The Journey continues, the Challenge goes on!


Chances are she'd already suffered through a porn-affected previous lover who couldn't perform and just didn't want to put herself through that again. It can be devastating for women's self-esteem...especially if they've been watching porn themselves.

I other words...seems like she really did like you, but....

This is a good reason NOT to rush into sex.
Journal entry: Part 2 of 2

For me, the whole experience (with the girl from last year) didn't actually do anything to boost my self confidence and esteem with girls insomuch as a girl seeming to like me and wanting to have sex with me; arguably the opposite happened. For me, sex has always been an emotional rollercoaster. In my teens I lied about sleeping with people to avoid looking like the only virgin left. Then when I finally slept with someone for the first time, which was also my first physically-intimate encounter of any sort, this was with my very first girlfriend when I was in my early twenties. She was extremely experienced in the bedroom due to her extensive past relationships, which was something that really intimidated me because of my complete lack of experience. In addition, I found that I suffered from extreme PIED and PE, and I was also in the heights of my PA at that time although I wasn't aware of it [the PA] until the very end of that relationship, a relationship that barely lasted four months. I write in depth about this girlfriend in earlier journal entries but to summarise, it was a bad sexual relationship and not once did we really have sex due to my issues.

Five years later, I had two further one-off sexual encounters with separate girls, encounters which were both humiliating; I was incapable of getting aroused with the first girl, and I got overexcited with the second almost immediately and PE'd even before we got started. Shortly after these two encounters I started the short (three month) relationship with my second (and last) girlfriend and things with my her were a little better but I still suffered with PE. She was also quite dominant in the bedroom, which made me insecure and very self conscious due to my lack of experience. Whenever I had to slow things down to avoid PE'ing, she'd often say things like "Now what?", "What are you doing?" or "Why have you stopped?", which again made me feel really inadequate and did nothing but detrimentally affect my confidence. We perhaps had sex no more than 10 times during the relationship of which I reckon 4-5 were reasonably ok experiences, although if I had to officially rate them they'd be no better than a 3 out of 10. And finally, we arrive at the girl from last year, as discussed in Part 1 of this journal entry, and the terrible sexual experience with her. My entire sexual history can be boiled down to multiple bad, embarrassing and humiliating experiences, and maybe 4-5 distinctly average experiences with my second girlfriend. In my life I've probably had sex no more than 10-12 times, and of that only the 4-5 aforementioned experiences would cross the threshold of actually being considered sex, but only just...

Not only am I not particularly attractive so find it very difficult to attract girls, I am extremely paranoid about sex to the point of being almost afraid of it. At my age women will expect someone who is experienced in the bedroom. They won't want someone who is no better, ability-wise, than someone having sex for the first time in their life, nor will they want someone they need to emotionally support and 'help through' during sex. This all scares me to death and subconsciously I probably avoid 'putting myself out there' regarding dating because I'm terrified of the inevitable disappointment that will occur in the bedroom, which would knock my all-but shattered confidence even more and exacerbate what is arguably a phobia of sex. As such, if I don't look for a relationship, I won't have to have sex so won't have to experience the humiliation of not performing in the bedroom...

@Androg , thanks for the comments, and you may be right. However, I do think that she was a very fickle person who enjoyed the attention and novelty of another guy, and just wanted something extremely casual as far as a relationship was concerned. Our dates, whatsapp messages, and her general demeanour over the few weeks we met up came across as very transactional on her part. In a big city, it can be extremely easy to meet, date, and / or hook-up with lots of people if you have the inclination. I just got the impression this girl fitted into this category, which is perfectly fine. For me, I'd have just preferred a little less ambiguity from her regarding her intentions so I hadn't wasted additional time and effort on her, that's all. Hey ho, you live and learn.


All the more reason to go slowly, so you can weed out the unsuitable partners before making yourself vulnerable.
God dammit, timing out and losing what I’ve drafted!! I’d forgotten about that feature due to not posting regularly for a while. Oh well, being currently unemployed I probably need the extra typing practice… What I’d written concerned something else I remembered about the time last year when I was dating the flaky girl, notably my own behaviour and personality changes. Anyway, second time lucky with this post!

Last year I was still working and was nearing my four year anniversary with my employer. My role was based in London and each day, I commuted to work on the Tube, as I had done ever since I started with my employer back in 2018. My commute was usually around 45 minutes or so, starting about 0630 on the way to work with the return journey often not being until 1900. And regardless of these long hours and me often feeling tired, physically and / or mentally, I would always read. In fact I got through so many books in my first year, which included rereading quite a few too, that I had to buy new ones and so went on a bit of a book-buying spree. In short, I read a lot during my commutes on the Underground.

You may be wondering what reading on the Tube has to do with the girl I was dating. Well when we first started dating, message exchanges were short but regular on her part, and there was a general level of certainty that she wanted to meet up and that she liked me. This positive situation only really lasted about three weeks but during this time, I was still busy reading during my commute. Then after the initial few weeks, the girl’s interest towards meeting up fell away as she never had any availability (for me) nor made counter-suggestions to the dates I offered. i.e. Rather than, “Sorry, I can’t do Tuesday or Wednesday, but I could do Thursday if you were free?”, I would simply receive, “No, can’t do Tuesday or Wednesday”. The change in tone from the girl fuelled a lot of uncertainty within me allowing all my relationship-related insecurities to show themselves. All the usual questions started racing through my mind: Is she genuinely busy? Shall I wait a week to ask again to not look needy? Why isn’t she bothering to tell me when she’s available if my proposals don’t work? Why are her responses so noncommittal and ambiguous?

Once this uncertain period set in, my behaviour dramatically changed. We still continued to exchange messages but they became less and less frequent – more on her part – and I’d find myself checking my phone at every available opportunity to see if she’d read my message and if so, if she’d responded. Whenever there was any delay from her in responding to my messages I’d get all panicky, causing me to check my phone even more regularly. In addition, I stopped reading during my commute. I struggled to concentrate because I was worrying about the situation with the girl, which made me stressed, and the worry and stress manifested itself as mental exhaustion. I felt so tired on the Tube, morning and night, which was very unlike me, and I didn’t open a book for weeks. I've come to realise that how often I read is a pretty good 'litmus' test to judge how calm and at peace I am, mentally.

It’s not that surprising that I have colossal insecurities when it comes to intimate relationships. I had big issues originating from high school that made me avoid wanting to date, with P and PA then exacerbating these issues of my teenage years. I’ve also written at length about the relationships with my first and my second girlfriend, and the brief acquaintances I’ve had with three other people, and the various issues I experienced with all of these. Because of the dearth of intimate relationships during my life, whenever I come across a girl that likes me and we start dating I get fantastically excited, and in the moment I am ineffably happy. However, I’m simultaneously deeply unhappy as I’m in a constant state of panic as I worry about losing the girl I am seeing. These two diametrically opposed emotions wreak havoc with my mind and as it can’t cope, it simply shuts down; perhaps like a car engine would do if you attempted to try driving it forwards and backwards at the same time. Inevitably the unhappiness wins over and I become a shell of my usual self; my confidence falls away, my concentration levels disappear, I can’t sleep, and I lose my appetite. Admittedly, much of this negativity first ‘kicks-in’ after the initial few dates when the ‘new person’ novelty and excitement wears off, and then steadily ramps up when there is the teeniest behavioural change in the girl: ‘she normally responds to messages within a few hours and it’s nearly been a whole day’, or ‘her messages are usually quite long and she’s only sent two short sentences’.

When the worry and uncertainty starts to set in, I then commence on my own emotional rollercoaster. As an example, if the girl has been slow to reply to me, I start to panic and stress out, checking my phone constantly for a response. Then when I do get a notification that girl has replied to me, I experience what can only be described as a wave of euphoria overwhelming my body, and I really calm down. Although I can't comment from experience, I can only imagine that this feeling of bliss that overcomes me once I do get a response is not dissimilar to an addict getting a dose of their preferred narcotic after being made to wait a little too long for a hit. Whichever way you look at it, it's not a very healthy way to be...

In previous journal entries I’ve discussed at length that I probably suffer from some form of Avoidant Personality Disorder (AvPD); no surprise there. I think my brain just isn’t wired to deal with the ambiguity present within an emotional context as it goes haywire at the merest hint of uncertainty from the other party. I yearn for being in a steady and stable romantic relationship as being alone sucks. However, as this will never happen for me I avoid pursuing relationships because I can’t deal with the emotional turmoil. I feel much calmer on my own as I don’t have to second guess someone’s intentions, nor do I need to constantly worry about what they’re thinking or whether they truly like me. I’m in a sort of vicious cycle or Catch-22 situation where I am fed up of being alone, festering in my own personal void of emptiness and dearly craving intimacy, whilst simultaneously fearing relationships because of my insecurities and the emotional nightmare I inevitably enter into when in a relationship.

Today’s journal entry won’t be such a philosophical or existential one like recent ones have been. Instead I just want to touch on recovery and fitness.

Regarding P and recovery, as overall timeframes are concerned it is just over 12 years since I discovered my PA, and maybe as much as 20 years since I began my ‘journey’ with P as a whole. My goodness how time passes in the blink of an eye… In the 12 years I’ve known about my PA, recovery has been a mixed bag and there are so many times when the word ‘recovery’ is no more than a platitude. I’ve had numerous periods of extended and quality sobriety that have lasted for many months, but I haven’t managed anything like this level of recovery for quite a few years now. I’m lucky if I make it a week completely clean without searching for and consuming stimulating material, be it explicit or not. It’s just desperately frustrating, not being able to knowingly exercise self-control.

There’s not much point describing the last few months in any great depth to provide a general summary, on average PMOs have probably been weekly. These have then been followed by a few days of perfect sobriety only for consumption of stimulating material to start creeping ahead of a PMO a few days later. This has been a pretty typical cycle of affairs and one that has been difficult to break. As far as my current situation is concerned, it’s been three weeks since I last PMOd, but less than half of these days have been perfectly clean, the others being a mixture of looking at strongly stimulating material and non-explicit stuff.

Moving on the subject of my fitness, one thing that has been wholly frustrating is the stop-start progress I make with my jogging. I seem incapable of building up any momentum with the latest issue encountered being shin splints. Exercising most definitely boosts my motivation with all other aspects of my life so having to rest (again) due to these shin splints, as per advice online, is driving me crazy. Perhaps the only ‘positive’ to take from my injuries is that they always seem to be something new and different rather than them being recurring ailments that show no sign of improvement.
Today's entry will be a short one. Following the inevitable build-up and unstoppable march towards a PMO, I now currently have six perfectly clean days under my belt. Looking at my PA/recovery tracker, only 53% of this year has been properly monitored, the rest is just completely unknowability. However, whenever I'm not tracking I'm almost certainly not remaining free from P. My tracking in 2022 was atrocious - I only have data for 10 days - with 2021 being only marginally better with 134 day's worth of progress recorded.

This year, the longest duration I have remained perfectly clean is 11 days, which was in January, with a 10-day sober period logged from May into June. For someone who has known about their PA since August/September 2011, my actions over the last few years have left a lot to be desired. I can achieve extended sobriety because I've done if before, just not recently.

After just a few days of being perfectly clean, my sleep quality dramatically improves and I feel much more clear-headed, so why oh why oh why do I still keep allowing myself to consume something that is so inherently unfulfilling... Of course I know the answer but it still doesn't have to make sense!


Respected Member
Keep going @happydude619 - are you not a little bit curious as to how you would feel after, say, 20 days sobriety? Finding out how that feels is, I think, two things: 1) crazy mind fuck, bite knuckles off frustrating, and 2) a little glimpse into the battle that is going to happen between you and your brain.

It’s an opportunity to take charge a bit. The battle lies ahead. You versus your brain. Who’s your money on?