Hi, I am a single, male 23 year old recovering addict who read this entire site and decided to kick the habit. I wanted to share some of my experience in case it might be useful for someone else or an encouragement for them to try something new and make a change.
I've never thought of masturbation/orgasm/pornography as "bad" or "wrong" and feel lucky to have escaped any religious programming in these regards. But I am also a very practical person and am willing to work to make changes in my life when I think they might be beneficial to my long-term well being.
That said, I have been a 10-minutes-a-day kinda guy for about 7 or 8 years now. And always chasing the orgasm, and frustrated when it does not come for one reason or another.
After my decision to stop cold turkey, color me shocked by some very obvious changes observed in my own behavior after only a few days of abstinence. I am more social, less inhibited, and even said some important things to a member of my immediate family that I probably would have avoided under more "normal" circumstances. I feel an increased urge to try new things and generally higher levels of motivation. Just this morning I went running for the first time in a few years. Coincidence? Maybe, but it sure is compelling.
All this, as a result of not indulging in a particular activity for 10-15 minutes a day? Who would have guessed?
I realize we cannot perform scientific experiments on ourselves and we are all vulnerable to placebo effect and other factors when trying new things, so I try to respect my training and not read into these things too much. Still, between the different feelings and behavior it does seem too dramatic to be a placebo effect. Even more strangely, I wasn't anticipating these changes! I thought, "Hmm, I'll feel more horny than usual all day, this will be interesting," but I definitely wasn't expecting any changes in my communication.
Like many people I enjoy pretending that I am totally in control of my actions at all times. I also like to compartmentalize my life and say "Hey, this is only a 15-minute activity, it couldn't possibly have an effect on me once these 15 minutes are over..." Yet another reminder of the fallacy of that way of thinking, I suppose.
I hope our society finds better ways to cope with all the unhealthy stimuli in this novel environment as we mature into the future. But for now, I'm just glad that I've seen the light...
Thanks for your help Marnia and best regards to everyone!