Devastated over porn-related ED ruining a new relationship

Submitted by randomparticle on
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I have been a habitual user of porn for many years and it has completely destroyed my ability to get and maintain an erection during normal sexual intercourse. I finally decided to seek recovery when I started dated someone who just rocked my world, but with whom I have not been able to have sex due to ED after about 4 dates. I have not told her about my porn addiction..only that I was going to see a doctor about the problem..but I'm afraid it is too late. The relationship has definitely cooled and I'm afraid may be over. I guess I should be thankful that meeting someone I really connect with gave me the motivation and strength to deal with this problem, including through a porn filter on my computer. But I am just devastated over the fact that I'm probably going to lose this woman. I don't know how I can tell her that I've been addicted to porn and need to abstain for 2 to 4 months or longer. I'd appreciate any advice on how to handle/address this with her and any anecdotes about similar experiences. Thanks.

You've come to the right place

That's the good news. The bad news is that recovery takes a couple of months...and that's assuming you're pretty much totally consistent about avoiding porn, masturbation and orgasm. In the meanwhile, your libido is likely to "flat-line" - maybe for 4-6 weeks. And other withdrawal symptoms are also likely. You've probably read accounts here (see childpages at bottom, too), right? Also watch this video if you haven't:

As for the woman, I would be totally honest with her. Totally. I would tell her that she has inspired you to clean the mess up, and that it will take a couple of months. (We goddesses like inspiring men to conquer dragons. Smile ) Tell her you find her very attractive, because right now she's wondering about that.

If she's open to being a cuddle buddy in the meanwhile (, that would ease your withdrawal symptoms a lot. But both of you agree in advance that you won't try to mix it with sex until you're fully recovered. Signs here:

I've enabled you to blog if you like.

Thanks very much for the

Thanks very much for the reply. I've found this and your sister website to be incredibly informative.

This woman really inspired me to address the problem because I rediscovered how much more fulfilling it is to connect with another person than be stuck in front of a computer...just how good things can be. I have not been able to have sex with her but I can't imagine anything more amazing when I am recovered.

I am going to have to tell her something....that I need a break of abstinence...I don't want her to think that this is her fault or that I am rejecting her. But I'm really afraid to tell her exactly why. I was going to tell her that I'm having obvious performance issues and my doctor has recommended that I abstain for a period to diagnose the problem rather than telling her it is because of porn. Another twist is that she says she was in a sexless marriage for 7 years so she is particularly sensitive to these kinds of issues. We have only gone out for a three weeks so I am afraid of loading too much onto our relationship. And, in fact, things have cooled considerably in the last few days since I've been unable to have sex with her. I'm getting strong signals that it may be over...again...because she is so concerned about a relationship with a troubled sex life. I'm trying to take a long view of things and not give up on this but it's not going to be easy. I guess I just need to focus on recovering and make clear to her that it's not her fault..and in fact that she is the reason I'm doing something about it...and be patient about the relationship.

Really appreciate the's extremely helpful during a difficult time..and I appreciate all the good work you do.

Sounds like a tough

situation. The advantage to telling her the truth is that you can also show her these kind of recovery stories:

Once she reads them, I suspect she'll be MORE than willing to wait for some great sex and a recovered partner. You don't have to tell her the full extent of your problem. Just say you've noticed some of the same symptoms and you want her to be fully satisfied, so you want to clean the situation up first. Unfortunately, you don't know if it'll be one month or two...blah, blah...but does she want a cuddle buddy in the meanwhile. Wink

Plus, if she sticks around, your relationship will be built on solid ground. Starting with a big fib doesn't do that.

You have nothing to be ashamed of. If she has any addictions of her own (smoking? sugar? shopping?) or relatives with addictions, she will understand.

At this point it sounds like you don't have much to lose, so telling the truth might not be that risky. But you have to make your own call, of course. You know your situation better than I do.

Either way, good luck with your reboot!