Married guy having a easy and hard time of it

Submitted by stickfigure on
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Hi all. I found Your Brain on Porn a few weeks back and it really resonated with me. I'm in my late thirties, and have been masturbating almost daily since I was about 12. Porn was hard to come by in those early years, but ever since I got out on my own in my early 20s, I've used the Internet with abandon. For the last few years I've masturbated to porn videos most days.

What made your site jump out at me is that all the symptoms you described -- the flagging libido, the ED when having sex with a partner, recurring bouts of depression, lack of goals etc -- match me to a tee. In fact for most of my adult life I've seen the depression as the root problem -- and the ED as a side effect of the anti-depressants I've taken -- but now I wonder if it hasn't been porn and its effects on the dopamine pathways all along.

Anyway, I'm now on day 11 of the reboot. And what I mean by my headline is that so far I haven't had any sort of potent reaction to quitting. I feel urges occasionally to look at porn, but nothing so strong that I have any trouble resisting. Definitely no mood swings or anything like that yet, either. So so far, things have been pretty easy in that sense.

But I also haven't had even a stirring of revived libido yet, and this is a bit of a problem because the whole thing here is I'm trying to get myself reset so I can be a real husband for my very loving wife. I've told her about this project, and she kind of feels like yeah, it's about time. She hasn't had any objection to my porn use in the past, because we assumed that the anti-depressants and related anxiety were the root of the problem, and at least porn was a sign that something was happening in me. But of course that meant we really had no clear solution we could hope for. Now I'm optimistic after reading some of the stories on this site that maybe I've found the way to return to the lust and energy we had in our early times together.

But this emptiness, this big non-reaction I've had to the reboot so far has me worried. What if it's not the porn that's the problem? Or what if it is, but the damage is irreparable? And do my wife and I have to wait 60 days or whatever until we can start trying to have sex? We already barely manage it once a month -- on the one hand, I guess you could say what's another month if it will buy us a better sex life going forward; but on the other hand, it's already bad enough, isn't it? And how will I know when it's a good time to try again? So often when we have sex, I wind up fantasizing about past situations or sometimes porn scenarios. I'm afraid I won't be able to get it up and keep it up without those scenes running through my head, thereby undoing (at least a little) whatever progress I make.

Anyway. That's what's going down over here. Any tips from folks who've been here before, much appreciated.



If you've read the ED related recovery items, you'll see that a "flatline" period during the reboot is normal. Unsettling...but normal, and unavoidable. The more you "test" the slower the recovery. No one can say how long you will need to bounce back to full sensitivity. Two months is not unusual, but you're likely to see signs of improvement before then...after a gray period of low libido.

At the end of the day you will be a much better lover, but you can't rush the process.

Did you check out the FAQs on porn-related ED here?

Start a blog if you like.

I had the same experience.

I had the same experience. After the first few days, it really wasn't that difficult to go without porn. But, my relapse was partially due to me letting my guard down. I made it 30 days without porn and 12 days without masturbation since I initially gave up the porn alone.

After starting the abstinence period, I had sex after ~20 days without porn and 2-3 days without masturbation. I felt more aroused, but I still had difficulty reaching orgasm. I had sex again after ~27 days without porn and 9 days without masturbation and I was truly concerned about premature ejaculation. I reached orgasm with a condom after 5-6 minutes and felt very aroused. I used to rarely orgasm, condom or not. So, I think it takes 3-4 weeks of abstinence.

The lack of sex drive is common. You should be able to find articles about that on YourBrainOnPorn. There seems to be a dead period when your mind adjusts from the hardcore porn to actual women. I remember after 2-3 weeks, I started getting a much stronger reaction just from looking at girls in public. It may take even a bit longer. Just try to stick with it. There's a reason why they recommend 60 days. But, I'm sure you will feel benefits prior to that.


...both of you. I've done some more reading on the site, and yup, looks like what I'm experiencing is pretty typical. Day 14 today. I do feel periodic urges to look at porn or read erotic stories, but still no stirrings of person-to-person libido. So I guess I can use that as a benchmark -- when I feel like I want to jump my wife rather than watch some video, I'll know I'm making some headway.

& thanks for the suggestion re: blog, Marnia. I'll give that a whirl.

There are additional ways to

There are additional ways to work on ED. One is to naturally increase testosterone through heavy weight training and squats. THere are very specific ways of training weights with certain numbers of repetitions believed to increase testosterone more than others. Also certain excercsies such as squats increase it more. There are also certain excercise programs including more body weight exercises that men report give them an overall feel of "male vitality" and "potency". More so than just regular weight training. Stuff such a s the royal court, warrior wellness and combat conditioning tend to make men give such reports. Also some stretchin gof the pelvis area will help. You can look into Dao Yin stretches as they target the pelvis a lot. Some self massage to reduce tension in the genital area can also help. Deep belly breathing will also help with that.

Strengthening the pelvis muscles through "PC" exercises such as the male Deer exercise can help A LOT. However, if you are tense already and almost all western men are you should learn to relax the pelvic area first through Stuff such as Dao Yin, self massage and deep belly breathing (helps your anxiety also). Bruce Frantzis has a DVD on longevity Breathing that can teach you that well. has qigong that can be learnt through a DVD easily and will both help with your anxiety, general vitality and has specific exercises to increase sexual energy.

look through my older posts in threads about anxiety. I have a some good tips there.

I'm assuming you are taking

I'm assuming you are taking some sort of SSRI for your depression? I wasn't aware that there was much of a connection to ED from SSRI's, instead delayed ejaculation/orgasm is the more common side effect (depending on dose and how you react to the med).

Sounds like you are on a good path. Wouldn't hurt to talk with your doctor about the ED and make sure it related to your medications.

Thanks. I had been on SSRIs.

Thanks. I had been on SSRIs. The first drug I was on, Celexa, had the effects you mention; later I switched to Lexapro because it was supposedly more "targeted," and it was lights out for Mr. Willy. After that I started on Wellbutrin, which isn't known to have any sexual side effects (if anything, it can work as a mild aphrodisiac). Still, the ED persisted, though it did improve somewhat. That's what had me wondering about other explanations.

The doc ruled out testosterone as a problem, said I'm on the higher side of normal on that scale. Still, can't hurt to give the exercises a shot.

I wasn`t actually

I wasn`t actually recommending testosterone because I thought it was lower than in the average guy but because it helps in general to get libido up. Anyway, testosterone levels in western men are down A LOT the last fifty years so what is normal in the view of the doctors might have moved away from a more natural and higher level.

New Start

Any idea where that study is about the "lower levels of testosterone?" We see this statement a lot, but haven't been able to track down the underlying research. Thanks.