The answer is, I'm still standing, but with great difficulties. I actually collapsed one month ago, and visited a porn site for a couple of minutes, but I pulled myself together again, and changed my strategy.
My first strategy was to basically become an asexual. I tried not to masturbate and not to think about sex. I have read multiple times that if you don't have sex for a while, the sex drive slowly disappears. I discovered this is not true for me. On the contrary, I can't stop thinking about sex when I try not to, and I have to suppress multiple cravings to watch porn every day. At the beginning of my attempt I walked to the train station like a zombie, to take a ride to a red light district. My conscience fortunately took over, and I decided to walk passed the train station and take a long stroll.
For one month I was able to withstand the cravings, and then I snapped. I dreamt I was having sex with two women, and I had an orgasm in my sleep. A day later I took my smartphone and watched porn. It took a few minutes, and then I had another big orgasm. I decided this is not going to work.
Being an asexual is not for me. I don't enjoy sex, or masturbation, but perhaps this is just what I should do. My main goal is not to sexually harass prostitutes who don't appreciate my unwanted penetrations and fumblings, And I don't want to get off by watching the sexual torture of people on film. Masturbation is not the problem. I have to watch out what I fantasize. My experience is that when I fantasize about porn or prostitution, there is a good chance I will actually do it. This was also a reason why I wanted to become an asexual.
I notice that the biggest craving come after a certain time of the day, usually later afternoon and during the evening. I figured that if I masturbate around three o'clock in the afternoon, that my cravings almost disappear. Only lately I had a several craving, but I masturbated it away. I can use masturbation as a tool not to get cravings. But it is hard. Sometimes I have to masturbate a lot. Three times a day, five times a day, during prearranged times.
I have noticed for years that I only get sexually aroused when something transgressive is happening. Something that is forbidden, but which I do anyway. I think visiting prostitutes is a part of that, or watching very humiliating porn. I want to change that. I try to fantasize sexually about something more friendly. Perhaps showering with a beautiful woman who smiles at me, and who wants to have sex with me. I notice I am incapable of doing that. Something strange must happen, or else I don't get aroused. It could be having sex with two women, or fantasizing about being a young beautiful woman who has sex with an ugly man, which I find strange, so it turns me on, but it never involves something which isn't shameful or humiliating. I never fantasize about romantically and lovingly having sex with the woman of my dreams. As a matter of fact, I can't even imagine having sex with a woman I am in love with! Sex and love don't belong together.
A female sex addict (at least she calls herself a sex addict, yes, I know the idea of sexual addiction is controversial), Erica Garza has also noticed that she could only get aroused by sexual humiliation (Tales of a Female Sex Addict, February 17, 2014):
Erica Garza explains that she always links sexual excitement to shame, and she relates this to the shame she felt to when she first masturbated in the bathtub at the age of 12:
I recognize myself in her story, the only difference is my family is not sexual conservative like her family was. My parents actually encouraged masturbation. My father even encouraged watching pornography. When I was a teenager, I even watched a hardcore porn film together with my parents and my sisters!! (My mother didn't like the anal parts though.) But my own sexuality is still linked to shame and humiliation. It could be because of actually watching porn, that this is the message that pornography conveys, that sex is something dirty and shameful. I'm influenced too much by porn.I realized that in order for the videos to keep their charge, their intensity and their effectiveness, I needed them to induce shame in me. After all, that’s how I found pleasure — in that bathtub at 12, submerged in fear and confusion and the belief that I was bad — and that’s how it had to remain. I’d wired the neural networks in my brain so well that it had become impossible for me to feel sexually turned on without feeling horrible about it. No longer was there enough shame in simply watching porn. I needed darkness. To be disgusted. To be traumatized.And, just as I’d blamed yet glorified my softcore hero Shannon Tweed as a child, the women in various porns were also subject to my ambivalence, and eventually my anger. I wanted them to be punished for their insatiable lust, their vacant eyes, and their tireless, mechanical movements with men, just as I emotionally punished myself for my similar relationship with porn. Their sad stories were my own.Porn had also warped my sex life. The act was unsatisfying unless I felt some inkling of shame. I often fantasized about men cheating on me, hurting me, using me, just so I could get off. I rarely allowed myself to surrender to the sensations or our connection — that’s not the kind of pleasure I knew. In order to keep this going, I had to have more sex and more fantasies. I’m sure many of my past lovers can attest to my insatiability, my unrealistic demands and my frustration if I was denied. They would probably recall my emotional distance, my lack of eye contact and my inability to orgasm unless I used my hand or vibrator. I was too angry and sad to enjoy sex, but that’s not all. I was too angry and sad to enjoy life.
Erica Garza did find a more intimate and loving kind of sexuality by meeting her husband. Unfortunately I am so awkward that I will never find my soulmate. So that means that I have to completely reprogram myself on my own. It will be difficult.
Some people believe sex addiction doesn't exist. And perhaps they are right. There are psychiatrists who believe that mental illnesses don't exist in the first place, because determining what behaviour is strange or aberrant is extremely subjective. And this could be true also, but I have a damn hard time trying not to do sexual things I personally reject. If I should believe the likes of David Ley, then I should accept that I watch porn and I should accept my visits to prostitutes. In his opinion sex is always good, porn is good, prostitution is good. But I am too aware of the abuse happening in the sex industry. I know what I'm watching and what I'm doing, and I am horrified it turns me on. For anyone who believes porn is benign, read the revelations by an anonymous porn actress about her work conditions on Maggie McNeill's blog (who is ironically a staunch defender of the sex industry, and she isn't the porn actress by the way):
To those who say that her experiences are not representative of the working conditions in pornography in general, I would say that the type of porn films she plays in is very mainstream, lots of rough sex for with multiple partners, and without protection. What happened to this anonymous porn actress is made possible by mainstream porn.I am an award winning porn performer. My image is that of a hypersexual young woman who is insatiable—a sex symbol for my fans. But off camera, that image could be farther from reality. At first, my porn life didn’t interfere too much with my real life; I was still able to have sexual relationships on camera, and my libido was as high as ever. But after I was in the industry for a while, my sex drive dropped to non-existent and the thought of a man’s penis penetrating me now makes me cringe. Why? A lot of reasons.On set, I’m expected to have sex for hours. After a while, the sex isn’t pleasurable; it’s actually quite painful. Long days on set paired with exhaustion cause tears and cuts in my vagina- oftentimes it happens on set and I am told to power through to complete the scene. Having sex with a tear is excruciatingly painful. My many sexual partners and exploits have also led to another painful problem: pelvic inflammatory disease, an infection that causes inflammation of the uterus and ovaries. In other words, every time a penis gets deep inside me the pain is unreal. Normally, pelvic inflammatory disease is treated with antibiotics and abstinence from sex, but being that my job is to have sex, it comes and goes for me.Sexual trauma from my past has also given me a mental block that arises whenever I have a sexual encounter. I, like many other survivors, suffer from PTSD because of the assaults I have experienced. Also, the thought of having sex and not being paid for it now bothers me; it’s as though I only view men as dollar signs, as games to be won. Before, I always loved men AND women! But now I’m encumbered by this aversion to men, and the thought of having sex with a man does not appeal to me in the slightest. I still find men attractive, but I don’t have the urge to jump on him and fuck him like I used to.Obviously, this is causing issues in my relationship with my boyfriend. He is amazing and understanding, but I feel guilty for not being able to please him; we have only had sex 2 times this summer (I know, it’s horrible). I have seen a therapist and he advised me to quit sex work, and maybe he’s right; maybe it is causing permanent damage to my psyche. But it’s my livelihood and I still love it in most ways. Does anyone have any advice? What do I do to get over this mental blockage? How do I begin to have a normal sex life again? Help!
I desperately want to stop watching porn and abusing prostitutes, so I will continue this monthly report indefinitely. At the moment of writing this, I'm having a hard time again, although for several weeks I was calm. I'm very afraid that my ideas will change, and doubts will creep in, so... see you in a month.
EDIT (15 July 2015): I'm such an idiot. The night after I posted this message, I watched porn for several hours in a row. And the fun part is that I didn't enjoy it at all!!! I felt sick about it, but I couldn't stop watching. I tried to prevent this episode from happening by masturbating four or five times prior to this. It didn't work. I had a very strong craving to watch porn anyway, and I surrendered to it. I'm quite desperate at the moment. But it means masturbation doesn't really work against the cravings. I have a different theory why I have these cravings. The cravings are related to curiosity. I have noticed that after I have watched porn, I am not that much more interested anymore for a while. My curiosity is satisfied for the time being. After time goes by, when hours turn into days, and days into weeks, my curiosity is slowly building up again. And then the bomb explodes. These cravings are linked to curiosity. I have to figure out how not to be curious again. I'll really have to work this out. And I also notice that I folded again right after posting about my progress on this blog!