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

    What are some of the strategies that helped you to quit porn? Would some of them have analogues to sex addiction for you?

    I struggled with sex addiction for years, in and out of therapy. Maybe four or five years of my life were really wrapped up in it --- in my case, on-line cruising and hookups. I don't know exactly what made me "click" to leave it behind. No one magic action or change can do that. You're on to something when you talk about improving self-esteem ... and I think that's more important than, or maybe prior to, exercising "self control." At a superficial level, yes, it's about control, but at a deeper level it's about what kinds of things feel like real choices for you.

    One thing that seemed to work for me was to identify the other areas in my life, besides sex addiction, that I was unhappy about. At times I got caught in the trap of thinking that THAT was the problem and it caused my unhappiness. Later I realized that acting out my sex addiction was the way I fled from other issues in my life that I was unhappy about. Money, drinking, relationship issues. I was pretty overwhelmed when I realized that I had to address *all* of those areas. But later once I started taking little steps to address those, I found they were all mutually related and dealing with the others, including (especially) sex addiction, was easier. Not least of all because I felt better about myself when addressing my problems head on.
  2. Bastian

    Bastian counting...

    Hey kv and blue.
    I recognize these patterns. They are like scripted in my body. The only way for me to stay away from the cruising spots was to stop even get near them. You should try to run in another area, I know its difficult, the body seemingly decides where I should go. Its like with the pmo, we have to cut off every road to falling back. I often find myself creating situations where I have to run through that specific park etc. But Im trying to change my physical auto-pilot. Nowadays I luckily notice this half way through and change my direction. Happened just last night.
    Let me know how it goes!
  3. Goldmember

    Goldmember Luckily I keep a shpare.

    Hey guys. I'm new on this site, and just wanted to thank the OP for this thread as I feel pretty discouraged at times because of these issues.

    It is totally expected that regular porn use is just an integral part of our lives as gay men, and therefore makes it that much more insidious an addiction...a community sanctioned addiction without even calling it such, a la television, petroleum, facebook, etc. I mean, many times in straight relationships, the girlfriend or wife simply won't tolerate porn and it makes sense to the guy why that might be the case (yes, I know there are also many tolerant girls out there who have come to accept the idea that men are just not capable of functioning without porn and that it's totally normal...a sign of the pandemic nature of porn addiction in general).

    In gay relationships however, it's simply assumed that both guys have a rich porn life of their own, no question. Beyond that, it's pretty typical that they will also carry some kind of online profile on a hookup site like A4A or Manhunt. In my experience, addressing and questioning the appropriateness or healthiness of these things makes ME seem like the bad guy, the prude, the buzzkill. Having been steeped in my own porn habit, I also know how out of control a habit it can be, and that it is something that few other guys will ever get a handle on (no pun intended) unless they too hit a bottom of sorts (again, Freudian..sorry).

    I often lament that I may never meet someone who has avoided or transcended their own porn identification, and that the kind of intimacy I work so hard to make myself available for is a loooong shot away. That being said, I do ultimately trust life to present the right opportunities when we're ready for them, and I know there are a lot of guys who are dedicated to the cause like we are. It's just a tricky landscape to navigate and maintain a positive outlook about all the time.

    I could go on, and probably will at some point, but for now I just thank you. It's really nice to know and hear that I am not the only guy who hopes for and is working toward something much greater in the realms of love, sex, and spiritual connection.

    (btw, it would probably make sense to have a dedicated Queer section as there are so many issues that are unique to the LGBTQI experience. I personally hold my sexual-orientation as a somewhat small part of my greater identity, but there are no doubt a lot of snags we encounter due to being born as beings who are, by nature, a bit counter-conventional. As such, I think there's something really nice and inclusive about posting mainly in the general areas with all the guys, but it might also be useful to delineate a specific area where we can discuss gay-specific issues.)
  4. High_Achiever

    High_Achiever New Member

    Out forum is really growing! First women, now gay guy's as well. It's really great, so see this information spread!
  5. empshockwave

    empshockwave 26/m/gay but call me shocky :)

    Wow how did I miss this thread ? Where to start, it's so true about how porn is something that's so normal in the gay community, you would be seen as weird if you didn't watch it. And also as mentioned before since gay guys find it harder to hook up, porn is an alternative. But personally one of the most horrifying thing about porn is that it's turned me into a cold person. I'm not talking about socially awkward, introvert..etc. which we all know, but something about empathy. I used to be someone with great compassion and I remember how I could relate to other people's problem.

    Over the years I've turned into a heartless person, sometimes I don't even know if I can feel love anymore. I remember the times I have butterflies in my stomach feeling and crush on guys, the sensation was intense but now I see guys as sex material and not appreciating who they are. Gay dating apps have just made it worse with naked pics and vids flying around, hooking up for meaningless fun...etc.

    I think no PIMO would help not only an individual but society really. It's strange I'm saying that because not so long ago if I heard that statement I'd call BS. But we live and learn...
  6. ariwl1

    ariwl1 New Member

    I actually do not know if I'm a gay man. All my life I considered myself straight until a few months ago when I had horrible anxiety about being gay. I thought it might be HOCD and maybe it is, but I when I spent a few days reflecting and repeatedly telling myself that if I am gay than it's ok the stress started to go down. Also I noticed that when I stopped all PMO'ing for over a month it became easier and pleasurable for me to MO to the thought of me having sex with women and girl on girl became hot as well. So I don't know at this point.

    But if I pretend I am for sure a gay man I realized today that gay porn has wrecked my psyche. I thought last night that I'd give up MO of all kinds for February and figured if I was becoming more comfortable with the possibility of being gay one MO to the thought of my "gay fetish" that ignited all this worry might not do any harm.

    I now understand what a "bender" is since that one release compelled me to look at my old gay related "porno" for over two hours early that morning and it was all I could think about at work. I even PMOed at work twice, which I had never done before.

    Possible triggers ahead

    My fetish is in the gaining arena. The thought of men getting fat really excited me, and today I just couldn't stop. But I felt really guilty about doing it. Then I listened to a podcast by an encourager who talked about how even after he came out of the closet all of his sexual relationships with men were unfulfilling until he hooked up with a gainer. If he wanted a satisfying sex life he had to be with a gainer.

    End possible triggers

    This wrecked my mind. I was becoming ok with the possibility I could be gay, but to find out that my sexual lifestyle could be completely defined by what I thought was just a kinky fetish destroyed me. I want a partner who could be active and healthy with me. Go camping, hiking and all that sort of thing. I figured even if I was gay I could still find that, but the idea that my relationships could be so defined by a fetish sent me tumbling into mental turmoil.

    My orientation, whatever it is, is not the problem. Porn is the problem. If it turns out I am gay or bi I will learn to love myself that way. But I cannot have this porn around destroying my thoughts anymore and I am committing to NoFap February.
  7. LOGOS

    LOGOS Personal Best - 233 Days PMO-free

    ariwl1, it is clear that you're dealing with some pretty complex stuff right now, and i applaud you for starting to sort it out a little. my hunch -- just as an observation, and based only on what's here -- is that you are too wrapped up in the immediate pressures and angst of addiction, acting out, and the rest, to really get to any clarity about these issues (orientation, fetish). my advice for you (in addition to talking to a therapist, which i think every guy on this site could probably benefit from), is to focus in the near term on quitting porn and fapping for awhile, and just accept that there will be no answers to these big questions until your brain and spirit have had a rest from the cycle of porn addiction. and, when you have those answers, you will be OK with the reality that life presents you. you'll be either gay or straight (more than likely straight), and probably no longer thinking about gainers and all that. -BSM
  8. ariwl1

    ariwl1 New Member

    Thanks man. I have my doubts about what will actually come out on the other side, but I know giving up porn and fapping for a month can only lead to good things for me, regardless of who I end up liking in the end.
  9. empshockwave

    empshockwave 26/m/gay but call me shocky :)

    Ariwl1, I think you have a good approach to the issue in the sense that you are trying not to worry about your sexuality because that is the real cause of HOCD (if you don't have any problem with homosexuality, then you wouldn't be worried).

    Now here's the surprising personal story. During the last stages of watching porn, before stopping that is, I was watching straight porn and getting turned on by women, yes women! It was really puzzling because I've always considered myself gay and when I see a girl I don't really see them in any sexual way or attracted to them (at least not yet). And I know I've been gay since I was 10 BUT I have never explored being with a woman - never had a gf, never had sex with them, never seen one naked for real. So looking back it was just an UNEXPLORED SIDE of my sexuality, simply women didn't really turn me on back then. Lately I got so much into porn I really thought of trying it out, with quite a bit of aggression too (as in aggressive sex). I'm having to consider that I might be bi... Anyway this whole thing got me re-thinking about sexuality and here's my theory:

    As it has been mentioned in other threads, sexuality has a wide spectrum with the vast majority of people, 90% lying in between straight and gay. And we all have a starting point, as in we start off with a reasonably straight lifestyle let's say and with exploration and interaction we find a satisfactory sexuality. Makes sense so far ?

    Now with porn, due to the crave for dopamine rush we like to explore the unexplored side of our sexuality because the novelty factor has the potential of triggering much more dopamine release (that's if you like the new fetish that it). So porn is getting you to explore something that you wouldn't usually be exploring because you'd be happy with having sex with women (that's satisfactory enough for you and you don't want/need more excitement). As your senses get numbed by more and more dopamine, you start to want something more exciting....So that's my theory at least. Discuss at will.

    I think the anxiety aspect in HOCD can stem from 2 lines;
    1. The homophobia aspect which is being gay is bad and life will be so bad for you: society will reject you...etc (whatever reasons there are for it...)
    2. The confusion aspect of it which I would say most gay guys go through. It's a phase where you question yourself because you're troubled by it; you don't know how/when it happened and you're trying to adjust and even 'correct' it. I've been there and I can say one thing for sure - you don't choose your sexuality, but you can explore different shades of it. (Remember the majority of straight PMO users don't have HOCD or homosexual cravings).

    Whatever the case rest assured I'm certain your life will be much better without porn. So stop with the anxiety and just lead your life normally.

    However I'm not sure once you develop a side of your sexuality that you'll be able to repress it. That's something maybe rebooted members could talk about but my hunch is that they'll still be turned on by the real version on their porn fetishes.

    I hope this helps somewhat.
  10. ariwl1

    ariwl1 New Member

    Thanks for sharing your experience empshockwave. Day 1 of noFap February and already I feel the urge constantly. I'm abstaining from PMOing and MOing as to me they're basically the same as my mental images draw on the fetish stuff right now as it was the only thing the could make me O.

    I'm doing my best to abstain from all thoughts of sex as well as my sexuality because I know now is not the best time to consider those things, particularly since it seems like I get contradictory messages everywhere I look. I give up PMOing for a month and it becomes easier and pleasurable to MO to thoughts of women, but one look at the fetish stuff sent me on a bender yesterday. Learning about HOCD seemed to make so much sense as people's descriptions of it seemed to be exactly like what I was feeling, but to be fair I haven't actually been diagnosed with OCD yet and the therapist I saw this week wasn't sure I had it. He did schedule me an appointment with a psychiatrist to be evaluated though and I've always had compulsive checking behaviors that worsen with anxiety even before the sexuality questioning occurred. And my brain keeps going back to simply being gay and in denial because it's the simplest answer, even though my heart doesn't seem onboard with the idea. And while I found the gaining pictures exciting, pics of actual naked men or videos of gay sex never seemed to interest me that I've found. So I really don't know.

    First I'll let my mind recover from the porn and MOing. Then whatever will be will be.
  11. kv22206

    kv22206 New Member

    I have become this exact same person too. no emotions no feelings! just sex sex sex! men r just about dicks for me and nothing more.
  12. Fencepost

    Fencepost Member

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  13. Amboy

    Amboy 24 yo gay guy trying to beat ed

    Hey guys , fellow gay guy here just wondering do u guys think poppers or amyl could have left our situation worse ?
  14. LOGOS

    LOGOS Personal Best - 233 Days PMO-free

    The rush of poppers probably adds to the addictive dimension of porn and MO by offering a way to intensify the escape factor of what we are doing. Maybe just when MOing, but also they make it easier for guys to do stuff in sexual situations with real others that they might not otherwise do, including unsafe stuff. I don't know whether poppers affect the overall brain "circuitry" in ways that are similar to porn, as often discussed on this site, involving dopamine and all that.

    Even so, I think it's pretty clear that it's harmful to sniff amyl nitrate. Any one sniff is, I think, a minor harm in itself, but repeated use compounds the effects. And, something important to remember, is that amyl can be quite dangerous if used in conjunction with ED meds. Ultimately I think there are lots of good reasons to cut back on one's use of poppers.
  15. kv22206

    kv22206 New Member

    So I met a guy last week who I really liked and we connected and suddenly I feel like I have overcome my addiction to porn and public loo cruising. May be too early to draw conclusions as its only been 10 days.

    I don’t feel too sexual tho I feel attracted to him. we have not had sex so it remain to be seen if I can get an erection while having sex with him. Im anyways planning to tell him all about it as he is too nice to be kept in the dark.

    May be we just need to see the right path to give up the wrong paths in life!
  16. LOGOS

    LOGOS Personal Best - 233 Days PMO-free

    Sounds great KV, like a really positive development for you. It does sound as though you've established some new patterns, and a new relationship is yet another opportunity to set up lots of good patterns, by establishing communication and respect alongside intimacy.

    Even while doing that, it's worth bearing in mind that addiction is not something that a person at some point "recovers from" --- rebalancing one's life is an ongoing process and so keeping your awareness together about ways that the self-defeating patterns can sneak back in to our everyday routines is really important.

    Good luck, and have fun!

  17. mj1234

    mj1234 New Member

    So I haven't masturbated or watched porn in a week, and I'm going on a second date with this guy I really like in a few days. I had morning wood and a touch of libido throughout the day, but not much more. I'm scared that my dates going to want to do more than kiss on our date. Should I try to steer clear from this if I'm not getting hard from kissing? Will kissing him help speed up the reboot? If we don't fool around this time should I let him know of the situation next time we go out. I feel really good about this guy, and want him as a possible boyfriend. I just don't want to lose him because of the ED!
  18. paul1804

    paul1804 New Member

    So how did your date go? If I had seen this earlier, I'd have advised you to just kissing and not going further than that, no matter if you got hard or not. Cause if you get hard and think "oh year this will work" and it won't, it could really cause you some trouble...
    What happened at the first date?
  19. Silver

    Silver Everything will turn out OK.

    This thread is godsent; im a bisexual but for a long time I watched gay porn exclusively. I love girls and their bodies (along with men) but I could never get the stimulation I get from gay porn from straight porn. I think its the interplay of dominance and masculinity that is also attractive there (as I struggled with my identity lots. I'm still closeted, but I'm going to change that)

    What I noticed is after I gave up porn; i moved a bit on the kinsley scale. I would say I was 70%guys, 30%girls kinda person before; but now I tend to notice girls more than guys. I explored this topic a bit deeper in my thread.

    I think what we get from porn, besides the dopamine rush, is the release of our inhibitions. Simply talking about these to a real person helps a lot. (I've been chatting with this guy that a girl wants to hook me up with; at first we were only conversing on the sexual aspects of a possible relationship but now we got to talk about dynamics of being gay/bi and these days I feel great and more at peace)
  20. ChrisL1977

    ChrisL1977 New Member

    I am surprised there isn't a larger gay community on this site. Oh well, I am glad I found this thread.
    Still new to all of this. Figured I'd give it a try. Honestly it always takes me a lot of struggle/ consideration before I allow myself another binge session ( mine happens to involve also weed, alcohol/ poppers/ sometimes gross amount of food); I might as well try to use all that brain power to convince myself doing something else like exercising or coming to this forum. ;)

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