Reflecting on Acting Out

Last Updated on 6 January 2024

These are extracts from comments in a recent recovery chat (June 2023)

Howdy all, I’m nearly two weeks off porn and masturbation.

I have been having some fantasies in the last few days about visiting a massage parlour for sexual services. It’s never been something I’ve done but my addict mind thinks it would be an excellent idea (obviously not).

I think I would benefit from hearing some members’ war stories about acting out in the way and telling me some of the ugly truths my addict mind is ignoring 😁🙏


[J] A lot of the times, you end up just feeling pretty empty afterwards, its very “forced” intimacy, you have no idea whether they are being exploited so you might be partaking in that industry, you lose a considerable amount of money because it becomes something you end up doing once a month (frequency increases). Ultimately, it’s just not worth it and that emptiness is pretty hard to shake. If it proceeds to “more,” risks of STIs are obviously higher. From the financial side, you end up spending $1000s without realising until you look at your credit card or bank account and just go “wow.”

I’m not demonising sex workers or anything here either! For an addict, it’s the worst place for us because it was an escalation of our addictive behaviours. I know people that have used sexual services but the difference between an addict and a non-addict – we don’t know when to stop and never place healthy boundaries on our compulsive behaviours.

[JS] Going to [visit a sex worker] will allow you to get your sexual fix without doing the emotional work in yourself. It has the same effect as porn on distracting and numbing your feelings and enabling you to continue without dealing with the real feelings behind the desire for sex. It can lead to a massive high, massive crash and an a new form of addiction.

[D] The healthy and recovered [R] will be strong and confident enough to have sexual desires without acting on them. He will be able to have real connection with real women and give respectful, passionate, consenting sex with a woman who desires to have sex with him for who he is. Going to a massage parlour will not put you on the path to being this healthy version of [R].

Definitely on the progressivist side of the disease. Echo other comments re: the emptiness. It’s like throwing ourselves at someone who we already know is definitely emotionally unavailable, Before, During and After acting out.

[R] Hmmm some very sobering thoughts, thank you all for the abundant feedback!

[A] Congratulations on your progress [R]. I regard everyone in the porn industry as sex workers, including cinematographers and the like. It helps me to recognise them all as either the exploited or the exploiters because then I am obliged to number myself among both groups. While this certainly hasn’t been a firewall against me using porn, it has played a part in holding me back. Most nights I pray the evening prayer of St Augustine, one line of which is ‘Pity your afflicted ones, Lord’, when I bring to mind – among others – all sex workers and addicts.

[R] I’ve spoken with a member and hearing the reality has definitely deflated the fantasy. It’s totally out of integrity and I would be appalled with myself.

[JS] You are making a choice to be proud of. You should be proud that you are thinking before acting. You are strong.

[R] I want a real relationship

[J] The path to being ready for it is hard. You are not alone.

[R] Thanks guys 😁🙏

[M] For me acting out obliterated my self-esteem. I was living two lives. I could not reconcile them and it tormented me.
Now, with the Grace of God, I can keep my head up a little higher and look the world in the eye.
This is the greatest gift of the program for me.

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