Today is day 90 of what I’m calling harder mode (hard mode with zero wet dreams, while married). You can read the bullets for the advice, and the following if you want some back story.
I’m 27 years old, been married for 6 years, have struggled with PMO since middle school. I wasted a large portion of my teenage/high school years jerking off in solitude, trying to fill the holes in my heart with porn. It didn’t work, and I was always empty. Midway through college I formed a support group with some friends and had some success with NoFap (back in 2008, before NoFap was a thing). I don’t remember my longest streak, but it was in the range of 3-4 months. I ended up meeting my wife during that streak, fell in love, got involved sexually, and ended up breaking my streak in part due to the chaser effect (which I wasn’t aware of or prepared for back then).
I won’t go into all of my marital problems, as that isn’t the point of this post or forum, but I will give some context. Sex has been a contentious issue between my wife and I for several years now. There is plenty of blame to go around between us (me turning to PMO, her letting stress and other things get in the way, her having rather extreme anxiety when we try to have sex, mostly because I felt like I needed sex and she wanted to be a good wife so she’d put out even when she wasn’t in to it, which caused a lot of emotional duress). This article was helpful in understanding the problem and my role in causing it
Long story short, I’ve struggled with PMO throughout our whole marriage. I haven’t been into anything hardcore since high school/early college, but would PMO to “softcore” at least once a week (sometimes more, sometimes less, sometimes just MO, more often as the frequency of sex dwindled then stopped). Regardless, I always felt like shit about it, and always felt like I was causing all of the issues in the bedroom because I couldn’t kick the PMO, no matter how hard I tried or how many times I resolved to be done with it.
Around the end of December 2014, I was trying to research sexual anxiety when I came across www.reuniting.info, and the concept of karezza. (www.yourbrainonporn.com is a favorite site for reference around here. www.reuniting.info is by Gary’s wife, which would imply that Gary practices karezza. Just throwing that bit of info out there, in case the following sounds entirely crack-pot-ish.) According to the site “Karezza is a gentle, affectionate form of intercourse in which orgasm is not the goal, and ideally does not occur in either partner while making love.” There are also a lot of reports of it being helpful for recovering porn addicts (with PE and DE too). I was confused, but intrigued, so I read more. I read about the side effects of orgasm, the dopamine roller coaster it causes, and the idea that the “I’m done” feeling after orgasm is just the start of a longer process that causes me to feel like I need sex or I’m going to die. Reading about the dopamine roller coaster caused by orgasm was like reading a synopsis of the last 15 years of my life. Orgasm puts me on a path that never leads to true fulfillment, so I decided to opt out.
I stumbled onto www.yourbrainonporn.com via www.reuniting.info, and joined this sub shortly there after. After learning about the orgasm roller coaster after 15 years of struggling, I feel like I’ve finally found some freedom. I had a 21 day streak, 1 day of relapse, followed by this current 90 day streak since reading about karezza. As I mentioned, my wife and I are still working out our shit, so I haven’t actually been able to test the karezza claims of mindblowing orgasmless sex with her, but regardless, learning to live a life where frequency of orgasm (or sexual fulfillment) has less of a bearing on overall happiness has been incredibly helpful to me.
While 90 days is a neat milestone, it is just the beginning of a new lifestyle of freedom, where going back to old ways isn’t an option.
Now on to the advice portion…
My keys to success:
- Understand the beast within. Learning about the effects that orgasm has on me and my well being has been the #1 most important thing for me. I’ve wanted to change for years, but it wasn’t until I got a grasp on the never-ending tailspin that orgasm triggers that I found some freedom. Read this article, it was immensely helpful
- Embrace the suck. Commit to withdrawal sucking. Embrace it. Learn to let the discomfort make you stronger. A part of the orgasm cycle is a 2 week period of wild mood swings as your dopamine levels even out. Those 2 weeks are the hardest for me. I feel depressed, completely unmotivated, angry, and all around miserably. Around day 7, I feel like my genitals are going to explode from the pressure. But knowing the cycle lasts about 2 weeks, and that it will end, makes it much more bearable.
- Resolve to never feel like shit again. When I PMO, I feel like absolute shit, like I’m living with a permanent hangover. I feel like a guilt-ridden, depressed, foggy brained zombie with an appetite for more and more sex in any form (which unfortunately came mostly from my hand). It made me say, think, and do things that I’m not proud of. It did nothing but suck away my soul. I never want to be that person again, and I never want to feel as shitty as I do when I PMO. I’ve said this in other threads, but even the most mediocre day while streaking is 100x better than how I feel when PMOing. This is probably my biggest motivator, in conjunction with knowing about the 2 week shit storm that follows PMO. Why would I trade 30 minutes of looking at smut and a 30 second orgasm for 2 weeks (minimum, if I don’t relapse) of feeling like complete shit?
- Starve the sumo I read a book during college called “Every Young Man’s Battle”. It is about PMO, etc. I don’t remember much about it (other than it was a sort of heavy-handed Christian book, so I’m not sure I’d recommend it), but one analogy still sticks with me. They talk about your sexual desires being a sumo wrestler. If you feed your desires, the wrestler gets bigger and harder to beat, but if you starve him, it is much easier to deal with when temptation comes knocking. Don’t feed your desire; don’t oogle at girls on the street, don’t click around looking for sexy pics, don’t let your guard down. (Constant vigilance!)[http://imgur.com/gallery/xvKIrqg].
- Remember that it is going to suck. I know I’ve said this, but it is incredibly important. This is not easy. We didn’t get addicted to PMO over night, so we’re not going to kick it over night either. Every time you are tempted, embrace the suck, learn to channel it to make you stronger.
- Ice cold showers I must admit that I’m not the best about taking entire showers in cold water. I usually start off warm to luke warm for the hygiene parts, then switch to cold during the rinsing, then finish off by turn it to 100%-Michigan-ground-water-in-the-dead-of-winter cold and spraying down my balls with that. This last part sucks the first few times you do it, but it helps immensely with the pressure and blue-ball feeling. It might also be a big reason that I haven’t had any wet dreams yet, though that’s just a guess (another reason may be that I constantly wake myself up just seconds before the wet portion of the wet dream…).
TL;DR, There is no success without first becoming a student (ie, read it chump…)
LINK – 90 Days of Harder Mode, but just the start of my life of freedom
After 122 days without a single orgasm (hard mode, no wet dreams….), I had a moment of weakness and stupidity. I felt it coming on all day. It started this morning with a frustrating conversation with my wife, and the thoughts kept creeping in. I started a new job recently (just graduated) and I kinda hate it, and my stagnated marital troubles had me discouraged. So for about 20 minutes this evening I re-became the person I never want to be again: the complainypants little boy who lets discouragement be an excuse to cop-out of things that are hard.
PMO sucks. It just plain is not worth it. Nothing that I saw or did was anything comparable to the satisfaction of bettering myself over the last 122 days. The 5 second rush at the start and the 15 seconds of spasms at the end were not worth ending the ~10,000,000 seconds of progress I had going, so I’m not going to let it. I can already feel the shame (that was instant), and the brain fog (that took about a half hour), and a general sickness in my stomach (though that might be the lack of dinner yet tonight).
122 days with no PMO is fucking fantastic and tomorrow is no different than yesterday or the day before, except for the intensified battle that is to come.
LINK – Day 122 Hard Mode: Relapsed, continued resolve