Edging is the real problem

Discussion in 'Pornography Addiction' started by jacko90, Sep 2, 2019.

  1. jacko90

    jacko90 New Member

    I’m 19, turning 20 soon. I have been PMOing since about 11 or 12. Started with music videos then went on to porn. Everything was pretty fine even while PMOing back then. When I turned 16 I discovered edging and thought that it would do thing such as help me last longer etc. Big mistake. It had horrible consequences for me and probably did a lot of damage to my brain. I’d edge for at least 2 hours once or twice a week until I was 18. I tried to cut down on edging and maybe did it 6 or 7 times during that whole year.


    I have now stopped edging with physically masturbating. But have had trouble cutting out just watching porn without masturbating. I realized that if I watch porn for a period longer than like 5 or 10 minutes without release it becomes like mental edging. It takes me about 3 weeks of abstinence to recover from the symptoms which follow. The symptoms I experience are extreme social awkwardness and anxiety, depression, body stiffness, brain fog, face looks dull and lifeless, PIED, no morning wood, lower libido, and just don’t feel like myself.



    I experimented with fapping quickly even to porn and I would recover within 2 or 3 days. The real problem was only when I was aroused for too long without release. I guess those 2 years of edging with physically masturbating have caused my dopamine receptors to be too sensitive to the damage from porn.


    The other day I watched porn for about 45 min before releasing which is why I am now experiencing these symptoms. I’m on day 2 of no PMO now so I guess I’ll feel better in about 3 weeks and if I do relapse at that point I’ll have to make sure it’s quick.
     
  2. Bezoechow

    Bezoechow Member

    I think you're right on the money! I have the same experience that edging and bingeing on porn are the biggest issue. You're better off without it. Good luck!
     
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  3. WilliamOneAndDone

    WilliamOneAndDone Active Member

    @jacko90

    The phrase "porn addiction" does not really capture the essence of what is addictive. Porn, alone, we like, (meaning we can use it to ride a dopamine high), but, alone, does not really get one to addicted, in the sense that one addicted feels they must watch, they feel withdrawals when they quit, or results in physical symptoms, such as anorgasmia and PIED. The concept of "porn addiction" is accurate, but term, itself, is a bit contained and inexact.

    Also, the phrase "PMO", fails to capture the essence of what is addictive. Gary Wilson has conducted studies that found when the brains of porn addicts see porn, they light up like Christmas on July 4, but those studies, while proving sensitivity to watching porn, fail to capture the true neurochemical mind bomb that goes off with PMO, because they only measured changes when watching porn, not when PMOing, not when edging to porn, and not when finishing (O). Also, we use the word "edging" here, as distinct from PMO, but it actually a huge part of PMO. PMO makes it sound like a very tidy event; it is not. First we expose ourselves to artificial sexual stimulation (porn), then we drop trou and settle in for a session on the computer. This is where the little concept of MO becomes, in actuality, edging. It's not like an addict drops trou, rubs one off in ten seconds, and its over. NOOO. An active porn addict's session can go for a half hour to maybe two, as they move from scene to scene, edging, spiking their dopamine high, until they find the "perfect" mental picture in a scene and they allow themselves to orgasm, spiking dopamine even higher and finishing off with a mind numbing release of endogenous opioids. It is that search, for the never before perfect scene to finish to, is edging, and it is that search, that edging, where the addict can drown his brain in a dopamine reward. If Gary Wilson could find a control group to measure the sessions of addicts, as opposed to just showing them porn, me might go blind or worse, as the screen would light up so bright he might be blinded, or maybe the screen explodes. So, Gary can measure changes, but has not measured the changes in the way they actually occur in one actively using. For a better, more accurate, measurement, Gary might find some willing addicts, and let them do what they do while the brain changes are measured. Don't "show" them images, leave them alone in a room with a computer and some paper towels, and let them go searching for that perfect end scene. Measurements of that would be mind blowing, and the brain scans would not just light up like an addicts, they would blow up the screen, and the measurements would show a high for the duration of the session, spike during edging, and positively going off the charts during O.

    One of the first steps to fixing the problem is to recognize the problem. The problem comes with using artificial sexual stimulation to abuse a naturally occurring motivational neurotransmitter, dopamine, the purpose of which is to encourage actual sex. We are clever monkeys who invent all our addictions, which have only been widely possible for big parts of the population since we invented "civilization." Yea! In the natural setting, when nature was still lethal, or could be without our absolute attention, we could not afford to be addicted; addiction is a negative survival trait. Today, while some addictions can kill you, just using does not kill most. No one ever died from porn addiction, for instance, and no one ever died from porn addiction withdrawal, just feels like it for a while. Ironically, a brain event that many complain about, not only in relation to porn addiction, and quitting, and withdrawals, is anxiety. We have invented pills and treatment for it, we hate it, but, in the environment we evolved in, it was a positive survival trait. In that environment, failure to be anxious and totally focused on one's immediate environment, was an invitation to be eaten. Now, that we have largely reconstructed our environment to remove to existential threats, we find that brain event annoying, or, for some, debilitating.

    I think your time expectations need to be seriously lengthened, and your concept of "relapse" needs to be altered. You have been using for about 8-9 years. That is about HALF of your life. This problem did not exist for you in 2-3 days, it took months, maybe even a year, for you to be able to accurately describe it as an "addiction." During that 8-9 year period, you have never relapsed. "Relapsed" implies one who has overcome the addiction, then goes back to using. You have never overcome the addiction, and by overcome I mean quit it. You have used it less, here and there, but days or even weeks between using did not give your brain time to go back to anything approaching a pre porn state. I doubt you can remember it, but there was a time in your life where you did not want it and did not feel you needed it. You need to consciously commit to not using porn, aka, not using porn to spike a dopamine high in your brain, for at least a 90 day stretch. That will, for many, reacclimate your brain's motivational and reward functions to something approaching pre-porn levels. Once you reacclimate, then porn becomes something for you than many addicts cannot comprehend: a choice. Many porn addicts have the thought "I have to do it," or "I cannot quit." It takes a lot of convincing to convince an addicted brain it does not need the trigger it is using to get its high. A lot of people here say it takes at least 90 days of complete abstinence, and by that I mean absolutely NO artificial sexual stimulation, no porn, no MO, no edging, no orgasm, not even sex, which is easy advice to give many here who cannot have sex due to PIED. You indicate you have PIED. That is because you have used PMO to achieve a dopamine high that is higher than actual sex can give us. That is a truth many here don't like. Sex can be great at achieving that high, but not as good as PMO, so when we give up PMO, we have to learn with less intense highs that require greater effort to get. In essence, by the time a user gets to PIED, the brain has come to (actually been trained to, by the user, unconsciously) to prefer porn over actual sex. The high is higher, and it takes far less effort to achieve it. Many times I have seen the question "If I give up P, what can I use to get that high that is healthy?" Answer, nothing, because the high, itself, is NOT healthy. You can use other things to get an unnaturally unhealthy high suck as coke, heroine, maybe excessive alcohol, but getting an unnaturally high high is the essence of being unhealthy.

    You are lucky @jacko90 . You are young, and can fix the problem now, before it does serious damage to your life. Imagine being 56, unable to have sex, or 70, in a retirement home, trying to find time to rub one off to porn in the bathroom. Fix it now, while you still just be a healthy guy who can enjoy the main thing nature evolved the brain's reward system to enjoy, sex, and maybe food.

    Hope this helps.

    Much love.

    W.
     
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  4. jacko90

    jacko90 New Member

    Thank you very much for your detailed and thoughtful response. The problem is I feel like it’s going to take a lot longer than 90 days. I never really felt terrible until I started edging. It’s a kind of depression where everything around you feels so boring and depressing and you seem very dark. I edged for 1-2 years. I even lost most of my hair due to edging. I know it’s from edging to the elevated DHT that comes from it and did some research.



    I can’t even remember that well anymore but I think I started around 17 and realized that it was bad when I was 19. I feel like the old me that was full of life is gone. I used to have no problem socializing, everything about life was so enjoyable and I didn’t have any real problems before. In middle school I used to talk to girls all the time and was normal. Around my sophomore year of high school which is about the same time as my PMO use escalated I barely talked to girls for the rest of high school and now 2 years into college.


    I feel like the old me is destroyed, the future seemed so bright and I was so ambitious back then. Now I find no enjoyment in school, socializing, or life in general. Especially due to the fact that I edged so much in such crucial developmental years for a teenager, I feel like I’m scarred for life or maybe a few years.


    If I will truly be cured in 90 days that would be amazing but I’m starting to feel like it may take a year or two or maybe much more.

    Also, when you say no sexual stimulation at all for 90 days, does that include wet dreams? If I abstain I have them every week or every other week and I’m not sure how I could stop that for 90 days.


    Thanks again
     
  5. WilliamOneAndDone

    WilliamOneAndDone Active Member

    No "artificial sexual stimulation." If it is not actual sex, avoid it. Ignore the wet dreams, they are no problem. You are right in that it may take you a while to reboot, but it can be done. It is more difficult for a guy your age than, say, for a guy who is 50. The 50 year old likely had some sexual experiences before experiencing High Speed Internet Porn. For your generation, guys your age, HSIP is the first way you found to trigger your brain's sexual reward pathways. When you quit, you are not "going back" so much as experiencing simple reality for the first time. I have heard of reboots lasting over a year, but WTF, you are young, and you still have decades out there after you get his monkey off your back to live a porn free life. I suggest you start today. Peace.
     
  6. toucansam

    toucansam New Member

    Just curious about what is meant by edging...M'ing and getting to the point of ejaculating, and then pulling back, and repeating the process for an hour or two, and then after an hour or two, actually ejaculating? Is this still as dangerous if done alone without P?
     
  7. Bezoechow

    Bezoechow Member

    That's how I understand it. Depends what you mean with dangerous. The damage to your penis and prostate will happen with or without P, but the damage to your brain will be larger with P than without it.
     
  8. toucansam

    toucansam New Member

    This is interesting, because I came to NoFap literally the day after I had edged for the first couple of times in my life. I thought the edging (2 hours) would help with the PE (and perhaps with the PIED) I was experiencing, but on the contrary, I felt so horrible right after I edged, almost like everything was dead down there. I knew something was very wrong.

    Is it not recommended to edge even after one recovers / reboots?
     
  9. Bezoechow

    Bezoechow Member

    It's similar to alcohol, I think. Even a little is harmful and it gets exponentially worse beyond that. Best to avoid in all situations.
     

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