Porn-Free June 2019! Commit here.

Discussion in 'Pornography Addiction' started by YBR-Admin, May 31, 2019.

  1. YBR-Admin

    YBR-Admin Administrator Staff Member

    Consider the following questions and leave responses to them in the thread if you want to!
    • Do you commit to not use porn this month?
    • How is your recovery going?
    • How did last month go for you, did you make any progress in your recovery?
    • Have you had any success in reducing the amount of porn that you consume?
    • What helped you progress towards your porn-free goal?
    • What didn't help you progress, how can you improve?
    • What triggers do you have to watch out for this month?
    • What positive habits are you adding to your life?
    Feel free to join your other forum members in this thread throughout the month to leave progress reports. We recommend creating a journal thread to share your progress with others and even for yourself to refer back to.

    Onwards to porn-free lives!
     
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  2. WilliamOneAndDone

    WilliamOneAndDone Active Member

    OK. I am "up" for it.

    I will address the points, one by one.

    I will commit not to use porn this month, but will be blasted with it everywhere, because sex sells, and it is prevalent in our culture. It is ubiquitous. I just used ubiquitous in a sentence. Points for me. Us, as in humanity, swim in sexual imagery and thought. It is all around us, even if it does not fit the definition of porn. But I won't access the readily accessible "porn" sites that I could, for the month of June.

    My recovery is going fine. Though, "recovery" is not the right word. It is an imperfect word, it does not really describe, correctly, what we are doing here. "Recovery" is an AA term. I am not in recovery, in that sense. I quit using porn to get high. I liked the high it gave me. I still like the high it gave me. I just chose not to get the high, that I liked, because I liked it so much, at its worse, that I felt I needed it. I know now I don't need it. So, I am not in recovery, I am just self aware that I like it, but don't need it.

    Last month was just fine. I am no longer addicted, have not been for years. Again, the AA model does not work for porn addiction. We are not addicts for life. We can quit, and be non addicted. It is OK.

    I can choose to watch porn or choose to not watch porn. Knowing it is a choice is important. It is like knowing Keanu Reeves is not the one. See below.



    Yeah, my porn consumption is WAY down. This means, literally, I am not getting high on porn all the time. I used to use it to get high all the time, as in multiple times a day, every day, for years.

    There is the moment, all porn addicts that want to quit have, when they realize, this is not working for me any more, this is hurting me, this sucks, I am not going to be a slave to this shit anymore. Addiction is just fine, until it sucks. When it sucks, time to quit.

    We swim in sexual imagery. It is here to stay. We have to learn about that and learn to live with it.

    I have to learn to not search for the Kardashians. Just kidding that, but you get the idea. Can't go looking for that high.

    Run to live, live to run. No, really, running helps. Rub one off or run.....I know, it does not sound like a close call, but run. Just run.

    Day One, June. Free. Don't borrow from Robocop. Inside joke.

    Quote of the day: Fuck all you bitches, I am burning this shit down. OK, comes across as negative, but is meant to be positive. Head up, chins up. You can all do this. Nothing sexual implied by "chins up."

    Also, Wade Wilson is not funny. Neither is Ryan Reynolds. This is necessary for your recovery.



    Much love.

    W.
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2019
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  3. WilliamOneAndDone

    WilliamOneAndDone Active Member

    Looks like it is going to be a lonely June, at least here on the forum...

    So, back to the concept of sex sells, meaning the species "uses" sexual imagery because it results in a brain reaction that compels our attention.

    https://nypost.com/2019/06/02/out-of-control-cruise-ship-plows-into-tourist-boat-dock-in-venice/

    The above page is from the New York Post. Just randomly surfing, but, of course, any story about "disaster" is going to draw my attention.

    I am not being critical, just observant.

    On this page are multiple stories that are there for one reason: To get your attention via a dopamine hit. These stories are there, whether consciously or not, to attract your attention due to the neurological reaction they will generate.

    So, triggering effect warning...

    Stassi Schroeder. She's cute, she's sexy, we like her.

    Christy Brinkley's bikini pics at 55. No, I did not peek, but really, really want to. The only purpose of this story is to get a dopamine response, to cause you to click the link, and you will get it, but you will also see whatever advertisement the page is pushing.

    Pamela Anderson...enough said.

    Woman in swimsuit invades Championship, promotes porn...pretty direct.

    Model's bathroom selfie...you get the idea.

    This is no epiphany. This has been known for decades. It is, however, only recently, that we have come to understand the neurological basis of "why" sex sell. Sex gets our attention because the moment we are exposed to sexual imagery, we have a neurological response to it that, automatically, draws our attention to it.

    Once we spend some time conditioning our brains to expect it regularly, we create the basis for addiction. Once addicted, it becomes part of our daily routine, like brushing your teeth, something that is simply done on a regular basis.

    It is OK to admit to having an unhealthy relationship with porn. There is no such thing as a healthy relationship with porn. It is not that porn is bad, it is that it causes a neurological reaction that, if conditioned to expect over time, the brain will want every single day. You can throw out good v. bad when it comes to porn. Porn is just a button, a means to an end. It produces a result our brain interprets as a good feeling. Understand porn as a tool that you use to achieve that feeling, and you are half way to clear.



    Day Two, June.

    Much love.

    Will I AM
     
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  4. Gilgamesh

    Gilgamesh Seize the day

    To a healthy June in which we may live to our values!
     
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  5. Mekkeren

    Mekkeren Member

    I'm in. Porn is not an option! Gonna try to get more out of my comfort zone this month. More social activities etc..

    Much love guys
     
  6. FUBB

    FUBB Member

    I am up for it.
     
  7. jack91

    jack91 Find your way throuh Staff Member

    I am up for it. Let's see if I too find good spree moment to answer all those points! I'd love to share and discuss with great people here and above all we all share this nofap journey and that's what I respect most. Idiot would not be bothered. Deep down we are pure gold!
     
  8. WilliamOneAndDone

    WilliamOneAndDone Active Member

    Not especially religious, but I saw a "Not Today Satan" T shirt, and had the meme for the day for this site. If you are a newbie, you have to say no about a thousand times a day. At this point, for me, I say no about once a week. Using porn is no longer part of my life pattern. But if you are struggling, better develop a sense of humor, even if it's just gallows humor.


    https://tenor.com/view/not-today-satan-nottodaysatan-gif-9974910

    https://tenor.com/view/not-today-satan-rpdr-nope-denied-no-way-gif-5869645

    https://tenor.com/view/not-today-satan-sabrina-spellman-caos-gif-13929104

    https://tenor.com/view/not-today-baby-another-day-not-happening-no-gif-11069597

    https://tenor.com/view/not-today-satan-not-today-satan-no-gif-12620274

    https://tenor.com/view/no-noooo-funny-my-crush-gif-3483610

    https://tenor.com/view/green-cola-no-gif-9810848

    Example of gallows humor:

    “I kept a picture of me kissing my dad’s corpse on the forehead in my wallet for years. I’d break it out any time someone showed me a baby picture, just so they would know how it ends.”
    ― Doug Stanhope, Digging Up Mother: A Love Story

    Addiction sucks. Quitting addiction sucks. It's OK to laugh it and yourself. ...."just so they would know how it ends...." I am laughing, what a fucker.

    Much love to all.

    WILL

    PS: Just for fun, lets boost this post daily, and I would invite every newbie to join here, even late into June. Never to late to start to quit. Yes, I just said the four most feared words for addicts: Q-U-I-T. AAAAAAHHHHHH.

    Yep, yo gooa havta QUIT.

    So, where do you start? Your Homework: You help yourself by helping others. Start quitting now; go find someone to help, and help them. Promise this is a good place to start.

    Peace.
     
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  9. Mekkeren

    Mekkeren Member

    I would like to help but I have the feeling that I don't have that much to offer yet. Considering my age, experience and current streak... How can I still offer something useful?
     
  10. WilliamOneAndDone

    WilliamOneAndDone Active Member

    @Mekkeren

    Quitting porn is a lot of things. It is a process, not an event. This means that you may have the moment when you say to yourself "It's over, I am done, I am quit, I am not going back", but you will have to have that conversation with yourself over months. It takes time and effort before you wake up one day and simply don't want it, and do not miss it. That is going to happen for you. I have absolute confidence you will succeed, but it will hurt, and it will take effort. This is probably obvious, but for a porn addict, porn is their comfort zone. You are going to have to abandon your comfort zone. There is a place in your future when you will look back and realize it really was not a good place, but in the beginning, you are going to miss it.

    Porn addiction is one of the ultimate disconnects with reality. Drugs are probably better at the disconnect. Alcohol, right up there also. Part of overcoming any addiction is doing something that is painful for us. Reconnecting. There is a reason we choose to disconnect from us, from humanity. One of the tricks in overcoming porn addiction is reconnecting with humanity.

    So, let's be clear--no one said quitting was going to be fun, or easy, or painless--it can be done, and you CAN do it, but quitting porn is going to be unpleasant, at least initially. It gets better over time, then it gets easy, then one day you are just done and it no longer occurs to you, but that takes time and effort. So, I am talking about the effort now, to answer your question.

    You don't have to have much to offer, but you need to disconnect from the problem, and reconnect with people. Get out of your comfort zone, get out of your space, place distance between you and access to the problem. Reconnect in small ways. Help someone carry their groceries. Mow your neighbor's yard. Be polite to someone. Open a door for someone. Find another living, breathing, human being, and do them a kindness. This is part of the process of quitting. It may sound stupid, but I promise it will help. You will find that disconnecting from porn is made easier if, at the same time, you are reconnecting with reality.

    Think about it. Make a decision now on how to help someone else. Then help yourself by helping them. It does not have to be big, it does not even have to be appreciated, but it has to be an act that aids you not one bit. These are the small steps that lead in the right direction.

    Much love.

    W.
     
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  11. WilliamOneAndDone

    WilliamOneAndDone Active Member

    I see a lot of newbies in here throwing punches in the dark. That is sort of what quitting porn is, when you don't know what it is you are actually quitting.

    It is very important, crucial, that you conceive of what you are doing, study it, take time to understand what you are doing and why you are addicted.

    Throw out everything you think you know about porn addiction. It has nothing to do with your dick, and almost nothing to do with sex.

    There is a big part of your brain that evolved to encourage you do one thing: make babies. Nature figured out a long time ago something that is quite obvious: the successful species are those who reproduce. Those who don't are evolutionary dead ends. So, over 100,000 years ago that part of the human brain that encourages reproduction quit evolving. Why? Because it did its job well. It is important for you to understand that that part of the brain, we call it the primitive brain, functions primarily to make you want to have sex; that is its job.

    That part of the brain has developed motivational and reward events, that push you toward sex. But, it does not just reward sex--and this is where the addiction becomes possible--it rewards thoughts of sex. Thoughts of sex are not deemed addictive, but we like what we like when we think them. But, after 100,000 years we invented something quite recently that is not naturally occurring in our environment; High Speed Internet Porn. High Speed Internet Porn, and the fact we have a lot of time on our hands not surviving in a hostile environment, means we have the means and the time to think about sex a lot, and HSIP is a tool we have figured out how to use to achieve those brain reward events. When we think about sex, in a natural state, and then have sex, we feel the results of dopamine, the motivational transmitter, being released, and course, orgasm "feels great", or we interpret is as feeling great, for, among other reasons, it results in a brain reaction with the natural release of opioids,in the brain. We interpret that as "feeling good", because that is how the brain evolved to interpret it.

    HSIP changed things because it not only that sexual thoughts and orgasm are rewarded, by searching the never before thought, sexual thought, is also rewarded, in the brain. So, if you have one pornographic image, it will be fascinating at first, but over time, you will desensitize to is, which translates to it will become less interesting, even boring to you. BUT, given the opportunity that HSIP allow for--endless searching for the never before seen image/thought, and you can float that dopamine/opioid brain reaction for hours a day, every day, for years, and in doing so, you condition your brain to expect it. Once the brain changes to expect that feeling all the time, you are hooked, meaning you cannot quit it without going through withdrawals, which are the horrible feelings you have when you first try to quit.

    Understanding you are not hooked on porn, but, rather, are using porn to get your real problem--a brain reaction--is crucial to quitting and overcoming the addiction.

    Studying these brain events will help you understand the addiction, and overcome it. Don't be throwing punches in the dark.

    Day Three. This is no challenge for me; I can do this forever. In the beginning I thought quitting was impossible. Now I think that going back is impossible. This can be U2.

    Much love.

    W.
     
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  12. Pete McVries

    Pete McVries Active Member

    5 Months porn and masturbation free by tomorrow. Wow. I have had plenty of sex in May no ED at all.

    @WilliamOneAndDone I like that you are posting again. You helped me tremendously last year when I was hopelessly relapsing all the time. 5 months in and clean my 12 year long PIED has completely vanished. I think, I'm on my way to being cured or being able to deal and cope with my addiction in a healthy way.
     
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  13. WilliamOneAndDone

    WilliamOneAndDone Active Member

    Hi Pete, thank you for your very kind words. Always nice to know if I have helped in any way. 5 months, sex, no ED. Dude, you are back!!

    Anyone else want to ride this post through June I encourage you to put in some good words. There are a few tools we can use to help quit the addiction, and posting regularly is one of them. Put your ideas out there, let them be challenged, if you can defend them, you are walking the right way, if not, time to reevaluate. Another excellent tool is porn blockers. Now, do porn blockers really block porn? Only if the user really want to block porn; but if the user really, really wants to access porn, as in use it to get high, they won't work. For me in the beginning they were very beneficial, (not because they blocked porn, because if I wanted it, I could get it), but because they gave me a moment to pause; getting past the blockers was not instantaneous, meaning when that porn blocker sign popped up on my screen, it reminded me that I was a man quitting porn. Sometimes those little reminders are helpful.

    This won't be for life, because you will eventually move from "quitting" to "quit," but during the time you are quitting, define yourself as that, just to yourself, you don't have to be public about it, but own what you are doing. Define yourself as a man or woman quitting porn. In the quitting phase, that has to be who you are, because quitting is a serious and difficult venture.

    Much love---yep, in case anyone wants to know, shout out to Gabe Deem of Rebootnation.

    Will I AM
     
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  14. Gilgamesh

    Gilgamesh Seize the day

    Really awesome @Pete McVries. Sincerely happy for you.
     
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  15. GABE

    GABE Porn gave me a limp noodle

    So glad to see you still posting and leading @WilliamOneAndDone! Hope you're well my man.

    And congrats @Pete McVries .. Awesome. So happy for you, go and tell it on a mountain & keep truckin!
     
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  16. Pete McVries

    Pete McVries Active Member

    Haha, @GABE, your reply just made my day. I've said it plenty of times, you, Noah, Gary Wilson, Matt Fradd and others deserve a monument build after them. I don't exaggerate when I say that I owe you guys my life! :)
     
  17. WilliamOneAndDone

    WilliamOneAndDone Active Member

    HARDMODE. Why it is necessary whether you like it or not. (Hint: you will hate it).

    Hey Jabriel, thanks for the kind words.

    As many of you know, I identified as addicted some years ago. I remember the moment clearly. I had recognized porn was a problem, was causing problems in my life, and made the decision I was quitting, then found myself going back, over and over. And over. At the time the concept of "porn addiction" was not widely accepted, but I found the Gary Wilson video, and, well, I accepted it.

    Some basic concepts will be helpful in quitting. "Quitting". That is the impossible thought for most addicts. The addict's dream is to control it, to cut back, to be in control of it, but to keep it in their lives. It does not work that way, but when you are ready to quit, you will recognize that. Quitting is a process, not an event. It takes time to figure out and understand the problem, it takes time to fix the problem. But your problem can be fixed.

    The YBR-Admim ended the first post of this post with "Onwards to porn-free lives!" That is an interesting concept. I am not so much interesting in living a porn free life, but more interesting in people avoiding addiction, or becoming unaddicted. If you are reading this, avoiding addiction is probably too late for you. That's OK, you can find the resources here to overcome the problem. The reality is that while hard core porn can, and must, be avoided, especially during the reboot, our society sells just about everything by utilization and depiction of sexual imagery. Of course, High Speed Internet Porn is, in my opinion, what makes porn addiction possible and widely a problem, but once you kick the habit, you will have to experience a lot of sexual imagery in the media, if you access the media, much at all.

    I want to think about that and discuss "Hardmode" with you. For this month, June, 2019, I am in Hardmode. Hardmode means I am consciously not using artificial sexual stimulation to achieve a dopamine rush, I am avoiding it. So, no porn, no porn subs, no gratuitous sexual fantasies, no swimsuit galleries, no softcore, no Victoria's Secret, no bikini pics. This month, I am choosing not to get high on that. But, I have not been Hardmode the entire time since I quit being addicted. During my reboot I was Hardmode for a year. If something came on television that was sexual, I actually closed my eyes. Not only depictions of actual sex, but just sexual. In our society it is almost impossible to avoid everything sexual in the media, because the media uses sex to get our attention. The fact that sex gets our attention is one of the underlying reasons why "porn addiction" can exist, but it is not just porn that gets our attention, it is anything somewhat sexual.

    This is not to say that porn cannot be avoided, because it can, but is to say that we live in a society where sex sells, so you are going to be exposed to sex to market products. This is the way it is.

    So, when we talk about Hardmode, think of it as a tool, as part of the process. When we think about brain plasticity, that is another phrase for conditioning. We really do not appreciate it at the time, but via long term exposure to porn, we condition our brains to expect the dopamine and other reward molecules, such as opioids, ect, that are produced in response to PMO.

    I do not suggest you read this, because it is pretty boring, but here is an article on this point.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5087697/

    Here is the summary of the article:

    Background
    The effect of orgasm on the development and shaping of partner preferences may involve a catalysis of the neurochemical mechanisms of bonding. Therefore, understanding such process is relevant for neuroscience and psychology.

    Methods
    A systematic review was carried out using the terms Orgasm, Sexual Reward, Partner Preference, Pair Bonding, Brain, Learning, Sex, Copulation.

    Results
    In humans, concentrations of arousing neurotransmitters and potential bonding neurotransmitters increase during orgasm in the cerebrospinal fluid and the bloodstream. Similarly, studies in animals indicate that those neurotransmitters (noradrenaline, oxytocin, prolactin) and others (e.g. dopamine, opioids, serotonin) modulate the appetitive and consummatory phases of sexual behavior and reward. This suggests a link between the experience of orgasm/sexual reward and the neurochemical mechanisms of pair bonding. Orgasm/reward functions as an unconditioned stimulus (UCS). Some areas in the nervous system function as UCS-detection centers, which become activated during orgasm. Partner-related cues function as conditioned stimuli (CS) and are processed in CS-detector centers.

    Conclusions
    Throughout the article, we discuss how UCS- and CS-detection centers must interact to facilitate memory consolidation and produce recognition and motivation during future social encounters.

    Translation: We can bond with porn. This article is not about porn, but that is what it is saying. We can literally train our brains for form a bond with porn, via its use to produce neurological responses. Another phrase for that bond is called porn addiction. Once you bond with porn, or more correctly, the neurological reactions it produces (which we likey, as in we interpret it as pleasurable), you will want it every day, and giving it up hurts.

    So, back to Hardmode. Hardmode is choosing not to use for a significant period of time to retrain your brain back to preporn levels, to do a factory reset, so to speak. During that time you can't use AT ALL. No peeking. You have to be consciously aware of what you are doing, and that is training your brain not to want porn, or more correctly, the neurological reactions it produces, for howsoever long it takes that you quit wanting it, quit missing it. The average time most people say that takes is 90-120 days. For me, in the beginning, I thought I would die if I went 12 hours without it, and most addicts report about the same feeling. Quitting for porn addicts is the impossible thought, but a thought you must have to beat the addiction. You cannot quit the addiction a little at a time; there are no baby steps in quitting the addiction. Yes, intellectually, mentally, emotionally, you can work your way up to a Hardmode reboot, but once in it, to be successful, you have to stay in it until you quit missing the button you have been pushing to get a dopamine and opioid high, in your brain. I have seen guys fail about every way possible. One recurring attempt I see all the time is the guy who proclaims he is quitting now. He is usually back the next day, claiming again that it is his day 1. He did not prep properly, he did not study his brain problem, and he does not know what his problem, because he thinks he is quitting viewing porn, when in reality he is trying to quit using porn to get a high. Another recurring theme is the guy who is going to watch porn today, but not tomorrow, then watch it the day after, but then go two days without, then watch it one day, then three without. It takes him about four days before he is back to watching it daily. So, take time to study what is going on, but set a date to delete porn from your life for at least 90 days, then actually do it. They don't call Hardmode Easymode for no reason. It hurts, it sucks, you will be depriving your brain of an artificially produced euphoria you have trained it to expect every single day, multiple times a day; your brain will miss it, you will miss it. Until, if you are lucky, you wake up one day and don't. It won't give you superpowers, but you can walk through life unaddicted, and that is going to make your life much, much better.

    Day Four.

    Much love.

    W.
     
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  18. WilliamOneAndDone

    WilliamOneAndDone Active Member

    Time to get comfortable with discomfort.

    I don't know if Mark Queppet, of Nofap Academy, said it, but I seem to recall him giving that advice. It is good advice, it is necessary advice.

    A lot of newbie quitters come at solving the problem the wrong way. Don't blame them at all; every addict want to solve the problem, the easy way. The reality is, by the time that dirty little habit forms an addiction, there is no easy way out. If you can quit it easy, you are not addicted.

    Addiction is the end result of training the brain to expect, desire, and demand a dopamine/opioid reaction that porn leads to. It's pretty simple, and it is not porn that causes it. Porn is a tool we use; you need to forget what you think porn is, and think of it as a tool. This particular tool leads to thoughts of sex. But this tool can be used every day, multiple times a day, to obtain sexual thoughts. Part of your hardwiring, owing to evolution, is that sexual thoughts, similar to thoughts of food, are met with rewards in the brain. All very healthy until we figured out a way to abuse that system.

    PMO produced a euphoric feeling. Some believe that feeling is the best feeling they can feel. That is because it produces responses in the brain designed to reward sex, but we cannot have sex as much as we PMO. Also, aside from being less available, sex requires negotiation and effort; we have to talk someone else into engaging with us. PMO, on the other hand, requires no negotiation, no consent, no give and take, and is immediately available AND always available.

    The brain mechanics of PMO are very simple. See porn, think sex, think sex, get a dopamine high, rub it off, release naturally occurring opioids in the brain, and voila!, la petite mort. The little death, as the French call it. Porn addiction recovery forums are far less romantic. To us, it is getting high, and it is the feeling addicts chase and find terribly difficult to give up.

    If getting a porn high is a 10, then giving up porn logically should simply take you to 0. Forget logic. For a porn addict, going from porn usage to none is a negative 10. This must be understood before going into the quitting process, or, more accurately, understanding it will make the quitting process more endurable. That negative 10 is your dopamine soaked brain begging you, threatening you, scaring you, imploring you, joking to you, undermining you, in an attempt to give it what you gave it for years, and have now taken away: Your high. Withdrawals are physical, mental, and emotional pain. If you cannot stand to feel that, don't bother quitting. Quitting porn addiction is for those who have a reason, and most successfully done when the reason to quit porn is immediate and outweighs any reason to keep porn. The only reason humans watch porn is because the high it gives them. We can spend our time watching a lot of other things that the brain interprets as quite nice, but it is only with motivating us to have sex or eat does the brain produce this particularly strong high. It occurs naturally, but porn allows it to occur in unnaturally concentrated, prolonged doses.

    You will have to expect withdrawals. This is most commonly super high anxiety and brain fog, but it can also manifest in physical symptoms, or false physical symptoms, such as phantom pains, nausea, even loss of balance.

    From Sarah Sheppherd: https://www.thetemper.com/dopamine-addction-recovery/

    If your dopamine levels are low, you could experience a wide range of issues, such as loss of balance, muscle cramps, low energy, weight change, anxiety, mood swings, a low sex drive, hallucinations, or depression. However, when you have high levels of dopamine, you could experience anxiety, agitation, a high sex drive, high productivity, stress, paranoia, and yes, heightened levels of pleasure.



    All of us experience dopamine differently. You and I may have equally high levels of dopamine, but our symptoms — and experiences — will be completely different. Some individuals are more sensitive to dopamine than others, which partially explains why some of us are more susceptible to alcohol or drug use disorders.


    The above is one of the reasons why many have concluded the phrase "porn addiction" is inapt. What we, as a species, are really doing, is finding new and interesting ways to abuse our brain's reward and motivational circuitry. Let me explain it in highly sexual terms: You have really, really fucked up your brain by using an unnatural, and not naturally occurring, means to a high. That sucks, getting clean sucks, but on the other side of getting clean we only have to deal with global warming, a floating, plastic trash continent in the middle of the ocean, mass shootings, and nuclear disasters--so there is that to look forward to. OK, forget the superpowers thing. Quitting the addiction just means you are longer an addict, you won't have to and won't want to do it every day, and you are no longer fighting life with your penis tied behind your back, which really fucking hurts.

    Here is the good news: There is a very complicated, highly painful way to solve the problem, than in one word is simply abstinence. Quit long enough, and seriously enough, and the pain you feel at the beginning of quitting fades. Quitting the pain is not a linear process, there are starts and stops over time, your early days may be great before the pain hits, your later days may be hell after quite a few good days in the middle, but if you commit to quitting and put the time in, and effort, you brain eventually starts to look like it did before you conditioned it to expect that dopamine rush you have been using porn to give it, every day, multiple times, for years.

    Give up finding an alternative this high. For a porn addict, probably the only thing that comes close is drugs, and then you are back to square one, only in a drug forum, or rehab. Quitting the addiction is very simply about not using. Not using is a choice. Say it out loud: "No using in a choice." Day one, I probably had to make that choice about 1,000 times, but I made it. Now I simply don't have to make it. Not using is my normal, my habit. You won't have any choice but to feel pain when you quit, but if choose to not use, the pain eventually fades and goes away. This is the truth.

    Much love.

    Will I AM.

    Day Five, Hardmode.

    PS: Anyone else want to post on this thread, do so. These forums can be a tool in quitting, but only if you use them actively. If you will engage with others quitting and add something, it makes the process less painful. Promise. It is hard to quit passively. Quitting passively is sort of like trying to learn basketball by watching games from the side lines. When quitting porn you need to get in and throw a few elbows. The addiction is going to throw them at you, so why not hit it back?
     
    Pete McVries likes this.
  19. WilliamOneAndDone

    WilliamOneAndDone Active Member

    Why you used to like vanilla ice cream, once in a while, but ended up needing 5 heaping helping of the most file food in the world.

    Sensitization, desensitization, escalation, re-sensitization, desensitization, escalation.

    One of the very common things we see in cases of porn addiction is the addict becoming very uncomfortable with the porn it takes to get their high. Almost everyone starts out at Beach Boys, apple pie, and vanilla ice cream porn, so to speak, and really, in our society, because sex sells, some of the visual stimulation that they start on is not even what many would deem pornographic. Think underwear ads.

    But, eventually, the porn we start with no longer does the trick. For most of us, we start out at porn we see ourselves in, or porn that we think reflects what we deem our normal, healthy, sexuality--even if we have never had sex.

    All you have to do is drive around the forum for a second, and you will see a lot of porn addicts complaining about the porn they are watching. I see a lot of complaints by people who, owing to the addiction, which results in desensitization and escalation, are hooked on genres they no longer see themselves in, at all.

    It works like this. On day 1 your vanilla porn really triggered you. You loved it; you could use it to achieve your dopamine/opioid rush just fine. You probably were not addicted to that dopamine/opioid rush just then, but you loved it. It was a feeling of feeling good, a rush. That could go on for weeks or months, then one day, your vanilla porn doesn't quite do it for you. You still get a rush, but the rush does not feel quite as good as it did on day 1. So, staying within your vanilla porn--because you are just a normal guy and would never dream of watching something freaky deaky, demeaning or violent--you switch it up a bit. Say, you go from blonde to brunette, brunette to read head, caucasian to asian, still pretty mild, still pretty much consistent with what you see your normal sexuality in, just a little bit different, and you get that rush back.

    That could go on for weeks or months, then one day, your vanilla porn doesn't quit do it for you. You still get a rush, but the rush does not feel quite as good as it did on day 1.

    Eventually, if you click those images long enough, you will start to alter your brain, because it will come to expect your dopamine/opioid rush daily, and, eventually, multiple times daily. But, that does not happen at once. Remember, porn addiction is a trained brain response, and the porn addict does love training it.

    Eventually desensitizing to vanilla porn, a porn addict almost inevitably moves into hardcore. By this I mean porn depicting actual, graphic, sex. And, although it takes a while to get there, most don't start there. The hardcore the porn addict comes to use, like the vanilla porn before, even though it is hardcore, will still reflect what the addict deems as their normal, healthy, sexuality. Like with vanilla porn, the porn addict will stay a while in that genre, while mixing it up a bit over time, before it ceases to bring quite the expected high.

    But, then, one day something happens, and what the porn addict deems as normal, healthy, porn no longer works for him or her.

    This is the pattern of sensitization, desensitization, and escalation. This is the reason why humans become less sexually excited with one partner, over time. On some level I suspect it is a genetic holdover from a time when nature played with encouraged serial partners as a way of spreading the gene pool around. The way it works for abusers of porn is that, eventually, the genres they see as normal cease to trigger them in the way the brain needs to be triggered to get that high, and they have to move onto something else. That "something else" often, as in regularly, involves depictions that involve demeaning behavior, threatening behavior, simulated violent behavior, or gender bender porn. Not sure why that is, but by that point you will see a lot of addicts complaining about specific porn genres. The uneducated addicted does not realize he is not addicted to porn, nor is he addicted to a specific genre; rather, he is addicted to the brain reaction seeing it causes, the dopamine/opioid reaction. It is just that the human brain won't produce that high, on the same sexual thought, over time. It is easy to say the image/thought becomes boring, but, in terms of the brain, the addict becomes desensitized to that image/thought.

    Say a guy is stranded on a desert island. He has a coconut tree to give him shade, he can eat coconuts, there is a small stream, so he can live. He is there for a few months, totally alone. He thinks he MOs because he is bored, but he actually MOs to get a dopamine/opioid rush. If understood his brain he would understand that MO is a tool he can use to achieve that. Eventually, though, MO becomes less exciting for him. He is limited in the sexual imagery he can generate in his head. Then, one day a suitcase washed up, and in it is a Playboy. That guy's brain will light up like a Christmas Tree. He is alone, on the island, and suddenly, he has new sexual imagery to trigger on. That will seem like heaven to him for, maybe, 9 months, but at some point in his future, if he is on that island alone long enough, that Playboy won't trigger him, at least not like it first did, because his brain has desensitized to it. Eventually it will seem boring to him, and to get that great old high, he will need porn that is novel and never-before-experienced.

    It is not, usually, the genre that causes the porn addict to quit. Rather, for a lot, the genre they find themselves in, starts the quitting process when the addict comes to find the porn he/she is watching no longer represents anything they see as their normal sexuality, and they become afraid the genre is their normal sexuality. What we now know is that porn addicts escalate to those genres when the vanilla porn, then the basic hardcore, no longer triggers the high they want. Most don't know that consciously, but now you do.

    You can give up the idea that you are addicted to a genre, you can give up the idea you are addicted to porn, you can give up the idea (especially after being addicted for a few years), that the porn you need to get high has any connection to your actual sexuality or preferences. Some straight guys get really freaked out when they migrate to gay porn. No, as Seinfeld, nothing wrong with that, but they are using that genre because they have desensitized to other genres that no longer shock them. No matter your orientation, the patter of sensitization, desensitization, and escalation is inevitable, if you are addicted long enough. The important thing to understand is that porn is not your sex, sex is not your porn. Porn is a tool we use to get high. Sex can also be used that way, and in fact that "high" is nature's reward for having sex, because sex often does something nature wants: it causes babies to be made.

    By the time most people get to a place like this, they are using a genre they see little to nothing of what they deem to be their normal sexuality, or, what they would want if they could have whatever they think their normal sexuality is.

    And now, I want a nice bowl of vanilla ice cream with sprinkles.

    Much love.

    W.

    PS: You can have your broiled sheep's head. I hear the eyes are especially gross.

    Oh yeah. Day Six, hardmode.
     
    Pete McVries likes this.
  20. WilliamOneAndDone

    WilliamOneAndDone Active Member

    Day Seven, Hardmode.
     

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