really value the support here - just a few lines from someone makes all the difference.

    Day 9 today and I'm feeling really good - calm and happy. I'm really noticing the absence of the feverish quality of mind that I had when PMO was a daily necessity. Looking through some of the posts here I realise that there will almost certainly be days when I feel really down, but for now I'm enjoying this peaceful and happy state.

    I had a partial wood this morning (50%), which was the first since I stopped PMO on 1st March. One of the things that's bothering me is the worry that 'if you don't use it you'll use it'. Being nearly 50 years old I'm not as bothered by sexual urges as I was when I had a permanent hard-on when in my teens and early 20s. Although rebooting must be way more difficult for you young guys out there because of your natural urge to sow your oats at least you don't have to worry that the last orgasm you had before you quit actually could have been the last one you'll ever have. I think this will be one of my main risks during reboot: the fear that my junk is junked and that it'll never work again, and the only way to reassure myself will be to MO, which would be very risky at this early stage. I'm going to take it up to Easter (I originally tried to give up PMO for Lent, but relapsed after 4 days and then found YBOP, which set me back on track). Although I'm not Christian I like the idea of rebirth around this time ( I hope I haven't offended any believers out there - I don't mean to be flippant). If I've not had any real stirrings - proper morning wood, sexual (not porn) urges - by Easter Sunday I'll have a go at MO and see if I've broken my favourite toy!
     
  10. Paulier

    Paulier New Member

    Re: First 7 days of no PMO after 40 years of addiction

    Going out with the guys tonight for a curry and lots of beer. I hope I don't PMO when I come back - being drunk on my own late at night is a big trigger for me and often means a porn binge while family sleep upstairs. I need a strategy and the only one that comes to mind is don't get drunk. I've managed 9 days , but I feel quite sexually tense tonight - like I need some release. I know this sounds all macho, but it feels like I've got to front up to this and ask the urge "What'll you do to me if I don't give in? Are you gonna make my head explode or something? Go on then - do it! Kill me! Do your fucking worst!"

    I'll let you know what happens
     
  11. 7maw4

    7maw4 New Member

    Re: First 7 days of no PMO after 40 years of addiction

    Perhaps set your computer to display this thread when you return (assuming nobody else will view it)? Something like a pic of your family if you don't wantto stay logged in?

    Don't give yourself permission or an excuse in advance - I believe you can resist if you set your mind to it. Good luck!
     
  12. Paulier

    Paulier New Member

    Re: First 7 days of no PMO after 40 years of addiction

    Day 10, a bit hungover, but still no PMO. Had partial wood again this morning (60%), which responded well to a few light strokes (up to 90%), which was pleasing, but possibly a little bit too nice - stop that now! ;D
    Seriously, being hungover is almost as much a trigger as being drunk. However, although I have urges (man, there were some beautiful women out last night, although I really wonder why some of them dress like porn stars - extreme high heels and micro-mini skirts) I really haven't wanted to look at porn. I feel so much calmer and happier and so much less like a piece of shit - I really don't want to mess this up. My junk feels like a loaded gun, but I've just got to get used to that. Had a hug with my wife this morning before she went off to the gym and felt a slight stirring. Everything's going in the right direction. Got to think about how to transmute my sexual energy - there's an interesting thread about this on the porn addiction page.
     
  13. Psychosis

    Psychosis Guest

    Re: First 7 days of no PMO after 40 years of addiction

    Good job, man. I don't drink too much anymore, but I can definitely envision how being a bit buzzed/drunk would be a situation in which one's guard would be down. What's your drink of choice?
     
  14. bigmac

    bigmac New Member

    Re: First 7 days of no PMO after 40 years of addiction

    Sounds like things are going well Paulier, and I give you tremendous credit for doing this and trying to make your marriage. I lost interest in sex with my long time girlfriend a few years ago, and I do think if I had known more about rebalancing and karezza I could have saved the relationship.

    I think when you get out of your teens and twenties the libido definitely calms down, but in my experience, cutting out regular M does not lead to "using or losing it". If anything, especially after a few months, twitches, stirrings and full-on random erections do return, and are more common when you don't have recourse to regular masturbation. However, at least it is not to the point of severe discomfort that you might have experienced when younger (I am 40 now).
     
  15. Paulier

    Paulier New Member

    Re: First 7 days of no PMO after 40 years of addiction

    I normally drink red wine and on weekends only. Occasionally, when out with mates I'll have a few beers - I really love English 'real ale', but it tends to give me a terrible headache (like today). However, I was pleased that when I went for a very challenging hike today in the hills near my home I felt really quite fit. I wouldn't want to attribute all good feelings to no PMO, but it kinda helps with seeing the urges in a different way. I'm seeing every urge that I get as another 'death throw' of my porn neural pathways, which helps to see them in a positive light, rather than just as mental pain.

    I realise how much I have believed certain things about PMO ever since discovering sex: the ideas that masturbation is good, that porn is OK (in a naughty way) and that sexual urges must be relieved have all conspired to keep me at it for so many years. I really believed that if I didn't wank it was bad for me and that my urges would grow in strength until eventually they'd spill out into something far worse than PMO. The truth is that the only thing that kept me wanking over porn was continuing to do it - all I needed to do was stop and the urges would go away. I'm really pissed off that I never realised this and that I may have wasted 13 years and deprived myself of proper sex with my Good Lady Wife.

    At any rate I'm thankful that I've now discovered the key. Thanks for your support guys
     
  16. Paulier

    Paulier New Member

    Re: First 7 days of no PMO after 40 years of addiction

    Up and down today - feeling very low in the morning after an argument with my daughter, which reminded me of when I was her age, Lots of stuff about the past coming up, which I guess is healthy in a way.

    What I've noticed since giving up PMO is how so much of my waking life has been taken up with thinking about sex. I check out every woman who comes into my field of vision - sexual thoughts come iinto my head at the slightest provocation - I'm obsessed!!! It brings to mind what Kingsley Amis said on losing his libido at 70 years old - he felt like he'd been "chained to an idiot for 50 years". And St Augustine "God, make me chaste.....but not yet"
     
  17. Max

    Max Guest

    Re: First 7 days of no PMO after 40 years of addiction

    Great quotes! Best to you, Paulier. My office is located in an area where there are many young single women and I have to admit it's good eye-candy and hard to NOT think about sex when I see them, especially now in my early stage of P avoidance.
     
  18. Psychosis

    Psychosis Guest

    Re: First 7 days of no PMO after 40 years of addiction

    I love that Amis quote! I'd never heard it before.
     
  19. Paulier

    Paulier New Member

    Re: First 7 days of no PMO after 40 years of addiction

    Had a really good day today. It's probably too easy to attribute every good thing that happens to no PMO, but I had to help a colleague out today and chair a conference on a subject about which I know very little. Normally I would've been stressed and hating it, but today I played a blinder and really enjoyed myself. I feel in control, powerful and really...well, friendly towards everyone. I was feeling quite sexual today (some fantasies about colleagues - and not just the pretty ones!), but it feels as though I can channel this into what I'm doing - rather than waste the energy in a joyless wank, which is what I've done for my whole life.

    This process is currently a revelation - in spite of the powerful urges to jack off I'm kind of enjoying the self-control and loving the side effects of it. Jerking off to porn may give the best dopamine rush ever, but I'm really starting to believe that the side effects of PMO are crippling (for me at least).

    I'll probably be feeling like shit tomorrow, but I've got a therapy session, which will anchor me a bit and provide more strength to resist.
     
  20. gb0138

    gb0138 Guest

    Re: First 7 days of no PMO after 40 years of addiction

    I just started the road to recovery today. It will be interesting to see how you negotiate this addiction. I have been addicted maybe 10 years less. Good luck!
     

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