For me, it was all about porn and mass consumption, novelty (and looong edging sessions). At first, I was trying to go without porn in say 2013 up to the end of that year. Didn’t go about it in a great way but I think I remember managing streaks a little over two weeks a few times (no fapping either). That was before I knew about NoFap.
I would also like to say I am not for censorship or making anything illegal. Doesn’t solve any problems, just adds more.
The benefits are pretty simple and straightforward, more time, more desire towards real people, finding other activities involving dopamine release more pleasurable (socializing, eating, exercising, love, sex), more reliable sex-drive/erections, and a sense of empowerment. Also, I’m able to masturbate to completion without thinking anything or anything prior that aroused me (and I’ve been able to masturbate to completion pretty easily with just imagination alone, nothing prior, for a very long time now).
For me, semen retention is only valuable up to the peak in T around 7 days. I’ve seen and heard plenty of arguments for complete M abstinence with or without a partner. Most of which seem related to placebo, not that there’s anything wrong with that. I’ve also not seen any (real) evidence to support semen retention beyond the T levels thing which isn’t as big of a deal as it is made out to be either. Plus I’m not for not having sex, unless it’s unsafe or there’s lack of consent, obviously. (Outside of to prevent chasers and help with deathgrip (or if you chronically masturbate), I don’t advocate absolute semen retention)
For those going for complete semen retention or masturbation abstinence, I’m not trying to discourage you, just giving you my reasons as to why I didn’t go that route. I will say I’ve not felt like I had to masturbate or get release in a very long time but that’s because the porn connection has faded a lot. I also know that masturbation abstinence can be related to beliefs, which I respect.
Just don’t ever give up if you really want to rid yourself of this bad habit, addiction, or whatever you want to call it. We make it out to be harder than it is and we put ourselves down thinking we couldn’t actually recover or that we wouldn’t find love (or a boyfriend/girlfriend).
I found NoFap sometime in 2014, it was sort of similar to past attempts in that I was testing myself and seeing what would happen (for the challenge and for science). I think deep down I knew it was a problem that I should nip in the bud with how much time I spent on it though not chronic amounts (at most, just in my free time but in place of when I could have been doing something else, still). I’d say I spent several hours a week on average (usually), though I guess some might consider that chronic.
I slowly started to realize it was a problem, at the same time, I was making a little bit of progress though. Took a while to get a streak of about a month including no masturbation and I felt the grasp porn had on me had shrunk. I did NoFap on and off and this was around mid to late summer of 2016.
At that time, I guess I still wasn’t taking being porn free totally serious. After that relapse I started to take it more seriously after the break from NoFap that followed. A big part of my success came from building up tolerance to triggers and separating each of the three, P, M, and O. There were times where I had sex and masturbated without any chaser whatsoever. Also, times where I saw erotic imagery or text and it just stopped triggering me.
This year is where my success came in, a big player was also finding the love of my life. The support and just having someone to love. So that in combination with past streaks, habit replacement, and more; I felt well on my way to recovery. I’d say there was some part of me that still desired porn though, probably.
I also want to say, I didn’t go the guilt/shame route. I focused on my accomplishments, and on playing smart. I think another thing that helped was that I’ve been hosting monthly challenge groups on kik since October of last year. Having people look up to you and being the host adds pressure and gives you more reason.
This year, I relapsed once, it didn’t even feel good. Today I am on day 90, however, for me it’s not about the days. For me it’s since that day I relapsed this year, porn has not had a grip on me. Not during the highs, nor during the lows, stress and eustress alike. I had one of the lowest points in my life during this streak and I didn’t feel like going to porn (it lasted a few weeks too).
Anyway, if you anyone gets anything out of my ramblings, I’m happy. If not, at least I tried. I struggled on the first few days many times, don’t let it get you down, and don’t lose hope or fail to see your own strength or worth.
LINK – The Tight Grip of Porn