Hey all! Marnia and Gary, at first I want to let you know how much I value your work. I really appreciate your devotion to this topics and your holistic approach, the marriage of evolutionary aspects of our elemental biology with spiritual aspects hidden in ancient wisdom.
5 years with porn and masturbation
Like so many young people today in modern culture I never gave it a deeper thought which long-term effects masturbation and porn could have on ones life. Somehow with age 14 or 15 I discovered a completely new feeling like nothing I ever experienced before. I was quite an "innocent" child, nobody had ever told me anything about sexual feelings in puberty, I didn't even know that something like masturbation exists. When fellow children talked about this and used such words before I always felt irritated or expelled because it wasn't clear for me what they were talking about.
So I discovered this strange sexual sensation when seing girls/woman and for month I didn't know how to release my tension. In school erections surprised me everyday out of nowhere several times, not related to fantasies or sexual thoughts. I suffered from severe anxiety due to this because I always thought others could detect my erection, every day in school went into a nightmare.
I still didn't know how to masturbate but I liked the sexual feeling and began to view pornographic pictures. In the beginning I used the playboy website because I wasn't aware of other stuff. The first time I looked at those hot pictures the feeling seemed to be out of this world, just ineffably. Suddenly I knew there was something worth living for, everything else was just boring everyday life and my slight depression lifted. Had I known back then the biology behind my feeling - that it was simply an artificial dopamine kick which messes with my brain chemistry, the same mechanism behind drugs like heroin or cocaine - I wouldn't have spend the next 5 years gorging on porn and masturbation every single day.
I always was introverted, spend my time reading and, later, doing research about interesting topics, was disgusted by superficial and immature small-talk (which was the norm at school) and afraid of being hurt by others when opening up, but it seems those years spending with watching porn regularly - from age 15 to 19 - made it all worse. In the end I have failed to work at myself, so it is me who is now unable to overcome his immatureness, his unconscious chosen solitude. This solitude was a vicious cicle, leading more and more to my unability to handle social interaction.
My self-confidence plummeted during this time and especially my relationship to the opposite sex was, well, almost non-existing in sexual terms. While friends/class mates began sexual relationships I was never able to talk to attractive girls openly, never gained attraction, and watched jealous while thinking that I would never experience the gift of such a relationship. Though, it was a cleaved feeling because at the same time I knew I wanted a deep relationship with more than sexual things but I knew no girl with the same goal. I thought this was what kept me from being attractive but maybe it was merely the fact that I lost all my sexual energy to masturbation and that my innocent sense for real women deadened slowly with porn and it's constant demand of perfect erotic bodies.. From simple pictures, I went over inoccent videos, but as time went by I needed more stimulation and, especially, new videos/virtual women to increase my pleasure.
Additionally I began to masturbate prone from the beginning and it really was like heaven. I tried it in other ways but I never got such a big stimulation response than with masturbating prone. Masturbating once or twice a day (before sleep and in the afternoon if I was to depressed and needed the high) it was my escape from reality. From the fact that I didn't knew people I could talk to about topics I was interested in and that I was unhappy with my life - school life made me depressive - I fled to this artificial drug: porn and masturbation/orgasm. It was not unusual to watch porn 2 or 3 hours a day.
1 year without porn
However, one year ago (with 19), I changed my environment and due to circumstances no chance to watch porn regularly ever since (only 2 or 3 times in this year maybe). So I am without porn for one year at the moment, it wasn't difficult at all. I also changed my masturbation habits, but I needed at least one orgasm a week to release the tension. There were some periods during the last years were I didn't masturbate for 2 or 3 weeks but most of the time it happened at least every first or second week - sometimes more, sometimes less. I always used my "stored" fantasy to masturbate, so nevertheless the porn images are really imprinted in my brain. Just as the way I am doing it (prone) is.
21 days without masturbation
A few weeks ago I came across your website, read all the experiences from other users and was astonished that PMO could have such profound effect on ones life. At once I stopped masturbation and fantasizing (of course also no porn as before). This was 3 weeks ago, not difficult for me at all.
This night I had an orgasm during sleep and today I feel really bad (severe brain fog, irritability). But I don't know if it is really the cause because for 2 or 3 days now I feel a little bit irritated, bad tempered. Today it just got worse. Nothing like the calmness before. I am in a bad mood, feel like my whole life is nerving and I just want to be alone. Being with others leads to conflicts very fast, I get angry. etc., so my mood is apparently unstable. At the moment I can barely concentrate. Maybe it's just the fact that I moved to visit my family 2 weeks ago and it's just the daily routine between me and them which pulls me off...
For the 10 days a few days after quitting I noticed no libido and a kind of calmness I never felt before, but it was very subtle, so I am not sure if it was real. My libido came back a week ago, I felt sexually energetic, but also calm. I began to have sexual dreams. Interestingly, the difference to former dreams was that I started to approach women, started to engage with them because I felt this urge to have sexual contact. Well, at least in my dreams I am able to socialise with the opposite sex.^^ I never dared to make contact with attractive girls because of my low self-esteem. Maybe this is gonna change?
At the moment I feel a little bit discharged (like a battery) sexually after the orgasm this night. Do unwanted orgasms during sleep hinder my progress anyway?
I would love to talk about improvements after 3 weeks without masturbation/orgasm/fantasizing but all in all I don't seem to make progress. Maybe due to prone masturbation (very intense, I think) and the fact that I repeated all the porn images during masturbation until recently I have to go a long way for rebooting/reprogramming my neurological pathways and hormonal imbalances.
There is one thing I wonder about, that is to say why it isn't difficult for me at all to stay abstinent from masturbating during the last 3 weeks. Even when I have an erection I don't feel like I have to do it. The moment I realized how bad it is for me, I stopped immediatly. But maybe it is just a low-libido phase I go through and in a few weeks it gets irresistible, who knows...
Thanks letting me write this and for reading, I hope it wasn't so boring. I tried to articulate my thoughts clearly but english isn't my first language. Just that you know why some sentences may be not so comprehensible.
*Added: btw, I plan to do at least 8 - 10 weeks without PMO or maybe just until I find a girlfriend (alone to think about it is heresy, I almost don't dare to write this hope down. It's just to far from possible for me - I never had a girlfriend). There is nothing in masturbating which appeals to me anymore. I don't want to escape from life, I don't want to be addicted, I don't want to hijack my own brain. I want to experience life in all it's different nuances, in every moment. Whether I laugh or cry, whether I am with friends or in solitude, this life is too valuable to throw it away and hide behind mind altering dopamine kicks. I look forward engaging socially more, if I can't find real friends than at least I have a mirror to evaluate my own behaviour and improve it. Of course, these are only words and when it comes to women I tend to be that introverted (it's already social anxiety) and behave so awkward, shy and just not me that I don't have any opportunity to get to know them just because I am so cramped emotionally. :(