How Shall We Escape?

Thank you, Escape.

Yes, it's very difficult if you do have a lengthy streak going, and then lapse. It's possible to bounce right back, but usually a struggle. There's reasons for this, but I won't trouble you.

Exactly, focus and not negotiate with the beast-brain is how we stay on track. And you, for this 40 days and beyond, you're learning powerful methods and tools to stay vigilant and clear of these ungodly habits. We can do this!
It's definitely harder to replicate the streak once you relapse. I've seen it happen too many times (with me and others, I've never had the same longer streak back to back). I'm not sure exactly when my best streak happened (25 days) but it took me more than a month, maybe 2 months to get back to 25 (fortunately, I've surpassed that). I think the more you go without porn, the easier it gets to say no. But one wrong step can always mess everything up, that's why we can't lose the focus, we can't get relaxed now thinking it's over. This shit is not over.
 
Day: 40

This is 4/9 toward my current abstinence challenge of 90 days.

This is also 1 month and 10 days into this recovery effort, building on previous streaks (139, 19, 53 [19, 35], 2, 14).

Today I hit my mini-goal of 40 days without P, PMO, MO, with no episodes of p-subs or edging.

I have only 5 more mini-goals to hit before reaching 90 days!

How do I feel?

I am feeling okay. I've been getting thoughts about using P, but I recognize them as the lower brain (limbic system) wanting its dopamine hits. I've also been feeling low libido, and am not sure why. It may be attributable to performance anxieity that my wife and I worked through the last time we made love, which is perhaps over 10 days ago. Sometimes I lie in bed, and I want to feel an erection, and I know I could if I encouraged it- but, I don't want to encourage it in a way that would compromise my current recovery efforts. I think it's a matter of time, when my wife and I have sex again, that I'll be ready to go. I don't think it's any kind of flatline, as I haven't had to deal with those issues, nor do I have PIED.

I'm not obsessive. I'm not white-knuckling, as my approach typically is not dependent entirely on will-power. I'm staying true to habit changes I've put in place, including a positive regular reading of my Focus Checklist, whether in whole or in a targeted way.

I'm almost half-way through my 90 day abstinent challenge, and I plan to celebrate that, too. Every little success deserves a celebration in this mother of a fight!

Deeper issues and concerns?

Making love to my wife is important for many reasons in the relationship, and we haven't for 2 weeks or more. This is a regular (or irregular) pattern for us, whereas I'd like sex to be about every week, at least. Last time was with performance anxiety on my part, as mentioned above.

I'll be possibly out of town when day 50 comes around, on our 27th wedding anniversary. So, I may post about it after the fact? We'll see.

The daughter began to project on me last week, and I didn't recognize it as such right away, and the episodes made me feel very angry and sad, until I saw what was going on. But she's better toward me now. At the time, that was a powerful emotional cue, but I sought to handle it mindfully, and not let it affect me as it did back in May.

I'm certainly in a better place, have traction, and intend to go the whole distance of this abstinence challenge. My concern would be, what if I feel nostalgia toward P, or have P-memories, or wish to revisit a video from the past? This happened last time toward the completion of my last abstinence challenge (of 120 days). But during that time, beginning in February, there was certain things on Youtube, innocent in themselves, but could be used in nefarious ways, that I think struck a deep cord in me while I was asleep, and that this, along with the P-nostalgia, led to my eventual P-use back on March 25th. So, my question to myself is this:

How can anyone say 'NO' to such pleasure??

But I have to ask again,

> Is the person who uses porn someone that my wife and daughter can be proud of?

> Am I willing to further damage my brain, its reward system, and hence real-world sexuality and pleasure for a quick rush?

> Do I want to miss out on the possibility of using my gifts and talents to help others, and fulfill the God-given destiny that I have?

> Don't I want to be an authentic version of myself that I can feel proud of, and without being a fraud?

> Don't I want to feel clean, pure and good about myself?

> Having a clean conscience, don't I wish to live life in freedom from this, and enjoy all the opportunities that will come my way?

> After all these years, don't I want to finally be done with this thing? Can I truly anticipate a life without P, PMO, and MO?

Again, it's imperative to utilize AVRT (Addictive Voice Recognition Technique) and see any thoughts on future P-use as lower brain activity, even what we may call the 'beast-brain', and not give it what it wants...
Congrats on 4
It's definitely harder to replicate the streak once you relapse. I've seen it happen too many times (with me and others, I've never had the same longer streak back to back). I'm not sure exactly when my best streak happened (25 days) but it took me more than a month, maybe 2 months to get back to 25 (fortunately, I've surpassed that). I think the more you go without porn, the easier it gets to say no. But one wrong step can always mess everything up, that's why we can't lose the focus, we can't get relaxed now thinking it's over. This shit is not over.
You are so true about once you relapse its harder to get back on track. In April I did a 20 day streak of no pmo and relapsed since then i have been going in circles only reaching a maximum of 7 days without another relapse. I feel I am finally ready to break this cycle and I want to take this all the way this time. Today is day 3 and I am driven to make it. It's time to get my life back and be the person I want to be
 

Phineas 808

Respected Member
It's definitely harder to replicate the streak once you relapse. I've seen it happen too many times (with me and others, I've never had the same longer streak back to back). I'm not sure exactly when my best streak happened (25 days) but it took me more than a month, maybe 2 months to get back to 25 (fortunately, I've surpassed that). I think the more you go without porn, the easier it gets to say no. But one wrong step can always mess everything up, that's why we can't lose the focus, we can't get relaxed now thinking it's over. This shit is not over.

We have to be very careful with what's called The Abstinence Violation Effect (or AVE), which views our recovery efforts as a 'black-and-white' scenario, that if you lapse, you "mess everything up" as you put it.

Sure, if you have a lapse, you will make it difficult to not repeat the bad behavior (and hence re-lapse). But in our predicament, lapses are almost (not necessarily) inevitable. Rarely is our efforts a straight line or linear toward overcoming our addictions or habits. It's even smart to plan for the possibility of a lapse, in the event it occurs.

Of course it's a paradox, like, in the porn is not an option mentality, which is what we want to have, to 'plan' for this possibility, but what happens when we don't, and we fall, it's almost unbearable to look ourselves in the face- or to bear the criticisms from others, like, "Oh, he was doing so well, and he sure had advice for everyone else, now look at him!"

One can look at my own zig-zag success, and judge, "...he must not be that committed", etc... (as an example), but for me, my up-and-down struggle is not a surprise. I see the bigger picture for myself, I know certain behaviors that are just no longer a part of my story- that I quit over the years, and I know that the longer streaks have definitely helped change these habits for me. To your point, Escape, about it getting easier to say 'No' is so true. For me, even though I'm coming out of a scary place of short streaks following my long one, I knew it was a matter of time before I regained control. This helped me to be patient with myself.

One has to view the bigger picture of their recovery efforts, whether you started a week ago, and keep falling, or decades ago like myself. The point is, never ever give up. Yes, challenge yourself, check your resolve, check your plan and methods, but always be compassionate with yourself. In the end, if you're not in your own corner, no one else will be.

We should plan and aim for this shite to be over, but we must be patient and appreciate the process. It could theoretically be over in 3-4 months time, but for those of us with emotional and traumatic issues fueling it, longer term inner healing has to compliment and support our habit change.
 
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We have to be very careful with what's called The Abstinence Violation Effect (or AVE), which views our recovery efforts as a 'black-and-white' scenario, that if you lapse, you "mess everything up" as you put it.

Sure, if you have a lapse, you will make it difficult to not repeat the bad behavior (and hence re-lapse). But in our predicament, lapses are almost (not necessarily) inevitable. Rarely is our efforts a straight line or linear toward overcoming our addictions or habits. It's even smart to plan for the possibility of a lapse, in the event it occurs.

Of course it's a paradox, like, in the porn is not an option mentality, which is what we want to have, to 'plan' for this possibility, but what happens when we don't, and we fall, it's almost unbearable to look ourselves in the face- or to bear the criticisms from others, like, "Oh, he was doing so well, and he sure had advice for everyone else, now look at him!"

One can look at my own zig-zag success, and judge, "...he must not be that committed", etc... (as an example), but for me, my up-and-down struggle is not a surprise. I see the bigger picture for myself, I know certain behaviors that are just no longer a part of my story- that I quit over the years, and I know that the longer streaks have definitely helped change these habits for me. To your point, Escape, about it getting easier to say 'No' is so true. For me, even though I'm coming out of a scary place of short streaks following my long one, I knew it was a matter of time before I regained control. This helped me to be patient with myself.

One has to view the bigger picture of their recovery efforts, whether you started a week ago, and keep falling, or decades ago like myself. The point is, never ever give up. Yes, challenge yourself, check your resolve, check your plan and methods, but always be compassionate with yourself. In the end, if you're not in your own corner, no one else will be.

We should plan and aim for this shite to be over, but we must be patient and appreciate the process. It could theoretically be over in 3-4 months time, but for those of us with emotional and traumatic issues fueling it, longer term inner healing has to compliment and support our habit change.
Okay, I understand what you mean.
 

guitar1968

Active Member
You really do have a way of making me feel better Phineas. Yes, this is indeed a zig zag process and lapses will happen, bad choices will be made, but we do have to learn to forgive ourselves and learn to keep moving forward. Every day that we don't use porn is a success. We don't go back to square one when we make a mistake. We keep moving forward.

Thanks for your help during my time here. It has helped tremendously. I never think of anyone on here who is helping and offering advice to be disingenuous if they have a lapse. They are here struggling like the rest of us, but also here to help. We are here to support each other. That is why being honest here is so crucial. There is no need to lie to anyone here. Honesty will set us free from the shame and from all the hiding we have to do in real life. I'm so glad I found this forum. I have never been this honest with anyone about any of this. Of course the anonymity helps a lot with that. I don' t know think I could have gotten this far by just counting days on my own. I tell my story here. I talk about what's bothering me and what I'm struggling with. The last few times I tried to quit I had no one to help me. Now I have a large family of people, all working towards the same goal.
 

Phineas 808

Respected Member
Definitely, Guitar! What do they say? 'I don't make mistakes, I learn'- or something like that. Yes, we started a process, and are going forward with it and will learn (hopefully sooner than later) from our mistakes, and improve our process, and sharpen our resolve.

Yeah, I don't think anyone's doing that either, hopefully. I think that sometimes when I'm vulnerable in my own struggles. But I know when to be more silent... Helping others, though, has been helping me as well.

I appreciate your honest posts, and it encourages the same from me. We all are definitely after the same goals here, though our Why's and Ways may be different.
 

Phineas 808

Respected Member
Today is the 18 year anniversary from when I used to visit porno-book stores (6x), and go to their video booth section to PMO. On that night, July 17, 2003, I thought I was so clever.

I was with my wife and her family listening to music band playing at the zoo. When were done, we were in separate cars and I thought I could make a quick diversion to a porno-book store, and get one off real quick, and beat them home.

I did the deed, but didn't beat them home, and my wife asked quizzically, "How is it that you just now got here??" And, laden with guilt, I confessed to her that I had been visiting porno-book stores for a while now...

She was, needless to say, devastated! We had a 6 month old daughter, we were soon to go on vacation to Texas to celebrate our 9 year wedding anniversary... It was hell. First, the look of pain on her face, the crying, the fighting, the throwing things about the house, police being called, ugly stuff...!

Usually, during this anniversary of sorts, I'm struggling in some sense, and can't really celebrate it..., but this time I'm enjoying a streak on my way to a true abstinence and healing, and so now I can. Only one other time since had I gone to a porno-book store briefly (didn't PMO). Since that time, in 18 years, I've never stepped foot in one again.

It's perhaps a small victory, knowing all this crap is accessible in our phones, but it was a behavioral addiction that I had stopped and changed, a preview toward quitting the ugliness that is P/MO.

And though my battles are more private nowadays, I'm always motivated toward change by how my wife was hurt and affected by my secretive behaviors, and never wish to see that look on her face again.

P.S. Today, after writing the above, not once but twice, my wife unknowingly drove passed the 'favorite' porno-book store I frequented the most!
 
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Phineas 808

Respected Member
Day 45 !

This is halfway toward my current abstinence challenge of 90 days.

It's true I've been here before, many times even. I've hit lengthy streaks, even outside of RN, going for almost a year (300+ days) without visiting a P-website between March of 2019 and March of 2020. I've hit streaks of 116 days (2x), and rejoining RN in November of 2020, I hit 139 days!

So what is it? Why do this? Well, given to my own devices, I would probably have lost myself to PMO, and have lost my family and myself to this addiction. Either I would have outrightly lost everything, or would have quietly and secretly poisoned myself until I would be an empty shell of the real me...

This is a decades old battle, rooted in much pain and hurt. One can read my 'page 1' to get an idea. But this is not an excuse or a 'woe is me' type of post. On the contrary. I understand that despite my personal trauma and upbringing, I made a series of decisions, before and after becoming a Christian, that put me in this addiction. I also understand that, in the same way I walked into this (via a series of decisions), I'll also have to walk back out.

We are dealing with something akin to heroine addiction. This is the neurochemical reality with which one is faced.

And yet there is much hope, because of the science of habit change, one can veritably end their addiction within 3 to 4 months. But our actions and particularly our non-actions, need to be consistent and unwavering. There's good news first and foremost in my Faith, as by God's grace I have not been given over to this addiction, I've not wholly lost myself. Each time I've lapsed- and even if I lapse in the future- I'm forgiven and made righteous by Him as a free gift. I'm hopeful, also in the tactics of mindfulness, which ironically has its roots in Buddhism, but is cutting edge in today's psychology and behavioral change therapies.

The point is, the more lengthier streaks one can string together, the more they disrupt their (perhaps lifelong) habits, change their habits and overcome them.

I'm very happy with where I'm at now in my fight for a new life, and a new me. I know myself, and what the fight entails. But as each goal is accomplished and surpassed, I have another opportunity to walk away from these behaviors permanently. Even as there's other things I used to do that I don't do any more (e.g., obsess about prostitutes, and visit porno-book stores), so too, P/MO will be in the dustbin of my personal history.
 
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Great, man! You've found the way to reach longer streaks. I understand what you mean, once you get longer streaks, you show yourself that it's possible. Not long ago, having a streak this long looked impossible for me. Because I had never reached one. But, not in a distant future from that, I saw that I could go past my (what I believed to be) limits and that I could always go further than that. At first I wanted to beat my 25 days streak but now that looks far behind. I'm almost twice that. With you, it's even better because you have far longer streaks than this. And the truth is, this rebooting doesn't kill so if we don't die because of it, what else is to be scared about? Of course, the urges are fuckin annoying but it's not supposed to be smooth sailing, not after being a hardcore addict for most of my life. It's like, I can't even imagine last time when I was not involved in porn in some way, be it even masturbating to flashbacks of things I'd seen in movies (that was my lowest "dose" of the drug, before it escalated to every day video binges. It's crazy how back then that was enough and now...).

You mentioned heroin addiction. I've said this before, this porn addiction has always felt to me like a mix of meth and heroin. It's like, once I start edging to porn, I feel super euphoric like meth and then after I finish, it feels like that relaxing feeling that people describe with heroin. Of course, this is from what people are saying, I've never tried those. But what I'm obsessed about the most is the edging, that fuckin feeling has eaten years of my life.
 

Caravan7

Member
Guys, I related to what you are saying 1000%! Absolutely, reading this forum has convinced me that the addiction is just exactly LIKE any other, the urge and compulsion are the same. This realization makes me so much more committed and empowered: I tell myself when the urge comes "you fucker, I'm gonna starve you to death, damn dopamine fix, I am stronger than you"

And Phineas you are so insightful in anything you write (we've chatted in another post): the combination of commitment, behavior change science and mindfulness (plus exercise, sleep, good nutrition) MUST succeed. Just this morning I had such a strong urge to MO after seeing a young female gymnast (I was on YouTube for music, but those damn thumbnails can start even if you don't search for them). I used the "acceptance and willingness" techniques: I let the urge pervade me, I said to myself "of course it would be fun to imagine her, young and fit, evolution and conditioning are strong in me, big deal! Duh, no brainer." But she is not relevant to my life, I don't know her. I went about my business with the urge (or "aura" as I call it) all about me. Did not cave. It's just dopamine. And quite simply, to masturbate, your hand has to travel south. But who commands the muscles in your body? You. I look at my hand and say: I decide where you go. You are going to say here by my side. I played guitar. Don't discount the power of music: better kind of dopamine.
Talked to family on Skype. Now I'm writing here.

We are all going to win, folks. We are stronger. If people recover from heroin and alcohol, we can recover from whatever we want, and we will. I have faith in myself and everybody.

Peace and love
C7
 

Phineas 808

Respected Member
@ Escape ~

Thanks, brother. When we're in the midst of our addiction, our will-power is almost nil, because we're so conditioned to caving in to the cravings. Of course the idea in a streak is for it to 'be the one', and go on until PMO is no longer a possibility and we can say we're free. But each attempt, each streak, no matter how long (though the longer the better), teaches us that we don't need this anymore, we don't need to depend on it to offset the stress and pain of life. One day, given enough time away from responding to the urges, we find that we're free.

And a lot of it is mental, like you mentioned, before going past 25 days seemed almost unbeatable, but now you're almost twice that. Now you know much more is possible. That's what I tell myself now, to stay focused, is that not long ago I did 139 days, which was 19 days beyond a 120 day goal, which I did without lapsing once (though I struggled with edging and p-subs a little). Knowing this has given me patience, even when I had a little less control a few times there. I kept my eye on the prize, because I knew I did it before.

I know what you mean about edging, and they say that it floods the brain with more dopamine than say doing a quick MO. It was in my own edging where I felt such a high, and that became its own habit that was more exciting than just MO, and of course led me back to, and was done in conjunction with PMO.

It's kind of crazy, but I view edging as a 'middle-circle' activity that's, yes, dangerous, but serves as a kind of buffer from going to P/MO. But I know that if I'm edging and going to p-subs, I'm in a dangerous place. Luckily, this has not been an issue lately.

@ Caravan7 ~

Thank you for your comments. Yes, we have to take a holistic approach to this thing, involving spirit, soul (psychological) and body (nutrition, rest). To abuse or neglect ourselves in one area while hoping for success in another area is only fooling ourselves.

Good job on dismissing the urges to MO, and for taking care of your deeper emotional needs that you're really wanting to fulfill.

Blessings.
 

Artemus

Active Member
Day 45 !

This is halfway toward my current abstinence challenge of 90 days.

It's true I've been here before, many times even. I've hit lengthy streaks, even outside of RN, going for almost a year (300+ days) without visiting a P-website between March of 2019 and March of 2020. I've hit streaks of 116 days (2x), and rejoining RN in November of 2020, I hit 139 days!

So what is it? Why do this? Well, given to my own devices, I would probably have lost myself to PMO, and have lost my family and myself to this addiction. Either I would have outrightly lost everything, or would have quietly and secretly poisoned myself until I would be an empty shell of the real me...

This is a decades old battle, rooted in much pain and hurt. One can read my 'page 1' to get an idea. But this is not an excuse or a 'woe is me' type of post. On the contrary. I understand that despite my personal trauma and upbringing, I made a series of decisions, before and after becoming a Christian, that put me in this addiction. I also understand that, in the same way I walked into this (via a series of decisions), I'll also have to walk back out.

We are dealing with something akin to heroine addiction. This is the neurochemical reality with which one is faced.

And yet there is much hope, because of the science of habit change, one can veritably end their addiction within 3 to 4 months. But our actions and particularly our non-actions, need to be consistent and unwavering. There's good news first and foremost in my Faith, as by God's grace I have not been given over to this addiction, I've not wholly lost myself. Each time I've lapsed- and even if I lapse in the future- I'm forgiven and made righteous by Him as a free gift. I'm hopeful, also in the tactics of mindfulness, which ironically has its roots in Buddhism, but is cutting edge in today's psychology and behavioral change therapies.

The point is, the more lengthier streaks one can string together, the more they disrupt their (perhaps lifelong) habits, change their habits and overcome them.

I'm very happy with where I'm at now in my fight for a new life, and a new me. I know myself, and what the fight entails. But as each goal is accomplished and surpassed, I have another opportunity to walk away from these behaviors permanently. Even as there's other things I used to do that I don't do any more (e.g., obsess about prostitutes, and visit porno-book stores), so too, P/MO will be in the dustbin of my personal history.
Congrats on halfway, I know how you've felt.
 

guitar1968

Active Member
Congrats Phineas. You seem to be doing great. I start telling myself that if I do cave in, I can just get back on the horse and move on. That is true, but I feel like if I blow this streak I've got going I'll truly never make it back here.

I don't want to bring down your post. You are doing great and being extremely successful right now. You are an inspiration and it is still helping me to not totally give up.

Keep it going. You definitely got this.
 

Phineas 808

Respected Member
Congrats Phineas. You seem to be doing great. I start telling myself that if I do cave in, I can just get back on the horse and move on. That is true, but I feel like if I blow this streak I've got going I'll truly never make it back here.

I don't want to bring down your post. You are doing great and being extremely successful right now. You are an inspiration and it is still helping me to not totally give up.

Keep it going. You definitely got this.

You can never bring my post down, Guitar! I see how others posts inspire you to see another aspect of your own struggles and victories, and I think that's important.

Also, I always gain insight when reading what you write.

I know what you're saying, and it's a challenge to lapse, especially if we have that black-and-white thinking, or all-or-nothing thinking that we can tell ourselves we've miserably failed in lieu of a lapse. That makes it harder to get the next streak going, or, especially if binging is involved, to even get back up and try again for a while...

If we have a 'big-picture' view of our recovery, or habit-change, we will appreciate that things are more 'fluid' (no pun intended), and it's more about coming into control, rather than a straight line to victory. This isn't to say we don't take lapses seriously, because we do, and 1x lapse can possibly escalate into a stronger addiction, or even if repeated, can become habituated, and harder to break. But in the event of a lapse, how do we stay focused? How do we continue our recovery? We don't lose our former progress (contrary to how many people here think).

The sooner we see that we, and we alone were the cause of our lapse, the sooner we can go forward. If we don't repeat the behavior, the less it will become habitualized. And if we consider our own efforts, how long we've been struggling, we can see that a lapse could just be a blip in the bigger picture, and we'll do better next time.
 

Artemus

Active Member
...If we have a 'big-picture' view of our recovery, or habit-change, we will appreciate that things are more 'fluid' (no pun intended), and it's more about coming into control, rather than a straight line to victory...
Absolutely, I use to be in the "All or Nothing" camp and obviously the goal is to be at zero, but we must acknowledge we are still flesh, we are still fallable. This is not to say we shouldn't take our goal seriously, but not to the point of beating ourselves up so much that we feel hopeless and just give in. I've done that too. Its a day to day battle and if we are to win we must keep our eye on the ball so to speak, because one blink can lead to a fall. David was said to be, "A man after God's own heart" and look at the mess he made of his life over sexual sin. I believe we can and will achieve victory, a lasting victory, but we will take our lumps along the way. We grow, we excercise, we eat right and we get stronger. Today you may only lift 50#, but in time and with dedication and instruction you can lift an almost limitless amount of weight, PMO is the same, it has a limited amount of power over us, but we can get stronger if we resist it and train and incorporate a team approach.
 

Phineas 808

Respected Member
Day: 50

This is 5/9 toward my current abstinence challenge of 90 days.

This is also 1 month and 20 days into this recovery effort, building on previous streaks (139, 19, 53 [19, 35], 2, 14).

Today I hit my mini-goal of 50 days without P, PMO, MO, without obsessions toward p-subs or edging.

I have only 4 more mini-goals to hit before reaching 90 days!

How do I feel?

I’m celebrating my 27 year anniversary with my wife out of town. Traveling has long been a cue for unwanted behaviors, but this has dramatically changed over the years to where I can actually enjoy our time together instead of obsessing.

This is true now, though I am aware of an interest in IG photos, but I’m not obsessing, but mindful of this.

I’m really enjoying this little vacation and on the verge of nailing a business agreement. I’m feeling very stoked and excited toward the future.

I know I have to be vigilant, but also to remind myself that I’m in control of myself, and not an addiction. This is true freedom, and not some white-knuckling existence.

Deeper issues and concerns?

Since I last posted a mini-goal, my wife and I made love 2x. And Ol’ Willy was back in action. Both times I had no performance anxiety, and Ol’ Willy stayed hard the whole time, and the other night alcohol didn’t even affect this.

I did at first want to refer to pics in my head, but this wasn’t necessary, as I made myself just enjoy the moment, the actual human being I was with, my wife, with all the sights, sounds and touch. Real-world sex.

It was almost a stressful episode as we had to leave our daughter by herself back home. But we worked through a misunderstanding that almost brought our trip to a screeching halt.

I was grateful that I maintained a calm and in control demeanor throughout.

I am getting a view of what a man in control of himself looks like, a man who does not act out sexually through P, PMO, or MO.
 

Nick Simons

Active Member
Hey Phineas - just wanted to say congrats on your day 50 and the awesome perspective you have of what "a man in control of himself looks like". Your posts are always so encouraging and I am very grateful for your thoughtful contributions. Keep it up - you walk in a place we would all like to eventually get to.
 
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