I know what I really want: intimacy & connection, not just an O

Hiiiiii errybody :)­čîłÔťĘ
I was exposed to internet porn at a young age, probably 10/11
Started having sex at 17. The first few times didn't have any physiological problems. But it didn't take long for the DE to start happening. Could not reach an O from intercourse-- unless I fantasized about either porn or a different situation than the one I was in. Didn't think porn was the problem at the time though.
I wasn't circumcised as a baby and thought that had something to do with it; got it done at age 21 to see if it would help with the sensitivity. It didn't.

I actually attempted this process 2 years ago on a different site after learning about NoFap on Reddit. Tried to share about it with my partner at the time, and she, being a fiercely argumentative type ­čśí saw it as some kind of crusade against the sex industry funded by evangelicals ­čśç and I felt so ashamed that I gave up on it entirely and just accepted that it was fine to be this way. Maybe I'd find a different solution. Or something ­čśĽ

No longer in that relationship thankfully. Actually in a much healthier place emotionally than I think I've ever been, in part thanks to my really awesome therapist who went and found Gabe Deem's videos for me when I told her about this. Eternally grateful for her support ­čÖĆ
In the headspace I'm in now, I feel ready to tackle this. I've been pretty disconnected from other people for a lot of my life, but always craved that emotional and physical connection. I'm really focused on myself right now, being the best I can be ­čĺ¬ and not worrying about whether or not I'm in a relationship. Whenever I do meet someone special I want this issue to be behind me ­čĹő

Triggers I'm currently aware of:
Recently noticed that my evening ritual of junk food + netflix/video games pretty much funneled into PMOing every time, so that engaging in the first part of it basically got me antsy and anticipating the PMO. Knowing that, I've been able to divert that course the last few nights.

Last PMO was on Monday morning 1/24/2022.
I've set up a counter on my phone to keep track, and an 8pm daily reminder that says "Reboot your Brain!" to remind me of my goal.
I am at 3 days, 8 hours as of this writing. Feeling pretty ok about it!

Thank you to everyone in this community for showing the way ­čĺť
 

logicprox

Active Member
Welcome. Making one of the best decisions of your life. PMO gives you nothing but a cycle of disappointment. You aren't even giving anything up. You're just gaining freedom.
 
Day 4. Very tired and aching for an easy hit of dopamine but I'm not going to do it. Posting this and then shutting down the computer for bedtime. Feeling pretty confident that I can avoid it but I'm still tantalizing myself with fantasies and thinking about attractive women I see out in public. Just gotta keep distracting myself from those thoughts.
 
Made it to the end of day 5. Hit some definite challenges but I'm still here ­čśŐ
A friend who I've previously fooled around with posted some pictures on Snapchat that got me excited. I messaged her and we flirted a little. Wanted to spend some time with those pictures but I refrained.

Then I almost lost it when my favorite e-girl who had been taking time off suddenly started posting again, offering an "online fwb" experience which in my current financial situation I knew I could afford easily. Wanted to do it. I wanted to do it so fucking bad.
I removed her from my Snapchat contacts instead. I knew it would only continue to be a huge temptation. The timing of this definitely has a the-universe-is-testing-my-resolve kind of vibe.
Whether it's a test or not, I'm proud of myself for exercising that kind of willpower. That's a change. I am proving to myself that I can change.
Absolutely feels like I gave myself blueballs though ­čśĄ
I need to go sleep this off. ­čś┤
 
Made it 1 week.
Have a day off from working, nothing on my calendar, just sitting at home. Played some video games and it just stressed me out. In response to that stress my brain is telling me I should look at sexy pictures. I want a dopamine hit to offset the stress but that's not going to help, no matter how much I want it. I'm going to get out of the house and go outside.
 

jberg

Member
GoblinJ├Ân, great work starting this reboot! One thing to keep in mind is that it's not going to be easy. Nice work noticing the junk food/Netflix to PMO connection. Have you replaced your junk food/Netflix ritual with a different one? You will certainly have a different experience that I did, but I never made it very far on willpower alone. As the title of your thread makes clear, it's the real connection we desire. Eliminating the false connections never let to a permanent change for me--I always ended up right back where I started. Replacing the false connections with opportunities for a real connection has seemed to work better. Thanks for sharing your insights and experience with us, and keep coming back!
 
i have not replaced it, i honestly have no idea what i would replace it with. i don't have a living situation i feel great about so shutting myself in my room and distracting myself is always the easiest way to spend my time at home. i am preparing to move to a new town fairly soon and am hoping to establish new routines and habits in a new home.
 

Fappy

Respected Member
i have not replaced it, i honestly have no idea what i would replace it with. i don't have a living situation i feel great about so shutting myself in my room and distracting myself is always the easiest way to spend my time at home. i am preparing to move to a new town fairly soon and am hoping to establish new routines and habits in a new home.
great, keep yourself as busy as possible with as many distractions as u can find in the early stages
 

jberg

Member
i don't have a living situation i feel great about so shutting myself in my room and distracting myself is always the easiest way to spend my time at home.
Not having a good living situation sounds rough! I hope the move will help. In the meantime, is there anyone you trust (friend, relative, neighbor) that you can talk to about this? No need to reveal your issues regarding PMO, but just to talk about what to do instead of shutting yourself in your room? Good luck with this!
 
Not having a good living situation sounds rough! I hope the move will help. In the meantime, is there anyone you trust (friend, relative, neighbor) that you can talk to about this? No need to reveal your issues regarding PMO, but just to talk about what to do instead of shutting yourself in your room? Good luck with this!
I've got a really supportive therapist that knows I'm doing this. Also I just put in an application for a really cool rental place so the move may be happening fairly soon if all goes well
 
Been very exhausted, working a lot. Had a few moments of temptation but on the whole been fairly successful avoiding seeing any sort of distracting material online. Mainly it's helped to not be on my computer very much.

I do find myself constantly fantasizing about women I see in public. I feel ashamed of it. I do think the way I'm thinking of it has started to shift a little bit, though. Like I'm trying to think about them more as just people. Smile at them, try to make a connection, even a small one. But I'm very easily distracted, and then I feel kind of gross, like I must seem like a creep ogling these women's bodies even if I try to be as subtle as possible. I don't feel like it's something I can even control.

My timer on my phone is at 13 days, 12 hours now. This is the longest stretch of abstinence I think I've had in many years. Tomorrow morning it will be 2 weeks.
 

jberg

Member
I do find myself constantly fantasizing about women I see in public. I feel ashamed of it. I do think the way I'm thinking of it has started to shift a little bit, though. Like I'm trying to think about them more as just people. Smile at them, try to make a connection, even a small one. But I'm very easily distracted, and then I feel kind of gross, like I must seem like a creep ogling these women's bodies even if I try to be as subtle as possible. I don't feel like it's something I can even control.
I know what you're talking about! I was shocked when my wife told me that she is disgusted at the thought of a stranger thinking about her in that way. Unlike me, she has always had a very healthy attitude toward sexuality. As you said, one way to short-circuit my tendency to objectify is to think of them as a person. I think to myself, "This person could be my sister or my daughter. How would I want someone to treat them?" But I have found that I am only able to do this if I am not already way off kilter. It starts from the thoughts that I went to sleep with the night before. If I go to bed with right thinking and then reconnect with my higher power first thing in the morning, then I stand a chance of doing what you described. Thinking of them like a person. If my mind is already soaked in lust, then my brain gets hijacked by the slightest external trigger and is off to the races without my consent. Or maybe I already gave my consent the night before.
 
Day 17.
Honestly impressed with myself. The best tools I've found so far have been cutting down on computer time and focusing on what I'm gaining from the reboot, how important it is to me to be able to connect deeply with a partner even if I don't have one right now. The tempations so far have not been strong enough to turn me away from that.

I had a dream last night that i actually did PMO though. It was kinda funny because it wasn't like I was having a wet dream. I just remember that I did it and the feeling of disappointment that I had to start over. And then when I woke up and realized it was a dream, I was like "WELL THANK GOD" lol. Very glad that it wasn't real.
 
Day 20.

Got really drunk last night with my new roommates to celebrate signing my lease. There were a couple flirty girls out at the bars.
I still automatically want to picture almost every girl I see naked.
But at the very least, I noticed I was able to just enjoy the basic interaction of talking to these cute girls without there being this self-imposed pressure of "I need to get laid tonight otherwise I have fucked up somehow"
So that's something.
I really want to stop thinking of sex every time I look at a woman. I notice it's definitely tied to stress. Which makes sense since I've always used PMO as a response to feeling stressed out. The fantasization is amped up to another level when I'm feeling stressed, and I feel really irritable and ashamed because I can't stop doing it even though I want to, and then that stresses me out more.

I will manage, because I always have.
Moving into a new home in a new town March 1st. Really happy to be starting a new chapter.
 
I made it four whole weeks. Today I'm back to day zero.
More details in this post: https://forum.rebootnation.org/index.php?threads/21779/
I wasn't sure how I felt about it, it was very unexpected.
Ended up having a lot of feelings about my ex come up today and just full-on MO'd to her later on, figuring I'd already kinda fucked up the reboot.
It felt somehow cleaner, though. I felt more connected to my body. And I kinda worked through some pent-up feelings about the relationship through doing it. So I'm actually ok that it happened this way. I'm not going to shame myself because of this.
Resetting the counter is a little disheartening, but I'm going to try and focus on the fact that I made it basically a month without any PMOing. I don't think I've ever done that since I started having sexual feelings. That's huge.
I know I'm capable now.
I'm going to try not to focus on a huge chunk of time like 90 days (although I set a calendar date on my phone for it just so I know), I just need to keep putting one foot in front of the other, one day at a time, focus on building a life and good relationships with other people whether they be sexual or not.
This is absolutely doable.
 
Made it to the end of day 5. Hit some definite challenges but I'm still here ­čśŐ
A friend who I've previously fooled around with posted some pictures on Snapchat that got me excited. I messaged her and we flirted a little. Wanted to spend some time with those pictures but I refrained.

Then I almost lost it when my favorite e-girl who had been taking time off suddenly started posting again, offering an "online fwb" experience which in my current financial situation I knew I could afford easily. Wanted to do it. I wanted to do it so fucking bad.
I removed her from my Snapchat contacts instead. I knew it would only continue to be a huge temptation. The timing of this definitely has a the-universe-is-testing-my-resolve kind of vibe.
Whether it's a test or not, I'm proud of myself for exercising that kind of willpower. That's a change. I am proving to myself that I can change.
Absolutely feels like I gave myself blueballs though ­čśĄ
I need to go sleep this off. ­čś┤
That is a bigger problem than porn for meÔÇŽ sexting and chatting. Still has the same effect, that artificial stimulation. ItÔÇÖs hard to give up too since I actually know some of my chat mates in person lol you did the best thing by removing her. I limit my chats now and avoid the sexual content, especially the pics. Good job and keep it up! ItÔÇÖs crazy how all of this information and technology gives us temptation at our fingertips. Gotta be vigilant!
 
That is a bigger problem than porn for meÔÇŽ sexting and chatting. Still has the same effect, that artificial stimulation. ItÔÇÖs hard to give up too since I actually know some of my chat mates in person lol you did the best thing by removing her. I limit my chats now and avoid the sexual content, especially the pics. Good job and keep it up! ItÔÇÖs crazy how all of this information and technology gives us temptation at our fingertips. Gotta be vigilant!
i hear you man. it's so much more tantalizing when they can offer that personal connection. good for you for setting those boundaries for yourself (y)(y)
 
at a full week now. feel like it's progress to know I can consistently refrain from doing it for more than a day or two.
I just moved yesterday and maybe it's stress from that but I'm having a really hard time today. just wanting a release so bad.
if I felt confident I'd be able to connect with someone and be intimate with them in a real sense anytime soon that might feel better but I'm feeling pretty alone.
 

jberg

Member
GoblinJon, I have heard lust described as an attitude demanding that a natural instinct be used in an unnatural way. When I feel hungry, eating is the natural cure for hunger. However, if I binge on junk food when I feel loneliness or fear, the feeling of loneliness goes away but the cause is still there. I've only medicated the feeling. But that feeling is a natural instinct, almost as if my heart or soul is sending a signal to my conscious brain that it needs a true connection. The cure for loneliness is to make a true connection. If you don't have a wife right now, what about a parent, sibling, or friend? I have not fully cultivated my natural relationships because of my isolating obsession with sex and self. I am now trying to turn that around, but it doesn't happen over night.
 
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