Will I be able to get it up?

Submitted by rogerfaperer on
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Hello everyone,

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 Wink 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!


This forum is no longer really a recovery forum and you may find one of these other forums has more guys who have been through what you're going through.





How long since you used porn? It, not masturbation, seems to be the biggest culprit. That said, some guys also give up masturbation for a while to help kickstart things. Your doctor sounds like he needs to read this: http://yourbrainonporn.com/internet-porn-and-erectile-dysfunction-urolog... His information is sadly out of date.

Sure sounds like a classic flatline. If so, it's temporary. Did you read this? “How I Recovered from Porn-related Erectile Dysfunction” | Your Brain On Porn

You might want to watch this too: ▶ Porn Induced ED Reboot Advice - YouTube

The best thing to do is give yourself a rest and not put yourself in position where you put sexual performance pressure on yourself until you're ready. If you need to explain to a partner what you're experimenting with, give her this: Boyfriend Quitting Porn? 5 Tips | Your Brain On Porn

Good luck!

Signs of being ready?

Thanks very much for the reply. I've read all of your suggested links and then some.

To answer your question, the last time I used porn was 10 days ago (some mix of video though more so facebook photos), before beginning this 'reboot' process.

You say to not put "sexual performance pressure" on myself until I'm "ready". Agreed. ...... I feel like I am mentally strong enough to go after a sexual encounter pressure-free (i.e. convince myself of the attitude that 'it's fun, and if erection issues arise, it's no big deal unless I make it one', and push the anxiety of potential PIED as far out of mind as possible). The question is, though, when am I 'ready'? What do you mean when you say 'ready'?

I realize it's impossible to say for certain, but is there any way to estimate/roughly gauge how severe a case I am? Is there any quantifiable measure? E.g. does the return of morning woods (decently strong, but brief) link to being ready for successful real sex? Does the fact that I seem to have skipped the standard first few withdrawal days of terrible cravings and gone straight to, as you say, what seems like a flatline indicate I'm progressing quickly, perhaps owing to my great health & fitness?

To put it specifically, looking at the opportunity for Day 17 sex in my case, are there stories of recovery from my level of PIED/addiction that quickly? I'm trying to decide whether I'm in good shape to pursue this or, as you said, give myself a rest.

Thanks again for your help and understanding with this sensitive and personal topic! Much appreciated.

Performance anxiety is a red herring

I didn't learn this fact until mid-life. When I was your age, (and fapping daily), I rarely had issues getting erections sufficient for sex, but I did have a severe case of delayed ejaculation (DE); so much so, that I simply could not ejaculate during sex, at least not until I could let go enough to mentally project my partner into some kind of porn fantasy. I have since realized that this is exactly what I don't want to do.

You're on the right track realizing all that stuff about dopamine, sensitivity, etc. It really is the case that the super-stimulation of internet porn wreaks havoc on our brain's ability to respond adequately to normal stimulus. Frequent masturbation doesn't help. I wish I knew that years ago.

At this point, it sounds like your main concern is disappointing this nice girl who wants to have sex with you. I think that females are quite sensitive to male expectations (to put out, etc), and express their dissatisfaction with such expectations quite vociferously. But it's a double standard because there is also an expectation on the male to "perform on command". We are not dogs trained to do tricks. Is the expectation of performance really coming from her, or is it coming from you?

If you like this girl, my advice to you is to relax. Forget about performance. Forget about sex. Give up the porn (for good) and the masturbation (for a few months). Just spend some time with her and get to know her. I'm not talking prototypical romantic things necessarily, but it does help to do some low-key things like make eye contact, kiss, hold hands, massage, etc. If you can do that and be relaxed, then over time your mojo will gain enough momentum to provide the necessary wood for you to fly your mainsail - I guarantee it. I can also tell you that if you're thinking about this one day as your one chance, then you will be putting way too much pressure on yourself and the resulting anxiety alone will likely be sufficient to take the wind out of your sails.

I agree with Sender

"At this point, it sounds like your main concern is disappointing this nice girl who wants to have sex with you... Is the expectation of performance really coming from her, or is it coming from you?" I'd be curious to know. Have you talked about it?

"If you like this girl, my advice to you is to relax. Forget about performance. Forget about sex. Give up the porn (for good) and the masturbation (for a few months)." Maybe give up the alcohol too? What is the point of drinking? It just wastes money and gives you a hangover. Beee

"I can also tell you that if you're thinking about this one day as your one chance, then you will be putting way too much pressure on yourself and the resulting anxiety alone will likely be sufficient to take the wind out of your sails."

What if you made a decision - and got this girl's agreement - to NOT have sex for at least the next date? Just spend a weekend sleeping together, snuggling, talking, hanging out, more snuggling...

Maybe you will find this inspirational: http://www.reuniting.info/node/7970

There's no way to know

if you're ready until you're in the moment with an actual partner. If you read this page, you'll see that many guys were looking for spontaneous erections before they would believe they were ready...and yet when they got with a partner, within a few dates, they were performing just fine. How do I know when I'm back to normal? | Your Brain On Porn

One thing is certain, as you unhook from porn and let your brain rebalance (which takes different times for different folks), your libido may also become more balanced (less insistent...but more solid, if that makes sense).

You are not a machine, and sex does not operate with the kind of certainty that masturbation to internet porn does...where you can always force things with more of your aphrodisiac (visual sexual novelty).

One of the things I've seen reported in the last few years is that unhooking from porn gradually improves the "obsessive need for certainty and reassurance" - which in its extreme form becomes the misery of OCD. It's worth staying off the porn to see if you feel more relaxed and more willing to take life as it comes even if it means not being machine-like.



Checking in for advice - progress and relapse

So I PMO-ed last night. I’m shocked at myself for this relapse 56 days into my reboot, as I felt I was quite unattached from artificial imagery/video and masturbation… the thought of it/habit had seemed to have really lost its pull/appeal lately. Since I last posted in the early stages of my reboot, I have basically been able to abstain from PMO fully, except for feeling compelled to ‘test’ (i.e. stimulation to sensation only to check signs of progress) sporadically. I was going so well in my routine and didn’t see me falling back anywhere on the horizon, so don’t know what to make of this. I immediately felt terrible afterwards for breaking my streak and lack of restraint.

To put a positive spin on the event, it was natural stimulation that made me horny in the first place… I was out at a bar drinking Saturday night for the first time in a while, having been busy studying. I spent a lot of time chatting with our group of friends and a girl I definitely could’ve brought home, but didn’t go for it. I got back to my room and, even though I pledged to myself not to ‘test’ for all of April, I guess self-control is a bit reduced when drunk (lol) and I tested to sensation-only, sort of with the motivation being to see if I would’ve been able to perform had I picked up the girl from the bar. To my delight, I got it up to full 100% erection with decent ‘staying power’/durability once I removed my hand. (How long should it stay up for someone who’s fully functioning/healed???) [As an aside, from having many of the PIED symptoms, e.g. perhaps most importantly, not being able to get a full erection to sensation-only early on in the reboot, I have had variability when I 'test', but overall definitely had some occasions of amazing stiffness/durability from minimal stimulation (either a photo without touch, or touch with no P/Pfantasy).]

I was still thinking about that girl/chance for some action today and just started feeling myself a little bit, again got it up strongly to I guess a sorta mix of sensation only/slight fantasy, but then things escalated from me giving myself a few strokes into looking at a few pics/vids and edging and then accidentally going over the edge and cumming. (Could it mayyyybe be construed as a good thing that whereas other times over the course of the reboot where I have begun to touch or look online I was able to via willpower shut it off quickly, here maybe I just needed a sexual release, brought on by my interactions with this real girl last night?) Having PMOed, I thought to myself ‘damn it, at this stage if I already came let me just see if I can get it up sensation-only right after cumming, a tough test of virility…’ (dangerous thought of having failed/potential to binge, I know.) I was able to get fully hard, though the erection didn’t last too long once I took my hand off, which I guess is expected right after having already cum…but then I let that escalate into opening some pics again and cumming for a second time. A few hours later in the night I opened a video and quickly got fully hard again and came once more.

So after 56 days, I had a quick three PMOs in the span of about 3 hours. With some relatively successful sensation-only ‘tests’ the night prior and a couple weeks ago when I first posted here [I’ve done well to go total cold turkey since then], perhaps I let my guard down thinking I’m more or less healed, and lapsed. I need to stay strong.

What do I make of this ‘relapse’? I’m disappointed at my lack of discipline to let nearly 2 months of focus and effort go down the tubes in 30 minutes. I have a fair amount of worried self-hate that I did something seriously bad for my reboot. I just desperately want to know things will function properly in the moment ‘down there’ so I can get on with that side of life, and am scared I’ve screwed up the reboot process. But I’m also encouraged that my immediate natural reaction to having done this, as I’m writing here, is conscious disgust and that I prefer the feeling of having the self-control of managing my arousal as I have for the first 56 days of my reboot.

So, I ask you guys, what does this relapse mean for me? Does it set me back in the reboot process? From reading an article on YBOP, is my “behavior reactivating sensitized addiction pathways”? – In that moment, yes, but I am confident I can again abstain. Am I “overstimulating my already numbed dopamine system”? – Yes.

I can’t imagine I would have ‘lost’ all my progress from one session, right? Does the fact that I’m seeming to have pretty solid results with the sensation-only baseline test (Day 40, Day 56) mean I may anyway be ‘ready for action’?

Thanks for your reply

Thanks very much. I didn't mean to be philosophical when asking what this falling off the horse "means", but rather just curious as to whether, in the body of experiences/anecdotes of the community of people addressing these issues, a relapse such as this is seen to usually delay the recovery a great deal?

I ask this because of course I am super antsy to put this issue behind me and get on with the sexual side of my life. Given my prior failure to perform, I am a bit paranoid of it reoccurring; even having seen improvements when testing, the worry definitely factored into my mind in not making a move with the girl.

Point taken re testing. I have tested periodically not out of a burning physical need to stimulate, I think, but rather to see where I'm at / to see if I could confidently pursue fully-functioning 'real' sex. That is to say, for example, if I knew it would be 50, 100, x, whatever days of zero touch and that would = healed, I could do it. At my last test over two weeks before this incident, I was definitely seeing improvement in fullness & durability.

I don't want to test again now to see if I have slipped, as I know the act doesn't help things at all, and in fact - even without P or fantasy - somewhat retards the process. If I can get right back on the horse, as you say, can this be a blip moment of weakness with minimal physiological/wiring/rebooting effect?

I had been feeling better about my recovery lately, and, though I know there is no single surefire sign/answer, I was ticking many boxes on the YBOP 'How do I know when I'm back to normal' list. Most importantly, I was having relative success with the ‘sensation only’ masturbation test, which seems like the clincher to know if you’re more-or-less healed for ED. (The logic being...because then, in the moment with a real woman, even if the dopamine neurons aren’t super-firing in arousal/imagination/anticipation/fantasy to get an erection, the physical act of arousal/rubbing alone is enough to achieve a strong erection that can do the job.)

...One query I can't find an answer to is: for how long should a healed/normal erection generally be expected to stay fully engorged and erect on its own after removing your hand (via sensation-only stimulation)??? I.e. when watching porn last night it stayed fully stiff indefinitely, but when 'testing' to touch only after coming home from the bar the night prior it would wane after a minute or two. One would not expect them to be identical, I assume, as with P there is the continued visual stimulation (vs nothing - no physical, visual or fantasy - in the other case).

Thanks so much once again. Your generosity of advice is very appreciated. Just trying to come to terms with where I stand in the recovery, esp given this relapse.

Alas, there's no answer to your question

If you were well on your way to being back to balance, the relapse might not have much impact at all. If you weren't so far along, then it could set you back a bit. Definitely don't test at all for two weeks after the last orgasm. Here's why: The Passion Cycle | Reuniting You won't get a clear reading anyway.

I don't think men whose sexuality is healthy have erections that hang around without inspiration in the form of a partner...except maybe when they're teens. What happens solo is not very relevant to what happens with a partner.

My guess is that you're having some OCD-ish symptoms. I understand your worry, but worrying won't help and won't really get you any answers that will do much to allay your fears. You just have to go through The Void with as much courage as you can muster. Smile


So I PMOed again today, five

So I PMOed again today, five (clean) days after my first relapse. Maybe I let myself slip feeling overconfident/safe/comfortable from having full, hard erections once or twice this week while just lazing around in bed and having sexy thoughts (no touch), even after the first relapse.

Anyway, that was this morning. I 'tested' tonight M to sensation-only to see erection quality and I couldn't really get it up to full; it was like 80% and subsided quickly. Shit! Maybe it was a one-off poor test because it was shortly after my last O (12 hrs) and so I was satiated? If not, this may have set me back to like reboot-day-20 quality test results. Ahhh!!!

Agreed. So tough right now,

Agreed. So tough right now, even though I explicitly told myself and wrote down rationale to totally lay off. PMOed 3x today to fantasy. Must be the subconscious chaser effect; embarrassing lack of resolve. Too much activity 'down there' >> posting too much here... should've put this in the journal section, sorry!! Wink Need to absolutely bear down... no news is good news. Hopefully I haven't reopened old habits/pathways too much. Crucial long rest now if I really want to reboot, agreed.

Great 11 days

I've had a great 11 days since my relapse/chaser episode and have done zero touch and been very good about shutting the computer if I drift into too much facebook pic searching (sexy or not).

I'm curious for your take on wet dreams? I read this page (http://www.yourbrainonporn.com/wet-dreams) and see that guys interpret them differently. Tonight I came back after work, stumbled upon an article I was reading that had some sexual references, got hard, touched myself with literally just 2-3 strokes (first touch in this streak), and had some slight precum a minute or two later. I passed out for an hour nap then woke up with my sheets under me quite wet with what I believe to be a wet dream. (It wasn't totally out of nowhere as I had these sexual thoughts/slight bit of arousal prior to nodding off, but wow, nothing that would have me expecting that!)

My first instinct is to interpret it as a positive, healthy sign of progress. The logic being that cutting out PMO allows body to reorient itself to natural functions-processes-stimulus-etc. That I had a wet dream (something I can’t even remember ever having before – maybe zero or once or twice in my life) is a clear sign that transformation is taking place/that my change in routines is having an effect.

I'm an optimist by nature

so I'd go with the "positive" interpretation unless you notice a severe chaser or something. It's actually a good test of how much you're back in balance.

Let us know what your thoughts are after a couple of days.

Libido question

Hi, I'm just over a month into my latest PMO reboot and am feeling good and based on the ybop 'back to normal' checklist feel I may be healed.

One thing I'm unclear on is libido. I can definitely sense my "radar" super tuned to spotting good looking girls --- like at the gym or in a club for example. But still the conception of girls in my mind feels sort of foreign. Its like i feel normal to look at a cute face or body or whatever, but underlying have a feeling of unfamiliarity/strangeness when it comes to naturally approach-interact-touch-kiss another person---then actually have sex.

Should I be feeling an overwhelming desire to kiss/feel them up, for something physical, or be fantasizing about doing that? Is that what libido is???

It's like if I see a hot girl in the gym, I'll stare (who doesn't Wink ) and the thought in my mind will be like 'wow that's hot; look at those legs'. But not like 'wow I'm so horny to caress that body/have sex'. Should it be the latter of these?

Right now it’s like yeah fit girls are a visual feast for my eyes, so to speak, but nothing more. I feel a bit detached, if that makes sense. Is that just that I’ve wired for so long not interacting with them and instead with my computer,pixels,porn that my brain wiring for arousal and response is screwed up? Or do we always feel a bit awkward around/with regards to an attractive girl - it is another person after all! (by that I mean it/the idea of it of course inherently feels foreign bc its not M self-love or computer surfing where you're the only variable and totally in control, if that makes sense).

A bit confused what a normal libido is. Thanks!

This has changed for me

now that I've given up porn (and orgasms). Just like how you describe it, I no longer mentally project the women I see into some sex fantasy, and that's a good thing.

Porn was filling my head with those images; they're not there naturally. Also, when I have an orgasm , I notice that my libido takes on a life of its own (in terms of thinking about physical sex acts) for the next couple of weeks. I have seen it over and over again. Once things calm down, I find myself not really thinking at all about the physical sex acts (out of context), but when I'm with my wife and the clothes come off, I'm 100% into it. This is how I want to be.

You're doing great. My suggestion: just forget that you even have a penis until it's time to use it. Only then will you truly understand the meaning of Magic Johnson... Smile

I'm just going about my day

I'm just going about my day to day life, which may include chatting small talk with women here and there, but not a ton. I've held off anything more forward like trying to pick up girls or dates or anything like that because still unsure of my condition and progress and don't want to lead down the sexual road to where I might embarrass myself with pied or something again.

I am feeling pretty good but not sure. Gauging what natural libido could help me evaluate where I'm at.

@sender So as far as I

@sender So as far as I understand the 'libido' - rushing-in feeling of a great desire for physical connection/touch/intimacy/penetration - shouldn't really be triggered until actual interaction, whether that's chatting, flirting, whatever - at which point in a normally physiologically functioning guy the chemicals and what have you get the libido/desire for sex cranking. At the stage of just spotting hot girls on the metro or the bar or gym it's normal to not be feeling anything more other than your brain registering 'wow she's hot'.

Does that sound about right?

@Marnia Makes sense for sure, thanks. Just I'm not so interested or have time for a girlfriend sort of relationship at the moment! Wink

My suggestion: follow the

My suggestion: follow the advice given above, and especially quit porn.

And you're not a robot, you'll still think about women sexually. But the context will change. When you see a hot girl you won't instantly think about what she looks like naked and have porn like images in your mind about giving it to her and what her privates look like, but you will appreciate her curves and think she's sexy and feel warm fuzzies and get a boner when she touches you or kisses you. And her face and personality and demeanor will be sexy to you also...

Before I quit porn and daily to 3x daily masturbation: delayed ejaculation, taking way longer to get hard, etc.

After porn: The first time a girl a little above average looking was cuddling me and put a leg over my lap while we were laying down I got super rock hard and almost came with full clothes on, so I would say it mos def makes a difference. Same girl one day we had sex for 3 hours and this was when I was a bit drunk. I get a nice tent in my pants every morning and sometimes I have to wait for it to go away so I can get out of bed(don't really want to walk around the house that way) , so I don't think it's the alcohol...

If you quit the porn, the masturbation will slow way down or stop, and things you see and hear will turn you on but you no longer have a compulsive need to do something about it.

When you say "After porn"

When you say "After porn" when is that? How long for you after quitting? What was your experience?

Makes sense totally what you say in the first paragraph and is what I'm gathering that I'm experiencing now, and I'd love to be at that undeniable arousal when actually getting with a girl that you describe.

I've done a 56 day reboot with a bit too much testing, relapse, 21 days very clean, relapse, now on 35 days very clean and counting. I do feel more sensitive to touch and the rare times i do test now can get erections to touch-only though it takes 1-2min of stroking, and morning wood starting in the last couple weeks most mornings where i'm waking up without an alarm, though i'd say about 70-80% of full stiff and drops about as soon as I get out of bed.

Thanx alot!

I see on the YourBrainonPorn

I see on the YourBrainonPorn list of 'back to normal' that #6 is "You feel like flirting with potential mates, who look a lot more attractive..", a desire to talk to/pursue a partner.

It’s like sure I’d like – ‘desire’ – sex, and would enjoy flirting, but I don’t do anything to go after/initiate it…Should I be feeling like I need to go out (like a sort of biological urge) to meet girls? And when I am then around girls should I be having an underlying desire tugging at me to go down that road? Because I do notice attractiveness very much so but to anything further I'm just kinda like 'meh whatever'. Is there something wrong with me (testosterone tested as normal)? Or is it just purely psychological that I’ve held myself back/shy/making a big deal/ and physiologically having only hooked up once with a woman am not wired habit-wise to pursue sexual action as a natural option etc..? And anyway are you not supposed to feel that libido cranking until actually interacting/touching/kissing?

Thanks for the help guys in sorting this out!

Thanks very much.

Thanks very much.

When you say you've heard of both scenarios a) needing to get out there and go through the motions (of flirting etc) to spark their desire/libido into kicking in more fully, and b) just needing more time until "it" kicked in... What is 'it' ?... Are you saying that there should indeed be a physiological feeling, a "desire", of needing to go out, be social, to flirt, to initiate, to pursue (eventual) sex? Or, is 'it' just arousal that gets cranking just when actually interacting/possibility of hooking up/start kissing, a "desire" for sex at, e.g., the point in the night when it's actually a distinct possiblity ?

I hate to use the word 'normal' or 'supposed to' but i'm realizing since i've wired to pixel images and have only had one hookup with a girl i just don't have a concept of what's natural state in terms of libido, of where it manifests itself, in terms of at what stage one is meant to feel the need for sexual action.

(Read on if you like...but this ^^^ is my main question.)

To put the difference in an example that I think sort of fits - Like you could consciously decide 'i'm going to try to pick up this random girl' who you don't know/don't find attractive much, but if you got to stage of having sex, would you then not respond/be aroused bc you didn't feel an underlying tug in your gut/attraction (libido?) to approach that girl (option 1, per se)? Or is it always a purely conscious decision to flirt/initiate and if a libido is healthy it kicks in never fail only once the clothes start coming off?

(Maybe I be perfectly fine as i am finely tuned to spotting hot girls and do find their bodies attractive, but just since I've had so little sexual interaction before and wired to pixels I don't innately---subconsciously--physiologically process hooking up as an option to pursue and thus don't feel that urge? (As if that link in the chain is missing). But if I did carry on at that point and did pick up a girl and start hooking up then i would become aroused (given the time i've put into the reboot)?? ...Or, maybe I am still messed up/in recovery, and touching/interacting w an actual other person's body would feel foreign and not illicit an aroused response?) ...Now I'm tailing off but, yeah, essentially from the top of this message seeking to figure out what 'it' - libido - is?

-Also - on another note - I listened to the podcast (thank you!) - am curious as to the logic why, in the situation they were/I am chatting about, e.g. when you spot an attractive girl on the street, why are lustful thoughts 'bad'/'a problem' as Gabe put it? If you're thinking beyond 'wow she's hot' and onto the more graphic level of, as Gabe gave an example, 'look at that butt, I'd wanna bend her over and do her etc etc', you're thinking that about a real live person. It's not a porn fantasy. What's bad about that?


By "it" I meant "desire"

You definitely sound like your brain has you running in circles. Sender is right on the money. Forget trying to "know" in advance and get out there and socialize. Just because you flirt with someone doesn't mean you're obliged to have sex. And just because you get your clothes off doesn't mean you're obliged to perform.

Both parties can stop and just snuggle...or get up and say "good night"...and they can do that at ANY point in the proceedings, just as with friendly conversations at the bus stop. You're not a sex machine. But you never need libido to turn an interaction into a snuggle/giggle session. And those can provide more wellbeing than a quick cum. Read this for more context: The Lazy Way to Stay in Love

Studliness can be deferred to a later date.

Doin' what comes naturally

You might benefit by looking at your situation as a kind of OCD process. You're over-thinking this; a lot. Given how little real-life experience you have, the only way you're going to know what's normal for you is to start getting some real-life experience. And all this worry won't help you with that.

Forget about your libido. That's just a word. Try and think of girls as people you'd like to get to know. At some point, when you're alone with one, you'll find you want to kiss her, and things go from there. If you rest your brain and your penis enough, they will respond just how you want them to when the time is right. How will you know when you're ready? You won't really; and that's just not as important as you think it is, because the girl will either understand, or you move on to someone else who does.

All that porn has warped your perception of girls and how to interact with them. For example, if you see a pretty girl and you're imagining bending her over and doing her, then you're reducing her to a piece of meat. That is a porn-like fantasy. The idea that that's how people behave, to just do that without any context or connection is totally informed by porn. That's what porn does; it reduces women to vaginas and men to penises.

I think you should practice talking to girls. Looking them straight in the eyes and just talking. You'd be surprised how interesting and rewarding that can be. I suggest you start there and see where it leads. Forget about your penis. Believe me, it won't disappear or shrivel from lack of use, or be harmed in any way. You can be a stud, or a dud; it's a bit of a paradox, but the less you think about sex and/or touch yourself, the more of a stud you become...and it will happen in its own time.

Thanks guys. I agree I am

Thanks guys. I agree I am overthinking, and on the points you make. Sorry for posting so long. Very much appreciate your time and thoughts, very kind of you.

The thing is, with my brain running in circles worrying, I could very well have performance anxiety in the moment – even if I am actually physiologically healed/rebooted! - if I don’t knowww that I’m healed. But as we all understand one can’t really know/be sure they're healed until seeing how one & one's penis reacts to a girl! Catch 22. I guess I need to read the signs as best I can (greater sensitivity, touch-only test, morning woods, wet dreams, zest for interacting w girls etc.) and then at a certain point just take the plunge so to speak.

Given that the fear embarrassment/not performing is, rightly or wrongly, pretty high for me, knowing as best you can that you're "back to normal' would greatly reduce potential anxiety in the moemnt. Hence the "libido" questions as I am feeling pretty good in all other aspects.

I would either

be open with your partner about your anxiety, or simply take sex off the table for your first time with any partner. "I'd love to come home with you, but I have a rule, no sex on the first date. I like to get to know my partners a bit better."

You don't realize it, but you are rigidly clinging to porn's silly script of instant casual sex and assuming your partners are equally rigid. Teach them a new trick and end your slavery to a script that humanity hasn't usually played by since we were chimps in the jungle...until very recently.

Are you looking for a life partner?

If so, you need to find someone that you ENJOY being with in the 23+ hours of most days when you're not having sex. If you feel uncomfortable or bored when you're with someone, imagine how it would feel to spend the rest of your life with them!

I didn't have sex with another person until I got married when I was almost 28. Believe me, I know how anxious and desperate one can feel, wondering if you're EVER going to have sex (and hopefully on a regular basis)! Unfortunately, that desperation can distort your thinking, and make it seem like getting sex is by far the most important thing in a relationship, and in your life. That desperation can make you ignore signs that a person might not be ideal for a long-term relationship.

How can you avoid that feeling of desperation and become more patient and clear headed about choosing a life partner? Two things can really help:

- Avoid orgasm in your life. It's the orgasms that fuel the feeling of desperation. I've been avoiding orgasms for almost 6 years now, either by complete abstinence, or by practicing karezza. I still want and enjoy sex (karezza), but in those times when I can't get it, I don't feel really desperate.

- Make a commitment to yourself to not have sex until you've lived with your partner for a while. I'd say at least two weeks. A month or more might be better. With that commitment in place, you won't be constantly distracted with thoughts like "When will we have sex?" or "What can I do to get her to have sex?" And you can focus on getting to know your partner as a person, not just as a sex object. You can see whether you enjoy being with her, not just while in the bedroom, but throughout the day.

Check out my story at http://www.reuniting.info/node/7970 (and yes, we did do lots of stuff outside the bedroom; I just didn't write about it). If I ever have to find another life partner, I will insist on living together without intercourse for at least a few weeks, as I did in that story.

Successful sex post 'reboot' first time – PE? Not fantastic?

Hello, so I just had ‘successful’ sex for the first time, on first attempt, after nearly 6 months in a reboot (no pmo, only O's from about a dozen wet dreams, only arousal from the odd facebook or instagram photos but not really seeking and not acting on it ie not touching. I had a couple observations and concerns for which I am curious for any thoughts.

- Sensitivity: Seemed high. I even had semi erections and precum just in passing while chatting with the woman at the bar and again heading out the door when she decided to come back with me. When hooking up, I was erect - though not total full/throbbingly so?! - and this is all the while just arousal of the situation only i.e. no physical stimulation of it, no BJ or HJ. I had been worried going in; I guess if working properly the body just knows a potentially sexual situation and presto!?

- Quickly waning erection: When I went to put on a condom pre intercourse, in that short moment my erection died down. It needed physical stim to restore. Is it normal to drop this quickly?

- Premature ejaculation: I came practically immediately, within a couple thrusts. Will this problem improve over time? Is there anything to do to help it?

- The sex itself didn’t ‘feel fantastic’ like described on ‘back to normal’ checklists: When I came it definitely wasn’t ‘orgasmic’ like holding back ecstasy, maybe just a tingling I guess. In fact I kept thrusting after and was like ‘this feels like nothing’ then looked down and realized I’d come and was limp lol. Is something wrong that it didn’t feel fantastic…or will it feel great like I guess I think it did for maybe the first couple seconds before O once I build up ‘tolerance’ to not PE?

- Refractory period: I actually had a semi erection again laying and kissing within a minute or so after orgasm. Is this a good sign/short refractory? Maybe I could have built that up and gone at it again and lasted longer?

Hey, it's a good start

Guys often notice improvements for more than a year. Practice makes perfect. I would say everything you experienced was in the range of "normal for a guy just getting back in the saddle." It doesn't mean you'll always be that way.

If it's an option, try to build a relationship with someone before rushing to sex. The reason is that oxytocin improves erections. Read this: The Lazy Way to Stay in Love

Congratulations on your progress. This guy needed 9 months to even be able to have sex again, so you're ahead of him: ▶ Porn Induced ED Reboot Advice - YouTube You can contact him through his website if you want to pick his brain.

I think you'll see steady improvements now. You might find some other ideas for speeding things along on this page: RebootTaking TOO.LONG

Staying clean


Just checking in needing to keep myself accountable.

As I've recounted I started a 'reboot' last year, and a 301 day streak from May up until a few weeks ago included signs associated with improvement - morning wood, wet dreams, sensitivity etc. -, successful sex for the first time, a fair bit of rewiring, and a bit more of an urge to approach girls (as if my body knowing it can't just get off with a computer anymore).

In the new year I've gone on about 10 dates with girls from tinder with the purpose of continued rewiring with nothing to lose since they aren't girls I 'know'. This has been great just from a social/getting better at dating side and also in the sense that since I may never see them again I'm not worried about potential PIED if things got intimate.

Interestingly, I've consistently leaked a little bit of precum chatting over drinks and if there were any good night kiss I'd have at least a semi-erection. Great signs, I think.

A few weeks ago I was setting up another date, the girl added me on facebook, I was excited, I started looking through her pics a bit, let myself get a bit too engaged, touched myself a few times, and, I guess given my sensitivity, before I knew it had gone over the edge and came. ...I scolded myself - incredible!-, we went on a date a few days later, and I had the same 'signs of life' downstairs, thank goodness.

The last couple weekends, though, I've (P)MOed a couple times each (during the weeks I am busy with work and stay clean). Similar thing where I dipped into a girl's facebook, but also involved some pics and a brief P video viewing. ...This has got to be the dreaded chaser effect at play, right? I've consciously told myself to abstain, but it's as if my scummy brain tricks me. It's amazing how even after such a long, overall solid reboot, I can dangerously drift back into old habits.

I would like to think given the substantial time of reboot and decent amount of rewiring I had put in that this is just a minor blip and I haven't really set myself back again as long as I get back on course. I'm hoping to go on another date this week and hoping for the same reassuring signs downstairs.

I welcome any thoughts, assurances, concerns, input - thanks!

Well, the good news

is that you're far enough along (congrats!) that a slip didn't derail you.

But it also sounds like you're on a slippery slope. You are right to be concerned. If you must masturbate, don't use porn. It makes the slope even steeper.

Also, just because you're erections are back...doesn't mean they won't "go bad" again. I've collected some stories from the forums here: What's it like to use porn after rebooting?

This might be useful too: What stimuli must I avoid during my reboot (did I relapse)? | Your Brain On Porn

Good luck! Sounds like you've done well...on the whole.  Preved

Sex: PE, and orgasm felt like nothing?!


Just checking back in for the first time in a long while. I've been more or less off PMO for 2 years now and feel like myself healed. I recently had sex for the first time in like 6 months and had a couple questions/concerns from it...

I had no issue getting it up when the time came :) Then when we started intercourse I think I came almost right away. Except I'm not really sure! The "orgasm" definitely was not a euphoric, super-sensitive moment; it literally didn't feel like anything so much so that I wasn't sure if I had cum or not. WTF. I kept going until I got softish so that's how I figured I must've come already (I'd stayed hard enough for a minute or two afterward). We lay around and went again for round 2 later - same thing happened!

-Comming quick is I know likely to be expected after a long hiatus from sex. But my last time 6 months ago was also after a hiatus and I was maybe not a "machine" lasting forever but definitely up to par getting to multiple positions in one round and stuff. ....Why so quick this time???
-Why did it feel like nothing when I came?

Thanks for your thoughts.

Just keep at it

It's not unusual for things to be a bit "off" at first after a long hiatus.

You might find some of the self-reports on these pages useful:

Is my premature ejaculation (PE) related to my porn use?

How do I know when I'm back to normal?

Also, some who have tightly wired/conditioned their sexuality to internet erotica ,may need a bit of time before they respond normally to real partners. Why Do I Find Porn More Exciting Than A Partner?

Basically, "Practice makes perfect."

Roger, I have been at Karezza

Roger, I have been at Karezza with my wife for a bit over two years now. When we practiced 'ordinary,' goal-driven (orgasm as the goal) intercourse, my ejaculations were accompanied by orgasm: deep, intense, short-lived euphoria.

But, now that we practice Karezza, when I inadvertently ejaculate, it is not accompanied by orgasm. I think that is good, because I no longer have the emotional swings afterwards, including some antipathy to my wife.

So, maybe by abstaining from PMO for two years you have disconnected 'ejaculation' and 'orgasm.' Others here, such as emerson, have experienced this, too.

What you can look forward to, instead of euphoric but depleting ordinary orgasm, is a more subtle, longer-lasting 'rolling orgasm.'

It took me many months before I was no longer quickly ejaculating inadvertently. Now, two years later, I have much better control. You will get there, too, once you 'work' at this with a steady, exclusive partner with whom you share an emotional bond.

Best wishes on your journey, friend! And, congratulations on two years without PMO!