My story is similar to so many. I’m 27. About a year ago I lost most of my sex drive and could not get an erection with a partner. Which was a shame because I had many attractive and willing partners. It really made me feel like I was “missing out on life.”I suspected it was related to porn, so cut down and then stopped completely. But when I got a little better I went back to it. I wasn’t ever really sure that it was related to porn. I read a lot info from “experts” who claimed that porn is not known to have any ill effects.
Day 8: Last week wasn’t great, but not too bad. My main symptoms are fatigue, inability to concentrate on work, and desire to isolate and not deal with anyone. Today is the worst day yet. But it doesn’t matter because this time around I know WHY I feel this way. That makes things so much easier.I spent years trying to explain my fatigue, brain fog and lack of focus. I have had periods in life where I focused well for long periods of time. So I know I can do it. I thought I had a sleeping disorder and went in for a sleep test – no issues. I tried a dozen or so different diets, adding and removing potential culprits – no change. I tried all kinds of supplements. I researched all sorts of things.
I had quit caffeine and weed to see if that helps – it didn’t. But it was probably a good idea to stop using those two substances anyway. I got a great education on a number of subjects in my quest, but no solution to my fatigue and lack of focus problem.
The only thing I managed to note definitively after a years of on a off experimentation is that the fatigue came and went in cycles. Bad one week, better the next week. Some weeks were not bad at all, although it’s always there. Now I am hopeful because the puzzle pieces fit. I had been hopeful before, but never as hopeful as I am today.
It was a blessing in disguise that I started to develop ED and that the colors disappeared from my life. I considered that porn might have something to do with ED, but never thought the fatigue could be caused by the constant state of withdrawal from porn/orgasm. Good to see that many are reporting fatigue as a withdrawal symptom.
Day 17: Things are staring to clear up a little bit. I am starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I am still pretty tired, but less so. I am able to exercise and focus on work more. I find women in the streets pleasant to look at again.I definitely notice that I want to masturbate when I am feeling out of it to bring myself back up. But now I recognize that it’s just going to set off another cycle. It’s much easier to resist the craving with this knowledge.
The withdrawal sucks, but resisting cravings hasn’t been hard for me at all. I think it’s partly because I have experience with quitting addictive things and partly because I had reached my rock bottom where I just knew things have to change. Another thing is the awareness of what’s happening and why I feel how I feel.
Day 23: Looks like withdrawals come in waves. Yesterday was pretty bad again. Maybe the worst day yet. Brain fog, can’t focus on a thing, waking up in the middle of the night, just out of it..Today was a little better. Hopefully tomorrow will be even better. I think this is going to take a while, but will be totally worth it.
I also notice that I’m always evaluating the sexiness of nearly every woman I see. It’s not healthy. I never thought much of it, but now I see I need to make a conscious effort to change this. On the other hand it’s healthy to look at women and find them sexy. So where’s the line exactly? I don’t know, but I know I’ve crossed it and need to take a few steps back.
Also find myself sliding into depressive thoughts and moods. Luckily it’s happened to me in the past and I am able to catch it and remind myself that it’s just a temporary thing I’m going through. The trick is not too cheer yourself up, but just cut the depressive thread of thought and move on with life.
Day27: This whole week (week 4) has been kinda rough. But it got easier towards the end. I am not sleeping well. Wake up at least once a night. My stool has been pretty liquid for a while, but now it’s starting to look more normal.I’m still exercising. There’s no way I’ll go back to porn. My decision to delete the home videos is growing firmer, but not quite there yet.
I started seeing a woman – a real beauty and smart too. Basically what every man wants. Now I have this low level anxiety because I’m still not really turned on by real women. It’s only a glimmer of what it used to be and it’s definitely far from “normal”. She’s a beauty and I should be more turned on, and in a sense I am, but it’s like the signal doesn’t travel to my penis.
So as I said, I’m feeling this anxiety that she’ll expect sex sooner than I’m ready. I told her that I quite porn recently and I’m abstaining from sex, but I didn’t lay out the extent of it and I didn’t tell her that I had developed ED. So funny because it’s usually the man pushing for sex and the woman isn’t ready. How the tables have turned hahaha.
Day 42: I’m still P and M free. but the last couple of weeks have been rough. Yesterday and today are the first really good days.It’s not the I’m getting cravings for porn. It’s just that I had this feeling of lack. Like nothing made me happy. It’s just constant unhappiness if you will. Any cravings that I got were not out of desire for pleasure, but out of desire to relieve the displeasure – the feeling of lack that withdrawal creates.
I’ll read a book, but can only for 10-20 min. Then watch a program, but can only go 20 min. Hard to derive any pleasure from anything. Just hard to focus on anything. Got very little work done.
Plus there’s been this anxiety. Just feeling jittery. Yesterday I met my friend and who said: “You seem very relaxed today.” I didn’t realize the anxiety was showing. I thought it was just something I felt on the inside.
Anyway the anxiety is mostly gone, but it’s still hard to focus on work. That’s been the pattern. Up and down, up and down, but trending upwards overall. Sort of like the pendulum analogy: swinging back and forth, but slowly losing energy and coming to center. I just hope it goes away eventually and I can return to normal.
My sex drive has been coming back little by little too. I feel so clean without all that junk in my head (the porn). The longer I go the cleaner I feel. Not morally clean, but “psychologically” clean if that makes sens. Porn is poison for the psyche, like nicotine is poison for the body.
My new girlfriend and I have hit it off. She is very understanding, but can’t wait to have sex. I’m not quite ready yet. I know I could do it, but I think it’s best to let my brain come to balance a bit more. The original goal was to go 60 days without orgasm and I plan to sticking with that. I did give her an orgasm orally though.
Day 60: Feeling pretty good today. Not totally normal – haven’t felt that way for years – but pretty good. Had orgasmic sex twice in the last week. Finally it feels nearly as good as it used to. I hope this continues to improve.My workouts are improving too. I don’t get as tried afterwards and I’m able to workout harder. Still not back to old time levels of hitting it hard, but slowly getting there.
Noticing a slight improvement in focus and concentration. Work is less of a chore. The workday is bit easier to get through.
The anxiety is and jitteriness is nearly gone. Feeling a bit more social. Was always social with close friends and family, but now feeling more outgoing. In a word I feel Hopeful.
Porn is becoming a fading memory It won’t ever be erased completely, but I can get damn close. So obviously I’m done with porn for life.
I’m also staying masturbation free. I’m not sure how long I can keep it up, but I actually like not masturbating. It’s one less thing to think about. Not to mention it gets messy sometimes and the stuff doesn’t come off easily. Sorry for the visual.
I am now almost 4 months porn-free and even masturbation-free. Everything is continuing to improve slowly, but surely.After work, I used to not even have energy to leave the house to go to the gym that’s nearby. Then I started going to the gym regularly, but would run out of energy right after. Now I go to the gym and then go hang out.
Working out now gives me energy like it used to instead of sapping me of energy. I still only able to workout 50% as hard as I used to, but that’s up from about 20%.
I am able to get more work done both at my job and in my part-time business. I can concentrate for a bit longer.
My sex drive is improving. I’ve been getting erections for no reason these past couple of weeks. I remember not too long ago being very nervous before having sex for fear of not being able to get it up. No longer.
Symptoms related to low dopamine/low receptor count still comes in waves. My moods and energy levels are still not steady, but are much steadier than they used to be. I am excited because I think I finally figured out why I’ve been so fatigued and unmotivated for the last several YEARS. I am now pretty sure it was my several addictions/habits: marijuana, caffeine, porn. Porn was the last one to go and I’m hoping it’s the final piece of the puzzle.
Porn is a sneaky little bastard. I never would have made the connection if it weren’t for this web site. Thanks again.
To anyone else out there in a similar situation – DON’T GIVE UP! Things may not improve as quickly as you’d like, but they do improve.
So it has been 6 months… Wow time flies. That’s 6 months of no porn and no masturbation. (Some orgasms with partner.) I still feel like I’m recovering psychologically and physically. Some observations:no masturbation = motivation to meet women.
Guys, if you’re shy around women. You’ll get a lot less shy when they only way you can get off is to have sex with a real woman. You’ll still have those butterflies, but the your sex drive will provide a counter-force to overcome the butterflies. You’ll be more assertive guaranteed.
- more turned on by touch than by visual
When I “was on porn” I’d see a hottie and want to instantly bone her. It’s not exactly like that anymore. Now I’m more turned on my the interaction and the physical touch and less turned on by the visual. Now don’t get me wrong. I’m still a male and looks matter a lot for my arousal, but they play a lesser role now that I’m off porn.
- real women have flaws
This is related to porn and media in general. Real human beings have physical flaws. You don’t see these flaws on your screen. When I’d interact with real women I notice them and consider the women sub-par. Now it’s starting to hit me that flawless women don’t exist. I date some of the most beautiful women this world has to offer (toot, TOOT!) and they all have flaws.
I always knew it on an intellectual level, but now I’m starting to feel it on the gut level. Flaws now indicate to me that this is a real woman that I’m connecting with, which makes her even sexier.
My energy levels continue to be up and down with a general trend for improvement.