Countdown to Freedom

Submitted by Gainsay on
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This blog is going to part of many actions to control and eliminate my porn watching and masturbation habit. I have tried many times to stop and find it easy enough for a few days or for a week or two when on holiday, but once in front of a computer I always return to what feels like a sweet and deserved embrace of this lethal spider.

I have masturbated since puberty (13 or 14 and I am 45 now) and didn't feel like it was under control even then. I had a general anxiety as a child (probably from a bullying environment at school and home and parents who although loving on therir terms lacking quite a bit in empathy and parenting skills) but I wouldn't have called it anxiety or general anxiety. I would have called it shyness, inhibition, trouble getting to sleep and funny horrible feelings in my stomach going to school or when my dad was demanding something of me or putting conditions on things he would do for me. ('you can go on the school trip if you paint the fence' etc).

My first wank seemed to solve the sleeping problem. I looked forward to going to bed every day now instead of fearing it. But it effected my sleeping hours as I immediately noticed I was tired from staying up later (sometimes to sneak glamour photography books or mags out to gaze at while i rubbed myself.- Hard to believe that photography magazines where the porn for teenagers in early 80's but they did me fine for a few years, until I had the courage and looks to buy porn at a corner shop.

I felt I had joined the grown ups but pretty soon my friends were having sex and I was having none. I just wanked every night before sleep until I had a my first sexual relationship at 19. Even then I would wank on the days between meeting up. I wondered if I could stop and I couldn't. I was concerned but no overly. I wanked when I shared a room, in Youth Hostel Dorms, while camping. I just was able to gently tug, fantasise and come into a tissue. Nice, neat and clean. Sometimes the orgasm would be pitiful and I would feel unsatisfied but it didn't stop me. I occasionally bought Porn Mags, Penthouse, Club, fairly softcore and I did not like being seen to like porn. I kept it secret. Much of the stuff that male friends put on the video was fairly easy for me to distance myself from, the sort of stuff held under the counter at corner shops or found in parents bottom drawers. The girls weren't that nice. the editing crap and unnatural. But I was really fascinated. It just didn't sit with my fairly romantic, fantasy of how sex with women should be. But occasionally I would get a major desire to wank and would purchase mags and wank furiously to Orgasm, 2 or three times in succession. I once found my self in a Porn cinema in Cologne (disgusting clients but good porn) and a video booth sex shop in Cape Town. Both times the sight of the establishments had built up an unstoppable desire to visit over a couple of days. Needless to day I felt dirty and sullied afterwards and disappointed I was not the man I thought I was.

This was it for years. Girlfriends came and went and sex got good after initial fumbling- I was often ED for the first few sessions. Then in my thirties I started to get ED regularly, particularly around condoms. Getting a condom on was a mad rush as I lost stiffness quickly unless inside her and thrusting. This made sex a bit of an anxiety zone and I struggled to regain my previosu confidence. A fair bit of medical attention (counselling etc) ended up with me on an SSRI at 34. I had instance ejaculation problems. I was horrified that this was going to be a 6 month, 12 month who knows how long problem. I spoke to my GP but got no where. At this time I was back at UNI on a masters and on broadband and this magical thing the internet. One day a innocuous search term brought up a video site where girls had someone come on their face. It is hard to put into words what emotions this raised in me. I could not believe it, I couldn't believe women were like that. I wanted to meet one! Unfortunately it wasn't long before I was staying late in the computer room to masturbate. Oh the shame! But this made me come and thanks to the SSRIs I hadn't been able to come with out furious, cock chaffing, headache inducing, foreskin swelling self stimulation.

Later when I got my own internet connection I fell into this pit of despair induced my mindless searching for hours, first pictures, then clips, then thru' file sharing scratchy videos and now HD video of Japanese hardcore. If I abstain for 7 days (about my limit so far in 2 or three years of trying) the pull is there and the orgasm significantly better than with my girlfriend.

So I have tried not searching for Covers or pictures and having a ready supply of videos so I can just spend 10mins on the habit, but every now and then I am up until 2am and 3 am. (And I have done this with my girlfriend in bed in the same room!!). She thinks i am such a good worker. Unfortunately I have suffered at work through tiredness and actually have probably lost a job over it and been made redundant form another. I have lost and engagement and am separated from my wife. I cannot say that it is not unrelated but of course there were other things involved too.

So here goes. One day at a time, lets aim for 60 days at this time. Wish me luck, encourage me, love me. I hope I can be of help to others. That's one reason I have decided to write this blog. The other is that I want to record this as I made a promise to kill myself if I can't crack this in a year.


Thanks for sharing your story

Please be gentle with yourself. Brains are "plastic," but not liquid. cheeky In other words, it takes time, persistence and even a sense of humor to completely make a U-turn after years of going in one direction. It might be good to read The Brain That Changes Itself if you have time. (Excerpts here from the chapter on sex:  It's fascinating to learn about your brain and its potential.

You've also watched Gary's videos on YBOP, right? You may also want to start a blog at the site a guy here set up recently: as Gary and I are out of town and don't have much forum time just now.

Your story is not unusual, and it's perfectly natural that your brain "went for" novel sexual cues. It may take some time to tap your full potential, but you can do it.

Meanwhile, you need to do things to help regulate your mood during your reboot: vigorous exercise, daily meditation, socializing, time in nature and others listed here (under Solo Tools) are all useful:

Good luck! You are very courageous to undertake such a big change. Don't let any setbacks discourage you.


Thanks, seen and digested the stuff on Gary's website. I have always done many of these things (mainly exercice, time in nature but some meditation). They are all tools to deal with relationship anxiety, just like the PMO. I will need to find a few more to fill the gap.


Getting a way from a computer late at night would work best!. In fact I used to think web blocking tools were for wimps! It has taken me this long to realise I need all the help I can get; That I don't actually have the willpower to resist all day long. ( I work from home so you can imagine temptation is 24/7). I have Chrome blocked nicely, but as I have Mac, Safari is woefully poorly served with extensions that can block keywords.

I know the test will come in 3 or 4 days (thats all it takes for my libido to rise a bit). At this point the thrill of the chase (of a new breast, a wicked look in the eye of some young porn actress) will be such that if I get the sniff of porn I will be after it.

At this point the thought of the drastic promise I made to myself helps to pull my brain away. Self preservation may be the one biological urge stronger than sex

Day 2

Today I woke up today to oral sex from my partner. She was very loving and gentle and clearly wanted me to come from this. I was enjoying the feeling of being caressed and stimulated in that drowsy state between sleep and wakefulness and I nearly got to that final rise in desire and intensity of feeling that signals that orgasm is not far away. But nothing happened, no feeling took me over the edge. I was conscious of the erotism of the situation, but as the minutes ticked by I became self conscious. I tried to relax. Still I just seemed stuck at the threshold of real pleasure.

A few more minutes of limbo. My thoughts turned to a some porn I had seen recently. This sometimes works, but needless to say less and less. I don't actually like thinking of porn when I have real human sex, I rationalise it as helping me over the edge when I am taking too long to come. After all, I imagine its hard work giving a good blow job and I think no woman enjoys endless bobbing up and down on my penis. After a while the self consciousness and guilt feelings and the straightforward awkwardness of the situation overcame me. I pulled her head up and kissed her, asked her if her period was over and when she said not quite but we could have sex. I made excuses and started talking about breakfast and how late we had slept. My erection had faded swiftly and it just seemed that I was snapped back to a reality that excluded feelings of sexual desire and longing. Mentally it was 'I can take it or leave it'. In reality it was 'I had better leave it'.

I realised I have often made excuses like this about sex. Often women are amazed. One girlfriend was really impressed when I turned her down on our second date. "What a gentleman!" she said, "it made me want you even more". In truth I knew it was on the cards but panicked at the last moment. I went home and masturbated, probably to a little thumbed magazine I used to keep for 'special' occasions like this.

It is as if orgasm is my little secret. (the product of years in which it was). Even now, the sense that it is a shared thing between two loving people is a little alien to me. I can see that I use a woman's vagina as a wanking machine sometimes. Isn't that an awful thing to admit?

I think I must have been born to enjoy sex in a vastly different way to the way I have oftentimes enjoyed it. The trouble is, have I programmed my brain to associate orgasm with selfish anxiety reduction, guilt, foreboding? And is it possible to undo this neural programming? Day two is hardly the time to offer any evidence. So I will wait.

Try karezza?

You are lucky to have a partner who loves you and sleeps with you.

What are your thoughts about karezza? Some of us enjoy and even prefer intercourse without orgasm.


I used to do that when I was young. At least to stave off orgasm for a while. If I came and forced the semen back into my bladder It didn't seem right. Looking at it afresh it seems like what people call 'edging' here. Just keeping jolts of dopamine flowing. I want to avoid that during this fast. Thanks for the comment though.

you need to chillax, my man

I know this is a super stressful time. Today I read a personal journal entry from the night before I started my reboot and it's got a really similar tone (fyi- I'm 27, tomorrow is day 120 no PMO for me and I got through it all with no relapses + I'm pretty much healed). The first thing you need to do is really commit to the journey. 60 days strikes me as wishful thinking (though I guess you didn't start with the high speed stuff and I don't know know your entire history). The number of days shouldn't matter. Any number of days is worth it to get this part of your life right. I think it's generally best to plan for the worst- then all surprises will be pleasant. Also, even a full year wouldn't be that much when you compare it to 30+ years of messing with your brain, right? That being said, it prob won't be that long. I've often seen Marnia comment that older guys who didn't start with high speed stuff can recover faster. But there's no quick fix here. It's going to be hard. Dig in, get yourself focused, and plan to stick around for the long haul. You're not gonna rush through this and be fixed all of a sudden.

The best thing to do, in my opinion, is create a system that makes you actively and intentionally deal with the issue every day. Structure your diet, exercise, supplements, meditation, and just complete schedule around avoiding a relapse and binge. You can't just wait around for the problem to get fixed, you have to fix it. Also, you're prob gonna have to talk to your lady about it. Every time you intentionally orgasm, you're setting yourself back. So you can't be getting tempted by friendly morning BJs or sex. Repeat- every time you intentionally orgasm, you're setting yourself back and you will never fix the problem if you keep doing it. I've seen plenty accounts on here by guys who get off the porn and masturbation but still have sex during their reboot and I just don't see them getting the same type of results as people who do full-on abstention. So talk to your girl about it. You're prob gonna have to anyway, especially if the process drags out to a few months or more. I don't know anything about your relationship, but I'll say again that there's nothing and no one worth you not getting this part of your life right. So, if that means losing the girl to fix the problem, I think that's a fair trade. That may sound ruthless, but you gotta be ruthless to stomp out addictions- the addiction has already been pretty ruthless with you, right?

I feel you on the whole "kill yourself in a year" thing. I've been there- I've OD'd and been pretty close to pulling the trigger myself. Porn is actually my third serious addiction to stomp out (though I think it was the root of the other two). People whose brains have never been out of balance don't really understand what it's like. You have no control over yourself. There's constant disappointment and self-loathing. Questioning the very foundations of your character. You can't just let life flow, so you constantly exhaust yourself by trying to micro-manage every part of your life because you can't trust things to just go right. You can't focus. You have no vital energy to put toward creating anything positive or meaningful because you're using all your energy not to just collapse in on yourself.

Having come out of the depths, I can honestly say that the depths are all in your head. That doesn't make the pain less real- our whole world happens in our heads. But your perceived life situation is as fluid as your ability to think different thoughts. Right now, you've got a bunch of sentences going through your head that make potentially killing yourself a realistic option. But you can intentionally change those sentences and getting your neurochemicals balanced out is a big step in the process. Speaking as a currently happy and healthy person (which seemed impossible a few years ago), I can say that life can be really good- you've just been doing it wrong (just like I did it wrong). So much of what you might consider a "character flaw" in yourself is no such thing- it's just straight brain chemicals! People like to talk about "character this, character that", but I've become more and more aware of just how much the biological mechanisms in our body truly shape our reality. A good test of that- eating healthy vs. eating unhealthy. You are biologically programmed to be "happier" if you eat well and don't put a bunch of shit in your body. It's the same thing with the dopamine and masturbation. So, just start to realize that it's not you. Not really anyway. It's you in the sense that you have done certain things that put you in this position and now you have to do things to get you out. But that's just input/output like a machine (same as getting fat or thin). It's not you in a deep, existential sense- basically, you're not like this because you have some deep-seeded character flaw. You just screwed up the balance of some chemicals in your brain and when you balance them out, you're going to feel a lot better about everything.

Good luck on your journey. I'll keep an eye on you and comment if I feel I can add anything. Life on the other side is bright, pulses with energy, and flows easily. I had no idea myself 4 months ago. You have the choice of whether or not you're going to get there. Trust me- you haven't fucked up your brain or body beyond repair. Push hard.

Day 3

Those welcome comments and encouragement make me think. This change of behaviour is certainly going to be a challenge since I have not gone without video porn for more than 10 days in the last 10 years.

This morning I couldn't get out of it; I had sex with my girlfriend. I had been avoiding her and she needed some love. She has her own problems with sex (never orgasmed) and I often just stimulate her to get her to relax and stop feeling she has to do something (like look after me, keep changing positions and acting out things she has seen in porn movies). It ended in sex. I am not sure that real skin on skin sex is my problem but I am I am prepared to take on trust that no orgasm at all is the way to go.

Well she had dropped a bombshell recently that she might be bi-sexual. Knowing her as I do it seems to me she is just confused about sex (stuff happened in her family, which I won't go into here, that could really twist a person's feelings about sex) and on top of that she is very educated and controlled and finds it hard to let go. We don't talk about it much but I know she looks at a bit of porn and has a vibrator, etc. When I mention I masturbate too often when I am not with her she says M is perfectly normal.

Anyway, I mentioned we should break up while she explores this bi-sexuality. She has ended up breaking up with many previous boyfriends over this but has not so much kissed a girl yet. After having a distraught week she came back and said let's separate for two months and by the way she had a free flight to Burma so she's going on holiday with a couple of friends for three weeks of that.

So I suppose I have it on a plate. No pressure for sex for two months.

I want to agree with what 'Recovering' said above. Its in the brain. One of my girlfriend's friends has quite bad OCD. She mentioned to me that it was the sheer exhausting frustration of doing what she does not want to do (checking exits, doors, windows) that wears her out and causes depression. It is the same with Porn.

I have often given excuses to myself as to why it is OK. I have thought its good to learn to accept strange sexuality, to be comfortable with different races and body shapes during sex, body fluids etc. I have thought "to get out, go in deeper", I have thought I was learning about the human being, losing my anxiety over female sexuality. But I always came to this realisation. This is wasting too much time, I am losing friends, losing motivation to get out and get on, I don't think this stuff is good for me, I must stop. And I could not stop. And I tried and tried again to stop and hated myself more each time I failed. I was being controlled by it (metaphorically) and it wore me out.

Already I am feeling more sexual. I think I run on a three day desire cycle. At least as far as wanting sex goes. Then I think there is 7 day sensitivity cycle (in terms of my penis- getting super sensitive after 7 days of nerve recovery). After that (and I have rarely experienced this) there is a chasing cycle in that I am motivated to approach women or smile and flirt with them. After 7 days I know I wil be feeling and intense sensitivity in my gonad region that will literally be screaming for release. I have not worked out how I am going to deal with it yet.

I think I am underestimating the challenge I have ahead. The internet is still there and I am vulnerable to late night surfing. This is probably another aspect of the same problem. Chasing laughs and visual or intellectual stimulation late at night (am I TED/PriMAL living addicted too?) not sleeping until 3 am and suffering the lack of sleep and concentration that goes with it.

I have set my computer to shut down at 10.30pm. I can always override it but its a start.

Thanks for those who comment.

1) Definitely don't

1) Definitely don't underestimate the challenge. Get yourself a good porn blocker. Willpower is overrated. Create a process that keeps you from failing. Plan to feel like shit for 100 days :)

2) It's good that your girl is gone for 60 days. No orgasm is definitely the way to go. The reason is that you have brain patterns that are associated with both porn and normal sex. In essence, when you fire up one set, the other set gets fired up involuntarily. Especially if you fantasize about porn during sex. Fantasizing is almost as bad as actually looking at porn. Also, like I said before, 60 days might not be enough. Be a man! Aim for 120 :)

3) Masturbation might be normal. Porn might be OK for some people. You have not been masturbating "normally". Porn is not OK for you. Same goes for me. Simple as that.

4) Focus on feeling your body. Do meditation and energy flow exercises. Truly get a sense of how your body feels and what it wants. Going into the body is the way you get out of this mess. Get our of your head, go into the body.

5) I don't know much about the passion/orgasm cycle. Marnia definitely has a lot more to say on it. I would just say be super conscious about what's going on in your body and record things in a journal. Measuring things is the best way to keep from tricking yourself.

Good luck.

Day 4

I found myself looking at photoblogs, that had pretty girls on them. No naked flesh, but the girls really excited me in a nice way. I know this stuff has to ease off too. Its too related to the porn. Still apart from that. Still going. Hah only Day 4!

Trying to implement a kinder mental chatter after realising I am imperceptibly and unconsciously self critical. A lot. It sometimes pops out as verbalised self criticism. Sometimes others hear it.

Whatever happens I am trying to be cool and congratulate myself and think that if you want to be a great man you have to start acting like one. So I'll think, for instance. Yep didn't think of those girls on the street as sexual cues for my pleasure (and later perhaps masturbation). I tried to connect with them as people and communicated appreciation to them. That's cool, thats what great men do. I am one step nearer to being that kind of man.

120 days seems like a lifetime away. I am going to add activities/ new hobbies to deal with pressure to O.

Day 5

Late night on Day 4. Slight relapse. Needed to get on the internet to print of a seminar list for a conference I was going to the next day. Madly I found my self snap into 'Porn Mode'. click click and I was looking at DVD covers on a download site. Probably 10mins. I pulled myself away although I think it was luck as the printer needed paper and it broke my concentration.

Although this is a set back I did not O and the time involved was limited. I am looking for a porn blocker as Safari (which I can't remove from a mac) does not have good blocking. I do realise thought that reactivating the pathways like this only a few days in is actually a big set back. I don't want to berate myself too much as this is part of the problem (undermining self esteem). I will take heart from the pull back and know that I am also activating some new restraint pathways.

I will act to close off this opportunity in future.

I had sex with GF last night. This is the last time for a while. We are separating for two months while she explores her (supposedly) bi side. She was in tears but I have a more hopeful outlook on what may happen. I dropped hints that I am addicted to P and M but she didn't ask for clarification. I told her I was on a Wank Fast as a way to explore my sexuality and left saying I hope to be addiction free in two months.

Day 6 to Day 9

What can I say. On day 7 a relapse. No need to go into detail. And I refuse to give into self hate. Late night got me. I ran out of willpower. I'd had a day in which events happened that required careful professional handling to prevent contractors and clients getting disappointed/ upset/suing me. As is usual in my profession most other people made the mistakes and I was left with the hot potato when the music stopped. I didn't know what to do and the underlying anxiety upped a notch. I should have gone to sleep but I went looking for fun on the internet and I ended up where I usually end up. Recovering was right. Willpower is overrated.

After the the late night I made it even later and installed Open DNS. This seems to work. It blocks at the DNS server and relies on users submitted data. I am not even bothering to put stuff on the white list. If those reactionary American Christians have put it on the blacklist I am going to leave it for 120+7 days, what does it matter. I'll sort out it out later.

Whether related or not, I got ill the next day with some gastro thing. Too sick to do much. Some blessings are in so much disguise....

Day 16

Really the feeling the lack of dopamine. I feel quite flat and miserable, with little drive at the moment. Find it very hard to concentrate (which is a life long problem). I have been PMO free for 9 days, which is somewhat of a record anyway, with one use in 16 days probably another record. Having no libido is no fun. I will be interested to see how things change. This first 7 days is a real barrier for me, but I don't want to suppress my libido only control and channel it. At the moment it feels non-existent so it is not a big deal to avoid PMO.

Day 22

It seems 10 days is a bit of a barrier of me. Although I thought I had blocked everything I again managed to find a download site that was not blocked one late night. I missed my girlfriend but more than that I suffer from a kind of mind fog and distractibility that leaves me struggling to complete anything.

I am not sure what the cause of this is i have wondered about ADHD. Anyway I cannot convince my GP, who thinks I have General Anxiety. Whatever it is the drug he prescribed did not effect the symptoms that worried me so after three months I gave up on it.
Certainly the feeling of discovering the new porn site at 10 days free of PMO perked me up and I think I went a bit crazy. One O and then a chaser 40 mins later. SO all told about of 1.5 hour of DVD covers and previews. Which I repeated the next day. Quite enough to exhaust my libido, although the Os were blisteringly good. Unfortunately I set about downloading torrents too. But fortunately they were slow and I stopped and deleted them the next day.

I have added the sites to the blacklist and I wonder what else I can do to get by this 10 day barrier. Remove my self from the computer in late evening would be one thing. Doing more social events another. The problem is I am distracted all day and I have work to finish in the evening. So I end up forcing myself to work late. The distractibility all day is definitely made worse by the computer and the internet and all my many interests. (Fitness, food, politics, design, photography) but it is a part of my psyche. I think low dopamine is part of it but this has to be within my control to change. In fact I would agree that I am causing low dopamine by my actions and choices and using P to get a few hits back. The chase is enlivening to a huge degree but of course the payoff is relaxation and sleepiness.

So I write this I am back to Day 2. Lets see if I can develop the will power to do better than this this time.

Day 35

Day 35 it could be, but it surely isn't. It is day 4. Its funny how all my promises go up in smoke late at night when I am tired. Still the porn intensity and type has been minor (by my standards) and it is a progress of sorts. I am feeling more confident and I put this down to gradually and painfully increasing my self control and removing the negative thoughts.

So the technique I use is to take control of my thoughts rationally and comment on my moment by moment existence. Self awareness if you like, as taught by Gestalt therapists or Buddhism. I forget to after a while and fade out but just try to bring it back to focus. Its working. I feel happier (spring helps also). It is helping e keep on track if many times during the day I remind myself. "3 days without PMO, need to be careful tonight. This is a long term goal stick with it. Its going to help my life.

Self control is the key. Forget the guilt. I am no more guilty of wanting porn than the wanting the brownie with my coffee. (which i resist by the way) and which is purposely aligned at eye-level to the queue and even then you get someone asking at the crucial moment 'would you like any snacks with that sir'.

The key thing is that the internet is an addiction. I go to it for information, social contact, entertainment, news; yes and just as a nightcap some porn. The other things only serve to support my brain's hypothesis that INTERNET = all you can eat buffet; everything you need is here. So that has to be toned down.

There was a programme on the radio about energy use in the cloud internet use and they interviewed a guy in a cafe in Oslo. What are you doing? they ask. Doing my university work he says, but I have facebook open and I am downloading porn in another window. They left this in at it is a sign of the times I suppose.

Day ...

I am still on the case and haven't given up. But realistically every seven days or so I succumb. Sometimes it is just a few minutes, but sometimes it is a hour session. Always late at night and always on my own. It means I have been getting too little sleep.

Despite having OpenDNS there are plenty of sites that slip through. And even some of those are rammed with torrents. Some of the stuff I have seen, well I can't really compute why women do it. It is not nasty just intense, gluttonous, over kill kind of sex. I am drawn to the Japanese tuff because, well my separated wife is japanese and to some degree I miss the naturalness of her sexuality and to a degree it is a form of anger dissipation too.

The ex girl friend still thinks she might be a lesbian but now wants to talk about a baby. This is why I end up looking for safety in fantasy women. I still havent learnt how to handle the difficult women in my life.

Still every time I succumb it chips away at my confidence.

I think I will check in here more often. It was helping to do it.

Day 2 (Again)

I had an interesting experience after abstinence for 10 days. I got a swelling in the tubes to my testicles. It was quite hard but basically a swelling. I had it Ultra sound scanned but by the time this happened I had decided to masturbate to relieve it and it did. The M was without P and it was not very exiting. Since it had relieved this swelling I convinced myself that I would have to M occasionally to stay safe and healthy. Within a couple of days I had over ridden Open DNS and found a site and had a mind blowing orgasm. Unforgettable; right up there with that time with the girl in Paris and my days in bed with my first girlfriend and at the Japanese onsen with my ex wife.

Of course it started a bit of a binge and 3 x M and 24hrs later the O's were perfunctory.

So this is my life 10 days off PMO and 3-7 days on. All the evidence is there that abstinence is helping. My mood improves and, I feel more powerful and in control. My concentration improves (a big problem in my life at the moment) I go to sleep at the right time and do not need coffee to get through the day.

But still the feeling at 10days of abstinence is overwhelming. The ache in my balls, the thinking of sexual thoughts about any pretty women I see. Its as if I want to disperse this feeling rather than ride its shining wave. A wave that is clear to me is an invigorating ride. I want to run away and hide in my big secret, my instant nirvana, a place I know is a pit of self loathing right after the O when I notice my real self again standing in front of a computer tissues in hand mopping up my semen. It is a terribly lonely place.

Solutions? Remove temptation, get out more, get some dates. We'll see how it goes.

I have a calendar above my desk with crosses and dots on it. The cross is a abstinence day, the dot (sometimes 3 dots in a day) the PMO events. As I work from home I have a lot of opportunity, but I would have no recollection of progress without seeing those long periods of crosses.

While you're on your own

you might find one of these ancient techniques useful. After all, men have been dealing with this challenge for millennia.

Thanks for sharing about the temporarily swelling. Scary. Some guys report temporary blue balls when they suddenly go "cold turkey," but it seems to pass on its own and not recur. Obviously, it can cause some stress to the system when you jam on the brakes. On the other hand, the risk of falling into a binge is a hazard of its own.

Did you read this? Pays to get prepared: