As part of my healing process, I shall try to discuss a few ideas, raise some questions and share what little wisdom I posses. I am in my early 30s, have been a PMO addict for > 15 years and a video game, online poker, internet forums, pua (pick up artist), gym, politics, prostitutes addict for each roughly 3 years average. There are 3 main areas of my PMO addiction I want to draw attention upon: how did I get started, what have I lost from it and how come I aggravated instead of giving it up. How did I get started - my story When I was 16, a school colleague was talking with his friends about how he was masturbating, and I overheard. Since that was pre internet time, a few days later I used TV guides and newspapers that had erotic hotline commercials in them, and I used those for masturbating. The weird thing is that TV guides and newspapers had many such adds and my family did not notice anything strange. This is not the whole story of how I started though, since with time my life and I have changed, and so did this habit. By the end of high school I was using late night erotic TV commercials. I also sometimes masturbated without porn, just thinking about the pretty girls that I knew (no pervert). The first year of college has been the worst in this regard as a) I finally had a computer with internet and b) I had a lot of pretty girl colleagues. I remember that I was masturbating daily back then, sometimes maybe twice a day, sometimes once every two days. Porn was growing on my computer, I had a few GB of porn movies. Those were the times before free porn sites (you had to pay for those) and I was collecting porn movies. My social life was decreasing though, as I had started to mingle with the loser kids - the ones that were heavy video gamers. One thing I remember - I had a crush on some girl, and once I realised I have a boner from staring at her, thus went into the bathroom and masturbated. I now kind of envy my virility, but this incident was rare, maybe the only one. The girls were not much interested in me, and I was not engaging them nor did I care much about asking them out. The later years of college I had evolved into being addicted to multiple things: binge watching movies (I used to find some TV series and watch all the episodes during one weekend/ day and night), video games (4-8 hours each day), porn, doing cold approaches and pick up artistry forums/books. The pua fad was at its full strength, its owners were making millions (if not more) and I was reading seduction "books" and doing cold approaches like crazy. There are still kids today that believe doing cold approaches and reading seduction books/forums is something good. Imho it is very bad for you. It lowers dramatically any chance you have with women, because they are not telling the truth, they are meant to be fun and simple and for you to like it but to fail with women - thus give the authors more of you money and time. PUA is a huge scam, designed by cruel evil people, and it targets some of the most vulnerable: young men who are naturally looking for women. I paid the price, with ~3 years of going out to cold approach (street, mall, parks, clubs) while getting more and more rejections, not addressing this important feedback, and turning more frustrated and with a victim complex. Right after college, I have had to wait another 2 more years before I got my diploma, as I have had so many failed exams. My parents and relatives were working hard to support me, and I was feeling very guilty. I quit the cold approach addiction, with all the withdrawal and relapsing simptoms of any addiction, joined the PUA hate forum (I think now it is called sluthate). But things were getting much worse for me as I had developed a new addiction of online poker and still had the video games, binge watching TV and internet forums ones. Online poker was the hardest addiction I ever suffered, but since its effects were so drastic it was very clear that it was a cruel way to self damage my life. It usually involved me getting up very early, playing online poker for 5 hours in a row, realise that I was hungry then eat something, playing another 5 hours then realise I am hungry again, playing another 5 hours then realise it is night, watching some TV/posting on forums then going to bed at late hours. Those two years out of college were the crappiest in my life. I was literally disintegrating from lack of sleep and constantly playing at my computer. The good thing about it is that I could not lie to myself that I was gaining anything of it, or that it was not harmful to me, so at the end part of those 2 years, I quit poker, studied for about 5 months and passed my exams and took my college diploma. After I started my first job I have met decent normal people, I finally had role models and my job defended me from any major mistakes. I still played video games big time, internet forums, porn and occasional short poker relapses. But the good thing is that now I could see how my actions made me lose so much, and how others were living a decent life. Regarding masturbation: in order to quit it I went to a few prostitutes, and generally tried to get laid. I went to the gym to get ripped (this is actually a positive addiction, maybe the only addiction that improves ones life). I have quit porn, never watch it now. I still masturbate, but rarely, thinking and remembering the hot sex scenes I had in real life over the years (with mostly prostitutes). What I have lost from it Self esteem and shame, years of being rejected by women, a weak body and huge amounts of time wasted. Even worse, it opened the door to other addictions and bad behaviour. There is one thing I hate about evil people: whenever a person asks online if there are any negative side effects to PMO, there is always some creep that desperately writes many posts claiming there are absolutely no side effects. Please do me a favour and google the question, open any forum and notice there is always a jerk that is desperately trying to convince others not to quit porn. The fact that society encourages porn and masturbation is both sad and cruel. Human nature is evil, this is just one of the mechanisms of hurting others just because they are weak and they have doubts. Here is a list of things you inevitably lose when becoming a porn addict: - you lose time and energy: that very same time and energy (huge amounts of energy, a few hours for each ejaculation) you could be working to improve your future - you lose ambition and initiative: you need those to identify opportunities and to make up the decision to chase them or not - your body gets weak: the 1 hour you spend watching porn is one hour you are not going to the gym, the 3 hours you need to relax after you ejaculate, are 3 hours that you will use watching TV or playing video games, thus further numbing down your brain - you become a liar and a coward: unless you deliberately tell everyone that you masturbate, you lie to all by pretending you are and average person to this regard. You get to live with a lie, envy stronger willed people and have lowered self esteem. - you develop a victim complex: the average porn starlet will never pay attention to you, yet alone give you a blow job. This is not fair, you feel like a victim thus you will have lower inhibition to lie or hurt others. Plus you will fail to be grateful for what little opportunity you do have, if the victim complex does not blind you from seeing it. - you believe in instant gratification: you will be less likely to try anything hard or of value, because it takes time and effort. You will never work today for some benefits that will arrive in a month from now. - you lose interest in real life: how could you care for real life when it is dull, boring, takes time and effort and is highly competitive ? Plus nothing short of winning the lottery give you the sensation of an orgasm. - you are deluded that you have above average intelligence and that people are bad: as you rarely try to do anything hard, everything will seem easy, thus you overvalue your capacity. Other people, who reject you based on your defects, will appear to be mean. - you become poor and unhappy: as simple as that - you pursue your opportunities with less time and energy than otherwise. Therefore you lose or do not capitalize many of the chances of improving your life. The list is huge and has been talked about a lot. These are just some mid term and long term side effects that are so obvious nobody could try to deny them. At least nobody who believes in cause and effect. Why is it so hard to give up this porn masturbation addiction It is my fault that I masturbate or watch porn. I am the only one to be blamed. However, I think 85% is my fault and 15% is environment. Environment factors that encourage porn and masturbation: - friends that do the same thing - society is silent and glamorises porn and porn stars - escapism behaviour is being preached at every turn - self control is a value in all religions, this is why the modern atheists politicians hate it - it is easier to sell you stuff if you are weak and dependent - girls benefit from men giving them attention But environment hardly matters with this addiction. I am the only one to blame, it is my fault. Why do I make it so hard for me to heal this addiction, why do I chose not to quit: - the triggers are hard to spot, and are counter intuitive: in the morning you see some hot girl walking on the street, at lunch you see this hot girl commercial, later you hear some hot girl song. None of these alone has any effect but combine all three and when you are home at night you cannot fall asleep and start thinking of sex - false believes: I used to believe many things that were simply untrue: - "free time" or "spare time": there is no such thing. You do not own your time nor your life in the sense that you are allowed to waste it. You always have some duty to yourself, your future family and children, your parents, your old age, your colleagues, community and your country. It is not your time that you are wasting when masturbating. It is also these many people that get hurt as well. - "there are no side effects": it there were no side effects, nobody would ask this question. The fact that this is so debated should raise serious doubt. - "life is fun": no, it is not. You are just wasting opportunity but not trying anything worthwhile. This is why it seems easy. - "you need to relax": funny how people care about your need to relax more, but do not give two cents about your need for money/self esteem/women/career/self actualization etc. They only tell you that you need to relax more, why could this be ? - "I have above average intelligence/ talent": it means you can slack off and still find a job and have an average life. You will never see the rich prosperous future that you could have had if only you were to work a bit more. - "people are born equal": not being allowed to think of certain people as losers and asses their negative influence on you - "there is not this great cruel competition for pretty women": the hypocrisy of hot women acting like they do not have this huge power over men. It clouds your judgement and opens doors for escapism. Being discriminated by the double standard. - low expectations: if you dream about becoming rich one day, imagine how the life of a billionaire is like - you have low expectations. If you dream of improving you push ups this week, of working another half hour during the daily bus ride, of reading a new book this weekend, of working another part time job in your spare time - then you have high expectations. It is counter intuitive, but having fun and wasting money is low expectations, even if we are deluded to think that rich people do so. - inability to periodically revise your life and your situation: every year you change into a different person. Some of your abilities increase, others decrease, you have different wants and opportunities. If you do not sit around thinking about that, you will miss this. You cannot see the harm and destruction caused by masturbation to your life - because you never think about it. - lack the habit of planning and setting goals: it takes great strength to set goals, work for them, then asses if you achieved them or not and if the case, admit that you failed. It is much more easy to not set goals in the first place. - blame others, victim complex: if nothing is your fault you feel good, you have no responsibility, life is easy and you are morally superior. You pay a huge price for that though, you become cruel and you lose real opportunities. - pain, being bullied, having dis functional parents, living in a bad neighbourhood, getting rejected by women, crappy friends, being poor: anything that adds extra pain, stress and feelings of being weak or without hope. - not knowing how to measure stuff: anyone can measure length with a ruler. But few can measure intelligence: you are not intelligent if you feel like it, or if you are good looking. You are intelligent if at the same time you satisfy every one of these universal and measurable goals: a) you have a balanced life b) you achieved excellence in your field of work c) people come and ask you for work related advice d) you have 100.000$ saved in your bank account e) you create and implement plans to achieve even more. Unless you have all the a), b), c), d) and e) traits at the same time - you are not intelligent, or at least cannot believe that you are. You need an objective way to measure stuff. This way you are less able to lie to yourself or to be lied to. - redefining what is normal: this is a side effect of constant abuse. It is not normal for it to be Friday evening and you to sit in front of you computer wasting time. Add another dozen of such situations that the believes are normal when they are not. - dependence on feels not on truth: if you take decisions because you feel good, instead of logically judging based on what you know is truth - they you are in a world of self sabotage and pain - other addictions and escapism behaviour: run away from an unpleasant reality and from pain. This is the reason behind all addictions. One you lie to yourself about many little things, in order to support one addictions, those many little lies will draw in even more addictions and bad choices. It is a downward spiral, than can only be closed with truth (plus honest genuine thinking, assuming responsibility, doing stuff and sacrificing the now for the future). - mysticism: the retarded idea that there exist some easy, quick solution out there, but is out of your reach. The other colleagues did not get an A because they had better study materials, they did it because the exam was easy and you did not because you masturbated the days before instead of studying. This guy is not getting a lot of girls because he knows how to talk to them, he is getting them because he is good looking and ripped. Etc. - disrespecting religious people: going one day a week to church where they discuss and debate wisdom, morals, character and life advice (be it religious one) is a huge improvement to one's life. It makes them rich, the same way a person living without wisdom, morals and character is doomed to become poor and unhappy. Praying is a form of meditation that could be of tremendous help to an addict. - lack of a long term vision and plan: how do I want my future to look like ? How do I imagine it and what can I do now to improve it ? If you do not put it effort into these questions from time to time, you will have little over the future, and only live in the now. - rap/pop music & thug culture: here we have some hypocritical workaholics that work more than 14 hours a day for months when making a new album. The same people who sing about how life is easy and you are entitled to material wealth, stress free leisure and to happiness. Look at the biggest rap listeners: statistics shows that black boys have less heterosexual sex than white/asian ones. Thank you for reading so far. Please contribute with you opinion on what false believes you lied to yourself in order to keep this addiction going. Also, please share your thoughts on your own ways to objectively measure important stuff.