Not sure how to masturbate without porn? Ask anyone over thirty! Remember your ancestors didn't have the Internet. Therefore they didn't fall into the trap of numbing their pleasure response as thoroughly as you have (if you can't masturbate without porn or porn fantasy). It's also possible they didn't masturbate nearly as much as men do today. See Masturbation, Fantasy and Captivity and WEIRD Masturbation Habits.
Your sexual responsiveness will increase automatically as your brain returns to full sensitivity. You don't have to do anything to make this happen; the solution is not doing. Here are one man's observations about how masturbation was without porn:
I've realized I have subverted my ability to reach orgasm by sensual touch. When I first went through puberty I would experiment with seeing just how softly I could touch myself and reach orgasm. When I did this I wasn't looking at porn or fantasizing. It was all about purely experiencing the pleasurable sensations arising from my own body, and these would build in a type of feedback loop until I exploded in orgasm. I suspect this isn't uncommon given I had a friend mention he had done the same sort of thing. My home had a lot of porn available so I pretty quickly started relying on it to help me release. I think I then trained myself to only be able to cum through porn and fantasizing. (He's reversing this now.)
Frequent ejaculation is not necessary for health reasons, so there's no need to force your body to ejaculate while you're waiting for it to return to normal sensitivity. See Don't I need to ejaculate frequently for good health?
Some men wait for two wet dreams without masturbating, so they can see what might constitute a normal interval for their bodies.
Below are some insightful comments on the effects of porn on masturbation. I think it captures so much of what we are trying to get across on this site:
Subject: Cause and effect. I've been reading these articles with some interest, and also participating in my own anti-porn/anti-masturbatory experiment. Here's what I've been thinking about: the two things, porn and masturbation, seem to be continually lumped together as a common cause of the sexual dysfunctions men are reporting. I realize men don't usually look at porn without masturbating. However, has there been any attempt to conclude whether it is porn with masturbation, porn w/o masturbation, or masturbation alone, that might be the cause of the problem? I realize this is a relatively new issue, and not many studies have been done. It just seems like from a scientific perspective, the researcher would want to try to separate these activities to refine the results. Speaking purely from personal experience, I tend to think its the porn that is the hyper-stimulus resulting in dysfunction, not the masturbation. The odd thing I am finding about my personal experiment is that without the porn, I don't really feel like masturbating and even when I try, I am not aroused enough to masturbate. My mind doesn't fantasize anymore, like it used to when I was a kid in the pre-porn days. I am interested in discovering if, after another month or two, my fantasy life returns. I kind of miss it.
Here are guys' comments about the differences between masturbation with and without porn:
Here's another guy with an excellent account of the differences between masturbation with and without porn:
In the last four weeks since my realization that PMO was a far-too-impairing part of my life, I have relapsed twice, and made new discoveries about myself, even my past sexual issues.
Almost two weeks into my first time without PMO, I went through enormous sexual tension. One night I writhed in bed, aching to touch myself or look at something arousing. My body was in high hormonal gear, and I thought the experience would make me orgasm spontaneously! When I awoke the next morning, I had not wet dreamt, nor did I feel the 'buzz' I always had after a PMO session. But I knew one thing: my body was crying out for sex. Real sex.
This is where things are more difficult, seeing as I'm not in a relationship. So I tried something completely different - M and O without P - something I've never considered. I've never even had real sex, so how was this supposed to work?
Two days later, I added the P to the MO on a whim and relapsed.
The two experiences were so vastly different. Just MO was almost shocking at the finale, because I had no buzz, no shift of perception. It turned out to be a sweet, invigorating feeling.
The full PMO session felt like I was totally on a DRUG. Every picture turned my body into a searing blast of tension, each new one more powerful than the last. I felt almost like a "dope surge" run from my brain through my body.Suddenly I could hear and feel EVERYTHING more intensely. Then it was like a cloud of idiocy swept over my being, and everything went numb. That feeling lasted FOREVER. Like, two days at least.
Reading about all this stuff here on YBOP was one thing, but experiencing it, and actually having the chance to NOTICE... That was really enlightening.
Finding a schedule for porn-free masturbation can be challenging, but that's a challenge people have faced for a long time. See Are there any guidelines for healthy masturbation? Just watch for unwanted escalation. This comes from the NoFap Academy newsletter:
What is your viewpoint on me masturbating to memories and thoughts of regular sex (that is, no inclusion of porn-induced fetishes or anything) with my real-life partner? We are currently long distance, and I feel fapping to thoughts of my partner 1-2 times a week is actually helping to keep me away from porn. I want to eventually cut out masturbation as well, but porn is of course the real enemy here. Am I slowing down my reboot? I can't see this being unhealthy, but what are your thoughts?
It is hard for an “ex” porn addict to establish a healthy masturbation routine - that is non-excessively masturbating without the use of pornography or pornographic fantasy. I put ex in quotes because I believe that the effects that porn has on the brain last for a long time, especially since many of us first-generation Internet porn users learned to associate our sexualities with the computer screen from a very young age.
Whenever I told myself I would only masturbate and never go back to porn, it wasn’t long before masturbation became kind of boring to me. I would fantasize about real-life memories in the beginning, but my brain would quickly jump to memories from porn scenes & unrealistic fantasies. From there it would lead to erotic fiction, to amateur images, and then straight back to the hardcore porn videos (notice how it escalates?).
For myself, I’m a huge fan of the cold-turkey approach. Similar to how many alcoholics going through recovery never return to the cup for the rest of their lives, some porn addicts will have a hard time returning to masturbation. I think that Fapstronauts can return to a healthy masturbation routine after engaging in NoFap’s challenges, but for many people it takes longer than 90 days of abstinence.
I’m not an anti-masturbation zealot. If you believe that it isn’t negatively impacting your relationship or other areas of your life, I’m not going to tell you not to do it. But just keep in mind that it seems to be a slippery slope and it’s easy to gradually fall back into old habits. If you notice that your mind is straying towards unrealistic fantasy or pornographic scenarios, maybe it is time to take another break.
This book discusses the benefits of masturbation without fantasy. “No More Mr. Nice Guy”
Finally, a friendly warning from a guy who tried to incorporate masturbation-without-porn too soon in the rebooting process:
I ended my 2nd attempt a few days ago and went on a 3-day porn binge. My 1st attempt lasted around 30 days and my 2nd attempt ended at 45 days. The relapse after the 2nd attempt was very discouraging and caused me to completely waste a weekend, but I'm back to give it another shot.
On the first two attempts, I only eliminated porn. I continued to have sex and still masturbated occasionally, but less frequently than before. Masturbation led to my demise both times and drastically impeded recovery since it seems to be a gateway to porn relapse.
I would decide to 'masturbate once just to release tension.' This would go OK, so I would decide to do it again a few days later. But, porn fantasies would creep back into my head on the second attempt and I would end up masturbating to visually intense thoughts. The next time, I would start looking at sexually suggestive images online while masturbating. I convinced myself that it wasn't porn, so it was fine.
As you can guess, the next time I decided to masturbate, I ended up on an full-fledged porn binge. So, this time will be a complete abstinence from porn, masturbation, and sex.
Here's what one guy said (who successfully rebooted, thought he would be able to use porn again...and ended up caught in his addiction again for months):
I would not mind masturbating if it's inevitable. But it must be without porn. I am now afraid of binging if I use porn. I already know from my recent experience that if I masturbate while watching porn, I would do it continuously for days. The "chaser effect" is gonna be very strong.
Sex-games are like a stiff whisky, a dose of the wrong spirit to try to get our courage up or a drug to help us forget what we're doing because we're not prepared yet to face up to the reality that love is made now, not in some imagined future. So, as is usual in the man-made world, the truth is the reverse of what's accepted and practised. The world plays games and doesn't make love. The truth is: make love and you don't need to play games.
There is no love in imagination. Why do you need the imagination anyway? To get in the mood? To get an erection? Nonsense. You just think you need it because of a habit most of the world has got into through lack of love and understanding. It's a very difficult habit to break, but you've got to do it. You don't need your imagination to make love because you are with the real thing. The actual living man or woman gives you the most delicious, pleasurable sensation that you can have - in the flesh and not the mind.
The people of the earth have been hoaxed by the imagination. Down through the ages, children and adults have been masturbating and making love in the imagination, unaware that the imagery is utter self-delusion and a cruel addiction. Because everyone indulges in the same drug, its loveless escapism is considered normal and even necessary without being considered at all.
Let me anticipate a question that will arise in many men. How do you masturbate without imagination?
You, the adult, can't. When you cease imagining and fantasising about love, the masturbation stops. The imagination is the habit, not the masturbation. The imagination stirs the sexual emotionality like a whirlpool and that momentum drives you to masturbate.
If you have to masturbate (and the pressure to do so is intense, particularly in the male) use as few images as you can. Don't use faces. No one ever made love to a face except in their imagination. If you are a man, use only the image of the female genitals. Get the images down to that alone, because that is closest to the actuality.
Wean yourself from the habit by not thinking or lusting after the opposite sex and the impulse to masturbate will gradually disappear. You can get yourself off the global drug of sexual imagination. Start now. Be in your senses. Be out of your mind - and in your body. Be where you are. Be responsible.
But if you do masturbate don't feel guilty and don't allow your children to feel guilty, if they confide in you. Guilt distorts the personality in both the young and the adult. The error is not in the act of masturbating. It's in the misuse of the imagination, not only during the act but more importantly during the rest of the normal daily activities when the mind is allowed to roam wherever it pleases.
The compulsion to masturbate is almost universal today. It arose in the evolutionary past from the instinctive male drive in all animal species to mate and reproduce. In the case of the human animal the addition of self-consciousness allowed reflection on its own organism, behaviour, emotional reactions and memory. This faculty was denied the rest of the species but it has its downside. In man and woman it produces guilt and self-doubt.
The male monkey in the zoo masturbates with outrageous detachment and lack of guilt. Unlike man he couldn't care less. That's because he can't see himself, can't imagine. The monkey only feels. But he can't feel he feels, can't know it. So the monkey can't make love. The power to make love, which man alone possesses, is the self-reflection that distinguishes him from the rest of the animal species. However, when he misuses this unique creative gift by reflecting on past sexual images and past emotions, he taps back into his animal past, into the mechanical animal drive, and masturbates or mates without love. He is then unhappy.
If the monkey had the creative power to make love he would see himself masturbating and feel wretched too. But his only option is to masturbate or reproduce. I've only seen monkeys masturbate in captivity, not in the wild. Since man is the captive of his mind, and not yet the master of his imagination, he masturbates.