Age 30s - ED: when you quit you get back a sense of masculinity and assuredness
I just wanted to say thanks basically for the guys running YBOP – you’ve been a life-saving form of support. Just reading what others have been through and achieved is a massive help. I’ve just completed 90 days without looking at porn.
I had a calendar up on my wall and ticked every day off and felt good about it. The truth is though, this must be my 6th or 7th serious attempt to quit.
I’m in my mid-thirties now, so started out with the old magazines for fun, then broadband internet came along in the early 2000's, and with it a whole new fascination. So although I’ve been looking at porn for 20 years, the internet stuff was for me, just pure poison for body, mind and soul. The sick thing is I always knew it, but used it anyway to medicate myself against real life problems, stresses, etc.
What does porn addiction do to a man? It makes him tired and grumpy in the mornings, apathetic to stuff, misogynous towards women, over-sexualised and actually, in the bad times, terribly depressed. That’s because deep down we all know jerking off to porn is a desperately sad thing. Look – I’ve got no problem with masturbation…we all need that in my view. But getting into a fantasy world of pixels and reshaping our brains with new and hotter and sicker sex scenes? That’s just insane.
It sure had a hold on me, and the crazy thing was I always thought I wasn’t the ‘addiction’ type of person. I smoked but never got addicted, tried drugs, even gambled a little but never took it up to dangerous levels. I thought I was so in control but always went home to jerk off to porn. As I say, I was trying to quit over a number of years. At times I thought I’d never manage it, and consequently there’d be no chance for me as a responsible grown-up man, lover, and potential partner or husband.
What really was the last straw for me was an encounter this summer with a really hot girl. Although we had sex for ages and I went back for more, things were a real struggle for me erection-wise. I realised I wasn’t aroused enough for this girl but that getting aroused to porn was like, instant. How screwed up is that?! Right there and then I said, no more, I’m reclaiming my sex life for me and no-one else. No pornstars pixels are going to get a piece of me any more, no more nights madly jerking off then slipping into an uneasy, troubled sleep. So I gave up.
90 days. I made a pledge now that I deal with whatever problems I’ve got in my life by working through them, breaking them down…I don’t run away to porn any more. Just this little change has been a revelation and has led to a whole bunch of amazing stuff happening. I now work out every morning straight out of bed for 10 minutes, doing push-ups, abs crunches and a load of stretching. I used to be grumpy and dark in the mornings, now I’m on a total high!
It’s true what other guys have said about when you quit you get back a sense of masculinity and assuredness. My interactions with females now are based on a simple meeting of man and woman, the way it’s always been. I’m confident in myself and actually much thicker skinned – a positivity comes back to you and stays for good.
Other stuff I’ve been doing includes the paleo diet and writing loads. You definitely need to launch other projects to help you get over it, and it’s helpful to put helping people at the core of that. Turn the negativity into positivity and you’re much less likely to go back. I think there comes a time for all of us guys when we just have to ‘man up’ as much as I hate that expression. You gotta take responsibility for your actions, allow yourself to be the true man you were destined to be, to achieve your potential as an emotionally mature guy and then sit back and let wonderful things happen.
While I feel sad about the years I wasted on PMO, I think I hit bottom and from that came a bunch of massive realisations and a new me. You’ve got one life, guys, you’re in control of how it goes. Hope this helps others struggling and thanks again for your support!!!
Via an email, November, 2014