I am new to this world and would REALLY appreciate your advice and input. I’ve tried to keep this post as short as possible while still giving enough info.
To provide a bit of background, I am a 23 year old who has been masturbating since about age 13, and on more or less a 1x/day basis since beginning university at age 18. I would most usually get off to hot facebook photos, and occasionally to video porn, with no real need for escalation of ‘hardcore-ness’ for arousal.
I thought nothing of my habit until I got into bed with a girl for the first time, earlier this year. (I had been shy to approach girls for various reasons, though perhaps the knowing in the back of my mind that I could get myself off with my hand anytime subconsciously contributed to this reservedness.) We were making out and in foreplay for a good while, but at the point of wanting to insert and have sex I could not get adequately hard. I had been drinking (about 8 drinks – shots/beers – over 4 hours), so that could very likely have been the cause of this case of ‘whiskey dick’, but I was definitely only buzzed and still totally there mentally (i.e. was quite nervous/conscious of not being awkward in my first time), and not hammered. (Aside: at what level of alcohol consumption does ED generally set in?)
Anyway, we shrugged off the ED in the moment, but the next day at home I reflected and thought perhaps my ‘excessive masturbation’ could have had a negative effect. I had always assumed I’d be raring to go when the opportunity for sex arose; I am young and very athletic and constantly looking at girls in a sexual light and have before gotten semi-hard and pre-cum just from grinding on girls in clubs. I came across ‘Your Brain on Porn’ online and have read much of the material, seeing many similarities with my ‘symptoms’. Looking back, I have experienced weaker erections when masturbating in the past few years. Perhaps this is partly natural as I age out of puberty (i.e. I wouldn’t expect spontaneous raging boners in the middle of class like in high school!), but: the time/work to build up a full erection has increased, if not pixels at least mental fantasy is necessary, full end-product hardness has decreased (I think; tough to recall the past for comparison), I often am only fully hard just before ejaculating, I quickly get a lot of pre-cum (seminal leakage?) even before I am fully hard, I sometimes even cum without a full hard-on erection, and morning woods are practically never.
I was in to see my doctor regarding something else a few days later, and brought up my ED from that night. I asked if it was possible that my 1x/day masturbating could make my penis tired or create any sort of chemical imbalance, spitting out something embarrassedly about ‘dopamine’. The doc said definitively that my masturbation is healthy, that much of the internet spouts nonsense to try to sell you cures and supplements, and that my alcohol intake that night could definitely have been the culprit. Somewhat comforted, I remained partly unconvinced by her abrupt dismissal of masturbation-induced ED (I hadn’t mentioned PIED specifically). I had recalled occasions where, for whatever reason, I didn’t jerk off for 4 days-1 week and then when I got around to the deed again felt a fuller erection and blew huge loads. So I felt like there was definitely something to be said for letting your penis recharge (unscientific, I know.) Following up on this, the scientific logic on YBOP was so simple – generally, through jerking off and looking at pics so much for an addictive quick dopamine high, I have desensitized myself to dopamine surges, and thus did not get as hard/aroused as I should under ‘normal’ levels of stimulation like real girls/sex. Right?
I have tried to start a ‘no fap’ journey at various points this year since that fateful night, but have not gotten too far. I’d say I have averaged 3-4 days/week where I masturbate (sometimes 1x/day, and an extreme of 5x/day on two occasions). I have been conscious of it, though, and, to look at things positively, have been ‘weaning’ myself off PMO to an extent.
Now, I have embarked on this with greater resolve and am currently at 8 days. Some observations:
- energy/disposition up generally – to tackle tasks, go to the gym, etc.
- shrinking penis – seems like the girth and length of its flaccid state have decreased
- no real overwhelming desire to jerk off, surprisingly – I thought this would be a battle; am I already in the ‘flatline’?
- on day 3 got an I’d say 80% erection and pre-cum just from watching a porn video (no touch whatsoever)
- had a 70% erection waking up this morning, for the first time I can remember (though obviously hadn’t been so conscious of tracking them before)
- on day 7, decided to ‘test’ (I know; this is not a good idea and I should have faith) as I was going out with the opportunity for some action; I masturbated to a 90% erection and pre-cum with minimal fantasy but it took a bit of time/was work.
I am planning to hold steady and only perhaps try M again for 5min at Day 12 as I’ll likely be going out to a bar for some action and want to make sure I’m not in a ‘dead dick’ stage.
*I will, though have a chance to have sex with the same girl as my ED night on Day 17 of my no-fap journey. My burning question is ‘will I be able to get it up’? She’s very nice but I don’t want to go 0/2, and won’t pursue it if odds are low and I’m better off in a total abstention phase. I plan on only having maybe 3 drinks that night in case the alcohol was the variable. Performance anxiety could now be an issue from me overthinking/analyzing this But anyway, in your experiences and given my path, is it a good bet I’ll be sufficiently on the rewiring track, be able to get it up and strong in this moment???
Maybe it was all the alcohol that night and my penis circuitry is fine (!) but this is a no-harm experiment to try. Would love any of your thoughts/advice/input on this night coming up, my process in general, and how to know when ‘I’m good’. Thanks!