Lack of attraction to real people... What if it's not what we think?

Discussion in 'Pornography Addiction' started by Lightning, Aug 26, 2015.

  1. rebooting

    rebooting Member

    Even though I was a virgin in my teens and early 20s, I was confident and very social. My EQ was pretty high. I could sense and handle every emotion or non-verbal sign properly. Then, I got access to the Internet and porn. I lost all those social skills. Since I do nofap, I sometimes get them back, but often I lost them again and get depression. The past couple of weeks, I was an anti-social freak for no reason, full of anxiety and severe depression. I don't get aroused either. I was so depressed that I couldn't talk to girls anymore. I decided to go to a prostitution neighborhood to see if I could get turned on by a real girl in bikini. I saw dome very hot ones, but I didn't feel any arousal at all. Of course, I didn't use their services. I just wanted to test my arousal with real girls.

    It might be accumulated stress from a lack of sexual release. I've been doing nofap for so long and I actually get depressed and unmotivated instead of energetic and motivated. After more than a year of nofap it seems like the benefits deminish after several months and then nofap has the opposite effect. Suppressing natural feelings probably causes stress. I have no gf and no sexual release whatsoever. Nofap made me completely unmotivated to fap, so I don't do that either.

    I'm still very atteacted to girls, but my sexual feelings are dead. I can get an erection easily though. I also get morning wood and solid ones.

    I think masturbation addiction is just a part of the problem. Once you overcome that, your remaining issues start to stress you out. I have headaches for a week now and very hateful, angry feelings.
  2. I think the cause for a lack of attraction to real women is different for everyone, and the danger is in overgeneralizing and then forcing your dogma on other people.

    Some guys on this forum also make the mistake of thinking that attraction = arousal = erection. This is so wrong in my opinion. These three things can happen independently and in isolation from each other. You can be attracted without being aroused and erect; or aroused without being attracted and erect; or erect without being attracted and aroused. Believing that these three things are one and the same puts one at risk of developing anxiety about sex.

    I have had periods when I binged so much on porn that I became completely bored and sick of it with all of the stupid, exagerrated sexual positions and lack of intimacy. But then I would go out of the house after a few minutes and feel very attracted and aroused (but not erect) to the pretty girls walking on the street. According to some theories about porn addiction, I should be completely desensitized to anything except the most extreme hardcore porn. But real girls still attract me, when porn doesn't. I don't fit the model.
  3. Lightning

    Lightning Member

    Wabi-Sabi, hello my friend, I've been off of here for a while and just read your reply.
    I heartily agree that porn is not the core problem here. In the quote you mention (from my reply) I'm not talking about porn as the cause, but about the core problem - what porn is helping you to avoid, whatever it is for you.

    As for altering your emotions - no, it's not possible to just alter them because emotions are our reaction to thoughts. So the only thing possible to do directly is to be mindful of what we are thinking. The reason we usually aren't is the same reason we use porn - stressful thoughts are something we avoid like fire. Before we even know we're doing it, our mind looks away as if from the sun. But if you can learn to look directly anyway, you can start to see that what you thought was reality is really your belief system ('I'm going to fail,' 'I'm ugly,' 'Nobody wants me,' 'There's no point...'). And if you can actively question these thoughts coming from specific situations with an intention of finding the truth - you'll be that much far ahead.

    Months (2): I don't know. It sounds reasonable, this seems to be people's experience, and I don't know. I think realizing that we don't know how long something will take is healthy. It shifts our focus from a certain goal of time frame and moves it to what actually matters - here and now and what I'm doing to make my life better. Also, I understand that it may be your experience that it takes months (something you've experienced?) and if so, awesome.

    I don't know if relapse is necessary (if it's implied in what you're saying), but it definitely can be, and it shows us what we have left to work on. If we can see what triggered it, we can see exactly where we are.

    ...As I write this, it's also coming to my attention that since writing this post and our last conversation, my whole understanding of the process (porn, addiction, its effects and stepping out of it) has shifted still more. I'm seeing how our thoughts really are what causes our desensitization to women (mentioned in the original post) and therefore in a way I'm not seeing porn as the cause for even that problem now. Something happens between being a kid and first seeing porn to being adults 10-20 years later and 'escalation' is just a vague code name. When we need to shift to something 'more', we're looking for distraction. It's really that simple, forget about chemicals etc., when an image of a naked woman doesn't do it for us, we need excitement to finish the job, and we replace something that naturally thrills us with something that unnaturally thrills us (-ironically, for the very reason that it doesn't thrill us.)
    ...SO, what is the problem? Is the problem that our brain has been rewired, that we need time to reset - or is it that we gradually got accustomed to using repulsion as a thrill? This has been my realization. So what if we retrain, or rather 'un-train' our brains on this directly instead of trying to go all over the place looking for 'that one thing' or way of life that will magically address it? I may write a new post on this.

    Your steps sound good, and I have one suggestion.
    Ignoring your negative inner voice is akin to ignoring the voice of your child. The more you ignore, the more he or she will whine and cry and break things and try to get your attention. Your inner voice is just a child, listen to it my friend. Go bravely into that dark night.
  4. Lightning

    Lightning Member

    TheBorb, I like your point on it being 'dead...gone...done n' dusted...'. It really reminded me of how great real contact is - Alive, here, loving and real :)

    Yes, that was a great movie! In a way that movie relates to what we're doing here. Here's my case:
    Usually, westerns are 'shoot'em ups', where people die comically and without consequence. Almost everyone is expendable and you don't feel anything for the latest cowboy who died. But in The Unforgiven, you suddenly realize these are people. When that teenager shoots that man, it dawns on him that 'I killed him...' and he's rejoicing or trying to rejoice...but instead he just starts crying when he sees this is a MAN. It felt almost like a statement on movies. The same kind of thing is at work here, in the beginning state, we watch porn as if there are no consequences. We think it's harmless fun (although in the back of our mind maybe we don't believed it) and they're just people on the screen having sex. Then we start to see the toll it takes on us, and realize these are real people, that I'm watching other people having sex, that maybe this isn't something I want to do... And in parallel: Waking up to what it means to be intimate with a real person, and am I 'man enough' to do that.
  5. Lightning

    Lightning Member

    That's intriguing MrFish. And you don't mention what did get you hooked, would you care to elaborate? From your reply, it's not clear that you were addicted since it sounds like you were making a conscious decision throughout. (unless this changed later)

    An important thing to remember is none of us are addicted to porn when we first watch porn. Probably not the second or third time either. But the thing is - similarly to what you said, porn is so easy to use. So what happens is we start using it to avoid our everyday challenges rather than facing them and problem solving. This is true for small challenges such as homework, and definitely becomes true for big ones such as emotional frustration and despair. The point I'm making is at the very core of being hooked is avoidance of something - and avoidance is fear. When you fear something, you want to stay away from it. In fact you do everything in your power to.

    When I discovered the things I was avoiding, it was a bitch to realize, but it's also a breakthrough. The biggest moments of growth happen when we see ourselves - and that often comes with a lot of pain initially.

    Take from this what you may since this is my experience and I don't know yours. I wish you the best.
  6. Lightning

    Lightning Member

    Thank you so much for your comment, Coma White. I really like what you're saying about going a long time without porn and still not feeling change. It fits with what I've been experiencing, that as I understand myself and what's going on inside - things start changing and thought patterns reverse, which is essentially all we want to do here.
  7. Lightning

    Lightning Member

    I understand dude. But notice if you will that you responded to something without understanding it, and if so, how can you disagree with it?

    If you're interested, What 'facing it' means is this. What you're doing, including everything, including this reply - all comes from somewhere. Usually we just think there's no point in understanding what makes us tick, and so instead we try to manage the surface level of things as best we can. So if it's porn addition we're talking about, yes, it makes total sense to just get active and try to change our habits in our lives.
    This is all good until there's relapse, frustration and despair. In other words, to use your terms, it often happens that people will take many physical and active measures to turn their lives around and still continue wiping their chests.

    The reason for this goes back not to the physical habits but where they're coming from. Einstein has a good quote where he says that the definition of madness is trying the same thing over and over again but expecting new results. So what if the problem isn't the hardware but the software?
    Facing what's going on inside, practically (this is completely an action and takes hard work internally), means going to that last time your relapsed, sitting with it, and realizing - what triggered that? Yes, you may have thought about porn, but why? (Why not until that point, why were you strong about not watching until then?)
    What happened a second beforehand that triggered your feelings or craving?
    If your'e able to go there, you'll start to learn yourself. You'll start to see that nothing comes from nothing - and that 'damn,' that thing that I thought was nothing really bothered me.
    What you do from here, what you do with what you find about yourself is secondary. There are many ways, people have mentioned meditation and therapy, either way I think a guide is important. But the important thing is - don't just go blindly, MASTER yourself. And doing that requires the same thing that mastering anything in the world takes - it requires learning and understanding, and practice. But I think it's the most worthwhile project you could ever take on. You yourself.
  8. Lightning

    Lightning Member

    Thank you very much for your open sharing, rebooting.

    What you write is very interesting to me. It does seem that 'nofap' in itself is not a solution for, well, anything. It might lead to a good lifestyle, but that's only given that the rest of your life straightens out as a result. I'm picturing an analogy of a military fighting machine targeting a certain general area, and while the bomb may impact the desired target, it also may not. Which is why a surgical strike is so much more desirable. Once you're there, on the ground, and see that the target is hit right before your eyes - there is no doubt.

    What's helping me, is becoming aware of what I'm thinking and believing. Our beliefs are our entire world. One way to start doing this, is writing down every stressful thought you have during the day. You get stressed, and you stop and think - what was that? and write the thought down. I did this, and it's surprising what you may find that you're believing once you see it from the outside.
  9. Lightning

    Lightning Member

    I tried to keep it in various general categories in the post, and also stated that these were my experiences (and theories), so definitely only take from it what is useful, if anything.

    I do personally feel that we all have more in common than we differ from each other. Our avoidance of aspects of ourselves by masturbating and going on porn sites seems to be a big example.

    That sounds very true to me. I think the bottom line is, accept what comes. Before you got these ideas about porn and sex in your head, you weren't worried about not getting a hard on when you saw something attractive, you just went with it. When we start to overanalyze, meaning we start assigning meaning to every thing we experience in real time rather than be with the experience, that's where we lose our natural flow.

    I think the theories themselves are vague on when this happens (total desensitization) and when it doesn't. I have a feeling none of us fit the model, and the main thing I'm trying to do in these posts is inquire directly into what's happening (in me), without reliance on a theory I heard, and hopefully it's beneficial to others as well.
  10. Giuseppe Garibaldi

    Giuseppe Garibaldi [url=

    Thanks you for sharing this.I'm stuck in my situation,but I find difficult understand all my thoughts and emotions,even if I try.Sometimes is like I am blind to certain things,so I can't go forward on my progress.
  11. Lightning

    Lightning Member

    You're welcome.

    Knowing that you're blind to certain things is half of the game. There's a reason we can't see the things that hurt us, and one reason alone: We ourselves are looking away.

    When something is painful (think about that time someone dumped you, or whatever is painful) you automatically, instinctively want to look away. This is done so that you won't experience pain. We avoid pain. If your hand is in the flame - it flies the hell out of there. The same is true for emotional pain.
    So, why don't we know what's bugging us - because we don't want to look at it straight in the eye.

    If you'd like my advice, what I can suggest, is starting to look at the more minor stressful thoughts and situations you experience, just to get to know yourself. Stressful thoughts come from or are directly tied to specific situations. Consider if there was someone who said something to you that bothered you the other day, or think of something that keeps popping in your head that troubles you slightly. As soon as it comes, don't overthink - that thing that just popped up is perfect. Whatever it is, just write it down.
    For example, this would be mine now: A girl I met a few days ago (and talked to for a long time) specifically asked me to add her on Facebook, but hasn't added me back. So my stressful situation is me sitting by the computer, looking at her pictures and wondering why she hasn't accepted my request yet.
    My thought is, "I am saddened by (let's call her Alexa) because she didn't add me on Facebook." -Very simple.

    If we look closely at why this is stressful, I'm assuming many things. Most of all: That she purposely didn't add me because she doesn't want me. Therefore: I am unworthy / there's someone else who's better than me. And: What I thought of myself is confirmed, I'm just no good. I'm not someone people want to be with.

    These can be exactly the kind of things that send us back to porn or any addiction for that matter. Feeling like the world is a hostile place (no good for us, we feel pain being there), that we're simply not fit to live in it, makes us want to avoid it. But the thing we're missing is - these are not facts but assumptions. Despite that fact, how hard it is to see through it... We basically can't. As soon as we see something that painful (whatever it is for you), we immediately run for the hills. If we try to change our minds, we feel very strongly that we're kidding ourselves.

    But the truth is, once we have this thought, we know what's troubling us, and that's half the work. Next, I strongly recommend questioning it. That means putting your assumption up against reality and seeing if it's still true. There is a specific method I use to do this which really works for me, and I'll be happy to share it here if you're interested.
  12. Giuseppe Garibaldi

    Giuseppe Garibaldi [url=

    Hey man,I took time to read your post.
    Too much time because I was escaping from deep thoughts and postponed many things.Your method (writing about issues) is similar to some therapy,in wich you have to write the situation,emotions and thoughts.
    If you want to be more specific,I will listen to you.

    Thank for your time
  13. prostate-orgasm

    prostate-orgasm New Member

    I girl resently masturbated for ne on skype(without i asking for it) and i understand what you mean, i was not confortable with that, hopefully i will be more confortable with sex that i actually wants(real sex wuth partner i know well).

    Even after quitting porn it is still a lot tougher than i assumed, failure after failure, i have been chatting with girls and it almost never ends well(real life is not much better), it is very difficult to find a suitable partner, i guess everyone has that problem.

    I can get ONS easily now but i do not really want that, i do not want to loose my virginity that way.
  14. Lightning

    Lightning Member

    Hey guys,

    Wow, a lot's happened since I wrote this post and I've been thinking of writing a second part to it. This reply is turning out to be that second part.

    Giuseppe Garibaldi, that's fair enough, I never did explain the specifics of the method I'm talking about ('The Work'). It's one that I use quite a bit and has helped me immensely. I'll explain how to do it in the second half of this post.

    Before I do that, I'd like to share a couple more thoughts - just an update on what I've been learning (including through real life dating) which I think might be helpful.

    I now believe more than ever that there is no such thing as rewiring your brain. Before we all get up in arms, let me say it in different words and elaborate. This is good news.

    Thoughts are the key to everything. Marcus Aurelius said: 'The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts.' Think about it for a moment, in the best times in your life, what was it that made you so happy? At first it may seem like it really was your physical situation, but if you look closely, it was your thoughts about the situation and the lack of negative thoughts in that situation - that made it great. In the same way, looking back at stressful situations, apart from your thoughts: Weren't you okay? You may have been safely in your bed for example, but since your brain was chattering about you having to do better in life - you were in pain. It's our thoughts about life, not life, which make us miserable or happy.

    Thoughts, in other words, are our reality. Until they're questioned or otherwise seen through, we're going to react, feel, and relate to everything around us as if the story in our head was exactly what's happening now.

    This has big implications for our sexuality. As in the OP, if I have thoughts blocking me from getting intimate with a girl, these thoughts become my reality because I believe them.

    The thing is, and this may be the most important line here: We don't know that this is what's happening. We're so used to thoughts buzzing around in our head from ordinary life, that we pay them no heed. Inside us, there's a whole system of avoiding and defending and struggling and deflecting that's going on - just under the surface. But on our conscious level, everything is going on normally -- So what do we do..? We have a problem, and we try to explain it. We want to know what is wrong with us? Google to the rescue. We read up on the (quasi-?) science of it. We see: 'Ah-ha!' THIS is why I'm acting weird, thank goodness. Now all I need to do is change my entire lifestyle, and everything will fall into place. Now let's put aside the struggle we all go through when we try to quit masturbation and porn, and jump right ahead to look at someone who actually quits for months. (We'll do this so that we can look at a pure 'case study' instead of men who are struggling and therefore could be said to simply not be 'undergoing the program' properly.) When we look at these people we'll find that the results aren't so black and white. I've heard many accounts of life being turned around as soon as pornography is stopped for a few months (and people usually add the disclaimer, that these blessed events depend how bad the addiction was / how long the addiction was) but I've also heard some stories of people who quit for a long time and were still struggling. People who anticipated or hope the results would continue to trickle little by little, and even some who gave up at some point. In other words, it seems this doesn't always work. And if it doesn't always work, that means what's going on here when it does work may have less to do with the lack of pornography - and more to do with something else that's very valuable and is happening as a result of it. Whatever it is that's overcome, whatever the root of the problem is, it's that same thing that's 'blocking' us in the first place, and it's what's we need to face in order to get back to ourselves. Let's take a step back, and return to our thinking.

    We don't know what our mind is doing. This is the 'normal' state in the world today. It wouldn't matter that we don't know if it wasn't wreaking havoc, if it was encouraging us, telling us good stories about ourselves, our friends, and significant others...and if it was a positive tool 'out of the box' for a good and healthy life. But for most of us, it's not quite that and it's unintentionally doing a lot of harm. So when we go to these forums and watch these videos etc., we're trying to 'fix' our brain and lead a normal life. The thing is, our brain as an organ is something we have no access to as mentioned in the OP. All we have access to is our 'mind', and our thoughts. So, in short, we expect so-and-so months to fix us up... but in reality, what, if not our thinking dictates our arousal or lack thereof in intimate situations? (-taking into account, as mentioned in the OP, that when addicted to porn we are indeed aroused by the virtual version of it, and that if anything - reality is an enhancement of that.) It was our thinking that was causing the problem all along, and therefore it is our thinking that must somehow change...

    'If you correct your mind,
    the rest of your life will fall into place'.
    -Lao Tzu

    We try to strategize. Like guys at the bar who gang up together and talk about how to approach the girls as if they're in Mission Impossible 6. The guy who ends up happily married with the most beautiful girl in the world is the one who does none of that - but instead works on becoming his own perfect version. Authenticity. And that has nothing to do with his current job and everything to do with his inner state.

    Relating to this, Marianne Williamson said:
    'Ego says "Once everything falls into place, I'll feel peace." Spirit says, "Find your peace, and then everything will fall into place." '
    (you can replace 'spirit' with 'truth').

    Sending blessings to all men out there, in all stages of their journey of self realization. May you find what you are truly looking for.

    Now an afterword on this, and then I'll speak a little about a method of questioning your thinking:
    All this is not to contradict the possibility that everything said about the way our brain is wired is true. I believe it's 100% logical that our thoughts have a physical effect on the way our brain is wired. Our brain is after all an instrument that creates thoughts. All I'm saying is, don't try to go to Neptune in order to pick up gas which will power your spaceship to make the trip to Neptune (-let's pretend that's a plausible scientific thing, for analogy). You can't expect to rewire your brain by reading about brain 'wires' - that's something that's detached from you... You get there by knowing yourself, understanding yourself, and generally treating yourself the way you'd want to be treated.


    And now a word about questioning your own thoughts.

    Here is a step by step guide. Don't be too rigid with this. Understand the essence of it and apply it to your life - you are your ultimate teacher!

    Step 1: Get to know yourself.

    I would say this is an ongoing step, but it's so important and especially initially it is a lot like making an acquaintance. It is highly likely you'll be surprised by what you find, so be prepared and open for surprise.
    What is your mind doing in there? Here's a good way to start - carry a pad and paper around with you for a couple of days. Every time you feel any kind of negative feeling inside, stop what you're doing (if you can), take a breath, stop. Know that it's okay. And: Write down the stressful thought which caused the emotion. Don't plan your answer and don't overthink it. Let your heart write the thought, it tells the truth, listen. See it, then carry on.

    You may do this for as long or as often as you feel is right for you. You may end up wanting to continue doing this later, and I'd say a day or two of doing this seriously, will already give you some very valuable insight into where you're at. You may want to continue doing this in silence for a week, any time frame is up to you. Don't rush, and remember you're doing great and you're doing yourself and others around you a huge favor.
    And as for the negative thoughts themselves, don't worry. These are just thoughts! They're akin to your brain associating words or filling in the blanks. Your mind is thinking up stuff and you've been believing it. This is true no matter how light or how heavy the thought in question seems to be. Let's start to look at it now, and once we've started becoming aware of ourselves, we'll start observing what we've found.

    Step 2: Prepare to Question

    Once we've got a good amount of stressful thoughts from our 'arsenal', we've become in touch with what's going on with us, and we can begin to pick these thoughts one at a time - and learn the truth about them. Now don't be a douche about this ( ;) ). Here's what I mean: When we say question your thinking, this doesn't mean we come in saying 'All this is bullshit! You're right, I'm stupid! I can do better!!' No, it means getting honest. We want to know the truth. As you approach a thought you may already feel the emotional impact it has on you - this is because on a deep level you're believing it. At this point you may start eyeing that first attitude (attacking and denying thoughts) and thinking it's a good idea. Be present and don't go there, not just because it's stressful but because it doesn't work. The only way to change is to question your assumptions. And you can't question your assumptions unless you face them honestly.

    And here is how it works. Choose a thought. You're kind to yourself, and therefore you may want to begin with a very mild thought. Not one that's incredibly stressful, but one that causes slight discomfort.
    Revisit the situation in which the thought arose, gently guide yourself to see exactly what was going on and how and why this thought hurt you. This may hurt your ego to do, but once again, this is the ultimate - it's about getting real and it is an immense healing process. Once you have the thought and situation in place, it's time to question it.

    Step 3: Question Your Thought

    You might want to partner up with someone you feel comfortable with to help you do this at first, and there are also free online resources that can help you. Otherwise, go ahead and help yourself. With that situation and thought in mind, including how it makes you feel ('I'm angry because...' , 'I'm frustrated because...') you will now ask and answer 4 questions. That's the good thing about a partner by the way, you have someone to ask you these and someone to reply to.
    I'm going to give an example for a stressful thought that happens to be very relevant to our general topic, and walk through the questions with this thought.

    The thought: 'Sara doesn't sexually excite me.'

    The situation: I'm in Sara's apartment, in bed with her.

    Question 1: Is it true?

    What we do now is, go into that situation, and just innocently and openly inquire. Maybe we'll answer yes, maybe we'll answer no. And we can only answer one of the two. Watch as your mind tries to jump through hoops in order to get away from answering this simple question. Be patient and look at it, and let the answer arise from the true place within you. No matter what the answer is, yes or no, it's a good answer. The point is to find out, and to question your thinking.

    If you answered 'Yes' (your thought in question is true), continue to question 2. If you answered 'No' (your thought in question is not true), jump to question 3.

    Question 2: Can you absolutely know that it's true?

    Consider this question. Unlike the first one which asked you generally or lightly, if you've answered 'Yes' to question 1, this question asks you to go deeper and take full responsibility. Can you absolutely know that this thought is true? Are you a god? Do you know everything? Can you read minds? These are the kinds of things that this question implies that you look at. Even if you feel very strongly at first that this stressful thought is undeniably true, approach this question openly, as one would approach a tour of a country they've never visited before. You may find the same answer, and you are invited to see once more. Don't plan your answer, and just focus on the truth of the matter. Once again, the answer to this question is either 'Yes' or 'No', and no answer is better than the other.

    Question 3: How do you react, what happens, when you believe this thought?

    Whether you answered yes or no to previous questions, now it's time to look into what this thought means in your life. You can start by looking at what happens physically - what do you do? Then look at your feelings, your emotion and your body's physical reaction to that thought. In all of these, don't think or plan - just keep looking. Look at your reaction in that situation that happened, and describe it. After your physical/emotional reactions, notice: How do you treat yourself when you believe this thought? And - how do you treat the other person or persons involved in this situation when you believe that thought? What situations does this remind you of? And then, beyond the moment - how do you live your life when you're believing this? Inquire bravely and with patience, describe and do not judge. And look at this thought specifically (make sure to see your reactions to it and not other things that may float into your head). If you lose track, that's fine, just take a breath and go back to inquiring. You're doing great!

    Here is an example for answering Question 3, with the above thought 'Sara doesn't sexually excite me.'

    How I react -
    I continue trying to have sex with her. I get stressed out. I feel pressure in my chest.
    I feel anger, and despair. I'm angry at myself - I'm blaming myself.
    I'm angry at her - I'm blaming her.
    My mind brings up images of being with another girl and not being very aroused.
    I live life as if it's almost not worth living. As if a huge chunk is missing out of my life.
    -These would be my reactions. Notice the simplicity and 'reporting' nature of it. The trick is not to get into 'story mode' where you are justifying your behavior and thought. All you want to know is what's going on. If you get into 'story mode', take a breath and get back to reporting. You're good.

    Question 4: Who would you be (in that situation) without this thought?

    Now you've seen the cause and effect of your thinking and reaction to it. So it's time to see another reality, a truer one - you minus the thought. Take a good breath. Once again go into the situation in question without fear, and see your thought. Now, in that situation, who or what would you be without it? Notice: The question is not, 'please will you drop it?' (!). The question is also not, 'how can you drop it?'. It is simply asking you to see yourself without it. That's all. To clearly see yourself in that situation, if you never had this thought. Go there, and inquire. Be patient, and answer honestly and straight up.

    Here is an example for answering Question 4, with my thought 'Sara doesn't sexually excite me.' Of course as with any question, don't try to replicate this. This is about you and what you find. It's about the truth.

    Without the thought -
    I'm present with her. Free. I'm enjoying contact. I'm peaceful. I can let whatever happens happen.

    Turn It Around

    In this final step, we take the thought and turn it around. We do this in order to see whether the opposites of this thought can be as true or truer, and find examples for them. In this way, we really own this questioning, and are open to reality itself as differing from what we thought it was.

    There are 3 basic ways to turn a thought around: To the self, to the other, and to the opposite. Here are the turnarounds and examples, continuing with our sample thought. We want to find at least 3 examples for each turnaround if possible. Take your time, and by seeing the situation without the thought (question 4) the examples become apparent and are easy to find.

    To the self:
    'Sara doesn't sexually excite me' -> 'I don't sexually excite me'
    - I'm stressing and believing that I should be more aroused. I'm not exciting myself: Not letting it happen.
    - I'm believing pornography has damaged me.
    - I'm stressing that her boobs should excite me. As a result I'm not naturally excited by her boobs.
    - I'm believing that having seen so many naked bodies has made me 'immune' to excitement. By believing this it becomes my reality.

    To the other:
    'Sara doesn't sexually excite me' ->'I don't sexually exciteSara.'
    -It could be possible - I'm in my head.
    -Even if (/even though) she is aroused, I'm not sexually exciting her as much as I could be if I'm aroused and present.
    -I'm not arousing her in my mind, thinking of her and doing good things to make her feel good. Because I'm busy with what I want her to do for me (my worry)
    -I'm not taking time to talk to her about what's on my mind, and thereby leaving a distracting barrier between us.

    To the opposite:
    'Sara doesn't sexually excite me' ->'Sara sexually excites me.'
    - Sara has beautiful hair.
    - Sara is excited
    - Sara has a beautiful face
    - Sara has lovely fair skin
    - Sara is good to me.


    This has been a demonstration of the process called 'The Work'. There are many free resources online. As I said, it's a tool I use regularly and it's changed helped me change deeply. The real 'trick', as with anything, is going for it and doing it for yourself.

    Best wishes.

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