i'm a 24-year-old male and im attempting to finally kick the habit, which ive had since about 13. it definitely grew during my college years, and this is when porn became just pretty much EVERYWHERE on a computer, and i think this is when i started to finally realize that it is A) harmful to my own self-esteem, sense of self worth, ability to find women and socialize, and B) perhaps harmful to all of society. i don't think things were necessarily all that bad when i was finding 3-4 minute clips off of file sharing programs like kazaa or limewire, because they were 3-4 minutes, you couldn't ever get exactly what you wanted, and there was a considerable lack of attractive women. so you could say, "well, this is pretty good and all, but i'd rather go outside or do something meaningful instead of sitting here watching this nonsense." it really hasn't been at all like that since around 2005.
i've been trying to give it up off and on for about four or five years, and my ideas on the subject were definitely naive when i started. i started to waver back and forth on the subject of sex, i rejected the idea of "triggers" being a meaningful idea, i wanted to be a puritan of some sort, etc. i was dealing a lot with the subject of moral shame, and that has been the hardest rock to climb because ive personally known women in the sex industry and seen how beaten-down they are, how much hell they've been through, drugs they're on, problems with their fathers, etc. all of those stereotypes are basically true. i was using forums that were very christian and shame-filled, and although i was starting to question the merits of all that stuff, i didnt really figure out what was happening until i saw all the videos that are on yourbrainonporn .... the six-part series was a pretty huge life-changer, honestly. ive seen the whole thing like 5 times.
anyhow i've gone over 2 weeks without porn twice, and i think i'm mentally ready to really make the big jump into total freedom from it.
i have some basic ideas which i've sort of started to test and record in a personal journal and i just figured some feedback or discussion could be helpful.
the first thing ive noticed is that sugary/fattening foods tend to feed my urge to watch porn. based on gary wilson's video series, i think the reason is because high-calorie foods give sort of a minor dopamine rush to the brain. but because my synapses are so shot, my brain starts to crave more of a rush, because it's not reaching the satiety that it'd normally have. it's as if giving my pleasure receptors sugar is just teasing them, like allowing a dog to sniff a big hamburger and then taking the hamburger away. obviously the dog will want to go for the hamburger.
another thing i noticed is that going without any orgasm at all for over two weeks makes things much better. more confidence, more joy from simple things, etc. i stop rubbing my non-erect penis when experiencing stress, a reflex which seems like a clear result of compulsive masturbation. i also have noticed that professional fighters swear by not having an orgasm for extended periods of time, because having no orgasm makes them become virile. they react more, they're more assertive. i think in a lot of ways, part of the reason why men are so non-manly nowadays is because this is a very sexual culture! they're going around masturbating all the time, or having casual sex, and it prevents them from really knowing their own courage and having a solid masculine energy.
being in public places is actually a great idea, and i try to do it as much as possible. if i'm alone, it can be bad, and i'll stay unmotivated. part of my worldview is changing, which is to stop seeing my house as 'a home' of any kind. it's just a place where i eat and sleep, that's about it. i can study anywhere, exercise anywhere, do a whole bunch of things elsewhere. i shouldn't be dependent on my house, or see it as a place of comfort.
shame doesn't help much of anything, even when you realize that you're participating in an exploitive industry that screws up women's lives.... you just kind of have to understand the bigger picture, i guess, and realize that you cant do anything to save those people, and their problems would still be there whether you watch porn or not. thinking about all the people destroyed by porn is actually a pretty bad strategy i've found. i don't see it that much in moral terms anymore (again, this is a thought i had before watching the videos on yourbrainonporn, but its scientific conclusions basically confirmed my ideas).
i have some basic ideas that i've started to mess with that i want to try more. they are both masturbation substitutions, and i want to see if there's any real logic to them. first, i've started to take cold showers at a greater frequency. i like this a lot and plan on making it the norm. i especially like it after doing a bit of exercise -- not too much, because i don't want to totally shock the body, since i'm sure this sort of thing can be dangerous and perhaps even fatal if taken to excess -- but after doing 3 sets of sit-ups or push-ups it is a great way to experience a rush and elevate the heart rate. i breathe deeply, and when i come out of the shower and dry off, it gives sort of glimpse to how i was seeing the world at all times when off porn for more than a couple weeks. that is, everything is just slightly more pleasurable. it seems like a sort of positive experience that you can get by directly antagonizing the body's nervous system, and in a non-harmful way. second, i've been forcing myself to listen to sudden blasts of grating noises at very high volumes for twenty minutes or so at a time. (here is an example of what i mean: http://anonym.to/?http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XlGh_okr5nI ) again, this is best done after exercising. i'm not sure if this is actually logical, or if i'm just experiencing the placebo effect, but i think there might be a real science behind this sort of thing. making myself accustomed to grating noise (and watching some sort of psychadelic video plug-in) seems to make everything better afterwards, and in a way that functions as a logical substitute for porn use. much better than eating sugar, and probably just as easy for me to control.
i also started taking a martial art this year, and that is very helpful too.
let me know if anyone has any thoughts about any of that stuff