Age 42 - Low T, quit alcohol, (ED)
Outcome I am gonna go out on a limb and pronouce myself recovered. I feel so thankful to have found this site and the great group of folks who hang here. My life has been transformed by the information disseminated here. Though porn definately accelerated my sexual decline I have come to believe that in my case, due to beginning to masturbate at a very young age and then for many years with great frequency, my main issue was endocrine exhaustion and a run away out of balance mind. This coupled with excessive drinking to "self medicate" eventualy came to a head in the form of ED. I am now happy to report that not only can I get the biggest hardest erections of my life but that I have a new found amazing (to me and my wife) ability to last for as long as needed.
Here is a short list of the key things I discovered on this journey toward health....
1. Listen to the advice given here. I could have been healed sooner if I had just done a proper reboot from the start instead of half assing it.
2. Try to pretend you dont have a penis. Touching leads to playing and playing leads to O.
[My Story] I am a 42 year old male who has been married for 12 years. My sex life though never "vigorous" slowly worsened to the point of non-existence in the last 4-6 months. I had over the years suffered from problems with my endocrine system so I always attributed my lack of drive and difficulties getting an erection to that.
2 years ago I returned to my endocrinologist complaining of extreme exhaustion. It turned out that as a result of pituitary problems many years earlier my testes had become sub-functioning and that I would need testosterone replacement. I was actually excited about this because my testosterone levels were barely normal my whole life and I thought that perhaps if I could get them where they needed to be my sex life would improve. 2 years of testing and dose adjustment later my testosterone levels were mid normal range and my sexual performance was worse than ever.
Needless to say I was very depressed about the lack of improvement. My wife is my best friend and I still found her very attractive but my body just didn't get the message.
I made many lifestyle changes i.e. diet, exercise, supplements etc., and never gave up searching the internet for answers. 15 days ago I came across YBOP. The light bulb clicked on and I knew at once that I had found the problem. I immediately quit porn and masturbation. While I wasn't the guy that spends every waking second in front of my computer I did masturbate to internet porn about once a week and masturbated while fantasizing every morning. This obviously "became" my sex life and desensitized me to my wife.
On day 9 of no PMO my wife and I had really good sex and then again the following morning. That evening however we tried again unsuccessfully, I had hit "the wall". I think I knew I wasn't up to it before we tried. The old self talk and doubt started in my head and that was that. The good news is that the two previous positive experiences (after 4-6 months no sex) taught us that this thing is reversible. We just rushed it and by doing so at least partially "reset" my "reboot" so to speak. I am now committed to at least 30 days of reboot before trying with my wife again. If the signs aren't there after 30 days I won’t force it, if it takes 60 or 90 so be it. We have the rest of our lives to enjoy a great sex life, there is no sense rushing things. I would rather be 100% recovered.
[Day 16] As a result of the epiphany finding YBOP caused for me I started taking mental inventory. I identified 2 other behaviors that may or may not have contributed to my sexual problems but certainly don’t enhance my life. I have all my life been a chronic daydreamer, the worse life would get the more I would retreat into my own thoughts. I had created a detailed world in my head. It seems to me that indulging fantasy non-sexually may cross over to sexual fantasy. I also drink too damned much and there are negatives on many levels associated with that.
Being encouraged by having found the eventual cure to my sexual problems I decided to tackle everything at once. I know its gonna suck but I'm an all or nothing kinda guy and I think I'm up to the challenge. Today is day 16 no PMO (without my wife) or daydreaming and day 10 no drinking.
[Day 37] Sorry for the long time no post but I didn't have much that was interesting to say. I'm now at day 37 no porn and no daydreaming mentally I can feel myself changing. I am more focused and am no longer irritated all the time. My energy level has increased and I have a general underlying feeling of confidence I haven't felt for a long time. I have been having sex with the wife every week or two which has triggered a small chaser effect but not for porn. The morning after sex a few times I have masturbated (mechanical only, no porn no fantasy). But all in all I am quite proud of what I have accomplished so far. Physically I never did lose the nocturnal erections but a cant make myself get an erection. I take it as a good sign that making out with my wife DOES give me an erection. Obviously more time is needed before full sensitivity returns downstairs. I know the road Im on will take longer than if I just did a "clean reboot" but making the wife happy along the way is worth the extra time I know this process will take.
[Day 39, Rebooting with a partner] Quick thought for those interested in info about rebooting with a partner. Just 2 days after my last post I am happy to say I have had sex twice in 2 days successfully and here are my thoughts. Early in the rebooting progress (at least for me) I think that sex with the wife set back my progress a bit. However I feel that at a certain point in the reboot (individual for everyone I'm sure) relaxed no pressure sex with your partner becomes of therapeutic benefit. It seems that for me the sex is helping to reprogram the healthy, normal and natural pleasure pathway that was lost to me. The more times I can achieve and maintain an erection through just caressing and holding my wife the fainter the voice of doubt in the back of my head gets and the more immediate and impressive my bodies response is.
We would both like to delve further into karezza but I don't feel up to it until I have my own body behaving in a predictable manner 100% of the time. I think that trying a new and unfamiliar thing would bring forward the doubting self-talk in my head.
We do a lot more touching, caressing and general demonstrations of affection during our days then we ever have. We also have incorporated a lot more caring bonding behaviors in the bedroom regardless of whether or not we plan to have sex.
As a side note I want to make mention of another observation I've made. As you know I have been making an effort to control my drinking. My wife and I have limited ourselves to just our days off (which for us is a big improvement). I have noticed however that in the first days back not drinking I have a much higher drive to masturbate. I suppose that even though they are two separate problems boosting the dopamine with one substance/behavior then taking it away can be a trigger for other substance/behavior problems. I may have been better off doing the reboot while drinking in some ways but everything is "under control" so I'll just stay the course and be the better for it in the end.
[ Day 43 some insights ] Hey all, I found another trigger for M I thought I would warn the group about. The day before yesterday I caught a bug and was "flu sick" for one night. The next day I was tired, sore and in a terrible mood. The thing that struck me was that I kept having cravings to masturbate. I don’t know if this is an attempt my brain made to self soothe or if it’s one of those evolutionary throw backs that stimulates me to pass on my genes because I'm ill (and may not make it). I just thought it both odd and interesting so I'm passing it along.
[ Day 49 ] My type "A" side is getting impatient with my progress. I've decided to bite the bullet and cut out the sex (and O and M) until Thanksgiving and see what happens. I'm hopping in light of the reasonable progress I’ve made and 49 days already under the belt that another 4-5 weeks may make a big difference if I just do it and don’t DO IT. At that time I'll "test" with the wife and see if I need to hold off until Christmas or if it will be a marry season indeed
Also as a side update I have cut the Lithium down to 15mg daily. Lithium orotate is a salt and I think it may have been dehydrating me. No matter how much water I swilled down my pee didn't turn clear and I was thirsty. Since the change I am back to normal. It could just be my experience but I’m passing it along for what it’s worth.
Another side note... My alcohol restraint was much improved this last weekend I drank in 3 nights what I could easily have consumed in 1 before. I can’t help but wonder if rebooting will help my alcohol issues. Perhaps fixing one problem with dopamine helps the other?
[54 days on the path, 8 days no Orgasm] Well its 54 days since I found YBOP and quit porn. I have had sex with my wife a hand full of times (prior to quiting porn it had been 90 or so days since last we had sex) and masturbated (mechanical only no fantasy and no porn) a couple times when the post sex chaser effect hit me. On day 46 I decided it was better to make a clean reboot then to continue to have sex with the wife this early in the process. So I've now past the 1 week mark no O. On one hand its a bit frustrating having spent 54 days half assing recovering and to only now be a week into doing it right. On the other hand I have spent the time reading and posting and learning and I HAVENT LOOKED AT PORN OR FANTASIZED ONCE in 54 days.
I have experienced REAL changes in how I feel my brain fog has lifted, I feel more connected with my wife and family. I actually enjoy listening and talking to the grand kids and chasing them around the house instead of wishing they would leave me alone so I could get back to the TV. I choose to view my time prior to TOTAL abstinence as preparation for the main event. I feel as if I am in complete control now. I've learned my triggers and how to deal with them.
Though my wife was able to arouse me during the first 48 days and I continue to have nocturnal erections and morning wood I don't get aroused at all by a pretty girl nor can I even get myself hard, those are my goals. I will know I'm fixed when I can get myself hard easily with light erotic touch and or if I begin to experience either the occasional spontaneous erection or the wife can get me hard with just a kiss or glance etc..
So what do you think gang? Does this seem like a reasonable litmus test for being "cured"?
[Day 56- No chaser and I may be regaining some sensitivity ] Its a banner day for blog posts for me. As previously mentioned I had sex last night (and this morning). Today I am happy to report 0, none, nada, zip chaser effect or mood swing nor any other adverse effect at all. What I do notice is an increased sensitivity in my penis which I have never had after sex during the last 56 days. It feels as if perhaps last nights activities somehow started to reconnect my brain/penis link. My penis feels tickly when I touch it instead of just dead. Due to this increase of sensation I had one time that just my dick shifting in my pants and rubbing my underwear as I walked gave me a tiny bit of a chubby and a tingle for sure. I also felt the "tingle" a couple of other times. Maybe spontaneous erections aren't out of the cards for me one day.
Now I'm not gonna push things with the hope that more sex will bring more results. I've learned a week minimum and preferably longer between sex (with orgasm) is needed for me to charge up. It is nice to think that perhaps each time I do have sex a bit of healing will also happen though.
[Advice on rebooting with partner] I'm a 42 year old married man and I have had sex occasionally while rebooting. Prior to finding this site and quiting porn I hadn't had sex for 3 months. For the last year when we did try it was rarely inspiring, a damned miracle if I could get it up. Today 58 days into the process I have GREAT sex with my wife and feel body and mind like a new person. I believe the important thing is cutting out the porn and masturbation and giving yourself time to "recharge". For me recharge time between sex is about every 7-10 days. You have to beware that sex can trigger a powerful chaser effect which can drive you to masturbate (especially in the beginning). I'm sorry to hear your wife isn't more understanding, a supportive partner can REALLY speed the healing IMO. I credit bonding behaviors like Marnia suggests for my success. Cuddling, hugging and touching each other throughout the day fosters trust and renewed love for one another.
I'm not saying you should expect my results. I count myself amazingly fortunate to have had the recovery speed Ive experienced. What I am telling you is that it can be done.
[Over 90 days - a new phase] It has now been over 90 days and I feel like I'm at a different phase of recovery. Though I still have urges to masturbate I see them for what they are and choose to abstain, opting to instead be with my wife. I have pretty consistent nocturnal/morning wood and can once again arouse myself with a little erotic touch (although I try not to so as not to tempt myself). I have started to have some weak spontaneous wood during the day as a result of returning sensitivity. I continue to focus on diet and exercise. After the first of the year the wife and I tackle a new problem...Alcohol. I'll keep you all posted.
1.6 Sexually things are about the same but I anticipate a change as my mind and body get used to not having to process all the alcohol. Alcohol suppresses nearly every system in the body to one extent or another. It's funny but my wife (even though she drank far less than I) is having many of the same withdrawal symptoms I had when I quit PMO. For me it is just the heightened anxiety, bitchiness and a feeling of not knowing what to do with myself at times when I usually drank.
1.10 It is further proof to me that all addictions are intertwined that my wife and I are now in a sexual "flatline" at present as a result I assume of the lessened stimulation of the dopamine system. Oddly enough contrary to what I expected food doesn't taste as good either. I kinda thought we may have increased appetite as the brain searched for more stimulation but I guess food just isnt enough of a boost for it to bother with.
We are returning to oxytocin building activities (snuggling) in the hope that it will shorten the flatline period.
1.12 Since the last post both my wife and I are feeling better emotionally. I had martial arts practice last night and I have to say that hanging out with friends (outside the home) and really getting the blood pumping seems to have done me some good.
2.10 Libido is still not good. I do have nocturnal erections again but cant get aroused. Although we have drank a few times since the 1st of the year we have cut waaaaaaaaaay back.
3.7 A quick update. I finally bit the bullet and decided to be sober for life. I am 3 weeks without a drink and am very committed to this. I don't even want the stuff anymore. I am feeling better in mind and body. I also renewed my commitment to no masturbation (still no porn since I quite last year).Unfortunately the sex life hasn't improved as of yet.I think I am back in a type of flatline again. I have a lot of extra mental energy since I quit drinking and I feel that part of the problem is I cant shut my mind down enough to get into sex.
I read that traditional substance based addicts often rebuild a good portion of there lost Dopamine receptors after 90 days (kinda like the 90 day reboot) of abstinence. The quiting alcohol is a permanent change regardless but I really hope to feel and see improvements in the weeks to come as those receptors rebuild.
4.4 Well there's nothing earth shaking on the sexual function front to report. I don't have the dead and shrunken feeling like in flatline but despite the use of bonding behaviors I still don't get "fully" aroused. My guess is that the dopamine receptors still aren't numerous enough to send a powerful signal. The few times I got hard enough for penetration I lasted for what seemed like 2 seconds.
On a positive note however I am going on 2 months without drinking and can honestly say that that part of my life is at an end. I have my old mental energy and quick wit back, and my cardio has made a night and day improvement. I have a bunch of alternative N/A beverages worked up for social occasions and it been nice to always know everything that happened the night before. Now if I say something at a party that pisses someone off I don't have to call the next day and apologize BECAUSE I MEANT TO SAY IT (ha ha)!!!
4.13 My wife really doesn't like to touch in a non sexual way. She has recently figured out she has had a life long issue with being hyperstimulated by her environment (smells, light, touch and sound). Snuggling gets her horny and then depressed if I cant perform which does neither of us any good. I got the idea that we could do a morning exercise, we started it today. I have her cup my groin with her hand slowly slide up my torso to a nipple across to the other nipple then back down to the groin (repeat and rinse ha ha).I find it both relaxing and exhilarating. My hope is it will help me foster trust and comfort and reconnect my brain to my wife's manual stimulation.
For a bit of back story I never did a proper reboot. I quit P and M day I found this site and within a short time saw my sex life improve (not perfect but much better). I then quit drinking and it went to hell again. If this exercise doesn't work as hoped the next step is a proper 90 day reboot.
4.17 Had some good morning sex yesterday. I was very hard. She aroused me, that is, I didn't "wake up with wood". I lasted a respectable time (got the job done) as well. We have learned not to rush these things so we won't push our luck and try again until the time "feels" right. Obviously the power of touch is working its magic!!
4-24 I think Ive crossed the turning point. As I told you my wife and I had some good sex last Sunday. Well... this Sunday and Monday we did it again. This time I didnt get the bitchiness or desire for a chaser that I did last time. I think my brain is starting to balance out. I can't put my finger on it but I feel different this week, calmer and happier. My body feels different as well. I'm still not going to push things, just let things happen naturally, but I have to say I'm quite pleased.