My experiences with Porn

Submitted by Mick on
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This is my first post on this forum. To be honest, I'm not sure that this forum is the right place for me, because I don't think that abstinence from orgasm (through either masturbation or sex) is for me (even though I have read the science info on this site). That's not to take anything away from the people who are trying to give it up.

The reason I wanted to put a message on this forum was just to say that I'm grateful that there are people sharing their experiences of porn, because I've found it very helpful to know that there are others like me who are finding it difficult to give up.

A brief summary of my own experiences:

I've been looking at porn since being a teenager (I'm in my late 20s now). It's been more of an obvious problem for me ever since having the internet, because it's so accessible. Sometimes I feel like throwing my computer out the window, and probably would if I didn't need it for my work...

I've gone through phases of trying to give it up, this current phase of trying to quit has lasted well over two years. I usually manage about a week or maybe two without using porn, before slipping again. I get these overwhelming urges to look at it; I get preoccupied with sexual thoughts and images and eventually I end up giving into these urges.

As soon as I've done it, I feel like complete sh*t. Feelings after doing it include:
- Shame and self-disgust
- Guilt (e.g. if my girlfriend found out about it she would be devastated and it would almost certainly ruin our relationship; I'm a complete scum-bag for continuing to look at this stuff, etc.)
- Angry at myself for not having the strength to resist the urges
- Sometimes I feel low in mood for the whole next day, not really wanting to know anyone or speak to anyone, although sometimes I have mood swings where this low feeling alternates with a kind of 'high'

When I use porn it's like the higher part of my brain (the bit that does all the thinking and reasoning) completely shuts down, and only the part of my brain that's interested in porn is left functioning. Other people on this site have described it as like being a 'zombie.' That's exactly what it's like. If it wasn't for this mental shut-down, I don't think I'd be able to sit there and look at the stuff.

Just for the record, I don't look at any underage images or stuff like that - but I have unexpectedly come across them when using porn sites. When I see stuff like this it sickens me and I report it to the Internet Watch Foundation. I used to work with people who were survivors of child sexual abuse, and I'm very much aware of the effects it has on people throughout their adult lives. So it sickens me that even having coming across these horrific images isn't enough to stop me using porn. But it's like in the moment of using porn, I'm able to tune out all thoughts about why it's bad, so that I can get that temporary 'high,' even though I know how bad I'll feel afterwards.

Anyway, I'm determined to give it up one way or another. I think maybe I've been setting myself up to fail by telling myself (after just having used porn) that I'm never going to use it again, this is for real this time, etc... instead of taking it 'one day at a time.'

Good luck to eveyone on this forum who is also trying to quit.

Thanks for writing

I tried for years to give up using porn. In spite of my "Chippin" post, I have been successful. For me, giving up the quest for orgasm was the key.[quote] the moment of using porn, I'm able to tune out all thoughts about why it's bad...[/quote]My taste in porn went towards Penthouse type models(gawd, just saying that and I start to get hard)with I never, in my 45 years of use, came across any kids accidentally. What disturbed me was that I could continue to jack-off in spite of images of women in really stupid costumes or implied violence. If there was some T&A I was good to go.
Some of the lit I've read on the porn industry (including Jenna Jameson's bio [wow, that's a good omen, I'm not sure how to spell her name anymore]) indicates that most of the women are survivors of child sexual abuse and rape. Weep for them.
Choose love,
Keep coming back

I 2nd AC's Words

Once you give up the quest for the orgasm, porn holds no power over you. I can look at something that used to bring me to full attention -- now nothing happens. However, when my wife enters the room, look out! Smile Believe me, that is 180 degrees out from what it used to be. Add in Karezza and scheduled sex, and we are closer than we have ever been and I do not get all worked up planning sex. I am more balanced than ever, and I like that very, very much!!

Good Luck!

The men here have taught me all I know

about overcoming this addiction. And here's what I've observed: Even if you plan to keep orgasm in your may find that two months of complete abstinence from porn, masturbation, fantasy and orgasm go very far toward "rebooting" your brain's reward circuitry. With your free will restored, you can then choose to go wherever you like.

Incidentally, my husband and I were pleased with the benefits of making love without orgasm (having been enthusiasic orgasmers for years in other relationships Wink ). That's why we started the site. The porn guys showed up uninvited, but have been a great addition. They've confirmed the link between orgasm frequency and (im)balance. However, you can work that out for yourself, one way or the other, later. Meanwhile, you can still use the insight for a couple of months to balance your brain chemistry again. After all, what have you got to lose???

Try not to waste another second on guilt, as it just lowers your mood and makes the need for relief more intense (and cues associated with that relief more enticing). Just keep reminding yourself that the best thing you can do for all victims of the porn industry is to get yourself unhooked and back into balance. Good luck.


two months abstinence

I have been aware of this site since 2006 and have tried many times to conquer porn addiction. I remember and keep remembering one comment made by Marnia in one of the articles I read: you look, you come. I have finally made it and I agree totally that two months of abstinence is about when you really start to feel better in every way.
I concur absolutely with everything I have learned on this site - its is very very true and all i can say is thank god i discovered it because this addiction made me do some very stupid things and almost cost me everything I had. I still get flashes and still get triggers but I am getting stronger with every day and more resistant. For anybody else who is struggling - don't give up. Its worth it. I've been to two months a few times and then started again thinking it can't be too bad - but it is. One orgasm for me creates a binge cycle that leaves me a wreck. Never again.
Thanks, Marnia. Great wisdom. Good luck Mick. Its hard but its worth it.

Thanks so much

for posting your experience. It's really interesting about the two-month phase, isn't it? I remember how excited I was when I read about Delta FosB, the protein that hangs around in addicts' brains promoting relapse, and how it clears out after 1-2 months. "Ah-ha! This is what my porn addict pals have experienced too!!" I said.

The important point is that you guys are dealing with a neurochemical challenge. It's really *not* a question of values, character, or anything else. It's just a trick of your brain. But it can't be solved except by patiently taking the time to rewire your brain. And even then, you can remain very sensitive to certain triggers. (This is true for all addicts...yours just happen to be especially visual and naked Wink ).

Anyway, a big hug for all of you. Honestly, if I had been male, I'm sure I would have stumbled right into this one myself. It seems like such a "no brainer" that more orgasm (and more *intense* orgasm) will lead to more satisfaction...and yet, given the way the reward circuitry reacts to intense stimulation (a low after the high) this is just plain wrong...especially with extreme stimulation like today's Internet Porn.

Thanks for breaking free, and for sharing what you learned. It's great to be able to share your "findings" with others. Blog if you, too, Mick.

Delta FosB

Hi Marnia
I didn't know about Delta FosB. I'd like to learn more about it. All I know is that I used to get so wired after a binge - and I had to have everything now. I made crazy irrational decisions. I ate more, put on weight, didn't want to socilaise or talk to people. It affected my entire life. I used to get so angry with everyone and everything. I couldn't hold a job or a friendship.
I'll start a blog like you say because I have really been through it in very tiny detail. I was a classic addict in every sense without ever realising it. And it wasn't until I discovered your site and your understanding of this subject that I could see, for the first time, that what I was doing was harming me and others around me.
thanks again Marnia

You're most welcome

Believe me, I had no idea that a main purpose of this site would be to serve those who have gotten trapped in this modern phenomenon of Internet porn. But I'm glad it has helped you.

You can read a bit about Delta FosB in these excerpts from Doidge's book, "The Brain that Changes Itself." Maybe you want to track down the whole book to read the section on porn. Excerpts:

I hope to write an article soon about how recovery from porn use is associated with improvements in social anxiety. (So many of you here have noticed this.) It's really exciting news. And often it's the shy men who are most tempted to use porn rather than learn flirting skills. They are the ones who most need to hear that they can improve their social skills just by giving up the neurochemical roller coaster ride.

Please do blog. It will help others. We have lurkers who are suffering....

Flirting skills

That's a terrific article by the way. I hadn't read it. You're so right about the shyness. I am a typical example. I desperately wanted a girlfriend when i was much younger but I was painfully shy and embarrassed. Looking back there were lots of girls who really liked me but I was unable to flirt as I didn't know how - and I was terrified, literally, of being told I was a sex fiend. In the end I met a girl and we had a lot of fun and a lot of sex and we got married. There were times when I didn't have a porn problem but it always came back and each time worse. We are still together - after 22 years nearly and have three sons - life has been a rollercoaster and the last six years, having reached the top of my profession, food journalism, have been a slide into an abyss that I am just climbing out of.
I'm about to write my first blog piece but I wanted to respond to your comment about flirting. Other women, over the years, have terrified me and you are so right to focus on this part of the equation. I'm only just learning how to flirt now and actually its a completely different feeling than what I thought.
My first blog piece is going to be about stimulation because one of the ways I have found very helpful is not just to give up orgasm or porn but also all other forms of stimulation: tea, coffee, chocolate, sugar, alchohol (funny spelling because I'm English). I got very ill at the end of last year and invented a new diet to clean myself out based on fruit and vegetables. Getting rid of all stimulation has allowed my body to calm down because I started to watch myself after a porn binge - and I reached for other stimulants straight afterward and there was never a change - it was a pattern. I always wanted the same things and I always behaved in the same way.
Thanks, again, Marnia - I love your wisdom and your non-judgmental attitude.

Thanks for your replies

Appreciate all the above replies in response to my first post.

I'll give some serious thought to a two month abstinence from orgasm. I can see that there are potential benefits from doing this and how it could help me 'recharge' myself.

Thanks again for your helpful comments and for sharing your experiences.