I just recently turned 25 and have suffered from what I believe is PIED for my entire adult life. I’ve read many people’s stories online and believe that I have one of the most stubborn and severe cases of porn-induced sexual dysfunction that I can find. I first discovered YBOP and the research behind it a little over six years ago but I’ve never bothered to post on a forum like this until now. The reason I’m finally sharing my story is because I believe a community like this is critical for those of us in recovery. Reading other people’s stories has made me feel a little less alone, and that is usually a good starting point for anyone who is suffering. I also believe that sharing my story here is a necessary step in my recovery. I wanted to include as much detail as possible, so this is a long post, but I hope in doing so I am paying it forward to those who have only recently discovered the negative effects of porn. I am posting in the thread for my age group, but I want to thank the following users for sharing their stories and inspiring me to post my own: Pete McVries, Breeze, xburnerphonex, Bilbo Baggins and Doper. I believe these users came to the understanding, like I have, that this fight is ultimately not about sex, but inner peace. Background If you’ve watched any of Gary Wilson’s presentations or read articles about adolescent porn usage on YBOP, then you know that those of us who grew up using high-speed internet porn for years prior to having any real-world sexual experience have the most difficult time recovering. This group of users includes me. My introduction to porn must have been around the age of 11 or 12. At that time, I had found a website that had adult games in which you would be awarded with Playboy-like pictures of women. There were also cartoon games simulating sex. Visiting this website and searching for models on Google Images wasn’t a daily occurrence, but I don’t remember it being infrequent, either. Honestly, it’s been so long since then that I can’t remember how long this went on for or how frequent it was. It wasn’t until I was 12 or 13 that I started MO. I never had access to a computer in my room, so for the time being, all MO was either to imagination or to something softcore (a magazine with girls in bikinis, advertisements, etc.). You know, the usual material that was available to generations before my own. It wasn’t until 13 or 14 that I was introduced to high-speed porn while on a school bus. A friend of mine had an iPhone and said he had to show me something. I believe we watched again on the bus multiple times after that, but I had no reasonable means of accessing it at home. I was too worried about being caught, catching a computer virus, etc. When I was 15, I got my own iPod (which was basically an iPhone but without the phone features) that I could use to search for high-speed porn myself. This went on from 15 to 18 (more on this later). I still MO’d to imagination and magazines, but not as often. As high school went on, my porn use escalated to probably 4-6 times a week, but I was never someone who routinely PMO’d multiple times each day. Once in a great while, yes, but not regularly. Even throughout high school, I mixed in MO to imagination or softer material, and everything below the belt seemed to work fine, but I was never testing this out in the real world. My sex drive was through the roof during puberty, and PMO and MO were a way to relieve myself and get on to other things. It was pleasurable, obviously, but I had never prolonged PMO on purpose (i.e. edging). It was a solo experience and a means to an end for me (which is NOT how real sex is). I remember being 18, the last year I regularly used porn, and thinking to myself after PMO one time that my erection quality was not 100%. I figured that everything was going to be alright, and that when the time presented itself in real life, I’d have no issues. Obviously, I was wrong. This is the first time I can remember acknowledging the decline in my erectile health, but I didn’t think much of it at the time. I wish I could remember in more detail about how I felt at the tail end of my regular use of porn, but that’s the only memory that really stands out. Discovery of PIED & PE Once I went to college, I didn’t have the privacy to PMO, so it was very infrequent. As far as my erectile health went, I do remember getting decently erect to a thought I was having laying around in my room. I also remember still having the urge to MO from time to time but couldn’t because I had nowhere to go. Two months into college, just before turning 19, was when I had my first failed sexual encounter. Long story short, a girl and I were making out, things were getting more intense, and all the sudden I ejaculated. I probably only had about a 50-60% erection, and it only really came about when I felt closer to climax. This was a HUGE red flag for me, obviously. I hadn’t MO’d in a while, but this was still not supposed to happen. She tried to pull me into the bathroom to continue things, but I knew I couldn’t perform after that, so I made up an excuse to leave. I researched my symptoms and I found YBOP. I stopped P, M & O completely for the rest of the school year (and from what I remember, there were no relapses, but I can’t say with 100% certainty). About 2 months into my journey, I had another PE incident identical to the first. About 4-5 months into my journey, I met a girl I really liked, and we took things slowly. We were going our separate ways for the summer, but before we left, I kissed her goodbye and probably got 60-70% hard from that alone. Progress! Or so I thought. This was about 7 months into my journey and having seen all the hype about the “90 Days” I thought I would be more than OK in a few more months. I may have relapsed once or twice that summer, I can’t remember, but if I did it was not PMO, only MO. I remember still being worried about the PE I had experienced. When I got back to school and continued the relationship with the same girl, PE continued happening on a regular basis. This was crushing. Whenever we’d make out and things would get heavy, I’d O with about a 75% erection that was really only there before O. There would be no manual stimulation when this happened. It was all very demoralizing for me, even more so that not being able to achieve an erection. She was waiting for marriage to have intercourse but was OK with giving oral. I remember the first time she offered, I thought to myself, “This is what you’ve waited for your whole life, and you are completely limp”. Keep in mind, I thought I’d be mostly healed by now, so this crushed me. She wanted to try anyway, and I remember being able to get maybe 75-80% erect most times, but it was not satisfying and ended quickly each time. For whatever reason, I was able to overcome the severity of my PE a few times to at least allow this to happen. The relationship ended due to unrelated reasons after another couple months. The rest of my time in college included similar incidents with PIED and PE when it came to making out with women or even just grinding at a nightclub. Luckily, nobody ever noticed (that I know of). I could never achieve a firm erection and would O very easily, which I knew was at least somewhat due to me abstaining from MO. Still, like I said before, I knew this was not normal even given my abstinence from PMO & MO. I’ve read stories on here of people who have abstained from O for a year or more and not had this happen when becoming sexually active again. If anyone can offer any stories of their own instances of severe PE, maybe it’ll help me feel like this problem isn’t as unique as I believe it is. I’ll go on and talk a little more generally about my symptoms over the past few years. Flatline I’ve been in a weird flatline ever since discovering YBOP and starting my recovery. Only a month before I started my recovery, I was able to become somewhat erect by fantasy alone (at least once in a while), and I really can’t say I’ve been able to do that since. I haven’t gotten a random erection without medication (more on this later) in at least ten years. I’ve had blips of libido here and there, and sometimes it has caused me to relapse to softer material or even just imagination, but I’ve otherwise had no urges to MO, let alone PMO. Many people here say that the flatline is a sign of recovery taking place, but I have had multiple stretches of months at a time without MO and have not seen any serious improvement. During these stretches I’ve had wet dreams somewhat regularly (every two-three weeks or so, sometimes the occasional twice-a-week instance), but I haven’t found that they have much of an effect on my sex drive. I’d rather not have them at all, but it’s out of my control. I know when I AM attracted to women, but over the past six years I’ve almost never felt “horny”. It’s like that feeling is suppressed, and I don’t want it to be. Morning Wood. What has been one of the biggest blows to me is that I haven’t had solid morning wood for the past 6-7 years. In high school, I’d wake up with full erections that wouldn’t go down. Keep in mind, this was in the middle of my porn use. I couldn’t even take a piss first thing in the morning because if I tried, it would’ve probably hit me in the face. I remember sometimes doing bodyweight squats in the morning before going to the bathroom just to get my erection to go away. I can’t remember if morning wood started going away around 17/18, probably because I wasn’t paying much attention, but I’ve been very conscious of it since starting my recovery. Even after several-month periods without PMO or MO, I haven’t done better than an 80-90% erection at best that goes away before I even make it to the bathroom, and most of the time I wake up with less than that. This has been crushing to me because I’ve seen a lot of people say that a return of morning wood is a sign of your brain recovering. I’ve also seen some people who have fully recovered say to not worry about morning wood, and that its importance is overstated or that it has more to do with your body retaining urine while you sleep. Either way, I really wish I were still waking up with a rock-solid erection nearly every morning. That would at least help me feel like a man. Most men wake up with a solid erection almost every morning. Instead, I’m reminded of my problem the minute I wake up every single day. If anyone can offer insight on this from their own personal experience, I’d really appreciate that. At this point, having suffered like this for over six years with a handful of long stretches of abstinence and no promising signs of morning wood returning, I’ve all but lost hope of ever having quality morning wood ever again. I’d consider it a miracle if it returns. Present Over the past three years, I’ve relapsed with MO here and there for various reasons. A big reason is that I lost trust in the recovery process when I was in college and never saw myself fully recovered after several months of abstinence at a time. I thought to myself that the only way I would ever be able to have sex would be with drugs, and that my problems must be caused by something more than just my past porn usage. I’ve relapsed with PMO only a handful of times over the past six years, and when I say a handful, it’s had to have been maybe 5-6 times. When I’ve relapsed with MO, which has been much more often, it’s been to still pornographic images, audio-only, erotic stories, and sometimes fantasy-only, thinking that this was somehow better than PMO with high-speed porn. I was WRONG! This was absolutely the wrong way to think about things. I believe, from my experience, that any artificial stimulation is bad for those like me who are in a deep rut neurologically and are trying to rewire to real world stimulation. Some will argue that MO alone is fine, but I think even this hurts my recovery (and, I don’t have the confidence that I’ll be able to achieve an erection with fantasy or touch alone). Over the past few years, I’ve MO’d without a full erection most times. Sometimes, if I haven’t O’d in a while, my body will want to O with even just a 25% erection. This is not how a healthy male body should work. The other reason I’ve relapsed multiple times is because my porn-induced sexual dysfunction has caused me to develop depression. I’ve had suicidal thoughts for years now but don’t think I could ever act on them. It’s more about the idea of having to be alone for the rest of my life and losing my dream of having a wife and a family. If I have to go the rest of my life without even the possibility of having a loving partner and a sex life that we are both satisfied with, I can’t see myself ever escaping this depression. I will need to somehow find a way to accept the hand I’ve been dealt and move on with life. I think about my problems every single day, and I think most people on this forum can relate. Every single day I wish I had never been exposed to porn. Hell, I wish I had never seen a naked woman until it was time to in real life. The depression that this issue has caused me has affected all aspects of my life. It’s crushing to think how much happier I’d be if it weren’t for my sexual dysfunction caused by porn use. All the time I’ve spent anxious, depressed, and lonely could have turned out much differently. Seeing a Doctor The last time I MO’d was about 5.5 months ago. About a month after that I began dating someone out of the blue, and that gave me the last bit of motivation I needed to finally seek professional help for my issues. When I brought the issues up to my GP, he looked a little caught off guard but referred me to a urologist and sent me home with two prescriptions: one for sildenafil, and one for an SSRI. I had explained the lack of libido, the ED, the PE, and the depression I’d experienced for years. The sildenafil was to help with the ED and the SSRI was to help with the PE and depression for the time being. I took the SSRI for about a week before deciding that it wasn’t worth the potential side effects. My depression was circumstantial, and the SSRI was never going to be a long-term solution to my PE. The sildenafil was enough to help me have successful sex for the first time (which I thought was impossible just a few months earlier), and the PE sorted itself out enough to where I could at least have sex once I’d already orgasmed once or twice following the long stretch of no O. I’ve had many blood tests done and my testosterone is well above average. My urologist reviewed all my blood tests and evaluated me physically and told me that there’s no obvious reason for my ED. I’m healthy, eat a balanced diet, have no history of any major medical issues, and exercise regularly. He prescribed me 5mg tadalafil that can be taken daily when needed. He said that even if it were a venous leak, which is unlikely, the jury is still out on whether or not surgery is even worth it, and that his course of action would still be to have me take tadalafil rather than have surgery. The 5mg of tadalafil has been helping, but my erection quality still has a long way to go. It does not give me as good of an erection as sildenafil did, but the lack of side effects and long period of effectiveness makes it the easy choice. My erection is good enough for sex most of the time, but it requires foreplay and some manual stimulation to get to that point, and I always worry about losing it when putting on a condom or switching positions. It also bothers me that I don’t quite grow to my full size due to the weak erection, but it’s the best I can do for now. What I think I’m happiest about right now is my progress with PE. At the very least, it seems to be lessening in severity and I can have sex more often than not. If I’ve had multiple orgasms throughout a week already, I may fail to achieve an erection altogether by the end of the week, so things are slowly progressing but not in a linear fashion. I’ve told my story to my partner and fortunately she is understanding, which takes some of the pressure off. I also think my sex drive has been better than it has since I started my recovery, which I attribute mostly to the rewiring I’ve been doing. When you get over the hurdle and can say to yourself, “Wow, I can actually have sex,” then you’re more likely to have a sex drive. Doubting my ability to achieve any sort of decent erection at least played some part in killing my sex drive for so many years. Now it is very slowly improving and I hope it continues to improve. Conclusion My hope is that my erection quality will improve throughout the next several months while using tadalafil, and hopefully even get to the point where I can get fully aroused without needing any manual stimulation. I will continue to completely abstain from MO and any artificial stimulation whatsoever. If I can get to a point where I feel confident in my progress, I will start to taper off the medication, but I feel like I have a long way to go before then. Pete McVries, a user on YBR, just posted a success story of his own a few days ago and explained how he took a similar road to recovery using and eventually tapering off of tadalafil, so that has given me more hope that I can beat this the same way. I know there are others on the forum that will disagree with this approach, but to each their own. I know the pain you have gone through and hope that you can beat this in any way that you can. For now, this is the approach that I’m taking, and I pray every day that it leads me to recovery and that I can someday finally close this chapter of my life and feel like a healthy man. No matter what happens, I know that porn (including ANY of its substitutes) and masturbation have no place in my life anymore. This past year has made it clear to me that my sexual dysfunction is due to my porn usage as a kid, and that the only way I will ever recover is if I remove myself completely from those old habits and behaviors. Even if I never recover, porn and masturbation will never be a part of my life again, because they’ve ultimately caused me more pain and suffering than anything else in this life has. What has puzzled me this whole time is that my experience was somewhat mild compared to others. I have read stories from others who have PMO’d multiple times per day since they were 9, 10, 11 years old well into their 20s. I have also read guys describe how the content they would watch escalated and escalated as time went on. Neither of these things happened to me. I’ve read of guys with more extreme backstories recovering within six months, and I’ve read of guys like me who have taken one to two years of complete abstinence to recover, if at all. It just doesn’t make sense. To those of you who are battling porn-induced sexual dysfunction, especially long rebooters like myself, and are still struggling with relapses – think of what you are potentially giving up if you never conquer this addiction. You’ll never have a romantic partner, someone who you can lean on throughout life and share the most intimate parts of yourself with. You’ll never have a son to play catch with or a daughter to walk down the aisle. You are giving up all of this to sit by yourself in a dark room and masturbate to a screen. Think about this anytime you feel the urge to relapse. Treat this like the fight of your life. In my opinion, if you are not taking it this seriously, you are destined to relapse. I hope I can eventually forgive myself for the years I spent using porn as a kid, but the times I’ve relapsed since learning about what porn has done to me are inexcusable. I plan to post updates to this thread, though not on a regular basis. I believe that anyone who is suffering should make abstinence the most important aspect of their life, but I also believe that obsessing over the issue is also unhealthy. Don’t get me wrong – If you’re the kind of person that needs to post a daily journal entry to stay on the straight and narrow, DO IT! But I know that it’s better for my mental health if I only visit the forum occasionally. I hope to one day post my own success story on these forums, however long that takes. Even if I never recover, I will be a voice of support for those like me.