Mar 10) Day 6 P, Day 1 MO Hello my fellow PMO-brothers, thought I'd begin my own journal thing-a-ma-bob. Guess I'll start with the elephant in the room: I'm a 22-year-old virgin and have never had a girlfriend. Now for the longest time I would beat myself up about this, and it was especially bad because I didn't really know WHY I had no girlfriend or sexual experience. I'm a tall, good-looking, athletic guy who gets along with most people, but my relationship/sexual-experience with women has been nil. Thankfully, a little over a year ago I failed out of my original university, which helped wake me up to my own life (painful experience can be the best eye-opener). With that I started to really self-reflect and look at my own life instead of just trying to get through each day, which led me to YBOP and this site. With all my recent self-work and reflection I've finally found the reason for the lack of women in my life: a) my addiction to porn and b) my fear of intimacy/"real"-ness that I learned from growing up in an alcoholic family. However, I'll just focus on the porn-related stuff here. I started masturbating when I was around 13 or so. Can't remember the exact age, I didn't start a "jerkin'-it" journal or anything. Just some time early in middle school. Only after a while fantasizing about the girls in my school wasn't cutting it. So I found some magazines, and then eventually moved to the computer. It was amazing being able to see so many things with just the touch of a button, and I wouldn't have to move through the fear of rejection like in real life. Pretty soon, by 15 or so, PMO was a daily part of my life. Now one thing I'm really grateful for is that my porn addiction didn't turn really weird or anything. I read on YBOP of the guys getting into the fetishes and gay-porn for the shock-value. Considering I already had doubts in my head about my sexual-orientation (due to no girlfriend), I think getting a woody from gay-porn would have really thrown me off the edge. However, I did get into kind of a niche porn, which was hentai. To explain, one of my "vices" is manga (Japanese comics for all you non-geeks out there), and so it wasn't a hard transition to jerk off to the incest, rape, and crazy gang-bang scenes possible in comic-form (Hentai). However, I would usually go back and forth between hentai and my "real person" porn, which was usually amateur stuff (just because the fake quality of most porn turned me off). So I'm grateful my addiction (in certain ways) hasn't been as extreme as others. So with my double-whammy of being afraid of real intimacy and my safe/comfortable/exciting/easily-accesible porn at home, I can see why I never was willing to take the strides to get a real girlfriend. I would have no problem talking to girls, it's just as soon as I got any wind that they began liking me I would run away (physically or emotionally). To be honest, I feel bad for them because I'm sure I hurt a lot of them. But I was deep in an addiction I was completely unaware of, so I was just doing the best I could. I'll try to make amends eventually. So now I'm working on rebooting and eradicating this addiction. I've been "aware" of it since I found YBOP around 4 months ago, but progress has been varied (though mostly forward-moving). At first I thought I would just avoid porn with willpower, which worked for a while (I got to like Day 9) but then I relapsed and started bingeing heavily. That really woke me up to how powerful this addiction is. I realized I've been addicted to PMO for a good solid 7 years now, so it's not something I'm going to be able to throw off at the drop of a hat. My next move was to start to eradicate my porn-access with blockers and such. However I found some loopholes around 'em when I was desperate and relapsed again. That was around a week ago, and so now I've finally plugged up all the cracks and have ZERO access to porn on my computer or in my house. So now I'm trying to focus on stopping the MO while fantasizing, because I know it's slowing my progress and making me crave porn. One positive thing is that I've definitely gotten a taste of the benefits from stopping this addiction. During my first try on willpower, I got far enough to have a "I am awesome" day. I could feel more energy and confidence in every activity (school, workout, etc), and I was flirting with women effortlessly. That quickly came to an end with my relapse and bingeing but I haven't forgotten what my life can be like without porn. It keeps me excited about moving forward and making more progress. Today I am on Day 1 of the no self-induced MO train, and around Day 6 or 7 on the no-porn one. My goal is to get to 2-weeks of no MO (because I understand that's the "breaking point" when things usually begin to get easier), kick the addiction forever, and start getting out there with the girls. LET'S DO THIS!! Mar 14) Day 10 P, Day 2 MO So I relapsed a couple of days ago with the masturbation. Really a hard deal because my brain knows only one outlet when I get horny. That fact makes me wonder if I should just "jump in" with dating/girls so my mind see's another possibility instead of waiting to get "better" like my original plan. Not sure. But trying to stay positive, pray, and keep getting back on the horse when I fall. It reminds me of this one quote (by Winston Churchill I think??) that says: "Success is going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm". So I'm trying to keep that in mind when I think about my relapses and "failures". The only thing that matters is that I keep at it, and try to learn from my mistakes (mindlessly trying the same thing over and over won't be helpful). On a more positive note I feel like porn's grip on me is loosening. I think knowing my whole house is locked down really helps. The fact that I don't have a choice is a RELIEF, because the conflict/struggle in my head that used to go on has disappeared. No more "But you've been doing so well, let's have a treat...." or "If I relapse now it'll be better since I'll restart at the beginning of a week, Monday...." or other bullshit like that. Today cravings for porn have been like a 0 or 1. MO cravings are little higher tho, like 3 or 4. Not unbearable (like some days), just slightly annoying in that I have to keep track of my usual habits that lead to me masturbating. Like for instance my mind will go "You're so tired, you deserve a nap.....", when I know that naps get me in the mood and ramp up my cravings. So no naps today. Need to stay active: studying, working out, chores, etc. Mar 18) Day 14 P, Day 4 MO Slightly ironic given my last post, but relapsed with MO after taking a nap :/ Oh well, all I can do is laugh, learn, and keep going. Good thing is I keep adding a little more time after each relapse, plus I'm not giving up and binging like a mad-man like I used to. Mood over last few days has been in the "tolerable" range. Not great, but not hellish either. Just sort of "meh". Only time this isn't the case is right after my workouts, but I don't count that since it's only a temporary high. One nice thing is I've been seeing more flirting/signals from girls again, but I haven't really been in the mood to tango. I'm polite, just not feelin' it. In other news, I had a breakthrough on dealing with my urges to masturbate. I've known about the 'Red-X' technique for dealing with porn urges/flashbacks, but I haven't really known how to deal with MO urges when I'm feelin' horny. Before I would just sit there and suffer through it, trying to "hold myself back" with logic and/or willpower (which failed a lot). During one of my workouts, though, I had an awesome (imho) idea. Now whenever I get MO urges, I visualize doing MENTAL PUSH-UPS with my brain. This technique has a 3 pronged benefit. First, with every "rep" I visualize (press up-down, press up-down) I can "feel" my brain getting stronger and these old pathways/urges weakening. Secondly, it takes my mind away from the urges and puts my focus elsewhere. And lastly, it changes my perspective from "Oh man I'll never get to jerk off again...." to "Oh it's time to workout". This distinction is huge for me because I'm used to forcing myself to workout even if I am grumbly and "don't feel like it". By making the resisting of MO a workout, it's completely changed my willingness to fight it. Also, in hindsight I can see how trying to "out-logic" my brain is a bad idea. First, it keeps me focused on the fact I REALLY really want to jerk off. And secondly, by definition the logic center (prefontal cortex) of my brain is very weak during my hornier moments, because when I'm horny that means the more primitive side of my brain is directing my thoughts and actions. Trying to use logic when it's already losing power sounds like a recipe for failure to me. Anyways, feeling confident this round of no-MO is going to last a bit longer with my new mental push-ups. I highly suggest you guys to try it if you're having trouble like I was. It's workin for me! Mar 19) Day 15 P, Day 5 (0?) MO Relapsed MO again today. Wasn't even satisfying one really, just kind of going through the motions. Plus it didn't even end with a surge of relief/climax, not to mention only a dribble semen came out -- I expect to cum buckets after 5 days. On a good note, afterwards I didn't have the usual catatonic feeling I get after I haven't MO'd for a while (I usually notice a change from clarity to mental-fog). Hopefully that means this relapse won't set me very far back. Looking at what I can learn from this relapse, I'm thinking it's just another reinforcement that even though dopamine makes me THINK masturbation is the solution to all my problems, afterwards I remember (again) that is definitely NOT the case: "Dear dopamine, please fuck off. Your jokes aren't funny anymore. Thanks." Overall staying very positive about the whole thing. I still believe in my "mental pushups" technique, and thinking about expanding it to squats, pull-ups, crunches, etc. Need the brain to be well balanced, right? Plus the fact my no-MO periods are getting longer is evidence my brain really is getting "stronger". Though mental-fog was a minimum, I did have a strong chaser effect and started scheming how I could get some naked ladies to look at. Not good, but at least it wasn't a SUPER strong urge (more like a 6-7 on craving scale). Gotta stay strong, and remember my goal to get real women. I don't plan on marrying my hand, especially after this latest dismal performance Oh almost forgot to mention! I'm now officially Past the 2-week mark with no P (though it feels like years...). Woohoo!