Age 30 - 180 days - More life in me than ever before
I have done nofap/pornfree on hardmode for the last 180 days. I have had 1 orgasm that entire time and that was a wet dream on day 14. This is my first update post since I started pornfree and nofap. No 30 day post, no 90 day post, nothing. I've avoided writing anything because despite this personal success, the last 8 months have been the worst of my life.
My marriage ended, my business went under, and I lost any sense of who I am. I truly believe that pornfree and nofap are the reason why I didn't do anything truly stupid and irreversible while the rest of my life crumbled around me. I got this bug in my head this morning that I'm ready to write something and I was surprised to realize it was day 180. Kinda funny. This is not going to be a short post, so no biggie if you don't read it. It's mostly for me to get my thoughts down. I hope that those of you who do read it will find something useful or something that resonates with you. We're all in this together.
I started with PMO in my mid teens (sexually I was a late bloomer) and until I was 19 it was my only outlet. In retrospect I can see that some girls were interested in me, but my self-esteem and social anxiety didn't allow me to see it. Even if I had noticed I probably would have chickened out at that point. So porn and masturbation were it for me. My future wife and I started dating when we were 18. She was the first serious girlfriend I'd ever had. When we first got physical, I was shocked that I couldn't get it up. I was so unbelievably anxious and nervous that my body felt totally disconnected from my mind and I couldn't understand what was wrong with me. It's not until the past couple years that I realized the PMO was part of the problem as well. I eventually got things figured out with her and she was amazingly helpful and understanding. I never let go of the PMO for long, though. It was there for me when I was stressed out, when I was bored, when I couldn't see my gf for a while, during the week while in college (we went to schools 2 hours apart), and any time I was feeling down and need a quick way to feel good, if only for a moment.
It caused problems with sex. For a long time I had trouble having an orgasm with sex alone. I often had to fantasize about porn while having sex in order to climax. Every time that happened, the shame I felt was almost unbearable. I had an amazing girl (beautiful, supportive, loving) and had to imagine other women to get off while having sex with her. How fucked up is that? Throughout our dating (5 years) and our marriage (7 years), PMO was always part of my life and a huge source of guilt. At one point a couple years ago I fessed up to my wife about it. She was very hurt but ended up being supportive. However, I think I lost a lot of her trust at that point and it's one of many factors that led to the divorce. I was able to quit for a couple months at that point, but it didn't last. My business was taking all my time and energy and it wasn't doing well. My stress was through the roof. My wife and I started having less sex. Eventually, I turned back to my old habits.
In December of last year I confronted my wife with the fact that I wasn't happy. I felt like she was pulling away from me (had been for months) and that I wanted to try to work on things together. She was the best thing in my life and I wasn't going to sit idly by while we grew apart. Sadly, she already felt we had grown too far apart. I still have a lot of animosity toward her for not fighting for us; for waiting to say anything until she wasn't even interested in counseling or trying at all. I found out a couple months later that there was already someone else at that point. Please understand the divorce definitely wasn't all her fault: I wasn't showing her I loved her in the ways that she would understand (Anyone who ever wants to be in a relationship needs to read this book, seriously, I mean it. I truly believe the ideas in this book could have saved my marriage even despite the PMO), my stress and depression over the business affected her more than I ever realized, I was horrible at keeping up with the seemingly small things around the house (doing the dishes, cleaning, etc.), I allowed my stress to make me grumpy on a regular basis. Frankly, I wasn't fun to be around. Despite all this, I didn't see the divorce coming. I really thought we still had each other's backs. We all have defenses against people we don't trust, against strangers, against anybody we think might not have our best interests at heart. But when we truly trust someone, we have no defense against them. When they hurt us, it's a deeper pain than anything someone else could inflict on us. I'm trying not to be overly dramatic but I honestly didn't know I was capable of that much pain.
So, once I figured out where things stood, I went to work. On me. I started nofap and pornfree again (many failed past attempts, most lasting less than 1 week). I started meditating regularly again. I started working out. I still believed at that point that I could fix things. I was very wrong, but somehow that didn't stop me with nofap/pornfree. Here's group of random thoughts on this 180 day journey:
- First, I only started having success when I got serious about pornfree and nofap at the same time. If I was just doing nofap, I'd eventually convince myself just watching a video or 2 was no big deal. Guess how that always ended. If I was fapping but avoiding porn, halfway through when my will power was at its lowest I'd think about how much better it would be if I could just watch something hot while doing it. So for me it had to be both or none, and I haven't relapsed since.
- The first 30 days were by far the most difficult. I'd catch myself typing in a dangerous url without even thinking about it. I was insanely horny for the first couple weeks. After that it was habit and stress that nearly made me relapse.
- I had a wet dream on day 14 and that's the only orgasm I've had in 6 months. My body seems to have adapted well to this lifestyle, otherwise I'm sure I'd have more wet dreams for my body to "clean the pipes." I'm really surprised by this. I thought I'd be dealing with wet dreams regularly. Despite all the stuff I'm dealing with these days, I feel more balanced physically, mentally, and emotionally that I have my entire post-puberty life. After having read up on Karezza, male continence, coitus reservatus, etc. I'm thinking of going orgasm free unless I'm trying to conceive a child. With how good I've been feeling and how well my body has adapted to this I see no reason to change it in the foreseeable future. It feels like the right decision for me for the moment.
- Superpowers? No. Keeping me sane with at least a little self-respect while I go through hell in the rest of my life? Fuck yeah. I've been hugely depressed but I know for certain I would have been much worse off if PMO was still part of my life. I'd always had intense shame after PMO, in addition to depressed mood, brain fog for days, difficulty concentrating, much more easily frustrated and angered, etc. These symptoms were less when I orgasmed from sex, but looking back on it they were present to some degree whenever I had an orgasm. It was amazing to realize that for me, orgasms would consistently put me off my game for at least several days. I was happier and less guilty after sex, but the negative effects were undeniably there.
- Mild "superpowers?" Yes. Despite everything I've been dealing with, somehow talking to strangers is easier. People seem more at ease with me. I've been told by my brother (who happens to be my best friend) that despite all the shit going on, he sees more life in me now than ever before, including our childhood. I've had more attractive women respond positively to small talk at places like the grocery store than ever before. I've been getting more eye contact, more smiles, etc. I find this hilarious when considering the state of my life at the moment.
- *Flatlines? Oh yeah. Several long ones and many short ones. After about day 20, I was in a flatline for at least 6 weeks. Very little desire, no morning wood, etc. You'd think that made it easier to abstain from PMO but it didn't. I'd be tempted because of stress, because of habit, because I was depressed and wanted to feel good in the moment, and plenty of other reasons. Overall, as long as I didn't worry about the flatlines they were no big deal.
- Women are beautiful and wonderful. I find myself not just physically attracted but also wondering what they're like as people. Are they really as interesting as they look? I've always been a repressed romantic at heart, and that repression is slowly peeling away. I'm eager to eventually date a lot of women, but not just for the sex. I'm excited to meet a lot of people, figure out what I truly want, and eventually find the right person for me. As a kid and teen I'd daydream about a really connecting with someone just as often as I'd have sex fantasies and that tendency has been amplified if anything.
- I don't respond to women physically in the same way that I used to. Now it's less of a genital thing. The desire I feel is a physical sensation in my chest and it radiates outward to the rest of my body. (My description is going to sound corny from here on out, but this is the best way I can articulate it) I feel like an explosion of sexual energy that's just barely being contained. Like a wild animal inside a locked cage, but I'm the one who has the key. When I feel like this my confidence is momentarily through the roof. I know that what I feel is right, that I'm a truly sexual being, but that I'm also in complete control. I'm not repressing my sexuality, just directing it how I want and how it's appropriate in the situation.
So, where do I go from here? Well, I have no intention to ever go back to fapping or porn. Ever. I'm looking forward to sharing my reborn sexuality with someone (or multiple someones) that I have a real connection with... when I'm ready. I still feel PMO temptation, but at this point it's just a small nagging voice in the back of my head. The stronger part of me that I've built over last few months just laughs at it and moves on. It truly feels like I've beaten this addiction, but it is still an addiction. I plan to stay on these subreddits, read what I can and contribute what I can. I am rebuilding a better life with a better me at its center. I can either dwell on the past 8 months or learn from them. Only 1 of those options leads to happiness. Right now there's light at the end of the tunnel and I'm slowly making my way toward it.
Feel free to ask anything and I'll do my best to answer.
LINK - Day 180 Update