Hey all! I just want to say how much respect I have for everyone on this journey. This is a real problem, it's not in the public eye as much yet and isn't being taken seriously enough by mainstream, and I feel like everyone on here is part of history in the making (like when smoking started becoming seen as a health issue). Just signed on to this site recently. Figured I'd make a post to become a bit more invested in this as opposed to taking a passive, learning, observing approach like I normally would. This thing has gotten to the point where I absolutely need to change for my mental health. I felt really positive over the passed 10 days about this new journey, and I could use some social support. Backstory: I started looking at pictures of naked women celebs on google images on my computer probably when I was 11 or 12ish. I didn't even know how to get off at the time. When I was 14 I figured that out, and started getting off by visualizing about girls in my class, and pictures of girls on the internet on my phone, pretty much every other day. I probably got off to photos and imagination equally as much as the other. Between then and ages of 16 to 23 I made it a regular habit of looking at photos of naked photos of girls on the internet on my phone every time I'd wake up for an extended period of time and getting off (especially on the weekend, sometimes out of boredom), and social media photos, and I started to integrate watching P into my routine. My first real intimate encounter with a girl was when I was 19, but I couldn't get hard. This I attributed to performance anxiety due to lack of experience. I also think have a minor case of peyrone's, so I am a bit self conscious. **I should mention, during this time period (memory is hazy) I THINK I started to get a tad softer while I was trying to get off just on my own to images and imagination, like 80-85% hard. By age 23 I would say I would no longer get off to imagination and would use P and images pretty much all of the time because I found that more stimulating. Age 23-25 Started learning about how to meet girls from the internet, hopped on Tinder, and got intimate with over 20 different girls. **EVERY TIME I got intimate I was either 60-70% hard (enough to get it in and do the deed) or wasn't able to get it in at all, a quick arousal, and then soft. I attributed this all again to "lack of experience, performance anxiety, and being self-conscious". Long term relationships didn't interest me as I saw them as infringing on my personal freedom, so I had nowhere to really practice my skills either, and no healthy, natural way to get rid of my se**** energy. I always confided with friends about my struggles and tried to laugh about it, even got some Cialus, but saw the pill as a band-aid and not a solution to the problem. It worked to a certain degree I'd say, but still felt like I used to get a bit harder? Again, it's been so long since the getting off to imagination days, my memory is hazy. When I was 25 A friend showed me Gary Wilson's Ted Talk "The Great P*** Experiment". My mind was blown! I had never heard of P induced E******* Dysfunction before, and I figured this must be what was going on with me, and I know the solution. "I would NEVER watch P again." That is a sentence I said to myself dozens and dozens and dozens and dozens of times up until this day. I failed every time I tried. I figured the best solution would be to find a girl, tell her all about my issue, and then learn how to be a great lover and overcome my struggle with them. Here's the deadly thought cycle I ran into that has kept me in chains: -Ok I'm going to find a cool chill girlfriend and get over this problem with them! -Ah, but I can't get fully hard.... -AND I'm inexperienced in the bedroom! -What's the point? She'd rather have a REAL man. I'm not a man if I can't get hard. -(depression and diminished self esteem follows) -ahh, well, might as well just get off to P on my own to get rid of this s***** energy -(POM) -(binge that night, and next day) -(No longer have a drive to meet a girl) -(days later this thought cycle repeats) Still tried going on some dates, but couldn't get aroused easily, and eventually gave up. Between 25-29 I started occasionally watching porn that wasn't of my orientation anymore. I always got off to straight P, and was REPULSED by other stuff that was out there. Within these years I started venturing out into other extreme categories, started with same gender videos, threads of men jizzing, compilations, a bit of bdsm, then transgender, and si*** hypno. I have a suspicion that it was partially due to my extremely low self esteem and numbed pleasure response to the regular stuff. Over the passed few years started occasionally getting off by experimenting with the male pro*****, something that I NEVER WOULD HAVE IMAGINED I'D DO IN A MILLION YEARS. Something I hold a lot of shame for doing. I've done it probably twenty times and I thought it felt good. But my self esteem plummeted after each time, and I was ashamed of myself. Found it hard to look people in the eye. Within this time frame I started questioning my own orientation. Still disgusted by the idea of kissing my own gender (nothing against it for those who are like that naturally), could I be into just getting off with the opposite gender without that? Started questioning whether or not I should meet up with someone from the same gender, because if I can't get hard, at least I can still get off the other way, right? That was my logic. That only happens when I get horny and need an outlet, and I don't have one. I was out with a girl-friend the other night (she's married so off limits) and went to a bunch of bars around town. We went to meet her friend at a gay bar for karaoke. At the end of the night she asked me if I was gay, probably because I haven't had a girlfriend over the 10 years she's known me (see above). I said I didn't think I was. She asked if I would ever suck a dick. I said no, but a part of me got slightly aroused, but mixed with fear and anxiety. The fact is, I didn't have an immediate "no" like I would have back when I was 19. Could P have revealed an attraction I didn't know about, or changed my neuropathways and warped my arousal tastes? I was strictly into girls and girl P before. What the hell is going on?? What has happened to me. What have I become. P really fucked up my mind. And it fucked up my life. And I almost took my life as a result. I'm 29 now, early this month I watched Gary Wilson's video again, which led me to listen to hours and hours of his and other peoples research on P and POM. I learned a ton, which many of you probably know. A few points I found interesting: -Can cause ED in males (already knew) -Can alter orientation, but that can be reversed by quitting -Dopamine can be triggered by things you're shocked, or disgusted by, or things that cause anxiety (*extreme categories of P) -Can cause social anxiety, depression, low self esteem, suicidal thoughts -Causes a brain fog -Also found all the success stories of people who quit to be really inspiring I experienced all of the above. Even wanted to kill myself, thought about suicide everyday for probably 3-4 years. Still do, but not everyday. Certain things keep me alive though, and the patches of time when I experience joy or happiness I am shocked that I'd even consider killing myself. It is those listed things above that drew me to this point. I need to do a brain reset to figure out what has been caused by P (for those of you who don't know, your brain will literally change when you quit P for an extended period of time, according to certain studies). I need to figure out who I really am again. I went 10 Days without P and O. This morning I was looking at instagram and started edging without my hands but stopped. Later I got myself off using the male pro***** because I rationalized that was somehow different. But I don't even want to do that anymore because of the shame. I just want to go back to who I was before. It's crazy how your brain can get caught in habitual patterns and perform mental gymnastics to get you to do something. At least I didn't watch P this time. It is people like YOU, the reader, that give me hope and inspiration. I read a couple stories similar to mine, of people with ED, anxiety, depression, warped orientation from their initial tastes. My goal is to become someone that newcomers and relapse folk can look up to as a positive example. I met a cool girl I am going to confide MOST of this with when we start to get intimate, and see if she can show me a thing or two in the bedroom – starting with foreplay stuff I think. That'll probably happen next weekend. We'll see how that goes, she's seems really down to earth. I'm thinking I'll refrain from O if I do get intimate. I was very reluctant to share all this. But I think it's part of the healing process. Probably wont share all these details with people in person. Figured maybe if I put it out there I'll have more accountability, and show someone else on here who's in a similar boat that they are not alone. I am glad that I joined this forum, I'm hoping it's the beginning of a new chapter of my life. I'll be keeping a basic journal (took notes on why my relapse probably happened this morning) and going to read some strategies for doing this. Feel free to comment, share advice, or your own personal experience. Thanks for reading!