Get educated, get tools, and learn to love withdrawals

Discussion in 'Porn Addiction' started by William, Dec 16, 2013.

  1. Cockyau

    Cockyau Fapstronaut

    Thank you William for your messages and kind regards. The articles you shared are are very useful and it help me to understand better the trouble I'm trying to get rid with. I'm appreciate that.
  2. Hi Cockya, no problem. Everyone will make great strides in overcoming the problem if they understand what it is. No one here has "porn addiction". Rather, we use High Speed Internet Porn to generate hypersexual thoughts, and those are rewarded, via our brain's primitive sexual reward center, with a dopamine rush/high that feels great. We are all dopamine addicts, porn is just the button we push that gives us a sexual thought, and, thus, a dopamine high. If watching porn did not result in that dopamine rush, we would not watch it. It would be about as interesting as watching a clock. You should know going in that quitting is hellish and difficult. But, also know, if done right, it is a temporary time in your life, after which that pain goes away. I have not had a bad day in a very long time, meaning I get up, go through my day, maybe go out after work/school, and sleep just fine, without ever wanting or missing the dopamine high watching porn gave me. Everyone reading this can have that. I promise.

    Much Love

    Billy the Kid.
    Cockyau likes this.
  3. My relationship with porn is radically different now, than it was three years ago. Back then, when I started the reboot, what we now call "the hard 90", the phrase "the hard 90" was not being used much, if at all. There were some guys talking about how 90 days changed things, but, back then, "quitting" porn was not, actually, a defined goal, because "porn addiction" was not, actually, an accepted concept. Back then, it was more of a ha-ha game, see how long you can go without, rather than what we now know is the only way out: absolute abstinence, quitting, for life. Back then it was like a game, see how long you could hold your breath, but the concept of quitting breathing did not exist. In the beginning, when places like the reddit Nofap started, porn use was seen as, at most, a harmless, funny, bit annoying thing, that the members would play at avoiding for relatively short periods. It was like that Seinfeld episode when the cast bet who could be "master of their own domain" the longest. Quitting porn, as in quitting porn induced dopamine addiction, really did not exist as a concept at the very beginning. Wilson had started talking about it a few months before, but, generally accepted? No. Many of the concepts we now use and throw around did not exist when I first started trying (and failing) to get free. Therefore, when I did my reboot, I did not think of it as a reboot, I just knew I was quitting, and I did not really feel I had conquered it until about 4 months in, that is four months after I went clean and made the conscious decision to never watch porn again, which is another way of saying never use porn, aka artificial sexual stimulation, to get a dopamine high, again. Prior to that I struggled, like a lot of guys do, with trying to control it, cut back on it, for about 14 months when I was trying to cut back and control it, but not quit it completely. During those first 14 months I was trying to control my porn viewing, when I should have been struggling not to use porn to give myself a dopamine high. Once the mechanics of what is really happening in the brain, why we watch it, why we like it, what that feeling is, and why it can become an addiction, is understood, quitting becomes possible. As for viewing porn intentionally, it is a loaded question. Porn is very avoidable. The addict rationalizes it cannot be avoided, it is ubiquitous, every where, impossible not to see, but, I promise you, unless you give it some effort, it does not magically appear on your screen. So, to answer your question, after my reboot, did I see porn, and did I see it intentionally...I have seen it since my reboot, but it does not trigger me, and it no longer spikes my dopamine. Why not? Porn induced dopamine highs are a learned, trained, behavior. We like porn, when we like it, it fascinates us, when we see it, because of the dopamine rush it gives. To an extent that is a natural extension of rewarding sexual thoughts. However, using artificial sexual stimulation to boost a dopamine high is not natural. Once rebooted, for me at least, I just don't find that stuff very interesting, which, translated, means it does not result in a dopamine rush for me any more. I have, consciously, re-trained my brain not to reward porn with a dopamine rush, the only way to do it: deaden the pathway. The dopamine reward pathway that used to give me a dopamine high when I saw porn is deadened. That does not mean I could not retrain my brain to bring it back to life by going back into the Porn PMO cycle, but, having quit watching porn, it is a reward pathway that is simply not used, and therefore I am desensitized to porn. So, since rebooting, have I seen porn? Yes, but I don't go looking for it, I don't linger on it, I don't PMO to it, I don't let it do what it did a long time ago (give me a dopamine high) and now, that the pathway is deadened from non-use, when I see it, it is not an automatic dopamine rush. I am always aware, however, that porn can be dangerous, especially for a guy like me, so, I avoid it, but, whereas, in the beginning, I avoided it like the plague, and was terrified of seeing it, (and getting the dopamine reaction), now, if I see it, I just look away. Now, unlike during the reboot, I can watch R rated scenes, and they do not trigger me. If you are a newbie in the reboot, that must be avoided. During the reboot, I avoided P and Psubs like the plague. There comes a point in the recovery process where the porn that once gave you a pleasurable dopamine hit now gives you an unpleasant one. After the reboot, when I lowered by defenses and absolute aversion to porn (meaning after I took off the filters), it actually felt like a hangover for me when I saw a pornographic image. I still got a dopamine hit, but that hit no longer read as pleasurable in my brain, now it was a rush of a chemical that I had not taken in large doses for a long time. My brain was no longer used to it. It reacted adversely. The closest analogy I can think of is a drunk who goes completely sober and stays there for a significant time, then takes a drink. Many of those guys, now clean, say the alcohol reaction is unpleasant and makes then nauseous. They have trained their brain away from the reward pathway that alcohol used to be for them, and now, when alcohol is used to activate the same neurotransmitters, the reaction is sort of like a bad trip; it no longer fees good. That was something I probably felt about 6 mnths clean. Now, though, almost three years out, for me, for instance, a Victoria Secret's catalogue is something I could thumb through and not be triggered. That was something, during the reboot, I avoided like the plague. I will never relapse, but never relapsing is a fact, not a state of mind. The great thing about being free is that I don't want to go back and I don't miss it. Wanting to get that high is not some, constantly, lurking desire in my head that I have to fight all the time--like it was during the reboot. Now, I don't have to it any anymore because I do not constantly want it. The longer I go without using, the easier it is not to use, because the longer I go (after the Reboot), the desire to use fades more and more. As for flatlining...again, that was a concept not being thrown about all that much in the beginning, but I don't think I flatlined much, if any. I never quit having sex, as in real sex, with a real partner, ever. PIED was not my problem, and so, while I recommend "hard mode" for the newbie rebooter, I did not, myself, go hard mode, I just quit exposing my brain to artificial sexual stimulation. While I recommend hard mode for most quitters, rebooters, I don't for everyone, especially for members who are sexually active without any PIED issues. For them I just say, focus on your partner, keep the artificial stuff out of there. One of the difficult things to understand and accept is that reality will never give you the dopamine highs that porn can. Porn, artificial sexual stimulation, is, duh, artificial. Reality can be quite good, and for me it is, but the highs I get from reality, or even real sex, are not as prolonged and powerful as those I got via porn. On this side of clean, the successful rebooter is not looking for a dopamine substitute, a means of keeping his/her levels artificially high, but learning that lower dopamine levels are healthy, and accepting they have given up the artificially produced highs.

    Hope this helps.
    jpx548, YogiBlues and Cockyau like this.
  4. fairymiss

    fairymiss Fapstronaut

    This is not science but most guys say they struggle with the reboot for between 11 and 40 days, though I have seen guys say they struggle with it for up to 90, and there are guys on here PMO free for over a year who relapse. I think if you can make it 30 days, the withdrawal symptoms seriously weaken. Understand that is a porn free 30 days; if you keep porn in your life, as in your brain, even if not Oing to it, you are prolonging the problem, not fixing it. In order to actually reboot, you have to get sexual thoughts out of there for a while.
  5. This is a video Gary Wilson just posted on Rebootnation. Interestingly, the words "porn addiction" are not used, I think, but porn induced erectile dysfunction is a term that is used often. The establishment is starting to understand that this problem is an epidemic. There may be more, functional, porn addicts than any other type of addiction. As many as 4 out of 10 adult men, and 3 out of 10 adult women, watch porn, and most of the guys who watch it, report erectile problems that they, and the establishment, have, for too long, attributed to a problem with the sex organ, rather than a problem with the organ most involved in sex, the brain. 60 years ago, studies found PIED in only less than 1% of the adult males surveyed. What is different now, than then? A few things, but the main thing is High Speed Internet Porn, and its constant availability for access due to every one having devices to access it with.

    Watch it.

    If you are reading this and you know you have a problem, and are desperate to solve it, don't be desperate. Study this problem, make is small, about a brain reaction, don't make it epic or about defining yourself. Big problems require big solutions. Our problem is a small problem that only looks big because, right now, it is up in your face. Study it, and it begins to shrink and weaken. There is no one that has our problem that cannot solve it.

    YogiBlues likes this.
  6. Ikindaknew

    Ikindaknew Fapstronaut

    @WilliamOneAndDone , you speak the truth! Knowledge is power and education is key. Putting a name on a phenomenon makes it reachable and possible to act on.
  7. Bach

    Bach Fapstronaut

    Thanks for your post, William! I will use some time to watch through the videos you've posted and get properly educated. I'm on my 6th day today and can already feel the withdrawals, it's like something pushing me towards something, and my heart start beating. My biggest problem is when pretty women goes infront of me, i can avoid looking for the first week and sometimes two weeks, but then something inside me start telling me, just have that little peak at here, and i get very tempted. I can feel that's starting to happen to me now slowly, and it increases for everyday i go in recovery.
  8. An answer to a PM.

    OK. I think the short answer to the question you ask is: we can overcome porn addiction, but, we won't ever, in a healthy world, want to totally shut off the sex drive. I don't know what your "normal" is. I do know that, until you overcome the addiction, you won't find it. I also know, and you need to understand this, that we are here because we love that dopamine high we ride via High Speed Internet Porn. There is no replacement for that. The key is weaning ourselves off that, consciously, to get back to baseline. Baseline is where our brains were before we discovered HSIP. That is perceived by us as very painful, aka withdrawals. When we quit the addiction we give up something we love, a dopamine high. That must be understood. We, the successful rebooter, are not looking for a replacement. We are giving it up. And, after, while sex can be great, it will never be a method to get as profound and prolonged a dopamine high as HSIP can. Our brains perceive P and PMO as feeling fantastic. We love dopamine. It is a reward neurotransmitter that has a valid purpose; to encourage reproduction for the sake of perpetuating the species. But, we, are smart monkeys. We have learned how to rewire the system to get the dopamine high, for the sake of getting the dopamine high, itself. HSIP allows us to get that high, and ride it, without any, actual, sex, involved. There is clean, and there is continuing to use. Clean, by the way, to me, feels perfectly fine, except I am not using artificial sexual stimulation to get something I used to love, and probably still would; an artificially produced dopamine high. Quitting the addiction is not, really, about learning to dislike the dopamine high, it is about understanding it for what it is, and consciously giving it up. Life will still offer things you love, and enjoy, and find fascinating, but until you accept that Life offers a much lower dopamine high, generally, than HSIP, you will still miss that. One of the tricks we who have overcome this use, is learning not to miss it. The brain is plastic, meaning it can be molded, taught, changed. One of the things a successful quitter does is training the brain not to miss it. That takes a while. I can see from your message that while you have had some success going without for a while, you still have not trained your brain not to miss it. It takes at least 90 days, the hard 90, and for some, longer, but if you do this right, one morning you will wake up, and accessing the mechanism to get a dopamine high simply will not occur to you. That is, as we say, when the worm has turned. You are asking a lot of big questions, all of which are valid, but, you will find, that on the other side of the addiction, many of the questions the addict finds very, very, important, are already answered by sobriety. Get clean first, don't ask the big questions along the way. Big questions require big answers. Keep the question small. How do I get clean? How do I get clean? How do I get clean? Small questions have small answers. Don't use, don't use, don't use, don't use. For 90 days, that answer needs to be the answer to every question in your life. Don't use.

    I hope this helps.

    Much love.
    YogiBlues likes this.
  9. Ted Martin

    Ted Martin Fapstronaut

    A lot of good things have been shared in this thread so far! I firmly believe that the start to recovery is planning and strategy. You will not eliminate lust, fantasy, porn, or compulsive masturbation by using one or two tools, such as going to a group, or going to a counselor. These alone are not enough.

    You must establish a web of freedom - a specific written strategy for YOUR context. The goal is neither perfection, nor dismissive acquiescence of occasional acting out. Rather, the goal is freedom from compulsive or addictive sexual behaviors. Many of us have failed in our struggle because we have not brought our struggle into the open; and we do not have a comprehensive approach or strategy. I know that was the case for me!

    1. Take care of your spouse if you have one – and get care for her (or him). They more than likely have been damaged and broken by your actions.

    2. Consider extreme measures such as getting the Internet out of your home. If you think you must access it on any computer or other device, give your spouse and an accountability partner a specific justification for it.

    3. Block all sexual content from all electronic devices with Internet connection, and use accountability software. Get it installed on your work computers. Make sure one or two people, including your accountability partner (not your spouse) receive your Internet usage reports. (visit for some links to these tools)

    4. Begin meeting weekly with a counselor with experience in addictions (preferably a licensed therapist certified in sexual addiction), and give full disclosure of your sexual history. If married, be willing to include your spouse when the therapist recommends it.

    5. Confess your struggle and your behaviors to God (a higher power or whatever you believe in), to another spiritually mature person of the same gender, and (with counseling), to your spouse.

    6. Meet regularly with an accountability partner that will hold your feet to the fire, call you a liar when necessary. It may not be easy to find the right person for you; but persevere until you find a good one. Make sure he/she is committed to radical honesty. If he/she is inclined to let you slip, find a new one. (visit: for some helpful accountability resources)

    7. Maintain open communication with your spiritual overseers.

    8. Participate weekly in a 12-Step or similar support group that specifically deals with sexual addiction/compulsion, and seek out a sponsor or mentor.

    9. Develop a specific strategy for what you will do when tempted or vulnerable. (See

    10. Develop a specific strategy for what to do if you relapse (slip, fall). (see

    11. Defeat Isolation. Stay connected with other men/women – call them regularly. This is a big one! (see

    12. Read recovery books and articles, and view recovery media on the Internet. (For tons of great material visit:

    13. Initiate a relationship with a pastor or spiritual director, to help you develop and keep a plan for spiritual health.

    14. Have a plan for physical health, including good diet, exercise and sleep. See a medical doctor regularly. Tell your doctor about your sexual struggle. Don’t overlook medication for anxiety or depression if needed.

    I hope these ideas are helpful to establish a comprehensive web that will allow freedom to come as you seek to recover. I can honestly say that when I started focusing not just on my behaviors (trying to quit porn or masturbation) but employed a bunch of these safeguards and practices and then starting getting down to the hard work of digging in to underlying root issues (for me it was shame, fear of vulnerability, perfectionism, lack of love and affection in my childhood, etc.) is when the recovery breakthrough happened.

    The key to breaking the addiction for me was to figure out what those underlying things were (with the help of a counselor) that needed to be addressed in more appropriate and healthy ways so that I could learn to not turn to porn numb out. I was using porn and masturbation as coping mechanism and to self medicate. I learned growing up that when I felt pain, rejection or unloved that I could make myself feel better by turning to those inappropriate things. They were safe. I didn't need to be vulnerable or rely on anyone else. Now I reach out to others in a healthy way when I am in need. We are all wired for intimacy and connection and when we try to bypass the hard work that connecting with others takes we end up choosing a quick fix that leaves us feeling empty and lonely inside. Once I was able to make that shift I could break the cycle, the behaviors like porn and masturbation started to go away, and I naturally had less of a desire for them because I was getting those needs met in appropriate and ways through healthy relationships.

    If you get a cold, you'll have the symptoms of a runny nose and cough. Focusing all your efforts on the symptoms (behaviors) what kinds of tissues to buy or which cough drops you need misses the mark. You need to get at the underlying cold and then the nose will clear up and the sore throat will go away.

    Blessings to all on the road to recovery.'s about progress. Not perfection!
    Jodo Kus and peregrinnus like this.
  10. We are not slaves. We just feel like we are, when we first see the problem. Then, we really SEE the problem, then we realize, we have a choice. Take off your chains. Make a choice.

    Much love. Hope to see you on this side of free. Anyone reading this can step to this side. Alpha omega, it is a choice. I will broadcast from this side, until I can't.

  11. This has been up, on YouTube, for a while, but I only just saw it today. Hillfrickenlarious. Don't fuck with Alexander Rhodes. He will kill you. Really.
  12. Thanks for the PM with the tips- It's really helpful to have resources so I can plan out my attack pattern on this addiction!
  13. Hi. You are welcome and you are 100% right. I would say the biggest reason guys are not successful is that they just show up here and say "Well, I'm here, I am quitting, it stops now." They are sincere, but most who take that approach, fail. That will last most of them three days if they are lucky. The guys who are successful rebooters study the problem. I mean study it, get to know the brain process that is the root of the addiction: P = unlimited, new, sexual thoughts= unlimited dopamine high = addiction. Also, it is not enough to just to want to quit, if you are here you want to quit, but you have to make a plan, you have to plan on withdrawals, and how to deal with them when they come. A rookie may not even appreciate withdrawals WILL happen. It is all very new for the newbie. Plan on the incredibly hard 90, 90 days no P, no Psubs, no PMO, plan on the withdrawals, have a plan now for the future, when the withdrawals make you want to go back about as bad as anything you have felt, so you will have a distraction technique in place to move your mind off that topic. Any one can get clean. It helps, though, to have a personal reason. Find one, find something very important to you, that is your reason for quitting. When the urges hit, remember why you are quitting. It helps. The withdrawals, the urges, they do recede, they do, eventually, go away, you will, eventually, be back to a normal person who does not need porn, and, though you may not believe me now, will lose interest in it, get to a place where you don't want it or miss it. "It" of course being an artificially produced dopamine high.

    A few years ago I asked a member if he was ready to quit being a student here, and to start being a teacher. He took up the challenge and wrote this excellent and oft quoted statement of being prepared to stop the addiction.

    I suggest everyone read it. And that thing about being a teacher, when you have the opportunity to tell a newbie, or anyone struggling, what is really going on in their head, the porn/dopamine cycle, tell them, show them the Wilson vid, helping others is always the best way we help ourselves. So, help yourself.

    Factory_Reset likes this.
  14. This is just more information but...more information is always better.

    Porn addiction does not actually exist. Rather, it is porn induced dopamine addiction. We love dopamine, and one of the best means of getting a dopamine high, for some of us, is thinking about sex, and porn allows that to happen non stop. It also allows for new, novel, never before seen sexual situations, which also feeds into a dopamine high. Porn addiction can seem like a huge problem, for the newbie, who does not know it is simple brain chemistry. Understand it for what it is and it is still a difficult problem, but not so big, just a matter of quitting using X to get Y. The first step to clean is understanding porn is just a vehicle to get a dopamine high. Just understand it for what it is. Don't judge it, don't judge yourself. Just understand it. You have to understand what you are doing, when you watch porn, before you can fix the problem. You don't just watch porn, you watch porn for a very specific reason. You watch porn because it gives you a dopamine rush. The first step to clean is understanding that. You are not addicted to porn, you are addicted to the dopamine rush it gives you. Get educated.
  15. Hi Guys. If you find yourself here, if you are a newbie, you are probably wondering "WTF!!". Yeah, acknowledging porn addiction totally sucks. But, if you want to get clean, that is the first step. My philosophy is pretty hard core when it comes to quitting. I, and many others, insist on the hard 90, no porn, no PMO, no MO, no O, no porn substitutes, no porn memory, no porn fantasy, and not even sex, for 90 days. My philosophy is: fix it now, go through the pain of fixing it now, 90 days will, during the reboot, feel like forever, but, compared to the 60-80 years you may have ahead of you, it is a relatively short time. I do get members who question the "no sex" thing. It is not a hard and fast rule, but when I communicate with a lot of the guys who ask about it, I find they can't have sex anyway, due to PIED, or, are actually still virgins, so their concerns about "not having sex during the reboot" are false concerns, just the addiction lying to them, trying to talk them out of giving it up. So, if you are doing the reboot, and regular sex is an option, and you can have normal sex, everything works, you are 100% hard (not less), you can reach orgasm during sex (and not while having porn memory), OK, good for you, do it. But for the other 90%, and for the guys with sexual dysfunction, or who are still virgins, just do the hard 90, get it behind you, put this disease behind you now, take off your chains now, for a lifetime of freedom from slavery.

    Just recently a guy like us posted what I felt were some interesting thoughts on quitting the problem. His approach is a little less hard core than mine, and, consequently, he recognizes his reboot may take longer, but I thought, in general, the sentiment was heartfelt and healthy. It is working for him, he is getting clean. Here it is.

    Peace. Will I AM.
    Getter Better likes this.
  16. kevinkevin19

    kevinkevin19 Fapstronaut

    I watched the Ted Talk and at first was skeptical especially about the testimonials from guys who quit porn. I really laughed at that one guy who claimed that he became a ladies man just by quitting PMO. But after some time and thinking, I realized that it made sense. Overcoming any kind of addiction will improve your life. Now I want to be the next guy to give a testimonial to encourage other guys to do the same which can improve or even save their lives.
  17. ahshus

    ahshus Fapstronaut

    Hey William,

    I appreciate you going to newbies and stuff to help them out because honestly, I need help with this. I've been struggling with porn addiction for a while and have been unable to overcome it because I've been doing this alone the whole time. Here, I plan on posting each time I start getting urges. I can't wait to get to the stage where all this is behind me
  18. Jodo Kus

    Jodo Kus Fapstronaut

    You could add: have "mindful" sex - well connected, honest, "deep". Not like playing roles.
    I will keep this in mind and I will talk to my girlfriend because I she has part of it. Communication, love and mindfulness will hopefully allow myself having sex without regret while I reboot.
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2016
  19. First of all, thanks for the kind words.

    Hi guys. As I write this, this thread has, mysteriously, been moved from the "Porn Addiction" forum to this, the Rebooting Forum, under Sexual Health. This has, by the way, happened once before, when I found the thread had been moved here, about two weeks ago, before NoBrainer graciously moved it back home.

    Forgive me, but the last place in the world this thread should be is in a forum associated with "Sexual Health". This place is not about sex, it is about sex negative, addiction to artificial sexual stimulation, and how to cure that. Curing that does not make any of us sexually healthy, it just make becoming that possible. Sexual health is not possible if you are addicted to or dependent on artificial sexual stimulation, so, anyone here who is looking for sexual health, you are looking in the wrong place; you will not find it here. And, although I use the word "rebooting" a lot, because that is the vernacular in this place, we probably ought to change the name of this forum to something more honest, and helpful, such as "Quitting the use of porn forever as a means of overcoming dopamine addiction." Sounds harsher, I know, sounds a lot less fun, a lot more difficult and unattractive, but that is the truth of what you are doing if you are here struggling with porn consumption. Rebooting makes it sound a lot more positive, a lot less intimidating and difficult, than it really is. "Quitting" the addiction was one of the hardest, most difficult, most hellishly painful, thing I ever did. It sucks. While the word "rebooting" is a fine word, it makes it sound like showing up for an exercise class. Everyone can do that, but if you tell a full blown porn addict they have to totally quit, most newbies have never conceived that giving it up forever was even possible. I'll say it again: most porn addicts, who have it bad, and are told that to win they have to totally quit, do not believe it is even possible to quit, and the concept of it makes the person telling them that sound like a fool or a liar. But, not only is it possible, "it" being quitting, it is absolutely necessary; you will never take that chain off until you force yourself to take it off 100% off. That is truth, so "rebooting", while it has a nice ring to it, is, in a way, a lie. What you are really going to have to go through is at least 90 days of pure hell, of self doubt, of self loathing, of denial of pleasure, no porn, no porn subs, no vanilla porn, no bikini picks, no porn memory, no porn imagination, no porn fantasy, and for most, no sex, and while you do that your brain's sexual reward center is going to punish you with withdrawals, physical, mental, and emotional pain, PAIN. You spent years fucking your brain up using porn to get a dopamine high; you are not getting out of here without taking the medicine, meaning the price you pay for freedom is suffering through rewiring your brain's reward system away from using porn to get high. The only medicine for porn addiction, aka porn induced dopamine addiction, is quitting. No easy way out of here. Quitting will not make you sexually healthy. It will, however, make becoming sexually healthy possible.


    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 14, 2016
    MightyKing, red30 and Chelly like this.

Share This Page