3 Months of Abstinence

Submitted by fourthmonth on
Printer-friendly version

Hello everyone, I just registered in this community and this is my first post, but I've been reading some of the posts in here for a while.

I discovered Your Brain on Porn about 3 months ago after having problems to physically respond when I was making out with my girlfriend. I read a lot of the articles and watched the videos about porn induced erectile dysfunction and I knew I was an addict. I discovered this forum a while reading some of the stuff in YBOP and today I finally decided to post my experience.

I'm 22 years old and have been watching internet porn since I was 13. At first I believed it was normal to watch porn and masturbate, even when I started to do it more frequently and my tastes in porn started to change. I didn't considered porn masturbation a problem until 4 four years ago, when I tried to stop and couldn't be clean for more than a day or two. During the last four years I tried to stop several times, but always failed just after few days; staying clean for a even week was really difficult.

I met a beautiful and interesting women in January and she became my girlfriend four months ago. Before her I was single for six years and was during that time that my porn use became worst.

I started my rebooting process on April 23, after not being able to physically respond while kissing and touching with my girlfriend. I was tired of not being able to stop using porn and when I realized (whit the help of YBOP) that it was destroying my brain and now a relationship I really want to last, I decided I had to change my life. Surprisingly, the process hasn't been that hard in terms of staying out porn and masturbation, I almost didn't feel any symptom during the first days/weeks and then it was I would had never used porn, it was out my system. The real problem has been recovering my sensitivity and the erections.

The first four weeks was very normal, almost nothing changed, expect I wasn't using porn or masturbating. Although I did masturbate without porn or orgasm just to see if I was still able to have an erection... I realized that wasn't probably a good idea and promised not to do it again.

During the fifth and sixth weeks I experimented the "flat line" state, my penis was death.

After the sixth week I started feeling aroused again when I see a beautiful women in the street or I'm hugging, kissing and touching my girlfriend. I experience random erections, sometimes in the morning when I wake up or when I'm sitting in the bus, going to the University. The problem with those erections is that they don't last very long and most of the times they are not as hard as they should be. Even when I'm kissing my girlfriend, I got and erection and after a few minutes (not sure how many, but few!) it start fading away and then there is nothing I can do to get it back; sometimes I get a new erection if stop kissing and then do it again after a while, but then it happens again. During the last six weeks I can only remember one occasion where my erection was hard and last enough (my girlfriend and I weren't having sex, just being close, kissing and touching).

Last week (the twelfth) I tried to have sex with my girlfriend for the first time. I was really excited about the idea and believed that after three months of no porn and masturbation I was going to be fine. I was a bit worried for unsatisfying experiences during the previous weeks but wanted to believe everything was going to be ok. Unfortunately things didn't work very well:

At first I had an erection, not a very strong one but enough. We keep kissing and touching for a while and then the erection started to fade so it was impossible to put on a condom and actually have sex. I started to feel upset, sad and ashamed for the situation and we stopped.

At this point I have to say that my girlfriend knew about my problem since week four but except for the time I told her, we didn't discussed it until the day we tried to have sex. I told her it wasn't working, that I was excited and wanted to have sex with her but my body it wasn't (obviously) responding. I told her I was afraid that could happen but was hoping a different outcome given the time I had spent trying to reboot my brain.

We talked about it for a while and then starting doing other things. Later that night we tried again and I was able to put the condom on but had troubles keeping the erection. As always, the erection faded before we could do anything, but this time we tried to get it back although nothing seemed to work. After several minutes of kissing, talking and touching I got an erection again and was able to penetrate her (with some difficulty) but after two minutes (probably less) I feel I was going to finish... I didn't wanted to finish so fast so I stopped and then put my penis out of her trying to relax but before I could get inside her again the erection started to fade. We didn't try more that night.

The next night she decided to try again; this time we were kissing and touching and, while we still have our clothes on, she sat on top of me and started to move (you understand :)). I had an erection but again, not a very strong one. While she was moving I felt very excited and ejaculated (I believe this all happened in less than five minutes). This was two nights ago.

So here I am, after 12 weeks (or three months) of no porn and still having ED problems. I know I used porn for a long time (9 years). I know that the disaster that was trying to have sex with my girlfriend could have been caused (in part) for anxiety, but I was expecting better results given the time I been clean.

I'm still decided to not use porn again and to solve my problem, but right now I don't know if I have to wait more time for my brain to heal or if I have to do something else or... if I have been doing something wrong during these three months.

I'm sorry for the long post but I think I needed to write all that. I hope this helps people with the same problem to understand that it is possible to stop using porn, that it actually get easy after a few weeks. Also, that not all of us get the same results in the same amount of time, so be patient like I'm trying to be right now. If someone has something to say about my experience, maybe a little advise or explanation for the things I have lived, I would be really happy to read them.


I'm sorry.

I'm sure you're feeling very discouraged.

I remember Grey12 saying that his erectile strength continued to improve even after he finished his reboot and thought he was "cured," so I wouldn't give up hope just yet. Here's his account: http://yourbrainonporn.com/80-days You may simply need a bit longer.

Also, as tempting as it is, don't force erections. Wait for them to arise naturally. You said:

During the last six weeks I can only remember one occasion where my erection was hard and last enough (my girlfriend and I weren't having sex, just being close, kissing and touching).

That's "where you are" right now. Your body is slowly recovering. It just has farther to go. Skin-to-skin time with your sweetheart is very healing, but until your penis says, "YES!" stick to other kinds of affection.

Not sure why you're needing more time, but respect your body and give it what it's asking for. Brain chemical balance isn't like a muscle. You can't force it. Stay away from fantasy, too.

I can't remember your story. Did you also get checked by a doctor? Might give you peace of mind to know that all your hormones are just fine.

*big hug*


No, I haven't been checked by a doctor but I'll fix that soon.

This is the first time I write about my story. Until today I had discussed this problem with my girlfriend only. Hopefully that will change with the help of this community and when I see a doctor. I should probably contact a therapist too.

Those are good ideas,

but also keep in mind that you may well be just about to turn the corner. After ejaculation, some people just see the world through dark glasses for a few days. There are whole forums of men discussing post-O issues. Not saying this is you, by the way. Just pointing out that by next week you may see things and feel things very differently.

I'm sorry to hear that...

I'm sorry to hear that, but believe me, you will be able to do it, it's possible!. The thing that helped me the most was to promise myself and my girlfriend I wouldn't do it again, when the idea of watching porn or masturbate comes to my mind I remind that promise and destroy those ideas.

I thing is a good idea to tell someone about your problem and promise that person you'll stop using porn.

It also helps going to gym, reading, watching a tv series, going out or just sleeping... something that keeps your brain busy.

From other posts on here my

From other posts on here my understanding is the more you stay away from stimulation of any kind the better the results. So maybe even the lightest fooling around with your girlfriend can be delaying your recovery slightly?

I suppose its like, if you had a large apple tree that produced enough fruit to make 12 bottles of apple juice, and you not only picked all the fruit in one go and made 12 bottles worth and drank it all really quickly, but also pruned all the branches back in the process (Watching lots of porn...). It would be awhile before you could make anymore apple juice. Now a few months later you return to the tree and you can see the branches have grown back but there are only a few small apples, only enough for half a bottle of juice. So you can pick the few apples and make a small amount of juice, or you can wait a little longer until all the apples have grown back, and then you can learn to pick just the apples and not prune the branches, and make lots of apple juice together.

How'd you like them apples?!

That makes a lot of sense....

but I thought it could work as a way of teaching myself to feel pleasure for the right reasons (being with a real partner, kiss and being kissed, etc). It probably doesn't work that way and I'm just putting more pressure on me, making the process harder?

You've just picked a few

You've just picked a few unripe apples. There may be loads ready for picking in a couple of weeks.

But if you're considering seeing a proper doctor it would be interesting to hear what they say as well. The more support you have the better!

I think pleasure

is a great idea. Just don't force the sex.

Remember, your brain may have "pruned" a lot of the neuronal branches for regular sex...since you were committed to the porn approach to sex for a long while. The brain wires itself *very* rapidly in adolescence, thanks to extra dopamine. But at adulthood, it prunes back a lot of unused circuits.

That's not a permanent sentence, by the way. We can grow new pathways at *any* time in life. My point, though, is that you may be expecting your brain to perform as if it has lots of nerve pathways that it is only now beginning to work on strengthening.

Gray12 had the advantage of being 36, and having had sex before he got into Internet porn. You younger guys have the advantage of lots of raging hormones, but you may need to give your brains time to catch up with your change in direction.

Just think, "Grow baby, grow!"

And keep cuddling. That'll keep your nervous system calm and make the delay more bearable.

Right now I'm going through

Right now I'm going through a period of anxiety, I'm feeling really bad for what is happening and happened the last days. My girlfriend is being very supportive, she said she WANTS to be with me in this process and that's very important to me, but I can get the idea that I failed her out of my mind. I know that's not the right way of thinking and that I should be more patient and feel happy about having her with me.

I'll keep working on removing those thoughts of my head. The advise I have received today in this forum has been very important and I know I should remain strong and complete the process no matter how long it takes.

I have a question: Do you think it is "normal" to feel like you don't want anything at moments like this? I'm not thinking in watching porn or masturbating but also don't want to listen to music, talking to people, reading, eating is not enjoyable... nothing. Is like I just want to sleep and forget about everything for a while. Is not the first time, it happens when I feel I let me or someone special down and then it gets better after a few days... but would be good to have an explanation for it.

Not sure that normal exists

The things you describe are symptoms of depression and is worth seeing a professional about. Anxiety and depression are commonly linked and one can cause the other. Been there. Seeing a professional is a great way to get a feel for where you are at. There is usually a cause/effect and something tells me if you could talk this through with more people you may start to feel better.

I have a slightly different take on recovery than some others. I believe that practicing karezza is a good way to recover. (Or just bonding, hugging, spooning, etc). You have to make sure you don't take it too far, but the results can be amazing. I became very relaxed and started to approach the feeling of being close to a female. Porn can't come close to that feeling.

Bonding in that manner brings you closer to the other person and helps you feel better all over. But again, you need to avoid edging or allowing your brain to turn into orgasm mode. I cannot being to say how grateful I am from reading Marnia's book and taking up karezza. My wife and I both love it and it is more enjoyable than our former orgasm driven sex.

Best of luck and keep writing (it helps). If your current feelings continue make sure you see a psychologist to talk through what you are going through. Depression and anxiety are very curable (and without medication a lot of the time).


You seem to be very focused on your erection. When I read your posts I am very focused on how great your girlfriend is. I think something a lot of guys don't understand is that woman don't have the same "rigid" sex checklist in their heads that we have. Folding towels and then watching The Office with her--she might think that is damn sexy. You didn't fail her! She wants to be with you. She wants to be with you! She wants to be with you!!! That is a rare and wonderful thing, and I think the more you focus on that, the more the mechanics will take care of themselves. In fact, for guys with psychological impotence usually the doctor will have you go through a sequence during which you aren't allowed to have sex at all. A week or two hugging and making out with clothes on. A week or two with making out with underwear on. Etc. Taking the focus off of "the goal" allows you to focus on the pleasure of being together. And it's the pleasure of being together that gives you an erection. Besides, making out is so much fun. Now, kiss that girl! Doctors orders!

If you like,

I will be happy to send you the "Ecstatic Exchanges" from the back of our book. They are playful, affectionate activities for couples. The first two weeks don't call for intercourse. And by the time you get through them, you may be ready. Just PM me if you want them.

I'm sorry you're bummed. When did you last ejaculate? Some people notice a dip in mood connected with climax itself. (You just wouldn't have noticed it if you were using Internet porn all the time, because you could always override it...until you slammed into the ED wall.)

Have faith. You'll get there.

*big hug*

This blog worries me,

This blog worries me, because I'm basically feeling the same way though I'm only 7 weeks into the process right now. I have to admit that in the back of my mind there were thoughts that using my fingers or just making out and being stimulated by my girlfriend have been slowing the process. Obviously its not true, but it is discouraging to be where we are right now. I thought I'd be recovered by now. I'm expecting big changes in weeks 8-12.. and if they don't arise well.... I don't know what I'll do..

Well, I'm not going to lie,

Well, I'm not going to lie, I was really disappointed after the results I saw this weekend. It was really hard to accept that I'm not ready yet because all that I want is to get cured soon, but the true is that we all didn't got this sick in two or three months, we spent years doing this to ourselves so is going to take a while before we can go back to normal.

I understood the above today, after a lot of thinking, going to gym and, of course, all the comments posted in this forum (thanks!). Yesterday was probably the worst day since I started this journey three months ago.

I wish you get better results by week 12, but if you don't, remember that no matter how you feel the only way out is to keep trying. So if things are not as you expect, think, walk, talk to others (this forum is specially good for that) and then continue with you recovery process.

After the last weekend a lot

After the last weekend a lot of stuff has happened. I became depressed, anxious, frustrated and desperate.

My girlfriend knew about my addiction but since we had never tried sex she wasn't aware of the ED problems; discovering how bad the situation is was a shock for her but in the end she supported me. The first day I felt very happy knowing she wanted to help me but then a wave of negative thinking took control of me and started to feel sad, guilty and broken. All that stuff hurt my girlfriend a lot because I was making her feel like all the support she was giving it was for nothing. I became a problem for her.

Yesterday I finally understood I was doing it wrong and the least I could do to show how I appreciate my girlfriend's support is to not being a problem and actually start thinking in how WE are going to solve this situation. I read more stories in this forum, the comments left in my post and it was clear to me that my brain is going to take more time to heal, that I should not be so focused in having an erection or having sex, that those things will come with the recovery, but in time, that I should relax and care for what is really important: the other things in my life and the people I love.

Right now my girlfriend is hurt, she is having second thoughts about our relationship... and with good reason, but we're together and after a lot of talk decided to start from the beginning focusing on give love to each other and leaving sex out of the table for a while. We believe that the tension generated by the idea of having sex or having to perform in sex is slowing down my progress, making me really stressed and, in the end, hurting our relationship.

I think we made a good decision and hope we can continue being together while I recover from all this. I'll work really hard in thinking more about the good parts of our lives while the not so good ones get fixed. I'm definitely off porn and I know things will be better in the future, I just don't know how long is going to take.

I'm also going to see a doctor this week, just to be sure everything else is ok and I'll start seeing I psychologist in the upcoming weeks to help me handle all the feelings and thoughts all this produces me.

Writing in this forum has helped me a lot, so I think I will be posting more updates in the future. Thanks for all your feedback.

Thank you for the update

I've been thinking about you a lot. I'm proud of you both for handling things so well...in the end. I think she'll calm down now that you are being loving.

This problem is really no one's fault. After all, the whole world told you porn use was harmless. Could have happened to anyone, and it probably *would* have happened to her if she had been a man. I think it's important to be mindful of this.

That said, the chances are good that only you two can take the steps necessary to allow the situation to repair itself.

It's also more than likely that you're already through the worst of the rebooting process, and that there's sunshine just around the corner.

In any case, it's good to learn non-goal-oriented ways of being affectionate with each other because there will be times in life when conventional sex isn't an option. If you have lots of other options you find deeply satisfying, you'll tend to remain more harmonious with each other.

Here's an example of a practice one couple uses: http://www.reuniting.info/node/7296

This is your chance to be creative and playful, with no "script."

That's sounds really good,

That's sounds really good, the only problem is my girlfriend and I don't live together so most of things I've read here are hard to practice.

I ordered your book this morning, I believe I'll learn about ways to connect with my girlfriend even if we don't have the opportunity to wake up next to each other. I read in THE ECSTATIC EXCHANGES, the fragment you sent me, about some bonding behaviours in chapter seven and I hope to be able to read and practice them soon.


I think the more you can open up

to her and be vulnerable (as difficult as that can be), the closer you will feel to one another, and the better your results will be sexually. I opened up about my ED to a woman I am dating, and afterwards my erections were much stronger, and I felt much more comfortable with her. If she doesn't know about our ED, she is wondering what is going on, and we are anxious about it too. This is no good. It is cleansing to confess the truth to her, and then she doesn't take the ED personally. Abstaining for 3 months has cleansed you, and I encourage you to abstain for the rest of your life. Determine to only have sexual experiences with real women. And keep opening up and sharing your challenges with your partner. She wants to help you heal, so let her know how much you want to get better and love her fully.

Hi, recreatingone 1. I'm 22

Hi, recreatingone

1. I'm 22 years old. I was using porn and Mb since I was 13 or 14.
2. I had experienced loss of sensibility before, with another partner, but that was about six years ago. At that time my ED was not this bad, I could have sex but I wasn't ok either. During the last six years I was alone and started watching porn and Mb more frequently; I believe that, combined with the absence of normal sex, created the ED the problem I have right now.
3. No, no cheating or bad break up.
4. Didn't knew it could cause prostate issues. I'll check with a doctor.


Hey man, Congrats on the

Hey man,

Congrats on the hard work so far. That's some very impressive dedication! Are you working out right now? I hit some of the post-O emotional doldrums earlier this week but I think my mood bounced back really quickly because I'm getting in a good 1-1.5 hours gym time per day. I feel like working out doesn't just take care of you physically, it also enhances every other part of your life. Yoga and meditation too. When you harness your energy and push yourself on those last few reps to the breaking point, you can just feel the testosterone coursing through your blood. And when you meditate or do difficult asanas all your mental energies are focused on one center point, letting your mind release your other tensions. Give your body some pride and self-love and you might be surprised by the results! Also, chill out with the girl. Remember that relationships are about the journey, not the destination. As long as she's got a smile on her face and she feels valued, there's no worries. You two will get where you want to go. 100%

Thanks, Yes, I've been


Yes, I've been working out at least three times each week and it helps a lot, but that wasn't enough this week :(. I'll try to remain calm and relaxed, maybe I'll try meditation too and will focus on making my girlfriend feel good with our relationship.

Thank you for the advise.

not sure if the OP is still

not sure if the OP is still around, but..
i think this problem has a lot to do with "training" your penis into erections from mechanical stimulation of the receptors in the penis (instead of brain stimulation from visual arousal), followed by quick orgasms, as is common with porn.. i don't think this has to do specifically with porn or porn addiction, but rather with the chronic, intense hand masturbation that it enables.. i also dont think long periods of abstinence will solve this issue, because although it will allow you to become excited and erect very quickly, you will also orgasm and ejaculate very quickly as well. I think its just an issue of lack of practice fucking.. once you get more practice, after you get the first orgasm out of the way the next ones will be a bit harder to get so you'll maintain your erection while practicing orgasm control in order to have these 25 minute fuck sessions that people seem to want... ask you friends about it.
also, get your GF on birth control if you haven't already.. condoms make this type of "practice" more difficult because of the disruption of putting on a condom and the stress of making sure you're hard enough for it to stay on. I guarantee you that at your age, it would be almost impossible for you not to go from a semi-erection to a full erection once you put your penis inside a warm, wet, and ridged vaginal canal.. i don't think techniques like karezza for that matter would be possible with condoms either