Age 47 – Rebooted with partner, sex helped

12/16/2011 I’m 47 and trying to recover from an Internet porn / masturbation addiction that I have slowly developed over a very long period, say 10 years, without even realizing what was happening. Like many, I knew something was wrong when I found myself preferring Internet porn to real women.

For 3 months now, I have a new partner whom I’m in love with and with whom I share great sex. As a result I have totally and easily given Internet porn up. The problem is the main symptom of my addiction is that I can initially get an erection with my partner, but have trouble maintaining it, especially when it comes to penetration. Also, I can only climax by masturbating myself, with her “assistance”. This has improved a little, in that I have actually climaxed once during penetration. My partner is very understanding and is totally helpful, also in this sense.

Having said that, I get no more stimuli from pornography: mentally I’m totally with her, but physically I’m not, which drives me crazy. One solution is ED drugs, the smallest dose of which I can find is Levitra 5 mg, which works wonders. When I take it the sex is fantastic, though I have trouble climaxing. Note: we live apart, so meet for weekends mostly, during which we have sex every day, but it is a bit like binges, which I sometimes feel puts pressure on me to perform.

So: ME: I have given up porn very happily for the real thing about 3 months ago, but have trouble having good complete sexual relations, unless I masturbate, and/or take Levitra. When with her I’m totally focused on her, and this has been improving with ups and downs.

HER: she is totally cool about the whole thing, loves the sex (I try to find “alternatives” if my friend down there doesn’t help me out) and is very good at taking the performance anxiety off me.

QUESTION: when having sex, should I give up masturbation, and therefore orgasm, for a rebooting period, and only have penetrative sex by using ED drugs? Or, if it is true that the problem lies in the motivation (i.e. porn) not in the act, and given that I (think) I am only motivated by her, can I carry on climaxing manually with my partner, and wait for things to improve gradually over time? In other words, given I have substituted my desire for porn with my desire for her, is there a link between masturbation and porn that sneakily carries on in my mind? Is my brain fooling me?

01/08/2012 As it says in various accounts, rebooting with a partner helps things but also complicates them. In my experience the problem is masturbation. I get initially aroused and do fine with manual and oral stimulation by my partner, including reaching orgasm (though always by means of her manual stimulation), but as soon as I try penetration……. catastrophe. I’m totally off internet porn, never think of the stuff, am crazy about my partner and am always instantly aroused by her, but I can’t do what I feel I should. I’m only capable of oral and manual sex, and this is very frustrating.

We are now going to try a month of total abstinence on my part. No orgasm for me, but lots of fooling around and of my stimulating her orally and manually (which seems to be positive in most accounts).

01/22/2012 4 months without P, 10 days without MO. I am rebooting with a partner, and though I gave up porn 4 months ago, I kept masturbation (by myself or my partner, as this was the only way I could reach orgasm) and found I wasn’t getting anywhere. I fact the ED got worse. 10 days ago we agreed to stop M and O on my part. We do a lot of oral, and even penetration (ED allowing), but no M and no O for me.

Things are improving. My libido is growing and we’re intimate very often. Penetration lasts longer and longer and there are encouraging signs of ED getting better. I very nearly reached O when doing it doggy style but pulled back in time.

02/18/2012 I stopped watching all porn in September, and besides once, have never had any desire to do so again. I was motivated by the fact I was really keen to have successful sex with my partner, so once I had understood the PD mechanism thanks to the excellent videos on this site, I never found it very hard to give up. I think the fact I wanted to be intimate with my girlfriend was in itself the strongest motivation and really made the difference. I’m not sure it would have been as easy if I had been alone struggling with my desire to masturbate every day. Because of my ED problems I would lose wood during penetrative sex, so just over a month ago we decided to leave out all masturbation, the only way I could reach orgasm, out of our sexual encounters. Everything else was allowed, including oral and (attempted) penetrative sex. This did slowly bring me to the brink of orgasm, and was in no way the “gentle sex” spoken of elsewhere in this site. I would always make it fun for her, pleasuring her orally or manually. When she practiced oral sex on me (but no manual stimulation) I found myself getting always closer to orgasm, but never quite got there. I would go to sleep with a sense of excitement and frustration and often dreamt of sex.

About 3 weeks ago I started having orgasms only with oral sex but no manual stimulation. At first this worried me, because I thought it would slow things down, but then I reasoned that if the lymbic system works in a mechanical reward/punishment way, it made sense to reward it for the behaviour I wanted, so I decided that I would definitely leave porn and masturbation out, but if I reached orgasm with non-manual sex, that was ok. I have found this has accelerated the rebooting.

Yesterday I had penetrative sex (4 months with no porn and 5 weeks with no masturbation) in different positions with an almost complete erection from beginning to end, and reached an orgasm when I felt like it. It’s miraculous how much has changed in 3 months. My partner’s role has been crucial in all this. She has been supportive and loving in all of this, and the fact we have had sex, no matter how succesfully, has somehow prevented me from becoming sexually frustrated, which I feel would have been a source of temptation to fall back on old behaviours.

It is hard to explain how I feel. It is as if the physical stimulation, without any porn-style fantasies, and the actual physiological reaction are directly connected again. For instance if I touch myself while reading a book or doing something else, but never with visual stimulation, I get an erection. It’s as if fantasies play a much smaller role, or none at all, in the whole mechanism of erection-orgasm.

Naturally watching her sucking me is exciting, and that is a concern because it does somehow reconduce everything to porn, but then I am the one actually having it done to me, not some guy on the computer screen….. and that is the fundamental difference if you think about it.