I’m addicted to Tramadol and it is fucking up my sex life.
It was first prescribed for a minor back injury and later for osteoarthritis in my thumb, a common malady with Tramadol its common pharmaceutical treatment. As an active guy in my 50s, I’ve got plenty of OA all over the place: thumbs, feet, knees, hips… and OTC meds like ibuprofen help a lot but my gut can’t take them in the amounts my pain dictates so I got into combining NSAIDs with Tramadol and got everything down to a pretty manageable level of hurt.
But then came the side effects and the withdrawal symptoms. and the reason I’m writing about it in my sex blog instead of just bitching to my echo chamber on Facebook.
It turns out that one reason Tramadol is prescribed, something I wasn’t aware of when I started taking it, is the treatment of premature ejaculation. Yes, it slows down the race to the finish line.
PE has never been an issue for me because as I occasionally like to demonstrate, I’m a skilled edger and have been able to control my orgasm to the second, lasting as short or as long as I like, for most of my adult life. I did not need anything to slow me down because cum control is my MO.
But a couple of years ago, after being a regular Tramadol user for some time, I started to experience more frequent bouts of unintentionally cumless sex. More and more frequently, I just wasn’t getting to 10 no matter how long I bumped up against 9.9. I sometimes went days unable to cum, and again, this was not something I was choosing to do but something it seemed my body was doing against my will.
This has become more commonplace lately, with every kind of sexual encounter a candidate for orgasmless conclusions, or I’d just focus on my partner’s pleasure and satisfy myself with his orgasm—which I do love—but damn it, I want orgasms too. I love sperming my penis and I love sharing that moment with playmates who want that cum.
It’s only over the last month that I’ve begun to address the elephant in the room and weigh my options: I can explore other drugs that might alleviate my sexual side effects, or I can just accept and deal with reality: I’m an addict and the drug that’s helped me live with pain has chopped too much joy out of my sex life.
And I know myself well enough to admit that sex makes me happy. Not just having sex and orgasms, but wanting it, thinking about it, smiling at the sexjoy that waves through my whole body when I simply remember I have a penis, when I anticipate putting it inside a hungry bottom, a skilled mouth or a warm, lubricated hand. Sex doesn’t just feel good to me, it is my connecting force, the instinct that draws me to others and joins us. This really makes me happy.
I’m getting older. My body is doing what all bodies do with time and I’m okay with that. Some degree of sexual slow-down is normal and I’m completely okay with that too.
But this fuzzy-headed numbness is a barrier to my joy. It’s like wearing a thick condom all the time and this sexual dampening is not normal.
I still love my penis frequently and I do orgasm, just not as often. It’s a great time to have masturbatory expertise because it helps me work through the fog… but that fog needs to go. It’s not just about orgasms. It’s about welcoming the full presence of sexual joy.
So ultimately, it won’t be the fear of withdrawal, the brain shivers and tinnitus and brain fog that make me stop taking Tramadol, it will be the love of my penis and the greater sexual vitality of my life it expresses that push me to finally break the habit.
Today is my first day ramping-down from 150 mg to zero. Understanding how long it takes the brain to adjust, I’m hoping I can pull it off in just three months but I may not get fully off the shit until Labor Day.
I write this as my declaration of intent. Starting now, I end my relationship with Tramadol and fully restore my relationship with Penis.
At 59, I’ve got a love/hate relationship with my prostate. While I really wish I could still piss as fast and hard as the millennial at the next urinal, I wouldn’t trade that expediency for all the tireless work accomplished in the spunk production arena.
For years, we’ve been adapting to smart phones in obvious and not-so-obvious ways. As a consumer of online amateur content (porn) you are part of this new way of being publicly sexual.
You watch hundreds of men stroking hundreds of dicks, pounding hundreds of holes and jizzing on hundreds of faces and you just might be contributing your own content. How has this ubiquitous medium effected the way you have sex with yourself? Who are you cumming for?
It’s a question I ask without judgement. Okay, I have a little judgement…
I notice some very specific ways that sex on camera isn’t optimal sex, and I’m not talking about professional porn here (which I consciously don’t consume) but I’m talking about the porn you and I make…
When you record your bate, do you stop and grip your penis at the point of orgasm for maximum trajectory? Do you stop and take your hand off so you can have a hands-free cumshot? Do you take pains to get the right angle and lighting to maximize your appeal to the viewer? Is it important that you shoot up to your mouth and be seen licking it up? Are you gooning while looking at the camera?
Who holds the camera when you suck or get sucked? Do you take brief breaks to adjust the camera angle? At ejaculation, does the penis come out so the viewer can see the cum shoot? Does the semen spray visibly on a beard, face or tongue or does it go down a closed-mouth throat?
Do you make noise? Are you sex babbling to your partner or the viewer? Who’s holding the camera? Do you look into the camera? Do you pull out at ejaculation so the viewer can see you cum? Do you seed your partner and then pull back so the viewer can see the proof dripping or expelled from the hole?
It can be incredibly exciting to expose pleasure, to make porn for others to appreciate. It can amp up the sensations of sex to know you’re sharing it with untold numbers of invisible viewers, to be aware of the danger of someone recognizing you, to simply wallow in the transgressiveness of making porn.
And like every kind of exciting sex, doing something all the time wears a groove in your psyche and ultimately de-emphasizes alternatives. You might be fine with that and many of us are. The process of favoring a particular sex practice over all others is pretty normal. Whatever our orientation, we develop specific preferences over time.
So here’s the question I offer for you to ask yourself if you’re one of the many, most prolific amateur porn producers out here: As I record video of my sex acts, whatever they are, am I having that sex for myself or for others? Is the exposed orgasm as satisfying as the orgasm I have while nobody’s watching? Does it feel better to cum on a guys face or to cum in his mouth? Does it feel better to feel cum on my ass and back or do I wish I were feeling it gush inside me? Is the ejaculation I have while displaying my penis pulsing as satisfying as the one I have while I continue stroking through the orgasm?
And if you’re only a consumer of online porn, to what degree do you model what you see online when you masturbate or enjoy sex with a partner?
I’m not saying that any of these acts are better or worse than any other, only asking you to assess the value of your sex and ask who you’re trying to please. If you’re aware that something you’re doing is being executed over and over and over again the same way, you might not have enough variation to choose from.
We model what we see. This is absolutely human. We get great ideas and not-so-great ideas all the time and we test them out in every sphere of life. Whatever your sexual expression, I think it’s worth pulling back from time to time and reassessing how and why we do what we do and trying something new. You probably do that already but if you’re currently in a rut and didn’t realize it until now, consider this a reminder that ultimately, the person you most need to satisfy is yourself and your partner in the moment, not “the viewer.” He or she isn’t actually there. If it most pleases you to imagine the remote viewer is getting off on you, that’s perfectly valid, but I still think it is always worth taking time to examine the quality of our sex lives and consider ways of improving it.
Maybe it’s time to change things up! For me, it’s always a good time to change things up, but ultimately, my sexual pleasure is happening first and foremost inside my body and I am cumming for me. My ejaculation belongs to me above all. Others may and will and do appreciate it and be inspired by it, but if I’m not getting maximum benefit from it from time to time, I’m being stingy with myself.
Be generous with yourself. Be extravagant in owning and embodying your own authentic pleasure.