Author Topic: Who knew...?  (Read 24834 times)

harry

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Who knew...?
« on: January 04, 2016, 11:37:23 PM »
Hello,

I thought porn was basically harmless - even though I PMO’d 2, 3 or more times a day. It was a hobby, and a cool way to pass the time, hours and hours of it sometimes. 

My earlier porn watching in the 90s and 00s was centered around drug use (speed), and while I watched a lot, it was a periodic. In the last 5 years, I’ve used porn to masturbate much more frequently (no more drugs - been clean and sober for years).

I first realized there was a problem last summer when I hooked up with a guy and had trouble maintaining an erection. I thought, hey, I’m 54, shit happens, but it prompted me to do a little research. I was stunned when I saw Gary Wilson’s TED Talk video, but not shaken enough to quit porn even though I had some of the signs - couldn’t masturbate without it and escalating/morphing porn tastes.

I decided to try an experiment - I took Viagra before my next encounter. Initially, things seemed promising. But the guy was late, and even though I’d taken slightly more than the maximum dose, the Viagra began to wear off shortly after we got started. Really very humiliating and irritating since now, there was a pattern. 

Naturally, I was panicked into doing a deep dive on porn addiction. I was truly amazed at all of the information available at YBOP - I watched a bunch of videos and read a lot. I have PIED, DE, deathgrip, and PA. I stopped the porn cold turkey 30 days ago, but I continued to MO. This was a little tricky, but my dick got used to it. I even used a much lighter grip.

I didn’t believe this would hurt my reboot because I started porn later in life and didn’t abuse it for too long. Of course, I found myself chasing the next hit of dopamine in the exact manner I had chased the drink and drugs and cigarettes. In other words, total addict behavior.

I made a decision to take this much more seriously and have found an accountability partner. It’s a little weird talking about this stuff, but I’ve learned from my 12-step recovery work that it really helps. I did discuss this with my therapist, but this was out of his area of expertise.

I want to thank all the people who make this forum possible. I’ve learned I should hold off on MO until I am healed. I should not use any PSubs (Scruff bad). So far, the PMO has been pretty easy - the no MO has not been easy at all. This is why I am posting this letter to the forum. 

I want my dick back, damn it. And, I want the delight I used to feel for my sexuality. I am very grateful for the reboot solution!   


now-man

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Re: Who knew...?
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2016, 04:08:20 AM »
Welcome Harry, glad you're here and posting. We're in the same boat, I look forward to following your journal. Keep going man!

harry

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Re: Who knew...?
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2016, 11:25:45 AM »
Thanks now-man! I've read your journal and got some pointers (PSubs & Cruise Control). Looking forward to my new life.


hans32

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Re: Who knew...?
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2016, 07:28:32 PM »
Congratulations on your first post- I relate in so many ways, your openness in communication with me as an accountability partner has made so much of this possible.  I cant do this alone, i just get lost without support.  I wish you sobriety and that you find recovery through this reboot.  I'm here for you!
Hans32

harry

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Re: Who knew...?
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2016, 01:10:04 AM »
Day 3 with no MO. I see triggers everywhere. I'm anxious and edgy and irritable. No urge to use porn.

I have been reading some great stuff here and on ybop. Besides thinking porn was harmless, I certainly never thought that daily masturbation was bad for you, but I found this link -
http://www.reuniting.info/download/pdf/Costa.Masturbation.PDF

Here's a link that states I should get used to masturbating (without any fantasizing) just a few times a month. Fantasy-free MO, huh!?!
http://yourbrainonporn.com/learning-art-%E2%80%98mindful%E2%80%99-masturbation-uk-therapist-paula-hall

I really thought that after 30 or 60 days I could go back to masturbating regularly again. It is obvious now that this would lead me down the same old path I've been treading for years. I have to break this pattern.

I realize that I am in yet another recovery program, and if I want it to work, I have to change many things. I've been in AA for years, and in that program, I had to change everything about my life.



hans32

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Re: Who knew...?
« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2016, 07:27:28 PM »
Hey Harry, Im working my buddy connections today! WOW.  Your post is powerful and I really do relate, both of us being in other recovery arena's.

harry

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Re: Who knew...?
« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2016, 01:53:23 PM »
Well, it's the weekend, and weekends are the worst time for me. Too much time on my hands! Normally, I'd probably have been on round two by now, but not today. I have plans, and I lined up things to do tomorrow. Have to stay away from home as much as I can in these early weeks.

I've been PMO free for 34 days. In the first few weeks, I tried not to MO, but I couldn't make it past the weekends. Today, my mind is already trying to tell me that it will be ok (no one will know) to MO - just a quickie - no need to reset the clock. I find myself really looking forward to my first wet dream in decades.

In the early days of my sobriety, I had the same problem, and then, I read somewhere that one can trick one's mind by saying, "I won't drink today, but I'll drink tomorrow." When tomorrow comes, I would do the same thing.

So, just for today, I won't MO, but I sure will tomorrow!


harry

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Re: Who knew...?
« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2016, 11:10:27 AM »
I made it through the weekend with MO! I kept reminding myself to look forward to my first wet dream in decades as a reward. Still no wet dream, damn it. Whatever, it'll come (ha-ha).

Still have some anxiety issues, but they are not as persistent. Have been really trying to stop the 'testing', but my hands just wander down there on their own. I have been able to stop them sometimes because I want my sensitivity to return (former death gripper).

My new struggle is with the 2 second rule. I have hijacked the concept and warped it to fit entitled my mind. I zero in on some guy for 2 seconds, look away for 2 secs, and then, zero back in for more. My leering and lecherous behavior is borderline disturbing, but the porn part of my brain tells me this is ok because I've given up so much - what else do I have? I'm working to correct this... 


harry

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Re: Who knew...?
« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2016, 12:44:03 PM »
Almost at two weeks with no MO. This has got to be the most time I've had since I started masturbating as a teenager.

During the week, I am able to handle it pretty well, but the weekends have been tough; this one especially, cause I have three days off. I was very tempted this morning while still in bed with a solid hard on, but I keep thinking of the prize - the wet dream. Where the hell is it?!? I've read that it may take another week or two to arrive, if ever. Whatever. The much bigger prize/goal is the return to sexual normalcy.

I keep waiting for the flatline. I may be in a somewhat partial flatline because the urgency to MO has decreased a lot and my objectifying men has not been as pronounced.

I do find myself future tripping about when I'll be ready for sex and with whom. I do not have a partner, and the thought of going on Scruff to find a hook-up for rewiring leaves me wanting. I know that a receive hits of dopamine when I look/respond to men on it. Danger. I have an accountability partner, where's my rewiring partner? Anyway, I just try to remember what I've learned in AA - live one day at a time. The past is history, the future is a mystery, and today is a present. It certainly doesn't always feel like that.

On the bright side, I do wake up with morning wood everyday, have almost stopped 'testing' my dick, and have experimented with touching other parts of my body to rekindled sensitivity - this appears to be working.


now-man

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Re: Who knew...?
« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2016, 03:48:59 PM »
Hey Harry,

Hang in there! I think that if you can hold out, if you can find something else to do when your hands start wandering, and just be patient through all the urges and impulses, you'll be quite happy with what shows up down the road.

Remember that we're addicted to dopamine hits. So that's what's going on when those urges strike. Your brain is trying to get you to give it a hit. The less you do, and the longer you wait, the more your wiring and chemistry will calm down.

The worrying about how you're going to find a sex partner when the time comes is also a part of the dopamine addiction. As it heals, that worry won't look the way it does now. Your perspective may shift, a lot of things that appear challenging right now may just take care of themselves. That's my experience of how it works.

Keep going man!

Gunner

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Re: Who knew...?
« Reply #10 on: January 18, 2016, 01:27:29 AM »
Hey--you will get incredible stimulation out of your johnson when you stop spanking the monkey. The reward is great---incredible feeling when you have sex and no worries about performing. The problem is frequency. What I mean is you can get that dopamine rush 2-3x/day when PMO or MO, but you will not get that with another person. You are going to reduce your dopamine fix substantially. For me it went down from 1-2x/day PMo to 1-2x/week with a girl. So it is a tradeoff of quantity vs quality. The real problem kicks in when that 1-2x/week is not the quality you need due to many factors...you are tired when the opportunity presents, you have to work to please another person, and the other person is just not attractive or good at sex. So back to PMO. I decided to go 6 months no PMO and six months of PMO. That way I get the best of both.

harry

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Re: Who knew...?
« Reply #11 on: January 19, 2016, 06:25:00 PM »
Thanks for the words of encouragement, now-man and Gunner.

I made it through another weekend without too much trouble. When I think of MOing, I think about how I would have to reset my clock, and I am not interested in jeopardizing the progress I have made. If I were to relapse, I would be inclined to continue relapsing for a number of days - I mean, "why the hell not, you've already blown your time, loser," my dopamine addled brain would say.

I don't want to start over ever again. This has been hard enough as it is. I want that great life I read about in all the success stories. I don't want to miss anymore of my life.



harry

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Re: Who knew...?
« Reply #12 on: January 23, 2016, 11:54:18 AM »
Another weekend is here. Day 48 no PMO/Day 19 no MO. Amazing! It's hard to believe, but after a rocky start, the day count just keeps climbing.

Settling in to the idea that I will never be able to masturbate whenever I want again because I abused it - just like I did with drugs and alcohol. I think a couple of times a month will be ok. It's hard to believe I just wrote that. When I first came to this site, I thought that I would reboot, and then, I could go right back to MOing daily. But, I realize now this would just lead me right down the dark path again.

It seems strange that my thoughts on this can change so quickly, but I'm convinced from all I've read that I've been doing this wrong for so long that I've finally surrendered. This thing has beaten me completely, and I accept that I have to change to get better - the sooner, the better.

In dick news, MW is stronger than ever and occurs periodically throughout the night. I've been experimenting with touching my body and have been able to get an erection without touching my dick (get out); an erection that stays around for a while. Hell, last month, I could barely keep an erection using the death grip and porn, and the second I stopped the death grip, it would deflate.

I've had my doubts (really fear and anxiety) that this (hard mode) would work for me, but real progress is happening. I am very hopeful. 


now-man

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Re: Who knew...?
« Reply #13 on: January 23, 2016, 12:59:09 PM »
Right on Harry! That matches my experience. At this point I don't feel at all concerned about when and if I'm going to be able to M again. I really don't care, it doesn't interest me. Being turned on when I'm with my partner interests me. Keep going man! :)

harry

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Re: Who knew...?
« Reply #14 on: January 25, 2016, 12:46:28 AM »
Well, today has been a little tough. I've been feeling some rewards for my (hard mode: no PMO/no MO) work. Namely, my dick is coming back to life, and I was taken by it this morning in its full MW glory. I was able to pull myself away after a struggle - it was difficult, but I kept thinking about how I didn't want to reset that damn clock, and I didn't want jeopardize what I've already accomplished.

I got out of bed and started exercising and realized quickly that the act of playing with myself for that short period of time had triggered a big burst of dopamine. That burst kept me preoccupied with MOing for the entire day. Ridiculous! No more touching.



harry

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Re: Who knew...?
« Reply #15 on: January 27, 2016, 01:14:53 AM »
I've decided to change my no MO goal to 60 days. This is irritating, but I feel it is necessary. Simply, I have not put enough distance between me and my addiction to dopamine.

As I approach my goal of 30 days with no MO, I have noticed anticipation growing inside of me at a feverish pitch. Anticipation for some kind of reward (MO) on day 30 (you know what I'm talking about) for all my hard work. I deserve it. I've earned it, damn it. Fortunately, the dopamine that has been flooding my system tells me I am not yet ready.

It's as though these 3 weeks have been a mere holiday from my addiction, and the reality is, my addiction has been doing push-ups this whole time. It's just as strong as it always was. If I were to MO on day 30, where would that lead? I bet I wouldn't stop at just once or twice. I'm just not strong enough; this thing has beaten me, and I need to remember and be wary of that.

60 days coincides with the approximate amount of time the Delta FOSB stays in the body (YBOP). Delta FOSB is a protein that induces addiction-related structural changes in the brain, ultimately leading to an addictive state (wikipedia). Dopamine isn't the only culprit.

On a positive note, I really believe this reboot is working (per my dick and my peace of mind). More time away from MO can only improve this situation.
 


harry

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Re: Who knew...?
« Reply #16 on: January 30, 2016, 02:14:40 PM »
Another weekend, and I am all jacked up.

A few days ago, I changed my no MO goal to 60 days (from 30). This change has been messing with my head. The addicted part in my brain, I call IT, was expecting a big MO celebration on day 30, and I chose to rob IT of its pleasure. IT is pissed! IT has been flooding my brain with dopamine at the smallest of triggers. My strong MW has almost been a curse.

I am happy that my dick has been responding well to the no MO, but no MO for 27 days seems excessive. I know, I know, that's my addict talking again. Bastard. I feel quite horny, but I still cannot discern whether a part of it is real horniness or not. I do know it's mostly my disease trying to get me to give IT a big hit. I keep thinking about how awesome I'm going to feel after i have 60 days under my belt. Who am I kidding, this is all about my dick.  No, not really. This is about my whole being getting better. Besides sugar, this is the last major addiction I have.

In other news, I continue to experiment with thoughts of Mindful Masturbation - masturbation without fantasy/masturbation with only touching. So far, I've been trying to increase my body's awareness to touching. In the last few days, I have been able to get aroused to erection by simply touching my body (no genital contact). This is truly amazing. Of course, by doing this, I'm walking a fine line because of the dopamine. I consider this solo rewiring.

Here's the link regarding Mindful Masturbation from YBOP - http://yourbrainonporn.com/learning-art-%E2%80%98mindful%E2%80%99-masturbation-uk-therapist-paula-hall 


harry

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Re: Who knew...?
« Reply #17 on: February 03, 2016, 11:04:56 AM »
I find it hard to believe that all this time has past so quickly. Tomorrow will be 60 days with no PMO, and I feel pretty confident that I can go much longer - one day at a time. Honestly, I rarely even think of porn anymore. It's weird that I've been able to banish it so successfully from my mind when it was such a big part of life for years. I think it boils down to the fact that I'm sick of being sick and addicted, and really tired of my dick not working properly. Frankly, my dick has been a huge motivator. Clearing up the immense anxiety that surrounds PIED is my goal, and I want peace and contentment in my head and having this omnipresent issue fucks with that. 

My struggle continues to be MO. Today, I have 30 days, and I am just not sure how much longer I can go. That being said, I must say that doing the hard mode for these last 30 days has done wonders for me and my dick. A real life changer. No, it hasn't been easy, but it sure has been worth it! I have MW and evening wood and middle of the night wood, and this process has really resensitized my member. I can even achieve an erection without direct genital contact. Who knows when that last happened? If you are vacillating about doing the hard mode, let me suggest strongly that you give it a try. As older men, who didn't grow up with high speed internet, we have the ability to repair the damage much quicker than younger men. I know from experience (I was still MOing for the first 30 days of no PMO) that  I was still getting major hits of dopamine from MO and thoughts of the next MO. As we say in AA, I was simply rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.

I think the next healthy step for me is to try some rewiring with an actual male human. I find myself a little envious of the men on this site who are married or have partners.


unchained

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Re: Who knew...?
« Reply #18 on: February 03, 2016, 11:54:28 AM »
If you can go 30 days without MO, you can keep going.  You said yourself that it's worth it.  You are healing and your time without MO has accelerated it.

I know from experience (I was still MOing for the first 30 days of no PMO) that  I was still getting major hits of dopamine from MO and thoughts of the next MO. As we say in AA, I was simply rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.

Just hang tough.  The addicted part of the brain will attempt to rationalize small things that will lead us back to PMO.  In the past, MO was one of those things for me.  Now, it's off the table too.

harry

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Re: Who knew...?
« Reply #19 on: February 03, 2016, 02:02:26 PM »
Hey unchained - Thanks for the wake up call kick in the ass! I will continue to plod along without MO.


harry

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Re: Who knew...?
« Reply #20 on: February 04, 2016, 11:00:27 AM »
These last few days have been tough. This morning, I had to get out of bed an hour earlier than normal to avoid MOing. It's frustrating, but I will get through this. I am going to try unchained suggestion of taking a cold shower. Brrr!

When I first posted on this site a month ago, I had decided I never wanted to watch porn again, and I had a 30 day goal of no MO. What got me through those early days were thoughts that I would get to MO at the end of the 30 days. In the week before I reached my goal, the beast really amped up the dopamine. I was buzzing with anticipation of my celebratory MO. The big event. As a drug addict and alcoholic (clean and sober), I'm no stranger to dopamine rushes. As a result of all this, I decided that I wasn't ready for any MO and pushed my goal out another 30 days. Killing me..

In hindsight, I wish I hadn't kept that MO reward dangling like carrot in front of me, egging on my recovery. I know I will never be able to return to daily MO, and I am quickly (sadly) realizing I should take periodic MO completely off the table. I want to destroy my high-stakes reward neural pathway. I don't think I will be free until I have turned down the volume on the dopamine permanently. MO is always going to push my buttons sooner or later - who am I kinding? Moderation is not a word I understand.


unchained

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Re: Who knew...?
« Reply #21 on: February 04, 2016, 01:06:29 PM »
Congratulations on 60 day away from PMO & 30 days free of MO!  That is an awesome achievement.

It sounds like you are struggling because you are missing the MO.  It's like you are longing for something you love.  Try not to think about quitting like something is being taken away from you.  Sometimes if feels that way to me as well.  To be honest, if I let me mind take me where it wants to go I'll think about porn as something that I truly love and want it back in my life.  That kind of thinking keeps it alive and leaves the door open in our brain to someday use again.  Instead, look at this process and you are learning to live free of porn.  Porn & MO have not been ripped away from you, instead you have put them down and you are walking away.  When times are hard and you stay on the path it's not so much that you fought off the temptation, but rather you are learning the skills necessary to live free from addiction.

harry

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Re: Who knew...?
« Reply #22 on: February 04, 2016, 10:13:02 PM »
Thanks for pointing that out, unchained. I reread what I wrote, and it does sound like that. My lover, my companion has been wrenched from me. I can see how that might lead me to later romanticize about it, and let it back into my life. I will organize my thoughts and actions to this more appropriate way of seeing it. I'm choosing to walk away, to say good-bye to MO.


harry

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Re: Who knew...?
« Reply #23 on: February 05, 2016, 10:42:51 AM »
Well, more struggling last night, and when it started this morning, I just got out of bed an hour and half before I normally do. It isn't my fault that my hands wander. I'm the victim here! I'm being victimized by the very thing I hoped to achieved by coming to this site - my ragging hard on. I keep repeating, "this, too, shall pass. this, too, shall pass." I keep channeling what I've learned in AA - I have to be willing to do whatever it takes...to not drink, use, MO. Relapsing doesn't have to be part of my story as it was with drinking and drug use. I am much stronger now, and I can move past this addiction.

A few nights ago, I told a newish friend about my reboot, and he asked a bunch of questions. Yesterday, he sent me a text offering to be my rewiring buddy. He's getting divorced from his husband of 24 yrs and wants to boost his confidence to start dating again. I'm conflicted because, while he's not really my type, I do so want some physical companionship, and I want to take my new equipment for a test drive. I want, I want, I want. I know there is a real component of this that is actual healthy horniness, but I also know I get some splashes of dopamine when I think about doing it. However, I do know that when two people get together sexually, oxytocin is released, not dopamine.

I took, well, I tried my first cold shower (lasted maybe 10 seconds) yesterday, and it left me feeling strangely exhilarated. Turns out there are many real healthy benefits. I am...a...looking forward to doing to it again this morning.   


harry

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Re: Who knew...?
« Reply #24 on: February 06, 2016, 11:28:45 AM »
Much better night and morning. The urge to MO was not as strong as it has been in the last few days. Perhaps, I'm past this rough patch? I hope so.

My feelings of real, actual horniness continue. I'm just trying to roll with the feeling since I have no damned outlet for it currently. This is a healthy outcome of the work I've been doing. I should be grateful and proud, instead of being bitter and angry. I'm not really bitter and angry. I'm anxious to test myself, and I want some physical and sexual contact. NOW!

I decided I need a plan. How to find a mate without trolling Scruff is going to be tough. I don't really want to engage in any Psubs activity, but I'm just not seeing any options. A healthier choice would dating. I had a date last week, but no connection. I'm in discussion with another guy about having coffee. The dating option won't get me what I want quickly, but it is a more realistic choice.

I just have to remember to be patient - one day at a time. My mindset is so geared to instant gratification. I know, deep down, that the longer I have to wait for something, the more I will appreciate it when it arrives.

Took my second cold shower yesterday. I did much better this time. Soaped up with some much colder water, and then, I rinsed off with completely cold water. It was invigorating. It improved my mood and anxiety level. While I am not looking forward to doing it this morning, I will because, after just two days, I see some benefits. And, I'm here for results!