Warning: this section contains graphic descriptions of childhood emotional and sexual abuse; adulthood sexual aggression through verbal and emotional coercion, blackmail through threats of suicide, and sexual assault through the use of physical force; unidirectional and reciprocal abuse; depression; suicide attempts; prostitution; and language barriers between a patient and a psychiatrist and between a victim of intrusion and the local police contributing to a sexual assault.
I wanted to return home, but a few factors held me back from doing so: I no longer had any recent work experience in Canada; I had no real support network in Canada except my parents and I continued to fear my dad however irrationally; I would have insufficient funds to reintegrate on my return to Canada without help; and my mind associated too many negative past memories with Canada.
In one sense, I saw poverty as a potential blessing in that in Canada, my financial situation alone might force me out of the sex industry whereas in China, my higher than average local wage was a curse of sorts; but I’d need help to reintegrate at least initially.
I remained in China for a few more years until my parents begged me to return to Canada. I resisted for a few more months saying that I just didn’t have the means to return. They then begged me to move back promising to help me with my reintegration.
I later returned to Canada, moved in with my parents, applied for social assistance, and received training. My compulsion shifted to secretly watching online pornography as a result of my financial situation and its easy accessibility. This fed the flames of my compulsion until I could find work.
I later found work, moved out, and slowly reintegrated. As I did so and eventually paid off my debts and my financial situation improved, I became aware that my compulsion was still very much present. I helped to keep it at least somewhat under control by buying a feature phone with no internet capabilities and having money automatically transferred to mutual funds on a bi-weekly basis. If I needed to use the internet, I could use it at work or at the public library where everyone could see and so this kept me honest online.
As my situation continued to improve somewhat, I slowly became more aware of my triggers. For example, I generally enjoyed more self-control in the daytime when I was well-rested but much less at night when I was tired. I didn’t understand why this was and frankly didn’t care. I exploited it for what it was worth by going to bed early every night and waking up early every morning and developing my social life around that as much as possible. That usually helped me to control my compulsion too, but I would still slip sometimes whenever I faced stress in my life. I was happy for the improvement but still not satisfied and that still depressed me. I started to seriously contemplate castration at that time too but hesitated due it being too extreme.
I then started to work night shifts and my problem began to escalate again. In the daytime, I could distract myself from sex through various other activities including shopping even if I didn’t necessarily end up buying anything. On some statutory holidays though, many shops were closed but bank machines and massage parlours weren’t. I’d gone to a bank on a day off to ask the teller if there was any way to block my bank card from a selected time each evening to a selected time each morning, on a selected day of the week, and on selected days of the year. The teller left me to look into my strange request and then came back to say that the best that she could do was to lower my daily withdrawal allowance for six months at a time. If that was the best she could do, I accepted it.
I eventually needed a smartphone with internet access for work reasons. I quickly developed internet addiction as a distraction. Eventually, it deprived me of sleep. Once deprived of sleep, depressed and lonely, I somehow found myself reading about submission and masochism online and began to participate in it with a masseuse.
My internet readings on submission and masochism are how I learned about the “chastity device” (usually consisting of a scrotum ring, a penis cage, a padlock and a key). Not only was the submissiveness of it appealing, but I also thought that in practical terms it could force me to limit myself to only one partner and so reduce the risk of contracting an infection or better still to no partner if I gave the key to someone with whom I couldn’t possibly want sex.
I also read the term “sex addiction” for the first time around this time from an online ad for a particular chastity device. I started reading about sex addiction online and learned that there apparently was such a thing. However pleasurable the sex might have been, I never truly enjoyed it and just used is as an analgesic. Since I could never understand why my behaviour seemed so compulsive, I took interest in the subject and soon learned from my online reading that therapists who treated and twelve-step groups that specialized in sex addiction existed even in my city. Given my previous experience with a therapist in Canada, I wasn’t convinced that just talking with either a therapist or other sex addicts at a twelve-step group could stop me from such seemingly compulsive behaviour. To my mind, a chastity device presented a physical barrier to sex and so would require less self-control. That attracted me.
I bought an off-the-shelf generic “chastity device” at a sex shop, locked myself in it, and considered paying a straight male escort to take the keys. As a straight man, I couldn’t possibly have any urge to interact with him sexually and felt too much shame in giving the keys to any “respectable” person. After giving it more thought, I decided instead to visit a different city and lock the keys to the device in a safe there.
Due to the chafing that it caused, I then ordered a custom-made version from Mature Metal. Meanwhile, the present version continued to chafe my skin raw, make morning erections painful, and kill any urge for sex. That it killed the urge for sex made all the discomfort worthwhile in my mind at least until the chafing became unbearable. I then visited the other city about a week later to take the keys so that I could adjust the device.
About a week after that, I received the custom device in the mail. I bought a portable safe, locked myself into the new device, locked the keys to the new device into the safe, and posted the keys to a P.O. Box in another city to leave there for a year. I could see no more convenient way to retrieve the keys to the new device than to visit the other city to physically take the keys to the device out of the P.O. Box, return home to unlock the safe, and then take the keys from the safe to unlock the device.
After about three weeks without sex, I started to feel a strong urge for it, but was determined to not act out again. I started to look at escort sites more than before only to feel frustrated by looking at them. I eventually discovered the Screen Time app that I could program to limit my internet access to certain apps to so many minutes a day during specific times of the day. I then added the Mobicip browser app to it to filter inappropriate websites. These helped me to sleep better at night, use my time more productively, and distract me from sex. I later replaced these with the MM Guardian parental-control app. I started to feel semi-normal again or at least more so than before.
After about three months without any intentional orgasm, a deep depression hit. I started to compare my slowly-improving new life to the previous one. My previous life appalled me when contrasted to the new one. I felt happier in my new life, yet I became more emotionally aware of the sadness of my old one and of the damage that it had caused me and others too. I could only compare this new storm of emotions to what I imagined psychological withdrawal symptoms from gambling addiction might feel like. Ironically, my feelings of guilt and shame didn’t decrease, but rather increased. I started to ask myself how it was that I couldn’t stop acting out before but could now. This depressed me more as it made me feel even more hypocritical.