So I’ve been reading YBOP and this website for a while now and decided it would be nice to have some feedback from other people. In June I discovered YBOP during a Google search and realized how detrimental porn really is to my sexual health. I am 23 years old and had been using porn since I was probably 16 or 17. I used to masturbate using fantasy prior to porn use, but once we got high-speed internet, I stopped using fantasy and started a daily masturbation routine to porn. I had a girlfriend for two and a half years in high school and college and never realized that porn was part of what ruined my relationship with her. There were many factors that led to us breaking up, but porn really did make me perpetually unsatisfied and skewed my sexual interests. I never worried about ED because I never had a serious issue with that with my girlfriend, although there were times when I had some minor troubles. After this relationship I masturbated quite a lot and found myself increasingly awkward around women in general. I think I came across as creepy and insecure. Once I discovered YBOP in June and started my initial reboot, I felt like superman and my self-confidence soared and my social anxiety dissipated greatly. I started talking to women and challenging myself to be more outgoing. I didn’t care as much what people thought of me and even told many of my friends about my issues with porn and what its’ negative effects were on me. I feel like I’ve helped some of them because porn really is a problem for my generation. Almost all of my male friends regularly watch porn and have for years.
Anyways, I made it 32 days without any MO, and 41 days no PMO. During this initial streak I felt great and had no issues with getting an erection or anything. I saw girls differently, like I really appreciated them. Their hair, eyes, legs, …. Everything about them drove me crazy. I could tell when girls liked me with eye contact and subtle gestures. It was awesome. Then in August one night I PMO’d because I was watching some late night television and happened upon a porno on HBO… I couldn’t resist. I ended up bingeing for 9 days and felt terrible the whole time. But, I started over. Now I am 56 days of no PMO. I haven’t even had fantasies. These whole 56 days since my relapse have been a complete flatline. I don’t have sexual thoughts or feelings. I didn’t really realize the extent of this flatline until I met a girl 11 days into this reboot. I started dating her and eventually it got to the point where I should make a move… well I had absolutely no sexual desire and couldn’t even get an erection from cuddling and making out. It was absolutely terrifying to me. It took me a while to work up the courage to tell her about my issue and what I’m doing to fix it. She understood which was a great relief to me, and I am still seeing her. For a long while though after revealing this I struggled with insecurity and depression. I had serious bouts of depression that would last up to a couple days. I felt like there was a wall between myself and her because I couldn’t be physical with her. I explained that she was beautiful and I would love to do more with her but I just couldn’t until my body recovered. And, she is still with me :)
To help myself get through this I have been reading a lot of these blogs and different websites. I have looked up authors that people mentioned and really love Eckhart Tolle’s works. A New Earth and The Power of Now have really helped me cope with life. “Accept what is” has become my new motto for life. I have become much more spiritual throughout this process and feel like the truest sense of myself that I have probably ever felt before. I can accept life as it happens, good or bad, and am ok with that. I work out a few times a week, started eating healthier, have much more open and honest relationships with my friends and family, and feel much better as a person than I did prior to starting this journey. I feel like there is no longer a cloud over my head and I can see things very clearly. The one thing that still gets to me sometimes is the length of my flatline…. I am going on 56 days now and, while I can accept that my body needs this to recover, I really, really want to be normal again. I want to experience my fullest potential with my girlfriend and feel completely comfortable. While it’s nice to not rush into sex, it would be nice to have sex when you were ready to. All I can do is keep going one day at a time and accept life as it is. I will not watch porn again, it is simply too destructive and I never want to go through this again. What I found really helped me this second reboot (56 days) was starting a journal. My initial 41 day reboot I didn’t keep a journal and lost track of my priorities. I also told my dad about my problem with ED and porn to help hold me accountable. It was really awkward at first but I’m finding that I really don’t care if people know my deepest and darkest secrets… Everyone has been in this place at one point or another with something in their lives, and I feel like being real with people about that has helped me have more honest and open relationships in general. I bare myself to the world, and so far I have found that people appreciate that. They don’t have to wonder what I’m hiding because I don’t have to hide anything. I am just me, that’s it. I will try to post here periodically with my progress as well as some of the insights I have found in my readings. I have been reading a lot of Eastern texts such as the Tao Te Jing and have some books by Mantak Chia and Thich Nhat Hanh. Feel free to ask me anything.