Do I have to have sex in order to rewire?

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A post asking about rewiring:

I think that rewiring will help speed things up once normal sensitivity is restored. But do you believe there is a point where a guy either does not ever establish natural pathways for women because he watched porn from say, age 5 to 23.

Or do you believe there is a point where the brain can get so deeply wired for porn that the porn-pathways will never weaken enough with time alone for the brain to acknowledge or perceive a real life girl as rewarding. So the guy will need to give his natural pathways a 'boost' so to speak.

Story to note:

One of my best friends lost his virginity at age 21. He had never had any previous sexual contact with a girl before then, but he had 6 years of masturbating to porn experience. He first masturbated at age 15, hardly used his imagination. So he didn't do anything to establish the pathway to have an erection for a real girl. It was naturally there. Granted he kept masturbation to a minimum and did not escalate to hardcore porn compilations. So he did not become desensitized. But certainly had wiring for porn.

He had no signs of ED. Now he didn't start on porn super young but my point is that he naturally had wiring for a girl. So, do you think a guy can abstain from PM and all O's until he can get erect with touch alone, and therefor be able to have sex with a real girl without rewiring?

I personally do not know, but lean more towards, "Yes it is possible to reboot without rewiring. Because if you can get an erection to touch alone you can have an erection when a girl is touching you. Unless some unique anxiety is at play."

Gary answered:

"Rewiring" is a very loose term, and some guys interpret it as "having real sex." That is, they believe they need to have sex to rewire to the real deal. However, just thinking about real girls, being around them has to wire one up. I was wired to real girls long before I started masturbating at age 13.

So, yes, I think anyone can rewire to real partners. I don't know why some are like your friend, and others struggle. But someone starting porn at age 15, rather than age 12, may well be one factor. Lots of neural connections are produced at age 11, and many are pruned by 15. The age one starts on a supernormal stimulation like Internet porn is hugely relevant.

NOTE: A few guys visit prostitutes, or suggest visiting prostitutes as a way to rewire to "normal sexuality". I won't get into the morality of this, but it makes no sense, and probably does more harm than good. First, rewiring is learning, and learning must be consistent and match real-life scenarios to be effective preparation. Two or three visits to a prostitute will not do any good. Secondly, rewiring should match reality. Encounters with prostitutes are nothing like intimacy with a real partner. If you want to be a good at tennis, you don't practice free-throws. Third, an inability to achieve an erection with a prostitute (which is usually what happens) will only reinforce any anxiety surrounding your ED. See this thread - Beware everybody, prostitutes are not the solution .. I am in real mess :( And this one:

I used to have severe PIED, which I thought can be cured by rewiring with prostitutes. I started visiting them regularly after 100 days of rebooting. My case got better one by one till having sex with them was never an issue. Now, I've later that I am not that turned on when it comes to sleeping with my gf or any normal girl!

Addiction itself plays a part. If someone becomes addicted to porn his sensitized pathways for porn are strongly activated by porn. Reality may pale in comparison to his addiction. When reaction to reality (real girls) doesn't match his abnormally strong addiction reaction, his dopamine drops. So he doesn't "wire up" to real girls in the way his ancestors would have (with no competing addiction pathways). See Why Do I Find Porn More Exciting Than A Partner?

Another factor is likely to be what someone fantasizes about when away from porn. For example, for a straight guy, is it porn actresses, or the girls at school or on TV? Maybe another factor is simply being around girls, just in their presence. Is someone in his basement playing video games, or is he talking with girls, or engaging in social activities with girls? For ideas on how to connect with real mates, even without having sex, see Tools to Connect With Others. Practice making eye contact and smiling. (If you're shy, start with older people and work up to potential mates.)Cover of Doidg'e book

Of course, most guys who use porn don't have ED, so nature is strong. However, I think we will continue to see an upward trend in ED, DE, and more disappointment in regular sex in guys who wired young to Internet porn. (And the research is bearing this prediction out: Studies linking porn use or porn/sex addiction to sexual dysfunctions, lower brain activation to sexual stimuli, and lower sexual satisfaction.)

That said, brains are plastic. They do change, but it requires conscious choices and patience. For more see Norman Doidge's book The Brain That Changes Itself.

A rebooter who cured his PIED comments on rewiring

My experience rebooting was outside of a relationship, unattached for the most part (bar 2 month relationship and one night stands); I found that firstly no porn or sexual stimulation; then an extended period of time abstaining from orgasm; and then dietary and lifestyle decisions to improve sexual functioning lower down the circuit have resulted in my reboot to my present position (10/10 spontaneous erections; morning wood; MO (sensation, no fantasy/stimulation) without entering flatline). Therefore, i feel i have rebooted without the assistance of a relationship and it's not a necessity for rebooting. I honestly feel a relationship might have made it more difficult for me (the sexual expectation placed upon you by a partner, and possibility of frequent orgasm which i noticed delayed my rebooting and stalled my progression to override porn conditioning).

My hypothesis is that by letting the porn neuron pathways lapse by lack of use reverted me back to my adolescent position, therefore i didn't need to be in a relationship where i was being conditioned to copulating with a partner.


Hey guys, I'm a new member and I'm very depressed about this, I didn't watch porn until 15, but it got to a point where I destroyed my ability to have sex, I'm so disgusted at the developers of porn and what it did to me, I really enjoy flirting with girls and I'm really into pick-up. But due to depression about my last performance, I stopped talking to girls because I want to be a good lover when I do get them into bed. So could someone please give me a rough window on when I'm going to get normal again, I'm not looking for an exact answer, just what the majority of people who have rebooted have went through, how long does it take roughly, I need something to work towards I don't feel hopeful for the future right now and I'm feeling so down and unmotivated, I want to have an amazing sex life but I'm afraid I'm going to have this ED for years and I don't want to wait 2-3 years to have real sex again I want to live life to the fullest, I quit porn for good a week ago, and I'm not looking at images or even masturbating anymore either, i'll put the effort in but I would appreciate an estimate, thanks guys and I deeply regret ever discovering porn in the first place.

one will answer you as YBOP doesn't have a forum, and people post and then leave. I suggest looking under the support tab for forums. I'll say it again, no one will be able to give you an estimate of full recovery time.


Dear All,,

It has been just 07 days of quitting masturbation and I am feeling amazing about myself. I have started admiring the way I interact with others, the way I perceive /analyse things and above all my new confidence. Till day, i have not experienced any severe withdrawals though there are few in mild but noticeable form. I want to add one thing to this discussion as I have not seen anybody talking about this. If you guys couple up this nofap process with some amount of Yoga and or Meditation then it would be very beneficial.I myself is doing it and is experinceing drastic improvement in my body posture, breathing pattern and thoughts as well.