Heads up: The upcoming bit contains frank, detailed discussions of masturbation in a manner that may make some uncomfortable.
For a long time – at least a couple of years – I’ve been “addicted” to masturbation (in quotes, as there isn’t a scientific consensus on if masturbation is technically addictive). Basically, every night, before I could fall asleep, I’d masturbate. If I tried sleeping without masturbating, I’d toss and turn in bed – sometimes for hours – before eventually falling asleep. However, I’m not great at masturbating so it takes me quite some time and periodically causes mild semi-unrelated medical issues which leads to more time awake overnight.
The one constant in all this: I’m not getting a good night’s sleep.
Over these years, it’s gotten better and worse in waves, but it’s never been easy. I’ve mostly just gotten used to it and warily embraced the fact that I’ll be stuck masturbating most nights if I want to actually get some sleep. There have been some times I’ve tried going without masturbation for longer lengths of time. I think my best was two weeks (achieved by sleeping in a sleeping bag, instead of my bed – which worked until my parents took away the sleeping bag).
Now, however, I have a different related issue. I go to sleep calling a friend on most nights – we both really like calling at night! Bonus for me: I don’t masturbate on nights when I’m calling them, and I don’t really even feel the need to much of the time. Generally, I feel like I actually can sleep normally when we call.
But this leads me to worry about the calls even more because I realize that I’m essentially sexualizing the friend because I managed to sexualize sleeping. It’s weird and convoluted – and I’ll spare the details – but these sexual feelings cause a lot of concern for me. Frankly, I hate the feeling that I’m sexualizing the friend and just all-around hate having this reliance on masturbation to sleep.
Also, frankly, I often notice that I feel sexual attraction towards this friend (or I think it’s sexual attraction) which makes me generally uncomfortable (and this feeling of attraction is pretty new – I’ve known them for a while).
I’ve talked to the friend about all this and they don’t seem to mind. They’re great about it and I appreciate that they’re just like “It’s just biology. Stinks that it’s hurting you, but it doesn’t matter to me.” But I still don’t feel good about this whole thing.
Side-note: The mentioned friend is active on this forum and gave me permission to post this.
So all this brings me to my questions:
- Do people think it’s worth trying to change, again, and busting this masturbation reliance? Is that even possible (e.g., if I didn’t masturbate for a long time, would urges really go away? Biologically, I don’t think that would a logical assumption)? Or do I just leave it be and accept that this is what it is? It isn’t nearly as disruptive as it used to be.
- If you do suggest cutting back on masturbation, where do people think I should draw the line? None at all, try waning off it, or something else? Any tips?
- If I cut back on masturbation or tried “fighting it”, do you think that would make me feel any better about the stuff with my friend? My hunch is no, in which case it may not be worth trying to change?
If those questions seem too impossible to answer, I’ll always also accept any support instead of advice.
Because I’ve tried decreasing my reliance on masturbation so many times in the past (to little/no long-term avail), I’m not planning to try anything unless I’m really willing to commit to it.
Thank you for reading this long post!
PS: Apologies if this sounds incredibly naive or silly. Perhaps this is just a normal part of growing up, but some part of me has a hunch that this is more than that.