6 Step Reboot Plan... that helped me quit

Discussion in 'Success Stories' started by TJ3, Nov 1, 2014.

  1. TJ3

    TJ3 Member

    I haven't masturbated to/orgasmed to porn in 367 days. Until a year ago, I had tried many times to stop and kept failing, until I finally gave up, only to stumble on this website and try again.

    After going a year without PO, I summarized my experience and reboot process into Six Key Steps. This is basically "how I did it":

    • Using this site made me realize everyone is different and has different goals. This plan is what worked for me and may not work for everyone, or anyone, else.
    • I can't say I've had PIED or ED, so if you're quitting porn and you experience PIED, you may not find this very helpful. It seems porn users with ED sometimes require separate reboot strategies, and often want to quit MO (see next disclaimer). So this may not (or may still) be helpful for you (sorry)
    • Masturbation for rebooters is a touchy subject. I am in the pro-MO camp, so my plan permits MO eventually. BUT note in the plan, I think quitting MO at least temporarily in the beginning is totally crucial to quitting porn. If you are firmly in the anti-MO camp, you may not find this helpful.

    • I was single when I started my reboot. If you're in a relationship, this could complicate things. Sex can be a trigger. My plan leaves out sex and MO for at least a month and then sparingly for at least 3 months. If you can't be honest to your partner about your reboot and withhold/ limit sex for at least 3 months (or as long as it takes), you might not find this helpful (sorry, again).
    • So, this plan may not be for you if you experience PIED or ED, and/or want to quit MO. But if you feel powerless or addicted to porn and you want to quit watching and jacking off to it, I think you may find this helpful. That is what I wanted to do and this is what worked for me.

    Six Steps To a Successful Reboot

    Step 1: Cut out any and ALL sexual activity: You are going to be asexual until further notice: No sex, no thinking about sex, no thinking about not thinking about sex, no flirting, no masturbation, no fantasizing, no lusting, no checking out the girls' (or guys') asses, no staring at her boobs, no second base, no third base. Nothing. SEX, as in real intimacy with another human being, is encouraged later, BUT not during the first month. You just gotta be careful that real sex isn't a trigger for you (see next step). May help to sit down with your gf or bf, wife or husband, fb and share with them your reboot goal and how there will be no sex for a while. Hopefully they can understand.

    Step 2 Avoid Triggers: You can't accomplish step one without avoiding triggers. I wrote a post about triggers earlier in my reboot. I wrote a list of ALL the things that can potentially make me want sex. You really have to think outside the box on this one. It's not just things that lead directly to porn use. These can be little things you may not think about, like TV shows or certain social situations, like being alone. These cause a build up of sexual energy throughout the day. Write them out, then avoid them. The concept being almost all porn-watching episodes begin with triggers, which build up over time and release through porn use. And it's easier to stop the trigger mid-act (changing the channel or logging out of facebook) than stopping the real thing you're actually addicted to. Read this.

    Step 3 Sex and Controlled Masturbation: Probably the most controversial step. My opinion about MO is that it's possible to MO during a reboot and still quit porn (I've done it), as long as it's done in a very controlled way. Basically, it has to be a very last resort, detached from porn and fantasy, and done very very sparingly. Here are the rules I followed
    • No MO (or sex) the first month at least (bare minimum). You need this month to clean the slate. If you can't make it this long, don't worry.
    • When to MO: Always go as long as you possibly can without masturbating. Masturbating should always simply be a very very last resort when you simply can't go another day without an orgasm
    • How to MO: Get away from the phone/computer/tv (lie in bed, take a shower, etc.) --> Don't fantasize, instead briefly think of (recount) real situations you've actually had or can have --> cum as soon as possible. Don't drag this out.
    • After MO: It's important to mentally reset your No MO Count. You are back to 0 and must wait as long as you can before your next one MO. If you don't do this, you risk sliding back into regular, uncontrolled MO, which will trigger PO. So always be actively thinking about the fact that you are avoiding MO!
    • Do NOT schedule MOs: A schedule leads to anticipation which is definitely a trigger
    • Limit MO to no more than once a week: You should not be MOing more than once a week. You should be able to go a lot longer than this before caving. I used this as a guide to make sure I was going as long as I could before MOing

    So, the idea here is that for some guys, like me, simply not orgasming for several months is unthinkable (I've never even had a wet dream). I will surely fail if I tried (and I have numerous times). So if you really must, do it in a way that is detatched from porn and fantasy, and only done as a quick relief. I stand by this method because it worked for me by letting me build up an intense sexual energy and then release it through...not porn. I felt I was training my brain to associate sexual relief with something other than porn. SEX: If you can have real, safe sexual encounters with someone instead, that is even better, but I suggest only having sex after at least one month and only when you've built up that energy.

    Step 4 Slowly return to healthy sexual behavior: After about 3 months (for me, maybe longer for others) of little to no sex and masturbation, I slowly began returning to regularly scheduled programming, sans porn. I suggest writing a list of the kinds of healthy sexual behaviors you're okay with (i.e. sex with partner, flirting or mo). Then adding them back into your life. You're still avoiding triggers at this point, but are allowing your self to experience healthy sexual behaviors. Start by only doing it sparingly (build up that sexual energy). For me, after a few months of this I slowly slipped back into regular normal activity. By this point these behaviors became more gratifying than porn. REMEMBER those triggers though.

    Step 5 Cope with reality: Porn is a lie. As you begin avoiding porn and embracing healthy sex, your brain may be disappointed. Your gf or bf is not a porn model with perfect hair, boobs, abs and make up; you are not entitled to sex; you cannot have sex whenever and with whomever you want on demand; some people just aren't that into you; you can't order a sex partner like a cheeseburger; and life doesn't play out like your sick twisted sexual fantasies. Deal with it. During my reboot, I (and my brain) had to consciously accept these cold, hard facts of life. Real life is not porn, and porn is not real life.

    Step 6 Take up a NEW hobby: Pick a hobby, any hobby. But make sure it's something fresh, something you haven't done before. For me it was a new 30-day fitness program. This lets you take that extra energy you save from being asexual (joking, but serious) and put it toward something other than pity and frustration. You're cutting out an old habit and replacing it with a new skill. I think it helps if this new hobby has a deadline or end date (like a fitness program or art project). Just make sure it's empowering and uplifting and not something frustrating that can end up being a trigger.

    So that's what worked for me: banning sexual activity, avoiding triggers, controlled masturbation/building up and releasing energy, slow return to sex, coping and taking up a hobby. Again this may not work for everyone, but it's worked for me and it's in line with some of the stuff I've seen on here and YBOP. I'd love to know if you found this helpful, and I'd love to read your success story 367 days from now.

    BONUS TIP: Beware of substitutes: For me, cutting out porn unleashed a stronger urge to engage in other unhealthy (sexual) behavior. This could happen to you. I suggest being consciously aware of it. If you are prone to engaging in other unhealthy behaviors like using drugs, smoking, drinking, having sex with strangers, etc. make sure you don't increase these behaviors as a substitute for porn.
    Pete McVries and Gil79 like this.
  2. Sunny

    Sunny New Member

    Great guide, great insights!!
  3. TJ3

    TJ3 Member

    Hope they help
    congrats on 314 days. Was your process similar? Or different?
  4. Sunny

    Sunny New Member

    Thank you, and congratulations about your 373 days, too!! :)

    It was very similar actually, so similar that I was surprised! I agree with everything you wrote 100%!! I had PIED and HOCD, and I can confirm that it worked, but I also had a loving and patient girlfriend that helped me very very much and I think that if you can be honest with girlfriend this guide is the best way to recover Also, I assume that my recovery symptoms were more intense than yours.

    I am in the pro MO camp too, and I want to add as notice that after you hold as much as you can before MO, you will uncover the pattern that suits to you (mine is between 5-10 days, usually around day 6-7), what do you think?

    Again, I believe this is the best, most down to earth way to recover!
  5. TJ3

    TJ3 Member

    Thanks. I definitely agree! For me it was also about a week or so. I just tried not to plan them or get into a routine. After awhile it became more natural.
    I'm glad to hear this also works for PIED. I wasn't sure.
  6. Gil79

    Gil79 Seize the day

  7. Freedom from Servitude

    Freedom from Servitude Active Member

    My warmest congratulations on your achievement, TJ3. It is very good of you to come back and post your progress here. It is always good to read of a new success story.

    I find it interesting that you have been able to make progress by masturbating without porn and fantasy. It is very tricky to do and most people find it easier just to give up masturbation all together. Speaking from my own experience, I have only been able to get as far as I have by cutting masturbation out of the picture all together. Masturbation and porn for me were too closely wired together, so pleasuring myself usually would always result in a relapse later on. I can understand though that, if you can stop yourself from looking at porn afterwards, masturbation can relieve the pressure of all that pent up sexual energy as we start on the road to recovery.

    I am still not willing to take the risk where I am at of masturbating again. Nor is it really something I am planning on doing in the future. It is a waste of all that sexual energy that can be channelled into something productive. Nevertheless, regardless of how we go about doing it-and you ultimately have to find a way that is right for you- porn is the enemy. I am so glad that you have managed to find a way to quit it, and have shared your ideas with everyone. :)
  8. baywalker

    baywalker Active Member

    It seems that coping with reality section, you could write a book on isn't it? So complicated to embrace that.

    Taking up a new hobby? That's very interesting. So it needs to be new huh? That actually could make a difference I tell you.

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