Porn-induced ED: What do I tell my girlfriend?
- Rebooting With a Partner: What about sex?
- Handling Porn Addiction as a Couple (Video)
- Age 23 - (ED): A guy and his girlfriend both describe reboot, 130 days
- Told my girlfriend... (reddit/nofap thread)
- Boyfriend Quitting Porn? 5 Tips
- Radical Honesty With Boyfriend/Girlfriend/FWB/etc., OWNING Your PIED, and Giving Amazing Head
- SCIENCE:Studies linking porn use or porn/sex addiction to sexual dysfunctions, lower brain activation to sexual stimuli, and lower sexual satisfaction
Dating during a reboot can cause a major dilemma. Here's a typical scenario:
I continue dating girls and I think I have found a very interesting one. I have been out with her twice yet. I found this site and I left PMO 14 days ago, cold turkey. Now, I feel very strange. It seems my libido is gone. I don't even have morning wood or wet dreams. And I feel arousal only when I tap my fetish fantasies. I will eventually have to perform with this girl, and I fear this moment because I know I will not get it up easily. I don't know what to do. Should I stop dating girls? At least until I reboot my brain? Because every time I fail to get an erection I fall into an anxiety spiral.
It's actually great having a partner, but she really needs to understand that if you have ED or delayed ejaculation you may well need to drastically reduce or eliminate orgasms during your reboot (and certainly no forcing arousal with your old fantasies!). Meanwhile, there's a lot you can do with your partner that will benefit you both. Ideas here: The Lazy Way to Stay in Love (bonding behaviors) and Another Way to Make Love (sex without going for climax).
KEY POINT: Having orgasms or trying to force erections may be counterproductive - especially if you have ED, but kissing, touching, and fooling around, can help rewire your brain to the real thing. Keep in mind, artificial stimuli through screens caused your addiction or ED, not human contact. You not only need to weaken your porn neural pathways, you need to strengthen you "real thing" pathways. Have a look at Boyfriend Quitting Porn? 5 Tips.
One man explained his changes in sexual responsiveness this way:
In cases where men masturbate chronically and then all of a sudden have an experience with a woman, intercourse seems so different. This has happened to me several times in my life and now I understand what was going on. The first girl I had sex with I lost my erection because I didn't "feel" anything after having intercourse for a bit. It's sooo different from masturbating that our mind gets a little confused because the sensation is different. For me if I lost that sense of feeling myself then the erection would diminish. Now, once I got into a stable, long-term relationship I had lots of time to practice. While married never went back to masturbating. However, once I got separated, I went a year and a half with having to take care of myself again (masturbation). Then when I first started making love with my new gf at that time, I experienced that lack of feeling all over again. At first I thought it was her, but then I realized the longer I went without masturbating, the more I could feel myself inside of her, and everything was okay again.
It's not always easy to talk about such delicate matters as recovery from overuse of porn. But you might say, "Everyone says Internet porn is harmless, but for me it hasn't been. And I really need a long time-out to restore my brain to normal sensitivity—because I want to be the best lover you could ever have." You could have her watch this series so she understands what's going on: Your Brain On Porn video.
You need to tell her something, because otherwise she will think you don't find her attractive. She, too, has been influenced by our porn culture—in which artificially erect men appear to perform effortlessly forever. Reassure her (1) that the slowdown is due to your issue, (2) that you are dealing with it, and (3) that you really like her. There are lots of other ways to let her know that besides sexual performance.
Know that your sexual performance is likely to be outstanding once you are fully recovered. Read others' "ED Recovery Stories" in the links on this page.
A wise elder had this advice to guys worrying about performance after a reboot.
There's a saying that goes, "Courage is only courage when you're afraid". My rule around fear is, whatever I'm afraid of I head straight towards. The only way around fear is through it. I used to have a irrational fear of deep water so I went out and took diving lesson, as well as rolling lessons in a kayak. That fear is no longer there.
So you're afraid of a limp dick with a woman who may want you. So, we all are. Don't let that stop you. Let's say you're in a social situation and awoman you find attractive expresses some interest in you. You can respond with fear and slink away with your limp dick fear, or you could strike up a conversation and move towards the situation that your fear screams at you to run away from. When she says, "would you like to come back to my place?" you look her in the eyes and say, "I find you very attractive; youre a beautiful woman and I'd love to take you up on your offer. I do want to let you know I have a bit of ED going on right now and I can't promise I'll be able to get it up for you. Heaven knows you deserve it. What I can offer you is a tongue that will curl your toes, and I am completely in charge of that appendage. So if you're still interested I would be honored". I highly doubt she would turn you down.
See, erect masculine presence is far more of a turn-on to a woman than just an erect penis. Men think performance is what women want but it's masculine presence they yearn for. A man who wrestles his demons exudes an energy that's usually attractive to the feminine. When you suck in on yourself, that is a way bigger turn-off than a softy. Fear shrinks when you challenge it and grows when you run from it. Fear is a bully with no bite, unless you give him teeth.
A 50-year man had this advice:
I say tell her, but go slowly. Too much information too quickly tends to freak people out. So telling her that when you were 'single' you used to masturbate a lot is already kind of creepy. Adding in porn makes it worse. Admitting to gross porn makes it really, really bad (if this is the case for you).
I think I'd start out with: "Hey, you know how guys tend to masturbate a lot? well, I used to do that but I quit. but for a lot of guys that tends to mess up their libido for a while, and I'm kind of in that place now. I mean I want to, but jr. isn't really responsive all the time -- if you know what I mean. long term it's getting better, and I know it's the right thing to do; because I no longer want masturbation in my life -- but rather just meaningful and beautiful sex with one-and-only-one woman. So if it's OK with you we can just get naked and cuddle with no other expectations other than if you want more I can do other stuff -- and if jr. comes to life we can do that too, ok?"
I think you have a 50/50 shot at this point in your relationship, honestly. What you have to avoid is her going to a place in her head that creeps her out, and this subject has the potential to be pretty creepy -- especially in a new relationship.
One thing to head off for sure though, is you've got to make sure she never internalizes it and says, "I'm not turning him on." because that is a sure way to make her run.
This is all very fucked up. It takes a very long time to heal. Rushing anything makes it worse.
I know life is short, and you meet girls when you meet them -- and you don't have a lot of control over that... but trying to throw all this baggage into a new relationship is just not good or easy.
TL;DR: Of course, the only thing you have to lose is your new gf. And if you can't perform and don't explain quickly she's gone. And if you go overboard explaining or creep her out in the process, she's gone. So you don't really have anything to lose because the only way that I see that she's NOT gone is talking it out first.
Here are other men's stories:
If you're in a relationship, tell her! I cannot stress this enough. Do NOT keep this from your partner; she isn't stupid and will either figure it out on her own and resent you for not trusting her, or she will sooner or later recognize something is wrong and will leave you eventually because you won't share with her.
Yes, she may run for the door if you tell her, but she will definitely do that if you don't. (my girl confessed to me that if I hadn't opened up or hadn't involved her she would probably have been on her way out in a couple of weeks - which would have been devastating to me. I really believe she and I click on so many levels, I truly believe she's the one for me - something I haven't felt before with anyone.
So if you feel even remotely the same way about your partner, do NOT chance it. Just tell her!!)
Day 7 - I had cooked up all sorts of various lies so I could avoid sex, but on day 5, after reading all of the replies several times, I confronted my girlfriend about my situation. Man... I think it was the hardest thing I've ever done. I started telling her slowly about it, how something was "wrong" with me. My voice started cracking up and I nearly started crying. I felt so disgusted with myself. But then I heard the most loving words ever spoken to me: "Don`t worry. It will be all right, We will get through this together." Damn, I love this woman ;-)
I ended up telling my gf about the whole thing and she's being awesome and supportive. Telling her about this was one of the hardest things I've done in my life. I felt so vulnerable and uncomfortable lol. But it really brought us that much closer.
My girlfriend lives about an hour and 1/2 away from me. I told her I was giving up porn and was going to give my body a break from orgasms indefinitely. (She knew i watched porn) Things have worked in my favor with that because we didn't see each other for a couple of weeks prior and when we did she was having the monthly. Just so happen we were hanging out last weekend and i started getting hard (about 70% which is great for me, given where I was a month ago) and that was on the 31st day. The sexual experience was different because I actually felt her whereas before i felt something but it wasn't like yesterday.
I also told my girlfriend. I know a lot of guys on here are uncertain or afraid to do this. GUYS, I am telling you right now: PUT IT ALL ON THE TABLE. Yes the conversation was embarrassing and awkward, but ultimately, it needed to happen in order for the relationship to be an honest one and one that could continue. My girlfriend was fortunately understanding, especially when I gave her the link to YBOP.
Gave in last night to my girlfriend one last time. We were hooking up for a while and I eventually got one of those 80 percent erections again. Weird how those come up but they aren't full. Anyways she gave me head and I wasn't gonna orgasm but accidentally lost it. I was mad at first it had been ten days since my last O.
As a result of my frustration, I told her about my problem. And that it was important I go a month straight without any sex, oral sex, or masturbation, but that I can still do Whatever to her. This was great. Just perfect. Now were both committed to it and I told her not to give me anything till after the month.
My girlfriend just broke up with me. I hadn't told her. We didn't try sex at all because I wasn't ready for it. She is really aggressiveand straightforward when it comes to sexuality and I'm pretty slow given that I am rebooting. We haven't done much of anything and she got tired of it as a result. I can understand her frustration. I didn't want to jump into sex because I know that if it isn't a success then I'm going to be really shaken up by that. The last time I had ED with someone I went into a pretty depressed state. I like her a lot, we have an emotional connection, and I feel pretty comfortable with her but I just didn't have a desire for sex because my libido is so low.
If you don't feel close enough to open up, at least tell her that you have noticed that relationships that start out more slowly tend to last longer, and that therefore—even though you very much want to ravish her—you are starting slowly in hopes that the relationship will last for a while.
To the extent anxiety is part of the picture, it may be important to be with a partner you trust and can talk with openly, or at least with whom you can take things very slowly. In other words, it may be unwise to test your erectile response in a porn-style scenario where you just meet someone and demand that your body perform on command.
Most people here seem to notice more sexual response where there is lots of warm affection and a relaxed approach. This makes sense because anxiety inhibits erections—even in a rebooted brain. And warm touch lowers stress.
Finally, here are comments by various men on the forum..
The first speaker has completely recovered his sexual performance after arriving at the site with ED. He's now 71 days without PMO.
Your girlfriend needs to know that what is going on is an addiction process rather than your conscious choice. Watch this series together. Tell her that you have been desensitized by porn but that you want to return to normal. Tell her about yourbrainonporn.com and that a reboot is the way to restore your sexual sensitivity for real women. Tell her that you are attracted to her, but that at this moment your normal feelings of arousal and sexual responsiveness have been numbed. You *know* you're attracted to her but your body doesn't and, at the moment, won't get as aroused as when you watch porn. But that she is more important, so you're going to sort things out.
Finally, it would be best if you tell her that you really want her and that you are doing this reboot to fix things, but that ultimately you leave the choice to her. This may sound counter-intuitive, but this way you won't cling onto her. Give her the choice to leave you or not. After all the reboot process will affect her as well in some way. Whatever happens, do this reboot mostly for your future self.
I am still seeing a few girls at the moment but taking it extremely slow with all of them. I have not yet been in a situation which could have forced me to open up about my "experiment" but I am willing to do so if necessary. For now, I feel pretty excited while making out with girls and this shows physically. Being in this state of arousal will not make it easy to refuse going further though.
I feel that I have stalled with one of these girls (seeing her tonight) for so long that she will start asking some uncomfortable questions soon. I plan on saying: "I can't go any further, because I am currently undergoing a self-experiment. I feel like I have desensitized myself and decided to abstain from any sexual behavior for a longer period of time". I don't think there is any need to be overly open about pornography use, addiction or even dysfunction of any kind - that's all my personal business.
The softness and shriveling are absolutely part of it. I did the same as you. I would go a week or so no PMO and then give in because I was so horny, or else I would do PM just in hopes it would charge up my libido. This only made things worse. You will have to go through some weeks—some people go months—where you are worried that your libido is going away forever and even more worried your penis is getting so small you think it's retracting into your stomach like the head of turtle. It's terrifying. It really is. But just decide you are going to be strict with yourself so your body has time to get back into balance.
You sound like a disciplined guy, running and benching.You have chemically injured your sex-system and now you need to put a cast on it and let it heal. If I were you (and this is what got me consistent) I would get a piece of graph paper, and each day you go without any PMO, shade in a little box, perhaps before you go to bed. You might relapse a few more times, but once you get a good "run" going, your competitive nature will take over and before you know it two months will have passed and you will be in shape again.
I've gone a little over two months now and things are much better.As for pursuing relationships while recovering, I would say if the relationship can't wait for two months, or can't coexist with the healing process for two months, then take two months off from that relationship. There are creative solutions. But you want and need to get this taken care of, so make it a priority. Good luck!
What's interesting is that this girl hasn't really been troubled by my ED problem. She is reassessing her relationship to sex at the moment (6 month sex ban) so I guess in a way is relieved to find someone who isn't putting pressure on her. It's crazy we found each other at these points in our lives. The timing seems too perfect to be true.
By contrast, my ex took my ED really personally. At the time I didn't know what or why it was happening so I couldn't explain it to her. In the bedroom the two of us were always confused and frustrated.I feel it's time to tell my new girlfriend about my recent sexual history and the things I am going through. It feels like a gutsy move, but after last weekend [lots of intimacy, no sex] I trust her and feel that she deserves to know.
I've got a new story to tell about something amazing that happened this very night (night 21). But first I must share my discoveries/theories about the rebooting stage that I'm currently in. I am finding that fantasy, for me, is the final thread that must be cut to truly detach myself from the grip of porn. Unfortunately it seems to be the strongest of all threads.
Giving up porn was like throwing my poor brain off of the boat into a life boat. Giving up Masturbation was like throwing him into the water with a floaty. It feels like when I let go of the fantasies, my brain is going "Hey, WHAT THE HELL MAN!" as I withdraw the floaty. And then it's into the deep! This is what I experienced between days 16 to today (21)..flatline.
It has been so tempting to relapse into fantasy because, I have this feeling that the only way I can attain a spontaneous erection (which is the only kind I am allowing myself to have for now) is to dwell on sexual fantasy. The brain craves it more and more as you try to stop. The good news is (bad news for the impatient) is that as you let go of fantasy and begin to allow reality to take its place, your mind begins to become less sensitive to the fantasies. Unfortunately, i am finding that it loses sensitivity to the fantasies before it begins to embrace reality resulting in a period of time where it seems that nothing is stimulating (flatline). Very scary. But not to fear!See next paragraph:
I hooked up with an amazing, beautiful, intelligent woman tonight. She is someone from my past that I have always liked, but our paths just never crossed in that way. I was very apprehensive at first when she texted me that she really wanted to see me tomorrow night (tonight). I knew that I hadn't rebooted and, what's worse, that I was in flatline. I had a crucial exam the next day and between that, and the anxiety over wondering what to do in regards to this girl, I couldn't sleep at all. So after having no rest, sitting through a 4-hour exam, and being in flatline, I proceeded to text her that I wanted to meet her at 8:00.
I realized that it's not like I can just blow her off until I think I'm rebooted, which could be another 60+ days for all I know; I must go for it now. So we hooked up, and I'm sooooo glad I did. We had dinner, a few drinks and shot pool. Then we went back to her car and started to make out. At first, I wasn't feeling anything down there but warmth and some increased blood-flow. It's weird to be physically aroused and totally into it but no erection.
Eventually, the moment that I think we all dread the most happened when she made mention of the fact that she couldn't "feel me". That was a shitty moment!
But here's where it all turned around. At this point, I thought, "I can make up some BS excuse as to why this is happening, or I can just F-n grow a pair, and tell her about porn addiction, rebooting and the whole mess and let the chips fall where they may."
So, after some brief consideration, I told her the truth.To my surprise, she was very understanding about the many forms of sexual addiction and how they can effect the brain (so smart). I told her that I would have to take it slow and that it wouldn't be a good idea to go all the way until I was rebooted. This actually led to a very stimulating conversation about sex, love, spirituality, and culture. This led to us making out again.
As things got hotter and as she rubbed against me I eventually got hard. At no point did I touch myself or anything. We must have continued making out for 2 hours. It was amazing. I kept it clean for the most part -- no going into the pants. She was loving it too. We both felt real connection. I really really like this girl and intend to pursue things further.
It's weird, on day 15 say, my fantasies could give me an erection in about 20 seconds, but it took me like 15 minutes to get one with a real woman. This shows that there is a huge difference between fantasy and the real thing in terms of the whole reproductive process, and that I am still not fully rebooted. It also shows, however, that flatline is not necessarily absolute, though it is real. After that amazing experience I don't even feel like fantasizing. I'd rather just wait until I see her again.
Hi guys (and girls)
First of all - I am a girl so if you're against girls posting here please don't read further. It might contain triggers for some.
Secondly - I'm posting this because I seriousy believe this can help some people out there. Also English is not my first language, so pls forgive any mistakes I'm going to make.
Here it goes: I'm 26 yo. I have a wonderful boyfriend (32) and we've had a great relationship... until about a year ago something started to go wrong.
At first he started avoiding sex. We only had sex every 4-6 weeks... and ONLY because I was begging for it. He was always "tired" and uninterested; talked about "stress at work", told me "not to exxagerate". "Life is not all about sex you know" - he used to say... I started questioning myself, my looks, my worth. For me it wasn't even about sex, I wanted intimacy. I wanted him to be interested in me as a woman, wanted to feel WANTED. But that was non-existent. Colleagues at work complemented on how nice I looked, some men were still hitting at me out there, but at home, there was NOTHING. And when we had sex it was nothing like it used to be. Automatic, rough, very porn-like. No hugging afterwards. No kissing. No foreplay. Sex - orgasm - you got what you wanted, now leave me for 4 weeks.
Other aspects of our relation seemed OK, so I thought this is just a rough period we're going through and that eventually it will get better. I decided to be patient and understanding. I stopped asking for sex.
Soon after those problems started I've begun noticing my boyfriend was more and more cynical, distant, harsh on me. He made stupid comments. Nothing really nasty, but he just wasn't nice to me anymore...
Sometimes he would sit there and it looked like.....like he lacked soul. I'm sorry if this comparison seems horrible, but this is exactly how I percived him. He avoided other people, liked being on his own, didn't want to go out... I often made comments like "we're not 70 yet, let's enjoy life hun", tried to get him interested in different things but it didn't work. Everytime I gave him a hug, a kiss on the chick I would not get ANY reaction. When we were watching a movie together and I tried leaning on him gently, just to feel some sort of human contact, he would say " don't touch me honey, I was so comfortable on my own, just want to see the movie".
I had no idea what was wrong. Maybe he just wasn't that kind of "touchy" person? Maybe that was his nature? Maybe I want too much? Maybe next month/year it will change...
I hated the cold person he was becoming. We started arguing more and more often. And to have sex once every month, every two months was killing me. I often cried (usually in private, but sometimes in front of him to make him realise what this is doing to me. It didn't help).
I turned to ocasional masturbation. I didn't want to cheat on him and my sex-drive was high, so this seemed like a rational move. But I felt insecure and unhappy. I still wanted to have a "man" at home, not just someone who would do the shopping and drive me to work.
I started fantasising about other men. I would imagine a life with someone else, someone affectionate, warm. Someone who would hold my hand, someone who would hug me at night, someone who liked sex. I would think about it at night, lying next to my boyfriend - who by that time was more like a robot than a real man to me. For the first time in months I started noticing other guys interested in me. When I was happy I never paid any attention to their advances, but now their nice words helped me feel like a woman. I never went out with any of those guys, never cheated. They just seemed so caring and romantic comparing to my boyfriend.
Than, a week ago, I discovered that my boyfriend is seriously addicted to porn and masturbation. I borrowed his laptop and saw all those things... It became clear to me that all those months I was trying to "connect" with him... he spent looking at other women. Porn actresses. He was also registered on one of the adult "dating" sites and sent messages to some women there. Young, old... One of them was as old as my mum. She was not even attractive, not someone I woud ever feel treatened by in real life... Why on Earth would he do that to me? The beakdown I had at that moment is indescribable... :/// I wouldn't wish it on anyone.
I confronted him. This is when he broke down and admitted he was a PMO addict. All that time I thought he was uninterested in sex... he spent nearly every morning masturbating in the bathroom watching porn. I remember he liked spending a lot of time in the bathroom but it ever occured to me that this was the reason why. It came as a shock - complete shock - because I never ever imagine him to be one of "those guys"... You see, I thought the only guys masturbating to porn are those who can't get "normal sex"... Masculine, successful, handsome men don't spend their mornings touching their genitals... That's what I though. It didn't make any sense to me.
His honesty was the only reason I didn't move out then and there. I cried and cried over the next days... I don't want to go into details of what I've been through but it was the most horrible thing to experience. As a woman I felt my world has collapsed. To know that he was arroused by "those women" and preferred them to me was just heart-breaking.
I looked for information about porn addiction and discovered yourbrainonporn, this forum, other sites... We talked a lot. A lot. And this is probably what saved the feelings I had left for him. He told me he is determined to beat it. It became obvious that this is the first time he realised he HAS a SERIOUS PROBLEM. I didn't understand why he hasn't noticed that earlier?! This was pushing him into a very dark place...away from me, his family and life in general. I thought to myself that if ever reached a point where looking at countless penises online would be my preffered activity... I would surely realise I had a problem, right? To be in the best years of your life and waste them like that... He must have known... Or so I thought. The more are read about porn-addcition the more I undestood...
I now believe him he might not have realised where porn was taking him. Why? Because I - too - started going in that direction and didn't notice any red falgs...: I was in a relationship and masturbated way more often than when I was single... I was unhappy but didn't know why.... I blamed others. Who knows where would it take me..
Up until last Saturday I never viewed porn as a negative thing. In fact, I've always been "open-minded" about it and thought it can't hurt you if you know how to use it. This is B*S. It will hurt you if you use it. It will make you sad, lonely, detached. Unhappy. There is nothing good that you can get out of your relationship with porn. I wish people spoke more openly about what PMO has done to their lives.
We've almost lost each other. I'm not saying we will definately get through it - it's only been a week and I know his problem goes waaay back. He was hiding it for years. There is no doubt he will find this journey hard. And I have to trust him again, belive in myself, stop comparing myself to other women... It will be hard :/ But his heart and mind are in the right place. And mine are too.
So we're doing this 90-days no PMO challenge together. I sincerely hope it will "rewire" our minds and bodies. I honestly don't want to spend my life like this. I know he feels the same.
I know we have everything we need to succeed. I'm wondering whether it would help anyone if I wrote here from time to time, telling obout our experience...
I hope you find it in yourself and realise you're so much better that this sh*t. Real life is waiting for you.Don't spend your valuable time looking at strange women spreading their legs and random guys getting between them... :/ :/ :/
I admire you all for being strong, for continuing on this journey and for wanting to change :)