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

    kv22206: I know that this is easy to say, and may sound trite or obvious, but a therapist might be very helpful for you. I think that whenever we start putting ourselves into dangerous situations, we need help to turn the corner. A therapist can point you to other resources, can help keep you accountable, and can help with strategies for self-esteem and the rest. You may not be using porn to get your dopamine fix (if that's what your counter indicates) but these other patterns are very similar. In fact in clinical psychology they all fall under "process addiction" --- which is basically anything we do obsessively or compulsively to get those squirts of dopamine.

    It's also worthwhile to recognize that in many ways, the sexual gratification you're getting at the public loos is entirely of a different kind than one gets with an intimate partner. The problem is that public sex or porn or whatever can crowd out our energies and abilities for real connections with real people. But you're not fated to these behaviors because you're gay. It's very important that we all understand that.
     
  2. JJ

    JJ New Member

    What a great idea this thread is. I'd say we have enough gay members to warrant our own section.

    I've found that some of the biggest struggles have been the flatlines I've gone through during the reboot. After spending years coming to terms with my sexual identity, it's quite the mind**** to experience periods of complete lack of libido. My only saving grace has been the fact that when I have gotten aroused it's been with men and that I still only think of men as sexually attractive. Women are still lost on me lol! Plus all my adolescent and teenage experiences have been with guys, not girls. So I don't think I'm suffering from HOCD.

    Still--it is a real test of your confidence and sense of self when enduring these flatlines, as I'm sure you know. I'm curious if you guys struggle with similar thoughts of having to constantly reaffirm your sexual identity? Luckily I've had sexual partners in the past few months where I have gotten semi-erect. At the moment though, they are few and far between because I refuse to use hookup sites and apps to meet guys--too similar to porn use in my experience.
     
  3. kv22206

    kv22206 New Member

    Sorry for not updating my counter in the footer. I have been irregular on here so have not been updating it at all. I have been watching porn regularly (besides the crusing part) and get great erections with that and even at the loo I get great erections. But with an intimate setting or kissing w a guy I really like no movement at all.
    I have completely lost count of when I orgasm and when I don’t as sometimes im just edging for days and then I orgasm 2-3 times in 24 hours. Its all so screwed up.
    I have been to a therapist but after a few months of therapy one bad mood day and I was back to porn on the comp or at the loo and on a side note a therapist longer than a few months turns out to be a very expensive option.
     
  4. Bastian

    Bastian counting...

    Hey guys.
    Yes, I've also been hooked in this cruising-jungle. For me it was very similar to my hook on pmo. They constantly merged into each other. I also lived in a city where cruising was almost easier to find than a chat-hook-up. Although out of anxiety (thankfully) I did not go all the way many times. I did not have a bad sex life, I had a partner. Things we're ok. Despite this I went...

    kv22206 - I was almost like you. And the only way for me to break this behaviour was to change a lot of things in my life. Both in theory and in practice. You seem to have so much time to engage into cruising. Maybe this could be a first step, to engage into other things that radically limits the amount of hours you could spend in the loos or parks. The mind is really strong and it takes time to change these patterns. In the beginning I think it could be easier to change the physical patterns, the practical daily routines etc. Make kind of material barriers that makes it more complicated for the mind to lead you back to the cruising spot.

    Do you have someone to share these things with? It could also be an option – to find someone to always inform about whats going on.

    Let us know how your doing.
     
  5. lggh

    lggh New Member

    JJ, I know exactly what you mean. I'm not in a flatline right now and this latest reboot has been going very well (nearing 2 months) but I still seek what I liked in porn and sometimes it makes me wonder if my entire sexuality isn't based on my porn preference (instead of the other way around).

    I don't believe it's HOCD as my attraction for men has always been stronger (though there might be an attraction for girls too down there) , but I believe sexuality is fluid and it makes me wonder sometimes what's the right way to live. The concept of a gay future is something I still have issues with.

    I still have some semi-homophobic views, so that might have something to do with this problem. Of course I have nothing against gay rights and people doing whatever they want, so I'm not THAT kind of homophobe. It's just that I still get uncomfortable when I think about my future, no matter what I try to convince myself. Even when I see gay couples (not in porn, of course) it seems a bit unnattural sometimes and I'm not being fair with this judgement. I want to change that way of thinking because it's not good for anything. I've been to a few gay clubs in the past and literally got sad when I saw some guys speak like women, like maybe it's a mental problem (I know it's not). Bring religion, porn and a few bad experiences with men into the mix and it's a disaster.

    I'm on the verge of coming out because I want to feel better about myself and I'm 23 already, but at the same time I feel like I should be more certain of what I want first. I want to get some good experiences before I do something big like coming out. I would feel much better about coming out now if I had more positive experiences with men and knew for sure there wasn't a bisexual guy somewhere inside who's just too into his fetish right now.

    The fact porn may have altered my tastes makes me lose my confidence that I know what I want.
     
  6. Amboy

    Amboy 24 yo gay guy trying to beat ed

    Hey Departure
    I can't completely relate to everything you just said ! I feel exactly the same I'm 25 and thinking about coming out too , but it is worrying for me not sure I'm ready for that yet ,
     
  7. paul1804

    paul1804 New Member

    me too, i do relate to this a lot... i am kind of out, but not to my family for example... wondering if coming out would help the situation or not?
     
  8. Silver

    Silver Everything will turn out OK.

    Whoa lots of people in mid stage.

    When my brother outed himself to my mother; it devastated her. I do not think you should "out" yourself to your family; they should have no business about who you're sleeping with. (Though i suppose it might ease the when are you getting married questions) I will never discuss my sexuality with my parents; no way.

    I can relate to departure. I have no problem with homosexuality. I just can't stand some subcultures; the same thing about guys acting like women. Everybody can do their thing; but to me it feels attractive. But there are two sides of the coin. I really don't like anyone acting completely towards a stereotype; typical womanizing men, typical rich-husband seeking girls; these are when people let go of their own personalities to reflect their sexual choices. I want to be a scientist, and a good person. I want to be addressed as that person who theorized/discovered that something important or by the good deeds I have done in this world; not by who I'm dating or who I rather have in my bed. Sure; they are what I do; but that doesn't define me to the core. When I see people acting out against stereotypes; it feels like allowing your sexuality to carve your personality for you. To me; that is not the way to live. So I don't like all these obsessions and subcultures and whatnot. So I don't like the term coming out; for me, you do what you wanna do and if someone asks; you can just say whatever you want. But your orientation should be a minor detail about you; not your defining quality.

    Part of this is why I quit porn; I felt like I was obsessing over the sexual aspect of my life. Right now I'm having waves of urges; I won't lie, I've been looking at hookup sites but still "porn" free; and it is difficult but I will persevere. I can say that porn affected my choices; im more leaning equally against both genders now where I was more homosexually inclined. But then again; this is not a complete reboot so I still have roads to cover before discovering myself.

    The point being that, there are the extreme examples; these people in clubs or whatnot. There are people out there, who don't define themselves over their sexual orientation. They are just rare. I blame the porn industry; for feeding our confusion by creating this extreme and bleak culture of addiction.
     
  9. LOGOS

    LOGOS Personal Best - 233 Days PMO-free

    As a 100% out gay guy, I will chime in, mostly to agree with Silver's suggestion that you do not need to define yourself in order to move forward. When I was going through this process of re-identification, I started by simply stopping referring to myself as "straight" or to define myself as different than gay people. I noticed that 99% of the time in any context, you do not need to associate yourself with sexual identity. I think that was a very powerful time for me, realizing that sexual identity is actually just one component of a larger mosaic, and not really relevant to most people. (I'll add that this was in the 90s, when the culture was much less gay-friendly than it is today.) So my suggestion is to not worry about defining yourself as "gay" ... just go about your day. If you find yourself dating a guy, well, then, yeah, you'll probably want to share that exciting fact with friends ... but even then, it's "hey, I'm dating Joe!" not "hey, I'm gay, and I'm dating Joe!" Or maybe it turns out you're dating Amanda. Why settle that now.

    As for gay subcultural stereotypes, this is a hard one. If being "gay" means spending time in the most visible places where gay men congregate, then you're going to be confronted by stereotypical behavior. I think of those behaviors as mostly defensive and adopted, rather than innate. A lot of gay guys are stung by the rejection of others who they may want to be friends with, but who will turn on them if they find out they are gay. So an easy way to avoid that is to appear stereotypically gay in very visible and audible ways. Then people know they're gay before they know anything else about them: It defends them from rejection by people who aren't already suuuuuper comfortable with gay.

    My approach is not reacting to these behaviors --- neither adopting them, nor rejecting them. They just are as they are: a learned defensive response, one that is strengthened *both* by other gay guys adopting it, and by other people (gay and straight) hating and rejecting it. If you react negatively to it, you strengthen it. You increase the need for it. You are then actually a part of what you dislike. So I think a non-reactive stance is the best. BTW, I think as a result of my approach, I "pass" as straight all the time, though I never set out to do so.

    But back to the main issue that a lot of you are bringing up: coming out, identification, identity. I say take it slowly. There really is no rush. See how long you can go without identifying yourself in any way, and take life as it comes. Probably if you're feeling like a lot of your sense of sexual identity is related to your porn use, then all the better reasons to step back, let your reboot take priority, and see what you're feeling 6 months down the line. I know that 6 months sounds like forever to a guy in his 20s. But in truth it's a flash, and you have a long life ahead of you. Take it slow. Be fluid. See what arises.
     
  10. lggh

    lggh New Member

    Some great replies here. I brought up this topic in a gay-centered forum a while back and the comments all say coming out (or therapy) is the right way to go, so your approach around here is pretty different to me. Hell, it's impossible to say you think an attraction to women might be possible without everyone thinking you're a big closet case. I don't think I even hope to be straight at this point, because realizing something like that now would be too complicated for me, even if it was possible.

    I agree that sexuality shouldn't define a person, but it is an issue that pops up quite often. For example, if your parents suspect your lack of interest in girls, what do you say? You just haven't found the right one? Saying anything other than the truth in a case like this is a lie. That is why I don't bother trying to sound' straight, fake an interest in girls, etc. I just hope the topic of sexuality doesn't come up. I feel much more real this way, but sometimes it's impossible not to feel like saying "yeah, well, I'm gay" when people really beat around the topic. Trying to find ways to cover it up or say half-truths can't be good for a person's self esteem, in my opinion.

    I have another example about a straight friend I have/used to have. He kept asking me if I wanted to go to a [straight] club and I always came up with a way to say no. I would've said "yes" one of those times if it was a gay club and I was happy with myself, mostly because it's an opportunity to meet people. Same reason he wants to go for the girls. Eventually he gave up. I don't have any "Joe" to tell you him about, so without an official "label" people just don't get it. And I'm not sure I'm ready for a label.

    I'm still young, but I don't feel young enough for these kinds of thoughts. There are 15 year olds out there with a better sense of who they are. I've been depressed for a while now and this reboot is just one of the changes I'm making in my life. Every time someone says something about girls or other gay people to me, it's a blow to my confidence when I keep quiet. I'm sure my attraction for men won't just go away (although my past sexual experiences with them just confused me even more, felt detached) but I'm not entirely sure about girls.

    I'm on a good streak now and feeling an increased attraction to men, even if it's not for the typical pretty guys and more for the ones I liked in porn. I feel that I might be ready to give the real thing a shot pretty soon, just take what I can get instead of going through another 6 months of abstinence just to see how much of an attraction for girls would arise. I feel like I'm backed into a corner now, this drive is what's pushing me through this reboot. I've been doing this for nearly 2 years and this is the first time I really feel like my next O will be with a partner. Every time I start doubting or hating my sexuality, I act out by relapsing 3-5 times in a row until my desire dies. I don't want that again.
     
  11. LOGOS

    LOGOS Personal Best - 233 Days PMO-free

    You sound more sure of your situation than some of the other guys who have been adding their thoughts here. Every man has to follow the path of integrity, which it sounds like for you means embracing gay identity and aiming for guys. Good luck! And have fun.
     
  12. Marshy

    Marshy New Member

    Thanks for starting this thread guys, I signed up for YourBrainRebalanced a little while ago, but hadn't felt the urge to post before seeing this thread. It really resonated with me.

    Background

    I've been on the reboot path since the 4th January this year after exhausting all other excuses for using P and suffering from severe ED. The longer I'm away from P the more I realise how much damage it's done.

    I identify as bi, but was always dumbfounded by my complete inability to get an erection over the years with either guys or girls. I've slept with all sorts and for a very long time simply didn't bother chasing due to the embarrassment of not being able to respond the way I would like.

    I'm 29 now and wish I discovered the information I see on this site much earlier, but I guess it's better late than never.

    How am I doing?
    I've been P free since the 4th January, had a 60-day streak without O, and then binged on M and O for a while. I'm currently on my second-longest streak at 21 days.

    I'm all for the benefits it brings - I'm enjoying increased focus, connecting with people more deeply, and feel like I've got some of my groove back - but there's a long way for me to go.

    I've been on a number of dates with girls and have hooked up with guys every 4-5 weeks in overzealous bids to get release in the absence of M and O, but the ED still haunts me and I think at least part of it is because of the 'edging' online dating and hookup sites instil.

    The comments earlier in the thread about guys thinking they're 'bottoms' due to non-responsiveness were ridiculously accurate about myself... I consider myself versatile but have never been able to get hard enough to be a top when the situation arises.

    What's next?

    I've spoken to some friends I trust about it and am persevering through my streak. I'm glad I've been able to avoid P, but I think the 'edging', fantasizing, and online dating/hook-up sites have protracted my reboot process and enable my ED to linger.

    It's a bit of a catch 22 for me, I'm at the stage where I'm meeting people and hitting it off, but anxious that if I do come across a true connection I'll fuck it up due to ED. Which isn't even how I should be thinking and is testament to how much damage P has done over the years.

    ---

    While all of the writing related to YBOP has resonated with me, this thread did especially as it calls out specific concerns that LGBTQI people have. So thanks again for sharing and hopefully our journeys will improve as time progresses.
     
  13. LOGOS

    LOGOS Personal Best - 233 Days PMO-free

    Hey Marshy,

    Welcome to the board and thanks for contributing to the thread. Seems its common for guys to experience and use on-line cruising and dating in ways that are similar to porn, so that's worth looking at ... if those interactions offer you little squirts of domamine, then sure enough they can be slowing your recovery from ED.

    -BSM
     
  14. Bastian

    Bastian counting...

    Hey Marshy, welcome to the forum, and the gay thread.

    I agree with BSM.
    For me, and for other guys I've spoken to here, the addiction to porn and on-line/off-line cruising are almost always intertwined.
    I would recommend you to try to abstain from both the pmo and the cruising if possible. For my reboot to succed I think it was/is extremely important to understand that the patterns are similar, even though the things I engage in may appear different.

    Best of luck!
    /Bastian
     
  15. Silver

    Silver Everything will turn out OK.

    I could say the same thing; I realized I used hookup sites as a substitute for porn. I even got the shakes from visiting them when I quit.
     
  16. Woofie

    Woofie New Member

    I have been with a partner for 20 plus years, my issue is all I seem to want is PEMO, I'd get him off so I could get back to pc and do my thing. It's like cheating on him altho I never have. It is a strong addiction
     
  17. Hey Guys,

    im currently really confused. i thought i was cured from P (1 month+ without P) but i just figured out that ive replaced it with online dating and workout videos.
    (btw: what about workout videos: porn?!)

    i have slight e.d. which comes from M too often and being on the internet. Everytime i fall back to P i start to M heavily, visit a dating site, M for 1 hour+ until i finally found someone to hook up - and when i meet them its not satisfying as i thought it would be (of course not!) and i don't get 100% hard.

    i have 2 options right now (P is none of them):
    1.) Quit Porn, Quit M, but have Sex(Dates) everytime i get horny
    2.) Stay Aways From Porn, Quit M, Quit Sex(Dates)

    What do u think? Is replacing M and P with Sex(Dates)/Cruising a good way or is it just another attempt to find a way back into my bad habits?
     
  18. Woofie

    Woofie New Member

    Hard question, do you have a full time partner? What do you think is the right thing to do?
     
  19. no, i only have random sex partners (not even people i meet from time to time).

    I am addicted to gay dating sites - i cant even concentrate cause i always think about going online.
    But:

    Deleting my profile = No Sex.
    No Sex = Heavy PMO after a few days.
    Heavy PMO = Creating a profile.
    Creating a profile = Hookup.
    After Hookup = Wish to delete profile.
    Delete profile = ...

    its a mess!

    Maybe its a good idea to start slowly?
    Stop M, Stop P, Only go online when im really horny?
    Or is a straight cut the best way to go?

    im a bit lost right now :(
     
  20. LOGOS

    LOGOS Personal Best - 233 Days PMO-free

    Hello HLC!

    I think that sex addiction and PMO addiction are very closely connected for many gay guys, because of the ease and acceptability of cruising online. What you describe sounds like a classic cycle for this .... I suspect many of us have been in it.

    My suggestion is that you should go cold turkey, with the understanding that M is an acceptable release valve, if absolutely necessary to shortcut a setback, and only as long as M does not involve any kind of computer-assisted anything. No porn, no dating sites, no hookups. Not even sexting with a fuckbuddy.

    One of the things you'll have to move beyond is a very common idea that "being horny" is a neutral force of nature that arises in a guy at any time, any where. I think that for most guys "just getting horny" when there's not a real-life flesh-and-blood person in the room that you are attracted to, well, then "getting horny" is your brain just crying out for a hit of dopamine. In other words, it's addict-mind, not some neutral force of nature that has to be satisfied, like being hungry or tired.

    If you do try to M without any computer- or phone-assisted anything, you might well find it impossible to do. In that case, you'll have discovered something important about your pattern. If you can do it, then you're in a better position, i.e., less fully sucked in to the PMO-cruising cycle.

    Now, this idea of cutting PMO and any other M associated with a computer, and all computer-assisted hookups, and maybe all random/casual sex, is likely to freak you out. BUT Equally key is that you need a plan for what you're going to DO with yourself INSTEAD.

    With all of this in mind I strongly advise you to:

    1. Read all the "Sticky" posts on this forum
    2. Start your own journal --- when you've done that, feel free to post the link here to that we can find you, and be checking in on your progress
    3. Have a look at the Recovery Nation web site and consider working through the workshop on sexual addiction: http://www.recoverynation.com/recovery/recovery_workshop_contents.php. Lots of guys on this site are doing that, but most don't start until after they've struggled for waaaaay too long here. Probably worth taking a shortcut and having a look at it now. Even then it won't be easy but ... well check it out.

    I recognize I'm throwing a LOT at you, but there's no simple way to break the cycle you describe --- it's an ingrained ritual of behavior. So I suggest taking a deep breath and consider your commitment to changing your entire life in order to end this cycle. Good luck!
     

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