The 100 Days Without Orgasm Challenge

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Hello everyone!

I want to thank Marnia for this wonderful site which I think is one of the best when it comes to help us porn addicts.

I believe that having an understanding of what's going on in our brains is critical for quitting porn.

I became addicted to online porn in 2007 with the rise of tube sites which made it so easily available.

Getting erections with real women has been a problem lately. I am 100% sure that the cause of this is porn, so I've decided to create an interesting challenge:

100 days without orgasm.

No porn, no masturbation, no sex.

I am single so the "no sex" part is easy.

My motivation for this challenge comes from the success stories of others who have gone a lot of time without porn and find themselves getting turned on by normal women on the street.

So yeah, I believe that this is reversible and that we can return our brains to normal balance again.

Now, I am completely aware that this is not going to be easy. I've tried it several times before and have failed.

I don't care, I'm going to do it this time.

If anyone of you wants to join me you can do so using this forum or through 43 Things (the best goal setting website there is): http://www.43things.com/things/view/3177880/100-days-without-orgasm

In my opinion, these are the 3 requisites for quitting porn:

1) Having a correct understanding of what's going on in our brains when we watch porn and why porn is bad and damaging to our sex lives. The motivation for quitting porn comes from this understanding.

2) Changing our lifestyle. This one is key. Along with this challenge I am doing a big change in my life habits and activities. I usually spend a lot of time in front of the computer and I become bored very easily. We need to focus our attention on healthy activities and reduce the time we spent doing nothing in front of the PC.

3) Being able to handle the withdrawal symptoms and the strong urges of watching porn and masturbating. It's important to rise above our primitive brains, without trying too hard, just in a calm and mindful way. "Oh there are the urges again, I'm going to go do something else".

So who wants to join me?

Again, you can do it here or at http://www.43things.com/things/view/3177880/100-days-without-orgasm

Let's get serious with this!

~ The Underdog

Bold plan!

Good for you. Just promise you'll be gentle with yourself, whatever happens. Remember, your limbic brain is molded with the power to hijack your rational brain in an emergency...and to its way of thinking the stress of withdrawal is an obvious emergency. Smile

If you get too tough with it, it panics. So you have to coax and coddle and distract it...just as you would a frightened animal. And be patient and determined.

I enabled you to blog in case you want to share your progress.

*big hug*

Ambitious Goals

Amen to that!! Our rational brains really have so little understanding of the power and function of our limbic brain that they often act terribly "irrational" in setting attainable goals for us.

I like Marnia's analogy of a frightened animal, but I would add that for addicts, the limbic brain is a frightened and abused animal. Above all else, it is important to be gentle with it. Recovery is a process of learning to re-parent ourselves, of learning to recognize our needs and learning to meet those needs in healthy ways. For many it is a long slow process, typically three to five years!

You obviously have great determination and just recognizing the goal is a HUGE HUGE step. Your determination will be a valuable asset to you. We are pulling for you and look forward to hearing about your progress.

Incidentally, I know that for some the term "recovery" carries a bit of a charge. It's really nothing more than the process of "growing up" and becoming a more functional adult. Almost everyone stands to gain from the process, even if they aren't a "hard core" addict. Best wishes!

Fascinated by neuroplasticity

I am completely fascinated by the ability of the brain to change itself. I think I found my new passion lol.

I'm on Day 6 of the challenge and haven't had any urge or difficulty at all. Very motivated to do this.

Day 13: Lots of insights

Wow, I can't remember the last time I went 13 days without masturbating! I think it was 10 years ago or something.

I have learned A LOT during these days.

Insight #1: Understanding the brain is crucial if you want to quit porn

When you understand your brain, you can understand how to change it. You can't upgrade or fix a computer if you don't know how it works. This site has helped me a lot with this.

Discovering the concept of neuroplasticity has been very helpful as well. It is extremely motivating to know that you can actually rewire your brain, create new habits, and leave old ones behind.

Without knowing all this, people can easily feel discouraged and think that there's nothing they can do to quit porn and that they will have to deal with that for the rest of their lives. Neuroplasticity gives hope to everyone.

So with this in mind, what we need to do is: Weaken and replace the neurological pathways that make us watch porn. To do this we need to abstain from both masturbation and mental stimulation (porn and fantasies) and focus our life on more meaningful things (personal goals, affection, helping others, exercise, music, etc).

Insight #2: Quitting porn is not an exercise of strong will, but an exercise of constant awareness

This is my personal opinion: If you're trying too hard to quit porn, you're doing it wrong.

The conscious mind has 2 modes: the thinking mode and the awareness mode.

When you fantasize, solve mathematical problems, plan what you have to do for the rest of the day, remember nice memories, think about someone, etc, you are using the thinking mode.

When you are feeling, experiencing, and noticing things, you are using the awareness mode.

The more you use your thinking mode, the less you use your awareness mode, and viceversa. This is the reason why people who are daydreaming or thinking a lot about something are more likely to miss an entrance or have an accident while driving, they are not being aware of their surroundings. They are not paying attention.

Now here's where it gets interesting. Not only you can be aware of what's going on in your surroundings, but you can also be aware of what's going inside of you, that is, your thoughts.

Being aware of what's going on inside your head enables you to stop the urges as soon as they rise.

What most people do when they start feeling urges is they either start thinking more and more about their fantasies (increasing the urge) or they try to suppress the urges by thinking things like "this is so difficult, I can't get this out of my mind, please go away" (which also increases the urge). They are using the thinking mode.

What they need to do is just notice that they are thinking about sex/porn and then shift their attention to something else. This does not involve thinking or using words. It's just noticing, just as you notice an obstacle in the road when you're driving. It's something quick, something like "whoa, sex thought again" and that's it.

There's no judging and there's no analyzing.

There's no "I hate porn so much, why can't I stop thinking about this?".

You just notice that you're thinking about porn and then calmly shift your attention to something else.

This book explains this exercise much better than me: Mindfulness In Plain English

I have more insights but it's late now and I'll share them with you guys tomorrow.

~ The Underdog

Day 14

Insight #3: One should abstain from pics and fantasies as well

I noticed that after several days, around day 9-10, I started to look for pics on the internet. Just women in bikini or lingerie. The more I looked the harder it was for me to stop looking and the more tempted I was to take a peek at porn.

Porn images pop up in my head as well. Most of them are related to my strongest fetish. When I go to bed it's very easy and tempting to just start thinking about it. I get excited, just like watching porn. We have to remember that the brain doesn't recognize the difference between watching porn and fantasizing, so we need to abstain from fantasizing as well.

Abstaining from fantasies is extremely difficult though, so we shouldn't be hard on ourselves. The fantasies and porn images aren't going away anytime soon. Don't try to get rid of them, just notice them, smile, and focus your attention elsewhere. The goal is not to get rid of them but to stop giving them control over you.

Another reason why this is so difficult is that fantasies provide temporary relief. I don't know why, I guess they raise dopamine levels. I've noticed that when I feel uncomfortable and then I start fantasizing I feel better. However, the more I fantasize the more difficult it is to shift my attention to something else.

I guess this is also the reason why many people who try these challenges masturbate without cumming. Touching your penis provides relief.

EMBRACE YOUR WITHDRAWAL SYMPTOMS.

Don't run away from them by fantasizing or stroking your penis. The uneasiness will go away in time.

Now, I'm not saying that one should abstain from fantasizing or checking out women on the street for the rest of our lives. I don't even know if that's possible. But during the abstinence period we should, because we want to restore our brain to 'normal'.

Insight #4: Accountability and the 100 day challenge

This is interesting. I have tried going 1 month before and I always had the following excuse when I was having a strong urge:

"I'll try again next month"

or

"I have plenty of opportunities to try this again"

I can't say the same thing with the 100 day challenge. 100 days is a lot of time haha.

I also have this strong belief and conviction that 1 month of abstinence is not enough in order to restore my brain to normal. So I know that sooner or later I need to go 100 days without porn and masturbating. This makes me think twice before giving in.

Posting on this site and other sites has been very helpful too. I highly suggest everyone to have journals on several sites, not just one.

Don't forget about your goals and writing on journals. If you go 1 week without visiting your sites or writing in your journals, you'll soon forget about the whole thing.

Insight #5: It's not a war against porn

I don't hate porn, I actually like it a lot. It has given me a lot of pleasure and the women in it are very beautiful.

I have a very calm approach to all this.

The more I think in terms of hate or sin or immorality, the harder it is to control my urges. I believe that thinking of porn as your enemy or as something inherently bad is going to make it a lot more difficult for you.

I'm not having a war against porn, I'm just on a quest for restoring my brain back to balance. That is my motivation. I want to be able to enjoy the little pleasures and things in life. I want to get excited just by looking at a woman on the street, like I used to be 5-10 years ago.

Stop trying too hard, stop hating so much, stop feeling so bad. The goal is to restore our brains, that's it. Which leads me to...

Insight #6: If you slip, you're NOT back to zero

Most people feel that if they slip all their effort is wasted. This is absolute nonsense. That's not how your brain works.

The more you do something, the more you strengthen the neurological pathways and habits in your brain. The less you do something, the more you weaken these pathways and habits.

It's not black and white. It's not addicted or not addicted. It's gradual.

Here's a good analogy:

Muscles = Neurological pathways of porn addiction
Lifting weights = Watching porn

Let's suppose you have strong muscles and you lift weights everyday. One day you decide that it's enough, you're tired of being so strong and you want to quit weightlifting. You want your muscles to get weaker, so you stop lifting weights. You go days without lifting weights and your muscles being to get weaker and weaker.

After a month of no lifting, you feel pretty stressed and very uncomfortable and can't take it anymore, so you decide to go to the gym and lift some weights. Are you going to recover all the strength you lost in a month in just one session? Of course not. That session is probably not going to make that much of a difference.

However, if you keep coming back to the gym for another couple of weeks (binge period) then you'll eventually recover all the strength you lost in the past month of not lifting, specially considering the 'muscle memory' you've acquired over so many years of lifting.

If you slip or go through a small bing period, don't feel bad, just get back on track. If you go 2 weeks without porn and masturbating and then slip for 1 or 2 days, that's not too bad.

However, if you abstain for 2-3 weeks and your bing period is another 2 weeks, then you're probably not making too much progress.

Now, this is not an excuse to give yourself permission to have occasional slips. Unlike weightlifting, porn is extremely addictive. Avoiding a slip is hard. Avoiding a binge period after a slip is MUCH HARDER.

Avoid slips at all costs, but if you fail, keep bing periods as short as possible.

~ The Underdog

Sup Harmony?

Thanks for your thoughts!

I agree with what you say. It's MUCH easier to go long periods of time without porn than it is to go long periods of time without porn/masturbating/orgasming.

The main reason I want to abstain from both porn and mb is because I've been having problems getting aroused and getting erections with real women. I want to stop associating masturbation and sex with unrealistic sexual fantasies and expectations.

My plan is to abstain from porn, masturbation, and orgasm for 100 days. After that I will only abstain from porn and will continue to masturbate focusing more on sensations and less on porn fantasies.

I don't know if I'm going to be able to do it. Yesterday I was VERY tempted to go visit a prostitute, but it was raining outside and I was sick, so I didn't go.

I think those of us who suffer from porn induced erectile dysfunction should abstain from both porn and masturbation for some period of time.

Those who are interested in quitting porn for other reasons might benefit better from other methods.

Like you, this is just my theory, I might be totally wrong, but I always like to follow my common sense and intuition.

~ The Underdog

Going crazy

Day 15 and now I'm feeling it.

My body is going crazy and all I can think of is sex.

I feel that I can cum without touching myself.

Keep Going

Greetings Underdog. Not that I question your resolve but I hope this gets to before you may break lol.

Im your age and I recently went 50 days without masturbation. I definately found that the end of the second and entire third week were very difficult. Every night before going to sleep my mind was polluted to the extreme. Even as an early teenager, Id never had an experience like this. Weeks of this and it was only getting worse. To be honest a part of the problem is how hard it is not to indulge this new found (in some ways recovered) imagination. After several weeks of this losing more sleep every night I was becoming more tired and more dissociated to the point of near rage and frustration. Its difficult to lay in bed exhausted and still have it take up to five hours to fall asleep, then when I'd get there it would be very low quality sleep and about 2/3 my normal sleeping time.

It did get somewhat easier (tolerable) to sleep after the third week even though my mind was still very chaotic and filled with thoughts of sex at night. I'm not sure how much of that is just a lack of discipline and a half willingness to indulge these thoughts. Ive studied the science behind male memory and the female body. Ive forgotten so many things living a poor lifestyle, but all of the sudden I had access to detailed sexual memories of someone I cared about very much 8 years ago... As I said before my "visual" imagination had increased at least ten fold. Sometime towards the end of the third week I started to experience a number of sensations in my chest and throat that were near similar (but weaker, i assume they would grow) to the feeling I had as teen when I thought about or interacted with that person I cared about. This was worth noting because that feeling hasnt existed in even a minor form for years, no matter what the situation, with a woman or not. One of those things I thought died with that level of youth

In the fifth and sixth week I became much more responsive to womens presence. It very much didnt feel like something conscious. Their eyes were almost... highlighted to my perception. Imperfections in their faces were dissapearing to my sight. Smiles were becoming more intoxicating, and not just from the young. A handful of times, when I thought of where my porn tastes had gone over time, I experienced some form of guilt.

That ties into something else that never made sense to me until now. When you masturbate to the image of women it dehumanizes them in your own mind. Their image is a means to an end. Your neither giving pleasure to someone else nor sharing an experience with them. I'm sad to admit that it seems to seep over to our perception of flesh and blood. I thought this would somehow keep me more objective with women and less under their thumb. (bitter? lol) But you cant just masturbate your sex drive away. For me at least, it blunted empathy for them. My particular fetish was rape porn. The pinnacle of a lack of empathy... Its caused all sorts of internal conflicts. In the past Ive asked myself how I would feel if someone did that too someone I loved. I thought of times in my childhood where I felt powerless and betrayed... terrified of someone much more physically imposing then me. The selective empathy is disturbing... And I did notice an internal cringe I hadnt felt once in 7 plus years at the thought of causing such pain.

Sometime after the 40th day I started watching porn again. (gasp!) no masturbation, and no fetish porn. All it took was a giggle or look to set that feeling off. I started hijacking that feeling. Over a few days it just made sleeping difficult, me wanting to indulge those thoughts any time of the day. Towards the end they werent even completely sexual anymore. Thinking about the woman I drifted from and didnt look after, how she let me in, how I hurt her, how shes gone, how alone I am now, how I'll never be able to apologize, dominated by that protective feeling, at the mercy of vulnerable women, cant sleep *SNAP

I always felt that masturbation, besides being a sleep aid and producing feelings of pleasure, kept me under control. Not feeling so... dominated and under that thumb. On some level I dont want to be a puppy again... but I also realise Ill grow past that if I push through...

I'm quite confident that my particular level insomnia also ties to an already existing sleep and anxiety/dissociation problems, and the level at which I isolate and spend nearly nothing but time alone with very little to distract me. Marnia said this would much likely be more difficult alone. If it hasnt been on that absurd level for you yet, it probably wont be quite like that

I just want to say something that you most likely already knew. Watching porn even without orgasm is a very poor idea... and that I believe this process will be very worth it in the end. A large understatement. Returning to the non addictive state... confronting some inner ugliness, growth. Get ready for some Righteous turbulence I-m so happy It wasnt all horrible you know? The only reason I went 50 days is because watching those internal changes in myself and watching my attraction/empathy to/for women skyrocket.... was so... SO rewarding.

Stick with it Brother

edit : yes, the sleep I had the 2 nights in a row I masturbated was better then in many weeks and returned me to a level of sanity the next morning. Yet I also feel that female awareness and hope slipping away a little more everytime I do it. I already regret it even though I felt the level of suffering was too high. My heads back in the sand for now

Good for wiki

[quote=uKnighted]It did get somewhat easier (tolerable) to sleep after the third week even though my mind was still very chaotic and filled with thoughts of sex at night... all of the sudden I had access to detailed sexual memories of someone I cared about very much 8 years ago... As I said before my "visual" imagination had increased at least ten fold. Sometime towards the end of the third week I started to experience a number of sensations in my chest and throat that were near similar (but weaker, i assume they would grow) to the feeling I had as teen when I thought about or interacted with that person I cared about. This was worth noting because that feeling hasnt existed in even a minor form for years, no matter what the situation, with a woman or not. One of those things I thought died with that level of youth

In the fifth and sixth week I became much more responsive to womens presence. It very much didnt feel like something conscious. Their eyes were almost... highlighted to my perception. Imperfections in their faces were dissapearing to my sight. Smiles were becoming more intoxicating, and not just from the young. A handful of times, when I thought of where my porn tastes had gone over time, I experienced some form of guilt.
[/quote]

Wow uKnighted, good stuff. You should put this in the experiences wiki. This is the kind of thing that really motivates other guys.

This kind of romance isn't a

This kind of romance isn't a trigger, it's a *goal*. Really, those "erotic" romance novels don't hold a candle . . to the real thing. Just like the porn doesn't hold a candle to a person who is real, once we are no longer blinded by shriveled dopamine receptors.

Real guys, like you, and a long list of men I could name from here, are the real deal.

Keep up the "nightly" heroics!

Quizure

Lord of the Rings was my all-time favorite romance novel - when I was 12, in 1970. "Aragorn Lives!"

HUGE update

Ok everyone, I lost.

Here's the story:

On day #15, last tuesday, my body was BEGGING me to have an orgasm. It was no longer a matter of controlling my thoughts or redirecting my focus to something else. I couldn't concentrate or think of anything other than sex. I tried to read or play guitar but I just couldn't do it. My body was starving for sex.

The last time I went so long without having an orgasm was in 2001, and I remember that even though I didn't orgasm, I spent a whole month masturbating to porn and was able to resist and not cum until the end of the month.

This time I didn't watch porn and didn't even touch my penis. It really was a big accomplishment.

Something I forgot to tell you people was that my sex life consists of sex with prostitutes. I visit prostitutes twice a month. It's been years since I last had a girlfriend.

I noticed that I was having problems getting an erection with these prostitutes (they were VERY hot by the way) so I got really worried and finally came to the conclusion that porn and masturbation was the cause of this problem. I also wasn't enjoying sex. My penis was numb. That's the reason why I decided to take on this challenge.

So last tuesday I didn't want to masturbate. I wanted to see if 15 days of no porn and no masturbation was going to make any difference in bed. So I went to a brothel nearby, chose a girl, and WOW, I had no problem AT ALL. My erection was very strong and my performance was great.

But then I thought "hmmm, maybe I got very hard because I was very horny" so an hour later I went to another brothel and chose another girl, and again, didn't have any problem at all and she made me cum very very fast.

Then I got home I masturbated 3 times!! (without porn of course)

But I was not done with my experiment. After cumming 5 times on tuesday (2 days ago) I decided today that I was going to check again if my little fellow was up to the task.

I didn't have any problem, but I did notice that my erection wasn't as strong as it was on tuesday. She was riding me very hard and my penis got a little soft and we had to change condoms. Nevertheless, with a little help from her, it was back up again and I was able to finish the job.

Now I am 100% sure that porn/masturbation was the cause of my erectile dysfunction. I am also sure that this problem is reversible, as long as you are able to let go of the performance anxiety that comes with the ED.

I'm still 18 days porn free and will continue this way for hopefully many many many more weeks. I consider myself pretty good at controlling the urges of watching porn.

My next goals:

1) Complete lifestyle change
2) Reduce masturbation dramatically (no more than twice a week)
3) Stop having sex with prostitutes (this one is going to be difficult)
4) Get a girlfriend (I would NEVER cheat her with a prostitute)

~ The Underdog

You haven't really lost...

You've only just begun. Reading your story I'm reminded that I looked at porn yesterday for the first time in three months. It's because I'm regularly orgasming with my new girlfriend.

I have fantasized about visiting prostitutes in the past after a period of time visiting strip clubs. I even devised a plan to go find a brothel but didn't execute it and instead just stayed alone and single with porn for two years. I'm glad I didn't go to the prostitutes because I have moral/ethical/legal concerns about doing it. I understand it can be risky and I'm not into taking those kinds of risks.

I respect all your insights on quitting porn and masturbation. Good luck in your continued experiments.

Pleasure Does Not Equal Happiness

I have to do this again.

I've been binging a lot lately. A lot.

Somehow I'm lacking the determination to quit so I'm going to try this challenge again. I will cultivate sexual energy for a period of 100 days.

Accountability works and I hope this forum can help me stay on track.

This time I want to quit prostitutes, change my lifestyle, and get a girlfriend.

My main motivation to do all this is: HAPPINESS.

That means that everytime I feel an urge and want to act I will ask myself:

Will this bring me happiness?

And the answer will always be NO.

I will avoid fantasizing, browsing pictures, checking out Facebook profiles, visiting forums, and anything that could activate the porn circuitry in my brain.

If the urge is too strong then I will exercise or take a cold shower.

I am going to stay AWARE of my thoughts during the whole day, that way I can stop the erotic thoughts as soon as they arise.

Day 0 starting NOW.

~ The Underdog

Good luck

Keep us posted. It seems that to go from "binge to balance" often requires a period of "time-out." 100 days sounds very ambitious. See how you feel after 15 days.

*big hug*