PMO addicts,shame and secrets

Discussion in 'Porn Addiction' started by GG2002, May 12, 2017.

  1. GG2002

    GG2002 Fapstronaut

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    I am a SO of a PMO addict and recently I got into it with some of you all in here about porn use and whether you should voluntarily disclose porn use, addict or not, past PMO addiction, what type of porn you watched etc and was absolutely astounded at the lengths that many would go to to justify not telling so that got me to thinking, is it this type of shame and secrecy that led to the PMO addiction to begin with and is continuing in that pattern something that will put addicts right back where they were before? My conclusion is most likely.

    Having a happy and healthy sex life means that you need to be able to share and disclose all of your wants, needs and interest with a potential partner. That means if you like to watch porn you tell her. If you are into some specific type or genre you tell her that. In doing so you have a shared sex life not a solo one. There may be some women that say no I'm not into that but the vast majority won't and if the woman says no she's not your match. I thought back to all my prior relationships before my current PMO addict and all of them (10 or so) discussed P use with me, most bringing it up on their own without being asked. They were not ashamed and they knew how to share their needs with their partner without concerns about being judged. And as a partner if you are into something I want to know so I can please you. With reference to a former addict I want to know that too because that's a huge part of your sexuality and it's not something you can just leave in the past. A big issue that happens with addicts is that there is no intimate connection with the partner because they are keeping their sex life separate from their partner. I fully understand that there are times when parties have different drives and are apart so men use porn and masturbate but all my past partners shared that with me it was part of our sexual relationship.

    My current partner was very closed off about his sexuality. To him his relationship was with pmo not me. There was shame and secrecy even when I told him I was open to whatever he wanted. When I would ask him what he liked he would say I don't know I've never thought of that. The truth was this 45 year old mans primary sex life and experiences were not with a woman but porn.

    So my point in posting this is for addicts in all phases to comment on my theory But my thoughts are if you are still not willing to share yourself with a future partner or current one you will fall back into that same pattern of addiction. You must be able to share all of your sexuality with your partner. If you are still unwilling to do that you will never fully recover. Example if you like feet that's your thing but you are not upfront that you like that and that you watched porn or look at pics with feet you will be left to explore that aspect of your sexuality alone, in secret. And no woman is going to ask you right out if you like feet. You need to be upfront about what you want and like. Likewise if you are an addict and no longer use P and don't want to you need to tell because your partner may like P and want it to be part of your relationship.

    When I read posts from PMO addicts that have been in recovery longer I can see that they have come to this realization and encourage absolute openness. Whereas those in early stages fight tooth and nail for a reason not to tell and see disclosing your porn use or past addiction as a flaw to expose when in reality it's shame about something you should not be ashamed of.

    Addiction thrives in secrecy and shame. So certainly you should be honest with a future or current partner about your use past present or otherwise. But if you continue to hide aspects of yourself from a partner you will undoubtedly end up turning back to the addiction. And you should openly share your sexuality and not wait for someone to ask you a direct question. Certainly with a new partner not immediately but before sex. If you are going to get naked with someone it's time to share these things.
     
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  2. CSLewis_YBOP

    CSLewis_YBOP Fapstronaut

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    I agree that addiction thrives in secrecy and the shame associated with it can drive a person back to their addiction.

    However, a person can recover from PMO and no longer desire and enjoy fetishes that that they viewed when in their addiction. Thus, much of what they viewed was due to porn and dopamine escalation and NOT indicative of their true sexuality and it isnt something they view or enjoy any longer.

    So, what would be the point of detailing everything they ever viewed years ago now that they no longer have those desires?

    There may be valid reasons, but if they no longer like that stuff, then its not their true sexuality.
     
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  3. YngwieWanksteen

    YngwieWanksteen Fapstronaut

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    In a way, I think you might be saying you can be healed, still be interested in some sort of fetish or act and it can be ok to want do those things with your partner.

    And if that's what you're saying, I would agree with you.

    Hopefully people can make the realization Lewis is talking about, where if they still have a fetish, it's not necessarily because you are a pervert and you're questioning yourself "am I still sick" but you have enough insight into yourself to know, "this is what I like and I like doing it with my partner". Whatever is healthy of course.
     
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  4. Buzz Lightyear

    Buzz Lightyear Fapstronaut

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    Often a person is a bit of mystery to themselves. Introspection is all murkiness, not all light. What we exactly 'are' might not be so obvious... and so also the 'disclosure'. More certain is that we are, or should be, in a process of becoming something we want to be.

    And a relationship may help us here. Instead of a self-contained unit, we grow and develop in a relationship. And the nature of that relationship itself may be thought of in ideal terms; we might not want to drag some 'fetish' we may have into it, but rather would like to see that anti-social unhealthy fetish left behind us to shrivel up and die. With this view of relationships, you are not going to enter one lightly. And this kind of relationship well may be for life [many enter lightly into relationships because of sex addiction].

    The addict should NOT enter into a relationship. Once recovered, an ex-addict, no problemo. He has paid his dues.

    What is important, if you desire a relationship, is to find someone where you can become a great couple together. Without this moral factor, where two are on a spiritual path together, relationships may be doomed to a fate like poor Sisyphus.
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2017
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  5. Star Lord

    Star Lord Fapstronaut

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    So you demonise them for feeling too shameful and guilty to reveal their past or recent pmo addicted habits/interests?

    Has it maybe not occurred to you that a large percentage of pmo addicts dont decide they are addicts after they watch typical genres like those listed on the top 10 most searched terms on PHub?

    Openness is good if the peak of your addiction was Kim Kardashain sex tape.

    But some people went deep in the rabbit hole. It's not so easy to speak about, and shouldn't be something forced either. An addict has to come to terms with it, within themselves before they should be expected to shout it to everyone.
     
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  6. stygian

    stygian Fapstronaut

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    No, definitely not. The shame and secrecy come after the addiction. If you look at any addiction, such as cocaine, or gambling, or PMO, many or all lived happy lives before they became addicted. The shame and guilt arise from engaging in those activities.

    It really depends on if the person is really into it, or if it is a fetish. Because if it is a fetish then that desire can dissipate. Now it doesn't seem clear what is normal healthy behavior and what is not, and no one seems to have a good idea about it:
    https://www.nofap.com/forum/index.php?threads/how-to-know-what-is-a-fetish.101106/
    My takeaway, which I had before I made the thread, was that if the desire disappears with abstinence from PMO and engaging in the activity, then maybe it was a fetish. But am not sure about this.

    I think that if one is asked about it, one should be open. But if someone gave up an addiction a long time ago and has no desire for it (but don't know if this is really possible), then I don't know if bringing it up is useful or beneficial? Especially if the PMO was related to a fetish, which is not going to be part of the sexual relationship.
     
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  7. Buzz Lightyear

    Buzz Lightyear Fapstronaut

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    I think it is possible because you see an 'urge' diminish from something like the force of a tidal wave to something like a ripple. The more difficult aspect for 'long term maintenance' has to be in controlling that sense of absolute freedom, where you can stir the waters up, in some moment of boredom or stress, with just a click of the mouse. The subordination of our freedom to some moral principle no doubt helps here; the rational desire to do the right thing must over-ride the natural desire to do the wrong thing.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2017
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  8. I agree mostly with you, that it's easier to be open for example if you stayed within the boundaries of the law, but if you ended up looking at things that got you in trouble yet started out viewing vanilla porn, it becomes a whole different discussion for most people. I think a lot of people out there don't connect the dots between PMO and escalating onto really bad stuff, but it happens far too often for PMO to be insignificant. In most cases of escalation whereby the individual has moved on to content that is not legal, it has taken quite some time for them to escalate to that phase, however if you have been in a situation where PMO has landed you in legal problems then I would say it's vital that you are honest with any potential partners because not being honest will just make you out to be even worse. For me personally, i'm probably going to be alone for the rest of my life because of my past but I've come to accept that, for the people who have had porn addiction and have not broken any laws, they are likely to be able to get into relationships a lot easier.
     
  9. PMO addiction is, from my experience, a manifestation of a severe inability to allow yourself to experience intimacy. Or to be able to find intimacy. But when you're in a relationship, it's the former. The porn comes in because masturbation is inherently less arousing than sex, so it requires extra stimulation. But the underlying problem is something internal that makes one struggle to accept being reliant on another person.

    What I'm, badly, getting at is that PMO is a symptom, not a disease. It's a way of avoiding the necessary openness in a relationship, a way to control your weakness by yourself.

    I'm not condoning my own, or anyone's, porn use or the harm it has caused to SOs. But to understand it, and to fix it, the underlying issue has to be solved. For me it was social awkwardness through my 20s which made romantic involvement difficult to achieve. Not trying was easier. When I fluked into a relationship with a brilliant woman, I discovered I had (as yet unattributed to porn) sexual performance problems. It was easier to continue using than deal with that. But the porn continued to be a medication for a deeper problem. For many men, until the problem is identified and tackled head on, giving up porn will be impossible.
     
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  10. addictedhusband

    addictedhusband Fapstronaut

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    Disclosing PMO addiction: easier said than done. It is like any addiction. The addicted person will not recognize it is an addiction, seek for help, etc . As any addiction, it starts relatively "benign". Then, there is an increasing need for more. Then comes the addictive patterns. And shame, secrecy, etc. It will for sure mess up relationships, sexual life, etc. But in most cases, the addiction is so powerful that is it hard to control and leave. I was addicted for more than 20 years and it took me years to tell my wife. For me, PMO was not about the sex itself or a particular fetish, it was about doing something that would make me feel good for a few minutes/hours. Sometimes PMO also allowed me to escape reality. It sounds like an illicit drug... I guess that's the addictive pattern.
     
  11. I realise I didn't directly address the secrecy point. But it's related. Definitely the sharing of fetishes you've gotten into is difficult. Some of that is because you don't think that's really you, some of that is shame, but a lot of it is the deeply introverted nature of what you're doing. I've watched pretty much every kind of legal (sorry, but needs saying) porn there is, and almost none of it is stuff I'd like to do with my SO. We've also never talked about much of it - in fact she's said she doesn't want to know, barring the stuff I felt I needed to say. Yeah there's stuff I think would spice things up for us, now that I'm willing to talk to her openly about sex, but a huge amount of it is shit I looked at to keep masturbation interesting and therefore continue to avoid intimacy.

    I know that regaining trust involves ending secrecy. But I can't help thinking that an SO should consider what information is and isn't helpful. I'm sure that many SOs would be more open minded than we addicts think, but there's something to be said for not forcing a guy (or girl) to feel more shame than the overall admission already leads to.
     
  12. Chemdawg

    Chemdawg Guest

    Nobody is obligated to share their secrets with you. Although I do agree that being open in a relationship is a positive thing, being open about sexuality, especially that of an addict, is another matter entirely. Addicts in general aren't exactly proud of their current or past behaviors. As for sexuality, porn sometimes leads some of us down a road of weird fetishes we never thought we'd be into, and sometimes they are things we don't really want to share with anyone. You can't just be like "hey, let's watch this weird crap you're completely ashamed about together!" It just doesn't work that way. It's important to be understanding of someone with any addiction than judging them or being mad at them for it. Obviously you shouldn't condone of addiction, but being empathetic and understanding goes a long way. It takes two to make a relationship work. I'm sure you wouldn't feel too great if your SO judged you for something in your past you aren't proud of. You can theorize all you want, but when it comes down to it, the science of how pornography affects the brain is a very new field of science. We can hypothesize all day, but being here with other people sharing our experiences without the fear of being judged is what helps us cope with our issues. So being open, not necessarily with an SO, but with SOMEONE, be it a therapist, or someone with similar experiences in a forum, is a good thing, I agree. Having been where I was and where I am, I am fully empathetic to those sharing similar experiences ... or to those suffering from any sort of mental anguish. Addiction is not black and white ... and being upset that someone doesn't share all their demons with you may not be the best mindset to have. Whether you believe the type of porn someone is ashamed of should be something to be ashamed of at all is not the point. Addiction goes a lot deeper than someone people may realize. It can take years to get over. Obviously having the love and support from an SO is helpful, but that always isn't an option depending on the situation, and you shouldn't be upset over it unless that person is allowing the issue to damage the relationship. There are just too many variables to consider. It really isn't a black and white issue, and your small observational window into people's experiences, regardless of the length of time they've been addicted, is not something you can use to generalize, since literally everyone is completely different and dealing with it in their own way.
     
  13. GG2002

    GG2002 Fapstronaut

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    My jury is out as to whether that's actually true that PMO alters your taste so significantly that you would no longer desire that, maybe with references to fetishes, but I find it hard to believe a man that is 100% straight watches gay porn as part of the escalation of addiction. I know many men on here say that but I wonder if there still the shame talking. Until I see multiple scientific reliable studies on this I won't be convinced. In any even PMO induced or not I would want to know if my potential future husband used to have a thing for gay porn. The point of revealing these things is learning to practice absolute honesty with our future partners thus not living in any sort of hiding dishonesty or shame. So own the fact that you used to be an addict and you watched X then but that's not you now. And the second point is to protect you. Everything we as individuals do shapes who we are. If you are totally upfront with your partner about who you are there is not a chance that five yes from now she will find something out about you, that she felt she should have been told and now no longer trusts you. Or that she would never be with a man that used to watch X type of porn or any porn and now she's leaving you after you have invested all those years and maybe a few kids. Whereas if you had revealed that early on she would have ended things then allowing you to find the right partner. Many men on here seem to think that if they just convince a partner they are so great by highlighting their best attributes and ignoring all the skeletons that the woman will fall head over heels for you and not care even if she later finds out but that's simply not true. And you are doing both she and yourself both a disservice because each of you could be with a partner who fully accepts who you are with all your flaws. Just be upfront. What harm will it do if you disclose th fact that you are a pmo addict in recovery and used to watch X type of porn? Well your future potential wife may say I'm out but that harm is minor compared to harm caused 5 years down th roar when she finds out. You have to own your past. It's part of admitting your mistakes so you do not repeat them. If I am a drug addict who's been clean for years and who stole to support my habit, I am certainly a different person in recovery. And since my sole motivation for crime was to support my habit chances are slim that unless I fall back into my addiction I will commit a crime again. But that does not erase the fact that I committed the crime?
     
  14. GG2002

    GG2002 Fapstronaut

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    Of course no one is obligated to reveal their secrets to you but if they don't then they must live with those consequences. And a SO can't support you if you are not fully honest with them. And see here's what you miss. I would never be with a SO that judged me by my past because my life is an open book from day 1 and if he did judge me I would know that early on and leave as that's not who I wanted to be with. And I have the confidence that I own my past and am not ashamed. If you want to judge me feel free but that won't shake me as a person. And I do think honesty is black and white, it's addicts that try to make it gray to justify their behavior. A person cannot be empathetic to you if you are not honest. And while porn may change your brain etc lying or withholding is a choice you make. And all I'm saying is that what you all don't realize is that 99% of the time withholding is going to make things worse than being upfront. Imagine that your SO had access to a video of your whole life. That she got to see everything you have ever done. Because chances are she's going to find out and would it not be better coming from you? If you own your past and your faults you do not hide them from others.
     
  15. GG2002

    GG2002 Fapstronaut

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    If your SO says she does not want to know and you are not interested in doing those things with her then I see no need to disclose. You have an affirmative answer on what she wants. But in situations where a SO does want to know or is never given the option to ask, then I think not telling your SO is very unhealthy. And up mention making the addict feel more shame and what the SO hears is all my addict partner does is think me me me I I I. There is no we in that equation. There is no putting the relationship or your SO feelings over yours. There is saying it is better for me to not feel shame my feelings come first. In a situation where your SO has been lied to for years and where you have continued to reverberate place your own wants and needs above hers this line of argument is not goIng to work very well.
     
  16. GG2002

    GG2002 Fapstronaut

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    I agree with you and that's exactly what I was trying to get at. So if you as an individual can't own your past now you are still living as that person who felt the need to hide their full self. The fact that it is no longer who you are does not change the things you did nor does hiding them from a SO.
     
  17. GG2002

    GG2002 Fapstronaut

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    If my SO looked at illegal P and did not reveal that to me I would leave them on the spot. If they had told me and I entered into a relationship with them I wouid not. Your analogy is like saying I robbed a ton of banks to support my drug habit but since I never got caught and I'm no longer an addict I don't have a duty to disclose. Does not getting caught mean that you still did not rob those banks? Does it make your behavior any different? Of course not. All it means is there is less likelihood of the SO finding out. And I would not be so quick to count yourself out of all relationships. Everyone does bad things in life. There are plenty of people in this world that have done far worse than you and have gone on to find love. The difference is they own their past but don't let it define them. If you are still keeping secrets from a partner those secrets will haunt you forever. Will she find out? What will she think etc. Your past will continue to control your present.
     
  18. GG2002

    GG2002 Fapstronaut

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    But what you continue to miss is IT WILL be a factor for many SO and not telling them will not change that it will only prolong the inevitable and build resentment and anger.
     
  19. GG2002

    GG2002 Fapstronaut

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    I think the science on addictions is pretty clear with reference to non pmo at least that you are always an addict. you may now be an addict in recovery none the less you are still an addict. Just like an alcoholic you can't just watch a little porn you have to abstain so how is that different? I don't think one can ask for PMO to be seen as an addiction and not see it this way. And yes if you are an addict in recovery that's something you need to disclose.
     
  20. GG2002

    GG2002 Fapstronaut

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    I never demonized anyone for being an addict? And again you can tell not tell do whatever. My point was from the SO perspective that you need to be truthful to make things work. If you don't that's certainly your prerogative but it's also her perogative to leave you.
     

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