“Wherein I document my attempt at regulating my porn and masturbation habit”
I am 38 years old, and after more than two decades of porn use and masturbation, I am attempting to impose some control over these activities. I will document my experiment here at this blog.
Other relevant information about me: I am male, married with one child, and fully employed. I have a post-graduate education. I also have a porn addiction, and commensurate with that, a masturbation addiction. My habit hasn’t yet brought me legal trouble, but it could easily end my marriage. Thus at almost 40 years old, I need to take control of my compulsions before they ruin me. It’s time to put away childish habits and grow up.
When a man gets to the point that he can watch some kinds of porn without having any sexual reaction, that means he has become desensitized to it. Every man knows this is what happens. When you’re twelve, a “Playboy” centerfold is enough to get your heart pumping. By age 20, after a daily diet of hardcore, streaming porn videos, simply looking at a picture of a naked woman not having sex is kind of blah.
Besides becoming desensitized to the kinds of porn we consume, I also think men can become desensitized to how much they use it. The guy sitting in the doctor’s office browsing porn on his phone is a prime example.
Personally, I don’t like the desensitizing effect of porn. I ought to feel some fear about looking at porn at work. That’s a good kind of fear. Also, I want to be able to look at female nudity, just nudity, and feel something again, the way I did twenty-five years ago. I don’t know that I’ll ever feel that level of intensity. Maybe I’ve used porn too long to ever fully eradicate its effects.
All I can do is tell you about my experiences with porn. I can tell you when I knew I’d crossed the line from casual user to addict. This is probably true for most men who use porn, but we all have our personal DMZ line separating our two warring impulses.
For me, I didn’t know I was crossing the line until it happened. One day I was indulging a fetish for creampie videos. For the untutored, “creampie” is when a man comes inside a woman’s vagina, instead of on her face or in her mouth. In the topsy-turvy world of porn, the more natural sex act—ejaculating in a woman’s vagina—is relegated to something like paraphilia status. [Watched a 50-guy creampie.]
My disgust was actually arousing! How does one make sense of that? …For awhile at least, I always went back to the “tame” stuff in order to get off. There seemed to me something unseemly about getting off to something I was watching only out of a car crash rubber-necking, morbid curiosity. But then one day, I actually started masturbating to these kind of videos. That’s when I knew I’d crossed the line. I was getting off to something I found repellant, not sexually arousing in the conventional sense.
… That’s the frightening thing about porn. The extreme becomes passé very quickly.
…When you get to a point where you are looking at extreme porn that seems to have no relation to what actually attracts you in real life, that’s how you know you are addicted. When you have difficulty being aroused or ejaculating with real partners, that’s how you know you’ve got an addiction. When you find yourself asking your wife to put a live eel in her pussy while you fuck her ass, and she says no, and you say, “You’d do it if you loved me. This is my fantasy.” That’s how you know you’re addicted.
In short, you’ll know the line when you cross it.
… Everyone likes to rebel, now and then. When one’s culture is defined by libertinism, one can only rebel through self-restraint.
The real test of manhood is whether a man can control his impulses for the betterment of his relationships, whether those impulses be to cheat or to masturbate every day. In that, I am as surprised as anyone that I seem to have succeeded.
… It used to be advised, and maybe still is advised, that people masturbate in order to understand what feels good to them. Perhaps that works well for a woman, who may need a man to manually stimulate her in order to orgasm, but it never made much sense for a man to masturbate as a way of understanding his body’s sexual response.
In most cases, sex and orgasm for a man does not involve the same kind of stimulation that results from masturbation. A hand job feels nothing like intercourse or oral sex. However, I do believe that excessive masturbation can have an unintended side effect: it can train the mind and body to respond best to one’s own hand. I don’t know how to define “excessive” for everyone—I don’t think it can be so defined—but for me at age 37, “excessive” meant once or twice a day, to the point that combined with porn, I could easily become aroused and orgasm via masturbation, but not when having sex with my wife. …