60 Days Bitches!

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Yesss!Usually we post about the science that explains why today's Internet superporn has the power to initiate addiction processes in some users' brains. The most efficient way to return to full potency is to "reboot," i.e., allow the brain's reward circuitry to return to normal sensitivity by stopping all intense sexual stimulation for a while. Here's one guy's account of the "rebooting" process. 

60 DAYS BITCHES!

I just completed 60 days without porn, masturbation & orgasm to reboot my reward circuitry & pleasure response and also to sort my mental shit out regarding sex & relationships.

To celebrate, I've written a report about the process to share with you guys so you can see if it's something you might want to do yourselves.

It's a little bit 'premature' in that I haven't had sex yet (that will confirm my feelings that the process was a success), but my goal was 60 days, so it's a good time to review.

I'll be as honest/informative as I can.

The short version:

I was:
- Sexually insecure
- Lacking libido & interest in women
- Looking for women to fill a void of loneliness or help me feel 'normal'.

Now:
- I'm horny.
- Confidence has increased dramatically.
- Desire to connect with women (emotionally & sexually) has increased dramatically. I want to be with women for the intrinsic value of being with them.

Check out http://www.yourbrainonporn.com, or The Brain That Changes Itself by Norman Doidge (Chapter 4, excerpts here) if you want more information about the neurological reasons for doing a 'reboot':

60- 80 days, no porn, masturbation or orgasm (PMO).

Before:

- Had (have) not had an active sexual relationship for approx 4 years (one night stands only)
- low libido
- anxiety about sex & relationships (emotional closeness/intimacy etc)
- heavy porn use (sometimes up to 6 or more hours with no break)
- 'morphing' porn tastes (increasingly extreme/kinky genres that didn't match my normal sexual interests)
- increasing cases of erectile dysfunction (more while sober than drunk)
- emotional alienation (Connecting emotionally with women had become undesirable)
- physical alienation (I had a couple of cases where it felt slow, annoying, inefficient and kind of just weird to interact with another human body, trying to somehow get it turned on enough to give me the feelings I wanted. I was lazy, and compared to porn sex felt like work.)

Cost/Benefit
For the cost of no PMO for 60 days the potential benefits I perceived were:

- renewed attraction to real women. (i.e. 3 dimensional, natural, imperfect)
- increased motivation to meet real women (no alternative way to experience orgasm)
- renewed natural arousal
- renewed interest in sexual intimacy/ connection, intrinsic value sex (as opposed to goal oriented sex)
- renewed interest in normal sex (vs extreme genres featured in porn)
- renewed interest in sex as physical/sensual experience (smell, taste, touch, sound & sight, as opposed to just sight/sound)
- revived reward circuitry and pleasure response. (easier to feel pleasure in general)
- overcome porn related erectile dysfunction.
- increased concentration.

Process:

In addition to cutting out all PMO, I also drastically cut down on alcohol and experimented with some basic sleep treatments for better sleep (I have sleep apnea).

I had very low stress during the reboot because I'm not working at the moment. I think it helped.

Spent most of my time doing whatever the fuck I wanted to and not feeling bad about anything- sitting in the park, meditating, reading LOTS of books, drawing, going to museums/art galleries/libraries.

During the reboot I decided not to go out of my way to meet new women. Instead I used the time to work through my psychological/emotional issues surrounding relationships, work out what my hang ups were and deal with them head on. That helped HUGELY.

I didn't struggle with avoiding porn. Once I decided not to look at it, I didn't.

Sometimes the feeling in my balls was pretty hard to ignore. Instead of ignoring it I gave it my attention and accepted that it was there.

If I ever felt like I was seriously going to break, I either checked how many days I'd done & how many left. Then I'd write a short journal entry.

Withdrawals

I think I had it pretty easy with withdrawals.

First 2 weeks: Increased libido.
After 2 weeks: Zero libido for about 4 weeks.

On day 19 I wrote a journal entry that said I was completely unable to get an erection, even with manual stimulation. I was a bit worried. I probably could've if I watched porn, but I held out. I started occasional journaling at this point.

Day 45 I wrote that I was starting to get scared that my libido would never come back, and felt that I was starving it to death.

It came back.

By day 55 I had noticed big changes in libido- turned on by women in the street, sexual dreams etc.

Results (so far):
- Increased sexual attraction to real women (so many gorgeous women around!)
- Increased sexual dreams, some very visually & sensually vivid (I don't remember ever feeling physical sensations in dreams before).
- Fully aroused by mental fantasies about foreplay/normal sex with real women from my life, without any 'helping hand'.
- Aroused by sex that is connection/expression based rather than goal/performance based.
- Aroused by sensual aspects of sex: touch, smell, taste, sound. Not just looks.
- Very low interest in porn, low interest in masturbation for orgasm. High interest in real sex.
- Ability to sit with sexual feelings, rather than rushing to release them.
- Strong feeling of sexual energy/power radiating in lower stomach/balls (non-existent before reboot)
- Sense of power, achievement, self-control, self-knowledge.
- Increased energy, drive, ambition, focus, concentration, happiness.

Getting/Doing

There was also a shift in my sense of sexual identity, which came with working through my relationship baggage. In the recent past, I have approached sex from a Getting perspective. I felt that sex was like a job interview- I needed to perform well so that she would like me. If I performed poorly, she would reject me.

Making sex about getting her approval turned the focus to my Performance which, naturally, led to performance anxiety. At times that meant I was too anxious to maintain an erection. If I already knew the girl liked me, I never had that problem- I was already getting approval from her.

After facing my baggage and clearing it, I felt a change. I found myself focusing on what I wanted to experience in a sexual relationship, rather than what I thought I 'should' want, or trying to guess what she would like so I could win her approval.

What would I like to feel? What would I like to share with her? What would I like to express?

Porn gave me a massive mental library of "shoulds". It had shaped my perceptions of sex- what I should say, do, how I should act, what positions were hotter than others etc etc. It was teaching me how to have impersonal, fake, possibly degrading sex rather than making sex a positive expression of something within me- my desire, my attraction, my feelings.

Now that I have not seen any porn for 2 months, I find myself anticipating sex more and more. I can't wait to get to know a woman sexually- what turns her on, what she smells like, tastes like, what sounds she makes, what makes her moan. The idea of that process excites me now, because it has become intrinsically valuable to me, rather than goal/performance based.

I feel like that desire to express myself sexually has changed the way I interact with women in a big way. It's made it fun & exciting. I can't help it, I feel the sexual vibe rising up in me whenever there are beautiful women around. I feel like I flirt a lot more, without intending to. Awesome.

I've started approaching again (I'm a bit rusty) and I've been out with a girl who I think things will go well with, at least to have some fun sexually.

The only thing that occasionally worries me is whether this new set of feelings will disappear somehow.

Final Thoughts

The reboot might not be necessary for everyone. I didn't think it was all that necessary for me. I initially just did it because I thought potential benefits outweighed the costs.

Having done it, I now think it was a necessary step for me to clear the slate and approach relationships from a new perspective. I'm glad I took time out from meeting women to get this aspect of things sorted.

Hope that's helpful.

Everyone's rebooting experience is slightly different. Some people have far worse withdrawal symptoms. Not all experience the "flat-line" libido, although many do—sometimes for even longer. More "rebooting" accounts are available at www.yourbrainonporn.com.