Signal to noise ratio - follow up

Addiction, wrong expectations, habitual masturbation ...
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Paul B
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Signal to noise ratio - follow up

Postby Paul B » Sat Aug 21, 2004 8:20 pm

The following is from the old e-mail list - Tue, 06 Jan 2004. I'm posting it here to do a follow up, which will be the next post.

------------- Original message ------------

Signal to noise ratio is an electronics term - let me explain it using AM radio. The signal is the program you want to listen to, the noise is the static caused by everything from power lines to lightning to sun spots. When the signal to noise ratio is high you have no problem listening to the program; as the ratio falls it's more and more difficult to hear what you want. It takes relatively little noise to make a signal useless - long before 1:1 you are getting nothing of use out of the signal.

I am becoming convinced that a similar signal to noise ratio exists for men with regards to the sexual images we see. As I have studied porn and it's effects on men, I have realized that the signal to noise ratio issue needs to be taken beyond just porn. Our wife is (supposed to be) the signal. Things like porn are clearly noise, but there are a lot of other sources: lingerie ads in print and on TV, fake sex scenes in movies and on TV, women we pass daily who don't wear enough, women in thong bikinis on prime-time broadcast TV, billboards, and on and on and on.

I realize that one's naked wife on the bed is a pretty strong signal, and the noise may seem like nothing compared to it - but recall that it takes a relatively small amount of noise to interfere with the signal. You may not feel the affect of looking down the bank teller's blouse or looking at the half naked woman on a billboard, but it is there. Add it all up, and many of us have a signal to noise ratio that is impairing our ability to want and enjoy our wife as God intended.

Because of what I've been learning I've been making some changes in what I allow myself to look at and how I do it. I have not had a lust problem for a very long time, but I have not been guarding what I see as I now know I should. I have not gone out of my way to see sensuous images, but neither have I gone out of my way to avoid them. Now I realize that the noise is affecting me, even if I can't quantify that affect. I want my wife to have all of my desire, and I want to be aroused by her as completely as I can be - and so I have been working to avoid sexual noise.

For example - there is a plasma TV screen commercial that shows a woman in a blue swim suit surfing. A box is drawn around her as she moves to and fro, and her bent back side is offered for me to see. Now I have no interest in this girl - I don't want to meet her, I don't want to flirt with her, and I certainly don't desire to have sex with her. I do not lust over this girl in any way, but watching that commercial introduces some noise which would cheat both me and my wife; for this reason I choose to not look.

I will admit that not looking at displays of female sexuality is contrary to the way men are created. God intended us to interested in and aroused by such displays (He also intended us to only see our wife exposed in these ways) and that means my body and mind are geared to watch. The good news is that the mind can over come this if it chooses to. At first it takes some effort, with time it becomes pretty automatic.

Finally a word to wives - you have a part to play in this too. Given the world we live in there is no way any man can avoid all sexual noise - so a good strong visual sexual signal from you is vital. Your husband wants and needs to see you partially dressed, dressed with a few buttons open, bending over, and fully naked. He needs to see you flashing and teasing and tantalizing him with your body. I know, I know, you don't like to do this because you are overweight, or your breasts are too small, or your belly button is ugly or your labia are uneven, or your butt is too big. Three words for you - GET OVER IT! You have things none of the noise has - you are his loving wife, his willing sex partner, the woman he has great sex with. These things multiply the effect of your signal more than you can imagine.

I once heard Rush Limbaugh say he does not look at porn for the same reason he does not look at travel brochures - why look at someplace you are not going to go. Every man knows he's not going to "go" to where the noise is - but he is going to be where you are, and that makes what you show him far more powerful than the noise can ever be. Give him a good strong signal and he will find it easier to ignore the noise.

<>< Paul
Last edited by Paul B on Fri Dec 07, 2007 9:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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The follow up

Postby Paul B » Sat Aug 21, 2004 8:39 pm


It's now been about 10 months since I started making an all out effort to avoid all sexual stimulus that is not connected to my wife.

Within a couple of months I noticed a difference - I found my wife even more arousing than I had before. (Fortunately she was pleased with this :D )

The other day I had an experience that showed me how much things have changed. We rented "Taking Lives" on DVD (directors cut). Good movie, but it includes a sex scene and some "upper frontal nudity."

I did not watch most of that scene, and it was a lot more mild than R rated sex scenes I have seen in the past - however, it had a rather strong impact on me - more of an impact than the same things would have had a year ago had I scrutinized the whole things closely. I am sure that the reason for the difference is that I have had so little "non-wife" sexual stimulus for such a long time.

The result? Quite frankly I was offended at the "intrusion" into my life. It prompted me to redouble my efforts to avoid "non-wife" sexual stimulus, and made me glad that I made this choice last year.

<>< Paul - who finds his wife sexier every day! ::luv

cyberwife

Re: Signal to noise ratio - follow up

Postby cyberwife » Sat Aug 21, 2004 9:14 pm

So correct.....little bits of noise is often how it starts...

I think it would be so enlightening to be a fly on the wall during some of the staff meetings among the marketing people...I bet they really love being able to predict & manipulate human behavior. And the "masses" don't realize that their self indulgence in the harder stuff (so smugly hidden from spouse, church, kids, etc in some cases) is just contributing to someone else's riches! (and their own downfall).
Last edited by cyberwife on Mon Sep 27, 2004 1:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The follow up

Postby Snuggle Muffin » Sun Aug 22, 2004 8:57 am

Paul B wrote:Within a couple of months I noticed a difference - I found my wife even more arousing than I had before.
ditto
(Fortunately she was pleased with this :D )
ditto!
The result [of being presented with other women's goods]? Quite frankly I was offended at the "intrusion" into my life.
No kidding! As if I feel like eating plastic fruit when I'm in the middle of my steak dinner!
It prompted me to redouble my efforts to avoid "non-wife" sexual stimulus, and made me glad that I made this choice last year.
yep!

I love that article, Paul. I'd never heard the radio metaphor before, but I've been soapboxing that idea for a while, that what we see affects us and our desire for our spouses, and that re-orienting our desire (what turns us on) is sometimes a better (and more enjoyable) route than trying to turn our wives into anorexic, plastic, airbrushed 'supermodels'.

FleetingBeauty

Postby FleetingBeauty » Mon Aug 23, 2004 2:09 pm

I really like this radio analogy and I think it is important for wives to hear. I know that I used to just kind of expect my DH to ignore those images and want me, yet I was doing absolutely nothing to entice him! He loved me for me - and in spite of my no make-up, ratty clothes, overweight self. But he didn't WANT me and HAVE TO HAVE ME. I'm still working on engaging him that way. I am being proactive and taking more care in my appearance. It helps me feel sexier. I used to think I was buying into the world's view of beauty or sexiness....but now I see that if it pleases DH and (hopefully) can keep him away from porn, then why not? I think Christian women can try so hard to be "pure" and "holy" that they forget that they are their husband's only acceptable outlet for his desires. If I can't be available and willing to seduce him, should I be surprised that he gets seduced elsewhere?

This is totally not saying Porn is ever ok. I hate it just as much as every other "jilted" wife....it totally stinks. I can fear "competing" with these women.....or believe my husband when he says he'd much rather have a REAL woman any day, than a PRETEND woman.

I like the pursuit of being his fantasy. I want to make everything else look silly and lame. Maybe I'm giving myself too much credit (or the Pam Anderson's too little) -- but I'm going to try to be the best lover I can be.

Also, we are in counseling, and this is her advice. That if our lovemaking is 3D (physical, emotional, and spiritual) it is a huge boost to both of us staying committed and focused on each other. Sometimes I doubt her advice, but I am willing to try.

InGodsgracenow

Postby InGodsgracenow » Sat Jan 22, 2005 3:27 pm

I know this was a long time ago but after my womens overnight retreat last night - this article/post popped into my head - so today I went searching for you....

Paul how is this going now? Are you still avoiding the other sexual stimuli (really I don't think I need to ask but you know I am curious to how it is really going?

What about you Snuggle Muffin? Are things still getting better for you?

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Postby Paul B » Sat Jan 22, 2005 8:45 pm

Tulip_Girl wrote:Paul how is this going now? Are you still avoiding the other sexual stimuli (really I don't think I need to ask but you know I am curious to how it is really going?

Yes, I still am, and I'm very glad that I am. Actually it's habit now, and as such it's pretty easy. Once in a great while I have to research something that is going to result in some images, but most of my sources are medical/scientific, so it's very different than Miss January and her dog. :shock:

I've not really thought about it in some time, but having done so I can say the increased interest and desire towards my wife that came from this is still there .... and I like it! ::luv ::luv2 ::luv

<>< Paul

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Postby Snuggle Muffin » Sat Jan 22, 2005 10:48 pm

A good and fair question, Tulip.

I've been attempting this for years, and here's some things I think I've learned so far:

- Remember in high school kids would say, "it's just music/a movie. What's the big deal? I know better than to act like that!" That's total B.S. - and I'm using that language on purpose. We are more vulnerable and formed by what we expose ourselves to than we realize. We hear/see thousands of 'messages' every day, and it really is a form of brainwashing I think. Sheer repetition will change the way we think and feel, even if we are consciously opposed to what we are hearing/seeing.

- the days you honestly feel near-invincible to temptation are when you are often most vulnerable. It says "flee" temptation.. as in, "run like ::xx " for a good reason. Never let your guard down. I am still a man who is wired to respond sexually to sexual stimuli, whether I consciously want to or not. Horniness is like alcohol - it impairs your judgment, so don't pursue it in places you shouldn't.

- Our culture's versions of "beauty," "sexy," "happy," "love," "fun," etc., are shallow, unfulfilling and pathetic compared to what God intends for us. God's ways are better and that's my experience. I can't totally avoid every inferior message from the world (and that shouldn't be the goal, we are supposed to be in the world to a degree, after all), but I can do my best to affect what I'm being conditioned to believe/think/feel. This way when I am exposed to temptation or unGodly ideas, I recognize them more clearly for what they are... my vision is clearer, so to speak. My whole being reacts negatively at first (as it should). Our minds and feelings are more easily shaped than we usually like to think - as the late great Rich Mullins said, "We are not as strong as we think we are." Here's some practical things I do to limit the worldly brainwashing:

- Limit how much advertising/media I'm exposed to. The TV lives in the closet. I don't watch TV except for specific things like the rare rented movie, or the Stanley Cup playoffs (hockey). I've found better ways to 'unwind,' and every time I sit down and flip through channels I end up wishing I could have that two hours of my life back. I get my news online, and our living room is set up for people to talk to each other. this wasn't actually hard to do... I was surprised how much I didn't miss it, and how much more time I had!

- I watch very few movies, and when I do, we don't just look to avoid gratuitous sex & violence. What kind of messages about relationships, beauty, ,love, fulfillment, etc., are being conveyed? Sometimes 'clean' movies can send stupid/horrible messages that I don't want to be brainwashed with.

- reserve 100% of sexual energy for Mrs. Muffin. We agreed not to masturbate alone, and to do our best to fulfill each other's sexual desires.

- Mrs. Muffin is a very courageous wife in many ways, especially sexually. She sets a high standard for how 'hot' things are going to be, and when a guy is blown away by how sexy his wife is, every other woman pales by comparison no matter what they look/act like.

- this is a new one for me... but learning to cultivate an 'inner life'; practicing being in God's presence every day so that I begin to be explicitly aware of His presence everywhere all the time... we see ourselves as we really are in His presence, and learn to become who we are meant to be, seeing people more through His eyes. This helps me...

- grow to understand how much God values people, and make sure I respect them that way, even if it's obnoxious college girls in the gym who have no self-respect.

Eventually, you get sensitized. Not by old religious taboos, or because 'you can't handle it,' but you begin to see things more as they really are, I think.
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2 in 1

Postby 2 in 1 » Mon Jan 24, 2005 9:11 am

Good example to follow...

Job 31:1 "I have made a covenant with my eyes; Why then should I look upon a young woman?

Kwho1969

Postby Kwho1969 » Mon Feb 28, 2005 10:46 am

OK, I have started doing this within the last month. I have a few questions for any of those that have already established this pattern.

How do you manage to go through your daily life w/o seeing this stuff? I mean, when you go to the grocery store (Walmart Supercenter) and an attractive lady wearing spandex pants bends down to get something off the bottom shelf just as you turn into the aisle. What do you do? I've joked with DW that she will think I am looking at the lights in the store because I actually walk through most of the aisles looking up at whatever is hanging from the ceiling as to avoid any undue stimuli. Any suggestions appreciated. Is some of it just unavoidable in our society and I need to learn not to beat myself up about it? What about all of the tabloid magazines at the check out with their half naked women on the cover and blaring headlines about SEX?

Lothar

Postby Lothar » Mon Feb 28, 2005 8:32 pm

Learn how to look away quickly... and always have some other thought you can move your mind to.

Attractive woman bends over in front of you? If she's your wife, do whatever you want -- but if she's not, look away and think about your job, football, housework, or whatever else. Always have something you're mulling over in the back of your head, so that you always have a train of thought you can engage.

Temptation is the most dangerous when your mind is empty of other things, because then you can devote thought to it.

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Postby Paul B » Mon Feb 28, 2005 9:52 pm

Kwho1969 wrote:OK, I have started doing this within the last month. I have a few questions for any of those that have already established this pattern.

Good man! Hang in there.
Kwho1969 wrote:
How do you manage to go through your daily life w/o seeing this stuff? I mean, when you goto the grocery store (Walmart supercenter) and an attactive lady wearing spandex pants bends down to get something off the bottom shelf just as you turn into the aisle. What do you do?

The real key is to anticipate it and look away before she starts her display. Same thing with women in too loose tops bending over in front of you.
Kwho1969 wrote:What about all of the tabloid magazines at the check out with their half naked women on the cover and blairing headlines about SEX?

You know they are there, so don't look. At the stores I go into the mags are always on one side, with candy and stuff on the other side. So develop a real interest in looking at candy.

<>< Paul

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Postby KyWildcat » Tue Mar 01, 2005 6:41 am

Paul B wrote:So develop a real interest in looking at candy.[/color]

The packaging is very colorful... Sweet Tarts... mmmmmm
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Kwho1969

Postby Kwho1969 » Tue Mar 01, 2005 2:01 pm

ok, so from teh responses I am gathering that its just something in our culture today and that I shouldnt beat myself up for it but do as much as I can to avoid it. which is what ive been doing. And then Ive been telling my wife of every incident where i have seen something that I was trying to avoid seeing. We rented a movie last night and I found it interesting to notice how often I would close my eyes or look away and ask DW to tell me when the scene was over. She also realized what was going on and would comment to me about the time I would look away or close my eyes to do so. This could become fun. I just hope she can handle having me that much more focused on her signal. I think she may be getting a little nervous about selecting movies for us to watch together though. But, with everything else thats going on in our lives at the moment, im not so sure that I wouldnt appreciate the same from her.

kaycee

Postby kaycee » Wed Apr 06, 2005 2:17 pm

The book "Everyman's Battle" is about this very subject of training one's eyes. It is hard for a man. Like the lady on Focus on the Family once said: She used to take a sign that read, "DON'T READ THIS SIGN" and post it near her speaker stand. Then she explained to all the women that just like everyone there naturally read her sign, men naturally look at women. I used to position myself for the best view if I knew a woman was bending over and I could get a view down her shirt. Now I work towards not looking in the same way I used to plan for how to get that best view. On the beach my wife will still point out what a woman is wearing or even in stores or other public places. It's like can you believe what she is wearing? I take a quick look and allow my wife to express her view. But my wife notices that I don't look as hard any more nor do I like it when we have those kinds of scenes in a movie we are watching. I fast forward when possible, look away, or leave the room. It takes as much effort not to look as I used to put into trying to get the best look. But it is worth it and my wife can see the difference it has made.

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Postby Leah » Thu Jun 08, 2006 7:32 am

Good advice, but it's not helping. I am not a hideously ugly person, and I don't think it is too much to ask for one's husband to actually glance over once in a while.
Leah

“I have learned now that while those who speak about one's miseries usually hurt, those who keep silence hurt more.”--C.S. Lewis


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kskitten

Postby kskitten » Tue Jul 18, 2006 1:11 pm

It really blessed me to read this. I am a new member, and this is my first post. My dh and I have been married almost 15 years, during which I have always felt I was the object of his desire. However, there have been moments that have hurt me, which he seriously regrets and is repentant of. I showed him this thread, to let him know that when I read it I thought of him and his renewed covenant with me and God, that I feel honored to be his wife and when we are out together, I want to drive his head (maybe more) CRAZY for loving only me, lol.

Thanks for the great post, and for the update.

(Now, hit POST quickly, before you chicken out!!!!!!) :oops:

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Postby Devoted2Dearling » Wed Jan 03, 2007 10:29 am

Thanks for the post, Paul. The analogy is very good, esp. after having watched my brother (a ham radio guy) work his system. Tuning in to that signlal (one's wife or husband) can be a tricky business! And I do like the idea that wife or husband can also work on strengthening their signal.

In the old days of CB radio, you could run your unit "barefoot" or "with boots on." What that meant was you could run it with the minimal wattage alloted by the radio itself (barefoot) or ramp it up radically with booster amplifiers and such (with boots on). Your signal in the latter case would be monster. (This was illegal, but we'll ignore that for the analogy's purpose! :lol: )

We can all run "with boots on" if we want to, and it doesn't require the purchase of hundreds of dollars of equipment. Practicing alluring the other, initiating not only sex itself but also offering kisses (long ones), touching the other sexually and then leaving them hanging all day to think about it, talking sexually (even whispering stuff like "I'm horny right now" into their ears during a public gathering), that is all "running with boots on."

Of course, you have to take the boots off once you get to the marriage bed and synchronize your channels...

d2w
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Anismommy

Postby Anismommy » Wed Jan 03, 2007 11:05 am

(Eyebrows stuck in the UP position, eyes wide open, closed fingers resting over my closed mouth, and my other hand over my heart)

WOW! Reading that was awesome! My husband has read "Every Man's Battle" and bouncing is something he has learned to do..... but now when he sees something on tv that he doesn't lust over, he thinks it's still okay. The way you wrote the original post I think would really speak to him. You used an anology that, honestly, was hard for me to follow.... but I did. I think hubby will be able to follow this pretty easily as he works with RF, computer stuff, and a whole bunch of abbreviated things that I can only TRY to understand! I'm going to copy it and e-mail it to him.... along with my reply..... it'd only be fair!

THANK YOU, for the hope that's filling my heart right now is also filling my eyes with tears and my body with a tingly warmth that only our Father could breathe over me! I KNOW my husband can do it....... he's already done more than I initially thought possible! Again, THANK YOU for your words!

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Postby Seekryt » Tue Sep 11, 2007 10:16 pm

Ok, I just loved this post the first time I read it, and had to search it out again.

It's been a number of months since DH and I are into HIS porn recovery, and MY refusal recovery - and I think of the signal to noise ratio, well, not OFTEN, but enough.

This many months in - we've found that although at first it was a bit of a struggle to figure out how exactly to retune ourselves to each other - once he got the "eye bouncing" thing down pat, particularly, a lot of it has just happened naturally.
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