Age 50's - Gay man, cured BDSM porn addiction, and more

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BirdNovember 01, 2012, - When I embarked on this journey, I decided that before I began posting, I would have to prove to myself that I was really serious about this huge no PMO challenge. This meant that I would have to beat my longest no PMO record: 12 days. Today, I crossed over the threshold I had set for myself: PMO free for 16 days! For a nightly self soother like I, this is literally a first timer. Still quite challenging at times, but nevertheless a new success under my belt. Literally!

Before I introduce myself, I MUST emphasize that countless men in here have been an amazing source of inspiration during these last 2 weeks+. Wether they are the (superhuman) men who have succeeded to no PMO on the first try for a reboot of 90, or 120 days (or more), or they are the honest, and humble men who have relapsed time and time again, and got back on the rebooting program, all of you guys have helped more than you will ever know. Every night, or about, I have come in here to find courage, inspiration, and join others who are dedicated in weaving themselves out of an addicted brain. Every night you guys have helped me to keep on going; on weathering these very difficult early days, and few intense bumps along the way. Because of this forum, and the genuine honesty that is shared here, I celebrate a new personal record. And I thank you all for it!

This is definitely a Reality Check in my life. A very good thing. And a long time in the making. At 50+, after watching a few of the major YBOP YouTube videos, I finally saw the man in the mirror like I had never seen him before. I didn’t want to fight that truth anymore–the science behind it all helped tremendously. The good thing was that there was nothing to be ashamed of. I’ve always tried to be the best man I could be, and do good in the world. I had no idea of the genuine grip my sexual addiction had over me. I never thought that PM would end up being my drug of choice, and that I’d be hooked on it, without even knowing it. After watching the YBOP videos I didn’t want to rationalize, and justify my sexual tastes anymore. I certainly felt scared that I could not, would not, be able to overcome my sexual addiction. After watching the YBOP videos I felt dispirited and discouraged, a lot!

I had known for a long time that I was using PMO to relieve my daily stress, put myself to sleep, calm my anxiety, have a little jolt of excitement, compensate for the fact that I don’t have, or have not had a boyfriend for way too long, (gay man here). But I never thought I was a “real” addict. I was not out looking for sex in bathhouses or sex clubs every other night, I was not sleeping with a new guy every night, I was not on grinder or any special app to constantly hook up… I was not totally out of control, all of the time. Under that prism I was not a manic sexual addict. It doesn’t mean I wasn’t doing any of the above. I was. I just had control, most of the time! And most of the time, I would also stay indoor, in the privacy of my home, away from judgmental people, self soothing my loneliness, my anxiety, my depression, my sense of isolation, my boredom,... watching, or fantasizing about hot men doing nasty things to other hot men. I was spending a good amount of time every day, or about, looking at porn; reading profiles, or stories on specialized sites that excited me; replaying nasty scenarios in my mind before going to sleep, playing the different roles of power and submission these men’s brain, and mine, were trapped in. All of it, so that I could fall asleep, not feel lonely, and anxious, and not feel like looser. For years, I mean YEARS, this is how I’ve dealt w/ my existential anxiety.

In the last few years I’ve seen my interest for BDSM pornographic material escalate, or more accurately spiral downward. At first, I justified it with being in graduate school. Between making a living, keeping up with the demands of daily living, and of the graduate program, there was no time, or energy to socialize, let alone invest in a romantic relationship. A few minutes–which actually often turned into an hour, or three, or five–in front of the computer, and my sexual needs were taken care of! I would get high on these images, or stories, get my fix, and keep on going; or just go to bed and crash. Avoiding feeling emotionally empty, or totally dead inside had become a good skill I had mastered, so I thought.

The articles and videos on YBOP that explain how the sexual orientation and tastes of sexual addicts is thwarted, and ends up having a life of its own, spoke volume to me. The pretty well adjusted, mellow, compassionate, and non violent man that I am in “real life” became–increasingly so–in greater need of more violent, dehumanized, and degrading sexual scenarios. This is the realm of fantasy I HAD to get into in order to get my sexual high, my self induced anti anxiety medication. Without this level of intensity, ED was omnipresent. When totally inthralled in these sexual realms, PE was often taking over. In retrospect, PE has always been somewhat present since my early 20’s. And I never connected the dots. The truth is that very few people ever connected these dots, like scientists can help us do nowadays. Moving away from the repressive social and Catholic guilt, which hindered–in part–my healthy sexual expression, was the goal, the mission. What I move towards, and got trapped into, could not be as bad as the repression I was dedicated to escape. So went my thinking, and I’m waking up now, decades later, realizing that I was wrong. Very wrong!

The beginning of the awakening process took place about 6 months ago. I started chatting up this hot guy in a local gay bar. Sexually, he was totally the type of guy I was really turned on by. I felt really lucky, and proud, that he wanted to hook up. We did. And sadly enough, I couldn’t get it up. Embarrassing? VERY much! Especially more so when he asked me what was going on, and that I told him that I was turned on by Dom/sub scenes. Not his thing. It ended up weirdly. He left shortly after. And the whole thing left me feeling… like a total looser. A perverted looser! I did my best to brush it off. “I guess I’m really into the Dom/sub dynamic now, and I’ll have to only hook up with men who are into it as well. Maybe they won’t be as hot, but at least we’ll share the same thrill. I’ll go look for them where hang out, where they play, and be more selective with who I play with… Oh well, such is life for me from now on!”. I thought I was being mature. I thought I was accepting myself as who I truly was. Who I had become over the years. In retrospect, I was justifying my addicted brain to remain addicted to its favorite drug: dopamine highs induced by BDSM degrading material.

A month or so ago, on a specialized website dedicated to DOM/subs relationships this guy shared his story of having been abused and raped by three older black guys when in his teens. He had written in his posting that since then, he knew he had been born to serve Black Superior Men. I’ll spare you the details. But seeing myself being highly aroused to his story telling, while knowing in my rational mind that this guy was re-enacting the profoundly traumatic experience of having been bullied, humiliated, and raped by three older teenagers, left me feeling appalled, and quite disturbed at myself. I remember thinking: “If I stay here I’ll loose my soul, and what’s left of my integrity, and self respect. I’ll give up on my dream of finding Mr. Right…”. The drastic difference between the man I was behind closed doors–feeding my dopamine craving w/ the pixel machine, or indulging my mental collection of dark fantasies I have accumulated over the years–and the man I am in my personal, and professional life was… not cool anymore. And definitely not the expression of a healthy sexuality. Sadly enough, I felt I had become a tormented character of some archetypal dark, and perverted storyline. In the privacy of my mind, I was not doing well, at all. I could keep on faking it to the outside world, find some relief when I engaged with friends, and work. But truth be told, there were times I felt like I was on the verge of loosing it, and that there was no one I could really turn to, and ask for help. And yet, thanks to an inspiring friend, and the Google machine, I found YBOP and YBR!

After finding YBR, and reading many posts and personal odysseys, I heard inside my head: “Valentine's day”. Being sexually sober, as in no PMO until February 14, 2013 was quite a scary thought. Very scary! It would be so much easier not to share this date w/ you guys right now. Not to commit to a 121 days of total sexual sobriety. And yet, I sort of know that a reboot that would be less than that would be short changing my potential to live a new chapter of my life. A chapter I only allow myself to dream of. Two weeks ago looking at this timeline created a huge level of anxiety. Huge. But now, not so much: as in not as often, not as overwhelming. It doesn’t mean it’s not scary. Trust me it still is. A lot! For the last 16 days, most of the time I am experiencing the “it’s dead down there, phase”. And I like it. It gives me a break. It’s not as challenging as having to deal with sexual energy wanting an outlet, at all cost. I know it will be very hard to resist the demons when they return with a vengeance, and furiously want to draw me back into their world, even for a few moments. But for now, I find solace in knowing that there is this cyber meeting place. And it is enough for now!

I have to get back to my life now, the gym is waiting. But I will definitely come back soon, and become an intrinsic part of this forum. I need it... and this journey is going to be long!


I did it... for real!!!!

February 15, 2013

With a smile on my face, and a relieved heart, I can honestly say: "I succeeded!".

And most importantly, in the process of it, I... healed a lot of internal guilt and shame.

No PMO for 123 days is definitely one of the biggest challenge I've ever taken on, and succeeded at in my life. Not all of it was excruciating. Definitely not. Thank god! But let's face it, remaining sober the first few days, and weeks, was a sheer act of will. This forum was my lifeline. Literally so. I would never had taken on this challenge without it. That, I am very clear about... and grateful for! Reading the honest life stories, and struggles of my fellow travelers was humbling, normalizing, and empowering. Your stories gave me courage to believe that I too, could accomplish what you had succeeded at. Release myself from the S&M porn/masturbation/fantasy trap, and reclaim a healthier (heart to dick connected) sexuality was my goal. This site is filled with true heroes who worked hard on their recovery. Inspiring!

Very early on in my recovery my best friend told me: "The man who begins this journey will not be the man who ends it!". He was right. This victory is now an integral part of the foundation of my new life. Now that I have accomplish this, there is nothing I can't accomplish, if I really want to. To me, that is true power!

As I shared in previous posts, a few days before Christmas I met a cool, kind, and emotionally connected man. When it became clear that we both experienced the potential for a romantic and sexual vibe together, I made it clear to him that I was not, for him or anyone else, going to renegotiate my commitment to myself. Valentine chose me and I was not going to renegotiate the date. The truth is that I didn't "consciously" choose the date. I heard it in my mind as I was considering a commitment of 60 or 90 days. When I heard Valentine in my mind (121 days mind you), I was shocked... petrified. Valentine was a long ways away. Since age 12 or so I had been, at the very least, a nighty self soother. But I also knew that at the end of the day it all boiled down to, "How bad do you want it?". Deep inside I knew that I have what it takes to experience a successful, vibrant and intimate relationship. I just had to cleanse my mind of the S&M cobwebs that were stuck in it. While I don't know what the future holds, and won't pretend to have a clear idea of it, I am very grateful to this man in my life for having stuck by my side. To have given us a chance. I had feared that he would run away. Quite the contrary. He and I have become very intimate, and connected. I like that on V. day, the restrictions that have held us back were lifted... To be honest it's a bit scary too. And it's also very cool!

To end this long entry, I know that I am D - O - N - E  with porn, as in PMO. It is a non issue now. A "been there–done that–no thank you!" reality. There is no emotional attachment to porn anymore. It certainly doesn't mean that I don't have to be vigilant. But the pull is gone. What a relief!

I also know that I need to continue my commitment to not edge or O. from M. M. still has a strong pull on me. And 121 days was not enough to erase that pull. So, I created a new counter that has me continue a no MO/ME commitment. When I reach it, I will have been 1/2 a year free from MO/ME.  I know darn well that if I don't, sooner than later I will fall back into old habits. To this day I catch myself wanting to stroke my dick when I feel anxious. Every time I catch myself, I move my hand to my plexus or my heart, and breathe more slowly, more consciously. And it goes away. I do not expect to live without anxiety. I am human, it is part of being alive. What I do hope is that the connection that goes something like: "Feel anxiety... stroke your dick to orgasm to relieve anxiety... anxiety will subside!". Being successful would mean, at least as I see it now: feel anxiety - breathe deeper, be present to my here and now... and realize that I am safe... or do what must to be/feel safer!".

Ok, enough for now. I definitely never learned to write more frequently and succinctly!

Oh well.. there might be a counter for that too! lol!


Epilogue - How bad do you want it?

February 15, 2013

I just finished a total PMO 121 days challenge. It was a huge commitment to take on. It's a huge accomplishment to celebrate! It can definitely be done. This YBR community is an amazing community!

The recipes for success are shared by many heroes on here. What I will add is, sheer will alone is not enough. It won't get you to recovery land; as in "I recovered my Self from an addiction that was eating away at my Self/ my Soul!". There was tremendous power in learning all I could about the addiction, and how the brain, and mind, are affected when porn takes over. I read a lot about it. I got deeply inspired by other men in this section of the forum who had succeeded. I came to this section often to find courage. To read about different versions of my future success. I wanted to succeed on my first go. I wanted to be a part of the </1% who do it in one run. These men made it possible to believe that I too could, if I really wanted to. I watched all of the videos on the subject I could find on YouTube. It was all of tremendous help.

Eat healthy foods. Stay away from fried, greasy foods. Excess sweet could easily be avoided to. I even realized that excess pasta and gluten increase my anxiety the next day, which lead me to focus on wanting to J/O to alleviate it. Exercise regularly. Strenuously. Have a creative, healthy outlet for your frustrations, your struggles. Get massages (the healthy ones of course). Go to spas and sweat your stress away. Swim it away. Jacuzzi it away. Laugh. Share your truth with a few supportive friends. Stay away from those who ridicule or judge you for being on this journey. You will become their hero once you tell them you succeeded. The self respect that comes with succeeding is tremendous. It's life affirming!

Learn to modulate your stress. Respect your window of tolerance and don't push yourself beyond what you can handle. Excess stress (frustration/anger/resentment...) in your body will charm you into releasing it in the "good old ways" that got you here. Write in a journal, use the forum on here. Be honest with yourself, and with the amazing men on this forum. Know that you are not alone. Because you are not alone. The men on this forum are genuine and giving. Rekindle your passions. The healthy ones. The creative ones. Those you had before you got addicted. Be clear ahead of time that there will be a few huge challenges to overcome. There may not be many, but there will seem huge and overpowering as you struggle with them at the time. Be prepared to face them head on, and ahead of time. Have a plan. Have a few plans. I pushed my frustrations against the wall, as hard and as intensely as I could. I didn't punch the wall. No need to hurt myself. That allowed me to tap into the deep grief underneath my addiction. What I now call my "Fuck that recovery and rebooting bullshit!" moment. That very moment turned out to be my deepest, my darkest moment. It also turned out to be THE moment I turned the corner. From that point on, I knew I had succeeded, even if I still had 2 1/2 months to go. I remained strong and faced a few more challenges, but nothing like that "dark journey of the soul". And I was ready if it had come back. When that sense of powerlessness over your addiction takes over, find your community to support you. Find the wall to discharge the rage, the anger, the frustration, the powerlessness. Get in touch the vulnerability UNDERNEATH the belief that you've reached your limit and can't go any further. Again, sheer will will not get you there. Working through it will, letting it be release from it will. Watch animals who have been traumatized. They literally shake it off. Shake things off when it's too much. Let your animal self reclaim its healthy survival instincts!

It can be done. It just depends "how bad do you want it?"

It's worth it. Go for it!

My journal: http://www.yourbrainrebalanced.com/index.php?topic=3478.0


(First post) Journal - Happy Valentine!