Get educated, get tools, and learn to love withdrawals

Discussion in 'Porn Addiction' started by William, Dec 16, 2013.

  1. Deleted Account and PMO Fighter like this.
  2. rocketdash123

    rocketdash123 Fapstronaut

    I do not
  3. WeShallOvercome

    WeShallOvercome Fapstronaut

    Hi, I wanted to ask what classify as porn? So, if we saw sexy picture (bikini lingerie) on instagram does it count as porn? How about nude picture? But not sex or porn video. Does it count as porn?
  4. MarinoBigFan1984

    MarinoBigFan1984 Fapstronaut

  5. Hi guys, thanks for the kind words.


    What is porn? It is great question, and is one asked over and over here. One of the realities of this place, NOFAP, is that it came into existence a bit prior to the fundamental brain science, and neuroscience, that is necessary to understand porn addiction. Although here, in this part of the site, we call it "porn addiction", the site was originally created by Alexander Rhodes, who, like millions of young men, in his generation, knew porn had created a big problem in his life, especially his seeming inability to quit it, but lacked the scientific language to explain it, or understand it, because, back then, the science did not exist.

    Alexander, of course, is now one of the nation's leading experts in porn addiction, and recovery.

    It is helpful to understand a few key concepts. In fact, I think if we do not understand them, we cannot overcome the problem. What is porn is the question, but the broader question should be: what is porn to a porn addict?

    Right off the bat I should state that the phrase "porn addict" is inaccurate. No one, ever, has been addicted to porn. Rather, we are addicted to the dopamine rush/high porn leads to. It works like this: see porn (hypersexual artificial sexual stimulation)=hypersexual thoughts=dopamine rush/high=feeling euphoric. The dopamine rush, an evolved reward for sexual thought and sex, feels great to us. It feels good to everyone. It is by definition "feeling good." We like that rush.

    Because the question is often posed, I will put the answer here: dopamine rewards sexual thoughts, even without actual sex, because nature figured out a long time ago, that if monkeys think about sex, they quite often have sex, and having sex leads to what nature wants: lots of baby monkeys.

    Another concept you want to understand is "P sub", or porn substitute. The question, for an addict quitting porn, is not so much whether Victoria's Secret or the Swim Suit Edition are porn (though I think they are) but whether, when quitting, they trigger a dopamine rush (they do). By the time one becomes addicted, one has, essentially, spent multiple hours a day, for years, training their brain to expect the regular dopamine rush they get from their PMO sessions. Important to understand: P addiction does not just "happen"; it is the result of the user unconsciously training their brain to depend on P to get to its dopamine rush. In a sense, you need to think of your brain as distinct from your personality, from you. That, by the way, is not entirely wrong, because the part of your brain that is addicted to a dopamine rush, is distinct from the part of your brain that can reason, and understand the addiction.

    So, after years of feeding your addiction a dopamine rush, the part of your brain that likes it, becomes addicted to it. When you turn off that spout, by quitting porn and hypersexual thoughts, that part of the brain misses, wants it back, and will begin to trigger on whatever artificial sexual stimulation, and images, it can, to get a hit. This is why, in the quitting phase, bikinis and lingerie are no-nos. Even though not considered porn by most, they still allow an addict to get to his drug of choice, the dopamine high. It is not as efficient as porn, but it still allows the quitter to get to his drug, and it is, actually, the drug he is addicted to.

    When you quit porn, it is going to hurt, because that part of the brain that misses it, experiences withdrawal symptoms. Those are super high anxiety, brain fog, confusion, loss of focus, and even physical symptoms, like phantom pains. You need to know this, expect it, and prepare for it, before quitting. There is a reason why P subs, that were boring to a P addict for the years he had porn, suddenly, when quitting, become fascinating: They allow for just a taste of the drug they actually are turning off. Just be aware of this.

    Hope this helps.

    Much love

    Will I AM.
  6. im_alive

    im_alive Fapstronaut

    Well thats an epic post! thanks for sharing. Saving that to my toolkit.
    Reborn16 likes this.
  7. WeShallOvercome

    WeShallOvercome Fapstronaut

    Hi, @WilliamOneAndDone Thank you for your thorough explanation!
    So, I wanted to check if I understand your post correctly.
    1. The main essence of your post is that bikini lingerie victoria secret may not be a porn for normal people. But, it is a porn for the porn addict because of its dopamine rush. Correct?
    2. So, for hard mode no PMO, if I see bikini lingerie on social media (but no M). Do I consider as relapsed?
    3. Even if it does or does not consider as relapsed, it may (or definitely?) slow down our reboot process due to its dopamine rush. Correct?
    4. Is it possible for us to know whether there is Dopamine rush if we see things like bikini or lingerie? How to feel the dopamine rush?
  8. @WeShallOvercome

    Of course, I never met Socrates, or, as one comedian says, So-crates, but he allegedly stated, the beginning of wisdom starts with three words: I don't know. That's actually four, considering "don't" is a contraction, so take it all with a pinch of sugar.

    In the quitting phase, the brain, which you have, suddenly, deprived of its daily dopamine rush, will seek alternatives to P to get it, it being a dopamine high. Those alternatives can take various forms for various people. But, yes, Victoria's Secret and the Swim Suit Edition, qualify. If, in the quitting phase, a blender gives you a dopamine rush, it is to be avoided. We, you, I, use(ed) artificial sexual stimulation to ride a dopamine high. It feels great until it does feel great, at which point it starts to feel bad. We would never quit the addiction unless it caused a problem in our lives. I know exactly what problem it caused in my life. Knowing I was fixing that problem was very helpful in quitting the addiction. It was a reason to quit the addiction. It helps to have a reason to quit.

    The concept of relapse is unhelpful, considering that liking sex, and liking sexual thoughts, is a part of being a healthy, normal, human being. We "like" sexual imagery, because sexual imagery gives us a sexual thought, and sexual thoughts give us a dopamine rush. Part of quitting the addiction is becoming self aware that we can use, purposefully, sexual imagery to create a dopamine response. Part of quitting the addiction is becoming self aware that we have used, unconsciously, sexual imagery, (P) to create a dopamine response, daily, for years. There is a before, during, and after P addiction. In the quitting phase, the hard 90, and however long it takes to rebalance, avoiding a dopamine rush, and by extension, whatever gives us a dopamine rush--meaning artificial sexual stimulation--is part of the cure. You won't like that, you will hate that, but that is what is necessary.

    Yes, during the rebooting phase, the quitting phase, the hard 90 and beyond, any dopamine rush is harmful to the reboot. It is impossible to avoid it 100%, but you need to develop self awareness, and distraction techniques, so as to avoid deliberately giving yourself a dopamine rush, and keeping the two second sexual thought from becoming a thirty minute, dopamine drenched, sex opera, in your head.

    If you linger on the pic, because it interests you, or fascinates you, you are lingering because of the dopamine rush it is giving you. Just that simple.

    This is not very complicated. It is about as complicated as understanding that if you poke your finger with a needle, it will hurt. Porn addiction is Pavlovian. It is behavioral psyc. It is cause and effect. We use porn as a button. Push it, get a dopamine high. Again, if that did not cause a problem in our lives, we would just, forever, push the button. You are here because it caused a problem. It is helpful to remember that problem, when quitting. Having a good reason, to quit, helps.

    WeShallOvercome and Reborn16 like this.
  9. WeShallOvercome

    WeShallOvercome Fapstronaut

    Hi, Thank you again for your reply. I have other questions:
    1. Is it possible to transfer the dopamine rush to other activities that is not related to porn? Like sport, reading. Does this make rebooting easier? Because the brain still get dopamine rush but it is not from porn. Imagine you are addicted to reading self-help book, which is a good thing. Is this possible?
    2. So, actually, for normal people, when they look at bikinis lingeries, they will not get that much dopamine rush, is it?
  10. @WeShallOvercome

    Hi. I will try and answer your questions. But, first, as to question #1, it is a question all of us ask. Every addict on the planet who has made the decision that they want to quit asks: can I get my high via other means? That is often the first question. The question is not the right question. I asked it too, but it is not the right question. Understand, you are not addicted to porn. It looks like it, it sounds like it, and it feels like it, but that is not it. You are addicted to a dopamine rush; porn is just the button you push to get it; porn is just your method of delivery. So, when quitting that addiction, the question is not to ask whether there are other means to achieve a dopamine high, the question is: "how do I live without that artificially stimulated dopamine high?" To answer your question directly, sports and reading will not give you that high; not as much as porn, anyway. You could try heroin, cocaine, nicotine, barbiturates, alcohol, and actual sex, (or a combination) but those substitutes cause their own problems, in that you would be substituting one addictive activity for another. To overcome the addiction, the addict has to quit using. To overcome porn induced dopamine addiction, you have to quit porn, yes, but, also, you have to quit all artificially stimulated dopamine rushes. Using something else to get to what you are addicted to is not the answer.

    If you want some science on this, is the best place to get it. Also, here are a couple of videos that help explain what happens in the brain. I suggest you watch them. They are sort of dry, but, dumbing down the sexual thought response is part of killing the addiction. We have to learn that artificial sexual stimulation is not a toy, to be picked up and played with when we are bored, but a powerful neurological response that we can train to give us pleasure, and also train not to. That has to do with neuroplasticity.

    As for question # 2, I would simply say, your brain, and mine, are normal. Normal brains are susceptible to addiction, which is why addiction is widespread. It is not that non addicts do not get a dopamine rush while seeing sexual imagery; they do; it is just that non addicts have not, unconsciously, trained their brains to look at sexual imagery to get a dopamine high, for hours a day, for years. There are societies where High Speed Internet Porn is not available. There are no porn addicts there. There are no addicts there because the addiction is unavailable to them. Make an addiction available, and there will be addicts.

    Living a non-porn lifestyle simply means you are not using artificial sexual stimulation to ride a dopamine high. It does not mean your life will not, or cannot, have naturally occurring dopamine highs. It will. Mine does, I do. I do enjoy reading, I do enjoy sports. But, to get back to normal, or rebalanced, or rewired, you have to give something up that we don't want to give up. It is not just that we get a "normal" dopamine high from porn. Porn is a super stimulus, meaning the high we get from it is a hyper-high. In nature, we are designed to get a normal dopamine high from thinking about sex, an having sex, but porn makes it possible to get a much more profound and prolonged high that sex and sexual thoughts. Dopamine addiction would not be a problem unless we liked that high very, very much. We like that high, and none of us want to give it up. Thus, your question, which translates to: Can I quit porn, but keep my dopamine highs? Again, all of us ask the question, but it misses the point. The point is: to quit dopamine addiction, you have to quit using artificial stimulation to get your dopamine high. There are alternatives to porn to get it, but there is nothing healthy in the world that would substitute for porn, as a means of riding that high.

    We are wired, by nature, to like thoughts of sex. That is nature's way of encouraging reproduction. That is why the neurotransmitter dopamine is called a "reward" neurotransmitter. It is the reward we get for thinking of sex, because nature figured out a long time ago that mammals that think of sex end up having it, and when they have it, they make babies. Using sexual imagery, or, artificial sexual stimulation, has been around since we were cave men. It is important to understand, though, that that type of porn was not addictive. We liked it, it gave us a dopamine rush, we found it fascinating, but it was not addictive. It has only been for about the last 10 years, since the invention of High Speed Internet Porn, that using artificial sexual stimulation has become addictive. Before that, it was not possible. This has to do with HSIP being, essentially, infinite. You can search forever, and never see the same image/vid twice. Owing to the Coolidge Effect, which contributes to a dopamine rush, seeing something never before seen, and a bit shocking, gives us a dopamine rush. You might say, well, then, the bikini pic should not be a problem. (This, by the way, also leads, eventually, to HOCD).

    The bikini pic is not a problem, unless you are an addict quitting the addiction, at which point the bikini pic becomes a porn substitute, or, an alternative to porn as a means of obtaining your high, a dopamine rush. That is why, when actively addicted, bikini pics are boring to us, but, in the quitting phase, when we quit watching porn, they become fascinating to us. They are a means, other than porn, of obtaining what we really want, and miss: a dopamine rush.

    Do not doubt that you are normal, because you are, and do not doubt that every person on the planet gets a dopamine rush from sexual thoughts, because they do. They do because that is the way all of our brains are wired. But, be self aware, that over years, with hours daily, training yourself to push the porn button to get a dopamine high, you unconsciously trained your brain to expect that daily high. That is how the addiction forms. We all do it to ourselves. It does not "just happen." We trained our brains to expect that dopamine rush, daily, and when we deprive our brains of that, it rebels, and punishes us, with withdrawals. Of course, the solution, which we all hate, is giving that high up. You will miss it terribly at first, and your brain, that part of it that has come to love and expect it, will punish you when you take it away. You will go through withdrawals. Pain is the price of freedom from the addiction. But, put in the hard 90, and, if you can do that, you will have convinced yourself you can be free for life, and I promise you, on this side of free, life is pretty good, and you won't miss it at all, after a while. This is truth.

    Much love.

    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 6, 2017
    WeShallOvercome and Reborn16 like this.
  11. Reborn16

    Reborn16 Fapstronaut

    I just have to say thank you for the detailed posts @WilliamOneAndDone. It feels like I'm hitting my head against a wall trying to get through a reboot at the moment. This information is like a revelation, much appreciated!!
  12. Mr. Twister posted this. The withdrawals last longer than weeks. Sorry to say, they last months, and, even after the hard 90, you will have challenging days. But, once you have rebooted, the challenging days become few and far between.

    @Reborn16 Thanks for the kind words. Guys, getting addicted took patience, it took time, it took effort. We did not know we were doing it at the time because, for most of us, the concept of porn addiction, which is actually porn induced dopamine addiction, did not exist. We had never heard of it. Time to wake up now and understand that we figured out a way to ride that high. It's OK. Sucks, but OK. So, it took time and effort to get addicted. It will take time and effort to become unaddicted. Pain is part of the price you will pay to become unaddicted. Withdrawals are painful. Sorry, no easy way out here. Only the painful way. It's OK. You just have to learn to love withdrawals. Smiley emodicon. Right, not.


    Withdrawals are real. But they will be gone in a matter of days/weeks (depend on your initial state).

    I've experienced:

    - Anxiety
    - ADHD
    - Cold
    - Knackered feeling at evening
    - Worthlessness
    - Depression
    - Lack of focus
    - A nagging thought of "Fuck this bullshit, I want to rub one!" (which is a mental breakdown, cuz of your brains cravings. Never let it direct your actions and fight it!)

    Bros, everybody already stated this 1000000000000th times - it is a fucking ADDICTION! You WILL experience withdrawals. Don't event doubt that. The only thing that will differ is a severity of the latter.

    Mr. Twister, Today at 8:35 AM
    im_alive, Jodo Kus and Reborn16 like this.
  13. I would like to thank Alexander Rhodes for creating this place, where I, and many others, have overcome porn addiction. When I was much younger, had anyone had told me porn addiction was possible, porn addiction was real, or that I or anyone else could become porn addicted, I would them called them a liar. Now, people like Alexander, are making a difference educating people. In the future, when people look back, this site, and others like it, will be recognized as where the fight against porn addiction first came into existence. I consider Alexander Rhode's decision to fight this fight in the public spotlight one of the bravest things I have ever seen. He has more guts in his little finger than most of us have, well, in our guts. Smiley face emodicon, that's my attempt at levity, but, still, true nonetheless.

    This is my last post. If you are out there in the darkness, struggling, just know, I beat it, you can too. Neither do you. You don't have to be in that darkness, forever. Promise. I have been free from porn addiction for over four years. My first post her was 2-13-14. This is it.

    Time now to graduate to life.

    Anyone reading this, you will probably find this incredibly corny, and it is, but I have a place in my heart for porn addicts, and I love them, because I know how confused and tortured they can be, when recognizing they have the problem, and when they first begin to fight to overcome it. I know, because I used to be that. So, if you are reading and writing in this forum, that probably means I love you. Don't get sentimental, you can all be assholes, because, we are all assholes sometimes. But, you get the idea. Also, develop a sense of humor, and self deprecating humor. It is OK to recognize it is ridiculous to become addicted to porn, and OK to recognize we are a bit ridiculous for having done so. You better have humor, even if just gallows humor, if you are going to overcome the addiction.

    This place has many students. It needs more teachers. If you are here, and you see anyone struggling that you think you can help in any way, help them. Why? How do we help ourselves? If you have read this thread, you already know the answer. We help ourselves by helping others. If you are reading this, go help yourself.

    Keep going. There is an end to this struggle. You can be free. Pain is the price you will have to pay to get to free. No one gets out without withdrawals. Don't be afraid of them; everyone who got free lived through them, no one died from them. It just feels like you will, but you won't.

    Much love.


    This broadcast ceases. Now.
  14. Dragonnlife

    Dragonnlife Fapstronaut

    Ah yes... I still remember you were the first person to introduce me to NoFap. Thanks for stepping up & leading the way. I'm the farthest I've ever been and journey farther. Thankyou for your influence.
  15. Srivastav

    Srivastav Fapstronaut

    i need answer for the 1st question ,we know there are best productive hobbies-how to turn dopamine rush to that kind of hobbies??
  16. WILLiam2

    WILLiam2 New Fapstronaut

    Hi William Thanks for your story!

    here is WILL iam2. I am trying NoFap challenge starting today. i have been trying since i got the knowledge two yrs back! everytime i relapse and my brain didn't allowed me to stay long away from addiction. But, seriously it is affecting my daily routine, my work and what not? i have been saying to myself and maximum streak is one week and later it hitted very badly and relapsing again...
    Today i'm posting here and i'm sure i'll follow your path and get away from this addiction. All the time, i want to create an account here. But i want to free from this and post the success story. Its not happening with me. Now i'm with bunch of my friends here.
    I believe i have strong will power but this addiction even fucking that.. I love my myself and i want to project the front part of myself and leave the inside addictor. I don't want to post regarding where i came from to this level because i'm no longer that person and i wanna see my self above all of this. soon, i will. Thanks for the inspirative posts.

    William2 joining the NoFap challenge to see the better part.
  17. Tryingto

    Tryingto Fapstronaut

    This is a freaking stunner of a post!

    Honestly, I feel like I want to stand up and cheer for William - for all of us!
  18. WILLiam2

    WILLiam2 New Fapstronaut

  19. Busterf

    Busterf Fapstronaut

    Lots of insightful, encouraging information in this thread / forum, thankyou. Can anyone relate to the fact that orgasms are an incredible high / rush!! I know I was addicted to MO way before P came along.. I’m 40+ so exporsue to porn was magazines and VHS cassettes.
    Very grateful I found nofap and the community’s insights and supports.
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2017
  20. Coffee69

    Coffee69 Fapstronaut

    Finally, I have finished read all the pages in this thread.
    All the information is very useful especially for the newbe.
    I'll continue read and find the knowledge regarding the porn induced dopamine addict.
    Thank you William for your great thread here.

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