My Ultimate Porn Recovery Program

Submitted by back2life on
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This program is very useful for people like me who started with porn early 9-12 y. old and didn't have sex until 17-20. People who didn't form the proper way of seeing the world and sex, who do not have established normal habbits. it's not the same to start with porn when you are 9 and when you're 30...the difference is so huge.

Your aim is to rewire your brain in all possible ways with all possible techniques. Your aim is to realize how big is the porn neural network in your brain, be conscious of it, not activate it and let it die sooner or later. Neural networks that are inactive die with time. This is what you need. Old networks to die and fill up the space with new clear networks.

First and most important is to stop/quit everything that can ring a bell or bring association to you. Movies, pictures, stories, sex webcam sites where 30 people chat with one girl willing to eventually go to private show for money, sex chat with a stranger. Also even if you have home made porn movies, you need to throw them/delete them, it activates the same porn network, no matter that you're the actor.

You need to make some physical exercises, this is very useful. I go swimming 3 times a week. After exercise you feel great and the sexual urges are reduced, you are tired and you feel fine. Your brain also produces a lot of BDNF protein which will eventually help you build new neural networks if you do some new activity after that or some mind exercises, this will move attention away from the porn neural networks. It's proven that six months of swimming or fitness 3 times a week equals six months of Prozac(antidepressant) usage but it's way better for your brain. So basically regular exercise boosts your brain power and reduces the power of the porn networks in your brain, also reduces anxiety/adhd.

You need to go out and communicate a lot with people, it's very useful for your brain to be busy doing this and updating social skills. Also when you communicate with people many invisible process happen in your brain, that help you, even if you don't feel pleasure and you don't have the need to communicate or you feel asocial, you have to force yourself and become social and speak with people, update your social skills to the maximum.

If you have a girlfriend, this will be a huge plus, because you need to do real sex to adapt your brain to it as fast as possible. Real sex done properly rewires the brain very fast. Now here's a little note, if you have real sex and think of porn it won't work, this is absolutely forbidden, Don't imagine porn scenes while having sex, do not activate the fetishes formed by porn, do not include anything that you think is formed by porn while doing real sex, because this will again activate in a way the porn neural network. You need to have sex with a special mind set, with a mind set, where you want to get excited by the body of the women , with a mind set that you won't have a single thought about porn or something connected with porn. You also don't have think about other women in real life while doing sex with your girl. Just be focused on the feeling and try to enjoy it , don't think about anything. Also do not do things with your that may bring back your desire for porn, like some special type of blowjobs etc. Your aim is to have clear sex, to have clear mind while having sex, so you can get new sensations, you can get new experiences that your brain will adapt to, new ways of your brain thinking about sex, so it can later remember it and want this instead of the porn. If you teach your brain to want real sex it won't be much time until the porn neural network doesn't activate when you feel excited. You 'll want the real thing.

Start avoiding all thoughts that you think are provoked by porn. Porn fantasy for a girl on the street. Wanting to have sex with every single beautiful women that you see on the street. At first try to block all sexual needs, because they are hard wired with the porn network. You need to stop all activites that can turn the network. For me? I wanted many women, I had this desire, to sleep with 30 women for 2 months. I just needed variety, I needed more, I needed different women. So I started blocking this need, started to consciously rewire my brain, started to change my philosophy for women sex and what I want. Start to believe that this is illusion caused by porn. I started to focus on the idea that I want only one woman, that the more women I want to more I activate the porn network. Variety is bad for you because the porn gives your variety, you are used to wanting more and more, you want variety, at least I did and it was obsessive. I had sexual thoughts about at least 20 women during my daily life. If you have this, throw it out of your brain.

Masturbation - it's very important what you think during masturbation and very important how often you do it. For start, it goods to reduce it to 3 times a week. When you masturbate you have to think be careful not to activate the porn network, masturbating when thinking about other people having sex will activate the network. Don't imagine real girls doing things to you that you saw on porn. Also do not imagine you are doing something with a girl they way you see it on porn. Do not imagine porn pictures or porn scenes. It's very important what is the mental material that you masturbate on. Because if you do it with a porn matieral this is going to reinforce what you want to delete, you won't be able to rewrite the brain properly and it will be hard to remove the symptoms of quitting porn. What you can focus on is you and a girl, and don't focus on her vagina or on some detail, don't imagine having anal sex or cumming in her mouth . Just think about the girl, how sexy she is, her appearance, her smile and that you have sex with her and you feel pleasure, think of her as a human that you love, that you respect, the girls must be for the real life, not from internet/movies/magazines etc. This is a safe masturbation since the chance to activate the porn network with it is very low. Do not masturbate two times a day. Also if you can have regular sex with a girl, do not masturabte! Sex is what you need! Even you have to wait 1 week for the sex, wait it, do not masturbate.

In general try to observe your brain, try to realize what mental activities are provoked by your porn network. Observe closely and try to consciously change it, stop this activities. Stop every single habit or way of thinking that you have that may be connected with porn(wanting many women(variety), fetishes, thinking a lot about sex when talking to real women, having sex as main aim when talking with women, focusing on some detail of a real woman like legs or cleavage and imagining you have sex with her etc.) Reduce this network and good things and pleasures will come naturally with time , you will rediscover how life is supposed to be.

I hope I've helped.

Brilliant post!

Thanks a lot, this post is amazing!

I will do everything you say and will report back.

I had similar insights during my 100 day challenge. I'm still struggling with porn but not as much as I used to.

I have one question:

What's your opinion of using prostitutes for rewiring the brain to real sex? I've been single for a long time and there's one prostitute that I know who is very kind and experienced. I'm thinking abstaining from masturbation and having sex with her might be a good idea. What do you think?


[quote=Marnia]Could you tell us how long you employed these ideas and where you are now in the recovery process?

I have been fully following the program for 2 months and I'm really getting as good as new, I never felt better, I can feel how the old networks are just getting weaker and weaker, just not activating. I'm building new healthy networks that are being in charge, I'm just returning to a healthy sexual life. My social life also improved drastically. Not to speak for my brain, I mean before apparently much of the functions were somehow dulled during the day, were not at 100%, there was a mist in my mind, I can explain this with the porn neural network, since it's influence was reduced, I got very creative, very sharp minded, could absorb much more information, I can read a whole book for 4-5 hours and not get tired, be able to focus and very well filter and remember the needed information in the book, before that was absolutely impossible for me. Many functions of my brain recovered fully now. I guess this thing with the brain functions is not valid for everyone but for me, it definitely is. I guess if I started with porn when I was 23, it wouldn't be as bad as it is now. So in my case it seems that this network that was built early in my life has dominated in my brain and somehow constantly suppressing other brain functions ( social, creative, analytical, focus and many others).
For me those 2 months seem to be good and effective but I haven't watch pornographic material for 2 years, however I was still thinking the wrong way, the way that was formed by the porn network. For someone who just quit porn I guess it's gonna take much longer to rewire, something like 7-8 months may be or more... I don't have a clue.


I have one question:

What's your opinion of using prostitutes for rewiring the brain to real sex? I've been single for a long time and there's one prostitute that I know who is very kind and experienced. I'm thinking abstaining from masturbation and having sex with her might be a good idea. What do you think?[/quote]

Well, prostitute is better than masturbation for sure, after all you get to have real human next to you, however there are few negative factors. Prostitutes in my experience, won't allow you to do tender, romantic things, gentle kissing, kissing all over the body. You'll just lack this special atmosphere that also helps a lot. You will just put your instrument in her and finish without much intimacy. Your brain needs intimacy, that's a very important factor. You need cuddling, you need foreplay, you need to get excited slowly with someone you know good, with someone you are comfortable with.
However, it's still better to do it with a prostitute since real human is a real human, at least your brain will get used to sex with a real woman, no matter the quality of the sex, just have it regular, no kinky stuff that can remind you of porn. And real sex is real sex, no matter it's a prostitute, your brain will still release different chemicals compared to jerking on porn or masturbating. Real sex is irreplaceable.

Thanks for your further thoughts.

It's so exciting to hear about the improvements you guys experience. It's really like watching frogs turn into princes. Wink

It's also good to hear the different ways people go about the transition. For some, avoiding masturbation for a time seems to speed the reboot process. You, however seem to think that masturbating three times a week didn't slow your recovery. Any further thoughts on that? Did you just pick the number? Wink Did you try that for a while? Do you /did you have a girlfriend (sex partner) during some part of your recovery?

Anyone else have thoughts on this? I'm thinking of Cyberbob's post, suggesting that masturbation may extend the recovery time for some. I want to include any approach with a consensus in the porn wiki...hence my desire to discuss this some more. The goal is balance, so if people can attain balance different ways, it's good to share those ways.

As Gary said, addicts tend to be "all or nothing" types, so if they *can* learn to stick to a healthy middle ground, it's good practice for life. But if they can't at first, they may do better with the temporary abstinence route.

PS dopamine levels

We don't know the answer to your question. Supplements may increase dopamine, but they wouldn't necessarily increase the depleted dopamine receptors (assuming we're right about what's going on). So it may be that time is the only true doctor when dopamine receptors drop.


Honestly, before giving any further opinions I would like to read your brilliant book so I can load up with info and new ideas, may be I'll explain many things for myself, I'll be more useful to this forum after that. May be I'll change the way I currently look at things.

I'm not sure about abstinence from sex as a brain rebooter. I'll have to think about it, it's advantages and disadvantages. Real sex for me absolutely recharges and boosts my brain, it helps me a lot, it feels like the healthiest thing on Earth, I can feel how it literally heals my brain. It gives me lots benefits, many of them I can't explain with scientific details but I can feel many things after a healthy real sex, it doesn't harm me in anyway I'm sure of that. And again it depends, if it's not done with the correct mindset it will bring more harm than good.

For me real sex, speeds up the recovery a lot, I mean A LOT, if I don't have sex, everything happens really slow, proper sex supercharges me. When you don't have any sexual activity at all(real sex or masturbation), your brain just doesn't have new material to rewire itself, it's just pending, yes, a week or two of abstinence can be really useful in a way, for calming you down and normalizing chemical levels so you can be ready for the real thing but you need to get this new material (real sex experience) so you can change your networks, otherwise the porn network will dissolve really really really slow, this is my opinion however, I still have a lot of research to make regarding this, this opinion may change.

Regarding masturbation- for me, it feels like it gives me 20-30% of the benefits that real sex gives me. It eases off tension, relaxes me and I can think clearly. That's why it isn't a bad think for me if done properly with the correct mindset, again if done with wrong mindset it will be more harm than good, so we really have to focus on what we think about while masturbating since this reflects directly on our brain wiring.

[quote=Marnia]Anyone else have thoughts on this? I'm thinking of Cyberbob's post, suggesting that masturbation may extend the recovery time for some. [/quote]
Yes it may, if done with the wrong mindset, it will not only extend it but make things worse. If done with the proper mindset it will only bring benefits. The problem is that when you've masturbated 10 years on porn, your brain consciously, subconsciously on whatever levels is used to associate masturbation with porn, so when most men masturbate this turns the porn neural networks on and this is really big downer. That's why with the proper mindset you just won't turn on the this porn network, most men do not consciously think about what they think about when masturbating, they are still on porn regime when masturbating, their fantasies even with real girls are such that turn on the porn network. You have to create a new habit for masturbation, a new thought habit, a new habit for your sexual fantasy, a habit that won't touch old networks so they can dissolve with time. When you masturbate, if you observe carefully you can say when the porn feeling , this special emotion is in your head or when something brand new is experienced. When you focus on the warm feeling when you saw a real girl and how she smiled, her eyes and voice, when you masturbate on this, thinking that you want to be one with her, it's nothing like the feeling when you masturbate on other fantasies (porn related in someway). It gives your brain absolutely different sensations and wiring.

Three times a week is the best way for me, since it's really not to much for a period of 7 days considering I'm very very sexual. For someone who is not so sexual, may be 1 or 2 times a week will be good as well. You can also combine masturbation with sex somehow, if you don't have sex regularly. If you have sex regularly , masturbation is waste of time and it can do more harm because you just won't be at 100% when you're with the girl and the sex won't be so fulfilling, satisfying, effective.

I have a girlfriend since one year, and it was a Huge(with a capital H) aid towards recovery, without a girl it's thousand times harder. It's also a huge psychological support if she listens and understands your problem.

Abyssus abyssum invocat !

Big help

I have to say this post is amazing! It's like it was written for me. I'm going to bookmark it and read it every day. Focusing on the idea that I'm a man of only one woman and that thinking of having a lot of women is reinforcing the porn network is very interesting.

Thank you very much!

We are in complete agreement about one thing:

intercourse is very beneficial and nourishing. As you will see if you read my book, my goal is to preserve the long-term attraction between partners so that habituation (getting tired of a partner and wanting a new one) doesn't build up. At your age, it may seem impossible that this will happen. Smile But often one partner or the other eventually gets uncomfortable with being used as medicine for the other. That's when it becomes helpful to learn about the aspects of sex that bond couples over the long-haul. Otherwise, when the honeymoon neurochemical rush wears off (two years at the latest), the romance often sours. This is why my book is called Cupid's Poisoned Arrow.

Here's another radical idea: you aren't as sexual a person as you think. It's quite possible that your libido is inflamed from too frequent orgasm, and that if you cut back (and still maintained daily affection on the nights you don't have intercourse), you would find you needed less actual orgasm.

I think your logic about masturbation is impressive, but your advice for those without girlfriends may not work. As you point out, having a mate is a HUGE factor in feelings of well-being. Those with mates find it easier to reach a middleground, like orgasm three times a week. But without a mate, I think even you would find it very tough...unless you had been avoiding extreme stimuli, like Internet porn, for a very long time.

Our brains find intimacy (and all social interaction) very soothing. This makes sense. Tribes were critical to our survival. And pair-bonds improve the chances of our offspring's survival. Without nourishing social connections, it's very easy to try to substitute the good feelings of extreme stimuli, and very difficult to avoid escalation. This is what makes Internet porn so treacherous, especially for introverts.

I certainly don't have all the answers when it comes to masturbation, but from what I've seen here, men seem to benefit from a hiatus from masturbation when they begin recovery...for all the reasons you name. Porn and porn-fantasy cues are still very tightly wired to the act of orgasm (especially solo orgasm). Moreover, the brain is often a bit numb, but also craving stimulation (and thus orgasm). This makes the temptation to pull up a porn flashback almost irresistible. An extended "time out" is very useful in allowing the brain to return to normal sensitivity. At that point a man may be able to find a (porn-less) masturbation schedule that doesn't escalate.

In any event, I agree that fantasizing about real women, warm feelings, and normal sexual activities is a big improvement over wiring one's brain to extreme scenarios.

This is a very significant discussion and I hope others will share their experiences. It's important to give visitors the best possible advice (even though improvements and refinements will no doubt continue). There's much to learn, and it's critical stuff for today's porn users.

This thread is amazing

I agree that for a single man periods of abstinence combined with periods of gentle and infrequent masturbation are best for recovering and rewiring the brain.

They also help a lot with porn induced impotence.

Thanks for chiming in

It may be that there isn't a "one size fits all" recipe, but I want to make sure visitors get the best information we've collectively uncovered, so let's kick this around a bit more.

orgasm therapy

Damn, I wrote a long post and lost it. So here's the short version from memory:

I read about orgasm therapy in academic books for sexual therapists. According to theory, you change from old, problematic fantasy to new, normative fantasy regime like this. Use old fantasies to get going, then as much as possible use new/normative ones, especially right before and during orgasm to build that up as sexual trigger. It helped me for a while but it's too hard to keep doing, you keep activating old fantasies and it's so easy to think about what you most like to think about when you most like to think about it. Maybe if your problem is *just* performance anxiety but not so good for "diluting" fetishes/compulsions. One aspect that was a good, helpful point when I read about it was to fantasize being in the situation of having problems/performance anxiety and have that as the mental image right before and during masturbation/therapy orgasm.

Helped a bit for a while, then imperceptibly slipped back into old fantasies.

Also read a book called Overexposed or something about sex offender therapy, where the program was to use normative fantasy all the way through to orgasm, then problematic fantasy directly after to associate it with irritation and boredom.

Could prison rape/sailors on shore leave support the idea that abstinence leads to zeroing normal sexual preferences and increased libido?

To clarify

I watched Big Stan with Rob Schneider recently. It got me thinking. Morality aside, how can straight-identified men rape other men in prison? Even if the point of the exercise is violence and subjugation, what makes that sexual violence possible in terms of libido? I suppose the same question goes for any kind of rape, but I'm thinking in terms of resetting/changing an established sexual pattern, and I guess hetero/homosexuality are usually considered the biggest subdivisions of sexualities.

My thought is that

sexual orientation is far more fluid than we've been led to believe...and that sometimes people are so caught up in the excitement of doing something shocking that sexual orientation simply loses its significance. Same thing happens to some straight porn viewers. In the search for that next kinky thing, they end up hooked on all kinds of things that are not consistent with their underlying orientation. (And I've heard gay guys sometimes develop lesbian porn fetishes. Smile )

That high-dopamine altered state can make people do crazy stuff. I thought this guy captured the essence of the feeling in this article about bathroom sex:

...the transgression and fear of being caught add an extra thrill to the experience ... and no one cares about your "orientation" in a lavatory -- in there, it's all business.

GABA supplement

After a little research I think I found useful information.

Sex addiction is not primarily about sex or orgasm but about chasing a high. Fantasizing about, or acting out sex, releases various neurotransmitters (brain chemicals) e.g. Dopamine, Endorphin, gamma-Aminobutaric acid (GABA), and Glutamate.

GABA is the chief inhibitory neurotransmitter in the mammalian/human central nervous system and has the important role (amongst other roles) of controlling neuronal excitability throughout our nervous system.

Addiction can be seen as a stress-induced defect acting on a genetic vulnerability. On (sexual, or stress-induced) cue, the reward-learning system, located in the midbrain, reacts to a release of above normal levels of dopamine while the downregulating chief- inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA is dysfunctional.

Continued overstimulation of the reward-learning (dopamine) system interrupts communication with the choice-memory (glutamate) system in the prefrontal cortex, leading to a loss of control, persistent cravings, and subsequently compulsive restoring of homeostasis with more sexual acting out despite the awareness of negative consequences.

It makes perfect sense to me since GABA helps for alcohol, cocaine and other types of drugs addiction which mainly use dopamine.
Taking GABA should help the brain to regain dopamine regulation and should help with the sexual cravings after normal sexual stimulation. The dopamine receptors will be calmed down instead of going crazy.

Also, useful links on gamma vinyl-GABA.


Anyone who experiments should share his findings here if possible. Playing around with the dopamine system is risky. For example, when addicts were given drugs to suppress addiction, some suffered severe depression. Dopamine does a lot to affect mood, and many treatments for psychiatric disorders alter dopamine levels...sometimes with unpredictable results.

The goal is to return to balance, and although humans tend to believe that they can always use a pill to restore balance, it's not that simple. In some cases the side effects are worse than the discomfort of waiting for the brain to return to balance normally (after changing habits).

I don't want to discourage anyone...I'm just saying....

Great post. So you would go

Great post.
So you would go from 'fucking yourself' to 'having someone to love and to fuck'.
I own a fleshlight. In terms of sensation, it is A+ awesome.
- It can't cuddle with you after sex.
- It can't replace the need for porn inside your head; because "men are visual animals".

I myself get what people mean when they say "stop wanking and get a girlfriend". It means growing up, maturing, moving forward, going deeper, being "fulfilled" by a relationship as opposed to being "satisfied" from masturbation. And... I myself find it difficult to invest time and energy in social investments. Even if it is the right thing to do, because I think people like me lack:
1. Self-confidence
2. Experience
3. Desire to reach out
They don't know how to get what they lack, or perhaps even,
they don't know how to get others to permit them to get what they lack
(displaying confidence, warmth, and tact in social situations).
Or else, they want to reach out (i.e. get a girlfriend), but their desire is lukewarm and cautious and easily disrupted by fear and aversion, or by habit (they go back to the porn habit as a safe refuge); all these defences take away energy that they could have spent on finding ways to reach out and get a girlfriend.

Sorry for the long post. Just needed to say those things.

Hey retro

Your situation is "par for the course" among heavy porn users, who had/have no idea that their social handicaps are often a function of the state of their numbed brains due to too many stimulating neurochemicals flying around in response to today's hyperstimulating videos. Our whole culture has been blind about this, so there's no way you would have known it.

Take a look at "Was the Cowardly Lion Just Masturbating Too Much? There may be a correlation between porn and social anxiety"

This is bad news and good news. The bad news is obvious: it will take time to restore your brain to normal sensitivity, and the withdrawal can be a bitch. The good news is that you are likely to notice a rather rapid improvement in your social potential within a very short time of leaving porn behind.

Feel free to start a blog if you want to collect your thoughts in one place. And be optimistic.

*big hug*