Day Fitty Five and some thoughts on exercise, MO and MJ

Submitted by onmyway on
Printer-friendly version

Some thoughts on the rebooting process so far -

Exercise helps. A lot. Not only does exercising help to stabilize your mood and anxiety, but it also releases endorphins so as to give you a positive attitude.

Consider that masturbating to orgasm (without porn of course) will set you back about 2 weeks, hormonally. I MO'd on day 40 and then again about ten days later. My morning woods still have not returned to where they were on day 40. Yes, I've still been learning through this time and growing as an individual, but I think my sexual vitality has been lagging behind and playing catchup.

I have not engaged in porn since I started but I recommend you DON'T DO IT!! It takes time to decrease your sensitivity to a certain addiction. If you reengage that addiction while in the rebooting process, you make that addiction even stronger!!

I'm a big fan of playing with my nuts - probably from college. Most frat boys have no qualms about scratching their dick in company. I think this brazenness has led me to touching myself more than I should. In the mornings, this leads to me masturbating but trying to stop before orgasm. I'd rather just refrain from masturbating for now. I tried doing this before but I'm going to try again - no touching my dick unless it's for cleaning.

Marijuana - The past few years, I used to toke 5-6 times a day, and could be "perma-high" for weeks at a time sometimes. BTW, I have smoked only an eighth over the past three months. To me, that's basically going cold turkey. I have no guilt surrounding weed and no intention to ever quit. I hope to be a 80 year old pot smoking hippie grandpa one day. I've learned so much from the drug and I really credit it to a good deal of my character development. Also, I know how to be a high-functioning (pun intended) stoner, so it's really never been a perceivable negative upon my lifestyle.

I now have some thoughts on the drug's negative impacts upon our sexuality. To explain this, I need to reiterate some stuff about our nervous system and neurochemistry. The autonomic nervous system is what controls the body's equilibrium. It is split into the sympathetic (fight or flight) and parasympathetic (rest and relax) parts. Which part do you think weed impacts?

I would have to say the PNS. When you're chilling, you slow down and allow yourself to relax. That's what is so wonderful about MJ. But problems occur when we hijack our body's ability to engage the PNS by replacing it with MJ, which is basically what I was doing when I used it several times a day. I think this is also why many people say potheads are "self-medicating." They are self-medicating by using MJ to curb their anxiety.

Anxiety takes us back to the SNS. So we have relaxation being PNS, and agitation being SNS. During sex, PNS initiates arousal, while the SNS controls orgasm. When MJ has hijacked your ability to engage your PNS, what occurs is anxiety during sexual encounters, and a difficulty to bypass it. I think this is what causes a lot of the "ED" among younger people. I have really good results with women and sex in that PNS trance state, where you lose sight of the whole world. I don't think you can enter this state using the SNS.

Thanks for your insights

Makes sense. Seems like we all need to learn "the relaxation response" just in case there are no artificial means of attaining it. Smile day 40 was a little too soon to stop the reboot, sounds like. Did you get the two-week time-frame from our stuff? If not, I'd be curious how you arrived at it.

I probably got the two-week

I probably got the two-week time frame from you and Gary. I have a background in the sciences and am actually beginning med school next week, so for a while I was just enjoying reading pubmed and eating all the info I could.

Btw, I'm still noticing my anxiety reducing each day. I feel like I'm giving my SNS a complete overhaul. I think when I was addicted to porn, the social withdrawal was the result of two factors: I found porn more arousing than real life, but I also found social situations a source of anxiety. I don't see how a man can be expected to approach women while PMO - he would be both fretting with anxiety and he would have wired himself to relieve that anxiety by running away and using porn.

I'm on day 65 now (seems crazy!!) and much more courageous in not only social situations, but also in my self-dialog. I feel mentally stronger each day. I've been dating around, but am going to wait until I relocate cross country in order to get into something more serious.


Glad you've discovered your inner Superman. Smile

Yes, something interesting is going on in the nervous systems of those who reboot. It would be great to know more. Did you see this new public policy statement? Seems a lot of doctors are really catching on about the risk of behavioral addictions now:

Still wish they would tackle Internet porn addiction rather than not mention it, or lump it in with sexual addiction. Here are some random thoughts on the statement, which I jotted down for another list:

There are two things I have reservations about. First, the statement speaks in terms of “chronic disease of brain reward.” “Plastic brain changes” would be more empowering, as it acknowledges the ability of the addict to make constructive changes.

Second, the statement doesn’t mention Internet porn addiction, or distinguish it from sex addiction. Obviously, a policy statement can’t address everything, but I’d like to say a bit about why I think they are different.

Internet porn use is far more likely to lead to addiction than Tiger Wood’s behavior. As explained in the new book “The Compass of Pleasure,” addictiveness is not directly tied to size of dopamine impact. Cigarettes, for example, hook nearly 80% of those who try them, while heroin hooks only a rather small minority of users. This is because addiction is learning, and smokers constantly train their brains with little “rewards” of dopamine. Heroin users get more intense “lessons,” but far fewer of them. That’s why so few get hooked.

Internet porn use is more akin to smoking in that each novel image offers a small dopamine burst. As users generally view many images/video clips, often daily, they are training their brain much as smokers do. In other words, it’s not the neurochemical blast of orgasm that hooks them, although the endogenous rewards from orgasm further reinforce porn use. Many users actually stop pursuing real partners for sex completely, and even deliberately delay orgasm to pump up the “high” from the activities of hunting and viewing images. It’s likely masturbation addiction would be quite rare without access to Internet porn.

In short, the real hook in a porn addiction is Internet porn itself—not sex. We know this because when guys attempt to give up both for a time to “reboot” their brains, most try to hang onto “porn without masturbation” rather than the reverse. (Many can’t masturbate to orgasm without the multi-image stimulation of porn early in recovery, due to sluggish reward-circuitry responsiveness.)

Sex addicts, like heroin users, generally can’t get unlimited “fixes.” They may also have more stimulating rituals, not unlike heroin, or other, addicts.

Is Internet porn addiction rising as more youngsters start out with unlimited access to extremely stimulating material (thus desensitizing their brains more rapidly and wiring themselves to synthetic stimuli)? I suspect rates of porn addiction will end up somewhere between excessive online video gaming and excessive junk food consumption. Both have been shown to cause the brain changes associated with addiction processes. This Hungarian study found that 18% of adolescents suffer Internet addiction: “Confirmation of the Three Factor Model of Problematic Internet Use on Off Line Adolescent and Adult Samples. In addition, 14% of Chinese youths are apparently Internet addicts: “Microstructure Abnormalities in Adolescents with Internet Addiction Disorder”

Internet porn delivers the constant novelty of gaming, but sexual arousal is our genes’ top priority—which means food addiction rates may be a better predictor. Ominously, a far larger percentage of people eat to obesity (30+% of Americans) than become, say, gambling addicts (1-3%). Unfortunately, it’s hard to measure porn’s effects on users. No control groups can be found, and few users understand that anxiety, concentration problems, depression and youthful sexual performance issues can be symptoms of porn use—precisely because porn always seems to be the “cure” for those conditions.

All the best with your new career!