Day 0/new member

GrateClips

Active Member
Hi new member. Where to start? I've tried before. Last year in fact. Got somewhere around the 45-60 mark and felt good about it, then things kind of slid slowly back to the old habits.

Like all/most of you here I'm now an older guy. 40's. The first time I ever saw a porn was when I was house sitting our neighbors who were out of the country. I'm not sure what possessed me to do it but I decided to watch TV there and there was an unmarked VHS tape that just kind of called to me. It was quite a thing to see.. the sights and sound of two adults going at it. For a young teen seeing that it was dopamine overload and I was hooked. Older porn was more real in a lot of ways too. Since my mid teens I've regularly masturbated. Fortunately, back then porn was hard to come by.. I am so glad I feel so bad for today's teens with porn so readily available.

In my 20's, on my own, and single, I had the privacy of my own apartment, and high speed internet became a reality. There've been a few short stretches (month to few months) where I've not done PMO but other than that, masturbation (and later porn) have been the dark companions on my life's journey for much of it. And the crazy thing is not a single adult person in my real life knows about my dark secret.

At first it didn't seem such a bad habit for me, as it provided stress relief and being very shy by nature I didn't date much so I justified it was a natural release. As I've gotten older though and especially in the last year or two I realized what as mistake I had been making. Sessions to myself became harder as now I have a family.

I think my story is probably very similar to those around here. Even writing this very first post felt therapeutic a bit. KNowing my own nature I don't want to spend all day long on these forums but I do hope to keep myself accountable by being here, and support others, and maybe have others support you.

If you read all this, thank you. I feel fair today. I think day 0 will go by without much temptation. And on to day 1 tomorrow
 
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TryingHarder

Active Member
I had the privacy of my own apartment, and high speed internet became a reality. There've been a few short stretches (month to few months) where I've not done PMO but other than that, masturbation (and later porn) have been the dark companions on my life's journey for much of it. And the crazy thing is not a single adult person in my real life knows about my dark secret.

Welcome GrateClips. Your journey and experience is more or less the same as mine (and no doubt a lot of 40+ guys on this forum). In fact, what I quoted above could have been written by me. You're doing the right thing by sharing your experiences here. It will help you understand your addiction and certainly help you quit porn and recover.
 

GrateClips

Active Member
Day 1
And no I won't be writing these every day I find it a neat way to journal and I can hopefully look back and see growth.

Last night and into today I had a thought I wanted to put down.

- If I never have sex or another orgasm again in my life, my life will still be okay -
I read once somewhere that men are wired such that when they have sex, they are often thinking when the next time they might have sex would be. I don't disagree with that statement I think that is how we are wired. But for me I took that to an extreme. I felt if I didn't have release then my life would be so stressed or that I was missing out on something. As an adult i had this weird thing where I felt i always needed to be getting that release or if i didn't get it when was i going to get it?

i started to in my 30's start to try and predict when my wife would have sex and then cut back on PMO a few days before then. I guess that was the first warning sign that this stuff was starting to mess with me. In my 20's of course it didn't matter. Now in my 40's its having a profound effect.

PMO didn't fulfill anything. Only provided short term stress relief at best, and for all the countless times I did PMO none of those were particularly memorable in a good way. Sex with my wife while much less frequent was more satisfying and memorable (although this will probably be a future topic in and of itself).

My point is that human males can survive perfectly fine even if they don't get sexual release. I would venture that many normal males can go any number of days without release and feel perfectly fine. Maybe after a certain time passes they start to get a bit edgy and desirous of sex but they're not going to relapse or go on a huge porn bender, or hire a prostitute, go to strip club or whatever. But for me, in my dysfunctional state I equated normalcy to the need to have ongoing regular orgasms whether it was with my wife or with a screen.

In doing so I totally lost touch with the point of sex besides reproduction. It's the opportunity to share a moment of time with someone you love in a way that no other way in the world can duplicate or replicate.

I mentioned in my very first post I've tried of no porn last year and did well for a while. Stupidly I let me own increased sex drive from that time lead me down a road to relapse. Hopefully this time when I hit that 60-90 day mark I can learn from prior experience. I decided I'm going hard core mode this time. No porn, no masturbation. I think this is the only way for me - hard core.
 
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GrateClips

Active Member
Day 4

I went from feeling real good yesterday to feeling initially pretty depressed this morning but battling back. Yesterday was a good day. No urges these first few days, some spontaneous erections in the morning and at bedtime. Worked out and tried the cold shower thing - I felt good after that!

Definitely feel myself processing a lot of emotions since this very early reboot. Its common for depressed and anxious people to hear or think of one thing and then totally jump to the worst conclusion. E.g. girl doesn't give you her number --> I'll never get married/have sex etc. So i think this happened to me and i brought myself back to earth. Wife is not as into sex as I am but she's always tried and been there - things could be better but i've certainly heard of much worse.

Also I had to think and look inwards - have I been the best man I could be? Women want to have sex with a man that's worthy of their attention and emotions. Certainly there is much I can continue to work on.
 
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GBS

Well-Known Member
Hi @GrateClips . Keep going. I identify with a lot of what you said. Men and women are wired differently, we all know that. They love sex too. Some more than others. If you‘re trying the hard core reboot I.e. no masturbating at all. See how you feel after 30 days. My guess is you will find it very tricky ( like I did) but you will feel different and you will give off an aura which I think your wife will find very attractive. Push yourself to the limit.
 

GrateClips

Active Member
Day 5
Feel some better today.

Anyways I decided to put into words the way porn became infected into my life.

I was not very good at women in college, although I had some opportunities that I should have taken. Then grad school same kind of thing... just too mentally shy and afraid to ask a girl out. The worst of these was one time there was a huge storm in town, and a pretty hot girl I knew called me and said the 'storm was keeping her up.' she came over in PJ's but i had stupidly left my keys inside and locked out. then after we got let in as it was middle of night and i was dumb and clueless i just went to sleep and she slept on the couch. And while she has always been good to me (now married with 4 kids far away from where I live) once a woman sees a man isn't man enough to take her offering she'll never want to sleep with you again or at the very least you've dropped a few notches in her eyes. But that's life and I've learned from that.
Around this time was when, as i had my own apartment and a credit card, i mail ordered a couple porn DVD. and I got a lot of mileage from those, i threw them away when years later i got married. The stuff wasn't crazy it was pretty basic stuff. More or less it was how I imagined i would want to have sex with a girl.

And by this time, w/ my own apartment, my own DVD, and inability to take the necessary steps and hook up, a porn habit was born. Then came cable internet and boom, like others here have said, the habit became worse - more possible things to look out. At least with the DVD you kind of had to just stick w/ what it was offering and it didn't create this fast twitch ADHD style porn surfing you see today.

Couple years later, I actually started coming out of my shell and asking girls out. I was actually reasonably successful given that in just a few months I had made a few changes to myself. But i had a lot to learn and was still a virgin in my mid 20's.

After becoming my own person though and more successful in relationships, my old companion porn creeped back in. Now there was file sharing so i didn't have to secretly mail order a DVD. i could just download stuff i wanted.

I realize this now but the porn I started seeking mostly was scenes that seemed like the 'girlfriend experience' but with a girlfriend who was more bold and forward than what I got at home was what i wanted.. Seems kind of benign compared to the fetish stuff... but its corrosive and toxic just the same. It made me devalue the real sex I had with my wife and even resent that she wasn't like these porn stars.

But I feel hope again, and motivation for truly getting rid of PMO in my life.

Sorry so long and if you read all this you deserve an award. Its therapeutic for me to write this. Its not easy to express this stuff openly and I've probably needed to do journaling like many years ago.
 
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GBS

Well-Known Member
Quite an essay @GrateClips I recall further up you took a negative view about your wife’s comment that you can MO when she’d menstruating, and then just above she offers you sex. Not calling you out, just saying that you need to recognise this problem for what it is and don’t read other stuff in. You have a massive incentive to stop the PMO stuff - your wife. She will love the new you and you will love yourself more as well.

There is a cringey prayer called the serenity prayer but it’s bang on. Roughly speaking: grant me the serenity to accept the things I can’t change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
You can’t change your wife’s thoughts, you CAN change your thoughts and behaviour. And the beauty of that is you WILL change the first one when you change the second one.
 

GrateClips

Active Member
Quite an essay @GrateClips I recall further up you took a negative view about your wife’s comment that you can MO when she’d menstruating, and then just above she offers you sex. Not calling you out, just saying that you need to recognise this problem for what it is and don’t read other stuff in. You have a massive incentive to stop the PMO stuff - your wife. She will love the new you and you will love yourself more as well.

There is a cringey prayer called the serenity prayer but it’s bang on. Roughly speaking: grant me the serenity to accept the things I can’t change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
You can’t change your wife’s thoughts, you CAN change your thoughts and behaviour. And the beauty of that is you WILL change the first one when you change the second one.
yep you are totally right. my past was characterized by anxiety about when i would have sex which led to bad decision making, bad expectations, and misinterpretations of my partner.
 

GrateClips

Active Member
Day 12

Well a lot has happened. I did a full disclosure. Yes - told her everything. At first supportive but then the shock hit and then the hurt and feelings of betrayal. I do deserve it though. So now my recovery is not only from PMO but also repairing my relationship which seems even harder. I'm committed to it though. She is willing/wanting me to change and for us to heal but it will take a long time to regain her trust.

At times I feel lost - my rock that I took for granted has pulled back and I need to find a way to swim and stay strong. And I don't blame her. PMO in essence is emotional cheating as I've alluded to before. Reading stories here and elsewhere about betrayed partners regaining trust and relationships renewing/becoming stronger are easy to read but hard to believe for me at this point in time.

The good news is PMO feels very unappealing. I don't know if this is a flatline type of response but I have overall little interest in sex. Some occasional arousals but otherwise I've got too much on my plate. My new counselor who specializes in this type of stuff says it will take some time for that interest to come back. Which is probably good; real sex is not coming any time soon till I get myself right and she can believe in me again.

So at least I'm clean still. But hurting mentally and emotionally. Anyways, one day at a time.
 

TryingHarder

Active Member
You're a brave man to share with your partner - well done. There are lots of other threads with discussions about what's next for couples at a moment like this.
 

GrateClips

Active Member
Thanks for writing and supporting. Its amazing how helping can bring such a good feeling to both sides. I read somewhere that it has the same effects as being on anti depressants.

Anyways today I felt the stirrings of desire/want again. I woke in the midst of a erotic dream with my own wife (been so long since that has happened) but before any physical release. So now I am going through the day with strong physical desire for her (yay great) but that feeling of wanting release. Fortunately PMO is not what I want right now, MO seems tempting but i am holding strong.

real sex would be great, but my counselor wants me on abstinence for a while which I can't disagree with. I need to truly learn how to go without sexual release at any convenient opportunity. And also i need to earn the trust and right to have sex.

the good news though is that things are slowly inching in the right direction, through my actions and the ice is thawing. still a long ways away but hopeful more than i have been any time this past week
 

GrateClips

Active Member
Day 18

I think I must be experiencing what flatline is. Not just in the sense of decreased libido and interest in sex but also emotionally. I often feel down or anxious which from reading other accounts is common. My therapist says I was used to all this dopamine released from sexual release (porn or real sex) and being abstinent is really making my brain mad and confused. There are times when I really just want to fantasize or have sex.. not porn but with other real people. Sometimes its my wife, sometimes to my disappointment, I fantasize about others. This can be arousing but at the same time frustrating, as I'm trying to live up to abstinence and breaking myself of the belief that "sex is my most important need" which is one of the core beliefs of a sex addict. What I'm realizing is that without sexual release my brain/body/life is not real happy about this change. Thankfully still no desire to watch porn. The thought of real sex makes me anxious, not just because I'm scared I won't be able to perform but more because I realize I need to get myself right in the head.

Speaking of which, real sex won't happen any time soon. My wife is processing the disclosure still and its still early. Its selfish on my end I wish it would all just go away but i know that's not realistic nor fair on my end. She needs to heal, and I need to heal and grow in my own way. Only then once things are right, can real, healthy sex be an option.

At my lows I have a fear along the lines of no PMO but I'll never have sex again for a variety of reasons. I know, if you're reading this, you're thinking I'm overreacting. It's again, just probably the state of where I'm in, this physical and emotional flatline.

But still no PMO now since I started keeping track of this thing and no desire for porn either
 

GBS

Well-Known Member
Flatline is completely normal. You need to get used to it. Sorry that’s hard but take comfort that you’re just like the rest of us and you will get better. I am similar in that my wife knows my problem and it hurt her massively. No sex for over 100 days. Not sure when we will, but I know the new me is someone she wants and hopefully desires. That’s you too, man. No MO for me, going true monk mode ( that’s not 100 days no MO by the way) but I know this new monk me is actually giving off really good signals.

Keep going and keep writing
 

GrateClips

Active Member
thank you for writing that. yes i feel a bit better today. its not so much the flatline that bothers me its actually the moments or times i feel better or see improvements and then the flatline rises up and snares me again. the contrast in emotions is difficult. but the writing helps and seeing others write encouragement helps even more.
 

GBS

Well-Known Member
I get days when my libido is sky high and that can be followed by a complete nothing day when I want to desire my wife but I actually don’t. My brain is having a real tough time.

I think there is an expectation about the 90 day thing. No one definitively can say when the reboot act happens nor whether you need to go hard core fill monk mode. That’s because we watched differing amounts of porn and our dopamine desires were probably at differing levels. Remember we satisfy the dopamine deficiency in different ways, not always through porn. Fast food, gambling, drinking.

What we do know is that we are improving ourselves. We’re not sure how long it will take but our wives will us in our new form and that’s the thing to hang on to.

Keep writing, you help me a lot.
 

GrateClips

Active Member
Day 31

Back after an absence. Vacation, and also a break from the forums. I find that if I am on a forum too much I can end up spending a lot of time so its good to take breaks. Vacation was by the beach which at times was a bit tough what w/ women in swimsuits and what not but proud to say I never found time to go back to the room by self and PMO or MO.

The good news, I'm still clean, no PMO, and continuing to live the abstinent life for now. Things with my wife are slowly healing. We hug some (just tight, affectionate but not the precursor to sex type of hug) and hold hands. So some of that tension is at least released. I continue to have little to no appetite to watch porn or even remember porn scenes that I've long used which is good news. Overall I would still say I'm in flatline mode although morning erections and such are not a problem

Going this long without PMO, MO, or normal sex seems less daunting now. I don't feel the extreme need for release. I of course want it, and welcome the first time it will happen in a non-PMO/MO context but it doesn't rule my life. My therapist calls this sexual anorexia, which I would say is the overarching condition that flatline belongs to. He also says after a month or two it will fade possibly and that's when I need to be extra careful.

For now though I really enjoy the clean feeling of not having to hide and use, no secret life. I guess this is what normal non-addicted people's lives are like although they have the added benefit of not having to work towards it.
 

GBS

Well-Known Member
Impressive. Keep going. One month clean is one hell of an achievement. If that’s one month full monk mode then that’s also incredible. I find around 30 days is my limit and then the need to release takes over my life.
 

GrateClips

Active Member
Impressive. Keep going. One month clean is one hell of an achievement. If that’s one month full monk mode then that’s also incredible. I find around 30 days is my limit and then the need to release takes over my life.

yeah i can definitely attest to the release to live feeling. heck its what has been my norm for years and years. but its so weird this flatline thing. like an alien experience. also one other thing i thought of.. porn is one thing, but triggers that are similar to porn or want to lead to porn are also so important and i'm trying hard not to cheat myself by dwelling on triggers. thankfully i'm not much of a social media person b/c i can only imagine the non-porn triggers that abound on a place like Instagram.

i appreciate all the support.
 

Aeodh Dan

Active Member
I'm impressed with anyone doing monk mode with a wife...I did it myself for 90 days once but then went right back, so the 90 day thing is not a universal fix. Now, I am close to my initial 3 month monk mode once again, but this time I am living alone (my wife left this year after a 30 year long marriage)
Monk mode or "hardcore" mode is potentially an enlightening experience. It has taught me so far that I can distance myself from my sexual appetites and still function day to day. Yes, the emotional part can be rough no doubt: anxiety, depression, self doubts etc. but it's all worth it.
The writing is a big deal for me, it's such a release!
I still have an obsession with fantasy about romantic involvement with women, not sexual so much, but more emotional. But again, I am allowing myself to observe this rather than act on it in some way.
Confessing a porn/sex addiction to a wife is a big deal! I did it twenty years ago, and it didn't go well. She probably would have left if it wasn't for the kids. Well, now the kids are adults and she's gone.
The wife being gone is obviously a big plus and takes some of the sexual tension away, she could never measure up to the porn actresses in my fantasy life anyways, the poor woman.
Anyways, onward to recovery and hopefully sobriety!
 
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