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2020.10.23 23:59 500scnds [Table] I'm Jeff Galak, Professor of Marketing & Social and Decision Science at Carnegie Mellon University. I have published dozens of academic papers on decision making, consumer behavior, and more. I have also recently launched a new YouTube channel called Data Demystified. AMA! (pt 1/3)

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Questions Answers
Hey Jeff! I'm a minimalist & find that I'm happier with less stuff & when I give/receive experiences rather than items. Do you find consumer happiness reflects this shift towards minimalism since that is a (small, but seemingly growing) trend, especially among Millennials? Great question! There is some relatively new research looking at happiness from experiences vs. material possessions. Most of it shows that happiness from equally valued (e.g. price) experiences is higher than for possessions. HOWEVER, and this is a big however, all that work tends to ignore long run happiness with highly prized possessions. For instance, if you have a sentimentally valued object, happiness that stems from that object lasts for a long time. What most possessions don't do is provide long lasting happiness. You buy a new shiny toy and it DOES make you happy...but that happiness goes away quickly. My collaborators and I have termed this idea "Hedonic Decline."
So as for minimalism, there is not evidence that I know of that shows that less possessions make you happier. There's plenty showing that more possessions don't make you happier, but that's not the same thing.
One more layer of complexity: there are two routes to happiness: hedonic and eudaimonic. The former is what we usually think of when we think of happiness: how much joy does XYZ bring me. The latter, however, is closer to self-actualization. It's the happiness the comes from a accomplishing something....even if there was pain involved in getting there. I wonder if minimalism can increase eudaimonic happiness.
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That's interesting. Thank you for responding. In the minimalism community, self-actualization is reflected in endeavors such as achieving certain goals (like, paying off debt) that usually involves some amount of self-discipline &/or self-sacrifice. I'd say that the vast majority of research in happiness excludes eudaimonic happiness, largely because it's so hard to measure. My personal, non-data supported, take is that eudaimonic happiness is far more important than hedonic happiness. The latter is fleeting, whereas the former can be life changing.
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Beautifully said. Thank you.
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How does depression affect eudaimonic happiness compared to hedonic happiness? Great question and I don't know the answer. Social Psychology typical studies what we very poorly term "normal" psychology, which excludes clinical conditions like depression. Sorry!
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What’s your take on “pay to play” - as in, some “hedonic” purchases at are required to signal you’re in the game, making progress on eudaimonic happiness. When you get older and into your career, I’d venture many people have already figured out that hedonic happiness doesn’t do squat long-term, but there’s a balance in terms of how much hedonic happiness to have to acquire for the ultimate long-term eudaimonic happiness. Example: in sales, which I’m in tech analytics sales, companies want to spend for solutions to business problems, but they also want to see, visually, that the person they’re paying is a good representative for them. High cost equals a person that can represent that taste. Nice. Tailored suits, a nice watch and latest tech gadgets. There’s a pay to play aspect that signals to the world who I am, and that in turn actually allows me to get what I want- student loans paid off and early retirement.. I don't think there's any conflict here. If you will find some form of life satisfaction by succeeding in your career, there's no harm in also purchasing items that help you reach that goal. Those items can, in and of themselves, make you happy...nothing wrong with that. More to the point, hedonic and eudaimonic happiness don't have to be in opposition. You can have both!
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I really like this response. While i can jive with basic premise of experiences over possessions...i’m find it used a lot by people who actually just want to shirk obligation. I run HHiring and there is a persistent trend of people not wanting to act like their job is important..just because it’s easier to justify bailing on work/shifts to go do things when you can say you’re doing it for the experience, not focusing on the money you make at a job. I’m trying to figure out the best way to respond to people who think i’m some big bad money grubbing boss for wanting people to do their jobs. Meanwhile, in my personal life...i feel like i’m getting a lot of push back socially from people who think i should only work where i can just make my own schedule and dip put for an “experience” whenever. At the end of the say, it feels like people will just wax philosophic reasons for demanding leisure with all the material perks of having jobs and working. Great point. This relates to intrinsic vs. extrinsic motivation. The former is the desire to do something because it's inherently interesting/rewarding. The latter is doing something for compensation. This is more in the realm of organizational behavior, and you'll have to wait for my wife who is also a professor, but of organizational behavior and theory, to do an AMA for more on that :)
Hello, thanks for doing this. Are you familiar with "loot boxes" in video games? I feel like the topics of a lot of your papers would fit right into why consumers/businesses use loot boxes. How does a loot box mechanic differ from gambling and should it be treated the same? (Regulation, age restriction, etc) If they are the same, how do you feel about video games including a loot box mechanic? Sticking with gambling parallels, what are your thoughts on video game companies targeting "whales" given that gamers can be any age nowadays? I'm not a gamer myself (though I do love TTPRGs and run a D&D 5e campaign), but I'm pretty familiar with loot boxes. Mobile games and social media platforms in general have become very good at continuous reinforcement. It can be the allure of getting a new outfit in a loot box or just an upvote on Reddit...the point is that we are wired to love small rewards, even if those rewards are meaningless. Casinos have mastered this art and loot boxes are an capitalizing of the same basic psychological mechanisms: need for positive reinforcements. So are loot boxes the same as gambling? Probably not the SAME, but damn close. As for regulation, I am strongly in favor of making gambling of all forms only accessible to adults and even then providing access to counseling for those who suffer from gambling addiction.
I have a lot less sympathy towards wealthy adults who choose to gamble as a form of entertainment. The problem is that it's not always obvious who's a whale and who's just pretending to be one for the attention. The latter is highly susceptible to financial ruin and I'd want them protected just the same as they are with standard gambling.
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Do you find the researcher in you observing and asking questions about the players' decision making processes in your D&D campaign? My old DM minored in psychology, and I often felt like a rat in his experiments. I enjoyed it, though. It kind of added an extra facet to the game. More than my research, teaching has made a huge difference in being a DM. When I lecture, I am forced to be quick on my feet to understand student questions, reply accordingly, and make sure that I'm moving the lecture along. That is the same with DMing. I need to be able to understand the motives of my players, respond appropriately with NPCs, and keep the story going.
I'm sure that my knowledge of psychology helps, but I wouldn't think it influences the way I DM (or play) that much.
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Studying business Psychology in Switzerland and leading the yawning portal atm, seems like I need to start teaching :p Ha! Check out this thread:
I used that for my game and it was great.
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Could I join your 5e campaign? Ha! Sorry, no. It's just close friends and we're months into it. I'm running Waterdeep, if you're curious.
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I'm applying to Carnegie's MBA for what it's worth! If I'm accepted, may I join then? ;-) How about you get in and then we discuss!
Hi Jeff! What is your favorite heuristic or logical fallacy when it comes to decision making? Can you teach us about one that people might not know about? Easy: Diversification Bias. That's where I started my career 15 years ago. I didn't discover this bias, but have built on it. Anyway, it's the idea that people choose more variety than they should. For example, if you are going to pick some snacks for the next few days, you might pick: chips, pretzels and an apple. Those are fine, but really chips are your favorite and you picked the other two because you thought you'd get tired of chips every day. Well, turns out you'd be wrong. A day is enough to reset satiation/hedonic-decline in most cases, so you'd be better off always picking your favorite option! Doing otherwise means eating snacks that are less preferred.
A new one that my doctoral student, Julian Givi, and I recently published: The Future Is Now (FIN) Heuristic. It's the idea that people believe that future events will be like present events, even when evidence points to the contrary. An example: if it's sunny today, you're more likely to think it'll be sunny tomorrow, even if the forecast clearly predict rain. What happens is you treat information about the present as having evidentiary value for future events, even when that's just not true.
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I really like that you give your student credit. PhD students do all the hard work. Professors just bask in the glory :)
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I think diversification bias is how I ended up with 5 shades of blue nail polish that are virtually undistinguishable from each other! Interesting to consider. Ha! Just might be...
Tell me about your paper "Sentimental value and gift giving: Givers’ fears of getting it wrong prevents them from getting it right". From what I read of the abstract, it seems that gift-givers undervalue sentimental value, seeing it as riskier. Why is that, and how can we give better gifts? Sure, this is a paper with my former doctoral student, Julian Givi. Basically, people are risk averse in gift giving when they shouldn't be. If I know you like coffee and I have a choice to give you some nice coffee beans or a framed photo of the two of us (presumably since we're friends), I give the former b/c it's a sure bet. But as the recipient, overwhelmingly, people prefer the latter. So givers should take the risk and give the sentimentally valuable gift over one that is more a sure bet.
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Interesting. When giving presents, givers focus too much on the recipient's known wants, which gets in the way of giving a meaningful present. Thank you! I'll be sure to keep that in-mind next Christmas. That's exactly it.
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I sometimes hesitate at this. I don’t want to come off as the selfie culture of all about me in pictures! But relatives do love getting pics of the kids for gifts. Still, how often is this perceived as a form of narcissism by the gift receiver? Edit: pictures of my kids not just me! One trick we do: every Christmas holiday we print full size calendars with our kids pictures on them. That's our holiday gift to all the grandparents. They LOVE it.
We also send small photo books to the grandparents throughout the year of some of the best pictures we take.
We have yet to send too many, but that's specific to our family.
The best advice I always have for something like this is: just ask! People are often worried about asking gift recipients about their preferences, but our research shows that a) recipients don't care about being asked and b) you can give better gifts that way.
Hi Jeff ! I have a question regarding involvement in a purchase, is there an increasing trend to become highly involved in the purchase of even low value object ? I find myself doing this during the pandemic doing comparison searches for a bulb which costs 10 dollars. Is this an exception ? Or is there some underlying psychological reason isolated to me ? Absolutely. Two reasons this could be happening. 1) With more free time, the threshold for what merits deep research drops a lot. 2) Many people are facing financial hardships, and so making sure every dollar is well spent becomes really important.
Hi Jeff, Thank you for the great AMA. Where do you see the future of insights departments in consumer companies? Most companies looks like giving up on ethnographic and in person research and focus on data analytics. I speculate management is under great pressure and in the meantime aspire to Google, Amazon etc. What is your take of insights departments future in large companies? Thank you! Exploratory research like ethnographies, interviews, and focus groups is really useful for brainstorming. But they are a poor substitute for quantitative data. Now, that doesn't mean "big data"...just data that has larger samples and is better representative of populations. Surveys are still amazing. When we want to forecast an election, we don't use big data, we conduct a political poll. They work.
But yes, right now, AI and machine learning are the hot new ideas on the block and everyone wants in on them. There is plenty of amazing applications of AI/ML, but what they can't do is tell you "why". As in, why did someone choose this option over that one? Or why are people motivated by this goal or that goal? Those types of answers allow you to apply knowledge in completely novel contexts. AI/ML needs to be trained on a specific type of data for a specific type of task. It is AMAZING at that. But as soon as you introduce a new context or new set of experiences, it fails. That's where good old fashioned surveys and behavioral experiments come in.
If a program was built to help us make better decisions, do you think we would use it? Do you think we can listen to a program’s advice better than we do from experts? We already do. Weather forecasts tell us how to dress. Facebook tells us what to think. Tinder tells us who to date. Etc... etc...
A program that EXPLICITLY tells you what to do won't work too well. People like to feel like they have free will. They don't, though. We are greatly influenced by our environment (not just technology) whether we know it or not. As one example: I can guess your weight reasonably well just by knowing your zip code (please don't make me actually do this as I'm not in the business of public shaming!). If we had true free will and agency, that should be impossible. Instead, we are the products of our environment.
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60641 Chicago? I believe Illinois has 30-35% obesity (I'm doing this quickly and not looking at your zip specifically), so pretty high weight.
Hi Jeff! Since I'm a 14 yrs old and knew nothing about what you study, I have very limited questions I can ask. But as I have observed, people are often sheepish and will consume as the trend goes. What is the most unexpected trend, worldwide? P.S. will defo check out your channel I don't expect most people to know my work (I like to think my ego isn't THAT big!), so no worries!
You're right. Trends will drive a lot of human behavior. We are social creatures and follow what others do much more than we care to admit. As for the most unexpected trend, that's really hard to say. Maybe this is too broad, but I'm surprised by how short people's attention span is when it comes to current events. News cycles used to last for weeks, now they last for hours. I suppose I know that people don't have long attention spans, but I'm still surprised.
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Any underlying reasoning for this? For the short attention spans? We can invoke evolutionary psychology, which I'm not a big fan of, and it would suggest something like a tensions between exploring and cultivating. So it would argue that our ancestors needed to have some reason to leave their immediate tribe to find new resources. So perhaps our attention spans are short b/c of this and the current environment exaggerates that behavior.
Have you done(or can you point to) any research relating to the decision making/not making around getting rid of possessions? I have a relative who keeps anything that has a perceived value as in could be sold on ebay/garage sale which they never sell. They are otherwise rational, clean, don't over consume..def not hoarder territory.. but I struggle to convince them that the old digital camera that's been sitting for 3 years could just be disposed of. Hoarding is definitely a thing. There isn't much in the study of item disposition in the empirical world of research (lots of interesting qualitative work that I'm less familiar with). The big exception to this is the Endowment Effect. The short version is that you value items you own more than if you don't own it. So a mug sitting on a store shelf is worth, say $10 to you, but as soon as you own it is worth, say, $20 to you. Nothing changed except your ownership of it. That explains some of hoarding behavior, but not all of it.
For a qualitative research paper on the topic, see here:
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I suppose I have the Endowment Effect. Everytime I find something valuable i dont have the will to let it go. Even though i can sell it and re buy it later, or buy something similar haha. It's like I want to take the most of it and use it til it brakes, go missing, or whatever. The endowment effect isn't infinite. As in, it's not that you won't be willing to sell your items for ANY price, it's just that your willingness to sell is higher than your willingness to buy.
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Hey Professor, appreciate the AMA. A couple of questions: 1) Just from my own thoughts banging around in my head and observations I've made during the pandemic, do you see the pause our society went through and the economic downturn effecting the psychology behind materialism? It seems the American "push for more no matter what" mind state took a eating and I think I'm seeing some consequences of that. 1) It's possible, but my pretty strong prediction is that within 1-2 years of the pandemic ending, we will be back to where we were beforehand in terms of materialism and general behavior. Extreme events like a pandemic seem like they are life changers. For some, that's true (e.g. someone loses a loved one), but for most it's not. We are inherently myopic and think that the thing in front of our noses is the only thing that exists.
2) I'm a current medical student and we get inundated with so many studies that it's overwhelming. Trying to practice evidence based medicine is really hard in an atmosphere that prioritizes publishing with little regard to quality. Do you ha e ways of navigating that I could apply to my day to day? Thanks again. 2) I can't speak to medical research, but that problem exists in all academic fields. The best thing to do is to let science happen. There will always be flashy new findings, but the ones that really matter will get replicated over and over again...and will get built on. The BS ones tend to just die out. That's not a full proof approach to vetting research, but it's better than just assuming everything you see published is true and/or important.
I am a former CMU student. How do you feel about CMU's decision to appoint Richard Grenell as a senior fellow? And how can we do something to fight against it because it seems they are not listening the current student body? Recently, the fence was vandalized against BLM (they wrote "all lives matter" over the previously written "black lives matter"). How are you working to build a more inclusive community at CMU and to fight for those who need it? How can former students help? I signed the petition to revoke his appointment and stand by that completely. I do understand why the university is upholding it, but I am embarrassed to have him associated with CMU.
As for the fence, the CMU Provost sent a really great letter immediately after it all happened condemning the vandalism and supporting BLM. Personally, I try VERY hard to do things like call on students of all races and genders and not let white men (of which I am one, btw) dominate conversations. I try to make sure that examples I use to highlight ideas include more than just typically white and/or male oriented products. I have been trained in Green Dot deescalation for sexual assault and violence. I am on the university academic disciplinary committee and have direct say over infractions like harassment or discrimination. And I sit on my college's Faculty Diversity Equity and Inclusion committee with the hope of including representation and inclusion of URM and female faculty. I care about this topic a LOT and do what I can...still probably not enough.
As for alums, if you see behavior at CMU that you think is antithetical to inclusiveness, let the administration know. Get your fellow alums to weigh in. The university wants your sweet sweet alumni donations. If you are all pissed off, they'll reply.
Hey Professor! I absolutely love to give. But I feel so awkward being thanked. And I dont really like receiving gifts. What would the psychology behind that be? Great question. It's hard to know without more detail, but I'd guess that some of that anxiety is about in, your lack of desire for it. As for not liking receiving gifts, maybe you have just not received that many good gifts? Again, it's really hard to say without knowing a bit more about you and the gift giving contexts you're involved in. If you want to share more, I can try to answer better, but totally understandable if you don't!
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Well, if I think more deeply....whenever I need something, I feel like it's up to me to make me happy. I usually don't really ask anyone else. Whether I need a massage, have a getaway, or get my dream dog, I just do it myself. As an aside, self-gifts are great! You get what you need, and nothing else. No issues there.
To your question, though, I do wonder if you just haven't receive that many great gifts. Yes, gifts can fall flat and the recipient might not love them, but when they hit, they not only provide the value from the gift itself (e.g. a great bottle of wine) but ALSO the sentimental value from the associations that the gift brings up (e.g. who gave it to you and under what for a birthday or graduation).
Hi Jeff, I have a job application at a place where they do conjoint analysis, something I have never done before. Got any tips? Do you have any thoughts on the technique in general? Personally as someone who takes surveys I find it very abstract (e.g. "Would you rather buy a $5 toaster with two slots vs. a $20 toaster that takes bagels?" I don't know!). First, good luck with the job application! Conjoint is a really useful tool when used correctly (like any tool, I suppose). The short version is that it lets you extract utility weights for different dimensions (e.g. price, product size, product speed, etc...) without directly asking people to answer questions about those dimensions. So instead of saying "how important is price to you?" you would come up with product profiles that have varying price (among other things) and then have people choose between those profiles. You can then extract, using nothing more than regression analysis (though, practically, no one does it that way...they use software like Sawtooth or SPSS Conjoint), how important those dimensions are for any given person.
the technique is tedious in that respondents have to make LOTS of pair-wise comparisons, but the end product can teach you a lot about what people actually value.
One key is to make the task as simple and realistic as possible. So the example you gave is confusing and wouldn't work too well. But I asked you to choose between a $20 toaster with 2 slots vs. a $30 toaster with 3 slots" that would work (in reality it would be more complex than that). You'd be forced to tell me if you prefer a cheaper toaster with fewer slots or a more expensive one with more slots. There's not right answer, but I would learn about those two dimensions for you. I'd need a lot more pair-wise tradeoffs to do this right, but that's the general idea.
Do you find that there are significant differences between particular groups? Does age influence gift giving habits more then sex, or some other factor? Just curious about the general trends of gift giving between groups. Super general question I know, so feel free to just call me out on it Definitely difference across genders as you would expect. More jewelry given by men to women. More gadgets given by women to men. Not so much in terms of age, though I've never really directly looked at that. The reality is that most gifts aren't that exciting. They tend to be things that are popular in a given year or old standbys like gift cards and ties. There certainly are amazing gifts and gift givers out there, but the vast majority of actual gifts given are pretty mundane. But that's not a bad thing if the recipient still likes what they get!
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Yeah, sounds about right. And yeah if everyone is chipper it's all good :) Is there a sort of gift quality vs quantity data? Like is it better to get more frequent smaller gifts or largemore expensive gifts less frequently? Smaller more frequent gifts every time. I have some new work on obligatory vs. non-obligatory gifts. Basically, you can make someone very happy by giving a small gift on a random Tuesday compared to a much nicer gift on their Birthday. More random-tuesday gifts every time!
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Thank you! :) will the results of that be on ur channel? Probably not. The channel isn't about my research, but rather about how to understand data more broadly. But the results will hopefully be published soon!
How extensive are the consumer psychology divisions in companies like apple? Lots of variation. Places like apple, google, amazon will have a lot of depth in terms of psychologist and consumer behavior researchers. But those are the gold standard. Most will rely on consultants to help out
How does education on finance and economics affect consumer behavior? Does knowing the way our brains make consumer decisions or how businesses try to get you to buy change how you shop? If you understand better how firms are trying to entice you to buy their products, you can absolutely counteract that better. For instance, $1.99 is really just $2...we all get that. But it turns out, having a 9-ending price really drives demand. That's nuts, but it does. IF you understand that, you stand a shot and not being duped by something so trivial. So educating yourself can be a big help. On finance and econ eduction, also really helpful, but in other ways. When you go to get a 30-year mortgage for your home, understanding how interest rates work, how inflation might affect home prices, how amortization tables work, etc... will help you make a much more informed decision about what is right for you.
hi! how do you predict consumer happiness/decision making etc during unprecedented times like this, when such a scenario may not have taken place before and you do not have much data to go on? also since the research you do and the data you collect are relevant to sales, do you see advertisements being affected by the pandemic in the long run from any changes in consumer mindset? It's really hard to predict much of anything right now. There are some basic behaviors and experiences that we can expect during a pandemic (e.g. increased anxiety, defaulting to familiar experiences, increased online shopping), but the reality is you're right...we just don't know. There's virtually no data on pandemic psychology/behavior, and all the pop-science stuff you read is just guessing at what will happen.
As for advertising, I think that once the pandemic is over, life will be back to what it was beforehand in almost every respect. People are amazing to adapting to changing circumstances. We are all doing that now with the pandemic and will all do that again when it's over. I don't think that advertising will be any different. Give it a year after we're all vaccinated (or whatever winds up being the solution) and most people will largely forget that we even had a pandemic. Yes, some will have big changes like lost loved ones or lost jobs, but for most people, life will return to what it was before Covid hit.
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thank you for answering, that is very interesting! the data you collect seems to be applicable to so many different fields. i asked about advertising as a student interested in media, but i can see it being useful in various types of companies be it internet security, food, travel etc. your job sounds really cool and i will definitely check out your YouTube channel :) Thanks!
Did you ever get to meet Herbert Simon? Wasn't he interested in similar things? I wish! I've been at CMU for 11 years. Simon passed away in 2001, so I missed him by a few years.
And yes, Simon was one of the original researchers into what's known as Bounded Rationality, it's the idea that humans don't act like computers and process all information simultaneously, but rather use heuristics and shortcuts to accomplish most tasks.
How influential was the work of Daniel Kahnemann to your current teaching? VERY! I don't know Danny personally, but my advisor got his PhD at Princeton when Danny was there, so lots of indirect influence that way. More generally, the field of decision making was build on his (and others) work, so hard not to be influenced.
Do you have any opinions on investors behavior during covid 19? More specifically how certain financial firms may have targeted people who have or would dabble in market that have recently lost work due to the pandemic? Caveat: I am not a finance professor. That said, my read is that fear of missing out (FOMO) is driving a lot of unexpected behaviors. The market has rallied like crazy since the March low and everyone wants in on that. It's hard to sit by and watch others make a killing while you don't.
As for practices like getting people who don't typically to invest to do so, there's two sides to this. On the one hand, getting more people involved with investing is a great thing. It used to be only that the very wealthy could invest and reap the benefits of the market, but now with places like Robinhood and fee-free trading on Schwab and the like, everyone can participate. On the other hand, MANY people don't understand risk well at all. They just see the possible upside and ignore the possibility of losing a lot (see that guy that committed suicide b/c of a terrible options trade...that's horrible). So firms and gov't have a responsibility to both educate investors and provide safeguards against uninformed behaviors.
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Hello, I just want to specify something in your comment! The young college student who committed suicide did so because a misprogrammed number on the trading site, Robinhood. Of course at the time he did not know it, but the value loss that was near $800,000, was showing the loss of the entire option, not his equity in the option, which was -$1,000 - -$2,000 if I remember right. It was Robinhood's terrible interface, not his misunderstanding of risk, which is horrible. If you would like a misunderstanding of risk on trading platforms, look no further than wallstreetbets, of course as you said FOMO is a huge factor, or if you're interested, some trading platforms intentionally advertise to consumers without properly representing risk. Thank you very much for this AMA, it has been quite insightful! Thanks so much for that clarification!
I have a question re: dating sites / apps. Is there a way to structure incentives so that the company is motivated to find good pairings between users? It feels like Tinder, Bumble, Hinge, etc. don't have such an incentive currently I think they do have an incentive to make good pairings. Word of mouth is their strongest asset so having good matches is key. The challenge is that good matches are hard to come by and not everyone agrees on what good is. Is good marriage? Is it a fun night? Not clear.
Hello Professor and thank you for taking this time. As a professional that works in marketing and a person who suffers from mental illnesses, it is often disheartening for me to see so much valuable research and findings be easily made available for use by companies for marketing and consumer exploitation while it is so difficult for those who are struggling to find information that could be beneficial to living their lives more freely. What are your thoughts on this, and do you think there are ways we could change the system to better benefit individuals needs directly? The connection between marketing academia, marketing industry, and consumers just sucks. No one outside of academia reads marketing academic journals. Few in academia care if their work has applications (even in an applied field like marketing). And consumers can't be bothered (rightfully) to read through academic work to learn.
Some solutions that I've seen that work: - Marketing Science Institute: this is an organization whose entire goal is link academia and practice. They have conferences where they invite folks from both sides to collaborate. More of this please! - Pop-science social science books like Freakonomics, Blink, Predictably Irrational, etc...: They all have plenty of shortcomings, but the authors all do an amazing job of conveying the ideas of academia to the public. I think that's fantastic. More of this too please! - Consulting for non-profits. I do this and many others do as well. We use our knowledge to help non-profits do their amazing work. This is a way to avoid that "exploitation" you mentioned and instead use what we know to help others. There's not much money in this kind of consulting, which is why few do it, but it's really important. Maybe some kind of granting agency could earmark money for non-profits to hire academic consultants to help them use what we know to help the world. That would be awesome
hey, I'm a recent advertisement graduate, it's good to see someone from such a familiar field here anyways, when I do groceries, I always follow the list to a T, and I take no time at all getting the items, basically, I go against every little trick supermarkets have to "seduce" the customer, so my question is: what makes someone a "good customer"? is it someone highly susceptible to the marketing tricks at the market or someone who spends both their money and time more efficiently? Good can mean different things here. You sound like you're probably super loyal to products. That's pretty great for most companies. The fact that you don't succumb to unintended purchases definitely makes you less attractive in one capacity, but your predictability makes you very attractive in other ways. If I could run a company where every customer always bought the same thing every week, I would LOVE that. I would know how to schedule raw material purchases, delivery schedules, etc... I would have a steady and dependable income. If, however, I relied just on getting lucky and catching the eye of customers as they passed my products on store shelves, that would be a whole lot more difficult a business plan to execute.
Hi Jeff, I have always geared my life towards maxing out the benefits and deducting the losses for example leaving my family in order to search for better life oportunities, ditching jobs where I felt safe in favor of new and more promising ones. And by this logic I have reached quIte far in my life. But at the end achieving all this goals don't yields the expected satisfaction. However I'm pretty sure that don't doing this would be even worse. Why does it seems that no matter if the desitions taken are the best at my point of view it still seems like I need more than the goals I have achieved. Why is disatisfaction the expected result? Wow, that's a lot to give up for goals! People are inherently likely to make what are known as upward comparisons. We don't look at the people who we have done better than, but instead focus on the few who done better than us. The classic example is Silver Olympic medalists. They should be elated, but instead they just covet the Gold medalist.
Beyond that, in your specific case, it's hard to say for sure, but we know that close relationships are the number one driver of life satisfaction. If you've given those all up in pursuit of some other goal, that might explain things a bit. Take that with a grain of salt as all I know about you is summed up in 100 words or so!
Hello Jeff, glad to see this AMA here! I'm a statistics student in Brazil (one of my professors got his doctorate degree at Carnegie Mellon University, in fact!). Much of what we learn nowadays is related to careers pertaining the finance fields. Other stuff includes academic research mixed with other fields. I see myself as a data analyst for a big bank someday, but I always think: is there any career for a data scientist thats underrated by modern standards but still awesome and rewarding, in your opinion? Go work for a non-profit! It's now where the money is, but many need help from data scientists. You can actually change the world that way!
Which US dollar bill is your favorite? Cash? You still use cash?
the below is a reply to the above
For coke yeah Oh, in that case.... Nope, not replying and losing my tenure :)
the below is a reply to the above
Prof, you have a bias. OP mean Coca Cola. I don't drink soda either :)
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2020.10.23 05:02 Makemewantitbad Sex video live online

Hi deadbedrooms. I'm extremely upset and I really need your help.
My (26FHL) boyfriend (25MLL) and I have had a rough road with him starting on testosterone replacement therapy and both of us being on a journey to lose weight. We've been together about 1.5 years and we live together. He's always been LL but things were actually better earlier on in the relationship. We're pretty sure the primary cause of this is being overweight, so we're working very hard on that. He has lost 40lbs so far and I'm down 36. He says when he was about 120lbs lighter he had a strong libido, so we also know that he isn't just low/no libido in a healthier state.
Early on, 3-4 days without sex seemed like a while for us to go without, and it also helped that at that time, I still had extreme confidence in myself and a very, very high libido. Right now, about 3 times per month is the best we can manage. I was hoping that with the weight loss this would start to get better, but that may take time. With the loss of his libido, a lot of things went with it, like all the little things that apparently fuel my libido and make me feel wanted.
I know he's dedicating himself to getting better, I'm trying like hell to do everything the right way and so is he. He says he wants me and I know he means that. But the thing is, you know, with this situation, he just doesn't have that big of an appetite, so deep down, even though I know he loves and wants me, I don't feel wanted, and it's affecting my sex drive now.
I've read all kinds of suggestions online about how a man can still please his woman without an erection, but that doesn't really apply here, because he doesn't have the desire to do those things to me because his sex drive is usually non-existent. So he doesn't really initiate, though he does when he can but it's rare.
We both want more sex and I know it would be better if I could bring myself to, well, be more like my old self, much more sexually dominant. I just can't bring myself to get turned on currently. We tried cuddling and kissing tonight but it just didn't work, and I used to have the kind of drive that required zero preparation. It used to be that he could take his shirt off and I was good to go.
I find it very difficult to wait so long when we go through dry spells. Even when it's 10+ days in between, when we eventually do get intimate I feel like my sex drive has been suppressed and I'm just starting to get it working again, then it shuts off again with the wait for the next time. It's to the point I'm too anxious about how long of a wait it's going to be until the next time, that I'm way to stressed to even have sex at all. I just want my sex drive back.
Have any of you gone through this? I hate this feeling, a huge part of me is missing and I can't summon it even when we watch old sex videos we made. How can I get this part of myself back? Please help with any advice you may have, and thanks for reading this far. You all are appreciated.
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2020.10.23 02:16 Gottagetget1 Sex video live online

My bf and I have been living together for 2+ years now. He is still pursuing his degree and is attending classes online from home (due to the pandemic). He wakes up around noon everyday, spends an hour in the toilet, makes his breakfast and just sits in front of the computer the entire day either watching Football related videos, work out videos or live games on Twitch. He doesn’t work and his parents give him weekly allowance. We split the groceries. We don’t go out on dates much and I’m usually the one who comes up with interesting date ideas. The one productive thing he does is work out with me a few days of the week because he wants to bulk up. He does not help out around the house, except for doing the dishes (we take turns) and he has the cheek to point out that I tend to do less dishes while he does the hard stuff like scrubbing the pans. I get so upset because I do everything else - I sweep, mop the house, clean the toilets, put away all the messy things lying around the house. I’m reaching 29 and I keep thinking about my future and how he does not make good husband material. To make things worse, one day I borrowed his laptop to download a file and I saw in his saved files a torrented video of tranny porn. I asked him about it and he said he was just exploring and the porn didn’t do anything for him. I was upset and shocked but eventually we came to terms with it. Also last time I found some sex toys he kept and they were 2 male prostate massagers - he said he was exploring other ways to orgasm. One day I saw a IG notification pop on his phone and it had his username on the front like this “[usernameexample]: username liked your photo”. So I knew that he probably had another account on IG if not the his username will not appear on the front of the notification. It just so happened that a few days later he was asleep in the room and left his phone outside. I went on to his Instagram and ló and behold, I found another account. It was a photo of a woman and the username was a woman’s too. This account was following 300 over ig models, women with big tits, women who were skimpily dressed and to make matters more confusing, a whole bunch of tranny accounts. When i confronted him about it he denied at first but after I gave him proof he confessed and said he created an extra account for his business school module and after that it just sort of became this account for his fetishes. he was very sorry and that he will do what it takes to get my trust back. He deleted the account after that but I feel like I can’t trust him anymore. I have a bit of shame and weirdness around sexuality (not sure why) and I’m trying to cope with it but these events are triggering my shame and self-esteem. After a few days I got reminded of the IG tranny accounts (in particular) again and brought it up (I know I shouldn’t bring up the past but I was still processing it) and he said I shouldn’t shame him for his sexuality and that sexuality is fluid. That made me feel like, great, now because I can’t deal with it I’m portrayed as a homophobe or someone who can’t accept trannies (I never had a problem with them but now that my bf is interested in them I feel weird about it). In my head I think of cutting things off with him but if I were to be very honest with you guys, I am so afraid to be alone. We broke up once before and I was alone at home for a few days because I don’t have much friends (2 of my closest friends have moved overseas) and I have a few acquaintances but it’s not the same. I felt so depressed and when I tried to turn to journaling to purge myself of this misery. My journal is filled with self hatred and demeaning words. I’m afraid if we end things again I might just lose it. I live with my mom (and him) but my mom is overseas now and won’t be back till next year. I wish I was confident and could just leave with my head held high but unfortunately I am not. Any feedback or opinions will be greatly appreciated.
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2020.10.22 21:04 beingbetterdude Online sex live video

Hello all,
I’ve been active on this sub for a few weeks this spring/summer, I shared my experience on my way to recovery from : - porn - cyber sex (and so, online cheating)
I decided to try something because I couldn’t really control myself anymore. I felt so horny all the time, I masturbated between 2 to 4 times each day, sometimes paying for online services. I used to be so ashamed of myself, I destroyed devices, I destroyed a phone, but somehow I always craved my daily dose of naked women... and I managed to find porn. Every time.
I don’t really remember how it all started, everything was perfectly balanced and I ended up cumming « for » random online girls without telling my gf that I deeply love. I told her about it later and I believe this was the true first day of my recovery. She’s been supportive, but she lives far away from me (about a 800 miles)
I’ve been really struggling since the beginning of 2019, I spent the year making concession, limiting my porn consumption, trying not to pay to often on camsites or onlyfans.
In 2020 I deleted all those accounts, but still looked at mild stuff and reading erotic things. Someday I looked at myself in the mirror and I understood I had to change my whole approach, I had to get rid of my bad habits : smoking, drinking, pmo
Not easy, I started to stop smoking and drinking, I actually was on the right mindset so it was easy. But porn. Porn that was difficult. This is a tricky one.
I knew it wasn’t good for me, my couple. But I kept doing it all over again. For a while I managed to stay away from it (when I was the most active here). But this summer I almost went back to caming, I almost cheated myself and my gf again. But I didn’t and almost cried, overwhelmed by my feelings. I still got in touch with girls but only via reddit chat (no pic or video sharing just dirty talking). That does the trick but yet again, I used this as a substitute to porn. The « horny » feeling was still the same than in 2019, I automatically grabbed my phone and watch stuff or talked to girls from dedicated subreddits.
The truth is, I didn’t solve my problem doing this and I tortured myself by not allowing me to watch videos or webcams. And I kept doing it all over again...
Until two weeks ago. I was at my parents house for the week end ( that doesn’t happen often these days) and like always, I planned to masturbate Sunday morning (I always do). But Sunday morning, I downloaded reddit app, seeking mild stuff or a chat with a girl but I ended up on semenretention (I don’t even know how). I don’t believe in the « superpowers » or bs they tell there but I read interesting things. It helped me understand the last piece of the puzzle : I didn’t need to masturbate or to watch anything that Sunday, there was nothing good to expect, there is nothing fulfilling about masturbating in front of lit pixels. I mean I already knew that but It felt like I understood at that very moment, in my bedroom with my dong in my hand.
Si i wondered, what if ? What if you started to truly commit to the advices you give ? How come you are so smart and clever and you can’t even control yourself ? Why do you think your horniness is a demon you have to fight ? Maybe it is just something you can tame, you can live with, you can accept.
Just stop feeding the addiction, it’ll slowly be weaker. That was the advice I told to people here, but somehow I never really respected it for myself. The most important thing is : what do I think about that particular thing ? I grabbed my pants and started my day without masturbating. Actually, I didn’t masturbate for 3 or 4 days. It was the first time in YEARS that happened. And oh boi that made me proud of myself. But the next Thursday, I felt horny again, not horny like the previous days but horny like I was about to lose control. And home alone. But I looked at myself in the mirror and told loud and clear « oh no you don’t » and I didn’t. I masturbated thinking about nothing later that night before Going to bed. I slept like never before. I felt free.
It’s only been 2 weeks but I only masturbated 2 times (with my eyes clothed) and it felt awesome. Not dirty as it used to. Something definitely changed. And I accept that porn is over for me, I know that I won’t enjoy it anymore (I le stay careful obviously)
So here is a useful list of things I learnt the past two years for you :

I am saying it again. Kill the positive image you have in your mind about porn. I used to stay away from it and still craved it. Then I believed I needed it and It would be endless. Break the cycle, it is bad you know it, you don’t watch it and it is no big deal.
You are not only a dick with legs. There are so much more about you than this, find your balance again. If you feel triggered, read the rules, go outside for 5 minutes and it’ll pass. Masturbate when you feel like it but take your time, do this with no open screens on front of you and don’t do this too often. Your body and mind will find their balance. There is no rule, we’re all different.
I’ll leave reddit for a while, I’m not running away or avoiding porn ;) but I feel tired of browsing mindlessly.
Believe in yourself, if you don’t, nobody will. Earn your confidence back, focus on other things.
Oh and, stop seeing women as the ultimate price. Here is a fact : one human out of two had bobs and vagene. Nothing exceptional. It is ok to focus on other things for a while. Don’t treat women like godesses, see them as human in the first place. Your brain will go back to normal soon. You remember ? When some girls were not attractive ? When you only looked at those you found interesting ? When some were just pretty ? When their faces meant more than their ass ? It will come back. And it will feel awesome.
I hope I gave useful insights.
FYI : I’ve been free of tobacco for 9 months now I still drink but never alone and I don’t think about it when I am I’ve been porn video free for two months, and free of any kind of sexual stimulation on a screen for 2 weeks.
I feel good and currently focusing on other things (work, gf, training...)
Sorry for potato English. Not my native language.
Bye and stay true to your commitment, it is definitely worth it. We change everyday and it is for the better.
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2020.10.22 09:24 thetranquillife1 Sex video live online

Thousands of Christians have been lured into sexual bondage. Christ wants and demands that we by set free from all vice, particularly sexual vice. Many Christians know this but still fail. What is lacking from the Church is practical information to overcome this temptation, and that's why I have compiled the following information and collated it for your benefit.
I will say it at the start, true victory comes through Christ. What does this mean? It means that you must be willing to change your ways and then believe upon the Lord Jesus, who died on the cross two thousand years ago to forgive you of your sins. To fight the 'flesh', the carnal nature that you have, you need the Spirit of God, and this only comes through faith in Christ, a Christ who saves us from our sins, yes, even our sexual sins.
Try and have a gospel-centred life every day. Listen to Christ-centred hymns/songs. Read parts of the NT. We are sanctified by the word of God, but also by focusing on God's love shown to sinners through His Son, Jesus Christ.
Reasons for Abstention

  1. Improve health – reduce stress, abdominal tension, reduce social anxiety, improve sleep, reduce boredom and increase drive
  2. Get closer to God, prepare for Christ’s return, and walk in the Spirit – whilst we are in the flesh, we cannot please God
  3. Peace of mind and conscience
Christian Sexual Ethics and Morality The Bible was written by men who transcribed the revelation of God. To understand the views of God in regards to His finest creation, man, one must have a good knowledge of His Scriptures.
The apostle Paul is the most prolific writer on sexuality, but Jesus also talked about lust and adultery. The Patristic Fathers followed in their footsteps, advocating chastity and sexual self-control.
The Bible is clear. Pre-marital sex, pornography, lustful looking, adultery, orgies, etc. are all sins, transgressions of God's Law. The Law, the Old Testament, shows us that we have failed to live up to God's standard, but fortunately, God sent His Son (a Person of the Trinity), Jesus Christ to die on a cross 2000 years ago for yours and my sin, so that if we have faith in Him, our sins might be forgiven and we may have eternal life! Now that is a love that lasts.
Though we obtain salvation through faith in Jesus Christ, we are still tempted by the Devil to return to former ways. God will sanctify us and make us more like Christ but we have to cooperate in this sanctification process.
Below is some information and a plan of action, to help you find relief from the temptations of the flesh. I pray a prayer, that we all might be released from the grip and slavery of the vice of pornography and sexual immorality.
N.B. if you are using a mobile smartphone, when you reach the tables below, you may have to scroll left to see all the columns.
SHORT TERM KNOWLEDGE In the fight against sexual immorality, I believe it is helpful to break the fight down into short term and long term knowledge and strategies.
1. Learn about the Addiction Cycle
2. If you suffer from porn-induced OCD, learn some management techniques
· The Schwartz OCD 4 Steps Rule:
· When compulsions arise, recognise that nothing happens if you refuse to act. Nothing dreadful is going to happen to you. Just allow the thought to pass over your mind, through one ear and out the other. It may help to visualise this.
3. Recognise that you are NOT alone in your struggle
1 Cor. 10:13 - 13 No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
· "In terms of basic results, they found that 73 percent of women and 98 percent of men reported internet porn use in the last six months, for a total of 85 percent of respondents. For porn use within the last week, the numbers were lower: 80 percent of men and 26 percent of women." Psychology Today
· "Thirty-seven percent of male clergy of various faith traditions report Internet pornography as "being a current struggle," and 57 percent of that group report compulsive Internet pornography use, according to a paper, "The Internet and Pornography,"" NCR Online
· Know that there are many testimonies of people that have overcome their dependency to internet pornography. These can be found on YouTube or websites through a simple Google search.
4. Recognise that you have been born into a cultural war. The Sexual Revolution, starting in the 1950s, has gathered pace and forced our parliaments to change its laws so that we, later descendants, would be burdened down by sexual immorality and vice. Despite previous generations allowing this sin, we must take responsibility for our own actions. A brief overview of the key events in the Sexual Revolution:
5. Tell and involve a trusted friend, church member? Although this is not a necessary step, many people have found this a healthy thing to do. Your friend may also struggle with the same problem and both of you may benefit be confiding in each other. Older church members may be able to give you good advice, however, it should be noted, that few of them will understand totally your predicament as porn was not so readily available back then and people did not really talk about sexual matters. Church counsellors are a safer bet, as they won’t attend your church and are likely to have no barriers when it comes to talking about sexual matters.
6. Recognise that you are most at risk when you are H.A.L.T. S. – Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired, Stressed
7. Research the Allen Carr Method – PMO EasyWay book download -
Introduction to the method (applied to smoking in the video, but it is equally applicable to PMO) can be found here:
Myth Truth
“PMO’ers need willpower to quit” Allen Carr's EasyWay requires no willpower
“PMO relieves stress” PMO increases stress
“PMO helps me to concentrate” PMO impedes concentration
"PMO helps me sleep" PMO worsens the quality of sleep
“PMO relieves boredom” PMO increases boredom
Stress, lack of concentration, sleep deprivation and boredom are, according to the Addiction Cycle above, all triggers for PMO.
The realisation of Allen Carr is that the act of smoking/PMO/drug taking etc. creates the symptoms with which the next cigarette/orgasm/injection etc. relieves. Therefore, the best time to stop is not tomorrow or next week, but rather today. Stop creating symptoms that you will then relieve through PMO.
Strategy · StickK -
  1. Register using an email
  2. Create a Custom Goal e.g. NoPMO, NoFap etc.
  3. Set the length of the goal e.g. 7, 14, 21 days etc. (above 27 the better)
  4. Set a stake e.g. £50/goal or £5/week
  5. Set a daily reminder on your phone e.g. "stickK - nofap - £5"
  6. Optional: get someone to become your Accountability Partner (AP)
  7. Use the Journal Log to document your progress
  8. When the goal is completed, consider starting a new one, that is much longer
· Install blockers on internet browsers e.g. Foxfilter, Blocksite, Adult Blocker
· Leave seductive social media e.g. Instagram, Snapchat, Tumblr, Tinder, etc.
On Streaks:
The success of a streak is not the length but rather the quality. During a streak, you should occupy yourself as much as possible, either in work, studies, outdoors etc.
Isaac Newton; "The way to chastity is not to struggle directly with incontinent thoughts but to avert the thoughts by some imployment, or by reading, or meditating on other things"
· Never put faith in the length of your streak as pride will follow. "Pride commeth before a fall."
· Expect relapses early on. The pleasure-centre of the brain takes time to recover.
On Relapsing
· Pray and ask for forgiveness but appropriate the forgiveness that comes through Christ. Emotion is understandable but don't give way to wallowing in self-pity (this will only allow Satan to gain a foothold). Upon confession, try not to dwell upon the setback again, trusting that God really has forgiven you, as His Word declares He will.
· Read through Psalm 51 and meditate on its truth. Psalm 51 is one of the penitential psalms and it is traditionally claimed to have been composed by king David as a confession to God after he sexually sinned with Bathsheba.
· Do not be tempted to think that because you have relapsed that you can do so again; when you get into a damp and stinky trench, you climb out as soon as you can.
· Do not think too much about the length of the streak: if you can, focus on the general trend of greater control over your sexual impulses, as evidenced through longer and longer streaks.
On nocturnal emissions (wet dreams)
As the length of the streak grows, the chance of a nocturnal emission increases.
I am of the opinion that such an occurrence is not a relapse, as it is involuntary, regardless of whether is was accompanied by a lustful dream or not.
One must be careful not to allow such an occurrence to tempt one to a deliberate relapse. After a few days, the immediate memory of it will pass, setting back on course again. However, if you are not married, and will not be for some time, you will have to learn to live with these happenings.
LONG TERM KNOWLEDGE To truly stay away from the evils of pornography and masturbation, one needs a deeper understanding of the problem.
1. Meditate on the Western concept of nudity. This may seem an odd remark but I believe this thought may prove of use. In more primitive societies, especially ones that are hot, women tend to not wear many clothes, therefore exposing their legs, arms and breasts. Now, because this was and still is their cultural norm, the men in those societies were and are less stimulated by the images of female nudity, than we are in the West, where the norm is where women cover the bodies, thus creating a taboo out of nudity. Now, I am neither endorsing one or the other, because clothing is often solely linked to the environmental climate in which people live, but I am saying that our Western reaction to nudity is somewhat socially and cultural constructed.
2. Meditate on the loneliness of the act. If this were a normal behaviour, why does one feel uncomfortable doing it in public? Why does one do it often in the dark, away from others? Is it because our subconscious knows that it is wrong? This rule can apply to most things: if you would not be willing to do it in the open, do not do it.
3. Contemplate the evils of the industry. Many people think that the porn industry and the sex trafficking industry are completely separate, however, this is not true. By watching pornography, you are generating demand, through your views, for more underage women to be exploited in horrific ways (note, we acknowledge that not all porn is non-consensual). As Christians, we should run a million miles away from industries that make profit from devaluing any humans, who are ALL made in the image of God, and who all deserve a chance at life, where they don't have to carry sexual guilt and shame around for the rest of their life, not to mention, the disease they could contract.
Additionally, porn can costs childhoods. Studies show a 1-in-14 chance of a child typing in a misspelled URL and stumbling upon a porn site by accident.
4. Consider the owners and producers of hard-core pornography
Below is a list of some not-so-pleasant people who are owners of the top global pornography sites. Investigate and read for yourself if you want, what kind of people they are and whether you want to be under their influence.
· Al Goldstein
· Ouissam Youssef
· Feras Antoon
· Stephane Michael Pacaud and Deborah Malorie Pacaud
5. How pornography warps our perceptions of intimacy
Peggy Orenstein: “Porn is much more accessible, and at much younger ages. Because there’s so much of it, and because it’s trying to be competitive with itself to get more viewers, it becomes more extreme. It presents an image of sexuality that is about as realistic as pro-wrestling and an image of women and women’s bodies and women’s pleasure that is about as accurate as ‘The Real Housewives’ is to marriage… Everything in porn is a performance, and it’s encouraging girls to see sex as a performance and boys to see girls’ sexuality as a performance.”
Organisation Findings
International Labor Organization (ILO) 4.5 million people are trapped or forced into sexual exploitation globally.
Thorn In one survey, 63% of underage sex trafficking victims said they had been advertised or sold online.
ILO While only 22% of global trafficking victims are trafficked for sex, sexual exploitation earns 66% of the global profits from human trafficking. The average annual profit generated by each woman in forced sexual servitud ($100,000) is estimated to be six times more than the average profits generated by each trafficking victim worldwide ($21,800)
Rescue:Freedom In 9 countries, 49% of sexually exploited women said that pornography was made of them while they were being sold for sex.
Below are some scientific and scriptural reasons, backed up by evidence, that show pornography to be a menace to our bodies, minds and souls.
Reason Evidence
It could lead to escalation in genre and potentially to acting out (i.e. doing what you view)
It increases social anxiety and weakens your confidence
It will ruin intimacy in marriage
It can triggeaggravate depression, particularly if the content is traumatic to the viewer
It increases the concentration of DeltaFosB in the brain, leading to dependency and mental impairment
It may decrease your testosterone levels which could cause erectile dysfunction, reduced bone mass, hair loss etc. and
It may cause ‘sex headaches’ and abdominal aches
Reason Evidence
It can lead to other sins Romans 1:28-31
Your inheritance in the kingdom of God is at stake Galatians 5:19-21
It will rob you of your peace Psalm 119:165
It will diminish your assurance of faith 2 Cor. 13:5
You sin against your own body 1 Cor. 6:18
You will grieve the Holy Spirit Ephesians 4:30
It could sear your conscience 1 Timothy 4:2
Strategies 1. Cultivate a practice of Spiritual Thoughtfulness
· Think of your hour of death. Will you be pleased with yourself for doing such actions? Will you want to look back on your life, and wish you had lived a life of obedient faith more?
· Think of yourself stood before Christ, to receive reward for the deeds done in the body. Are you positively contributing positively towards your treasures in Heaven?
· Think upon the power of God and the forgiving power of Christ and how greater they are when compared to the power of darkness and Satan
· Consider the physical and social consequences of such actions
· Consider the immediate spiritual consequences of such actions
· Consider that we may be close to the return of Christ and how we should want to receive Him and be received by Him as a holy people
2. Memorise relevant scriptures
· Romans 8:1
· 1 Corinthians 6:18
· 1 Corinthians 6:11
· John 6:37
· Hebrews 2:18
3. Exchange lies for truth
Lie Truth
“God is stingy” God is good – Deuteronomy 10:12-13
“Sinful pleasures are fulfilling” Sinful pleasures are fleeting – Hebrews 11:24-26
“People are objects” People are image bearers – Genesis 1:27
“Sexual sin is harmless” Sexual sin is defrauding – 1 Thessalonians 4:3-6
“I can turn back to God whenever I want” You may harden your heart to such a point that you don’t want to turn back – Hebrews 3:13
“My past defines me” Christ’s blood defines you - 1 Corinthians 6:11
“I have no option but to give into temptation” God provides a way of escape – 1 Corinthians 10:13
4. Join online communities that encourage you in your faith
e.g. Facebook groups
5. Make a ‘covenant with your eyes’
· Job 31:1-4 - 1 “I have made a covenant with my eyes; how then could I gaze at a virgin? 2 What would be my portion from God above and my heritage from the Almighty on high? 3 Is not calamity for the unrighteous, and disaster for the workers of iniquity? 4 Does not he see my ways and number all my steps?
6. Make a practice of prayer and confession
· Relationship with Christ, is developed and cultivated through prayer and confession. Although Christ has forgiven every sin at the Cross, we still need to confess our sins before Him (1 John 1:9). You will feel so much better after giving the burden of sin to Christ.
7. Individuals who struggled with lust but gained victory:
· Early Christians - 1 Cor. 6:9-11
· St Augustine
· St Moses the Ethiopian
Summary Concluding Quotes: "Sex was designed by God to be linked to procreation and marriage. It was not meant to be a full-time obsession."
"Sex is the mysticism of materialism and the only possible religion in a materialistic society... If God is dead, somebody is going to have to take his place. It will be megalomania or erotomania, the drive for power or the drive for pleasure, the clenched fist, or the phallus, Hitler or Hugh Hefner." Malcolm Muggeridge
Pornography. Literally, the writing of harlots; the depiction of erotic behaviour intended to cause sexual excitement. Since sex is of almost universal interest, allusions to it are legitimate and necessary if dramatic or literary descriptions of human life are to be truthful or educative; but an enormous market exists for those who exploit sex for gain. Psychologically, the over-stimulation of imagination by sexual images renders the whole personality oversexed by disproportionately concentrating thought and desire, often to the point of pornographic addiction; it coarsens feelings and attitudes toward the other sex as tools for sexual indulgence, unrefined by affection, tenderness, or respect; it inverts the sex drive into sterile, self-absorbed, physical pleasure alone - "mental masturbation"; and because over-stimulation brings diminishing effects, it leads readily to mental indulgence in increasingly coarser, sadistic perversions - "hardcore" pornography.
submitted by thetranquillife1 to ChristianManliness [link] [comments]

2020.10.22 08:21 becausebecause- Sex video live online

A little backstory with as little detail as possible so you can understand why I am fuckin losing it! I was raised by my single father along with my older brother from age 3 until I was around 15. I was sexually abused by my brother and physically and mentally abused by my father for as long as I can remember. I need glasses to see but never had a pair until I was in foster care around age 16. My father had manipulated me around age 8 into thinking I would be blind by age 18 as well as seemingly manipulated my brother into thinking he could “do anything he wanted with me” and so on my whole life he would say I wasn’t his real daughter and so on, You get the point it was a really fucked up situation from day one. My father literally believed he was the devils spawn and basically he was I think we can put it at that. Both my parents were crack heads and eventually around age 14 I was a full blown methhead runaway. FASTFOWARD through so much other shit I can’t even begin, I end up in a foster home where I met my SO! He was 20 and I was tuning 18 little did I know he is a sex/pornaddict(or something) and I’m just finding out 8 years later. He’s a great Dad and sweet guy with a good family but holy shit I just don’t know what’s manipulation anymore. See what happened was I’ve noticed over time he just stop talking you never seemed interested in anything I have to say he would literally stare at the TV when I spell not come to bed ect, meanwhile after years and two children later I finally started to get sick of all his shit And at this point I have been without eyeglasses for about four months so I finally just Broke up with him for what seemed like no reason to him and his(our?) family because I felt like I was going crazy imagining all this shit! Well after that shit just got real crazy and while we were broke up I slept with someone and according to him that’s why he slept with a escort (which he would secretly look for online often from a young age). Anyway about a month ago we ended up getting back together and he all of a sudden is super suspicious of me and what I’m doing even though I’ve never done anything like that before. To the point where he was convinced I was in a porn video which is what led to him admitting he had a sex or a porn addiction. So basically I found out about a month ago that the whole time I wasn’t crazy and we have a problem but along with that I’ve started to see everything in one full picture and if you’ve gotten this far you know I have been through way too much shit to be dealing with this stupid shit. All I’m trying to do is raise two happy children and enjoy the remainder of my life without abuse. Now I feel like because of my past, I don’t know if I should believe He is still fucking with my mind or am I just desensitized to other people’s shit because I’m just trying to live a nice peaceful life. I should add that I have been a stay at home mom for four years and since getting back with me BF he has been unemployed and I’ve been paying rent and picking up slack for months. Even if you wish me luck that’s better than nothing
submitted by becausebecause- to TrueOffMyChest [link] [comments]

2020.10.22 03:57 PunchaCow Sex video live online

A few months ago, after being quarantined in a new apartment by myself for online school for a couple months, I (AFAB) was casually thinking about my gender when the common thought crossed my mind: “if life was like a video game and I could customize my gender with the push of a button, I’d probably choose to have a male body.” And then it hit me: that can’t be normal. Not for cis people, at least. That day was the start of a continuing spiral that has caused me to constantly question and think about my gender, to the point where it’s almost always in the back of my mind if I’m not actively pondering it.
I want to talk about it so badly, but I don’t know how to bring it up or even what to say. Talking about my feelings is how I experience them and work through them. I keep no secrets from my family. But now I feel like this is something I should keep to myself. Idk why; my sister and my cousin (who lives with my direct family) are extremely progressive, and both my parents are a bit behind the times and judgmental but still accepting and not particularly transphobic. I want to tell them what I’m feeling, but for once my brain is telling me to save it for therapy.
A couple days ago I think I finally might’ve had a breakthrough on my process towards figuring out exactly what I am. I’m still not sure, but this seems like the closest I’ve been so far. I was laying in bed, thinking about my gender like I’ve been doing a lot lately, and the thought crossed my mind, “I’m just both.” And then it hit me — I might be both.
So gender-wise, I think I’m both a man and a woman. Like both at the same time (and maybe with a little bit of a third gender mixed in that I can’t quite identify). I feel like I’m leaning feminine, but not particularly strongly either way. But I do think I experience both binaries at least a little bit. I did some research and I think this is called bigender.
Sexually, however, I also feel like I’m both, but (at least right now) I genuinely feel like I’m more male than female. The thing is, because I’m not extremely uncomfortable with my female body, there’s really nothing I can do about it.
This seems to be the closest thing to the truth that I’ve felt. I don’t see any problems with this conclusion. I’m really starting to feel like this might be me. But at the same time, I’m still a bit disappointed, because I probably won’t ever be able to fully embrace my masculine sexuality. I don’t hate my feminine body or desire a masculine body enough to put myself through a sex change. Because my GENDER is leaning feminine, there’s not much I can do about that or my sex. And even if I did want one, I highly doubt that any doctors would be willing to do it, anyway. It sucks, but I just don’t see a solution. I think I’m just gonna have to live with it.
It would explain a lot, why I’m suddenly having this but at the same time for my whole life I was okay with being female. It’s cause I AM female, but now I feel like something else is missing. But idk if it’s a big enough problem to really exert a lot of effort towards.
I don’t like WISH I had dysphoria. Nobody does. But part of me is just a little disappointed that I don’t. I know that’s horrible, and doesn’t make sense. Like how privileged could I possibly be to be even a little disappointed about that. I already have depression, and that’s bad enough as is. I’m already faced with horrible, self-degrading intrusive thoughts on a daily basis, especially when I’m home alone, and the feelings that go with that feel horrible. I’ve heard so many experiences from people with dysphoria and it sounds terrible. I know that it is. I can see how painful it is.
So don’t get me wrong, I don’t wish I had it. But if I did, then I could at least know for sure that I was a man (at least physically). Then I could really know what I was, and have a reason to transition, a stronger desire. Does that, by itself, mean I’m trans? Lately, I have been kind of wanting to. I imagine myself as an enby with a twinkish male body and feel sad that I could never be that way. Honestly, I just want someone to tell me that I can transition, and then knowing I had the option, I could decide from there if that’s what I really wanted. If I could press a button and change immediately, I would. But having to deal with the whole process, with the imperfect body I’ll have as a result, with transphobia, with all the self-doubt and regrets I could (and almost definitely would) end up with… it’s terrifying to think about. Plus I’ve gotten used to being a straight female in the dating scene. But despite all that, part of me wishes I was trans, that I could be what I like to imagine myself as. But I might never know if that’s me.
Thanks for listening to my vent. If anybody has any advice, I’d really appreciate it.
•TL;DR•: I think I might be bigender, but my gender leaning feminine and my sex leaning masculine. I don’t have dysphoria though, so even if I wanted a sex change, I don’t think I could get it / would be stopped in place by my self-doubts. So it sucks that, because I’m both male and female (or at least that’s what I think right now — I’m still not sure), and my gender is more femme than masc, I can probably never know what it’s like to have the body I desire.
P.S. my name’s Freddy. Still battling myself on pronouns, but I guess I’ll say they/them for the purposes of this post.
submitted by PunchaCow to trans [link] [comments]

2020.10.22 03:42 KJones24346 Sex video live online

Why do we men crave something we don’t actually need?
Unlike food and water, sex is not something we require for survival. So why do we crave it so much, and that too so much more than women?
Normal, well adjusted men who have relationships or who are popular with woman may consider having a high sex drive a blessing. I do NOT consider it a blessing for me at all. It has brought nothing but depression and frustration. It ruined several years of my life. Craving something I couldn’t get, sitting in my room all day jerking off, wasting time on online dating pathetically trying and failing to score pussy. It’s actually ironic that I still have such a high level of lust, given that a lot of other addicts struggle with PIED.
Right now I’ve gone 2 weeks without any PMO, peeking, or touching. I keep getting sexual thoughts more frequently and it’s really starting to get on my nerves. And I’ve started to realize what a curse this is. And I keep thinking why it’s so much harder to stop thinking about this than it is to stop thinking about video games. Or TV. Or any other thing that gives us dopamine.
Why are we men, particularly us here on NoFap recovering from PMO addiction, so obsessed with something so trivial? When you think about it, all it comes down to is a man stuffing his private parts into those of a woman? Why does this in particular have such appeal to us that many of us waste away years of our lives in front of a screen watching other people do it, or waste time desperately trying to get female sexual attention? Even here on NoFap, there are many who do it only because they think not masturbating will make them more attractive and get them laid.
Why are we, as a gender, so lusty?
submitted by KJones24346 to NoFap [link] [comments]

2020.10.22 02:19 Odium_and_Ardency A series of small mistakes leading to a great fall

We met in college at ages 19 and 20, 6 years ago. It was purely physical at first, but morphed into exclusivity with time. We had nothing in common, except for both not being neurotypical. She was from across the country, studying in my home state, focusing on literature and poetry, filled with joy and happiness, always giving the benefit of the doubt, always believing that everyone and their feelings are valid. I was I guess, rough around the edges. I had a difficult adolescence, which began spiraling at age 14 when I was introduced to Oxycontin by my older friends who were in college at the time. This led to me being 16 and hanging out with 22/23/24 year olds who had no problems sticking a needle full of dialudid or heroin into a child's arm on a regular basis. I remember being 15 and having my 19 year old best friend go into the pawn shop for me to pawn my belongings, ipods, laptops, etc, because you can only afford so much working part time at that age. When I was in college, at age 20, I was doing heroin on a daily basis, buying whatever I could afford from my very small wage from doing manual labor on a loading dock. Dinner would typically consist of either bread and hot sauce or just sleep. I had a deep hatred of the world and most of the people who inhabited it. I also hated myself a great deal. I was angry all the time and not willing to understand other's perspectives. I had a great amount of distrust in others. I welcomed death, an overdose to finally pull the blanket over my face, and tuck me into my grave.
Communication between us was always extremely difficult. She having ADHD/BipolaAutism/extreme anxiety and me having a lot of anxiety, depression, and very bad ADHD. My impatience and anger issues never helped when we couldn't find resolution to a lingering problem. That said, I think it's very important to note here that I was never physical or abusive with her in any way. There were lots of times the first few years where I was a huge asshole, I admit, I should of been better. And since then I have been trying to atone for those problems I caused.
We became very codependent. It was just us, we were each other's world for so long. We both weren't doing well, but we had each other. She had a major depressive episode lasting a year, where she dropped out of college and didn't work. She would just play video games day and night with her friends ignoring the outside world.
After 2 years together we decided to get an apartment, finally settle down with each other, we had a dog as well. But before that she went back to her home state for the duration of the summer. I was devastated by this. Mostly because at that point I had alienated all my friends so it was just me trying to get by. I kept a journal, I wrote in it every day, about her, how much I missed her, and how much I loved her. Summer ended and it was finally time to move in together, I was so happy and excited. We got mostly moved in then I had to leave for work for the day. I got back at 10pm or so, walked in the front door, unpacked boxes everywhere, and there she was with the dog to greet me.
For some reason I was terrified. I felt trapped, claustrophobia set in. We were just 21 and 22 at this point and I felt like my life was set in stone like this forever. After being clean from heroin for 6 months or so I picked it back up again. This continued every day for almost exactly one year. During this time I had overdosed. I took too much, laid on the couch, she came in to check on me and found me upside down, blue in the face. She sat me upright, gave me CPR or mouth to mouth or resuscitation, and woke me up. That night she saved my life. And ever since then I felt like I owed her a great debt that I will always try to pay back.
After all that, I quit using drugs and cleaned up. At this point we had been living at this apartment for 2 years, I loved her a great deal, those feelings of being trapped went away, and I knew I wanted to be with her. But I had to leave this apartment. To me it was cursed at this point. And staying in it only gave me a ton of depression. I suggested we move to her home state because it was warm and much better than where we currently were. She was reluctant. She did not like her parents and had found happiness in our little apartment home. This is where she was able to finally find a job she liked nearby and she was actually happy. But I was miserable, I needed out of there otherwise I'd probably end up using again. Every day there I wanted to brush my teeth with a buckshot. I pushed and I pushed and eventually she caved in and agreed.
A few months later we both quit our jobs and drove 18 hours to her home state. There we stayed with her parents for 6 months. I felt great, I felt like I was finally happy here. I was sober and for the first time I was optimistic about the future. I found a job that was able to further my career. But she had difficulty finding a job she liked. About 4 or 5 months into living there she broke up with me out of no where. I was blindsided. She explained that she meant to do it before we moved here but she chickened out. She was unable to communicate how much she didn't want to do this. She then had to leave for work. I was sent into a full panic attack. Here I was, staying with her and her parents, thousands of miles from home, and I was about to be homeless. I drank throughout that night until she came home the next morning. Then we had a long discussion about communication. We agreed to try again. We agreed that we needed to move out of her parents because it was bringing her down.
I was making decent money at this point and found a very nice "luxury" apartment in the town we worked in. I was hesitant but she really liked it, so I pulled the trigger. We moved in on January of 2019 I believe? I thought things were going well, my job was stressful and I wanted to quit, but at least we were together right? I noticed she had become increasingly withdrawn from me. Slowly over time, she'd rather spend much more time gaming and talking to her friends online than spending time with me. To the point where it just felt like we were roommates. I communicated to her multiple times how awful this made me feel, that my emotional needs were not being met at all. But nothing resulted. Maybe for a day she'd spend time with me, but then the next day it would be - work, come home, play video games and talk to friends for 8-10 hours. Eventually, Covid happened, and I was working from home full time. Along with this, I was interviewing for a new job with a pretty prestigious company. I went through 5/6 interviews, not expecting to get the job, but one day the recruiter called me, said it was all mine, I'd start in a month, and the salary was a few thousand shy of 6 figures a year. Incredible news. I had doubled my salary just like that. We were both ecstatic.
She worked nights and I worked days. So I was always home when she was. I think this was suffocating her in a way. Fights increased. And I began to see many signs of emotional cheating on her part. I'd spot out of the corner of my eye very intimate conversations with one individual, who she'd dedicate all of her time to. 90% of her attention would be fixated on this person or another. The people changed over the years but it was very consistent since we had moved states. She would never let me see her phone. One day I saw her messaging someone, a guy, who said something like "good morning sexy :)" and she had replied "heyy! :)", very flirtatious, and it wasn't the first time I had seen something like that. I was upset, but didn't lose my cool or yell. I wanted an explanation, but the explanation was only "were just friends, that's just how we talk". Before all this I had explained boundaries and how I wasn't comfortable with any of this because these random internet people would have 90% of my girlfriend's attention most of the time. It was frustrating. I paid almost all the bills, I cleaned up the apartment, cleaned up after her, took care of the dog, got us food. While she would just either sleep, work, or talk to internet friends. There were times I would have to explain to her that she shouldn't be sleeping for 14-18 hours at a time, and should shower regularly, rather than every 2-3 days. But after seeing that conversation I asked her to stay with her parents for a night while I think about things because no matter what I said, or tried, or did, nothing ever changed. She wouldn't change. She would continue to avoid all responsibility and accountability.
The next morning she was in our bedroom and I was in the living room working. She texted me "are you still mad?" and I said yes, I had just woken up and was working, and was just agitated in general. She flew into a frenzy. Began packing as much of her belongings as she could. Made a big scene of it. I tried talking to her but she wouldn't say a word to me. Just a look of pure hatred in her eyes. I had to be in a work meeting and during that she grabbed her bag and the dog and left. I broke down, started sobbing, called off work for the day and tried to contact her. After several hours she sent me text after text about how she hated me for making her move to her home state, how she hated me for moving into the apartment she wanted (?), and how we were never compatible to begin with and how it would never work between us. She was incredibly cold and made a point of it. That we were finished.
After a week passed she finally agreed to see me. I hugged her and started to break down sobbing. To me she was my everything, even with all the bullshit I had been put through these past few months. She was sympathetic, and agreed to sort of try to reconcile. She would continue to live with her parents who were 40 minutes away, but she would come over every day or every other day after work. She worked nights and would get home at 7:30am and would crawl into bed with me, we would have sex, hold each other, and get food. Then she would leave for the day. I would try to text her throughout the day but never really received much of a response. She would be at her parents gaming for 8 hours straight then pass out, go to work, then visit me for a few hours. About 5 or 6 times we would make plans on her days off for her to come over and we would have a date night, and each time she would fall asleep and not show up. When I tried calling she would reject the calls. Consumed with anxiety and trying to avoid accountability. This continued all summer. Finally, in August we had a breakthrough conversation detailing all the issues in our relationship and how we could move forward, it felt like the most progress we had ever made. A few days later she moved back in.
While she was here I would try to spend time with her. I would try to talk to her. Try to breakthrough to her again. So I could really understand what was bothering her. But she would typically avoid me most of the time. Usually dedicating all her time to gaming or sleeping. After 2 weeks, 2 days in a row she would get off work, then just spend 3 hours in her car on her phone talking to her internet friends. I confronted her about this when she came in. She finally told me that she isn't happy here. She isn't happy with me. And she wants this to finally be over. That was the only explanation I ever got. At this point I was of course devastated, but saw it coming. I love her so much I just want her to be happy. I agreed to end things. It wouldn't make any sense to continue like this. She admitted to me that she hasn't been happy here these past 2 years, and that she completely hid all her true feelings from me. Even though I would constantly ask her what's wrong, is everything ok? She admitted to me, months before she left me, she started the legal paperwork to change her name. Just lie after lie, or rather, keeping me so in the dark as to what she was really feeling.
We spent that entire day together, holding onto each other for one last time. The next day she packed up her things and left. This was late August of this year.
For the next few weeks, she would occasionally come over in the mornings, we were in a strange limbo of intimacy. Very on/off. Eventually I said I cant continue doing this unless we both agree to put in work to fix this relationship. That we both had unresolved issues we needed to fix. She didn't want to do this, said it was too much work, too much effort. That things were beyond repair at this point. I was confused with that statement but let her go. We said our final goodbye in person on September 10th. We held each other, foreheads pressed together, sobbing onto each other's face. The love between us is strong. It always has been. We both said that we would love and care for each other forever. Finally she said, "if I don't leave now, I never will" - that sentence haunts me every single day, and every time I think of it, I fall completely apart. The weight of the world just destroying every ounce of me.
She let me keep the dog, said she prefer the dog stay with me. One weekend I had to go out of town, and she agreed to take the dog for the weekend. When I returned she refused to give me the dog back. She was extremely cold in her words through text again then ghosted me. Refused to answer her phone or respond. I stopped trying at this point. Began no contact which lasted a month.
I focused on myself. I was sober, I wrote, I read, I got more tattoos, I lost more weight, continued seeing a therapist and psychiatrist, working on deep rooted personal issues, and felt more at ease with myself. Went on Tinder, eventually got 50 matches or so. Tried having conversations with these women. Nothing much ever really resulted. A few dates, a one night stand, nothing notable. This left me more depressed than ever. The lack of intimacy, the lack of love, being all alone here with no friends or family remotely nearby. I very temporarily began using again, mostly beer and xanax, or somehow legal opiod RCs that were literal poison that fucked my nose up for weeks. I'd blackout every night, call some of these women, and just rant and ramble about everything for hours on end. Some were interested in this, some thought I was just crazy. But, nothing ever resulted.
I got a puppy, to have some of the companionship that was robbed from me. He's alright, when he's not shitting on my floor.
No contact ended yesterday when I had to reach out to her about how she needed to sign the lease cancellation for the apartment in person, otherwise we lose the deposit. After cycling through all these other women the only thing I wanted was to be back with her again. I missed her more than anything at this point. I figured, a month has passed, she must be missing me right? She must be. I told her about how I was doing, some bad days some good. I asked about her. She said she was still just playing video games at her parents house. And that she was "talking to a nice girl I met online, she's trans." In her texts she was very cold again, talking as if we were only just acquaintances. I asked if that person she met online was a romantic interest or just a friend. No response. I figure she probably fell asleep. Will probably hear the answer tonight. Probably wont like the answer. Yet I still texted her asking if we could meet and get tea sometime. Me, being a complete dumbass, thinking I still have a chance. Whereas she seems perfectly content living with her parents playing video games all day.
I can't grasp the concept of how moved on she is. How incredibly in love with me she used to be, how kind and warm she was. Now I just receive scorn and ice, resentment - even though she has forgiven me and has absolved me of past wrongdoings. I know when things fell apart. It's when we moved here. She thought I took everything from her, her happiness, everything. And there has been resentment towards me ever since. Everything in some capacity is my fault. She hasn't seen a therapist in 2 or 3 years at this point. Even though I insisted she see one because she was genuinely doing better when she was seeing one regularly. She has no interest in having any sort of plans for the future. And seemingly at this point has very little interest in me. And I continue to struggle with this. I can't connect with these other people online. They don't know what I've been through, my struggles, how different I am. I feel like an alien, unable to connect with others. Just wading my way through endless small talk. If I have to ask another person what their occupation is and if they enjoy it one more time I'm going to outfit my skull with a moon roof.
Do you remember that notebook I wrote in every day, several years ago, for her? I still have it, and periodically throughout this I have written letters to her, some angry, some sad, some filled with love. Some of the best poetry I've ever written. Enclosed in that notebook. I planned on giving it to her when January comes and I have to move out. But, I'm not so sure anymore. I don't think she would appreciate it. I don't think she would read it. At least any time soon. And after pouring my entire heart out into those pages, it would sting knowing it would be collecting dust, never opened - or thrown away.
I like to think, at some point, maybe months from now, maybe years. That she will realize she made a mistake. Because for now and the foreseeable future, she is stuck living with her parents, making a very small wage. Whereas I have continually improved myself, not only mentally but emotionally. I've grown a lot during this time. I have a stable career. I could provide near everything to her if she wanted. But she doesn't want it.
For the first time in quite a while, I don't have a plan. I'm 26 now. I haven't been dating since I was a teenager. Our lease ends in January. I literally have no friends or family here, besides my dog. I have a great job that pays even better. So I guess I'll rent a house for a year, continue these conversations with strangers that lead no where. And decide if I want to pack up and head back north at the end of 2021.
After everything, even how for the past year I have been treated like garbage, like I was merely an acquaintance in her life - I still love her. I still cling to the idea of us starting completely over. Meeting for the first time after not seeing each other for a while and rebuilding. Being there for each other. Being able to truly communicate with each other. But, she says she's happy where she is right now. And she is "talking" to someone else. Someone probably kinder than I was. Someone who she can actually communicate with. During the last breakup, I suggested couples therapy - she scoffed at that saying it was only for old people. She just doesn't want to try and fix things. In her eyes, everything has burned to the ground. In my eyes, I still wait in our small apartment, hoping I'll hear that door unlock one day, and she'll come in, and we'd embrace. But I know that day will never come. And the world keeps spinning. Regardless of anyone's hopes.
submitted by Odium_and_Ardency to Codependency [link] [comments]

2020.10.21 18:50 REDbestRanger Sex video live online

I'm writing this as a way to vent, I suppose, so it might be long and rambly. Actually, probably will be.
I'm 32-years old. I'm so lonely that it feels like I'll lose myself to it. I've felt this way my whole life, but I can relate to this exact feeling since I was about 16. I live in Sweden. I came here as a refugee from Iraq, at the age of 5 years old. We as a family suffered in many ways, but I'll focus on myself here. I didn't realize it until much later, but growing up in a strange place never worked for me. Sweden is great, and the people are kind and generous, but it's not home, and I don't know if it ever will be. I speak perfect Swedish, and in many ways act and live like a Swede, but I don't feel like one. A lot of it is because I don't have the things that are inherently familiar; the culture of my homeland, people that look like me, people I act as almost on a genetic level, and most importantly, my own family. The few times I've gone to visit, they've treated me as the long lost son, making his return, even though we don't know each other. Just because we're family. I felt love. I felt belonging. I don't know if I can ever get that in Sweden, since I have no family here outside of my parents and siblings.
Speaking of my parents and siblings, ever since we came to Sweden, it was chaos. Parents fought, father abused mother physically, loud yelling. Traumatizing. He left the year I turned 11. My mother is the victim of various physical and mental illnesses, so I could never rely on her for safety, comfort, stability. My older brother was a sadistic abuser, bully. I endured him until I was 23, when he finally left to live on his own. In school I was this weird kid who zoned out and acted funny. I was labelled stupid and gross. I hated going to school. I preferred to be at home, with the door to my room closed, playing video games, and later, spending time on my computer. I spent some time chatting with strangers. For what it was, it felt good. It felt like I connected with people. I was about 13 at the time. Later on I was introduced to MMORPGs, about 2-3 years later. They consumed me profoundly. Here were worlds with avatars of real people scurrying around. A world where I could be someone cool, important, a leader, and a friend. I was good at typing fast and wittily. People grew to know me and like me based on that personality, and the fact that I was somewhat strong (in-game) and helpful and kind. I was on almost every waking minute, and didn't eat or sleep to maximise my time there.
I felt like I had friends. People would message me as soon as I logged on. Girls in the same guild would welcome me with various sweet expressions. It's hard to put into words what it did to me. Everything I lacked in life (family, friends, love, money, belonging), I could get in those virtual worlds. I never wanted to unplug. But it couldn't last forever. I met a girl through one of those games, a girl I played with and talked to on-and-off for years. We got married and had a child. Then it didn't work out and they left, and I was back to my lonesome.

I recently got new anti-depressants that affect the dopamine level in my brain, and they helped tremendously. I've started an online education to become an electrician. The education is short, at one year, and the particular field I'm specialising in is in high demand, and on top of that it's decently paying. That's where I am today. In about a year and a half from today I'll be employed and for the first time in my life, in control of my life, at least financially. I've spent my entire life living on social welfare, because I always felt too bad to work or study. I don't know where it will go from there, since I've never had to truly take care of myself. Although I've spent the last 5 years or so living alone, I haven't had many responsibilities, being on welfare.
My hope is that I'll be able to endure working full time, and build up the things that can be bought with money, including opportunities that cost money, like travel. I call this step "finding myself", after which I'll find my love. Although I can never live in Iraq, and I'll never have a network of family in Sweden, my hope is that I'll feel good enough to enjoy life with a woman by my side, and children to nurture. The kids are a bonus, because what I truly need is another person; someone who can give me physical touch, someone who can see me, encourage me, support me emotionally, someone whom I can look into the eyes of and caress. It sounds almost naïve, even to myself, how much I expect to get from just having a person in my life. But I'm not naïve enough to think that anyone can save someone else. Only you can help yourself. Other people can only support you, but even knowing this, is it too much to expect? I don't know, but right not it's part of what I need. The other part is having friends, but that's more complicated in a way. I've been lonely my whole life. I don't know what you're supposed to do with friends as an adult who's working full time. Having a girlfriend is simpler in that sense; we live together or apart, we are each other's half, we have sex, we spend a lot of time together, and the rest apart. But friends seem to need more substance. I'll have to deal with it slowly, as it comes, and figure it out that way. That being said, I can't rely on just my lover for companionship. Friends are maybe as important. Gotta keep that in mind.

My hope is that I'll be able to bury those memories of the years I spent in MMORPGs, and truly feel like I don't need them anymore. To be able to look forward bravely and honestly, because I'm content with my life as it is, since I have everything I got from those fake worlds, but for real this time. Work, love, friendship.
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