Porn addiction question

Submitted by frustrated on
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First i'll say that i am addicted to porn and it has messed up parts of my life. First off it has affected my relationships, social life, and health, but although i know this, part of me doesn't want to give it up all together. I've been addicted for awhile but the last year has been the worst. I stoped watching porn and stop masterbating for 5 nights, and i've noticed several changes, such as the eye bags under my eyes have been reduced so much i can't believe it, i had bad insomnia, but i've been able to sleep the last two nights. Despite this, i still want to masterbate and watch porn just a little bit.

lastly i say this, i know i have a problem, and i want to get better. So my question is this:

1 Do i have to give up porn all together?
2 When can i start to watch a little bit of porn

Relapse

i feel so much i like i have to masterbate and watch porn, i literally feel like im going to blackout, like i said this is the longest i've not masterbated and watched porn in years, is it alright if i relapse and just start again or is withdrawal suppose to be this bad.

It can be that bad. I have

It can be that bad. I have found no magic pill. try many things. When it gets that bad just get up and move. Exercise, go for a walk, get out of the house, any thing to distract the brain.

I am sorry it hurts so much I know the feeling and I hate reading about other people in the same kind of pain. I will say I believe it to be worth it to be rid of this addiction.

hope you feel better soon. I am sorry I am out of time or I would give more.
be safe

For me I had/have to give it

For me I had/have to give it up completely. I am starting day 20 today. I can not do just a little. I tried that. I start at a little and then the brain ramps it up and it turns into a lot very quickly at least for me.

Also if you do relapse and watch porn and masturbate do not let that get you down. If You really want to quit just get back up and try again. I have tried many times in the past 9 months or so. 20 days is my longest. I am not going to lie and say it gets easy but it does get easier. I still have times that just suck. I think it is a good thing that you want to quit. Keep coming here Keep posting and keep reading. All of it will help.

Try to read through some of the post here. Lots of helpful insights in here.

good luck to you
be safe

That's a tough question

That depends on what you really want. I am going through similar dilemmas. I want to give up porn, and I do not want to give up porn. I also feel torn (hey that rhymes) and it's a tough place to be in.

You have to find out what you really want. It sounds like you are already tuned into the fact that something is amiss. I mean, like I felt the other day, asking myself questions like "How can I be so drawn to something that I do not respect, how can i watch women being treated like a commodity and 'get off' on this, what has happened to me?? It's not my true nature!" This reveals that there is a problem, if there was no problem we would not even be here asking about it.

My advice is to tune into your heart. What do you really want out of life? There is so much more to be had, that the haze of porn addiction keeps us from experiencing. That is why I am attempting to give it up, gradually, and with stumbles along the way, but yes, I want to give it up because of similar issues to what you mentioned as well, for example health, relationships and social life.

Porn is a poor substitute for sex. I am trying to tell myself this. We don't need to give up sex, just porn. When you think about it, the porn is not real, but it can stop us from having real sexual experiences with real women. Has stopped me, in any case.

Anyway, welcome, and I hope you make use of the scientific info in this site. It helps to understand what is really going on, essentially that a part of the brain has become addicted to something it makes itself- Dopamine- and that we are out of balance.

Addicted

Dear Frustrated,

I have been addicted to porn and masturbation for about 8-10 years. I got hooked on the stuff and never looked back.

Then it hit me about a year ago that I had a problem when it started to break me down and those around me.

I somehow (Thank God) found this site. The posts, the research, and knowledge on this site make alot of sense to me.

It helped understand what is going on! Take a read on this = http://www.reuniting.info/resources/instruction_manual_for_primitive_brain

Anyway, to your question..........I cannot just look at a "little" porn and be ok with it. Once the addiction is set in, the normal little peak doesnt work.....for me it usually leads to more and then more and then I am back in the miserable state I was before. I am now a week clear.

you will read many examples about this from the posts.....they all seem to head back to the same principle that you gotta clear this stuff out, turn your attention to more positive outlets and get on with it.

It seems you want to rid yourself of this habit that has screwed up parts of your life? That is where I am.

The answers will come to you........this site will help you find many of those answers.

Rock on,
Crow

Welcome to the forum

You're enabled to blog if you like.

The arrival of men struggling with porn was an unexpected event here, several years ago. They have taught ME what works best (with minor variations). It seems that "rebooting" the brain is the key. This means giving up everything connected with the addiction for about two months(!). Porn, "just looking," masturbation, and orgasm.

This lets the reward circuitry of the brain find its natural neurochemical balance again. THEN you can use sex more normally...whatever that means for you.

To understand your situation better, you may want to read this chapter from our recent book:

"The Road to Excess"
http://www.reuniting.info/download/pdf/Cupid-Ch6.pdf (It's a PDF)

Reboot

I just checked in and read Marnia's response.

I have to chime in and say again, from my current experience and from what the posts say here, the reboot phase is absolutely essential........and from others here who are struggling thru this phase.......2 weeks is not enough. It must be something like 2 months for this stuff to clear out. And it is not just sitting and white knuckling it, one needs to be active in the healing process.

Get out, exercise, practice your passions / work / hobbies / etc.

Again, I am only just about a week in, and I know it is gonna get bumpy soon, but there are moments of clarity and these come when you start to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Breathe,
Crow

Two months to clear it out...

...That makes me wish that I had never followed that first fascinating 'link' that came up about 2 years ago now on my PC, which so allured me, which quickly, in a matter of a week, became a fascinating habit, in a month an obsession...and I'm still dealing with it now, two years later. Why can't this stuff come with a goddamn warning label?? In like a needle, out like a plough!

Yep

Yep Asher,

That's a great way of putting it....."in like a needle, out like a plow"

No warning label....and you know why!!

I guess Ive gotten lucky this week? I had a problem which felt like a hernia or at least bad pains in the lower regions. Scared the hell out of me and have had no desire whatsoever to M. I am 1 week and am starting to relax both in mind and body.

So much Ive read on this site and many others is really adding up to the realization of a rather disgusting way of living and a rather disgusting industry supplier of the fix.

the more I focus on the filth of the industry and in turn the beauty of a life without this "nasty" little secret..........the more I walk away from it.

I really appreciate when Marnia refers to us as "the porn guys" cause it really hits home.

Its like looking at yourself in the morning whilst shaving and saying "good morning porn guy"......*chuckles and shakes head*

Glamorous eh?

I really like the other posting name "time-for-change"

Peace,
Crow

Mr. Frustrated, are you the

Mr. Frustrated, are you the kind of person who tends to be alone a lot? One thing I haven't seen mentioned yet is the importance of being around other good people during your recovery. I think you'll find that keeping some good friends around you will make your withdrawal symptoms a lot easier to withstand. If you are interested to know more about this, try doing a search on this site for "oxytocin", which is the brain chemical of social enjoyment (to put it very simply).

I'm kind of a loner myself, and I've found a lot more success in staying away from porn since I've branched out a bit and made a small effort to meet new people and make some friends--not to mention, I feel better in general for having friends! I hope your recovery is swift. Good luck.

Kurisu

Hi Frustrated,

As you've found, trying to give up is tough, and despite seeing benefits, the strong compulsion is still there - this is what really told me I had a problem, trying to stop but finding the urges incredibly hard to resist. Like others I've been trying to beat this for many months now. I've had many relapses... currently I'm 15 days clear, yet today was full of urges and a mind that said 'just give in, what's the big deal?' over and over again. Experience has taught me not to trust this mind, as the 'big deal' becomes all too apparent once I've given in.

We're all different, but the general consensus does seem to be an initial 2 month period of complete abstinence from all sexual stimulation. You may not achieve this the first time you try (I haven't achieved it yet) but if you maintain awareness, each relapse will teach you something about why you give in and hopefully give you ideas about how to succeed next time.

Something else mentioned above is finding out why you really want to quit... I've come to realise that without this I will probably stay on the abstain-relapse-abstain-relapse cycle indefinitely. I find thinking about this is best done with a clear head, and it helps to remind yourself often of what you really want.

If you find your 'what I really want', there is still the daily front-line battle to be fought to get through to 2 months. There are many stories on this site telling how addicts have made it through each day, and there are specific ideas you can try. You have probably already looked at the main section for porn addiction recovery: http://www.reuniting.info/resources/porn_masturbation_addiction but if not, the 'Practicalities' section half-way down this page has some good ideas.

And finally, when you're having a really bad day, know that it *will* pass, it *will* get better, it always does eventually.

Good luck,
time_for_change

The analytical solution

Well, i call it the analytical solution to distinguish it from the methods i have read here in various posts. The latter ones - like meditation, being social with friends, soothing activities etc - are aiming to the subconscious the most and do their work silently and surely.

What I propose here is the immediate solution one may take in REALITY.

Put a software on your pc blocking xxx sites AND set a BLIND password on it. I mean these applications - upon installing them - they ask for a password input in two boxes, the second one for verification. The method is to put a password letter by letter in each of the two boxes without looking at your keybord.

Then you can not access xxx sites unless you format your hard drive. In case you format it, you will regret it and you will put the blocking software again in the new system. You can format it again if you like to visit xxx sites. So, every visit in xxx site will be paid with a format of your hard drive .....hehe..

Thank you that is good

Thank you that is good advice. It should work for most. I think most should do this. for me it may not work so well. I am a computer tech. the only way I could ever fully block myself is to get rid of the computer. Which is an option but family would think I had gone nuts for sure. I have owned and been using computers for longer than my 25 year long addiction to mastrubation/porn.

again I like this idea and it should help many/most than you for sharing.

Please I don't understand this! For porn addicted people

Please I don't understand this! If the images are so powerful why do you need a real woman? I'm a beautiful woman. I have see the images your talking about. How can they be better than a beautiful lady's vagina/ touch/ voice/hair/flesh/ her scent. If an image is better (the only way I could see how would be because of quantity) Please leave us real women alone and in peace so you can enjoy the super powerful images ?

I'm sure

the gentlemen here would be delighted to have you in their lives, Cheri.

In many cases, they have been too shy to reach out to real women. That's why they opted for porn. It seemed an easy, harmless solution. But they realize now it has a high price, and doesn't offer the same comfort as daily affection with a trusted companion.

They want to return to balance so they can find the strength to learn the social skills they missed and reach out to real women.

Real women are not in competition with porn images, as you yourself realize. Porn is a "recreational drug for the mind." It cannot satisfy. On the other hand, conventional sex with a real woman can also lead to compulsive sex if not managed carefully.

LoL, I was thinking the same

LoL, I was thinking the same thing. As a Mac user myself, I'm like in love with every guy who works at the Apple store, regardless of ethnicity, background, religion, weight, height, or anything else. I do not discriminate. They are all like gods to me.

Something to think about, James. :)

Can't give it up

I'm sure my problem isn't unique, but neither is it all that common. I've been married for a long time (decades) to a woman who simply doesn't like sex. We didn't have intercourse for the first 11 years that we were married. Then we did it a few times until she got pregnant - then it was over. Fifteen years later, she had a hysterectomy and for some reason we started having intercourse once a week for about a year. It was obvious though that she didn't like it and was jsut doing it to please me. That pretty much took the fun out of it, and before long it stopped again. For the rest of our marriage, our sex life has consisted of an occasional hand job.

Our marriage is fine. There are no real issues other than that she just doesn't like sex. We've done marriage counseling several times, but all that's come out of it is that she doesn't like sex. She promises to do better, but it never lasts long. She simply doesn't like it. So right or wrong, I'm convinced that the lack of sex isn't a symptom of some other problem in the relationship. It just is what it is.

That brings me to the subject at hand - porn. For years, porn and masturbation has been my only outlet. The problem is that like others have mentioned, it is an addiction. You can't do it a little bit. It just seems to take over. Since it's all I have, I have to admit that I don't really want to quit. But I also don't want it to have such a hold on my life. Looking at porn and masturbating has become such a compulsion that it's almost always the first thing on my mind whenever I'm alone. I even do it at work, trying to find sites that slip by the filters. Many times I've masturbated in my office whenever I've been in early or had to stay late to finish something up. I know that it could cost me my job, but I just can't seem to control it.

I don't know what to do...

Welcome to the site :)

Hi Goose,

I can't give you easy answers, but I'll share my situation - hope it helps.

I'm in a similar place - a happy marriage, but sex is off the agenda. I've never wanted my wife to have sex just for me, figure it should be a mutual thing or not at all. So, like yourself, I've used porn/masturbation as a substitute. Before I came to this site, I thought that masturbation was necessary, so at times I tried to quit the porn and regulate the masturbation to once a week... this never worked, I quickly slipped into more frequent masturbation which quickly led back to porn.

But reading here on reuniting that having regular orgasms isn't necessary, in fact totally messes up your moods - well, it opened a door out for me. My current goal is to quit porn/masturbation altogether as a way to heal myself of the addiction and stay the course in the long run.

I've been trying to quit for a year now and have succeeded in periods of abstinence lasting up to 3 weeks... one definite thing I've noticed during these times is that my wife is more open to cuddles, and actually instigates them. She doesn't know that I have this 'habit' and am trying to quit, but my general mood, body language, etc must change the way she reacts to me.

There is a general consensus here that an approx. 2-month period of abstinence is needed to reboot the addicted brain. After that, with a balanced mind, I may re-evaluate my goal.

From reading your post above, I think you know you need to quit, at least in the short term... if you can manage a 'reboot', then you can consider the question about whether you want to completely quit, but I don't think it's possible to honestly answer that while deep within the addiction.

If you haven't read it yet, I recommend this section:
http://www.reuniting.info/resources/porn_masturbation_addiction

Good luck and keep posting - being part of this community has been the biggest help in the world for me :)

time_for_change

Welcome Goose

That sucks. In my family, it was actually the opposite. It was my father who pulled away sexually. It's very hard on the partner who's left high and dry. I determined that would never happen in any of my relationships, so I got really good at sex and orgasm....and discovered that there could be too much of a good thing...even without porn in the picture. Life is funny, eh?

I know this is not the reason for your visit, but as long as you're here, you may want to take a look at this article:
http://www.reuniting.info/lazy_way_to_stay_in_love

Let me know what you think. I swear these daily bonding behaviors make my husband and me WANT to spoil each other. They work at a level way below talk therapy. It's uncanny.

I've enabled you to blog, in case you want to start your own thread.

Sex Addiction

Where to start... ??

How about this; I know that I am addicted to sex (thought life, porn, masterbation ~ and on and on!).

I'm 40. I started down this path in my early teen years. I got married at 30. I started a family, and about 5 years into marriage it REALLY got out of control. I hope I hit the bottom earlier this year when I was "found out" by my spouse. I've been "in recovery" since then (and occasionally stuggling with it).

Recently I had been comparing my sex addiction with alcoholism when it occured to me; An alcoholic (if successful in their sobriety) will not have another drink ~ but what about me? As a sex addict my definition of "sobriety" is not to have sex with anyone, including self, other than my partner.

My addicition (viewing porn, which lead to masterbation, which lead to orgasm ~ thought life/day-dreaming, which lead to masterbation, which lead to orgasm ~ phone sex, which lead to masterbation, which lead to orgams)... My addiction always ended in the release of orgasm. Assuming that I am successful in sobriety I will only have sex and reach orgasm with my spouse... but unlike the alcoholic whose definiation of successful sobriety is "black and white" (ie; NO DRINKS), my end result is still orgasm. The main difference (that I recognize) is that I don't do all those "bad" things I use to do to reach orgasm... but I still need the orgasm. In the mean time I'm dealing with a marriage in repair (with very little sex ~ as compared to the amount of sex I was having with myself). My thought life is still OUT OF CONTROL (while most of other activities ~ computer porn ~ have completely stopped).

(I don't even know what to ask ~ I don't know if I'm addicted to 'orgasm' or to 'sex' or 'computer porn' or if it's all the same ~ but I don't know how I can live a life wherein I masterbated/orgasmed at least once a day for 20+ years and now that I've been caught I am expected only to reach orgasm once a month)

I can not help with the

I can not help with the marriage part. My addiction has kept me from a relationship with a real person. I could write many things here but I think if you read through two of my blog entries you will find much insight into the porn masturbation and orgasm addiction problem.

Others here can help a lot with the relationship part of your question.

http://www.reuniting.info/node/2809

http://www.reuniting.info/node/2850

everything that I could say to you that would help. I believe can be found in those two blogs. That is not to say that is all the information you need. there is so much on this site I have not read yet. There is a lot of great information and support here.

I am just saying that is the help that I can give.

Please keep posting and reading here. This community is very helpful and understanding (if you read my blogs you can see some of that)

Hmmm....

This question constantly comes up in some form or other, and it's a good one. I don't have time for a long explanation, but if you hang around for a while, you'll hear lots of relevant insights from others. Since I'm the hostess of this forum, I've been listening to those insights for a long time, so I'll give you a short summary.

Chances, are, you don't yet know what "normal" libido is for you, because you have been using orgasm to self-medicate the lows in the orgasm cycle. (Yes, it is a cycle. It's not just a high. See: "Orgasm's Hidden Cycle" http://www.reuniting.info/orgasms_hidden_cycle)

Depending upon how hooked you are on frequent orgasm, it will take more or less time to "reboot" your brain. For a summary of this, have a look at this article: "What Porn Users Taught Me" http://www.reuniting.info/what_porn_users_taught_me

Most 12-step sex addict groups urge people toward complete abstinence for a while (form porn, masturbation and orgasm). My thought is that this is to enable the "rebooting" process.

Once rebooted, it's easier to find a comfortable middle ground as far as an orgasm schedule goes. And here's a "secret" strategy that will help you inspire your wife to enjoy intimacy more: "The Lazy Way to Stay in Love" http://www.reuniting.info/lazy_way_to_stay_in_love

To my astonishment, as I experimented with various sacred sex techniques, I realized that lovemaking *without* orgasm could actually be satisfying. I know that sounds very weird. Did to me, too. But that discovery is actually what this website is about. See "Another Way to Make Love" http://www.reuniting.info/another_way_to_make_love

Welcome. I'll enable you to blog, so you can start your own thread if you like.