Age 22 - ED, Soldier, quick recovery
(Additional background below) Soon after I joined the army, during my two months of basic training I had no access to pornographic material. And unknowingly experienced many of the withdrawal symptoms described on the yourbrainonporn website. I was depressed all of a sudden; I was extremely irritable; there were no females around during my basic training so I attributed my lack of a libido to being surrounded by nothing but men. For the first two weeks I unwillingly abstained because I didn't like the thought of masturbating with other men around. It wasn't long before I couldn't take it anymore and made up a schedule where I could masturbate in the bathroom stall when all the other guys were asleep.
I remember it being very strange after two weeks of not masturbating to suddenly masturbate again. I fantasized about my ex girlfriend and had the best orgasm I had in a really long time. I didn't understand why the orgasm felt so good given the circumstances. I was in a bathroom stall for god's sake.
But I went a long with that schedule until I graduated from basic training and went into AIT where we were allowed to have laptop computer. I quickly purchased a laptop computer and a portable internet card so I could access the internet during my Advanced individual training in the army. I was watching porn again. Every month I went over my monthly internet allowance due to downloading so much pornography.
After AIT I had leave for about a month. Me and my ex were fool around buddies that month, and again I noticed no problems in my sexual performance. I began to believe that being jerked off by my partner was just a preference for me and it wasn't a sexual dysfunction. So I stuck with that until I went to my first duty station in Fort Bragg.
A few months after I arrived onto Fort Bragg I met my next girlfriend. She had a very high sex drive and to be honest I think she was a sex addict. She wanted sex so bad, but I felt like sex wasn't for me and at first we just fooled around. Later on I learned that she was on birth control so I was very excited because it meant that the anxiety involved with putting a condom on was no longer an issue. We had sex a lot, but I was never able to ejaculate when I was on top or in any other position besides her being on top. Again, I thought this was just a preference for me. She had no problem with it since me not being able to ejaculate when I was on top meant I could go for hours on top of her without coming. She absolutely enjoyed this. When she would get on top it usually wouldn't take very long for me to come. (Just a side note the porn I had been watching for years was almost always with the girls on top) She was happy and I was happy so I took me not being able to come when I was on top as a blessing. We broke up a few months later for issues unrelated to my sexual performance.
After that I didn't have a girlfriend again for about a year and a half. After we broke up I deployed to Afghanistan for a year. During my deployment to Afghanistan before I came home I made the decision to abstain from porn and masturbation for about a month. Then, during my two week leave/deployment leave I met up with one of my ex girlfriends and we eventually ended up having sex. It was amazing. When I came, my orgasm was explosive and during the whole process my penis was harder than it ever had been.
However, I attributed it to not being with a woman in so long, and didn't think to consider that it was me not watching porn or masturbating that could have contributed to it. Eventually I returned to Afghanistan. I was one of the first people to go on leave so I had about 8 months left in the deployment before I came home. When I got back I started watching porn again without a care in the world.
However during the last three months my laptop broke and the only way I could access a computer was through a computer lab that was set up for soldiers to contact their families. Porn sites were obviously blocked on these computer so it wasn't like I could get on to watch porn.
I began talking to the woman who would change my life. She was the sister of a friend I had made back when I was on my home base. We were talking for a while and I developed a pretty big crush on her during the deployment. I spent a lot of time just talking to her over the internet, messaging back and forth. However, about three months before the deployment was over, the satellite we used for internet was damaged during an attack so internet use was gone for a while. We eventually got the internet back up, but the access to it was minimal. I was able to maintain little contact with her during my last month in Afghanistan and transition back to the States.
I let her know that I was coming home soon and was very excited to meet her. It was only a couple days after I was home that I decided to call her and meet her. A buddy of mine let me use his car to go out and meet her. During this time I had been (unwillingly) clean of my pornuse .
We met up a few times and eventually had sex with absolutely no issues. However, it turned out to be a bad time for both of us to be in a relationship. At the time she wasn't interested in anything serious with me. I was really brokenhearted by all of this and because of it delved back into my porn addiction. I became very depressed during this time and eventually ended up on anxiety/depression medication. Not just because of the rejection but I was having trouble coping with some of the things that happened in Afghanistan.
It was many months later until she came back into my life. In August she decided to give me a shot at something real. We got together and fortunately she was on birth control as well, so we never had to have sex without a condom. However, I wasn't always successful at maintaining an erection. Sometimes we would have sex until she climaxed. After she would climax, we would switch to her on top and then I would climax.
Eventually she brought up the erection problems and how they would make her feel self conscious. I assured her that it wasn't her and that I thought she was really attractive and loved her very much (which was true). However, during this relationship I was still watching porn. Eventually it came down to her being so upset that she was thinking of leaving me because of the occasional erection issues.
During that time I sought out help from therapists I discontinued use of all the medications I was on because I thought they were the cause for my sexual dysfunction. I was severely depressed and my anxiety was great because I was really in love with this woman (I still am).
During this time I didn't notice that I had discontinued my porn use because I was to busy being depressed and anxious about my sexual performance. After about two weeks of unknowingly abstaining we were having sex again. Things were fine. I even was able to ejaculate on top of her during sex which was a miracle to me.
After that (me believing everything was fine) I watched porn one day and masturbated. The problem immediately returned. I lost my erection during sex and she became very upset by it. I didn't know what the problem was. I didn't even think to attribute it to the porn use and the problem because a sexual performance anxiety. I ended up going back to what I did when I was a teenager, oral sex, mutual masturbation, and fooling around. I was too scared to have sex again. I was so scared of losing her. Eventually I worked up enough courage to try and have sex with her again about a month later, but the anxiety was too great and I lost my erection.
She eventually ended up breaking up with me because of it. I guess you could say a loving partner would have stuck it through... but... really... we were so early on in the relationship.. why would a woman want to stick with a man she had been only 3 months into a relationship with who couldn't maintain an erection? It was horrible. I was head over heels in love with this woman. I felt guilt, depression, anxiety... everything.
I searched for every solution I could possibly find. I began therapy not mentioning my addiction to porn because I still had this belief that it wasn't an addiction. I even got a physical just to check if everything was working downstairs. Every time the doctors would say everything was fine and they believed it was just sexual performance anxiety. They ended up just giving me viagra which thoroughly pissed me off. I never picked up the prescription for the viagra. They eventually just mailed it to my home.
Despite what the doctors told me I still wasn't satisfied. I searched for hours and hours for a solution online. Until I stumbled across yourbrainonporn.com. I read so many stories that sounded so similar to mine, and something finally clicked in my head. I was addicted to porn. I had been a porn addict for ten years! I didn't even know it though. I thought me watching porn every day was perfectly fine until I watched the relationship between erectile dysfunction and porn use slideshow.
Thus I began abstinence from porn and masturbation. I say this is my 7th day because I had relapse incidents since my first attempt at abstaining on December the 4th. That lasted until December the 19th. I ended up looking up some pornographic images and masturbating. I understand that a relapse doesn't necessarily mean all progress is lost, but I'm calling this my 7th day and that's that.
During the first two weeks before I had my relapse I had no libido what-so-ever. I thought my penis was lifeless, no spontaneous erections, no morning wood. Absolutely nothing. Sometimes I would kick my legs at night rubbing them against my penis when I would go to bed just to see if it would still work. On December the 19th I freaked out because I had not yet read the symptoms people usually experience when they begin to abstain from porn. I watched porn and masturbated just to see if my penis would work. I was so depressed right after that. I felt like a complete failure and all the guilt I felt from my failed relationship came rushing back.
However, I am now on my 7th day after my relapse, and surprisingly my libido has returned. I talk to women and get excited just by talking to them. I no longer view them as sex objects either. My confidence is higher than it has ever been; my energy at the gym is higher than it’s ever been before. My depression and social anxiety are also gone. I’ve been thinking to myself, “Could this all really have come from my addiction to porn?”
The results from just 3 weeks of abstinence (with one relapse) are amazing. I can’t believe how much my attitude towards women and myself has changed. I believe in myself more and I take more pleasure in the simpler things in life.
But despite my new found hope… I still really miss my last girlfriend. Even if she did leave me in my time of need… It wasn’t right for me to be viewing porn while in a relationship. I’m hoping one day she can find it in her heart to give me another chance after the reboot process, but if not, I guess that’s life, you know? I won’t make the same mistake again.
Since the beginning of December (and the end of a relationship with a partner I was deeply in love with) I began my journey trying to discover the cause of my erectile dysfunction. I began masturbation sometime before the 6th grade. I remember because it was during the summer after I finished elementary school. At first I was masturbating strictly with my imagination. Until late one night I woke up and was looking for something to watch on t.v. That was the first time I ever saw porn. It was some softcore stuff on cinemax. Initially when I would masturbate I only focused on the sensation. I was watching the stuff without masturbating at first. Not knowing what I was doing. My father had not yet had "the talk with me" so I didn't know anything about sex.
Eventually it turned into masturbation to this softcore porn. It continued on until about freshman year in high school. During the transition between middle school and high school I had my first real sexual experience with a girl. I was about 13 years old (in retrospect I was way too young). I had a hard time gaining an erection but I think back then it was more sexual performance anxiety rather than impotence, because through my first years in high school I would still get spontaneous erections, strong morning wood and could still ejaculate without porn. However, in about 10th grade or so I got my first computer and was given internet access by my parents. I was unaware at the time that pornography was readily available for download at first until my friend introduced me to a free site that allowed free downloads of 30 second clips. It started off with pretty decent (for porn anyway) stuff. Just girls having sex. It progressively got worse and strange. I began to explore different ethnic groups, fetishes, forced sex fantasies... I think I've pretty much viewed it all aside from shemale porn, gay porn, and child porn.
When I was 15 I had my first long term girlfriend (at least for my age anyway) we were together for a year. Never had sex but we would do a lot of things like oral and we would use hands as well. So I never noticed any problem with my erections even though I would still fantasize about things when we were fooling around. We broke up about a year after we got together. When I was 17 I had my second girlfriend. It was pretty much the same thing. Lots of fooling around, oral sex, and mutual masturbation. This whole time I had been watching porn despite having a relationship. Sometimes I would masturbate 4 or 5 times a day while watching porn.
We eventually broke up and when I was 18 I had my first opportunity to have actual sex. My first attempt at sex was awful not because of my partner but because I couldn't maintain an erection during sex. When she tried to put the condom on my penis would go soft quickly. Eventually after having to manually stimulate myself and get the condom on I was hard enough to actually penetrate her. But shortly after I lost my erection. I was so embarrassed. She had to jack me off in order for me to finish. At the time I didn't realize that this was probably embarrassing for her too but she never spoke of it with me. That relationship ended quickly but I didn't know why. Looking back I now know why.
I met a girl. She was very attractive. So much so that well. I didn't consider it a possibility for me to have a chance with her in that way. So my attitude towards her was just completely friendly like. My mind was like "there's no way this girl would be into me so just be friendly."
So we hang out and it ends up we're in her room and I won't get too into detail about it, but we end up doing the deed. Things that were different from past experiences: I had no issue putting on a condom and maintaining an erection afterwards. There was no awkwardness about it... I wasn't thinking about "what if I don't maintain?" All I could think about was having sex. I didn't even care about anything else. Everything went FINE. When I finished it was in a position I never thought I'd be able to finish in. The sex was amazing and the orgasm was great.
As far as erections go they are a lot harder than they have been in the past. They last longer. I can manage more positions as far as sex goes than before without fear of losing the erection. Sex feels different. It's a million times better. I actually feel tingly inside and excited for it. Like before whenever I was able to maintain an erection the only good feeling I got out of sex was the orgasm and that was the goal. To just finish. I don't feel that's the case anymore. I feel alive and natural and I want to give as much as I take.
Before, it was such a challenge for me to have sex with a condom. It was a challenge for me to ejaculate . Now it's a challenge to not come, haha. But it's an easy fix. When I'm about to finish I just pull out and wait for the feeling to subside and go at it again. Which is another big indicator for me. If I would have done that in the past I would have lost my erection.
I can feel everything.
No I don't just mean with sex. I mean I feel everything. I feel so good and hopeful. I spent the night at lady friend's house last night. We decided against going out and ended up staying in. Oh! She even made me cookies like that's so freaking nice! Kind of a funny way I learned something about her... I had to go use the bathroom at one point and when I returned she was sketching some images on her computer and I was just totally amazed by it. Like, she's really talented. She kind of has this anime art style which I really really enjoy. She got kind of shy about it but I just told her to keep drawing. It was so cool to me I wish I could draw... we ended up drawing like Iron Man for some reason with a Hitler Mustache. I know how freaking weird that is but it was just so funny for some reason lol.
This thing happened to me last night that... happens sometimes when I'm intimate with a person (even in the pmo days) We ended up being intimate and I finished this time but even after I finished I still had a rock hard erection. This is the first time this has happened with us. As I said it's happened before in other relationships where I was able to have sex but I was just really glad about it. Because since I lost my confidence back in December I thought it wouldn't happen again. Because even though for the last nine years (Wow) I've been watching porn I've always had a really high sex drive and I think that might have played a part in why I was depressed so long because I've always wanted to express what I've thought about sex but sadly wasn't able to because that stupid porn monster in my closet.
Back then when this would happen I would just have sex over and over again until the erection went away. But since she already finished and I finished I decided to be disciplined about it and switched into cuddle mode. It ended up being an hour of cuddle time with a boner. It was hard (no pun intended) to just not laugh about it. But I got through it. I was horny as hell but I made it.
I don't know exactly describe what we have...
It feels like we're really good friends that just happen to have sex with each other. I mean I am very physically attracted to her but well, we don't really discuss what it is we have anymore. We just go with the flow. Whatever we have there's just absolutely no pressure from each other. Like today I actually felt like staying home. Not because I was mad at her or didn't want to see her for any reason. I was just really tired. I'd been running around with my bro (we went on a biking marathon today) so my body was just exhausted. So I called her up a while ago. Said I was really tired and we could hang out another night and that was that. No drama, no anger.
During this reboot process I've not only been rewiring my mind, but also my approach towards relationships too. This time I'm just going against everything I've done in the past because obviously whatever I've been doing has not been working lol. So I'm just bluntly honest, not in a mean way. Like I was tired tonight so I said I was tired. If I don't agree with something I don't agree with it. I mean it's not always things like that there's nice things too lol.
I just feel like she really respects me for it. Like you know, I think in relationships people feel like they have to make excuses to not hang out, like they have to have an explanation or a reason otherwise things go sour. Which is why I'm doing this. Because who wants that? Like seriously, who wants to have to explain their every little action to a person?
I give her the same respect. And I just place 100 percent trust in what she says. You can call it naive whatever. The reason I'm doing it like this is because in the past I've let my insecurities take hold of me. And they've fucked with every single one of my relationships. I'd let these really dumb irrational thoughts find their way into my head like "they don't want to hang out because they're mad at me, oh god why are they mad at me what did I do!? I'M A FAILURE" Not so much thinking like that anymore.
Anyway, today I went bike riding with my bro, we went through a bike trail, lots of hills, lots of nature. We took a break in this grassy field and I decided to just lay out in the grass and stare at trees. Everything felt so good, the smell of the leaves, the breeze, the sunshine. And I thought about how it would be a great place to make love haha. (another good indicator of a healthy libido) I just really appreciated being outside in all of it. I haven't felt things like this since I was a kid. Like the feeling of fun outside. Like, do any of you remember that? You remember how much fun it was just playing hide and seek or going to the park to play with your friends? That's how I felt! I felt that warmth and I knew that the happy child inside of me is alive and well.
This reboot is the best thing I've ever done.