Age 53 - (ED) fantasy also played a big part
Amazing. I discovered no PMO after an embarrassing evening of near-total impotence with a woman who I really liked. It was our first (and probably last) sexual experience, and I felt ashamed, humiliated, confused, and afraid. I'd never had such a total 'failure to deploy', although my erections have been slowly but steadily declining for a few years.
As I read the rebooting accounts in YBOP and reflected on my past behavior, I realized that, although I didn't watch porn every day, I was totally addicted to masturbation and fantasy. In fact, this habit started when I was 12 or 13 and hardly a day went by when I didn't F and F (fantasize and fap) at least once if not many times a day. This adds up to 40 years of FMO (fantasy, masturbation, orgasm) -- even though for 10 years of that time I was married.
In recent years, as a result of gradually declining virility (inability to ejaculate, going soft too soon, small volume or ejaculate when I would come, occasional lack of erection), I got heavily into 'sex education' videos (now I realize most of these were really disguised porn) and for months at a time would practice edging several times a day, thinking this would help restore my libido (had also read about edging in some Tantra books). Big mistake - I now understand that this habit also contributed to my steadily declining libido -- the opposite of what I thought I was doing (and what was recommended in the books).
As soon as I started reading YBOP, I realized that the fapping, fantasy and edging -- plus my occasional (usually 1-2 times/week but sometimes daily for 4 or 5 days at a time) porn watching was totally f--king up my system. Wow. So I immediately went PFMO - free (Porn, Fantasy, Masturbation, Orgasm).
Today s day 18 and the difference has been amazing. I'm 53, so I didn't start out jacking off to Internet Porn -- more like the Playboy/Penthouse centerfolds; but basically I've been fapping and fantasizing for 40 years. I was married for a decade, and have had plenty of lovers, but the F&F never stopped.
What have I noticed since no PFMO? Huge flatline for about 10 days, then this retiring surge of a different 'flavor' of attraction towards women who I would have passed over as only average looking. I am finding a kind of delicious delight just being around women that I never quite had before. There is much less 'unconscious' objectification of women when I see them -- it's like when my brain doesn't go to the fantasy place, my perception of them expands beyond the outer appearance.
I am more confident connecting with attractive women and my sexual confidence is increasing -- just last night at a party chatted and teased and bantered with a woman whose beauty and sexiness three weeks ago would have intimidated me.
I am realizing that much of my social insecurities, irritation, apathy and overall sense of 'I'm not ok' -ness (that I've tried repeatedly to work out with various therapies -- counseling, hypnosis, workshops, more) was definitely related to dopamine dysregulation, fapping and fantasy. Absolutely amazing.
It's like all this life force and energy and concentration and power that was being fapped away and the mental energy and focus that was dissipated in fantasy (because I would 'collect' images of attractive women as I went through the day that I would jack off to when I got home at night -- what a fricking waste of the mind-power) was suddenly available to me for living my life, achieving my goals, and reaching out in a healthy, human way to women. It's such a relief not to objectify women and to turn off that automatic circuit that would instantly start the trailer of mind-porn when I would see an attractive woman! I know I am way early on this journey; I'm fortunate because I didn't have too much of a porn habit; and, I still have some physical health issues (mostly low testosterone) that are probably contributing to being less than my most virile self. And, this insight has been a HUGE relief. For the first time in my 5 decades I really feel like a man. I know this is the beginning of the journey and I also know that I am never going back to PFMO. Wow.