Current Location: Pennsylvania

My Porn Addiction — A 60-day Challenge of no Masturbation

2014 Update: It’s been over a year since I’ve completed this challenge.  I get a lot of emails from guys looking for help, and I decided to start a project… a No Fap Community to help you and others succeed.

Porn and Masturbation Addiction cause so many issues for guys, like Depression, Anxiety Disorder, Social Anxiety, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and so much more!

Do you want to help me build a successful community? Are you a an excellent writer?

If so, read on…

Let’s start a community website for guys who want to crush their porn and masturbation addiction.

We will write articles and hold community challenges.

If you are interested in writing for the community, please email me with the subject line:
“[No Fap] – Community Writer – [Your Name]” to matt@breakthefear.com

At the end of the challenge I had much better self-control and I’m now able to channel my sexual energy (google: “sexual energy transmutation”) and I no longer get depressed or unproductive by watching porn.

——————————————————————————————————————————

I’m addicted to masturbation, and it’s affecting my spiritual growth.  My “no fap” challenge.

I’m addicted to porn.

I have always known about it in the back of my mind, but I suppressed it.  I shrugged it off and pretended it was nothing serious.

Then after a week of daily porn-watching and masturbation, I noticed I was feeling like shit: oversleeping, procrastination, thoughts of low value, lack of motivation, emotional eating, and the like.  I came across a very convincing TED talk and decided I was ready for a change.

I first masturbated and ejaculated when I was 13 years old, in the bathroom skimming through a catalogue where you could order porn DVDs.  I then progressed to images on the internet, and a few years later, got my hands on video.

It’s been a pretty continuous thing since then.

This past week, I finally admitted that jerking off makes me feel like crap.  I think sex is super hot, and I actually feel like I’ve learned a lot and deepened myself sexually by watching porn, but the self-centeredness and “getting energy” of it really make me feel depleted and low afterward.  As soon as I come, I immediately close my web browser, sit there for a few seconds, and then this feeling of darkness soon follows.

It’s easy to spot patterns in our behavior.  The hard part is to face the fact and want to change it. Tweet this!

Although I probably jerk off more when I am not in a relationship, I still continue to watch porn and masturbate even when I am in a long-term sexual relationship.

This Addiction is Killing my Productivity

I have a large web project on my hands as well as preparing my 2011 taxes, and I have been extremely demotivated around these two tasks this month.

I’ve also been over sleeping and constantly checking my email and facebook.

The darkness energy from over-masturbation can linger for hours and often carries over into the next day.  It then leaves breeding ground for other bad habits, and I quickly finding myself emotionally eating with whatever I can get my hands on – usually sweet, salty, and crunchy foods.

Then, as if I don’t feel bad enough already, I eat until I’m almost in pain.  I look down at my bloated belly, grab my body fat, slouch in my chair, and then pour another bowl of cereal to numb the pain.  It’s a vicious cycle and it’s really fucking me up.

This is Challenging to Admit

This is difficult to write about knowing that I can be judged, but I tell myself “fuck it”, and press forward.  I practice radical transparency in my communication, and a great way to break through a bad habit, is to publicly admit it.

I also think this will lead to more concentration, focus, and productivity.  Something very important to me right now, as fiances are low and I need to complete my projects so that I can increase my income.

Let’s Get Scientific

As a man, we are hard wired to keep fertilizing willing females for as long as possible.

Demonstrated by the brown sheep in the chart below, the male needs more and more time to ejaculate in each session with the same female.

When the females are constantly switched (demonstrated by the bottom, colorful line), the male ejaculates within 2-3 minutes, with each new mate, without much deviation.

This is know as the Coolidge Effect, and without it, there would be no porn industry.

This effects all mammals, guys included.  With internet porn, the brain perceives each new female as a possible mating opportunity and in order to keep us “fucking” these girls on the screen, our brain releases dopamine, a “go get it”, feel good kind of chemical.  As long as we can keep clicking and experiencing a new girl, or a new scene, our brain will continue to pump out dopamine.

The thing that makes internet porn so different than porn of the past is the amount of instant novelty.  With the click of a mouse, you can be experiencing a new “digital” women, constantly refreshing your brain’s release of dopamine, leading to a nasty cycle.

With the immense online porn databases, and the ability to endlessly click, we can see more hot women in 15 minutes, than our great grandparents could see in their entire lifetime.

As evolutionary psychology reveals, we are still very wired as “hunter-gatherers” — our brains haven’t evolved for this.

Think about arousal back in the day.  There was very little for us men to be aroused by.  No other cities to visit (within reasonable distance), no TV ads, no billboards, no magazines, and of course no high speed internet.

The Internet Brings an Insane Amounts of Novelty.

Our brains are very plastic – they can easily be shaped and molded – and with all this dopamine and digital clicking, it rewires itself, often being associated with feelings of loneliness, voyeurism, and depression.  Patterns arise such as constant clicking, multiple searches, numbers tabs open in the web browser, fast forwarding, shock & surprise, and a constant search for something new and more arousing.

But Sex Is Healthy!

Yes, you are right.  But internet porn is not sex and regular sex can’t lead to “arousal addiction“.

Real sex is much different.  It involves real touching, being touched, feeling your partner’s breath and energy, smells, pheromones, an emotional connection, and passion.

couple about to have sex

Studies reveal that of all actives on the internet, porn has the  potential to become the most addictive.

Here’s why…

What’s known as the reward circuit evolved to drive us towards more natural rewards, such as sex, bonding/connection, and food.

Extreme versions of natural awards have a unique ability to keep us hyper-engaged.  For example, high calorie foods, or hot digital babes give us extra dopamine, and too much dopamine can cause a lot of harm, and override our natural reward mechanism.

This reward circuit being out of whack can be likened to binge eating.  It was once an evolutionary advantage, such as eating all the kill while it’s available because you don’t know when the next opportunity to eat presents itself.

What if this binge mechanism/reward circuit and dopamine release doesn’t turn off?  All these hits of dopamine kick in a molecular switch called Delta-FosB – and this Delta-FosB begins to accumulate in the brain’s reward circuit.  This chemical soon starts to alter the brain and promotes the cycle of binging and craving.

If this cycle continues, our brain’s frontal cortex changes and leads to:

• numbed pleasure response
• hyper-reactive to porn
• depletion of willpower

These same symtoms have been seen in food addicts, gambling addicts, video game addicts, sex addicts, you name it.

What does all this mean?  That constant novelty at a click can cause arousal addiction.

And arousal addiction can lead to ADHD, social anxiety, depression, sexual performance anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, concentration problems, and many more issues.

Furthermore, this can lead to lower reactions to porn sites, a drop in sex drive, and for many, the inability to hold an erection.

Case Studies From Guys Who Quit

Guy in his late 20s:

“I’ve been to psychologists and psychiatrists for the last 8 years, and I’ve been diagnosed with depression, severe social anxiety, severe memory impairment, and a few others…   I’ve tried Efexer, Ritalin, Xanax, and Paxel.  I’ve dropped out of two different colleges, been fired twice, used pot to calm my social anxiety.  I’ve been approached by quite a few women, I guess due to my looks and status, but they quickly flew away due to my incredible weirdness.  I’ve been a hardcore porn addict since age 14.  For the last two years I’ve been experimenting, and I finally realized that porn was an issue.  I stopped it completely two months ago.  It has been very difficult, but so far incredibly worth it.  I’ve since quit my remaining medications.  My anxiety is non-existant.  My memory and focus are sharper than they’ve ever been.  I feel like a huge chick magnet, and my ED (erectile dysfunction) is gone too. I seriously think I had a rebirth, a second chance at life.”

Here’s another case study:

“I feel like the next Sir Isaac Newton or Leonardo da Vinci.  Since I quit a month ago, I’ve literally: started a business, taken up piano, been studying French every day, been programming, drawing, writing, started managing my finances, and I have more awesome ideas that I know what to do with.  My confidence is sky high.  I already feel like I can talk to any girl.  I’m the same guy that took two and a half extra years to graduate from college, because of procrastination and depression.

Forums, Support, and the Spread of “No Fapping”

“Fap” is an internet slang word for masturbation, and most people who use it online are directly referring to their addiction of watching porn and jerking off.

There are tons of forums and support groups out there.  Guys are gathering by the thousands to drop this bad habit.

Here are some of the them: Social Anxiety Support Forum, Reddit’s “no fap” Forum, BodyBuilding.com, Muscle & Strength, and even Car Forums.

If you’re interested in taking part in this challenge, let me know, and we can provide accountability for each other.  Just send me an email.

Takeaway

Arousal addiction is some very serious stuff.

To reiterate, studies point that internet porn causes arousal addiction, and arousal addiction can lead to loneliness, depression, ADHD, social anxiety, sexual performance anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, concentration problems, numbed pleasure response, depletion of willpower, depletion of self-control, lower reactions to porn, a false reality of what girls really look like, a drop in sex drive, and erectile dysfunction.

Could constant clicking and internet porn be sabotaging your success?

Sources & Inspiration:
• Gary Wilson’s Your Brain in the Cybersex Jungle, Show no. 2
• his Tedx talk, The Great Porn Experiment
• his website, Your Brain on Porn
• Philip Urso’s The Spiritual Story No One Wants to Tell

P.S. Check out what Napoleon Hill said about channeling sexual energy:
The Mystery of Sex Transmutation

About Matt

I'm passionate about learning, teaching and growing. I'm an entrepreneur and an adventurer, and I bring my work with me when I travel. This blog documents my journey in life. Read more about me here → More details.

16 comments

  1. Man, how aren’t there a ton of comments on this already? Really admire you for publicly admitting this. I’m sure you’ll eventually be getting random emails from guys who stumbled across this post and found the inspiration to break the porn habit because of it.

    I gave up porn myself a few years back, starting with a 40-day abstinence trial. One of the best things I ever did. I instantly felt better about myself and I’m pretty sure it resulted in increased creativity and a stronger imagination. I don’t believe it’s any coincidence either that my sex life has drastically improved since ;-)

    Anyways, wishing you all the best with the challenge. All the best!

    • Hey Niall – I think it’ll become one of the more popular posts ;)

      It’s taboo, and nearly EVERY guy can relate. Porn is such an integral part of so many people’s lives, and yet, it’s rarely spoken of.

      It feels great to have revealed this. I’ve been feeling these “lows” many times before – probably for a few years. I knew there was truth to be found, and coming across the Ted talk for me was EXACTLY what I needed to see. I was ready to make some changes in this area of my life.

      The great thing about transparency and honesty in communication, is it never seems to have it’s limits. There is also something more vulnerable we can share. Then once we share it, we embody it, we own it, and we practice not being afraid of who we are (all the parts). I find writing on this blog to be extremely powerful, & I’m sure you’ve experienced this as well.

      It’s cool to hear that you did 40 days man! That’s pretty damn impressive. I’m on day 6 and yesterday – shit man, I wanted to watch porn like 3 different times and the cravings were intense. I resisted and didn’t give in. I had been fine until then, but gotta dig it out and accomplish the goal. Like I’ve heard you say before, public failure really adds a drive to succeed. B Jenks joined the challenge and we both threw in $100, so that’s on the line too :)

    • Man I read this post a few days ago, and have done it for almost a week now. It not getting any easier. Today, I was actually having trouble getting out of bed, and this has been going on for the last few days, but before this I was getting up straight away when my alarm went off so it seems to be doing the opposite of what I had hopped. Has anyone else noticed this? Other areas I havint noticed much of a difference. I was trying to direct the energy into getting out of bed or other areas using sexual transmutation but it hasn’t worked very well…..

      Anthony I would love to hear about your research, especially about peek testosterone and how that affects a person.

      Thanks. Also nice post, it takes a lot of courage to weite this.

      • Hey Trevor!!

        Damn man.. that does kind of throw a wrench into the wheel. How long is a few days? I would definitely say to dig it out and stick with it for at least 7-10 days.

        Feel free to shoot me an email if you need an accountability partner!

        For me man, shit – sleeping in & snoozing on my alarm have been my biggest issue for over 7 years now. I asked myself – (a number of times) – “If I could change one thing in my life that would have the biggest impact, what would it be?” I knew I needed to master resistance and my self-discipline in the morning.

        I’ve been pretty much working for myself for the past 6 years (asides from 2 5-month jobs), and when there is no one else to be up for, it can prove the most difficult. But then, I also realize the value in it. I’m learning how to wake up when I really want to. Most people who work for someone else “have to” get up, so they often feel fear when it comes to sleeping in.

        I started tracking all my sleep times since April 2012. I track the time I go to bed, the time I set the alarm for, & the time I wake up, as well as evening and morning notes. I’m still gathering the data, but I feel accomplishing this challenge will lead to a number of benefits, but largely speaking, my self-control will DRASTICALLY increase!

        Thanks for stopping by man, and I appreciate you chiming in :)

    • Love it Anthony – thanks for the killer comment mate !!!

      I had never heard about boxers not jerking off for 3 months before a fight. These guys know whats up! I have read a lot about the Taoists beliefs on no ejaculation for periods of time, as well as some David Deida & books on multi-orgasms (for men).

      I’ve heard some of what you said about testosterone and the healthy benefits of ejaculation (without porn) – I’d like to hear some more about what you researched !!

      I not going to masturbate for the full 60 days. This doesn’t include sex with a partner, but for the next 60 days, I don’t foresee any sex (as I’m in hustle mode at the moment, not going out, currently visiting family, and I’ll be driving to Florida in about 30 days.) – but we’ll what flows..

      It was challenging to write at first, but even as the draft got longer and longer, I felt more and more comfortable with it. It’s funny – now that’s it’s published I could almost care less that it’s out there. It feels good to reveal the truth.

      I ask myself often: “What are you really afraid of? Your authentic self?”…. This always pushes me to go deeper and to express myself more honestly & transparently.

  2. Matt,

    Congratulations, sir, this may be a landmark post for you! I’ll join your challenge, and keep this post handy to reference/link to in the future.

    This is an issue I’ve had in the back of my mind for some time, but never made a priority to deal with. I think I will now, thanks to you.

    BTW, we should talk again soon!

    -Ben Holt

    • Ben, my man…. what’s up!

      Many thanks dude, glad you resonate with it – (I think lots of guys, and girls do)… it’s amazing how many people have reached out to me regarding this issue.

      It’s so common, and yet, no one’s talking about it!

      Man, this challenge if freakin’ hard – I’m about a 1/4 of the way through… on day 18 or 19 now. Have come close to giving in, but public failure would be pretty shitty and I have $100 on the line with an accountability partner.

      I popped you on my calendar man. Will shoot you an email after 11/1.. next few weeks are pretty packed with tying up loose ends and have a bunch of calls scheduled.

      Driving to Florida at the end of the month, but once I’m settled with some wife, we’ll catch up !

      Talk soon man !!

      • haha… I wrote “..settled with some wife” – meant to say “settled with some wifi.

        Interesting that I wrote that… the ‘i’ and the ‘e’ are pretty far apart on the keyboard.

        Could have been a “Freudian slip”…

        • I noticed the “wife” in there and was thoroughly confused. “Man, not even 20 days in and he’s looking to get MARRIED!” Haha! Glad to know it was a typo :-)

          I shared your post with my wife and we discussed the implications of this challenge. Not sure yet if having her around will make the challenge easier or more difficult, since she’s not typically “ready to go” as often as I am. However it turns out, I’m sure it will teach me more about myself, and help us grow closer as a couple – both excellent reasons to go for it.

  3. I have been flapping since 13, i dont remember how i learnt doing it but as soon as did My performance dropped to zero from class toppers.I failed twice in high school.Also my career path has not been easy. I have managed to stop it for 1 month but then i again started doing it. Whenever i stop doing it for a few days, i feel less stressed. After reading this post i will try to stop it forever. I want my life,success,friends back.For all these years i kept waiting for success ,I wanted to focus but my mind always looks for something else.
    I flap because after it i cant sleep properly.I have become addicted to it. I hope author can help me in stopping this disastrous habit.
    thanks Author for writing such a great Article

  4. I have no idea how I stumbled across your blog, but I must say, you are a lovely young man and really enjoyed reading this and appreciate how much thought, research and personal sharing you put into this. I’m an Asian 40 y/o married mom and we probably don’t have much in common on a demographic level, but I feel you. Keep up the good work and good luck on your journey and awakening. Namaste.

  5. It’s been 11 months from the last comment. What happened with your challenge? It would be nice to hear some afterthoughts.

    • The challenge went very well. I slipped up twice, and had to pay an accountability partner $100 each time. I gained a lot of control in my life from this challenge, and I recommend every guy try it. I’ll still watch porn, but again, I have much control over it, and my energy has balanced out a lot… very little procrastination and depression.

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