Alright here we go, we’re going to lash out for a little bit. Let’s get angry with compassion for ourselves.
I fucked up. I did something I shouldn’t have out of desperation. It doesn’t matter what it was, because all that matters is that those are the facts. I wish I could take it back, and I wish I could take back the last 12 years of my life.
I wish I had gone away to art school, travelled the world and been single this entire time. But what am I saying here? I’m saying I want to nurture my natural talents, visit other places and I wish I’d done all these things in my youth.
- Have you noticed that you:
- procrastinate more than before using porn, have lower motivation (don’t care), chronic fatigue, brain-fog, or difficulty concentrating or remembering things?
- have become more anxious, restless, impulsive, stressed, irritable, unhappy, pessimistic, emotionally numb, or depressed?
- have become more secretive, or isolated more?
Sure, I felt all that. But I kept saying that it wasn’t because of porn it was because of other stuff in my life. Soon I started cutting the other stuff out until all that was left was my SO and porn. I ditched the porn first and became increasingly happy — I felt like I finally reached a baseline after months of scouring the internet for 4 minutes out of 30 minute videos a piece to help me get off. Then I stopped being with my partner. Now, I’ve noticed these feelings are gone. The next piece is finding a job I like and that doesn’t involve the abuse I’ve come to expect from everything else in my life.
This is completely consistent with the “binge trigger” concept: the idea that when the brain registers intense excitement (in the form of a neurochemical signal that something really valuable is about), it numbs itself temporarily in order to urge us to pursue more of it. The Daoists said too much climax “depletes the brain,” which is consistent with this concept, as the numbing is likely to be, in part, a product of reduced D2 (dopamine) receptors in the brain’s striatum.
Whatever the precise mechanism(s), the result can be that, instead of feeling satisfied after intense sexual arousal, we soon hungrily look around for further stimulation. In fact, the hotter the hook-up, the stronger the chaser. So be ready for it.
“It is easier to raise strong children than repair broken men.” – Frederick Douglass
This early sexualization propelled Hope (her online name) into “sex play” with other kids and promoted an unhealthy obsession with sex, pornography and the power that women in pornography seemed to wield.
“I felt unattractive as a kid,” Hope said. “I was overweight and … the idea of being a beautiful woman that men wanted to be with so much was a really intoxicating idea to me.”
It was so intoxicating that during high school and college Hope found herself in a series of problematic relationships, only later realizing just how far she went to gain attention and affection, even if it was warped and violent.
This is also why I can’t really be that angry at Sydney Leathers. At 21, she could make her own decisions, but the risky behavior she displayed is also indicative of a problem. One that lots of parents are trying to ignore right now, which is that their kids boys and girls alike are sending porn to each other.
Anthony W., like many people who have an addiction, knew how to pick someone who would be amenable to his addiction.
I really liked Ta-Nehisi’s take on Weiner’s behavior, because it’s not just about the whats and whys of a “sexual scandal”, it’s about what Mr. Weiner’s actions say about his own short comings as a person:
There is something else at work here also — a lack of compassion. Here is where I differ with many of my liberal and libertarian friends. I believe that how you treat people matters. It is folly to embarrass your pregnant wife before an entire nation. To do the same thing again is cruelty. And there is the promise of more to come. One argument holds that what happens between Weiner and his wife is between them. I agree with this argument. But cruelty is not abolished by the phrase “consenting adults.” And the fact that the immoral is not, and should not be, illegal does not make morality meaningless. Huma Abedin has one choice. We have another. — Ta-Nehisi Coates
If I should take a notion to dive into the ocean.
Sometimes I get super sadsack. I’m like no one will ever want me or love. No one will ever understand me. I work with a guy who has a pretty intense stutter when he gets excited or when he is confronted. He talked before about how hard it is to communicate how it really requires that he thinks before he speaks.
I am not afraid to sweat anymore. There was a time when I hated anything that ruined my makeup, my hair, the illusion I built of myself as put together. This is what kept me from working out for the longest time. But now I don’t mind it. I’m even starting not to mind outside.
In the last week, I’ve joined a gym. Worked out everyday except today and really feel good about myself. Or so I thought. When I’m sweating I actually feel sexy and beautiful, but it doesn’t last very long. Lately I’ve actually been sleeping in my workout sweat. Partially it’s to keep my SO away from me and partly because it’s the last positive feeling I have before I go to sleep and I’m trying to prolong it. Yes, I’m so gross and smelly, but since I’m eating clean my sweat smells and tastes like nothing. It smells like water.
I’m convinced that humans continually reproduce patterns of pain and pleasure and that they spend so much of their time trying to recreate the first pleasure that the addiction that almost everyone has is not being in the present and not being able to recognize joy in the pleasant. When people have midlife crises it’s not about actually recapturing youth. It’s about how you felt when you did things even though you were afraid in youth. It’s about being exposed to new things and not being complacent and above all it’s an inability to articulate that.
Brain cells that wire together, fire together (we never understand these positive experiences as little bumps of dopamine, endorphins, a chemical rush). All that comes out of it in our stilted language is new spouse, new mate, new car, new something. And yet none of these new things make us as happy as we thought. It is only once we learn and can see the pattern that we manage it. Until then we keep shopping few piecemeal answers to a problem that requires a holistic approach.
The sex acts you love the most? Ones you’ve had he most positive experience with. The one that I still try to recapture as a 16 year old girl feeling cunnilingus for the first time. The one that my SO has is his first girlfriend riding him and that is the first time someone paid sexual attention to him and it was a positive experience. We just spend time over and over again trying to recreate that and new feelings in as many was as we can. Then we replay that in everything, or we see a new image from porn and we want to try that.
I’m examining my patterns and saying fuck it. I don’t want them anymore. I feel so weird to be in this state at only 32. Realizing that everything I thought I liked is the result of some really fucked up trauma and many of the things I’ve never desired are what it takes to be healthy.