Question for powers that be

Submitted by nicolas291985 on
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ok so here's my story. i went about 6 months since my last porn binge but recently went on one (10 days ago). before that i hadn't for a year. so basically i've looked at porn about twice in the past year. would my recovery be just as long (90 days) as someone with a true addiction (ie looking at porn and masturbating everyday)? i'm 22 and i guess my question is how long will it take to get me into pre porn looking mode? i didn't have a real addiction before this episode (obviously i only had done it once before in a year) but i am a recovering addict and used to look at porn regularly a few years ago. does this matter or shorten my recovery time? even though it's been only 10 days i already feel pretty normal.. none of the syptoms other members describe and i'm not that horny at all. pretty calm actually. do you actually have to be addicted to porn to have these withdrawl syptoms? how long will it take my body to recover from a porn binge if i hardly ever do it? less time?i really want to know how long it'll take for me to be back to normal and wondering if the total amount of time you look at porn matters when recovering or if it's even a one time deal if it changes you that much. thanks in advance to marnia and everyone else on this great site!

Good question

Trust your instincts. Everyone's different. I'm sure some of the long-term porn addicts here would agree with your theory that the more learning reinforcement around porn (that is, the more you've burned a pathway into your brain Wink ), the rougher it is to return to a workable equilibrium.

However, if you're finding a balance that works for you, great. I suspect occasional masturbation without porn is an even less risky course. I say this because porn DOES tend to burn a pathway in the brain. Incidentally, most users of ANY source of over-stimulation of the reward center (even cocaine) can use for a while before they're really hooked. The effects seem to be cumulative, and no user knows when they are going to reach their tipping point.

In other words, the fact that you're not hooked yet doesn't mean you won't be hooked. Porn is such easy, exciting, empty gratification that it's tempting to keep going back for more. However, you may find it much harder to quit later. See: http://www.reuniting.info/science/natural_reinforcers_sex_food_mind_bend...

IMHO, the riskiest symptom is often the hardest to see. It is separation from deeper connection with others. For example, if you feel fine, but you're using porn as a substitute for intimacy or activities with other people, it could still be a problem at a level you're not consciously aware of. Only you, or people close to you, can say if there are subtle behaviors of isolation or shyness or apathy showing up.

Again, orgasm isn't "bad." Pursuit of it just has the potential to drive mates apart over time (sometimes a very short time) - or even to keep us from reaching out to real mates. Since relationships are a good source of close, life-giving connections with others, any distorted thinking to the effect that that do-it-yourself is better is a problem.