Saturday, 30 May 2015

Hello, Hello Again

148 days porn-free

Hello there! That's right! I'm bloody back! Did you miss me? Did you notice I'd gone? Did you worry? What could have possibly happened to that lyrical comedy genius who writes with the wit of so many Wilde's, you must have asked yourself. Right? Right, guys? Guys?

Ok so maybe you thought nothing of it. Maybe you didn't even notice. Or maybe – if, by some miracle, you have been reading with anything approaching interest – you thought that I'd had a major porn relapse and couldn't face telling you, friends, that I had royally fucked it.

Well, as you can see from the tally above, this is not the case. I remain porn-free; an imagi-wanker and an imagi-wanker only. But it has not all been plain sailing and I shall document some of what has occurred in my absence from Blogville in the following paragraphs.

Part of the reason for my long absence is that I went back to England. Well, to Rome, actually, with a stopover in London, for the wedding of a very old friend. It's a good thing she's an old and very good friend, because the wedding cost me more money than I care to ever think about again.

Suffice it to say that, what with all the travelling by various modes, seeing and getting drunk with various people, and generally schlepping across this narrow world, I simply did not have the time to update the blog. When I came back, I started a new job, put on three comedy nights in a week and worked for eleven days straight so, once again, time was scarce for writing about (not) jerking off (over porn).

The other reason is that I just got a bit despondent towards the end of last month. The ski season was ending and this brought into sharp relief just how much I hated the shitty* kitchen job I had acquired to support me through said season. It would seem that when I didn't have snowboarding to raise my spirits, the badly-paid grind of the kitchen started to really get to me.

* I wrote an earlier post in praise of said shit job. I take it back. Kitchen work is bollocks: underpaid, pointless shite (imho).

I was miserable. I was in the middle of a fairly sustained sex-drought* and I was skint. I just didn't feel in any way creative and the blog was one of the things to suffer.

* I finally had sex (!) with a lovely girl in England, thus breaking the drought and helping me breathe a sigh of relief.

I now have a day job doing roofing which, though tough, is much closer to what I do back home and is nearly twice the money (!) I was on at the restaurant. Consequently, things are starting to look up for Old Wayne. I've also (with some buddies) basically started a comedy scene in this small town, providing me with much-needed stage time. So, even though I even considered leaving Canada for good when I went home for the wedding, I did not. I dug in and dug deep, and now things are getting better all the time.

It might sound stupid to complain at all when I am in such a (seemingly) idyllic situation, but there it is. Living in the mountains is not all skittles and beer as most people who do not live here believe it to be. Honestly, when they visit and they find that we have to go to work like normal people, they almost can't believe it.

They literally think we spend all our time riding powder snow, hoofing cocaine and having copious sex. Not so, my friends. Indeed, apart from the stunning surroundings (which are admittedly awesome and something for which to be grateful every day), life can be very similar to anywhere else with all the associated laughter, blood, sweat and tears.

I did have one relapse: Tinder. I fucking re-downloaded Tinder and am suffering from the resulting time-wasting. I wanted to see what it would be like in London (this is what I'm telling myself) with what I have learnt from using it here. In reality, I think I just needed the ego-boost from getting matches in a far more populated place. (Sad, but true).

It worked great in London. I got loads of matches quickly which was a little bit of a relief for my fragile ego. I'm not an ug! I shallowly thought, but then I realised I was a dick and that I was matching with people just to feel better about myself with no intention of actually meeting them. This is bad Tindering. I explained myself to those I'd matched with, apologised (as if they gave one fuck) and closed it down.

But then it was there when I got back and I just couldn't resist it. Since then, I've wasted a fair bit of time trying to take sexy selfies for the profile pic and had some back-and-forth messages with some (surprise surprise) Australians. I'm not really sure why I don't just delete it again, I just feel like it's not quite 'over' between us. Maybe it's like when a couple* decide to give it one more go before finally calling it quits. Whatever the case, I'm on it at this time.

* How very sad (and accurate to my situation) this analogy is.

This time, I am keeping it local, not swiping outside my immediate surroundings. Although the choice is more limited, this is the more realistic way to use the app. Sure you get to flick through a lot of pics if you set the range to 100km, but really you're just deferring the frustration when you realise that you will most likely never meet any of your matches, let alone get naked with them.

So it's set local and I just take what comes up. Since doing this, I've had about three matches in as may weeks, but at least they live close.

I've also observed some (girl) friends using the app and seeing firstly the ridiculous number of men on there and also how women react to certain features of men's profiles. Selfies are ok, it seems, as are arrogance, humour and action shots.  Bad photos or any hint of self-pity or creepiness are an immediate left swipe.

I also saw that a decent woman gets a match almost every time she swipes right, such is the overwhelming weight of the male population in this town. It's a woman's game, especially here, so there's no point getting hung up about it. Not that that stops Yours Truly, of course. I basically realised that you have to be pretty lucky to ever even get a conversation going, let alone meet up with someone.

So why am I still on there? Desperation, I guess. Or I'm not really sure. Just don't judge me is all I'm asking. I'll grow out if it in my own time, I promise.

In other news, I have noticed that I am getting marginally better at speaking to women. I've realised that giving up porn is not a quick fix. It's not like you remove the crutch and instantly (re)discover how to interact with the opposite sex. Rather, it is a slow build taken one step at a time. Right now, I am just going for having positive interactions with women whenever I have the opportunity, be this at a bar when I am hoping for a snog or in the supermarket passing the time of day.

It's all about being comfortable and treating women as humans and not just objectifying them and always thinking about sex. This is not easy (for me, anyway) but I feel like I am making progress and that, even if I am not getting much sexytime, I am approaching becoming a better, more rounded person. Or something.

I have had quite a few porn dreams, one of which was even spectacularly 'wet' (over-share?), which was a surprise. I find it continually interesting how porn is still quite present in my subconscious and that my deeper mind has clearly yet to let it go. Again, I take it as a good sign that I am only acting out in my sleep.

The closest I came (no pun intended) to a relapse was actually today when someone posted the 'holding a Coke with your boobs challenge' vid on the FB. I watched it and it was hot. I really wanted to fap over it and seriously considered looking at porn. Just like a cigarette craving, there was the voice of the little devil saying, 'go on, just one won't matter.'

Thankfully, I know this voice and was able to tune it out till the craving passed. Once again this is an example of how dangerous all the (seemingly) harmless T & A all over the (fairly sexualized) internet is. The pitfalls are there waiting for you and you never know when you're going to be hit with cravings. Sure, I should have avoided the vid but it's just so easy to click and watch, even for a few seconds.

The fact that vids like this are in the mainstream legitimises a porn culture and makes it seem ok. If it's on FB, surely it's fine, right? I personally think not but, as I have said before, that's just me.

So I'm nearly at six months! It's gone pretty quick. It's had its ups and its downs and giving up porn has certainly not been a cure-all. In general, though, I feel like I have turned a corner as a person and that what I am doing is a positive step towards becoming a grown-up man. I'll be carrying on and I'll be updating regular again. I hope it will make enjoyable reading.