Porn-induced ED - first attempt to recover

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Submitted by Gregor on
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I have only recently heard/read about porn-induced ED but it makes a lot of sense in my case. I have had no problems getting an erection and ejaculation to porn as long as I found the porn I was watching to be stimulating enough, which meant the porn actresses had to be very hot and soon or later novel to me. However, while I was in a relationship, I couldn't maintain my erection for very long, condoms were a problem in particular, and I couldn't ejaculate. The stimulus just wasn't enough. Getting an orgasm with masturbation alone without watching porn became difficult - I could not always reach an orgasm this way. I first thought the problem was low testosterone or ED from an organic cause. Testosterone was tested to be within the normal range and tadalafil did not really help much.

So, now I decided to reboot my brain and see if this helps. I started with abstaining from watching porn at the beginning of December. I did not stop masturbating until December 20.

I first noticed that getting an orgasm from masturbating without watching porn was getting easier. This was a positive effect.
However, since I stopped both porn and masturbation, I experienced the following symptoms:
* I often feel depressed. I don't feel much joy in doing anything.
* I feel very lonely. I am currently single and not in a relationship. Since stopping PMO I have a very strong feeling that I would like to be with someone but not necessarily for sex. I feel there is something lacking. I would love to have a woman to hug, to kiss, to cuddle with. Never felt such a strong desire for this before.
* I feel a lot more emotional than before, which I don't like as it makes me feel less manly.
* Libido is mostly very low to non-existent. However, sometimes just reading sexually associated words or seeing pics of hot women in ads makes me extremly horny. The strange thing is that this is often not associated with getting an erection.

Will keep you updated when things change.

I admire your willingness

to try something new.

You probably know that it's not unusual for withdrawal to be miserable. In the case of guys with ED that often includes a "flatline" where their libido drops radically and their penis temporarily shrivels. Very scary...but temporary. http://yourbrainonporn.com/i-quit-porn-but-my-potency-and-libido-are-dec...

Trouble is, no one can say exactly how long it will be until your libido comes back. The first guy who went through the flatline here bounced back at about week 8. Here's his story: http://yourbrainonporn.com/how-i-recovered-from-porn-related-erectile-dy...

Meanwhile, there are ways to help regulate your mood now that porn is gone. Choose from this list because these things generally support your dopamine levels without sending you on a dopamine "chase." http://yourbrainonporn.com/solo-tools Two of the best are vigorous exercise and meditation. If you can afford a therapeutic massage, that might help a lot too. Or do you have an ex-girlfriend with whom you could cuddle? http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/cupids-poisoned-arrow/201104/calling...

Let us know how you get on. Hope you feel better soon. Start your own blog if you like. (See "Members' blogs" to the left.)

Thanks for the feedback. I

Thanks for the feedback. I read a lot about the withdrawal symptoms before starting this and most of them are just as described. However, I did not expect those rare "flashes" of high libido (horniness) nor did I expect such a strong feeling of loneliness.

You know what is kind of funny: I had a therapeutic massage today and I felt a lot better right afterwards and I am still feeling a little better now. Having this therapeutic massage was not related to my PMO abstinence but due to neck and back tensions. And now I read that this can actually help with PMO abstinence. Makes sense because - even though it has nothing to do with sex - someone is touching me in a very comforting way. Something which I feel like I am longing for right now.

I have already done and still do vigorous exercise. I haven't tried meditation yet. Unfortunately, I don't have a ex-girlfired with whom I could cuddle.

Perfect

Smile Neck and back tension has been mentioned by a couple of guys lately as a possible withdrawal symptom, so maybe it is. In any case, I'm glad you can get massage.

Are the "flashes" in response to porn-related cues? That's pretty normal...and may even happen during a flatline.

The loneliness is just miserable, but you are surrounded by 7 billion possible solutions to that problem. Sometimes it helps to go sit in a bookstore or coffee shop and just people watch, with the occasional smile and eye-contact. Good practice for flirting. Smile

.

[quote=Marnia]Sometimes it helps to go sit in a bookstore or coffee shop and just people watch, with the occasional smile and eye-contact. Good practice for flirting. :-)[/quote]

Another one for me to try! I think I got a nice look from the girl serving at Costa Coffee today, but my cue recognition still sucks.

But to purposely/consistently do that is a great idea.

These "flashes" occur in

These "flashes" occur in response to anything that I find erotic in a way. Where I live, topless women are used in printed ads, TV ads, magazine covers, book covers and so on. Then, there are women walking around with sexy clothing. Things that cannot be avoided to be seen. All of these can cause the "flashes". However, they are rare and most often the same stimuli do not cause anything. So, I don't know why there are these short moments when my brain seems to respond differently.

I will try to be more around people. But this is not so easy as I do not live in a big city and usually just go there for bigger shopping sprees. Thanks for the advice anyway.

Maybe the cravings are more

intense when you're under a bit of stress. Stress alters the brain such that addicts become more vulnerable temporarily. Stay cool. Smile

Even a walk around your area can be good. An exchange of greetings can do a lot, simple though it is.

Gregor wrote:I have only

[quote=Gregor]I have only recently heard/read about porn-induced ED but it makes a lot of sense in my case. I have had no problems getting an erection and ejaculation to porn as long as I found the porn I was watching to be stimulating enough, which meant the porn actresses had to be very hot and soon or later novel to me. However, while I was in a relationship, I couldn't maintain my erection for very long, condoms were a problem in particular, and I couldn't ejaculate. The stimulus just wasn't enough. Getting an orgasm with masturbation alone without watching porn became difficult - I could not always reach an orgasm this way. I first thought the problem was low testosterone or ED from an organic cause. Testosterone was tested to be within the normal range and tadalafil did not really help much.

So, now I decided to reboot my brain and see if this helps. I started with abstaining from watching porn at the beginning of December. I did not stop masturbating until December 20.

I first noticed that getting an orgasm from masturbating without watching porn was getting easier. This was a positive effect.
However, since I stopped both porn and masturbation, I experienced the following symptoms:
* I often feel depressed. I don't feel much joy in doing anything.
* I feel very lonely. I am currently single and not in a relationship. Since stopping PMO I have a very strong feeling that I would like to be with someone but not necessarily for sex. I feel there is something lacking. I would love to have a woman to hug, to kiss, to cuddle with. Never felt such a strong desire for this before.
* I feel a lot more emotional than before, which I don't like as it makes me feel less manly.
* Libido is mostly very low to non-existent. However, sometimes just reading sexually associated words or seeing pics of hot women in ads makes me extremly horny. The strange thing is that this is often not associated with getting an erection.

Will keep you updated when things change.[/quote]

I felt exactly as you in the beginning. Especially that feeling of being VERY lonely. And I hated sleeping alone, I thaught to myself every night how much I wanted a woman to cuddle with.

It does get better after some time. Give it a couple of weeks and you will feel better.

No major improvement yet

[quote=borshajen]
I felt exactly as you in the beginning. Especially that feeling of being VERY lonely. And I hated sleeping alone, I thaught to myself every night how much I wanted a woman to cuddle with.

It does get better after some time. Give it a couple of weeks and you will feel better.[/quote]

Well, it has been a couple of weeks now and unfortunately it hasn't gotten better yet in that respect. The extreme anxiety that I had got a lot better after I started taking some supplements. The intense feeling of depression also got better.

However, I still feel very lonely. I am trying to get as much social interaction as possible. Getting to know a woman in this mental state is not easy. Even though I try not show it, women may notice my less than great mood. Then, avoiding to appear needy or clingy is not easy in such a state - two characteristics which are not appealing to women in a man.

I also feel kind of empty, like my life is totally unfulfilled and lacks a worthy purpose. So, I am still far from feeling great. I want to find pleasure in life again.

I know that for some people the process of rewiring takes longer. I just hope that in the end all of this will pay off and that my PMO abstinence will not be the trigger for a major depression caused by multiple circumstances.

Some days

are definitely worse than others. Sad

Have you experimented with meditation or any of the other tools here? http://yourbrainonporn.com/solo-tools

Apparently it's normal for human moods to tend toward entropy, especially when they are alone. I suspect some of us have more of a challenge with this than others. It pays to have skills in place for coping with the resulting "brain worms." I'm glad the supplements are helping, but humans have been also been mastering other mood-regulating skills for a long time. Why not profit from their tips?

.

Gregor, I had the exact same feelings, but I just accepted them as positive. I enjoyed them as it meant things were changing.

I'd rather be laying in bed longing for someone to hold, and as I progress, ABLE TO DO THAT, than lay in bed numbed from PMO. :)

Stay strong mate

I find it helps to find

I find it helps to find other hobbies to fill the void left behind by porn. Basically, you have to re-organize your way of living so that you have no opportunity to get back into your old habit. Have you thought about looking into a new hobby?

Hobbies

I have thought about it but haven't found one so far that I enjoy. I will let you know if I did find one and how it helped.

P.S.: Of course, I do have hobbies but I haven't found any additional ones that I like.

Me too

It's part of the withdrawal symptoms, we just gotta get through it for a few weeks and then the spark comes back into life.

Still no improvements

I wouldn't have expected such strong withdrawal symptoms considering that I did not use porn as excessively as others (or at least as I think others do/did - are there any statistics on that?). I usually watched porn 1-3 times a week for 10-15 min and used it while masturbating. Obviously that was already enough.

I am currently taking valerian pills and melatonin for helping with my sleeplessness.

Dopamine high from a crush?

One other thing that I wanted to mention: Right before starting my PMO abstince, I was dating a girl a couple of times. We were making out a bit but didn't have sex and it was still far from being a relationship but I think I had a crush on her. However, she didn't feel the way I did, so it ended.

Maybe I got an additional dopamine high from that crush, causing my PMO withdrawal symptoms to be so strong now.

Socializing

Not right now. I am currently too busy with my job (several deadlines) to start any new activities that may allow more socializing.

However, when time allows I talk more to my co-workers (about non-work related matters too).

Update: Yesterday, there was a bowling party with my co-workers. I thought this would cheer me up but it actually didn't help much. I guess this just isn't enough of a substitute for someone that you feel really close to - at least not at the moment.

You're absolutely right - it is better than nothing.

It just didn't help as much as I expected.

As I mentioned before, I live in a small village. This makes socializing a bit more difficult. In big cities, it is just a lot easier to find places with lots of people around you.
I checked for the opening hours in nearby libraries and they all close at 6 pm, which is too early get there after work.
I checked for evening dancing classes but they are for couples only.

What about

a meditation group? Toastmasters? Or call the dancing instructor and ask if they could use an extra man. Usually the problem is too many women. [skepti]

Carving for sweets

No real withdrawal symptom but something I noticed: My general appetite decreased but I eat a lot more sweets than I used to. I guess it's my brain trying to get at least bit more dopamine from eating sweets.

That's

a good bet. Be gentle with yourself. While a healthy diet actually reduces cravings...getting too obsessive about avoiding all pleasures can just make you cranky. [boese]

Best bet is to let exercise, meditation and any of the other tools help regulate your mood and your dopamine.

Tools: http://yourbrainonporn.com/solo-tools
http://yourbrainonporn.com/tools-to-connect-with-others

In other words, don't just "sit on your ass eating bon-bons." Wink

Brief update - 30 January 2012

I am noticing occasional nocturnal erections. I wake up often during the night but I normally fall asleep again rather quickly. Anyway, it has been enough to notice the erections. As far as I can remember, the erections were not associated with any erotic dreams or thoughts.