12-Week Porn Addiction Withdrawal Walkthrough

Porn Addiction Withdrawal Walkthrough

Do you feel worse now that you’ve stopped looking at porn?

Knowing what to expect when you’re going through porn addiction withdrawal is crucial to fighting temptation. When you understand what your body is going to throw at you, it’s a lot easier to say, “This is normal and I just have to get through it.”

If you know anyone who’s ever tried to quit smoking, these withdrawal symptoms will look pretty familiar. Studies have shown that withdrawal from porn and masturbation is just as severe as withdrawal from heroin or cocaine.

As you continue reading, you’ll get a day-by-day walk-through of the most common stages of porn addiction withdrawal.

1 to 7 Days Without Porn

The first thing that happens when you quit is that your Dopamine levels take a nose-dive. As you learned about in the Porn Addiction Symptoms article, Dopamine is the chemical your brain surges into your system every time you look at porn.

In these first few days, your brain is literally in shock.

Many men start experiencing these withdrawal symptoms within 48 hours of quitting:

  • Grumpiness – Every little thing will irritate you. For me, I became extremely cynical about everything around me.
  • Mood swings – As your brain tries to rebalance itself, you’ll feel like a teenage girl having her first period… Happy one minute and on the verge of tears the next. Seriously.
  • Headaches – I didn’t ever experience intense migraines like some men report, but I did get subtle pressure headaches that lasted for hours at a time.
  • Anxiety – Some men have legitimate panic attacks, but I experienced this more as a general feeling of stress. From the first three days for the next three months, I always felt like I had way too much to do.
  • Pornographic Thoughts – Temptation during the first week is extremely intense. This is because your last pornographic experience is still fresh on your mind. We’ll talk more about this below.

The Seven-Day Craving

Can you quit looking at porn for an entire week?

For most men reading this, the answer is no. The classic test of addiction is whether or not you can make it a full seven days without even looking at porn. That’s because of the Seven-Day Craving, a classic pitfall for first-time quitters.

The Seven-Day Craving is exactly what it sounds like… You’ll usually experience very intense cravings around Day 7 without looking at porn. For some men, you’ll get your 7-Day Craving at Day 21. For some men, it’ll come at Day 5 and last ‘til Day 10.

Read more: [How to resist temptation to look at porn.] (coming soon)

1 to 3 Weeks Without Porn

Congratulations! You made it past the first week. You’ve still got a long road ahead of you, but you should still pat yourself on the back for making it this far.

These are the most common symptoms men report after the initial one-week hump:

  • Zombie-like State – Because your brain has been deprived of its regular Dopamine highs, it’s common for abstainers to enter a sluggish, zombie-like state. Expect low energy levels to last anywhere from two weeks to two months.
  • Unable to Focus – I could not work efficiently in the first few weeks after I quit. The constant fatigue somehow made me feel restless, and things that normally took 30 minutes were now taking an hour. I had no motivation and no focus.
  • Social Awkwardness – It’s hard to accurately describe this symptom, but many men echoed that they felt awkward or exposed in social settings. It feels like you constantly have your foot in your mouth.
  • Low Sex Drive – You might expect your sex drive to be bursting at the seams after going without porn for a week or two, but many men report the exact opposite. Although porn will still ignite temptation when you think about it, any other sexual activity may not sound appealing while your brain reboots.
  • Loneliness – This website is mostly tailored towards married men, but you single men especially will have trouble with this one. You’ll experience loneliness, and you’ll want to escape it with porn. Don’t give in!

4 to 8 Weeks Without Porn

28 days without any porn or masturbation is when about 50% of men start feeling the initial porn addiction withdrawals start to go away.

For the rest of you, keep going, you’re relief is just a few weeks away!

Heavily addicted men will probably need another month or two. Even if you still struggle with withdrawal symptoms, by now you’ve at least gotten used to going through each day without porn. Looking at it is no longer a habit.

Here’s what’s happening in your brain right now:

The “layers” of addicting Delta Fos-B which built up in your brain due to repeated Dopamine overdosing are starting to disintegrate. Your brain is it essentially re-wiring itself to function with normal levels of Dopamine.

Here are some specific withdrawals to look out for from days 30 to 60:

  • Random Temptation – There have been so many times that I’ve made it to four or five weeks without looking at porn, only to have a single bad day that sent me hurtling back into relapse.
  • Bursts of Overwhelming Emotion – You may be reading a book, looking out the window or lying in bed when suddenly you feel yourself tearing up about nothing in particular.
  • Insomnia – Men who were heavily addicted to porn for a long time are the most likely to experience insomnia in this stage of recovery. Insomnia due to withdrawal is nearly impossible to treat, and over-the-counter sleep aids probably won’t do much to help.
  • Depression – Again, not all men will suffer from depression, and some may experience it much earlier in the withdrawal process. It’s not uncommon for this depression to last several weeks, but it always goes away eventually.

2 Months & Beyond

If you’ve made it two solid months without looking at porn at all, then you’re starting to notice some definite improvements in your life.

  • You’re starting to feel happier
  • Your sex drive is coming back in a healthy way
  • You have more energy and focus than ever before
  • Your marriage actually feels fulfilling and your wife looks gorgeous

The longest that I’ve ever heard porn addiction withdrawal symptoms last without any relapse is seven months. That was in a 45 year-old man who’d been looking at porn multiple times a day for thirty years.

For me, four months without porn was the turning point for my withdrawal symptoms, but it took me two miserable years to get there.

That’s why there’s one thing that you absolutely must remember at all times:

Never
Ever
Let Your Guard Down

Temptation could come at any turn, and years down the road you may still face a spark of temptation every now and then. But if you can keep yourself away from porn without any relapse for a full two months, I guarantee you’ll start noticing some changes.

With much manly love,
 - Stephen

I'm Stephen, the guy behind Husband Help Haven. I'm not a marriage counselor or a lawyer, I'm just a guy on the Internet who has talked to a loooooot of men going through separation... Over 2,000 in the past 5 years. My goal is to give men the tools they need to save their marriage from separation. Read more here

60 thoughts on “12-Week Porn Addiction Withdrawal Walkthrough”

  1. Your post is excellent! Thank God for letting me to know this. I have all of these symptom too, and have been struggle countless time to get rid of it. Because I didn’t know about this, someday, just one minor negative thought making me relapse again. Man need more this kind of information because no one told them about it. Please, keep writing this up, looking forward to your new posts.

    1. Thanks for the insight and clarity about the withdrawal symptoms associated with cutting porn out of your life. I had been addicted to porn for 20 years. Since my early twenties. It robbed me of the ability to talk to women, to have a more fufilling life with them.

      Yup. This is day 3 without porn. The first day without porn I felt more confident about my future. I find I’m not as angry, and don’t get angry as easily.

      Like with any addiction, it comes and goes. Today I feel preety down. I’m also feeling unable to connect with women socially or even in work settings.

      But I quit cigareette smoking 20 years ago. I never looked back.

      Believe me if your thinking of quitting porn. Do it. If the results of quitting porn are anything like the results of quitting smoking, the benefits are amazing.

      I have a better career now that I quit smoking. My drive to succeed, is much higher. I have accomplished so many amazing things professionally when I quit smoking. It’s remarkable.

      I can’t wait to see the upside of this.

      Thanks again

  2. Charles Gardner

    Grateful to find this site.
    Today is # 12 of total abstinence from porn and masturbation. Day 11 for me was a son of a gun. All it takes is a slight breeze to trigger me. The first week was a piece of cake though now is a different story. I’m experiencing slight headaches, threw up twice this morning, experiencing anxiety, and don’t want to leave the safety of my house. Letting go of my soothing mechanism is like loosing a friend.
    Today I started taking a great product called dopatone ( K-41 ) a natural supplement by Apex Energetics. This should replace some of the dopamine levels while working through this. Feels good to check in and share my experience. So far so good though very cautious knowing the slightest thing could set me off and running. Going through what to expect from this site is extremely helpful.
    Thank you, C Gardner

  3. Thank you very much for this site. Today is my first day to stopping masturbation.. hopefully I will be able to withstand the urges which are going to be coming my way, wish me luck! thanks again. :)

  4. I have struggled with addiction to porn and masturbation for many years, and have seen the adverse results in my life and my marriage. Porn is both repulsive yet attractive, stimulating, yet mood-killing, exciting, yet mind-dulling. Partaking of it is like drinking poison that goes to the very soul. It has been detrimental to my life in many ways, not the least of which is my marriage. It’s nigh well past time I break this habit for the good of my marriage, family, and my own spiritual well-being.

    Thanks Stephen for sharing this article, and so many other resources in the Husband Help Haven, helping us become the kind of manly leaders we must be to attract and keep our wives happy and fulfilled in marriage.

    1. Quitting porn was one of the hardest things I ever had to do. It took me longer than it should have. But, it is one of my proudest accomplishments, and it has enabled me to be the kind of husband, leader and father that I know I need to be. Getting rid of a porn habit is like losing 100 pounds from your soul… You feel free, light, focused, unhindered. As you said, do it not only for your wife and family, but for your own spiritual well-being!

      1. hi bro, is it safe to have sex in this 12 weak period.
        now im in my 60 days… plz reply me.
        my clear question during this period, sex is good or bad.

      2. If you do have sex, plan ahead for increased temptation and commit to withstanding it. Fact is, having sex reactivates a lot of those neural pathways, so your temptation may come back for a short time (few days) as if you’d just relapsed. If having sex doesn’t cause you to relapse, imho it’s fine. If it does, or if it’s not worth the extra temptation afterwards, refrain.

  5. I am not a married man I am single but I really appreciate the way this is written it helps clarify a lot of things for me while I’m trying to stop pornography use. it’s written in a very inspiring non-judgemental way and I think it will be very helpful in assisting men in cutting out the pornography in their life and moving forward. Bravo to the author

  6. I have quit exsecive masturbation and porn 7 days now.my anxiety is through the roof but is better every day.it will be so great to fell normally again after 8 years.will keep in touch. Joseph

  7. Checking in at 41 days of total abstinence.
    This experience so far has been as hard as it is gratifying. I’m so grateful to have an amazing wife that tells me every day how proud she is of me and adult enough to know it’s not personal.
    This is my journey and my opportunity that’s been handed to me to gain but another level of consciousness and understanding of self. I’ve been journaling and diligently working through Patric Carnes book Facing The Shadow. I highly recommend it.
    Still get triggered by a slight breeze and have to be on my toes at all times though things seem to be getting a bit easier.
    Clean and sober for 25 years in AA, I’m also going by the same principles but in the green book SA.
    I wish nothing more than for all of us to acknowledge and embrace this life changing opportunity.
    Love always, your brother……

  8. I m single man. Have stopped looking porn and masturbation since 12 days. Right after first 4 days ie on the 5th day, I felt terrible, angry, anxious and wanted to look porn and masturbated. But I held on, convinced myself of the losses I suffered because of this habit, focused on my goal in life and started working. Now it is 12 days and I feel like a zombie state, less focus, restlessness. But it occurs intermittently and not that terrible as was on the 5th day. My target is 4 months as have been into porn since standard V (around 14 years). Though heavy porn use only since last 5 years.

  9. I have been addicted to masterbation and pornography for the past 11 years of my life. I keep telling myself “it will be easier when I’m older, but I’m 22 now and it’s just as bad as it was 11 years ago. It was an every day occurrence, something I had to hide from my family and friends, and something that’s threatened my relationship with my beautiful girlfriend. I am now 3 weeks clean from masterbation and pornography- the longest I have gone in a very long time- and a big part due to this web site. You are always aware of the temptation, but I never knew about the headaches, the nausea, the anxiety, the boredom. It’s like you step into a cage that you can be perfectly comfortable as long as you don’t try to get out. I’ve been feeling like crap for the past few weeks, but I NEED to make it to 3 months. I want to be free. I want to be happy. I want to be free.

  10. I am not married but wwouldnt be a good husband because of porn addiction. I want to quit. My mouth is craving the addiction and its been about 1 day. I just read a book on quiting. Also, considering sex group similar to AA. I can make it a few days but the relapses are the worst!

  11. This article is such a blessing, now I realise it is addiction. For anyone reading this with migraines that last 1-3hrs, I started at around the time my migraines started. Three years of damage will be hard to undo. I wish everyone would start using the phrase ‘dopamine overdose’ for all addictions, even using a device has similar effects.

  12. Love this article I’m 21 and I’ve been addicted for 5 years now still single am working hard to break from it so this article will help me a lot please wish me good luck.

  13. two months and still craving. Much prouder of myself though and my relationship with my wife is better, but she has hit the menopause and has no sex drive so my craving is very strong, what will help?

    1. “My craving is very strong, what will help?”

      Consistent discipline and reminding yourself why you’re doing it. You’re not doing it just for your wife or so that sex with your wife can replace your porn addiction. You’re breaking the habit because looking at porn is wrong, borders on infidelity, and even outside of the moral argument, it makes almost every area of your life objectively worse.

    1. My experience is that masturbation fuels the same connections in your brain that porn does, albeit much more mildly… But at the end of the day it keeps that connection alive. You could view masturbation similar to the patch. Is it better than looking at porn? Yes. But just like the smoker ultimately works to leave the patch behind, so too should you work to leave masturbation behind, especially if you’re married.

  14. Hey Stephen. This article is awesome. Im about 2 weeks in and I’m going through all this. Loneliness is the worst for me, I’m single. Its killing me as a matter of fact.I started working out with a female personal trainer and I’m crushing hardcore on her. I think its because when I make her smile or laugh dopamines are released and shes the only place I get them. Should I quit using her until I’m over this? I really want to but thinking about it gives me anxiety really bad. What should I do? I also dont wanna do the things I really enjoyed doing before. Will those things return? Thanks.

    1. Couple questions here, I’ll do my best to answer.

      1. About the personal trainer… Is she single too? In that case, I’m not really sure I see the harm in flirting with her or having a crush. I understand that you can sort of feel that scratching the same itch in your mind that’s associated with porn, but if flirting with her isn’t actually making temptation worse, then I say flirt away. Let yourself have that crush. Nothing wrong with that as long as she doesn’t mind (seems like she doesn’t). Plus, if it helps with the loneliness, keeps you in the gym and gives you something to look forward to, there’s an argument that all those benefits outweigh anything else that could be going on. Ultimately though, trust your gut. If your gut is telling you to back off, maybe you should back off.

      2. Yes, the desire and joy that you get from doing things that you like doing will come back. It’s normal to go through a phase like this. Your body is used to functioning with the stimulus of porn, just like someone’s body might be used to functioning with the stimulus of coffee. Once you take away that stimulus, there are more side effects than just withdrawals. Push on, your brain will rewire with time, and I’m willing to bet you’ll enjoy those things MORE than you used to.

  15. Finally plucked up enough courage to share my experience on here. I’m now on week 10 and have been suffering from bad anxiety, insomnia ect.. after been addicted to porn for well over 30 years. This has been life changing for me and i am so glad I found this page early in the process and I live in hope that there is now light at the end of the tunnel :-)

    1. Pete, I used an herbal called St John’s Wart which helped me with my anxiety. At night I take a melatonin with a Magnesium to help me sleep through the night. It works most of the time. You should always talk to your doctor before taking anything.

  16. This is so incredibly helpful! I am a woman with porn/sex addiction. I’ve seen so many articles, but this has been the most helpful. I will use it on my journey to an addiction-free life :-) 1 day gone already! I know I can do this.

  17. amazing i read this article in an Indian site and idid,nt realize the damage that this Behaviour Inflicts on the Body-mind today marks almost 90 days WITHOUT it!! with one screw up in between anyway everything you mentioned about the withdrawl Symptoms is literally true pi$# angry terible stress is like leaving you best buddy behind! thats what i thought the worst part about this Addiction is that it Leaves you Body a Wreck!!

  18. I’ve tried many times to give up porn, sometimes even going through all of Lent without it, but nothing sticks. Nofap kind of helps, but I just don’t have the skill those success stories have. What is the best way to begin this journey and actually keep with it?

  19. I’ve been addicted to porn for years. I never realized how bad it actually was. I’m extremely organized and detail oriented person. I found myself downloading content through forums as the addiction took over my life. I had a TON of porn. Dozens by the same stars. What I noticed after years down this rabbit hole is that there was a theme with the porn I was watching. It was mostly cheating, cuckold or interracial. Porn literary effected everything in my life. My sex life was kinky but it brought all the insecurities along with it. My fiancé kept feeling like I was cheating on her as rollplaying became the norm in the bedroom. I ended up losing my fiancé because of it and that’s when the addiction really took over. An outlet to coup with an issue and mdma abuse will destroy any desire you have to get your life on track. My drive to talk to women was nonexistent. The relationships I did end of having, all went to shit. I had issues keeping an erection and scared girls off with how aggressive I was in bed. After constant rejection, it started to put a toll on me. Wtf is wrong with me? People assumed I was gay. This depression lasted for two years of life. I was miserable but couldn’t stop. I found myself making accounts on various porn sites, creating playlists, watching porn at work, in the car driving home and I even made a tumblr to archive porn memes. It was bad and I had no control.

    I finally snapped out of it recently and decided to quit porn. Mood swings happen regularly. I knew something was wrong when I decided to quit and two days into it, my penis looked like extremely small. I knew my body was off but didn’t realize it was because of the addiction. It then hit me. About three days into it, my penis stayed small, it was embarrassing. I tested a theory to watch porn and bingo, a full erection. I stopped without cumming. I’m now on day 9 and it’s been awful. Everything stated in the article is correct. My sex drive which I thought would bounce back and increase my desire to substitute porn with women never happened. Instead my drive is gone. Literary gone. My imagination to think about sex is blank. I’m hoping this gets better, because I feel lonely in life. Withdrawals from porn is REAL and it takes every ounce of a strong man to get through it. I also find it extremely awkward to talk about. A drug addiction is on thing but everyone watches porn so it just looks like a joke to most people. I’m hoping within time things go back to normal. Stay strong guys.

  20. I have been addicted for 15 years, starting when I was 13. I have always viewed masturbation as the reason why porn was addictive. I would think, if I could just stop masturbating, then Porn would loose most of it’s appeal. I think this way because, the draw to porn came after I already had a strong addiction to masturbation. The two feed off of each other obviously. However from my own experiences, during the times when I have actually managed to stay clean for a few months, pornographic imagery hasn’t really done anything for me. It seems that it only has an effect when I am in a rut of addition to masturbation.

    I draw, and I follow many artists. Some of them will occasionally post depictions of females that are partially, or entirely, nude. I generally just try to ignore these, and move on to other art posts, sometimes in a weak moment I’ll start looking through that artist’s other work to see if they have draw anything else like it. Usually they haven’t, and I just end up looking at a lot of other art by them, and eventually move on. Here’s my question, When I come across art like this, should I count it as a failure, as I would if I went to a porn site? Another question, if I open up a porn site, and then quickly close it, but not before seeing the front page and it’s contents, does this count as a failure? I try to kep track of how many days free I am, and sometimes I don’t count these kinds of slip ups, because I don’t want to have to reset my count. I want to be able to look at the that number and say “look how far you’ve come”, but I also want to be honest with myself.

    I have had relapses that fling me into a hardcore spiral, where I fail multiple times a day for several days, and sometimes even weeks, in a row. In ruts like this, going cold turkey is next to impossible. When I’m in a rut like this, would it be a good idea to try and regulate fail points? To tell myself that I can fail, but I have to wait a day or so in between to spread out the frequency, and potentially weaken the addiction, so that going cold turkey is more likely to work?

    1. A lot of questions here.

      – About the artists, I wouldn’t count it as a failure if all you do is move on. To be tempted is not a failure; to give into it is.
      – About the porn site, kind of at your discretion, but either way what will usually happen is that you’ll look at the porn site briefly one day, then a bit longer the next, and then a bit longer the next, until you’ve full relapsed. So do whatever enables you to best break that cycle, whether that’s motivation or strictness.
      – Personally my recommendation is that every time you relapse, your goal is to go 24 hours without porn or sexual imagery or stimulation of any kind. Then 48 hours. Then a week. By then you should have broken the most difficult part of the cycle, which is the days immediately following a relapse.

  21. Today is day 15 since I quit porn. It is also, together with yesterday (day 14) the hardest. I have had a very strong craving that at some point I almost gave in. Fortunate to say, I haven’t given in yet and I am committed to keep it that way.
    My story with porn is not the best one, it embarrasses me a lot sometimes; it has cost me at least two relationships and it has affected my social life. The obsession to stop and the failure thereof has even been close to depressing. I was introduced to porn when I was 16/17 years old, I despised it then and I did not really watch it agin until I was 18 years old. Then later when I was 21. That was when it became addictive! I would spend hours searching for some type of porn, that even today I cannot describe. I guess the fact that porn cannot satisfy a sexual desire was the problem.
    I have watched porn at work and when I was seated with a girl, who wanted my love. I guess a few girls might call me strange or gay, I don’t know! I was interested in them but I somehow did not find them hot or something. In the end, every girl that had a crush on me hated me. But I would never open up to them and tell them that I had this problem.
    Then masturbation set in. And this only made it worse. The guilt of doing these things, when I knew in my heart that they were destroying me was the hardest thing to cope with. In the end, guilt led to guilt and I often found comfort in porn. Weird but true. I made decisions to stop so many times that I stoped hoping that I could ever stop.
    Then I found this article and read the comments. And for the first time in 10 months, I have gone two weeks without porn. I have not found it easier but I am more confident. I have a girl that I have crush on and I feel more confident around her. This did not use to happen before.
    I hope to post back here after two more weeks. That is if Stephen, will allow me.

    Wishing you all the best.

  22. Hi everyone, I’m addicted to porn for six years and now I’m in the day of 18, and I feel insomnia and depression and low energy and motivation all day, and high libido crazy level, so wish me luck

  23. its 7th day of quiting porn i feel very good and motivated one thing i wnat to share with the friends over here is to satart joging, runing, and drink alot of water it will help you.

  24. I am glad to have come across this website,I have tried in the past best I did was three months, now its been 9 days i am experiencing most of the mentioned symptoms but am more determined that ever to set myself free from the bounds of porn and masterbation addiction after having done a lot of research of cause.
    I’ve been addicted since I was about 12 years old now I’m 37.

    Seeing as most comments where over a year ago a few testimonies would be great from the guys who shared their stories.

  25. Hi guys,

    I’m currently on day 10 of no porn or masturbation. My wife and I both decided that we would refrain from having sex for the next 90-120 days, so I guess you could technically say that I’m on day 4 without orgasm. It’s been hard, I actually started seeking help about three weeks ago so I’ve been doing counceling sessions once a week. It’s been very helpful. I’ll pray for all of you through this journey and I hope you can all pray for me. This is going to be one of the biggest obstacle we will ever overcome but God will be right beside us. He has bigger plans for us and we just need to remove this part of our lives. We can all do it!

  26. This is really a great and honest post….i struggled to believe I had an addiction until I noticed I would casual look a nude pictures daily…. It would literally take up may 6hrs at a time to fulfill my urge and I thought I was still managing myself well! I’ve tried and relapsed many times….. Right now I am almost 2 weeks free from masturbation and I slipped and watched the videos me and my wife made…… Deleting those tomorrow and I will true free from purposely watching porn. I am Christian and Deuteronomy 28 was enough to explain all of my issues away so that I can lean on something greater than me……only took a week to get my erection back to what it was and I’m definitely lasting longer without thinking too much! I hope my comment helps!

  27. Great article! Would the same thing symptoms/stages apply to just masturbation in general? I am in week 2 of a masturbation reboot, where I would find myself formerly, constantly looking for sex or masturbation at least 3 times a day.

    The first week I felt great. I felt that the lustful thoughts that dominated my disposition went away and I felt like myself again, and able to function in my day to day activities. It’s week two now, and I’m struggling with urges and also a bit of pain since I have not orgasm in all this time, and I feel like my sack is getting full (sorry best wording I can find lol).

    I am also super paranoid about not getting erections all the time like I was used too.

  28. I’m in the midst of the reset and I found out that while my wife and I are abstaining during this time that, is masturbating. I’m deeply offended and a little angry that she is getting off while I continue to abstain. I thought we were doing this together and would be able to lean on each other through the struggles but I can see why she’s so happy and content all the time.

    We sleep in separate bedrooms and she is very comfortable that way and has no desire to change that. She also says that she’s not the one with the problem and that I am. I feel she’s not interested in any non-sexual intimacy until the reboot has taken place. With all this I feel very alone in this process.

    It’s difficult to stay the corse but I want to be free with or without her supporting me. This is a struggle that I’ve dealt with for many years and need to see this through. I know that to have success I’ll have to ignore here actions and be focused on recovery, it’s the only way. This has just been a bit of a blow to me.

    1. I’m sorry to hear that Frank. At the end of the day, you’re right, YOU are the only one who controls your recovery, and ifyou are serious about being free – and I really hope you are – then it is YOU and you alone who can get you through that process. Yes, it sucks that your wife isn’t supporting you in the way you thought she was, but try not to build resentment about it. Keep moving forward, controlling the only thing you can – yourself.

  29. I first watched porn when I was 12 through my father’s phone. Since that time I was hooked to it. However it was not until April this year that it became serious. I started murstabating about 3 times a day and whenever I want to quit I fail. I feel so alone and can’t tell anyone and the fact that I am 19, in college and living alone doesn’t help either.I just relapsed an hour ago after 6 days without porn and murstabation. Since April I have not managed to stay a week without this habit. My concentration levels are dropping and so are my grades. I feel so hopeless but I have no choice but to dust off and try again. Just hope that this time I will get through past 1 week and free myself.

  30. Hi Stephen,

    My marriage is on the rocks and I have been following your Manly Revival Guide, My wife wants a divorce and I am doing everything I can to work on myself, to be patient and to be a better husband.

    My question is about mastubation and not so much porn. In my case, my wife and I (on verge of divorce) have stopped having sex since our marriage is on the rocks and i cannot even foresee if and when we will ever be intimate and have sex. I have been using porn and mastubation as an outlet for stress relief, especially during this non-intimate period.

    I understand that you advocate not viewing porn and I believe that I can stop that. However, what about mastubation? There is no outlet at this moment and given the lack of intimacy and marriage on rocks, it is impossible to even suggest sex with my wife.

    I would be keen to know your thoughts on the matter.

    Regards,
    Alex

    1. You know, this is ultimately going to be your decision, but MY personal take would be no masturbation. If porn has been a problem for you, then masturbation is also going to be a problem for you.

      Get it out of your head that you need sexual release to function. You are not ruled by your sex drive. Until you abandon the belief that you “need” sex, you will find ways to convince yourself back to porn and lust will have a foothold in your life.

      That’s my take anyway.

  31. Hi guys,
    It all began with masturbation 13 years ago and porn added in 2 years after. Since then I have been on the struggle, I just bumped into this site and have read a handful of other people’s experiences and improvement. I want to join in to say I will begin my 12 weeks journey today. And I will give my improvement story soon by Gods grace

  32. this is the single best site/article i have read on this. i came to terms with the fact that i was addicted and it had been negatively impacting my marriage for years, but 4 days ago i finally decided to do something about it and stop, get a porn blocker etc. everything i have seen/read talks about the eventual benefits at day 90+, however this was the first site i have come across that outlines the withdraw symptoms (and currently on day 4, which weirdly enough is probably one of my longest ever already, this site matches almost exactly how i am feeling). luckily i am training for an ultra-marathon and my work life is crazy so distraction & endorphin-production should be OK, but this gives me a great outline as to what to expect. many thanks.

  33. Hey Stephen,

    Thank you for opening this up. I’m grateful I don’t keep my addiction a secret.

    I’ve been able to make it to 6 months porn and masturbation free and I still went back to it. I have lost hope. My biggest block is the thought that even if I go through this withdrawal I’ll still fail again and need to start over.
    I have no inner will to fight anymore or to try again or face any withdrawal symptoms (which I relate to)
    Do you have any experience or suggestions for me?
    Thank You. David.

    1. My advice is to shift your view. This is not a one-time battle my friend. On a deeper level, you must become a PERSON who does not look at porn. Who does not like porn. Who hates porn. You must accept responsibility for your choices. You made the choice to look at porn, and you kept making that choice long enough that it has planted roots in your heart and mind. It will take time to uproot the hundreds, thousands of choices that you made to look at porn. 6 months is a blip in the grand scheme of things.

      Ultimately, it comes down to one simple choice.

      Do you want porn – and all the things it does to you – to be a part of your life? Is the temporary pleasure worth all the bad stuff?

      If you decide the answer is yes, by all means, do nothing.

      If you decide the answer is no, then it doesn’t matter that you’ve relapsed, because for the rest of your life you will never be someone who accepts looking at porn. We all make mistakes, learn from it, look forward, and put in the work again.

      At the end of the day, the same thing will is true today whether you’ve relapsed or not. Today you woke up with the choice to look at porn or not. The only advantage is, now you’ve proven you can do it because you made that choice six months in a row. You relapsed. But 6 months is just ~180 todays. So the road back starts today. It’s not about hitting a number, it’s about making the choice every single day.

      Hope that helps.

      Much manly love,
      – Stephen

  34. I am on day 18 of no porn and masturbation and I can honestly see a little changes. I am going through high levels of anxiety but living in New York you sort of become one with anxiety lol. I’ve also seen an increase in my sex drive. I used to watch porn 3-7 times a day everyday sometimes I watched it just because and I didn’t even masturbate to it. These past 18 days have been an ultimate struggle for me especially since I am single and currently talking to no one. I realized I had a problem when I was having sex with this woman I love so much (and I do want her back ) and I couldn’t feel any type of enjoyment during sex. I actually lost an erection during sex with her because 1. I was currently going through a divorce at the time and mentally I wasn’t all there and 2. I masturbated so much the nerves of my penis has gotten “damaged” I couldn’t feel anything during sex no matter how tight or aroused she was it just wasn’t it for me then as I realized this with her I realized that even with my ex wife I couldn’t find pleasure with her unless she performed oral. But now 18 days in despite the anxiety I’m going through I feel such a change and control in my life I have my two best friends who make sure I’m keeping up with my efforts and my sex drive for actual sex and not porn and masturbation is slowly coming back. Some days are harder than most because of this generation of women showing more skin and it’s like a very watered down version of porn and it’s like ok gotta fight the urges. I usually go work out or play basketball or just punch my punching bag. I want to thank you for this article because me reading it and my friends reading it as well helps us understand my situation and they try their best to make sure I stay on track. I am proud to say I’m almost 3 weeks in! Thank you again. Oh and I also use some hypnotherapy videos on YouTube to help me calm down the urges.

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