Since about 13 years old 11 years ago, I’ve masturbated to porn at just about every opportunity. By the time I was 16 or 17 it became roughly at least once a day. It was rare that I ever went more than a couple days without it.
I began seriously making attempts to abstain from porn near the beginning of 2017. I would have streaks between about 30 and 60 days here and there but then have long periods of relapse in between. They were half-assed attempts too, as I wouldn’t consider it cheating if I jacked off without porn, watched porn without jacking off, or came from looking at nudes of my girlfriend at the time.
My girlfriend was always very supportive. She would check in with me to see how it was going, and be proud of me for the effort whether or not I was currently on a good streak. Despite that, it was definitely a strain on the relationship. Porn gave me a completely skewed sense of sexuality, and I think was definitely a large factor in why we had very little sex the last year of our relationship. In retrospect, there were ways I was using her as a thing to masturbate into rather than as a partner to share an intimate experience with.
I would relapse pretty much any time she was away or during any long stretch of time we weren’t having sex. So on top of the low self esteem that came with the porn, I got bitter and resentful at her for not having sex with me, and claimed that I wouldn’t have to go to porn if she would. Unbeknownst to me at the time, saying things like that doesn’t usually make a girl want to fuck you. And of course, my porn addiction had nothing to do with her and I used that as a scapegoat. So things just got more and more heated,we got in arguments all the time, and we were living together so the stress never stopped.
So in April after nearly 3 years we had a pretty tumultuous break up, and among other ways I catastrophically self destructed, I relapsed hard. I was without a job, without money, my lease was up at my apartment and I had to go back to my parents with my tail between my legs, and without her I lost the last thing I felt gave me purpose.
So the only thing I thought would give me consolation was porn. It took me a few months to realize, but hitting rock bottom was the best thing that could’ve happened to me. The only way to go was up. I was able to rebuild myself from scratch outside of the context of the relationship. So I began working out and am in the best shape of my life, eating better (gained 20 pounds from being disastrously underweight), working on my music which I hadn’t done in nearly a year, and spending time with friends and family that I’d become distanced from. I also found a great new job! And of course, I began hard mode and today have been without PMO for 90 days, which is by far my longest streak in over a decade.
It’s had a few interesting effects. Most interestingly is physically, throughout life since after puberty, I never have wet dreams. And the first 36 days of hard mode I didn’t either, but since then I have one roughly once a week. And that ties into the next thing: I’m so fucking horny. Like, before this I would want to have sex, but it was a pretty bland, all mental feeling, whereas now it feels like a fully visceral desire in a way I’m not used to. And it feels good to not immediately numb that feeling by looking at porn or coming, but to just sit in that notice what it feels like without the need to do something about it. I don’t really get “urges” anymore, because I don’t associate the feeling of sexual excitement with needing immediate gratification.
Before this, I didn’t really have any issues outwardly projecting confidence, but I now feel less self doubt and anxiety in a way where I can enter social situations feeling comfortable being my true, honest self.
And perhaps most excitingly, a few weeks ago I started going on dates for the first time since my ex with a new girl, and she’s wonderful.
It feels like a delightful stroke of fate that my 90th day happens to be on Thanksgiving, and I’m so thankful to have made it this far. And it feels like my journey is just beginning.
LINK – 90 days!