Forum posts made by sheepdogls

Topic Do you think you could do this?
Posted 13 Feb 2014 09:45

http://changefromwithin.org/2014/02/12/one-mans-journey-how-i-stopped-watching-porn-for-1-year-and-why-im-not-going-back/



One Man’s Journey: How I Stopped Watching Porn for 1 Year and Why I’m Not Going Back

Dan Mahle is a group facilitator, program coordinator, and occasional blogger on the topic of men and masculinity. His work reaches into many different arenas, from youth leadership and intergenerational collaboration to environmental justice advocacy and men’s work. He lives in Seattle, WA.

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Image from Fame Magazine.

I remember when I first discovered internet porn – I was 17 years old (1). Fascinated by this world of unleashed sexual expression and fantasy, I couldn’t get enough of it. As I grew up and began exploring my own sexuality, I discovered just how different watching pixels on a screen was compared to the intimacy of making love with another human being. I thought I’d outgrow my porn habit over time. But I never did.

I didn’t know it then, but porn had become an addiction. And, like most addictions, it was a behavior that I was ashamed to talk about or even admit was a problem. “Yeah, everybody watches porn,” I remember hearing. It seemed so pervasive and culturally accepted that having an actual conversation about it was a total non-starter. So I kept it to myself.

I thought I had my habit under control. I thought I could quite porn whenever I felt like it. I even tried to quit a few times and then rationalized my eventual return to the addiction.

I didn’t realize how much watching porn manipulated my mind, warping my sexuality, numbing my feelings, and impacting my relationships with women. And I was not alone.

According to a recent study, more than 70 percent of men ages 18 to 34 visit porn sites in a typical month. And it’s not just guys watching sex online. It is estimated that 1 in 3 porn users today are women. Now, I want to be clear here that porn use extends beyond the male/female gender binary, but for the purpose of this post I am sharing my experience with porn from the perspective of a heterosexual, cisgender, White man.

Let me also state clearly that I don’t think all porn is bad. I’ve seen some great videos of couples engaging in intimate and respectful sexual encounters – of course, these are often only found on feminist porn sites or in the “female friendly” category (It’s interesting to note what the category name “female friendly” implies about all the other categories). But I’m not here to judge anyone else for what they choose to watch. I’m simply sharing the impacts that porn has had on my life and what has changed for me since I’ve stopped using it.

To me, what is worrying about porn is not how many people use it, but how many people – like me – have found themselves addicted to it.

As Dr. Jeffrey Satinover stated in his 2004 testimony to the U.S. Senate subcommittee on pornography, “Modern science allows us to understand that the underlying nature of an addiction to pornography is chemically nearly identical to a heroin addiction.”



Impacts of Porn (2)

A lot of studies have been conducted on the impacts of porn on men and women in society. Of all of those impacts, three most resonated with my experience:

1. Violence Against Women (3): This includes an obsession with looking at women rather than interacting with them (voyeurism), an attitude in which women are viewed as objects of men’s sexual desire, and the trivialization of rape and widespread acceptance of rape culture – fueled by fake depictions of women in porn videos often pretending to desire violent and abusive sexual acts.

2. Numbness & Disembodiment: This can include erectile dysfunction, inability to orgasm when not watching porn, detachment from your physical body, emotional unavailability and numbness, lack of focus and patience, poor memory, and general lack of interest in reality. Furthermore, these outcomes in men have been linked to boredom with their sexual partners, higher levels of sexual promiscuity, adultery, divorce, sexism, rape, abuse, and suicide.

3. Fear of Intimacy: Watching porn contributes to many men’s inability to relate to women in an honest and intimate way despite a longing to feel loved and connected. This is because pornography exalts our sexual needs over our need for sensuality and intimacy; some men develop a preoccupation with sexual fantasy that can powerfully impede their capacity for emotionally intimate relationships.

Why I Quit Watching

I always felt like a hypocrite watching porn. Here I was, a man who is striving to be an ally to women, perpetuating the very culture of violence and misogyny that I was ostensibly trying to fight. The reality was that most of the videos I found online had titles that included words like “bitch” or “slut” and showcased controlling behaviors that were rooted in a culture of subjugation and objectification, where women are nothing more than sexual bodies to be exploited and dominated by men.

When I am deeply honest, I have to admit I was both intrigued and disgusted at the same time. By that time, my mind had been socially conditioned to find aggressive, misogynistic, and even non-consensual sex arousing. That is a difficult thing for me to admit. But it got to a point where I felt physically ill watching the videos, and yet I kept watching. That’s when I realized I was dealing with an addiction.

What I’ve discovered is that there is a whole spectrum of addiction, from a feeling of compulsion on one end to an intense addiction on the other. My porn addiction seems to have been pretty mild, since I did not experience any serious withdrawal effects. For some people with more serious addictions, professional support may be needed.

Last February, after a decade of use, I decided to quit watching porn for 1 year. I did this, both for the challenge of seeing if I could do it, and for the chance to see how life might be different. Now this may not seem like a big deal, but it was actually a radical commitment to uphold.

Today marks my 1-year anniversary of life without porn. It hasn’t been easy, particularly as a single guy, but what I’ve learned about myself through this experience has transformed my life forever.

Life After Porn

Life has shifted in some pretty powerful ways during my year without porn:

1. Integrity & Love: Since dropping porn, I have restored a sense of personal integrity that was missing. Regaining this integrity has allowed me to move through a lot of my shame and find myself in an incredible new space of deepening love for myself and others. I’ve also noticed that I am often able to stay more present with women now, rather than projecting fantasies onto them. This was hard to do when my mind was cluttered with images from porn videos. This newfound presence has also allowed me to begin to dismantle some of the subconscious sexism that I’ve held, helping me work toward becoming a better ally to the women in my life.

2. Embodiment & Emotional Expression: My year without porn has helped me reconnect to my body and begin to transform my emotional numbness into healthy emotional expression. I’ve begun to expand my sense of self by learning how to move out of my head and into my heart. After many long years void of emotional expression, I’ve reconnected to my tears. This release of suppressed emotional tension has unlocked a lot of joy in my life. All of this has helped me begin to shift my sexuality from mental masturbation and physical detachment to true intimacy, presence, and embodiment.

3. Creativity & Passion: Over the past year, I’ve started feeling more comfortable in my own skin. I’ve become much more willing to let go of control, to improvise, and to accept people’s differences. I trust myself more than I ever have and, as a result, my sense of self-confidence has soared. I wake up every morning grateful to be alive, clear about my life’s purpose, and passionate about the work I am doing in the world. My life today has a depth of authenticity and power that I never felt before.

Stepping Up

This week, many folks in my community and around the world are engaging in conversations about ending the sexual violence and abuse that directly affect over a billion women across the globe today. Of course, women and girls are not the only ones hurt by sexual violence. I’ve heard stories from a lot of guys who are also affected by cycles of violence and abuse that got passed on through generations. It is important, however, for me to recognize that far more women than men are victims of sexual assault and domestic abuse, and that men account for a vast majority of all perpetrators.

As Richard Rohr says, “pain that is not transformed is transmitted.” So how do we, as men, break this cycle of violence? It’s clear to me that we will never transform our pain within a culture of silence. It is only by bringing our shadows to the light that we can diffuse the power that they hold over us.

Over the past several years, I have heard a lot about inequality, sexism, and violence against women. I believe it is vital for porn to be a part of that conversation, particularly amongst men.

If we are serious about ending violence against women, then we must be willing to have open and honest conversations about how porn is impacting our lives.

I am committed to a world of love, respect, and safety for all people. I’m sick of all the shame, numbness, and secrecy surrounding porn and addiction. And I’m outraged by all of the violence, degradation, and exploitation of women and children. Enough is enough!

The only way we can transform the culture of violence is to make it transparent by speaking the truth about the ways that we consciously and subconsciously contribute to it. A culture of love and healing can only be built on a foundation of radical honesty and integrity, built from the ground up in our own lives.

Will you stand with me? It’s time we start talking about the things we’ve been afraid to talk about, knowing we’re not alone. It’s time we begin transforming our pain into love, by opening our hearts and reconnecting with our bodies. It’s time we, as men, step into a more mature masculine: one that recognizes the sacredness of life, one that creates intimacy and cultivates authentic connection and healing, one that is unafraid to love and be loved.

Additional Resources:

1. The Great Porn Experiment: Gary Wilson at TEDxGlasgow
2. Why I Stopped Watching Porn: Ran Gavrieli at TEDxJaffa 2013
3. Violence Against Women: It’s a Men’s Issue: Jackson Katz at TEDxFiDiWomen
4. Make Love Not Porn: http://talkabout.makelovenotporn.tv
5. Sexual Recovery: Pornography Addiction
6. No Fap: http://www.nofap.org
7. The Good Men Project: http://goodmenproject.com
8. ManKind Project: http://mankindproject.org

Endnotes:

(1) 93% of boys and 62% of girls are exposed to Internet porn before the age of 18. Source.

(2) This section is based on information and language from a study by Gary R. Brooks, Ph.D. found on pages 23-24 of this Report.

(3) Numerous studies have documented links between porn viewership and increased instances of sexism and violence toward women. Here is one: Source.

Topic Straight Guy in a gay bar: You go in, not realising it is a gay bar, and get hit on.
Posted 29 Jan 2014 20:58


If you keep saying y'all in that Texas drawl the guys will be forming a queue to try their luck!
Embarassed
LMAO!!

Topic Straight Guy in a gay bar: You go in, not realising it is a gay bar, and get hit on.
Posted 29 Jan 2014 02:41

been in the situation. It wasn't uncomfortable until the guy kept on hitting on me even after I kept rejecting him. But you're kind of in their bar.

Topic Do you know of anything that a man can take to help produce sperm?
Posted 29 Jan 2014 02:40

I'm sure diet has a lot to do with it. I mean, if a girl can tell if you've had dairy, citrus, or beer from tasting your cum, diet must be a large factor. Which brings me to my other point, that I bet all of the processed foods does not help in sperm count I bet. Google it!

Topic planning on giving him a surprise, ;)
Posted 29 Jan 2014 02:36

make him a sammich....naked. :-)

Topic Fake Pussy
Posted 29 Jan 2014 02:35

LMAO!!! Gigi! I've never tried them, but I won't lie, I'm curious. But nothing can replace the real thing I imagine.

Topic Have you ever cum in your pants?
Posted 29 Jan 2014 02:29

I have to say that I have honestly never cum like that.

Topic quick rough sex or long softcore sex
Posted 29 Jan 2014 02:28

Both have their merits, but slow and soft is usually better.

Topic Short Girls
Posted 29 Jan 2014 02:25

I love petite women! I've been with a little 5'2" Chinese girl that weight no more than 90 lbs...wet.

Topic Guys, which of the following 4 types of chicks have you had sex with
Posted 29 Jan 2014 02:23

only the Virgin....so she claimed. haha

Topic what kind of man are you?
Posted 29 Jan 2014 02:22

What Kind of Man Are You?
Your Result: You're every woman's dream!

83%

You're a man worth holding on to. You're compassionate, strong, and loyal, and funny. Women love you, and you shouldn't have a problem holding on to any woman you want.

6%
You're every woman's nightmare.

Topic Road Head
Posted 29 Jan 2014 02:16

I love road head! My slightly lifted Tundra with a bench seat up front with tinted windows makes for an enjoyable road trip! 204-oral

Topic How many times you have cum in a day?
Posted 29 Jan 2014 02:13

maybe six or seven...I can't imagine I did it more than that.

Topic Which is your favorite boobs size
Posted 29 Jan 2014 02:12

B is preferable, a C is also good. But I won't pass up A's. But anything larger than I can hold is getting out of hands....no pun intended. haha

Topic how far would you drive for sex?
Posted 29 Jan 2014 02:09

I drove about 180 miles one way for a weekend of sex....for about 2 years. =)

Topic Guys is this normal?
Posted 29 Jan 2014 00:08

It is NOT normal. I am not one to speak from experience of being married. But I am a guy and if I had readily available sex in my bed, I would take advantage of it as much as I could. But my ex's all have told me that they thought I was extra horny. haha. Have y'all thought about seeking counseling? Maybe going out to seek some activities that require y'all to work together?

Topic Smoking: Turn on or off?
Posted 29 Jan 2014 00:01

super turn off!

Topic have you ever had sex you later regretted
Posted 16 Oct 2012 00:16

Yes, and I would totally do it again! totally worth it! hahaha!

Topic Have you ever has sex with someone you know you shouldn't have?
Posted 09 Aug 2012 02:24

Yes, and it was amazing sex! It was so exciting that I came faster with them than I do with my GF now....

Topic slim petite women/girls
Posted 02 Aug 2012 02:15



Touché

I didn't imply that you're not socially acceptable, just that you implied that all men who are attracted to petite girls/women are possibly pedophiles. I took offense to that initial remark. Therefore, socially stunted might be a better analogy than socially unacceptable .

You imply that you are 29 years of age. I don't imply on my profile, (I have in the past) but I will declare now that I'm 52 and extremely socialized (although there is some argument as to whether I'm socially acceptable, stunted, deformed or demented), and I have never connected a persons size or shape/fitness level - to their age. I was merely attempting to figure out how you are doing that.

You've just now attempted clarification with an additional adjective. A young petite woman looks much younger. than a non-petite woman. (I still don't get your connection, but that's not really important... I have moar forum posts to create).

Incidentally, when I was 29, there was no internet (in America) & no Netscape Navigator for another five years. I was out nearly every night for all of my twenties - actively socializing with all sizes of women (and I had no clues to their ages...until they volunteered to tell me).


I am not implying that I am 29, I am 29...for a few more months. I would be out more often if I wasn't working seven 13 hour day weeks in my business. I applaud the people that are blessed with a 40 hr 5 day work week. But I am do not have that advantage. My better half lives 140 miles away, so that is why I am on here. If she lived near me I would be able to indulge myself in what she could provide to me pleasure-wise.

Topic slim petite women/girls
Posted 31 Jul 2012 17:12

Forgive me, I do not mean to say that a 30-45 yr old petite woman is a 18 yr old woman. But I feel that in my opinion, a young petite woman looks much younger in age than a...normal (probably wrong choice of words) sized woman. And I guess I left a little fact out that the host I saw was Asian....so by generalization, she did look younger already. haha. To those that bring up the point of dominance over a small woman, I haven't really thought of it that way.

To be clear, I AM NOT attracted to underage (-18) girls at all. ....unless she is really hot. hehe. TOTALLY kidding!

Oh, and MellMadeMale, Yes, socializing MUST be my issue. All I have to say is you have 8,000+ discussion board posts....I am not trying to get into a flame battle. I was just posting up a not so well worded thought on a discussion board that might understand one of my perverted thoughts. I guess I should keep my thoughts to myself, because apparently If I have a not so socially acceptable thought, I "need to get out and socialize a bit more".

Topic slim petite women/girls
Posted 30 Jul 2012 20:35

I have found some petite girls super attractive - but they have been the 'athletic yet small' ones ...In general it is the fit and strong girls/women that I find really attractive.. skinny/weakish are clear No No!! and so are overweight/obese !!

what you said fits me also. I can't stand girls that are weakishly skinny. Athletic girls are a real turn on!

Topic slim petite women/girls
Posted 28 Jul 2012 22:00

something I forgot to add, We as men have the natural instinct to seek and mate with younger females...that is just hardwired into us. but still....it's like they say, we keep getting older, they stay the same age. haha!

Topic slim petite women/girls
Posted 28 Jul 2012 21:23

what is it about seeing a slim petite woman/girl that makes most men want to bates the hell out of them? Most petite women look younger by standards of other women, especially if they are next to other women. Do we men go nuts because they "look" younger? if so, does that mean that we crave a REALLY young looking woman/girl? and when I say petite girls look younger, I mean they mostly look like a girl in her mid to late teens. So does that make us men that find petite women/girls attractive virtually pedophiles?
This all comes up because I went out to dinner and saw this really petite host that sat us down and I wanted to just pick her up, run out of the restaurant and bates the ever living daylights out of her. Then I started to think about this....and then saw her again....and still wanted to do the same as I was fantasizing about earlier.

Topic why do men always want to stick their cock in someone's ass?
Posted 15 Jun 2012 11:16

never have tried it, stuck the head in on accident once during a rough evening, but that is all I got in before she tensed up and pushed me off of her. haha! but I have a feeling that if my girl ever asked me to actually stick my cock in her ass, I might be like, are you sure? I don't know if I want to now. haha

Topic Rim Jobs
Posted 25 Feb 2012 03:05

used to hook up with a girl that gave me a couple rim jobs and surprisingly, I enjoyed it. She started by going down on me and then sucking on my balls and then she went lower and lower and then started licking my ass. Unfortunately I haven't been seeing her anymore. My current girlfriend is totally turned off by any ass play....so she says, but when we're having sex she doesn't mind when i rub her asshole a little.

Topic Cock sucking
Posted 25 Feb 2012 02:29

I love getting my cock sucked. Especially by someone that enjoys it as much as I do. My current girlfriend actually gets wetter when going down on me, and then we have a great fuck session! The thing is, I've never been able to cum when a girl is going down on me.....even for like 20 mins, after that long for her down there, I feel bad....anything that could help?

Topic Anal Fun
Posted 12 Feb 2012 22:49

OMG Dancing_Doll! that is a great pic!! bravo!

Topic Small Dicks
Posted 12 Feb 2012 22:47

I like this thread....makes me feel better that i do not having a donkey cock. haha!

Topic Playing with your Anus
Posted 12 Feb 2012 22:33

nothing should go in, but playing around the area can be hot. once had a girl going down on me start to lightly lick my testicles, suck on them then went back to licking them and went on to lick on my asshole....gotta say, never thought I would find that hot, but I could find the power to tell her to stop while she was jerking me off while doing it.