Background: 34, started MO around 13, luckily I didn’t have high speed internet available then, so I used much tamer things as stimulation, like the occasional image on a calendar or matchbox packaging (do they still do those? :D) also … fantasizing about girls I saw during the day. It all went downhill when I was around 19-20, moved to my own place, and got exposed to all kinds of online porn.
I did have a normal life all along, various relationship, a fulfilling career, family, hobbies, but still, around 4-5 years ago I decided that I had to stop doing it, as it was getting ridiculous. I was missing opportunities left and right, was constantly feeling awkward, creepy, brainfogged, almost sedated. I came much to the same conclusions as the “your brain on porn” and “nofap” guys, so when I found this forum I immediately felt a connection. It was amazing, I went on long streaks of 2-3-4 weeks, felt better than ever and achieved amazing things. Still, I kept relapsing for all the reasons people describe all the time, and every time I felt like I go into weirder and weirder porn.
So 90 days ago I decided I had to stop it and I did. From day zero it felt different from other occasions, and some things clicked in ways they never did before. Here is what I do:
- absolutely zero artificial sexual stimulation. It’s not just porn, our entire modern environment is “pornified”. I don’t use facebook, instagram, or any of those, don’t have a TV, but still, everywhere I look, I run into “soft-porn”: display-ads, news articles, youtube suggested videos, etc. So my policy is zero tolerance. I don’t peek, I don’t edge, I don’t search google images for the name of an actress that appeared in the news, I don’t drool over a semi-naked picture I see on the side of a bus. If I catch myself doing any of it, I say to myself “slow down cowboy, what are we trying to achieve here” — it’s the same feeling of being manipulated as when a car-dealer tries to pull a trick on you — so if I see something like this, I sort of blurry my vision or look the other way, breath deeply and carry on with my day.
On the other hand, I am totally embracing being aroused by living human beings I meet during the day. I find women 100-times more attractive than before and I chat, flirt, smile, touch, with whoever I meet, and whoever is receptive to it. I am married mind you. I love my wife, and I am not interested in having an affair. But I absolutely love hanging out with women of any age, shape, form, they are simply so much fun to be around and talk to, it’s part of being a human — my wife knows this, and to be honest, I think she finds me more attractive since I am more outgoing. But in any case, as much as I love her, I’m not doing it for her or for anyone else. This life is all we’ve got, and we have to live it the best way we can, not conforming to other’s expectations.
- absolute warrior-mode: from day zero I felt extremely angry at the entire porn industry for manipulating me and millions of others, for tweaking their shitty product until they find that most addictive formula that tickles just the right fetish for someone, and all the other industries that want to make a quick buck selling their shitty product with the image of a women attached to it. I was so fucking angry (and still am), that I said “bring it on, show me what you’ve got”, and I started doing all the things people mention here, cold showers, swimming in the sea, doing hundreds of pushups, pullups, squats, stepping up and down stairs, running long distances uphill, I turned myself into a fucking monster, and told to myself on day 0, let’s see those urges to watch porn, I’ll show them what I’m made of. Funnily enough, in contrast to other streaks, the urges just never came this time 🙂 I almost felt disappointed that I couldn’t use all the thermonuclear arsenal that I built up, I was prepared that if I ever feel like opening a porn tab, I will instead go and do pushups until my arms fail and I have to support myself with my dick, but somehow it never came to anything like that.
- improving life as a whole. PMO or any other addiction is like a burden you carry with you, it makes things more difficult, but putting it down, doesn’t automatically make you climb that mountain. But you have to put it down, if you want to achieve anything. You have to improve all aspects of your life. A small thing, but I started by completely cleaning my place and putting things in order. Then I made plans and todo lists, then I started punching things out one by one. Besides exercise, I started eating better, walking more upright, looking people in the eye, sleeping better, etc.
- there’s absolutely no comparison between my life before and after. Before I felt like an insecure, awkward weirdo with a brainfog, and now I feel absolute clarity, sharpness, energy, total ease at social interactions, not thinking of what others think of me, and just more positive, confident and motivated overall. Others definitely notice something, because people are much more friendly, and more respectful. I feel like people just enjoy being with me more than before.
- I feel a much better and more honest connection with anyone, friends, family, strangers. I have much better situational awareness, I pay much more attention to what others are saying, to small gestures, etc. I used to have this occasionally before, but now it has become much more consistent, I just feel like in a flow with other people all the time.
- OK, this one is not a benefit, it’s just an observation. I throw it out because it is something I haven’t seen mentioned here. I used to be ultra-liberal, and I became more conservative in my political outlook. Again, I’m not saying this is good or bad, it’s just part of a change in attitude. I used to be like “whatever, man” everything goes, but now I somehow think the other side has a point too, there is also value in “structure and discipline”. Also I have much less tolerance for what I perceive as whining, whether personal or political. I hope I won’t turn into a complete extreme-right asshole, it’s just an observation of a fact, that I did shift more to the right as I stopped fapping.
- Somehow my voice became deeper and stronger. Occasionally I give public talks and I used to have that weird glitch in voice where it runs out of energy and shifts one octave up in the middle of the word. Then you try to cough to pretend it never happened. Very awkward. Not only I didn’t have this recently, but I feel I am in control of my voice over a broader scale, I can modulate it as I express different things, and it just feels effortlessly stronger.
- Obviously I became physically stronger due to all the exercise.
- Both more successful in career, and not obsessing about being successful.
I don’t obsess over the time I wasted in my twenties, what is gone is gone. What I know is that I want to continue with my new life, and PMO is something I never want to go back to. Finally, I want to thank all of you for the great advices, tips, tricks, stories. Reading the posts here every other day was an amazing motivator. The feeling of community here is something I haven’t seen anywhere else, we got this guys, we figured it out this time. I wish you all the best, and ask away if there is anything I can help you with.