Just wanted to break the ice and put down a few words to get me connected to your community. Firstly, I'd like to thank those involved in making this site happen. It's given me some hope when I didn't have any at all. I share a similar story with many of you. I started with magazines and video tapes when I was a kid in the 90s and gradually have escalated to a full blown junky In the last 5 years with Internet access. 4,5,6 as much as 10 hour binges were part of my life. When physical problems (arm, neck, back, leg pains) developed through the years, I had to admit to myself that I had a serious addiction. But, like so many, the stigma attached to my dysfunction kept me too ashamed to seek help long after it became apparent that I desperately needed it. I looked in the library in psychology books and scoured the Internet for answers and solutions but didn't come up with much. I learned, however, in those first attempts at self medication, a few things that helped me understand my situation a little better. One matter that always perplexed me was the fact that when I had sex with my girlfriend I felt great afterwards but when I masturbated, I quickly brought on the aforementioned physical discomforts. I read about spinal fluid etc but the question remained, why did masturbation produce harmful phsysiological effects when intercourse didn't. Because God doesn't want me to masturbate doesn't sit so well with my conception of the universe, but if your god paradigm shifts from that of an all knowing supraentity to an all encompassing life force/energy then "god doesn't want me to starts to make sense" Not in some arhaic, be ashamed of your sexuality way but in a your breaking yourself against the laws of the universe way. I binged last night and it's too the point now that besides my various aches and pains my brain feels like it's been scooped out and I can barely think. But that horrible feeling that makes me realize that hell has no bottom doesn't stop me from binging time and time again. Powerful stuff! I'm breaking the laws of physics and the universe and paying for it with my life blood. Way back when I started scouring the Internet for help(I'm not a great sleuth by the way) along with religious sites with dubious logic I discovered that the Taoists are pretty down on masterbation. Now, Taoism has a lot of clout with folks like me with an eclectic spirituality so I was intrigued. Perhaps this is dicussed already on
this site, so, please, forgive me if I'm relating a tired story.
Taoists beleive that sexual intercourse is a give and take of energy (chi) and there is a (pleasing to the yin yang concept) circular flow of energy from one person to the other. When one masturbates the energy just goes away and you're left with less chi. Tai Chi folks will absolutely abstain from masturbation sometimes up to a month before a competition (sparing) or testing. This is a common theme in military and martial culture, to abstain from all sexual activity before battle/sparring so to increase vigor. Homer mentions it, Shakespeare, old Chinese war chronicles. First hand my old Aikido master used to say as much and I started to see what he meant the times I could actually keep myself in check for any length of time. And while on the topic of physical training, I can attest that without it I'd be crippled up like an old man. The fact that I regularly exercise and meditate are I feel the only reasons I've kept any semblance of hope and peace in my now pretty lonely life. I'm living in Japan for a few years. I haven't had sex with a woman that I haven't paid for since I left home a year and a half ago. And the years preceding that were a grim decline in healthy loving relationships that I was once quite good at. His coincided with my getting a laptop and having Internet access. I'm not a bad looking guy and have, what I feel to be, a pretty good personality. But, alas, this one huge character flaw that has really done me in. (adopting a weepy, dramatic stage voice) a victim of the modern age, I tell you! So, at a time in my life( I'm 36) that I really feel the need to have a wife and family, I routinely program my subconscious that I need an 18 year old girl to please me and when I come of the binge, the confidence I exude is a surface one, because deep down I feel like a failure and I can't quite keep tue eye contact when it counts. Well, this was a satisfying ramble(for me anyhow!) and it has already shown me the value of sharing and journaling. When you see your life written down it helps to root for the good guy within(the right wolf!). It's like watching a movie and you say, no don't do that its the wrong girl for you! Or, no, that's not he right choice. I feel like if I were watching a movie of my life(scary thought!) I'd be cringing half the time and pleading with the screen, no just say no! Haha. Well, again thanks for all the info on this sight and for creating this community of support. I was pretty floored when I came across it a few months back. I've used some of tue techniques, but I have to admit, pretty lazily. The erp bit is powerful and I could see it starting to reprogram my subconscious. I feel like it could be my only way out. The longest I've ever been able to abstain was 3 weeks and like the hand of death I break down. But I don't have a girl so at that point I'm a out to explode. At 3 weeks, however(and I can only do it maybe 3-4 times a year) I start to feel dramatically better. My energy is way up; My aikido is so on; My mediation is solid and deep; My libido is up; I play my piano for hours; I smile real smile; I look people in the eye with candor; I feel good on the inside. Ugh! What a life! I'm looking to kick. I want to feel those feelings