Finally posting

Dungalef

Active Member
Day 110

Posting a lot less these days, but I still check the forum regularly to follow everyone's journeys. 🙂 These days it really feels like porn is a non-issue for me! Not that it never could be again, but it's a nice feeling.

Not that there aren't battles. The really big thing these days is learning how to UNlearn the objectifying and sexualizing attitude towards women on the street that porn has given me. Trying to learn not to see them as potential sexual gratification, but instead to remember that they aren't mine! And they will never be, because I am happily married. So there's only one object of sexual desire that can ever actually be satisfying, namely my wife.
 
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Dungalef

Active Member
Well guys, I fell off the wagon today after 118 days. A bit discouraging, not gonna lie, but I know that SO MUCH depends on what I do know. How I pick myself up again and keep going.

I definitely am frustrated with myself for not heeding the warning signs, for not stopping while I still could, but I'm also so proud of how I've been doing and I know that this is just a small setback. 118 days is huge, especially after doing nearly 90 earlier this year. Next one can be even bigger!

The last few days I have found myself reading parental review sections on IMDb, which is basically a form of fantasizing. It even led to a bit of googling with no explicit results... That has been such a danger zone activity for me, and I should have posted about it and stopped right then. I also MOd to sensation last weekend, which isn't the end of the world but was definitely unhealthy and impulsive, and not what I have agreed with myself and my spouse. Then today i sucked into looking up actresses on Google images, which escalated into basically soft porn. I didn't binge, didn't orgasm, didn't spend long, but it was definitely a relapse. Picking myself up again though, on to greater heights. Learning from my mistakes, and starting a new day one tomorrow.
 

Dungalef

Active Member
Reading my own post, I totally underplayed how much this made me feel like crap. It's such trash, and it's so dehumanizing to me and the women I'm searching for.... My post was my own pep talk which is important, but I also need to recognize and remember how bad I feel after a relapse... It's so not worth it.
 

Blondie

Respected Member
Sorry to hear this Dungalef.

All we can do is get on our own two feet again and keep on pressing on! Depending on what you actually did, I don't know if you could even call that a full on relapse, considering you did not look at real porn and didn't masturbate. But we all have different ideas of what a relapse is and I can respect that.

You've learned a lot, and that's what matters in the end.

Remember, you've had only two bad days out of almost 200 days porn-free. This must be acknowledge!

Best
 

Escapeandnevercomeback

Respected Member
Well guys, I fell off the wagon today after 118 days. A bit discouraging, not gonna lie, but I know that SO MUCH depends on what I do know. How I pick myself up again and keep going.

I definitely am frustrated with myself for not heeding the warning signs, for not stopping while I still could, but I'm also so proud of how I've been doing and I know that this is just a small setback. 118 days is huge, especially after doing nearly 90 earlier this year. Next one can be even bigger!

The last few days I have found myself reading parental review sections on IMDb, which is basically a form of fantasizing. It even led to a bit of googling with no explicit results... That has been such a danger zone activity for me, and I should have posted about it and stopped right then. I also MOd to sensation last weekend, which isn't the end of the world but was definitely unhealthy and impulsive, and not what I have agreed with myself and my spouse. Then today i sucked into looking up actresses on Google images, which escalated into basically soft porn. I didn't binge, didn't orgasm, didn't spend long, but it was definitely a relapse. Picking myself up again though, on to greater heights. Learning from my mistakes, and starting a new day one tomorrow.
Hey, man, after all those years I've come to the conclusion that with those relapses the "damage" matters a lot. The damage is basically how much you edge and how many times you PMO, how long all this porn session lasts. One porn session that lasts for 20 minutes, one scene is one thing, jumping from one video to the next for novelty is another thing, edging for hours is another thing, PMO x 7 is another thing. I think what we want is to keep it as low as possible. I know it's not always easy but we need this. I believe the ideal relapse would be one that doesn't last very long and involves no novelty seeking. Of course we never want to relapse again but sometimes it happens and if we are heading towards the relapse anyway, we don't want to go crazy with it.

By the way, I know everything about that kind of "escalation". Many times my relapses start with the "lowest dose possible", while assuring myself that I'm not "there yet", and escalate slowly but surely to the strongest stuff I usually watch. At this point I say fuck it, I've relapsed anyway, looked at the strongest stuff anyway, I might as well take advantages of it and restart tomorrow. This is bad behavior that should be avoided at all costs.

Anyway, man, try to avoid binging and novelty seeking, the damage done actually does matter, we don't see it but think about it like this: If you had a cut, would you cut it 6 more times because you're cut anyway? It's the same with the brain but it's harder to see. One little relapse after 100 days is not a big deal.
 

Dungalef

Active Member
Gahhhhh I'm so frustrated with myself right now. Since my last post I've been doing ok but knowing I needed to regroup and post here again to gain my momentum back, and then today I went and edged for like half an hour to Reddit nudes. It's behaviour that I haven't been doing in ages, and I feel gross, and like an idiot. I can do better, but I acted out instead for no good reason except that I couldn't remember why to care anymore.

Well, it's cuz fake sexual stuff is empty and unfulfilling. Sounds attractive, but just leaves me chasing and chasing. Sex with my wife during this reset has been so good, I'm tuning in so much more to all the non visual aspects that porn misses.

So why go back to porn? It's empty, makes me feel like trash, wastes my time, betrays my wife, and throws such a wrench in my self confidence. Not to mention the ways it messes with my spiritual life.

I'm right in the thick of the guilt and shame right now, but I know it will pass and on the other side I'll see again how I'm doing well in the grand scheme and not all is lost.
 
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swimmer97

Member
Gahhhhh I'm so frustrated with myself right now. Since my last post I've been doing ok but knowing I needed to regroup and post here again to gain my momentum back, and then today I went and edged for like half an hour to Reddit nudes. It's behaviour that I haven't been doing in ages, and I feel gross, and like an idiot. I can do better, but I acted out instead for no good reason except that I couldn't remember why to care anymore.

Well, it's cuz fake sexual stuff is empty and unfulfilling. Sounds attractive, but just leaves me chasing and chasing. Sex with my wife during this reset has been so good, I'm tuning in so much more to all the non visual aspects that porn misses.

So why go back to porn? It's empty, makes me feel like trash, wastes my time, betrays my wife, and throws such a wrench in my self confidence. Not to mention the ways it messes with my spiritual life.

I'm right in the thick of the guilt and shame right now, but I know it will pass and on the other side I'll see again how I'm doing well in the grand scheme and now all is lost.
dont be too hard to yourself my friend. its normal. its human. stand up and continue with your jouerny. you slipped but you are not starting at 0.
 

Dungalef

Active Member
Day 1

Alright, here we go! Feeling better about it all again for sure, now that I've had a bit of distance from the relapse. It's always like that for me—tons of funk after a bad relapse, then it fades and I'm able to get perspective again. I've learned a lot over the years about being patient with myself, and not beating myself up. I just still can't avoid the initial waves of feelings. Just have to ride them out generally, before I can really get anywhere.

ANYWAY. I'm back on the wagon now. Last major relapse (back before I started in these forums) it took me a few months to get my momentum back again. This time (as long as I actually can get back up and keeping going now like I feel I can) the momentum just took me a week or two. So, progress! Not to mention that I cruised past 100 days on my last streak. :cool:

I'm thinking a ton right now about how I view women in real life. I've noticed over summer especially that I find it really hard not to be pervy and obsessive about women who are showing skin, viewing it like an "opportunity" that I don't want to miss to check out someone who looks sexy. I'm not super pervy, I manage generally to keep it subtle, but my brain is there and I'm just constantly...aware. Like I have a radar out looking for something to look at.

I have complicated thoughts/feelings about all this. I don't like it, for a few reasons. 1) I'm a "sex is for marriage" kinda guy. I wanna spend 100% of my sexual energy on my wife and only my wife. This is for moral reasons (if you want to put it that way), but I also really believe that's how things work best. Sex operates to it's fullest potential in a long-term committed relationship, and sex is great for those kinds of relationships! Wasted elsewhere. ANYWAY so that's reason #1 why I don't like the constant "sexiness radar" that I feel. 2) It's rude. Even if the woman doesn't notice, it's still a degrading, objectifying, dehumanizing way to treat a person. For one thing, it reduces a whole person down to just their physical body and appearance, which is degrading. For another thing, it treats another person's body like I am somehow entitled to it. Like it is my right to enjoy their body as much as I can. They exist for my pleasure. Also 3) I don't like the way this radar affects me. It twists my perception of the world, making me hungry, demanding, and needy instead of being able to just....exist and enjoy things.

Now, what do I do about it? For a long time I've assumed that a lot of this over-sexualization comes from porn, and that the longer I stayed away from porn the more I would be able to just chill out and not few women as sex objects. After all, porn is all about objectifying women. And for a long time during my attempts at recovery my porn use has involved a lot of edging, and a lot of borderline "red flag" behavior, which in a sense makes this sort of thing worse. It puts me in a mode where I am actively hunting for women to sexualize on the internet, and actively trying to suck as much sexual pleasure as I can out of them. No wonder this behaviour creeps into real life, especially when the porn use always leaves me feeling hungry because I don't orgasm, and sometimes don't even look at actual nudity. The lust and sexual seeking spills over into real life.

And yet during this last streak, I found myself really struggling with this over-sexualization right near the end of my streak. Being free from porn wasn't enough to free me from this attitude, and in fact I think my inability to turn this off was part of what led me back to porn this time. SO my conclusion I think is that my over-sexualization does come mostly from porn consumption, but that getting rid of porn won't automatically fix my mindset. I need to work on both at the same time.

So what does it look like to de-sexualize the way I view women? I think I need a two-pronged approach. On the one hand, I will work on my behavior. Noticing women is ok, even unavoidable, but I can't let my gaze linger. Even if my mind lingers, I redirect my eyes and my mind and tell myself "that woman is more than a body, and you have no rights to her body." Or something like that. On the other hand, I need to keep working on unpacking what's going on inside me about it. Figure out where this sexual impulse is coming from (because it feels like more than just a physical, normal thing), and figure out how to deal with it. Hopefully the behavior control will give me the mental space to actually work through the internal stuff.
 

Dungalef

Active Member
Day 2

Spent a lot of time yesterday pondering the stuff I posted about yesterday. It still feels pretty muddled, and I'm not sure what's what exactly. It's always that way with me, though. I'm an intuitive processor, not a linear one. Everything just sort of muddles around inside me for a while, and eventually I synthesize some thoughts about stuff, haha. I'm using this forum as a bit of a brain dump to help sort out the tangle, so a lot of it probably won't make much sense to anyone else reading it. Or at least, they'll have to wade through my stream-of-consciousness in order to get anything out.

ANYWAY. During my ponderings yesterday one thing I tried to do was to envision how it is that I want to be able to treat women. What sort of person I want to become.

I want to treat women with dignity and respect, making them feel safe and respected. It's ok for me to notice what women look like, even that they are sexually attractive to me, but I don't want to indulge that. The only sexually available woman to me is my wife. I really do want to get to the point where I can see everyone else like sisters... Basically just as not an option. Not an option for me to have sex with, but also not even an option for me to lust over, fantasize about, or "check out." It's one thing for me to notice a low neckline or something, it's another thing for me to "soak it in" as it were.

I want to get to the point where even if an attractive woman were walking down the street naked, my instinct would not be to go "oooh, a chance for a visual treat," but rather to just not look. I think that I could even get to the point where I don't want to look, because I see the woman as a person not an object, and she's worth more than a cheap visual thrill.

Still kinda muddled tbh, but I'm starting to get there I think. The problem is that I've been so shaped by porn use for so long that it's hard for me to remember what's a normal healthy attitude towards women.
 

Dungalef

Active Member
Day 3

No big musings today, no time haha. Just thinking about the lies from porn that I have internalized and need to undo. That sex is life, that sexual pleasure is my right from every beautiful woman, that I'm missing out whenever I see a beautiful woman and don't see her naked. Pretty stupid, and pretty insidious and subtle.
 

Dungalef

Active Member
Day 4

Feels like a lot more, haha. Which is a good sign. I'm feeling likea different person than the person who relapsed, like I've got so much more perspective again. Towards the end of my streak I was trying to quit porn without letting go of the underlying sense of entitlement to sex. I need to let go of that feeling that sex is life, and get used to the idea that life is life instead.
 

Dungalef

Active Member
Day 8

Man I'm so tired, haha. My kid had been having such a hard time sleeping lately so I've had like a week of really bad sleep. Doing well in the reboot, though.

Been thinking about higher brain vs lower brain lately...I think it was @Phineas 808 who posted about it somewhere recently. It's proving a helpful way to think about the way I view women. I can get stuck in a mode where I view all women just with my lower brain, reacting to them as potential mates. Just desire and lust, like an animal instinct.

I want to learn to master those impulses, governing it with my higher brain. Unlike an animal, I DON'T have to respond to the instinctual lust. I can transcend it and master it, seeing it but also knowing the bigger reality that the person I am seeing is not just an object but a human with dignity. I can learn to govern the lusts and put them into their appropriate place.
 
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