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#28538 - 12/18/02 06:41 PM Re: compulsive masturbation
Les_Angry Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/06/02
Posts: 195
Hey Wuamei and Lloydy,

Thanks for encouraging everyone on both sides of the issue to continue posting. I think you are doing a great job preventing us from falling into cliques based on our past and present behaviors, beliefs, prefernces etc. or getting intimidated off the boards.

Sleepy: good topic, a big issue for me in my life.

Quote:
Can't we all just get along - Rodney King
I think we can

Les_Angry


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#28539 - 12/18/02 08:47 PM Re: compulsive masturbation
Wuamei Offline
Member

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 2700
Loc: The left turn I should have ta...
Les, thanks friend, I needed that! \:\)

And I think we can too!

Wuame

_________________________
"I can't stand pain. It hurts me."
--Daffy Duck

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#28540 - 12/18/02 10:03 PM Re: compulsive masturbation
Sleepy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/08/02
Posts: 288
Loc: Arizona, USA
I'm glad that we got all this sorted out. I am suprised with the interest that this post generated. 45 or so...wow. I don't think I've seen too many this long. And plus I noticed some other threads that spun off this one.

Keep posting on this subject. The more I read the more I understand myself and everyone here.
See ya later,
mike

_________________________
"It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end."
--Ursula K. Le Guin

"Mental health is a commitment to reality at all times."
--M. Scott Peck

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#28541 - 12/18/02 11:21 PM Re: compulsive masturbation
Wuamei Offline
Member

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 2700
Loc: The left turn I should have ta...
Mike:

You're starting this thread, the length of it, the many opinions & insights it generated, the way it's getting all worked out--this is what sharing & support on a recovery forum is all about!

And Mike, you are what a survivor is all about!

Wuame

PS I suspect we'll see a lot more posting on this & similar subjects.

_________________________
"I can't stand pain. It hurts me."
--Daffy Duck

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#28542 - 12/19/02 12:02 AM Re: compulsive masturbation
Don-NY Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/06/02
Posts: 546
Loc: Long Island, NY
Roy:

Just amazing.
Quote:
Another thought to consider is whether masturbation might be a way of subconsciously avoiding dealing with your sexuality directly. If you are always releasing the biological "pressure", the real desire may never build to such a crescendo that it requires your full undivided attention.
This is exactly right for me - my circumstances and issues. Thanks for putting this in front of me again.

And another thing you said -
Quote:
To check all this out may I suggest an experiment? For an entire week, tie up your "friendly" hand to the bed and see what happens. If your other hand learns to compensate, then you might need to immobilize him, too, in some way. You're smart, I'm sure you can figure something out. Go ahead and scoff all you naysayers! I can almost hear you laughing. I think the results might be very interesting and I'm being perfectly serious. We'll talk later.
Once upon a time, I did something very similar. I didn't tie my hands. I went to bed each night wearing a pair of briefs, followed by a pair of tight longjohns, then a pair of athletic shorts with drawstring tied tight, then a pair of sweats also with drawstring tied tight.

I was determined to abstain for two weeks. If I "slipped", in the shower for instance, I reset the two week clock.

After about a month, as I approached my two week goal, I met someone in a deli, and began a very pleasant relationship. Although short-lived, it is fondly remembered, and was very positive, passionate, and both physically and emotionally satisfying.

Talk about results. Once again, thanks for reminding me of things I know.

I've been staying off-line the past month or so specifically to stay away from porn and marathon masturbation. It is interesting to note that the major issues that were tearing me up a month ago have been largely resolved now. Did the effort required to resolve them help divert me from net porn or did abstaining from the net allow me to make the efforts? Probably a little of both. In much the same ways that negative feelings and actions feed off each other, it seems that positive, affirmative feelings and actions do also.

I have located an SAA group nearby, and I'll be giving that a try if I start to feel I'm regressing in my goals. To paraphrase Mel Brooks, in "The History of the World, Part 1", "It's good to have a goal!"

And finally,
Quote:
It's possible that this is exactly perfect for where you are in your development right now.
This was true for me, but that time is past. Like so many defenses or other compensatory behaviors, the time is past and it's just not working anymore.

For me, moving on is the obvious next step, and your words have inspired me.



Thanks very much.

And thanks to Mike for starting this thread. It seems to be a core issue for so many of us.

Take care all,
Donald

_________________________
If you understand everything, some things are just as they are. If you understand nothing, things are still just as they are.

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#28543 - 12/19/02 02:38 AM Re: compulsive masturbation
Les_Angry Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/06/02
Posts: 195
Hey Don,

Along the lines of what you and Roy said:

Quote:
Once upon a time, I did something very similar. I didn't tie my hands. I went to bed each night wearing a pair of briefs, followed by a pair of tight longjohns, then a pair of athletic shorts with drawstring tied tight, then a pair of sweats also with drawstring tied tight.
I remember around early college age feeling hypersexualized, and every time I got aroused which was often, I would feel out of control, conflicted and it would bring on anxiety attacks and bad feelings about not being able to talk to women. What I decided to do to combat this was to wear an athletic supporter all the time. I know that sounds weird, but I felt much safer with it on. (I didnt put the cup in though) I didn't have to worry about getting erections constantly from the lack of activity caused my sharing a room with first 3 and then 2 other people. It kind of numbed me out down there. I guess it works kind of like an ace bandage. When I didn't feel arousal, I didn't feel bad about myself. It also made living with roomates bearable, because I didn't worry that I would wake up in the early morning "beating the wizard" as they say (which was often the case at home).

I don't think wearing it was very good for the circulation. Also the best friend of the girl I was in love with noticed I was wearing it every day, and I was very embarrased. But in a way I felt better because I was letting her know something wasn't right with me in that department, which might explain to her why I never "closed the deal with her friend who flirted with me for 4 years. She kept telling me I should go to a doctor if I had a problem down there. I did feel like there was something wrong with me connected with that part of the body, and wearing it seemed to magically make the bad feelings go away. The truth was at the time I really didn't know why I was wearing it, I didnt remember the abuse for 14 more years. I only know that things in that department seemed more under control.

Anyway I don't recommend it, I just wanted to let you know that you guys are not alone based on the portion of your post I quoted.

Les_Angry


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#28544 - 12/19/02 08:43 AM Re: compulsive masturbation
zadok1 Offline
Member

Registered: 11/05/02
Posts: 188
Loc: Ohio
I applaud everyone who has defeated their own demons and moved on. I would benefit from hearing about their struggle and what their strategy was in their victory. Just please don't lecture me. .

I felt that sharing my struggle with masturbation might help, even if not everyone agrees with how I handled it. To begin, I started using masturbation to escape life’s problems when I was thirteen. We are talking several times daily, and binges where I could go perhaps ten times in a day. Raised in a Christian home, I felt that what I was doing was sinful and wrong, and that is where the problems come in. To live in a continual state of sin makes you feel warped, sick, perverted and too many other things to list. What drove it home even more was the way all my friends made fun of it. Naturally, guys never get serious and actually talk about such things, and I just assumed since they made fun of it, they weren’t doing it. All of these misconceptions combined to make me feel out of control and ashamed when I felt compelled to continue doing it.

I always knew I was using sex to escape life, never really denied it. I always knew loosing control over it meant that it was a problem. From the start I knew, but where does a thirteen-year-old boy turn for help? My father was abusive, and I couldn’t talk to him. Forget talking to my friends, because they made fun of people who did that. And no way could I tell my mom what was happening. Basically, I felt isolated and trapped. I knew I had problems, but felt I couldn’t tell anyone. The solution, surrender to your fate of burning in hell, and just go on the best you can.

In 1999, after a tearful night of promising to get help, and begging my wife to stay, the journey began. Through SLAA I found a local support group, and the guys there put me in touch with a therapist who was experienced in addiction. I did the work though. See a therapist is kind of like a guide through all of this, but in the end, you have to do the work. On top of therapy, I read every book I could get my hands on. Before long I was uncovering the abuse, molestation and traumas of my life, and I understood how they made me the way I am. See that is empowering for me. I feed off understanding and knowing, and when I can look at things in a logical way and make them make sense, I can control them.

For years, I rationalized using porn. ‘everyone does it’ or ‘they’re only pictures’ I am sure you all know the drill. When I changed my perspective to make it a clear negative, it was easy for me to walk away. Okay, maybe not easy, but it was easier. I would think things like ‘it victimizes women and children’ or ‘it dulls the feelings I have for my wife’ or ‘what am I passing on to my children’ . I also found that you need to fill the time and the needs that porn or whatever was filling. That was key for me, understanding why I was doing something, and what I was getting out of it. I looked at every part of my life that way, and it is an exhaustive process.

Now to focus on masturbation, because that is what this thread is about. First of all, I wanted to understand why I did it, what I was getting out of it, what I needed that it was filling, what it was costing me, and why I felt so bad about it. Being a Christian, I often begin with the owner’s manual God gave us for these flesh bodies, the Bible. The Bible is very silent on masturbation, and not one time does God come out and call it sinful. The Bible has the tools and guidelines we need to please and be accepted by God, and nowhere did He ever say that you would be unacceptable if you masturbated. He detailed sins right and left, and if it were important, why would He omit this one. If He doesn’t condemn it, why was I?

As I pointed out, society treats it as a taboo thing. We feel that it is wrong not because the word declares it, but because mankind implies it. With the Bible silent on it, I turned to more humanist means to clarify what separated healthy from unhealthy. Over the past few years I have learned more about sex, about the mind, and about the body than even I can fathom sometimes. I learned that there are no studies that have ever linked masturbation to ill effects on your health, outside of physical and mental damage the person might inflict on themselves by doing it. I worried about my prostate, and all the old myths about going blind or whatever. The fact is that no one has ever linked it to anything like that.

From a biological standpoint there is a very good case for doing it. We tend to lump male hormones into one big group and label it testosterone. The fact is that those hormones take many forms and do many things to our bodies. For example, DHT is testosterone, and many of you know that one side effect it causes is hair loss. The body is geared to release semen every two to three days; if it is not released in that time our bodies recycle it. There are changes in hormone levels that drive this cycle on a mental level, and they push us to seek release before the supply has to be recycled, expending energy and time. Strangely one of the most powerful of these hormones is a female one, Oxytocin. In women it is a strong anti-depressant, and strangely enough the only way to increase the amount is through sexual intercourse. Oral sex and masturbation do nothing to increase it, and for some reason only intercourse releases it. A woman abstain from sex has a much lower level, and is at a greater risk for depression. It also comes into play in men, and increases with time. In men it tends to throw our bodies out of sync, and the way we decrease the level and restore balance is with ejaculation. Now there is a set limit, so do think I am saying these hormones build-up to the point where you explode. You can ignore the signals from your brain, and abstain. Your body has a way of dealing with that too, called nocturnal emission (wet dream).

Now, I started putting things together in my mind. God designed us to want sex, and set up this cycle of two to three days, but he gave us control over it as well. Masturbation is not called a sin, and from a physical point of view the relief of stress, and the anti-depressant effects on the body are positives. Science has linked it to no ill health effects, so why was I feeling so bad about it? I felt bad because something controlled me, instead of the other way. I felt bad because I felt a woman should meet those needs. I felt bad because I was taking something from my wife by doing it. I felt bad because the fantasies I used for motivation reduced the attachment and feeling I had for my wife. It wasn’t the masturbation that made me feel bad, it was the way I used it that did.

For a time I abstained completely, dried out if you will. The increased intimacy and closeness I felt for my wife was incredible. I had never experienced true intimacy before, and believe me it is worth making the effort to stay free of it. Like all things in recovery, you swing from one way to the other, but eventually you stabilize somewhere in the middle. That first rush of feeling close for the first time dies away some, and you are left with a new comfortable life. I did quite well at that for a long time.

Now the wife and I get pregnant, and the frequency falls as she gets sick and bigger. I continue my abstaining, but now fill with resentment because I am stressed all the time. I was watching a show on the health channel, and the guy from Love Line was on it. They were addressing sexual problems, and he pointed out something I found very interesting. Just because a person recovers from some problem, doesn’t mean that it still isn’t part of who he is. Yes, I am recovering, but because of my past I can’t expect my libido to just dry up and go away. It is part of me, a healthy, normal part of everyone’s life. Mine will always be strong and high because that is who and what I am. The key is to express it in healthy ways, and to avoid the addictive ones. Abstaining from masturbation is a good way of doing that, but what about the ill effects depression, resentment and stress have on your body? For me there had to be some middle ground. The high blood pressure, hypertension and wallowing in depression were every bit as unhealthy as any of the rest.

The solution was simple, to set and hold myself to a set of guidelines for using masturbation in a way that I could look at myself and feel good about whom I was. You will not find a husband that is more affectionate, caring and supportive of his wife. My guidelines demand that I meet her needs first, but the bottom line is she works nights, and I work days. We have a baby that places demands on our time and energy, and an older son I have to get to sports and that is always around to hamper intimacy. I could live with the once or twice a month we get to have sex, and the resentment that goes with it, or I can bridge the gap with masturbation.

Currently, I maintain a level of once or twice a week, and I limit my motivating thoughts exclusively to my wife. I always try to initiate something with her first, which is another limiting factor. I demand of myself that I try to meet those needs with her first, and because I don’t always feel like making that effort, that places limits on my masturbation. Another limit I have placed on it is that if I have had a sexual release within two days prior, I can’t masturbate. That instantly limits me to at least every third day, even if I have met my first requirement. Finally, I shared all of this with my wife. She knows what I am doing, and how I go about it. That gives her the opportunity to meet my needs if she doesn’t want me doing that, and has resulted in a level of masturbation that I am very happy with. I can look myself in the mirror, and I no longer feel controlled by it, nor do I feel guilty for using it. I wont pretend that this will work for everyone, nor will I pretend to force my thoughts of views on anyone. I shared this because some here might be able to take parts of it to use in their own life. If masturbation causes you to feel ashamed or guilty, then you may not be able to make peace with it. That doesn’t make you wrong or anything, only different from me. In the end you alone have to account to your god and your life for how you live. Normal and healthy are very fluid terms when dealing with recovery and healing, so all I can say is if it makes you happy, go for it.

_________________________
The world is a dangerous place, not because of those that are evil, but because of those who do nothing about them- Albert Einstein

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#28545 - 12/19/02 10:32 AM Re: compulsive masturbation
Sleepy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/08/02
Posts: 288
Loc: Arizona, USA
Wow Zadok, that was an interesting analysis on your life. I'm really glad that the thread is continuing in a productive manner. Everytime I hear your stories it allows me to learn about myself.

It's interesting how we all used masturbation to drowned out other feelings. I found a vibrator when I was pretty young and boy-oh-boy did I like that machine. I felt like it was my secret toy. You know what I mean?

Anyway, I'm heading out of town this weekend so I will be MIA for a few days. I'm leaving for the airport right now but I wish I could be part of this very productive conversation.
Later,
mike

_________________________
"It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end."
--Ursula K. Le Guin

"Mental health is a commitment to reality at all times."
--M. Scott Peck

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#28546 - 12/19/02 01:37 PM Re: compulsive masturbation
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Quote:
I always knew I was using sex to escape life, never really denied it. I always knew loosing control over it meant that it was a problem. From the start I knew, but where does a thirteen-year-old boy turn for help? My father was abusive, and I couldn’t talk to him. Forget talking to my friends, because they made fun of people who did that. And no way could I tell my mom what was happening. Basically, I felt isolated and trapped. I knew I had problems, but felt I couldn’t tell anyone. The solution, surrender to your fate of burning in hell, and just go on the best you can.
And the rest - as they say - is history !

Zadoc, thank you so much for that wonderful post.
( and all you other guys, this is a GOOD topic )

Dave

_________________________
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

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#28547 - 12/19/02 01:49 PM Re: compulsive masturbation
Wuamei Offline
Member

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 2700
Loc: The left turn I should have ta...
Zadok, that last post is one of the most thotful, well thot out common sense things about masturbation (and porn) that I've ever read anywhere! Thanks a lot man!

Wuame

_________________________
"I can't stand pain. It hurts me."
--Daffy Duck

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