How I fixed my porn-ravaged love life

Discussion in 'Ages 20-24' started by Spangler, Jan 4, 2014.

  1. BSchmidt

    BSchmidt New Member

    Re: The complete destruction of my love life by porn addiction and how I'm fixing it

    Awesome! Happy to hear about the progress bro!
     
  2. Spangler

    Spangler Member

    Re: The complete destruction of my love life by porn addiction and how I'm fixing it

    Day 58
    Mood: 5/10 Libido: N/A
    It's been a couple of weeks since I've journalled, and that's because there hasn't been much to write about in this aspect of my life. I feel like my libido has taken a downswing. For awhile I had this barely dormant sexual energy and would get erect from a memory or a slight real-life stimulus, but that's receded. Sometimes I felt this buildup inside of me and feel like I was about to orgasm while limp and doing nothing, but that's gone too. I can't really call this a flatline because I get morning wood every day and get hard with Erika, but it doesn't last as long as a few weeks ago, and if I'm not with her I don't feel any sexual urges. Maybe this is my flatline. I really have no idea what comes next. There is that question in my mind: "Is this it?" Intellectually I know (and hope) that the answer is "no." I know that many men have taken much longer than 60 days to feel recovered, and I know that recovery is not linear, but it's disheartening nonetheless. All I really know is that it's been two months since P, M, or O for me. And in regards to M and O, that's one month longer than any other time in my life since before I can remember (2-3 years old). It's like walking down a path blindfolded, but I'll keep putting one foot in front of the other and have faith in a better tomorrow.

    Other parts of my life are going well. Erika and I are "Facebook official" now, and I really enjoy being with her. We've been doing a lot of acroyoga, in which I basically lift her into the air in various ways, lol. It's really fun, and I recommend it for anybody with a SO on here. I've started a new weightlifting cycle with a friend, and I'm expecting big gains. I'm volunteering with an organization that I really believe in, and I think I can do some good. I've been a vegan for over four years, and I've begun transitioning to a raw food lifestyle, which is something I've wanted to do for awhile. Professionally, I'm basically investing all of my time into an entrepreneurial project, hoping that I don't run out of money before I get it off the ground and the season for my summer job starts. Crossing my fingers.

    Hope I have more to journal about soon—
     
  3. BSchmidt

    BSchmidt New Member

    Re: The complete destruction of my love life by porn addiction and how I'm fixing it

    Really cool that you are doing acroyoga with your girl. I didn't know you were a vegan either. I was vegan for nearly 14 months, was also raw for 2 months as well. Even lived in a fully raw household in california for a month last summer, with a man who has been a raw vegan for almost 10 years and teaches on youtube. Quite the experience. We have alot in common! You will have to tell me more about your business plans at some point.

    All the best and thanks for the continued support!
     
  4. Spangler

    Spangler Member

    Re: The complete destruction of my love life by porn addiction and how I'm fixing it

    Days 65-69
    Mood: ranging from 3-9 Libido: ranging from 1-9
    Whew, what a weekend. As you can see, it went from quite bad to very good and everywhere inbetween. Libido felt like it was back on an upswing at the beginning of the week; my penis stopped feeling like it was trying to hide from something and regained its (flaccid) fullness. On Thursday, Erika tried giving head for the first time. She's a quick learner, and it felt great, but I wasn't fully hard for a lot of it. After taking a break so I could play with her for awhile, I was down and not coming back up. I realized later that this was because I was in the beginning stages of what would soon become a 103 degree fever, during which I had absolutely zero sex urge (which is weird, because I think I'm usually horny when sick). I was planning on spending the weekend with my parents anyway, so I went there to rest up. Erika came by a lot to bring me food and take care of me—she's awesome.

    My mom also took care of me. She's great at that. I still haven't told my parents about all this, though I plan to. I know they're wondering what all is going on in my life right now since I am spending a lot of time writing a book about this, and I would like to tell them, but something is impelling me to wait. I think it's pride. I'll tell any curious stranger off the street all about the whole journey, porn addiction, etc. because the opinions of strangers mean nothing to me, but I hate having to disappoint and upset my parents, because I love them. I know that hearing I've been a porn addict since 9 years old won't be easy for my mom especially, and I'd like to tell them after I've succeeded in the journey and am close to finishing the book, so that at least I can show them that I've transformed something dark into something positive that could help others. Maybe that's wrong and I should tell them now, but...I don't want to. Not yet.

    On Sunday night, I was with Erika in my room at my parents' house. I looked into her eyes and I just felt this really strong need to tell her that I love her.

    I've only said that to one other woman, and I didn't really mean it then. I was in high school, I was numbed from PMO, I didn't know what love really felt like, and I said it because she said it to me. I ended up breaking her heart, and I promised that I wouldn't say it again unless I really felt it.

    But I felt it on Sunday, so I told Erika that I love her. Wow. I wasn't sure that I would ever feel that! Did I not feel it for such a long time in my life because I was numbed by PMO, or because I hadn't met the right woman, or because I wasn't in an honest relationship? All three, I think.

    And if you're wondering, yes, she said it back...but I've known for awhile that she loves me.

    The next day my fever finally broke. We went for a walk to the lake and back. After snacking a bit, I realized that where my fever had left, my libido came back. Upstairs, Erika went down on me in various positions for probably 15 minutes, and I was 90-100% the whole time. It's like a switch got flipped, and it felt amazing. We could do something else for awhile and I'd get softer, but as soon as the attention was back on me I was ready again. I still didn't get close to orgasm, so maybe I've moved up the ladder from PIED to DE, but that's such a huge improvement that I'm not even disappointed.

    20 minutes later, she had to get ready to leave and go to work. When she stood up to begin dressing, I embraced her. I got hard immediately and 90% of rational thought drowned just as fast. We haven't had sex yet. Neither of us is in a rush as she's a virgin and I want to wait until I feel like my reboot is over. Well, all I wanted to do was toss her onto the bed and take her, even though we had no form of birth control there. I've always read about men who lose all reason when faced with sex, but I always thought that they were exaggerating since I'd never felt like I would lose control (dopamine desensitization, anyone?). Anyway, I realize now that it's true. I didn't lose control and we didn't have sex, but I know now how powerful that urge can be.
     
  5. Spangler

    Spangler Member

    Re: The complete destruction of my love life by porn addiction and how I'm fixing it

    Hey BSchmidt, I'm interested to hear about your raw vegan experiences. It's been about a week and a half now, my longest and most successful run yet, but I think that fever I got might have been part of detox. Then when the fever broke, I realized I had this weird rash of red dots on my face and torso. Three days later and they're all but gone, but I've never had a rash like that before. Did you experience any weird detox symptoms?
     
  6. Spangler

    Spangler Member

    Re: The complete destruction of my love life by porn addiction and how I'm fixing it

    Day 72
    Mood: 8 Libido: 8
    For the first time in my life, I had full, successful sex!

    I put on a condom at first, but that brought me down to 80% so I took it off, deciding I wasn't ready. A bit later, though, it just sort of started happening (without a condom). We went for awhile, then she wanted to stop before there were any "accidents" (though I knew I wasn't close). Afterwards, she used her hands and mouth, and I had my first orgasm in over 70 days. I don't know if you guys get this, but for a couple of minutes before actually coming I was having a miniature orgasm, in which I spasm but don't ejaculate. Then, of course, it felt even better when I was actually ejaculating, and there was a lot.

    I feel good about this. I'm glad it happened, but I'd like to learn how to use condoms from now on. Even though it won't be as good, I don't want to start to rely on pulling out. Also, having an orgasm was great, but I don't think I need/want to have one very often. I've really enjoyed being abstinent from orgasm, and I know I can still really enjoy playing around without reaching climax; I haven't even been getting blue balls lately.

    Day 72 marks a huge step forward in my journey. My sensitivity has definitely increased from a long time without M or O, and I only expect it to keep getting better. Stay strong, brothers.
     
  7. Spangler

    Spangler Member

    Re: The complete destruction of my love life by porn addiction and how I'm fixing it

    Day 79
    Mood: 6 Libido: N/A
    So I still have trouble having sex with a condom. I'm not sure at this point how much of my difficulty is physiological and how much can be blamed on leftover anxiety from many failed attempts at sex, especially when it comes time for putting the condom on. I definitely still associate sex with failure and shame, and when those thoughts come into my head it's difficult to stay in the mood. On the other hand, I am usually hard when playing around clothed, when the possibility of sex isn't in my mind. Well, the only thing to do is practice :)

    The last couple of days I was slipping back into using TV and video games as an escape, but like PMO these activities usually leave me feeling worse afterwards, feeling like I'm putting of my life and failing to pursue the missions I really care about. Today was much better. I just have to keep reminding myself of what I really want and of what I have to do to achieve those goals. I find it's much more effective to focus on the positive—the things I want and how to make them happen—rather than to preoccupy myself thinking about the things I don't want and how to avoid them.
     
  8. Spangler

    Spangler Member

    Re: The complete destruction of my love life by porn addiction and how I'm fixing it

    Day 87
    Mood: 8 Libido: 9
    Successful sex with a condom! I didn't O, but we went after it for about 20 minutes with next to no PIED problems, and it felt good. The reboot has helped so much, but a big part of recovery for me is also due to being open about my emotions and sexual history/hang-ups with Erika. The weight of unspoken words definitely has a negative effect on my libido, and it is a relief to finally let all of that go. God, it feels so good to finally be getting past this, and to do so with someone I love.

    Other areas of my life are going well too. It's like my discipline and motivation from no-PMO has started to carry over into other aspects of my life: I'm getting a good handle on my long-held procrastination habits and other dependencies that hold me back from being who I want to be and doing what I want to do. 2014 is my year, and I'm not wasting it!
     
  9. Spangler

    Spangler Member

    Day 94
    Mood: 8 Libido: N/A
    So I told my parents all about this. As I said back in my original story, my there was never an open dialogue about sex between my parents and their children, so this was definitely a different conversation than we've ever had before. It went well. We all learned a lot, and I think we'll have a more open relationship now. I told them that I will no longer live in ways that make me feel I have to hide parts of my life from my loved ones, and they respected that. I also showed them Gary Wilson's TED talk so they would understand a bit better. I don't think they believed it all, but that's understandable: before I undertook this journey, I didn't really believe it all either.
     
  10. I just read your blog man. I'm still in college at the moment, but I can identify with your story wholeheartedly. Seeing how far you've progressed really gives me inspiration that I can get there.
     
  11. Spangler

    Spangler Member

    You can. Life is so much better without PMO, and I'm stoked if my story helps you get here. I'll check out your journal soon. Stay strong, brother.
     
  12. Spangler

    Spangler Member

    Day 108
    Mood: 7 Libido: 8
    Life is good. The ED only shows up occasionally anymore, and it's only when I'm tired or already had sex. During sex I will sometimes lose an erection, but before too long it's back up, and for the most part sex gets better and better each time. I definitely still have severe DE, however. I've had sex (vaginal, oral, manual) quite a few times this last month, and I haven't climaxed a single time. I've only been even a little bit close once or twice. Don't get me wrong, I'm still very much enjoying myself and I don't even get blue balls anymore, but it'd be nice to orgasm once in awhile.

    I never had trouble reaching orgasm by myself, but that's probably why it's so difficult to do so without my own hand. I conditioned myself hundreds of times to orgasm from only a certain stimulus, and I'm sure it will take awhile to readjust. Condoms and being circumcised are also factors, however, as they reduce my sensitivity. But I don't feel the need to force it—it will happen when it happens (I hope). Any other guys have a similar experience or words of wisdom?
     
  13. plateau325

    plateau325 Never Give Up!

    Very inspirational bro. You've come a long way and have accomplished so much. You are a better person because of it and I'm sure people around you are noticing that you have changed.

    Keep it up :D
     
  14. Spangler

    Spangler Member

    Thanks for the words of encouragement, Plateau. The last few months truly have been incredible--don't give up on this.

    Day 121
    Mood: 6 Libido: N/A
    So I was linked to a random entertainment video off of Facebook today, and from there I followed a link to a page featuring pictures of a certain model—nothing nude or pornographic but certainly enough to get my dopamine surge going. I was captivated, but after scrolling through her pictures for awhile, I realized that the predominant emotion I was feeling was anger.

    Awhile ago I read a review of some studies that had been done on the brain. The researchers hooked up electrodes to the limbic systems of rats and allowed the rats to stimulate this area of their brains themselves by pushing a button. They kept pushing that button thousands of times per hour until they collapsed from exhaustion or died from starvation, ignoring food, water, and sexual opportunities. Even when they had to cross electrified flooring in order to push that button, they did it over and over again until their feet were too charred and crippled for them to move. What pleasure these rats must be feeling in order for them to endure such torture, the researchers reasoned. They thought they had found the pleasure centers of the brain.

    Further researchers implanted electrodes in human brains as well, and the effect was the same: an almost uncontrollable desire to push the button and self-stimulate. But these subjects reported that it wasn't quite pleasure and satisfaction that they were experiencing—it was a feeling of being on the brink of satisfaction, and it was the powerful motivation to reach that satisfaction that kept them pushing the button. But they could never arrive at that feeling of contentment, reporting great frustration with this fact even while wanting to continue. This is because the part of the brain being stimulated was not actually a hub of pleasure but of desire and motivation.

    This is how I felt looking at those pictures today. It was like someone was dangling a treat on a string in front of my face, and every time I would reach for it, it would dance a little farther away. And I realized that I HATE this feeling. People today use sexually exciting imagery to sell products, collect advertising revenue, or just to satisfy their own egos with "likes" and attention from strangers on the Internet. They know that by activating our desire they can keep us clicking. They know that some of us will associate their products with our desires and pay money to keep pushing the button. They know that even those people they can't fool into opening their wallets will return again and again hoping to acquire satisfaction, upping page views and increasing advertisement revenue. But satisfaction is not what's on offer—only desire. We just end up lost in our own rat cage, pushing a button as slaves to other people's agendas. Those women we see on the Internet are not part of our lives, and they have nothing real to offer us.

    I don't count what happened as a relapse because it wasn't porn and I wasn't even tempted to MO, but it wasn't anything good either. Nevertheless I am glad it happened because it taught me something important: I am a pacified button-pushing slave no more. I know where satisfaction is, and it is not to be found in lusting after phantoms on a computer screen. That's no longer me. Now, I see what I want in the real world and I take it, and life is beautiful.
     
  15. Spangler

    Spangler Member

    Day 136
    Mood: 7/10 Libido: N/A
    I saw an interview with an ex-porn actress the other day. She told some hard truths about the industry, detailing the manipulative, uncaring way it treats the young women it recruits. Most use alcohol or drugs to numb themselves in order to get through shooting a scene, and they often suffer vaginal, anal, and throat tears, infections, and other abuse. I can't do her story justice, so check it out here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FgGVL1P_HVQ&feature=youtu.be

    I know that some women in porn say that they enjoy their work, that it empowers them sexually. I know these women are out there (though some may be paid to say these things), but many, many of them are vulnerable individuals predated upon by men wanting to exploit them for money and sexual gratification. When I used porn, I didn't really care about this.

    I'm reminded of before I was a vegan. Even then I knew that factory farms produced most of our animal products—places where animals are subjected to painful, joyless lives until they are violently killed. But there were also some animals that were raised with some concern for humane treatment, so I just assumed that the animal products I ate came from these creatures. I pretended, embracing ignorance for my own comfort. Five years ago I stopped eating animals for my own health, but through that journey I also realized that I didn't want any part in their mistreatment. Five months ago I stopped using porn for my own health, and now I realize that I don't want any part in the mistreatment of people, either.
     
  16. Spangler

    Spangler Member

    Day 138
    Mood: 8/10 Libido: 9/10
    For awhile I got a bit complacent in this journey. I would indulge in fantasy, especially when waking up. I would rub myself a bit for a couple of minutes but not even approach orgasm, so I didn't count it as edging. I also started to click on some sexual—though not explicit—links and get turned on by these false stimuli. I knew I wasn't going to masturbate to these things; it was more about satisfying a curiosity than anything else. Then a couple of weeks ago I realized that I was slipping down a dangerous path and also felt that my progress with DE was stalling. I needed to change something, so I went back to how I started this journey: no fantasy, no self-touching, no pixels that turn me on. And it is so much easier this way. No longer do I have to struggle with myself to decide whether or not to pursue some borderline material: I just don't do it.

    Even better, today I had an orgasm just from sex with a condom—twice. Not only has my PIED disappeared, but my DE seems to be on the way out as well! I think the sudden improvement was due in part to the return of my zero-tolerance policy and in part because of some new positions we tried that worked better for my orgasm. It took almost five months to get here, but this process absolutely works. Thanks again to everyone who has shared their stories. I now consider my own story a complete success.
     
  17. Congrats man, incredible story.
     
  18. Spangler

    Spangler Member

    Day 150
    Mood: All over the place Libido: N/A
    So I got dumped today. It was very surprising. Though I had a bad feeling about our relationship for the last few days, she never talked to me about any issues and now refuses to see me after breaking it off over the phone. At first I was shocked, then sad, then confused and angry. I immediately hopped on my motorcycle and went to see my best friend, and we spent the next several hours wandering around the city talking and meeting new people.

    I could write all sorts of conjecture about what I think is going on in her head, but I really don't know, so I'll just write about me. I really loved her, but I lost a lot of respect for her today when she didn't have the guts to talk to me in person and try to come to a mutual understanding. It probably wouldn't have saved our relationship, but it would have given us a chance at separating amicably with a sense of closure. Our memories together feel like smoke—like a dream—and I'm left with the cold sound of her voice on my cell phone.

    But it wasn't a dream, and I grew a lot these last five months we were together. Most importantly, I was faithful to myself and have no regrets about my choices. A lot of guys tend to relapse after a breakup, and it did occur to me. But half of a moment later the thought of giving her the power to send me down so low almost made me vomit. I will not be relapsing.

    I have to admit that there was a small part of me that was relieved after she broke us off. I could see myself spending a long time with this woman, and the thought of being with one woman—even her—for potentially the rest of my life did scare me. I wasn't sure how I was going to reconcile my desire to be with her with my desire to be free. Thanks to her that conflict is now over. That small glad part of me has kept growing and growing over the last several hours to become a powerful optimism and excitement for all the possibility of the world, and right now I feel charged with life. I'm sure I'll be going up and down emotionally over the following days, but I am such a stronger and better man than I was six months ago, and that thought fills me with joy.

    Stay strong, brothers and sisters.

    -Spangler
     
  19. mookan2013

    mookan2013 New Member

    how you gettin on bro? any update with the gf?
     

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