In the past two weeks I had successful sex with three different girls. I think it’s a good enough sign that my PIED is now cured and I’m ready to continue living healthy life without burden of shame, fear, guilt and self-doubt on my shoulders.
It is extremely great and liberating feeling and I invite you to join me feeling the same. Yes, this moment might be a bit in the future for you, but I’m sure it will come. You can do it too, it’s not that bad.
Stick with this story and you will learn a few ways to make your reboot more effective and rewarding. What I’m going to tell you next is my recovery story, key learnings from the past 6 months of noPMO reboot, and tips/suggestions for you guys who are still on their journey.
I’m 28 now. I started with pics and erotic stories around 12, turned to videos around 14, to tube sites around 18. As many people here, I never thought porn was a problem. I was doing it 2-3 times a day and thought it’s completely fine and that everyone was doing it secretly just as much as I did.
First troubles with erections, although not severe, began around age of 22, when I started to lose interest in my girlfriend at that time. As you might guess, my tastes in porn progressed from usual stuff to all the weird categories I could find in the side bar of tube sites. At that time, first OHCD thoughts appeared, although before I was completely sure about my sexual preference.
By 23, I started to have troubles in bed with girls that I really liked. At first I put the blame on them, and kept looking for new partners. At some point I had to admit I had a problem. I visited a few urologists; they did multiple useless tests to conclude I was fine and should’ve just relax more. Easy to say.
It became a problem to use condoms. I had to convince girls to go unsafe with me sometimes. That was not cool, but my need to perform and get laid was so strong I would ignore basic safety. I was choosing girls that I knew already, and luckily no one got any STDs (nor me, nor them), but still it is uncool to recall those days.
Performance anxiety was tough. I used levitra and cialis suggested by a doctor, but it wasn’t providing any solution for my head. Most of the times it would make me hard, but more like a dumb machine, not really allowing to get any pleasure out of the experience or feel any real feeling towards women. It would leave me empty, one on one with my thoughts and anxieties during the sex. It felt like renting a golf car to ride on the speedy autobahn: you kind of move forward, but what’s the point?
At 24, a curious thing happened. I met a lady who I could have great sex with all the time. I think I never had a ED with her. We dated for a couple of years, and sex was always outstanding. Reflecting back now, I think she was above that bar that my brain was considered exciting (like porn), while all the other girls were below. To this day, I’m not sure how it worked, but it did, for a couple of years. At the same time, I continued using porn, without any trace of though that it could be harmful.
Then, at some point, things got bad in our relationships. We broke up, but by that moment, I developed a strong dependency on her. We tried to get back and split for many months, making things worse every time for each one of us. If you know the term co-dependency, that was it. Meanwhile, when I had a chance to meet other girls, I had the same old PIED problems. Life seemed miserable, I felt completely lost and devastated, like a guy hitting jackpot and getting robbed the other day.
Sometimes at that point I discovered yourbrainonporn, rebootnation, yourbrainrebalanced and nofap. I was surprised to see similar problems, but hey, I though I was ok with that girl. It took me extra 6 month to realize that I should follow the noFap path, and 8 more month trying rebooting and relapsing to really really start the proper reboot.
[When I say proper reboot, I mean The Reboot. Everything you did before with relapses doesn’t count as doing, but mere trying. Do just one proper reboot and you’ll be fine.]
In the beginning of March this year I had a sex with a lady that ended up with my ED. At that moment, I became so angry at myself that I came home and decided right there at the spot that I’m going to hardcore noPMO reboot no matter how long it might take.
I got prepared that time. I read YBOP, I read underdog’s guide, I watched and studied all Gabe’s materials. But more importantly I had a right mindset. I said to myself:
’F*ck it. I’m going 100% in. No PMO. Period. Till the very end, no matter how long or what it takes.’
I said no to porn in any form. K9, adblock, redirects to all secret ‘safe’ places I could think of.
I said no to masturbation or orgasms. It was tough, I wanted to touch myself a lot, and sometimes I did, but as soon as I realized what I was doing, I stopped.
I had to limit girls in my life: I wanted to make sure I first fully recover and gain my confidence before any O with real partners.
I got a diary. A physical one: thin enough to carry with me if needed, with checkmarks against every day that I would do noPMO. That was extremely important. I developed a ritual of marking every evening a successful day with a checkmark, and that reinforced my journey.
I read good books (I’m going to tell you about them), started daily meditations and regular work outs & sports. I realized I needed my body, my mind and my spirit work together to overcome the most basic instincts and impulses that could me much stronger then me.
First couple of months were tough on the level of body and bodily desires. Then things got easier on the body, but harder on the mind. Thoughts like ‘what if this is going to last forever and I’m not going to recover?’ and ‘What if this is permanent condition?’ were popping up.
Flatlines were unpredictable and long. A friend of mine once told me a story about her brother who was a sailor at the submarine; he could go with his crew on a mission for months, submerged under the water, and they would never know when or where they would pop up and breath fresh air again, let alone come back to the base. This reminds me of flatlines: they are in charge and they never tell you when you’d have your next moment of feeling hard or interested sexually in anyone again.
Good thing about flatlines, if you think about it, is that they are awesome for lack of urges. It is a bliss: you don’t want anything sexually, therefore, you don’t touch or ‘test’ yourself. I learned to think of flatlines as of good signs.
Then, 4 months in, morning wood appeared. At about the same time, I had two nocturnal emissions around days 110-120. I still didn’t have certainty that I was recovered, but things started to look better. I had a feeling that the submarine is going to emerge from deep waters sometimes soon.
Then around day 160 I started to look for a partner to rewire. It was tough in the beginning, because you have this uncertainty about yourself and your own capacity to perform, especially after long months of being sexually inactive. But you have to be brave and just f*cking do it. There is no other way to get used to real interaction and real sex. The way out is through.
I was lucky to cuddle a couple of times with some friends. Around day 180 I had sex with a prostitute (prostitution is legal at the country of my residency and I don’t feel any moral limitations, but it can be tricky, read further). The sex was not so good, but I felt very relaxed and okay with whatever outcome. I did O, while only 20-30% hard. And it was perfectly fine.
Dudes, this feeling of being perfectly fine with whatever, was extremely liberating. I didn’t fear or have severe anxiety anymore. I was a different person, a different man.
A week later I had proper sex with a partner and I got 80% hard and could O. A few days after, 90%. Condoms use was fine. I had a couple of other intercourses in two following weeks with different partners, 100% erections and orgasms. Performance time grew steadily. I felt in control. I felt freed from anxieties. I felt cured. I felt liberated.
BUILDING BLOCKS FOR REBOOT
As I mentioned earlier, there are a few important parts in the reboot process. I’ll share them with you in a form of advice, and I encourage you to use ‘em, because they work. Trust the process.
1. Be determined.
The word “Decide” comes from latin words ‘caedere’ (cut) and ‘de-’ (off). Once you decide, cut it off, for good. There is no other option. Period.
2. Plan your reboot.
Seriously, it has been stated so many times here on this forum, but I find it so easy to underestimate it: THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS SUCCESSFUL REBOOT WITHOUT PLANNING. Because there is going to be so much random stuff stronger than you right now acting on your brain and your feelings. It would be SUPER EASY to slip and fall. Therefore, make sure you have metaphorical handles on the walls, rubber shoes, emergency button and other ‘equipment’. That is, plan your way through.
Think of the following, for example:
- Mind, body, spirit — how are you going to put them in peace to go through the journey?
- People who will surround you — who are they? How can you make sure you are among people who will benefit you and support your development?
- How would you educate yourself? What sources will you use to learn more about addictions, habit formation and change, brain plasticity, etc. Make sure you have a CLEAR ANSWER to the question ‘Why am I doing this reboot?’ It should be easy to remind yourself.
- How would you limit yourself from triggers? Think of technical, but also mental ways to shield yourself from things you don’t need
- How would you avoid moments when you want to test youself? — Those are real bitches, man. You know that if you test it will prove you can, but once you test, you probably set yourself back. Make sure you figure out this thinking pattern before it gets you.
- What’s your ‘red button’ plan? Exercise? Push ups? Hour on YBOP? Call a friend? Find ways to protect yourself from doing shit you would regret 5 minutes after.
3. Change your philosophy.
Read ‘The Slight Edge’ by Jeff Olson. It is a very good book with a very important message that is exactly what you need as a foundation for your reboot.
4. Educate yourself
Read ‘The Brain That Changes Itself’, ‘The Power of Habit’, Gary Wilson’s ‘Your Brain on Porn’. Make sure you understand how you got in the situation where you are now, so you can find your way though — your way out.
5. Have means of reflection and tracking.
Get a journal. Online is good, but I found a good old paper notebook the best thing for me. I think everyone decides for himself how they want to log the experience, but I’m determined that logging itself is very important. It gives you reinforcement and extra energy to move forward.
6. Trust the process.
Ok, this is super important. DOUBT will be strong. It will come to you from different sides in various moments. Doubt is usually good, it makes you think critically and develop solutions. But DOUBT multiplied by basic instinct will ruin the whole reboot. So, TRUST THE PROCESS. It works. Just stick to it, make it your religion, HAVE FAITH, NOT HOPE.
I started meditation about a year ago. It is one of the most powerful and transformative decisions I’ve taken. I started with Headspace app, followed by UCLA’s iTunes U meditations, did a Vipassana course, and then many other meditations.
Meditation is a powerful tool BUT ONLY IF YOU DO IT FOR A LONG ENOUGH TIME EVERY DAY. It doesn’t work if you do it less than 8 weeks (researchers from MIT suggest that this is amount of time when meditator’s brain actually starts to change). I think I had effects after half a year of daily meditations. But boy they are worth it. You become super chill and you can solve whatever problem your life throws at you by just being with it. You start to take life as it is, and live in the present moment much more. I really recommend including meditation to your reboot.
Read ‘The Power of Now’ and ‘Buddha’s Brain’ to get the feel of it. Then read the great book ‘The Presence Process’ and practice simple meditation suggested in the book. If you practice it diligently, it will transform your life. And you will not be disappointed.
I used to consider myself introvert, although I like to hang out with people. Many told me I am more like extravert, but I always thought they just don’t know me well. Now after the reboot I see the difference.
You just feel cool with people. You don’t have anything to hide, and people become a great source of joy for you.
Social integration is important during reboot. It might be hard in the beginning, but I really suggest you find people you like and hang out with them whenever you can. First, find people you like. Then hang out with them. No agenda, no hidden catch. Just because you like them and you want to hang out with them. It will help you sooooo much.
Basic principles that helped me:
1. Whenever you can cuddle or hug with a girl, go for it. Ask a friend, you’ll be surprised how many girls don’t mind hugging and touching without sex.
2. Whenever time comes to have sex, be cool with whatever happens. If you happen weak erection, explain your situation and be cool with it. You are you with all your stories, decisions and their consequences. There is nothing to hide or run from. Be yourself and let things go. Everything is explainable. Once again, you’ll be surprised how many understanding girls are there.
3. Be ware of prostitutes. I used sex with prostitutes during my reboot BUT I was extremely aware of its dangers. For one thing, it’s easy to get hooked to hookers – they offer a) sexual stimulation b) orgasms and c) constant novelty. Sounds like porn, right? Don’t use their services before you are far into reboot (~100 days at least) and try to stick to real-life scenarios. Avoid massage places — they are not real-life scenarios.
4. If for some reason you can’t find girl among your friends/classmates/co-workers (— somebody who you would be already comfortable with) and willing to meet new girls, you might want to check out Flawless Natural (video course) and The Natural (book). Please be aware that pickup artist books can be full of shit, so choose wisely. In the end, you shouldn’t need this stuff, because the best attraction to a girl is pure, authentic you. However, those might help with your initial energy and give you confidence boost.
I am grateful to my PIED experience. It made me realize tons of things I otherwise would omit. It made me learn to run away, to act, to fight, and to surrender gently. I learned a lot thanks to the fact it became part of my experience. I deal with problems and frustrations and they don’t seem difficult anymore. I am now a different person than I was 5 years ago when the problems really hit me, and I am a different person from myself 6 months ago when I finally made a de-cision. I guess the biggest learning and the best thing that happened is that I embraced whatever was happening and learned to be with it and accept it. This made clear mind, patience and consistent thoughtful action possible. This made the change possible.
Now it’s time to go. Good luck. And trust the process.
- The Power of Habit
- The Brain that Changes Itself
- Gary Wilson’s Your Brain on Porn
- The Slight Edge
- Black Hole Focus
- The Power of Now
- Buddha’s Brain
- The Presence Process