This time two years ago I was 19 and had hit pretty close to rock bottom as far as porn goes. Pretty severe PIED – I couldn’t get it up at all, basically – and feeling all of the awful personal stuff that comes with that. Low self-esteem, lack of motivation, porn stopping me from getting in a proper routine, all that. I went on a few dates with a girl at uni who I really liked. She really liked me too, but I could never do anything with her, for obvious reasons. All in all, felt like pure dirt.
I’d spent the previous few months casting around, trying to figure out the source of my problems, and I found this place, as well as the weirder nofap guys. I found Noah Church and Gabe and yourbrainonporn – I must have read every page of that site ten times, and everything it linked to, all the studies and all the personal accounts. I read and re-read those accounts, many of them from this subreddit. This is what gave me hope.
Some point came around April, I don’t know exactly when, that I seriously resolved myself to quit porn. After a few false starts, I started putting together my first serious porn free streaks in the month of May. First one week, then maybe two or three weeks – by the beginning of the summer break I was determined that I would put porn behind me for good, and come back to uni having done the famous 90 days. In fact, I remember the exact number of days in that break was around 107 or so from start to finish. I remember partly because I ticked off every single one of those days and counted each as a victory.
Actually, I think I remember the number so exactly because I was anxiously measuring my progress the entire time. Having read various accounts I knew that guys like me, who had started young (maybe around 12 or 13) took longer to recover, so I was prepared for that. But at the same time, I was exceedingly anxious not to take too long. Part of my motivation was to be able to have a relationship with this girl when I got back to uni. It was very rough going for a while and I had to make a huge effort not to slip up. I slept with socks or gloves on my hands because I knew I’d I even started to touch my dick it would be game over. For me I had always PMO’d right before bed, and I had gotten to the point where I couldn’t get to sleep without it. So, there were quite a few restless nights. I can’t remember enough to describe too well what it was like now; I just remember it was fucking difficult.
Anyway, fast forward three months and I was back at uni, still not much improvement in my PIED save for a short period which was quickly followed by a longer flatline. My hope of a quick reboot was frustrated. Skipping to the end, it took over five months into the streak before I could perform with some consistency. There were some rocky moments at the beginning, but I managed to make it work with the girl and we’ve just celebrated our two-year anniversary. I’m really happy about that. I’m proud of myself for quitting. It was the hardest thing I’d ever done I think, and the most rewarding. Like most people I felt the general benefit from adding some self-discipline in my life too – started exercising more and doing really well in school, that sort of thing.
I’m back now because I feel myself slipping again over the past few months. I figured it was alright to masturbate to fantasies and stuff again, which I think with moderation might have been harmless in and of itself. In fact, when I was being thoughtful about masturbation (i.e. in moderation, only when genuinely aroused and not just craving) I actually found it beneficial.
But lines began to blur again and it became uncomfortably compulsive. Lately, and especially with quarantine, being separate from my girlfriend (although I must say it had already been going on in a small way for a few months) I’ve been looking at some stuff. Always pretty softcore, some text stuff.
But I know where this road leads and I already feeling the adverse effects. So, I’ve come here to get back on the horse. I suppose my last streak lasted over a year, I stopped counting after I feeling satisfied, I was fully cured in February. If I was able to do all that with the level of addiction I had, I know that I can make it through another 90 days and beyond, starting from now.