Exploring the emotions of loneliness, rejection, low self-esteem, perfectionism, “nice guys finish last,” anger, resentment and hate through Elliot Rodger.
“The Highly Sensitive Person” by Elaine N. Aron
Sexual frustration is as much an unavoidable, universally experienced difficult feeling in men as sadness or anger. Those bearing a “highly sensitive” nervous system are more likely to experience these feelings even more intensely. Just as it is with sadness, anger, and all other negative emotions, it is very tempting to fix, control, get rid of, or escape the difficult feeling of sexual frustration right away. But it is exactly these immediately gratifying control mechanisms that set us men up for failure in the long run, especially in our relationships.
As painful as it is, the best thing to do in the long run is to NOT do anything when the difficult feeling of sexual frustration comes.
When boys first experience the difficult feeling of sexual frustration, many of them are left to figure out on their own how to deal with it. This often is the case because there are too many fathers who are either embarrassed to talk with their children about sex or they themselves have very little wisdom or knowledge in the area to pass down. Boys will then discover that the easiest, most accessible way out of this difficult feeling is through masturbation.
Although masturbation might be effective in alleviating the discomfort that comes with sexual frustration, this temporary state of relief comes at a cost. This technique as an escape method robs people of their opportunity to learn how to be ok with this difficult feeling. Those who never allow this difficult feeling to simply take its natural journey in and out of their system through mindful acceptance will find that their sexual frustration in their adult years is as intense as their sexual frustration from their youth. It is through our continuous exposure to discomfort that we build a greater tolerance for it and require less of a quick and easy way out.
Take, for example, the difficult emotion of “stage fright.” When we first experience it, it may be incredibly frightening. Fortunately, many school systems are designed to push children from an early age to continuously face this initially overwhelming feeling. Through “show and tell,” school plays and talent nights, speech competitions, and group presentations, schools incrementally increase children’s exposure to the discomfort of being in front of people, whether the children like it or not. This is why adults are likely to feel less afraid than children to speak in front of an audience.
But unlike my example above, when it comes to sexual frustration, the availability of quick and easy ways out is much too high in today’s world, making it even more difficult for men to resist their control techniques. All it takes now for men to find immediate relief from their sexual frustration is to open up their internet browser. Yes, I am talking about online pornography. Online pornography has all the qualities to make it one of the most highly addictive control mechanisms for men: it is plentifully available, it is low-cost, it is easily accessible, and activity on it can easily be untraced.
Sometimes, though, men do get found out by their romantic partner. The romantic partner may then express his or her hurt (if your romantic partner gets upset by this, something very right is actually happening within his or her conscience). Men who have spent most of their sexual lives controlling their inner sexual experiences in this manner may then justify their behaviour with the response, “All guys do it.” But as I mentioned before, regardless of how many other guys do it, dependence on such an activity as a reaction to sexual frustration is a sign of weakness.
While I am still on the topic of pornography, let me just take this time to further rip it apart. If it means anything to you to have a wonderful sex life within a loving relationship, stay away from pornography. Pornography will ruin your sex life in a loving relationship. Pornography will cause you to shift your focus onto performance and high stimulation and away from intimacy. Your romantic partner will be left feeling inadequate even though making love should never be about trying to be good enough. Pornography will also keep you imprisoned in your sexual frustration. In fact, it will increase it. It will also cause you to objectify people. I could go on and on about the many consequences of pornography, but I should get back to my original topic.
Actual sex is also much more available than it used to be in the past. Watch this very interesting video on “The Economics of Sex” to learn more about this change in the availability of sex:
So as you can see, there are just way too many instantly gratifying, easy options for sexually frustrated men.
So what exactly is the point of putting oneself through the suffering of doing nothing about sexual frustration?
When you have tamed the beast inside of you through mindful acceptance, it no longer controls you. You no longer NEED something to fix it, control it, get rid of it, or escape it. You prevent yourself from developing sexual addictions. When you have sex with your loved one, you can actually give yourself to them as a whole person rather than use them to correct your inner frustrations. Rather than feeling entitled to sex from your loved one, you treasure every intimate moment with them. When other people outside of your committed relationship make a pass at you, you have the self-control to walk away and be loyal to your partner. All in all, you set yourself up for a greater sex life with your loved one in the long run by going through the pain of not doing anything when you feel sexually frustrated.
Here’s a great article on “Sex and Our Psychological Needs“
It has been a really long time since I last wrote on my blog. Why? Shortly after my last blog post, after I was freed up from my all-consuming epic year-end project, I fell madly in love with someone in a way that I have never fallen in love with anyone before. And like all things that I become passionate about, I hyper-focused on this new love, forgetting that an entire world exists outside of it.
When emotionally intense highly sensitive people fall in love, they fall VERY deeply in love.
I thought to myself, “Why did it take me so long to feel this way for another person? What was different about this time?” Of course it has to do with Kimberley-Rae, my now-girlfriend, being one of a kind – one does not simply come across someone as beautiful and amazing as her. But the intensity of the romantic feelings that I experienced also had much to do with the emotional freedom that I broke into after having successfully gone through a great deal of emotional healing and fear conquering over the past recent years.
Although emotionally sensitive people are designed to experience intense romantic feelings that are unattainable by most of the world, many of them, including my old self, have difficulty reaching those emotions because of their many areas of emotional anxiety. Emotional anxiety, the fear of difficult emotions, causes people to be very controlled in what kind of emotions they allow themselves to feel. All of this control gives people the illusion that their emotional experience will waver within the “safe zone.” The unfortunate side-effect, however, is that the underlying fear that never gets dealt with robs people of their ability to experience super high “highs.” In order for me to fall deeply in love as I did, I first had to bring myself to a place where I felt unconditionally safe to experience the whole spectrum of emotions. This place can only be reached after allowing oneself to feel anger, sadness, regret, loneliness, shame, guilt, heart break, etc.
Feeling the intense emotions of being in love for the first time was not so easy for me. I became obsessive. I clicked through every single one of her photos. Rather than simply “feeling” my emotions, my mind took over and I began thinking way too much. I fantasized about a nice future with her. I replayed our first date in my mind over and over again. Although I attended many Christmas parties, my mind could not be distracted away from thoughts of her. My conversations with my friends centered around her. As I meditated on her, my emotions followed and I fell even more deeply in love. I fell so deep that I began to think, “there is no possible way that she feels the same way for me.” This thought was so depressing. My romantic emotions then turned into love sickness. I could not sleep. I could not eat. I was a total mess. I finally understood how those famous sixteenth century poets must have felt in their epic poems about unrequited love. There was no doubt in my mind – I wanted her. For our second date, I was determined to eradicate all ideas of platonic friendship from her mind (if she had any). I did not let mystery have any place in our second date: I came with flowers, held her hand, and kissed her that night. It was one of the happiest moments of my life haha.
Now looking back, I realize that I could have saved myself from my emotional rollercoaster ride had I handled the emotion of being in love differently. I could have used mindfulness techniques to simply feel my emotions instead of letting my mind take over. I could have lived in the present moment rather than live in the past (replaying our first date in my mind) or the future (fantasizing about our future together). In the end, I know I still would have fallen for Kim. After having gone through this experience, I feel like I can be there for my future children when they fall in love and have no clue how to handle themselves.
For the next three months, Kim will be modeling in Tokyo. Please show my lovely girlfriend support by liking her Facebook page and following her on Instagram, Twitter, and Tumblr blog. Thanks!
It has been a while since I last wrote an update about my life. In fact, it has been a while since I last wrote anything on this blog. I have been mostly busy with going out and enjoying my city’s beautiful summer weather (Vancouver’s weather is pretty depressing all other times of the year). I have been spending so much time outside with others that I have found no time to read, research, study, write, work on music, or hit the gym. I don’t feel it as intensely as I did before when I used to be very OCPD, but I still do feel some guilt over not being super productive and not making the very best use of my time.
Gifted individuals and people with OCPD tend to feel extra guilty about not being productive.
So where does this guilt come from?
Well, first of all, emotionally sensitive people experience the emotion of guilt much more intensely than normal, average, boring people do (haha just kidding about the “boring” part). A stronger sense of responsibility comes with the territory of being highly emotionally sensitive. Because of their natural ability to see, imagine, envision, strategize, and produce excellence, gifted individuals and people with OCPD feel a very strong sense of responsibility to contribute excellence to the world. But excellence takes a lot of time and effort, no matter who you are, no matter how much talent you have. When this time and effort is not being invested, gifted individuals and people with OCPD feel guilty.
Read more about the obsessive-compulsive preoccupation with the efficient use of time here.
This guilt is a big-time joy killer. It removes you from your present moment that might be filled with so many amazing things that you can enjoy and wonderful people that you can laugh with. Many people attempt to eliminate this guilt by keeping themselves very busy. Being busy, however, does not always lead to excellence. Busy-ness that is driven by guilt can actually do a lot of damage to the joy that you derive from participating in your area of excellence. During my workaholic years living in Korea, I lost a lot of my joy in producing music because I had spent so much time dutifully working on musical projects that I had very little interest in. Although being productive controls this pervasive feeling of guilt, it never gets rid of it.
The way I now respond to this kind of guilt is much healthier. I now let myself feel the guilt and let the emotion take its course in and out of my system. I remind myself in my head that it is NOT my responsibility to bring excellence into this world – being born with all the right tools does not automatically sign me up for a life of duty. My faith also helps me deal with this difficult emotion. I trust that this world is in the good hands of an omnipotent God who loves to share His unrivaled excellence with the rest of the world. I think of all the imperfect people in the Bible that God partnered up with to do this. God didn’t need them to be constantly busy. It was the condition of their heart that mattered much more to Him. I then tell myself that everything will be just fine and turn my focus back onto the present moment.
Another step that really helps to lessen the intensity of this kind of guilt is putting an end to judging others negatively. Many people with OCPD fall into judging others for their “laziness.” After judging others in this way, people with OCPD grow to be very unforgiving toward themselves.
So yeah… I am going to continue to enjoy my summer! I hope all of you are enjoying whatever season it is in your part of the world :)