Reboot Nation Forum > Porn Induced Erectile Dysfunction/Delayed Ejaculation

Limiting sex fantasy during reboot

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abc987:
Hello guys!

Let me introduce myself briefly. I started to watch high-speed internet porn when I was 16 as a coping mechanism for my OCD - porn gave me relief from bad feelings. Soon I realized though that I also started to use it just because I happened to like it quite a lot (you probably know what I mean). This went on for almost close to a year while my erections and libido diminished little by little. What I also have to point out is that my porn tastes started to morph a bit at the end of my use. I went from watching nude models to lesbian porn to blowjobs and ended up finally watching (sorry if I'm being too graphic) pregnant girls having sex. This made me realize that I have a problem. After some trial and error I managed to quite porn for good. After 2017 I have only watched porn on the internet maybe 5 times. The only problem is that my libido hasn't been the same ever since I quit using porn over four years ago!

After going one year hard mode I eventually told myself that masturbating is fine as long as I don't do it to porn. The thing is that most of the time I masturbated even though I didn't have a libido. I just did it every other day or so just because I felt that this is just something men do once in a while. Most of the time I probably did it because I was stressed or something. This low libido state became so normal for me that at times I even forgot about it - I just had an abnormally low libido.

My symptoms are/where:
-low libido
-no morning wood
-only 70 % hard when masturbating
-little interest in seeking a relationship or sex
-no naturally occurring fantasies

Now having started a new reboot in order to fix my problem I have changed one variable from previous reboots - sex fantasy. I think that even though I quit porn for good a couple of years ago I have still been keeping the unwanted brain effects caused by porn alive because of fantasy and probably masturbation too. Let me explain:

I realized that when I fantasize its nowadays always about sex and usually quite graphic (a focus on body parts). Before my porn use I think the fantasies where more about how beautiful a girl was or how it would feel to hold her hand or something like that etc. I also think I have been reinforcing this via (excessive) masturbation.

I am now close to a month into my recent reboot. I haven't PMOed and I have been limiting fantasy to a bare minimum. This have been somewhat easy as I have been in a flatline since the start of my reboot. Things I have noticed so far with trying this new approach:

-morning wood has started to come back (close to 90 % hard in the morning two days in a row a couple days back - it goes down as soon as I stand up)
-still very low libido although I feel that girls perhaps look slightly more attractive than before (might also be placebo)
-I am having some insomnia recently
-a weird brain fog has appeared (attention span very poor) 
-no spontaneous intimacy/sex-related fantasies, although some porn flashbacks occurred a while ago
-mood swings
-desire to avoid socializing (which has been somewhat consistent the last couple of years)
-decreased genital size (it feels as if my penis is taking a rest or something)

Now some thoughts on sexual fantasy (more can be found on YBOP):

1. I believe that "normal" people have naturally occurring sexual fantasies most of the time. They don't have to force fantasy into awareness by thinking about sex related stuff, it just happens to them. E.g. I was only able to keep myself somewhat hard (20-50%) by forcing sex related thought into my mind - this is probably not have it works for so called normal people.

2. Natural fantasy is mostly about bonding and intimacy. It may involve sex too but it is more about how it would feel to touch a girl you like in real life or something like that. It doesn't involve a specific focus on some sexualized body parts like genitalia etc. I remember back in the days, I was able to have a solid erection just by thinking about a girl I liked.

3. Sexual fantasy (if/when it happens) should be as realistic as possible. It is probably a bad idea to fantasize about threesomes or keep shifting between different girls you find attractive during the same fantasy. This is novelty seeking and the behavior mimics too much the porn use in my opinion.

I know I can't blame everything on porn use but I feel quite confident that it could be the porn induced taught patterns that are still affecting me four years later. That was the reason I quit fantasy, at least for a while. What do you guys think about this? Has anybody had similar experiences and results from quitting fantasy? At least my morning wood has started to come back one month in now which is progress! As for the other symptoms I guess they could well be some forms of withdrawal symptoms.

What somewhat makes me confused is the fact that I only used tube site porn for one year and got all these symptoms. Many here rapport a history of many years of porn use before eventually noticing problems. Well, I guess everybody is different when it comes to porn. The fact that I escalated in my porn use is probably a contributing factor. I will let you know if/when I see further improvement!

mousemat1:
Hey abc

You mentioned that you have OCD. Perhaps this is why you suffered the effects of watching tube sites after only a year, but in reality, I really don't know.

Before high speed internet porn, masturbating to fantasy was all we had really. Yes, there were porn magazines, but this involved a lot of fantasy also. So, I don't think fantasy is a major contributor to PIED. However, if you are fantasising to porn videos you have watched, and are replaying them in your head, this could have the same effect as watching porn. It strengthens the same pathways. So, I think you would do well to limit fantasy also.

A decrease in genital size is what people here commonly associate with the 'flatline'. It's nothing to worry about. When your brain resets itself, things will return to normal. I seem to be slipping in an out of my flatline and at the beginning it was almost as if I'd had my genitals removed. It's a strange experience, but I'm starting to get boring erections and the size of my penis during these erections is how it was in the past. Don't panic and check to porn. Everything will return to normal.

Moods swings and not wanting to socialise are things I've also experienced. Be patient. They should pass. It's a difficult period to reboot, what with Covid limiting interaction. I'm a firm believer that when your brain resets itself your libido will return, but you might need to give yourself a little push first. You will know when you feel the time is right to start approaching women. We all have to do it at our own speed.

Good luck!

abc987:
Thanks for your reply mousemat1

I'm at the moment collecting info from different sources regarding pied and have come to the conclusion that there are some grass root level stuff in my behavior that had to be changed. I'm at the moment working on changing these ingrained habit patterns alongside rebooting. That at least seems to be a variable that most successful rebooters did.

When it comes to masturbation and fantasy I think I might have over done it the last couple of years. Even though I managed to get rid of the porn watching addiction I never let my libido return in a natural way from over stimulation. I remember times during the past years when at times I suddenly started to feel some libido and being happy for that I immediately masturbated the very same day. And gone where the erections and the sex drive! It seems quite clear to me now that this behavior wasn't benefiting my long term goals. My guess is that porn taught me to always immediately masturbate when I was feeling sexually exited or stressed. Luckily I now know better. Looking back the short moments of sex drive the past couple of years always seems to have been preceded by some weeks without masturbation and unnecessary sex fantasy. I don't really get it why I didn't put two plus two together sooner. Maybe I was just in denial of this problem, I don't know. When it comes to no fantasy, at least for me it seems to somehow speed up the process. Has anybody had similar experiences? I'm giving myself a break from both masturbation and fantasy for at least a couple months.

The last couple of days I have had a weird feeling in my head. Sort of a pulsating feeling or something like that. I have also had some small headaches that come and go besides the symptoms I mentioned in my original post. Brain fog has also appeared. I think these could really be withdrawal symptoms that have been mentioned on YBOP. By the way I'm an otherwise healthy 21 year old male and my hormone levels have turned out to be normal.I will let you know when these symptoms improve.

Stay strong guys

akpal2:
hi abc, as somewhat who has suffered from this and gotten cured from pied and the relapsed I can tell you that yes, fantasy can be equally bad or worse. Especially if you have been using fantasy for edging, it then becomes pretty much worse than porn and a quick shoot. Completely going hard mode is helping you heal and morning woods are a good sign. Losing the wood when standing up is also a classic sign of this kind of ED. So keep doing hard mode and stay away from all sexual thoughts and you should start seeing results in another 6 -8 months (or earlier).

mousemat1:
Hey abc.

"I remember times during the past years when at times I suddenly started to feel some libido and being happy for that I immediately masturbated the very same day."

Oh yea, I've been there and done that! I think is has been one of by biggest problems. I masturbated over Christmas (no porn) just because I wanted to feel that my penis was alive (I'd been flatlining for over 100 days). So, I masturbated and went into a free-fall cycle of masturbation. I was masturbating most days, and sometimes twice a day. This was not good. OK, I didn't relapse to porn, but I hadn't given my brain sufficient time to recover. So, here I am, going monk mode again.

We are trying to recover so we can have sex with real, living and breathing, human beings. If we can seriously limit our masturbation, I think it is a huge push in the right direction.

Akpal also makes excellent points, in particular related to edging. For healthy, non addicted men, masturbation isn't really a problem. For us, and let's not try to hide from the facts, we are porn addicts and masturbation is so strongly linked to watching porn for us that I believe masturbation is just a few steps away from porn use, which is why I've stopped masturbating again.

Good luck!

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