Hi Everyone, I've been a lurker here for a little while now, mostly just reading people's journals as inspiration and motivation for my own reboot process. At first that was enough until I got far enough into the reboot process that my brain started to play tricks on me. We all know them: “Oh, you’ve been doing so well, you should reward yourself” “Go on, just have a little peek” etc. So I’m here in the hopes that interacting with a community and being accountable to something other than myself will help me finally gain the upper-hand in this battle I’ve been having. I guess I’ll tell you my story. I’m 25 years old, virgin, never had a girlfriend, and I’ve been attempting to reboot for nearly a year now. Over that entire period I have basically gone through periods of abstaining and then relapse, binge, abstain, relapse, binge, and on and on and on. My porn journey began at around 11 or 12 where I would look at the lingerie sections of women’s catalogs; I still remember tame images like that totally blowing my mind at that age. When I got a little older I managed to get my hands on some playboys and VHS tapes from friends. Our house eventually got the internet and it didn’t take me too long to discover internet porn. Initially I was too scared to look at it because I thought that my parents would catch me or look at the history, but I soon learned how to hide my tracks pretty well. When I got home from school I would rush to the family computer and look at images and small 5-10 second video clips off of our dialup connection before anyone else got home. I remember loving days when everybody came home late and I would have extra time to browse. That was how it remained for a while until I turned 18, got my own computer for school and was given use of a broadband connection. Now I could watch porn whenever I had a free moment, keep files saved on my hard drive and download larger files and more content. It was at this point where I believe my porn use spiralled out of control. I found myself skipping classes at school so I could go back to my place and watch porn, not studying so that I could watch porn, brushing off opportunities to go out and socialize so that I could watch porn. Porn became so natural, and such a part of me, I felt that there was nothing abnormal about it. The material I watched evolved as well, I never really stopped looking at the ‘old favorites’ and going back to genres that I liked, but the genres I watched expanded. Every time I would step into a new genre of porn it would blow my mind for a while and then eventually become dull and I would need to move on to the next one. Throughout this entire time I was a reclusive, irritable, and unpleasant person to people who knew me well. I often found myself feeling awkward in social situations, but I’ve always had the ability to ‘turn it on’ and would be able to get through a conversation with someone but I hated it, it took a lot of effort and focus to stay that ‘friendly, social person’. I’ve had numerous chances to be with girls and have relationships, but I was either an asshole to them, or I would start distancing myself from them because I didn’t think they were hot enough thanks to my ludicrous standards derived from watching porn. There was also a certain part of me that was too shy to try to even ask these girls out for fear of rejection, I could put on the ‘tough guy’ persona but inside I was just a shell of a man. When I think back on those times I could cry, I just can’t believe I could be so horrible and I regret every moment. It was business as usual up until about 10 months ago. I was at a point where I was tired of being a virgin and decided to go see and escort. Here were girls who I could select at will from a website and were stunningly beautiful, surely they could live up to my standards. When I got there, things were initially great; the girl was an absolute knockout and quickly put any tension I had at ease. Once we got down to business though I could see that something was horribly wrong; I couldn’t get an erection! I tried everything, but to no avail and I left incredibly ashamed, angry with myself, and still a virgin. The next day I convinced myself that I was just nervous and it was her fault somehow that I couldn’t get hard, so like the self-absorbed jackass that I was, I booked another appointment with a different girl. Guess what happened? Yep, I left again ashamed, angry with myself, and still a virgin. It was at this point where I started scouring the web for things that could be wrong with me. I remember seeing on a forum something about not masturbating for a while and eventually that led me to finding YBOP. I read through that whole site, watched the videos, and sat back at my computer in shock. Here was a site which basically described my whole life, and it’s telling me that I’m an addict. I was devastated, but also had a strong resolve from that point that I would stop looking at porn and I would get myself better. I refused to believe how powerful this addiction is and took a cavalier attitude towards it saying that I was stronger and I could get myself through it no problem. I made it about 30 days and then I started with the relapse cycle. Since that time I’ve learned a lot and despite all of the relapses I’ve grown as a person. I have a circle of friends who care about me a lot and I have a family who cares about me a lot. I can socialize comfortably and it doesn’t feel like I have to make an effort to do so. I feel like I’m ready to get on with my life but I keep getting held back by this inner battle that won’t let me be the kind, outgoing, fun person that I am. Over the last 10 months that person has come more and more to the forefront, but I’m still not there yet because I have still never gone longer than 30 days without porn. I’m still too scared to get close with a girl because I’m afraid I won’t be able to perform, when I relapse I turn into that reclusive person who shuts himself away from everyone else. I started this journal and joined this community in the hopes that finally being able to tell somebody (even if they’re strangers) about this will help to keep me on track and away from any relapses. I just can’t tell anyone in the real world about this, I can’t deal with the stigma and feel like it could just become a time-bomb to everyone finding out about it once I put it out there. It’s a funny thing; I would feel way more comfortable telling people that I have a drug addiction compared to this. I’ve found private journaling to be therapeutic and very helpful, but it’s only worked up to a certain point. I need to bring more people in on this and I can’t think of a better group than this community where I can get a certain level of understanding of my situation. So, it’s been a couple hours since my last relapse, before that I had gone 7 days and before that I had gone 19. That’s kind of how it’s been for the last 10 months, on and off for little stretches and then binge and then the obligatory immense feelings of regret and self-loathing. Private journals got me only so far, but ultimately when the urges became strong enough, lying to myself was easy. I’ve now turned this into a more public affair and am now not accountable to only myself; I’m looking forward to day 1 tomorrow.