Discussion in 'Ages 25-29' started by Freedom from Servitude, Mar 7, 2014.
Keep up the good work. I hope to be in your shoes one day.
Thanks for posting, Pete. I remember the days not too long ago when I used to struggle to stay sober for hours at a time. It is entirely possible to beat this addiction providing that you are willing to surrender a bit of pride, reach out and learn from others.There are quite a few posts in this journal which indicate the extent that I struggled with my addiction to porn. Despite being a member on this forum for a few years prior, it wasn't until 2016 that my current recovery streak got going. Perseverance is the key. If you can keep on working at it you will continue to make progress and answers will come.
Hi Freedom from Servitude, I enjoyed reading your last post (19/01/2019) and intrigued by your journey and the fact that you have managed to achieve long term stability in regards to PMO usage I've just skimmed through the first two or three pages of your journal when you were working on the issue back in 2014. I like how despite relapses, back then, you seemed to always keep a level tone afterwards, without bringing yourself down or becomming over dramatic. It's also interesting how your approach, even them, seemed to focused more on building the life you want (positive habits) rather then simply "fighting the PMO'' (i.e. pure white knuckle abstinence).
Well, in any case, congrats on your current balance. For my part I've also been trying to transcend this issue since about 2014 but unfortunately so far I still haven't broken free from the recovery, relapse, binge, recovery, relapse again pattern. I guess there are things I'm still not doing right and deeper underlying issues that I am not addressing properly enough (yet). Sometimes there seems to be genuine progress though, but then oftentimes I fall back down.
I also enjoyed the title of your journal (which is what made me read your post) the fact that you are talking about ''self-acceptance''. That's exactly what I'm looking for as well and I think it's the deeper issue (perhaps the issue) from which my addictions stem from. Gotta keep working on this and try to stay positive and I hope one day I will also achieve better balance.
Best of luck in your ongoing progress.
An ekaculation without touching yourself and orgasm? That must have felt strange. Ive never had that myself yet.
Hi longwayhome, thanks for investing the time to post in my journal. You are right that I had a sense of understanding from the beginning that my excessive porn and masturbation use was as a result of disharmony in my life. At the time, when I started this journal, I was a chronic workaholic with virtually no social life, with constant sense that the ground was shrinking from underneath my feet.
Later on when I became sober, I discovered the extent of the self-esteem issues that I have. I have noticed that by chatting with recovering sex addicts in general that it is quite common to find that they have confidence/ self-esteem issues underneath it all. It is a really difficult addiction to break free from so don't be hard on yourself. Even after two years of no porn and masturbation, I am still feeling calls to act out. When I was abroad at the beginning of this week, I had to keep turning my head away from women and provactive advertisements in shop windows. As I walked into a store earlier on today, my mind just wanted me to linger at the site of a topless page 3 girl on the front of a tabloid newspaper. The difference between where I am now and where I was at the beginning is that there is quite a big buffer zone that lies between the thought of acting out and actually going through with it. You still have to be very careful of what I call relapse through the backdoor situations, like procrastinating on the internet and stumbling on triggering scenes in a film.
In my experience, abstinence and working on yourself have to be done simultaneously, otherwise you will find that porn just saps you of motivation and energy to change. Likewise abstinence is not sustainable in a vacuum. You have to undermine the pillars of the addiction and replace the gap that porn has left with something else. I wish you the best of luck with your journey and truly hope that you can find your own way of breaking free. If there is anything I can do to help, just let me know.
It was a bizarre sensation. It happened after I was practising a Taoist microcosmic orbit exercise. I felt a degree of arousal following some triggering images I saw in a book. I didn't allow my eyes to linger on them, but what I saw was enough to make me quite aroused. The idea of the microcosmic orbit exercise is that it is supposed to allow you channel sexual energy throughout the body. I have been experimenting with it as a way to deal with cravings to masturbate and watch porn (I'm not sexually active at the moment). On that particular occasion, I don't think that I was doing it right. For one thing, you are not supposed to practice it when you are so aroused. After about ten minutes of lying in bed, I felt this well of sexual energy in the pelvic region as though the prostate was opening itself up. Then I just ejaculated. It hasn't happened again since and I don't think that it has had a negative impact on my recovery. For a few days I missed that well of sexual energy that is a powerful driving force for action.
Try the 6th Tibetan Rite everytime you feel out of control.
Ive just recently found a Taoist teacher (though he avoids the labels). He does Qi Gong but i hang around him as an excuse to feel his huge amounts of chi and learn principals of life.
If youre doing some sort of deliberate energy building exercises, yes, learning to circulate the sexual energy will make you feel better.
I found i have mine sort of hanging round my belly and balls. I didnt realise you can purposefully send it up to your brain/head. People read it like its theory but I know now its an actual thing.
I haven't the evidence to believe in all the traditional Taoist claims about channelling sexual energy, but I do think from my own experience that it is possible to move sexual energy about in the body and use it as a fuel.
What exercises are you doing to circulate sexual energy? I'm still not sure whether the microcosmic orbit meditation is working for me.
Im not doing any exercises to intentionally channel the sexual energy. Strangely I trust my body to move energy where it needs to be when it needs to be there.
If there is a general build up of energy in lower chakras, generally i get angry or feel emotional pain of some kind. So what I do is focus on the anger and express it; that generally keeps the sexual energy totally in motion.
Intent is a big part in these ideas. If the intent is there while doing an exercise, you can move the energy. Some people can do it purely with their thoughts: Wim Hof is an example of someone who can send pain relief chemicals to his body on demand with just thinking of it.
The 'secret' is this: Suppress nothing in the body, such as emotions or expressions, and counter intuitively the desire to indulge in sex vanishes.
Notice I said indluge in sex. Meaning take more than necessary. I still feel a natural sexual flood in my body all the time. If a woman suggests to me, and I like her, I will ravish her.
6th Tibetan Rite can fall into the class of brearhwork. Breathing deep is enough to move sexual energy. Breathing shallow allows it to get static and motionless.
If you dance, youll nautrally move it as you dance. The constant motion of the body and the steady but increased breathing will do it for you.
Exercise isnt the key to moving sexual energy. Its the intent. Many athletes can be sexaholics and unable to restrain themselves because of their conditioning around tabboo of sex and woman (or men for gays).
Question: Do you have a woman at the moment you romance with? Are you avoiding sexual release of all styles or is it just PMO?
Thank you for this, it makes interesting reading. There seems to be two different schools of thought when it comes to sexual transmutation: that you just have to practice sexual continence or abstinence and the body will find a way naturally to channel the energy. The other one is that you have to have some form of meditation practice to visually circulate this energy.
To answer your question, I'm not in a relationship at the moment and I currently have no sexual release, that includes no PMO or masturbation.
I get the guess youre seeking something beyond merely abstaining from porn and overcoming porn conditioning.
Are you on a quest for immortality?
One thing I have heard several times is you have to be **very careful ** when it comes to playing with these energies if you are sending it up your spine. Thus the need for a teacher of some older yoga to show how balancing these centers in the body is to be done. I have also heard a trap is people try to do it too quickly or when the centers are not "prepped" sufficiently to absorb a big tranfer of energy.
Sadly I have no direct experience in this so cant share any real insights. Youre the master on this one if youve managed to go 2 years without a release.
I am actively pursuing goals. I am also seeking greater happiness. I also am looking to help others when I can.
Are you saying that merely having something other than sex and porn is all we need in order to channel sexual energy into other activities?
I have read of similar stories which is why I am approaching these exercises with caution. I have found on occasion that I can get headaches after practising the microcosmic orbit meditation.
I had a great time abroad with family members. I am going to refrain from going into any detail here for reasons of anonymity. Although I was feeling pretty weak last Sunday evening,I was just about well enough to go and enjoy the break. While I was away, I really enjoyed taking photographs of the city and have taken a great deal of satisfaction from looking through the photo album since. Photography is one of the hobbies that I have been cultivating lately, and its one that I can see myself pursuing further.
Despite the pleasant break away, the week has not been without its challenges. I had lingering social anxiety about spending time with my family, though I attribute most of this due to the bug that was still affecting me at the time. Since coming back home, things have been pretty full on and I had a refresher driving lesson despite getting a flight back in the early hours of Friday morning. I worked the next day. For some reason, I found this highly triggering for my anxiety before hand despite the fact that I have done the same shift many times before. I even had insomnia the night before. The anxiety dissipated though at the beginning of the day and I was able to find a place of surrender. The day turned out fine as it always is and I was pleased with myself for having done a good day's work. I think that I have found the past few weeks more challenging than before Christmas because illness has meant that I haven't had the strength to do many of the things that help create a sense of control and greater confidence within myself. It has been reassuring for me to get back to normality over the last few days by getting on top of outstanding tasks and working once more on projects.
One thing that I didn't mention in my last entry was the decision of my local recovery group to make the switch from SA to SAA. This came about because of the insistence of SA that we follow strictly their definition of sobriety which dictates that marriage should be the only form of relationship that sex should be practised in. So in other words, if you are abstinent from porn but having sex with the girlfriend, you are not sober in the eyes of SA. I believe this to be wrong for a number of reasons. As it turned out, the rest of the group felt the same, so we made the decision to join SAA which allows the individual to choose their own definition of sobriety based on their circumstances. It seems unusual that we were nearly two years as an SA group without this coming up before, yet we were a group founded by a few outsiders with little contact and guidance from the rest of the fellowship in the UK. At my local meeting we always thought that the marriage part of the definition was negotiable since it was only relevant depending on the religious outlook of the individual and their values. Insisting that all members follow this strict definition seems to contradict SA's mission to help people of all backgrounds, in my opinion. This business brought me a lot of stress while I was very unwell, and in my service position I worked hard to draw a neat line under it all before I went away. We have managed to part on good terms with SA while maintaining the unity of our group. This is the best possible outcome of the situation as far as I am concerned.
I joined SA for 8 weeks back then and also found this problematic.
I found many things problematic despite the desire that i wanted to be with the group.
My definition of "higher power" didnt get their agreement. And they said i was still in denial.
You really have to see the world with your own eyes and trust yourelf.
Just out of interest what was your higher power? Mine is the fellowship itself and the wisdom of mankind. It works for me.
Thanks for the reply Freedom from Servitude, I really appreciate it and everything you wrote seems to make a lot of sense to me. On a theoretical level it kind of reassembles the conclusions I've reached as well (from experience) yet on the practical level I am still stumbling and caught up in the cycle of "recovery" and then relapses ; I'm still struggling in implementing these conclusions skillfully enough. Thus, it is good to hear this from someone who has made further progress into stable long term recovery then me. I really liked, in particular, how at the end you wrote about achieving a combination of both the element of abstinence and the element of working on the underlying issues which fuel the addiction. In my case I suspect I have pretty deep self esteem problems which I am still not addressing correctly enough, despite some improvements. Hence, despite good periods, I'm still relapsing when a lot of negative emotions build up over time (frustration, fear, shame, anger, helplessness, etc.). In my darker moments post relapse I've been considering some kind of SA group, indeed, but part of me is scared about doing that. At this point I'm considering discussing my compulsions in therapy which is something I haven't done yet.
Higher power was the future version of me who already achieved what I am (was) seeking to achieve now. The future version of me already perfect in whatever you can define that and is connected to everyone else.
So I had to surrender to this higher power- future me- and the group
There is nothing wrong with that in my opinion. In the fellowship, we say to choose a higher power that works for you. There's no point in picking up someone else's choice if its not working for you.
A key principle of the 12 steps are inclusivity and openness. Occasionally, individuals forget that and try to impose their own beliefs on others and I think that you were an unfortunate victim of that. Since my local group transitioned to SAA, it really has hit home how conservative SA is as a fellowship. Aside from the marriage issue, in my dealings with the fellowship in the UK, the vast majority of the members of this fellowship are Christian. The fellowship is also blind on homosexuality- you are not sober if you are having homosexual sex. SA claims to be open to people of a variety of backgrounds but I think that there is an organisational bias towards a particular right-wing interpretation of Christianity. I wasn't fully aware of all of these points until the intergroup raised them with us. I suppose with hindsight there were warnings before hand that I may have turned a blind eye to for the sake of my sobriety. I currently feel satisfied that we have made the decision to change fellowships and I felt at the meeting last night that we are are more at home being in the SAA fellowship.
I have embarked on an experiment with my sexuality. I used to think that it was possible to go without any sexual release without consequence, but I have come round to the idea that it might be harmful. In my case, I have been single for the past two and half years or so that I have been sober. During that time I cut out MO as well as PMO because it was the most reliable way to stop me looking for porn. While I think this is a temporary measure that is necessary for a lot of recovering sex addicts, its not a long term solution. Of course, the ideal is that we end up having sex with a partner, but that option hasn't been available to me. I think repression of my pent up sexual energy over my sobriety has contributed to the anxiety I feel.
I have noticed from doing yoga on and off for two months that I feel generally more confident and less anxious, after mindfully connecting with my inner sexual energy. It may just be a coincidence but I was i a relatively calm place in the build up to me chairing the TM meeting for the first time ever this week. Usually, that kind of event is enough to keep me anxious for days. Like I said, its a superficial link, but I have also noticed greater level of confidence after doing these exercises when I went to work away shortly after Christmas.
Recently, I have wondered whether this is only going half-way to the full acceptance of my sexuality. I have successfully channelled my sexual energy into many activities but this isn't the same as fully embracing my sexuality and giving it expression. I think that sex is a fundamental human need that needs to be addressed as part of a healthy human psyche. With sex out of the picture, the only way for me to do this is through masturbation.
Before I go into that, I think its relevant to mention the general fear I have around sexuality. A friend of mine introduced me to the term sexual anorexia, and I have been looking into this since. I think it describes me pretty well. I have always had some shame around my sexuality, and another layer of anxiety was added to it by the addiction. My sexuality became associated with danger and self-destruction. Also, since entering sobriety, fear of intimacy has been closely connected with the fear of doing anything sexual that it will undermine my recovery on a physiological level. I haven't done anything to address this, I have repeatedly dismissed any sexual pangs as cravings to act out.
I think that masturbation when done in a healthy and mindful way, without fantasy and porn flashbacks, can be a way of developing self-intimacy, self esteem and overcoming my sexual anorexia. I also wonder whether it could help re-wire the brain to normal sexuality, though, of course, it doesn't compare to sex. I have also been reading about Tantric masturbation and how it can help with emotional healing as well as give a positive and loving expression to sexuality. I have been allowing myself to masturbate in the healthy way I have described for the last few days. I ejaculated pretty quickly the first time round, and manage to stave it off the second time for around 20 minutes before losing control. I definitely have some PE which is not a surprise given a history of chronic porn use and the absence of any sexual release. This will be overcome with time.
I find a conventional orgasm though absolutely draining and I miss having the built up sexual energy around where I can channel into multiple projects. There is a noticeable difference, its not pseudo-scientific nonsense. Eventually, I would like to be able to learn how to have a dry orgasm, which according to traditional Tantra is a way of conserving sexual energy that is wasted in ejaculation.
Online there are few guys about who have been able to make a success of it, so its not something that is a myth. To be able to achieve a dry orgasm, the individual has to have a strong pelvic floor and be willing to practice. After reading a book and several articles, I have decided to masturbate on a daily basis, lovingly caressing myself and ideally avoiding orgasm when possible. At the same time, I will remain aware of whether there is a danger of it becoming addictive and whether it pushes me towards looking at porn. So far, there is no sign of any of this. I have also been practising kegals three times a day to develop my PC muscles to help me control the ejaculation reflex. Ultimately, a dry orgasm is something that can be quite difficult to learn to do. It is an ideal to aim for but its not the main reason why I have started to masturbate. What I want to really do is to demonstrate to myself that I can give expression to my sexuality in a healthy and balanced way without danger. In the process, I hope that this will make me happier. And if it doesn't, I can always just go back to being abstinent. I am confident that I have acquired the level of self control and recovery to choose.
Good luck exploring this Freedom From Servitude. I was in awe that you managed 2+ years without even MO. Personally if I could only MO once a week and nothing more in the context of being single, I would be satisfied with such a result. It never worked though and I suspect, in my case, MO leads back to PMO which leads back to the sex addiction, hence my current counter lol.
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