Some of you may have seen my introduction thread in the New to NoFap forum, so I hope this doesn't count as double posting, but I need to opening up to Christians more about what I struggle with, as I'm too nervous to open up to Christians I know in person about this. I struggle with a sexual fetish for women tied up, particularly damsel in distress scenes in film, TV etc. Being quite artistic I've been able to draw pretty much any fantasy that comes to mind, and spent a lot of time on this in the past. I've also found ways to tie myself up in the past and get off on that. Technically none of these activities are 'porn' in the usual sense (which honestly doesn't appeal to me at all), but for the sake of accountability, measuring progress etc. I regard it as such, and as coming under the 'P' in 'PMO'. I did actually have a really good run of MO only for a good few years, and occasionally a month or two of no PMO at all, but in recent years its all crept back to full PMO, and gotten worse while working from home during the national lockdown. Having decided to join these forums I've found my mind telling lies of the form 'have just a bit more fun before you commit to the 90 day challenge or becoming more accountable' and being more tempted because of it. I know these are the lies of the enemy, and having PMO'd following this 'logic' the other day I've decided to get my act together and record my journey here, essentially treating this like a journal if that's okay (I'm not completely clear on how journals work on this site). Eventually I want an accountability partner but for now I'm just getting used to opening up about this, taking baby steps... I struggle with social anxiety too, and so opening up about something like this is never easy! In any case, I need start opening up to Christians in some way, and after my latest PMO, I want to stop making excuses. If I know I'm going to have to write about my progress (or lack thereof), I know I'll be more reluctant to entertain my fantasies. I become somewhat obsessive when it comes to being honest, and even when I want to lie I'm terrible at doing it... so I want to use this to my advantage in opening up to people Some of these posts will be daily progress, others reflections on the past, or both. Please reply/comment any time. I also hope that my openness will encourage other brothers and sisters facing struggles with fetishes of any kind to open up... because I know how embarrassing it is to talk about! And whether you comment or not, whether you relate or not, please pray for me. --- Over time I plan to index some key posts below (updated 08/05/22): Fetish Development These posts mostly focus on events in my life which I believe are key to the development of my fetish. They are mostly arranged in the order they happened, not in the order I posted them: Swaddled babies and the comfort of constraint (first para) Early stirrings: The Jungle Book and Kaa the Constrictor (2nd paragraph) Learning I wasn't alone: Laura and the Lamppost Post 1 - Detailed reflections on its influence Post 2 - Why bondage and not 'normal' porn? Saturday Morning Fetishism - Damsels in Kids' Cartoons Daphne, empathy and selfishness Learning a warped definition of womanhood Related: Influence of cartoons on other fetishes When did it become sexual? Learning what is Normal and Acceptable Hand-gagged by a lady Forming soul ties in my teenage years Drawing and Naomi's Story Associating my bed with my fetish The first time telling anybody 'IRL' A terminally ill fetish Recovery keypoints Confusing the answer with the question Post-90-day reset Realising there is no reward in PMO Reunion with my inner child - sexual urges and psychological needs decoupled 6 months free! Reasons we PMO: The appeal of novelty Giving in is just so easy Illusions of the perfect scene, Memories --- General personal development - last updated 27/04/22 Silence in relationships --- Helpful articles - last updated 05/03/2022 What Your Sexual Fantasies (Might) Say About You by Jay Stringer --- Needs Analysis An analysis of my needs, how I sought to meet them in my fetish and how God actually meets them (updated 07/05/22): Need: Everyday sustenance (food, shelter, etc) As a child: I was totally dependent on my parents for these things. As an adult: I can no longer depend on my parents; I have to work to survive. As a child of God: My daily bread How bondage ‘fulfilled’ the need: A simulation of the tight, enclosed space of the womb – a place where all my basic needs are met despite no effort from myself. How God actually fulfils the need: Matthew 6 is full of examples: “Give us this day our daily bread” (v 11; as part of the Lord’s prayer) “But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?” (v 30) “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (v 33) Also John 6:35: “Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst’”. Need: Acceptance Throughout life: I always felt acceptance was necessary for the first need (sustenance). As a child: By my family, friends and teachers As an adult: By my family, friends, coworkers and employers As a child of God: By God himself – In His case His acceptance is necessary for salvation. My testimony is a story in which I fear losing His acceptance, and the enemy tempts me to doubt this still today. How bondage ‘fulfilled’ the need: A hugging sensation; hugging being a gesture of acceptance. Self-bondage was always something I would do when alone with no risk of interruption. No people means there is no acceptance to crave and no need to stress over losing it. I only have to please myself. How God actually fulfils the need: We are accepted through Christ, so long as we choose to receive that acceptance: “Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.” - Romans 15:17 “All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out” - John 6:37 “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved" - Romans 10:13 Need: Freedom from blame and responsibility Throughout life: I have feared that blame will cause me to lose acceptance from all those I fear losing it from. Furthermore, it has often felt that no matter what I do, mistakes are made. As a child: I never liked being told off for being naughty, or for making mistakes. As an adult: It’s less likely I’ll be shouted at, but the cost of mistakes could be my own job As a child of God: I fear that errors will have eternal consequences for myself or others. How bondage ‘fulfilled’ the need: It’s not the damsel in distress’ fault that she’s tied up… somebody did this to her and now that she’s in this state she cannot be held responsible for doing or not doing anything. So, I misconceive bondage as a state of freedom from responsibility and therefore from blame. How God fulfils the need: He takes care of all things; all blame is taken care of on the cross. “But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed” - Isaiah 53:5 “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith” - Romans 3:23-25 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him.” - Ephesians 1:3-4 Besides, we can seek God’s help in the tasks and responsibilities we have: “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight” - Proverbs 3:5-6 And in any case, nothing we do can circumvent God’s will. Whatever does or doesn't happen is His will: “Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases.” - Psalm 115:3 “The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord” - Proverbs 16:33 Need: Rest & Meditation Throughout life: I’ve never been good at just sitting still. I’m not comfortable in one position for very long. As a child: Apparently I had a lot of energy and was very restless! As an adult: I’m terrible at not being busy! There’s always something to do. My mind is always distracted. As a child of God: Time to reflect and let God speak – to “sit at Jesus’ feet” How bondage ‘fulfilled’ the need: When you’re tied up there is nothing to do but just think. Especially true when blindfolded and free from visual stimulation. Many people into bondage even when the motivation is non-sexual are into it for this reason – it’s an aid to meditation, much like an isolation tank. This is actually related to the freedom from blame and responsibility - these things create stress but recreational bondage removes them and gives me peace. How God fulfils the need: Rest is a commandment because He knows it is good for us. At no point does He say bondage is necessary for it. Besides, in self-bondage I “meditate” on evil fantasies, not his Word, which is what He does want us to meditate on. “Be still, and know that I am God” - Psalm 46:10 The story of Mary and Martha - “[Mary] sat at the Lord's feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted by much serving” - Luke 10:38-42 “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” - Joshua 1:8 Need: Sexual gratification and expression Throughout life: I have feared that not having a girlfriend or a wife and never experiencing sex would render me not normal - i.e. I feared society would judge me for it and that I'd become a joke. This is related to fearing a loss of acceptance. As a child: This was not a need at first, but became one as I entered puberty. As an adult: We are wired with a sex drive! As a child of God: A wife with whom and only with whom to share sexual experience – selflessly for her gratification and not mine. How bondage ‘fulfilled’ the need: It was how I discovered my sexuality. Knowing porn was wrong but already recognising a link between women and bondage, I sexualised that link instead and now I know no other way to express my sexuality. How God fulfils the need: 1 Corinthians 7 reminds us that we don’t necessarily need it, but if we really want it (which is not a bad thing!), it must only be through marriage. The whole chapter is relevant but verses 8-9 summarise it perfectly: “To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is good for them to remain single, as I am. But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion.” Need: To be heard and understood Throughout life: Being left out and somehow never in the loop. Not being taken seriously when I knew I had the solution to a problem. Struggling to get my point across and frustration when I can’t. As a child of God: We are supposed to share our struggles with one another and seek counsel from one another – I need to be heard in order to help others and in order to seek help. How bondage ‘fulfilled’ the need: The damsel in distress understands… she is powerless (bound) and unheard (gagged). In this sense I empathise with the women on screen, and become intimate with them by ‘becoming’ them through self-bondage so we can share in our helplessness. How God fulfils the need: He understands the experience of not being listened to. Despite his limitless power, the Israelites did not heed His warnings. He bestowed absolute Truth upon them but they continually ignored Him. Christ was ignored when he claimed to be The Son of God. God understands what it is like to not be listened to, so He fully understands what I experience. I do not need to turn to false idols to feel understood. Summary: These are all connected - I need acceptance in order to gain my needs on this earth and in eternity, and I see both blame and celibacy as means though which I may lose acceptance (and therefore wellbeing) by people close to me and also by society at large. There is nothing wrong with celibacy but society would have us think otherwise. I also feel that in order to be accepted I need to be heard and understood. Ultimately I should only worry about God's acceptance, which I would understand better were I to meditate on His Word and His love for me even more, but I am distracted from this by worldly 'needs' that rob me of my rest - and I turn to evil in order to enter a restful state in which I 'meditate' on evil.