I just completed 90 days without masturbation, porn or sexual fantasy. I’m single and celibate, so there was no sex either. I think that’s what they call hard mode (there was one nocturnal emission 50 days in, but apart from that, no ejaculation at all). I just wanted to post this so that other people might be able to benefit from my experiences and research. I’m a 32yo male who’d been trying to give up sexual fantasy, porn and masturbation for about 7 years, before this latest attempt.
I was only a moderate user, masturbating daily or every two days, mostly to sexual fantasy, and only using porn once or twice a week, although some weeks I would use it much more. I know I was addicted because I couldn’t stop. When I tried, I would usually relapse after a few days or a week. Once I did a month, but that was really hard.
This time (90 days so far) I have had almost no struggles, and it has been really, really easy. If you’ve tried to give this stuff up and found it very hard, you’ll understand how surprised I was to find it so easy this time. I haven’t put a filter on my internet, I haven’t consciously avoided any places or people, I can sit at my computer late at night, I don’t have anyone keeping me accountable, I don’t have cold showers and I don’t exercise to burn off ‘sexual energy’. In fact, I don’t think that I have employed any of the recommended strategies at all.
I’ll try to explain how this happened. Before the current streak of 90 days, I did a couple of months where I was masturbating whenever I wanted to, but only to an image of a generic female body. At no time was I to engage in watching porn, or other sexual fantasy or thinking about girls I knew or had seen. This couple of months allowed me to develop mental control while keeping my physical urges under control with regular release. It probably reset a lot of the brain wiring that was associating orgasm with porn and fantasy, and went a long way towards breaking my addiction to porn and fantasy. It also made the whole thing a bit of a non-issue, since I could masturbate whenever I felt like it. It even became boring after a while, and often I just couldn’t be bothered with my regular release.
So then I tried to do 10 days without masturbating, to see if the mental control was manageable. It was. And ever since then I’ve been adding ten days after ten days, and I’m over 90. I used to think that it was impossible to go for more than a month, and I used to think that it got harder and harder as time went by, but now I know that’s not true.
So I think that the two-stage thing was helpful, but some other things that were probably more important were:
1. Realising that arousal and horniness are just a product of hormones/endorphins in your blood stream, which are released when your brain dwells on a sexual thought, image or cue. So if you keep dwelling on the idea of sex or a sexual image, you will never stop being horny, and the horniness will increase. But if you turn your mind to something else, the hormones will be removed naturally from your system in a short time (depending on how much is in there). I can be completely clear in 20 minutes from a short burst of hormones caused by a random sexual image. The most I’ve ever needed is overnight.
2. Realising that abstinence from physical masturbation does make mental control harder, because your sex drive gradually increases over time after ejaculation. The good news is that it doesn’t increase forever. In my experience, after about two weeks it maxes out and it doesn’t get any harder than that. In fact, things get easier, because you gradually get better at handling the increased sex drive.
3. Adopting a zero-arousal policy. This is really the key to what made it so easy this time. Whenever I feel even the very initial burst of arousal, I shut out whatever thought triggered it, to prevent the further release of arousal hormones. Then the hormones usually subside in less than an hour. I don’t let myself get into a state of heightened arousal, because in such a state, the decision-making parts of the brain are seriously impaired, and relapse is much more likely. This means that I don’t think about sex. Ever. If you can accept that sort of condition, quitting masturbation could be a lot easier than you think!
4. Keeping a journal. Every night I would briefly write down how the day went, and whether there were any random sexual thoughts or images that caused the release of hormones into my bloodstream. I would jot down how I dealt with them, and how long the arousal took to go away. The best thing about the journal was that it showed me that for the vast majority of the time I was masturbation free and feeling fine. When I’m in the throes of arousal, and struggling, it’s easy to think that life is just miserable, and I need to masturbate to make things better. Having the journal there, I could read it and realise that I had been feeling fine 90% of the time, and that all the struggles in past days had been overcome without masturbating. This gave hope and perspective.
Thanks for reading. If you want more info, I created a blog to publish my experiences and findings in detail. There are four posts there.
1. First of all, there’s my story (basically an extended version of the above), including my background, and how I managed to finally quit masturbation. Here.
2. Then there’s a post with all the science that I gathered, which really helped me a lot. Only when I understood what was actually going on in my body and mind was I able to control it. Here.
3. In another post I explain in much more detail how I turn away from, or redirect, sexual thought. Here.
4. Finally there’s a list of all the helpful practices that helped me overcome my habit. This is copied mostly from the first post, but I’ve added a few more. Here.
There’s not much in the way of inspirational quotes on my blog, but I’m sure you can find that elsewhere My problem was that I had plenty of inspiration, but not enough information.
Anyway, I don’t know if this stuff will work for others, but it sure worked for me. My hope is that someone might be able to get some inspiration or ideas, or perhaps adapt them to their own circumstances. If you have any questions at all, please do ask.