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I apologize for the backstory. For the past 8 months or so,

Good morning. I apologize...
Good morning. I apologize for the long backstory. For the past 8 months or so, I have been going on many dates, with a lot of different women, a member of several dating sites. I would go on 1-2 dates a week, often they’d lead to some sort of kissing/making out (However I am not actually sleeping with these women) and I would be then texting/emailing with a half dozen or so other women I haven’t met yet. It’s mostly text/phone sex, picture trading, etc. and not ACTUALLY having sex with the women. I take safe sex very seriously, and have only had sex in monogamous relationships so that has stopped me from doing anything risky healthwise. My masturbation has always been accompanied by porn, and always more exotic (threesome/group sex/girl on girl) and I’ve been a member of numerous sites. I’ve begun to find it very hard to get interested, and have not really been getting aroused easily. ED is not my concern, as I do wake up with strong erections, and when I do use porn and become aroused my erections are fine. I also feel I drink far too much alcohol. I don’t get drunk easily, but I can consume 10+ beers in a sitting, and usually 2+ times per week. In addition I feel constantly stressed out and/or anxious, and I take Celexa. My questions follow:
1) Is it possible that I have simply started to become de-sensitized and like an addiction, I am needing more to get the same feelings?
2) My plan is to stop using porn, stop dating for a few months, and cut alcohol. I should note I don’t get alcohol cravings, it’s always social. Furthermore I do work out 2 or so times per week, but I was planning on boosting that to 4 days a week minimum. Would this sort of plan possibly help? Boosting testosterone??
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Answered in 19 minutes by:
6/3/2013
TherapistMarryAnn
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5,862
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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Hello, I'd like to help you with your questions.
It is very possible to become desensitized to viewing porn, which is why people often need to seek more and newer experiences. Porn can become addicting very easily. Addiction is characterized by the need to view porn in order to become aroused, continuing the behavior even when faced with negative consequences and an escalating need to view more porn. While this may not be an issue now, it can easily become one, especially if you are noting issues at this point with your viewing of porn.
Viewing porn can also affect how you see relationships with others. It can dehumanize your partner or cause you to be chronically dissatisfied with your relationship. It makes the pleasure you feel about yourself rather than about the relationship you have with the other person.
You can certainly try your plan. While boosting your testosterone is going to cause stronger urges for sex, it may not help you channel it in healthy ways. Check with your doctor as well about the physical effects as it may make it more difficult to control aggression and harm your ability to maintain your self control around other people.
Stopping porn altogether along with alcohol is worth a try. Many people find it effective to stop cold turkey and others need to taper off. What you want to ask yourself here is what does porn and alcohol help you cope with emotionally? Both behaviors have the potential for addiction and are based on escaping emotions or situations you might feel upset about. Self reflection can help you not only stop using both porn and alcohol, but it can help you find more peace and help you stay away from both things.
It might also help to seek out therapy, even for a brief period of time. Finding out why you feel as you do about porn and why it is no longer effective can help you stick to your goals long term. It's like finding out why you have a pain in your arm, for example. You can take aspirin to help or you can see your doctor and find out the underlying cause so it never bothers you again. By getting to the root of why you feel as you do, you can gain control over your life and find new and more effective ways to feel better.
I hope this has helped you,
Kate
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Customer reply replied 4 years ago

Thank you so much for responding. I am not too worried about the aggression factor, I played hockey in college and semi-professional rugby after college and never was agressive or quick tempered then, I don't think it's my nature, but I will keep that in mind since you pointed it out.

I don't know that it's helping me "cope" Honestly I think it started as boredom, and became a habit. I'm not even masturbating more than 2x a week, I just have been feeling sort of dulled, sex and women aren't interesting me as much anymore. I really just want to get back to feeling good and living again.

I worry too much, I have also heard increasing testosterone and exercising can help battle stress and anxiety in general. Would you agree?

exercising can definitely help. Testosterone as well, though I would check with your doctor about that to be sure (he knows your medical history and therefore more safely recommend this treatment). But the key here is why you are losing interest in women in general. It could be that the porn has dehumanized women and relationships for you and if that is the case, you may want to look into why you feel that way. Therapy can help. Also, self help through reading and on line support might also help you explore this further. Getting to the "why" of the matter can resolve it once and for all.
Kate
TherapistMarryAnn
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5,862
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