Age 52 - Porn-induced ED gone, addiction and fantasy almost nil - after 35 years

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brain BEFORE: I have suffered so much in my life, for over 3 decades of dysfunctional relationships, a stressed/dead marriage with lousy sex (mostly cause of me) ED, porn addiction and sex addiction. Intermixed with all that is anxiety and often panic and lots of anger and blame. My path is littered with self-help books, different therapists and more recently SA that I find very useful actually.

NOW: 90% or more of ALL OF this has been lifted and I stopped paxil 3 years ago.  I will point to my 3 long-winded posts above for a fuller picture how.  I feel as clean and wonderful as anything at 52 years and my PIED is 90% better, my marriage is way better, and my focus at work is better and I feel connected to life.

IT’S ABOUT LETTING GO

I learned to let go of stuff.  It’s all about letting go and being present- just Being. And realizing that you are full.  Already full.  All other things (money, status, praise, sex, food, women) are bonuses that we cannot control and that never fill us anyway.  I mean everything-yes even women and sex.  Especially women and sex. But nobody told us men that growing up did they?  And here we are on these forums.

 It seems simple doesn’t it…just “being” and perhaps it is…but simplicity is not stupidity. Simplicity is refreshing and closer to the truth  My new attitude is like an oxegen mask from the agony and chaos and fears of suffering from before.  Life is all about letting go in fact …and the more you do it, the more present you are, the more blessings get heaped on your plate.  Then you give and love better and the cycle repeats with more again.
 
Have you ever tried just being? I do not mean zoning out or relaxing-those are nice too occasionally.  I mean being aware of your thoughts, feelings, emotions, histories, patterns, fetishes, addictive urges, anger triggers…and sitting with them…and not reacting…having your “beingness” transform them and watching them dissipate. And feeling fuller- more solid yet spacious.  It’s the best…but not in an intense addictive way that you and I are used to.  This is what I mean by letting go. 
You let go through acceptance, rather than stay hooked through denial.  Let go and choose rather than stay addicted with no choice.  Let go through gentle awareness rather than stay stuck fighting with it.  Or through grabbing and practicing your addiction which only reinforces it. MINDFULNESS HAS HELPED me hugely as it naturally brings the awareness to things...so that...we can face it...and ...let go!!  isn't that the whole point?

 It’s the reverse of what we’ve been doing and are taught.

WELCOME THE NATURAL DILEMMA

Addict or non-addict, us humans, and especially men are cursed when we are not aware of our basic, natural dilemma. We need to accept this basic dynamic- and THEN go from there.  Not fight it.

the dilemma is this: If we choose fear (“what if”…and its countless potential catastrophes that scare us) or fantasy (this “should/could be“…and its countless temptations that hook us) then we suffer.  Do you see that?  Both Buddha, Jesus and my others wiser than me pointed that out.  We need to choose a 3rd way. (yes there is one- seem my other posts)

Ironically both fear and fantasy makes promises to either protect us from harm or give us something that will supposedly complete or free us.  They are attempts of the mind to do good things for us …so the intention is there…but they are misguided.   Neither path works.  They were invented by a little boy, in a busy noisy sex fueled world and they were made in isolation.  Thoughts, reactions, fantasies, longings, envies, lusts, fears, perceptions, hormones all interplayed and grew into a little empire inside us. 

You were not wrong to form the way you did- just unaware like we all are.  So do not beat yourself up.  That is just more of the same shit.

But now, since you are suffering (on this site) as we become aware-though pain, loneliness, anxiety, depression, addiction or all the above (like me!)  -it’s an opportunity to awaken. Awaken to the freedom inside you.

WE LEARN THE HARD WAY WHAT FREEDOM REALLY IS

There are various levels of freedom that come and go in life but there is only real, core freedom – presence -right now despite what is going on and presence has nothing to do with either fear or fantasy.

Our suffering comes from our beliefs that we have inadvertently attached to for a variety of reasons.  Again it’s not our fault that this happened-but it’s our responsibility to manage this as best we can especially when we become aware.  We don’t need to feel guilty about these reasons we just need accept that this is where we are at and ask if it’s true, and to understand that they grew quietly in our unawareness of truth and we simply accepted them. 

OUR FEARS AND FANTASIES ARE NOT “US”- THEY ARE EXPERIENCES

But we trick ourselves all the time that they are us.  We get mired in our fears and fantasies.  We get bogged down like walking through a muddy swamp; that is why it seems so difficult.  These beliefs feel like “us” so giving them up would be like giving a chunk of ourselves away…and then we’d be in even more pain, right?  Or so we believe.
The mind will tell us “you are like this and you need to change…but you cannot”...or  “you are not like this but the world is and you can’t change the world” or “I need to porn/fantasy to be happy, whole, secure…me! and I’m not getting it”  or “I’m just not good enough and I feel worthless.
”  These statements are instruments of torture and suffering that we inflict on ourselves and each other all the time.

Each of these leads to an endless loop of suffering and obsession that seems so real and personalized.  It always ends in powerlessness.  Worse too our minds can find lots of proof to support the case of our beliefs!  And justify our anger and depression!  Right? But if that were all there was, (just our correct beliefs and perceptions) then that would be the end of this thread.   

 But there’s more…  Even if you defend your position, and come up with air tight arguments each time…unless it is of truth, or points to truth and love…you will restlessly know that deep down something does not quite square despite winning every argument.  This anxiety of your addiction/obsession is a gift goading you on question the belief since there is no anxiety or depression with the truth.

ACCEPTANCE IS SPIRITUAL,   ITS’ NOT THE EGO “GIVING IN”
Acceptance is a deliberate choice- and it becomes a fantastic lifestyle when practiced each day-each hour.  The most amazing role models I have in my life that have inspired me and pushed the limits of being human…are those that have accepted suffering and not only survived but thrived.

Think about it…aren’t people who FULLY accept shitty circumstances amazing?   Go ahead and accept yours.  All aspects.  When we become present with painful things, they don’t necessarily disappear (although they could!) but they don’t have to.  The solution to pollution is dilution.  They become downgraded and even neutralized in the truth of presence making them unnecessary; unnecessary in their false promise to give us security or freedom or completion. The opposite of an addiction is not fighting it, or denying it.  It is that your attachment eventually becomes unnecessary.

DOES FREEDOM MEAN OBLITERATING TEMPTATION? OR DEALING WITH IT
When Jesus was in the desert and being tempted, he said “get thee behind me” meaning he did not get rid of temptation entirely but he saw through it and got in front of the illusion – the illusion that promised to complete him.  It held little meaning so he was not hooked anymore but remember this came after considerable struggle.  40 days? And this is Jesus we are talking about, so for us a bit longer I’m sure.

Jesus co-existed with it by recognizing illusion and just downgrading it to an annoyance or just a ”thing’ or a shadow that follows us that leads nowhere in and of itself.  But it does not disappear.  In fact its illusion may quiet for awhile but it will be back, and this creates a necessary sparring , a needed foil for our  human and being parts to grind against itself producing wonderful things if and only if we are aware and accepting of this grinding.  We are little “god mills” that grind out stuff- all 7 billion of us.  Accept it and awake.  We can harness it.

The things that terrorize us or have us crave…put them where they belong.  Behind us.   Let them get downgraded though our presence and know that you can peacefully co-exist with this horror or attachment if you operate from the spirit in you-the real you.  Become spirit led.  Pain changes from becoming a problem to a tool; a tool of the truth that you are being goaded into doing this work-this unfolding. 

The pain now serves as a function- a sting that you need to go the other way, and when you do …the stinging stops. Until your mind of course inserts itself and begins to analyze and resist…but that is just more noise from the mind…the same nonsense that brought you to this place. The mind (all the wiring, and reactions, histories, associations, beliefs etc) is not presence or truth. Awareness is something in you but COMPLETELY different from your noisy mind.

WHO ARE YOU TAKING ORDERS FROM?  EGO OR PRESENCE?

Freedom is therefore not in the mind but the mind should takes its cues from freedom-from our deeper parts- from that higher place in side of us.  Not vise versa.  Us humans and certainly addicts have it backwards… identifying and getting entangled in the mind.  When this happens we don’t “drive and co-create”  …  we are instead “the driven… and self-destruct”.

Our beliefs about ourselves, our needs, our fears, our histories, our identities and our world seem so real, so painful an so utterly massive and overwhelming in terms of our ability to deal and control them.   Worse, even though that is true, we silently nurse and rehearse these hurts, these desires, in an addictive fashion, often without our even knowing it.  We react then to them, act on them and others in turn react back to us, and all this does is reinforce them, making our fears and fictions, or addictions and memories, our fetishes and longings our legends seemingly even more true.  Our minds easily find proof for things. No wonder we feel powerless…it’s so exhausting!

We believe freedom comes in more understanding, more analysis, more justice, more control, more righting of wrongs, more this and more that. “ If only” thinking feeds this.  Nope doesn’t work.

“IF ONLY” YEARNING IS AN ILLUSION

Just because your details of fantasy and desire are personal to you...familiar does not make something "true". But it might feel like it does.  Our deepest suffering comes from reacting to the thing we have and don’t want, and want but don’t have-like sex real or imagined. We believe unless our conditions are met there can be no peace.  As the months turn into years we trudge through life, asleep, hypnotized by our needy beliefs and lead a life of misery, envy; a bitter hassle that colours our entire experience.  Freedom is a vague, imagined far off place in our minds that becomes with a condition “if only____”.  What a lie.

The truth is that freedom lies outside all that, and that “if only” is an illusion, a fantasy that itself removes us from the peace that is all around us.  Freedom is in fact right here, right now!  What we glorify or fear has the power to remove us from freedom, almost as if we are trading it away.  But your lust and fear to not remove/destroy the freedom of presence inside you-they only obscure it.  You obscure it.

AWARENESS AND ACCEPTANCE IS THE ANSWER

Your current route...habit…or belief offers no more mileage down that familiar road…but yet you cling to it as you know no other road.  Fear of uncertainty and change keeps you mired in your own misery. So more pain is then brought on to help you understand that it is ok to let go and move on.  This is the subject of this thread…that it is not only OK to let go of things…but that is the ONLY way to freedom, and in fact the point of life. 
Do you actually believe that God, freedom, spirit , whole self and truth…actually requires you to go out and get/acquire anything? Letting go is the only price of admission to healing.

LET IT GO AT THAT

I prefer to say “let it go at that” honoring the truth that you have tried other ways, addictive ways, so gently lay them down.   It is physical too!  Billions of neurons have bundled and will produce physiological responses.  But when we let go …don’t forget we unwire too. But this will take time.
When we let go we don’t die and or diminish like or ego promises.  That is the delightful news that our mind –the ego- does not wants us to know. However it will feel like a dying and this is a good sign since it’s the dying of an ego, the dying of an attachment or illusion.  Let that part die.  What actually happens is you let go, grieve if necessary and move on and up and flourish. 

You find the space within…and realize is not dead, empty space…but warmly and gently alive with presence…the very essence of life and your true self.  God. This is NOT a high or intense experience so do not look for this intensity to cancel out the intensity of your anger or craving.  It does not work that way.

YOU GIVE UP TO GET

You NOT shrivelling up and dying when letting go is ALWAYS the case .  It does not matter whether it’s an urge, thought, belief, fantasy, addiction…that seems so personal to you.  In fact …all the better.  More rewards.  The very purpose of our lives is to discover this freedom and each of us walks a twisty, individual path that no school or less will ever prepare us and that is why it is so scary.  The mind, with its noisy warnings and attachments will have you believe otherwise and will attempt to keep you safe on your miserable road going in loops , as that is all it knows.  You therefore need to rethink pain.  Our pain is not that bad if we don’t add suffering to it…reality is often kinder than our thoughts about it, which can be tortuous. Human pain is like fire that stings us, and is unavoidable.  but the suffering we make is like the smoke that chokes us as it blinds and is avoidable.  We are smoke machines.

HARNESS THE STRUGGLE

There is a way to use this dark place, to harness this anger, this fear,  this powerlessness to awaken into something greater.  It is neither fighting it nor pretending it does not exist.   Our minds, our thoughts, our beliefs, getting our needs met…NONE of these leads to freedom as freedom as they are ALL conditional and depend on something.
The reverse is true-  We must give up our fictions, and fetishes, our fears, and addictions and legends and stories and open up to life without them, and freedom will enter into you. You may be vulnerable, wide open, and tippy like in a canoe about to fall into the unknown…let it be so.  Choose it and smile despite.  That is progress, not the usual muck.

The one thing we resist is the one thing we need to do…to lay down our arms…and accept.  What would happen if we did?  What would happen if you accepted pain and entered into unknown while being present?  Your mind of course will yell  “if there is this much pain now…just wait …without your defenses, and your ruminations and endless predictions… it will get even worse!”  But is this true?  It certainly is when the mind is in charge but when we are spirit led?  Only you can find out.  At least begin get curious about it.  That is a good first step.

LET GO OF DEPENDENCY ON WOMEN

You may never get rid of desire but that’s ok since that is not the problem.  Desperateness is.  And that comes from dependency-THAT is your real addiction.  Porn, sex, masturbation all flow up from that dependent lackness.

I first had to “cut my umbilical cord to women”.  I got this quote from Sam Keane. Could that include a particular woman? Possibly.  It might include that.  But for me “women” means that familiar, imaginary feminine figure…at the far reaches of my imagination…beckoning me…promising to smile and validate me or punish me and dom me.  I paid thousands of dollars to that fictitious figure in the form of prostitutes and lost entire tracts of my life due to an obsessive imagination that has left me empty and wanting.  Not anymore.

I write this feeling a warmth of hearth inside me- my spirit.  I did not build my spirit up- it’s already there-the real me.  I found it by letting go of the other shit that obscured it.  It then revealed itself- The complete me- the me of life. The spirit part of me.

PRACTICAL WANTING SOMETHING?   VERSUS EGOIC LONGING AND YEARNING
When we create a situation where we long or yearn for something, what we really desire is a piece of ourselves that’s missing. When you meet someone or see porn that’s “just right”  and is not available – YOU are the one who is not available.  Because you have disowned yourself- and I mean spirit or inner being.

Our inner reality reflects our outer reality. What is occurring internally will always show up in the world outside. Spiritually connected is about being completely present. Relationships with sustainable, healthy relating embody the feeling your own internal warmth and connection …in external form… in someone else.

When we experience panic and longing we are reaching outside for a piece of ourselves that’s missing, or we forget that we had inside.  The irony is…that safeness and fullness inside…is drowned out by the longing for safety and fullness! Do you see the difference?

You will never find externally anything to fill an internal ache. Any relationship formed from the intensity of wanting (or lack), will never be enough.

Are you single?  Do you ever ask the question “when will I find love?” The answer is simple. You will find love when you choose to experience love within you-the warmth, aliveness, presence in you. THAT is living.  All else is secondary.  When you experience love internally, it absolutely must show up externally in some form-perhaps a romantic relationship? A group? A person?  A pet? Close  friends ?  You cannot control that.   The only reason it does not show up is because you are seeking it outside yourself to fill an inner ache.  Operate from your fullness and things will come.

LINK - PIED GONE, ADDICTION AND FANTASY ALMOST NIL... AFTER 35 YEARS

BY - nigel

 


Another verion

And it runs real, real deep for me, but just because it runs deep and just because it’s been part of me…does not mean I lead am enslaved by it anymore and I feel so free writing this.  I have used this over the last 10 years as part of an awakened journey between life, truth and delusion and so for me I’ve harnessed the confusion into something positive and life affirming.  And my then suffocating marriage is now better than ever as it’s not being drained by the energy of an illusion that can never be filled and my wife does not feel inadequate anymore although she is scarred sadly.  I still struggle (who doesn’t)  and its not perfect but I’m way happier than I used to be.

My fetish had indeed previously been my “best friend, crutch, companion, connection, identity and go-to place” for a lonely boy and man.  Can you see that having a real partner …a wife on this planet…would compete or be at odds to our fantasy attachment?   They often are!   Men need to know that.  My fetish has now been replaced by Presence and a real connection with Spirit and wife and a vitality for life and other things and a respect for my wife the way she is.  It may not be gone 100% but I’ve expanded beyond it.  And it’s all about letting go.

 Briefly, fetish was formed and went unnoticed as anything unusual (like asking a fish if water is unusual) in the 1970’s.  Back then women and school teachers and older sisters wore nylons all the time as they strutted on streets and crossed their legs in front of little boys, or validated us nicely with happy smiles and high voices or disciplined us sternly.  These associations did not go unnoticed to a boy and the human mind loves associations and symbols and it adds narrative to them especially in the absence of any other opinions.  So seeds grow wildly in that inner environment.  So there is no mystery at all about how it might have formed.  But symbol and story are not reality, (although they feel like it) and they are not the whole truth.  When you invite the Truth in… they take on a different meaning- a more reasonable one, your identity changes so these do not identify “you” anymore making them easier to let go of.  I’m jumping ahead.

Back to the 1970’s, not only were we surrounded by fashion, but also if you had lousy parents like mine (yelled at or ignored by a distant mom) then the mind moves over to fantasy (doesn’t just have to be sexual but mine was) often and these pleasant things and ideas became soothers for me or crutches over time and the fetish became center stage in may early escaping. - eg. A yearning to be seen, known and accepted and validated (loved) by beautiful women like in the Sears catalogue.  Don’t we all just want to be loved at know? Don’t we all just want intimacy and closeness?  We do…but we do not need to relate through the veil or wall or middleman of a fetish to do so.  But nobody told me that.

So a recap on the early coding.  Women wore sexy clothes like nylons and men did not…therefore clothes = “extra feminine and different and mystery”.  Women are caregivers so code = “full of  power and nurturing closeness”    Sexy clothes = symbol for the “feminine essence” that I must be “missing from my core” that would somehow lead to my “wholeness and completion and peace” if I could ever “get it”.  When these basic codes are source… then everything else is built from that.  And when stakes are that high (sub consciously) then we certainly begin to pay attention to them and follow where we think they take us.  It’s nothing short of an addiction or at least a set up for it and boys need to know that especially now with the avalanche of online porn and imagery.  But of course I was not aware of this flawed source code and it took me 30 years of pain and confusion to figure it out.  I now have a new Source!  Any my actions, thoughts an coding follows that.  I jump ahead.

 Over about 20 years it slowly and incrementally took a life on its own and morphed into women doing other sex acts –real or imagined- (while wearing pantyhose). Then female domination entered it, then me wearing pantyhose, verbal humiliation, and finally S&M, and even bi. You can see the progression.  Does that sound positive to you?  Like freedom?   At its extreme I get lost in fantasy of a harem of women either wanting me or dominating me or both.  Again…there is no mystery anymore it actually makes a lot of sense.  Flawed code building on other code.  But code (thoughts) are not the Truth…and its not “us or our identity” but it pretends to be.  So you can built on it all you want but its still flawed. Again I digress.

Anyway, more progression and before I got married I acted some of this out with prostitutes perhaps 50 times over a 15 year period and I must have scoured 10,000 magazines,  porno theatres and then the internet and wasted countless years.  As you can read and sense in my writing I was certainly into my fetish.  I stopped acting out when I got married but I keep acting in!  I would pout and fume and blame my wife quietly or out loud for not being into my “fix” and felt lonely and isolated from her which affected my marriage until the point of divorce.  I would ignore as I believe she ignored me, or lash out like a little boy wanting to relate the only way he knew how.  Confused, I saw her as the cause and target of my life pain and separation, and she saw me as selfish, obsessive and not caring about her.  She was the apparent cause of me not feeling like a whole, understood and loved man and if she would only change and get into my fetish… then life would be great as we would both be in alignment with the truth of my existence- my pantyhose fetish.  The code had an ‘if then and result’ logic…Sound familiar?     

  Today I’m happy to say that this prison is largely over and I will try to tell you how but it started with pain, panic attacks and anxiety and then me letting go of it all. 

Again…there is no mystery anymore it actually makes a lot of sense.  Code building on code.  But code (thoughts)  is not the Truth…and its not us or our identity but it pretends to be. God (essence, truth and freedom) has no use for if then logic as if-then is a conditional thing, a human symbol thing.  and quite limited and does not lead to inner freedom.  The new source I’m talking about…has no conditions... other than letting go of any to get there  But we are not taught that in our noisy culture watching Disney, or Jackass or surfing the net playing computer games or jerking off to porn.
If you have a light fetish or preference for something and your partner enjoys it then this article is useless.  If you have a light fetish and your partner does not partake then a again this article is useless as it would produce in you, an “oh well…but I still kind of wish”.    But if you have a deeply rooted, sexual fetish that rules your life and has caused you issues and you want to change and grow then you need counselling with a good counsellor, and a spiritual solution and this article can give some direction.

BELOW ARE 1 OF 7 WAYS TO HELP (SEE NEXT POST LET GO OF A FETISH PART TWO) FOR THE OTHER 6

1)   Identity and Spirit.  Q-  Can I do this without cultivating spirituality?  A- Not really.  The main issue that that we become identified with our fetish and we need to dis-identify and move away…despite any pain….not move toward a fetish because of the pleasure. Which is what we’ve always done. 
You see, we have an obsessive attachment to an idea.  An addiction.  And we have wired billions of neurons around it in our brain and when we think of it there are a flood of addictive natural chemicals that we feed off of.  Worse, the “I” have a fetish becomes “I am the fetish and I must have” on some level…and so why would we ever want to let it go?  That would be like cutting of your arm or a part of you or even worse.  Right? )  Identified = attached= fused together= glued.  We need to unglue.  But how can we unglue?  Can we do it from a level of our thinking?  If you try it might last for a bit but it will return.

Even as it takes over our life and our marriage falls apart, we fear we will lose ourselves if we budge and give up the only reliable place where we feel safe, known and reset or fix or “normal.”  Right?  You need to question that.  Direct some of that curiosity that fuels the fetish scenarios for a new curiosity about what is the truth. 

Fetish as must have is bad coding, but listening to me will not free you- only your own access to the Truth.  You cannot get “rid of this” by thinking as it cannot be solved from the place of the mind-the neurons-the wires-the coding-the brain components.  Why?  What part of the mind claims authority over the other part?  You will go in circles- like this “I need to give it up…but I can’t give up me and my sexuality”  It becomes endless.  The good news its not the real you- it’s a false self, its ego.

By the way I think depression and anxiety and a host of other things operate like this-not just a fetish.  I knew a guy who became an alcoholic and committed suicide as he lost his job because he was so identified with being a successful VP that it was unthinkable his job was lost.  Or a woman who pines to be a movie star.  Little difference.
We identify with our thoughts and beliefs and this is our first problem. 
 Consider the following of my fetish…
a)   If I was taken at 2 years old with my exact genetics and adopted on a farm in New Zealand…and  exposed to a completely different environment with great farm parents…would I have a nylon fetish?  Not likely.  So it’s not the truth about my identity at all.  It’s just my experience and what I bonded to.  This gives me the permission to let go despite any withdrawl.
b)   Or suppose tomorrow, If a bowling ball fell on my head and caused complete amnesia about my fetish(while leaving all else the same including my career, genes, family, hobbies, ideas etc) …only the fetish disappeared…would I not emerge and  still feel like “me”.  Of course I would.

 In fact I may feel much better and more alive without a parasite of a fetish.  The fetish is not you…so you can feel safe in giving it up.  But be warned that it will feel like growing through  withdrawl.  And that is ok.  You will be ok giving it up.  If 100% freaks you out then try for 50%.  For me I have given mine up 90% but the last 10% is there but is now like fruit flies- it does not rule my life but I will admit it is annoying as I swat away lustful thoughts from time to time.  If I focus on it they grow of course too.

2)   Acceptance and Expansion.  Do not fight it and isolate.  Like quicksand…do not fight it.  This brings more shame. And drama…and the minds loves drama so you will make it worse.  Instead …accept and expand.  Accept it and speak about it to trusted friends, therapist or 12 step.   This does not mean ignoring it either and pretending it does not exist, or it will grow too.  That is denial.  So both repression and denial do not work and will make it stickier.  There is a third way-…a spiritual route of acceptance.  Accept it.  And then choose a clear path based on spirit.  Accept it and the role it has played and how you formed from the kind warm place of your awareness-your essence-your Spirit-your Truth.  This is not positive thinking-this is a real place inside you that has been covered up by the noise and grasping of your lack and fetish.   There is real freedom inside you but it is not attained by ’getting’ an external  fix- real or imagined.  It is by giving up that and falling into an internal easy, serene presence (spirit) that feels fully like you- because it is you. you are an extension of God or creation of our creator and now you are beginning to honor that.

But a lot of what I hear and read about God is often bullshit.  God is not a Santa Clause or a mighty white man with a club who will smash out problems and make them go away.  The God I mean is -source-and infinite- “I AM “ or beingness- a living awareness, (very different from thoughts)  .  once again thoughts mislead us.  Thinking God is bad or good is totally irrelevant.  God just “is” and so are you but you may have forgotten about that.  You are not just human (wires and blood vessels” you are human being- the being part is what will help you.
 So you can hand this living awareness or being all the crap and it just get transmuted like back to something good.  More of an inner light or more of a softer presence that melts away illusion and is warm and loving. (but without an opposite)

Anyway I’m sure you have your own concept.  As you accept this fetish is your experience and accept your compulsive attachment you can paradoxically then let it go through choice.  Like having a toxic acre of crops that do not produce.  Rather than spending all your energy converting , just allow it to be there…and begin expanding and planting new seeds in new acres but you must choose that.  Choose life, choose.  Nobody can do that other than you.  Choose despite.  Despite is a game changer.  The old is there… but you are tilling the new ones.

3)   12 Step- go and find a community near you and sit in.  it’s scary at first but they are all dealing with similar issues,  and dynamics,  whether its booze, drugs, food, gambling or sex or a fetish out of control-take responsibility and deal with it.  Or at least read a 12 step book. 

I learned through a 12 step that most normal people adjust their behavior and desires to meet their visions, and values.  Me, the fetish king did the opposite.  I adjusted my values (wife, life, spirit, connection, career or the precious moment) to fuel my sexual fetishistic behavior or wishes.  Everything aligned itself around it …and it was miserable.  Reverse it!

Be willing to give things us.  I lost 50 lbs not by being present with my urges to eat that is used to think were ’me’.  How? staring at a buffett…wanting the greasy food…feeling my saliva…but yet choosing the salad and soup.  Over and over I had to do this.  Despite the wanting.  I did not get this new freedom “because” of the desire being satisfied… I got it by giving it up.

Like any addiction we need a 12 step and a faith to keep the momentum alive and we need to make this our lifestyle. Sure we can stop for a week but like say a food addiction we are met with 500 cues in our society to eat and we need tools to offset that.

4)   Purpose ,Awareness and Mindfulness-  it’s about letting go and growing.  Not clenching and stagnating.  Does that ring true to you?  But we can only let go of what we become aware of? I did not know about my enslavement to my fetish…despite doing it for 35 years! It hid in plain site.

There are known knowns…that we can face and then choose to let go of.  but what happens when there are unknown unknowns? Or unknown knowns?  That is the gift of mindfulness.  Take a course or read a book and practice it.  Buddha was right-attachments , even to good things, suck and cause suffering.  Become aware of your body, your thoughts, beliefs, lusts, fears, loneliness, childhood, feelings…and make friends with it all.  Accept it all as if you are choosing food on a menu.  Sit with difficult feelings from your awareness.  Let it all go and choose healthy action each day

Find out what your fetish is giving you or doing for you. What is its purpose?  When you are bored or  in a bad mood - get a notebook and watch where your mind goes…or meditate gently or pray…ask what do I need to feel if this soother was given up?  THAT is what you must feel then even though it is unpleasant(and I guarantee it will be painful…but you are already in pain”,  right? But going toward this pain and accepting is the way through it to healing-not sheltering and using a crutch.  Sure you face pain…but you give us suffering which makes it way way worse. 

 Ask…Is it a sense of security?  Safety? Being finally complete? Whole? Understood? Closeness? Bonded to a woman?  Understood?  Is it the ultimate connection?  Are you being punished and ’fixed”?  Is there a void or something missing?  Asking a woman or something of femininity to fill that is …like sticking a fat square peg in an endless smaller round hole.  It cannot work…and dressing her in heels does not change that fact.  If a woman in flesh does not complete you(and she cannot and never could)  then how could putting heels on suddenly  save you??   Only YOU complete you …and when I mean you your spirit-true self.  THEN she now becomes an important compliment to your life…not the completion of it.  Her clothing then becomes gravy on the fries…not the whole meal.  Learn this over and over.  A fetish and freedom(inner) are two different things.  If you want a real fix then face your own pain and accept it- THAT is progress, THEN start to relate from that new place.

All of the so called benefits of your fetish are all cheap substitutes (that I admit feel real and last temporarily) …but is that not the dynamics of an addition?  Temporary fix feel better and then lacking again. A real fix does not lack, but it will go away…. not because it does not work… but you covered it up with the noise of your needs again, and got distracted again.  And again.

More will be revealed to you- more unknowns will emerge as knowns and then you can chose to accept or give up based on  the growing and ever wiser inner light and guidance.

5)   What she must feel- wonder what she might be thinking?  And how inadequate she feels based on never measuring up.  Reverse it.  Suppose each time she wanted a date night and a fuck, she insisted that you wore a tuxedo like James Bond, give her a red flower and $500.  Each and every time.  Very specific-each time.  Or she talked incessently about it.  Suppose she wants all this because she grew up as a little girl lonely but watching movies and like james bond-she bonded to the concept of Bond, and  the exciting romance of a foreign man, a spy, in a tuxedo, with money who gives flowers and woos women. 
You fill this role only if you obey her conditions and she will accept you.  But if you relax and be yourself and if you wear jeans , and burp and have $10 …it’s a total turn off.  How would that make you feel?

Stop porn and scanning on the street.  Why lust for more. If you are an alcoholic would you give booze up and stare at empty bottle labels?  Or through pub windows?  Why bother?  Why add extra stimuli to an already sex soaked wold?  Go camping instead. Enjoy little things-don’t hold your breath for the big ultimate stuff.  That is bullshit.

6)   OK to let go- Finally…its ok to let go of things.  You are not disowning yourself.  You are not going to be trapped or stagnate to a horrible boring vanilla life by giving up.  Only if you take counsel from that little you-that needy little urgent boy that needs your fetish as a crutch will you believe that.  That needy boy must grow up into a man, who is full in himself and can then give.
In fact try it.  Vanilla is very fun for me now.  Making love to my wife I feel connected and great without any lingerie.  Vanilla fucking is fun.  Would I like it if she wore any?   sure.  But I don’t need it.  And I accept that she does not want to even though I would be so resentful and depressed.  Now she is off the hook for completing me in a parent child-like relationship.  I feel like a real man- a fresh real man.  See if you feel an inner expansion each time your needy, self is giving up. 

Our upbringing and ways tell us that getting is good, and while getting things is certainly "nice" as you age a bit you may see that "giving up" is where it's at...not what our consumer culture shouts.  The great American dream about “making it” and finally getting “there”  is a great American myth.  There is “here” in the little things.   Same with the shit that women are fed from feminism about  having it all.  Be happy and do nice things for men, and each other and keep it simple.  Don’t get seduced by a victim-story and entitlement.  It operates very much like an addiction. 

7)   Not a moral issue.  None of above is a moral issue.  There is no finger wagging. This is s human struggle to be loved and secure.  It’s about Truth and illusion.  Or Reality and symbol. Or presence versus an idea of what it should be.  Nobody can complete you-not your wife, mom, children or a Porche. Not pantyhose or rubber. Or a blowjob.  Only your spirit which is true, core freedom. THEN these all can be added as bonuses if they arise, and if they do not that is fine too.  As you are full already.  You are allowed to want things…but this is different from the yearning of completion and the demand that she do these things to make you happy.

It’s not about right or wrong something both the left(liberals)  and right(conservatives)  do not ever seem to get. God and truth is not about left or right.  Not about a flood of “do whatever you want” culture so we can be free.  Here obsession thrives.
 Or conversely a “this is a sin culture… so don’t or you are bad” - here judgement and repression thrives. There is a true spiritual third way that says “well you are free to do it… but it might cause suffering and ain’t core freedom and peace…and fulfillment.  Slowly through suffering we come to know that that is true and we take our cues from that-not our lusts.  We can’t get enough of what does not satisfy us...leads us back to what does.  God. That is why I do not like the word “don’t”- it worsens it by adding drama of the forbidden and our minds lock on to that.  A spiritual issue  will not be solved from the mind.

The word Don’t is like should- it’s a stupid word.   It ignores reality of being human.  Why?  because we WILL get tempted …and DO get tricked and we DO get attached…and we DO have ideas that cause us to stir and obsess and get mislead.  Accept all that.  Change the word don’t into “WHEN THIS HAPPENS”…AND IT WILL…give it to the spirit using the above tools…and then take action from that place.  Each time.   That way you honor the struggle of being human with the truth of spirit.  When making lemonade you don’t get rid of bitter lemon(human thought),  you just add more sugar &water(presence) and it tastes whole and balanced and yummy.

I had to experience withdrawl much like a drug addict and emotions and chaotic feelings i never know i had, and for me it lasted months but i was pretty hardened.  The roots to this for me were not superficial-they run deep. It's a struggle in my mind at certain times,   but it is much, much better in real life.  basically gone.  its been years since the acting out stopped but again the fantasy can stay alive.  Today for example in a 12 hour day, heavy work day,  I pondered about it several times for less than 5 seconds, much as i would any thought.  so that is perhaps .3% of my day?    2 weeks ago however i had trouble sleeping and fell into it for 30 minutes and had to walk it off and meditate and watch TV.  so in that sense if i am not careful i can easily slip in. but it is gone in my sex life as my wife is totally disinterested.

10) Desire vs Dependency
Nobody can make that discernment other than you.  Even if you never act out...and never touch anyone...I still maintain that if you are stuck on something, anything (a fetish or a constant fear of germs or anger etc)  in the mind,  then you are limiting yourself and your life.  And therefore limiting your affect in the world- a world who needs people to be present and real.    So ask yourself gently, meditate, and get a notebook...

-is your urge and thinking desire…or dependence?  We are creatures of desire but there is difference from the glow of desire to the seriousness and intensity of a dependency. Or does desire start that way…and turn right away into our fantasy?  This is where you need to interrupt the process.  Do it as soon as it begins. When you feel the change notice and breath and refocus away willingly. Despite the urge to follow the thread in your mind.  You have been there and you know where it leads.
-Is there an intensity and frequency of thoughts and feelings that are WAY out of proportion to a foot or pair of stockings or whatever.  Most guys would say "hell yeah ...I like feet" but that means nothing to you if you are obsessed by them. It’s like an alcoholic seeking comfort hearing friends yelling "woo-hoo "I love to party" so he can say well see its normal.  Norma is not even helpful.  Is it functional?  Or dysfunctional?  THOSE are the questions.
-Are you the driver ?...or have you become "the driven." What percentage of your day or at least your time with a women does this play out?  I measured mine 10 years ago and it was frightening!, now it is very small(but it can grow fast temporarily if I  feed it)

11) Give it Space
By practicing/focusing on a fetish it can grow...and by alarming/shaming yourself and walling it off-you are also feeding it.  When it arises...do nothing.  Don't even judge that this is "bad" as that is just another thought.  Watch it pass .  Feel the uncomfortableness and the urging.  Feel it as it you would watch a storm pass.  Get curious about the discomfort.   Do this 5000 times and what happens is an expansion...a miracle...it gets downgraded, and that energy gets put in all other areas of your life. a vitality occurs.
 
 This downgrading/weakening is not because you told it to go... or ordered it away...or indulged it...or "out-thought" it...but because you stared right at it and accepted it (all aspects about it)...and did not react - but you responded to it doing something different.  Or if you reacted you watched that too...and said "wow there I go reacting" but observing.  Do this 5000 times and make it a practice giving it up, and "you will be unhooked."  You will feel spacious as if someone put an oxegen mask over you.
Do nothing. Give It Nothing, so there is nothing to build on. Like you trying to punch air or climb a greased wall.  You are not attempting to change the fetish but rather change your relationship to it…then the who damn thing shifts.
Use daily triggers to fantazise or indulge in fantasy or porn as ways to wake up and give up more. use them as fuel ...to now give up willingly and thus fill the wonderful warmth of becoming aware- of living!

12)   Not a moral issue.  None of above is a moral issue.  There is no finger wagging. This is s human struggle to be loved and secure.  It’s about Truth and illusion.  Or Reality and symbol. Or presence versus an idea of what it should be.  Nobody can complete you-not your wife, mom, children or a Porche. Not pantyhose or rubber. Or a blowjob.  Only your spirit which is true, core freedom. THEN these all can be added as bonuses if they arise, and if they do not that is fine too.  Or if they do and they take over and drown out your spirt then you have permission to give them up.  You will only gain as you are full already.  You are allowed to want things…but this is different from the yearning of completion and the demand that she do these things to make you happy.

It’s not about right or wrong something both the left (liberals)  and right (conservatives)  do not ever seem to get right. Inner freedom is not about left or right.  It’s not about a flood of “do whatever you want” culture so we can be free like on the liberal side.  Here obsession thrives ending in delusion and despair. Or conversely a “this is a sin culture… so don’t or you are bad” - here judgement and repression thrives ending in despair. 

There is a true spiritual third way that says “sure you are free to do it… but it might cause suffering and it’s not core freedom and peace…and fulfillment”.   Slowly through suffering we come to know what is true and we take our cues from that place-not our lusts.  We can’t get enough of what does not satisfy us...leads us back to what does.  God. That is why I do not like the word “don’t”- it worsens it by adding drama of the forbidden and our minds lock on to that.  A spiritual issue will not be solved from the mind.
The word Don’t is like should- it’s a stupid word.   It ignores reality of being human.  Why?  Because we WILL get tempted …and DO get tricked and we DO get attached…and we DO have ideas that cause us to stir and obsess and get mislead.  Accept all that.  Change the word don’t into “WHEN THIS HAPPENS”…AND IT WILL…give it to the spirit using the above tools…and then take action from that place.  Each time.   That way you honor the struggle of being human with the truth of spirit

When making lemonade you don’t get rid of bitter lemon(human thought),  you just add more sugar &water(presence) and it tastes whole and balanced and yummy.

LINKS:

Let Go Of a Fetish PART ONE
Let Go Of a Fetish PART TWO
Let Go of a Fetish PART THREE

by nigel