Relapse and its effects on your resolution

Submitted by Newstarter on
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Hi, I'm a 25 years old student and a recovering porn addict.

I had been addicted to porn for almost 10 years and masturbated almost daily using it all these years. I realised this was having a seriously negative effect on my life in terms of loss of motivation for my study and, more seriously, my lack of success in socialising with women. Despite this I had not been able to stop until a couple of weeks ago.

I finally succeeded in taking my first step to stop my addiction, and my motivation came by chance. I was helping my father who is a lawyer deal with a client who was seeking help against accusation that he sexually molested a young female staff in his shop. He was a married man in his mid 50's, and he claimed that the girl was lying. At first I genuinely believed him to be innocent, because he didn't look like a sexual predator to me. But then a few days later I heard from my father that he had confessed that he did molest the girl. This revelation shocked me, and my father gave me a small talk on how exposure to porno will make any man a potential sexual predator. I felt very uncomfortable listening to this, but it left a strong impression on my mind about the potential effect of my addiction on me and made me swear off watching porn again from that day. The incident, I felt, created a kind of a mental shield against my addiction.

Over the next few days the positive effects were immediately felt - I could feel that my head was clearer, I was slightly more assertive and confident and I finally decided to go to the gym. Best of all I was less fidgety and nervous around women, because my new 'mental block' against porn has helped flashes of dirty images from coming up in my mind whenever I was around them.

I had been doing good for the 2 weeks, and combined with my choice to stop my video game addiction as well, everything seemed to be going so well. However one night I was working on my computer as I did every night and I felt a slight desire to look at porn. This slight desire occasionally came up on other days too, but my mental shield help me fight it off quite easily, but this time I ended up relenting to my desire and masturbated to it.

At first I thought it was no big deal because I actually relented once on my third day but got back on track right away. I trusted my mental shield to make this just a one-off thing. This was in fact true, It had been 3 days since that day and I had not looked at porn. However, the problem is, I found my mental shield has weakened. My resolution to not go back to my old ways is still there and I am still going to the gym and studying hard. However now I am finding that the images of porn and my old way of seeing women as an object of sexual fantasy has come back, and I am once again nervous and cannot relax in front of women. Maybe my brain is thinking, since I relented once, I will eventually go back to looking at porn, and because of this keeping my porn-desiring part of my brain active. I do not like this, because I don't know if even with me not watching porn, if my brain thinks I am still hooked to porn I will not recover fully. Is this true? Will I be able to go back to the state when had the mental shield against my addiction if I keep not watching porn?

First, welcome

It's great that you've decided to exercise some willpower now. It gets harder for most guys the longer they use.

There's a lot going on for you right now. Usually abstinence makes cues "hit" your brain with more power for a while. And giving in actually erodes your willpower for a while...even for some days. See Do You Need A Chaser After Sex?

You see, there's more to orgasm than humans have realized. All internet porn is potentially extreme stimulation because of the ability to click to novel sexual cues at matter how "vanilla" your tastes. And extreme stimulation can cause addiction-related brain changes, one of which is decreased executive control (willpower). They take time to reverse.

If you aren't badly addicted, and you feel you must masturbate now and then, try to take your time and do it without any fantasy or porn, just using sensual touch. (Here are the signs of addiction: Are You Hooked on Porn? Ask ASAM )

Here are two great forums where you can get even more support from guys who are recovering:



If you need motivation, head over to and watch the videos.

welcome here

fact is, each time you give up porn it will become easier. Hopefully you won't relapse but even if you do, it will work out as long as you have your resolve and, the real key: snuggling, cuddling with a girl. Do you have a prospect for that in your life right now?

The draw of porn dims to nothing after awhile. It may take several months or longer sometimes. It is always something to guard against, especially "triggers" that you may see in a movie or TV commercial or at the mall. But the draw fades away and the rebooting and rewiring process that we encourage here really works for a lot of guys.