[22 M] Max's Journey

Why hello there!

So it begins. I have finally decided I commit to this.
My short story is this: I have no addiction, but i do have a bad relationship with porn and sexting. I would do the dirty for literal hours in the night, staying up in my bed till 4 or 5 am sometimes. Not often, but shit like that fucks your sleep schedule up pretty bad.
I don’t consider masturbation inherently bad, it seems to be healthy performed of its own from what the research tells me. And that’s why I decided to just quit “using help” and I’d be fine masturbating again. From what I learned about habit stacking and cue pairing, I can definitely tell now, that those two things are so well linked in my brain, that I need to rip them both out by their root to solve this problem.
Hence this commitment. I don’t want it to rob my time and self-esteem any more and I need something in my life to teach me discipline too so it’s kind of perfect timing.

I’ll try to check in and comment on this topic as often as I can, just to keep me accountable.
Also I will try to input everything new I learned in here, about the science of quitting and dopamine dependencies. Maybe I can provide you all with some interesting facts and strategies I gather along the way.

Cheers to y’all and I wish you much strength in fighting your demons!

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Welcome! You’re definitely starting this journey with good knowledge and research, I wish you all the best and I’m very excited to hear what you learn! :grin:

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[Day 1]
So, 24 hours are done, it’s nearly 5 pm as im writing this and I haven’t masturbated or watched porn last night.
I did so the 3 nights before that and the only difference i noticed is that I’m more awake today. That is definitely because I went to bed earlier, because I didn’t prolong my day unnecessarily due to edging and sexting hours on end.
So good so far.

Today I want to also comment on some things I expect from my jouney and also on some things I expect to be debunked.

So I do believe in the positive aspects of abstinence, especially do they occur in extreme cases, where the quality of life of the individual is really impaired. But I also believe that it is not at all a consequence of just abstinence.

In contrast to popular belief, if a porn addict would just quit masturbation and porn consumption and change nothing else about his life, he or she would not experience many of the often advertised benefits.
The only hard link I see is the improvement in the skewed view of sex and masculinity/femininity, which is portraied absurdly wrong in pornography and also the rewiring of certain dopamine circuits in our nervous system.
Maybe, for this individual, there’d be other consequences as well, like improved self esteem (but only if it was low before because of the taboo habit) and a short term spike in testosterone.

All the other good things, like improved skin, higher long term testosterone levels, better social skills and less anxiety derive not really from the absence of pmo, but really from the activities with which you now fill the free time or use the new found motivation (that comes with more natural dopamine levels) for.

Testosterone increases if you consistently workout. Healthier skin comes through better nutrition and self care. Better social skills most often are acquired because one leaves the house way more to fight urges and as a consequence speaks to way more people. Your anxiety lessens, because you do things that actually fulfill you and are fun now, not because you aren’t jerking off anymore (or at least that only makes up for I’d say 5% of the improved mood).

These are cool “facts” to motivate you to push through the hard stages of nofap, but they can easily fall back on you as false promises if you don’t do something with your time. Because thats what most of these are, they’re consequences of the things you change about your life while on no-fap.
Practically, that means to not only quit pmo, but to reorganize your daily life, so you get to the place where you want (the benefits) and especially to stay away from pmo for good (and not only through sheer willpower, because that will run out eventually).

So to make it clear, I do not believe no-fap is the holy grail that solves all your problems, but I’ll rather approach this journey in a more holistic, science based way with you.

Cheers and keep having fun in life guys (and girls) :slight_smile:

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[Day 1: Addition]
Just a quick addition, I saw in the post of @DARSHAN2017, that he uses an everyday checklist he ticks off and makes a todo for the next one.
I thought, why not do that too, since I’m planning to write in here daily anyway (at least for the first month or so).
It gives me something to look forward to and raises my standards for this challenge a little. Also more accountability is always good.

So thats gonna be my daily must-hits starting sunday (as I’m on vacation right now and won’t hit those here):

  1. Wake up before 8:30, especially on weekends where I don’t go out on the day before. If I do go out, I will only set my alarm an hour later, so 9:30am latest.

  2. Following the Huberman Morning Protocol for wakefulness throughout the day: Immediate cold exposure to raise body temp (shower), 5 - 10 min bright sunlight exposure to wake up circadian mechanisms in the nervous system (get outside, look at the sky), 2 sets of any bodyweight exercise to further raise body temp, delay caffeine intake 2 hours past waking up. (It’s not the most important target to hit, but if i can, it has the most beneficial impact on my energy i think.)

  3. Meditate for a minimum of 5 min. That one is simple but crucial to hit.

  4. Study for university exams at least for 3 hours on weekdays, 1 hour on weekends.

  5. Do some creative activity I enjoy for half an hour or so. That could be practicing playing the piano, singing practice or voice workout, producing music on my pc or anything else. I will tell you what I did as I kinda like to keep track haha.

Today, that’d look like this:

  1. wake up early >> :green_square: (7:55am)
  2. morning protocol >> :green_square: (completed)
  3. meditation >> :green_square: (guided with medito)
  4. study >> :red_square: (well, I’m on vacation)
  5. be creative >> :red_square:

Thats five, I think thats sufficient.

In addition to the must-hits, I’ll jot down what I did that day and write down a few goals or targets for the next one. I’ll try to make these goals as specific as possible so it’s easy to check them at the end of the next day (which I will also do). I don’t know how many I’m gonna write, can be anything from 0-5 I’d say.

Today, that’d look like this:

-i hiked with my family and visited a city
-i really didnt do much more

to-hits for tomorrow:
-go fishing
-swim in the sea

Yeah and from now on, i think ill just do daily entries and whenever I got something else to say, I’ll just do that in a new reply.
And thats the structure to the daily entries

[Day X]

  1. Few sentences on how no-fap is going
  2. Check off the must-hits
  3. Check off the targets i made the day before
  4. Describe what my day looked like
  5. Set new targets for the next day

Cheers and have a good one!

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[Day 2]

Hey guys, so it’s only 6pm, but I’m writing this anyway, because it’s fun and I want to test my new template :slight_smile:

For my urges, it’s not really a struggle yet, though I came across a shady website when trying to download a free beat from YouTube (Yes, I’m making music again!!) and I was like: “Yes, this is porn. I don’t do porn any more. Well I’ll head on off of here.”
It was not a moment of real temptation, as I quit the “normal” porn weeks ago, because sexting worked better for me and I do think it’s ethically better, because it hurts nobody else (because it’s consentual, unlike most porn videoshoots).
I just realised I hadn’t activated my porn blocker on my laptop, quickly did that and moved on with my music. Still, I paid way more attention to this than I normally would, just because this new commitment/challenge.
I got a boner whilst showering, but thats kinda normal for me, when I don’t do it like everyday. I got a pretty high sex drive (as I’m 22), so seeing myself naked in the mirror with remnants of morning wood made it go up :smile: Maybe I’m a little narcissistic, but I think scientists call it autoeroticism and it’s pretty common. It went away easily, because I took a cold shower and I had no intentions of touching it anyway.
So yeah, thats what happened to my dong today, lets look at the more important stuff.

[daily must hits]

  1. wake up early >> :green_square: (8:30)
  2. huberman morning protocol >> :green_square: (with caffeine)
  3. meditate >> :green_square: (10 min)
  4. study >> :red_square:
  5. be creative>> :green_square: (produced some music)

[todays targets]

-go fishing :red_square: (will maybe still do that later, if so i come back and edit this mofo to green)
-swim in the ocean :red_square:

[summary of the day]

-did a lot of apartment hunting online
-produced some music
-packed some things for journey back home
-went out to eat and to shop with family
-probably gonna pack some more and order in pizza later

[targets for tomorrow (Day 3)]

-drive a part of the way home (i used to avoid that, because i was so tired the last weeks)
-meet friends to record music in the evening
-sleep with medical tape on my mouth (yeah, sounds crazy, but is actually good for your cardiovascular system, because it trains you to breathe through your nose more)

That has been my regular entry for day two, if I get around, maybe I’ll write some random thoughts later before sleeping.
Cheers and stay strong fellas!

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[Random Journal]

Hey, back again at midnight, just felt like writing a little before going to sleep, as it helps me sort my thoughts for the day and wind down.

Today was a really good day, my mood was good, which means I’m on an upwards swing in my depression curve, my energy levele were really great, thanks to the huberman morning protocol and to waking up when the sun isn’t already high up. Means my circadian rhythm is slowly recovering.
It’s not like I feel normal energy levels again, but definitely a vast improvement to just a week ago, when I fell asleep while sitting in the backseat of the car, even though music was blasting in my ear and it was the middle of the day…

Some further thoughts on abstinence:

While many people on this forum are very religious and draw strength from praying to god (or their respective religious entity), I am thoroughly atheistic and it’s impossible for me to believe in such things.
I normally am proud of that and think it’s a good thing, but in this case of practicing abstinence, I have to draw my spirituality from within, from my values system, my ethic.
So I need to go and debate - in my head - how I feel about masturbation and sexuality in a moral way.

That can bring a number of difficulties, because it’s not an external force imposing rules on me, but it’s myself. Meaning, I have to stay true to myself when judging the morality of what I do and separating my sex drive or arousedness from my logically thought out rules for abstinence.
I do want to accept and love my own body more and I believe I can achieve that, even prohibiting myself to masturbate at all, but there will probably be a day where I’m so horny that I use this reasoning to be able to - in good conscience - go to town on myself.
“Well if i love myself and my body and I respect my sexual desires, why can’t I make myself feel good and masturbate?”
I might have to get a system in place to somehow prevent that from happening, at least until I have a somewhat better picture of how sex and sexuality really should look like.
We can always write the rules down ourselves, but I think it’s not that we don’t know them. I mean we do need to reason and rationalize with our logical side every time our primal brain wants to relapse. It’s more that we let those rules be touchable in a moment of weakness. We need a rule that stands between the rules and the haggling and debating primate and the logical side, thats eventually getting ripped apart by rationalizations.
We need something you can’t argue away.
Let’s say, the one rule that comes before the others would be: “If you want to question the rules, you have to at least wait a day”. Good, that lowers the possibility of relapsing, because the next day, the urges might be weaker and the logic brain strong enough to overrule them. Now we relapse more seldom.
But we don’t want to relapse at all. So we need a better “Rule 1”. How about:
“If you want to question the rules, you need to read a manifest of why this ruleset of abstinence is in place.” That would put the primal brain up against an argument from a time where the logical side was extremely strong. Theres only a very slim chance we could rationalize that.
But slim is still not none.

And we also still need a way to enforce this rule. Because if I’m really horny I will probably just say “fuck it, I won’t abide to even one rule”. We can make that one rule very present, reroute our adult site blocker to a copy of the manifesto and ruleset everytime we try and open bad things. But even then, we may ignore it still.

But yeah, I think these steps may help those atheists among you, who are very vulnerable towards breaking their own rules and rationalizing their overstepping until its too late. It’s just something I thought about and it kind of developed while writing this.

If I think of a complete solution, there’s gonna be another journal entry here. For now, I am really tired and will sleep, because I have to drive very far tomorrow and I need to be awake to do that.

It’s late, so watch out and don’t let your primal brain catch you off guard. Focus on being kind to yourself and do the things that bring you calm and tranquility in the evenings. Really feel the importance of them too - when meditating, really feel like you are a monk that controls his body and that people look up to.
Focus on how good and pure these evening rituals feel. Experience calming down in the evening with the same attention you would experience the slowly smoothing surface of a pond, in which the ripples of a thrown stone fade away - one after another until it’s a near mirrorlike and perfect reflection of the forest behind it.

Cheers!

[Day 3]

Hey guys, it’s really late (00:35am) so this will probably be short.
Today, the urges weren’t really that strong, I am beginning to feel a little bit hornier and when I got home 10 minutes ago, I thought about going online and looking for a girl to sext with. I did however actively try to implement my strategy of confronting my manifesto (or "think about why I am doing that shit hard enough, so I have to admit logic defeat to myself) and it worked really well. I mean I would like to loose myself in sexting right now and have an amazing orgasm, but it’s way too time consuming and its only an intellectual connection through words. Nothing more. And I want to sleep well, I want to have a deeper connection than just have dirty conversations with somebody whom I might not even find attractive if I saw them in real life, I want to wake up early and I don’t want to waste hours with my dick feeling numb afterwards from edging.

So I won’t do it. Or to say it with a great quote from the best movie of all time:
“I passed the test. I will diminish and go into the West and remain Galadriel.”
This sentence will always be my prime example for when somebody gracefully steps down from a bad choice or makes way for a more suited person for the task, basically when somebody gets tempted and tested and swallows their pride and hybris in order to serve the greater good.

Anyway, that’s it for my sexy log, heres the real stuff.

[daily must hits]

  1. wake up early >> :green_square: (7:30)
  2. huberman morning protocol >> :green_square: (with caffeine)
  3. meditate >> :green_square: (10 min)
  4. study >> :red_square:
  5. be creative >> :green_square: (produced music)

[todays targets]
-drive a part of the way home >> :green_square:
-record music with friends >> :red_square: (ended up just socializing with no creative output at all)
-sleep with tape on mouth >> :red_square: (don’t have tape and didn’t buy any today)

[summary of the day]
-left vacation and drove home 5 hours
-produced music on the way
-cleaned my room and put in a new table for my plants
-had bbq with family
-met with friends in a park and had a few beers and listened to some music and talked

[targets for tomorrow (Day 4)]
-sleep with tape on mouth
-make a study schedule for 2 remaining exams

So, that’s it, have a good one, I’ll sleep now :slight_smile:

[Random Note]

Okay, I think from now on, I’ll only write about my urges if something noteworthy happened, like if there was a drastic change or it’s drastically different from normal.
I do that to focus less on the fapping part of the Journey and more on the parts that have nothing to do with fapping. I am trying to not do that after all… :smiley:

Cheers and a good night to y’all.

[Day 5]

Hello, I realized I counted the days wrong and I’m actually already on day 5 of my journey. Urges were completely normal today, nothing very bad yet.

[daily must hits]

  1. wake up early >> :green_square: (8:30)
  2. huberman morning protocol >> :green_square:
  3. meditate >> :green_square: (10 min)
  4. study >> :green_square: (1 hour)
  5. be creative >> :green_square: (produced music)

[todays targets]

-sleep with tape >> :green_square:
-make study schedule >> :green_square:

[summary of my day]

-studied in the morning
-went to the bakery to get bread for breakfast
-played some games of Valorant
-made music
-watched a bunch of YouTube and Netflix
-went to bed at 00:00

[targets for tomorrow]

-eat and drink much (blood donation)
-analyze a game of Valorant (with note taking)

Cheers, it’s a little late but whatevs.

[Random Journal]

Hey fellow nofappers, It’s day six now and I am starting to get the urges. One part of my mind battles the other, trying to rationalize and negotiate.
The past few days, my logical brain has suppressed the primal dopamine brain and won this fight by far. Today, I am not sure. I have got time to kill, nothing else to do and am at home. I know, bad situation, but I feel very good about myself today.
So whatever happens, I am proud of the progress I made in almost every aspect of my life.

Sleeping with a tape on my mouth has also been very beneficial. I woke up with a totally free nose this morning, which normally, I never do. So I can definitely recommend it. I learned about it in the same podcast by Andrew Huberman, where the morning ritual comes from. Definitely worth a listen!

So, that’s it for right now, cheers and keep on loving yourself and make the changes you deserve, not only in your masturbation habit, but in all areas of life! Have a lovely Monday everyone!

[Day 1]

As you can see in the title, I relapsed yesterday. No big deal, just gonna put the systems back in place stronger this time and go on with it. Having no energy to wake up this morning, so maybe theres a connection after all. We’ll see

Heres the summary for yesterday, which I didn’t write:

[daily must hits]

  1. wake up early >> :green_square: (7:05)
  2. morning protocol >> :green_square:
  3. meditate >> :red_square:
  4. study >> :red_square:
  5. be creative >> :red_square:

[todays targets]

-eat and drink much >> :green_square:
-analyse a game of valorant >> :red_square:

[summary of the day]

-training at 8am
-went to the doctors to get blood checked for tiredness during the day and talk to him about possible depression
-as soon as home, began peeking and sexting
-lunch
-peeking and sexting again
-went to donate blood
-cooked with a friend and talked after
-came home, went to bed and then relapsed after sexting late into the night

[targets for tomorrow]

-help dad with renovation around the house
-watch one fl studio tutorial with note taking

Cheers, gotta go!

[Random Journal]

I slept for 2 hours this afternoon due to incredible fatigue. Might be connected to the relapse, though I’m not really sure. I hope I can sleep tonight, still got some dailys to check off, like meditation and creative work. Definitely not gettin around to studying today, as I can’t concentrate at all.
Hopefully, it’s gonna be a productive rest of the day for men, cheers to all that stay strong and true to their values, as it can be fucking hard.

[Day 1]

Yeah, not happened much at all today, didn’t cum again, trying to keep this relapse as clean as possible. All the blocker software is in place and I’ve filled the gaps a little stronger I hope. All in all, urges were low today.

[daily must hits]

  1. wake up early >> :red_square: (9:05)
  2. morning protocol >> :red_square:
  3. meditate >> :red_square:
  4. study >> :red_square:
  5. be creative >> :red_square:

[todays targets]

  • help with renovation >> :green_square:
  • watch fl studio tutorial >> :red_square:

[summary of the day]

  • woke up 9 am
  • got parcel from post office
  • renovated basement for 4 hours
  • lunch with fam
  • slept for 2,5 hours
  • played pc games with buddies for some time
  • dinner with fam

[targets for tomorrow]

  • call university in order to switch to a different subject
  • go to the gym

Cheers to all of you and good night!

[Random Journal]

Sooo… I peeked again and also edged a little. The Blocker was apparently weaker than me. Dunno if this project has failed, but I’ll try to figure out my feelings.

Cheers