Miles to Go

Chuckles

Active Member
Hi,
I'm not sure how to start so I'll get right into it. This will probably turn into a wall of text, so the TL;DR is that I'm here to break my porn addiction, track my progress doing so, and have something to hold me accountable.

The realization:
A therapist recognized my porn addiction in January of 2020. I agreed with her, but didn't take it as seriously as I now wish I would have. I had known it was a problem and suspected it was an addiction for years before that. Around December 2020, I started having painful, dry orgasms. Through doctor appointments and medications, the problem is getting better. It turned out to be a swollen prostate and blocked ejaculatory ducts, and could lead to fertility problems in the future. I don't have children yet but would like to in the future. Hearing that I may have to have invasive surgeries and/or go through IVF to have children later scared the s--- out of me. I suspect the prostate swelling and other issues could be symptoms of excessive masturbation, but I haven't found much literature on the subject, and none of the doctors have even brought it up, and I've been embarrassed to ask. Today, in therapy, I confessed to my current therapist that I'm addicted to porn, and that I need help. We talked about it, and I came up with a plan (I'll get to that later).

The past:
I first remember seeing naked women on cable TV at around 6 years old. At 9 a kid at school stole a Playboy magazine from a relative and it ended up in my room. At 11 we had a cable box in the living room rigged to get every (yes, every) channel for free. At 12 or 13 we got dial up internet. At 18 I bought a few magazines at an adult store. At 20 I had my own computer with cable internet. Every step made it easier to PMO, and the more I did it the more of a normal part of my life it became. There was a period of almost 4 years where I didn't have sex or even go on any dates (not caused by porn addiction, by other stuff going on in life). No sexual contact with another human being at all. I bought a 1 TB portable hard drive and filled it with porn. I would go on multiple hour binges. I bought a 4 TB hard drive, and filled it. My tastes in porn have gone past what I previously considered my walls. I don't know if I was addicted before that 4-year period started, but I for sure was at the end of those 4 years. Looking back, I know that the first woman I started having sex with after that 4-year streak didn't get everything I had to offer. I know our relationship, both sex life and everything else, would have been so much better if she wasn't competing for my attention against this invisible enemy she didn't even know about. Since that relationship ended, I bought an 8 TB hard drive, transferred the old videos over, filled the 8TB, then refilled the 4 TB. I've had my ups and downs sex life wise, and for anything longer than a fling, the woman I'm with never gets my full attention sexually, which sucks for me and for her. Around thanksgiving of 2021, I decided to give up porn. I disconnected the hard drives. Deleted my auto login info for the sites I was paying for. Told myself that I would only masturbate to memories of actual sexual encounters, and only a few times a week. I did really well for about 5 weeks. I started a relationship, but it ended very shortly. Then I went right off the wagon. Bought another annual pass to a website. Plugged the hard drives back in, started PMO multiple times a day.

The future:
My goal is to really break this. I don't know if I'll be able to watch any porn at all in the future. It's like the analogy to how some former alcoholics can recover and have a few beers on Saturday, while others can never have another drink again. To that end, I need to stop for at least a while, to know I'm capable of fully stopping, before I can consider using again.

My plan:
No porn, porn substitutes, or masturbation for 1 month (Until March 10th). Sex with women allowed.
After that, masturbation 2 times a week allowed, for 1 month (Until April 10th). Still no porn or porn substitutes, and no thinking about porn while masturbating (thinking about previous sexual encounters allowed). Sex with women allowed.
My hard drives have been unplugged and carried to the other side of my room. I will not plug them back in.

Overcoming challenges:
My therapist suggested a few things to help me stick to this. I should change up my computer area to break my previous muscle memory habits. I should find substitute healthy behaviors. I should have someone to keep me accountable. I know these may not specifically be for porn addiction, but I'm trying to substitute good habits for bad, and give myself healthy distractions.

Before Monday the 14th, I will clean my desk, and set it up as a standing desk. I'll do at least 10 pushups and 10 squats before using my computer, and again for each hour of use. I will only use my computer while standing for at least the first month of my program (watching movies from bed allowed, for up to 1 hour a day, 3 on weekends).
During the first month, at least 3 times a week, I will go to the gym and lift weights and/or do 30 minutes of treadmill.
Starting Monday, I will always have clean workout clothes in my room. If I feel I can't overcome the urge to watch porn or masturbate, I'll go for a walk/run for at least 30 minutes.
At least once a week, I will prepare myself a meal from scratch.

Adjacent addictions:
I also struggle with video games, although not nearly as bad. But my fear is that I'll substitute excessive video game consumption. So for the first month, I will limit myself to 2 hours on Fridays, and 3 hours each on Saturday and Sunday. I'll reassess at the end of the first month. TV and video games not to exceed 5 hours on any Saturday or Sunday.
I will not have more than 1 beer or 1 shot on a work night. I will not get drunk alone.

I will add things as I think of them, and post updates to how all of this goes. I don't know if I want or am ready for an accountability partner yet. As of right now my intention is to check on this journal regularly. Every day would be nice, but I'm committing to 3 days a week, in case life gets in the way.

I'd like to thank this community and everyone involved in making this site possible. I honestly feel like this is going to help me change my life. Sincerely, thank you.
 

MJ1987

Member
Re the painful orgasms. Are you edging a lot?

I noticed similar pain when I was doing a lot of edging (sometimes even for 5-6 hours spread over the course of the day).
It felt like lower back pain, and it would get worse when I was standing up.
I believe this is a combination of sore muscles and a swollen prostate from being inflated the whole day trying to sustain the erections.


Tbh there is a big hole in your game plan, and that is the 1 month mark.
You really need to make this a life long commitment, otherwise you are setting yourself up to fail.
The only way to really stop this is to go full cold turkey for at least (3 months).
No PMO, you can have O with a real partner, as long as it is a loving relationship. If she's just a 'bang buddy' she's basically a masturbation tool for you, so I'd also be careful with that. Talk with her to pause the relationship for 3 months.
Once you reach the 3 months you can be more relaxed with O with real women, and even the occasional M if you really need it.

Currently it reads like, "no smoking for a month, but after a month I can go hangout with my friends who smoke a lot".
It took me well over 6 months to no longer feel attracted to the smell of cigarettes and to not feel those triggers anymore that intensely.
 

Chuckles

Active Member
Re the painful orgasms. Are you edging a lot?

I noticed similar pain when I was doing a lot of edging (sometimes even for 5-6 hours spread over the course of the day).
It felt like lower back pain, and it would get worse when I was standing up.
I believe this is a combination of sore muscles and a swollen prostate from being inflated the whole day trying to sustain the erections.


Tbh there is a big hole in your game plan, and that is the 1 month mark.
You really need to make this a life long commitment, otherwise you are setting yourself up to fail.
The only way to really stop this is to go full cold turkey for at least (3 months).
No PMO, you can have O with a real partner, as long as it is a loving relationship. If she's just a 'bang buddy' she's basically a masturbation tool for you, so I'd also be careful with that. Talk with her to pause the relationship for 3 months.
Once you reach the 3 months you can be more relaxed with O with real women, and even the occasional M if you really need it.

Currently it reads like, "no smoking for a month, but after a month I can go hangout with my friends who smoke a lot".
It took me well over 6 months to no longer feel attracted to the smell of cigarettes and to not feel those triggers anymore that intensely.
Yes with the painful dry orgasms, I was edging a lot. Sometimes I would go for 4 or more hours before orgasm, extreme cases around 12 hours with only 3 or 4 orgasms.
Thanks for the advice. My life long commitment is to not let porn have the hold it did on me, which, if I'm being honest, probably means I can never PMO again. I feel like sex with other humans is the end game, but also understand the whole "let your brain just take time off sex and start over".
After 1 month I'll reassess the whole lack of orgasms thing. My urologist said that 2 orgasms a week is better for prostate health. Really my main concern is the porn, and associated behaviors/problems. But I'll definitely keep an eye on how casual sex effects me, and may decide to just go hard mode for 3 months.
 

Chuckles

Active Member
Last night was my first night committed to no P no MO. That part wasn't difficult, but the insomnia was. It took me a few hours to fall asleep. I suspect this will be the case for a week or so, but we'll see.
Tonight's night 2, think I'll be alright.
 
Keep learning about the nature of porn and MO addiction. That is one thing that is helping me, understanding the chemical nature of porn and hyper sexuality. Then porn urges are less powerful, I can see them for what they are. They don;t control me as much, which I was a total animal slave, Lol but not lol :)

dr. trish leigh on youtube helped alot if you look that up
 

Chuckles

Active Member
Keep learning about the nature of porn and MO addiction. That is one thing that is helping me, understanding the chemical nature of porn and hyper sexuality. Then porn urges are less powerful, I can see them for what they are. They don;t control me as much, which I was a total animal slave, Lol but not lol :)

dr. trish leigh on youtube helped alot if you look that up
The dopamine articles on YBOP helped, and the Reboot Nation YouTube channel. I just finished reading Dopamine Nation by Anna Lembke, it was a bit meandering, but overall pretty good. Learning what's going on in my brain, knowing that the whole internet porn paradigm is designed to turn me into a pigeon in a Skinner Box... well it made me a little pissed off, and gave me passion to quit.
I'll check out Trish Leigh too.

And yes the feeling was liberating about 2 weeks without any porn. I felt like I was becoming more human, more of a man. Really nice.
 
The future:
My goal is to really break this. I don't know if I'll be able to watch any porn at all in the future. It's like the analogy to how some former alcoholics can recover and have a few beers on Saturday, while others can never have another drink again. To that end, I need to stop for at least a while, to know I'm capable of fully stopping, before I can consider using again.

I strongly agree with this part. I think some of us (myself included) are just wired in a way that makes ANY amount of porn dangerous.
Like saying, "I am just going to go down a little bit of this water slide, just to see what it's like." Before we know it, we're at the bottom.

I'm going to check out Dopamine Nation too. It sounds interesting and helpful.
 

Chuckles

Active Member
I had insomnia again last night, which wasn't surprising. I had a family event this morning, then went out and bought some more workout clothes. No PMO, thankfully, hasn't been much of a struggle yet. I still have my initial resolve and enough work/life distractions. I feel like the rest of today/tonight could be more difficult, as I don't really have any commitments for a full day and night. But I think I'll get through it just fine
 

Phineas 808

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Welcome to Reboot Nation. I especially like the muscle memory thing your therapist suggested, changing your computer room (or desk) around. Changing the habits that surround our unwanted habits help toward habit change.

Be well.
 

Chuckles

Active Member
Welcome to Reboot Nation. I especially like the muscle memory thing your therapist suggested, changing your computer room (or desk) around. Changing the habits that surround our unwanted habits help toward habit change.

Be well.
Yeah it's something I hadn't thought of myself, but for a long time it was all habit. Half the time I didn't fully realize what I was doing as I was doing it. Like how you take the same route to work every day and don't know how you got there.
 

MJ1987

Member
Yes with the painful dry orgasms, I was edging a lot. Sometimes I would go for 4 or more hours before orgasm, extreme cases around 12 hours with only 3 or 4 orgasms.
Thanks for the advice. My life long commitment is to not let porn have the hold it did on me, which, if I'm being honest, probably means I can never PMO again. I feel like sex with other humans is the end game, but also understand the whole "let your brain just take time off sex and start over".
After 1 month I'll reassess the whole lack of orgasms thing. My urologist said that 2 orgasms a week is better for prostate health. Really my main concern is the porn, and associated behaviors/problems. But I'll definitely keep an eye on how casual sex effects me, and may decide to just go hard mode for 3 months.
Definitely edging related then.

tbh edging is even worse then the occasional PMO.
Edging just drowns your brain in dopamine and depletes every nerve of your being from your sexuality.
On top of that i think it definitely has also physical implications, as the human body wasnt designed to sustain erections and sexual activity for hours.
Usually sex is an activity that takes 30-45 minutes once every dew days, so imagine what your body has to go through to sustain that a whole day with 10-20 near orgasms.

As a recovering edging addict like you, it is definitely harder to recover from as compared to someone who did a quick wank to porn every few days.
But once you start feeling your brain recover it will be like someone lifted a veil from over your eyes, where your brain can properly function again.
And i’m like 99% certain that the ladies can sense it too, so you’ll notice a lot more stares and random hey’s coming from women.
 

Chuckles

Active Member
Definitely edging related then.

tbh edging is even worse then the occasional PMO.
Edging just drowns your brain in dopamine and depletes every nerve of your being from your sexuality.
On top of that i think it definitely has also physical implications, as the human body wasnt designed to sustain erections and sexual activity for hours.
Usually sex is an activity that takes 30-45 minutes once every dew days, so imagine what your body has to go through to sustain that a whole day with 10-20 near orgasms.

As a recovering edging addict like you, it is definitely harder to recover from as compared to someone who did a quick wank to porn every few days.
But once you start feeling your brain recover it will be like someone lifted a veil from over your eyes, where your brain can properly function again.
And i’m like 99% certain that the ladies can sense it too, so you’ll notice a lot more stares and random hey’s coming from women.
Yeah last time I went PMO free I started to notice ladies noticing me. I was honestly fuel to keep me going.
And yeah I agree on the edging thing
 

Chuckles

Active Member
I didn't have too much trouble falling asleep last night. But I did have some weird porn dreams. When I woke up this morning I started fantasizing about a friend of mine. Before I realized what I was doing, just on auto pilot, I realized I was starting to masturbate. When I realized what I was doing I stopped. No orgasm. So I'm not calling it a relapse, just a realization that my brain is really struggling to get what it wants.
 

Chuckles

Active Member
I had to wake up really early this morning for a family thing. Not emergency, but bid deal kind of thing. Everything turned out well, but I'm tired and stressed and felt a bit higher of an urge to PMO. I was also more distracted today, and found myself fantasizing more.

I got some good cardio in on Saturday and Sunday, so that's going well.

I had a busier weekend that I'd planned, so I haven't cleaned or moved my desk like I planned. But that was a tertiary goal, so I'm allowing myself to let it slide. If I haven't done it by next Monday (ideally sooner than that) I'll consider it a promise to myself broken.

I'm somewhere between horny and flatline. It's hard to describe. Like I want to want it, but don't have the energy or concentration to want it.
 

Chuckles

Active Member
Woke up early and went to the gym this morning. It felt good to exercise. Weights and a little cardio.
My mindset at work was up and down. I have a lot on my mind right now, and quitting is probably adding to my stressed state. So that sucks. I've dealt with mental health before, so I know what I'm in for. Really high urge to PMO right now though. I'll probably just watch a little TV then go to bed early though.
 

Chuckles

Active Member
This morning at the gym there was this really smokin hot girl. I tried so hard not to eye bang her, and tried to distract myself from fantasizing about her. This could be a potential future trigger. But the only way to avoid attractive women is to never leave my house, so there's that.
Resolve is hard. Being tired is hard.
I still got this though.
 

Chuckles

Active Member
Today is day 7. I can already tell it's going to be difficult. I woke up about an hour ago, and already holding back the urge to PMO. Going to take a cold shower and go to work a little early. Hopefully it'll be gone by the time I get back home.
 

logicprox

Active Member
This morning at the gym there was this really smokin hot girl. I tried so hard not to eye bang her, and tried to distract myself from fantasizing about her. This could be a potential future trigger. But the only way to avoid attractive women is to never leave my house, so there's that.
Resolve is hard. Being tired is hard.
I still got this though.
Hot women can be a trigger, they used to be for me. Nowadays though, and this has helped me not bother with fantasizing too, I just remember this simple unalterable truth: No amount of porn will put that hot girl in my actual bed with me, or any other girl from the porn, or from my fantasies. It is literally nothing. An illusion. We can't waste time on illusion. Illusioin will never satisfy, it always leaves you still wishing you had the actual girl with you, so what the hell is the point? If we want that hot girl in real life, porn is barking up the wrong tree.

Now when I feel an urge to use porn because i saw some hot girl I don't even care, I just focus on bettering myself to get the actual girl.
 

Chuckles

Active Member
Hot women can be a trigger, they used to be for me. Nowadays though, and this has helped me not bother with fantasizing too, I just remember this simple unalterable truth: No amount of porn will put that hot girl in my actual bed with me, or any other girl from the porn, or from my fantasies. It is literally nothing. An illusion. We can't waste time on illusion. Illusioin will never satisfy, it always leaves you still wishing you had the actual girl with you, so what the hell is the point? If we want that hot girl in real life, porn is barking up the wrong tree.

Now when I feel an urge to use porn because i saw some hot girl I don't even care, I just focus on bettering myself to get the actual girl.
I just saw this quoted on another thread. It's pretty damn inspirational, and may become a mantra for me.
If what I really want is girls like that hot girl, then I gotta improve me. No shortcuts to O
 

Chuckles

Active Member
Today is going to suck. I woke up in the middle of the night and couldn't get back to sleep. I noticed my self fantasizing about exes in bed. I didn't M or O, but really wanted to. I assume fantasizing about the real thing is better than fantasizing about porn. But I need to break the fixation. At least for now. Like I know it's impossible to never think about sex, but I'd like to not just go on auto pilot and let it take over.

I've so far kept to the goals I set last week, except for cleaning and moving my desk. This weekend I have fewer obligations, so I should be able to get that done then. I've been really good about not vegging out with video games. I have been watching more TV, but not a crazy amount. Mostly I've been trying to get into the habit of going to bed earlier, so that I can make it to the gym before work.

And thank you other forum members. It's helpful to hear your stories. It's helpful to hear your feedback. To anyone who's lurking the forums and afraid to engage, please reach out. It helps to put it out there, get it off your chest, make a plan, and get advice. And just know you're not the only one struggling.
 
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