Wait, I'm NOT a PMO addict, I'm a Sex Addict What Now?

Discussion in 'Porn Addiction' started by J-Kiwin, Feb 19, 2015.

  1. J-Kiwin

    J-Kiwin Fapstronaut

    I'm a 40+ guy on a nofap journey (Day 31 - woot, woot!). I posted this on in my journal this morning and wanted to post here for some feedback.

    - - - -

    I spent considerable time last night reading and peeling back some very uncomfortable truths about this nofap journey that I'm on and I came to a startling and very painful conclusion. I'm not a porn addict, I think I'm a sex addict. And while I mean no offense, I'm guessing that many people in this 40+ forum are not really porn addicts, but in fact sex addicts suffering from some type of LONG-TERM sexual addiction or Hypersexual Disorder.

    The trigger and realization for this thought process and subsequent research binge was a comment that I read from someone else and one that I had expressed myself recently: I have incredible [read: uncontrollable, excessive, compulsive] urges to have sex with my wife. If you read that again, this has nothing to do with P or M or O. Wait, isn't this website devoted to eliminating PMO?

    This site and the various PMO related sites were a result of a very well defined and growing problem: boys/young men watching way too much porn, engaging in excessive M which resulted in a myriad of problems (low self esteem, ED, PE, death grip issues, anxiety, etc.). The solution was simple (in theory), lay off the PMO for a period (2 - 26 weeks) and you'll be "fixed". In many cases, if a true PMO addict was able to abstain, things would get markedly better. There is very little ambiguity when you read journals from these younger guys. There's a similar theme and it's easy to identify.

    The 40+ forum is a different story. A bunch of "older" gentlemen battling an incredible number and types of demons. We're all sharing stories and histories that have nothing to do with P. They include cheating, phone sex, prostitutes, personal ads, chat sites, homosexual experiences while being married, voyeurism, excessive sexual fantasy, compulsive sex etc. We didn't start with online P. Don't get me wrong, P is a common theme but it's not the keystone reason despite our (false?) insistance that it is.

    I don't fit the PMO or P Addict definition. YES, I was heavily into PMO (hours a day, edging, blah, blah) and suffered similar symptoms (ED, PE, etc.) but I did not fit the porn addict definition as someone who started getting aroused in front of a screen. My "porn addiction" is merely a clue to the bigger problem of being a sex addict.

    I went trolling through some hypersexual disorder websites and much of it rang true for me (and for many of the journals I've read here). It was easy to identify with. There are three levels of severity of sex addiction with various indicators within each level:

    • Level one: chronic masturbation, affairs, infidelity, sex with multiple partners, pornography use and collection, phone sex, cyber sex, anonymous sex and going to strip clubs.
    • Level two: prostitution, public sex, voyeurism, exhibitionism, sexual harassment, stalking
    • Level three: real nasty shit (rape, kids, basically criminal in nature)
    Check me off a couple in level one (chronic masturbation and pornography) and voyeurism in level two. Ouch.

    Other strong hallmarks of a sex addict or someone with a hypersexual disorder is someone who spends a great deal of time planning sexual activities or engages in excessive sexual thoughts or fantasy. Another is the inability to stop despite the consequences.

    Yeah, I pretty much think many of us older gents can readily identify with this based on what I've read in your journals.

    So we does this lead me? I'm freaking out of course. I came here because I thought I had a PMO addiction and by abstaining for a while, I'd be good to go. Arghhhh.

    - - - -

    Curious to see if anyone else has had a similar revelation or if this is old news. Thanks.
  2. Chris1052

    Chris1052 Fapstronaut

    I'm a younger guy here, 22, and I understand where you are coming from. No I'm not a sex addict, although I probably would be if I had sex readily available to me which I do not. I do however have experience with addiction, no matter the substance it is all the same demon. I am addicted to anything that makes me feel different than normal, anything that makes me feel good, takes my mind off reality. I have found the ability to recover from addiction through the fellowship of Narcotics Anonymous. It has saved my life, and after a year of sobriety from drugs, and recovery through the program my eyes have opened to the damage that PMO not so much is causing now, but has the potential to cause later in my life. Simple sobriety is not the answer, if you simply abstain on sheer willpower then chances are you will relapse. If you think you are a sex addict check into Sexaholics Anonymous, 12-step fellowships are amazing, there is nothing that compares to them. Theres a reason that 12-step programs are the only recognized treatment for addictions by the WHO and CDC.
    Benito Antón likes this.
  3. Justquit

    Justquit Fapstronaut

    @Chris1052 is right about 12 step. Seek out help from therapy or those sources. It's such a difficult addiction to break because we are surrounded by sex and if married will continue having sex. What makes us addicts different from people who aren't is not being able to have healthy sexuality. Porn addiction and sex addiction are one in the same. It's an obsession in an activity that gets worse overtime as the itch never truly gets scratched well enough.
    I'm in group therapy with a number of men over 40 and most of them struggle with what you mentioned @J-Kiwin. I never got as far as prostitutes or voyuerism but we all call ourselves sex addicts (I am 28). It's the same animal. The kids that are starting w the P at younger ages will eventually graduate, and much much quicker than their older generation to level 2 and 3 stages because of the ease of high speed internet and the easy access to porn. Pmo addicts always graduate to something more than just P M O. It's just a matter of time.
    difficult likes this.
  4. Justquit

    Justquit Fapstronaut

    Abstaining from PMO is the first and most important step in recovery. Its the roots of the addiction. So by staying away from it you will find that the other addictive habits will begin to fade away. no one is truly just a pmo addict. Pmo is a false representation and distorted view of sex but your mind doesn't know the difference. A pmo addict is a sex addict, whether they know it or not.
  5. CrH35

    CrH35 Fapstronaut

  6. ichabodcr

    ichabodcr Fapstronaut

    Very interesting points in this discussion... It sort of makes me wonder, will we ever get back to "normal"?
    I mean, a passage in the Sexhaolic Anonimous linked by CrH35 really makes me think a lot... The sentence is: "as the alcoholic would like to control and enjoy drinking"

    It seems a lot more of an estabilished line of thinking that a recovered alcoholic should not ever touch alcohol again...Is it the same for a sex addict? Relief can be found only in a sex-free life? I don't think so, and I strongly hope it's not so. I guess I'll find out in the long run.

    Sure the place where I am now is somewhere in between. I'm still fighting my addiction, I do have a sex life with my wife, which I'm not 100% satisfied with and I hope it will improve as my PMO addiction fades away.... But I can't know for sure yet. Things have got better, but I haven't managed to go longer than two weeks without any PMO related activity so far. Sure the days of compulsive PMO have gone, and I'm so happy about that, but I can't say I see the end of the journey being close nearby yet.
    CenteredMan and Asgardian36 like this.
  7. @ J-Kwin. Dude. Read your post. Very sorry for you. I know a lot of people consider sex addiction the same as porn addiction, but, it is radically different, though the lines blur when we talk about chat rooms, or events that involve other, living, breathing, interacting, human beings. Porn addiction, in my experience and opinion, is 100% about abusing artificial sexual stimulation to get a dopamine high. It is singular, it is solitary, it is isolating, it involves no one else. Sex addiction, on the other hand, involves using real people, with a pulse, to feed an addiction, and the addiction is not merely to a dopamine hit, but works on much broader, deeper, psychological levels. I know that porn addiction is only about us getting a dopamine rush. I cannot imagine what underlying issues are involved once we bring other participants into the problem. I do think there is a "normal" sexuality, but defining what is "normal" is probably impossible. I think it is fantastic you want to have a lot of sex with your wife. I am not for sure wanting to have a lot of sex with your wife is so very bad. The inability to have sex, due to PIED, is probably the main symptom guys come here to fight. If you are having a lot of sex, with your wife, or with others, that is a problem (inability to have sex) you do not have. Most of the sex addicts that have posted here are not wanting a lot of sex with their wives, but are wanting sex from a different partner, or two, every single day. In that respect, like porn addicts, they are seeking the "new, the novel, the never-before-experienced." But, unlike porn, a new partner requires at least a minimal emotional commitment or attachment or empathy that pixels on a screen do not require. However, at the end states of sex addiction, it probably is quite similar: the partner becomes an object, nothing more, nothing less, no empathy. Turning porn on and off causes no damage to porn. Turning other people on and off probably damages both persons involved. I wish you the best of luck and I feel this recognition of what you are and what you are not is probably a huge step for you getting in control of yourself, which is what everyone here wants for themselves.
    ichabodcr likes this.
  8. wildwood

    wildwood Fapstronaut

    Escalation is the word you're looking for. Porn eventually is not enough. Young men now are tackling this addiction due to information now being readily available. Men in your generation did not have this, so the thought of having a porn addiction wasn't a thought that crossed your mind. My boyfriend still wanted sex during his pmo use, some get caught up in fantasy. Soon porn or your partner won't be enough, how about an affair with the neighbor? No longer enough. How about prostitutes? No longer enough. It's all escalation. I didn't start directly on p and neither did he. It was only a stepping stone to a stronger addiction. Porn addiction is a type of sex addiction. You escalated, years of self abuse brought you to this point. And now you are aware, everything you choose to do is now a choice. Will power isn't enough, it's discipline that will take you far. Congrats on your 31 days! Stay strong, you already are!
    Steel Fury, DanVT and DannyCool like this.
  9. DannyCool

    DannyCool Fapstronaut

    I know exactly what you are talking about - This is the post Industrial Western World Sexual Obsession. We do not know where to find happiness due to are material based minds that are always dissatisfied as there is no clue as to where happiness lies we seek it in this crazy form.
  10. Steel Fury

    Steel Fury Fapstronaut

    I agree with this. I'm 38 and I've had a similar journey. It started out with magazines in my teens (there was no Internet back them) and it might have stayed at magazines has I not discovered the Internet. Once I was able to access pretty much anything I wanted on demand, it quickly escalated. I've since used porn of various kinds, phone sex, cyber sex, strip clubs (I once wasted $700 one night in a strip club. Fortunately I only did that once), prostitutes and sex with strangers at adult book stores. At one stage I wasn't even sure about my own sexuality.

    Since my 'problem' was at it's worst in early 2013, I've managed to cut back on or eliminate all of the issues I listed. I started trying to make changes because I was worried about the person I was becoming. I hadn't quite reached Level 3, but I was worried that I might, so I decided to try to dial it back. I'm still angry about the time and money I've wasted, but I've seen a lot of improvements in my general life as a result of trying to change. However, I'm a long way off being 'cured'.

    The thing is, it's a gradual process. There's no magic pill, no magic number of days you can stay 'clean' and know you're cured. You need to be looking at a lifestyle change, and eliminating the toxic habits for good. You say you have a strong desire for sex with your wife. This is actually not a bad thing, assuming you have the ability to control it. If you're worried you don't have the ability to control it, maybe you need to refrain from it completely for a while until you regain control. That said, I'm no therapist, so maybe a therapist is what you need if you're really worried about this.

    The good news, however, is that you're aware of it now. You're taking positive action, that's good. How long will it take before you see "results", who knows? But this is a lifestyle change, so ultimately it shouldn't matter how long it takes.
    CenteredMan, wildwood and DannyCool like this.
  11. monkotto

    monkotto Fapstronaut

    in my case pornaddiction and sexaddiction completed each other. :cool:
    in the core both are for sexual release. porn was a filler between visiting hookers.

    i defeated sexaddiction - still fighting against pornaddiction.
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2015
  12. SnowWhite

    SnowWhite Fapstronaut

    I was also more a sex addict than a porn addict.
    When I go even deeper, then with all the affairs, I was always seeking for attention and love.
    It goes down to a childhood trauma, as I had "no mother".
    But meanwhile, as an adult, I HAVE experienced true love, so I can now decide which behaviour I choose for myself.
    I try to choose the way of true love. Only sometimes, the old destructive pattern comes up again. But it is fading out more and more, while the pattern of love is rising.
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2015
    Deleted Account likes this.
  13. SilverSteel101

    SilverSteel101 Fapstronaut

    I am a PMO addict. And though I don't have a sex addiction, I very well could. As others mentioned, theres a difference between PMO addiction and sex addiction. Sure. The consequences are worse with a sex addiction because humans are involved. But they are not all that different, as one may think. Its all a variation of a common problem. And often that problem is the novelty. Not always, but often novelty. Whether it be sex addiction or PMO addiction or just plain MO addiction, the majority of addicts with deep problems are suffering from their extreme hunger to be bad and to be different. We like entering that different state of doing something bad, and it haunts us until.... when? when does it stop haunting us? Does it?

    I'm a young buck. I know nothing of marriage, but i do know relationships, despite my lack of one at the moment (damn PMO addiction). I don't know what its like to have started with a sex addiction and ended with a porn addiction. But i do know that its likely the novelty in all of us, the desire to be bad, that wakes up our inner demons. As SnowWhite said, he has chose true love instead, and that is greater than receiving novelty.

    Physiologically, urges depress over abstaining from these novelty-seeking activities (porn, sex), the brain heals, but only if you let it. Stay strong
  14. stealing_the_key

    stealing_the_key Fapstronaut

    Well put. I think it's a question of identity. The wound is that some early message told us we were bad (and different/special), and we swallowed the story whole. Once you have an identity, you will do everything you can to defend that identity, "until...." I think it *can* stop haunting us, but it requires an identity change. This is a terrifying prospect because it seems like death. We have to be willing to die to the wounded identity.

    Anyhoo... I hope OP found what he was looking for. I had the reverse experience -- when I decided to try to do something about my porn addiction, I went to 12-step groups for sex addicts, and spent years flailing and failing. Part of it was that so few people there were like me: actual porn addicts. So, yes, while the core wound is the same, the presenting problem can alter the course of treatment. It's good to have NoFap, where there are others like me.
  15. SnowWhite

    SnowWhite Fapstronaut

    I know what you mean; but don't forget, that even with porn, humans are involved. The actors are paid for doing these things, and it deteriorates them as well as it does the viewers. It is an world of illusion - instead of love, you have greed and money, and when the screen goes blank, all are alone in emptyness.

    It's no wonder that some women totally drop out of the business after some years, even become monks.
    I also believe that women who did not receive love, are more likely to get into the porn business.

    Yes, thank you.
    I believe that everybody has the core of true love in his soul; yet sometimes it still needs to develop.

    "true love" comes out of a state of high inner confidence. You feel centered. In fact, you are totally confident with yourself, you are grateful to the universe where you are embedded in, you are content and balanced. And out of this state, you can truly live on yourself, and it radiates out to others.

    Ideally, you have received true love as a child, so these people then become very confident and self-assure as adults, and they are able to pass that love back further on, then.

    However, if you were not so lucky, then you don't know love, but you somehow feel that it exists. And then you begin to seek it.

    BTW, in german language, addiction is called "Sucht", and in fact, this means "seeking".
  16. SnowWhite

    SnowWhite Fapstronaut

    Yes, I agree. Abstinence is the first step and very important, but then, the way goes by building up your inner confidence. One great way is to simply work on meaningful projects. Just do. Don't hesitate - do. By doing, you sweep away your insecurities and a wheel of change begins to spin. You begin to grow, it is like watering a little seed which grows and will eventually become a big solid tree.
    Deleted Account likes this.
  17. SnowWhite

    SnowWhite Fapstronaut

    Well, IMHO the true root are insecurities, inner doubts, a lack of inner confidence, which constantly makes you hesitating and stopping on your way. Then - I am with you - porn is the first "stop box". The "starter drug". Once this is not enough for you, you reach out for the next "drug level". and so on.

    However, that next level also has something good:

    I agree. And although I consider sex affairs as "level 2" drug, there is also something positive, and "level 2" can open you up the way for dropping out. Because after all, you learn to interact with humans again. In fact, at some stage, I began to reflect and I somehow looked inside of the women who were with me, and this made me reflect and understand myself. Some were sex addicts as well, with high insecurities, and this is like a mirror to yourself.

    BTW, I am talking of "normal" women, not payed ones. Sex workers are a different category. They are humans as well, of course, but they have built up a real solid wall around their inner core. It is very difficult to look inside, because they care about their inner ego and shield it.
  18. Sleep aid

    Sleep aid Fapstronaut

    IMA check out the 40+ club. My kinda spice
  19. sense

    sense Guest

    Mid 40s here.

    I've been a member of a 12 step fellowship for many years now - and I've been clean from drugs and alcohol for many years too. But, even in NA and AA where they recommend you stay out of relationships for the first year, they don't say the same about avoiding porn. Some sponsors even encourage it as a release for your newly found sex drive!

    I'm not sure whether the levels thing comes from, but I can definitely identify with everything on level 1 and a couple of things on level 2 - thankfully however, all my activities have thus far been consensual and prostitution was limited to a guys' holiday to Thailand many years ago.

    That doesn't mean there's been no damage however. I don't think I can ever remember being faithful to a girlfriend for instance, and the amount of money I wasted on sex-lines (pre internet days) was ridiculous.

    I've been to SLAA Before, which never seems to have any significant abstinence time, but Sexaholics Anonymous always seemed like too much of a bottom line for me. I don't want to wait for marriage!
  20. SnowWhite

    SnowWhite Fapstronaut

    "faithful" is the word here.
    The issue is, you can only be faithful to others, when you have faith in yourself.

    Faith comes when you are content with yourself. It is a spin-off from love. Everybody carries love deep inside. But it needs to develop.

    I think most of the peole here have experienced a kind of disconnection in their childhood, and therefore we lost faith and are not able to really connect.

    We somehow "distrust" the world, and even if someone is nice to us, then we suspect there is a "trick" behind.

    However, it can be learned to shake that off and to connect again. It comes by simply doing useful things, by looking for a balanced and healthy body, by opening up to people and just trusting them.

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