18 weeks porn free. Here's what's been happening:
* I'm still keeping masturbation down to a minimum. I'd like to get to the point where I only masturbate when I actually feel horny, that is, when desire proceeds sexual stimulation. I've noticed that often I'll masturbate out of habbit, boredom, need to relax, need to sleep etc. More on this later.
* Turns out the girl in my salsa class did like me. We went out on a few dates. We made out a few times, but no sex. Taking it slow, which is fine. It was all going rather well, until Saturday when I picked her up and cooked her dinner and gave her a guitar lesson. After that we were chilling out and watching some TV. Then she started getting a bit weird by nagging and complaining like a little girl. Then she wanted me to take her home and it kinda ruined the night. I got a bit annoyed and called her on it and she was apologetic, but I haven't been inclined to chase her since then. I suspect she's a bit of a princess. I haven't written it off, but I don't really care enough to actively try and get things going again. I'll leave it up to her and then see what happens. I'll probably see her around the salsa scene anyway, so best not to burn any bridges.
* Salsa is progressing. I've just started another bunch of lessons. I'm redoing the improver's class in parallel with the intermediate class. I'm also starting to do some private lessons. I have the first one tomorrow. It's good to have something new that I'm passionate about that helps me socialise too. It may turn into a career change for me, if I could get good enough to make it pay the bills, probably as a teacher. I never thought I'd do IT forever and always wanted to do something more active and social. If I could make a living out of something like salsa, it would be unreal.
* I'm still trying to stress less about sex and sexual issues. This is like trying to not try. Worrying doesn't get me anyway and is actually counterproductive, but it's easy to fall into my old habbits. I actually opened up to a close friend of mine about all this stuff and it kinda helped. He was very supportive and made me feel that a lot of my issues are just me being too hard on myself. I'm really glad I talked about some of this stuff with someone else.
Something else I'd like the talk about...
I had an interesting chat over private message with another person here on reuniting who has had similar experiences to me. I wanted to share some of my thoughts. A number of people who have tried/are trying to kick porn addiction have tried extended abstinence, after which they experience a loss of libido/horniness. This is very scary for most red-blooded males. This was definitely my experience. I mentioned in my previous posts that my libido "came back", after about 8-9 weeks. I probably need to clarify this for the sake of accuracy.
I have a theory. Bear in mind it's just that.
I want to be clear on what I mean by libido. Is it natural horniness (i.e. simply being physically horny without any stimulus)? Or is it the ability to function with a female when the clothes come off. I have found that I'm not really that "naturally" horny unless I abstain from masturbation for an extended period (let's say a week or two). However, when it comes time to get freaky with a female I don't have any problems. My thoughts are that, if you can do that latter, well isn't that 80% of the battle. Sure I'd love to have that natural horniness around all the time, but mainly I just want to be able to have fun when I need to.
From my experience the 60-90 day total abstinence "rule" is a good rule of thumb for kicking porn addiction. This has to do with resetting dopamine levels and receptor counts and things like that. I think that getting libido back (using definition #1) is both a matter of time and training. That is, I believe there's more to the whole picture than the dopamine factor. I believe that by masturbating to the exclusion of other sexual activities we train our nervous systems to respond to a specific stimulus. Our nervous system adapts to this and soon it can end up being the sole way of kickstarting our arousal. The only real way I can see to retrain your nervous system is to cut out masturbation completely while you recover AND be getting sexual stimulation from a third party, a real person. Your body has to stop seeing masturbation as an option and see normal sex as normal again. It kinda makes sense if you think about it. The best way to get your natural sex drive back is to have natural sex.
I can tell you though that after 8 weeks of no porn, masturbation or orgasm I could definitely start to feel my libido kicking again (Note: I was also taking supplements which may have boosted my libido.). But after one orgasm it's like my body started to quickly fall back to old habits. I think your whole nervous system needs retraining and that this process takes longer than the 60-90 days that seem to be needed to kick porn addiction. I believe this would be a lot easier if I had a long term partner who I could use to recalibrate my sexual response. For me it's frustrating right now, because I'm single.
I also had another discussion with a friend about the difference between sex and masturbation. My friend was arguing that your body can't tell the difference between orgasm induced by sex and orgasm induced by masturbation. I can't say for sure but I disagree. I think the body has a different hormonal response to sex vs. masturbation. The main difference is that during sex I believe that higher levels of oxytocin are released during sex than through typical masturbation. This is due to the additional touch of another human being experienced during sex, which you don't get during masturbation. That is, I do not believe all orgasms are hormonally equal and repeated exposure to a "type" of orgasms trains our sexual response. This is just another theory at this point. I'd like to hear people discuss this some more and lend credence to either point of view. Are all orgasms equal?