Let's brainstorm on why some guys need longer to reboot (want to hear from guys with 90-120 days and struggling)

Submitted by gary on
Printer-friendly version

Some of you appear to be taking your time rebooting (talking about ED). We have identified that guys who start using porn early (at or before masturbation) take longer to reboot. Can we identify other commonalities? Are there activities you are doing, or not doing that affect the length of reboot? Please toss in any ideas. Some possibilities come to mind -

Pre-reboot factors:
starting early with porn;
late start with females;
access to high speed Internet earlier than others;
genetically susceptible brain;

Reboot factors:
too much surfing the net;
playing video games or online gambling;
surfing for pics (facebook, swimsuit, dating sites);
lack of contact with potential partners;
anxiety disorders;

Let's do some detective work and find out what factors may be in play for longer rebooters.


I spend most of my days in

I spend most of my days in front of a tv screen or computer screen playing video games with friends because now that all my friends have gone away to university it is the only way i can keep in touch with them. I hope all this time i am sitting on my butt and playing video games are not stunting my progress t much cause its not going to be easy for me to cut back on that.

Could you add lack of

Could you add lack of positive reinforcement. Like, sexual contact and real life stimulation? I think its very beneficial for guys who haven't had much in the way of sexual experience, especially positive ones, to have that contact during the reboot. I think it has really helped me as it feels like its re-wiring my brain to what its supposed to want and also gives me confidence with a real life partner, which is helping reduce my own anxieties.

Im probably doubling up with what you have there but it just sprung to mind for me.

Also: Edging, relapses, masturbation technique (rough or prone), previous bad experiences with sex.

I'm not into video

I'm not into video games
Physically active in shape
Soon to turn 29
Very social, my industry requires it
Plenty of contact with potential partners.
I use Facebook only on my phone and without looking for pics
Started masturbating long before i watched porn.
Started making out with girls at around 16.
Had two horrible unsatisfying intercourse experiences in my life. (no one that knows me would believe that)
Most of my sex has been fourplay, oral, with me finishing myself off
I have been fighting PMO since April when I found out I had a problem.
Longest I have gone is 36 days.

These points would be my outline for my reboot. As far as fantasy I cut that off as soon as it enters my mind. Day one starts tomorrow.

For that period till

For that period till now..The most frequent cycles PMO clean have gone 2 to 3 weeks. One week stretches have been the second most frequent spans. When I would relapse the PMO binge would last 1 to 2 days before getting back to abstaining.
I feel my brain has rewired some, so my reboot could be faster than expected compared to someone rebooting for the first time.

Things I think may

Things I think may contribute to my reboot time:

-family history of addiction
-addiction to food and gaming (funny enough no addiction to alcohol or drugs, even though I've tried mj and it's nbd to me and have a drink occasionally)
-early start with porn
-bad experiences with females
-lack of confidence/giving up because of concern over other medical issues
-discouraged by parents against showing interest in females for years
-most of social life and academic life/entertainment through computer or other tech
-lack of access to potential mates/females to spend time with 1 on 1
-past emotional issues related to sexual anxiety
-traumatic sexual experience in the past
-history of obesity
-poor diet
-lack of exercise
-intense fear of causing pregnancy, I would say almost irrationally so... can't have sex/have sex to completion even in dream state

I think that's about it. But so you get an idea of how that impacts me, I'll summarize where I'm at so far

-about to complete day 14 of no pmo, 3rd attempt
-i realize i've probably edged twice, now that I realize it, will not do that again
-waking up sometimes twice a night with about 60-80% strength erections
-waking up about half-time in morning with erection
-intense feelings of desire for sex occasionally
-showing interest in women in real life
-easier time with conversing with women
-genuine feelings of attraction to women I know with intrusive amorous thoughts
-interest in dating again
-occasional tingling or sensations of warmth/stimulation in genital area for no reason
-some mild mood swings (easier to cry, become frustrated/angry/embarrassed)
-strongest erections in several years
-slight pulsation sensation with erections
-testicles more drawn into body most of the time, especially during erection
-suspicion that erections could be even stronger even though they have been strongest in years, perhaps exercise is necessary for this to increase circulation

I'm having pretty much the

I'm having pretty much the exact same "symptoms" as you now, Terminus. It's day ten for me. And I've had many similar experiences in the past that may, as we're hypothesizing, add time to the reboot.

I resent the idea that

I resent the idea that videogames are bad for rebooting. They can be of course, but "gaming" cannot be inherently bad.

Good games fall under 2 major categories. Skill/strategy (COD, starcraft, etc), and RPG/story (Zelda, Skyrim). A competitive skill/strategy game will not affect your mind any differently from a sport (it affects your body differently because it doesnt give you excerise though of course), and a RPG game will not affect your mind any differently from a good book.

There are of course games that are popular because of their mindless addictiveness, but I think the key is the mindless and addictiveness of them, not the fact that they are games. Its the same as internet surfing. If youre surfing wholesome educational websites, thats fine. If youre compulsively picking your way through pseudo-porn pictures or online-dating-profiles, that is not fine.

If you game/surf so much that you dont have time left in your day to be social then that is bad also, but this typically doesnt happen unless you are playing something mindless. (or, if youre playing a game that has just been released, but one day of being antisocial will not hurt you in the long run surely.....)

I never said vidoo games were "bad"

This thread is all about looking for answers. It's a fact that excessive video gaming causes the same brains changes as seen in drug addicts, so it reasonable to ask the question. Keep in mind that internet and the computer are new to the human mind, so one cannot say what is too much, or what is OK........

Re-boot helpful

Re-boot helpful activity

-Socializing with people , very important. Don't hide away.
-Sharing your addiction, talking to real people about it. Bring your dark secret out in the open. Admitting that this is a problem for you and letting others help / support.
-Being fortunate enough to have "cuddle bunny" or find one.
-Positive rewards for your success no matter how long or short each success is.
-Exercise, exercise and exercise

Why do some take longer?
-We all have to be fully committed to this , I mean fully. I spent about 2 years just preparing for this although I did not realize I was preparing at the time.
-I began using porn(mags) at about 12 and am 50, and have now gone 48 days no PM, but my resolve to beat this is so very deep. And I have the greatest "cuddle bunny" I could dream of.


At 49 days I have to honestly say that, given the level of pain and instability that the big 'O' has been causing me for decades, at the moment I'm kind of feeling like I could care less if I never had an orgasm again! I suppose I will live to see the day when I no longer feel that way, but at the moment, life has been so much more stable from one day to the next, and just plain better, without being on the merry-go-round of experiencing, paying for and then suffering through the binge-pain-purge-pain-binge cycle that has been orgasm for the vast majority of my entire life!

Don't feel like I want to go there, ever again, at the moment. Sounds weird to even say that. But it's what I'm feeling right now. Been stung way too many times.


Its been mentioned in a list but I wanted to specificaly point out that I believe the over use of alcohol (or potencialy any other addictive substance) is slowing the process for me. Anything that keeps the brain disregulated is bad for the reboot.

Continuous effort - not strength or intelligence - is the key to unlocking our potential.
Winston Churchill

Your probably right

I tend to shy away from telling guys they should quit pot, alcohol, surfing the net, etc because quitting porn is tough enough. But it would make bological sense that drugs or other potentially addictive activities might slow things down. However, trying to have a "perfect" reboot with an ideal lifestyle is the makings of failure.

Heh heh

Fortunately I only failed at quiting drinking and not at quiting porn. A problem for another day I guess. I'm considering a post holiday alcohol 90 day "reboot" with the goal being not to start again.

Continuous effort - not strength or intelligence - is the key to unlocking our potential.
Winston Churchill

isolation, lack of female company, online media over-use

Social isolation, lack of new female company (dating or just friends) and continued reliance on online media and TV for entertainment seem like the three main factors prolonging recovery.

However, what about exogenous factors such as relationship problems/break-up, and anxiety related to job loss, study problems or financial problems ? I think that these factors can drive people to relapse.

I was hoping this thread might be for the guys

who are at 100+ days (and any of us who want to support them), so we could help them isolate the factors, if any, that might be holding them back. (It may be there aren't any, and that some brains just take longer. Period.).

Any of you 100+ers out there who want to chime in with your theories?

Day 32...this is my first go

Day 32...this is my first go at this. Fortunately I haven't had any relapse or setbacks.

I think a good spiritual conection can help this process along. Meditation or reading books like The Power of Now go a long way in keeping you grounded in the "present".

If you calm the mind you calm the body.

I think this makes change and growth much easier.

Our addiction is in our brain....which ironically, is both body and mind.

I hope this makes sense. Sometimes its difficult to articulate this sort of thing.


I think it is too easy to get stuck in a fixed set of negative thinking such as:
"I have to stop watching porn."
"When will this be done."
"Am I fixed yet?"
"Will it work?"
Basically one has to learn to think in a vertical manner that will help propel him beyond that of being stuck in an addicts mental state. Every conscious effort is important.
"Cultivate your hunger before you idealize." Akeboshi


I think Likanidiot's post "You Built A Harem" explains it very well. The more one interacts with real women while avoiding fake ones, the quicker he or she(?) will rewire.
"Cultivate your hunger before you idealize." Akeboshi

I'm at day 108. I have a

I'm at day 108.

I have a pretty healthy lifestyle. I exercise a lot (weights plus cardio), socialize a lot, have close friends and family.
I started masturbating later in life around 17 and had my first sexual encounter at 18. I had semi-frequent oral sex/sex with girlfriend from 18-21, then had a dry spell until around 24. I started frequent PMO around 23 and this lasted until last year (6 years total). I noticed ed issues around 26 when I was in a serious relatinoship. Since that time, had several other sexual encounters, most of them failing due to ED.

Started the reboot process this summer. Didn't have any difficulty abstaining from PMO but did have trouble avoiding fantasy after the flatline stage (day 60-90 ish). I've had several wet dreams, and even within my dreams, I have ED issues which i find odd. Last night, had another wet dream and it was the first time I didn't have ED in my dream.

I have no idea why it's taking so long for me. I am generally happy and successful in life. I do have a slight tendency towards anxiety of becoming obsessed about something, which i have generally used to my advantage by focusing on productive things (work, exercise, etc).

Last thing. I did have several checkups for hormones (all fine) and went to a urologist that did ultrasound tests. All tests should normal physical function so this is definitely in my head. Additionally, tried cialis/viagra/levitra with limited success.

Would love to solve this issue and any ideas would be helpful. I have been hugging/cuddling/flirting with a lot of different girls, which seems to help but haven't seen any lasting effects (ie: spontaneous erections or long lasting morning wood). I could be cuddling with an attractive girl, holding hands with her or touching her and there is a good chance that I wouldn't even get a full erection and if I did, it would go away pretty in a few minutes. In my early 20's, I would have a full erection that would last for hours if did this. How do I get that back?

Did you

actually try to have sex with any? (Sorry if you answered this. Just point me to the right post.)

I ask because as you get older it's normal to get full erections when you "get down to business," but not so much "randomly." I wonder if you are using the wrong measuring sticks. In other words, in adulthood, erections aren't there to ease your mind constantly; they're there to do a job. Wink

Did you read this? http://yourbrainonporn.com/how-do-i-know-when-im-back-to-normal

I'd hate for you to be sitting home alone waiting when you're actually ready for action.

I read that link. I haven't

I read that link. I haven't tried to have sex yet because I don't feel I'm fully ready. I am working on a girl right now
and I'm pretty confident that I'll have the opportunity to have sex soon enough. The only thing that's stopping me right now is that I'm not confident it will work out. Normally I wouldn't care but I go to a small school and don't want to ruin my reputation with other girls.


find a way to do some kissing.

Remember, you are entitled to go at your own pace. If all systems are not "go," then tell her you want to take it slowly.

In fact, if you think you really like this girl, then you would be well advised to take it slowly anyway. The more "bonding behaviors" the better, both for your relationship and for your erectile health. You evolved to be a pair bonder, not a human dildo. }:)

Just tell her you've noticed that things that start more slowly tend to last longer and you really like her, so you'd like to take it slowly. She'll be flattered.

Or to put this another way, just because you kiss someone doesn't mean you are obliged to fertilize her...or feel like a failure. If you think that...or she thinks that...you've both been watching too much porn. Smile

The thing she most cares about is that you find her attractive. Your penis is not the only measure of that. If you aren't ready to have sex yet, just be sure to let her know how attractive you find her in other ways: smiles, treats, friendly touch, courtliness.

19 Years Old. Day 130.

Here are the details of my reboot thus far:

- Started with porn at a VERY early age. Although sessions were few and far between until I was about 15 when I got a computer in my room. Before that I masturbated to non-porn magazines, some porn still-images, and my own fantasies. Twice a day (once in the morning and once in the evening. Usually in the shower). In addition to masturbating, my girlfriend would perform oral sex a couple of times a week from ages 13-18. Reduced frequency after I realized I had a problem with erections.

- Began on June 15. Quit cold turkey. No tapering, no craves, no nothing. At least where porn itself is concerned.

- Hobbies include: weight lifting, video games (don't play TOO much, although after Skyrim was released...), hanging out with my girlfriend (I've let her perform a few sexual favors, but no sex.), rapping (don't ask. I like words), watching movies, and reading (fantasy mostly. E.g. Dragonlance/Forgotten Realms)

- As far as internet browsing goes, I don't really go on Facebook anymore. When I open my laptop, my cycle is generally Reddit, this website, YBOP to see if there are any new articles, YouTube to check my subscriptions, then my email. I don't look up pictures of attractive women, and cravings are pretty much nonexistent.

- I realize socializing is an important factor, but unfortunately I don't have many friends. I talk to my roommates and we get food, and I do have a good friend attending another college, but generally I dont have much luck. I'm not antisocial or introverted though. I've been trying to make friends for a long time, so I don't think porn has affected me in that regard

- My girlfriend and I live in different cities, but whenever we see each other there is a lot of playful touching and connection. Been with her for about 5 years so I'm extremely comfortable around here. I do get a little anxiety about my erection strength, admittedly, but she's given me so many blowjobs throughout the course of our relationship that it dissipates pretty fast.

- Regarding progress, I'd say there have been some noticeable changes since I began reboot (130 days I think. Haven't checked). I get erections more easily, and more often. My erections aren't at full strength though. I received fellatio a couple of nights ago, and after the fact I asked her about the hardness, to which she replied "about 70%". This is what irks me more than anything, but I won't get into it. If I touch my penis and focus only on light touch with no other thoughts in mind, I can get a 70%er. I wasn't able to do this a few months ago, so that's good.

- I've had two wet dreams recently (haven't since I was like 13). This gives me some hope that I'm choking my brain out of sexual gratification and that I'll come out the other side soon, but there's no way to know.

Hopes this helps. Any questions just ask :D


I don't see any obvious leads there, but maybe someone else will have an insight. Sad

As you say, it may just be a question of patience. Just do yourself a favor: When you're back to full strength, don't play around with porn. 8)

Is it worth some of you guys

who are having 70%ers tryiing viagra for a short while, when i was doing my tests etc about 10years ago now, my urologist recommended it, not because there was anything wrong with me physically (which he confirmed, well outside of the brain;-), but because he said in their experience in the UK, they found that some men that had ED issues without any apparent cause would 'click' back into things with a course of viagra. He said they (whoever they is) were not sure of the reasons why but there had been plenty of cases in their experience where this had worked.

I personally would give that a go, I suspect after a full reboot you will get full erections with it and it will be interesting to see if the effects carried on post 'viagra course'. In all fairness the effects did seem to go on for quite a while with me after taking Viagra, but as I had other issues that I am only now aware of Wink the viagra never worked for me during sex. I think after the reboot it would definitely help with confidence (which seems to be quite important) and I suspect if i was just 10-15% short it would help 'snap' me back into full strength as he suggested, but that's just a semi-educated guess.

Just a thought.

Is there any connection

Is there any connection between the makers of Viagara and cialis and the porn industry/overt sexuality on tv shows. The ED many men report after porn use would be a great way to move Viagara off store shelfs???

just joking, I think.

I'm on day 172

of not masturbating. Had one orgasm by blowjob around day 90 (best sexual encounter of my life); one wet dream around day 100; otherwise have not ejaculated. Started edging heavily to porn on day 112. I stopped looking at porn over four weeks ago now. I got my first morning wood 2 or 3 days ago since quitting edging four weeks ago. Have been with my girlfriend almost every night for I guess about two weeks or so. I get partial erections with her but have not had intercourse yet because I don't feel totally confident yet. But I know I'll get there. Totally sympathize with those who say they don't get full erections (easily) and wish they did.

My story:
masturbation to porn mags from age 13 to 17; occasional porn videos (before internet porn was around)
first encounter with a woman at age 18; first experience of ED when we tried to have sex.
All I can do is keep cuddling/snuggling/kissing etc and wait for my brain/body to get as healthy as possible. And of course never look at porn again.

I have only managed about 35

I have only managed about 35 days, twice, with no-PMO stretches of a week or two. Since the beginning of July, about 4 binges of 2-3 days with multiple PMO. But I suspect based on what I read hear, my reboot may be one of the longer ones:

Pre-reboot factors:
starting early with porn; - YES, I've been MO-ing to my particular triggers since I was 13 or so.

late start with females; - YES, wrt sexual intimacy... in fact, try NEVER. Relatively normal track for meeting women and "rounding second base and looking towards third" but never got further due to very early copulatory ED.

access to high speed Internet earlier than others; - YES, I worked in computer science and found stuff on Usenet/FTP before the web even existed.

genetically susceptible brain; - NO, thankfully! No addictive personality, I even managed to quit cigarettes shortly after starting to use them in high school.

Data from here and intuition tell me those first three factors will make it difficult for me. Gary, have you determined whether age is a factor as well? I'm in my mid-40's.

Reboot factors:
too much surfing the net; - PROBABLY, lol. I found this place, right? Wink

fantasizing; - OKAY, generally find it possible to avoid.

playing video games or online gambling; - NO.

surfing for pics (facebook, swimsuit, dating sites); - YES, more than I should.

isolation; - NO, good social life otherwise.

lack of contact with potential partners; - YES, and totally my fault through inaction. Sad

anxiety disorders; - NO.

I'm 16 days into my latest attempt, and will try to keep y'all updated. Although Marnia continually points out that the "lack of contact with potential partners" makes it tough to tell if you actually are ready, so I may have a difficult time telling my actual results unless things change there. Sad

I'm just mentioning possibile

factors, hoping others will list what they think helped or hindered. Not about age as a factor. Logic would say that older men with longer use may take longer to recover, but this may not be the case. Early use of Internet porn is the one factor that correlates to longer times for ED recovery.

Hey Chipdog

Good to hear from you again. Still not ready to date? I always have this feeling that a generous woman is going to be the key to your jump start.

Not yet...

I haven't met anyone IRL and I still have this unknown block where I can't get myself to try online dating. On the up side, I have noticed my attraction/arousal to real women does seem to be getting stronger, despite the relapses. They don't reset you back to zero.

With regard to the original topic, maybe I'm not as bad off as I thought. After reading the article Gary posted here: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/cupids-poisoned-arrow/201110/why-sho...

I'll have to qualify the answers I gave above. While I did have internet access earlier than most, I'm old enough that it still wasn't until I was really in my late teens (18) and early 20s. Sure, from 13-18 I used fetish imagery to masturbate, but mostly from magazines and fantasy... not nearly the electronic "pornucopia" of today or even the early '90s. So perhaps I didn't get so completely mis-wired during my critical teenage years.

Week 15

Pre-reboot factors:
starting early with porn YES. 12-13 softcore once a month, then escalated
late start with females NO
access to high speed Internet earlier than others; NO
genetically susceptible brain; not sure

Reboot factors:
too much surfing the net; YES
fantasizing; NO, cut out around week 8
playing video games or online gambling; NO, cut out around week 4
surfing for pics (facebook, swimsuit, dating sites); NO (relapse (no PMO, just looking) once every few weeks)
isolation; YES
lack of contact with potential partners; NO
anxiety disorders; NO