To be free from porn you need to watch porn (in a different way)

Discussion in 'Porn Addiction' started by ultrafabber, Jun 7, 2019.

  1. ultrafabber

    ultrafabber Fapstronaut

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    Yes, there is no mistake in the title. You will never end a porn/pmo addiction as long as you keep running from it. First of all, this is a theory. Second of all, this doesn't mean i'm encouraging anyone to stop reading and open a porn tab, do NOT use this as an excuse to watch porn/masturbate. [edit - Last, but not least, being able to watch porn and not get aroused is the end goal, it's not something you just jump into because it is likely to lead to relapse. There are other steps to do before watching porn - opening and closing incognito window, typing a porn address and closing the window, watching the porn homepage without clicking any video etc]

    Before I begin, i need to define what "porn" means and what i mean when i say "porn". "porn" will encompass all forms of sexually stimulating material - videos, gifs, pics on instagram/facebook, audio sex, erotic texts, sex comics, ANYTHING that sexually arouses you. Obviously XXX clips are the worst offender, but those are the worst only because they combine multiple stimuli. However, for some people XXX clips may not be the most stimulating, for some it might be pictures and so on. The point is that if it's sexually stimulating and you're using it, it should be classified as "porn".

    Now, why am i suggesting or even entertaining something like "watching porn to stop porn addiction"? In short, because any addiction, if you strip it down to it's core, has two components: 1. CUE (or trigger) > 2. BEHAVIOR.

    What's happening with porn/masturbation addiction is that your brain has an extremely strong association of the cue to the behavior (seeking/binging/masturbation). You see a "triggering" image and the behavior starts on it's own because it sees porn/masturbation as a reward. And this not wrong, porn has definitely produced the mother load of rewards (pleasure, stress control, sleep aid, etc). For your brain porn has been the most amazing lever for instant rewards/pleasure etc, much greater than any other thing that existed in your life (except drugs). In terms of efficiency/effectiveness your brain registers porn/masturbation as the greatest thing that ever existed.

    And this is the first thing you need to understand: as horrible and destructive porn/masturbation in the long run, in the short run it's the best and most amazing thing ever. If you look at it objectively the solution your brain comes up with in the short run (to watch porn/masturbate) is perfectly logical.

    No matter how many times you tell to yourself you'll never watch porn again, yada yada, when faced with the possibility of acting out, your prefrontal cortex (the one responsible for planning and conscious decision making) shuts down. Your memory of past failures and unpleasant consequences of porn/masturbation use disappears.

    All that matters is the very archaic function of the brain of CUE>BEHAVIOR. It's like the reflex where you touch something hot and your hand instantly moves away. You don't have to think "well, this surface is hot, it would be in my best interest that I move my hand away because the heat will cause damage to my skin/nerves/muscles". The brain will move the hand for you and you'll ask questions later.

    You might think that if you abstain long enough you will be cured. Yes, this could theoretically happen but it will take decades and is context dependent: have you started with porn as first sexual experience, what's the ratio of real sex/ pmo behavior, how intense was the pmo behavior, how depressed/anxious are you and so on. The cue>behavior association is extremely strong for an addict.

    That's why stories of "relapsed/binged after 30, 60, 90 days" are very common and people keep struggling. Abstinence by itself is not enough. It is obviously better than just pmo-ing like a fiend, but abstinence only won't solve your problem.

    What makes things even worse is (and it's scientifically proven) that random rewards actually reinforce a behavior better than consistent rewards do. I've been following nofap for 7 years now and the overwhelming majority of people have multiple failures, failures at uneven intervals (i used to be like that as well). I want to emphasize that I don't want to take anything away from people that are trying, it is absolutely commendable that they are trying again and again to tackle the pmo beast.

    What i'm trying to say is that the current paradigm of trying to do "streaks" again and again with no actual plan is not only extremely difficult but also extremely inefficient.

    I'd compare it to someone trying to fill a pool with water but using a perforated/leaking bucket. Yes, the person doing 100,000 runs with the leaking bucket to fill the pool is definitely commendable for his efforts, but the pool could've been filled with only 2,000 runs with a good bucket. More importantly, the person with the leaking bucket is very likely to give up after 20,000 or 50,000 runs.

    So the takeaway so far should be that

    1. a very strong association of cue>behavior will never ever be truly extinguished through abstinence (because the mind will always expect the next random reward)
    2. if you're trying and failing, you're actually telling the brain that it should expect the reward, therefore actually reinforcing the association of cue>behavior.

    In your mind there are two elements that sustain the addiction:

    1. that porn/masturbation is normal/good/healthy
    2. that porn/masturbation will lead to reward

    I have previously discussed how porn/masturbation is not normal/good/healthy at all (it's basically cuckoldry/you become a woman also etc) and i'm not going to elaborate on that now as the point of the topic is that of cue>behavior. But before moving forward i'm going to emphasize that it's essential to genuinely understand and believe that porn/masturbation is NOT normal/good/healthy. Sex is normal/good/healthy, all other sex replacements are not.

    Now, on the association of cue>behavior and why you actually have to watch porn to stop watching porn.

    The point is that you need to destroy the association that "watching porn leads to sexual arousal". This will only happen if you associate this with something else and eventually associate it with no response (neutral stimuli).

    The same way as you watch a monkey climbing a tree and you DON'T get sexually aroused, you should watch porn and NOT get sexually aroused. Porn is essentially a short circuit of your brain - it's just an image or a stimuli that does NOT lead to sex. It tricks the mind to get ready for something that does not exist. In essence it's tangent to a hallucination.

    There is a very important thing that needs to be said. Depending on the severity of addiction, you need to have COMPLETELY abstained for at least 2 weeks to 2 months before starting this protocol. 2 weeks of 100% abstinence should be the absolute minimum for anyone. Why is that? Because the association of cue>sex arousal (when your brain shuts down) is just too powerful after only a couple of days from the last pmo session. Your brain is very likely to trick you and you are very likely to relapse.

    So let's say the critical abstinence period passed. What do you do now?

    There are no clear steps because each case is different, the rule is that you should start VERY slow. Plan a moment in your day where you'll watch just 1 minute of porn WHILE you're doing something else (like pushups) then you immediately have a cold shower or go outside for a run. Or do laundry, vacuum. You will probably get aroused doing it and you should try to resist it. Tell yourself it's just two other people having sex, it has nothing to do with you. That there is no female actually available near you to have sex with.

    Then don't watch anything the next day, then watch 1 minute of porn but actually do sit-ups. Or juggle. With porn in the background.

    Yes, it sounds completely silly but this is the only way to break the association of porn>sexual arousal (masturbation).

    Then the next week start a porn clip but go to the kitchen and make yourself a sandwich, then close the porn for that day. Truly, you can go wild on "doing something else" while porn is running. If/when you start getting aroused, STOP the porn. Do not allow yourself to stay aroused while watching porn. If you get aroused in 10 seconds, that's enough porn for that day, you go do something else.

    The goal is to see porn like something neutral running in the background. Later, you can even keep a porn tab open but not click it for 5 hours. Or have the sound going but no video. Or watch porn on split screen with the news.

    Another exercise is just opening a porn page and then closing it. And repeat that 100x times. After a while, open a page, search something, then close it. And repeat that 100x times. Then play a porn clip and immediately close it. Then repeat that 100x times.

    edit: I forgot to mention two methods which should be the first step and i think most people can do - in case you used to watch porn in incognito window, a very good exercise would be to simply open an incognito window and then close it. No searches, nothing. Just open and then close, repeat 20-50-100 times. Another exercise would be to simply "jerk-off" the air next to you (not watching porn or sex fantasizing, keep it neutral) and repeat that at random times/intervals. You can do this while watching a stream for example. Or just watch a wall. This will train the mind to stop associating jerk-off motion with sex/pleasure.

    There are many techniques and i will probably make a list for them in the future, here i'm just trying to outline the strategy that leads to the severing of the association of porn>sexual arousal (masturbation).

    Do not expect immediate results. This will take at least 3 months depending on the severity of addiction.

    But you will be free from PMO addiction forever.

    Again, i emphasize that you should not use this as an excuse to watch porn/masturbate.
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2019
  2. IGY

    IGY Fapstronaut

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    Do not follow this deeply flawed personal opinion by this member!^
     
  3. ultrafabber

    ultrafabber Fapstronaut

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    calls a well argumented topic a "deeply flawed personal opinion" by writing one line of a personal opinion with 0 arguments.

    The bar is quite low.
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2019
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  4. You know, I'm not going to personally use this method, but I'm not going to bash it either. Being someone who's studied psychology, an approach like this might be plausible, but it would be extremely difficult because of urges. But, yes theoretically you could retrain your brain to see porn a different way, and in essence free yourself from it. That's a damn tough approach though. o_O
     
  5. wwtl

    wwtl Fapstronaut

    There is enough arousing material around in everyday life, that I don't need to add hardcore porn to it to loosen the connection between P-M-O.

    You concept is based around de-sensitizing against the trigger, which is sound in certain circumstances. Though my goal is actually to sensitize my brain again, so I can get effects from normal (or low) stimulus again. I don't want to dive into weird fetishes to get arousal. A well-dressed real-life woman should be enough for that.

    Using porn to de-sensitize is completely opposite to that goal.
     
  6. That's true, the whole point of this is to re-sensitize yourself to lesser stimuli, so desensitizing yourself to the trigger, even though it might--and I use might loosely--break your addiction to PMO, you would be defeating the whole purpose behind abstaining from it anyway.
     
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  7. ultrafabber

    ultrafabber Fapstronaut

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    I wouldn't have forwarded it if i hadn't used it myself and if i had no theoretical basis for it (i am a clinical psych).

    It's difficult at first, the benefit is that after a while there are no urges and there are no triggers. I can have porn running next to me on a separate screen 24/7, it just doesn't do anything anymore.

    Obviously it would defeat the purpose to keep watching porn indefinitely, but you won't. You'll have to watch until you sever the association. Then it will become as neutral as watching a random thing you don't care about. Like having a plant on your desk.

    It is irrelevant as your brain is still processing it as a trigger. That just proves what i'm saying - that you won't be free of this addiction as long as you have that association (trigger) going on.
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2019
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  8. IGY

    IGY Fapstronaut

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    If it is so successful, why are you still addicted?
     
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  9. ultrafabber

    ultrafabber Fapstronaut

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    I'm not.
     
  10. I get what you're saying, but at the same time I think a lot of us find it easier and more straightforward just to abstain from porn completely. If it works for you, then that's great. I'm glad it helped you.
     
  11. IGY

    IGY Fapstronaut

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    So, what was the reason you reset your counter six weeks ago?
     
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  12. IGY

    IGY Fapstronaut

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    Heaven help any patients going to you seeking treatment for addiction to porn and compulsive masturbation! :eek:
     
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  13. ultrafabber

    ultrafabber Fapstronaut

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    It's kind of backwards that you're being that aggressive and reaching.

    I intentionally masturbated to see if it feels different, after doing this exercise for 85+ days. I wanted to see if it feels different/wrong and if it will be hard to start abstaining again. It did feel wrong/different and it wasn't difficult to start abstaining. I was testing what i had described in OP.

    You're still clinging to the paradigm that days of abstinence is a marker for recovery. Days of abstinence are a mediocre metric by themselves. I've had multiple periods of abstinence (30, 60 days) then binged for weeks or months. This is the case for the vast majority of "nofappers"

    That's disrespectful, again, you're setting the bar very low.
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2019
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  14. ultrafabber

    ultrafabber Fapstronaut

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    And i explained how that is not going to work in many cases.
     
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  15. I know right! I guess everybody is different, but this just isn't logical, even from a psychology standpoint. I was top of my class in AP Psych at my school, and I'll tell you right now, this is bullshit. It completely ignores the chemical basis of this addiction in the brain.

    If you're still exposing yourself to porn, it doesn't just suddenly stop becoming arousing and it's still hijacking your brain. Because guess what, we're still human, and we're still programmed by nature to be turned on by...well, sex. Just because you try to ignore it doesn't mean it's not there.
     
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  16. Look, we're not trying to bash your method here, if it works for you that's fantastic. I'm sorry if we're coming off as rude, that wasn't my intention. But NoFap follows a very specific method for a reason, because it works for a lot of people.

    Here's my thing, isn't that ignoring the chemical basis of this addiction in your brain? Because we're programmed to have sex be extremely pleasurable, and your brain isn't really capable of differentiating sex from porn. I just don't understand how by exposing yourself to the same stimuli you could be freeing yourself from it. It doesn't make sense.

    Think of it in the example of someone addicted to opiates. In that instance, you would in essence be claiming that by continuing to use and changing your pattern of thinking around it, you would be breaking the addiction? Is that really logical?
     
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  17. IGY

    IGY Fapstronaut

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    Even 60 days is nowhere near long enough to reboot your brain back to what it was before you/me/we damaged it with high speed internet porn. If you say you are not addicted (which you do), you are deluding yourself. This means, in turn, that your theory in the OP is also a delusion. Moreover, you have also just admitted you are still in the testing phase of said theory.

    How dare you present this nonsense as a fait accompli (as you do in post #1), when it is just an unsubstantiated theory! :mad:
     
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  18. Johnny_TightLips

    Johnny_TightLips Fapstronaut

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    A drug or alcohol addict doesn't use a lesser extent of said addiction to recover or after they've recovered. Sorry but your logic is extremely flawed.

    It honestly sounds like your philosophically justifying how and why you can use PMO when it's right.

    There is no right time for PMO, it isn't natural nor is it healthy. It's a drug of the current century.
     
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  19. Chill, bro. :eek: It's not worth arguing with him about it, it's not going to help anything. He obviously has his opinions on the matter, and I think it's better to just agree to disagree and move on. He can do whatever he wants, but that doesn't mean we have to.
     
  20. That's exactly right. It's just a way to justify continuing to watch porn. No matter how you put it, it's still watching porn, and it's still causing the same chemical imbalances in your brain that we're trying to prevent by abstaining from it.
     
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