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Submitted by Whale on
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Hi everyone,

I'm a 28 year old guy from Australia. I have been doing a lot of personal development work over the last 4-5 months and have made some good progress in various areas.

I thought I'd start posting here to get some support and track my progress as I give rebooting a go. I abstained from porn/masturbation late last year for about 5 weeks and didn't seem to have any problem (that I was aware of) until I went to stay at a girl's house I was dating and lost my erection once she started undressing me.

I have experienced ED with other girls and I seem to have a low libido generally. I wouldn't say I'm addicted to porn but I am willing to abstain from porn and masturbation to see if there are increases in my libido. I'm not sure if the issues I have are physical or psychological (I'm guessing its a mix) so I'm giving this a go.

After watching the videos on www.yourbrainonporn.com and doing some reading I decided to abstain again for 2 months. I'm now on day 19. When I started I seemed to notice an increase in libido which is now gone.

I seem almost totally unable to get an erection by manual stimulation but I wake up with morning wood and sexual urges. The rest of the day is pretty much void of sexual impulses. I do react to attractive girls- the feeling is wanting to connect with them emotionally (i think) rather than sexually. That's fine but I wonder if/when my sexual urge will return.

I have to say, at this point it is tempting to 'test' myself to make sure everything is still working but I know better than that! It's not easy, but it's a fun to know I'm getting into the challenging stage.

Hallo, Whale, welcome to the

Hallo, Whale, welcome to the forum. I know very well how you feel - I feel the same way: sometimes erection in the morning, sometimes not, no real urge to have sex, and a desire to connect emotionally more than sexually. The situation you describe seems to be plaguing many men... I'm well into the rebooting process, I think - today I complete my 12th week. Sometimes I feel some libido, but mostly I don't. Whenever I feel it it's not like it used to be years ago - when I couldn't control myself and really needed to "stick it." Part of the issue might be that I am too stressed out over this, that I haven't had any fulfilling sex in quite some time, that I had a series of failures with women who didn't care about me as much as I did about them, that, as a result, I have somewhat lost confidence in my erections, and that I am currently single. Whatever the issues we are having are, stopping to watch porn, to masturbate and orgasm alone seems like a good idea with regard to your mental and emotional health. I am convinced that some day in the future things will work out. This is a long process having to do with forever altering some basic habits and attitudes, and I remain an optimist. Stay strong and away from porn and don't feel alone - many of us here are in the same boat.

Thanks for the encouragement

Thanks for the encouragement :)

I can relate to a history of unfulfilling sex with women, though I've also had some great experiences/relationships as well (just not for a few years). Through my process I have come to wonder if my sexual issues are connected to identity issues. Still working on that.

I think getting out there and meeting new women is something I need to get back to- I haven't been going out much for the last few months for various reasons- I struggle to find the motivation because I feel like I'm only going to disappoint her once it gets to the bedroom anyway. Thats a bit of a self-defeating attitude isn't it!

At least

you have healthy experience to look back to. That's a real gift.

Yeah, get out there. It's okay to slow the courtship process down a bit. Really. Smile

Hi Whale, and welcome! For

Hi Whale, and welcome!

For my 2 cents, I think the advice others have is worth taking- worth a try to go for the full reboot.

Another thing you may want to consider (once your reboot time is finished) is a technique I recently read in a book some forum members recommend called "No More Mr. Nice Guy" by Dr. Robert Glover. He recommends what he calls "healthy" masturbation, which basically means masturbating while not only not looking at porn- but not even engaging in fantasy. In other words, not leaving the reality of the situation (enjoying your sexuality by yourself) and not using fantasy to distract yourself. Observe how you feel and think, and if you notice feelings of fear and shame don't run from them or distract yourself with fantasy just sit with them, let them pass.

That's what he suggests anyway- I haven't tried it yet. (I'm at day 19 of a reboot, and it doesn't seem like time just yet.) Overall, I can recommend the book, though. Only one chapter of it is specifically related to sex, and based on what you wrote here, you may find it valuable and surprising, even relating to areas of your life that aren't directly related to sexuality.

I don't know that I have a

I don't know that I have a secret...

Firstly I try not to think about it too much, so I don't keep track of things on a daily basis. Whenever I feel like I'm gonna crack I open up the calendar and see how many days it's been. Somehow that works.

I've also been doing work over the last 5 or so months on being present in my body and aware of what's going on without reacting on impulse. By being able to take notice of what's going on in my body I think I have more control than I might have had before...

Also I'm just motivated to see if there's any improvement at the end of 2 months. I figure it's worth the wait :)

Hmm, I haven't noticed any

Hmm, I haven't noticed any dramatic changes, no...

But on reflection, perhaps there are some contributing factors helping me out with (or occurring as a result of) the reboot:
- I quit my job just before beginning the reboot and have been on hiatus, so there's less stress in my life.
- I drastically cut down on alcohol at the same time. Drinking would often lead to porn for me.
- I have been reading a LOT more. I have four books going at the moment, two or three that have been put on the back burner and a list of new ones to get to.
- I am able to spend more time in 'nature'- my local parks, and I meditate semi-regularly, both of which also reduce any stress.

Over the last few days I've been thinking about other possibilities relating to the issues I described in the first post- thinking about other emotional/psychological contributors that may be going on... without going into the details I think that over the last few years I've associated sex with emotional pain.

I just realised yesterday that, generally when I think about relationships or the potential for a relationship comes up, I have either unconsciously sabotaged the chances of the relationship succeeding, or I have experienced the idea of a relationship as something frightening. I have felt a lot of anxiety. In other words, relationships bring up undesirable feelings. The result of that is I have been moving away from the feeling of anxiety.

In my unconscious view of relationships, sex has been the threshold from the non-threatening world to the threatening world where the risk of pain is heightened. As the relationship is consummated through sex, there is a higher chance of hurting or being hurt.

So obviously that would impact on my sexual experiences.

What I think I need to do to change that is to start making positive associations- instead of moving away from those negative feelings I need to remember the good things about emotional intimacy, sex etc. As soon as I start thinking about those positives I realise I haven't thought about that aspect of relationships in a long time unless I was reflecting on the past (which has associations with pain and reinforces the connection between sex & anxiety/pain). As soon as I think about the positives, I start to become optimistic about future relationships- a big change.

Having realised that, I'm not sure how to make practical changes... I assume I would benefit from a relationship which is based on intimacy rather than sex, but I'm not sure how to pitch that idea to women in the dating scene... Any ideas?

Maybe just pose

that very question to women you like. Get their ideas. Tell them you're tired of the merry-go-round of broken relationships. Ask if they've noticed the same thing, and what they think would make it better.

I know that when I began to ask that question, I ended up learning some fascinating things about making love differently...in a way that promotes intimacy. And I learned that the same fundamental idea had been coming up over and over for thousands of years. That's why I wrote my book.

As you get to know a potential partner better, you could also give her a book you admire on relationship issues and see what she thinks about the ideas.

Meanwhile, learn the power of bonding behaviors. Smiling and eye contact are very...persuasive, at a subconscious level. Apparently so is "keeping 'em guessing" according to this article: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=a-scientific-dating-ins... Wink Not sure about that one. Maybe you could test it and let us know!

40 days!

Well I've made it to 40 days!

I'm feeling a lot more optimistic about relationships and I'm going out with a girl later this week. Should be fun :)

I'm on day 45 now... I'm not

I'm on day 45 now...
I'm not sure where this feeling came from because I was feeling really positive before, but now I'm starting to worry that my libido won't come back. I remember when I was younger that I had a much more active sex drive. At the moment I do feel more desire to pursue women, but I'm not sure what I've achieved so far, except for exerting a couple of months of willpower... I don't seem to have as much of a sex drive as many other guys around me and I can't help but wonder why that is...

Hang on !

What I have experienced is that at around day 80 or so, you would start feeling the sexual energy transforming into emotional/ creative/spiritual energy.....you will have to just wait for it...

Absolutely no need to worry about being asexual or anything like that. In fact if you are not married, around that time you are likely to have a great chance of attracting a great girl and falling in love and remaining in it blissfully till the rest of your life....

Never quit until you get some dramatic results...no matter what... you may go through an emotional low sometime in next couple of weeks, doesn't matter... you will see miracles happening after some point !!!

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Realization for a wave in the ocean is when it comes to know it is water.

Encouraging words

I just came back from a yoga class depressed and pissed off because there was a stunning girl there and I felt like a real loser. Reading this mellowed me out quite a bit. Thanks.

Thanks everyone. The date

Thanks everyone.

The date was mutually postponed to this week, so it hasn't happened yet...
Thanks Marnia for the reminder to pay attention to the present rather than the past. I have been dipping into an old mindset of comparison to others over the last few days. I haven't meditated much lately so I will make time to do that each day this week, I always find that helpful.

Satz- thanks for the encouragement. I don't have any plans to give up on the 60 day goal at this point, or to relapse after that, but I suppose I have been expecting dramatic changes to occur by now. Sometimes those expectations set us up for disappointment.

I think some things have been changing- I am an aspiring artist who has been struggling to make any work for the last few years. I think that creativity and sexuality are somehow linked (I'm not sure how) and over the last week or two I have been making more time to draw and paint, and I have lots of ideas and increasing motivation in that area. I'm not sure if it's connected to the no PMO thing or because of other things going on in my life but it's welcome :)

So Whale,

how was The Big Date?

I think you're right that there's a link between how we manage our sexual energy and our creativity...but it's certainly not like pushing a button. Still, it's exciting that you're seeing your creativity pick up.

Well Marnia

Finally had the date last night.

It went really well, I think we both had fun. I was pretty relaxed, at ease and confident. She seemed a touch nervous to start with but I think she relaxed pretty soon and was very talkative and open. I think she'd like to see me again, so that's good.

The other night I also approached some girls at a bar with a friend. It turned out they were more cute than they were interesting (I like cute but c'mon girls, you have to have an interest in *something*).

In both cases I found myself very relaxed, confident, having fun. This is a big change from what I wrote on April 25. I think the pain associations are disappearing and they're being replaced with the idea of sex/relationships as something fun and positive again. Awesome.

In PMO news, I'm on day 55. 5 days away from my original goal, I have to say I'll be proud of the achievement once I hit 60 days.

Sexual dreams continue- sometimes very vivid visually but also in sensations. I don't remember ever feeling physical sensations in dreams before.

I have been fantasising a fair bit over the last few days about 'date girl' and was surprised to find I had achieved a full erection while fantasising about her without any manual assistance. That has to be a good sign...

One thing I wonder about- I'm almost at 60 days and there have been a few recommendations to go for 80 days. Assuming things go well with date girl, what's the story with sex and the PMO reboot?

That's a great report

I say trust the timing. You sound perfectly ready. But if at all possible...don't rush into pursuit of mutual orgasm and/or intercourse.

While you're in the courtship stage, linger a bit. Find out how delicious sensual contact is *without* a goal. There will be plenty of time for goal driven sex later. Wink Flirt, kiss, wallow in each other, but leave some clothes on. Just tell her you want to try it as an experiment because you've been too hasty in the past...or some other story of your liking, and make sure you let her know she's attractive to you. Remember...you're the pilot here.

I'm so glad to hear that your confidence and charisma are back. *And* that you are looking for ladies with brains. Smile Well done!

Yeah, I'm glad you said

Yeah, I'm glad you said that, because that's I've been thinking about that myself...

I've been goal/performance focussed in my thinking about sex, rather than taking the time to be sensual and connect with the girl and enjoying that.

I also realised the other day that in some of my past experiences I've assumed a role, and felt I should act a certain way during sex- things I should say and do, like playing a character, which I must've learned from watching porn.

Now that I haven't watched it for 2 months, I realise how weird and silly it seems.

I also feel a lot more like the pilot than I did before. In the recent past I was approaching sex like a job interview or something where I was going to be judged and given either approval or rejection. Maybe that's why I started acting out that role.

Now that I have a stronger sense of who I am and I feel those negative associations are fading, I know why I'm approaching sex- to express something of myself. That gives me a feeling of being back in the pilot seat and also is much more appealing. I suppose it is more vulnerable, but I don't seem to be so worried about that anymore...

Haha- Thankyou Marnia

It's very encouraging.
I'm very optimistic about my future relationships right now, thanks so much for your help and encouragement throughout the process.

I am writing a detailed, honest review of my experience of the process for a men's forum and will make sure to include links to this site and send you a copy (if you'd like).

Another question came to mind, one that is outside the realm of sexuality.

I started wondering if abstaining from PMO for 2 months can lead to these kinds of improvements, could abstinence from other things enhance other aspects of my life.

What other areas of my life might be connected to dopamine overdose and numbed pleasure circuitry and stuff?

Apart from diet (I consume a lot of salt, sugar, caffeine & alcohol), what else could I 'abstain' from and reboot?

What about abstinence from what I'd call 'passive media' like TV, advertising and films? What would that do for my creativity/imagination?
What about abstinence from consumption (shopping), with a focus on learning and creativity, or just doing in general?

Those are the first two that came to mind. Have you heard of people rebooting in other areas of life?

First, yes

please send me your account. I put them up on YBOP to help others.

Second, I don't know. Not every activity dysregulates dopamine, although most do have some fleeting effects on it. In my case, as I got my sexual energy more balanced I noticed it was a lot easier to stick to a healthy diet, and a lot of over-consumption fell away. I've never used caffeine...I'm too wired naturally. Wink So I can't speak to that. But over all, I find less of a need to "force" myself to do anything. It's like I'm more "in the flow" if that makes any sense. I feel like I can trust my instincts and impulses, so I don't second-guess myself as much.

Make your own experiments and share what you find.

Well, my report turned up on

Well, my report turned up on the Your Brain On Porn front page so I suppose I won't need to forward it to you now :)

I'm getting a lot of very positive replies from other guys who have read my report and are embarking on their own reboot adventure now!

*giggle*

Yeah, Gary checks those track-backs to his site very conscientiously. Wink

Anyway, it was too articulate and well thought out to shorten, so I just had to put it up. Like the pic?? Smile

For those who are wondering what we're talking about: http://yourbrainonporn.com/60-days-bitches

I look forward to adding a PS to it when you start having sex. *grin* You've seen likeanidiot's, right? http://yourbrainonporn.com/successful-sex-day-57

Many thanks!

Well, I thought I should

Well, I thought I should write another post here, there've been a few things on my mind...

Technically I'm up to day 74 now. I haven't had sex yet.

Things with the girl I mentioned in previous posts hasn't quite worked out the way I had expected. The thing is, I lost interest in her.

We've both been very relaxed about the whole thing while still being interested. Then yesterday we went out and while I was with her I just felt like there was no attraction from either of us.

That kinda worried me. I guess I'd built up a bit of an expectation in my head about her, which is usually a bad idea.

My libido has dropped off a bit since the 60 day report, which has worried me a little, but I've had HEAPS of motivation and energy to put into other things so I've been preoccupied with that mostly.

After I parted ways with her yesterday I went to see another girl, a friend of mine. There has always been sexual tension between us and after a few drinks she started to get more and more affectionate. I felt my sexual desire rising (whew!) I felt quite comfortable with it. She alluded to me going home with her but she'd had too much to drink by that stage and I didn't want it to be a drunk thing so I decided to put her in a cab to go home.

A lot of guys have been inspired by my report which is great, but occasionally I worry a little- if my libido drops off again, will I have given them false expectations?

I wouldn't worry about it

I wouldn't worry about it too much. Libido rises and falls for all sorts of reasons even when you are in balance. I have have almost non for months, because I am ill. That's obviously an extreme example, but maybe if you get a cold you'll not feel much libido. Or if you are really involved in work and are unconciously not looking for sex. Don't over think it. It will almost definitely rise and fall - but it'll be there when you need it.

Hugs, Katten

Sorry to hear about

Miss Wrong. Sad

But it should be evident that you're quite ready to respond when the trumpet sounds...with less alcohol in the picture.

Here's the perspective of another Aussie on healthy libido: http://www.reuniting.info/wisdom/sources/barry_long_making_love Notice that it doesn't sound like a porn movie performance. Wink

Ooops, I guess it was in this one: http://www.reuniting.info/resources/porn_masturbation_addiction/barry_lo...

Thankyou That was an

Thankyou

That was an interesting article and somewhat the opposite of my experience or approach.

For me, the imagination aspect has definitely changed focus to a more physical, sensory type focus, rather than a purely visual focus. I've taken that as a positive sign of my body wanting to connect with another person with a physical body, rather than a false ideal based on porn.

Anyway, I've realised tonight that probably I was just disappointed that things didn't work out and those other worries rushed in. I do feel like I'm ready, if only the right woman would appear...

Well... there's a bit more

Well... there's a bit more to that story.

The one that had too much to drink is a close friend of mine. We've known each other for about 6 years.

There has always been sexual tension between us, and one time not so long ago (before the reboot) we did fool around sexually- to the point of fully nude foreplay etc. I had no problems at all with ED or anxiety (which I think is telling).

Anyway, I have made some big strides in my personal growth over the last 6-8 months and, of all people in my life she is the one who has noticed the changes most- probably because I am really open with her.

Apart from being unusually affectionate the other night she also said "I would want to be your girlfriend if we weren't such good friends".

I think that's the line that warned me off a little bit- I know we could have sex, I think I would like to have sex with her and I think personally I could have sex with her without needing to be any more than friends. But I'm not sure if she feels the same way. I know she likes sex a lot and likes to have fun but ultimately, based on our conversations, I think she's looking for a relationship.

The last time we fooled around, we talked about it a bit before hand. I asked if she thought sex would change our friendship and she said no. Afterward she seemed a little confused, but it hasn't changed our friendship... except maybe it has? Maybe it has opened up that level of intimacy? I'm not sure.

Apart from someone to have sex with, I want someone who excites me and who is a bit of a mystery. I have had relationships that developed from friendships in the past, but I don't think that's what I want right now... Hmm.