Age 23 - 132 days *Congruence*
So I’ve been reading YBOP for a while now and decided it would be nice to have some feedback from other people. In June I discovered YBOP during a Google search and realized how detrimental porn really is to my sexual health. I am 23 years old and had been using porn since I was probably 16 or 17. I used to masturbate using fantasy prior to porn use, but once we got high-speed internet, I stopped using fantasy and started a daily masturbation routine to porn. I had a girlfriend for two and a half years in high school and college and never realized that porn was part of what ruined my relationship with her. There were many factors that led to us breaking up, but porn really did make me perpetually unsatisfied and skewed my sexual interests.
I never worried about ED because I never had a serious issue with that with my girlfriend, although there were times when I had some minor troubles. After this relationship I masturbated quite a lot and found myself increasingly awkward around women in general. I think I came across as creepy and insecure. Once I discovered YBOP in June and started my initial reboot, I felt like superman and my self-confidence soared and my social anxiety dissipated greatly. I started talking to women and challenging myself to be more outgoing. I didn’t care as much what people thought of me and even told many of my friends about my issues with porn and what its’ negative effects were on me. I feel like I’ve helped some of them because porn really is a problem for my generation. Almost all of my male friends regularly watch porn and have for years.
Anyways, I made it 32 days without any MO, and 41 days no PMO. During this initial streak I felt great and had no issues with getting an erection or anything. I saw girls differently, like I really appreciated them. Their hair, eyes, legs, …. Everything about them drove me crazy. I could tell when girls liked me with eye contact and subtle gestures. It was awesome. Then in August one night I PMO’d because I was watching some late night television and happened upon a porno on HBO… I couldn’t resist. I ended up bingeing for 9 days and felt terrible the whole time. But, I started over. Now I am 56 days of no PMO. I haven’t even had fantasies. These whole 56 days since my relapse have been a complete flatline. I don’t have sexual thoughts or feelings. I didn’t really realize the extent of this flatline until I met a girl 11 days into this reboot. I started dating her and eventually it got to the point where I should make a move… well I had absolutely no sexual desire and couldn’t even get an erection from cuddling and making out. It was absolutely terrifying to me. It took me a while to work up the courage to tell her about my issue and what I’m doing to fix it. She understood which was a great relief to me, and I am still seeing her. For a long while though after revealing this I struggled with insecurity and depression. I had serious bouts of depression that would last up to a couple days. I felt like there was a wall between myself and her because I couldn’t be physical with her. I explained that she was beautiful and I would love to do more with her but I just couldn’t until my body recovered. And, she is still with me :)
To help myself get through this I have been reading a lot of these blogs and different websites. I have looked up authors that people mentioned and really love Eckhart Tolle’s works. A New Earth and The Power of Now have really helped me cope with life. “Accept what is” has become my new motto for life. I have become much more spiritual throughout this process and feel like the truest sense of myself that I have probably ever felt before. I can accept life as it happens, good or bad, and am ok with that. I work out a few times a week, started eating healthier, have much more open and honest relationships with my friends and family, and feel much better as a person than I did prior to starting this journey. I feel like there is no longer a cloud over my head and I can see things very clearly. The one thing that still gets to me sometimes is the length of my flatline…. I am going on 56 days now and, while I can accept that my body needs this to recover, I really, really want to be normal again. I want to experience my fullest potential with my girlfriend and feel completely comfortable. While it’s nice to not rush into sex, it would be nice to have sex when you were ready to. All I can do is keep going one day at a time and accept life as it is. I will not watch porn again, it is simply too destructive and I never want to go through this again. What I found really helped me this second reboot (56 days) was starting a journal. My initial 41 day reboot I didn’t keep a journal and lost track of my priorities. I also told my dad about my problem with ED and porn to help hold me accountable. It was really awkward at first but I’m finding that I really don’t care if people know my deepest and darkest secrets… Everyone has been in this place at one point or another with something in their lives, and I feel like being real with people about that has helped me have more honest and open relationships in general. I bare myself to the world, and so far I have found that people appreciate that. They don’t have to wonder what I’m hiding because I don’t have to hide anything. I am just me, that’s it. I will try to post here periodically with my progress as well as some of the insights I have found in my readings. I have been reading a lot of Eastern texts such as the Tao Te Jing and have some books by Mantak Chia and Thich Nhat Hanh. Feel free to ask me anything.
Need Relationship Advice Please!
So I am in kind of a dilemma here and need some advice. I have been seeing a girl now for two months that I really like. She is interested in all the same things I am and is a really cool person. As I mentioned in my last post, I have felt like there is a wall between her and myself and for a long while I thought it was because of my inability to have sex with her (64 days no PMO). So, I talked to her about my old habit and what I was doing to fix it and she seemed to accept it fully. She never pressured me to have sex or anything and stuck around so I was really cool with it. The only thing is, I really like her and still feel like there is an emotional wall between us. I have been trying bonding behaviors with her and focusing all my love and energy on her when I am with her. I feel like she has responded some and has been opening up with me more lately. The other night she was showing some signs of aggression (rubbing my head, but really hard… just weird shit like that). So I asked her what was up with her aggression and she offhand mentioned that she really still hated her ex (who dumped her in June…. And I met her at the end of August). Now that I think about it, I feel like she has mentioned her ex more than anyone would who was over it. So I talked to my dad about it, and realized that I am basically a rebound… which kind of sucks…
So my dilemma is, one the one hand, she has been opening up to me more and has told me a little of her feelings. She doesn’t go into details and often cops out by saying she doesn’t know how to put her feelings into words. She doesn’t talk a lot about anything really, she just seems pent up inside herself… like she isn’t fully able to trust me or something… but she has been opening up to me a little more each time it seems like. If I leave her now, I feel like it will compound her issues with her emotional wall (opens up only to get dumped- logical conclusion- don’t open up to anyone ever again). So I don’t just want to dump her, but on the other hand, I don’t want to be strung along as a rebound either if she doesn’t even really like me. I can’t really tell because she never talks about her feelings with me, but I really like her and I am very open and honest with her. It just feels very one-sided right now. I feel partially indebted to her for putting up with my no-PMO and dead dick problems and that I should stick around for her to resolve her issues. Is it possible though for her to get over someone while she is with someone else? What should I do? Should I just lay out my dilemma for her and let her decide what she thinks is best?
93 days- Physically good, relationship questions
So today I have made it 93 full days without any PMO. I did MO to sensation 4 times, on days 64, 65, 70, and 81. Yesterday I did have the urge but resisted. It is interesting that the urge was so strong yesterday because it was 11 days after my last MO session, which was 11 days before the previous time I had MO'd. Maybe that is my body's arousal cycle. Anyways, the week following the 3 MO's in one week was kind of bad. I felt deflated and really had a shitty week. I almost broke up with my girlfriend, but then decided against it because I suspected that my mood was related to the orgasms and maybe it was just a perception thing (I viewed her much more negatively than I usually do). After the MO on day 81 I felt like shit also for a couple days. So basically, I feel like MO'ing on day 64 to re-awaken my libido worked. I do have much more spontaneous erections/ morning wood and feel the urge every once in a while now. But at the same time I feel like those MO's were detrimental because they affected my mood so much afterwards. Also, I don't want to get in a habit of masturbating again. I feel great psychologically the longer I go without having an orgasm. I am much more confident and self assured the longer I go without orgasm. So as far as my body goes, the flatline seems to be over and I feel like I would have no issues with it working if I were in a sexual situation.
So, since I mentioned that I have a girlfriend, I suppose that makes you wonder why I haven't found myself in a sexual situation yet. I started dating her like 11 days into this reboot and assumed the lack of "spark" or sexual attraction was totally my fault for not having a libido and being in a flatline for so long. I told her about it and she was cool with not having sex. I think she is physically attractive but I don't feel the mutual attraction from her (so I kind of just blamed myself). Later in the relationship though I found out that she used to date girls (that's what she started dating... then her parents sent her to counselling when they found out). She has had one boyfriend who she dated mostly long distance for a couple years and has told me of every sexual encounter she has ever had. She has reassured me that she likes penis too much to be a lesbian. I was accepting of all of this and have been really working on just accepting what is. Well now that my libido seems to be returning, I really feel like she isn't even attracted to me. I need to explain further....
My girlfriend hasn't opened up to me at all. I am a very sensitive person and need to talk about my feelings. She never tells me anything of her feelings and basically keeps them all inside. She says that she doesn't know how to talk about her feelings... I don't know how to deal with this because I really need to know what she thinks and feels. It makes me feel like she can't trust me. I have told her this before and she just kind of blankly stares at me... I started looking up some of her blogs and stuff online (I had made a resolution to myself not to stalk her online activity, but the lack of information from her mouth made me curious). She posts a bunch of videos and stuff about love but there are many pictures of gay couples... and she has written a bunch of fan fiction stories about anime stuff that is super weird to me (like gay dudes getting each other pregnant). Even though she wrote these articles a few years ago, it really makes me question who she is. So basically, all of this was kind of a shock to me. I mean, whatever floats your boat. But she never has told me she is in to any of this kind of stuff and I feel like she is protecting herself by not opening up to me. After seeing some of her blogs and stuff online I have this deep suspicion that she is a lesbian but she is trying to convince herself that she isn't (probably because of her family's reaction). I really don't see how I can continue having a relationship with her when I feel this way. I don't want to bring up my suspicions either because I feel like that's something she needs to realize on her own. She always acts confused and indifferent about everything and I feel like that is a reflection of an inner conflict in her life that she hasn't resolved yet (her sexuality).
I don't know what to do. This whole thing kind of sucks. I like her, and I do see bits of her liking me. But at the same time I don't feel like this relationship is at all natural. I blamed myself at first because of my issues with PMO but I'm beginning to think she has some issues of her own, and I can't be the one to realize them for her. Tomorrow I'm planning on being really honest with her about how I feel, that her not opening up to me is a deal-breaker because I need affection and need to KNOW her. Two and a half months is a long time to be with someone and know nothing of who they are I think. For a long while I thought I could get her to open up just by loving her and pouring my energy into her, but I really think that she just is who she is and I can't fool myself into thinking she will ever change. Anyways... thanks for reading this. Any insight you might have would be appreciated. This has been a conflict in my mind for quite a while now.
LINK TO POST: 132 days - congruence
Hey everyone, I haven't posted in a while so I thought I would give an update. A few weeks ago I started taking St. John's Wort and I have really been feeling balanced lately. I have MO'd a few times to sensation in the last couple months... about once every 10 days on average I'd say. While I don't want to be a chronic masturbator, I will say that the orgasms haven't been soul destroying like they used to be. By that I mean that after the orgasm I don't seem to have a mental let-down period anymore, I just go back to my normal self, albeit less sexually motivated for a few days. For the new year I want to commit myself to saving orgasms for women and pursuing women instead of getting into lonely habits. At the very least I will transmute my sexual energy into other areas of my life to become a better individual.
Other positive areas of my life: I've been going to the gym now 5 days a week and am taking my shit to the next level. A year ago I couldn't have even dreamed of being as dedicated to working out as I am now. I am really seeing results too. I have lost 30 pounds of fat and built a lot of muscle since I started really hitting the gym at the beginning of this reboot. I'm developing a strong core and have 4 out of my 6 abs visible all the time now. I am finally filling out my 6'0" body with muscle and seem much more dominant.
I guess another thing that I would really stress to anyone starting a reboot is that there is no magic pill. Anything good that happens to you is totally a result of your own resolve to make shit happen. Journal a lot and keep your promises to yourself. This process has made me much more well-rounded and has helped me develop personal discipline like I've never experienced before.
So one of my simplest realizations is that, if you want change in your life, get off your ass and make it happen! I used to be this introverted, awkward, creepy dude who watched a lot of porn. I feel like I'm becoming the shit now, the best version of myself. I don't try to say it in a conceited way, it's just that I've become so much more confident and assertive. But don't get me wrong, I've got a long way to go and I'm going to keep pushing my limits. I've been challenging myself to talk to new people all the time to get beyond approach anxiety. Approach anxiety is still there but it gets easier with every person I make myself talk to.
And for the title of this post, "Congruence," I have been feeling very congruent lately. By that I mean that I have been representing myself on the outside in the same way I feel on the inside, and it is very genuine to people when I can maintain that state. I've been making myself talk to attractive women, and when I'm congruent, my charisma seems to also rise and I get in a zone. It's kind of hard to explain but it's awesome. Social interaction is becoming my new addiction haha. And that's a good thing for me. I've been working on my social skills and now I need to start closing the deal, getting numbers, and dating to find the right girl for me. I had a girlfriend during this reboot but that didn't work out. I can tell these girls like me because of my congruence so I just need to close the deal now. Part of that is not getting my validation from others. Knowing that you are awesome and have a lot to offer the world, fully believing it, and being relaxed, staying congruent.... all those are the keys to success I think with women. I'm always trying to learn more and see what works for me.
My increased social confidence combined with the knowledge I have been taking from self-help books and videos on YouTube has really helped change my life perspective. I have been meditating on positive thoughts to start my day and have a new life philosophy that has broken the door off my old limits. My new philosophy is basically that RIGHT NOW is all we have. So if I see an opportunity, I have to take it. I'm not caring so much anymore what people think of me and I am just following my own desires and goals. Life is short and we will all die soon in the grand scheme of things so there is no point in worrying about all the dumb shit we usually worry about that holds us back from living the life we want to live. We are the masters of our own universe and can do whatever we want to do! I guess fully buying in to these ideas have freed me to new levels of personal growth. It's just a great feeling.
If you're interested in some of the things I've been using for motivation, I watch a lot of videos by Owen from Real Social Dynamics on YouTube. His channel is RSDTyler. Basically he is a self-proclaimed pick-up artist. While it sounds kind of sleazy, he really is a well-rounded person. His charm and wit and commitment to challenge himself to get the things he wants out of life are what I respect about him. He is a crazy dude haha. I've learned a lot about self-actualization and commitment to growth from this guy. I want to develop social skills like he has. Also, I've been watching Elliott Hulse's videos on YouTube. He has a few channels as well and I really like his philosophy on life. He incorporates many eastern thoughts and is passionate about helping people become the strongest versions of themselves. His channels are Elliott Hulse and strengthcamp. And of course, I love Eckhart Tolle's philosophy about present moment awareness and living in the now. Feel free to ask me anything. I'm always open for whatever you guys are thinking.
Also, I have seriously curtailed the amount of bud I was smoking. I felt like I was out of control of my behaviors and mind while being high all the time. So I created a new rule for myself so I can only smoke socially and very infrequently, which forces me to be around people instead of staying at home all the time. I feel like that has contributed to some of my success because I have the mental energy and time to focus on what is important to me.