Gay Men's Reboot / Rebalance / Recovery Thread

Discussion in 'Pornography Addiction' started by LOGOS, Jan 3, 2013.

  1. LOGOS

    LOGOS Personal Best - 233 Days PMO-free

    Gay guys can relate to most of the issues that guys are dealing with on this site, and I've been glad to see so many gay guys interacting in this space, and how welcoming all the guys are in general. There's not a huge amount of homophobia here, e.g., discussions of "HOCD" seem usually handled pretty well.

    Even so, my sense, from both my own experience and what I see around this site, is that gay guys face some distinctive challenges and problems when it comes to internet porn addiction. These include: a gay culture that is generally more accepting and even embracing of pornography; a plethora of cruising sites and apps, popular among our peers, that provide a ready channel that blurs whatever distinctions there might even be between porn addiction and sex addiction. For many gay men, pornography made up the first and even only images of "intimacy" or sex that represented our sexuality. Gay guys are often isolated at an early age (or ongoing, if they do not move to cities), in which case the internet is their primary means of connecting with peers; and gay men are likely to be struggling with internalized homophobia or "gay shame," among the issues that feed addictions to porn, to sex, and the porn/sex intersection on the internet.

    I hope this thread can be a place for gay men to find some community around the challenges that these and other issues pose for them in rebalancing, rebooting, and recovering from porn and sex addiction.

    Cheers!
     
  2. stadiumlove

    stadiumlove New Member

    Hey Blue Sky!

    Thanks for creating this thread. I've been a long-time lurker of the forum but haven't posted until now.

    I am extremely grateful to have stumbled upon YBOP and this forum, and I have learned so much from reading through others' journals and posts.

    However, I too agree that gay men may experience unique struggles when trying to overcome porn addiction. I'm 22 and Gay, and until I discovered YBOP I did not realize how detrimental porn consumption was. In fact, for as long as I can remember I thought it was completely normal to embrace porn use (and abnormal not to), as I thought that to watch porn was a fundamental aspect of a modern western gay identity. Boy how wrong I was.

    You really hit the nail on the head with everything. What resonated most with me was when you said that gay porn is often the first and only model of gay intimacy that gay men experience. This, I believe, has really fucked me up. Everything I know about gay sex I've learned from porn. Much of what I thought I knew about gay relationships was influenced by porn. As a result I currently have ED, I've had only a handful of lackluster sexual experiences, and I have never been in a loving, committed relationship. I now, after 76 days free of PMO, am beginning to realize just how warped my internalized model of gay relationships was from years and years of hardcore gay porn consumption.

    Again, thank you for creating this thread. Although I am not usually active in online forums, in the coming days I will likely post a more comprehensive journal of my experiences with porn and my reboot thus far.This journey out of PMO-Hell is certainly a challenge, but the past 76 days have shown me the many benefits of eliminating PMO from my life. Good luck to all who are reading this, and I look forward to reading your stories and experiences!
     
  3. Centred

    Centred New Member

    <perks up>
     
  4. LOGOS

    LOGOS Personal Best - 233 Days PMO-free

    Hello Stadiumlove

    I think that, perversely enough, porn has become fundamental to, as you put it, modern western gay identity, in that it has been profoundly normalized, and therefore normative for how gay men relate to themselves and to each other. When you consider how much of gay porn depicts a hook-up scene, and how many hook-ups are enactments of porn, you get a sense of how porn has made itself nearly essential to the loop of modern western gay identity.

    In the last year or so, I've started being more open about my problem with porn, when talking to gay friends and more thoughtful gay acquaintances. Guys are sympathetic but sometimes don't have much to say in the moment. Yet I've been surprised by how many of the guys I've mentioned this to have, often a few days later, sent me a note. They tell me that they are struggling too, and ask me about resources like K9 or support boards or other stuff on the net (like YBOP). Sometimes they write me later to say they're working on their own use of porn. In a few cases, we have continued to support each other.

    Talking about porn addiction isn't easy and it's not always going to be appropriate. But I think that it's worth bringing it into the discussions we have with our peers. Gay men can, individually, drop out of the porn culture in terms of being direct consumers, but we will remain indirect consumers as long as our friends and lovers are hooked as well.
     
  5. fugu

    fugu "You know, feelin' good, livin' betta." :) Staff Member

    Hey! I'm a straight man, but I think this is a great idea to put a thread together like this! Great idea and well done!
     
  6. Deleted

    Deleted Member

    Women often look at romantic films as an example of ideal relationships. Psychologists say that this is bad for them, because such films give a misconception of what true relationships are like. As there are few romantic gay films out there, many gays quite often turn to gay porn for an idea of what gay life will/should be like. Gay porn films give a false idea of what it means to be gay. In other words, whenever you're not sleeping with another guy or watching guys having sex, that means you not living out your lifestyle and, therefore, not a part of the “normal”gay community.

    I have had this same very feeling. Since I moved from a big city in America with a large gay community to a small town in Germany with an extremely small community, I felt by watching porn or taking part in c2c sex chats I was somehow still a part of the gay community I left behind.

    Through my time periods without porn and by reading what other gay rebooters experience, I'm discovering that there is more to being gay that just sex, e.g. relationships, politics, civil rights, community support etc.
     
  7. stadiumlove

    stadiumlove New Member

    Yes, from my experiences you're absolutely correct. I believe that this may make my 'post-reboot' life more challenging, at least in respect to hooking up/ meeting other gay men. IMO Gay sex and hookups are just too easy to access, especially in the city that I live in. I don't want to be hooking up with random men per se, but I am also unattached and the alternative (sustained celibacy until I am in a LTR) is also not an attractive alternative to me. I don't want to MO, and I want any Os I have to be from sex, however I worry that after my reboot I may replace my compulsive porn use with compulsive sex/ hookups, which I know will likely hinder my recovery.
     
  8. LOGOS

    LOGOS Personal Best - 233 Days PMO-free

    How about some in-between categories? First of all, there's dating, which I think simply means that you are involved in a relationship that is not only sexual, but is also about developing interest, understanding, and intimacy with someone, though you don't know for how long or whether it will "stick" in the long term. That kind of sex can be healthy, if it's taking place against a larger emotional and social backdrop of respect than a "hookup" implies. Another model: back when I was single, I had a couple of sex buddies. These guys really were buddies---when we met up (every couple of months or so), it was always to hang out and do something, and it was usually understood that sex may be a part of that. Normally the sexual part came to an end after awhile because life would intervene: one of us would start dating, or it just wasn't "right" any more. But this too put sex into a context of respect and actual care for the other person.
     
  9. stadiumlove

    stadiumlove New Member

    Yes, I'm hoping to start dating and perhaps also find a sex buddy. Ultimately I think I would like a LTR, but I know that I have a lot of work to do on myself before that happens. My big concern at this point is meeting guys...I've been on Grindra few times since beginning my reboot (which resulted in a hook up- I abstained from Oing FYI), but this felt too 'porn-y' for me (I could literally feel my porn pathways in my brain firing at full blast). I know now to stay away from Grindr and other hook-up and 'dating' sites for the time being, and perhaps forever. I guess this means I will have to get out and meet guys the old-fashioned way, which hopefully won't seem so daunting once I am further along in my reboot
     
  10. LOGOS

    LOGOS Personal Best - 233 Days PMO-free

    I think this is very important insight, particularly as we explore a more expansive set of ways to relate in our communities, as ways of nourishing friendships and encountering lovers.
     
  11. SammyD

    SammyD New Member

    Thanks for setting up this thread, BSM. Some great thoughts in here. Most of which I agree with 100%.

    Stadiumlove, you're almost at 90 days. Congratulation on doing so well. Holding out from Oing, even during a Grindr hookup, for that long - bravo. I reckon you're a better man for it, too. I wish I'd been as awake as you are when I was 22.
     
  12. stadiumlove

    stadiumlove New Member

    Thanks for the support SammyD! I'm glad that I'm rebooting now at 22, however I started porn young and haven't (properly) wired my brain for real sex with real guys, so I know I still have a long road ahead...

    Today is officially day 90. I can't believe I made it this far! The benefits of no PMO have been remarkable, and I'm so thankful that I discovered YBOP when I did. I am still committed to a life free of porn, however I have also been contemplating where to go from here. I will continue to abstain from Ming, but as my libido returns I find my desire for sex has skyrocketted. I will probably wait a few more weeks and possibly months before pursuing anything.. I want to make sure I am fully rebooted and ready to enjoy the experience when I comes. I'm just concerned with how to meet guys at this point. Grindr seems like a huge porn trigger and seems to activate the porn pathways in my brain so I know I should stay away from that, however it's also so tempting to know that I could find many guys down to hookup in just a few minutes just by opening the app. I guess I will just have to keep focused on my reboot and hope that I gain some insight further along in my recovery.
     
  13. Fencepost

    Fencepost Member

    If a straight lady might be allowed to swing by, I'd like to share a new project started by a gay guy with a lot of courage and vision. Some of you might enjoy visiting it too: http://sexgodproject.com/porn-is-the-enemy-of-great-sex/
     
  14. Bastian

    Bastian counting...

    Thanks for sharing stadiumlove. Gives me courage. I'm officially on day 19 ...
    Having some really hard abstinence. But i'm struggling.
    Just found this forum. Been a porn addict, back and forth, since nearly ten years. Longing for recovering.

    Would like to raise the issue about gay-friendship in this thread. What are your views on this. Is it possible without the sex-factor? I've had, and have, relationships, but not any gay-friends. Think somehow this is related to my addiction...

    I'm not american - apologize for any misspelling.

    Best.
     
  15. stadiumlove

    stadiumlove New Member


    Hey Bastien!

    How is your reboot going? I know that it can be super challenging but I definitely think it's worth it!

    In regards to the gay friendship issue, I am in the same boat. I've had plenty of guys interested in me, but I haven't ever had any solid, platonic gay-friendships. I have many friends, just no gay-male friends, and whenever I would try and make friends with gay guys I would find that they wanted to be more than friends and hookup/ be in a relationship. I too think that my inability to sustain a gay friendship is a result of my porn use, although I can't seem to pinpoint why exactly. Hopefully once my reboot progresses I will gain some more insight into this.
     
  16. jt91

    jt91 New Member

    Hey, I'm another straight guy who wants to show my support for gay guys.
     
  17. kv22206

    kv22206 New Member

    Thanks a lot blue sky for starting the thread. Gay guys did need a thread even tho most of the issues are similar to str8 guys, there are some finer points that r unique to gay guys.

    Quick background: Im 35 now, quit porn 10 months ago quite easily and reduced masturbation considerably (porn addict for past 6 years and masturbated 2 times daily to porn for those many years). Now its just down to once or twice a week but no real strong sustainable erection.

    Neways my case of sexual addiction is a little different in that I am addicted to cruising in public toilets and parks for casual encounters with men (once or twice a week) and I feel this is really stopping me from having a healthy long term relationship with any guy. For me that quickie public sex rush is more appealing than a loving relationship or even a foreplay and sex hook up which is vanilla. I get a decent erection when making out w someone in a public place than vanilla sex on bed. I tried a lot of therapy and nothing has worked. I quit for a couple of weeks and sooner or later find myself back cruising at the same spots. Im in a fix!

    I am sure the gay boys will empathize with this situation and have any advice how I may be able to quit this pathetic addiction!
     
  18. gameover

    gameover Age: 26

    Have you tried quitting both these meetups and porn at the same time?

    If you quit the meetups but stick with porn you are still looking for the thrill as your mind is still hooked to porn. If you quit the porn and the meetups i think you will be able to reboot better and have good vanilla sex.
     
  19. Bastian

    Bastian counting...

    Hey kv,
    thanks for sharing so openly. Yep, I recognize this behaviour. And I must say, for me, the PMO and the cruising are most certainly related. It's the same fears of intimacy, same triggers, the same kind of obsessive actions, and I think the only way to be free is to quit both of these addictions, at the same time. (Cos they r connected to the same personal experience, feelings of loneliness, traumas, fears, etc.)

    Now its been a while since I engaged to this kind of cruising events (almost 6 months). The scenario was often that I started cruising some online-dating site, and kept on doing it for hours until I finally left home and went to a sauna, a park or similar place. Kept on cruising this place for hours until finally I had some casual encounter with some stranger. Always followed by an enormous anxiety and regret. "This is the last time", "I promise myself I will never do this again".
    So for me this was almost always connected - the pmo and the "real-life" cruising.

    Do you know your trigger points? What happens the moments before you actually decide go to the park, or the public toilet?

    From what I now understand about myself my addiction to cruising its mostly connected to the fear of intimacy combined with a personality which seems to get stucked into different kinds of fixations - wether its logging on to a cruising-site or visiting a park.

    A turning point for me was actually when I visited a massage-therapist (Rosen Method - its kind of gentle, soft massage method to keep it short) in december and had a man (pretty sure his straight) touching me gently for an hour. He didn't know anything about me, and we almost didn't say a word during the session. (Similar to the cruising-events but still something completely different) It hadn't anything to do with sex! Damn, tt was a revolutionary moment for me. I realized that this is how it could also feel. This kind of intimacy is also out there, and its not destructive - its the opposite!

    I don't know if this is a solution for you, I can only share my experience. But maybe its somewhere to start searching for other kind of meetings, also physical, with men.

    Then its always good to have someone, a friend or similar, you could call/write and just tell them you have the eager to go cruising. I think also this can stop the fixation which is closely connected with the "doing things in secret"- behaviour. Once you engage someone else in your intentions/longing, its not as exciting to actually act out on it.

    Ok, sorry for this long reply.... I guess I am also doing some self-theraphy in all this.
    Wish you the best of luck. Let me know how its goin.
     
  20. kv22206

    kv22206 New Member

    Thanks guys for the replies. Bastian, your reply is on the spot as what u said about intimacy fears etc is so very true in my case.

    In terms of triggers I have failed to figure out what the trigger points are as there is no definite pattern. I have been analyzing for the past 2 years. I usually go for a run or cycling in the morning and invariably land up at these toilets or parks to meet men is one pattern I cud identify. Im just all the time so obsessed with thoughts of sex (tho I don’t have too much sex. Only the sexual encounters in public places which r more like just mutual masturbation but hours go by just for that one encounter).

    I have put in a lot of effort to quit, went to a councellor too but eventually after a few weeks I was back into cruising just so randomly. When I really like a guy and am serious about dating I become serious about quitting and then after a couple of weeks im back as if there is this big power that just pulls me there and Im just blinded by it until I orgasm and leave which is when I feel so disgusted with myself.

    I do talk to friend about this but they r also feeling helpless about what advice.

    I just need better self control and need to develop better self esteem as I suffer from low self esteem. Im really determined to quit this sick addiction as I know my ED is very much related to all this as I have quit porn long time back.
     

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