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Topics - Henry V

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Day 49 of reboot. I’m pretty sure this isn’t just coincidence because of the timing. I’ve found the times I’m quite intensely using social media like twitter or scrolling 24 hr news sites (I may have an intense couple of days or a week if something interesting is going on), even where there is nothing at all porn related in the slightest, I’ve gone back much more into a kind of flatline / low libido state after having been feeling better. Anybody else find this? I think social media generally can also be a mild addiction and can activate the same search and seek and scroll centres in the brain thereby reflooding some dopamine and holding back the reboot. Rather than looking for porn you are looking for interesting comments or articles to get your fix. Perhaps this reinforces some of the old pathways.

I am on day 40 clean of PMO (man, I feel better) and I thought it may help me and maybe others if I related my story. This account is primarily for those who have used porn moderately but are (or were) unsure about whether their usage was the cause of their sexual dysfunction. Spoiler: even moderate usage can cause awful PIED and in my case definitely did.

The first section contains my tale of woe. The second section contains some tips that I’ve found useful to start improving things (in addition to cutting out all forms of porn).

Tale of woe

I’ll start by saying that PIED from moderate porn usage is insidious because it’s even harder to make the connection between ED and porn use and may only hit you at the worst of times when you’re really trying to make a go of it with a long term partner or wife. Everything about it will deceive you and lead to you overlooking porn as the primary cause. Some poor guys may never realize. I mean watching a bit of porn once a week and jacking off to it, what harm could it do, right?

I was never addicted to porn. I’ve always had a successful, busy career and mostly kept myself in good shape and strong. I never looked at porn daily and could easily go weeks without it. It wasn’t a big part of my life and didn’t have a high place in my everyday consciousness. Nevertheless, it still rewired my brain resulting in a serious case of PIED.

I started PMOing to high speed video stream porn only at about 29 (before that all that was available was the odd movie or magazines) mainly to hardcore but later to S&M as well. Nothing too extreme but probably enough to shock some. I did get a bit more extreme over time. I had the odd binge of course (particularly when I had first discovered the fast streaming video access and my favorite sites) but most of the time I just wanted to find something for some quick relief once or twice a week. Only at 39, when I finally got married and tried to settle down, did I realise how much of a problem this type of usage had caused. With hindsight, the signs were there all along.

All through my early and mid thirties I was actively dating. I never had any issues with PIED back then. I’m quite a picky guy so often went through periods of drought while I sought a sufficiently sexy or interesting girl (already a bad sign you may think). During those periods of drought I’d use porn much more regularly and for slightly longer periods (2 or 3 times per week perhaps and for up to 40 mins at a time - no still not a lot relative to others). “Why not” I thought, I’m a red blooded guy and what harm can it do, it probably even keeps me in condition so I can be a full stallion when the time comes. What a joke that turned out to be. Little did I know all these periods were subtlety rewiring my brain.

Why didn’t PIED appear during any of my relationships back then? I’d give three reasons. 1) I was lucky enough to be able to find relatively hot girls that really turned me on 2) the novelty factor was hugely important! My relationships tended not to last longer than 6 months at most so the novelty never really wore off. 3) I constructed the sex to very much mimic hardcore porn - visuals were massively important to me and I now realize that I objectified these girls to some extent. Even so, at the end of all of these relationships I found my mojo for the girl starting to wane (my guy would be less stimulated and I’d feel less attraction, PIED was kicking in I now realize), but as none of them were the love of my life (I legitimately didn’t click with any of them for various reasons) this just confirmed to me that the relationship had run it’s course and it was time to end it.

Fast forward to me finally finding a girl whose smile got me completely hooked and whom I wanted to settle down with. I married her and we had good sex for the first 3 to 6 months (some long absences for work and study reasons may have helped delay issues). During this time when we were living together and even during absences I’d say my porn usage was weekly or rarely biweekly and not binge sessions, 20 mins at most. The first sign of trouble was when I returned from a business trip one day and had no interest whatsoever in sex and no chance at all that any stimulation could get me erect. I blamed tiredness but I can now say, having just become aware of this phenomenon, I’m pretty sure this was some sort of flatline I’d unknowingly fallen into. She was disappointed to say the least as she’d prepped herself and dressed for the occasion. She said it must be my age. It ended up being difficult and upsetting for both of us.

After this I increasingly lost interest in sex (the novelty with my wife had well and truly worn off), I had a very low libido and became kind of asexual. I had no interest in cheating as I take marriage very seriously, but sex was no longer something I looked forward to or even had any desire for. Of course, I first blamed everything else other than porn - age, Coolidge effect, the view that perhaps this is just how life is, my wife’s personality, my personality, the pressure she put on me, arguments we had, even the modern social structure of society, you name it.

What made this awful was that my wife loves sex and feels terrible without it. There was constant pressure and I had to summon all my power to perform as often I could. To do this I had to focus and visualize something to turn me on or arouse myself with images and masturbation beforehand. Mornings I was slightly more capable than evenings when tiredness hit. Perhaps because my mind was fresh. It was a huge mental effort and I couldn’t always do it and sometimes the result didn’t last long enough or wasn’t hard enough, especially in the evenings when I was most tired. It was desperate stuff. My porn usage continued to be low to moderate at this time. Often I would test myself using it and try to stimulate my libido. Bad move I now realise! Of course I was always able to get erect easily and reach orgasm which convinced me that perhaps this was just the way life was in long term relationships.

Anyway, even the already infrequent forced sex became less and less frequent (I just couldn’t keep it up) and my wife slowly began to get used to the fact that this was just how things would be (not without a large amount of disappointment or even depression I might add). This went on for a couple of years. It certainly hit my wife very hard and may even have damaged her health. I also didn’t like it at all, not least because I wanted to make my wife happy and healthy, but I also never wanted a sexless marriage (who would!). I felt incapacitated and less of a man. Plus I read that many marriages will not last without sex and sensual pleasure, which is obvious really.

With things only getting worse I finally started to think really deeply about the possible causes of this. This just couldn’t be how life was meant to be. In desperation I began to examine every part of my life, including the moderate porn use. I struck on same vague notion that porn could in fact be super stimulatory and normal real sex may have difficulty competing with it in some ways. So perhaps porn wasn’t helping. In desperation, even though not wholly convinced by this, I decided to cut it out. Clearly my original view that PMOing could keep me in condition had been well and truly invalidated so at worst cutting porn out could do no harm. It was no problem for me to cut it out and I felt no cravings.

Anyway two weeks into this reboot (I didn’t know that it was called this then), I actually felt some arousal in bed one night. It was fleeting but definite. I hadn’t had that in an age. This made me think there was really something to the no porn approach and I decided to have a google. I think I typed in “deprogramming from porn” or some such. Anyway, I found and my world opened up. Everything made complete sense - from the experiences people had like starting to feel aroused simply by being home alone or in front of a computer to the whole science behind brain rewiring and sexual conditioning. I needed no further encouragement to decide to never watch porn again. Given the improvements I’ve already made, porn use was clearly the cause.

Tips I’ve found useful

Three main points to make.

One thing that’s important to remember and which I’ve only just come to realise again is that visualization should NOT even be necessary to get erect. At uni and before I’d ever watched porn, just some stroking or massage could do the job and this shouldn’t change with age that much provided you have no other issues. I’ve used this to try to recondition myself back to feelings and touches rather than visuals and also to test whether my mojo is coming back. This part of reconditioning is very important because porn makes you totally forget this side of making love. With porn the visuals become all important and the touch far less so if at all. Try just really focussing on the pleasurable sense of touch and the nice sensations for 15 mins of massage and stroking rather than visual images in your mind and see what happens. If nothing, that’s fine, keep going with the reboot. One day your guy will show signs of life. When I got this back I realized just how much I’d been missing out on. The sensations and touches are a huge part of making love and a fantastic part. Porn had detached me from this. Now the thought of getting this experience is a turn on and attracts me to making love again though it will take more time to totally recondition myself to this.

In terms of MO, I didn’t do it for 4 to 5 weeks. Once I started seeing signs of life coming back and massage started to get a few results I did MO (I had wanted to exclude visuals from this experience but I cheated a bit with some very vanilla and brief visualization of a girl I’d met that week whose smile alone turned me on - another sign my mojo was coming back). For me, doing it ONCE was actually great. It fired up my libido really well and the next day I was finding many real girls really attractive again. However, in my eagerness I did it a second night and that kind of set me back a bit. Not majorly but I think it would have been best not to have done it. I’ve now avoided MOing for another week since and am feeling better. I’ll try to go another week before considering doing it again. I’ll keep using the massage and stroking technique every so often though.

Hugging and snuggling has been important. Both for rewiring and because it’s kind of a good test. If tingling and blood starts to flow down there just from hugs, it’s a safe bet you are improving. Don’t force it but just lie together hugging with no real expectations but try to be in the sensual mindset. I did this a few days ago with my wife and started to get hard. I really didn’t expect that, it just happened! My guy just seemed to work of his own accord. I’d forgotten what it was like and didn’t think it was ever possible again unless I had some new chick laying there with me. How wrong I was.

This is all I have to say for now. I’ll continue my progress. I still think I have a long way to go but even after 5 weeks, I’m feeling a LOT better. I’ll update again to say how it has gone.

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