Wanted to share – I spent a lot of time looking at success stories to keep going, hoping mine can help others
This is a long one, labeled the headers in bold below, but the tl dr is:
- go hard mode at least at first
- lock down your devices (K9 is a lifesaver)
- Keep track of your days (dates, overall count and current streak)
- break the relationship between your hands and getting off (get a hands free toy)
- Get lotion to re-sensitize yourself (plenty on amazon and the like)
- realize how you perceive women
- focus on incremental improvements, even when it’s a bad day recognize overall progress
- patience, the process will work for you
Day 1: Realize it’s a problem, just experimenting to see if I can stop M or P Really struggle with both, quite the wake up of how much of a problem it is
Day 47: Start hard mode. Goes ok, flat lined for quite a bit of it, still using a lot of p subs
Day 104: Break hard mode and MO for the first time in 58 days. Longest streak without MO after this is about two weeks. M can be fine if done sparingly
Day 126: Try to have sex, still have PIED and can’t. Was just a random hookup. p subs still a problem during this time. Try and keep really busy and be out of the house as much as I can. It definitely helps, but still haven’t totally recovered.
Day 217: Manage to have sex, but still with issues. Could get somewhat hard, but no O and no real pleasure from the sex
Day 261: Things don’t workout with the girl from day 217 (other reasons as well, not just the sex) and have bad relapses for about a month. Stop tracking the days for a while, one of the lowest points during the process. Have good and bad days, but continue relapsing every few weeks for a few months
Day 355: Become incredibly sick of fighting with this problem, begin to make it over the hill mentally. I read ‘Your Brain on Porn’ for more inspiration to continue and recognize how much the p subs have been hurting my progress the whole time. I reset my current streak count and start again.
Day 406: After going on a few dates with a girl, and after a few light hook ups, we start really getting physical and I’m able to get off from sex, even with a condom. Still not back to 100%, but huge improvement, I can feel the day is coming soon.
Day 409: Been completely clean since day 355, and had good sex for the first time in a very long time. Didn’t last as long as I wanted, but was hard the whole time and definitely back in a normal performance range
For those of you interested in more background/detail:
Started pmo early teens, didn’t have any problems with it until about 21/22 – had a few bad relationships go south, turned to p as an escape and it became excessive, didn’t notice anything was wrong until had some serious pied with a girl I was really into. I didn’t recognize what it was at the time, just blew it off as a one off and didn’t change anything. When the pied happened again a bit later, I began to notice something was wrong, but wasn’t sure what it was. Eventually stumbled across arguments against p on the internet and it hit home. I was still a bit in disbelief at first, something that seemed so prevalent couldn’t be that bad could it?
I started off trying to stop pmo just to see if I could, and I was way more hooked that I had realized. About a month later, I came across nofap and it really hit me what a serious problem this is. After finding out about the 90 days method, I immediately went into hard mode, and managed almost two months on the first try. While I no O during that time, too much peeking at p subs and still having a lot of p thoughts. Definitely making progress but still not close to coming clean. Installed k9 and a different blocker on my phone, which helped a lot. Even though you can uninstall, I found blockers usually enough to break the cycle when you’re sitting at the computer and get an urge. At three months, tried to have sex again, and still had soul crushing pied. Very pretty girl, she came onto me, and still couldn’t get it up.
Tried to redouble my efforts for the next few months, but was still using p subs a lot, which really inhibits the progress you can make in a short time. Tried to have sex again at about the six month mark. This time there was improvement, was able to get decently hard and actually achieve penetration. Still was not recovered though, was not able to O or get much pleasure out of the sex. After things didn’t work out with the girl, I relapsed for the first time at about day 250. The month following was bad, many relapses and few clean days. I couldn’t seem to find the willpower to keep fighting after putting in so many months with few positive signs. I also stopped keeping track of the days, just leaving my calendar blank instead of marking it as a good or bad day.
I eventually realized that I had made progress and p did not have nearly as much of a hold on me, even though I still hadn’t gotten clean. Just before the one year mark, I finally had the day where enough was enough. I looked to NoFap for inspiration and found a lot of mentions of the book ‘Your Brain on Porn’ and bought a copy (I think it was about $5 for the pdf version – well worth it). It’s a must read for those that are still really struggling, it does a great job explaining and giving examples of how this is a mental problem – not a physical one – and how it’s important to rewire your brain to get back to normal. Your brain is very moldable, and even though it takes time, it’s never too late to get healthy again. I started my tracking calendar again, and have been totally clean since. I hadn’t been meeting too many girls recently, so got on dating apps just to meet new people and get comfortable dating and just being myself. Most of the dates were a bit awkward just due to the circumstance of meeting online, but after a few there was one where we hit it off and we started spending more time together.
At first I was still wasn’t sure the pied was gone and was nervous for when things would get physical. We took it slow, went on a a few dates before hooking up, and the first few times even just making out I wasn’t feeling like I’d really be able to perform. But it started coming back slowly. Got a rush of blood after we’d made out a few times. And the next time, we were able to have sex. I came really fast, even with a condom, but at least was able to get off. We did it again about a week later, and despite being a bit nervous and not knowing if it would be better, we were really able to have sex, with a good hard on the whole time. It’s still not quite 100%, but it will be soon. The biggest difference is the mental change. Just by thinking about her I’m able to get excited, and thoughts about p don’t come very often anymore. While it’s still important to be aware of how powerful p is, (I’m still keeping my devices locked down just to be extra cautious) it’s not something that calls to me much anymore.
Methods I Used to fix the PMO Problem
I know that was a long backstory – so how did I make it past 200 days on my first try? Let me share what worked for me and the thinking behind it. To start with the biggest thing that hurt my progress – was the p subs. I think they impeded me more than the any real relapse. The p subs are tricky – instagram, twitter, advertisements, meme sites, basically all over the internet. And it’s easy to think that peeking at them is ok, because it’s not porn, but looking at them is very similar to porn to your brain and slows down the rewire of your brain.
One thing I did to help with the rewire was stop masturbating with my hands – I bought a hands free sex toy – just a fake vagina. I think this was important because during real sex and intimacy, there is no relationship between your hand and yourself, it’s important to weaken or break that bond. You will end up M’ing at some point during the recovery process, and with a hands free toy, it’s much easier to simulate the real thing, get used to the motions again and fantasize about a real woman, not just being lost in porn. I also found it helped with sex confidence due to the toy being so much more similar to real sex that M’ing.
Out of the 409 days, I only missed tracking about 30 of them. I kept a spreadsheet with the date, overall day count and current streak count, with different colors for a great day (no p, subs or m) a good day (m with no p or p subs) bad days (m and p subs) and relapses. It helps drive home that you have to earn every great and good day, and recognize your own behavior – am I looking at p subs when I’m tired/stressed/nervous etc? And know when you are vulnerable and create strategies to fight your low points. You can also use the tracker to see your progress over time – how many great days have I had so far? – Or however you’d like to break it down.
It’s also important to recognize it’s not a completely linear process, I went up and down through flatlines and periods of horniness, had some really bad days between 250-350 even though overall I was getting better and it had been a long time fighting. What eventually got me through was keeping the overall goal in mind and making even just a little progress each day or each week. Keep building on each small success you have, even if it’s just making it through a difficult few hours without relapsing or turning to p subs. I found changing this habit made me healthier in other areas of life as well. I’ve started eating better and more consistently, which really helps my mood and overall feeling good. I’ve also started working out and doing a lot more in my free time, it’s a great opportunity to pick up new healthy hobbies – all very good things. And this is on top of the benefits of no more brain fog, higher confidence, making more friends and being happier in general.
For many of us, porn changes how you look/think about women. Can you only think about sex when you see a hot girl or are talking to one? Or can you just see them as people, and have a conversation about their interests and relax and be comfortable with yourself? This is another big mental obstacle to overcome – women aren’t interested in someone who can’t hold a conversation and just think about sex. This is is part of the process that can take a while.
Having a long porn free streak is essential to the process, but is unlikely to get you completely healthy again. Stopping a bad behavior will not recreate connecting and getting intimate with someone. This means stopping porn will is just part of the brain rewire. When porn (and porn subs) are out your life, the next step is create intimate connections again. The opposite of absence is connection. Your first interactions with women during your rewire might be awkward and not go as you wish, this is fine and just part of the process. Take it slow, and keep learning each time and making progress. Real change happens when you can always see and recognize the end goal (a girlfriend? a wife? real sex and intimacy?). Really hammer it home to yourself that this is a long term project, and porn will not be coming back into your life. When you can really internalize this, any small setbacks are much easier to overcome and putting yourself back out there (even when it’s difficult and doesn’t go well) is a vital part of the process – and is absolutely worth it to win the fight with this demon we struggle with.
I’ll leave it with two last things. 1 – if you’re interested in habits, check out ‘The Power of Habit’ by Charles Duhigg. It doesn’t focus on porn specifically, but about how habits are formed the huge role they play in our lives. And most importantly, how to control/change bad habits and replace them with healthy ones.
And 2 – be wary of replacing porn with another bad habit (e.g. playing video games all day instead) But having said that, have a plan for fighting your worst urges, whether it’s leaving the house, doing 20 push ups on the spot, or playing a video game. Even if your distraction activity isn’t perfect, use it to help fight, fight, fight against porn. Keep the streak alive, it’s not a matter of if you will recover, but a matter of when.