I can’t help but make this long, I tried but I can’t. Because this has been such a major part of my life for so long, I have a lot to say on the matter.
I knew that so I’d started writing my post a few days ago (I needed a productive way to express myself as my girlfriend just dumped me a week ago). Before I knew it I was cutting the important stuff down to the point that it was insufficient, yet was already at 7,500 words. I’m going to be visiting it with time and depending on what comes out, sharing it through another means. Which brings me to point number one:
- We need to fully document our cases and begin to have them compiled somewhere for researchers in order to bring this to the next level.
I have some other general comments on the community:
- There is often way too much dogmatism on this website and not enough embracing of the middle. Too many things are black and white for too many people and I believe that it’s destructive. We know a lot from our compiled anecdotes (which could almost constitute epidemiological evidence by now), yet not much of the science has been done yet (although some has begun to). Bottom line, people differ and things change (#1 lesson of toxicology). 2.5 years of trying has proven that to me immensely with what has worked and what hasn’t. Now on to that.
For me, when I first read youbrainonporn.com, everything suddenly “clicked.” It was hard as hell to get over my urges – at the beginning, I had almost nonstop porn fantasies going through my head constantly, it was crazy. The first thing that I did was cut out porn because despite not being convinced that not masturbating was a good thing, I knew that not watching porn would not hurt me in any way and this logic was extremely useful at the beginning. As time moved on and I got harder on myself, I would catastrophize my relapses more and increasingly relapse to porn (last summer, I was almost a full-on addict again). When my head started to clear of the fantasies, I couldn’t believe the difference in clarity. My first PMO steak was 45 days, it was a clean 45 days; little edging towards the end, no PMO, at the end I wasn’t checking girls out walking by or whatever. I got complacent, thought that I’d won, masturbated and from there on out, EVERY streak was harder. I believe that the beginners mind is the most fit for success, for you new guys, I honestly believe I’d be writing my 90 day post 2 years ago if it wasn’t for complacency.
Enemy #1 – Complacency Enemy #2 – Stress Enemy #3 – Forgetfulness (droning along in your life, not realizing what you’re doing) Enemy #4 – Trojan Horses
I’ve come to call certain things Trojan Horses because they seem benign and ultimately lead to demise. For me, most of the time they’d be things that I’d justify as going to get me real sex (the shameful motivation for doing this when I’m not on top of things); the rest of the time, they’d be something (semi)sexual usually funny but sometimes and “honest thing that I’d like to know that’s not going to turn me on” that I would Google. Things of the first category were Craigslist, Backpage, Online Dating (specifically Plenty of Fish), and PUA/Seduction. The last is the worst of them all, I got into this last year and it made me a terrible, miserable person, and inevitably led to a lot of rejection (trust me, the girls that I really want aren’t into these douchebags) which led to my really bad summer of relapsing.
Public Enemy #1 is edging. I had a 75 day streak a year ago where I started edging around day 50, gains were minimal during this period.
I have probably made it to 25-40 days 10 times now, and past that maybe 3-4. I’ve noticed a huge difference between days 1-30 and 30+. For me, approaching them differently is what really helped. From my experience:
For days 1-30, use cold showers, count the days and journal your commitment every day (freedom and love project has this AWESOME free PDF program for days 1-30…although after the 3rd time it doesn’t do much haha). Discipline yourself like a motherfucker, exercise like crazy, eat well, etc.
After day 30, something has to cave, it’s inevitable, a month of stress is a shitload. For me, getting into a cold shower was fucking torture every single day, there was no escape, it sucked. My biggest successes (including this one) have come when I’ve given up the cold showers after about day 30. Stop counting the days too, they move a lot slower after 30 and its discouraging – what’s really discouraging is when you stop counting, think that you must be on day 50 by now, check your counter and you’re only on day 37.
“Superpowers” go away when other things cloud your mind, i.e. stress/strain on your brain. Spending too much time on this reddit, or the computer or general will do it better than anything. Stop and take a look at your life from time to time, I think that’s what gives us the superpowers to a large degree. After being at this for so long, I just notice regression to poor mental states, restoring the “superpowers” doesn’t have that boost that you get at the beginning, stop chasing it.
For me, the fight I’ve realized has been one against sexualizing women. My progress here isn’t 90 days worth, it’s been better at times during the journey, I’ll admit. I need to work on this still.
Speaking of the 90. If you’re a millenial like me, it’s gonna take a lot longer to get your shit together. I’ve had periods of up to 6 months where I have <2-3 relapses without porn and my dead-dick still didn’t get right. Don’t start out chasing the 90, you might be pretty disappointed when you get there. Start out with the goal to get your head screwed on straight.
Now for this 90, what’s been different that made it a success over the others.
1 is not edging, this is the first time I’ve gone so long without it ; I know it’s a MOTHERFUCKER to beat and maybe that’s why it’s taken me so long, but you gotta do it, you’re not gonna succeed if you edge.
2 I got back on antidepressants back in the fall. I had a really rough year and know that although they don’t solve the stuff that’s going on deep down, they let me put shit aside so that I can tackle my issues.
3 I had a girlfriend for 2 months, was having sex every weekend from like late January to 2 weeks ago. I know this is hard to hear for guys who struggle in this area (trust me, I’m 26 and she was my first girlfriend so I know), but I need to be truthful, it helped a lot.
Confidence, eye contact, what have you, all these were realized during any decent streak, this time around two more things happened. First is that I had a shitload of wet dreams, like a ton from days 25-50 or so, had a couple since. I’ve been in that range before and never had more than 1 during any streak; I know it’s a longshot, but I attribute it to no edging. Second is that my DE and ED got cured.
I have a dismal sexual history and prior to this had only been with 1 girl (+1 hooker who didn’t get me off either) about a year ago. Despite not using a condom (yeah bad call I know), I had a REALLY hard time keeping it up and in the 3 times that I tried to fuck her, only came once after going at it harder than I could imagine (wasn’t feeling much the whole time).
Story with the most recent girlfriend is that at the beginning of Jan, we tried to have sex, I couldn’t finish and attributed it to a shitty condom (almost wanted to tell her but couldn’t bring myself to do it). Then she went away for a few weeks and I began to flatline bad – this scared the fuck out of me, I usually loved flatlines but not when I had imminent sex in my future. I was doing everything I could to get my sensitivity back and started freaking out that it might be permanent (due to physical damage), or that it was gonna take 2 years to get over like some other stories I’d read. Then I saw that Lunesta, which I was taking can cause a total lack of sexual desire, stopped taking it and felt the desire return. The first week that she was back it was really hard to cum and I lasted forever, once again, did it about 3 times and only came once. We did it every weekend for a while and it progressively got better to the point where pussy just feels so fucking good that there’s no way in hell I want to return to my hand! Yeah she broke up with me because I was a dick (partially because I started to sexualize the relationship too much). I haven’t relapsed because I knew that meditation was the only thing that’d make me happy after the breakup, shit works wonders which is how I’ll end my post. These are the most effective tools for change in my opinion:
- Meditation & Mindfulness. If you had to face a porn addiction in the Colosseum and were only given 1 weapon, pick this one. It’s hard to be diligent I know, but if you are this is all you need to beat it.
- youbrainonporn.com – this reddit is great for engaging in discussion but there’s a lot of BS that flies around on here. YBOP has much better information consistently.
- The Willpower Instinct – read this book, it’s amazing.
- Exercise – you know you gotta
- Getting out. I’m not going to say socializing because even though it does help, a lot of people (including myself these days) have a hard time finding people to spend time with. If you’re alone and read that you need to socialize, it makes things worse; I succeeded without a ton of socializing so you can too. However, get the fuck out of the house, go for a walk alone, whatever, it helps bigtime.
- Learned Optimism – must read for anyone with depression.
I have a lot more to say but I don’t think anyone’s gonna read more so you can message me if you got any other questions.
EDIT: Forgot about #7 which is one of the most important, that’s self-reflection. Really look into why you’ve become addicted to this and finding that hole that you’re trying to fill. For me it’s a combination of things related to childhood emotional neglect, emotional incest, and psychological abuse… really study psychology and figure out what’s going on. JUST BE CAREFUL! The first thing that they teach you in any psychology class is that you’re gonna think that you have EVERYTHING you read about, it’s true!