Swearing Off Porn Saved My Sex Life

Habitual porn use can affect a guy’s ability to perform in real-life sexual situations. Here’s one guy’s story.

Recently, Davy Rothbart, writing for New York magazine, confessed that he was faking orgasms because of heavy porn use. (Watch Rothbart on Joy Behar’s show below.) More recently, Italian researchers reported that young men are having erection problems due to long-term porn use.

At last, a growing phenomenon is out in the open. Here’s how one man overcame this problem.

♦◊♦

For years, I looked at porn and masturbated to multiple orgasms at least once a day, beginning during high school. At university, I was a computer nerd with glasses and no social life, though I played a lot of sport. I’d stay in my room and study, play guitar, or masturbate. I got pretty good at all these things.

Once I could afford my own cable Internet connection, the floodgates opened. With unlimited access to high quality porn 24-7, I’d stay up till 4:00 a.m. and get up at the crack of noon. Some months I binged so much that I exceeded my Internet quota and received bills of $1000. I used to have 5-10 windows of streaming video open at a time, and bounce between them, which really upped the levels of arousal. This pattern continued throughout my early 20s. I was not happy at all, and my doctor diagnosed me with depression.

Porn temporarily took my desire away, so I thought it was a good thing, keeping me “balanced.” I was proud that I could look at a hot girl on the street and not feel the slightest hint of arousal because porn had desensitized me. It was a way of taking back the power that I believed women had over me. Only much later did I realize how destructive this was.

Most of what I’d learned at school, in the media, and on the Internet said masturbation, and even porn, are healthy. All the guys I knew were into it, so I never so it occurred to me how abnormal it actually is in contrast with a natural sex life. As far as I knew, masturbation had no downside, and viewing porn was just something all guys do all the time. Many of my friends still have this view.

When I finally lost my virginity at 23, my first time was terrible. I was semi-hard, nervous, and nothing was working. I did not enjoy it at all, and I’m sure my ex-girlfriend would say the same. I did love her, but I’d been training my nervous system to respond sexually another way for so long it was like my body didn’t know what to do. Our sex life was one of the main reasons we broke up after a couple of years. I was watching porn a lot the whole time. Now, I realize that I was sabotaging our relationship, but at the time I blamed her. She did have problems of her own, but didn’t deserve all the blame. In my defense, I honestly didn’t know any better.

♦◊♦

Since then, I’ve had sex, but I’ve never really been able to relax and enjoy it. I’m always nervous, and frequently have problems getting an erection. My last orgasm was at the hands of a Chinese massage girl and even then, I had trouble orgasming. She was pretty and had an attractive body, but it took a long time for me to orgasm, and she almost gave up. This is just one example of how I’ve short-circuited my ability to become aroused through normal means.

A hot girl could be naked with legs spread on the bed in front of me, and I’d still need some sort of manual stimulation to get hard. This really scares me. I want my libido back. I want to feel normal again. I want to be connected with the rest of the world and enjoy my life. I’ve been using porn to escape, and I’m convinced it played a significant part in causing my past depression.

Last year, I had a decent attempt at quitting porn and noticed improvements. But I was still masturbating and reading erotica during that time. This current effort (which began three weeks ago) is the first time I’ve actually tried going without any orgasm or externally arousing stimuli, and I feel that this is the key. It seems like total abstinence would speed the recovery process. Incidentally, I’m 28 and pretty healthy physically and emotionally, and my diet is pretty clean. I’m working out regularly. I don’t smoke. I do drink to excess on the weekends though.

The strange thing is that it hasn’t been hard to stop, once I made the decision. Apart from mild headaches and restless sleep, I haven’t had the withdrawal symptoms many people mention. Instead, I feel nothing. It’s like I just don’t have a libido. No morning wood. No wet dreams. No spontaneous erections. No cravings. Haven’t been horny. I’ve had opportunities to have sex but my body is not responding. I’m taking tango classes, so I’m reasonably social but still no sign of my libido. I can dance with a beautiful girl and have no physical reaction whatsoever. I’m aware cerebrally that a girl is attractive, but I don’t feel it physically.

The thing that keeps me going with the abstinence is my faith that I’ll be able to reboot my brain and get back to normal. But it’s frustrating.

♦◊♦

Six Weeks Later:

This week marks a turning point in my recovery process. Before I go on, I need to describe the girl from tango dancing. She’s tall, green eyes (I love green eyes), great body, and cool as hell. She’s really street-smart and down-to-earth and can hold a conversation about heaps of things. She just wants to have fun, which is exactly what I need right now.

I think it’s safe to say my libido is back, but it was eight weeks of no porn, masturbation, or erotica, and minimal fantasy. My goal was to make it to a wet dream, as an indication that my body was beginning to respond normally. I never made it. Last week, I had an externally stimulated orgasm with a Thai massage girl. Part of me wishes I’d waited, just out of curiosity to see how long it would have taken. But then my goal is to have a healthy sex life again, not wet dreams.

Other than that incident, it was straight abstinence. [When I finally had sex with the girl I met at tango class], there was no erectile dysfunction (ED). I was hard without her touching me. We had sex multiple times, so on the second and third time I needed a little “help,” but there was no ED as such. The fourth time we’d waited a few hours, and I got hard with no help, just by being turned on. So I think it’s safe to say I’m getting legitimate, unassisted erections now.

I’ve also realized is that sex is not a performance. It’s about two people connecting and having fun. I think it’s going to take quite a while to unlearn all the crap that I absorbed from watching porn. I know what to focus on now, though; I really tried to make the session as slow and sensual as possible, with lots of caressing and touching. So, I think that it is just a matter of time and practicing real sex with real women.

♦◊♦

Three months later:

So it has been roughly 20 weeks since I last looked at porn. Here’s what’s been happening: In the last two weeks I’ve had sex with three different girls and enjoyed every minute of it. No performance issues. I’ve been making an effort just to enjoy the experience and not place any expectations upon myself, or the girl, with great results. But I’m realizing the whole “player” thing is not all it’s cracked up to be. What I’m looking for now is a good connection with a nice, cool girl, and I’m prepared to wait.

♦◊♦

Strictly speaking, the problem isn’t porn, but intense stimulation.

Porn-related copulatory impotence lies not in viewers’ penises, but in their brain’s primitive reward circuitry—and there is no quick fix. Normal dopamine sensitivity is critical to normal sexual responsiveness. Too much stimulation appears to weaken the dopamine sensitivity of many brains. To return to normal, the brain needs time to reboot—without extreme stimulation. For an in-depth look at the brain mechanisms at work in porn-related ED and recovery, watch this slide show.

Unfortunately, most porn users don’t realize what’s going on until their reward circuit’s pleasure response is seriously numb, because they naturally overcome any erectile sluggishness with more extreme porn. Hotter stimulation forces the release of the extra dopamine they need to achieve an erection, but it further dampens their natural sensitivity and their sexual responsiveness. It’s a cruel cycle.


—Photo andronicusmax/Flickr

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About Gary Wilson & Marnia Robinson

Gary Wilson has taught anatomy, physiology, and pathology for many years. His wife Marnia is the author of Cupid's Poisoned Arrow: From Habit to Harmony in Sexual Relationships. Among other projects, they host the website Your Brain on Porn.

Comments

  1. robert howard says:

    Been there, done that about the over stimulation. Good to hear of this guy’s treatment method. I attended some 12 step sex compulsion meetings but it didn’t stop me from going back and “slipping”. Some of the members of those groups do very well.

  2. Makes sense when you think about the fact that anything that feels good and/or is good will go bad when taken to the extreme. There’s people who use porn and have satisfying sex lives and I’ll bet its because they use it in moderation. Mind you the definition of moderation is going to change from person to person and topic to topic. I’m actually in the middle of easing back on the porn use myself and have notice good results so far.

  3. Anonymous says:

    This is a great, rare article because it actually talks about pornography in terms of masturbation. Realistically, physically what happens when people ‘consume’ porn. An honest look, it seems to me.

  4. Gary Wilson says:

    This was posted today on an forum that discusses porn-induced ED. It’s typical in that men have trouble connecting their porn use with troubles in the bedroom.

    To: everyone

    Hi everyone. At first, when I read this thread, I said it’s nothing, or it just can’t be it. Then, I started thinking and I said to myself, why not try it. Who knows, porn may be the problem. I’m 24, with a relatively good physical health, no smoking at all, no drinking at all. The only problem was the porn and physical exercises.

    After reading this, I went to a fitness. Still, I had troubles to get hard. I was worried about my problem because it was 2 months not getting really hard. For these two months I had sex, but not with full erection, instead, very smooth. Even, I failed to have sex 2-3 times. I went mad about this problem. It just ruined my life in that moment.

    Then, after reading this, I quit porn for a week or so. AMAZINGLY enough, I have a morning wood and I see quite an improvement in the sex life. I told my GF the porn ‘addiction’ and she went mad. Still, she realized that I had a problem and we are OK again.

    Guys, QUIT porn at all means. Porn is the trouble to your problems. I quit porn for a week and I see improvements. Come on, it’s not that hard to quit porn. Forget those beautiful women in the porn sites; they cannot be ours. We cannot be with them, so, just look at your girlfriend or wife and fantasize having a good sex with her, not with the Internet pornstars.

    Well, thanks a lot Bummed_out for sharing your experience. Believe me, you are a life-savior. Porn is the problem to ED.

    by someone128 Mar 15, 2011 02:59AM

  5. more power to this guy for writing this. i still struggle to get why or how people can be so autobiographical about something so so personal.

    • He wrote these thoughts on an anonymous forum. I’ve condensed his posts. When I asked if he was willing to let me share it in an article, he graciously consented, and approved this version. I guess if you have suffered with this problem and overcome it, you can really appreciate how it can help others. At least *he* could.

    • Youre so right, in todays social media saturation and hyper reality, I found this to somehow directing at me. 27, got a girlfriend, physically healthy, but cant go a day without masturbation. Ive not met anyone who would admit to wanting to stop (some dont even admit doing it), myself included.

  6. So brave of this writer to admit to a problem that plagues so many men — and certainly impacts their “mere mortal” female partners.

    • Yes, it is brave. And yes, it does affect women.

      Here’s a story with a happy ending about a couple who struggled with major porn-related ED issues:

      D’s healing process has been a miraculous adventure. I really should say “our” healing process, because being with someone who used to be a porn addict is definitely a dual endeavor when it comes to healing. As any woman might suspect, it can potentially activate some blind spots when it comes to insecurity on the female’s part as well as the man’s. Facing these fears head on AS THEY COME UP is key, and I cannot overstate how important this is.

      For those of you men out there who fear you have killed your penis for good via furious masturbation: Fear not. It really does come back. Good god does it come back. He swears that I “made his penis bigger or something,” and yes, it is a massive and pulsating wonder. As flattering as it is to hear him say it is my doing, it is simply a product of a healthy sexuality and heightened sensitivity.

      Speaking of sensitivity, I am going to make a disclosure on his part, because it was kind of a milestone in his recovery. A week or so ago, we were, you know, making out, and um…he came in his pants. It wasn’t the cause for disappointment that most men fear it to be. It was actually kind of beautiful in and of itself. What that showed is that IT’S WORKING. His brain has successfully rebooted and rewired certain circuits, and increased the amount of receptors available to receive the neurochemicals floating around in there. I mean, we KNEW it was working, and it wasn’t like we needed this event to recognize that making love to each other has become exceedingly more and more amazing. But it was definitive, solid evidence that very profound changes have occurred in his brain. Years of damage have been reversed. It was proof. A moment of reckoning. Something clicked, and we both understood: “Holy shit! It’s healed. Something’s really happening here.” All of you recovering porn addicts out there should take note of the fact that he has gone through his entire recovery process with me, within a loving relationship. Do not be afraid to enter one, there is no better time than now. Be brave. It’s worth every second of awkward vulnerability you will feel. :-) Absolutely beautiful.

  7. I’m a little confuse; you found your use of pornography objectionable but not the exploitation of Thai and Chinese sex workers, when it is entirely possible if not likely that they are victims of human trafficking or at least working out of desperation? Please explain.

  8. Angela Marie says:

    Yes, this miraculous adventure of healing & recovery… Centering the reestablishment of erections & male orgasms rendering invisible the carnage of violence & exploitation inherent in the porn industry & the invisibility of the Thai & Chinese women sex workers, the descriptions of the ‘real’ woman that mattered to him…confirming in graphic detail the sexist racism & violence against women that is endemic & unexamined in every day ‘normal’ male expressions of sexuality.

  9. I dont know if my previous message went through, but the fact that the author wasn’t politically correct or trying to be hyper masculine got me – because it is in many ways my story. I found something that I could apply in my own life and somebody who went thru it first.

    Then there were these people who, besides having a legitimate issue, started “nagging” about something else altogether

  10. Johnny_B says:

    I want to know who this guy is and where he’s living, having sex with 3 different girls in two weeks… but seriously, good on him for realizing he had a problem and working to get better. Shows that any pleasurable activity, taken to a level of excess, is harmful to body and mind.

  11. I don’t know that getting off in a Chinese massage parlor is any healthier than getting off to porn. But its good to hear that he has moved up to being a “player: that bags three different girls in two weeks. He’s available, ladies!

  12. Resurrected Hope says:

    Thank you so much! I’ve suffered from the exact same problems as you and I’ve wondered what to do. To tell a little about me, I’m 23. I first tried to have sex when I was 18, but I couldn’t get it up (I had already been masturbating almost daily for 6 years, generally with tight grip and erotic visuals, often multiple times a day). I’ve had sex with four partners in my life and I never reached orgasm with any of them. In short, my sex life has been disappointing. Indeed, my last relationship ended because of erection problems of this sort. She accused me of being gay, but I knew that wasn’t true and yet how was she to believe me if I was by all appearances not interested in her?

    I’ve talked about this with with several friends. I’ve suggested that perhaps excessive masturbation might be the problem, but they have been very dismissive, giving me the usual spiel about how masturbation is harmless and healthy. I finally have the confidence to act against the conventional wisdom now that I at last have confirmation of what I had long suspected in the back of my mind.

    You see, when I was abroad in the fall of the past year, I met an amazing woman and fell in love with her. the one time we tried to have sex, I couldn’t get aroused. To be fair, I was also anxious because we were left alone for only a half an hour and so I felt I couldn’t focus solely on her, but at the same time, I was feeling sexually languid (as I still feel now). That experience was devastating for me and I told her that I think I need to see a sex therapist. She told me not to worry, that she adored me, and that after I had gotten everything taken care of in my native country, she would be waiting for me when I return. I feel very lucky that it happened that way.

    Anyway, she and I have been communicating almost daily since I left her country and we love each other more than ever. Still, I have been somewhat anxious and depressed as I have contemplated the time to see her again coming ever closer, afraid that I would continue to fail her sexually to the point where she could not continue to tolerate it. I have even tried to avoid any overtly sexual conversations with her for fear that I would create expectations for her that I would not be able to fulfill. In short, what should have been blissful anticipation has been corrupted into fear and dread.

    What is more, I have felt very alone in my problems; what I’ve experienced has gone against the popular narrative that men my age are so sexually insatiable that masturbation could never affect their sex drive. Thus, I’ve been feeling like a horrid castrated aberration whose issues were more deserving of contempt than sympathy. Indeed, erectile dysfunction is never portrayed as tragic or deserving of sympathy in popular media, it is always portrayed as hilarious >:-( These worries have put considerable stress on me and have affected my life in every aspect. It certainly is NOT funny and it angers me that it is treated as such!

    However, it is about four months and a half months until I go back to the country of my beloved. Since I have suffered the same problems as Gary, I feel confident and full of hope that the same solutions will free me from them forever. Thank you so much Gary! I could not have found this article at a better time and it is impossible for me to exaggerate the hope and excitement that I feel!

    • To Resurrected Hope
      Have you visted http://www.yourbrainonporn.com and watched “ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION & PORN Four-Part Series” ? It will be quite helpful. Also go to FAQ’s as there are several questions that relate to porn-induced ED. Each has links to many porn user’s accounts of their ED and their return to erectile (brain) health. Use all the resources there. Just for the record, I didn’t have porn-induced ED.

      Your conversations to friends (or therapist) about Porn-Induced ED is quite typical in that most people equute masturbation with porn use. The usual answer is “that’s crazy you can’t get ED from masturbation” Which is probably true. But it’s the Internet porn that is causing the decline in brain sensitvity – masturbation is only the vehicle. In fact, we have reports on one man in his twenties who masturbated on a schedule of once every 10 days, but still got ED. Why? Because he faithfully watched Internet porn everyday. He eventually figured it out, gave up porn, and healed his ED.

      Also, most men never make the connection with porn and ED, because they continue to escalate their porn use in order to achieve an erection. Not necessarily more use, but more extreme forms of porn.

      It’s good that you made the connection and have the time and motivation to reboot your brain. This problem can be healed.
      Continued good luck.

      • Resurrected Hope says:

        Hello, I don’t know whether you’re still here, but I’ll give it a try.

        You say that masturbation can’t cause ED and that it’s just the vehicle. However, even if one isn’t looking at porn, couldn’t one continue to sustain the negative effects of porn without watching porn itself by imagining highly graphic and specific kinds of sexual images while masturbating? The truth is that I almost never watch porn, though throughout much of my post-adolescent life I have habitually looked at other erotic images, usually of the “nonnude” variety. Would those have the same impact? Furthermore, these are the kinds of images that I have tended to have in mind when masturbating, even if I am not looking at such images. Because of that, I wonder whether the problem is the narrowness of stimuli rather than the extremeness of stimuli to which the mind becomes accustomed.

        Also, even if porn is taken out of the equation, I think that certain forms of masturbation can be unhealthy in itself. the kind of masturbation I’ve tended to engage in is with what Dan Savage calls the “death grip.” Basically, it is masturbation with a grip far tighter than any real vagina. Frankly, I think that that was possibly the main cause of the unsatisfying sex I had with my last partner. The level of stimulation was barely high enough to keep me hard, let alone get me to achieve orgasm.

        Finally, even though it has been almost a month since my last post, I have not started doing what the original poster did. I keep letting the stress of school be an excuse to keep setting back the experiment one more day, but I think it’s time to stop that. I graduate from college in less than three weeks and by then, I’ll be able to fill my life with healthy hobbies to distract myself from masturbation and erotic images.

        • Excellent points. Thank you.
          Fanatsizing to porn and extreme masturbation practices can contribute to ED. On our site we discuss both. If men choose to masturbate during the recovery process, our suggestion is to not fantasize to old porn memories, and to focus instead on physical sensations. Fantasy can activate the (now unwanted) neural pathways, so it’s important to eliminate it when attempting what we call “rebooting the brain.” As you and most other porn users describe, the memories or flashbacks linger because they are tightly associated with the neurochemical rush of getting off, and tend to replace fantasies of real women, or trigger an urge to watch more porn.

          I can’t really answer whether one kind of fantasy affects the brain more than another. You may have answered your own question. If you need a specific flavor of stimuli to get excited or to get off, it can be a conditioned Pavlovian response. It can act somewhat like a fetish, in that whatever the fetish is – it becomes your biggest blast of sexual neurochemicals – until you allow it to fade with disuse.

          Many guys mention the death grip and rapid stroking as contributing to their loss of sensitvity. A few men with porn-induced ED, also describe masturbating face down, using the entire pressure of the body. The following description comes from http://www.healthystrokes.com/

          Traumatic Masturbatory Syndrome (TMS) is the habit some males have of masturbating in a face-down (prone) position. Some TMS practitioners rub their penises against the mattress, pillow, or other bedding, or the floor. Some TMS practitioners lie on their stomachs and thrust into their hands.

          What’s wrong with masturbating in this fashion?

          Masturbating face down puts excessive pressure on the penis, and especially on the base of the penis. These sensations are not easily replicated in conventional masturbation or in sexual intercourse. This can make TMS practitioners unable to have normal sexual relations.

          Good luck

          • Resurrected Hope says:

            Thanks for the swift reply. I’ve finally begun looking at the website and its accompanying videos. I am so happy that someone is finally addressing this. While I question whether hardcore porn is the only genre of erotic images that can occasion the kind of devastating effects that I (and apparently many other young men) have experienced, it feels liberating to know that I am far from alone. I knew that there had to be something missing from the common narrative that masturbation and porn are completely harmless. And as the videos note, the recency of the problem combined with the shame that men are socialized to feel with regard to talking about anything that would make appear lacking in sexual prowess have made an open discussion about porn and masturbation’s effect on male libido almost impossible.

            As I suggested above, what I found on the website resonates deeply with me. After viewing it, I will definitely not masturbate for at least a month, since that page has convinced me of the rewards of a hiatus.

  13. As a therapist treating individuals and couples with porn and sex addiction issues, I applaud this article and it’s honesty. The program I use in my private practice is from LifeSTAR, and I encourage both addicts and their partners to check out http://www.lifestarnetwork.com to get some answers and some therapy. Thanks for sharing the reality and the hope of porn and sex addiction and recovery.

  14. Elizabeth says:

    I’ll take an opposite stance.

    It’s not the porn that’s the problem. It’s the addiction that’s the problem. Honestly? The writer of this article had a PROBLEM. It’s like banning alcohol because some people lack the self-control to keep from being alcoholics. Why should we all be limited for the lack of self-control of a few?

    While people denigrate erotic material, they completely overlook the fact that it ALSO encourages expression of sexuality.

    Maybe guys didn’t have as much problem with porn addictions before the internet. However, why don’t we also try to track our increasing openness about sexuality and the importance of meeting women’s needs? Why don’t we also consider the changing ideal in society that accepts that women also have sexual needs and desires which they can meet without being thought of by their partners as sluts? This is also a benefit of erotica.

    If I have ANY problems with porn, it’s that the idealized images may make inexperienced men not realize or appreciate what real women look like. However, Madison Avenue is even more crippling in that respect, so if we’re going to hit porn, let’s ALSO hit every single magazine and commercial out there.

    • Huh? What article have you read? Where does it say we want to ban porn? We don’t. Where in the article did we denigrate porn. We didn’t.

      The article is about overstimulation of the reward circuitry, which leads to a decline in dopamine, the chemical that initiates erections. As described the dopamine system responds to novelty, which Internet porn provides in spades. No moralizing, no judging, just overstimulation.

      These men wanted their erections and their lives back. That’s all. To get their sex lives back they needed to give up porn and allow their brains to heal. Now they can have real sex, with real partners. That’s what I call sex positive.

      • Exactly. I doubt any of the guys here have moral objections to porn, seeing as how most of them have used it extensively for a decade.

        No one here is calling for the elimination of porn, simply the elimination of porn in their lives due to the negative consequences that they have already experienced.

  15. Melissa says:

    My relationship with my most recent ex ended in large part due to our sex life, due to porn… He didn’t date much in highschool and told me after we’d been dating for awhile that I was his first. He was not my first so I had some experience in the area already. Sex with us was awesome until he let some issues come up… His issues came from too much expectation due to porn. When I told him I had “squirted” before (which I’d held back because I wasn’t sure how he would react), he made it his mission to make me squirt each time we had sex, because he believed every orgasm he’d gotten me to previously was only “sub par,” even though I tried to assure him otherwise. I wasn’t lying to make him feel better, I was being honest. Yeah, it’s a great feeling of release, and since it’s usually comes from internal stimulation of my g-spot while he stimulates my clitoris, yeah, it feels awesome. But sometimes, for biological reasons unknown, I could be having the orgasm of my life and not squirt. His confidence would completely dissappear if I didn’t squirt, no matter how awesome I told him it was. He was DAMN good at what he did, but didn’t believe it because porn showed him all the best, loudest orgasms from girls were accompanied by squirting.

    The next big issue was anal… I had never tried it before (neither had he, obviously). I wasn’t completely comfortable with the idea but was open enough to know that you never know what you’ll enjoy until you try it. It was a fantasy of his he’d gotten from porn. He was great at first, researching ways to make it more comfortable for me, the best lubes, positions, technique, etc. We tried it a couple of times. I did not enjoy it (just a very uncomfortable physical feeling to me, not to mention some pain, plus it did absolutely nothing for my stimulation wise). I told him i didn’t like it and didn’t want to do it again. He was dissapointed because it had been a huge fantasy of him, but said he understood. Yet EVERY time we had sex after that, he’d try it. At first I would turn him down gently and suggest we switch positions while keeping things vaginal. He’d get upset and after awhile he would get so frustrated that he’d lose all interest and stop things. Made me feel like a terrible, inadequate girlfriend that I couldn’t make his fantasies real. After awhile I lost my patience with him: during sex if he started asking to do anal or start “playing” with the area, I’d snap at him. It made me feel like my lady areas were not good enough for him, aside from his blatant disrespect for my personal enjoyment in sex.

    • Here’s the irony: If he were to stop watching porn and masturbating to fantasies of it for a couple of months…his entire perception of what’s satisfying sexually would shift. We’ve seen it over and over on our forum..

      In contrast, the rat race that porn causes, in terms of needing “edgier” sex, has no end to it. His taste isn’t for “squirting” or “anal.” It’s for the next edgy thing. Yet wherever you draw the line, he will fool himself that his true, lasting satisfaction lay just around the corner if only you had done in a threesome, or done it in public, or whatever the thing after anal is in his porn recipe book.

      So sad. And no one’s fault, really. The desensitization of the brain is natural in response to over stimulation. *sigh* The solution is a lengthy “reboot.” See “Life After Porn? “60 DAYS B*TCHES!”” http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/cupids-poisoned-arrow/201105/life-after-porn-60-days-btches

      • Melissa says:

        I agree and disagree on the “next edgier thing” aspect. I was with him long enough to know that he really WAS interested in anal since porn seems to glorify it as the best you can get, plus he was an ass-man (as opposed to a boob man) to start with so it was kind of a lethal combination. More than anything it was the disrespect of me factor that led to me ending things. Him continually ignoring my wishes and preferences made me lose that precious trust that you need to truly have a healthy sex life with your partner. It made me suspicious of any of his requests: like looking at him during a bj. All I could think was how much of a porn star I might look like and found it very degrading. He asked if I could swallow and I would refuse. Aside from it being a personal preference not to (can’t stand the flavour and texture, made me feel sick, not very sexy), I didn’t want to feed into his “my girlfriend needs to be a porn star” fantasy. The openess and honesty and trust of the relationship was gone. sex became very unsatisfying because I would get very frustrated and angry when I had to CONSTANTLY move his hand away from certain areas, and at that point I didn’t care enough to do it in a way to preserve his ego. I think at one point, I told him “Would you just fucking STOP already? I said NO.”

        So my advice to guys in this situation is: everything in moderation. Porn can be a great tool for both partners in sex. I wouldn’t have minded watching porn with my ex at all if he hadn’t had his issues. Porn should be grouped in with wrestling: part fiction. You don’t see the multiple lube applications necessary during an all nighter (our natural lube supply runs out usually before an hour is up), the prep work it takes before trying anal for the first time (DO NOT try the whole “just shove it in” approach that is so famous in porn) and the learning process in general: finding out what turns each other on, what you’re comfotable with and what you’re not. Boundaries need to be respected for the relationship to work.

        For girls in my situation: Know your boundaries; respect your boundaries. If you are not comfortable doing something, say so. If he asks why, tell him. Communication is key. If he repeatedly ignores your boundaries, then it’s time for a talk, and if that doesn’t work, then you may have to start thinking if the relationship is worth it. If your significant other ignores your preferences in such an intimate, trust-key act, then it doesn’t bode well for the rest of your relationship.

        • Everything you say aligns perfectly with the mainstream “wisdom” of today, but with all due respect (and I mean that sincerely), it does not align with what we’re seeing as men recover from porn use. Your partner’s brain has adapted to the intense stimulation of porn, and it leaves “vanilla” sex abnormally unstimulating. Hence his need for his favorite fetish…until that become ordinary, or stress free…and then he will need something else. Because the real issue is dopamine response needed to get off, not innate sexual tastes. For more watch this video series: http://yourbrainonporn.com/your-brain-on-porn-series

          Also, addicts have priorities driven by their artificially enhanced “needs.” This is why they have trouble valuing others’ feelings, etc. This is not so much a character flaw, as you assume, as a “failure of their inner compass” due to the aforementioned brain adaptations. The same reward circuitry in the brain that drives sex and all addictions also helps us assess our values, so when it’s “off,” our judgment is off. For more, “Sex and Morality: A Debate Between Competing Neurons” http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/cupids-poisoned-arrow/201101/sex-and-morality-debate-between-competing-neurons

          The good news is that all of this can change, and does, as former heavy users stop their porn use. Rather than argue about whether porn can sometimes be good, I’d encourage users to stop using (and masturbating to porn fantasy) for a couple of months. Their actual experience puts an end to all such debates. The changes are profound, and I have yet to hear from one man who isn’t delighted with them. Here’s a document with many of their self-reports. Notice the wide range of changes in perception, sexual tastes, values, mood, sexual responsiveness, etc. that these guys report. http://www.reuniting.info/download/pdf/0.BENEFITS.pdf

  16. Hi i truly enjoyed the article, it gives me hope.
    I also have a story to share my name is Joseph, I’m 20 years old. I first realize this addiction not long ago when me and my girlfriend attempted to had sex and it was just an attempt because I couldn’t get hard, it might had been the nerves since it was my first time or maybe I was the masturbating too much to porn that was giving me all this problems. I thought since I’m young I could probably and most likely be able to last for a long time. I given up porn for about a month and its getting better but I’m just so frustrated. I just hope am able to get through this eventually.

  17. not an addict says:

    I’m not saying this article is a fiction, but none of what he wrote really rang true to me. I’ve used porn since I was an adolescent. And use it more now, because it’s so easily available online. I’ve used it while single, while in relationships, and while married. On different days I might use it once, two or three times, or not at all.

    In general, I’ll want an orgasm every day. With my wife, or on my own if she’s not up for it. Or both, if I’m horny when she’s not around, but later it turns out she is into it. I haven’t found porn to have any effect on my ability to perform with women. It does make masturbating more pleasurable.

    So, what’s the big deal about porn?

  18. John Anderson says:

    I don’t see a moral problem with excessive porn use. I don’t see a problem with a man choosing to give up “real” women for porn. The primary question would be is it an addiction. Addiction seems to invalidate choice to some extent. Addiction would mean that a person would have an uncontrollable need for porn or masturbation. I’ve never had a “need” for porn and I don’t think that it was true for the author. He was trying to fix a problem with ED. Help should be available for people who want and need it. IMO excessive porn use and masturbation is self destructive, but you have the right to be self destructive, unless there is an extreme case like suicide.

    Porn didn’t kill your sex life. Porn and masturbation was your sex life. You have a different sex life now. All that matters is that you’re happier then you were before, good for you.

  19. this sa good blog. you helped my sex life out as well. good job bro
    keep sharing the love

  20. What a data of un-ambiguity and preserveness of valuable experience regarding unpredicted emotions.

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