I felt like this week was slowed down to now – as best as I’m able today.
I’m learning through this ChemSex work and reading that my brain is wired to certain patterns, or templates. I’ve also learned to listen to what my body and mind are telling me this week.
I found myself tempted to play with some old behaviors and patterns. My story with sexual compulsion and acting out started with online gay sex BBS (bulletin board systems) in the early 80’s. With a dial up modem. I got access to an entire world of sexual opportunities and expressions, which would continue well into the age of the internet. For me, meeting guys from online was always a secret – part of my corporate compartmentalization.
As I write that, I am struck that “corporal” means “of the body.” My life in corporate America was literally about compartmentalizing my “professional” life (my mind) and my life as an addict (my body). And my spirit shrank and was kept locked away with the guilt and shame heaped on my years of brainwashing and religious fervor.
I’ve learned we are only as sick as our secrets. I’m also learning that I have nothing to be ashamed of about who I am or what I do with my penis or my butthole. Rather than pushing this feeling away or covering up with darkness, I’m bringing it out into the light.
What am I learning from this?
I like the excitement of the online chase. I find it easier to express myself in written form – so messaging, more so even that texting or IMing, has always been away for me to portray a version of myself. I’m able to approach and be approached. I’m able to express and explore fantasies and worlds I would be hesitant to discuss in person, even with my most intimate of partners. In fact, I prided myself on the level of clarity and identification I had with my narrowly defined likes and attractions. I am a product of the gay culture that worships the body beautiful.
The first step is admitting we have a problem. So there are several first steps here!
Today, I find that entire “hunt and chase” tiresome and yet also intriguing. It’s very easy to slip back into patterns that lead to other patterns, that eventually lead me to my outer circle. Or my inner circle. I could never quite remember the specifics of the SAA circle of behaviors that might be signs of acting out in ways that aren’t consistent with my values and beliefs.
Sometimes when I become aroused, I get scared. To be honest, it hasn’t happened in awhile. I need to be careful how I handle the genie in the bottle. Because he is popping his head up more often.
Exciting. And Scary.
I realized that in these routines and rituals, there is brain chemistry going on. I’m getting or wanting to get a hit of brain boosts – dopamine, or serotonin or some combination. The point being, how can I create my own hit of brain boosts, and do so with consent from my partner and now husband? In the past, part of the allure for me was the anonymity, the infidelity, the wanting what shouldn’t be had.
Today, I can make choices that have more integrity. That is both scary and hopeful.
I came to another realization about the self-care ritual that was hidden in my ritual of “getting ready for a night of partying.” I’d tidy the house, make sure the dishes were done. I maintained trimmed pubes, shaved balls and ass. I cleaned myself inside and out. That ritual was an important initiation. It also helped my accept or deal with the “messiness” of gay sex. The more I used, the easier it was to accept – but I still went through the ritual. I was once accused of being a “dirty bottom” – so I lived to never be “that” bottom again.
Today, I have a Sunday ritual of self-care that includes a long hot bath, grooming my beard, and as needed, my pubes. I sometimes find myself being aroused by going through this ritual, especially the pubic grooming. But today, I focused on the self care, sensuality, and love for my intimate partner expressed in this intimate ritual.
Ok, I timeboxed this blog entry. I’ll come back and reread later. Just wanted to get these thoughts down for the day.
Part of my new ritual.
Just for today.
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