Age 24 - 100 Days No PMO!
As my original journal states, I had been watching porn since pre-teen in to early teen years . Over the last ten years I've tried to stop many times and failed miserably. I had literally given up ever stopping. But then I discovered Your Brain on Porn and Your Brain Re-balanced and after getting a new perspective on the situation, I decided to try it once more. The goals was three months, 90 days.
100 days later and I no longer feel enslaved to porn! I still miss the experience sometimes, but I feel a lot more in control and empowered than I was three months ago!
I want to share as much as I can, but possibly get a conversation going too. So If you have any questions you'd like to know about my personal experience in reaching my goal of going at least 90 days PMO free PLEASE post it here.
You can read my first diary posts during the first month or learn my back story. The link is by my name. I got busy and didn't have time to journal, so I stopped updating it after a month.
So how did I do it ?
Throughout the process I jotted down notes hoping to update my journal but never having the time. In my original journal you can find my initial notes during the first month of this journey.
I learned Too much to fit in one elaborate post, like I'd prefer. So I decided just to jot them down here in bullet point form. And if you have any questions about them, you can post it underneath!
First a little disclaimer: I went 100 days without PMO, meaning I haven't set out to browse the web for erotic images of sex nor have I used any visual stimulants to aide masturbation nor have I "peeked" or "just touched it a little" while viewing pornographic images online. but I have MO'd many many times, but without artificial visual stimulation. Also I've seen pictures that can be described as erotic, mostly from dating sites where people show "sexy" photos of themselves. But I did not use this as an excuse to gawk at the images or masturbate to them or touch myself or pleasure myself in anyway using them. I just ignored them, though on some occasions they've given me erections. I have also had real sexual encounters.
Know what's going on The more I learned about WHY I couldn't resist porn, the more I was able to control it. Learning about the effects of dopamine and my longing for intimacy helped me spot when they start to cloud my emotions and judgement. This was EXTREMELY important. During the first month I tried to read as much as I could about dopamine and circuits at Your Brain on Porn.
Avoid Triggers Another really important lesson I learned was that almost all of my porn cravings started with subtle triggers: people, situations, feelings like boredom, models, actors, fantasies. It helped to have a mental list of all the things that can LEAD, but not necessarily cause, arousal. It's easier to spot the triggers and stop the triggers than to stop the actual PMOing
Intimacy Everyone longs for intimacy and that is why we long for sex. But intimacy is not always there. I realized that I was emotionally lonely and was using porn as a solution. We inadvertently use porn as artificial forms of intimacy. The solution is to seek real intimacy with a real person.
Keep it real For the first couple weeks or so, I starved myself of ALL sexual stimulation. I did not masturbate, watch porn, think about porn, fantasize, nothing. This was important because it felt like I was resetting my brain and giving it a chance to learn, understand my longing for intimacy and consciously spot triggers. It gave my conscious more control. However eventually I couldn't take not having any sexual pleasure anymore and something inside me snapped. I ended up having real sex and masturbating and really became preoccupied with finding real sexual partners. I felt if I couldn't use porn or masturbate I HAD to find the real thing. I don't recommend sleeping around, outside a committed relationship, so then there is masturbation.
Keep it real with masturbation After the first real-world encounter I masturbated for the first time BUT, and this is really huge, I made it a point to masturbate as little as possible. I would go as long as I could before caving in (usually 1.5-2 weeks). AND when I did masturbate I tried to "keep it real" as possible. I tried focusing on the way it felt more than the fantasy. I thought about real situations that actually happened, rather than made up ones. Limiting masturbation to about once a week and keeping it real made sexual pleasure almost an event I could look forward to. It made masturbation more interesting and exciting, when it used to bore me, without porn. It reminded me of when I first started masturbating and would explore (techniques, ideas, etc.). Of course the real encounters helped, too- getting sexual pleasure from the touch, taste, smell, passion of actual intimate sex-real things rather than fantasy. Moral of this story, go as long as you can without any sexual stimulation, and when you simply have to have it, keep stimulation as real, but exciting, as you can. Your body will reward you for it, literally (with dopamine).
These were the basic things I learned. Here's to another 100 days!
LINK - 100 Days NO PMO!!
My name is TJ3 and I am new to this site. I have just made another decision to give up porn, and want to embark on this journey with a community. That is why I am here.
My story, in regards to P, is long, but here is an outline. Hopefully future posts aren't as long:
I am an American in my 20s. My first encounter with porn was at a young age, around 11 yo. It was video and at some point I got into the habit of watching it regularly. Eventually (I am fuzzy on dates), I started secretly browsing Internet porn. It started off with simple Googled 'vanilla' things and turned into more explicit things as I got older. This continued throughout college and now.
I am also a Christian. I mention my faith because it plays a huge role in my personal story and experiences with P and is a big factor in my wanting to quit. A few tidbits about that. I don't know whether or not masturbation is "sinful" per se, but I do believe it is natural and inevitable for young men. That means my goal is really to quit PMO, not M. During Reboot I am temporarily quitting everything, however. I also believe in abstinence. Notice that I underlined believe, because another reason I want to quit P it has led me to act out in the real world in ways that are not in line with who I want to be and what I truly believe. hopefully more about that in future posts.
My Relationship with Porn (and other stuff)
To sum up my experience. I've tried to quit several times before. When I first started watching video porn in my pre-teens, it was about discovery. I had no idea what was happening on the screen. It was intriguing.
When I became more familiar with what was happening and what sex was I had moved on to Internet porn, around early teen years. At this time, Internet porn was teaching me what sex was supposed to be like, the role I was supposed to play and what I could expect. This era of porn for me was initially intriguing because I was a shy, quiet, single teen and porn allowed me to experience sex and explore sexuality. Then I went to college where I had almost complete privacy and a personal computer. I was still a virgin upon entering college. But constantly watching porn when my roommate was out, led me to want the real thing, even though on a spiritual level, I did not believe it was a good idea.
So I began incorporating dating sites into my porn regimen. This led to a bit of an obsession with meeting people online for one night stands. There was a part of me that did not like this behavior and another part that felt it was the only chance I would have at intimacy, given I was single and not interested in a long term abstinent relationship. Somewhere down the line I created a nasty cycle of watching porn, browsing online personal ads and on very rare occasion "successfully" meeting people from the ads IRL (about twice a year out of daily practice of responding to the ads and chatting).
Of course, this was not in line with my values as a person and Chrisitan, and it caused much distress. I tried everything I could think of to stop PMO--which in retrospect I think was causing the other behavior--quitting cold turkey, visiting online websites and communities for people wanting to quit porn, adding extensions and software to my browser to stop, prayer, etc. etc. It resulted in sleepless nights, headaches and other effects of extreme guilt and shame.
Eventually, I gave up thinking there was anything I could do about it because the guilt was overwhelming. I stopped praying as much about it and I continued PMO, knowing in the back of my mind that I didn't want to do it, but also thinking it was beyond my control and that I just needed to accept, but not embrace, it.
As I got older, out of college, I started to mature. The college years were a part of peeking sexual exploration. I was secretly exploring my sexuality, understanding relationships, and craving intimacy and validation, all while trying to maintain and outward degree of abstinence. I think these factors made it difficult for me to stop.
About two months ago, I stopped frequenting online personals and seeking sexual contact. Turns out I may have literally spent hundreds of hours frequenting these sites, but have only succeeded in actually meeting people a handful a times--probably once or twice a school year. That irony disgusted me and made something click in me.
I realized that what I was seeking in those online forums was something they appeared to provide, but really didn't: intimacy, acceptance, validation, relationship, sex. Most of the people on these sites are scam artists, catfishes, vain and vapid--and I constantly found myself at the butt of the joke that is the online 'hookup'. These sites give the illusion of real opportunity, but it's all lies.
Returning to Battle
That realization was enough to make me stop that behavior and also revisit my PMO behavior. I realized that when it came to sex and intimacy I was not living in the real world. Porn had created in me a delusion that I was entitled to some sort of sexual gratification and could get it on demand, and not just sex, but any kind of sex I wanted. If I was in the mood for __ type of person, I'd seek them out on the dating site.
I continued to PMO but had a new understanding of why it was not good. But I still didn't know how to stop PMO. That was until I suddenly stumbled on YBOP. Something felt like this was an opportunity to take more control over quitting, now that my brain isn't as clouded by youthful bliss, longing and other influences.
And here I am today. I started "rebooting" OCT. 29. Since then I have not M or PMO. My goal is to go at least three months avoiding all triggers, including M. Hopefully at some point my logical circuits begin growing stronger than my impulsive ones, and I can return to M, without PMO.
At this point I have no desire to browse online personals--it's not a daily struggle. My goal is to get that way with PMO-- not only avoiding PMO, but not having the desire to do it at all.
I decided to make it up and learn as I go. So far, each day I am having new epiphanies and would like to share my progress and learn from the community. I am praying this time really will be different.