Age 20 – (ED) Nine months to reboot, needed girlfriend to recover

I first started noticing more sluggish erections a little over a year and a half ago after I had stopped hooking up with this girl. I was terrified and would always pull up some porn to reassure myself that I was fine. It never really failed me. I discovered masturbation at the age of 7 and started using porn on and off around age 14. From that young age of 7 I would masturbate every day (mostly) all the way until I was older when it sometimes was multiple times per day. I was a freshman in college when I first started having problems: Winter break was the bad time as I found myself on a one month binge with the need for more and more extreme porn to get hard. I even thought I was gay at one point for viewing tranny and gay porn–which I did with frequency towards the end of break.

I had no clue what was wrong with me when I got back to school for the spring semester, no libido, anxiety about my sexuality and a small flaccid penis. I might have stumbled onto this site in my Internet search for answers but never read it in depth. For that semester i would go a few weeks with no masturbation then think everything was fine, and test. Always testing. From a strong desire for women months prior I was now in a nightmare.

Eventually I stopped porn, tried to reboot, and by may I was seeing some marginal results; semi’s, morning woods etc. Then I went on another binge for around a month. I was just so puzzled how this problem became so extreme so quickly—the summer going into school I had a raging sex drive.

In August I had read all through this site and decided to start a real reboot FULL no PMO. I went 3 months where I felt literally nothing. I masturbated once and came within seconds with a very lackluster erection. I got head from a girl and also came within seconds with a erection that was questionably strong. Some masturbation was thrown in a few times 4ish over the next mouth and then I had my first sexual encounter. Small tiny penis, but when I was with this girl I managed to get a full erection–despite coming very quickly. I then held off on masturbation for another few weeks but ended up doing it a few times over winter break, about 1 year after this nightmare began.

It is now February (6 MONTHS) and I have no idea what is going on, I feel like I am the longest one has taken to reboot. I’m worried I did something to my body by masturbating too much over the years, there are sites on “sexual exhaustion” with compelling reasons such as depletion of hormones/ neurotransmitters but I know its not medically recognized. I wish I was like the guys on this site who had such quick recoveries but i’m still in this bad dream. I want to have a relationship so badly.

With that said I have seen marginal results:

I do get morning erections from time to time (although rarely totally full) and some spontaneous erections here and there (70%-80%) for a few minutes….however I can never summon an erection by thinking anymore… control and when its not alive all is dead downstairs.

If I am with a girl, touching, dancing, and cuddling I can get hard. Not always sustained but usually very much the real deal.

Two weeks ago I had a girl stay over and I got my first wet dream while snuggled up next to her.

I had another a few nights after.

Why can’t I really get it up for masturbation at all but a partner makes it easy—is this normal?

Is it normal for me to take this long—my libido is still almost nonexistent. Usually people are normal by now.

I was a super busy-body in high school with strict parents so I never became intimate with girls like a normal person, probably why I turned to porn.

I feel like I don’t want to even want to rush to sex, I have had two girls stay over and the cuddling and touching was the most incredible thing I have ever experienced. I am talking with this one girl now who I know wants to have sex with me and I like her immensely. When I’m with her I get aroused, otherwise all is dead. Is it ok to have sex, I feel like every time I masturbate (as weak as my erections are) things go downhill for a few days after.

Quitting porn wasn’t hard once I realized what was at stake….now I just need some results….and it doesn’t seem like they’re coming at all.

I’ve read through this whole site and don’t see my specific case fitting in anywhere.

Is this normal? Will I be ok? What should I do from here?

Thanks a million,

-20 years young, 6 months porn free, and hopeless.


Sorry to hear about your lack of progress.

First you may want to go to a doctor to have all your hormones checked. Make sure they do thyroid hormones, prolactin, cortisol, etc. Although traditional Chinese Medicine recognizes sexual exhaustion, there’s no evidence for depletion of any specific hormone.

You could try the suggestions on this page – self massage to try to reconnect to normal levels of touch.

Yes you should have sex, as that is the main purpose of the rebooting process. The goal isn’t to become a celibate, it’s to eliminate artificial (Internet) and rewire to the real. Take it slow, if possible, so you can become comfortable with the person.

It’s normal to get excited for the real deal, but your lack of response to masturbation may indicate that you still need artificial stimulation (porn) to get going.

I wish I had more answers.

Keep us updated on your progress with real-life females.

Not exactly what I wanted to hear. However thank you for getting back to me so quickly. I ‘ll try and make an appt. with urologist to get all of my levels checked. I’m kind-of hoping that’s the issue so I can at least get a formal treatment with some actual results. What scares me the most is that “sexual exhaustion” is an actual real thing, and that i’ve done some kind of irreparable damage that can’t be treated. All I find online when I google that term are sites with expensive herbs people are trying to sell me and doom/gloom stories. I swear to god, I’m a really healthy kid and this is quite possibly the most frightening experience, i’ve ever been through knowing I can’t show my affection for a women. Especially being a popular kid on a college campus–with actual girls who fancy me, this is hell.

Despite these issues, I have made some progress. Do you think recovery is even possible/ does my case even belong on this site?

I’m gonna keep trudging on regardless. There is a girl, I have developed a connection with and i’m starting to get feelings of attachment that I haven’t had in a while. I can only move forward.


Starting at age 7 may have wired your brain to masturbation in such a way that you will need consistent effort to wire to the real. I think that nearly all the “sexual exhaustion” causes are neuroplastic and addiction changes in the brain. Which means all can be reversed. If it is porn-induced ED it can be resolved. It’s simple physiology. If a stroke victim can rewire their brain, a 20-year old certainly can.

Hi ,

I just thought I would update you on my progress. I had sex (abstained from o) with a 75-80% erection many weeks ago after my first post. In addition I frequently wake up with morning woods almost to the point where it is every day now. Some last a while while others are weaker, and often I will be lying in bed (if for a while)  with everything being hard for a few minutes then soft then hard again. Almost like a power system coming back online. They usually all disappear upon getting out of bed.  The biggest change however is at least once a day I will receive a completely spontaneous erection while sitting down. Some days they are hard as a rock while others they are more of that 70-80% range. Some last longer while others are not as long but the general trend is more activity. I decided to test with masturbation a few days ago just on sensations and it was a mixed response again, I managed to get semi hard towards the weak side but with constant stimulation it was rock hard (I also didn’t last long whereas with real sex that wasn’t an issue).

When I’m with a girl, stimulation is generally not needed. Libido wise, everything is much improved with periods of real horniness a lot of times without an erection etc. (I still use that metaphor of a power system coming back online) Before bed each night I can fantasize about actual partners and get instantly hard maybe because i’m so relaxed before sleep/ no anxiety? Its been 7 months since I started reboot and i know I’m not a normal case, as we discussed, but do things seem to fit the recovery pattern? The trend has been spotty, but positive. Its tough because I never experienced any form of intimacy until just before I started having these issues.

I also still see things all over the Internet about over-masturbation and how it causes weak erections low libido and eventually impotence, sexual exhaustion etc, but It was usually only once a day for me (sometimes more or less) albeit I started extremely early and you suggested wiring to be the issue. Are those claims valid? Some guys on this site talked about M/Oing 2-4 times a day for close to 10 years and rebooted just fine.

Perhaps I just have a very sensitive brain.

I am starting things with a new girl now and I am very relaxed around her so I am excited to see what happens. i know when I am with a real partner I tend not to have such glaring issues.

I understand this is a lot, but let me know your thoughts!


Traditional Chinese medicine has a model for sexual exhaustion, but the model doesn’t transfer to Western physiology. Western medicine doesn’t believe in sexual exhaustion. My view is that exhaustion can exist (low cortisol, low thyroid, low testosterone, etc.), but sexual exhaustion does not. Nearly everyone who claims to have sexual exhaustion has been a heavy porn user. It’s clear that they developed an addiction, and have rewired their brains to need a certain level of stimulation. Without it, they cannot get excited or maintain an erection. When they quit masturbation, they usually also quit porn – and enter withdrawal period and a flatline period. They mistake this withdrawal period for sexual exhaustion. The confusion is compounded by the fact that they felt more while masturbating to porn.

Since I don’t believe in “sexual” exhaustion as such, so my view is that you had an addiction.

Complete Reversal

Hi ,

Just thought I’d update you as I have been perhaps one of the longest cases on this site which was troubling for me as I recovered, and hopefully can serve as some inspiration for those frustrated with lack of results.

First off: getting a consistent partner was what did it for me. Before that frustration was all I saw.

Starting at month 7 after reboot I had someone to flirt with, sleep with, cuddle with, and kiss gently before moving to sex. This slowly got me going again. At first I could only get hard for short periods of a time and had to “rush” for penetration, but after each time my erections got stronger. Also high levels of PE have subsided as time has worn on–practice makes perfect. I now get hard just by gently kissing my lover and have zero issues with erection quality.

I have zero desire to masturbate and am sure libido will continue to improve, as well as my orgasms which were nothing of note at at start (but have slowly gotten better). I had sex three times in one night with zero difficulty so I cannot believe how far I have come since embarking on this journey.

Get a real partner, take the time to get to connect with someone (not just sexually), and it is an experience too powerful to describe. With everything taking so long for me, I can only imagine the changes a year from now. 9 months later and I am a changed man. I certainly felt obliged to share this final update for all those struggling out there and hope no one ever has to go through what I did.


by Hockeygod28