Masturbating to real experiences & Time for reboot depending on age

[Q]

Hey,

first i wanted to thank you for this site and all the support it gives people who are hooked on porn and want to get their life fixed. Through Gary Wilsons TEDx Video I came upon yourbrainonporn.com and your site and realized that my porn consume is a big problem in my life. I’m 22 and I started to look at pictures of naked women when I was 11, but no fapping.

I masturbated to porn since I was 13, with weeks where I basically fapped 3 to 5 times per day to porn (got worse after getting a better internet connection and living in my own place) I thought it was normal to masturbate to porn that much (also through the mindset I got from media) I also saw an escalation in the sexual taste of my consume. I started to watch videos which, from my rational side disgust me, but turned me on in a weird way. I had sexual contact with several women, but could never get really hard with any of them, which embarrassed and depressed me.

I had two girlfriends, and after some time (and a lot of patience of my first girlfriend) I could get hard for a while, but never actually had an orgasm while having sex with her. With porn I easily could get hard and didn’t have any problems. I went to a doctor and he told me, that I’m just nervous, so he gave me Viagra to fix it. (I was 16 back then!!!) I tried it and it helped me getting hard, but even then I didn’t have an orgasm. This was one of the main reasons why both of my girlfriends broke up with me and why all women since then keep the distance after getting close to me. My desperation grew and I thought something was terribly wrong with me.

I tried to look at my past to find out what screwed me so badly, but I couldn’t figure it out because my childhood and youth was pretty sweet, besides the sex thing. About 2 Months ago I found out about porn addiction and all my symptoms where there. I quit PMO for two weeks, but after another frustrating experience with a woman I relapsed for a week. I watched all the videos on yourbrainonporn and read a lot of the articles about no PMO, so I understand what’s going on my brain.

I’m on day 29 of no Porn and already feel much better. My mind is clearer, I have much more energy, I’m much more open to strangers, a lot of women look at me on the street and women in real life seem A LOT more attractive since I stopped porn. Beautiful women everywhere!

I have actually no desire to watch porn, but I masturbated three times in this period, but only to real life experiences. Here’s my first question: Will it stop the process of rebooting when I masturbate to real life experiences and fantasizing about real women? How long will masturbating to real life experiences will take me back in the process?

My second question is: How are experiences (which I know can vary from person to person) about the time of reboot with guys who started porn during puberty and before their first sexual experiences? Thanks again! You’re doing great work!

[A]

Phil,

I want to thank you for being so open and honest, I can imagine how incredibly difficult it must have been for you to struggle with this addiction and the effects of it. As I’m sure you know from your research that there are a lot of young men out there today just like you. Congratulations on making it to 29 days and I’m glad that you are starting to see some benefits!

To your first question, I do believe that even masturbating to the thought of real experiences can still be detrimental, especially during your reboot. This is because you are taking an experience and turning it into “mental porn”. Instead of wiring your mind to associate sex with the real deal, you are still associating it to intangible images. So because of this I would still suggest avoiding masturbating period because if you start masturbating it is highly unlikely that you could keep fantasy out.

I can’t give you any magic number as to how far this set you back, but for most people, masturbation of any sort means restarting the counter. This is the approach that I personally took and believe works the best. So as much as it pains me to say it, I would recommend starting over (or at least resetting your counter to the last date you masturbated). The trick is here not to view this as a failure. You’ve obviously made tremendous progress getting this far and you want to continue to build opposed to give up and go into a full fledged relapse!

As to your other question, I do believe that it may take guys who start porn younger a longer time to rewire. I would assume that this is due to the increased plasticity of the brain during this developmental time and that the mind is much more of a “blank slate”. So I believe that the behaviors learned during this time can take more effort to rewire.

I’ve heard that guys who start porn much later in life actually have an easier time recovering because they have so many years under their belt where their brain wasn’t hooked on porn. So depending upon your individual situation it could take a little longer for things to get back to normal.

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