I checked in on this forum one month ago. That's when I decided to take responsibility for my own life for one time, and to cut out all the PMO. This is my first blog post. I want to share some of my experiences here, because reading others' stories, recognizing elements you have in common and sharing advice are known to be a significant help in any change we want to make in our lives. I hope I can contribute in this somehow.
I probably started watching porn when I was 15. Considering it a benign thing, since all of my male friends were doing it, my watching behavior escalated. During the last four years masturbating to porn became a daily routine. Still not seeing a problem there, I always thought all of my friends were probably doing this as much as I am. Not unusual, I believed, not until recently.
I'm 21 right now. I do not consider myself experienced in relationships or dating girls. Attractive women always seemed to intimidate me somehow. I always sensed an awkward air when I was around them. I would fantasize and dream about me falling in love and hanging around gorgeous girls, but never really took initiative in real life. Too uncomfortable.
I had my first real relationship when I was 19. I found it hard to adapt, spending so much time with that one person, giving me less time for activities with friends and hobbies. Although all went well in the beginning - finally, I had my first sexual experience, and it was great! - I soon discovered I wasn't really in love, and I broke up with her.
My porn watching behavior got a really terrific deviation 7 months ago. During study for the finals, I would masturbate up to 3-4 times a day. An easy way to cope with study stress, and spending 12 hours behind a desk, porn is your major fun distraction every day.
During that period, it all got serious when I saw myself typing in a search term for gay porn. Seeing the new images, I suddenly got very excited. I was confused.
What followed was bingeing behaviour, big time. I could go up to 5-6 times a day and needed very short time to orgasm. After each orgasm, there was this huge hangover, guilt. What the hell was I doing?? I was anxious, but in the meantime I was continuing the binge, cravings for anohter 'newly designed orgasm' didn't stop. Every relapse was my last one.
These were very frustrating weeks. Why was this gay material suddenly so enticing, in such a short time period? I was masturbating to material that disgusted me before, and would still disgust me after I orgasmed.
As you can imagine, I would continually break my head about it. That's when I did some research. God, I'm so thankful YourBrainOnPorn showed up as a hit in google. I learned about sex and the human brain, dopamine and neuroplasticity. I now somehow understood the rush from the new, anxiety producing material. I now compare my situation with someone struggling with a fetish, and that's probably what I was creating.
I decided to act in a rational way. How absurd would it be do let this recent unfortunate behavior determine my life? I realized I needed to do something about it quick, as I was consolidating these unwanted sexual paths into my brain. I tried the abstinence method, but the longer I was withholding the cravings for the 'new material' became nasty, and I would listen to my primitive brain. I relapsed several times, then tried it again 5 more times, not making it past the first week. Interestingly though, already after approx. 3 days of abstinence I saw my confidence and interest in girls rise again.
Now I'm handling this problem of mine for real. I did more research. I made a plan of action. I read about brain science and the recent findings about neuroplasticity, which I find to be hugely fascinating. I am now abstaining from any PMO for 60 days.
My goal is to 'rewire my brain' and to get rid of the 'gay paths' that I inadvertently wired into my brain. I see this somewhat as an experiment, very awaiting and interested in how my brain reacts to the abstinence. I remember I read a quote from Marnia, "It's not going to kill you to give up orgasm for a few weeks to see what you notice about how your inner compass reacts.". This made me give it a try.
I recognize I have a problem. But this time I want to take initiative. I don't know why this material pushed my buttons, but I don't care. I, alas my rational brain, know for sure that I don't want to go down that road. A lot of the porn out there is nothing more than sexual garbage, ready to be nested in your brain, leaving you confused and frustrated. During this time of abstinence, it's becoming more clear that this is all superficial. Going straight for orgasm, as fast as possible. Again...again.
I can make myself believe I'm just bi or gay, can be an easy explanation, not an easy confession. But all this gives me a feeling of discrepancy inside, big enough to prove that this is not hard-wired. Damn porn!