(90 days) I started out watching soft-core porn when I was 9 (Friday/Saturday nights on Cinemax, also known as Skinimax). I started masturbating a year later however, when I was 10. For the next few years, that was my PMO experience (little did I know, I was getting some of my fetishes hardwired into my brain already, namely with certain types of shoes and body hair).
Then came dial-up Internet when I turned 13. From there, my tastes started getting more out there (grannies, BBWs, sometimes combined). This further intensified when high-speed Internet came to our house a few years later. With high speed, I started getting interested in other things I won’t name here. All the while, I didn’t suspect there was a problem with my brain at all. I bought into the BS line that “frequent masturbation is healthy (mentally and physically) and everyone does it” and I knew every other guy I knew looked at porn also, so what was the big deal. In the meantime, I had several girlfriends and never experienced any problems, so all was good I thought.
Fast forward to a couple of years ago when I was 28, when the first sign that I had a problem crept up. I was with my now ex-girlfriend, and I was about to get ready to go into sex with her again, and all of the sudden, I went limp! Granted, to be honest, I was losing my attraction to her due to issues in the relationship, which I attributed the ED to at the time, so I then avoided trying to do anything sexual with her. When I did have to, I would fantasize about a favorite porn star or someone I saw in public that I thought was attractive. Therefore, I didn’t think I had ED, but just “nervousness.” I tried techniques to keep an erection during sexual acts, mainly what I now know is called “edging” (which I didn’t know then was making matters worse). I would watch my favorite poor for a couple of hours and fap without getting to orgasm. So it was my own form of nofap I thought, but it wasn’t since I was still doing the PM in PMO..
Eventually, I broke up with her in April 2013, and immediately got back into my normal PMO routine. Fast forward to last March. I went on a date with a very attractive woman (by most men’s standards, she would be), and then realized after the date that I never got hard to her before, during, or after the date. I then tried to get one, but couldn’t. Then, I realized I never got hard to other women I recently dated, who were attractive also. So I started freaking out, thinking my ED problems with my ex were related to this. I thought I’d never be able to get married/have children/etc. Panicking, I started googling like crazy (I saw the similarities to Gabe’s story in retrospect), and came across YBOP, and how porn/masturbation led to PIED. Also, I learned it could be fixed by refraining from porn/masturbation/edging. It sounded crazy at first and didn’t make sense at all to me. At that point however, I had reached rock-bottom where I was willing to try anything. So I did. A few days later, I discovered the nofap sub on reddit, and so I made a badge.
The first week in, I felt like shit. I had a panic attack at work for why I don’t know, and got depressed a little. However, after that second week, I started seeing the benefits already. One month in, I was dating someone (which lasted for 6 weeks), and stayed strict on the nofap plan (except for one day, where I edged to her – the only time I succumbed to the chaser effect, so I reset my badge). While I was nervous the first couple of times in bed with her, I didn’t experience any major ED problems, and my erections in bed got harder as time went on. However, things ended, and I somehow stayed strong to not PMO in the aftermath. I’ve been in hard mode again for over 8 weeks now. Right now, I’m on my longest streak of not fapping or orgasming since I was 10 (to put it in perspective, Bill Clinton was in his first term as President). Here’s some of the changes I’ve discovered in myself:
- I’ve had less social anxiety in public. I usually get it in public places if I’m alone, especially in areas with lots of people. However, I’ve learned crowds don’t bother me as much, if it all now. It even got to the point where I found myself a few times going to the mall just to be walk around and be out around people. Once, I also went to the grocery store right after work, just so I could be somewhere public and not go straight home.
- I also have found myself being more social to people in general, and less nervous talking to them. This is true with the opposite sex also. Case in point, a couple of weeks ago, I did something I NEVER had done in my life (the one time in the nightclub doesn’t count): I approached a VERY attractive woman in real, everyday life (I was at a local conference for my job, she was presenting in one of the sessions), and I hit on her, for lack of a better term. She was receptive, and now we are meeting for lunch this week, for a “business meeting” of sorts. In the old days of PMO, I would have told myself I didn’t stand a chance with her, and just go think about her when I fapped at home that evening (our brain’s evolutionary trait that thinks PMO is real, reproductive sex). Now, not being able to fap, I had no choice but to talk to her I saw it in my head. As I said in an earlier post, my friend has likened my nofap experience to those Family Matters episodes where Steve Urkel turns into Stefan Urquelle, albeit over a slower pace.
- I’ve also haven’t had bouts of depression since I started nofap. Even when there would be a trigger to cause a depressed moment, my brain for some reason, refuses to let me “go there.” It’s like “I want to feel shitty, but I can’t for some reason.” I just go with the feeling and enjoy the fact I’m not sliding into that mindset again.
- I’ve also been drinking less (at home alone) as well I’ve learned. During PMO, drinking at home was a way to feel some sort of joy that I thought was missing. Now, I don’t have those urges anymore to get drunk at home. I’m on a positive high all the time now.
- I’ve also taken up reading for leisure again, and I also took the initiative, and got a second job as a professor at a local university. Teaching at this point is a hobby of mine, and I’ve used this time for personal/professional growth as well.
- Finally, my attraction to women in real life has increased (which is part of the reason I’m less afraid of approaching them now as in that incident described earlier), and now I find myself getting erections again to potential dates, just by imaging us kissing, nothing sexual.
What’s helped me for when I’ve been tempted to relapse are these things:
- I keep the big picture in mind (why I started nofap in the first place, and how my emotional/sexual health was before that). I keep telling myself “it’s not worth it.”
- When that doesn’t work, then I visit the nofap sub, and read posts to convince me not to do it (posts where guys boast about their “superpowers” or saying how shitty they feel after relapsing). That usually works for me.
- I also go to the gym almost daily. That includes running for 7 miles (or 9 miles if it’s nice outside), and lifting weights every other day. I can tell my muscles have grown since then, and has only helped to boost my confidence. Plus going to the gym lets me release some of that pent up energy instead of releasing it through PMO.
Bottom line: I’ve done a LOT of damage to my brain the last 20 years with PMO. If I can recover and start to turn my life around, you can too.
Thank you nofap for helping me in this journey, and I’ll be around for awhile on here!