I wanted to share my story as the girlfriend of a man with PIED and to give back after all the information we found on this website was instrumental in helping us understand the neurobiology of porn addiction and also the road out of it.
I met my boyfriend when he was 19 and I am older and the partner’s I have had have been older than me and didn’t grow up watching internet porn. In fact a couple of them have had the other problem of premature ejaculation. I am quite a pragmatist in life and everything requires effort, practice and training including sex, so I never expected fireworks immediately when we first got together.
My boyfriend had been with one other person prior to me and had struggled a lot with ejaculation, she had also found it hard and had equated his inability to come as lack of desire for her. I think it’s important as a partner to be supportive and to not take this personally; I always tried not to do this and to not pass judgement or expectation. Talking and keeping the conversation open about sex really helped; if he couldn’t ejaculate then that was fine.
At the beginning goal orientated sex was too pressured and he’d feel disappointed if he couldn’t come. At the beginning the sex might as well have been like rutting, incredibly fast and I actually got forearm burn from a hand job and blow jobs might as well have been lock jaw jobs. Initially [the delayed ejaculation] was great – I get to have as much fun as I want! – but soon became a chore and I’d need buckets of lube to keep going. I must’ve burned more calories in bed than at the gym!
My boyfriend had mentioned how he would watch porn and masturbate almost every day – sometimes he’d do it even if he wasn’t feeling that sexual, it was just something he did to pass the time and he’d done it ever since he was a teenager. It was then the penny dropped and I put two and two together and suggested he try giving up porn and masturbating in order to get sensitive as I’d recently listened to an interview Gary had done on the subject.
He was very insecure about his lack of sensitivity and his confidence in his sexual self was quite low. He stopped fapping there and then, in August 2015. Complete cold turkey. It was hard for him but he’d make sure whenever he got the urge he’d distract himself somehow (for him he loves sports and video games). The rewards weren’t overnight, but unfolded gradually.
We deliberately slowed things down and used the methods Gary Wilson wrote about – lots of skin to skin, kissing, massage, bonding, foreplay. Not worriying if he comes or not, just enjoying being together. Gradually he gained sensitivity and could come in different positions. Sometimes things wouldn’t work out and that would be fine, sometimes things had to be hard and fast and that would be fine as well.
In July 2016 we had super super slow sex, he said it felt really intense and, although he couldn’t come like that at the moment, I said not to worry as it’s incredible progress. I’m so proud of him and what he’s achieved and feel so happy he’s in control of his sexuality, he’s grown so confident and happy in himself.
What helped so much for us was talking about it, talking about what he needs and for him to know he’s not judged and measured by his sexual performance. It took the pressure off and allowed him to heal and reconnect to himself. I think that feeling accepted is very important and the journey is a long haul one that both of you need to invest in. I hope my story is of some worth to people out there and many thanks again to what Gary’s doing, I feel so grateful because we wouldn’t be where we are without that information. Please don’t give up !! Have patience and celebrate the small gains, even if they seem insignificant.
[Private correspondence, with permission to share – July, 2016]