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PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2016 7:28 am 
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Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:07 pm
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Location: UK
Hi Tabby
Quote:
I also caught myself having a very dangerous thought recently. My last session with my therapist was not as powerful as previous ones, and I found myself thinking that she was possibly not that useful anymore, that maybe I was strong enough on my own, that maybe I was "cured".... I soon recognised this as a bad temptation, that I would be a fool to think I was done with all this so soon. I am glad I have enough self-critical thought to catch these bad patterns.


:g: :g: :g: :g: :g:
great well done
as you know the road of recovery is not a smooth run it is also not a short journey
but it seems that you are progressing

_________________
Remember recovery is more than abstinence
Every transition begins with an ending
Do not confuse happiness with seeking pleasure
stay healthy keep safe
Coach Kenzo


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2016 8:10 pm 
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Posts: 41
Thank you for the encouragement, Kenzo.

Here is my first health monitoring (I know I am not supposed to post these here, but I feel it will help me be more diligent about this if I start by posting it here)

1. I feel I drank a bit compulsively last night. This was due to quite a lot of stress caused by having to deal with our puppies. I remained aware of my boundaries and managed to change my drunkenness into a positive (by practising my language skills)

2. I was mainly mature but still felt dependent on my wife's schedule... Difficult not to care about her not caring to see me...

3. Yes

4. Yes!

5. Yes. I completed nearly all my goals yesterday.

6. I had some borderline sexual thoughts a work. I had to pull myself away from them.

7. No. I was too stressed yesterday.

8. No. See above.

9. Not really. Except being slightly exasperated by the dogs and annoyed at my wife for not wanting to see me.

10. I drank a lot, but maintained control.

11. Yes.

12. Yes.

13. Yes.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 2016 8:13 pm 
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Posts: 41
Health Assessment:

Yesterday:
1. No
2. Yes
3. Not really. We spent the day together. But when she was becoming angry at me I did say "time out" rather than trying to keep on picking at things.
4. No. There was a brief fight over cleaning the house, but I think this was just an expression of her built up anger. It passed quite quickly. I think I responded well in the situation.
5. Yesterday was a hungover, post-party day, so not many goals to complete.
6. Not really, although I questioned what I would have done had I encountered some kind of trigger situation.
7. Yes, I appreciated the sun and the air when walking the dogs.
8. Yes, but more out of exhaustion, so not really.
9. I felt some frustration at the cleaning/food argument we had after (what seemed to me) a very nice walk
10. No
11. Yes
12. Yes
13. Yes

Previous couple days (what I remember of note):
1. No.
2. Yes. I feel I consciously tried to be mature.
On the other hand, I did feel needy when my wife was "off" towards me. Need to be still more in control.
3. Yes. I feel I have been respecting her boundaries more lately.
4. Friday morning, my wife didn't respond to my nice messages and when i got home she was "off". I pressed her a bit too much about this and this increased her anger. But we calmed down and talked it over later, which was very good.
5. Yes. Super duper productive!
6. Not notably (maybe just thinking about the slight urges from Wednesday the day after)
7. Not enough.
8. Not enough. (Not notably)
9. Friday morning (see above)
10. Yes. Drank some on Friday and had good talk with my wife, remained in control, and then drank tons at Halloween party, but it was a good drunkenness.
11. Yes.
12. Yes.
13. Yes


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2016 8:53 pm 
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Posts: 41
Health Assessment:
1. Not really, except brief occasions of staring. Problem is I have trouble knowing if I am doing this compulsively or just testing myself.
2. Yes. Only slight slip was feeling angry at my work for changing my schedule without notice. I think I dealt with negative emotions reasonably well.
3. Yes.
4. Yes.
5. Yes.
6. Maybe briefly (see 1.)
7. No. Unfortunately.
8. No.
9. Yes (see 2). I think I dealt with my anger OK.
10. No.
11. Yes. Reasonably sad.
12. Not really.
13. Yes. I gave full, non-erotic kisses without words. I think it is a good non-verbal way of engaging with her.

Lesson 15: what I've learnt so far
I have learnt A LOT from RN as well as my therapy. The biggest core (past) issues I have found are:
- my mother's nurturing secrets by setting up alliances with individual people and playing them against each other. Thus creating a world where the secret reigns.
- throughout my childhood, because of being exposed to sex too closely and too early, I fetishized it and gave sex objects magical powers (especially porn).
- my wife's anger/punishment is a response I never got from my mother, father or sister when I had molested her as a child. I have secretly needed this punishment and recovery for many many years.

In everyday life:
- I have used porn, sex, secret chats, exhibitionism as a quick fix, super-stimulation, an instant high....because of several reasons, such as subconsciously wanting to get caught/punished/recover, the thrill of breaking the rules, having a secret, etc. Knowing this, being aware of these behaviours, I am keeping them under control.
- I have trouble relaxing, truly relaxing without achieving orgasm first. Orgasm had become a pre-sleep tool to relax and help me sleep (even waking up to masturbate at times). I am trying to practice relaxing, and I have not been using orgasm in this way since I stared RN.
- similarly, I have discovered "safe places" - from a time and place before sex made me ugly - and I mentally try to revisit them in order to reconnect with my inner innocence.
- I recognise my wife needs silence and space, and I've been making an effort to ask for "time out" when things are getting out of control.

There is a lot more, but the lesson said "take a minute" so I'm not going to spend hours on this.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2016 8:32 pm 
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Posts: 41
Health Assessment:
1. I ate quite compulsively, but remained aware of my boundaries and managed to keep sex at bay.
2. Yes. I accepted she wanted to spend he day without me. I dealt with this well although it made me sad.
3. Yes.
4. Yes.
5. Yes.
6. Not sure. I felt like I wanted to but was acutely aware of this so prevented them from appearing.
7. Yes. I felt strong compassion towards an old man in line at the supermarket.
8. Not really.
9. No.
10. No.
11. Yes. Kind of blah mostly.
12. Not really. blah.
13. Yes.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2016 9:39 pm 
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Posts: 41
Health Assessment:
1. No.
2. Yes. Despite deep sadness, I contained it and didn't whine to my wife asking for her pity.
3. Yes.
4. Pretty much... We were a little angry at each other when we talked about our future, but it didn't turn into a full-blown fight.
5. Yes, but not as many as I'd have liked to.
6. No.
7. Through memory/nostalgia: yes.
8. Not really.
9. Yes. I felt very deeply sad and regretted the past and thought of suicide. I managed these feeling OK and put my feelings into an art project.
10. No.
11. No. I was very depressed all day.
12. Maybe. I felt good about my art project.
13. Yes, but maybe I also needed her support too much.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2016 9:59 pm 
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Lesson 16: Understanding Addiction (I)

It is understandably difficult for me to think of positive functions of my sexual addiction (if indeed it was an addiction). But here are some ideas:

1) Escape from stress, pressure, responsibility, time.
I have recently felt a bit nostalgic for my compulsive behaviours, and what I miss about them is the comfort I derived from them, the trance-like, almost catatonic state they put me in, in which the outside world didn't matter and neither did my (unhealthy) actions, since they had no immediately visible influence on my real world.

2) Orgasms helped me sleep better and deeper.

3) Excitement/motivation. I would look forward to or give into a pornographic binge with great intensity. It is a feeling that is more difficult to find with real-life activities and goals (which always carry the possibility of failure, whereas with my sex actions, success was guaranteed)

4) Similarly, they provided the illusion of passion.

5) They made me somehow unique and special, by giving me a secret, transgressive world...this somehow gave meaning (however destructive) to my life.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2016 8:25 pm 
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Posts: 41
Health Assessment
1. Not really, although I feel I ate a bit too much in the evening.
2. Yes. Lots of sadness, but I managed to be aware of my state and not act out in too much of a self-pitying way.
3. Yes. I did not see such of her.
4. No. We argued because I tried to bring up our future and she explodes with anger, but we both managed to back down and ended up resolving this.
5. Yes.
6. Slightly, at work, out of boredom. I remained aware, and only let it go on for a couple minutes.
7. Not really.
8. Yes. I actively did try to do this! But I feel I need more practice.
9. Yes, especially during the argument with my wife.
10. No.
11. Quite sad unfortunately.
12. Yes. I started an art project, which made me feel good.
13. Yes.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2016 3:14 am 
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Posts: 41
Health Assessment:
1. No, but I ate two chocolate bars when I should have eaten one.
2. More or less, although it was hard in the car, driving for 4 hours with her crying next to me. I found myself asking her what was wrong too often, so still work to be done there.
3. No. We spent the weekend together.
4. More or less. There were several starts of fights, but I think we both managed to control our feelings, take a break and calm down.
5. N/A since we were away and busy with work.
6. Yes. Unfortunately I found myself staring a bit. Not really thinking of fantasies, but my eyes wandered a bit. I did manage to interrupt this behaviour and draw my gaze away though.
7. Yes. Looking up at the dark sky.
8. Yes. I tried.
9. No.
10. Yes, I drank a lot on Saturday but I feel I was under control, no blackouts, no bad actions. All is well.
11. Yes. Pretty good actually.
12. Yes.
13. Yes. A lot I think.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2016 10:16 pm 
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Posts: 41
Health Assessment:
1. Yes. I feel I ate a bit compulsively, but nothing sexual.
2. Yes. I had my shit together.
3. Yes, but mainly because I was at work.
4. Yes!
5. Too busy. :/
6. Yes, unfortunately, I kept having to correct myself and try and engage my values.
7. Yes. I felt moved by humanity at the vet's last night.
8. Yes, but more out of exhaustion.
9. No.
10. No.
11. Yes.
12. Yes.
13. Yes.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2016 11:16 pm 
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Lesson 17: Understanding Addiction (II)

A particular ritual I wan to explore is my peculiar and complex form of "indirect exhibitionism". This is something that had great potential to excite me and I feel, because of how involved and complex it is, it covers a variety of elements.

What I would do is this:

First, I would spend some time fantasising about specific pornographic images, either some specific image I remembered or a type of image I invented. Eventually, after minutes, sometimes hours or even days, I would seek out the fantasised images. Sometimes this would be a whole ritual in itself, during which I would masturbate, reach orgasm, feel guilt etc etc. Sometimes a couple of images would be enough, but more often than not, I would need to collect quite a lot.

The elements at work in this first imagination/pornography stage were:
FANTASY / ANTICIPATION / SENSORY (porn: visual, masturbation: touch) / ORGASM

All the while, I was imagining the next stage of my plan, which was to go to a convenience store that has a self-service photo printer, or a print shop, or somewhere with a Xerox machine...and print out the preselected images. The selection process would take quite a while (possibly with more masturbation). The shop itself was not random either. This is where the exhibitionism appears. It would ideally have to have a pretty and young clerk working there. I would print the images and make sure the clerk saw them very clearly. I would, for example, lay them on the counter while I paid, or ask to use scissors to cut their borders in front of the clerk.

An important detail: these were not "normal" porn images. These were very shocking, illegal images. My excitement was also very much based on shocking the girl behind the counter.

In this phase, as well as the one that follows, the main elements at work are: DANGER / RISK / SHOCK

This would already give me quite a rush, as I left the store with my pictures.
Sometimes I would only print one or two pictures in one store and then drive around looking to repeat the ritual in other stores. This could also go on for some time (hours even). I think that TIME is a very crucial element in all this, or I guess SUSPENSE and prolonging it.

Phase three in this complex ritual was to then show my freshly printed pornographic images to unsuspecting strangers (again: ideally pretty young girls/women). This could be a simple fleeting glimpse of a picture inside my wallet while I was paying for something at the supermarket, but in its most exciting and well-planned variant, I would go to a lingerie store and tell the clerk I was looking for underwear for either my girlfriend or my daughter. I would find some excuse to show her the images ("I'm not sure it will fit, this is what she looks like") and actually hand them to her to leaf through. Sometimes she would comment on them. I would try and make this moment last by picking out various (usually slutty) items and discussing them with the clerk.
This playing with DANGER, the risk of being caught on camera, branded a pervert, the images seized etc etc... this all gave me a HUGE adrenalin rush. And I guess a feeling of ACCOMPLISHMENT.
I could carry the excitement around with me for hours or days without orgasm, but eventually I would masturbate to the ritual and then the last phase would be that of guilt, disgust and trying to clean everything up, make everything disappear.

And cyclically this would take place every few weeks or months or so.

As outlined above, the main elements at play are definitely: danger, suspense, fantasy, sensory (visual) and my own addition: shock. Because this ritual was so complex, it has so many elements. Not all my rituals contain as many, and sometimes the first phase (looking at porn/fantasising) would be enough.

A particularly dangerous aspect of my addiction is the blending of reality and fantasy. I would present the girls in the pictures as people in my life and also get off on the idea of living such a depraved existence. Blurring the lines. I am happy I am now more firmly grounded in reality.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2016 10:24 am 
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Firstly, I think the last exercise was very dangerous because it made me relive one of my more powerful sexual rituals. Thinking about it, analysing it, remembering it, excited me a lot. I was very close to setting things back in motion and very actively had to stop myself.
Then, last night my wife asked me where I had cheated on her and I answered her honestly. She exploded in a drunken rage and is still furious at me, wants a divorce, even though nothing new has happened, she knew everything already. I think, I hope that she is calming down.. I am trying to be mature and stand by her strong.

Health Assessment (past two days):
1. Yes, I resisted the urge to indulge in my ritual all day and felt very torn. Then last night I drank too much and this made me vulnerable again. I resisted the more serious temptations (porn, masturbation etc) but after my wife got angry at me and kicked me out, I did attempt to write to people because I wanted to talk (I recognise the mood and where it could lead). Also, I am afraid to tell my wife about this slip, because of how angry she gets.
2. Yes.
3. Yes.
4. Yesterday: yes. The day before, she was in a terrible mood, so no. But i tried to deal with it well.
5. Yes.
6. Because of lesson 17: yes, very much so. I was proud I resisted them. And last night, I feel I indulged in fantasy too much.
7. Yes!
8. Yes!
9. No, except for this present upset with my wife
10. Yes, last night. It was ok until the conversation with my wife got emotional.
11. Yes.
12. Yes, especially before yesterday, when I had resisted my urges.
13. Yes.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2016 6:24 am 
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Health Assessment:
1. No.
2. Yes.
3. Yes.
4. Yes, although we were still recovering from our respective slips the night before.
5. Yes.
6. A little, but under control.
7. Not sure.
8. Yes.
9. Yes. I felt disappointed and sad about my shitty self.
10. No.
11. No. Too sad I think.
12. Not really.
13. Yes.

Lesson 18: Understanding Addiction (III)
I do not really want to spend too long describing an remembering my rituals, because of how this made me feel after lesson 17. So I will keep this concise.

Time: time is a very important filter. In most of my rituals, delaying orgasm, building it up, anticipating fulfilled desires, longing....but also losing track of time, being somehow beyond time in the comfort of my ritual... all this was very important, very powerful.

Intensity: I saw how things grew, how they changed, how I tweaked them over time. For example, at first at the pool or at the beach, having a bit of an erection was exhibitionism enough for me, but eventually I learnt that it was much more exciting when I wore wet, white swimming briefs that were virtually see-through. Or the previous ritual, described in lesson 17, where at first it was enough to just print a picture and show it to the clerk, but then that developed into the driving all around town odyssey to find as many opportunities to relive he experience as possible, and finding other opportunities to show off my porn.

Habituation: well, of course the worst example of this is the drama that ended it all: finding myself fucking a stranger a few feet away from my sleeping wife... I think the thrill, the danger, the need for it....just grew and grew and this is where it has led me to. And before this, there are many other examples of situations that got more and more extreme (my brief experience with voyeurism, stalking, the kind of porn I got off on...)
A very dangerous thing indeed....to get used to such things...


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2016 6:50 am 
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A tough weekend, during which my wife seriously brought up the possibility that she may never get over this and that maybe we should divorce - mention of this reduces me to an emotional mess. On the other hand, this was also after we had been to a friend's wedding and she was very very drunk. The wedding, how happy the married couple were, exacerbated her feelings of just how shit our marriage is.... But we recovered to an extent since, and the last two days have been good.
Health Assessment (last few days):
1. Some bored sexual mind drifting at work, also not sure if my intentions are always good...causes self doubt. I interrupt it but it comes back. I have to work on this. Some compulsive eating too.
2. I cried a lot and was an emotional mess on Sunday, but generally I think I have been acting quite maturely.
3. Yes.
4. Yes! Last few days have been pretty good.
5. Yes.
6. Yes, unfortunately a bit at work, but I remain conscious of what is happening and try to control it.
7. Yes.
8. Yes.
9. On Sunday...otherwise: no.
10. No.
11. Yes.
12. Yes.
13. Yes.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 20, 2016 11:44 pm 
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Last few days have been very good. I finally got the chance to really relax with my wife and take it easy, which both of us really needed. Everything is going well. There is only a dream I had two nights ago that is of note:

The dream's main and surprising character is a very pretty blonde girl I used to know over 10 years ago: Natasha. In the dream, I am at a fashion event and I recognize her, despite all the time that has passed. I approach her and say "Do you remember ever meeting me before?" and she says, "Yes, of course. I met you last night". I then tell her that no, I know her from long ago, and doesn't she have a brunette friend? And didn't she go out with my ex-girlfriend's brother once? etc etc. Other parts of the dream included travelling with my wife's grandmother, looking for food, having no money, needing to borrow money, having to leave in a rush with my parents... Not much to note anywhere.
I have no real idea why Natasha should be in my dream, except perhaps this: I first met her and her brunette friend, Marion, the day after a very strange thing happened. I slept on the couch at a friend's flat. There was another girl on the couch. I knew she liked me but nothing happened. From that day on, this girl seemed angry at me. I later (maybe weeks later?) found out that I had made out with her on the couch...but I have no memory of this ever happening. The next day, she saw me with Natasha and Marion - both very beautiful young girls - one on each arm, prancing around like a self-satisfied little prick, very full of myself and my sex appeal. Even now, when I think back to this, I think this must have been a highlight of my single, powerful, confident self... The girl - whose name was Laure - saw me and thought "what a dick". This is what I think is relevant about the dream.
Oh, and also the fact that Marion, years later, became my first lover...while I was with my wife.

Lesson 20: Mastering Your Addiction

My addiction goes way back. In fact it is very difficult for me to remember a time before it, or before sex became so important to me. Even in my earliest, childhood memories, at 4, at 5, I remember secretly playing sexual games with my first friends....and they were exciting because they were secret, because they were naughty. Of course, I also remember a non-sexual me: playing with transformers in the mud, eating the stamens of the white flowers at pre-school, drawing shark-men in my little book... But sex came early.
I think sex was important because my parents were very sexual. I think they exposed me to sex much too early. I do not think they knew what they were doing. They were in love. They showed it. They showed too much. What is certain - and this I remember well - is that my parents valued sex extremely highly. They alluded to it in more-or-less veiled terms: that they enjoyed each other's sex, that before she met my dad, my mum was inexperienced and naive, that they never celebrated their wedding anniversary, only their "special" anniversary (not openly saying what it was an anniversary of....but this was such a loaded phrase...) And then there were the artefacts. Being a curious child, I discovered these, little by little: at first, a few softcore magazines lying in the living room, among the magical objects from my father's travels (drums, masks, voodoo spells, phallic statues...and porn), also some erotic postcards I remember well. I think my parents let me keep one (why?) A kind of holographic image: when you tilted the card the girl was suddenly naked. Later I found photos of my father with naked women, fully erect, fucking. Also with my mum. Hardcore pornography. I also found a video of them fucking. There were books too: "Uncle Tim" about incest and "The strange Lure of Animal Sex" about bestiality. I collected these things. I kept some of them. They were powerful. Magical. Sex was exciting. The naughtiness, the secrecy was exciting. My heart beat fast as I explored, as I saw these forbidden things. And they knew I knew. They would remove the things I had stolen from my drawer. My heart would sink when I realized I had been found out. I dreaded them talking to me about this, punishing me surely....but I guess they did too, so they never did confront me or say anything. Everything stayed as normal, the issue swept under the carpet, ignored. I think this was a first unhinging of my sexual mind: that no one gave me subtitles to understand these doubtlessly traumatizing things that I was much too young to deal with.
I started experimenting with my sister when I was about 11 and she was 7 or 8. Just like with the other things I had done before, these sexual activities were exciting because they were secret, naughty and forbidden. My heart would race as I anticipated my parents going out and leaving me alone with her. And I copied them. I tried to film her, photograph her, make my own homemade porn. My own magical things. And again I was found out. My mother found out. And all she said to me was to stop it. No punishment and no explanation. These things remained inside me, unresolved. And they have come and gone throughout the years since, gradually growing louder and louder.
At first, as a teenager, it was fantasy and pornography. Normal pornography, but maybe only because this was pre-internet. I had some magazines with women spreading their legs. I masturbated a lot. Sometimes many times a day. My bed ended up being streaked with amber coloured stains from wiping my hand on the side of the bed nearest the wall. My fantasies ranged far and wide. I had seemingly few limits. When I first became really sexually active at 16, 17, I started experimenting with my first girlfriend: we tied each other up, blindfolded each other, I came in her mouth, I asked her to piss on me... things I think are abnormal for one's first sexual experiences...but I had these models to live up to already...
Sex was good. Sex was very good. A strange coincidence is that sex was still very naughty, because my first girlfriend had strict parents who forbade she lose her virginity before she turned 18... Sounds strange...but I wonder if this yet another breaking of the rules also turned me on....the lure of the forbidden... We had sex outdoors. We had sex in school. I loved her. The sex was not just fucking. It was romantic and full of love, but I think there was too much focus on sex. I think we were both using sex to escape the stress and frustration of our lives (for her: the over-bearing parents and high expectations they had of her; for me: the issues I have always had with my parents etc). I think there was less pornography during this phase of my life.
My parents' turning a blind eye continued: my parents allowed me to keep pornographic magazines in my room as long as the cleaning lady didn't see them ("because we could get into trouble if she tells anyone"), they could most probably hear me and my girlfriend having sex in my room and this made them feel uncomfortable, but they only ever alluded to it and it was always because of someone else ("not when your sister is home"), and once I was on a sex phone line listening to a woman describing her pissing in my mouth...when one of my parents picked up the other phone and heard my conversation... I got briefly scolded for wasting money on the phone, but I don't think they asked me to pay them back, and still no one ever sat down and had a frank talk about sex with me.
I thought this over-valuing of sex was normal. My parents were so very sexual, you see... And also, my mother operates by creating secrets. She has secrets with me against my dad, secrets with my dad against me,...so many alliances of people against people... and each alliance has its secrets (don't tell him, but...) ever since I was a kid. They also over-sexualized other people: they had a nude photo of my sister that they would show people and say "isn't she pretty? isn't she feminine?" but the photo was actually very voyeuristic, taken while she was sleeping, not innocent at all (and they still have it and still display it...which makes me very angry). My dad would comment on my sister's friends, who were only 10 or 12: "I would get with that one if I were you"... Also, my parents would both allude more or less openly to my dad's history of womanizing and seeing prostitutes. It was naughty, my mother would object to it as not being polite conversation, but she got off on it anyway...her husband, this bad boy, this sex god, whom she had tamed, who had liberated her sex....
Some of my fantasies, even at a very young age, involved power, involved buying women, objectifying them. I dreamt of going to one of my first dances, aged 11 or 12, with a briefcase full of money (Hollywood style) and the girls I wanted would do anything for money... But one of my earliest fantasies was also about being tied up and used...so it seems my tastes were already very diverse.
I was generally full of contradictions: when I was about 15, I became very straight edge, pure, romantic. I was disgusted by my friends' drinking, sex games, smoking... But then, after judging them from my high-minded self-righteous mountaintop, I myself then tried to lose my virginity with a prostitute in Athens, Greece, and only failed to go through with it, because someone cheated me out of some money and I ended up not having enough...but I was THIS close, she was already leading me through the beaded curtain back door of the bar...
It was soon after this that I started going out with my first girlfriend.
After we broke up, when I left for college, this is when pornography came back I think...but slowly slowly at first. I discovered internet porn and chat rooms. 15 years ago it was still easy to find semi-legal "Lolita" websites, and this is what I really got into. I also started talking to younger girls online (I was 20, they were 13, 14, 15). But this is in the days of slow connections, so there were never that many photos, let alone videos, and I was a beginner, so everything remained softcore... But I think I was already starting to lie to myself, separate reality from fantasy. Living alone in Paris gave me new sexual opportunities. I went to sex shops and rented sex cabins, looked through hundreds of videos, hoping to find something extreme...always more extreme (animals, piss, etc etc). And the same eventually happened with the internet (where the opportunities are boundless). I was often torn however. For example, I did manage to take a younger girl back to my place at that time. She wanted to lose her virginity and I was supposed to "help her" - but when the time came, although she wanted it, I couldn't do it... I couldn't fully step over from fantasy to reality. So we made out. I came. But no actual penetration (although I later fantasised I would have done it, could I have gone back). I think I also started collecting internet porn. Collecting was so very important. Reproducing my father's magical collection... And I did end up seeing prostitutes. Several times. The experience was always a let down, but the anticipation of it and the relived fantasy of it afterwards were exciting.
I was often on the edge. I tried to share parts of my fantasy world with friends and/or girlfriends, but safeguarding at least part of my secret was always important. I could not open up 100%. It seems like I needed the secret life in order to function. Porn, searching for porn in the darker corners of the internet, masturbation, these became ways for me to escape and take intense pleasure in my solitude.
It is difficult for me to describe, explain or even really remember how I operated before... The very act of openly talking about what went on in my secret world would be completely alien to the person I was. Impossible. This separation seemed completely normal to me I think. I just didn't realize...
All the while, I would sometimes leave traces of my activities: hardcore porn on my mum's desktop...but as always they just swept it under the carpet. I tried writing her an email once, but she never replied.
And then, slowly but surely, things started getting out of control. With time, my tastes became darker and darker, and my actions became more and more risky. Alcohol also precipitated certain extreme behaviours. I found myself following women and girls. Peeping in windows. Arranging to meet strangers for sex. Posting homemade porn online... I became more and more exhibitionistic too, sharing images on Facebook. Getting a kick out of people seeing some of the worst kinds of porn I was into... I got banned from social media networks several times, my word crumbled, but then I rebuilt it and started again...
I also tried fighting my addiction. I would stop. Delete all the porn I had collected. Swear I would never do it again. These good resolutions would last weeks, months maybe...but then I would relapse, and since no one was holding me to account, I could say it was no big deal and keep doing this. I think a lot of my exhibitionism was specifically designed because I subconsciously wanted, needed to be caught and punished. Because I never was as a child. And now this has happened, I am recovering. This needed to happen. I needed to be caught and punished, in order to finally understand what I have been doing and start to heal - this should have happened when I was a kid.
Porn, masturbation, collecting images and videos online, etc... the thought of these behaviours is strangely comforting. Not even erotically exciting, just comforting: like curling up with a warm blanket and some hot chocolate... In some of these sexually compulsive states I attain a sort of coma, a silence, a place where the outside world doesn't matter at all. It is a perfect escape, and the orgasm also guarantees pleasure (until the guilt and shame cancel that out and I need to clean up).
I am an optimistic person. I have never really worried about the future. I always thought this was a good thing, that I had a healthy view of myself and of what awaited me. My friends envied me this lack of worries about life. Now I wonder if I was not anxious about the future, because I had this behaviour to escape to, because I could not really see the future due to this lingering issue...

When I imagine some future difficulties in life, I obviously hope I will not use my sexual compulsions to deal with them. Right now, I can imagine this to be a temptation. However, since I have already destroyed the secret nature of this fantasy world, I also feel like it has lost some of its potency. Drawn out of the shadows it looks much lamer, meeker, easier to confront and keep under control. My only major worry is that if my wife decides to leave (and she might; she has been mentioning it more and more) I might use my sexual compulsions, not just as a coping mechanism for dealing with loneliness and sadness etc, but also as a form of reward: "I tried, she left anyway, might as well give in to all these pleasurable things that I've been keeping away from myself". Hopefully however I have more self-awareness than that.


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