Saturday, April 25, 2009

Overcoming The Urge To Sexualize My Anxiety

Deadlines create anxiety for me: the fear of failure, I am not good enough. I medicate those feelings through sex. For me that has meant pornography and masturbation. I wrestled strongly with this anxiety over my deadlines as well as the urge to masturbate yesterday and today. And I've experienced victory.

Factors contributing to my victory today:

  • Chatting with a fellow SSsA-struggler online
  • Making the resolve to stick to my 90-day fast
  • Being open and vulnerable here on my blog even if I can't do so in person with trusted Brothers
  • Going to a public place to work, where I can see people and don't feel so lonely
  • Giving myself short doable goals (short increments of paced-out work) so that I am not overwhelmed by the enormity of the task at hand
  • Reminding myself that my anxious feelings and my genital aches (from having no sexual release of any kind for over 2 weeks) don't have to be associated
  • Giving myself a break after a good chunk of many "short doable goals" accomplished -- like blogging now

I noticed that my sense of accomplishment has increased, and I am looking forward to continuing to work on my tasks. The desire to sexually medicate my anxiety is over. I still have the genital ache from no sexual release, but it's more physiological than emotional. I'll likely have a wet-dream one of these days, and that will take care of it. God's made my body to cope with the physiological needs that way.

I also noticed that I have been scanning women and thinking of them sexually--their beautiful bodies like delicious desserts. I wondered what was going on with my sexual attraction to men, and so I "tested" it. I found that it took about 10 seconds of "mental work" (i.e. forcing myself to look at and think of a man sexually) before any sexual arousal would emerge. And even after that, I felt a little grossed out at myself for doing it. With the women, it was pretty much automatic, and if I weren't Christian or married, I think I might have pursued a couple and propositioned them for sex. Oh man, here comes another beautiful one...


  1. I still have the genital ache from no sexual release, but it's more physiological than emotional. I'll likely have a wet-dream one of these days, and that will take care of it. God's made my body to cope with the physiological needs that way.He also blessed you with a wife, and she has needs that need to be fulfilled as well. Instead of looking at other women, why don't you focus on developing deeper sexual intimacy with her?

  2. As I explained to Kurt on another post, I've been traveling on work.

    Jay, with all due respect, I would appreciate it if you would be a little less advice-giving and more question-asking, because the way you give advice comes across as quite condescending.

    If you presupposed the better of me, you might for instance say, "Oh, I am curious, what about your wife? Aren't you able to be intimate with her?"

    I have not asked you about your personal walk in sexual purity. I have not grilled you about your spiritual disciplines. The couple of comments that I did leave on your blog, I left with a lot of respectful curiosity.

    If you are not able to ask questions, feel free to stop giving comments. They are not helpful. In fact, they are hurtful. It would be great if you can learn how to handle communicating truth with humility and love.

  3. I'm not trying to be hurtful. I think I've given you the same amount of respect I give everyone I interact with, and very few people have this type of problem with me.

    I have no presupposition of you at all. I go by what you've said on your blog (and I am sorry for forgetting what you said to Kurt about being on business). You thinking that I have a negative presupposition of you is, in actuality, a presupposition on your part.

    To be honest, there isn't much difference in what I said and your example of what you wanted me to say. Yes, the latter sounds a little nicer, but it's not much different than my statement. I can't be expected to craft my words to what offends your sensibilities the least; I simply don't know you well enough. Judge my content; not my form. The fact that I deal with the same issue you do should be enough to let you know that I don't judge you.

    And frankly, if you want only overly-polite questions and no advice, then you should make a comment policy so people know. I can't see how anything I've said could be construed as "hurtful." You place far too much value on the opinions of others if a little comment like the one above actually hurt your feelings, especially when there wasn't anything really remarkably rude or out-of-the-ordinary about it.

    I know it's difficult, but learning to deal with criticism and take advice is a mark of an adult. If you want to grow into manhood like you say, I truly suggest you stop being so sensitive to every disagreement. Just because I disagree and have advice doesn't mean I don't love you.

    Quite the opposite; it means I think I have something worthwhile to offer to your growth. If you don't think so, by all means, argue with me about it. I enjoy a good debate and I won't think anything less of you for holding the opposite position. Likewise, feel free to offer your advice on my blog. I won't be offended by a lack of "respectful curiosity" in the slightest.

  4. Jay,

    I am not interested in arguing with you. I do plenty of critical thinking and argumentation at a very high level of which you are not aware.

    I am afraid you have not shown me anything that I would construe as worthy of helping me in my growth towards manhood. Not even close. Try helping someone else who is a lot younger and closer to your level of maturity.

    Again, if you are not able to ask questions respectfully, stop making comments on my blog. I don't know how else I can make that clearer to you.

    Thank you.

  5. Very well then. This is my last comment, but like I said, if all you want is questions (and if you want them in a particular format), you really need to make a comment policy so other commenters know that.

    As you keep blogging you're going to find more commenters who actually are trying to be hurtful and disrespectful to you. It was never my intention, but it will be theirs. I pray that you let it roll off your back a little more than you've dealt with me. You simply can't be bothered with what people think of you; it's not a good way to live.

    And God has used my blog to help men of all ages, and I've developed good friendships with them. None of them have leveled the same criticism you have. In fact, I get along best with men who are in their 30s-40s. I think my maturity level is about equal to that age group, so try not to throw around passive insults, okay?

    This is my last comment. You are welcome to say whatever you like on my blog, though. And I mean that.

  6. Thank you for respecting my wishes. All the best.

  7. Hi TCM,

    I just recently found your blog and I am a female who struggles with SSA. I also occasionaly read Jay's blog and with all due respect and even after reading Jay's comments on your blog I am quite shocked that you perceive him as unkind and judgemental? As an outsider looking in I believe your reaction to be over the top and a tad bit immature. I believe there are many who follow Jay's blog who would agree with me that Jay is far from unkind or advice giving. And no I am not one of Jay's friends and he has no idea even who I am nor have I ever left a comment on Jay's blog lest you think he put me up to this or that I am this huge defender of Jay. Personally I think you have made a huge mistake in asking Jay to no longer comment on your blog.

  8. Dear Anonymous,

    I don't know if you will come back to read this, but for the sake of Jay who had commented here before, I will give a reply.

    You are "an outsider looking in," as you say. So, your very first comment on my blog is to criticize my "reaction" and give me advice that I have made "a huge mistake in asking Jay to no longer comment on (my) blog."

    Sweet. (Yes, I'm being sarcastic.)

    How do you come to the conclusion that my reaction is "over the top and a tab bit immature?" What do you know of my blog purpose back in April when I wrote what I wrote? What do you know of me as a person and the purpose of my request for Jay to stop commenting. Have you read all of my interactions up to the point when I asked him to stop commenting?

    You say I've made a big mistake. Really? I don't think so. In fact, I should make you aware that Jay continues to comment on my blog even though he had said he would stop.

    - - -

    Message to Jay: Given that the purpose of my blog has change over the last few weeks, I have responded to your latest comment on August 6.

  9. Hi TCM,

    I am reading your blog by chronological order so I have read enough of your responses up till now towards those who didn't quite 'couch' their words the way that you would have liked, to make the assessment that I did. And unless you have had a total transformation by the time I get to your present day post, my guess is, by the way you responded to me- you are still trying to 'uber' control others responses to your posts.

    The interesting thing about real life and being in relationship with sinful imperfect people is that you really can't 'totally' control others responses towards you as you can on your own blog. And that is scary. If you do try to control or are only open to what you want to hear -how does that equate to real authentic relationship? I guess my motivation for my original post is not so much about Jay but rather the pattern I observed while reading your responses to those who asked questions or voiced concerns over something you said or did in real life. And Jay was not the only commenter that was questioned about their motivation for asking a question or making a comment. Often times commentors were suspect because they used a certain word? So to answer your question- that is how I came up with my 'over the top' remark. How walking on egg shells does one have to be to be in relationship with you? Most people can't do that or sustain that type of perfection and in the long run will likely choose to walk away.

    I recently had a similar experience with a blogger I followed for about a year. I regularly responded on their blog and we communicated somewhat behind the scenes via email. That was up until I commented about something they apparently did not agree with. Immediately I began to notice 'the cold shoulder' and even though I tried to get back into their good graces, apparently I had committed some unpardonable sin in the blogesphere world. It left me feeling really hurt and confused. I finally had to conclude that there was apparently some unspoken rule that in order to
    continue in relationship with this person, I needed to affirm and agree with them a 100%. Does anybody in your real life fit that description? Then why do some bloggers expect this in the blog world- makes no sense to me?? If you want it that way then I suggest you pre-approve all your comments and only post those that fall in line with what you want to hear.

    I find your blog very interesting and if I didn't care I wouldn't read it. My challenge to you really doesn't have anything to do with SSA but rather taking the risk to walk with those of us who dare to ask the hard questions or post a dissenting opinion even if it may come across as judgmental or not as caring as you think it should be. More often than not, I believe the majority of people around us really do care even if they have a funny way of showing it.

    Peace and Love

  10. Anonymous:

    It might surprise you to know that I have real-life friends who are ardent gay activists. One set of friends (lesbians) have two children together, and I love them and find them to be really fun people to be around. They know about where I stand, what I believe, and they know about my struggle. Obviously, we disagree about our stance on homosexuality, but we get along very well. That should answer your question about "How walking on egg shells does one have to be to be in relationship with you?"

    Now let's talk about control. You criticize me for trying to "uber-control" you with my response. Then you suggest that I pre-approve all my comments.

    Hang on a second.

    Why should I have to pre-approve comments? Why can't I talk to my commenters and ask them (politely, by the way) not to comment? Why should I have to pre-approve comments as you suggest? Who is trying to uber-control who? Whose blog is this? Mine or yours? And if I pre-approve comments, am I not still uber-controlling?

    Now, I am sorry that you had a cold-shoulder from another blogger despite your attempts to get at the good graces of the blogger. But your experience there may not mirror what you are reading here between these commenters (e.g. Jay) and I.

    From what you've written, I assume that you have no knowledge of my relationship with Jay--if I have even had communication with him in other venues apart from here. You don't know if I have offered to relate with Jay in other ways.

    Now, in light of what you don't know (I'm assuming), instead of asking some questions, you suggest criticisms of how I've treated him. Why not begin by asking some questions which stem from a position of "wanting to learn" rather than "wanting to correct?"

    For instance, perhaps you could have begun by asking me a question: "I have noticed that you have asked Jay to stop commenting. I don't understand why you feel a need to do that. Can you please explain? Thank you."

    In real life, isn't that how relationships are handled? Or do we bombard into any public conversation with our strong opinion, American-style?

    I am glad that you find my blog interesting. And you are welcome to keep reading it (although I am becoming less "interesting" IMHO). Where I was (in April) and the purpose of my blog then, was not to solicit "hard questions," even though I believe I addressed all of them within reasonable limits. I chose to respond to commenters individually rather than to pre-approve comments. That is my entitlement. I think you can agree with that, as you seem to be a reasonable person.

    As for your challenge to "take the risk to walk with those of us who dare to ask the hard questions or post a dissenting opinion even if it may come across as judgmental or not caring," I have a question back for you. What is wrong with my challenge to those of you above to learn how to be respectful of bloggers like me who would prefer commenters to comment respectfully by asking some open questions? To invite understanding rather than to force opinion?

    Throw down back at you, Ms. Anonymous. (And I would really prefer to have a "non-Anonymous" person to be writing to.)

    Closing question: What does the fact that I have not deleted your comments, and that I have spent ample time to think and respond appropriately to you tell you about me, and my thoughts of our communication so far?

  11. Anonymous:

    One more, because I have a hunch that you are sincerely wanting to relate.

    Read my comments with "A. Friend" here:

    and here:

    Perhaps you will begin to know me better. I certainly hope so.

  12. Awww, why cant we all be friends. Or least love each other, right?