I stand on the shoulders of giants on this site, but I think I have come to some pretty solid answers to the many of the questions that are continually asked around here.
On first glance it may look like what I am saying may not apply to those of you who are young and single, but hear me out because I think it is applicable to you too.
Quick background for me is that I am early 40’s and married for 12 years. Sex has always improved throughout my marriage which I used as an excuse to avoid doing something about my porn addiction earlier. I fooled myself into thinking I had a reasonable balance going. Eventually with help from this site I took the plunge and for 2 years I achieved no PMO before having a technical relapse in the past few months (porn substitutes but I was kidding myself that it was really any different). Bit by bit I’ve put together a picture of what is really going on with porn addiction and how it relates to real sex and real relationships.
1. Porn is an actual relationship. We are highly visual as a species and when you spend hours on a regular basis looking at women and sex, you form familiar attachments. Part of it is the familiar faces and part of it is the familiar protocol of sitting at the computer. This is in a sense a real relationship, so if you are in another relationship with a live woman then you are cheating. I say this because you are internalizing images of these women that constantly repeat in your mind day and night. Imagine if your girlfriend had highly sexual images of male porn stars going through her mind day and night and when she was in bed with you? It is cheating because it is most definitely a detachment from the person you are with. (I would have quit porn earlier if I had realized this).
2. Porn costs energy. It is well documented on this site that we are slaves to the dopamine hit, but what is less discussed is that you need to recover from that hit. Call sexual energy what you will (maybe a mixture of a few different things), but it most definitely exists. Depletion of that energy leaves a hollowness that I suspect we are all familiar with around here. That hollowness might seem a small thing, but I believe it is something far more profound. One aspect of it is a level of disengagement from your lived life. You don’t want the same things, you don’t respond the way you otherwise might have, you don’t seem like the same person to those who know you well (unless they have never known you different). I think it takes a few days to recover the energy, so of course most PMO addicts never do get the chance to recover.
Where does that leave regular masturbation for the fully recovered addict? To conserve energy I think it’s best to limit yourself. Everyone is different but for myself at my age ideally I would indulge no more than once a fortnight.
3. The best sex (I believe) is like meditation where you need to avoid orgasm (and avoid thinking about orgasm) in the same way as you avoid thinking and thoughts when meditating. Orgasm needs to be an accidental outcome that you just couldn’t avoid forever. By concentrating on your breath and sensory data you can achieve this, but you can’t by thinking “don’t think, don’t think” or “don’t come, don’t come”. It’s really hard to do, but with a little practice it will happen. Once it does it’s like a doorway opens for you. Suddenly the experience becomes fully immersive and real. You are in the “moment”. The result is an experience that is anxiety free, unrushed and rich in everything that PMO lacks.
Before this understanding, sex (or meditation) is like a third person experience, where you almost watch yourself do it while second guessing yourself in terms of choices and performance. That “watching yourself” is like an echo of the PMO experience. You see yourself as a performer in your own porn film. For more information about avoiding orgasm google Karezza.
Notice the common denominator in the above points? Detachment and disengagement. This is the fight worth fighting. No matter who you are or what you want in life, you want to be fully engaged in it, you want to fully experience it. Not be a spectator.