Experiment - stopping porn for 30 days - journal

Submitted by Present on
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Hi all,

I came across this site after doing a search for "porn changes brain chemistry" and finding the great articles on Dopamine. I first heard the concept as an aside in a personal development video I was watching, and decided to investigate further.

I've been using porn for a long time (nearly 20 years).

At one stage I looked at it a lot, although more recently it's been a masturbation aid. I look at it for enough time to 'get the job done', and then go back to what I was doing.

My reasons for this experiment are:

1. I'm at a phase in my life where I'm wanting to 'change up' significantly, and I need more energy, creativity and focus for that.
2. My relationship is currently going through a lot of changes due to recent arrival of a baby. It's too easy to hide from problems by 'self-medicating'.
3. I'm desperately bored of porn. Even whilst using it, I'm usually wanting to get it over with as quickly as possible so I can back to something more interesting.
4. This boredom has led me to want to escalate - not to more degrading stuff (been through that when I was much younger and using drugs as well. ), but to seeing prostitutes. I've dabbled in that direction before, and the reality is never up to the thrill of the chase. Doing that is likely to be risky and extremely harmful to my relationship, so I think it's time to get off the dopamine rollacoaster.

+ other which I'll add as I think of them

The stuff Marnia wrote about porn being a drug really resonated with me. I used to use drugs a lot when I was younger, and they were great fun (although not something I'd advocate to other people). However, they got to the stage where the feeling they gave me was just hollow, so I stopped. I feel I've got to that place with porn now.

I'll write more later, but here are the rules I'm setting:

-No porn for 30 days. I'll review the situation then.
-Masturbation is allowed. (I know this isn't the advised method, but we'll see what happens)
-I'll endeavour to update this thread every day, with what happened and how I feel about it.
-If I find myself 'getting the urge' to use porn, I will meditate + do breathing practice for 10 minutes.

That's it for now...

Present

Welcome

Sound like a good plan to me. Only way to know what is going to happen is try :).

Please do keep up with you experiences. It could all or just in part be helpful to someone.

Wishing you well
Be Safe
James

Good for you

testing a new approach. When you masturbate, do your best not to use porn flashbacks or any fantasy. That helps the brain reset. Looking forward to your experience.

Thank you

[quote=Marnia]testing a new approach. When you masturbate, do your best not to use porn flashbacks or any fantasy. That helps the brain reset. Looking forward to your experience.[/quote]

Thanks for the tip :)

Will copy this across to a blog and carry on there!

I'm doing the opposite

I started off with the intentions of not doing either porn or masturbating for a month, but fell off the wagon after 2 weeks into it. I then had a week where I was off the rails, so-to-speak. I'm now back on the wagon, and currently 11 days with no masturbation.

However, I have not been able to resist the temptations of looking at porn, even though I am not masturbating. I have looked at this briefly, on occassions, and found that the images no longer become provocative anymore. I feel strangely disconnected from it now when browsing the stuff. So why am I still browsing? Habit, nothing more. A stupid habit which still kicks in, probably more through boredom than anything else.

Today is the first day I have not felt the urge to browse porn, and am actually starting to feel better in myself again, and I think this is down to not masturbating. After reading the effects orgasms have on the brain (taking usually 2 weeks to recover afterwards) I have gone through awful moments during the past 11 days, feeling extrememly horny, feeling guilty, emotional up and downs, etc. And strangely these emotions have been triggered when I have NOT been browsing porn. I've also started to find the porn images slightly disgusting now when looking at them. It's like the habit triggers to me to do the things of old, but when I start doing it I'm almost repulsed by what I see, then after a short while, stop browsing....with no stirrings from down below either, suprisingly!

Today is the first day I've started to feel a bit more normal. And I am making a pact with myself to not give in to the urges of looking at porn from now on. I feel as though I needed to wean myself off the porn slowly, while also stopping the masturbating too.

Now I feel as though I'm able to walk without the crutches of porn anymore. For how long? Time will tell.

I agree with the disconnection thing

One of the things about porn, is how tedious and artless most of it is. It has a way of taking something beautiful (the human body, and sex in general), and removing all beauty from it. Even within a certain niche, there are a really limited number of acts that get played out over and over again.

The problem is, when we're in "the porn trance", the critical faculties of our brain get shut down, and we don't see that. That's what I've found anyway.

Big congratulations on seeing porn without getting excited by it - that's definitely a sign of progress, it means you've peeled off another layer of the illusions that your mind creates around the subject. :)

Have you tried meditation at all? It's something that's really helped me with a lot of things by giving me the perspective I need to address my destructive habits (of which I have plenty). The big benefit I've found is it increases the number of "moments of clarity" I have hugely, allowing me to stand outside and watch the car hurtling towards the cliff (so to speak), rather than being just a passenger stuck inside it.

As best we can tell

the withdrawal is due to low dopamine, and the "dose" of porn/fantasy tends to give you a dopamine boost. That's why your concentration suddenly improves. However, it's usually not a good way to "self-medicate" in the long run because it's easy for it to escalate, then to lead to lower lows, and then you need more and more extreme material...or notice more severe hangovers.

Better to find other ways to boost your dopamine a bit when it's low: friendly interaction with others, exercise, etc.

But all experiments are good experiments. Smile