Hopeful Recovery from PIED - 31yo

Discussion in 'Ages 30-39' started by Kichijiro, Apr 9, 2019.

  1. Kichijiro

    Kichijiro Member

    I am a 31 year old technical virgin with very little experience being intimate with women beyond kissing (probably around 5 times) and I recently deduced I probably have porn-induced erectile dysfunction. My reasoning? Last few times I have been in intimate settings my ding dong only got partially erect (though I was able to get off by oral or my own manual stimulation) whereas a year and a half ago I had it up no problem for oral. More damning, basically for the past 7 months, if not more, I have stopped having spontaneous erections. That should have scared me more from the outset but it was around that time I began some psychotropic prescription drugs so I thought those were to blame. The boners did not come back when I quit the drugs for a month and a half. I am pretty certain these facts and my consistent use of porn to get off for the past several years point to PIED. (Doctors say I have no STIs or testosterone issues.)

    When I put all this together it freaked the fuck out of me. Probably my greatest desire in life has been to be a husband and father. A satisfying sexual relationship with a woman, i.e. my future potential wife, would be a close second. Now I don't know for sure these will be possible - or at least as possible. So it has really put me at a crossroad.

    I quit PMO 42 days (6 wks) ago. Still no life in my pants but that hasn't been the case for 7 months ago or more. Penis definitely very shrunken looking right now as well, which does seem different from when I was using porn and which would align with the accounts of others early on the no-PMO journey. I am in that flatline phase I suppose (I hope it's just a phase?) and have no idea when or if I will come out of it. And when I do, will I find a woman patient enough to work with me and help rewire, retrain my brain? Is my 31, soon to be 32, year old brain retrainable, or is it doomed to be aroused only by porn for the rest of my life?

    The crossroad is actually a railroad junction, I think. One way, the way I was headed for sure, leads to permanent arousal only to porn. The other way leads to arousal to real life and healthy(er) sex. So what remains to be seen is - did I switch the tracks in time for the train to change directions?

    Besides going through the withdrawal symptoms that Gary Wilson writes about for porn quitters, I have been having the aforementioned existential crisis. That's a bitch to have together - insomnia and anxiety from quitting porn paired with the horror and ignominy of considering a life without love and children. If I was 10 years younger or more experienced sexually I'd be less concerned. But I am where I am. A friend has encouraged me to "face the demon" and begin to come to terms with possibly dying a childless bachelor who never has sex. And I think his advice is wise while it scares the shit out of me. So I am starting to brace for that possible reality. Asking questions like "Do I keep my same job?", "Should I live somewhere else?", "How can I enthusiastically give to my world as a single man?" But, I don't know, maybe I can rewire and find love or vice versa? Having read about some other people's use and recovery I don't think I am clearly down for the count yet.

    Some things I am trying include: getting back on mood-stabilizing and sleep-inducing meds (non-SSRIs, so less worry about messing w/ my mojo); spending more time with others outside of my apartment; treating rebooting like a brain injury and adding omega 3-fatty acids, zinc, choline, and creatine to my diet; resuming cardio exercise (I've had a groin injury about 7 mo.s as well); and a hell of a lot of prayer. I'm considering asking a lady friend to spend physically intimate time with me to help me rewire but that could very easily blow up disastrously. Also, morally I'm not sure what to make of it, especially since intimacy (physical and emotional) with a significant other is my end game and this friend is almost certainly not going to be my significant other. I'm trying to believe again as well and clearly this scenario is murky at best - I think God prefers people to connect, physically even, with other real people over virtual fantasies, but that may not justify the plan I'm considering.

    Anyway, suggestions encouraged for overcoming PIED. I want to be sure I'm doing everything I should and can to give myself the best shot of recovery. And your prayers if you pray would definitely be invited as well. I accept that my choices caused this problem. In short, I loved wrong things. I just pray now that I may be fully restored - in body, in MIND, and in spirit.

    Thanks for reading, internet fellows. All the best for you in your own battles.

    - Kichijiro
    Merton likes this.
  2. occams_razor

    occams_razor Well-Known Member

    Welcome to the forum.

    I think all cases of PIED can be cured. Being as strict as possible about avoiding all P, P-subs, masturbation, "edging", ogling women in public and so on will speed up the process.

    I'd avoid getting too obsessed with "rewiring" with a woman. It could make you more vulnerable to rationalisations. I think the problem will resolve itself in your case. Maybe it's a little more complicated with younger guys who developed a high-speed internet porn habit at a crazily young age. Based on what you've said I think you'll be fine by just avoiding all that bad stuff.
    Merton likes this.
  3. Kichijiro

    Kichijiro Member

    Thanks, OR, for your thoughts, especially the warning about my potential for rationalizing questionable decisions.

    I have a question - you mention avoiding ogling women in public. I suppose that's good to avoid for many reasons. However, it seemed to me that enjoying or, more specifically, thinking sexually about a woman in my field of vision IRL would lend itself to the type of healthy arousal (i.e., arising from real people and situations) I am aiming for. (Though to be sure, as for most normal people, 99.9999% of the times I see a woman in public it is not going to lead to sexual activity then and there.) I suspect you have some good reasoning for your warning against this habit however. What might that be? Thanks.
  4. Kichijiro

    Kichijiro Member

    The Role of Worry

    Day 44. I might go back and retro-log (is that a word?) some journal entries to this thread but I'll start here for now.

    Had anxiety around 3/10 at some point today and mood of -1 (-10 to 10).

    Been less worried lately about the PIED being a permanent or ultimately sexually crippling, in the full sense of that adjective, thing. My decreased worry is based on my thinking about the development of my ED issues (I could probably have masturbated with no porn/fantasy when I noticed the issue and gave up the porn) and others' recovery accounts. Let's be real: probably also helped mood-wise by the drugs my psych started me on a week ago and by confirmation bias from Occam's Razor's response above. Though I do really appreciate anyone's honest (even pessimistic) input and I try to take it all as objectively as I can.

    Last night, I fantasized about my friend "helping me out" with this issue and got a pretty decent boner (60% or more) just from the thoughts, no touching. After roughly 6 weeks of shrunken penis syndrome I woke up this morning to find it hanging more at a normal length which was nice. And while my gorgeous hair stylist worked on my hair today and joked around with me I was pleased to have to be concerned about standing up right away when it was over for fear of revealing a pants-tent (albeit small one).

    I think the trick, today anyway with the hair stylist, was not worrying about things. Just not thinking about the issue. So often I have been thinking, "OK. This is a situation that in the past would have gotten me hard," and I have been worried that absolutely nothing was happening downstairs in those current situations. But today with my stylist I was just having fun. Just joking around, laughing. And wouldn't you know it, my dick seemed to appreciate that. Anyway, I think where I'm at in the recovery - a full 6 weeks in - and that I had that strong fantasy last night might also factor in here, but the worry thing has got to be a big problem for a lot of us, something to leave behind. Others seem to agree that the less you worry about arousal, the more you are focused on the moment, the more likely the arousal will just come of its own. Damn, this is like a verse I've been thinking about, in a way anyway - Matt. 6.34.
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2019
  5. occams_razor

    occams_razor Well-Known Member

    There's rationalising questionable decisions, but also if you get into a mindset of "I must rewire with a woman as soon as possible" it can lead to a reset or relapse. I guess people are different but that's what happens to me anyway.

    I don't think you need to seek out arousal by deliberately thinking sexually about a woman in public. It'll just happen by itself. You happen to make eye contact with some woman and suddenly a little arousal kicks in. That kind of thing.

    It is kind of a grey area. They say flirting is good for you. But then when you're back home later you might have some difficulty not thinking about the woman you flirted with / made eye contact with. In a way maybe that situation is unavoidable, and not a bad thing anyway, you just have to overcome increased urges or whatever. I think it is best to avoid looking at a woman's body parts though. Try and look at the face only!
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  6. Kichijiro

    Kichijiro Member

    Day 45. Anxiety up to 4/10 today; mood up to 2/-10 to 10.

    While I actually had a positive mood day for the first time probably since I fully realized what PIED could mean for me, my libido was fairly blah all day. Maybe I had too much of a rush yesterday and it was evening back out. Anyway. I think I'll start assigning metrics for my libido as well.

    A little frustrated by the libido thing, though I'm early in the journey still, because I was playing board games (Meetup group) with an attractive woman my age tonight who seems to be into me and I just felt that even if we had spent the evening together I probably was in no shape to get it up. Frankly I realize that could be the case for even guys who never messed with porn and have healthy relationships or marriages but, meh, push came to shove they could probably get her done.

    Anyway, that frustration and thinking about her and another beautiful woman at this Meetup led me to having my first urges to PMO so far since quitting. They were pretty mild urges just while I was finishing my drive home but it's a bit frightening that those urges even presented themselves again. I guess they would before too long. Not acting on them though. Have a date lined up for two days from now which I'm excited about. We'll see how it goes.
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  7. Kichijiro

    Kichijiro Member

    Day 48 of no porn. However, hit the reset on MO the very night (Day 45) I posted that last post about planning to not do that - damn!

    Anxiety prob up to 3/10 today. Mood up to 2/ -10 to 10. Libido right now 1/10.

    Yeah, I gave in to my fantasies Friday night as far as MO, and then masturbated a couple more times w/i the next 16 hours (Sat. daytime), once to orgasm. Then Sunday night MOed once again. I was kind of frustrated by the experience but also kind of relieved? Frustrated that I broke my streak. However, while keeping MO to a minimum still seems like a good idea to me, perhaps even a goal, avoiding the porn use has been my real onus. And I've been having good success there. The relief is that I found I could indeed get off without porn; in fact, I was able to get between 65% and 80% hard just "using my mind" before I even touched myself so that was relieving to discover. Yet in that is the fear that I still may not be able to perform with a person, at least initially/immediately, though. Rather, I could get off to my own fantasy of them but not when they are really with me.

    Went on a date on Sunday and it went well. We're going to meet again this next weekend. Can't say I'm crazy about her at this point but after one date I don't think I have to be. It has been a goal of mine this year to date someone for at least a month (something I have done like once or twice before and not for a few years at that). I've had two "relationships" so far this year that have lasted a week - and I think I did my best to make them work - so at least I think I'm making progress.

    Certainly been feeling less scared that I won't ever be able to perform with a real woman. 'Course this could also be the drugs. On 150 mg of Seroquel at night and 300mg Bupropion during the day now. But I'm glad I've got my mood back under control because the depression, worry and insomnia was BAD. And I've known bad in my life. So, yes, glad things seem to be on the up and up (hope that will be figuratively true as well ... if you don't catch what I mean let me quote Dr. Hammer from Dr. Horrible - "The hammer is my penis").
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  8. Kichijiro

    Kichijiro Member

    Day 51 of no porn. Anxiety 3/10; mood 2/-10 to 10; libido 1/10.

    I have finally gotten away today from a string of a few days of autoeroticism. It tapered off from straight up M&O, even a few times in several hours, to fantasizing to erection with some slight touching. I guess I would prefer to either practice real eroticism - with a woman - or none so I am glad to be back where I am now.

    While porn is really disgusting to me at this point and I have zero-desire to consume it, I realize that desire may come back so I am hoping to set up a porn-blocker app or something soon. I know Gary Wilson lists some in his book YBOP. I think what might be best for me is one that stops me for a few minutes if I put in certain keywords and/or alerts a friend or two of mine about my search query.

    Happy to report that despite there being a category in trivia last night to name the real show inspiration for the pictured porn parody thumbnail I did not let that push me into porn world once I got home. Frankly I pretty much checked out during that round. Playing trivia again tonight though I realized that even in something as seemingly innocent as trivia there are potential triggers for the recovering porn addict. While there wasn't the obvious one of porn parody thumbnails printed out in front of me (one of which seemed to have a female performer grabbing a male performer's crotch - god, it was blatant), even the team names are sexualized - "Quiz on my Face", for one. Again I was able to stay above the temptation. I'll say though, this has got me feeling so much for sympathy for recovering alcoholics because they have to deal with the same thing - messages about "the goodness" of their past addiction everywhere they go!

    Also happy to report that getting my hair cut today again I got at least a semi talking & goofing around with my stylist. Wasn't super impressive honestly but at least it was pretty spontaneous and showed me there is some life down there that responds to real situations not just what I conjure up in my mind.

    Feel like there was more to report or note but I can't recall. Continued small worry in back of my mind about being able to perform to fantasy but not to a real woman. There is nothing I can do about this, however, perhaps ever but especially for now. So worrying will do me no good.
  9. Kichijiro

    Kichijiro Member

    Day 53 of no porn. Anxiety 2/10; mood 0/ -10 to 10; libido 0/10.

    MOed again yesterday after finally having a day in the past week where I didn't do any of that. I wasn't thinking avoiding M and O was going to be super necessary to overcoming PIED but now I think it might be. Others have talked about saving sexual energy for real encounters by avoiding autoeroticism and I think my libido definitely tanked after jacking off yesterday. The rest of that evening I felt no libido or "life" downstairs while going to the drive-in with a friend (granted, I have zero attraction to this friend and the movies didn't have anything really steamy in them which I had actually checked beforehand - Pet Sematary and Us).

    So I think I'll have to make some changes, take some actions to get serious about avoiding frequent MO. Not sure what those will be yet but certainly deciding that I want to reject them is a good start. Also need to set up my porn blocker or friend notifier app.

    Writing this entry in the morning so here's to a day of renewed body, mind and spirit. May I serve others and exercise self-restraint in it, esp. after coming home from my date this evening whatever happens there.
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  10. Kichijiro

    Kichijiro Member

    Day 65 of no porn. Anxiety 1/10; mood 1/-10 to 10; libido 2/10.

    A lot has happened in the past 12 days.

    I did not jack off after my date (boo yah!), but even better, I got a hard-on during the date! Haven't had spontaneous erections for at least 7 months if not many more. Yet, during the date I happened to glance down at her cleavage (fairly low-cut athletic wear) and I got a pretty good erection - so much so that I had real trouble standing up gracefully when our order number was called. Wasn't really able to flip it up into the underwear band so I had to awkwardly jam my fists into my pockets to hide the pants-tent. An old guy definitely and my date possibly noticed what the hell I was doing. But, dammit, I would take a million awkward pants-tents and be able to perform when needed over never having that awkwardness again and not be able to perform.

    To be sure, I don't know that I could perform. Definitely still a virgin and didn't even end up trying anything with that girl. I decided to end things after that date (#2). But that being in the presence of a real girl in a low-key situation gave me a decent boner - especially after a week of a lot of MO compared to the previous 6 or 7 weeks - gave me so much encouragement.

    12 days later it still gives me encouragement. Do you think my awkward pants-tent story is a sign of hope for me?

    On the other hand, I have been MOing more than I would like. After day 52 of no porn when I did it for the first time since going on hard mode (about 6-7 weeks) I have masturbated to orgasm several more times. While it randomly got hard on that date after a week of masturbating a few times again, I have the hunch that perhaps I may have better success with a potential future someone the less I masturbate - at least until beginning regular intimate activity, vaginal intercourse being at the center of that.

    I give myself grace when I slip up, but I wonder if I give too much at times. I do tend to be my own harshest judge but I think I may have become too callous morally to PMO. My modus operandi for now is to start each day a new one and try to continue my good streaks. Perhaps I have gotten better in the last 7 days compared to the 7 before - only MOed 2 or 3 times in this latest stretch.

    As far as other things, I worry that I have been lusting after women I see too much. I work at a public high school and I think that makes lust slightly more difficult to avoid than some other workplaces, for many reasons - the conversations one overhears in the halls, seeing the PDA, hormones "in the air" (I think there's something to that in a certain way), and of course the female students who have the bodies of grown women (minds perhaps not yet, which helps me keep my distance). I see certain girls' certain parts and am mentally tuned in. Lately I've even noticed a tingling downstairs though it actually does not get hard at all (sadly, as far as my overall post-PIED health goes). But I don't know that this is a return of my libido exactly. I think libido is yes, mental, but also I think there's a bodily and/or even spiritual/soul-ful dimension to it. As I recall my slightly younger, pre-PIED days when I was horny, it was a whole-body, whole-person kind of feeling. I wouldn't say I'm there yet. I worry I'll never quite get there again. But at least my mind is more, much more, interested in sexual activity than it had been at the beginning of hard mode, and so I'll call that a kind of increased libido for now. But this is all to say I am torn because I obviously want my body to be reacting to attractive women in real life and I even kind of will myself to get hard at the sight of them, which, perhaps worryingly, doesn't happen, while I also want to respect these women and let them just be other persons, far too young for my real interest, and to not pollute my mind with unnecessary, unhelpful, illicit fantasizing.

    Another thing I worry about is my record with dating. I just came home from a date with a different girl than Day 53 girl and knew halfway through that date I didn't really have any interest in seeing her again. I do think I have made some real progress in that I have been having more second dates than previously in my life and even some brief "flings" - relationships lasting a couple weekends or more - in the past seven months or so. I believe I am doing a better job at only pursuing women who want what I want - a real relationship, commitment, similar values - and "higher quality" women than women I perhaps dated in my past. But at a certain point I wonder - "Is it me? Am I the problem?" Because four out of five times I am the one ending things because I have "lost interest". I am trying to give people second chances and since last summer have been making a practice after each early date to identify three legitimate reasons we could work out. That has gone pretty well. But yeah, still not many solid matches. I was interested in a couple girls earlier in this year but both of those ended because I found some flaw with the person - non-responsiveness with the one and a void of empathy in the other. Both big problems. I don't know - maybe it's all just coincidence right now that I've had such little luck particularly in these last few months. But I am definitely determined to realize my goal this year of having at least one relationship that lasts at least a month (or, hopefully, longer). We'll have to see who my strivings for this goal introduce me to next!
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  11. Kichijiro

    Kichijiro Member

    Day 70 of no porn. Day 6 of no orgasm. Day 2 no masturbation. Anxiety 1/10; mood -2/10 to 10; libido 0/10.

    Been pretty discouraged lately, which must sound odd after my last entry. Think I have found that people must be serious about needing to avoid MO in addition to the P because frankly there is nothing doing in my pants right now. Like, it's scary. When I started this journey out, I got quite hard for a super long time (hour and a half) thinking about this girl I was going to be seeing again (prob. helped by the time of day - it was an early morning shuttle through the mountains back to DIA). That was basically in the first week though - the "good times" of the stopping PMO. But - even in the following weeks I would be lying in bed and get pretty hard just fantasizing. Through that time I had stopped everything (P, M & O). Finally at day 53, I had been masturbating a few times over the previous week and yet I got a really good erection just sitting across from my date and happening to look down at her decolletage. But here I am a couple weeks after that and as said there is nothing doing. The last time I masturbated (a couple days ago) I didn't even get satisfyingly hard and I have not really had any strong erections from fantasy in the last couple weeks it seems. To be sure, it's possible I've been avoiding trying to work myself up with fantasy b/c I'm afraid that I'll "prove" to myself that I can't get hard from it anymore (or something).

    Anyway I have begun a good streak of no MO and have knowledge and motivation to avoid it that I didn't have before. I'm hoping all that has happened is that I have knocked myself back into the flatline and that I will pull out of it over time here. I think encouraging also is the reminder I got from watching Noah Church recently (this video, I think anyway) that one does not simply heal from a habit they had developed over years in a matter of days or weeks. It very well may take months, especially for someone inexperienced like myself who is single.

    On the single note, been using the apps more committedly recently and have been trying to line up date after date. It's not exactly an assembly line but I went out with someone a couple weeks ago, it didn't work, and so I started chatting with someone new the next day or two. Then that happened again. So the person I'm chatting with now seems cool and we are making plans to meet. I definitely have fears about a lot of things - will I be able to perform if and when that time comes? will she be patient with me? would she eventually leave me or cheat on me? would that happen really far into the relationship? - including how to present my best, fun-loving, enthusiastic and life-giving self while in the midst of this shit. Anyway, no one is really ever ready for a relationship with someone else so I am just going to do my best, and hope I get more random boners like I did with the other girl.

    O! Should add that I think a lot of the anxiety and particularly tremors or shakiness I was experiencing over the past year actually might have come from my porn use because both of those things have seemed to dry up lately. (Could be that, or just that with the enormity of the sexual problem I've created for myself I frankly can't give a crap about anything else anymore.) Either way, nice that they have diminished!

    Thanks for reading, internet fellows. Blessings on your journeys.
    Last edited: May 7, 2019
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  12. Kichijiro

    Kichijiro Member

    Day 74 no P. Day 10 no O. Day 1 no M. Anxiety 2/10; mood 2/-10 to 10; libido 2/10.

    Just checking in. Watched The Matrix recently and was so freaked out by Cypher's attitude. (He's the traitor you'll recall). To paraphrase he says about the AI's sensual constructs within the Matrix "I know this isn't real but I like it so much that I don't care anymore - I'll take it over what's real". My thoughts were definitely - be a Neo, not a Cypher. Strive for the REAL. Hold to that. Shun what is artificial, virtual, even if it is easier and at times more tantalizing.

    Mood's been better recently though I haven't had too much cause PIED-wise for rejoicing. I think the stirrings of stirrings (just a feeling basically) have come back a bit to my crotch when seeing someone arousing in public. But I had a little bit of a setback last night.

    Hung out with a Meetup group I frequent. Beautiful girl there I talk with some last night. The evening basically descended into watching steamy College Humor type vids on YouTube for the group and I know I don't need that temptation so I say bye and leave. Get home and find that girl on Facebook, looking at her profile pictures for a while. Start to get erect. Then begin to self-stimulate. And it was then that I realized what I was doing was the kind of "P-substitution" I had been warned against. This wasn't the first time I've done that in the past 74 days but fortunately I've only done it a handful of times. Glad I am more aware now of that error to avoid.

    Still trying to find a date that becomes a girlfriend that becomes more serious. Interesting the differences in peoples' approach to that search. I am an all-in, intense kind of person wanting to meet in person and see whether there's chemistry or not and go from there while I often find potential mates who are very hands-off, somewhat carefree about the whole thing or even flaky. Frankly this frustrates me but I also know my way of doing things is not the only way or necessarily the best way so I am trying to roll with the situations as they come.

    That's about all I've got for now. Soldier on, ma dudes.
  13. Kichijiro

    Kichijiro Member

    Day 75 no P. Day 0 no O. Day 2 no M. Anxiety 2/10; mood 3/-10 to 10; libido 2/10.

    So, last night after writing the last post I ended up doing something I have been avoiding mostly for the last 4 months or so - private "Happy Hours" for acquaintances of mine at our local bar district. I wanted to stop doing those b/c a couple different women told me I was acting like a creep when I was drunk and that is not who I want to be. So I decided just to stop doing those. However, had nothing else going on so I went out last night. Trying to give a factual account of what happened in the past 12 hours.

    Met a girl at the bar on the dance floor around midnight. I asked her if she had seen where my friend who had been dancing with her earlier had went. (He ended up disappearing - typical for him.) She said no but that I should come back and dance with her once I found him. We just started dancing then. I found her fairly attractive but not as much as some of the big-busted lasses around the room - big breasts on a woman are pretty important for me. Regardless, while we were dancing I ended up having at least a semi- for, jeez, probably over an hour, maybe two hours, pressed up against her ass. At the start I'd say it was pretty good, probably around 75%. But as quarters of hours passed it not surprisingly went down some.

    Eventually I ended up driving this girl back to her car as she had Ubered to the bar. This was past 3AM. We made out in the back of my car for a while before realizing she was falling asleep and it would probably be safer for me to drive her to her place or mine. We decided to go to my place which was much closer. Brought her here but on the way I said there would be no sex because I was trying this no porn, masturbation or orgasm thing that I wanted to keep going with. She seemed cool with that. Got in bed and we made out a bit while I massaged some of her erogenous zones and then we fell asleep.

    This morning we picked up where we left off and I could feel - could even feel the night before - that my dick was only a chubby but I got really curious to see, to test where things "stood" since beginning my journey. This is the first time I was attempting real rewiring and I was pleased that for this first event, and the amount of booze and lack of sleep, and that I found her less than 100% sexy I was at least somewhat hard (albeit not hard enough for penetration at the moment). My curiosity about how I would do with her giving me a hand job was very high, and I know I would probably regret later not having taken the opportunity for a test run with a real girl. And so in spite of my overtures the night before about avoiding PMO, I pulled my dick out and put her hand on it. It hardened up slightly but probably not as much as when we had first started dancing the night before, or possibly even during that pants-tent on the date 3 weeks before. I'd say it was between 30% and 70% hard. After 2-3 minutes things ramped up and right as I was about to come it got hard a lot of the rest of the way. Then I exploded all over her shirt. (It seems going days b/w orgasms can lead to some pretty explosive ones.) After this, we kissed again, got dressed and got her to her car. At her car she didn't seem to particularly want my number nor did I particularly feel like I needed to give it but I gave her a business card with my number and FB contact anyway. Not sure if I would try to see her again if she reaches out.

    So my reflection is that, yes, I am still affected by PIED though that wasn't really in doubt for me at all. I think, rather, I am more encouraged than discouraged - for the reasons mentioned above. I didn't find her super super attractive, I had a fair amount to drink, was pretty tired when we were together (I had done my first 5K in forever that day, it was late, and we didn't sleep long) and I didn't capitalize on the earlier times in the evening when I felt harder. Also, when she was giving me the hand job there was zero visual stimuli to help me out, something I believe PIED recoverers should really lean on in the beginning - it was dark, we had shirts on and I didn't think she was the most attractive woman anyway, I was lying back and not looking at my dick or her face or body, I just had my eyes closed. I am also super encouraged because I was seriously worried if I would be able to be aroused at all by a real woman, and clearly I was, and it was moreso than the previous couple times I had been with women intimately. Furthermore I have only ever had one woman try to get me off using her hands alone before and that didn't end up working either that night or the next morning - I had to finish it both times (it was before I had really delved into the world of porn and not surprisingly her comments kept being about how super hard I was - which I am trying to reclaim!). But this morning I discovered I am sensitive enough to a woman's touch to explode when stimulated only manually. So a lot of encouragement here.

    Moving forward: I want to take comfort in this encouragement but not complacency. I want to continue eschewing PMO, building up decently lengthy stretches w/o doing those things. Also, I want to back up physically. I don't think I'll be back frequenting scenes where hookup scenarios happen like the one I had. Rather, I aim to try to develop relationships through dating. And as I do that I want to practice delayed gratification as I have been trying in other ways recently. Physically, I want to go slow over the first few dates or so. And I definitely want to take Noah Church's advice to not go for orgasm again in any way (manual, oral, vaginal, etc.) until I get pretty hard just from passionate kissing. Tentatively I'll define "pretty hard" as equal to or greater than 70%. From there I may increase that threshold (75%, 80%, 90%?) to try to train my body into responding better for sexual situations.

    Anyway, thankful for last night's/this morning's experience. Keep on keepin' on out there.
    Last edited: May 12, 2019
  14. Kichijiro

    Kichijiro Member

    Day 81 no P. Day 1 no MO. Anxiety 1/10; mood 2/-10 to 10; libido 2/10.

    P hasn't been an issue at all but I noticed again recently that I used a P-sub (FB) and actually turned that into M and O after I closed it. Frustrating.

    Been really struggling to avoid M and O lately. I think there might indeed have been a chaser effect following the AM with that previously mentioned girl. I've also had several late nights recently, spent at least in part in the presence of pretty women. I think another part of the problem is that I feel as though I have more license to masturbate or come because I haven't thought of that as the problem. It wasn't those things that gave me PIED. And since I can do them that must mean I'm better right? Well, I think this line of reasoning may be a bit off, particularly that last question. I have to bear in mind that I fried the arousal part of my brain with internet porn and that has messed a lot of things up. Thus practicing autoeroticism may do nothing but reinforce arousal to autoerotic cues. But that is not what I want at all. Further, being able to MO on my own doesn't prove shit about what I really want. It is all about being aroused by and able to perform with a real woman. Practicing MO may actually diminish my ability to do that, if not for reasons as scary as reinforcing arousal to only my own mind/hand then just diminishing the sexual energy I have for a real woman. Again, this probably would not be an issue if I hadn't fried my brain with porn but that's where things stand now.

    I'll talk with my buddies about this and look for their support. They are great guys.

    I think I want to add that I hope to one day get beyond these issues enough - ideally, by having a working, healthy sexual relationship with a woman who comes to be my wife - that I don't use this blog anymore. I want my life to be defined by other things. But it is definitely a great resource for now.

    Hoping for more healing for sure. Cheers, y'all.
  15. Kichijiro

    Kichijiro Member

    On Masturbation and Girlfriends.

    Day 116 no P. Day 2 no MO. Anxiety 1/10. Mood 3/-10 to 10. Libido 3/10.

    As I think with most entries on my thread here I have some encouragement and discouragement to share. I will touch on that first and then I want to consider the role of masturbation and girlfriends in the PIED recovery process.

    My encouragement is this: when I have masturbated in recent weeks I feel my non-porn-stimulus erections have been harder than they had been towards the last couple months of my porn use. And I think perhaps even more encouraging for me is that yesterday I got two semis - and pretty good semis, 25-50% hardness - just out and about doing daily life (not sure I can recall when that last happened when I wasn't specifically aroused). I think their inceptions were somewhat spontaneous but then I got aware of them and mentally willed them to keep going. I suppose I like the sense of control over potential erections those experiences gave me. However, my discouraging thing is that as with the not fully hard erections just described I also ended up in someone's backseat last night and probably barely hit the 25% hardness mark while kissing pretty passionately (that was the third time I got aroused yesterday).

    So as to masturbation - I think it may be more problematic than I had initially thought. I used to think with PIED that high speed internet porn was the (only) problem. Indeed, as one can read, masturbation without high speed internet porn has not affected men's ability to perform sexually for the vast majority through history. However, now I think that for people who develop PIED, masturbation even without high speed internet porn can greatly slow, halt or even reverse their healing. Clearly there is a reason PIED sufferers go to "no-PMO" and people have encouraged me to as well. I want to posit why I think non-mutual masturbation may be problematic.
    With PIED the brain's normal arousal pathways have been so disrupted by the use of internet porn that it cannot fully repair those pathways. Thus why some men, especially inexperienced slightly older guys, never recover from PIED. At best after PIED, I think the brain has a little potential for other arousal pathways to be developed, the two major ones being autoeroticism or eroticism with a partner. After PIED, perhaps one can either train the brain's remaining potential for arousal to be by self masturbation or activity with a partner. The reason it might be only the one or the other is because of how badly the brain was fried by habitual internet porn use leading up to PIED.
    Anyway, these are all my own conjectures, but they seem to make sense to me. Perhaps my experience so far since realizing I had PIED has corroborated this account. The thing for me to do then is to cut out masturbation in favor of activity with a partner (whom I currently do not have). Cutting out masturbation may be my greatest struggle. 116 days in and porn still has only barely tempted me (though I don't claim it never will). Masturbation and orgasm however have been really difficult to avoid for more than 2-3 days after the first 6 weeks or so into this process. Maybe I write the preceding as a stronger warrant for me to kick those habits. I do need greater resolve and perhaps greater reasoning. But for what it's worth I also think what I have written seems quite likely. But now on to the activity with a partner piece that I had just mentioned - girlfriends.

    It seems to me that most guys actively contributing to this 30s-something forum do not have significant others. To me that says well, dammit, we all need to get life partners. Isn't this obvious? PIED sufferers with significant others surely heal more quickly. They are less prone to relapse and succumb again to PIED because they both understand the cost and have the means to keeping their renewed sexual activity alive. Furthermore, I think many guys on here want life partners, or at least some kind of real human partner. If they were content with virtual sexuality they wouldn't care about recovering from PIED. I know for me one of my greatest hopes and ambitions in life has been to have a wife and kids even long before I knew anything about PIED. And frankly if I could never get it up again but had found a woman who loved me for me and planned to stick by my side in spite of it all, in the end it wouldn't matter that much that I had PIED - I wouldn't need this blog.
    And yet most of us on this forum do not have these partners. I think it is largely due to little dating/relationship experience. Guys with that experience probably bounce back from PIED more quickly and lose need for this forum. Of course with little dating/relationship experience there is fear, a fear that is vastly compounded by knowing we may not be able to perform on demand as "normal" guys can. I don't make light of that fear - I understand it personally. But I also want to repeat a phrase I see passed around on social media from time to time - "Everything you want is on the other side of fear". I think integral to the healing process - in fact, for some guys, the end or telos of their healing process - is venturing into a healthy romantic relationship. So I think as much as abstaining from PMO we must risk starting a relationship, not knowing how or even whether things will work sexually.
    Relationship with another person is as vital to healing from PIED as giving up PMO. I don't have all the answers on how to make that happen. Who can say how you or I might find a mate? But I will say that I think there is less to fear than we imagine. Sure, never being able to get it up, even after months - years - of trying with someone, would be terrible. That relationship might understandably albeit painfully end. But I don't think this doomsday scenario is as likely as we make it out to be. Not because I have great knowledge of the science of PIED recovery, but because I believe that you can find a person you love who will commit to you regardless of your prognosis. Yes, sex is extremely important in a relationship and clearly it is extremely important to those of us here. The idea of a relationship without good sex might even seem less appealing than remaining single. But whether we like it or not sex is not everything in a relationship! And I can imagine women who would be interested in me whether I could give them good sex or not.

    My hope is that you, too, can imagine such a partner who can love you over and against your sexual ability. And I think imagining such a partner frees us to seek connections and possibly fail in bed and yet receive that relational component of the healing we all need. Cheers, y'all.
    Throwaway Handle and -Luke- like this.
  16. -Luke-

    -Luke- Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the great post, Kichijiro. I really liked it. Congrats on your progress and on 100+ without P.

    I always wondered about masturbation, too. I've read many journals and success stories the last 5-6 years. Some guys recover quickly from PIED and some don't have problems with MO and orgasms with a partner during a reboot. But I've read over and over and over again from guys who had trouble with orgasms when recovering from PIED, sometimes even with a partner. They masturbate once and it sends them back into a flatline and they feel like they have lost their progress. This happens especially when someone started young (and I think that's common for us guys in our thirties). When I first found this forum in 2014 one of my favorite journals was from a guy called fugu. He had severe PIED and needed more than a year to recover. During his reboot he found a girlfriend and had a lot of trouble after orgasms with her especially in the beginning. I think it got steadily better the more he was away from porn (and the more he rewired his brain). I use him as an example but there were a lot of guys here with similar stories.

    My theory always was based on the whole concept of "Neurons that fire together wire together". We linked watching porn, masturbation and orgasms in our brains for such a long time that even when we masturbate without porn our old porn pathways get reactivated again and we feel like shit. I'm not an expert in neuroscience and I don't know if that's true. I don't know about you but from maybe 12 or 13 until a year ago (that's 20 years of my life!) I never masturbated without porn, pictures or at least porn fantasies. Wouldn't be a big surprise if that causes havoc on ones brain. If that theory is true than there's also the theory of "Neurons that fire apart wire apart". That means the only thing we need to recover is time. Time away from porn. I'm pretty sure that everyone can recover from PIED. If you haven't done it I would recommend reading the book "The brain that changes itself" by Norman Doidge. It's remarkable how the brain can change for better even for older people.

    The thing with us guys in the 30+ section: We were sort of the first generation that had access to high speed internet porn before we had an opportunity to have sex in real life. We grew up with porn. It totally changed and morphed our perception about what sex is. Maybe that's why many of us here in our thirties don't have girlfriends. We didn't have the opportunity to come close to girls before we fucked up our brains. And I like your thoughts about girlfriends. I often had the thought "I'll look for a girlfriend when I'm recovered, when I feel great, when XY happens..." But that day never came. And that thought isn't what reality is about. If we wait until all circumstances are all right we are going to die alone.
    Merton, Kichijiro and Pete McVries like this.
  17. Guts

    Guts Active Member Staff Member

    My belief is that porn damages dopamine receptors so much that any sexual stimulation will not let the brain heal. I have seen a small amount of stories where guys just give up porn and they get rid of PIED but I don't think their PIED was that bad in the first place. I would say keep doing what you're doing Kichijiro, but if you don't see any improvements after you hit the half year mark I'd go hard mode.

    I've noticed a pattern with a lot of guys on here that once they hit the 7-9 month mark they really start to see improvements. I can say the same for myself.

    Also, Silence was an awesome film.
    Merton and Pete McVries like this.
  18. Kichijiro

    Kichijiro Member

    Yes, Guts - Silence was a cool film. Excellent book! One of my favorites.

    Thanks for the advice and perspectives, both Guts and Luke. I want to consider more what Luke said and perhaps write a more on-topic, engaging response but in short I'll say I appreciated the post and want to check out that book now - "The Brain That Changes Itself".

    In response to the advice about seeing where things are at at the half year mark, you know, I actually just made the decision a few days ago that I am not going to be a guy who masturbates anymore, just like I made the decision I am not going to use porn anymore. That sounds disgustingly bold and cock-sure (yes, pun intended) but I think I am ready for that now. Maybe that will change if I get with a partner, but on the other hand (o god another pun) I think it would be wonderful to limit sexual experience to being with that partner. Anyway, we'll see.

    Thanks guys for the encouragement. Strength and honor!

    Guts likes this.
  19. Kichijiro

    Kichijiro Member

    Question re: Sex for the PIED-recoverer - namely, How?

    Hi y'all - I have a question that hopefully you will know the answer to. I thought about writing Noah Church with this question but I don't want to needlessly bother him, esp. since I think he's answered it either in his book or on his website. But the question (or questions) is this:

    How would I know I am ready for sex? Could a partner and I try manually (by hand) getting my dick hard and then penetrating vaginally, or should I be able to get hard enough "from passionate kissing" or whatever that my dick is ready to go of its own accord?

    I hope this question makes sense. Just wondering about it, because, as I guess is normal for PIED sufferers at the stage I'm at (a few months into reboot with no real rewiring/relationship yet underway), I can't/don't get truly hard from anything right now - even making out - except my own manual stimulation. (I imagine I would probably perk right up for porn but I am not doing that at all.) I guess behind this question is some fear that I may never get really hard again doing normal sexy-time things with a partner and would only be able to self-stimulate and hopefully ram my dick in for continued vaginal rubbing/stimulation before it got too limp. Maybe this fear is present in my mind too just because I know I had very little (too little?) experience with real partners before developing PIED and I am going through this reboot and eventual rewire process years later in the game than many of the 20-somethings who were able to successfully heal from PIED.

    Ok. I hope that question is clear enough. Maybe I'll try to reformulate it later but! If you have a response for me I would appreciate it much-ly.

    Cheers - Kichijiro
  20. -Luke-

    -Luke- Well-Known Member

    I don't think you're ready for sex if you don't get hard by making out yet. Maybe "ready" is the wrong word but I think you shouldn't force it. That's at least what I would say after reading a lot of other journals over the years. Unfortunately for guys like us who started with porn at a young age (often before we had sexual relationships) it just takes longer. It isn't a satisfying answer but the only thing I can say is: Trust the process.

    By the way: If you want to write Noah or Gabe I'm pretty sure they won't be bothered.

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