My porn addiction, its symptoms and my recovery

Submitted by darksim on
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Hi there. I'm a porn addict. I've been experiencing ED recently and haven't felt aroused when viewing porn at all. This has bothered me, but not so much the fact that I wasn't excited by the images but rather the fact that I don't seem to get erections. To be quite honest, I don't enjoy porn anyway and it's more of an escape to dull the pain of my loneliness (I'll go into my story for the rest of this forum another time, although I have already related some to Marnia).

One other thing I was curious about regarding symptoms of ED is the following: I don't know if this is related or not, but since the last time I actually properly masturbated and orgasmed (about a week ago) to a porn video, I don't feel as if I've really replenished the depleted sperm reserves. It might not actually be the case and might just be all part of this current ED. However, this is the only way I know how to describe it. It feels almost like the day after I've masturbated (or maybe the day after I've masturbated 2 days in a row) and I feel that there's barely any semen in there to ejaculate and so I have more difficulty having an orgasm. My penis tends to feel more flacid and my testicles don't feel as full. This is currently what it feels like a week after having orgasmed. I don't feel like I have built up a supply of sperm waiting (or needing) to be released.

I did manage to masturbate to orgasm yesterday (I actually managed to get an erection) and although I do want to abstain from porn, I think it was more testing the waters to see if I could still function properly. I did just about manage to maintain an erection and ejaculate, but it didn't feel as thick as it should even after a week of no actually having orgasmed. The consistency of the semen and the orgasmic feeling as it ejected from my penis felt more like it would when I'm feeling depleted and low on sperm after having masturbated too much.

Is this normal? Is this what it feels like when people have low libido and are experiencing ED when masturbating? It shouldn't feel like this a week later and in the past it never has before. I can usually feel replenished enough after a couple of days or so to be able to masturbate effectively again, but not this time. Admittedly I have been viewing a lot of porn every day for several hours since the last time I orgasmed and have probably become over saturated with these erotic images. However, I don't know if it is to do with that causing my feeling of lack of sperm or if it's all part of the ED problem.

Anyone care to comment?

BTW there was a porn forum I was visiting regularly. I asked them to ban me from it for a while so I wouldn't be able to access it and fortunately they did oblige.

Hi,

Glad you made it over here. You may want to take a look at the porn wiki articles here: http://www.reuniting.info/wiki#porn. The "enemy" is dopamine dysregulation. And porn viewing itself (because it is so stimulating in terms of the dopamine released in your brain) can keep your brain out of balance...quite apart from number of orgasms.

Your brain needs time to return to balance...and not just a few days. Smile If you want to find out what balance feels like, stop "testing" your erections with porn and give yourself a month or two with no porn or masturbation. *gulp*

After your post on PT, a guy posted this:

This article has helped me greatly. With regards to my own situation - the correlation between porn and ED couldn't be clearer - ED hit me from out of nowhere and devastated my psyche. However, I'm glad to say that after cutting out porn and masturbation completely for the past month, everything is returning to normal and I've seriously never felt better.

Start a blog if you like!

Thanks for your reply and

Thanks for your reply and the link.

I just wanted to share with others what I had previously shared before on PT and also add a few comments.

I've always managed to be able to masturbate to orgasm and to maintain some level of an erection. However, in the last couple of weeks or so, I seem to have lost my ability to maintain one completely. I often don't get an erection at all when watching porn and the images just pass by in front of me as if nothing is going on. My mind feels numb and sometimes the porn even acts as a kind of anaesthetic that lulls me to sleep or at least makes me incapable of thinking. It also seems to drain my energy and, for want of a better phrase, my life force. It's almost as if all the energy and life has been sucked out of me by a vampire.

This really came to a head last week when I ventured into the the area of live sex chat shows. I initially tended to just chat to the girls first rather than asking them to induldge in any sexual behaviour. I wanted to get to know them as people first and just have normal conversations with them, although there was always this slight sexual element. With this live sex chat, you have this option to have a private, one-on-one session with them in which they will indulge your deepest fantasies and will perform for you. Anyway, I decided that I would finally try one of those out with a girl on there that I liked and found very sweet, bubbly and personable in comparison to some of the other girls on there who seemed totally dead and lifeless. I should add that although she might be classed as a porn star, was really just a girl who was doing this for a job to earn a living. She didn't seem like a fully fledged porn star like you might find on these videos, but much more amateur. Had I known her in real life in a different context, would've quite liked to have been friends with her. So I went into this private live sex chat with her and told her my name and asked her to use it often while performing and make out as if she was actually having sex with me as if to make it more personalised.

This would've been the "closest" I had ever gotten to having any kind of sexual activity with another woman. However, I just couldn't get an erection and even when I occasionally did, I had trouble maintaining it and even coming to orgasm at all. I have to say that her performance was less hardcore than some of these porn videos I've downloaded before. She was relatively tame by comparison (although she was completely naked) and the experience was more about just interacting with another girl while masturbating (or trying to). I tried to get her to act like a porn star, but she acted more like a girl you might know (perhaps one's girlfriend) trying to act like a porn star but needing to be told to make orgasmic noises etc. Maybe I have become too conditioned to hearing and getting off with these fake orgasmic sounds and really hardcore stuff. So now when I engaged with a girl in chat who doesn't naturally do that sort of stuff, I couldn't seem to get an erection because I'm used to the more extreme material.

I thought the experience would be extremely exciting and would make me even more aroused, especially since, unlike any other standard porn video, this one is more personal and the girl was doing it just for me (and giving the illusion that she was being intimate with me). However, it just didn't work. I don't know how it would've been if it had been more hardcore, but this was a more "real" experience for me (although of course, completely fake) but even here I couldn't maintain an erection and felt completely inadequate. What is more is that, rather than it being exciting to hear my name from her lips, it somehow felt (and still feels) somewhat sickening. Her voice and that image of her masturbating in front of me has been burned into my brain, and not in a positive way. I feel that something like that (especially the use of my name during a sexual act) should've been reserved for someone special and not some random anonymous girl on the internet. I feel somewhat disgusted and wish I could get her voice out of my head. I hope it will fade in time. It almost feels better to masturbate to normal porn that to something like that, because normal porn is less personalised and you can distance yourself at least. I suppose I should be thankful that I didn't lose my virginity with someone random. However, although physically my virginity may be intact, it feels that emotionally, mentally and spiritually, I gave it up to that random girl on chat if that makes any sense at all.

I did write some of the above last week and I know you've mentioned how dopamine is the enemy. I do feel I have become totally desensitised to porn and nothing seems to excite me anymore. I still have this strange compulsion in my mind to want to see more porn even though I know that it won't satisfy yet I realise that is probably one of the withdrawal symptoms. I don't want to be addicted, and I would much rather have a completely non-sexual and meaningful date and conversation with a real life girl than watch porn any day.

There have been times when

There have been times when I've often felt preoccupied during masturbation and started to feel sad or depressed and can't continue and this has affected my ability to maintain an erection or even orgasm. Sometimes, even in the midst of the porn and masturbation I have begun to think of the futility of it all, my jobless situation and how sad and pathetic everything seems. I am sure depression greatly affects libido.

There was this one porn star who also reminded me of a girl I really liked, whom I will call "Elle". The porn star looked physically quite similar, but of course was sexually far more open compared to Elle (Elle was quite shy and is quite wholesome, virtuous and innocent). This porn star aroused me no end because she was extremely beautiful, made lots of sexy orgasmic noises, was very sensual and most importantly of all, because she looked like Elle. I was masturbating to this porn star because, in a way, it brought me closer to Elle (or so I thought) but in the end it actually had a detrimental effect. After a while I could not see Elle as anything other than a porn star, and having effectively masturbated to her (or a variant of her image) in that porn star, not only did it objectify her but also made me have a certain intense emotional and sexual connection to her (without her knowledge) that I wouldn't have otherwise had. I almost felt that my emotions were now so intertwined with Elle that I wanted her desperately and perhaps this even began to show through. It made things far more intense with Elle in real life and made me hang on her every word and action. Because I had been "sexual" with her (or the porn star version of her) in my fantasy life, I wanted her to return that affection in real life, and when she didn't, I felt even more rejected. Because of the intensity, I could never really be myself around her and that made her uncomfortable. Because she sensed I was also pursuing her, she tended to freak out and literally flee.

Now it should be said that Elle, being a shy type, is also admittedly difficult to engage, and others have said that too, so I don't think it was simply a problem I had with her, although my sexual desire of her did compound that.

One effect of all of this is that I also began feeling quite sad whenever I was masturbating to the porn star because it reminded me of Elle (who had rejected me), and I had to quit because I couldn't maintain an erection or have an orgasm while looking at this porn star.

After Elle had rejected me and fled, our friendship seemed over and we were barely speaking. I tried to disengage my feelings from Elle for a long time after (most of this year) and had even ditched the porn involving the lookalike porn star. I even tried to convince myself that I didn't like her even as a person. In retrospect, I sometimes even wondered whether I liked the porn star because I liked Elle, or did I like Elle more because I liked the porn star? I think it could've been a bit of both and ended up as a vicious circle.

However, we've had more interactions recently and I've realised that I still do like Elle deep down as a person and a friend, and still feel a strong attraction to her, even though I've been attracted to other girls since her. I don't know why I still have these lingering feelings even though there have been others whom I have truly liked this year. It's almost as if I can never quite shake that feeling I had for her or the memory of that feeling. Did I actually love Elle or was it only pure lust? It's not that she ever returned that love, so I wonder if I could really have been in love or whether it was infatuation. I wonder if it's also because there was such a strong (sexual?) assocation with her because of that porn star and how it was tied into my orgasms (and even using a Fleshlight at the same time which produced the most intense orgasms I had ever experienced).

I recently began masturbating to that same porn star again (just before getting rid of the porn on my computer a few days ago) and although it was arousing, I didn't find it all that satisfying. It also still reminds me of Elle, which makes me sad again and that just depresses me further and hinders any sexual performance during masturbation.

Anyway, I just wanted to share this as part of the dangers of viewing porn and the effect it can have on friendships, particularly if the porn star in question looks just like your friend.

*sigh*

My thought is to lay off the masturbation about her if you want to cultivate her friendship/favorable response...unless you only use your imagination and picture loving, realistic encounters. Humans are more intuitive than they sometimes give themselves credit for, and she may be picking up on some of the energy that has been going on there and feeling uncomfortable. Do smile though, and make eye contact.

And don't fret about the virginity. There's another forum member who was in your exact situation. A year or so later he is a very different person...and recently lost that virginity! First step was to get off the porn.

I know you feel it has very little influence on you. My husband wasn't a porn user (too old for Internet porn), but he was always a frequent masturbator....and has been amazed that his chronic depression is gone since he stopped when we got together a decade ago. There seems to be a subtle neurochemical cycle after orgasm and it can create an emotional cloud without your realizing it. http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/cupids-poisoned-arrow/200908/the-pas...

If you need motivation, have a look at this document, which is based on reports on this forum: http://www.reuniting.info/download/pdf/0.BENEFITS.pdf

Well it wasn't specifically

Well it wasn't specifically masturbation about her, as I never actually imagined my friend in mind when looking at that porn star. But I wonder if it amounted to the same thing anyway, because the porn star looked so similar, so it might as well have been her.

And I just realised I shouldn't have called her "Elle" above, because I remembered later that I do really have a friend named Elle, and I might now confuse them now (well, I probably won't, but it's strange to see the wrong name used).

I'm not in a hurry to lose my virginity. I don't want to lose it for the sake of losing it, or with just anyone. I want to be in a relationship not for the sex, but for the companionship, intimacy and love that it brings.

That's interesting that your husband had chronic depression from frequent masturbation. I wonder if that is causing it with me too? I do frequently find it difficult to feel happy and joyful about life, and even thankful for what I have. Sometimes I feel depressed even when there is no reason to feel depressed (at that particular time, barring of course the lack of relationship and job). I wonder if I would still feel depressed even if I were in a relationship and had a good job?

However, wouldn't orgasm from sex also produce chronic depression? But sex, when between two people who love each other, should be an extremely happy and joyful event. Are you saying that this produces depression too? And if not, what's the difference between orgasming from masturbation and orgasming from sex?

Sex with a person

seems to produce a different neurochemical cocktail...especially if there is lots of selfless affection involved. The differences are poorly understood because they are only being researched by one psychologist, who is generally sneered at by the others. Smile

Here's one example of the differences that have been noticed, although we think prolactin can be a mixed blessing. http://www.reuniting.info/science/articles/prolactin_levels_higher_after... (That photo was already up there before you arrived by the way. Wink )

That said, some of us do notice a subtle hangover after orgasmic intercourse. That's why this site talks about the benefits of karezza. If you really want to understand everything we've been learning, get your library to order my book. Or poke around in the articles on this page: http://www.reuniting.info/PTblog

Believe it or not, this site did not begin as a porn recovery site. Smile

I'll definitely look into

I'll definitely look into your book and those other articles.

It may not have begun as a porn recovery site, but it's really good that it has that aspect. How many other sites cater to this sort of thing? I was frequenting a Fleshlight site recently (until I asked to be banned) and there people talked more about porn as a positive thing. What I valued there was the openness with which people could talk about their sexuality, but since coming here I've found that I can do the same, but that this place is far more healthy and offers healing rather than compounding the problem. Thank you for having this recovery aspect.

That said, I do still feel a pull towards masturbation and porn while in this recovery (or hopeful recovery) stage. I don't know if the porn is just because it affects my dopamine level. I seem to like it (or some of it) for the beautiful women and the sense of intimacy that I see. I don't like porn that is crude and where there is a lot of vulgar language. For some reason I'm attracted to lesbian porn, maybe because the women seem more sensuous and intimate with each other and it suggests more of a loving relationship than pure animal sex.

Porn images - will they remain?

I was wondering whether the porn images that have been burned into my brain (from watching and masturbating at the same time) will ever fade?

I know some people here say that they fade with time when you haven't viewed porn, but I can still remember non-porn images or memories from over 20 years ago quite vividly, especially if it is associated with an emotion. Since porn is associated with orgasm and other feelings of pleasure, isn't that going to reinforce the images even more? I can still remember some porn from several years ago which I haven't even viewed all this time.

Do these porn images ever truly fade, even if you fill your mind with other healthier things? I am very visually orientated I have to say, so I do tend to remember things clearly, even to the point of not being able to forget (which isn't always a good thing as it can actually hinder me).

Not sure anyone

knows the answer to that. Porn *is* different from other "drugs," in that they clear out of the system, while porn images hideout in the mind.

You're lucky to have such a good memory...most of the time. Smile Maybe as you fill your life with other things, your brain won't keep proposing old forms of stimulation. Hope so.

One thing I've found is that

One thing I've found is that if I'm on vacation with friends or family and am constantly surrounded by them (or even sharing a room) then I can go weeks without masturbating (or viewing porn - which I wouldn't have access to while away anyway). Certainly a week at least, without even really feeling the need for it. Also, if I have something important and fulfilling in my life like a job or some kind of purpose that I have to wake up to the next day, then again, I tend not to masturbate or view porn.

I think the porn is a symptom of feeling empty and not having anything in my life to give me purpose. Also, when I am around others and feel loved or involved in people's lives, the need diminishes too. However, it's impossible for me to be constantly around others, and I wouldn't want that either, as I need my own space at the end of the day or even after a few days just to recharge my batteries.

Exactly!!

I never masturbate when I'm on vacations with my friends.

This is why quitting porn has to go hand in hand with a big change in lifestyle since the most common triggers for watching porn are boredom, loneliness, and inactivity.

Regarding your question about porn images: they will not be completely erased from your brain, but they will be forgotten and will pop up much less frequently. They will have much less control over you as well.

I feel that if I had a

I feel that if I had a partner and a job, the need for porn would be far less. I know that when I've felt productive, had purpose and even in those rare times felt loved and accepted, I don't even want to remotely look at porn. It just simply cannot compare to relating to people in real life and relating on a deeper level, or doing something worthwhile with your life. I don't know if porn is stopping me from doing these things in the first place, but I know that it is a symptom of a lack of these things. I don't think it is stopping me in itself though (because I've never had a relationship even before I had ever started making porn a more regular part of my diet), but has probably contributed along the way.

The thing is that no-one can say when or even if I will ever have a relationship or how long it will be before I am employed again. In the meantime I don't want to have to look at porn at that just makes me more depressed ultimately, and probably affects my ability to socialise or relate to women. I can't be constantly on vacation either (or surrounded by others). The real test is being able to be alone and still not needing to view porn.

But it still would be better if I had someone in my life, and life wouldn't seem such a bore or so empty.

I can feel the pull tonight

I can feel the pull tonight to want to look at porn again, even though it hasn't been a particularly depressing day. I've been more productive in some things today and have even spent time with others during the evening, and yet somehow I feel the urge to want to look at porn. I know I would probably end up regretting it and won't even find it very satisfying. I probably won't even feel that aroused by it and I can even tell you now that I don't feel as if I'm so full up that I'm about to explode and need to get rid of excess semen. Yet somehow in my mind there's something drawing me in and wanting it.

Sometimes when I've felt a craving in the past, I haven't even always felt aroused. It has seemed more of a mental thing than a physical thing - like a compulsion that tells me I should do it even if I don't feel like doing it.

I know, these drives to act

I know, these drives to act on them seem mysterious at the time, but learning to deal with them, you seem to learn about why you are compelled to them. The best you can do is to just try and gain awareness of how you are feeling. It seems like this is how addicts start to get in touch with their feelings, by not acting on the compulsions that kept us from feeling them. It might be hard to see at the time while you are writhing in all of this emotional and mental pain, but remember that you are working towards something and this step is an important one.

And if you slip, thats not a big deal because there is a learning curve for everyone. Its really cool to get some space away from orgasm though. If you can manage at least 3 weeks, you'll see how powerful all of this is. Thats all the taste you'll need to keep wanting to keep trying. The clarity and lack of depression for me was extremely noticeable and you will likely feel like a different person. Like right now, being in the cycle again with all of the depression, I am missing the feeling of a length of time abstinent. Its worth it, but it can take a while to get the hang of it. It takes practice and persistence. I hope that you are able to experience this at some point because it gave me some hope that there is nothing fundamentally wrong with me. Just having that experience of clarity and lack of depression can be a powerful thing.

Courage is knowing what not to fear.
-Plato

Damn. I gave in and both

Damn. I gave in and both masturbated and viewed porn. It wasn't even satisfying, although it felt vaguely pleasurable at the time. I don't know why I sacrifice so much just for a few fleeting moments of pleasure. I seem to convince myself that it will feel good this time and will be worth it, but it never is. However, at the time (during the hunt or during masturbation and before orgasm) I can't seem to think straight and seem to act on auto pilot. It's as if I'm compelled to follow through as if I'm almost in a trance and can't break free, try as I might. I get hooked in and caught in the trap. While I'm tempted, it's like a pot is being stirred in my brain. Sometimes it even takes a while for feelings of remorse to kick in, as I can feel quite numb afterwards. Then later on, depression and guilt sets in when I come to terms with the implications of my actions. I wish I could remain stronger and have a greater willpower. Yet I feel so lonely at times, but of course that doesn't justify it. :(

Welcome to the world of surging dopamine

Same thing happened to President Clinton, I believe. Wink

Seriously, that autopilot feeling is not a question of "weak willpower." It is your starving brain (low dopamine receptors, probably) LIGHTING UP with a surge of dopamine when it gets to thinking of something that it associated with good feelings. It's trying to self-medicate, in effect.

The battle...if you choose to fight it...has to be fought the instant the idea comes into your head. In other words, don't "stir" the idea. Just flash up a big red X in your mind, right over the idea, preferably while imagining a loud buzzer or clanging sound. You may have to repeat this "X" exercise a few times if the thought keeps popping up. But don't argue with yourself, or weigh your options if you want to succeed. Your primitive limbic system holds all the cards when your brain is at less than full sensitivity.

Be gentle with yourself. And read some of the porn wiki articles. There's one on relapse here. Wink
Strategies for Dealing with a Porn Relapse
http://www.reuniting.info/node/3335

*big hug*

When the pot starts stirring

When the pot starts stirring stop for a moment and ask yourself, is it really worth it? Consider all the great benefits of abstinence, clarity, confidence, and so much more. That's what really pushes me to the next level. The feeling of balance far outweighs any surge of dopamine. It's kind of like looking at a candy bar. The thoughts of instant pleasure stir inside of you almost to mere compulsion. But in the end, when you think about it, they are just empty calories of refined sugar. They provide no nutritional value to your overall diet. Porn is very much like this. It provides no value to your overall life. You feel empty afterwards, guilty and ashamed for caving in. Is this really the life you want to live? If you continue with porn, will your life get any better? Chances are they will stay the same.

The real question you need to ask is how will my life change if I end my addiction to porn? How much better will my life be? Is what I am doing right now making me a better person? I can tell you from my experience that if you give up porn, you will start to feel balance in your life. The world will seem much more beautiful to you and you will begin to have a clarity and understanding of yourself and who you are. Now I can't guarantee that everything you desire will come true, but what I can tell you is this. If you quit porn you will have opened yourself to an endless amount of positive possibilities in your life. Who knows? Maybe that girl you've been dreaming of might seredipitiously appear before your eyes.

Dont feel hard on yourself.

Dont feel hard on yourself. Porn is hard to kick. You know a lot about getting through things in your life, youve worked hard at school, refining your skills, this is no different. There is a learning curve for emotional and addiction recovery. We learn as much when we slip as we do when everything is going well. Also, nothing is lost because every relapse is an opportunity to grow. Recovery is not a linear process and part of the process seems to involve some relapses for most of us. Another thing to keep in mind is that the average healthy male in our society releases about 3 times a week, so even if you slip up once every three days, you are doing better than most of the male population with this!

Courage is knowing what not to fear.
-Plato

Thanks for the advice and

Thanks for the advice and understanding, and suggestions. I don't know why, even after having released already last night, that now my body suddenly has this craving for more (both masturbation and porn), as if it wasn't already satisfied. Well, first of all, it wasn't satisfied because it wasn't even satisfactory. However, it feels almost as if I need to get it out of my system even though I know that not only would I regret it, but I would end up feeling extremely spent (from orgasming twice in a row), wasted and depressed even further. It's as if once isn't enough. However, before yesterday, I didn't feel like I needed to go on a porn/ masturbation spree. I wouldn't even be satisfied now, because I wouldn't even have the energy or probably the feeling of enough sperm to release as I don't think I've even sufficiently recovered (it's only been a few hours) - less than 10.

From that article, it sounds

From that article, it sounds exactly what is happening, especially with this language of "binging". There are times when I'll need to binge on masturbation (and porn) for several days in a row until I'm exhausted and simply cannot masturbate any further. That takes its toll on my social life by the weekend and I feel like crap and very anti social and withdrawn. There are other times when I only need to masturbate the one time that it occurs in the week, and then won't feel the need until about a week later. It does seem to be a regular, weekly craving though with some days in between having no craving feelings at all.

I do tend to masturbate (or feel the need for it) when things are going badly or I'm feeling down or stressed. When life is good (which is increasingly rare these days for me) or if I'm around others and feeling loved and accepted, or I have purpose to my life, the need and craving drops dramatically and I don't even feel remotely like masturbating or viewing porn. I think if I had someone in my life, the need for these things would be even less.

I'm reading your chapter

I'm reading your chapter now. It's very interesting and informative.

I don't think masturbation (for me) isn't just linked with the absence of social support. It can occur in two other contexts where there has been socialising in some way:

a) If I've been in the presence of others for an extended period of time and have experienced relative intimacy and then am alone again immediately afterwards, the contrast between the two can be so great that I can experience a come down of sorts that further highlights the loneliness (particularly if I don't have someone close to me in my life - eg a romantic partner);

b) I've also noticed that sometimes I can feel at my most depressed following a period of unsatisfying socialising. I tend to feel anxious anyway before going out somewhere, but if I return and feel that I was ignored, rejected, unaccepted or wasn't able to have any kind of meaningful exchange, then I will feel at my loneliest. I will try to seek (false) intimacy or solace in something else like masturbation and porn, which will only temporarily fill that void and dull those feelings of pain.

However, there are times when the depression level has dropped so low that I feel too down to even get aroused and masturbate. I tend to dwell on my problems and this can even serve to distract me from masturbating or even being able to concentrate on porn.

I was wondering if it's possible to force yourself to overcome withdrawal symptoms. For example, say that, after orgasming following a session of porn and masturbation, I am constantly surrounded by people (eg I went on vacation or something) for several weeks. Wouldn't that, by the very fact that I never masturbate around others, force me to overcome and override any sense of withdrawal, because I will be constantly occupied and focussed on something else? Also, supposing I'm always engaged in some other kind of activity at night when experiencing insomnia (eg something creative, work etc) which would effectively fill my mind until I drop off to sleep. Wouldn't that help overcome M/P?

I bet that if I were working and had an impending deadline that required me to work on a project day and night for several weeks. There would be no time for masturbation and porn, especially if I had to be alert and had to get it finished otherwise there would be some form of consequence. That would force me to put M/P aside, and I bet I would be able to without too much trouble. Unfortunately, as I am not working, I have too much time on my hands, especially at night because my mind doesn't feel sufficiently exercised throughout the day and I have this anguish over the fact that my life does not seem to be heading anywhere. This tends to lead to bouts of M/P.

Yes, all those things would help

All raise dopamine, curiously enough. Smile That said, by experimenting you might find that you do not entirely escape the effects of the hangover after orgasm using your suggestions, and that you prefer life without it. I say this because people who experiment sometimes make this very discovery.

The point is to find what works best for you...what best wards off depression...what makes you sparkle so you can impress prospective mates and employers, and so forth.

Depression or feelings of aimlessness and pointlessness seem to be pretty typical during the recovery period for some people. That's worth keeping in mind, because they may not be as permanent as they seem.

Keep us posted on your progress and observations. Everyone's cycle is slightly different.

I've finished the chapter

I've finished the chapter now and it's very helpful with lots of insight and findings. Have you ever thought of expanding that chapter into a book on the subject of porn and masturbation addiction (and recovery) alone? The reason I say this is that, for someone like me, I'm not sure that the rest of the book would feel all that relevant at the moment. The idea of achieving sexual harmony with a partner through karezza is slightly too removed from my situation. Even if it could apply in the future, it still represents the majority of the book, for which only the above-mentioned chapter is of real interest to me right now. The rest of the book could seem theoretical and at too advanced a stage for where I'm at. I don't read books on sex as they are too alien for me right now. As I'm not even pass the first hurdle (in that I've never even had a relationship before), I would just want more information in book form on how to kick the porn/masturbation habit. A book on that alone could be worth exploring - plus you'd get two books out of one source material, even if you only thought to write one in the first place.

Damn. Gave in again, and

Damn. Gave in again, and this time I actively went and sought porn and went into one of these paid for sex chat rooms. I think it's because I knew I still had a few days left on a membership to a site I had paid for last month and wanted to give it one last go before it ended. However, that is no excuse. It wasn't really very satisfying at all in the end and just like empty sex, although it wasn't sex at all, just virtual sex. Although the girl used my name, I didn't find it made me feel all that excited to be honest. Maybe it's because I know that she was just faking it as well as the orgasm sounds. She wasn't doing it because she had any feelings for me, and I don't have any feelings for her either.

I've never had sex before in real life, but I know that it would feel very empty if it had no meaning. This isn't what I would call intimate at all - it's just pure lust and completely unsatisfying.

I don't know why I gave in. Again my brain was on autopilot and it was as if I couldn't help myself, even though all the solutions have been pointed out to me before above. I suppose the one consolation is knowing that this membership expires shortly and I won't have access anyway, but I should've used a porn blocker before. I just know that I'm going to feel depressed afterwards and completely drained. Why can't I go a week without masturbating and viewing porn? Is that so hard to do?

And now I'm out £22 - money just wasted for only a few short, unsatisfying minutes.

No worries

The good news is that each week of willpower still helps lay down the new circuits in your brain that you want to strengthen. If you haven't read the Doidge excerpts from The Brain That Changes Itself, you might find them helpful: http://www.reuniting.info/node/1808

Try to be gentle with yourself. And if you have any days left on that subscription...still consider a porn blocker. Wink

Thats just the way it is at

Thats just the way it is at first with this. Porn is powerfully addictive. At first, as far as slipping, try your best not to slip into a binge. If you can prevent the major downward spiral, even a little, you are using your recovery muscles and making big progress. Actually, you are making progress just by telling us and opening up this part of your life. It helps to relieve the shame and brings your habit into the light of day for yourself.

Its going to take a minute for the brain to cycle down from a length of regular porn use. Remember that it is a process and it will naturally take some time to adjust to. The experience can be brutal for some people and it might feel like things are getting worse, but these are just "brain worms". Besides your body just getting used to having its meds and stress reliever, the mind is good at playing tricks.

Keep at it, its only a matter of time, stay patient.

Courage is knowing what not to fear.
-Plato

Don't flip from being

Don't flip from being addicted to porn to being addicted to no porn. It sounds counter intuitive, but the harder you are on yourself at each slip, the more hopeless it might make you. Ultimately you'll get there, but you have to go easy enough on yourself not to quit in the process. Learn what you can from the successes and failures. That might be the best £22 you've ever spent. Focus on the positive. We're with you.

never looked at it this way....

[quote]Don't flip from being addicted to porn to being addicted to no porn. It sounds counter intuitive, but the harder you are on yourself at each slip, the more hopeless it might make you. Ultimately you'll get there, but you have to go easy enough on yourself not to quit in the process. Learn what you can from the successes and failures. That might be the best £22 you've ever spent. Focus on the positive. We're with you.[/quote]

I like this.

I've been coping with the loss of my porn self-medication by replacing it with other addictive behavior. Watching too much tv, going from a totally healthy diet to tons of junk food, and spending way too much time on internet forums :)

I will try to be more aware of this as my journey continues...
J

I commented about addiction swapping

[quote=jman1601]

I've been coping with the loss of my porn self-medication by replacing it with other addictive behavior. Watching too much tv, going from a totally healthy diet to tons of junk food, and spending way too much time on internet forums :)[/quote]

I commented about addiction swapping in the wiki (http://www.reuniting.info/node/4773) under 11. Beware of substitutes. In my courtly companion experiment, one woman was quite strong on this point. I think the key is just to be mindful of it so you can control it. But don't deny yourself entirely because that is too extreme. We need to reduce addictiveness as well as just one addiction.

We're all on the internet too much. Sucks for socializing, but we need this open conversation time right now or we wouldn't be here. Is positive addiction ok? No, but immersion can be liberating for short periods of time. Try having days you use the forums less. I'm going to try that.

Funnily enough I don't

Funnily enough I don't really feel the desire to binge after yesterday. It's almost as if I had to get it out of my system. I'm still not too happy though that I spent the £22 on that live chat when I could've at least masturbated to free porn if anything. I would've still had an orgasm and it probably would've been more stimulating, and at least I wouldn't have wasted my money. Anyway, I just don't feel in the mood for anymore porn or masturbation, at least today. I am more eager to meet or try to meet new women instead and make some progress in this area. Hopefully this last session won't have too detrimental an effect on my socialising ability and self esteem.

And I agree that it seems tougher to go from porn to absolutely no porn. Perhaps the contrast is too great. However, I would like to be able to try to live through the withdrawal symptoms and not give in whenever I feel like it. That in itself would make me stronger.

It isn't the actual

It isn't the actual contrast. It is the contrast in your own mind. The addictiveness of insisting on no porn is the problem. Find inner harmony and your need for porn will wane.

It might be better you spent the money. You seem like you will learn more from the memory of the cost. Your rational brain understands the cost. Maybe it needed that kick to get going. No session is detrimental. It's the cumulative impact that can be, at least until we change.

nice thoughts. Its

nice thoughts. Its interesting that as we go through this tough time and the more we start doing things that really balance our moods, we start to get a taste for these moments and states. It is a powerful pull towards sanity. There are times now during the withdrawals that I "crave" balance, emotional stability, and confidence.

The desires for porn will wane as you go on. Its just tough for everyone at first.

Courage is knowing what not to fear.
-Plato

I'm on day 15 at the moment.

I'm on day 15 at the moment. There have been the odd slips of porn but no orgasm or masturbation, and certainly no binging. I certainly have more energy because I'm not spent, but I also am feeling an urge to masturbate to porn. However, I've found that the more social engagements I have, or the fact that I am in at least a part-time job means that I have less time to masturbate, otherwise I know I'll be hungover and won't be able to function properly. I've always found in the past that the nearer to a social engagement, the less likely I am to masturbate just before, unless I'm really desperate and feeling really addicted. Most of the time though, there will be at least a space of a few days.

When I've been on holiday with other friends (or family) then I never usually masturbate, and that can even be up to 2-3 weeks if I'm away that long. I feel that if I were in a relationship with someone, I would probably masturbate even less because I would know that I would be seeing that person and would have to be alert and at my best, and would almost feel that masturbating could ruin the relationship and my way of relating to her.

Anyway, day 15 is certainly something as it's been a long time since I've been this long without orgasming, but I have the feeling it might not last for much longer beyond tomorrow. I hope I can overcome that urge though.

Actually yes. I do get

Actually yes. I do get erections quite regularly - well certainly every night or when I wake up in the morning. When my brain isn't under constant stimulation it becomes resensitised and I can become aroused. When I first joined this forum, it was during a time when I was actually binging and looking at porn every single day, several times a day, because I was in such a low depressive state. I found that became sickening and didn't find any kind of porn stimulating at all. Of course, that doesn't mean I will now be aroused by any kind of porn whatever it is or any naked woman. It has always been this way with me. Some porn would never arouse me at all because it depends on what it is and if I feel connected to it somehow. It also has to be in the right context.

Well I gave in and

Well I gave in and masturbated to porn last night. I orgasmed fairly quickly. I didn't really enjoy it though. I think it even felt more pleasurable when I was earlier masturbating without any visual stimulation (or fantasising) and just for the sensation in itself. I found it quite boring actually, but felt that I needed a release. I don't really feel the need to binge though

I hope I can last much longer next time. I know that over the Christmas period while I'm away for several weeks there is unlikely to be any P/M at all (since I'll be constantly around others), which is a good thing.

I had to look up on here to

I had to look up on here to see when I last masturbated to porn as I couldn't remember exactly. I haven't had the urge or been into this for a while now, or at least it seems like a while even though it seems to be about 13 days ago (although I have the slight feeling I might've given in possibly a day or so after I wrote my last post here but can't remember now). I certainly feel healthier than I was when I first started posting here on this forum back in September. I don't actually see many other opportunities for masturbating to porn either in the coming weeks, and certainly not over Christmas and New Year, so if I am able to resist for the next two weeks, then after that there is about a 5 week stretch where I would never get the chance as I'd be constantly surrounded by people (and I tend never to masturbate when around others). So that could potentially be 7 weeks plus the last 2 weeks, making 9 weeks potentially without masturbating and porn (well into the middle of January), which would be a real achievement for me.

Well another week has gone

Well another week has gone by, and I still haven't masturbated to porn. That's quite an achievement for me. If I can make it to the end of next week, then I'll be moving into a 5 week stretch where I won't even get the chance to indulge myself. I suppose any kind of motivations are good enough. One particular motivation at the moment is that there are lots of people with the flu, either where I work or elsewhere. I know that masturbating saps me of my strength and probably lowers my body's immune system so that I'd be more prone to getting ill. I definitely don't want to do that at this time, so I'm trying to make sure I get enough rest and don't over exert myself (which I would if I orgasm).