Six steps to success - Porn related ED and returning to a balanced form of sexual expression.

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Six steps to success - Porn related ED and returning to a balanced form of sexual expression.

 by adamantine_mind

[Edit]: This is an awesome link: http://www.reddit.com/r/NoFap/comments/1ab9ww/official_trigger_list/

Our mind creates our reality. There is no way to dispute this fact. Its easily demonstrable that not only does our mind create our reality, but that our perceptions about reality are plastic and impermanent. Accepting this fact (that our condition is impermanent) is the first step to re-framing our perceptions of ourselves and our reality in order to create a perceptual environment that is most nurturing for our particular goals.

Nature set us up in a certain way, as a result of performing the actions of excessive masturbation specifically to pornography, in complete accordance with the laws of nature, our mind and body became conditioned to a certain kind of pleasurable experience and hence has learned only to respond to that particular stimulus. Knowing this we can eliminate any perception of ourselves as abnormal and unnatural. In fact its nature that got us into this situation, and it is nature that will get us out. However we are in the drivers seat, and if we continue to act in a way that reinforces this undesirable situation, it will never come to an end.

The fact that we are using nature to correct nature is also in accordance with the laws of nature. It is like how poisons are used to make antidotes. We are not replacing one thing with another, we are transforming one thing into something else. We may be replacing one habit with another, but its simply the other end of the spectrum. It is called "rebooting" because one is essentially clearing the slate. When our mind and bodies return to balance, they will become open to further conditioning just like they were in the first place. Then we can perform actions that condition them to respond in the way that we want, in this case with a real life partner rather than merely pornography. Of course if you are simply trying to stop masturbation, still we are performing actions to condition ourselves to see the world and act in the way that we want. It is still transformation, the main difference is the intended goal and result.

Society has conditioned us to believe in a certain ideal about manhood. Its important to understand that such beliefs are also merely conditioned phenomena making impressions upon our mind. Those impressions are impermanent and subject to change. They are based on our time and culture, and its often weird and twisted views about sex. Don't think its weird? We sexualize children. We idolize impossible physiques that can only be generated using computer programs and are therefore completely unreal in nature. To top it off we are told to masturbate, being given only a lecture on the benefits of it but no knowledge about its dangers. When we go to masturbate we now find a world of easy to access pornography, a great deal of which is extreme in one way or another. This then adds to the damage already done to our perceptions of sex and women, constantly witnessing and getting off to scripted and acted out scenarios performed by professional actors. Again, totally unreal.

Knowing that society has conditioned us in such a way, we can stop beating ourselves up over the situation. We didn't know, we couldn't know. Its like when people thought smoking was somehow GOOD for you, like there was some real benefit to it. Ignorance, intentional or otherwise, always gives rise to problems such as this. But now we do know, we are empowered. Knowing, we can choose to be mindful and separate ourselves from the source of our suffering. Giving up attachment to self hatred, forgiving our only all to human failings, we can move forward empowered with the knowledge that not only can this situation be changed, but there are many forces that have shaped our situation that have been out of our control all along. When we accept that we are not in control, we create space in ourselves to regain personal power. This is because if we are attached to the idea that we are in control when in reality we are not, we are simply acting with delusion. Then you begin to make choices based on many wrong perceptions and conclusions, and this in turn creates a cascade effect of problems and issues in our lives. When we accept our situation, we become empowered to change it.

Despite this, we have to accept responsibility for our situation. It was our own actions that led to this, nobody forced us into this. Nobody held a gun to our head and made us do this. We never promised anyone we would do this and would be breaking our word if we stopped. We have done this because it felt good at the time, seemed OK at the time, felt right at the time. We have done this because we didn't want to stop, because we thought it helped us relieve stress. We have done this because we couldn't stop, because the urge was too powerful, because we became addicted or habituated to it. We have done this because we are lonely, bored, depressed, anxious. We have all done this for different reasons, many more than are listed here, the particulars as unique as every individual who struggles with this problem. Still, regardless of our circumstances WE did it, its OUR problem alone, and so we are the only ones who can lay claim to being responsible for it. This is the natural next step after accepting our situation. We accept it, then we own it.

However at this point we are still simply engaging in speculation, we must actually do something about it. We can't just ruminate on these facts and never act, because then things will never change. Action is the final step in the process of overcoming these difficulties. We must resolve to refrain from pornography, masturbation and orgasm in order to allow our brain and body to settle into its normal condition.

If you have a significant other, tell them! Don't let them sit in the dark thinking they are too ugly, too fat, or too whatever for you. Many people don't even know this problem exists, let alone that it might be effecting their partner. Most partners assume the problem is with them, their appearance, personality, whatever. Be open, honest, and tell them your intentions to quit and ask for their support. If they are unwilling to support you then its probably best to just move on. This will help to significantly reduce performance anxiety because you no longer have to worry about making excuses, lying, or "trying" to force it up by thinking of sexual images or porn you have seen. One major side effect of porn related ED is anxiety related ED. This also goes back to societies perceptions about sex in general and how we have been conditioned to view it. When the problem is out in the open, there are no secrets, no lies, and this is another aspect of taking control and responsibility. It is what it is, if you really accept it then you can tell your partner. If you are unable to tell them, then you haven't yet really accepted it as real or as your own problem and the problem will simply persist until you do.

Also take caution using drugs or alcohol assuming you use them at all. Too much of either of these might impair your judgment enough to cause you to relapse while intoxicated. The only thing that feels worse than relapsing is relapsing because you got too drunk or high to control yourself. Don't do it! If you can refrain from intoxicants all together, thats ideal.

But it does not just end with action, because subsequently there will almost inevitably be the challenge of temptations of various kinds. Thus our first, second, third or even tenth attempt might fail. We should resolve to do this as quickly as possible, the sooner we get over this the less pain we will have to experience. Yet our condition might be such that we keep finding ourselves giving into temptations of various kinds. There are many ways to deal with these temptations. Some of these are found in the practice of Brahmacarya, which is the practice of celibacy in thought, word and deed. This level of celibacy should be our goal, because anything sexual is potentially a trigger and that might cause us to relapse into our old habitual way of acting.

In short most of us lack the will to simply resist a temptation, we must implement some method or technique in order to overcome it. This is human, its the result of the powerful effects of our own biochemistry going out of whack. Yet ultimately we are the decider, we are in control, and we can do many things to reduce or eliminate temptation when it arises.

I. Removing the source of pornography. This might mean refusing to have an internet connection at home and refusing to have a smart phone. Both of which are relatively easy to live with for a month or two while your body resets.

II. Taking a walk. Really just getting up and leaving your room and going outside and walking around. Looking at nature, observing the clouds, daydreaming about a better future. This latter can really help since you can create a stronger resolve to see this process through to the end. Just think about how great it will be to be able to have sex again, as much as you want, for as long as you want, with whomever you want. Think about how happy you will be to be able to please the people you love sexually in addition to all the other ways you already please them. Thinking this way will help keep you focused on the positives of the future rather than then negatives of the past and present.

III. Sitting with it. When a temptation arises, look directly at it using your awareness. Think to yourself "Here are thoughts and feelings of temptation. They came out of nowhere, and they have no real power over me. I am not them, I did not summon them, I do not want them, and I do not have to act on them." If done correctly the thought will vanish without a trace, and you will not know where it has gone. Of course it might arise again if you keep hitting triggers or if the temptation is particularly strong, but the practice of sitting with a thought and feelings is all about persistence. You just keep looking at them in this way, recognizing that its happening without attachment and without freaking out about it.

IV. Cold hip bath. Sit in a shallow pool of cool water submerged no higher than your hips. This will basically kill a great deal of desire almost instantly, shocking the body and mind into a more subdued state.

V. Other occupations. Play video games, take up painting, learn to shoot a bow, start doing marathons, work out, start that novel you always wanted to write. Endless options here.

Obviously much of this applies to everyone. Its written from my perspective which is that I am stopping PMO in order to get over what appears to be porn related ED. However many people experience the same things when trying to do nofap for whatever their reason is. One can feel shame and guilt as failure as much as anyone else can. So the advice about refraining from self loathing still applies. Just do the best you can and keep resolving to quit.

tl:dr - There are six steps to overcoming porn induced ED:

I. Accepting that our situation is impermanent and that we are therefore capable of change. II. Accepting that this is happening in accordance with the laws of nature, and that nature (biochemistry and mind-body conditioning) is the agent whereby that transformation can occur. Therefore we are not abnormal. III. Accepting the role that external situations have played in creating our condition. IV. Accepting personal responsibility for our situation. This means not projecting our problem onto others and blaming others for it. It also means not running from it or lying to our significant other about why we can't perform. Its ours, we have to own it. V. Acting on our new found knowledge as best as we can. VI. Applying whatever methods are appropriate to achieving success in our endeavor to return to a balanced form of sexual expression.