How cutting out online porn gave me back my sex drive

How cutting out online porn gave me back my sex drive

SexAugust 29, 2016 By Bruce Speer

You can say I had a problem.

No, I never went to rehab, nor did I ever find myself boarded up in my bedroom dehydrated and worrying about Indian burns. In fact, I had a rule — still do — that I won’t masturbate more than once a day. I have a tickling superstition that if I constantly find myself resorting to the ease and effectiveness of self pleasure, opposed to say, reading a book or going for a walk, I need to reassess my life.

I have friends that masturbate almost six times a day. They're unemployed.

What I would later find out is that by cutting out porn altogether, I would regain my desire for another human being. 

I’ll admit, my self-inflicted rule was hard when I first went to college, right when Youporn.com and Tube8.com were coming into full swing. I went from Macy's catalogs and hand-me-down Playboys to having unlimited porn at click of a button on any platform. Life was good. And just like all innocent bystanders who wander onto a porn site with a clear mind and open heart, it took me time, scouring endless categories and stumbling through the bad neighborhoods of fucked up compilations before I finally found what caught my interest — or what messed up things my parents did to my psyche that's lead to this categorical selection on Pornhub. Life as I knew it, had changed.

Psychologists consider this aspect of porn (finding out what you like and don’t like) to be a inherent positive in regards to sexuality. How is the feeling in your favorite porn video like the feeling you had during a conflict in your childhood? For many, porn was — and still is — their crib notes for bedroom education. 

Over the years, the amount of quantities and varieties of porn available has increased exponentially across multiple platforms delivering swift and private adult media. Pornhub boasts that in 2015, people watched 4,392,486,580 hours on its websites. That's 2.5x longer than homo sapiens have been on earth. 

In January, the Barna Group published the results of large study on this same pornography culture. The study revealed that a staggering 57 percent of younger millennials (ages 18 to 24) seek out porn at least once or twice a month. Among older millennials, the number is only slightly better at 43 percent. Gen-Xers and Boomers reported 41 percent and 17 percent respectively.

Unfortunately, for a generation of men more or less raised on clicking and climaxing, the law of diminishing returns comes heavily into play.

What once got your rocks off no longer provides the same release, literally. This transpires into spending more time searching porn sites for "correct" videos to match tailored desires until the next thing you know you've spent 45 minutes on the site and missed the third quarter of the game. You condition yourself to build a new desire for a category of porn. Hell, if you masturbated to the sounds of a blender, eventually you'd walk into a Jamba Juice and never leave. Think Clockwork Orange. 

As I began living this new life of endless fulfillment and Jamba Juice smoothies, I began to realize that I lost a certain desire to sexually exert effort when on a date or in a relationship. When hooking up, I realized I was fantasizing about what I saw in the videos. If I didn't act out a certain style, I wasn't that turned on. The elaborate world of online porn had percolated into my real world sexual conquests and began fucking with my head. I lost confidence. Questioned my motives. My relationships couldn't give me what porn had slowly been pumping into my veins: my deepest fantasies. 

Yes, I was able to hold relationships. Yes, I still got laid. Yes, I love the Rasberry Razz smoothie at Jamba Juice. I noticed a difference in my emotional depth but never considered porn — a staple of my life for the last 15 years — to be sabotaging my relationships. What I originally set out to watch porn for, the pleasure and fulfillment of sex, I had now completely lost. 

Then my Internet went out. Moving apartments, I found myself between changing services and an illegible broken phone screen. Unless I wanted to join the homeless men at the library for an online bukakke session, I was SOL. 

For the first few weeks, I had strange relapses postulating about how many new videos were loaded onto the sites. Did the girls finally realize it wasn’t a real casting couch? Could I change carriers to get a new phone? Nope, only one year into a two-year contract. I had no choice but to continue cold turkey. 

During the next few months, something interesting started happening. I found myself less concerned with porn and more aware of how sexually attracted to my partner I’d become. My desire for her came back to the relationship. My confidence in the bedroom came back immediately. I was spontaneous in our sexual explorations. I engaged in my relationship more. Things had changed… for the better. This couldn't be because I stopped watching porn, could it? 

I've now gone 6 months without porn, and my emotional and sexual balance has never been better. I've personalized my sexual experiences again. Porn often deemed aggressive sex as sexy which ultimately desensitized my outlook toward it. Not only was I robbing myself of the pleasure and fulfillment of sex, I was robbing my girlfriend of the same thing.