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Thread: The line between a Positive Hobby and an Addiction

  1. #1
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    The line between a Positive Hobby and an Addiction

    It was a question raised on another board that made me think about this. Pasted below is the main body of my response. Since MERB has more members, I am curious about what others think, especially those that have been hobbying for 5, 10 or 15 years and longer. This is not intended to dampen the enthusiasm of those who are having a great time. Only to get some input from others like me who have experienced massage over many years.

    ******
    One has to be brutally honest and look at oneself. There is no need for public dialogue or assessment questionnaires etc. Over several months and years, if your life evolves in a satisfying multi-faceted direction then it is a positive force, If on the other hand your most satisfying moments are related to "going for the next session", then it is no longer a positive thing.

    Very few people have the ability to enjoy something for a while and then move on to other challenges and experiences. That is the fundamental problem. If it continues to remains on the level of "I've just got to try one more masseuse that I just heard about", then sooner or later it is a problem. On purpose, I'm staying away from issues such as financial, family, friends, self-esteem etc. (any book on addiction will walk you through all of those).

    A bigger problem arises when you KEEP GOING BACK FOR MORE OF WHAT YOU WERE NOT LOOKING FOR. Example - shitty massages, lists of options that you don't care for, getting shorted on time, greedy people, dirty surroundings etc. etc.. Very often we have a few memorable experiences in the early phases and then we keep going back, again and again, trying to get the same feeling one more time. In the meantime, you don't find pleasure in other simple activities anymore, because your mind is a prisoner of your habits. Your mind is now a thief that steals your peace and joy from the rest of your day. That is the real downfall of an addiction. You are seeking goodness that already resides in you. But you seek it externally - there is no end to that search (resulting in a mixed bag of experiences - always hoping for a better one - next time, maybe - one last time, that's it - etc.). There are lots of people who are ready to engage your ego and your fantasies and will gladly take your money - until you begin to feel disgusted. But you still keep going back, until, one day you realize that one could have an unending series of bodily experiences but still not be getting any closer to real satisfaction. Pleasure(s) does not equal happiness. What gave you joy when you were a child? It bubbled out from within you ... the realization is a turning point. Now you are ready for a real change.
    ******


    What have your experiences been like when you look back over several years?

  2. #2
    I'll bite, even though I'm a bit of a newbe. I guess I had my first erotic massage about three years ago. I go back and forth between thinking it's a good thing and thinking I'm damaging myself in some psycological/spirtual way. After a good session I'll be in a good mood for the rest of the day, sometimes longer. I had a connection with that person. I enjoyed it, I believe she enjoyed it. I had a new experience, felt something I never felt before. And I have some basic needs for a) release and b) intimacy. Every person is different, with a different look, a different way of interacting, a different way of touching. It's like trying out different restaurants, cuisines, music. It's also exciting, an adventure. There is an element of risk, of discovering hidden treasure. I like the illicit, hidden aspect of the whole thing.

    On the down side, it's expensive and I can't justify the expense in any rational way. Dropping $120 for a massage once is ok, but I'd hate to go back and calculate my average monthly expenditure over the past couple of years. I guess the money is the biggest problem for me personally and it probably keeps me from becoming an addict.

    I've wondered if it might make me jaded or somehow undermine non-paying sexual and romantic relationships, but I don't think so. It's true that some of these girls provide services that most girlfriends will never provide. But it goes the other way as well. Massages are no substitute for a real relationship. So I think the two are complimentary.

    I don't think it functions like an addiction for me. If I have a good experience I want more. If I have a bad experience I'm not satisfied and I want more. But as I said, money is a constraint for me. And when the "high" wears off I don't go into depression and have to rush back. A good experience does make me feel good about myself, but my self esteem depends much more on other things in my life.

    I do think I have an unhealthy addiction to merb, checking the boards when I should be doing my work ;-)

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by muddy
    I do think I have an unhealthy addiction to merb, checking the boards when I should be doing my work ;-)
    Many Merb members suffer from this addiction, including myself

    M2

  4. #4
    Same goes for me (I should be working now)

  5. #5

    Browsing Merb while at work

    Wow, people actually browse MERB at work? Are there a lot of tele-commuters here or something?

    Where I work, internet usage is monitored. Amongst the restrictions:

    "Downloading or viewing of sexually explicit material is stricly prohibited."

    I believe MERB would qualify under that, especially with those wonderful SP ads up in the corner.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by muddy
    I'll bite, even though I'm a bit of a newbe. I guess I had my first erotic massage about three years ago. I go back and forth between thinking it's a good thing and thinking I'm damaging myself in some psycological/spirtual way. After a good session I'll be in a good mood for the rest of the day, sometimes longer. I had a connection with that person. I enjoyed it, I believe she enjoyed it. I had a new experience, felt something I never felt before. And I have some basic needs for a) release and b) intimacy. Every person is different, with a different look, a different way of interacting, a different way of touching. It's like trying out different restaurants, cuisines, music. It's also exciting, an adventure. There is an element of risk, of discovering hidden treasure. I like the illicit, hidden aspect of the whole thing..

    A good experience does make me feel good about myself, but my self esteem depends much more on other things in my life.

    I do think I have an unhealthy addiction to merb, checking the boards when I should be doing my work ;-)

    muddy,

    You have a great honest attitude and you are maintaining your awareness about your experiences. That is super. You will always look towards bringing out the good in each experience. I know that over the years I was not just looking out for myself but also for the masseuses who added to my well being. (My post was originally in the massage section but was moved by the moderator to the general section).

    You mention an important factor that captures most intelligent people -the possibility of adventure - CURIOSITY. That certainly gets us all. Later on it becomes important to discriminate between a truly new experience versus rehashing an old one with new window dressing.

    I did not post in order to throw a damp towel on other people's activities, but to genuinely see how others are thinking.

    I salute you,

    Dak
    Last edited by DAK; 08-24-2005 at 10:32 PM.

  7. #7
    Part of what makes it a good experience for me is feeling like I actually made a connection with the other person. I wouldn`t want to think that the girl went away crying or had to throw up after the session or that I was complicit in this person screwing up her life, as someone suggested in another recent thread.

    https://merb.cc/vbulletin/showthread...587#post104587

    The couple of times where I`ve felt the girl really didn`t want to be there, are the times I`ve been depressed about the whole business.

    I wonder about always looking for new experiences too. I guess we won`t run out of new girls to see, but there are certainly many different kinds of services discussed on these boards that I haven`t tried yet. Will I get blasť about massage? Is it the gateway drug to something more dangerous? Am I corrupting myself? Will I be irreparably damaged? I`m not really worried, but I think about these things.

    Quote Originally Posted by DAK
    You have a great honest attitude and you are maintaining your awareness about your experiences. That is super. You will always look towards bringing out the good in each experience. I know that over the years I was not just looking out for myself but also for the masseuses who added to my well being. (My post was originally in the massage section but was moved by the moderator to the general section).

    You mention an important factor that captures most intelligent people -the possibility of adventure - CURIOSITY. That certainly gets us all. Later on it becomes important to discriminate between a truly new experience versus rehashing an old one with new window dressing.
    Last edited by muddy; 08-25-2005 at 12:36 AM. Reason: to provide link

  8. #8

    Thumbs down Good analysis. Not a problem for everyone.

    Quote Originally Posted by DAK
    if your life evolves in a satisfying multi-faceted direction then it is a positive force, If on the other hand your most satisfying moments are related to "going for the next session", then it is no longer a positive thing.

    Very few people have the ability to enjoy something for a while and then move on to other challenges and experiences.

    Very often we have a few memorable experiences in the early phases and then we keep going back, again and again, trying to get the same feeling one more time. In the meantime, you don't find pleasure in other simple activities anymore, because your mind is a prisoner of your habits. Your mind is now a thief that steals your peace and joy from the rest of your day. That is the real downfall of an addiction. You are seeking goodness that already resides in you. But you seek it externally - there is no end to that search (resulting in a mixed bag of experiences - always hoping for a better one - next time, maybe - one last time, that's it - etc.).



    What have your experiences been like when you look back over several years?
    I've been doing this for a little over five years. I look forward year round to my trips to Montreal to hobby. It is an escape from reality for me, like going to a fantasy camp where I get to be a young stud again. I think marriage and midlife hit me hard. I missed being out enjoying the company of different ladies when after the honeymoon was over my wife started to go to bed at 9PM leaving me alone in a silent house to try and entertain myself.

    I told myself I was older and had serious responsibilities now versus when I was young and carefree. I accepted that in exchange for the comfortable lifestyle and peace of mind that we now enjoyed I must give up the pursuit of frivolous, possibly dangerous activities that could hurt not only myself but my family as well. So for years I led the life of a puritan(in my eyes anyway). I stopped drinking almost entirely, never went out anywhere except for the occasional movie or dinner, and rarely ever spoke with another woman. It was usually a night in front of the TV with a DVD played on a great home theater system we bought. But how many times could I watch T2 and still feel excited about life?

    One day I realized that I was trying to be something that I'm not. I wasn't happy with a prudish relationship that had soured. I felt like I had been deceived into being a sperm donor by a Black Widow and then eaten by her. I realized that my choice to practice total self denial of sexual enjoyment other than some pretty good porn was not good and when she started complaining about the fact that I had some porn I knew there was going to be trouble. For a marriage to work the woman must be committed to appeasing her man in any reasonable way possible. I needed a hot mama but I was stuck with a "Grand"mama. I was not ready to neuter myself through celibacy or a begged for two minute quickie in missionary once a week.

    We seperated amicably as a matter of course but manage to stay friendly and she now seems to be much nicer to me since I am no longer bothering her for sex. I was lonely for a while since taking care of children and working full time leaves very little time for enjoyment. Dating was inconsistent and sexual frustration built quickly. Then one day I read a story about the Montreal sex industry. It sounded too good to be true. I started extensive research and planned a trip. I was ecstatic with the experience, literally. LOL

    I learned much from MERB and through my own personal experience so I usually have good encounters with the SP's I see. I have even found a few who I would like to repeat with and maybe stay in touch with as friends, a "mistress" in Montreal if you will, time will tell. I guess you could say I am addicted to having enjoyable sexual experiences with good looking young ladies but what honest heterosexual man would deny that universal truth? Could I quit? I don't know, but it would take a hot mama who kept the fire burning in our relationship to make me even consider giving up the pleasure I get in Montreal.

    As far as how hobbying effects my life I don't think I have a "problem" in any sense of the word. I still get up every morning and do what I need to do, make a good living, and enjoy my family. I am still pursuing non Sp relationships as well. I just find that going to Montreal twice a year gives me an outlet for fantasy and leaves me with memories that help with self stimulation when I am at home. So maybe I have a problem with daily self manipulation of my genitalia while thinking about Montreal. I can live with that.

  9. #9
    A prestiged re-member Bruce34's Avatar
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    Arrow

    The difference between hobby and addiction is the ability to walk away when you ahve to. A drug addict bothers nobody as he gets stone in his bedroom. But would he/she function normally in a society. Does he need later to steal and commit crime. Would he pay his rent? What about us?
    What if we have to walk away from this when weíre broke or impotent for some reason? Will we find other hobby as interesting? Itís tough.
    I have walked away form this and have come back because the urge is too strong, worse itís the advertisement too present. A beer commercial with the bikini babe makes me want to touch her. Iíve said to myself that I have done many like her, but the urge is there. Itís primal and itís something we want.
    Iíve donít a lot a few years ago. Almost once a week. It was a pleasure and SPs were more open as they are fresh from the scene. I treated them right and have had a few personal relationships with them. MERB did not exist then, and was common. It was addictive, it was a necessity. Until the stock crash I slowed down on my addiction but came back only occasionally.
    We all have a reason to be here, sex. They have a reason to service us, money.
    Make her laugh, make her smile, and do make her moan

  10. #10

    Know yourself

    I just read this thread and felt like I saw myself a bit.

    I've been going to MP's for just over 1 year now and was in the SC scene (FS clubs) for over 5 years before that. I don't know if my situation is evolving or not, I would say it's a different experience for a different need.

    I appreciate the closeness and sensuality of a good massage. And I say "good" in a relative way because let's stay real, it's very rarely therapeutic. When I get a connection with a masseuse, I remember the experience for days. I do only reward good service, no repeats for me if the service is bad. That's what I'm looking for at this time in my life. I also question myself as to a future relationship with a woman; because it has been a while, will things be different or will it be business as usual ? Who knows, I guess I'll wait and see.

    Lately though, I have started to go more and more, to the rate of about 5 times a month, for the past 5 months. I have to question myself as to why ? Is my situation different ? Am I becoming addicted ? Is it just normal because I can afford it (so this versus something else) ? I also have to admit that I've exceeded my budget on two occasions. After the last time, I had to stop and re-examine my situation. I've decided to prove something to myself. I have decided to stop all hobbying for 3 months and see how everything is going and put things into perspective. It has now been 4 weeks. I've had a few urges but nothing I couldn't handle. I've also noticed extra cash in my bank account. I've bought a few things and realize that these purchases will stay with me for a long time (printer, books, clothes,...) rather than a short time (quick fix) that I got from my visits to an MP. I'll just stay the course and go from there.

    I know that others might have different stories or different situations. This is just my story. Hope this helps, I know it helped me to type it out.

    Gambling Fool
    Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. It's not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own lights shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

  11. #11
    I also see myself in some of these other posts. I'm married and my sex life isn't great at home. I miss the times when I had an active social life, always meeting new people, parties, clubs, the excitement of new relationships. So clearly it's a substitute for me. But on a good day I think that even if I were on my own, dating, with an active sex life, I would still want to get an occasional massage. Private sex is no substitute for a good erotic massage...

    But whenever I have sex with my wife I always think, Ka-ching, I just saved $120! ;-)

  12. #12

    Talking Merb Award

    Quote Originally Posted by muddy

    But whenever I have sex with my wife I always think, Ka-ching, I just saved $120! ;-)
    Muddy,

    Thank you for that, you've got my vote for quote of the year! ROFLM!

  13. #13

    Post Somewhere between positive hobby and addiction

    I have been going to MP once a month for over a year an a half now, well a little bit more often then that since I exceeded my budget a few times.Financially thatís a level of hobbying that I can afford.

    But sometime when my wife look at me with those loving eyes I feel bad!Sex is very good at home so I canít use that one as an excuse. She may not be the sexiest girl around but I always said that what goes in your head account for 95% of what sex is and I firmly believe that. She is one of the brightest person I know and sheís been making me happy for over ten years now.
    So the question is why am I going then?

    Because I am a man mostly, it is so hard to see all those beautiful women on St-Catherine and to tell myself that I donít have access to anyone of those. So I think it is a kind of compensation for all those babes I see that I canít touch.But since sex is good at home Iím not looking for that, I mean fs or bj, only a good massage and a hand job and to be able to touch and to give pleasure to that beautiful girl just beside me.
    Could I stop just like that?

    That is the 40 000$ question.Or maybe a better one would be do I want to?Sometime I think the monetary aspect of it will motivate me to stop, Iím not poor but Iím not rich either and there may be some better use for that money then this as Gambling Fool said.So I am surely addicted at some point but not to the extend that my life is miserable even if itís playing some tricks with my peace of mind.If I werenít married I would not have any second though about it if it stayed at the level it is right now.

    I hope this post is not too heavy, I do not want to dampen your mood . I felt the need to express myself and tought it was the right place to do so.

    If there is some inconsistency in my righting blame it on me being French! But since French it is so hard to write down it would probably not be better if I where to write that way!

    But maybe I should I noticed that there is a lot of French people on this board, I would like to hear the opinion of some experienced registered user about that as I now it can be a sensitive issue.

    Letmeloose
    ---------------
    People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use.
    Last edited by Letmeloose; 08-27-2005 at 10:56 AM.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by muddy
    I'm married and my sex life isn't great at home... ......But whenever I have sex with my wife I always think, Ka-ching, I just saved $120! ;-)
    Muddy, LOL, but from my perspective part of what I am paying for is the freshness, uniqueness and variety of new sexual partners. I hear the same complaint from the majority of my married friends.......as the saying goes, the honeymoon wears off quickly, and most of them are very bored sexually. They justify the boredom with the "I get it for free" argument. But maybe boring sex should be for free?

  15. #15
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    eb- regarding the "i get it for free" comment i just might add that a lot of guys that say that are very jealous individuals who are mad that we do what we do because they can not afford it and we are able to do it with very beautifull and gorgeous women.(just my 2 cents)

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