Trying to figure out my situation.

Submitted by lookingahead on
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I am a 21 year old male, and I started my pornography addiction at age 12. Sounds common, right? Well, I can't help but think that my situation is different then most. First, my addiction at age 12 lasted only for about three months or so. I actually stoped my porn habits after about three months, because I just got tired of looking at porn. After a while, it was just no longer appealing to me. I didn't look at porn again until much late on, after I started college. So I had gone the rest of my adolescence almost completely porn free. I know most people start at 12 or 13, and this addiction lasts until their 20's, and that's when they realize they've got a serious problem. This was not me. Somehow, I just ran out of gas and stoped. However, during this three
Month addiction, I quickly escalated my porn use, both in the severity of the content & genre, as well as the time I was putting into it. I had escalated into more and more genres, altering my tastes, and deeply wiring my brain to visual stimuli. After I stoped the addiction, I realized that my libido was nearly at zero.

So, for the rest of my teen years, I had avoided porn. So one would think that I would recover, right? You would think that my brain would rewire, and my brain would re-sensitize to respond to real women, and of course my libido would return. Unfortunly, none of these things happened. At least my libido never returned. My brain did rewire from craving porn, but again, my libido never returned over all those years. Why is that? Is it because I never stoped masturbation during this time? I was never a compulsive masturbator. I had a regular schedule of maybe once every 3 days on average. But we have all heard how porn kills libido. So did my regular masturbation schedule prevent my libido from returning after all these years?

what about fantasy?

do you and did you fantasize a lot? Did you store up porn images and use them in fantasies during the time you stopped watching porn, to now?

Welcome here! Let's get to the bottom of this.

Yes, I did store up a lot of those images

And recycled them nearly every time I masturbated. Perhaps my brain couldn't tell the difference between porn fantasy and actual porn. Maybe I kept my brain in the addiction phase unknowingly through the use of porn fantasy. I still find it hard to believe that this has prevented my libido from reestablishing itself. But maybe it has, and it's all a question of cutting the fantasy. What do you think Marnia?

we just don't know

why one person will respond this way, and another will be able to watch porn and not suffer at all. But the fact is we are all different. Porn and masturbation affect each of us differently. Some not at all, seemingly, and others quite a lot.

Be optimistic

The brain activates pathways based on external stimuli and stimuli coming from within itself. In other words, it doesn't know if you saw porn, a hot chick on Facebook, or an image in your imagination. So recycling the old porn images is keeping those unwanted pathways humming. Smile

On the other hand, stopping porn was a great move...because the constant novelty and escalation is *also* a form of stimulation. So at least you headed off that bit.

But if you've been fantasizing regularly to things that...ahem...just don't happen in real life, then that's what you've wired your brain to. Orgasm reinforces them, so your brain thinks the silly things are "really valuable."

So it could be worth a couple months of time-out from masturbation...unless you can do it to sensation alone, without running your "tried-and-true" stuff in your brain.

Good luck!

I'm not a psychologist (yet)

I'm not a psychologist (yet) but I would ask myself if there's a chance I might have feelings of apprehension or unease because of the content you had looked at. For me in a sense I've almost felt a sense of guilt for being so involved in porn for such a long time.

Now when I see it, yes it can still arouse me, but almost immediately that arousal is tempered by the idea that this isn't helping me, and the idea of implications it could have for the performers and how they could be doing something better or different with their lives, etc.

I just point this out as a possibility because you haven't been looking at porn for so long.

Also it seems to me that others, and sometimes even I myself, put constraints on ourselves based on other peoples experiences with this. There can be a general pattern of recovery that people fit into as far as recovery time, stages, etc. but nobody is the same and we have to manage our recovery on an individual basis. Like I know that a masturbation schedule doesn't work for me, because I lose all that libido i'm building up and feel like i've been set back.

I would just try to not box yourself into anyone elses recovery time or experience.

I was very concerned about not having random erections all the time or things like that, and then I thought... well i'm not 12 any more... there's no reason for me to be aroused or have an erection when for example I'm talking to a customer and everyone would see my erection, or if I'm hanging out with friends and there's a particularly attractive woman with us.. I'm not getting ready to have sex right then and there, right? So then why would I need an erection?

Not to make this about myself, I just want to relate a couple aspects of my own recovery so you can use it as an idea. Again though, don't constrain yourself by other people's experiences, yours may end up being a VERY quick turn around. Always take the positive attitude and just know that if it's tomorrow or next year you're going to get better, don't fixate on it, and soon enough you will :)