[21M] xelcu's journey

Yesterday’s:

Okay, let’s do this.

I want to be clear: I am not the typical person using this app. I probably won’t inspire you to abstain from masturbating. I am exploring this as a sort of curiosity: Can it truly have the effects people claim? Will I actually be more motivated? But at the heart of it all, I don’t necessarily want to completely give up PM like some might. Instead, I just want to understand and experience the benefits of abstaining from PM, and THEN decide.

I also want to state my commitments, in order to have them on “paper” and in the world. First and foremost, my goal is to abstain from PMO for the remainder of my school semester, which ends on Dec 14th, 126 days from now. Second, I aim to journal every day; at the end of each journal, I will post my streak–to communicate, yes, but mainly to reaffirm my commitment.

I hope I can make it the full 126 days; then, I can be confident I have at least experienced the most immediate effects and can begin to decide whether or not I wish to continue this journey.

Day 1


With that settled, let me start today’s journal. It was a fairly uneventful day, with my commitment and discipline holding strong through the day. Yes, there were “urges”, but they were fleeting and easy to shake off. What I fear is the thing beyond an urge. I don’t know what to call it, but I’m certain everyone here has felt it: The desire that fills your body and grips your mind, that leaves you unable to use logic or reason. I know I can overcome it, but I think the better option is to simply avoid it.

I’ve found those moments come most often when I let fantasies and distractions run wild. The key, then, is to be aware of my thoughts, to recognize when I am fantasizing and recognize when it is getting out of control. See, part of what makes me slightly different from most here is while I am doing the PMO restriction, I’m not abstaining from ALL sexual pleasure–I’m letting myself fantasize and enjoy the real world around me.

Basically, I’m trying to explore the side of my sexuality I’ve ignored for too long, that which is beyond just racing to orgasm. The reason why I’ve suddenly committed to over four months of no PMO is because I’ve realized I can’t achieve this without restricting myself. Inevitably, I would grow lazy and just return to my old habits. I don’t want that to happen this time.

This is also why I say I’m leaving myself open to decide. It may turn out I enjoy all the traditional benefits enough to continue with this, or maybe I’ll discover that non-PMO sexual pleasure is better.

And that really, truly gets to the heart of this: I don’t know what this will bring until I try it, and I’m committed to seeing this through.

Day 2

I apologize for the bulkiness of this post. Future ones will be shorter and more condensed. I wanted to get yesterday’s in here to make sure I had everything in one place, and I wanted to get all my complicated thoughts down on paper. Thank you for bearing with me.

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It’s another day! I must admit, I almost didn’t want to bother with this journal today. Even on the first week of class, college courses pile the workload on you. But finally, Friday has come, sweet and tempting with its promised freedom.

I hope it isn’t a stretch to say today was also hard in keeping myself to my goal. I reached those other “urges” I spoke of in the previous post–the ones that eat at your logic and reason, that tempt you to just spend a moment looking at porn and then you’ll stop. But, I stopped it. Rather than what most do here–attempting to vanquish the thought–I simply let it carry over me. I didn’t touch whatsoever, but I lay on my bed and allow whatever sensations I wanted to pass over me. (I did this primarily because, as stated above, I am also using this period to explore my sexuality in non-physical and non-orgasmic ways.)

Brief warning: The rest of this particular entry might be explicit and trigger urges.

Not letting myself touch was, needless to say, frustrating. I also ensured I didn’t “dry-hump” or any other methods of stimulation; all I did was lay there, completely still. That said, although I found my fantasies and imagination still struggled to come up with anything concrete while so aroused, not letting myself stray off to porn did force it to eventually come up with its own ideas. Not long after, I fell asleep for a short nap.

I should mention that I’m a writer, and a key issue in my writing is being distracted or consumed by arousing topics. I don’t want to avoid things that arouse me, but I’ve found my ability to be creative once I introduce a particularly enticing thing into the story falls apart. I end up overly focused on the part of the story that interests me sexually; I don’t pay attention anything else. This challenge of no PMO I’m hoping will help alleviate some of that. Forcing myself to be more creative in my fantasies will allow myself to explore my creativity as a whole, thus helping develop my ability with stories.

At least, I hope. For the time being, there hasn’t been much in terms of story-writing. Mostly just frantically trying to organize myself for the coming semester. I will admit, this has helped in its own ways, too: Quite simply, I’ve been too busy to look at porn or masturbate. Maybe that’s a blessing in disguise.

Day 3

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Another day without incident. I had quite a productive morning (placing my phone out of reach helped both going to bed and getting up to turn off the alarm), but eventually I decided to take a nap, and with that came the urges.

It’s a struggle. I have lots of difficulty relaxing in ways that aren’t with PMO, and so I find myself at a loss for what to do when I need to take a break from being productive. Maybe I should try more reading.

Day 4

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It’s a bit early, but interestingly evenings seem to be the easiest for me. I figured I might as well update while I’m thinking about it.

I believe I need to take further steps to limit my fantasizing. During the week, it isn’t so bad: I stay on campus most of the day, so even if I get “in the mood”, I can’t exactly start jerking. It’s the weekends where I find myself struggling. It would be smart of me to figure out something I have to do for the weekends. Maybe a club or friends or something.

At any rate, though I came dangerously close, I am still doing fine. I also am starting to feel that hint of motivation people talk about. Now that I’m refusing to let myself handle those sexual urges, I’ve found I’m a lot more interested in “getting in the game”.

Tomorrow is Monday, so at the very least, I’m likely to be safe until Thursday.

Day 5

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I ended up “relapsing”.

The thing that I spoke of in my first few posts? The slippery slope? It came to fruition, just like I expected.

At first, I didn’t want to post anything. Guilt, shame, and a general disinterest in this entire thing.

But now that a few hours have passed, I want to rethink my goals. Clearly, I can’t go from normal habits to 4 months without any PMO. I need to start smaller. Get used to those urges, then do a reboot.

So my new goal is simple: 7 days. I want to take it one day at a time. If I can go beyond 7 days, I’ll reevaluate then, but for now, I don’t want to set myself up for failure like I did. I could have easily made it to 7 days before, but I was stuck in the mindset of “What’s the point?”

I want this. Partly to prove to myself I can do it. Partly to see what it’s all about. So let’s do it.

Day 0

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Really didn’t want to post today, but I decided I wanted to keep this journal going even more. Nothing to do with PMO, but had a mixup with meds that left me feeling pretty awful.

Not much to say about today, mostly stayed in bed. Funny how urges go away when you’re not feeling well.

Day 1

I missed yesterday’s journal. I feel kind of bad about it, but at the same time, Wednesdays are super long for me. On the plus side, I definitely wasn’t dealing with any urges yesterday–too busy.

As for today, it was mostly uneventful. The days immediately after I orgasm are usually like this; my sex drive has never been too intense. While many might think it’s less of a reason for me to participate in this, for me, it’s even more of a reason.

I, to some extent or another, enjoy the feeling of slight sexual energy. Not being entirely aroused–that can get distracting. But that little spark of energy, that drive to “go get 'em”. And when I orgasm, I spend about an entire week recuperating, where I don’t have that feeling at all.

I also need to talk about exactly what I’m focusing on in this journey. It’s a modified version of PMO. In the strictest sense, it’s essentially just an MO reboot, but it does focus on porn reduction.

Honestly speaking, porn is something I cannot avoid in my life. Not completely. Part of this is because what I consider porn is drastically different from what everyone else probably considers porn. I’ve always preferred so-called “soft-core” porn, but even more than that, I enjoy even non-sexual but attractive things in the same vein. The typical porn videos have never interested me.

I also feel like I need to mention: I’m gay. This affects how much I’m able to avoid porn because, quite frankly, being gay I prefer to surround myself with other queer people, and the attitude of sex, porn, etc. is drastically different in queer culture, especially the groups I’m a part of.

To put it bluntly, porn comes up–and is shared–as naturally as the weather or opinions on movies.

I could, in theory, completely change the people I surround myself with and avoid all images that might be pornographic in nature, but I don’t want to. I am doing this for a variety of reasons, but I thoroughly enjoy the people I surround myself with. I am genuinely happy with them.

Of course, I can avoid the porn in those contexts. The other issue is how “porn” stuff might intertwine with my creative side. This is much more abstract, but essentially, those non-sexual images that I’m able to enjoy as porn also serve as creative inspiration for me. This primarily exists in the form of (drawn) art, but it can also appear in photos.

The reduction in that comes from the fact that I want to reduce how much I rely on these images. At the moment, I find I struggle to generate my own ideas, which is not good. I want to practice only letting those images serve as “kindling” for my creativity: I might use ideas from them, yes, but I’ll expand on it, not just use and re-hash.

I hope some of that made sense.

Day 3

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I missed yesterday again. I need to set a reminder for these. It really bothers me when I miss a journal entry (would be more okay if it was planned, e.g. travelling, vacation, etc.).

Anyway, there is not that much to report. It’s reaching the point where I’m beginning to feel some more urges again, but they’re all still in the vague and blurry phase. Nothing so intense that I want to act on them.

I also want to figure out a better way to quantify my porn situation. Some way to measurably limit it, rather than just “will try to reduce”, which is the most BS thing ever. I figure there’s only one real option, which is

I clearly state what my intentions are, and I will use them only for said intentions. Any usage as pornographic material is strictly prohibited.

This is definitely the hardest option, but it fits in line with the theme of what I’m trying to do. It also gives me the most flexibility, allowing me to use any reference I want so long as it’s for a clearly defined purpose. To achieve this, I’d probably have to lock files so I have to put effort into viewing them. I also need to define what a good reason is.

(Alternatively, I could just learn some self-control. Which is the more “ideal” scenario, but.)

Tomorrow and Monday, however, will be filled with studying, homework, and more studying.

Day 5

Oh, also. Reminder for myself to get a physical journal to jot down smaller thoughts. I like this for an overall review, but something to have on hand throughout the day would be nice, too.

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Today’s entry will be short. Feeling urges again, but I definitely can make it to Day 7. I want to aim for 10 days now. I think 14 days still might be too far, but I also think I can get there if I go incrementally.

Also, I’m not feeling well (in case you were wondering why I’m less coherent than usual).

Day 6

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Incredibly short update because I am now properly sick. No relapses, not that I have the energy to even attempt that. Just lying in bed and drinking lots of water.

Day 7

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Missed yesterday’s journal, but I actually don’t feel too bad about it–I was properly sick. Stayed in bed the whole day. It was supposed to help me make it to my early morning lab today, but alas, I missed that too.

Thankfully, I’m through the worst of it. Needless to say, not much happened. I just rested the whole day. And most of today, too. Tomorrow, I have a nearly free day, so I’m going to spend that catching up on what I missed.

Just before this, however, I felt some pretty strong urges in the shower. That’s one of the places I usually masturbate (easiest to clean up). And I was pretty damn tempted. I decided to meditate because ultimately, I need a stronger motivation than curiosity.

I don’t know how to word this exactly, but I realized I was basically sabotaging my motivation for self-improvement with my current time between orgasms. If I spend 5-6 days after an orgasm “recovering” that sexual energy/motivation (see above posts), and I tend to masturbate once every 6-7 days, well. It’s not hard to see that I’m basically denying myself an important source of motivation and energy.

I didn’t quite manage to convince myself in that short meditation that long, sustained periods of abstinence from orgasm would benefit me, but I did manage to convince myself that I should aim, at the very least, to orgasm only once every two weeks. And I now genuinely believe that. So, improvement, I guess! Still more to do, but just gotta focus on one thing at a time.

Day 9

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Not much to report. I’m feeling better, which is good! But also, didn’t have too many urges today, if any. Didn’t get as much work done as I was hoping, but I suppose that’s more a fault of setting my expectations too high. I’m personally interested to see what the weekend holds and how I handle that.

Day 10

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Another day passes without incident.

I sort of feel myself slipping into a depressive episode. I’m going to try to wake up a bit earlier and get back into my routine. Getting sick messed it all up, and now I’m suffering for it.

Urges were… weird today. Simultaneously stronger and weaker. Probably a weird combination of depression and increased time. Overall, not too much interesting happened.

Day 11

I gotta admit, this one was harder to write than usual. It’s almost certainly the depression, but just. I’m glad I managed to write something.

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I had a mildly productive day today. I didn’t get quite as much done as I wanted to–though, actually. That might not be fair to myself. While I don’t have as much “finished” stuff as I wanted, I did spend a lot of the time dedicated to studying on learning skills necessary for one of my classes. So, I suppose I should feel good about that.

Less urges today, but again, been fighting depression so I can’t really say what the cause is. Tomorrow has to be a big day for me, lots of things to do. All I can do now is try to get to bed early and make the most of the day.

Day 12

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Claim your soul back and the depression will be vanished like dust from a vacuum cleaner.
The depression is your karma from your frivolic past. Cause good deeds and your sexual energy will nourish you back into paradise. It’s like getting a boner in the heart… Or head. There are seven cakras, not just svadhistana.

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While I’m not here for spirituality, I do appreciate the sentiment and the advice within. Perhaps the key is to not focus exclusively on the sexual aspects of this challenge and the day-to-day. How can I improve myself as a person? How can I improve the lives of others? And from that happiness, I can find more genuine joy in the sexual acts I choose, instead of being a slave to my sexual desires.

I must admit, you have me interested in learning more, even though I’m very much not a spiritual person.

As for today, it was decent. I was decently productive, enough so to feel proud of myself, and got up at a reasonable time. Even less happened sexually today, so I’m beginning to suspect I am entering that area of low libido commonly reported.

For tomorrow, I’m incredibly busy, so there’s a chance I won’t end up writing a journal entry. I probably will, but it might just end up being short.

For the future, I want to focus on two additional things:

  1. Making improvements to my life outside of this PMO challenge. Small, daily things–waking up early, going to bed early, eating a bit healthier. I’ll probably develop something more concrete as it continues, but even something as small as “I drank no soda.” And I will, of course, share these here.
  2. Helping improve others’ lives–even just one thing at a time. The best way to describe me is that I very much keep to myself. Which, in and of itself, isn’t bad–but it isn’t good, either. This is going to be very small things–saying nice things, helping someone picked up some books they dropped, etc. Random acts of kindness.

Day 13

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So, this is a bit earlier than I usually post–I try to get it in during the evening to ensure I have the full “day”, so to speak. But, today’s been busy, and I just… feel like doing it now. (It is strange how doing things tires me out in some ways, but also motivates me in others.)

I’m gonna be trying out a new way of structuring my posts because of the added goals focusing on myself and helping others.


Sexual
I’ve reached my goal of 14 days! Which leaves me, honestly, uncertain where to go from here. I need to keep it small–an overly large goal leads to failure in my cases. I suppose the natural thing to do is 21 days. But I also really want to try for 30 days. A whole month.

While my gut tells me to go for 30 and go all out, I think I should go for 21. I mean, if I make it, then I can totally just go for 30 after that. It’s not like 30 days is any less impressive because I focused on just one week at a time.

So, here’s to another week.

Personal
So, last night and this morning I meditated. I particularly am proud of this morning. I just saw an opportunity and I took it. And I gotta say, it really helped make this day better. Sometime during the day, not exactly sure when, I started to feel a bit of anxiety, and I just recalled the meditation techniques and used them to calm myself down. The meditation also helped just paint my whole day in a positive light; at the end of it, I felt proud of what I did rather than exhausted and tired. It’s really quite a nice feeling, and I want to start doing this regularly if I can.

I did have a bit of trouble waking up as early as I wanted. I’m not exactly sure why, but I feel like I need to do something about it. I consistently feel a strong need to take a nap between 7:30AM and 9:00AM. Maybe I should try going for a walk around that time. Meditation during that time would be counter-productive, I feel.

Helping Others
Not much to report on this front, unfortunately. That said, I’m not too upset with this, either. Today was very much a “me” day with how busy I was, and I feel like I should be proud of what I did to benefit myself. Tomorrow I have much less to do, so I’ll put more effort into helping others.

That said, I don’t really even know what I can do to help others. I suppose a big part of that is just my awkwardness and shyness; I don’t want to offer help because I’m afraid of… random embarrassment, I suppose. It doesn’t make sense logically, but it’s something that’s affected me all my life.


In the future, each section almost certainly will be shorter, but new format, new stuff happening–lots to write about! I still want to add the day counter at the bottom because all of this was spurred by that one thing. I feel like I want to edit the format a bit because the “personal” and “helping others” sections aren’t as focused on streaks–they’re something I should count the days I did do it. I’ll need to think on that.

Day 14

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Okay. Lame response today because it was way more filled with stuff than I realized.

Pretty much no urges/etc! But, honestly? Probably more a result of how busy I was. I also wonder if the decrease in libido is stress based.

Didn’t do too much for myself or others, unfortunately. I did introduce myself to a maintenance guy who works on the apartment complex I live in, which is… something? It’s something. And I just need to build on it and keep going, not second-guessing and doubting myself.

Day 15

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Unfortunately, today was also mostly a blur of being busy; Wednesdays are my long days, and today was extra long. But, again, kept the steak going! I also felt generally in a good mood, and I’ve noticed that the more I’m doing, the better my mood is. I definitely feel “fatigue” and I can see how it can easily lead to being overworked, but i also see the importance of keeping active.

Unfortunately, I didn’t meditate today–in part due to a 7:30am lab, but still, I want to focus on doing that as much as possible. For now, I’m rewarding myself with a nice shower and a good night’s sleep.

Day 16

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The word spirituality is very negatively associated nowadays, I would call it metaphysics as I’ve also grown up as a science orientated atheist. First time my miniscule world view got busted was at 17, when I discovered psychedelics.
Anyway you have a great approach, give it some months and maybe try finding some groups in your region that deal with yoga or meditation. I have visited dozens before, some more interesting than others but every time to learn something new and get a feel for what is pseudoesoteric BS and quakery and what is actually an abstract of divine guidance. Everything resolves as how one is open towards higher realities and the overcoming of animal instincts is the safest way to get introduced into expanded perceptions. It will come to you, I feel your intellect has the dominating control at the moment, but as long as it’s vigilant it will lead you.
Day 16 is a hot time, your instincts are lurking in the background and are waiting for a weak moment…also the entire system is now getting into the reboot. You can achieve a great kickstart in 2020 if you keep going, don’t make the mistake that I did at 21 and somehow “forget” about this NoFap thing…^^
Stay strong, Peace

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