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By this point I hope that you are up to speed on the whole concept of a brain reboot when you quit porn. If not read all about it here. The standard program is to cut out porn, masturbation and orgasm for a period of 90 days. If you watch porn and masturbate you restart your counter. Today I’m going to be offering a twist on this challenge that I believe offers some really interesting benefits.
The idea is to track two different streaks. One streak is very strict, and the other is more broad. The idea came up when I was working with one of my clients who had engaged in some behavior that he wasn’t happy about. Basically he ended up looking at some erotic stuff that he didn’t feel good about. It wasn’t quite porn and he didn’t masturbate, but he was torn over whether he should reset his counter or not.
This led to the idea of keeping track of two streaks simultaneously, one baseline streak of the minimum you expect of yourself, and a strict streak, where you adhere to completely “clean” behavior. I thought this variation on the challenge offered some really powerful opportunities.
One of the problems that people seem to run into with this challenge of quitting porn is that they become conflicted over how strict they should be with their streak resets. For example, maybe you pulled up some porn but turned it off after two minutes. Do you reset your counter? Well, if you have like 30 days under your belt, resetting your streak over something like that can feel like a crushing blow and mentally set you back.
Additionally, some people get really freaked out over the thought of going for absolutely no indulgent sexual behavior for 90 days. It seems impossible to them. So with this variation of the challenge, you identify what is the ideal goal, and then the baseline goal.
So here’s how to set up dual streaks:
First identify your baseline goal. Let’s say your baseline goal is to not orgasm through masturbation, especially not to porn. So this streak would only be reset if you were to masturbate yourself to orgasm or get off to porn. So that’s your baseline streak.
Now you create another streak that reflects your ideal. You want this streak to to push you towards perfection, (but I wouldn’t make it so difficult that you can’t even get one day). So let’s say that in your ideal streak you do not indulge in looking at any erotic material as well absolutely NO orgasm (except wet dreams).
So if you were following these rules and you looked at porn for a minute and then shut it down, you’d reset your ideal streak, but NOT your baseline streak. Again, maybe you have sex with your girlfriend which resets your ideal streak, but NOT your baseline streak. If you straight up masturbate to porn you’d reset both.
If you are having a ton of trouble with the challenge, then make your baseline streak just not watching porn, and make your ideal not masturbating to porn. Once you handle these challenges, you can tighten them up and make them stricter.
The benefits of tracking two streaks
First off, you get to maintain a feeling of progress even when you slip a bit. It’s extremely powerful to see that day counter build up in your baseline streak.
Secondly, just by clearly having a strict streak, it makes you aim for your best. Ever hear the idea of aim small miss small? It’s the idea if you are shooting a gun, or throwing something, you want to aim for the tiniest part of a target. So if you were shooting at a bulls eye, you want to be shooting at the very center speck of the bulls eye, not the whole dot.
By aiming for perfection in the ideal streak, you will automatically be succeeding in the baseline streak. It forms a level of mental prioritization.
Ultimately the goal is to get the ideal streak up to 90 with completely clean behavior – no orgasm, no erotic images, etc. If you need to do multiple streaks where they progressively get more challenging, then that’s your call. The big thing is I don’t want you using this setup as an excuse to be lax with your recovery.
Obviously there is still a lot of value with the one dominant streak, but its really a matter of figuring out what works best for you. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this idea in the comments!