Day 45, now... Still keeping on with the core vow, no porn no masturbation.
I'm grateful for the words of encouragement, Cole, Absolution, AICS!
I have a lot to say but it's getting more difficult to find the time and space to sit down to say it. Things have been very busy with the move we have recently made, which has been both good and bad. In general I feel I have not really tested myself in proper settings with my new vows - the crisis that led to my decision coincided with this move and with a long trip and prior to that I had been in such a period of crisis with my beautiful wife that in a way making a vow and sticking to it was not as difficult, I think, as it could have been had my life been more in a "normal" stage. It's always easy to imagine ourselves differently when we are in a crisis or when things around us are changing, but its when things calm down and when we get back to the day-to-day of working and living that old habits begin to return.
On the other hand, these settings -- travel, moving -- have been mostly good for my relationship with my beautiful wife. At times the stress of these has led to emotional openings that were painful, but more often we have had to work together and to solve problems, make decisions, etc. While I know I have ways to go with all of this, we have come slowly more and more at ease and are regaining more of the intimacy that had been lost.
While things do look up, I must make an admission that while I have remained true to my vow I have had not a few moments/times when I have probably been acting in violation of the spirit of the vow. Be this looking at a non-pornographic image or a film or even someone in real life, or, the occasions when I have stimulated myself for a little bit in the shower but not in a way that is close to achieving orgasm or in other ways as well... Not long ago I was driving home from an errand and chose a route that took me by a strip club, even though the club was shut and I just was driving by... but somehow it gave me a little thrill just to drive by it, I don't know why. I've never even really been into strip clubs. In sum, I'm just admitting that I do feel the weakness behind the strength and I know I have to work hard not to fall back into feeding The Need.
I have had another meeting with a new therapist, one who seems very good. I don't think I'd like to write much about this here. Suffice to say it was not easy in many ways, I was both a little apprehensive about having to speak about all of this to someone, and I found myself much more emotional during the session than I'd perhaps expected. But I do think that therapists, if one can access/afford them, must be a huge help in the project of overcoming the habits many of us here are trying to put behind us.
I've been thinking a lot about the paradigm of sex addiction and what I think of my own problems vis-a-vis how it's often seen. In many ways I find the concept of sex addiction problematic, but I don't have an alternative to offer in its place. I am willing to work with it, but I do find it may not be the best way to address some of my own issues, at least, and perhaps the issues of some if not many who are writing on this board.
I don't wish to be provocative, but just for conversation's sake, I'd like to share this article and ask if others have views on this. It may not be the appropriate forum for it -- and if so I'm happy to repost this elsewhere on FTRW. It's an article by a fairly outspoken therapist, Marty Klein, who rejects the sex addiction label and sees it as very counterproductive to addressing the behaviors that we are here struggling with. His conclusions are below, and the link will take you to his full article:
The sex addiction movement exploits people’s fear of their own sexuality. As humanists we oppose anything that exploits fear.http://thehumanist.org/july-august-2012 ... d-to-what/
Recalling that sex addiction is a fairly new concept, we can observe the historical and cultural context from which the movement emerged—not a sexological context as much as a narrative about fear, danger, powerlessness, and victimization.
The sex addiction model inevitably tells us that eroticism needs to be controlled, and that erotica and commercial sex are dangerous and problematic. This means that the sex addiction movement, with the help of the religious right, supports public policy focused on controlling sexuality. Unfortunately it has been very successful in that regard.
The sex addiction model tells us that imagination has no healthy role to play in sexuality. This fundamental misunderstanding of human nature is very much our business.
In any case, these labels always in a sense fail to fit the messiness of human experience, and so I'm not here to moralize and or to tell others here that how they have come to view these issues is wrong. But it's an important discussion and it's been on my mind...
So, to all I wish the best in staying strong with whatever your goals may be, and I am grateful for the community you have afforded me!