Stopping the Spiral

Discussion in 'Ages 30-39' started by 7maw4, Mar 8, 2012.

  1. 7maw4

    7maw4 New Member

    I'm 35 years old, married, love my wife, and found my way here because our sex life is flatlining.

    I've been using porn since finding during the dial-up AOL days, and got into video with the rise of file-sharing services in the early 2000s. Probably masturbated at least daily from age 12/13-mid-20s (with internet porn since I got to college at 19). Masturbate a few times a week since my mid-20s. I've always been insecure about my abilities and would occasionally have a little performance anxiety as a result. Fantasies and masturbation have been a huge source of comfort.

    My wife and I met about 10 years ago, when video porn was becoming more prevalent; I'd probably been increasing my PMO as a result. The first few times we were together, I could get it up when we were fooling around, but when the condom came out, I'd deflate before I could get it on and penetrate. Viagra fixed that - and once I was more comfortable with her I didn't need it any more. I continued regular PMO during our relationship, though less frequently than when single. Generally no ED, but I did have lingering minor issues staying fully hard that I chalked up to residual nerves stemming from my initial performance anxiety.

    A few years ago, my PMO frequency really increased, starting to displace sex, which is now averaging less than 1x/month. The strength of my erections with her was also declining, and I generally needed to fantasize to climax. I (internally) blamed it on her: she wasn't enthusiastic enough/I hated being the one to initiate, etc. This is of course bs, but I believed it for a long time.

    We are also extremely stressed and busy professionals, so sex has generally taken a back seat to work and sleep. Easier just for me to crank one out than to set up a romantic/sexual interlude for the rare times when both of us are alert/energetic enough. I started looking forward to my private sessions more than time with her, though she is just as beautiful as when we met. Other than that, I have no complaints about our marriage.

    A couple of months ago, I woke up before my wife, and, as per my habit, browsed porn sites and (a recent addition to the repertoire) escort ads while I played with myself. [Note: I've never hired an escort, and don't actually want to, but it's now a recurring fantasy.] I was horny, and thought it'd be great to have sex with her; we're both still in shape and attractive, after all! She wasn't enthusiastic, and I lost my erection. She said she's just not having sexual feelings at all these days, and I didn't press her further. More time for me to jack off - hooray?

    I was silently angry at her - why couldn't she fake enthusiasm! I blamed her for my preferring porn over sex (sad but true)! If she didn't even want it, why bother? Might as well jettison my morals and have an affair/hire an escort! My M material escalated rapidly - from "vanilla" straight porn to tranny/bi stuff even though I'm straight. I read the craigslist m4m ads and fantasized about someone who desperately wanted to go down on me (my wife's never really liked it): HOCD happened.

    I then abstained for 7 days straight for no particular reason - maybe I was weirding myself out. During that time, I noticed that I had no real libido/no spontaneous erections. But then I had a real binge a few nights ago while she was out of town. A visit to a peep show club (never done that before) followed by home viewing of absolutely bizarre videos I've never even considered remotely sexy. And I began cruising escort/stripper discussion sites to plan/fantasize about real-life activities to schedule for her next business trip. Somehow, I also found my way to YBOP. Thank God.

    I feel like I got here just in time to stop myself from irrevocably screwing up my life with sex/porn addiction. I've now gone another 3 days without PMO and am having a little nausea/shortness of breath here and there (which I relieve by taking walks around my office). Definitely feeling a little "shrinkage" down below too. Haven't confessed everything to my wife, but I'm working up to that. I do think our relationship will ultimately be okay, but it's up to me to make it that way.

    Last time I abstained for a week was in 2009, when we were on a vacation with family. By the end of the week I was getting hard when the wind blew and my wife and I were having great sex. This last week off had no such reward. I think the bad neurological patterns have been established in those two years.

    However, I now know that this is a medical/addiction issue and understand exactly why it's so important not to look at porn, fantasize, or touch myself. I don't feel tempted by P right now, despite the withdrawal symptoms, so I'm hoping it will be okay.

    Much gratitude to YBOP and the founders of this board: without you, I'm pretty sure my future would resemble the movie "Shame." And thanks to everyone who's shared their stories - it means a lot to know I'm not the only one.
  2. Psychosis

    Psychosis Guest

    Yes, you've pretty much got the classic storyline as far as the development of the problem is concerned. If you're really living a stressful life, I would say you're going to need to find some sort of hobby/activity to engage in for relaxation, since that role was probably filled by porn hitherto.

    But here's the problem: nothign you really find to do is going to give you the same dopamine rush as porn did (especially if E.D. is ruining your sex life. Welcome to the club, by the way.), unless you want to take up intravenous drug use. I'd recommend working out, or some type of exercise. That's what I do at least.

    The good side of your case is that you have a spouse whom you care about, so you really have a strong reason for changing. As for confessing everythign to her, I'm not sure how I feel about that. There are probably other members here that can chime in on that.

    Anyway, welcome to the forum. I'll look forward to reading your progress.
  3. 7maw4

    7maw4 New Member

    Thanks. Having this outlet and support means a lot. I can already feel the tightness in my chest loosening.

    I'm not sure what to do about the confession issue - I'm right now just going to go cold turkey and see where that leads me in the next week or two. I'm definitely not rushing in to anything that potentially destabilizing. I probably wouldn't be here if it werent for my feelings for her - I'd just be escalating my addiction - and preserving our relationship is the most important thing I can do.

    I used to exercise a lot and am working on identifying what triggers me to go JO so that I can instead make my new routine to do 10 pull ups/sit ups/push ups or something like that when I get the craving. Reading paper books instead of on a tablet should help avoid temptation too.
  4. Paulier

    Paulier New Member

    I felt the same way as you when I found YBOP - it was a real lighbulb moment+++ and from then on I could actually visualise a different future from the one I was mapping out. I regularly fantasised about escorts, but having paid for sex a few times before I was married, i know that the fantasy comes nowhere near the reality. And the guilt for me would be overwhelming if I went to a hooker now. I've got a daughter and have started to think about all the girls in the sex industry as real people with real feelings who are selling their souls - would I want that to happen to my precious girl???

    I think you should hold off from telling your wife for now. It sounds to me like you have a real opportunity to regain what you had with her. It may be that at some point you could tell her the 'bare bones' of the story, but I think the detail is very difficult for a non-addict to understand. Some of the porn I've jacked off to is just amazingly disgusting and abusive and I know I'm not a disgusting and abusive man - I'm just an addict. But from a non-addict perspective it doesn't look good - imagine if the 'evidence' was presented to a court?!

    Remember you're not giving up something which is good for you - you're giving up poison and slavery, and who wouldn't want to be free from that?

    Keep on keeping on, 'til the fight is won!
  5. Psychosis

    Psychosis Guest

    I'm going to have to agree with the spirit of Paulier's post, especially as regards seeing this as giving up somethign unpleasant. Doing some exercise when you get the urge could be helpful, I haven't exactly tried that. Basically, when I get an urge (and they've really been sucking in the last few days), I just take a deep breath, and try to think about some of the guys on here who've made it a long way (I think one guy is on day 96, or something ridiculous like that). At some point in the process, it's going to be much easier to avoid slipping back into it.
  6. 7maw4

    7maw4 New Member

    The exercise thing is based on a ny times article from a couple of weeks ago. The author helped himself to stop snacking and lose weight by monitoring what he was doing when he'd get food cravings and then consciously replacing his routine of trips to the snack machine with socializing/walking around his office. If I can train myself to do a quick set of pull ups instead of PMO when I'm bored, I'll be better off in a lot of ways!

    Had a restless night last night, with a 80% erection due to some idle fantasizing and a little stimulation, which I cut out when I realized I was playing with myself. Nice to see some life down there, though I know there's a long way to go.
  7. 7maw4

    7maw4 New Member

    Had sex for the second time this year last night - and the plumbing worked better than ever. Not saying I'm out of the woods, but it was great to feel like I'm making progress and to be able to focus on the sensations rather than fantasizing about scenes just to keep things going. Had not done pmo for the previous six days.

    Urges are extremely strong today - good thing my office door is see through as it means I'm not able to take matters into my own hands!

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