Quote:I've read through the stickied thread on insecurities, but felt like this is a broad enough topic that isn't adequately discussed given its apparent prevalence. I feel like, deep down, the root issue is one of shame, and a lot of us could benefit from being more open about sexuality regardless of how much the anxiety currently affects our lives. I would love to hear inputs on my situation, as well as similar experiences in overcoming this anxiety from others.
I agree, YMZ. I have a history of sexual shame and fear of escalation, but I am now at a point in my life where I am very comfortable with my sexuality and I have no fear of sexual escalation at all anymore. I'll tell about my history and the steps I took to get to where I am now.
I have always had the trait that I don't want to do anything that I am unskilled at. I can't dance, so I don't dance. But how will you learn how to dance if you never dance? You just won't dance, period.
So when I got to the age where I started to like girls, and girls started liking me, and the time came where we should kiss, I would completely shut down. In my early teens I just felt angry at the girl for wanting to kiss me (no self-awareness yet). In my mid-teens I realized that it was pure fear: fear of humiliation and embarassment, fear of failure and fear of the unknown. (What if I did it completely wrong and she would be shocked with how bad I was? Never-ending shame?!!). After some embarassing missed opportunities (girl all over me, me feeling like there was a bag of bricks in my stomach and sweating and unable to do anything, until the girl thought I rejected her), my insecurity grew and eventually girls disappeared from my life entirely. I just spent my teen years in my room.
During this period, I also "discovered" porn. I start watching porn at a young age, probably at 13. I felt shame about my sexuality. Both masturbation and porn always left me with a feeling that I did something bad; that I
was bad. My whole life, I had always been a very good boy. Obedient, kind, honest. A good momma's boy. I wanted to be pure, and I believed that raw sexuality was bad. Yet I watched this dirty porn and had these dirty thoughts. So I tried to repress it. In my daily life I was a perfectly nice boy, lacking any defined identity. When the sexual desire became too strong to surpress, I secretly indulged in porn. Or rather, my sexuality simply took over.
The thing with sexual desire is that it cannot be repressed. It's too strong for that. It's a very real part of who you are; a natural, healthy part of who you are. If you try to repress it, it just goes underground and comes out in unwanted and less functional ways. So my normal porn watching (to the extent that watching hardcore pornography at the age of 14 is normal) quickly escalated to more extreme stuff. Desensitization also played its role. And I now believe that the fact that I was such a good boy with a strong conscience actually contributed to my more extreme porn-watching. When I watched stuff that I knew was "bad", the arousal I felt was incredible. There was an incredible rush while I explored the more questionable parts of the internet, which made the pleasure much greater. Even though I hated it. I felt awful afterwards, but during the porn-watching, my sexual desire took over control.
Pretty soon I would watch things that not only I thought were bad, but that I knew "society" disapproved of, too. Of course I tried to repress the tendency to look for the extreme porn, but the desire would always win out eventually. This improved my shame considerably. I thought that if anyone knew the truth about me, they wouldn't see a good, honest boy anymore, but something repulsive. So this made me hide myself even more. Which made me even less likely to succeed with girls. It reduced my self-esteem more, which made me believe that I was undesirable to girls. The fact that girls were so out of reach made me believe that normal sex was just not an option, which escalated my porn-viewing further. It was a nasty cycle of ever-increasing low self-esteem, shame and fear.
Now, I said that I am doing great now, so you probably wonder how I got to this point. There are several important steps. First of all, I read and watched a lot of self-help and self-improvement stuff. I read up on spirituality and sexuality. I analyzed myself and my desires. I hypothesized that if I believed that normal women would want sex with me and if I could express my sexuality in a healthy way (in a sexual relationship with a girl), while learning to accept my sexuality, that this whole dysfunctional porn-viewing habit would resolve itself.
It wasn't until the age of 20 that I kissed a girl - a single kiss when I was quite drunk with a Spanish girl while I was on vacation. Later that year I traveled to Australia and Thailand. I thought the situation with my sexual anxiety was hopeless, so I did one thing that I thought would help. I paid for sex with a Thai woman. It was an awful experience, but at least I learned that sex is actually pretty simple and not scary.
It was almost two years later that I had my breakthrough. I went on two different vacations in the summer, for a total of four weeks, going out almost every night. I had devoured a lot of pick up advice by now. I had worked out, had a better hair cut, got a great tan, and girls started showing interest in me. My looks helped me out, because some girls actually approached me. I kissed a bunch of them, and after like five of them, I started to "get it". Since then, I wasn't scared of kissing anymore, because I felt I knew how to do it. Also had sex with a girl who was equally sexually inexperienced and more or less pushed on to me by her girl friends.
That summer improved my confidence a lot, both the confidence in my attractiveness to girls and in my sexual escalation skills. After that vacation I got my first sexual relationship, with a girl I had met during that vacation. By now I started buying products about how to get good in bed, especially David Shade's stuff. I would always try to make the sex better than the time before that. I would always try to push myself out of my comfort zone. I tried to be more dominant each time, and try out new techniques and give her more pleasure. I dated her for about a year, and during this year I became quite good at sex, dirty talk, dominance.
I absolutely advise to get a longer term girlfriend or sex partner to overcome shame and get more comfortable with sex. You will naturally get more comfortable as you spend more time with each other. Read up on what it means to be good in bed (try David Shade or Daniel Rose, for starters. Hint: Being good in bed is mostly psychological and emotional, not physical.) Make sure that you communicate openly and honestly with the girl. Be fucking vulnerable. Shame doesn't like to be exposed. Vulnerability and honesty met with empathy and understanding destroy shame. Make sure that the girl is also open and honest, and that she is supportive. If she is not a supportive, kind person, go find a new one. Beware though: the extent to which a girl is open and kind depends, to a large degree, on how open and kind you are.
So I got my first girlfriend, had regular sex, I dared to express my real sexuality more and more with this girl. To my great pleasure, my hypothesis held up: The more I expressed my sexuality in a natural, good way, the less extreme porn I needed to watch.
Overcoming the shame
But I still had this shame bottled up inside of me. One thing I did was read books like Nancy Friday's My Secret Garden. It's a book filled with real women's fantasies, from the seventies. It is an eye-opener, because you learn that women are every bit as sexual as we men are, and possibly moreso. And it teaches you that it's okay to have sexual fantasies, even if they are weird or dirty or perverted. Other sources, like David Shade and Hypnotica and Brad P also taught me that it is normal, natural and healthy to be sexual. It's good to be sexually dominant. In fact, women love a sexual man.
At one point I decided that I would go to a psychotherapist to talk about my porn history and shame. I confessed all the dirty shit I ever watched. It was fucking scary, but I did it. I even gave details of the more disturbing things I had seen. The guy didn't look particularly happy with it (therapists are humans too, it turns out, and not all of them gladly discuss these subjects), but I felt very proud of myself that I did it. It felt good to share that which I had hidden for so long.
I kept learning more about sexuality and shame. I kept thinking about it and I kept sharing more and more with girls. One crucial thing is that I learned to become more and more vulnerable in bed. What I mean by this is that I would express my real desires, even though it was scary. Scary because she might reject me and judge me. The opposite happened every time. You would be amazed at how open-minded and non-judgmental girls are, especially if you are the same to them. The sex got better and better as I became more assertive.
At one point I struggled with the idea of whether I should just deal with all this sexual shame and my porn history privately, or if I should share all of myself with a girl and tell her everything. I went to a sexologist to talk about this, and also to talk about the shame once more. He was an extremely chill dude, very accepting and non-judgmental. He saw guys who had gone through the exact same thing as I had all the time. I further learned to accept myself with him.
I recently met a girl who matched me in being openminded, non-judgmental, accepting and deliciously dirty-minded. We had awesome, dirty sex and I told her everything
. Felt great. She was so good. Each and every time I shared my secrets, I felt better about myself and my shame reduced. Each time I was vulnerable like that was easier than the time before.
Uniting your loving side and your dirty side
Another crucial insight for me was that the solution to the problem of having at the same time both the desire to be good, loving and empathic and the desire to be sexual, horny, dirty, dominant is simply this: unite the two. Unite the love with the sexuality. What I had tried to do before was the opposite: I tried to separate my sexuality from the rest of my self by trying to repress it, because I believed that my "dark side" was bad.
Once you completely accept your sexuality, and express your sexuality with love and empathy, you will no longer do anything that you will feel bad about afterwards. You know that feeling when you orgasm after watching dirty porn, and then you feel bad about having watched that porn? If you infuse your sexual lust with empathy and love, then you can still feel all those dirty things, but anything that your conscience disagrees with will be a turn-off. Your "good side" and "dark side" will be one!
The last part is a personal insight, and might sound a little "woo-woo". David Deida (who, admittedly, can be woo-woo, but also very wise) described it like this (the "..." means I skip text. It's from The Way of the Superior Man, chapter 36: Own Your Darkest Desires.):
Quote:When you are unable to express your dark passions with love, then they go underground in your psyche. Your dark desires become disconnected from your heart. Instead of being moved to embrace your woman with masculine force and aggressive passion ... you begin to fantasize about controlling and dominating women in unloving ways.
The desire to ravish is the desire to break through a woman's resistances to open her heart and body into ecstatic loving.
When this masculine desire to ravish becomes dissociated from your heart, then you will settle for breaking through a woman's resistance without love, through violance or coercion.
Your woman surrendering to receive your strong love, or you lovingly "forcing" your woman to surrender into greater ecstacy, is the basis of ravishment. When you are unwilling to play these dark masculine and feminine poles in love and humor, then they will appear in loveless ways, such as rape fantasies, obsession with soap operas, tragic stories of loss and brutality, and violent pornography.
Very powerful. I believe that men who are nice guys in their daily lives, then jerk off to hard porn and then feel guilty afterwards, are men who do not embrace their sexuality and let it go "underground in their psyche", as David Deida describes it. Once you fully embrace your sexuality, especially
the dark side of it, and you can express it with love with a woman you respect, then you can realize your desires, while not feeling any shame or disagreeing with any of your actions.
Edit: Uniting your loving side and dirty side goes both ways. First, in bed, you will respect her and empathize with her while expressing your raw, masculine sexuality. Second, in your normal life, you will be masculine and sexual as well as your nice, normal self.
If you are a real Nice Guy, it could be that you are not truly sexual even when you have sex with a girl. You physically go through the motions, but you don't FEEL what you feel when you watch porn. In that case, porn, fantasy and masturbation are the only true outlets for your sexuality. Then you have to learn to express your masculinity and sexuality both outside AND inside the bedroom.
I am not all the way there yet, but if I compare myself now to a few years ago I have made a huge transformation.