I’m writing to you after having happily reunited with my gf after the holiday break. We were both gone for a week, and it took everything to keep us from immediately pouncing on each other after I picked her up at the airport yesterday. We enjoyed each other many times last night and everything downstairs worked flawlessly, though it wasn’t always like that.
The very beginnings of my problems started in January of 2012, and though I was functioning just fine by the end of 2013, I still experimented with porn a bit this summer and only got back on the wagon recently. Because I was a lurker all this time and benefited from these types of stories, I figured it was time to share my story in the hopes that someone might learn something and their life could be improved.
Act 1: 1988-2012
Everything works great! My friends joke about whiskey dick, but I don’t get it. I’ve been hammered and been hammering, only to find I’m still strong as an ox. I would never have believed you if you told me I was about to go through the most sobering experience of my life. I watched porn on a nightly basis, and I never saw any issues regarding my IRL sex life. Perhaps this was because I had a girlfriend for most of college and my porn consumption was only nightly if we weren’t together. I forget the details when school was in session. I do remember relying pretty heavily on nightly porn in the summers when we were away, but there were never any negative effects of that. For the detail oriented out there, I started masturbating when I was 11 or so. I grew up on dial-up modems, so most of my early porn was images. For a couple of years before college, I could watch videos via winamp. They had some adult video streams which I still have fond memories of to this day.
Act 2: 2012 Jan. – Oct.
I hadn’t experienced PIED or anything yet, but I was striking out with the ladies more now that I was in the real world and not in some fantasy land college setting. After a few bad breakups in this time period, I resolved to improve my game. Looking online, I wanted to improve my sexual performance, as better sex can really help basically any relationship. I found an article or two on increasing one’s endurance, among other things, so I started there. The advice amounted to edging and backing off, repeatedly. The idea was to desensitize oneself through breathing exercises and habituation. Not knowing better, and thinking this was a fun way to practice, I took it very seriously. They said after edging without porn that I should edge with porn as the ultimate form of practice. If I could, I would without a doubt go back in time and punch whoever wrote that article in the face. Unfortunately, we’re a long ways off from time travel vengeance (probably for a good reason), so I digress. During this time, btw, I discovered the now defunct pinklab.com. (explanation: http://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/tmxhi/nsfw_what_happened_to_pinklab). It definitely did not help my case… Sensory overload? Very much unfortunately yes. Now I should mention that I didn’t use it for this entire period. I only did this in the interim between the 4 lady interests (ranging from hookups to gfs) that I had in this time period. I did have my first “going soft” moment with one of the girls in Jan. I chalked it up to being high and somewhat paranoid at the time (i.e. performance anxiety on weed, the worst).
Act 3: 2012 Oct. – 2013 Mar.
By this point, I had started experiencing more “going soft” moments with my gf at the time. She was chill about it, so I tried to not let it bother me that much. It started to get really bad though and by the end of December, I broke up with her for various reasons, but the PIED was not helping. Looking back, I think it was actually a mix of PIED, edging and the beginning of depression, but I’ll never be certain about the exact mix of factors that caused it.
In January, I got back together with one of the girls from summer 2012. She was the girl of my dreams, but unfortunately my PIED was affecting me 100% of the time. I went soft with her once and it really freaked both of us out. I immediately got a prescription for Cialis and used that for the remainder of dating her, unbeknownst to her. I was never horny when we slept together though, just hard from the drugs. It was bad w.r.t. the road to recovery, but I thought I had no other option if I wanted to keep her.
Finally, in March, I broke up with her because she was working 70 hr weeks, wasn’t making time for me, and I didn’t want to go on stressing about keeping up with her with my PIED as bad as it was.
As an aside, I think I may have stumbled upon YBOP a few times in this period, but I always wrote it off as religion inspired drivel. I didn’t think it was the porn or edging doing the damage, but something else entirely.
Act 4: 2013 Mar. – Dec.
As I mentioned above, I still didn’t know that porn was the issue, I didn’t know about rebooting, and I sure as heck hadn’t stopped fapping. I knew I’d have to figure out a solution without the stress of dealing with someone else and their sexual wants and needs. As such I decided to refrain from having any lady interests until I could get a grip on what was going on.
I was unfortunately also experiencing a pretty bad depression as a result of the end of 2012 and the plumbing problems I’d been facing. The end of 2012 saw lots of change (new job, car, everything…). I’d been drinking way more coffee to keep up at my new high paying but high stress job. With all of these things combined, I had major depression from Jan to July. This included chronic anxiety, depressive symptoms, panic attacks, etc… Let me tell you, I’ll time travel punch a dude in the face, but I would not wish this stuff on my worst enemy. Depression is fucking awful. Fortunately for me, I figured out some great tricks for fighting depression, so I actually did just “get over it”, even though that’s awful terrible advice and only works for those who understand a decent bit of psychology.
I think at some point around July I discovered YBOP and nofap. As I was just coming out of the depression, I was willing to do just about anything to get over one of my initial “triggers”. I immediately tried the 90 day challenge on hard mode, and low and behold, I got to 60 days and experienced spontaneous erections, consistent morning wood, etc.. I blew it though (NPI), when my soon to be gf and I were out one day. I returned home that night, felt pretty frustrated by my no-girls policy, was delighted by my recent, 3 second spontaneous boners, and had a nice fap. That killed a lot of progress right there and I flatlined for a bit longer after that. Feeling frustrated, I tried porn, masturbation, and other techniques to see if perhaps I was ready to rewire and simply needed some stimulus now. None of this seemed to have any lasting effect though, and the porn set me back again, so I stopped. These weren’t porn binges, btw. They were simply my nightly, standard, get off quick viewings.
Having told myself to give up entirely on porn, I stuck with fapping. I would never again hit the 60 day mark, but I would consistently go 2 weeks without fapping, only to “test” myself after a bit to see if I was better. I worried a lot about missing out on the “perfect girl” because I was dealing with this, so I wanted to feel like I was taking action to speed things along. Hearing that I had no control and should just wait was a very tough pill to swallow.
Finally, Thanksgiving of 2013 would be the last time I “tested” myself, as it just seemed like it wasn’t working.
Act 5: 2014 Jan. – Apr.
I ended up dating that one girl from before and things actually worked pretty great! I was VERY wary at first about dating her. I wasn’t sure how my plumber downstairs was going to react. It turns out, my 60 days + porn experiments + periodic 2 week faps had done the trick. I was back at about 90% operational capacity. I wasn’t nearly as hard as I used to be, and sometimes I would go soft just briefly, but I was able to enjoy myself with her. It also didn’t hurt that I got crazy good at eating girls out. If you can smoothly transition to doing that if you think things are going poorly, you’ll be golden. It’ll give you confidence, give you some time for a breather, and she’ll be satisfied regardless. I prefer to do this and have her finish me with her mouth sometimes as being hard is less mission critical here.
Things ended in April for personal reasons unrelated to PIED. Praise bog, I was cured! Or so I thought.
Act 6: 2014 Apr. – Sep.
I had 3 different partners in this time period, but things were pretty irregular. I had read that my brain would be way more sensitive to porn now and that I should still steer clear. I disregarded this advice and tried some nightly viewings for a while. At first, everything seemed to work just fine. I didn’t have any flatline hangovers. Finally though, I started noticing that my spontaneous erections were disappearing. I cut off all porn at that time and haven’t watched anything since. This was probably in July or so.
I also tried a no-porn fap here and there. It wasn’t terrible, but I definitely noticed that it hampered my rebounds somewhat.
I’m now dating the girl from the very beginning of this post. We’ve been pretty happy together for the last 3 months or so. I usually start hard with her and last for quite a long time. If we use condoms I’ll go to 70% hardness but won’t go soft outright. I’ll usually switch to doing something else and will entertain the notion of re-entering at a later time if the rest of my body is cooperating. As far as I can tell, I’m still improving and rewiring with every encounter, though I’d gladly call this a success.
I don’t know how much these tips will help. A lot of what I tried may have been ineffectual, or it might not have been. The unfortunate fact of the matter is that it’s hard to do real science on this condition since there are so many things one would need to control for. Here’s what I think helped me, however:
- Don’t stress – Learn what you have to from here, YBOP, etc. Then make a plan and stop being a lurker. There’s no point in thinking about PIED constantly. Just go live your life and be happy with what you’ve got. PIED will eventually go away, but only after you stop stressing about it.
- Don’t feel guilty when you relapse – If you’re going to masturbate, enjoy it. The worst thing you could do would be feel guilty after orgasming. You don’t want to teach your brain that what you’re doing is bad. Then you won’t be excited to have sex and otherwise rewire properly. You’ll have anxiety thinking about being intimate with someone.
- Only orgasm when you’re horny – You want to train your brain cause and effect. Horny -> orgasm. You can be hard and not horny (as I’ve experienced with Cialis), so don’t mistake being hard with being horny.
- Only orgasm when you’re hard – You also don’t want to orgasm when you’re soft either. You need the full package, otherwise you’re teaching your brain the wrong thing.
- Don’t edge – If you’re horny and you want to orgasm, you can play as much as you want as long as you fully commit when the time comes. Don’t back off so you can teach your brain the right way.
- Learn to use your mouth – If you’re hetero, learn to eat some pussy. It’s super easy, actually, and if she’s young enough, she’s likely to A) tell you you’re the best she’s ever had, and B) love you forever. Step 1: Find the clit. Step 2: Lick with consistency. Step 3: Keep doing this till she comes. You can change up the pace or location to find that sweet spot, but once she starts telling you “don’t stop”, you better not stop. Also, you get a million bonus points if you can stay locked on target while she’s coming and thrusting into the air.
- Try supplements but be sure to wean off them – L Arginine and Catuaba Bark are FANTASTIC supplements. LArg will keep your hard (but not horny) and Catuaba will make you a little hornier (but not hard). Take these two a few hours before any excursions you might have and you’ll notice quite a bit of a difference. These guys won’t completely overcome PIED, but they might help you enough to get you started with a real woman. Once you do this, you’ll be well on your way to rewiring. Be sure though to stop using these so that it’s your body making your horny and hard and not the supplements. Again, if you’re 50% hard and you increase to 90% hard through a pill, your brain’s learning that 50% hard is okay (and it’s not! This is the problem I had with Cialis).
- Make sure to give yourself plenty of reboot time before you try to rewire! I had a very solid 60 days of hard mode, and it was great. 90 days probably would have worked even better. Be sure to do this before trying to rewire.
- Don’t test – Really this is just a combination of the above rules. If you’re testing, you’re not doing something natural. You’re likely stressed and you’re likely not that horny.
- Let yourself become idly horny – If you think 1) I want to be horny so I can masturbate 2) I should look at some softcore images 3) I look at said images and get somewhat hard, then you’re not teaching your brain the right thing. You’re starting with a conscious intent to be horny, when really it should just happen spontaneously if possible. I’ve personally found that I can become idly horny by reading lascivious text. A great example would be the “truth bombs” posted on Lulu. Lots of girls like dishing out their favorite parts of the male anatomy in total anonymity. If you lazily flick through them because you’re bored, you might feel yourself aroused without trying. That’s some gold right there. Plus, the sex ed tips are pretty spot on, so all-in-all the app really only helps your game.
- Don’t ignore advice – I ignored many of the rules as I learned about them, as I was impatient and didn’t want to miss out on Mrs. Right. (or Ms. Big Tits, or Ms. Amazing Ass). Most people have posted pretty reasonable stuff though (like not testing) and know what they’re talking about. You’re only hurting yourself and slowing your recovery if you ignore this advice. But hey, it’s your body! You’re free to do what you want.
I might update with some more tips as I think of them, but these seemed like the most important for now.
Finally, it gives me great pleasure to have written this post. I remember all to well what it was like to be sitting on the other side of the screen. It fucking sucked. Fortunately there are a lot of success stories, so hopefully you’ve realized by now that success is an almost guaranteed outcome. So keep at it!