Greetings. I recently joined up here after reading several of the articles on this site. And I have to say, thank you. It has opened my eyes to a few things.
First some relevant history. I'm happily married for 27.5 years now. But I've also masturbated on average daily since around eleven. My wife and I have sex around one to two times a month on the average, assuming no other problems get in the way of it.
Porn hasn't been a huge part of my sexual experience, but it has come and gone. I'm addicted to it on one front, but no so much that I can't quit. The usual cycle is I'll be off of it for a period of time, then one day, usually when I'm having trouble getting there, I'll think, "I could go over real fast if I watched some porn." So I'll give in to the idea. Being fresh, it feels so good that I start returning to it. Then at some point I'll realize that I can't hardly get there at all unless I'm looking at porn. What I usually do is masturbate for a while, and then if I don't arrive and I get tired of waiting, I'll then go watch the porn. When I've realized that, usually I'll think, "I'll stop because I want to get back to the good feelings minus the porn, I know I'll have to put up with feeling 'dead' for a while, but it will eventually get better when my body readjusts." I've known for a long time that watch porn has that effect on people, but it always starts out with me thinking, "Just this once so I can get there this time."
But I've realized lately that I've been on the porn cycle too long, and a renewed conviction that I shouldn't be on it at all. But always in my mind the desire for it says, "What does it hurt? It's innocent enough." Well, thanks to the info on this site, I have plenty of reason why it may hurt me, more than just a moral issue. So a few days ago I decided to cut it off, and not go back. I've done that before, so the real key is not allowing my brain to convince me to look again as I have before, even after a few months of not looking. It's now so easy to access it than it was when I was a teen (prior to the Internet and all) that one has to rely upon self-discipline. But it helps to have some real scientific reasons and evidence as to why I shouldn't look again. My brain can no longer say with a "straight face" that it is innocent entertainment.
So, I think I was on track to a more firm addiction with porn, and I would say I had some addiction to it, it is a temptation, but I don't find it too hard to stop watching it even as I continue masturbation, so that is step one, where I start.
The other area I start is I decided I don't do enough bonding with my wife. Not like when we were first married, or dating. So I've worked to give her more hugs, kisses, caresses, etc. She noticed too. She said, "You want it now? I can't because I've got...." "No," I told her, "I just wanted to hug you." Unfortunately, those activities had become so linked with sex that any physical touch triggered the, "He wants it" reflex in her. I know that will diminish if I keep this up. But I think doing that if the science I'm reading is right, will help with the last step.
And that last step is masturbation itself. As I've mentioned, I've done it regularly since eleven. There have been several times in my life whether through guilt or just the realization that I was addicted to it, that it would be a good thing to gain more control over, that I have tried to stop. The longest by far was a month. In other times, it was a week or two, often a matter of days before I returned. As a matter of fact, the last time I tried, I didn't last a day. That was several months ago. A few years, actually.
I will say that I don't appear to experience some of the down time others do. I don't know why. When I'm finished, I don't feel depressed, I feel contented. I enjoy all of it, start, trip up, climax, and the after glow. Consequently, it is hard to find a reason why I should stop.
Mainly because I think I don't ever feel like I'm experiencing down time. I feel as energetic as ever (though lack of sleep could be a cause of some lack of energy at times). I'm a creative person. I write fiction (I'm no big name anyone would recognize if I were to tell you my true name, though). People marvel at the imagination I have. So I have a hard time believing it is affecting my creativity to masturbate everyday.
Then again, hardly ever having lived without it, it could be I would have more energy. The times I've stopped for a period, I wasn't checking to see how I felt overall, energy levels, etc. and I may not have made the connection if I did. So it could also be that I've simply become used to a lower energy level as "normal" and learned to work in that state, and am really living under "normal" balance for chemicals. And maybe I would be an even more creative and amazing writer if I stopped.
There's really only one way to find that out, but I have to get myself ready for that. For now, I'll cut the porn, and do more bonding activities with my wife. And when I'm ready, give myself a break from masturbation to see if I can detect the results. Two weeks should be enough time to notice a difference, right? If the cycle is about a week. If I have a goal, like running a test, it might provide more motivation to actually follow through on withholding.
But I'm thankful for the information here, and the apparent supportive community. Maybe with some help, I can eventually feel like I can stop masturbation when I want to. That's really what bothers me about it even though I enjoy it, I know right now it is near impossible to stop. I've pretty much given up mentally on that count after countless times of trying to stop and failing. And while I enjoy the practice, and don't think I want to give it up completely, I do want to say, "I'm going to abstain for a week, a month, a month and a half, or even just one day" and be able to follow through on that. That's my goal. I knew I had become really addicted when I couldn't refrain for even one day.
Thanks for listening, and I'll keep reading.