New Blog: Withdrawing from Pornography

Submitted by phale617 on
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Hello All:

I am new on this forum and am blogging about my withdrawal from pornography. Here is my blog:
http://thoughtsexpressions.wordpress.com/

I would love for comments and support. It is a big challenge for me but this site has helped so much already. Thank you all!!!

Relapse!!!! What now???

Damnit!!! I am so frustrated and lost right now. I know this is what is holding me back in life. I started feeling pretty good, but then got caught up in feelings of anger. I could not resist the pornography and the pull to numb myself out. It has such a strong pull on me. I wish I could just snap my fingers and be free of this crap.

I wish I could go back and reverse my action, although it is not possible. This is the biggest challenge of my life. I am scared too death about this. I know what is on the other side of my addiction but I am afraid to live without it. What now???

Breathe!

Your experience is not at all unusual, and it's to be expected. After all, you've spent a lot of time training your brain to hone in on the neurochemical "reward" of instant relief.

No harm done...unless you let yourself feel hopeless and discouraged. Why not realize what a thorough job you have done of laying down those brain pathways and know that you can lay down new ones, too? It's going to take time, but you can do it. Even if it takes a few rolls down the runway to lift off.

Now, make a list of other things you can do when those stressed feelings arise and keep it handy. Here's one to get you started: http://www.reuniting.info/node/1461#comment-3908

And know that your "stressed libido" while in the withdrawal cycle is not the same as your real libido. In other words, it won't always be this difficult.

Keep coming back!

Big hug,
Marnia

Learn to ride a unicycle :-)

First, a disclaimer: Although I had (past tense) a porn habit, I don't consider that I was addicted, so I can't say that I fully understand what you are going through. But that doesn't deter me from offering some suggestions... Smile

Getting over an addiction is something like learning to ride a bicycle. You'll probably take a few spills in the beginning, and it takes a while before you learn to keep your balance effortlessly.

I'd suggest, don't take the spills so seriously. Just dust yourself off and try again.

Learn a challenging new skill, such as riding a unicycle or juggling. When you are tempted to view porn, practice your new skill instead. That can divert your attention away from the cravings that fuel your addiction. It can also remind you of your past accomplishments and your ability to acquire new skills.

Are you giving up orgasms at the same time as you are giving up porn? It seems like most of the guys on this blog who are primarily trying to give up porn just naturally give up masturbation and orgasms at the same time. Viewing porn tends to lead to masturbation which usually leads to orgasms, but orgasms create cravings hours or days later which can tempt one to view porn. So it seems to make sense to give up porn, masturbation and orgasms all at the same time.

Realize: 1. If you are addicted, there is no such thing as "just taking a quick peek" at your favorite porn sites. One glance, and you'll likely be stuck there for many minutes or hours. 2. Porn doesn't usually pop up on your computer screen unbidden. Usually, you have to CONSCIOUSLY type in a URL or click on a link that you saved somewhere. So, make it difficult for yourself. Get rid of those saved links and images, and resolve to not type in those URLs to the porn sites. (If porn does pop up on your screen unbidden, get a computer exorcist to clean the malware off your computer, install pop-up blockers, turn off images in email, etc.; also get an email service that filters out the spam. I recommend gmail.com which is free and has excellent filtering.)

If you really have a hard time staying away from porn sites, disconnect your modem, and do any essential internet access in a public place, such as a library, where anyone can see what is on your screen.

If you wish to give up masturbation as well, stay in public places as much as possible. Be extra vigilant when you are at home by yourself.

Be clear in your own mind about WHY you want to give up porn, etc. When you are tempted to slip, recall those reasons.

I hope some of that is helpful. Good luck! -- CF

Thank you!!!

This site helps so much. The people here are heaven sent. I know that I don't want to live with this anymore, but I also know that I am afraid to be without it.

I am trying to leave porn, masturbation, and orgasm behind altogether. This seems like the best way to go about it, otherwise I will be back where i started. All 3 lead to the same place. I don't think I have gone more than a week without orgasm since 9th grade. I am just about to graduate from college. Talk about some crazy brain chemistry. I have been on an anti-depressant for a while and bet that once my brain chemistry returns to normal I will no longer need it.

There is so much waiting on the other side of this, so much gold, that I am excited to see what is down there. Thanks for your post CF.

Marnia,

You are truly an ANGEL. I read your comment while driving home yesterday and the tears started flowing like rain. You are such a sweet person to offer your heart to a stranger in need.

"In other words, you got a glimpse of the real you. Never lose sight of *that* guy. He’s the real you."

I miss *that* guy sooooo much. He has been waiting patiently to come back. It makes me more determined to be free of this addiction knowing that I got a glimpse of my true self. I just got really scared and stressed and did what I have conditioned myself to do.

Anyways...thank you all for your love and support as I face the dark shadow of my psyche.

I hope you won't mind me asking

but what do you mean by "...I also know that I am afraid to be without it." Are you literally afraid (scared, fearful, frightened)? Why would going without porn make you afraid?

Welcome to the Reuniting community, this bunch of adventurers in the relatively unexplored land of orgasmic celibacy. Smile

And, equally importantly,

explorations in perception shifts *after* orgasm.

I don't know about this "orgasmic celibacy" term, since the ultimate goal is synergy between the sexes. One site calls it "remaining preorgasmic," which also seems a bit odd.

I am afraid to be without

I am afraid to be without the porn, because it has been such a big part of my life. I am afraid to live without it because I don't know what to expect or where I will get my comfort. It is scary to think that I have been with it for so long but it is also scary to let it go.

My perception is definitely shifting as I understand the brain chemistry behind the behavior. I used to be addicted to pain killers and the orgasm is basically this same concoction. I am afraid that I won't be able to manage the feelings I have been numbing out. There's just a lot of fear running through my veins right now.

I'm glad you felt comforted

I think you're right that one of the prime gifts for recovering users is connection with others again. For better or worse, we are *designed* to be tribe members. We're not designed for isolation...even isolation with porn thrills. Wink True wellbeing means connection with others. I've noticed that just as many men report sexual satiation leaves them tongue-tied and otherwise anti-social, many seem to feel it much easier to connect as they come back into balance. I think it's really important to realize the critical nature of this distinction. Connection seems to be a self-reinforcing path to increasing wellbeing. I guess if I could give addicts three words of advice, they would be, "connect, connect, connect!"

Aristotle said something to the effect that the toughest challenge any of us faces is self-mastery. If you just think of your challenge *that* way, then it becomes a game of sorts...like getting a higher score on a video game or something. You're competing with yourself in a healthy competition. It's not a question of "right" or "wrong," or an issue of self-worth. There's no "deadline." It's just a challenging goal to strive for. You wouldn't give up if you had a bad result with a video game, you'd just try again. Same idea. I know you're impatient, but I think if you pat yourself on the back for every bit of progress, you'll get better results.

In short, be compassionate with yourself. Make sure your inner talk is kind. Think of how you would encourage someone else based on the experience you have had so far. No kicking yourself in the butt!

Once you can make it through two weeks, you can do just about anything that takes willpower.

And if you need some laughs, read Josef's blog: http://www.reuniting.info/node/1481

Hey , All the best with

Hey , All the best with avoiding pounding the old pickle. I'm on day 6 of my 3rd or fourth run at the two weeks.I even made it to 3 weeks at one stage ! At 52 I'm sure that it's very much easier . I can recall certain difficulties . I wonder if there is some sort of physical dynamic where men reach a point where they start reabsorbing semen\sperm instead of exporting it. perhaps there are physical sensations approaching this point. Like the couple of sleepless nights with a major appendage that I've noticed. . . Wink . I certainly feel more able to connect with people in an easy open way after I wait out the sex noise from down under. And about those images. Been there too. Man there are some gorgeous people out there ! I'm finding that I can connect with them, and with the gorgeousness of the less physically well endowed. These days the hard edged sexy ones don't appeal nearly as much as the warm\friendly sparkly ones . Without the volume turned up full on the sex channel I actually have some chance of understanding them. So you might say I found the knob ,and I'm working on learning how to turn it down. A couple of days ago I found myself thinking that if I had to wait out a 3day hardon it would be insignificant compared to being able to live in the kind of world I'm discovering! Pray that I never have to rise to that challenge. I now know, that there's relief of an entirely different sort. All I have to do ,to get it, is wait out a few days of thunder and lightening. Then when I begin to feel curiously ok I start to take little risks like being happy to be around people and sharing that by offering them a smile. The conversational exchanges that happen in the moment with all kinds of people are a pleasure for me. Gradually I open up and as the days pass I notice that I am more willing to risk sharing something intimate about my feelings or the present transitions in my life. Of corse I go sawing back and forth over the sharp edge of neediness, but I've had some glimpses .

We ladies thank you

for making the effort. You have no idea how beautiful you are when we can actually make contact with *your* sparkling selves, and know that you see us - instead of just OUR appendages!

Stress/Boredome/Distraction and . . . Curiosity

Yes, we women thank you for all efforts in that direction. I'd like to bring up an awareness of collective consciousness here again and point out that every time you men get over obsessive-compulsive behavior, you empower others to also make that step: in the case of countless women, you may be energetically empowering us to give up our own obsessive-compulsive tendencies of focusing all of our energy towards maintaining appearances of being "hot" at all costs - even at the expense of our very soul (and I don't say this just to sound dramatic - I actually do know that I have a soul, and I know it feel corroded with such behaviors).

Like porn addiction, addiction to maintaining a desirable "image" simply doesn't pay off any further than an extremely fleeting and brittle sense of dry security that must always be monitored, propped up, and maintained - leading to ugliness and an inability to access and therefore share our true lush womanhood. The same is true with porn addiction, at least from what I've observed on this site - it serves as a very temporary stress release for men and provides the false sense of poweful manhood ("look at all these women that just can't wait to get it on with me!"), but the result is a soggy, damp, lethargic, sticky aura that reeks.

Thank you for your post, Umulu. I've been discovering similar things that you describe: tho I am a woman and not addicted to porn, I can also be prone as most poeple to being pulled in by mere beauty or seductiveness, even when time after time the actual exchange with a beautiful/hot person may be flat in other ways. Also, the success of entrancing someone, pulling them in, convincing them that you are irresistable, is also no fun once you've got your assurance you're the hottest thing around, because that doesn't last either. Either someone else comes along who's also really hot, or you get bored with how much power you have over the poor sucker, he offers himself on a platter, entrails and all, for you to do with what you please.

In contrast to this, how subtle the enjoyment is, but how deep and satisfying it is, to become liberated from this boredom posing as the hottest, newest thing around.

I'm all for blatant honesty right now, perhaps because I find myself out in the middle of nowhere in the boonies, far away from civilization and the fast pace of the city, and so particularly keen to what my often unconscious tendencies towards stress and security-seeking induced behaviors entail for me. All told, when seen in accumulation over a period of years, these behaviors sum up to be a very dull life and a waste of time: looking in the mirror, checking email to see who is seeking me out, trying on clothes, thinking about what others might think of me, wondering about past and future lovers, smoking pot, etc. etc. After a certain point (years and years, perhaps lifetimes and lifetimes) of behaving as though biological drive is the be-all and end-all of existence, a certain type of comfortable yet putrid tiredness with oneself and the obsession begins to sink in, to the point where I am actually willing (however momentarily) to drop that old game and inquire for a moment as to what I am really deeply curious about, what I would say my soul is really turned on by.

Tonight I'm going to be curious and not bored. There's a broad sky thick with milky stars, a mountain lion on the loose, crickets, textures, hotspings, a cold creek rushing by, thick reeds, warm mud, pollen, almost no moon at all, no flashlight. Could a walk in the dark compare to what distractions my computer may offer me? No, it does not compare. The walk in the dark confronts me a thousand times more. Would this walk in the dark compare to, say, sex with a hot man? If it were sex based purely from seeking security, confirmation, or releasing stress, no, it does not compare for a second to the epipheny of the cricket's vibration.

These are entirely different worlds, entirely different ways of being - although, even as we choose our worlds of security and comfort, the sand in the creekbed gathers quietly about itself, and the moon chooses not to show itself, and the hot man sleeps deeply, finally forgetting that he is beautiful.

Very interesting post, HS

It's interesting to read about your regret over time wasted looking in the mirror, etc. to maintain a "hot" appearance, and your growing awareness of (and perhaps rebellion against) Mother Nature's programming that drove you (and drives all of us, to a greater or lesser degree) to that sort of behavior.

A lot of people just follow their programming without even thinking about it. Those are the studs and the hot babes in high school and college. I struggled against my programming from the onset of puberty by not participating in the mating frenzy that went on around me. Partly I was turned off by the shallowness of those hook-ups, and partly, I just couldn't compete in the studlyness department (so there was probably some sour grapes mixed in as well). Of course my biological programming was screaming at me to join in the mating frenzy, which caused lots of internal conflict. Imagine being disgusted by what people all around you are doing, and yet feeling the same urges to do it yourself. If only I had known, at that time, that abstaining from orgasms was so easy, and would reduce the intensity of those urges... ah, well, I could have avoided a lot of grief.

I love your way with words

I love your way with words Hotspring. Thanks for that. I so agree. . . about the sand and the night and the sleeping beauty. I find I love the lucid beauty that creeps in as the sex reverb tones down. Sometime a way of integrating sex back into this fragile wonder will adventure be. Last year sometime I spent maybe two hours gazing into a woman friend's eyes. not speaking. beholding . time went south. the world swirled like an acid trip. her face flashed positive\negative. Something nutralised in the tension between us. I had never been able to see enough of her in many years of friendship. Like the sparkle was just too shimmery somehow.
Recently while caring for an ailing parent I felt called to keep asking .Where is the life energy here? And then to move in that direction. He got happy! I got to love him and he decided that life is good. It's worth sticking around for awhile in this place of mysterious joy.

This material seems relevant here

The modern barrage of attractive images of other humans
provides an instructive example. The evolutionary psychologist
Doug Kenrick and his colleagues have provided evidence
that these images may create psychological and
social problems. In a series of studies on contrast effects,
they discovered that men exposed to multiple images of
attractive women subsequently rated their commitment to
their regular partner as lower, compared with men exposed
to average looking women (Kenrick, Gutierres, & Goldberg,
1989; Kenrick, Neuberg, Zierk, & Krones, 1994).
Women exposed to multiple images of dominant, highstatus
men showed a similar decrement in commitment to
and love of their regular partner, compared with women exposed repeatedly to less dominant men. These sex-linked
contrast effects were precisely predicted by Kenrick's evolutionary
psychological framework.
Repeated exposures apparently affect self-concept as
well. Women subjected to successive images of other
women who are unusually attractive subsequently feel less
attractive themselves, showing a decrease in self-esteem
(Gutierres, Kenrick, & Partch, 1999). Men exposed to
descriptions of highly dominant and influential men show
an analogous diminution in self-concept. These effects are
sex-linked in ways precisely predicted by evolutionary
psychological hypotheses. The effects suggest that the discrepancy
between modern and ancestral environments in
exposure to media images may lead to dissatisfactions with
current partners and reductions in self-esteem. They may
interfere with the quality of close relationships and hence
with the quality of life.

It's from this article: http://homepage.psy.utexas.edu/HomePage/Group/BussLAB/pdffiles/Evolution...

Keep trying

The first step (I know this is cliche) is recognizing you have a problem- knowing that your chronic masturbation to porn has adversely affected your life and relationships.

It took me multiple attempts (and I learned from each attempt) but I have now been masturbation and porn free for six months.

I could write a book on how much better my life is now. First- I am not some prude against all porn and who condemns masturbation for religious reasons. There are plenty of people who can masturbate in moderation. I am just not one of them so I made the decision to stop entirely.

The first "gift" of abstaining from porn/masturbation is time. The amount of time I wasted each week was substantial. I could go a whole weekend inside mostly consuming porn and jacking. During the week I would do an hour a night- sometimes more. And then be totally worn out for the evening and just watch tube (another dumb addiction). The amount of time to do the things that I always told myself I should do- that I imagined myself doing? I am doing! And it is awesome. Hobbies, reading, social contact, I even have a dog now.

The second "gift" - and this will differ for different people- is money. I wasn't spending mad amounts of money on porn- but enough to be stupid and wasteful. The couple hundred bucks I have not spent is nice to have- bought a new ipod recently as a "Reward".

The third "gift" (and the one that I think matters the most and I am truly grateful for) is a far improved self image and much better self esteem. I am FAR more confident in social situations now- like night and day- like people ask me what have I changed about myself because I am so much more outgoing.

As far as relations with the opposite sex? I have never . . . . NEVER. . . been more confident about approaching women than I am now. I am far more motivated to seek and engage actual real women now. (And though this might develop as a problem itself- I am actually getting real sex now! But I am not going to worry about that now- just enjoy it for awhile.)

While I was consuming porn and beating off- I had severe performance anxiety when it came to actual real sex. That is gone. I have no problem. It is nice to actually get aroused by little things like a revealing blouse or some innocent cleavage or a summer dress or just a woman's flowing shiny hair and fragrance and not "Cum Gurgling sluts" video clips.

The time, the money, the feelings of confidence, vastly improved self image, and just getting a normal satisfying sex life- makes my complete abstinence from masturbation SO WORTH IT.

So if you are someone who can beat off to internet porn in moderation? Hey- great. I ain't judging you and more power to you. But if you are not - (and you know if you are not)- then you need to stop entirely. I tried the "once a week" promise- and it never held. You need to stop totally.

Steps I took.

-Cancelled my "porn" credit card that I would use to buy memberships to porn sites.
-Cleaned my computer with an adware removal program.
-Deleted all links.
-Purchased and installed a comprehensive porn blocker which would further make it tougher for me to succumb to temptation on the spur of the moment (and to be honest- the porn blocker blocks a lot of stuff that isn't porn- and it can be a pain in the ass- but again- something I am willing to put up with because of the benefits overall).
-Kept a journal for the first three months- just typing out my feelings and logging improvements.
- Call friends and family nightly- even old friends. Engage people socially. Go to a corner coffee shop. DO NOT WATCH TUBE and BITE YOUR FINGERNAILS- DO SOMETHING!

And the improvements do come almost immediately. I noticed after three days of no masturbation- increased energy, increased attention, and higher self esteem. After a month? Those were all through the roof (and before the second month was over I had had real sex for the first time in months because I could approach women with confidence.)

What really is amazing- is how little of the porn I consumed do I actually have a clear memory of. It is all like a big blur now. I have to literally concentrate hard to recall particular porn scenes or video clips. It clears out of your brain pretty fast- and the things that should get you aroused- like just a pretty girl on the train in a nice dress? Do again.

Thanks Alex

Your post is a real gift to those at this site. I hope you won't mind if men here "private message" you if they have questions. It's so valuable when men post about their recovery...and the benefits. There's only so much we non-porn cheerleaders can accomplish!

If you find a partner you want to bond with, keep in mind these bonding behaviors. They may help: http://www.reuniting.info/wisdom/bonding_magic And if you and she are both really courageous, you may even want to try karezza. Winkhttp://www.reuniting.info/wisdom/lloyd_karezza_method

I've enabled you to blog, in case you wish to: http://www.reuniting.info/resources/bloggers

Thanks and to follow up

Thanks,

I would also like to bring up a couple more things for the men reading this.

Re-reading my journal last night- I noted how tough the first three days were (like people say about quitting cigarettes.) I wrote that it felt like I was withdrawing from caffeine (I have a coffee addiction I am never giving up)- felt edgy and nervous.

That passed however after three days and was replaced with increased energy levels.

So do what you have to for the first three days - and if you falter a bit- but still don't ejaculate- don't beat yourself up. Keep going. It gets easier.

Also - from my earlier attempts I learned I had "triggers" and times that I was more susceptible to the temptation to masturbate. Learn yours and then devise ways to avoid them or lesson them. For example- for me- the time of day that I was most prone to succumb was after dinner around 7PM. I changed my schedule and instead of going to the gym in the mornings- I went at 7PM.

The thing that finally made me successful was keeping a daily journal- just remembering daily why I was doing this- why I wanted to stop. I had stopped before - got up to 30 days- but I wasn't keeping a journal- had lost my reasons- felt I was "cured"- blah blah. Keep a journal!

With all the ridiculous pro masturbation propaganda out there it took me years to recognize my problem and come to terms with it. It is vital to ignore this complete horse crap. Masturbation is not "healthy". Porn is not "normal".

You won't get prostrate cancer. You don't need to "clear the pipes". Semen rotates naturally in and out of your testicles without you needing to burp the worm.

Adolescent exploration is one thing. It can arguably be called natural to masturbate when you are 15.

But if you are a 40 year old single man still beating off daily (and using internet or other porn) that is not "natural" and it certainly isn't healthy (in both mental and physical ways- not to mention spiritual- ways.)

I really believe the pro masturbation sentiments in the medical community for the past 40 years or so approach the level of criminal irresponsibility. Whole generations of men have been warped by this non sense.

Put this in a blog post

Alex,

I hope you will take Marnia's offer to blog your experience. For starter, you should copy this entire comment (and modify it a bit where necessary) into a new (your first) blog entry. I'm sure Marnia will find ways to promote it in the right places, so that it gets the attention it deserves.

Blessings.

New to the Site

I have struggled with P for many years, have successfully given it up once (almost a year ago for about 50 days) Once I broke the withdrawal, I never looked back, thinking I could stop if I want to -

I know that is not true. I am going to really really try this time - reading posts is helpful to resist the urge.

Support from a group such as this is a tremendous help.

I will be checking this site alot as I work to overcome struggle.

Any support would be much appreciated.

Any suggestions on how to best use site - do I comment on other blogs, create own blog or do something else ? not really much experience with forums, blogs, etc.

Welcome!

Frustrating, isn't it? We aren't taught how the brain "learns," so we think it's all about willpower. This means we are easily deceived at the beginning of a compulsion...because it *is* relatively easy to let something go before your neural pathways relating to it become ruts.

Anyway, isn't it nice to know that your problem isn't due to your lack of willpower or your "flawed" character? It's just a brain map in need of revamping. (Tough, but not impossible.)

Most people use the site both ways. They comment on each other's posts, and they blog once they are enabled. (You are now. See directions: http://www.reuniting.info/resources/bloggers)

Good luck, and thanks for making the effort. [tanz] (Just wanted to use that icon!]

Suggestions for guys - getting to sleep when horny

For guys who are trying to give up porn and masturbation, getting to sleep can sometimes be a challenge. Here are some suggestions:

If you have a sweetheart sleeping with you, ask her to hold your penis, gently, without movement. It's very soothing. My wife used to do that for me, and I could easily drift off to sleep with a smile on my face.

No companion? Try using your arm to press your penis firmly against your belly. It can take some of the "edge" off the horniness.

Get up out of bed and do something to get your mind off the horniness. It could be something as simple as looking out the window for a minute or two. Or get a snack. Or perhaps listening to some music might help.

Don't wear tight-fitting underwear. Don't sleep on your stomach.

If all else fails and you have to have an orgasm to get to sleep, try masturbating quickly in such a way as to minimize the intensity of the orgasm. Possibly that would result in a lower dopamine spike and cause less of a hangover and less cravings in the following days.

Sleep well! Smile