How to respond to anxiety driven desire for orgasm?

Discussion in 'Partner Support' started by Vixen, Feb 1, 2019.

  1. Vixen

    Vixen Fapstronaut

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    After abandoning PMO, how do you adapt the compulsion to masturbate caused by stress? How can this be adapted in the healthiest way within a marriage?

    My husband is past his reboot and we are carrying on in a marriage trying to rebuild trust and more intimacy than in the past when my husband regularly resorted to chatrooms and porn to compulsively escape via fantasy as a way to cope with stress.

    We did 90 days of no PMO. Things are going much better now, I am very relieved to report! However we are still adapting. Recently we had a moment during which he was very honest and vulnerable with me as he was in the same kind of emotional place that generally triggered his porn/chat room masturbation.

    I’m not sure the best way to respond to my husband when he wants sexual release purely for reducing stress rather than an interactive intimate situation. Like basically he’s trying not to isolate to masturbate at all now (since that snowballed in the past and left our marriage pretty barren.) I was impressed at him opening up about this.

    I was trying to be supportive and embracing him as he began masturbating (he even said he wasn’t sure he could get hard due to stress and communicated he just wanted to get off for the release.) When he asked what I wanted, I calmly responded that this was for him— it did not arouse me as it was more of a release for his own self interest and stress rather than desiring involvement with me, but that I was okay with him masturbating with me. He then had a pity party claiming that I think he’s all bad... yadayada... so he discontinued touching himself and we proceeded to argue a bit.

    Thankfully we recovered much quicker after the fact than we ever did with disputes before my discovery of his chatroom compulsion. And later that night we even had some good sex.

    The situation just leaves me wondering how to respond in situations where he basically just wants an orgasm as a coping mechanism for stress. He has a lot of anxiety so it’s definutely a concern. Not sure where the lines fall regarding what is healthy or regarding that kind of stimulus for sexual behavior. My ideal would be for sex to follow love and desire. I don’t want to codependently put his needs way above my own but I also don’t want to mirror too much selfishness.

    Any similar experiences or insights on the matter would be helpful! I realize this doesn’t deal directly with the porn issue now, but in the aftermath of over a decade of intimacy anorexia and PMO to escape reality... we definitely can use some help building a better sexual/intimate relationship on this new terrain. Thanks!
     
  2. GhostWriter

    GhostWriter Fapstronaut

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    Hey @Vixen. Here is the way to look at it. You hit the nail on the head. And this orgasm for anxiety is sending the wrong message to his brain. It's that lack of coping mechanism he needs to find new and better more appropriate ways to cope. You should never use orgasm as an anxiety stress reliever, because it trains the brain and causes that dopamine rush that he became so dependent on in the past. You would be in jeopardy of a relapse if you continue down this path. See if you can help him figure out an alternative to the anxiety and stress. Orgasm isn't it, nor should it be. You want/need to keep orgasm as a sacred component of your relationship, else he will always be subject to relapse. Just as an alcoholic should never take another drink, he too shouldn't service his need for dopamine. Make sense?
     
  3. ReclaimedLife

    ReclaimedLife Fapstronaut

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    I really like that he is being honest with you. That shows he is interested in the relationship and wants to make it work.

    That is a very very good sign. Instead of releasing stress with sexual activities, why not give each other a massage?
    Talk about what kind of stress he is most vulnerable to and why. Maybe just talking about the issue already makes him feel better.
    You can still have sex after he stopped wanting to have sex just to deal with the pressure.
    We will always have some kind of pressure in our lives. And relationships are there to help each other and make our walks through life easier, and sex just is a part of that as well. It IS a stress reliever. It just sends the wrong message if you use sex everytime to deal with the stress.
    That is not what it is for.
     
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  4. Tannhauser

    Tannhauser Fapstronaut

    I agreer! It shows real maturity on his part to come forward like that and to be so open! And it shows real compassion on your part to consider it!

    For me at least sex is just a shortcut to intimacy, but it shouldn't be confused with intimacy itself. In addition to the dopamine rush that an orgasm provides, having sex (or "other activities") with my wife makes me feel loved and valued, which is also a huge way to overcome anxiety and depression - and that is why I crave it sometimes when I am having a hard day.
     
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  5. ReclaimedLife

    ReclaimedLife Fapstronaut

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    And i don't see anything wrong with this if you value her as a person and don't just "use" her. Intimacy is very beautiful between two people who like each other.
    I still firmly believe that a man sometimes needs to just "use" her like an object and unleash his "inner beast". If that form of physical pleasure doesn't incorporate going against her will, i think both genders benefit from it. It's just a variant. I sometimes have this urge when i come home from the gym, after a full workout.
    Or when she does a workout at home.
    Poor girl. But still happy girl : )

    Here is just where Emotional Intelligence comes in. We as men have the responsibility to figure out how far we can go so it is still pleasurable for both.
    And i think a BIG mistake a lot of guys do is just "cutting it off" after they are done.
    A real man will still be there for his woman after this kind of sex. Thank her. Nurish her.
    This way, we can also build the trust that is needed that tells her that even if we "just take her" we still value her and appreciate her needs for a connection as well.

    Being a real man really isn't that easy, it requires constant work.
     
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  6. GhostWriter

    GhostWriter Fapstronaut

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    This is GREAT!
    Do you really believe this? Or is sex, or should I say "sex should be" a byproduct of intimacy. Sex does not, nor ever will, lead to intimacy. Intimacy will almost always lead to sex.
    I agree with this, but I have a very much dissenting opinion of this:
    This? This is ADDICTION talking. Why don't you take a poll of all of the women on this sight, and see just how they feel about this statement? This speaks more volume for your mindset and thought process than almost everything else you've said combined.
    That's just it. "...physical pleasure..." This is the thought process of a Sex Addict seeking a dopamine fix. Same for your female counterpart seeking the same thing.
    That's right. "...It's just a variant..." of Sex Addiction.
    And "urges" are synonymous with what now?
    "...Poor girl..."? Do you not think that sounds so patronizing and offensive to women for you to think "You poor thing. I'll just stick my penis in you and make you feel better and everything will be ok"? Yeah, I know you didn't say that. I'm just interpolating a thought process here. I know that if I was a woman, I'd find that so sexist and insulting. Maybe I'm reading it wrong as I'm not a woman. But it reeks of male chauvinism to me.
    Here's a better idea. Why don't you figure out how far you can make it pleasurable for her, and forget about making it pleasurable for yourself. That's where selflessness comes in instead of selfishness. Because the other way around, let's be honest, your only objective is to get yourself off, and getting her off is a byproduct of getting yourself off. I don't believe this is emotionally intelligent at all. In fact, I think it is polar opposite of emotional intelligence.
    Well this is certainly true.
    Well that's a consolation prize. After all, all we had invested in one another is just "fucking".
    Thank her for what exactly? "Fucking"? At the end of the day, that's all it was about, right? Each of your investment in the other was just that, was it not? Just exactly how would you word that?
    Yeah, I just don't see anything that resembles a connection except for your penis and her vagina connected to one another. Your addiction says "...just take her...", and her addiction responds"...just take me...", thus both of your so called "needs" are satisfied. Other than that, there's no connection to speak of.
    Indeed it does. Indeed it does. Look, I hope you don't see this as picking on you. But I picked it apart for a reason. All of this stuff you're preaching here? It is riddled with sex addiction. It is the mindset and thought process of a sex addict.

    I would encourage you to stay the course, for sufficient recovery will assuredly change this thought process within you. I know it did for everyone who has gotten past the brain fog of being a sex addict. Again, please don't take this as anything more than the constructive criticism it is intended to be. I hope and pray that you find it an enlightening experience.

    And for @Vixen, I hope you find this exchange helpful.
     
  7. ReclaimedLife

    ReclaimedLife Fapstronaut

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    I am not going to apologize and i don't think i am wrong or addicted at all.

    You make the mistake of thinking i am only taking from her.
    Not giving her value.
    Not respecting her as a woman.
    Not building an emotional connection.
    Not making sure she is satisfied. Emotionally as well as physically.
    Nothing of this could be further from the truth.

    I don't know what happened in your life, but the only time i was intimate with a woman of my own choice, we build trust first, learned to enjoy each others company and build a connection. After we were 100% comfortable with each other and had build a connection, we had sex.
    And that was that kind of sex that you are so demonizing right now.
    That girl never watched porn in her life and had only 2 sexual relationships before me. Some girls just like this form of sex as well.

    Some people are just "sexual matches". And we were a match. I certainly wouldn't do this with every girl.
    It is up to me and my degree of emotional intelligence to figure out whether she feels good "getting taken". Some woman never will. And i will never have this kind of sex with a woman who doesn't enjoy it.
    But you have to respect the fact that those woman exist as well.
    The ones who are physically as well as mentally healthy and still enjoy and get pleasure out of it.

    The crux is that women are often ashamed that they really like and enjoy this kind of sex and will NEVER admit that in public.
    But just wait until you close the bedroom door...
     
  8. GhostWriter

    GhostWriter Fapstronaut

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    A) You're right. You don't know what happened in my life, and what happened in my life has absolutely nothing to do with what I said. It's irrelevant.
    B) This isn't what you conveyed in your message at all. This "...we build trust first, learned to enjoy each others company and build a connection. After we were 100% comfortable with each other and had build a connection, we had sex..." was totally different than what I read above, otherwise, I wouldn't have viewed the way that I did.
    C) No, that IS NOT "...that kind of sex that you(I) are(am) so demonizing right now..."
    So...your point?
    There is nothing wrong with that "animal attraction" that occurs between consenting adults in a state of "intimacy". Of course, there are consenting adults that engage in that "animal attraction" that is grounded in sexual addiction in one, the other, or both. That isn't healthy for either party. But they are consenting adults, so they can do whatever the hell they want.
    And yet you have women all over the place in here laying claim that they love sex in all forms. But OK.

    Look, my response to what you said was based on what you said. Never mind. I'll just gracefully bow out of this conversation because:
    A) It's somebody else's thread.
    B) You're not interested in embracing the idea that you may be speaking from the view of a sex addict, in a brain fog, with 5 days of sobriety according to the tell/tale/tail Counter on your Messages. I get it. That's your prerogative.

    It's fine. Please accept my apology for overstepping my bounds to point out that which I thought was intuitively obvious. I wish you all the best.
     
  9. ReclaimedLife

    ReclaimedLife Fapstronaut

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    Apology accepted.
     
  10. Susannah

    Susannah Fapstronaut

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    Agreed, Ghostwriter. And sadly, this kind of "what women really want" kind of stuff is promoted relentlessly, so no wonder some men (and women) believe it. Case in point is the "getting taken" thing. It feels good to be the object of healthy desire, but "getting taken" does not connote this, at least to THIS woman. It gives me the rapey shivers every time I hear it.
     
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  11. GhostWriter

    GhostWriter Fapstronaut

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    Exactly my point! Thank you!
     
  12. Guardian93

    Guardian93 Fapstronaut

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    I'm only on day 32, I still have a long way ahead of me, but I wanted to leave my opinion on this topic since I have been thinking about this same issue the last three days.
    In my opinion, winning against P means leaving the fantasy and getting back to reality. Winning against MO means learning to live that reality, learning to deal with your feelings, learning to deal with the stress, so using MO as a way to deal with stress will only take away the progress you've made.
    These last days have been stressful for me and I can feel my brain telling me to deal with it the "usual way", what I've done is talking about what is giving me stress with someone and trying to find together the best way to deal with what is giving me stress ( dealing with the actual issue that's causing the stress)
     
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  13. I made a rule for myself to not initiate for a while because I couldn’t trust myself to not be misusing sex to relieve stress. I want sex to become something I only use to connect to my wife.

    She seems to appreciate it.
    She gets sex anytime she wants, but isn’t getting asked for it when she doesn’t.
    When I feel healthy enough I will initiate again. Once I feel confident that I’m not lying to myself about why I want it.

    I have found new ways to deal with stress and anxiety. Totally unrelated to sex.
     
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  14. Vixen

    Vixen Fapstronaut

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    That make sense. I can definitely see the rational to that. I'm just kind of triggered by him not acting in to our relationship. It triggers the concern that he's masturbating compulsively again or otherwise. For a long time I thought he didn't have much of a sex drive but after discovery I know that's not the case--- unless there's a difference between healthy sex drive and anxiety driven compulsion? Either way I get lonely and concerned is attention is elsewhere if it seems non-existent towards me. Not entirely sure how to overcome my trust issues or if that's just a component of adapting to reality.
     
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  15. Vixen

    Vixen Fapstronaut

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    What is your best way to deal with the stress? My husband hasn't really found any discernable new coping strategy that I'm aware of. Life is busy and at the end of the day he watches a lot of tv. That's it. And it's leaving me feeling empty so it's something I've addressed as far as trying to do something more productive, interatctive engaging with SOME of our free time.
     
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  16. Vixen

    Vixen Fapstronaut

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    Well that exchange was certainly interesting!

    The more I've looked at my whole situation, I feel like I may also have some issues with intimacy. I think a lot of it has to do with being conditioned to very little of it (from parents and now husband), coupled with the fact that I'm so used to conflict when I try to engage my husband in meaningful interaction. It certainly is difficult to get to the very meaningful sex when there is a serious disconnect emotionally. My husband barely ever initiates unless it's in that haze of not-quite-conscious time in the night. I had made a point to abide by some of the dr Weiss (I think that's the right person) who recommend 1) lights on 2) conversation etc. However I feel like lately we have slipped into old habits.
     
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  17. Vixen

    Vixen Fapstronaut

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    Good idea! Thank you!
     
  18. Yea that’s kind of different from me. Sorry, idk if that’s a trust issue or he’s just not doing recovery.

    I haven’t masturbated for over 4 years and I still don’t trust that sex isn’t being used to medicate. It takes a lot of work to overcome.
    But I’m looking at it from the addict side. I put this in place, my wife doesn’t even care.
    So, my motivations to be a better me not just please her.

    What would your husband do if you totally put it all on him and didn’t involve yourself at all?
    That is probably what he wants to do.
    If he’s doing something different for you and not himself it probably won’t continue because it isn’t real recovery.
    Sorry :(
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2019
  19. Vixen

    Vixen Fapstronaut

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    What do you mean exactly?

    Basically the only thing that we have in effect right now is the accountability software. He did volunteer about wanting to masturbate since he was stressed out so I guess he gets points for that. However he lost some points last night started a big storm about wanting to remove the accountability software and wanting to have more female friends. (I have a new forum post about that incident.)

    Thanks for your insight!
     
  20. Sorry, typo... “doing something different “
     

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