Day 36, no PMO, Flatlined

Submitted by Nerdo26 on
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I recently went to the doctor (about two months ago) to see about some issues I've been having for years with feelings of depression and anxiety, and more recently, erectile dysfunction. They tested me and found I have significantly low vitamin D, for which I'm now taking vitamin D pills. Anyway, because the depression and anxiety have seemed to worsen in the last year, my sex drive was pretty low and I actually just stopped masturbating to porn 36 days ago. Besides, I'm married now and I thought I should be reserving any sexual urges I have for my wife. I wanted my sex drive back for her. This was before I even knew about this site and about the possibility of porn addiction. I never thought I was addicted, and still am not sure, but there were times when it seemed I'd rather masturbate than have sex, and when I did have sex, I'd have trouble ejaculating. I could only ejaculate on bottom and it felt as if I took too long to do so. Condoms just made things worse. Finally, here in the last year, I've been having trouble getting erections at all, which has led to some painful moments for both myself and my wife. I just want to be normal again so that she knows that I find her very attractive, as she now clearly worries that I don't.

As I said I discovered this site a little after I stopped masturbating completely, or even looking at porn, and I've now had no PMO for about 36 days (I think that's right. Since I didn't know about rebooting, I didn't make an exact note of when I started.). My depression and anxiety don't seem to have improved much and right now I don't have any libido to speak of. I could be staring at a picture of a beautiful naked woman and I'd only feel a vague stirring from my penis at best. The weird thing is that I still feel the urge to masturbate sporadically, though I'm resisting since I feel that it may just be the addiction, since when it comes to sex, or even just seeing an attractive woman out and about, I don't seem to have much drive.

I suppose the reason I'm writing today is to ask for advice. This period must be the flatline for me. Some people say they have more energy and feel better after a while, but I don't. I just feel miserable and I want my sex drive back. I want to make love to my wife again more than anything in the world. I shouldn't want to masturbate more than I want to make love to her. Will this ever end? Thankfully the urges to masturbate aren't coming too frequently or fiercely, and when they do, I just look at my wedding ring and tell myself not to, that it'll only set me back. I know I'm doing the right thing, but I think about this constantly and I'm mired in an agony of depression. I love my wife more than anything in the whole universe and I hate that this stupid thing, that I wasn't even aware of, has caused her any pain.

I apologize for the long post. But if anybody out there has any advice, or can even tell me if what I'm experiencing is a normal part of the process, I'd be extremely grateful. Thanks for reading and good luck to any of you others out there who are going through this too. It's not easy, to be sure.

I'm sorry for what you're going through

The first guy on this forum to go through a flatline came out of it at about 7-8 weeks. So I wouldn't get discouraged just yet, even though it's scary. Here's the write up of his story: “How I Recovered from Porn-related Erectile Dysfunction”

Lots of other stories can be found in the links on this page:

Also check out the mood charts on this page: Everyone is different, but it can take a while to stabilize.

It's probably worth giving it a bit more time before deciding if the reboot has worked. Meanwhile, are you engaging in daily bonding behaviors with your spouse? That's a great way to kickstart your libido. The Lazy Way to Stay in Love

Thank you

Thanks for the links. I plan to go over them as soon as I can. Just knowing that what I'm going through is not uncommon helps, but at times it does get scary. I just don't want to be a burden on my wife. She disn't ask for any of it, though I know she loves me. My greatest fear, even if it is irrational, is that she'll get fed up with my shortcomings and tell me to get lost. No matter what, though, I plan to see this through. The weirdest thing is how easy it's been to give up the porn. I don't miss it at all. What I miss is the release, but I know now that there are healthier ways of achieving that. In the meantime, I'm cutting back on sodas, drinking more water, taking brisk walks in the sun, and hoping that my mood changes for the better overall.


but are you doing some daily snuggling with her? You only need a few minutes. What's her favorite non-erotic touch? Start with that.

Bonding behaviors, which are defined in that last link above, speak directly to an old part of the brain. So they can do more to improve her perception of you than hot sex. They're a "secret weapon," as it were! Here's a YOUTube video on this:

We do some snuggling on the couch often.

It isn't daily though. She's not someone who likes to be touched that often outside of being intimate. I can also understand her not necessarily feeling up to it what with my difficulties making her depressed as well. On top of this, her mother passed away last year and I think we're all still grieving. These links are helpful though, thank you. It's just a crazy complicated time in our lives and we're both doing the best we an to deal with it.


that's all you can do. Bonding behaviors are sneaky though. They build on themselves. So grab her whenever you can, even if it's just for a hug.

Every chance I get, I take.

I love that woman more than anything. I'm not sure what she sees in me, but I'm lucky she said yes when I asked her out almost four years ago.

Bit of an update too, not sure what this means: this morning I woke up to go and urinate. When I came back to bed, I lay there waiting to drift back to sleep for a little while before work, and while I don't believe I had any conscious thoughts of sex or anything of the sort, I felt my penis stir and I ended up getting a really hard erection. I put all my will into not thinking about anything sexual while I lay there to see just how long it would last. To my great surprise, that erection, so hard it was almost painful but in a good way, lasted almost fifteen or twenty minutes. Not totally sure on how long since I didn't have my watch or line of sight to the alarm clock. I don't want to get overly excited yet, but that feeling was nice and gave me hope. Maybe I'm finally starting to come out of the dark forest of the flatline. Thanks so much for talking with me about this. It's helped lighten the load a bit.

it's excellent

and inevitable. Just stay the course and it work out great. You will learn to trust your penis and not be at odds with what it wants to do. That is fantastic as a place to be.


Hi Nerdo26,

Day 46 here and my penis is still cycling through periods or jellyfish like state to more perky states, generally a few days each at at a time. At the moment its someone where in between. Its all a bit disconcerting, but i trust my body has a plan of sorts.

On the cuddle thing, i too thought that i was a naturally affectionate person until i started this, when i realised how something somewhere prevented us really bonding each day. As the others say above, its a sneaky thing. On the one hand if you let whatever stops you and her doing it, it keeps you apart and the relationship remains where it was, but if pay attention to it and just start to do it as a daily habit, it kick starts a feedback cycle and the pair of you will just want more and more.

My GF is like yours, quite PDA and touch resistant. But i told her why i wanted to do daily bonding, literally read her out loud the relevant chapters from CPA, and that was enough for her to allow it to happen each day. Instead of watching tv at each end of the couch , snuggle and watch tv. From that point on, you can pretty much let go of trying, things will just start to flow.

I wish i could explain this in a way that every single poster here could just really get, but bonding is the key. it opens the door to simply amazing things, out of this world.

it is really so so so important

You just have to start the bonding behaviors. I too wish I could get this across better. If you are fortunate enough to have a partner then the secret to happiness is bonding a lot, a tremendous amount if you can...this is so huge not just for your relationship but for everything in your life.

It brings prosperity. It brings plenty. It brings an end to addictions. It is all about building up oxytocin and it will do the most amazing things to your life.

You can think anything, you can have these thoughts and issues. None of it matters if you pursue bonding behaviors all the time, every day.

And they just get sweeter and better all the time. Especially if you bring Karezza into it. But even if you don't.

Believe me, I snuggle up to her every chance I can.

I'm a very huggy, hand holding, caressing guy. I look for any and all opportunities to do so. Thanks very much for all the advice. Today is going well since that surprise this morning and I feel like I have a bit of energy for once. I'm wary, of course, that it may go away so I'm trying to just enjoy it and channel that energy into my job and not worry so much.

I have another question.

Apologies for so many of them. I've noticed throughout my reboot period that on occasion, while urinating, I've detected what looks like semen. Mostly during bowel movements (sorry for TMI). I was just wondering what the significance of this is. Other than that, I've not really had spontaneous erections, but my energy levels the past three days have been good. I feel happy. Thanks in advance for any replies.