Friday, June 30, 2006

Progress report

It's been a while since I determined to do the 12 step program for porn addiction. I haven't had any problems since then, but I realize that I've got to be proactive in doing the work on the steps or it won't be of any use.

People say individuals finally become willing to abstain when the pain of the problem becomes worse than the pain of the solution. Have you come to that point? If you have not and you continue in your addiction, you surely will reach that point because addiction is a progressive problem. Like a degenerative disease, it eats at your ability to function normally.

I thought this quote from the addiction manual was an interesting idea, although I'm not convinced it fully applies in the case of porn. I can imagine cases where it does apply: there are certainly case reports of porn users progressing to increasingly edgy porn to the point they engage in viewing illegal and frankly abhorrent images. I've heard (although I don't remember the specifics) that porn can progress to rape and murder.

However, it was precisely because the pain of the problem was so minimal that I've had a hard time getting started on the 12 steps. I was able to keep the porn on the down low, and without ever being confronted about it by my wife, things were quite comfortable all in all. The problem, of course, is that during this time I was losing opportunities to affirm my heterosexuality and to bond with my wife. I think sex was easier after looking at porn because I was more arousable. How stupid to become reliant on porn to have good sex. Sex should be a warm humanistic activity, not one where your highest highs involve a beige metal box with little blinking lights. It's a frustrating and complex situation for a gay man who wants to be deeply intimate with a woman.


Ferny Pants said...

Keep on perservering. Keeping your sex life with your wife in perspective will be a very powerful motivator for achieving your goals.

Samantha said...

Thanks for the quote you left for me. I loved it.

Thanks for your help with the poll--it's now closed. Data has been posted.

Thanks for your words. Your posts have cause me some inward reflection--I don't always like what I see, but I AM grateful for the motivation to look.

That last paragraph--I've been there.

Beck said...

Per your quote, I guess I'm still suffering from addiction of staring at beautiful guys, and seeking to bask in their perfection. Maybe it's the artist in me, but good or bad, it is an addiction that is beginning to consume me. Maybe the pain of this addiction has to get 'bad' enough for me to do something about it.

Chris (hurricane) said...


My perspective on your "addiction" -- once I finally started coming out and being open about being gay, I found the compulsion to look at men lessened considerably. Don't misunderstand -- I still absolutely look at other men. I notice them. But it feels so much more normal now that I am out, and the need to look to stare, to want doesn't consumer me as it once did. This sense of normalcy has made a considerable difference in my mental health.

Rusty said...

Although I'm straight, I think I can identify with what you're describing. I typically used pornography to self-medicate, so I generally found myself pretty numb after acting out. As I got some distance from the addiction, I generally found emotions particularly acute--depressions, anger, etc.

-L- said...

Chris, I have a pretty good (albeit not perfect) sense of normalcy about my attractions and orientation. I think some of the compulsion that can't be changed by that is the fact that many of the men I check out don't want to be checked out--they are repulsed by the very idea. Where they would perhaps feel complimented by a woman glancing their way, they just look away disgusted if they catch my eye. Maybe that's another contributing factor that makes me feel like there's something dishonest about my stealing glances. I dunno. Just thinking out loud.