“I’m feeling sad that I missed my hookup phase. I didn’t lose my virginity until I was 25 with the girl I’m still currently with. I’m now about to turn 27. This issue has been weighing on me for a while. I’m starting to realize that porn made me feel like I would still get to have sex with a variety of women. I love my girlfriend very much but there is no getting around the fact that I still want to have sex with other women.
“I feel like I have two options. One, I can accept that she’s the only girl I will ever have sex with and potentially regret that. Or two, I could leave her in favor of living out the hookup phase that I feel like I missed out on, but I may regret that later on. I don’t want to lose her just so I can have casual sex with women that may not even be as great as I imagine.
“Will I be able to make peace with the fact that she’s the only one I will be with, or will I have to accept this unfading feeling of regret? I’m frustrated with myself for not sacking up and being with some women while I was younger, before getting into a serious relationship. Does anyone have any advice?”
This brother brings a great question to the table. It’s something lots of men who get married while young find themselves feeling once they end their out-of-control behavior. If you missed the hookup stage of your life, you likely compensated for it with porn and masturbation. But once you remove these things, you’re faced with the reality of your choices.
Ultimately, you’re the only one who can answer this question. Input from some of the brothers in the program may help but you’re the one who must live with your decision for the rest of your life. It’s useful to talk to men in similar situations and hear their experiences. However, no one is exactly like you and you need to choose for yourself.
First, I want to point out that pornography isn’t the reason you want to have sex with many women. Biology is responsible for that. Biologically speaking, you’re wired to spread your genes by fertilizing as many females as possible. Unfortunately, pornography hijacked this natural mechanism and magnified it to an unrealistic point.
Second, this brother mentions that he missed his “hookup phase.” I want to point out that there are brothers in the porn addiction recovery group in their 30s, 40s, and even 50s who are having sex with multiple women. Your “hookup phase” is only over when you decide that it is. Our brother is only 27 – far from missing the window for having casual sex.
Personally, I don’t believe it is wrong to sleep with multiple women as long as you’re not leading anyone astray or being dishonest about your intentions. While some men see casual sex as an empty and unfulfilling engagement, I see it as the exact opposite. I never felt empty after having sex with a woman I wasn’t dating; I felt masculine, powerful, and primal.
I’ve now been in a relationship with a woman for 12 years, though, and have left my casual sex days behind. It’s not because I’m no longer attracted to other women but I was ready for the next season of my life. I made the conscious decision to let go of casual sex in favor of this next phase.
I had some time in my life when I had wild encounters with different women. It was a great time exploring myself through these different experiences. I wouldn’t trade those times for anything. But I also reached a point where I was ready to leave those escapades behind because I found a woman who was worth letting go of those casual relationships for.
No one could tell me what the right decision or right timing was. Only I could determine that for myself. Through the porn addiction counseling process, I learned what was true for me and that enabled me to make choices that I feel no regrets about.
I assure you it’s not as late as you think. There isn’t only one woman in the world who is right for you. If you believe you’ll live the rest of your life regretting not engaging with more women, take the risk and experience it. Unless you’re married with kids you likely don’t have much to lose.
If that doesn’t sit well with you, though, then coming to terms with your situation doesn’t have to be filled with regret either. Pour yourself into building a deeper relationship and a stronger sense of intimacy with your partner. It’s likely you haven’t even scratched the surface of what you can develop together.
There is no right or wrong answer to feeling like you missed the hookup phase; there is only the answer that works for your particular situation. Don’t let the opinions or judgments of others get in the way of what you know to be true for you. As you progress in your reboot, the truth will be made clear to you and you’ll know which direction to go.
Until then, brother, you can find support in the FREE Porn Reboot Facebook group. You can throw yourself into building different areas of your reboot capital. There is so much more to life than sex. You have so many opportunities and experiences awaiting you. Don’t neglect those as you wait for clarity on this one part!