Fighting For Love

Lately I've felt my progress slipping away, to the point where the fear of relapsing on the primary goal of this journey has become a serious concern. I gave myself more time than usual this evening for some self-reflection, managing to avoid distracting myself for too long (at least by my standards). With this time I arrived at a shameful but necessary conclusion, something that I've theorized before and implied in earlier entries: I am a selfish, immature person.

I haven't contributed to anyone else's thread since starting this new journal. I barely contribute to the other rebooting communities that I'm a member of, except to discuss my own problems. I've been taking my family and friendships for granted. I've been putting in less than 100% effort at work, as well as towards the steps needed to develop independence from my parents. I've been going against my username, becoming less involved with these causes as opposed to making substantial efforts for them like I had initially anticipated (and admittedly my intentions are gaining a higher concentration of fame-chasing). And lastly, I feel like I fumbled a previously undisclosed accountability partnership with someone who was really struggling by not being as helpful as I could've been; he hasn't contacted me in several weeks now and I fear for the worst.

And my problem isn't just selfishness; it's that the selfishness is coming from an internal source of weakness, wishing for the appeasement of my naïve surface-level desires of instant satisfaction. The cravings to relapse on my goals is something that I consider to be a form of this selfishness, and I haven't been handling these cravings very well lately.

…So what do I do now? Well, trying to help people out here seems like a good start

[5/5/2022 EDIT: My old accountability partner recently reappeared in the recovery group that we're both in. He went through a relapse period and lost access to the Discord account that he had been messaging me with, which explains his former absence. He seems to be in a better state of mind than he was before :)]
 
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D

Deleted member 22651

Guest
Hey mate, its good that youre taking time to reflect on things and you are aware of where you want to improve but the negative self talk never helps. We all go through life differently and we have our reasons for being the way we are and doing the things we do, beating yourself up about it wont do shit.

I've read a couple of self-help books and follow a lot of "success" pages on my socials, one key message that tends to pop up is changing your mindset. Its cool to acknowledge your areas of weakness but the nest step is to turn it into positive self-talk. You might not believe it at first but tell yourself long enough that "You are amazing" "You are helpful" "You can achieve this and that" and eventually you will. A few years ago I started my sales career and I was shit, I listened to positive affirmations and took active steps everyday to get better and improve. Sure enough a few months down the line I was a top 5 performer in my office of 60.

When I started my journey to kick porn out of my life, it was hell, I didnt really want to stop. Once I changed my mindset to a more positive one telling myself "I dont need porn" "I am better than this" "Theres more to life than porn" a lot started to change. Its never too late to take the steps to be that person you want to be, that person you know you can be.

Do it for you

You can do it bro!
 
I occasionally view my desires to relapse on porn and masturbation in a personified way, with the person often being the woman who was my favorite porn actress. In her material she would tend to radiate a succubus aura, but I suppose that most other actresses do as well. She's among the most common of my thoughts that I resort to while masturbating, which is obviously unhealthy. The ease at which I can visualize her attempting to seduce me into these sorts of behaviors freaks me out, along with how often these visualizations occur. It feels like a sick fantastical sporadic relationship, one that I need to walk away from. As a side note, she has a characteristic that relates to this old post:
One of the many cultural harms of pornography is the fetishization of characteristics that are not naturally sexual. This objectifies people for things that should be negligible, things that are often beyond their control. Sometimes it's difficult to distinguish between genuine preferences and this phenomenon, but it's clear to me that porn can easily influence its consumers to cross the line.
In her case it's her accent, but the relevance of that factor in my life is weaker than the race examples since accents are generally less diverse within a region than race is (mine included)
 
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I need to create a concrete goal for my masturbation abstinence. There are clear parallels between my failure to keep it going and the era of my last porn relapses; an era that ended when I figured out a specific goal with substance. In that case, the goal was based on assigning meaning to the 4 weeks in between the date of that last relapse and my birthday. Each week represented a person(s) who would benefit from a porn-free me: Myself, my future girlfriend(s), the other people in my life, and the people outside of it who will benefit from my activist endeavors (the strength of which is correlated with my success with this journey). The logic behind this goal is that if the streak ends I lose that symbolism for the next streak (not that I'd have to stop caring about those things). This goal didn't change my overall intention to be porn-free for the rest of my life, and it's kind of silly, but it's been working!

I don't think that a calendar-based goal is the way to go for this topic though. As of right now my best idea is to abstain under the motivation to live a life rife with character-building and beneficial "suffering". This is something that I've partially been doing already; I view it as a mixture of trying to live a healthy life and appealing to my self-absorbed nature by doing things that make me feel special. One of my more out-there and minor examples is that I don't microwave leftovers, out of concern for my carbon footprint and the conservation of the nutritional value of the food. But some of these lifestyle choices aren't as much of a choice as others. Would I spend 70 or so minutes total walking on icy sidewalks to get to and from the gym if I could drive there? And I can view my romantic isolation in some twisted coping way that somehow makes me feel superior to others, but that doesn't do me any real good
 
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I had some pretty close calls last week and this week, the closest that I've had in a long time.

Last week's were due to my usage of the website IMDb, which I began visiting as part of my movie "hobby" that seems to have left me by now. It was an opportunity to look at pictures of women as a less explicit substitute for porn, which could've easily escalated into seeking out the real thing. I messed up, but I'm glad that I refrained from both masturbating while doing it and escalating the content. I stopped using the site after that, which considering my decline in interest for the site's main purposes was an easy decision.

Speaking of leaving websites, this week's close call was due in part to a temporary void left by my decision to stop playing Pokémon Showdown for at least a long time. The amount of knowledge involved with it takes up a lot of real estate in my head, space that I'd prefer to use for more practical things (and that practicality mindset can be applied to my free time too). The fact that I almost resorted to porn in its absence tells me that I had been using it as a form of mood regulation, which makes sense considering that it's a form of entertainment. The solution is to be adamant about addressing the problems that cause those negative moods.

I'm basically abstaining from video games as a whole since the only one that I'm currently interested in probably won't be released for at least several more months (Breath of the Wild 2 (edit: LOL)). I'm not entirely convinced that this new abstinence goal will be a net positive though. One of my previous relapses happened during an earlier video game abstinence; I feel stronger in my recovery overall now but I REALLY don't want to repeat that. I need to find a balance between being productive and making my life needlessly devoid of lower-effort joy. Here's a list of the productive and/or character-building and/or "sacrificial" and/or "suffering" things that I'm currently doing, followed by the ones that I'm not (but I should). And by "sacrificial" and "suffering", I mean those in the weakest sense:
  • Usually eating healthy, avoiding unhealthy drinks
  • Working out (but not as often as I should)
  • Listening to the news
  • Practicing my instruments
  • Not microwaving leftovers (does that even deserve to be listed? :LOL:)
  • Trying to abstain from unproductive entertainment + masturbation + picking at my skin/nails
  • Abstaining from porn
  • Working a job (so does almost everyone else, but hey it's something)
  • (Rarely) working on my songs + misc. creative projects
  • Listening to/watching content about porn addiction
  • Hardly ever drinking alcohol (I used to have 1 beer per day, but eventually I felt like it was contributing to my relapses so I stopped)
  • Walking/biking instead of driving, not having sex or dating, not going on trips except to visit extended family (these aren't 100% choices so they don't really count, but they're still "suffering")
  • Never did any drugs or tobacco products, and never will
  • Donating money to a few people/groups
_________________________________________
  • Taking cold showers
  • Doing smaller workouts at home
  • Learning practical real-world adult skills
  • Reading books
  • Consistently writing in my journal
  • Helping other rebooters
I know that some parts of this post have been a bit redundant with the last one, but I'd rather cohesively speak my mind than abridge my thoughts. So yeah, I don't want to make myself miserable but I don't want to be lazy either. I'll continue this new abstinence goal until I'm confident that it's a net negative
 
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This next journal entry has been on my mind for a long time, it's one of those topics where it's difficult to fully translate my thoughts into words due to all of the layers. I woke up very early just now so I might as well attempt to write it.

For someone to care enough about themselves to start their reboot journey, they generally need to have at least a little bit of faith in the world as a whole. Faith that the world is at least functional enough to care about succeeding in, and possibly faith in a greater purpose. I struggled with these faiths for a long time. I mentioned earlier how my interest in the fight against sexual exploitation helps to fill the greater-purpose role, I'll use this post to cover others types of sources that other people use, some of which I use as well.

I went to church when I was a kid, and I tried going back as an adult, but I didn't really feel anything. I'm not particularly compelled by any other faiths, so I consider myself to be agnostic.

So, what other higher purposes are there? I've noticed that plenty of other young people really value money, but it doesn't do much for me. I know that sounds pretentious, but it's honestly how I feel. If I was in a different environment I'd probably view it with more reverence, but as of right now it just feels supplementary.

Next up is patriotism and ethnic pride. My relationship with the former is complicated, and I'm not allowed to have the latter (and I'm not sure how I feel about the concept as a whole (that also applies to patriotism)).

...Here's a grouping that I actually have: Family, friends, and other senses of community. I'm very fortunate in the Family department, and the other two are also a big plus. Most people would include "relationships" in this grouping, but you all know my answer to that by now.

I have mixed feelings about my job. It's relatively a pretty good one in today's world, and I get along with my coworkers. My main issue with it is that the fruits of my labor don't feel very meaningful to me. [EDIT: This post used to be more detailed but it did a poor job of explaining my thoughts, I'll elaborate on them in a later entry]. I want to make a living in a way that's more contributive to the betterment of the world than what I'm currently doing. I should look into career paths that can make that possible once I get more of my shit together.

A more minor issue I have with it is that I feel like being there isn't really advancing my goals, but those are more of a free time thing so the suboptimization of that is the bigger problem. And of course I have other minor complaints like the workspace being crowded and noisy (even with hearing protection), but just about every job has at least a few issues of that level.

In terms of jobs and working in general, I try to find the line between being responsible and being exploited. My current job is in a good spot, but my first two felt like they had a degree of exploitation. I'm happy to hear about news of labor rights efforts expanding and succeeding, and I'll discuss more about politics in the next entry, which will connect to my faith in the functionality of the world
 
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Not a Rabbi

Active Member
I agree that a "higher cause" is really important, as well as having a community. Sadly, many people who don't have a built-in community or higher cause (like religion, culture, etc.) will latch on to things that are meaningless and/or actively harmful. It sounds like you feel passionately about fighting sexual exploitation and music, both of which are great higher causes.
 
D

Deleted member 22651

Guest
I can agree with most of what you said, when it comes to religion, I grew up christian but at around 15y/o, I only went to church for the friends I made there and to keep up the image for the family. I eventually stopped going but I always found that most religions have a lot to teach about life in general if you take out the "holy" aspect to it, so I consider myself to be spiritual and do what I can do be good person.

For career, as much as I like my job, I don't feel like its my true calling to do what I do so in the mean time, I work on the skills I need to jump into the IT industry soon where I feel like my work will add value to others.

To me, patriotism doesn't make sense. I've lived in a couple of different countries in Africa and Australasia, third world and first world countries. reflecting back on that, I realized that its the friends you have who make the experiences better or worse, focusing on bigger things outside our control makes it all more complicated (plus you could never get me to fight for any country, for almost any reason). Like @Not a Rabbi said "It sounds like you feel passionately about fighting sexual exploitation and music, both of which are great higher causes." and I agree
 
I can be politically classified as a frustrated independent. I'm not fond of the current federal government, or any of its past forms that have existed in the course of my lifetime either. My state's government doesn't fare much better: The governor who "served" for the most terms in my lifetime is a genuinely awful person.

I know that I'm young; but I'm already tired of the blatant lies, the hypocrisy, the virtue-signaling, the revisionist history, the cowardice, the military industrial complex, the whips, the empty promises, the nepotism, the baffling incompetence, the elderly people in power who clearly lack the mental fortitude necessary for their responsibilities, the ways in which voter demographics are treated like cattle, how partisanship on things that sound relatively promising is avoided no matter how ridiculous the excuses are while things that screw people over become partisan instead, the stark disconnect between constituents and members of government, the bloated election process, the unofficial party allegiances in the courts, the lack of faith in the American People and their sense of judgement, and all of the problems that seem varying levels of fucked like health care and infrastructure and prisons and sentencings and poverty and the housing market and inflation and drugs and street violence and education and the environment and monopolies and worker's rights and taxation and etc. that you wish they could somehow figure out thorough solutions to, but they rarely can.

Our system's near-complete dismissal of 3rd parties is a major grievance of mine. Anyone who believes that we live in a legitimate democracy has been propagandized by the 2-party system and the conforming concept of the left/right political spectrum. It's absurd to me that the Democrat and Republican presidential tickets of 2016 and 2020 received almost 100% in total of the popular vote each time, despite clearly being unqualified for various reasons. In situations like those I'd expect someone suitable for the job to emerge from one place or another, uniting the American people with the power of sensibility. Maybe there actually was someone who was capable of that, but if so then the media definitely under-reported on them (on purpose of course). Changes to our electoral system need to be made to more accurately represent the wants of the people (Perot's 0 Electoral votes despite getting 18.9%/8.4% of the popular vote was undeniable proof of this), and I feel like implementing those changes would spark public interest in considering 3rd-party and independent candidates as equals; interest that they deserve.

I could stomach the 2-party system if it wasn't for my biggest issue with this whole disgraceful mess: Money. The amount of motivation that is has over these people, over practically every facet of it all, is disgusting. You were elected to serve the people, not yourselves and your party and your favorite lobbyists and etc. And money plays a large part in supporting the 2-party system and fueling many of the other problems that I previously listed. I read a YouTube comment stating that politicians should display their sponsors on their clothing like NASCAR, and I agree 1,000%

Many of these complaints extend to the vast majority of media, and I despise their crippling bias and the distracting ways in which they try to divide us. And let's not forget about their tendency to avoid accountability for their mistakes.

These things do make it more difficult to care about succeeding in this world; but if you manage to not obsess over them or fall for their perpetuators' divisiveness and instead forge stronger bonds with your fellow common people through understanding and sensibility, you will achieve that desire for success.
 
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I had some more close calls before the weekend began, sparked by something new. Remember when I said this?:
My brain has put more effort into devising excuses for relapsing on porn than it has for any other purpose in my entire life (or at least it feels that way at its worst)
Nowadays this almost seems to be the case for my brain's efforts to convince me to consume content that's arguably porn substitutes. The recent examples were online articles about sex. There are some bits of useful knowledge in there, but I'm certain that reading them was a net negative for me. After all, the main purpose of me reading those articles was to consume excitingly sexual content. There's discussion of sexual topics here and in other porn addiction reboot/recovery-focused media, but the context of those instances is more tolerable in terms of one's own recovery than that of the articles. Fortunately my urges went away Saturday (3/5) and have yet to return, and now that I've crossed the 5-month milestone I feel more motivated to fight them.


I want to talk more about masturbation now. Here's most of what I've previously shared about the topic:
The secondary goal that many other rebooters begin immediately but I didn't was abstinence from masturbation, which I didn't really attempt until 5 weeks had passed. I was intimidated by the prospect of doing so, and I believed that attempting it would actually be a net negative in my case. The impact of masturbation on a reboot varies depending on the person, and for a minority of people it seems to be generally helpful if done sparingly. I'm still not 100% sure about how good or bad it is for me, but as of right now I feel like I should try abstaining from it as long as I can. One of the main issues that I have with it is that many of the thoughts that go through my head during sessions are pornographic or porn-inspired. And if I'm not thinking about women from porn, who am I thinking about? I've gotten better at conjuring women from scratch mentally, but I still worry about having sexual thoughts in these lustful moments about women who I don't want to sexualize. Another issue is that the urge to do it is compulsive and mood-based. On a more positive note; I'm now able to get more satisfaction out of the physical sensation itself, and my increased ability to masturbate to completion without a visual aid is overall a good sign of progress.

My longest masturbation-abstinence streak of this journey was 30 full days long, October 31st-November 29th, and yes I'm aware of how ironic those dates are. I ended it when I felt like I was going to resort to relapsing on porn out of a crazed sense of lust, fortunately it ended up working. I would be willing to do that again if needed, but my other relapses on this goal generally haven't been as justified.

I made an observation regarding my efforts to stop masturbating about 2 weeks after those efforts began. My only methods of sexual pleasure would be nocturnal emissions and actual sexual activity. Nocturnal emissions are great and have made some positive contributions to my recovery, but they can only do so much. I became worried that without the access to the sexual pleasure that masturbation provides, I might end up trying to selfishly "use" women for that purpose. This hasn't been a problem in reality yet since I haven't "made moves" on any women during the entirety of this reboot, but I'll be cautious of it in the future when it's relevant.
I need to create a concrete goal for my masturbation abstinence. There are clear parallels between my failure to keep it going and the era of my last porn relapses; an era that ended when I figured out a specific goal with substance. In that case, the goal was based on assigning meaning to the 4 weeks in between the date of that last relapse and my birthday. Each week represented a person(s) who would benefit from a porn-free me: Myself, my future girlfriend(s), the other people in my life, and the people outside of it who will benefit from my activist endeavors (the strength of which is correlated with my success with this journey). The logic behind this goal is that if the streak ends I lose that symbolism for the next streak (not that I'd have to stop caring about those things). This goal didn't change my overall intention to be porn-free for the rest of my life, and it's kind of silly, but it's been working!

I don't think that a calendar-based goal is the way to go for this topic though. As of right now my best idea is to abstain under the motivation to live a life rife with character-building and beneficial "suffering". This is something that I've partially been doing already; I view it as a mixture of trying to live a healthy life and appealing to my self-absorbed nature by doing things that make me feel special. One of my more out-there and minor examples is that I don't microwave leftovers, out of concern for my carbon footprint and the conservation of the nutritional value of the food. But some of these lifestyle choices aren't as much of a choice as others. Would I spend 70 or so minutes total walking on icy sidewalks to get to and from the gym if I could drive there? And I can view my romantic isolation in some twisted coping way that somehow makes me feel superior to others, but that doesn't do me any real good
And here's something new: I like having erections. Obviously the physical sensation of having them feels great, and you can use them to masturbate, but there's more to it than that. My erections remind me that I still have sexual potential, that my penis is more than ready for what is was made for (I've been like 99.7% sure for months now that I won't encounter PIED, I'm not sure about performance anxiety though). And in a more recent development (it may have been around earlier but if it was then it was more subconscious), my enjoyment from getting these erections has involved countering my irrational penis size insecurities: Getting myself fully erect and reassuring myself that I'm very much capable of fulfilling my future sexual responsibilities anatomy-wise (but like I've said before there are many other factors at play that are more important when it comes to having great healthy sex). Sometimes when I'm getting dressed or brushing my teeth in my underwear/ sweatpants/pajamas/gym shorts and I see my bulge I'll start to get an erection, and sometimes that erection gets pretty far and I need to wait it out.

The looking-in-the-mirror part is more evidence towards the confidence aspect. I used to look at my reflection as little as possible unless it was to pick at my skin. When I was beginning to form interest in having romantic relationships I had a low opinion of my looks; my opinion generally improved a bit over time but it was stuck at "moderately unattractive" until not that long ago. I feel like I've grown into my looks more; now I view them as pretty much neutral if one isn't bothered by my skin (also I need to figure out how to optimize my facial hair). I also avoided my reflection out of uncomfortability that can be attributed to my Asperger's, which I've overcome the vast majority of. Maybe if in the past I payed more attention to what I looked like I would've taken better care of myself, but I'm able to apply that to the present and that's what matters. I think that my physique has slightly improved in the last 6 months, so I'll continue to look for progress. And I received some positive feedback about my looks in the last few months, so that's nice.

Getting aroused by seeing my own bulge ties in to what was one of my favorite types of porn compilation video/gif: women reacting to the penis reveal. In hindsight that's one of the stupidest types of scenes, and it's no wonder that watching that garbage made me so insecure considering that the appeal is so heavily influenced by the "bigger is better" mentality. I need to make sure not to reverse that insecurity in a way that makes me fantasize about or expect my future partner(s) to reenact the scene. It may not be the most dangerous or degrading example of porn scripting real sexual encounters, but it's still entitled and misses the greater purposes of sex.

When I get an erection, it's hard to say goodbye to it without using it. It feels like I'm letting a great opportunity go, and I'm paranoid that letting them fade can have negative physical consequences like penis shrinkage and ED (I doubt that there's any evidence of that though. I've also had those fears in regards to masturbating with a semi-boner, which seems more plausible). I have a new strategy for fighting off the urge to masturbate: I'll March around until it goes away. I came up with this brilliant idea when I noticed that my last masturbation session was the day before March began, so I decided to bring back the calendar goal approach. I haven't felt a need to execute this strategy yet, and I feel like the self-imposed need to use it is enough of an incentive to discourage me from even getting to that point :LOL: . But I should've used it when I started to read those articles, it shouldn't just be for masturbation.
 
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Last week I asked my trainer what he thinks the Male:Female ratio of the gym patrons is, and in his answer he mentioned that some women go to the gym at specific times in an attempt to avoid men. He also mentioned that he's seen guys drooling over women in the gym before. I was already actively trying not to be the sort of guy who makes women uncomfortable like that, but now I'm trying even harder. You can imagine how tempted I am to look at them, but as long as I remind myself that focusing on them is bad for the sake of everyone involved it'll be OK.


In an attempt to keep my social skills and manners at an acceptable level, I eat at a local Mexican restaurant every 2 months or so. I go to that restaurant specifically because I like the food and interior, and there's a waitress who works there who's especially nice to me. As you'd expect, I have a bit of a crush on her. Unfortunately while I was there last Thursday I caught myself talking to myself several times. I talk to myself more often than most, mainly when I'm at home/work or walking/biking. As for likely reasons why I do it:
  • It allows me to think more clearly
  • It's another method of acting like a dysfunctional weirdo
  • It makes me feel less alone
Obviously it's not appropriate or healthy behavior in certain environments, restaurants included. The second points reminds me that I need to find the middle ground between "trying too hard to fit in and faking who you are" and "playing an overly eccentric character"
 
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My urges to masturbate and/or seek out porn substitutes have been wonderfully sparse lately. The main difference between this week and last week is my gym attendance: I missed 4 consecutive days ( 2 for leg soreness then 1 for laziness and then 1 more for the timing of the hangout with my friends being up in the air until <2 hours prior to it beginning), but I worked out during the next 4. I plan on getting to 5 consecutive days tommorow and going even further, until I need to stop.

I did relapse on my fingernails though. My left thumb needed to be trimmed, but I went way overboard and spent over an hour picking at all 20 digits. This is proving to be the hardest habit to break, hopefully by the time that they're long enough to be pickable again I'll have figured some more things out.

So, what other higher purposes are there? I've noticed that plenty of other young people really value money, but it doesn't do much for me. I know that sounds pretentious, but it's honestly how I feel. If I was in a different environment I'd probably view it with more reverence, but as of right now it just feels supplementary.
I feel like even more of an asshole for saying this now, considering recent events. I was loosely implying with this paragraph and this other part of the post:
I have my own history of making (much smaller) purchases that weren't very necessary, but I'm actively trying to avoid doing that again these days. [EDIT: This post segment no longer exists]
that I had tried to fill voids by buying things, a strategy that didn't pay off. The main instances of this was about 3 years ago, when I'd buy video games that were on sale that didn't actually interest me very much. I've heard of other people (not specifically porn addicts) having this sort of problem. I feel pretty foolish for my years of financial irresponsibility; I may have not gone into debt (besides a brief student loan period) but I should've done much better. As I get older and (generally) gain more confidence in entering the dating scene, I'm beginning to more realisticly grasp the importance of money. I'm admittedly idealistic about relationships and believe that love is stronger than economic factors, but it's inevitable that those factors will matter on both ends to some degree.

I've opened up to my coworkers and friends about this journey (among other people), and there's an interesting misconception that's been brought up multiple times: Since I'm not viewing porn that automatically means that I'm not masturbating. It would be ideal if that was more often the case, maybe they were predicting my future 😆. You can argue that they thought this because of the logical reasons as to why masturbation is more often than not bad for rebooting, but I got the impression that they weren't really considering the concept of masturbating without porn. A coworker even told me that he doesn't think that he'd be able to masturbate without a visual aid. I'm not surprised by these sorts of revelations, and they're further proof to me that I need to help fix these issues
 
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forestwater

Member
I got the impression that they weren't really considering the concept of masturbating without porn. A coworker even told me that he doesn't think that he'd be able to masturbate without a visual aid. I'm not surprised by these sorts of revelations, and they're further proof to me that I need to help fix these issues
That used to be me (not being able to masturbate without a visual aid, or at least a very graphic written one). I was convinced that that was my immutable nature, that some people could get off to sensation but that I simply couldn't. Only after I started this reboot process did I discover that I can in fact MO without any kind of visual/written/imaginary aid.

It's wild what we think is our unchangeable nature, but that is actually the direct product of the habits we have trained ourselves on, and thus is completely reversible. I wonder what other aspects of my life are the same way.
 
I'm unintentionally beginning to write this post at 11:59 PM. The date of these posts being misleading due to finishing them not long after midnight has been a trend, and tonight's continuation of it is just ridiculous :LOL:

Anyways, I've been doing very well in terms of avoiding porn and masturbation. Urges continue to be a rarity, and my confidence in resisting them keeps increasing. I'm adamant about the testosterone increases that result from abstaining from masturbation, especially since my commitment to going to the gym every day has stayed strong (I just did Day 8 several hours ago). I had a nocturnal emission last Friday night (3/11), but unfortunately it was another very pornified one. Getting really tired of those.

I've briefly gone back to Pokémon Showdown a few times since deciding to leave it, but I concluded Saturday morning that it's not worth it. It's not very fun to me anymore, same with seemingly all other video games. I'm too much of a perfectionist with them, and I become obsessive with a variety of facets of the games. I can't tell you how many times I've reset save files or deleted all of my Pokémon Showdown teams. I've noticed these sorts of mentalities popping up in more tangible aspects of my life before, but fortunately they haven't been as strong there. Also, playing them doesn't feel "rewarding" anymore (not that it should've in the first place).

I found another form of entertainment recently, one that I believe is more productive. Someone in my online friend group shared a logic puzzle, and I enjoyed doing it so much that I sought out other ones. Here's the first site that I've checked out: https://www.ahapuzzles.com/
I did some of the zebra puzzles and the grid puzzles, and I really liked doing those too. In order to really get my brain moving, I made sure to try to only fill in the data that I was 100% sure about (otherwise I could've trial-and-errored it and thus lessened my brain activity). This was especially effective with the zebra puzzles, in which the placement location of a lot of the data that you receive or figure out isn't immediately known.

Now feels like a good time to share something specific about myself, something that relates to a few things and themes that I've previously talked about: I'm 6'3" (190.5 cm). As a guy, I recognize this as a major advantage in our various societies, but I wish that it wasn't like that. This isn't something that I earned, and the extent to which height matters to other people can get ridiculous. Obviously there are other advantages that people can be born with too, but in most instances the value of those things from a societal perspective is more reasonable. Is it strange for me to say that I'm a bit worried about being objectified for my height? I'm grateful to have a characteristic(s) that makes me more generally appealing to women, but I want the ones who are interested in me to have their interest centered around who I am in a more nuanced sense. I trust that nearly all of them would. And with this objectification point comes opportunities for hypocrisy. I'm a bit worried about the body-type preferences that I have for women gaining too much influence over me; I'd like for them to be as weak as possible. It's difficult for me to figure out which aspects of them and to what extent are part of my natural sexuality, and what's a byproduct of my porn consumption + societal bullshit. Based on the track record of the women who I've had feelings for over the years, there doesn't really seem to be a positive or negative correlation between them and the preferences that I think I have. So I'm not too concerned, but I'll still watch out for it.

I watched a livestream of one of my friends setting up a dating app profile a while ago, and I was bothered by the way in which the app (and others like it) categorize people with various data. I understand why they do it, and that communicating the many nuances of a person through a profile page is pretty much impossible, but that doesn't mean that it's not a bit dehumanizing. When you match with someone on this particular app, there are a few pieces of their data that are immediately presented to you. And of course height is one of them, because why wouldn't it be? I believe that using dating apps once I get more of my shit together will be a net positive for me, but geez they have some issues
 
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I just spent several minutes reading sex articles again and almost ended up masturbating, but I was able to beat my temptations with reason. I was in a moment of weakness: I had just gotten home from work and stripped down to my underwear out of my sawdusty clothes, but instead of putting on my gym clothes and begining to eat some food I just layed down in my bed. I was tired and frustrated, and for the past me this would've been the perfect opportunity to masturbate. My decision to get into the bed in the first place was probably subconsciously influenced by this. I need to improve my stress-handling abilities, which will make masturbation seem less appealing. Writing this entry right now is helping, so that's cool.

Earlier today I remembered something that I had realized 2 months or so ago: Because I spent a few years looking at pornographic stuff but not using the erections that it gave me, that might've contributed to my modern enjoyment of getting them. I'm not sure about the scientific angle, but it's an interesting idea to me regardless. Does that mean that every time I get an erection I'm commiting a bit of a relapse? :LOL: I'd say no, since erections aren't entirely voluntary. Overall I'm grateful for the ability to easily get these erections; other guys in these sorts of communities and elsewhere would really appreciate having their own.
 
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Well, it looks like reason went out of season.

During the trainer session that occurred later on the day of my last post, I mentioned that it was the 10th consecutive day that I had been to the gym. I was advised to only go everyday if I start to dedicate some days to cardio/abs. This brought me back down to earth, and I used the following day as a rest day.

Later that night I had finished cleaning my teeth and began to undress for my pajamas. I spent some time analyzing my figure, and I was disappointed that it looked worse than I remembered. For example, I noticed that my rib cage is still visible if I stretch my arms upwards. With the gym thing plus this revelation, I felt a need for validation and stress relief (I was still stressed from my job and some miscellaneous stuff too). Unsurprisingly, with my bulge in view in the mirror, I turned to masturbation, foolishly convincing myself that the debate had shifted in its favor.

In an attempt to not entirely submit to my urges, I did it standing up with my chest perpendicular to the mirror as opposed to laying down in my bed (which I do the vast majority of the time). I managed to do a better job of blocking out porn thoughts, but I struggled to think of non-pornographic sexual things. I'm not entirely sure how to feel about the latter, but I'm leaning towards it being a good thing since it discourages masturbation and encourages seeking out real relationships. When I had masturbated for the first time after my 30-day streak I had much less of a need to think of anything sexual while doing so, the physical sensation was the primary factor. Overall and as per usual this recent session just didn't feel very good, due to my limited and predictable technique and the guilt and the naïve hype behind it and in this case the less relaxing position. After I ejaculated I laughed to myself for a bit at the absurdity of it all. In addition to the previously mentioned things, it was funny to me because:
  • I had never bothered to use my Marching strategy
  • I had felt pretty confident in that streak
  • The world might end soon, which makes a lot of things funny in a messed-up way
I haven't completely stayed away from the sex articles since my previous post, and they influenced me to later masturbate again on that rest day. And then the next 2 days ended up being rest days too because I was low on sleep and my mentality was off. So why was I low on sleep? It was mainly due to something that affects a tremendous amount of people, porn addicts or otherwise...
 
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canguro

Active Member
@ActivistNotWacktivist
Hey man, one thing about your figure!
Your ribcage won't go away from excercising. There are no muscles in front of it, that could hide it. If you don't want your ribcage to be visible you will habe to gain body fat. But srsly, my ribcage is visible, too, because I am pretty lean, but at the same time I am pretty muscular. Don't stress to much about your ribcage. Press some weights so your pecs get bigger, do pull ups, so your back gets wider. Thats more important that the ribcage. ;) But as you are a thin guy, be aware that you have to be in a caloric surplus to gain weight, either muscle or fat! So always watch out that you get more than enough calories, thats most important for us hard gainers. Eat as much as much as you can without eating too unhealthy.

Stay strong my friend!
 
Post-Midnight Post #456

YouTube can be endless. So much content, so effortless to enjoy, so easy to escape the outside world with whether intentionally or not. I've gone down my fair share of YouTube rabbit holes. I've embarked on journeys of my own interests, but I've also let the algorithm guide me too.

One of the genres that I got into a few months ago was "'Bad' singing auditions from television". These videos were appealing to me out of ironic enjoyment, and made me feel better about my own vocal shortcomings. But there was one reoccurring clip in particular that seemed off to me, and thanks to some Comments leading me in the right direction I found out that the singer had been sabotaged and deceived and exploited and was more talented than the show let on. I continued to research the exploitation that these talent shows commit, and it made me not want to continue watching them in any capacity. For example, there's usually at least 1 round of auditions before the televised "first audition", so it's obvious that some people are let through for the purpose of being ridiculed. This was an important lesson for me to be reminded of: That exploitation exists in a variety of industries, not just porn. Do innocent people really have to suffer for the sake of our selfish entertainment?

I must've forgotten what I'd learned, because I recently explored a YouTube rabbit hole that's an even stronger form of televised exploitation: Jerry Springer. I'm aware that much of it is at least somewhat fake, but there always seems to be a degree of exploitation and it never fails to leave a sour taste in my mouth in hindtaste. I noticed something else that it has in common with the singing stuff and other rabbit holes: It's content that makes the viewer feel better about themselves and their own circumstances. It could be a mixture of morally, materially, socially, intelligently, a matter of talent, etc. Examples of those other videos are things like "LIARS CAUGHT and EXPOSED", "Dumb Criminals Caught on Camera", "Try Not to Cringe Challenge", "Livestream Fails", and "'What were they thinking?' A Shitty Driving Compilation: Subaru Edition". I've hardly ever used Reddit (not going to bother masking this site's name unlike PurpleSquare because it's so well-known) for non-porn purposes, but I've received the impression that many of the most popular subreddits do the same. It's funny how this can kind of counteract the way in which we sadden ourselves by comparing our own lives to those of others based on their social media (AKA possibly partially deceitful highlight reel). Participating in one or both of these things is to be avoided. Anyways, what got me to stop watching the show was a really gross episode that I stupidly watched the entirety of that I really want to forget about, but I never should have watched any episodes in the first place.


I masturbated shortly after posting my last entry, as if doing the latter made the former OK. This isn't the first time that I've done this, maybe it's subconsciously making me not want to write more entries :LOL:. I remember fantasizing about a self-imagined black woman in order to get more aroused. I imagined her as an inherently very sexual person with a thing for white guys (including inexperienced ones). And when I masturbated most recently (Sunday night 3/20) some of my fantasizing involved thoughts of having sex with a self-imagined Japanese woman who also likes white guys and acts like she's in a Japanese porn video. These fantasies went against what I've previously said about this topic:
One of the many cultural harms of pornography is the fetishization of characteristics that are not naturally sexual. This objectifies people for things that should be negligible, things that are often beyond their control. Sometimes it's difficult to distinguish between genuine preferences and this phenomenon, but it's clear to me that porn can easily influence its consumers to cross the line. Race is a prominent example of this, and one that I have some personal experience with.

Like many other porn consumers, I would occasionally search for content by race. I watched quite a bit of Japanese material throughout the video years, and in the last few months of my pre-journal days I often sought out material involving black women. There are more differences between Japanese and western porn besides ethnicity, and I liked some of those other differences too, but the ethnic factor was definitely involved with my gravitation towards that content. When it wasn't lewd selfies, the content that I was consuming involving black women typically involved white men; which was a reversal of the pornographic comics that had intrigued me the most beginning several years earlier.

I feel like I naturally have a slightly stronger attraction towards both black women and Japanese women compared to the attractions held by the average white guy of my age group, but I need to stay vigilant with making sure that these attractions are for healthy reasons. I will never be one of those guys who claims that he has "jungle/yellow fever" and then tries to hook up with a woman specifically for her race. And it's not just porn that can cause these dehumanizing attitudes, other pieces of societal bullshit (like racial stereotypes perpetuated in other mediums besides porn) are capable of doing it as well.
If I'm not going to uphold my principles when I masturbate, then that's further incentive for me to abstain from it.
 
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#456 Part 2

As karma for my poor decision-making, I woke up on Saturday morning with a strep throat that turned into a 3-day-weekend-causing cold. It's funny how this punished me while simultaneosly making getting back on track more difficult (or in the case of getting back to the gym, impossible). It made me feel like an idiot for frequently squandering my relatively healthy weekdays under the influence of a delusional tomorrow/weekend warrior mentality.


I mainly work with 2 other departments at my job, and all of their employees are men. Penis size is a frequent topic of discussion and jokes. I've tried to explain these sorts of things to them (not pertaining to me specifically, in a general sense instead):
The funny things about this are that based on data and online discussions that I've read mine is actually slightly above average, the vast majority of women would be satisfied with it (especially in the context of a relationship as opposed to a hookup), the importance of penis size is severely exaggerated culturally, there are many other factors that have a stronger impact towards the quality of sex, and sometimes penises are actually uncomfortably large depending on the woman's personal anatomy and pain-level preferences (and they don't need to be absurdly large to be that way). But I still spent a ridiculous amount of time worrying about this, and even to this day it still has an irritatingly large presence in my mind. That time could've been spent analyzing things about myself that have an actual impact on my appeal, things that could be improved upon for the sake of my health and my relationship prospects and etc.. I chose not to lean very far into that, and here I am now, with a case of skinnyfat and a lack of practical skills.
But I'm not very good at explaining my beliefs, which is something that I need to work on. One of my coworkers has asked me a few times what my penis size is. I'm sure that he's probably at least mostly joking, and I kind of invite unusual questions through my own unusual behavior, but that kind of shit is just dumb.

His question popped into my head while I was pacing around my house last Sunday night, listening to the news. Knowing that it would lead to masturbation, my brain convinced me to answer it for myself. It looks like the Marching idea practically failed in reverse :LOL:. I tried to measure it flaccid first, but it got bigger too quickly. The erect length was what I remembered it as, which was reassuring, but I became more self-conscious about its "ugliness" and its left curvature. I couldn't manage to get a girth measurement, and I never have (due to my OCD and other factors), so I'll just have to live with that mystery. I'm still not going to tell anyone the figure, and I feel dumb for checking it and masturbating in the first place.

Later that night I promised myself that I would break my reboot-era no-masturbation record. I haven't broken the promise so far, but admittedly I looked at my erect penis in the mirror again a few hours ago (I'm feeling like some sort of sex-crazed narcissist lately). I was thinking that it didn't really look like its length, but once I remembered that some of it's hidden by pubic hair and I pushed the hair aside it made more sense. This reminded me of 2 other porn tricks that make penises look larger: 1. Tactical camera angles 2. Women's hands are smaller than men's hands, and I wouldn't be surprised if women in porn tend to have smaller hands than normal. This also applies to some other body parts, but hands are the primary agent. So comparing the size of your penis relative to your other body parts with standards set by porn is dumb even by the standards of this overblown topic. Overall I really need to get the fuck over this stupid insecurity, hopefully my first sexual experience will help to accomplish that
 
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I've been getting a lot of boners while at home. This is due in part to the strong correlation between masturbation and being in the privacy and comfort of my home that I've built up over the years. It was a while ago so I'm forgetting the details, but I learned about this kind of arousal phenomenon from a podcast that someone who I met at the CESE Summit used to make. The podcast is called Questioning Pornography, and I encouraged all of you to check it out if it's not blocked on your device. There are several episodes that focus on porn addiction (including an interview of this website's creator Gabe Deem), and the other episodes are worth listening to as well. https://anchor.fm/questioningpornography

I've been browsing through my video game library, playing a bit of a few of them, and I've formed a plan. I want to get my money's worth, but I want to keep my gaming at a minimum, and I need to accept that some of those games are simply not interesting enough to me to play (and some of them are too lewd). There is 1 game in particular that I bought a long time ago and will probably like once I finally play it, called Valkyria Chronicles 4. I've played and enjoyed the first game in the series, so I began a new playthrough of it with the intention of playing 4 afterwards (side note: 2 and 3 aren't on any platform that I own but all 4 games don't need to all be played and/or in any specific order). There were two things that were holding back my interest in replaying the first one. The first factor was that I had been playing games on mute while watching/listening to YouTube videos, which I eventually realized is less enjoyable and healthy than enjoying the mediums seperately. The second factor is that the game (which is inspired by WWII) arguably disrespects the harsh realities of war (ex: The way that characters celebrate after killing an enemy soldier is often silly and dehumanizing). This point is especially stronger for me now than before since I've been listening to Breaking Point's coverage of the Ukraine war (and occassionally other armed conflicts). I just need to accept that this tends to be how video games are.

I started to write this entry late last night, and wow today's events make it a really rough one. I was doing a reoccuring task at work today that involves using my fingernails, so naturally I went to town on them during my lunch break and in quick bursts for an hour or so after that. I can't stand the sight of them being a reasonable length, and this ridiculous obsession overrides the pain and the ugliness and the desire to get my shit together. I'm posting pictures of them here for all of you to be displeased by; I can't let them get to this point again. This is the strongest and oldest of my addictions, and by having a subpar track record with it I'm setting a weak foundation.
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My relapses didn't stop there. I had another round of sex article reading, barely putting up a fight against my better judgement. This led to me really wanting to masturbate, and although I managed to hold off for a while I ended up spontaneously doing it in an outside-the-box sort of way quickly without as much fantasy. It didn't feel as good as my usual method, but there was novelty, and I was so deep into my sex drive that I felt like I couldn't stop and deny myself an orgasm once I realized what I was doing. My promise lasted less than 10% as long as it was supposed to, how pathetic is that? If I read another one of those fucking articles again it'll be very difficult to forgive myself.

I have a theory about my decline in passion for rebooting, and although I'm not 100% confident in it it's definitely worth considering. I've noticed that the balance of my thoughts towards lust and love have been shifting in lust's favor. I believe that this is due to my thoughts of both topics being grounded in the desire for them and the coping that ensues. Lust is easier for me (and I'd assume for most other people) to cope with, the primary solution being masturbation (not that it's an entirely healthy coping mechanism though). The lack of romantic love is more difficult and nuanced to cope with, and the peak of the feelings is stronger than that of lust. I feel like my subconscious has grown tired of dealing with those negative emotions, and now tries to prevent them from forming. I'd rather have that sadness and the positive things that come with it (like motivation and feeling like more of a human being) than feel numb like I do now.

The pessimistic way in which I interpreted the sex articles contributed to the "pain" of those feelings. One of the factors that determines the quality of sex moreso than penis size is how you use your body as a whole, as well as your words and of course your connection with your partner. This was something that was brought up often in the articles. These are things that are customized/developed between you and your partner over time, but it's difficult to deny that having sexual experience helps out. This made me extra insecure about my lack of that, which reminded me of my lack of relationship experience as a whole, which reminded me that I'm basically an overgrown teenager and have yet to become a genuine adult for a variety of reasons, which led me closer to my old mentalities of it being too late for me. I know that it's very much not too late. Also these articles might've had somewhat of a hook-up angle, which would mean that I shouldn't worry about them as much considering that I don't plan on doing that
 

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