A New Beginning

Discussion in 'Ages 30-39' started by -Luke-, Jan 17, 2019.

  1. -Luke-

    -Luke- Well-Known Member

    Things haven't improved since my last journal entry. I don't watch porn (thanks to pluckeye) but I fantasize a lot and had two or three more FMOs. Almost every morning while still lying in bed I go to fantasy world and have a hard time even become aware of what I'm doing. I also have a hard time keeping my hands from my dick. Additionally, since it's spring and women have less clothes on, I ogle women on the street pretty compulsively. So my problem isn't pixels on the screen but pixels in my mind. I thought if I blocked porn successfully, things would get easier. But it's no guarantee. I still have to put some work in.

    On a more positive note, I made good progress on two programming projects in the last week or two.

    The road goes ever on...
    Thelongwayhome27 likes this.
  2. tig

    tig Active Member

    Hi Luke,

    Do you have a girlfriend?

    The solution to ogling women on the street is not to ignore them but to go and approach them. This is healthy and normal. There are plenty of resources on picking up girls and just having normal interactions with women. "Pick-up" and "pick-up artists" has been heavily demonised lately due to the #metoo stuff. But I think a lot of it has lots of value. Trying to control your urge to ogle, objectify, or even simply look at women sounds like it would lead to repression of healthy urges.

    -Luke- likes this.
  3. 1MoreLookAway

    1MoreLookAway Member

    Hey Luke,

    Don't be so hard on yourself. I think spring is always a challenge, I'm new so I can't claim to know a lot about your trajectory. All I can say is at my most successful point I stopped indulging thoughts of looking at women. I "rationalised", as you know how we addicts rationalise fantasy, but this is rational in the good sense. Men mess up in love because porn made us desire pornstars, to ogle them, it's the pornographic gaze, that's to say even the ladies weaponise this. If we just think about social media and how women can become famous for commodifying their bodies. Idc if you're a bodybuilder, a man with less clothes, will never get the traction a woman does.

    There is a link between uniform and uniformity, hence why shorter wear provokes arousal in you as it would for me or any other addict. Like they say brother, all goods on display but also, let the buyer beware. Keep asking yourself probingly, how does that lady with the short skirt appear to me without the sex factor? Would she be a great mother? Would she be easy to get along with? Would she be intent on always dressing this way whilst she's in a relationship to continue getting men's attention, just like she got mine?

    For me, these sort of 'real facts' made me return to Earth, to reality. My journey is not just the pmo, but the rapid distortion of desire and desiring. If we scan a lot of men in our gen, I feel (and maybe it's just the ones I know) that they settle a loooooot. I might be really old school but I am not interested in a woman who has a man, but insists for purposes of her own self-esteem to seek the adoration of other men through dress, or uploads on Instagram. I see that girl and I'm like 'I'm alright love', go and be someone else's problem'.

    For me, that's 'toxic femininity'. I might have gone off on a tangent, but I really feel focusing the gaze, on the face of it seems insignificant but it helps so much. It's no accident the term POV shots, because that is the essence of porn, to 'direct our gaze', it's the essence of film too, although unlike in film, porn uses it to make us returning customers instead of as a means to further a story/character development.

    Good going on the projects, wishing you continued strength and peace ️️️
    -Luke- likes this.
  4. -Luke-

    -Luke- Well-Known Member

    Thanks for replying, gentlemen! Much appreciated.

    No, I don't have a girlfriend. I agree that looking at women is normal and nothing to worry about. The thing is it turns into compulsive fantasy for me all the time and increases the urge to PMO. Plus I make a fool of myself if I keep turning around to look at asses.

    I like your username. And welcome to the forum, or welcome back (I read in another thread that you have been here before). You're right and I like this quote: "I'm alright love', go and be someone else's problem". Will keep that in mind next time.
    Thelongwayhome27 likes this.
  5. 1MoreLookAway

    1MoreLookAway Member

    @-Luke- thanks for the warm reception G, weather's getting beautiful again, ladies are getting daring, but man I tell you one thing like the saying goes offence wins games, defence wins championships, the gaze beckons us to attack, to ogle but, I think it's like drinking pepsi in the Sahara to stave off thirst. Maybe I'm alone in this, but I notice when I control my gaze, my stare is more intense and you can really charm women with focus. The centre of the room feeling is something that endears women to men, staring can be a great thing when used at the right moments
    Last edited: May 13, 2023
    -Luke- likes this.
  6. -Luke-

    -Luke- Well-Known Member

    A week with some ups and downs since my last post. I worked a lot and made some good progress, but also had two fantasy MOs and peeked for a while on reddit and instagram when I was in the library and had unfiltered internet. The last two days I was able to go through the day without messing things up, but the "cue reactivity" is pretty insane right now. I get triggered pretty easily.

    The last few days I tried some old strategies like urge surfing and reminding myself that I always have a choice and urges are always temporary. It's important to remind myself to keep practicing that instead of - like most of the time - doing it for a while and then pouring it down the drain after the first setbacks. Patience is a virtue.
    Thelongwayhome27 likes this.
  7. -Luke-

    -Luke- Well-Known Member

    Since my last post there were ups and downs again, with a big downward spiral towards the end. Last weekend I had access to unfiltered internet and acted out every day. Not for long, I was visiting family, so there wasn't a lot of opportunity, but still every day. On Sunday evening when I got back home I started crying for a while. I realized that I don't want to live this sort of life any longer. It's like a slow but steady process of dying. All the stress from edging and withdrawal symptoms will lead to a heart attack before I'm 45. Yesterday I was clean, today I had some strong urges and started edging to fantasies for a bit, but stopped myself (put some ice pack on the nether regions, lol [it seemed to help though]).

    Aside from PMO things haven't been too bad recently. I got more stuff done in the last three months than in the entire year before that. At the end of the year an opportunity might arise for me that involves a woman and emigrating to another country. So I have something to look forward to and a motivation to stay clean. But too often I think about my motivation only in that notorious moment of clarity after a lapse/relapse.

    My goal right now is to stay clean for the rest of the day and tomorrow. One day at a time.
  8. -Luke-

    -Luke- Well-Known Member

    The last week has been better. Not great, but an improvement. What I realized is that in the last few years (when my addiction became worse than probably ever before) I was very passive, mostly just hoping it would somehow become better. Relying on willpower when I didn't have much willpower. It just doesn't work. The outcome for relying on pure willpower for addicts is disastrous. And just hoping won't work either. There won't come a day when suddenly you wake up and everything will be easy and all compulsions will be gone.

    I reread some stuff I read before. For example "The Easy Peasy Method" (it's a free ebook on the internet). While I don't agree with everything the author is saying and think that he underestimates the problem, he makes some good points. For example, like I wrote above, that the willpower method doesn't work for most people. Rereading it made me realize a few points:

    1) It doesn't matter which day I'm on because there won't come a day when some magic happens over night. I don't have to wait for day X because that mindset alone guarantees that day X never comes. I can live the life I want to live (within my current means of course) right now and don't have to wait until some magic happens.

    2) I doesn't make sense to hope for a day when the cravings/urges disappear and triggers will not affect me anymore. That's not realistic. It's a road to depression because you hope for something that won't happen. Instead I can turn cravings or triggers into a positive experience by reminding myself that I don't watch porn anymore and that that's a good thing. It doesn't matter if I think about porn scenes a hundred times a day. These thoughts cannot force me to act out.

    3) Hoping isn't enough. There has to be a committment / a decision to become/stay porn-free.

    4) Don't do it for false incentives like "If I'm porn-free for a while, I will have lots of energy" or "When I reach day X I will have 100% strong erections" or "When I stop watching porn I will be able to concentrate on work for hours". All those things might happen eventually. But if they don't happen it leads to doubting the decision to leave porn behind. Instead look at it this way: What is the benefit of watching porn? Absolutely nothing. Zero.

    On another point I want to become more proactive again. In sports there is this concept called "prehab", like rehab(ilitation), but before injury happens. You don't wait for injury to work on certain weak spots, you do that to prevent injuries. For porn addiction it's a big part of the Recovery Nation workshop. They call it "Proactive Action Plans". What you do is to identify values that are important to you (for example freedom, love, self-respect,...). And then you make a list of things you can do every day to strengthen those values. So you strengthen the healthy tissue before you get injured (relapse).
  9. 1MoreLookAway

    1MoreLookAway Member

    You're on point Luke, we're certainly not sex addicts, upon reading your comment I must admit I never made the connection between the young guys being virgins and their tendency to call their issue "sex addiction" :confused: Loool noticing that, now I see just how much of a misnomer it is.

    We might be in a minority but I prefer calling pmo, an internet addiction, as nobody buys p physically on dvd/VHS, or at least most of our gen don't. It's crazy now I think, we can concede p addiction because "everyone does it", but won't call what we have internet addiction which everyone seems to have. At this point it'd be a taboo to say internet addiction even exists because then one covers every divide whether generational, gender, national etc. I'm actually starting to prefer calling myself an internet addict, it gets me centred on the problem, it's misuse instead of the porn, the symptom of that misuse.

    This one that you mentioned has gotten me every time. It reminds me of the Buddhist notion Anatta, a doctrine of the non-self that if I create this past and future self I am disdaining the present, and contributes to a present that's been conditioned by a past and expectant future it causes exactly what you suggest of pain in the present.

    Enjoy the weekend
  10. -Luke-

    -Luke- Well-Known Member

    I actually thought about this the other day. For our generation and the generations younger than us porn and internet porn are synonymous. I remember some friends and I bought an FHM magazine when we were 12 or so (no idea how we got it) and an older brother of my best friend at the time had some porn VHS that we maybe watched a couple of times. But other than that it was always on the internet.

    You make a good point about internet addiction. With other addictions there's always a subgroup. Even with culturally accepted substances like alcohol and cigarettes there are always people who don't do it. I have not drunk alcohol for more than five years now and never smoked, and it's not like I'm a complete outsider. But everybody uses the internet nowadays and most people uses sites like youtube or social media sites. It's way more ubiquitous than even alcohol.


    Last few days have been pretty good. Didn't use the internet at all yesterday. But on Saturday I played with fire a bit. I took a walk and walked along some bathing area at a river. Knew there probably would be some women in bikinis. I guess it's a way for my addicted brain to get a dopamine hit. I didn't stay, immediately walked back home and didn't fantasize or MO to fantasies, but it's still a situation that could escalate.
  11. 1MoreLookAway

    1MoreLookAway Member

    I'm starting to think there's a strange motif going on, I also learned p through a mag I believe it was a Zoo magazine with ladies posing besides cars. Actually even earlier, through filesharing platform Napster, what I downloaded and thought was an mp3 ended up being a racy video, I'd still remember the actress and what she was doing ever since.

    I personally prefer seeing it as a sub of internet addiction, just like I see people here when they say before relapse, they were on 'p subs'. Just opening YouTube, if you're not signed in on your own account it's difficult to not see strange things.

    It's great you already quit alcohol, I'd not be the first in noting that alcohol makes people docile and not see things as they ought to be seen. Without straying too far it's obvious the preocuppation with politics everywhere , the destruction of the common man, has a lot to do with alcohol which is like a form of controlled rage, anaesthetisising people into accepting their lot.

    I see the net as the final frontier. In retrospect, besides what might be us and our bodies changing slightly due to age, I feel like a lot of us grossly underestimate the net, I might start a journal, perhaps after the fact to document or condense what Ive found pulling back from the net.

    Perhaps it's tied back to the net, whenever we quit that, there'll be insane levels of anxiety, like you said the brain is so sneaky in having us "sneak out" for that dopamine. Whether you knew/not, there's always that mechanism in the brain, that panic room we run into filled with porn, internet, alcohol, high fat and sugary snacks, its our way of closing the blinds on the outside world. Whatever happens you can't berate yourself, you're human after all ;) but it's a case of reconciling yourself to a small, imperfect blip, that is absolutely nothing in comparison to a binge. A brush past the shoulder is far more welcomed than a savage beating :cool::cool:

    As for fantasies when they come, you can play them like those old VHS tapes ;) what I mean is, you can fastforward/rewind them, make the image look unattractive, imaging the woman with warts, severe acne, a foul smell, ears like an elephants, an elongated nose. Always remember it's your fantasy, you own it! They may sneak on you, but you can make them attractive/ugly.

    Have a great week man!
    mailboxsam likes this.
  12. tig

    tig Active Member

    Nice bro

    Could I suggest talking to women as a potential means to re-acclimatising your brain to normal stimuli? (or perhaps its never been acclimatised to that stimulus - you wouldn't be alone among men in that regard).
    Perhaps that will normalise women in your mind.
    You might have a good interaction and feel good about it, and it may or may not lead to seeing the woman again.
    You might have a bad interaction (eg. she "rejects" your attempt to start a conversation or your attempt to ask for a phone number) and you feel bad about it (but perhaps you also feel encouraged to try again).
    Either way, it might take you out of fantasy world and into the real world.
    Take everything I say with a grain of salt. I'm no expert in psychology/addiction.
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2023
  13. Fluyo

    Fluyo New Member

    Very good article Luke but I would like to highlight the following point:
    3)" Hoping isn't enough. There has to be a committment / a decision to become/stay porn-free".

    When we have been clean for a few days, we tend to forget the lack of control that this addiction entails, we think that we will do it again in a moderate way, or we relax and one day after regretting it, we feel cravings and let ourselves go. It is essential not to remember to remind ourselves daily of the reasons and be clear that there will be times when we have to win a lot of doing it, but still do not hesitate and move on, do not make excuses, if that happens sooner or later we will be lost. As Gabe Deem always says, we must accept that porn is no longer a option, no matter what happens, it is no longer an option. Because we can focus on other activities, we can have a girlfriend, play sports, not fantasize, not look... But at some point the cravings will feel and we will have to move on thinking about the reasons and that porn is no longer an option.
    mailboxsam and -Luke- like this.
  14. NewStart19

    NewStart19 Well-Known Member

    Glad to see you still recognize the gravity of this problem and haven't given up on finding a way to move beyond it. Not sure if this does anything for you, but I've continued to either gain or hold my ground since I've last posted here a while back. No steps backward. Sometimes it feels like a war of attrition, but it's a battle I've continually been winning, and amid the struggle and slow progress, there are plenty of other improvements and gains that have emerged as byproducts from my protracted effort to remove this complex of behaviors from my life (= porn, masturbation and intentional sexual fantasy).

    Just popping into say this because I wanted to share with you that lifelong sobriety is indeed possible even for those of us who have struggled for so long. While it's a bit premature in my case, I've gotten to a point where it feels like a given that I will leave all of this behind for good. Were the difficulties, setbacks, and pain worth it? You betcha : ) I've grown a lot from these experiences, and I'm looking forward to what my future sobriety will yield.

    I'm still rooting for you after all these years. I don't know what paradigm is necessary for you to start turning the tide against all of this, but somewhere out there--between patience, understanding, and an openness to grow--lies an idiosyncratic solution to your problem. I'm sure you'll find your answer. Don't forget the story of that street-sweeper you hold dear!

    Take care
    mailboxsam and -Luke- like this.
  15. -Luke-

    -Luke- Well-Known Member

    Oh wow, hey @NewStart19. Good to hear from you again and I'm very happy for you that you're doing well. Thank you for you kind words!

    Yes, if there's one thing that gives me hope it's that I never gave up. The last 2-3 years were pretty tough for me, but I have felt a new motivation recently.
    NewStart19 likes this.
  16. -Luke-

    -Luke- Well-Known Member

    Pretty tough time right now. At the end of the month I have to move out of my flat because my landlord kicks me out. Since it's hard to impossible to get a (affordable) replacement I have to (at least temporarily) move back in with my parents. It often causes me a lot of stress and relapses due to unfiltered internet when I'm there even for a weekend. I can't even imagine full-time anymore after I have been living on my own for 15 years. The whole situation is pretty stressful and the last two days I acted out.

    Not sure how to proceed from here. In the last few years pretty much everything that can go wrong has gone wrong, mainly due to my own foolishness. Maybe this situation will force me to have a new start.
  17. DBA

    DBA Active Member

    Luke, our son has to move back with us too in the last few months. It is happening increasingly as rents go up and unscrupulous landlords
    raise the rents because of inflation and then kick the tenants out. It is clearly very stressful for you, and no wonder you acted out.

    All of us, however many days on our counter, are vulnerable to unexpected and stressful events over which we have no control and
    that totally break up our routine.

    You say you are 'not sure how to proceed from here'. Well you know what went wrong and why and that is really important. And it is also
    important to realise that the stress was intolerable. It would break anyone.

    You say the internet is unfiltered at home. Don't y0u have a laptop with pornblockers on that you could use?

    Being on our own is probably the bigger trigger for everyone on this site (certainly for me).

    Ir ia no comfort to say that things will probably work out (as they have for our son who like me has bipolar mood disorder).

    I'm not a well known member and perhaps should not be commenting. If what i have said is inappropriate forgive me.

    Finally, why are there so few guys on this site, when it is clearly such a good one?
    -Luke- likes this.
  18. -Luke-

    -Luke- Well-Known Member

    Hey DBA. Thank you for the reply and sorry that I didn't reply earlier. My internet went down on Thursday and still isn't working.

    Yeah my rent is now almost close to 1,000 Euros for a rather small flat. And so many people are searching that you have almost no chance. I plan to move to a rural area in the future, probably to another country. But still, most of the stuff that went wrong in the last years was due to my own fault and my sluggishness and procrastination. I need to turn my life around.

    I use Pluckeye on my laptop and it's working great (with the right settings). But there are some devices at my parents house that are unfiltered. My dad's iPad for example that is always lying around somewhere. But I could ask him to change the pin or something like that.

    Your input is always appreciated and please don't apologize for commenting because you haven't been on the forum for years.

    I'm not sure why there are so few guys nowadays. It used to be super active in the early days (2012 - 2015). The problem of porn addiction has definitely not become less important, rather the opposite. I guess younger people don't use forums much anymore. You can see it on this site. The most active section is 40+ followed by 30+. The sections for the young folks are pretty much extinct. But in recent weeks it has become more active again here, thanks to you and some other newer users who are quite active.
    Gil79 and mailboxsam like this.
  19. DBA

    DBA Active Member

    Hi Luke,

    Actually I know and am in contact with some younger guys on this site (even though I am myself probably the oldest person on the site!).

    All the best
    mailboxsam likes this.
  20. Gil79

    Gil79 Seize the day

    That's a tough and stressful situation. I hope that you can find something soon, Luke!
    -Luke- likes this.

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