Murgatroyd?s Journal ? The Rest of the Story

Murgatroyd

Member
Greetings to all.  I?m following Gabe Deem?s instructions, making a journal, and telling my story.  Oddly, I?m not here because I believe I am addicted to porn.  I?m here because I think it is possible I may be addicted, but I don?t know and am trying to figure it out.  Bear with me!

I?m a straight guy, 62 years old, and married for 30 years.  She is my second wife.  I am her third husband.

First, a little housekeeping.  It has been brought to my attention that some Fellow Nationalists here think I am acting like an arrogant prick.  Of course, they have all been quick to say they can tell I am not actually an arrogant prick.  Nevertheless, I have been writing various things in various Reboot Nation Forums which, if readers didn?t know better, they might mistake my writing for the work of an arrogant prick.

I am rebooting since December 6, 2020.  Today is February 1, 2021.  Today is Day 58.  It is not a hard reboot.  I am abstaining from viewing porn and abstaining from masturbation.  I have sex ending in orgasm with my wife frequently.

Glad that?s settled.  My story:

I have wanked since 1972, starting at age 14.  At times over the past 49 years, I have sometimes wanked more, and sometimes less.  Over those 49 years, I can still count on my hands the number of times I have ejaculated twice in one day (i.e. less than 11 times in 49 years).  Occasionally I thought I might try to swear off wanking, and I succeeded, but then I started up again some years after.  That happened a couple times ? once for 2 years in 1978, and once for 5 years in 1991.  Since 1996, I have felt no reason to stop.

I can say with certainty that the trigger to restarting in both cases was multiple months of being sexually unhappy, coupled with a sense that nobody else was going to fix it for me, so it was up to me.  My solution was to masturbate.  It was successful in that it reduced my degree of sexual unhappiness.

Despite a little unfounded guilt as a youngster, I have never considered this a problem, on the contrary, having learned to read in 1963, I have read a lot of stuff that described masturbation as ?normal.?  Come to think of it, the only stuff I ever read prior to finding YBOP that said anything like ?masturbation is bad? also included stuff like ??and you will go straight to hell with hair on your palms.?  After I developed a sense of reason, I dismissed these as most likely being not credible.

For the record, as a published scientist, I feel YBOP?s credibility is as solid as it gets (clearly Gary Wilson?s opponents in this are driven by pop-psychology and, how shall we say, ?Big Porn?.  Plenty of conflict-of-interest, no disclosure, and little if any peer-review.  This equates to undermined credibility in the world of real science.  Someone should explain this to those people).

Potentially notable, and I will write about this in another post: I stimulated myself using only a vibrator from 1972 to about 2010, preferring it to my own hand.  Now, for the past 11 years I have done it by hand.  I should clarify I also had partnered sex regularly starting in 1977 and continuing to the present.

Prior to 1996, all my wanking material (i.e. ?porn?) was printed matter (I put it in quotation marks only because in those days it included things like swimming pool ads with an early foray into drawing my own pictures of naked women in my youngest years, before getting my license to drive).  Not surprising, when I re-grouped in 1996 (age 38), I began to dabble using the internet to find porn.  No more swimming pool ads.  I quickly learned it was no longer necessary to rely on printed material, and digital material had greater potential.  Wanking had gone paperless!  Save a tree. 

The highest internet speed I have ever used for porn is what I have today: a whopping 4 MB/s.  In 2015, Federal regulators in the USA defined ?high-speed internet? as a minimum of 25 MB/s.  So my speed today is less than one-sixth as fast as the slowest ?high-speed? connection.  That?s okay with me.  I don?t stream, in fact I hate streaming because it is unreliable (hint: I live where everyone has at least one barn).  I prefer downloading, collecting, and using offline.  That probably makes me a Seriously Old Guy?.

So ? despite PMO, I have had a better life than I ever dreamed, with lots and lots of real-life sex with actual women, living in nice places, traveling 5 continents, holding excellent jobs, and retiring at age 59 in 2017.  Executive Summary: I don?t fit the profile for a porn addict, and I don?t believe there is anything wrong with me. 

There I go, coming across as an arrogant prick again.

My wife says I must be addicted to porn and that it hurts me.  I?m here to find out if she?s right.  Her complaint?  I take too long to have an orgasm.

Now, any child of the 60s and 70s who has read Playboy (I?m that nerd who actually read the articles.  If you don?t get that joke, you shouldn?t be reading this as you may go straight to hell with hair on your palms), knows that men of that era were raised to believe that lasting a long time in bed was considered the goal, that ?premature ejaculation? was BAD, and that the absolute gold standard was the ability to ?go all night.?

Oh wait.  Men are still being taught that to this day.  I don?t need to over-analyze this except to say that my wife disagrees.  She has convinced me that prolonged intercourse hurts her.

Let me state clearly: I do not desire to hurt my wife. 

Even more to the point: I sincerely hope I do not ever hurt my wife more than I already have.

That said, life is messy and imperfect.  People hurt each other all the time, sometimes without realizing it.  Hopefully with knowledge and experience, it?s possible to screw up less frequently.

But wait.  I had an affair from 2009-2016.  If you ask me, it?s because she allowed herself to become less sexually interesting to me.  Of course there?s more to it than that.  I realize I am setting myself up for a shitstorm, but please try to stay focused.  I?m not here for relationship advice, or to have my goals criticized, especially with regard to things that happened in the past (See above, ?I sincerely hope I do not ever hurt my wife more than I already have?).

I am here to find out if I have an addiction. 

In light of my extramarital activity, I wonder if my wife may have been affected in a way that might make ?YOU ARE ADDICTED TO PORN? a more comfortable explanation for what happened than some alternatives.  Of course, she assures me that is not the case.  Right.  It?s messy. 

Additional information:
  • When my wife and I started seeing each other, we would fuck all night and do it again the next day.
  • At the time, we were both married to other people.
  • At that time I took just as long to have an orgasm as I do today.
  • After two years, we ended our existing marriages and married each other instead.
  • I ended my extramarital activity in 2016 voluntarily and came clean with my wife, after 6 meetings with a therapist on the advice of a mentor in whom I had confided.
  • The therapist commented she was surprised by my obvious and genuine tenacity to improve my marriage.
  • I found YBOP myself as part of my own ongoing effort to do better.  I shared the link with my wife.
As far as I can tell, when there is an extramarital affair, then everything bad automatically becomes the fault of the person who slept out, and the hurt person somehow becomes immune from any culpability.  In most cases, what really happened is likely to land someplace in the middle.  It will not be as cut-and-dried as either party would like to believe

I suspect that even if I rule out porn addiction, it will just get replaced by a new lightning rod.  If that is the case, I am not convinced that ending my porn viewing will result in a better marriage.  On the other hand, if I become convinced porn is hurting me, the path toward change, though not easy, has been well documented and tested, and I feel sure I can arrive at a good destination as thousands of others have.

With all due respect, I have done a lot of reading.  I have spent many quality hours clicking through Your Brain On Porn?s lists of thousands of links.  I?m not looking for more conversation about these things:
  • how porn is bad
  • the effects of porn on people who are young enough to be my sons or grandsons
  • how porn use by a man has been found to be concurrent with low self-esteem in his partner (the authors of that study clearly stated that causality could not be established by their findings) - I already know her self-esteem takes a hit when she thinks she is not the only thing I want
  • what I should want
  • relationship advice or opinions about my choices or behavior
  • how I come across as an arrogant prick
I will reserve the right to delete posts that go into that stuff, above.  On the other hand, I am vitally interested in the experiences of other guys I can relate to, and considered thoughts about whether or not I am actually addicted to porn.

The Reboot Nation is a civil place.  In exchange for civility in conversation I will not tell anyone here they should keep masturbating or watching porn, and I will refrain from talking about that kind of thing on other peoples' threads.  If they ask, I will point them here.

Thanks for reading this far.  Let the conversation commence?.
 

J01

Active Member
Hi Merg!  Hope you can get some good input from others, and hope that it is offered in the manner you requested!

I would like to make a suggestion.  As I understand it, you are desiring to know whether you are or are not addicted to porn.  I think it would be helpful if you gave your working definition or conception of addiction, as that word means a lot of different things to different people.  If you provide your way of defining it and looking at it, then maybe others could weigh in more usefully.

Take care!   
 

Murgatroyd

Member
Thanks @jixu!

It's kind of like, which came first, the chicken or the egg?  If you ask me, then:

1. I don't think I have a problem

but

2. I may not be the right person to ask!

That's why I'm asking others.  I have heard it said that "it's not an addiction if you can quit at any time."  This is my first test.  I intend to reboot for 90 days to prove that I can quit at any time, and therefore prove that I am not addicted.  Or confirm I am addicted by failing the test.

However, I am not as na?ve as to think that this will pass the smell test with the Reboot Nation so I am asking people to tell me what I don't get.  The most frequent response is: "Sometimes rebooting takes longer than 90 days.  It can take many years in some cases."  This strikes me as a polite way of telling me that unless I stop looking at porn, then I rebooted wrong. Then when you ask people how you know if you're cured, nobody really knows.  Others say "you are never cured, it's like an alcoholic," and this is the point where I begin to wonder if the emperor actually has no clothes.  So I offend some readers by saying, "I don't think I have a problem.  I like porn, then I get a stiffy and have sex with my wife resulting in satisfying orgasms all around."

This is the point at which I then become synonymous with an arrogant prick to some, and told "You're obviously not addicted" by others.

So far, the most we can come up with is, I definitely have a porn habit, but then it gets divided about whether or not I am actually addicted.  I have another thread going in the "Porn Addiction" forum entitled "Am I In Denial?" which has quite a lively discussion going.  In fact, the only reason I wrote this Journal (way too long, thanks for reading) was because some other Reboot Nationalists asked me for more background detail.  I hope to either confirm or rule out that I have an addiction problem.  Unfortunately mentioning my affair drags both myself and my wife through the mud for different reasons.

As you're noticing, there is not agreement on how porn addiction is defined.  In another post I wrote this:

To be clear, I am not in denial about having a porn habit.  Where the train comes off the rails for me is when I consider hallmarks of porn addiction I don't fit the profile:
  • My habit is modest
  • I can control it
  • I don't let it run my life
  • I don't have withdrawal symptoms when I abstain
  • My cock works
  • I have a great time in bed with my wife multiple times a week
My conclusion: It's possible I am lost or blind or both.  I am open to being shown what I cannot see already.

Hope that helps, @jixu.

Murgs
 

J01

Active Member
Ok, I hear where you are coming from. 

Let me boil it down to this: does your porn habit (using your word) result in any negative impact to your life?  I am thinking here in terms of "ly" words-physically, mentally, relationally, occupationally, financially, emotionally, etc etc and so on and so on.  Note: I am not asking you if you think porn is "bad' in a societal sense, and I'm not asking if porn impacts me, Sally, or the guy over there.  I am simply asking this:  does your porn habit have or cause any harmful consequences to you? 
 

Murgatroyd

Member
You are not the first person to ask it like this.  Answer: Yes.  The negative impact that my porn habit could have is, if I decline her request to stop, my wife says she will end our marriage.

I'm not convinced this is a symptom of "addiction."  As @Gracie pointed out, my wife may think that my staring at other women is not cool, and she feels like she is not good enough or attractive enough.  It could be that my wife thinks that if I stop looking at porn, somehow it will stop the voices in her head.

I understand these are issues for many people.  There was actually a study on it.  But let's be honest: This is not a litmus test for addiction.

This is the point at which other guys say, "Are you an idiot?  Give it up."  Yeah.  I get that.  I am rebooting, right?  Day 59.  Check.  Here is what I have told my wife:

"I will be happy to give it up.  Before rebooting, I was spending 6 hours a week looking at porn.  If you will give me another 6 hours a week naked in bed touching each other with no distractions, I will stop looking at porn."

During the reboot period, we are logging the time we spend naked in bed touching each other with no distractions.  At the end of the reboot period we will look at the data we collected and decide what to do next.  We're calling this part Phase 1 and what happens during Phase 2 will only be determined at the conclusion of Phase 1One possible outcome is we won't need a Phase 2 because we will have given each other what we wanted.  Stranger things have happened!

We're nerds, yeah.
 

J01

Active Member
Hi Murgs-thanks for your sincere responses.  Like you said, you are rebooting, and like Gracie said in another post, that is quite a positive, regardless of the reason or motive.  Wishing you continued success, and thanks for being a good sport about it.   
 

Murgatroyd

Member
DAY 60 UPDATE

Completely unexpected, last night there was some kind of catharsis.  Perhaps it was because my wife assured me:

"I never said I would divorce you unless you stop looking at porn."  I remember differently, but on this one I am not going to split hairs: I must have heard her wrong before.  I stand corrected.

Another thing that happened was, if you consider an addiction a mental illness, then her approach, which has been up until now:

You are mentally ill.  Save yourself.

... is a whole lot less motivating than what she confessed last night to be more accurate, as I have gone on and on about here lately:

When you look at porn, I feel insecure.  I'm asking you to stop.  For me.  (I think I owe @Gracie my thanks for writing about this a few days back, and my wife read @Gracie's post)

Now instead of The Drug Police out with a warrant because I am sick in the head, it's a committed partner sharing her feelings and letting me know there is something I can do to help.

I respond really well to opportunities to be heroic.

It seemed to ker-chunk my entire brain, and I will take that any way I can get it.

Today I am floating on air.  I actually have a gnawing blade in my ribs (self-imposed) to load up all the drives with all the dirty pictures and movies, and move them someplace where they are harder to get to.  Then ... maybe I will rearrange the furniture.

Of course, moving the drives away is only part-way through a multi-step process of getting rid of them permanently.  I know this.  Cut me some slack.  I LOVE the idea someone here said about changing the furniture around so The Masturbation Room becomes completely different and its power to trigger its victim is reduced or removed.

Day 60, man.  Light at the end of the tunnel. 

Honey, if you're reading this: Thank you!  I love you!

Murgs
 

Gracie

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
This is good news indeed! Sometimes it is hard to find the right words.  And furniture rearranging for me involved getting a new bedroom set and removal of tv access in the bedroom.  Made a huge difference.
 

Aussie_85

Active Member
Hey murgs,

I also suggested she was feeling insecure about your porn use, multiple times. Sounds like things are going relatively well for you which is good.

Just wanted to stop by and sub to your journal.

Aussie.
 

Murgatroyd

Member
Aussie_85 said:
Hey murgs,

I also suggested she was feeling insecure about your porn use, multiple times.

Yes, you did.

I'm not sure what the mechanism is, but under the heading "all opinions are not created equal," when you said it, I took it under advisement.  I had already read the paper about a link between low self-esteem and porn use, and I was aware it could be an issue, but frankly, I didn't think it was necessarily up to me to fix it, especially since the paper stated it could not establish causality.  In other words, the paper specifically did not say that when I guy uses porn, it causes his partner's self-esteem to go down.  We all do things that make other people upset, but that is not always, in and of itself, a reason to deprive oneself of something one enjoys.  My wife has a saying, "People in hell want ice water."  Which is to say people can say they want whatever they feel like.  That doesn't mean it's up to you to give it to them all the time.

To put it another way, the fact that she feels insecure when I look at naked pictures of other women is her problem, and I feel very strongly about this because I bend over backwards to make sure she owns the throne of my life.  In short, I believe I have addressed her insecurity as much as I should have to address it.  I am not having sex, or any kind of relationship, or even talking with other women, and I tell her with words and show her with actions how incredible I think she is in every way as often as possible.

Obviously the "naked pictures of other women" part is some kind of show stopper for her in spite of it all.  That really is unrelated to any conversation about addiction or rewiring.

What I needed was a good swift @Gracie kick in the ass.  "In a nice sort of way."  @Gracie's opinion, being that of a woman and everything, generally counts at least 2x what any man thinks, right?  I also needed my wife to own that it was her problem.  When these two things happened, I thought I could be a good guy and stop looking at naked pictures of other women to make her feel better.

Recall I was not convinced that I was suffering from some kind of mental illness or that porn was evil.  I still am not convinced.  I have managed to side-step that whole debate and instead choose to do something nice for my wife.  That works for me.

But yeah, you did suggest she was feeling insecure from the start.  I would like to think there is room in the conversation for how I feel, too.

Murgs
 

Aussie_85

Active Member
Mate it seems like your REALLY beating around the bush here (or turnip truck considering your a yank) opinions of the exact same definition should be equal, from memory a few of us said she?s probably feeling a few things:

Not good enough for you, you need to sit in front of a screen and masturbate over other women.

And hurt that you don?t seem to care that she?s hurt, implying that your feelings are more important and worth debating - your in an agreed marriage and your wife doesn?t satisfy you enough/ isn?t good enough.

In the other thread you stated it?d turn you on if your wife viewed porn - I?m guessing that?s not uncommon, for me personally if it was once in a blu moon my gf watched it, fine. But it sounds like your entering into the creepy old man territory at 60+ masturbating when it?s obvious your already getting more sex than a lot of guys half your age.

So you completely disregard what others suggested yet took on board what Gracie said ( because she?s a woman) but still are standing strong on your stance that this is her issue, not yours?

Mate you need a wake up call.
 

Murgatroyd

Member
Aussie_85 said:
So you completely disregard what others suggested
...
Mate you need a wake up call

Let's be fair.  I said clearly that I took it under advisement, and ultimately I acted on it in the way you thought I should.  To say I completely disregarded what you and others suggested is incorrect.  And let's not forget I'm on Day 69 of my reboot, so I'm living the dream, I guess.

As I have made clear, I like to think about sex and be sexually stimulated for some amount of time.  Let's call it n.  She was good with that back before we got married.  Fast forward 30 years, and now she says she only put up with it, but really she only wants to do it, say, half as much, say  n/2.  Are you saying I should shut up and just accept whatever she wants to give me?  That does not sound like the healthiest way to conduct a relationship.  I have offered her a menu of options for how we can deal with it.  She's looking at the menu.  We are exploring other ways to rescue her self-esteem.  I suspect this is a bigger issue than just porn use.  It would be na?ve to think all I have to do is stop masturbating and we will ride off into the sunset happily ever after.

No offence taken!

Your embarrassing creepy-old-man pal,
Murgs
 

Aussie_85

Active Member
I agree you have a point, a fair one relationship wise because sex is a huge part of any relationship.

Life is about compromise murgs, you know this. we can't all have everything we want and it's a rarity/fantasy for us men to get every sexual urge and desire met by a nymphomaniac woman who waits at our beck and call.

Is it "fair" that your wife can't keep up with/meet your sexual expectations/needs? I'm not sure.

Is it fair on her to have to meet your demands for sex?

Life Isn't Fair - it's not meant to be.

Murgs bro, your like the old man walking down the street with a Virginia ham under one arm cryin' the blues because you don't have bread.

I don't mean any offence or harm to come from these posts btw as iv'e said previously - this is actually a decent debate now.
 

discobolus

Active Member
There is a lot to your posts, and a LOT that I disagree with, but I will offer this advice, you need to decide whether your goal is to have a better sex life with your wife or if your goal is to prove yourself right and prove her wrong, because the two are mutually exclusive. Sex is an emotional act for women and convincing her with logic and data will never work. In fact it will probably have the opposite of the desired effect.

I would highly recommend you get this book:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B004W0IRQ8/ref=dbs_a_w_dp_b004w0irq8

I also suspect that if you read it you will scoff at the validity and continue to frame yourself as the victim of your wife and continue to brow beat her with logic.
 

Murgatroyd

Member
Aussie_85 said:
Life is about compromise murgs, you know this.

No offence taken.  God I wish we could get a beer together.  Next time I'm in Australia, I promise.

Maybe I have not been clear about how much compromising has already been done.  A lot of compromising has already been done.  I have given a lot, and she has too.  At the end of the day it's about meeting in the middle in a place we can both live with.  Some place with ham and bread :)

Here's the problem: She doesn't like it when I look at naked pictures of other women.  She wants me to stop doing that.

Instead of telling me how she felt and what she wanted, she gaslighted me into thinking I must be sick in the head*.

It turns out I'm not sick in the head* after all, but that doesn't change the fact that she wants me to stop looking at naked pictures of other women.  Now she has taken ownership of her feelings and her desires and stated them clearly.  Fair enough.  Now we can move forward with finding an actual solution to the actual problem.

When you're trying to solve a problem it helps to know what the problem is.

If you try to solve something else ... then it doesn't solve the actual problem.


Glad we cleared that up.

Captain Obvious,
Murgs

*For anyone reading this who is insulted by my use of the term, "sick in the head," please accept my apology and this clarification.  My partner never used the actual phrase "sick in the head."  This is what it sounded like inside my head when she would say "I think you may have a problem with addiction" and "your brain may have been rewired by something terrible."  Which sounds to me more like "Your head is all fucked up because you can't stop yourself from doing a horrible and pathetic thing."  This is why I am here, in the Reboot Nation, to learn how much I have or have not been affected by being a long-time masturbateur and consumer of porn.  Today is DAY 71.
 
Top