Hello all! We’ve all read the benefits on nofap and let me tell you they are all real. I am a 27 year old (today!) recovering porn and lust addict, also recovering from a long bout with PIED. I know this is a really rough thing to deal with, especially since we tend to get impatient and push things along. Well, I am here to tell you that YOU WILL GET BETTER. Call it what you want, but to me this nothing short of a miracle. The fact that I could watch porn for almost twenty years, including ten years of high-speed internet and be able to get rock hard erections after 120+ days of no pm (o with ex-girlfriend) is simply remarkable.
Let me give you a quick (enough) rundown of my sexual history to perhaps compare with yourself then I will get into my recovery and the tools I used to achieve it.
I was molested by an older female cousin from the time I was four to seven year old. We would have sex regularly and she introduced me to porn at 7 years old. I started watching internet porn when I was 12 years old. I have always been very social and good with the ladies. That is until I got my hands on some high-speed internet porn at the age of 16. From then on, it was all downhill. I went from outgoing and confident to socially-awkward, insecure, and unable to talk to or even relate to women. There were multiple times where I failed to get an erection with a beautiful girl waiting for me. I got my first real girlfriend at 19 years old, and for the first time I was confident in my performance. She had the body of a pornstar and she was able to get me excited enough to erection. Then my porn tastes and fap frequency began to change dramatically. I would have a great girl sleeping next to me and I would find myself on my computer scanning for videos all night. I would watch gay and tranny porn and would read erotic literature of incest and rape. I questioned my sexuality. Maybe I’m gay! So what did I do? I tried it out. I couldn’t get it up with the first guy and I felt horrible and traumatized. Then I started having ED problems with my girlfriend, so I would watch porn all day in anticipation of her coming over, just to prove to myself I could get hard. Well, I would have no problem with the computer but when she came over I would be dead down there. In come more gay thoughts. So what did I do? I tried it again. Here I was having to fantasize about dudes when I’m with my girl, and then I’m there fantasizing about my girl while this dude tries to get me off. From this point on, nothing would work. I thought my sexuality was the problem, so I continued to watch porn for 6-8 hours a day. Little did I know porn had been ruining my life all along.
Basically at this point I am a crazy wreck. I am soooo unhappy and I am destroying every relationship in my life, especially with my beautiful, loving girlfriend. I blame her and take my rage out on her. She tells me I have a problem and I need help. She finds out about the two guys and breaks up with me. I was devastated and my life was in shambles. This is when I was 24. For the next year or two, I try what SA calls “white-knuckling.” I would have streaks of abstinence from PMO for a few days or weeks at a time and then crash in a fiery, porn-filled relapse. Finally I entered SA at 26 years old, not knowing anywhere else to turn, to get help from others like me. The only problem is that many are not really like me in the sense that a lot of the “old-timers” came in before high-speed porn so they have little frame of reference when it comes to the real crazy-making side of internet porn. Also, the SA definition is no sex with self or someone other than your spouse and needless to say, I still wanted to be able to have sex. Watching porn is not in the SA sobriety definition (don’t mean to knock SA b/c it also helped save my life!), so I go on watching porn and edging while I get my sobriety chips. I couldn’t have sex because my ED was so progressed at this point nothing could get it moving. I would go through these up-and-down emotional cycles, not knowing what was going on inside of me. I thought I was going to die. I thought there was some demonic force raging havoc in my head and body.
I went 120 days according to this definition of sobriety until I relapsed into a porn binge for 2 or 3 weeks. Then I stumbled upon the amazing website YBOP. While I remain in SA and am grateful for the program, this website is what changed everything for me. I finally had a place to relate to problems closer to my own. I had never even heard of porn induced erectile dysfunction. I was also able to understand that porn had been the cause of my ED all along. I could come to accept and expect concepts that were brand new to me like “dead-dick” and “flat-line.” I expected for there to be intense withdrawal symptoms coupled with constant highs and lows.
Something crazy happened though: the highs and lows were fewer and farther between, with the highs slowly starting to outweigh the lows. I was determined to get my erection back and get back to healthy, fun, anxiety-free sex!! The first week was the hardest to abstain and then I got my first flat line that lasted 2-3 weeks. In that time, I tried to have sex with my ex-girlfriend after 20 days. The first day was a no-go, but I later managed to get it up hard and long enough in the middle of the night for penetration and I o’d then. I knew the sex may be slowing down the process, but I was stubborn and wanted to please (with mixed results) my ex. I also took the whole re-wiring thing to heart and I found a cuddle-buddy since my ex lives w few hours away. I used to get bad anxiety before sexual encounters, but the cuddling really helped me enter a no-stress situation. We cuddled a few times and she even gave me a couple of BJ’s (no o though). I can’t stress the importance of re-wiring to real-life stuff enough. I then tried having sex, sometimes successfully, sometimes not, with my ex around the 40, 60 and 90 day marks. Like I said, I did it mostly for her (at least that’s what I tell myself) but I must say these encounters were met with a great deal of frustration from both of us. She wanted to get off and I wanted to get her off.
It was very hard waiting for it to finally work consistently. Still, my ex was always very understanding and supportive, even if she didn’t care to talk about it too much or get into specifics of what a reboot was. I would go two or three times having sex with no problem and then have a problem again. Also, I noticed I would go back into a flat line if there were more than a few days in between. In other words guys, like Gary says, don’t force yourself to orgasm before you’re ready. I feel as though my orgasms from sex slowed me down even though I believe they also helped me to rewire.
So, as I said, after not knowing what to expect from my erections for the first 3-4 months or so, something clicked at the 120 day mark. I can’t take credit for any of it, because I was still scared as hell, half-expecting it not to work again, but when you’re finally rebooted, there’s no doubt you’re rebooted. I mean, I can still be doubtful and anxious, but the little guy just starts to respond to kissing and touching like I’ve never experience before. All my previous experience, especially more recently, required fantasy and intense stimulation of the nether region; this time it just went. So, after the 120 day mark I had four orgasms with my ex in a two day span. The next week I had another four orgasms in two days; no flat line. The week after that I had one orgasm and the week after that (two days ago and yesterday) I had three in two days, including once with a condom (no problems putting on or maintaining erection!!). That means at least 12 times having sex with no need for fantasy or heavy stimulation to get ROCK HARD erections, no problem. The last time was the kicker too, because I was not particularly horny and had had a few beers which brought up that old, nagging thought that I might get “whiskey dick.” I was full of doubt, but it worked without any effort at all.
Guess what guys? It was never whiskey dick or Adderall dick or anxiety dick or anything!! It was too much porn messing up my reward circuitry to the point where everything was the problem but my supposed best friend porn. So all in all, “it works if you work it and you’re worth it!” Working it means replacing PMO with new, positive behaviors and being PATIENT AND HOPEFUL. Today I am 143 consecutive days of no porn or masturbation and I am still experiencing new benefits everyday.
We’ve all heard the benefits (better with women, more confidence, girls notice me more, more energy, command more respect etc., etc.) and they’re all 100% true, but I wanted to share with you the behaviors I thought to be most conducive to rebooting/rewiring. First of all, we have to accept and believe that porn was NEVER our friend and only sold us a bag of fake, rotten goods. We lost a lot of time and opportunities because of porn and the only way to ensure it doesn’t happen again is by changing our behaviors and attitudes.
• It’s all about focus. My focus was on self-improvement.
o Acceptance (of where we have been and where we currently are)
o Mediation (gives off beneficial dopamine)
o Exercise (same as above)
o Gratitude, gratitude, gratitude (I can’t stress this enough! Be thankful we have this relatively little problem and thankful we came across this amazing website that is helping so many people. Don’t be afraid to express gratitude for the things we usually take for granted like 2 working hands, feet, 10 working toes and fingers, clothes, car, gas, nice hair line etc. It’s especially beneficial to be grateful for that which we perceive as “bad” realizing that we only use a fraction of our brain as opposed to the Consciousness that concocted the very idea of the brain. I.e.: we’re not as smart as we like to think and don’t necessarily know what’s best until we gain hindsight. After all, didn’t we all think porn was good for us at some point?)
o Prayer (create those real, physical sound waves that will serve as vessels for what we want to happen)
o Happiness, happiness, happiness (Realize the great gift we have here and the tools and healthy coping mechanisms we are acquiring that will help us as we move forward. When we really think about it, we really have NO reason to complain.)
o Creating new habits created new thoughts (Thoughts are easier changed through behavior, rather than thinking our way to better action)
o Reach out to others experiencing the same problems (you are NOT alone)
o Do something for others
o Journal!! (Keep track of your progress. It will seem like forever until you go back and read the steady progress you have made)
o Honesty (especially with yourself)
Where are you holding now?
o Attitude change (no point in being a “dry drunk” as they call it in AA. Be the person you are meant to be and stop with the old thought patterns.)
o Patience (It’s gonna happen for you; don’t push or check your pulse, so-to-speak, every day)
A few final points before I get off my soap box. First of all, all of the ideas I have expressed are not my own. I’m not that smart. It is the work of the countless avatar sages that have preceded me coupled with the exciting new information that is coming out about the brain and addiction in general and porn addiction in particular (largely thanks to Gary and Mariana at YBOP). Remember, the process is not linear. There will be ups and downs. Change is a process, not an event.
Mystically, there is a creating energy that is harnessed by releasing our seed only with another person. Men are the givers in all facets of life (spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and physically) and women are the receivers. This is not sexist; it is fact (i.e.: sun vs. moon, duality of all life). Porn made us drone-like receivers searching the deepest bowels of the internet to receive our next hit. Let’s be givers again with rock-hard erections. Most importantly: Be the person you are supposed to be!!
May we all receive the great gift complete of freedom from porn and masturbation, and may we all recover from our various forms of sexual dysfunction. I wish you all the very best!!