Redefining Hardmode

Discussion in 'NoFap Technical Support and Feedback' started by nfprogress, Nov 8, 2015.

  1. nfprogress

    nfprogress Fapstronaut

    I'd like to suggest a definition change (extension) for hard mode per the glossary on this site. I am curious about how others feel? Specifically, I believe hard mode should prohibit intentionally looking at porn substitutes and either edging or masturbating. The idea originated for me in this thread and may have been brought up previously. Thanks for the suggestion @IGY !

    My reasoning is as follows:
    The goal as I see it is to promote more successful reboots generally. Almost every day I have logged onto the site, and have seen relapses that specifically involved viewing porn substitutes and/or edging while trying to give up porn indefinitely. There are even cases I have seen where men engaged in 'hardmode' for more than 20 days and relapsed. Only later do I find out that they had been edging and Ming for a week or two and finally gave in. I think the risks of p-subs and edging/M should be included in the glossary and should be defined as a part of hard mode. There are others who initially don't understand that it may very well be the edging that is making them so horny. It is more than just a chaser effect. Hard mode 'should' be reasonably strict or else why call it hard mode? P-subs are a dangerous gateway to PMO and are easy enough to prohibit and even easier to define with the concept of intentionality (I first read this from @tiberiansun 's journal).

    Many people end up reading the glossary almost by accident when they don't know what one of the abbreviations means. For some that may be their main exposure to the terminology. From reading the main reboot logic, there are multiple challenge modes including Monk Mode. I have come across Monk Mode in the forums a few times, but not many people mention it though some try it without knowing (indicating that they didn't read the main porn addiction basics, tldr type thing). I understand that making a reboot too strict doesn't work for some, but hard mode should live up to its name in my opinion. Thoughts?
  2. IGY

    IGY Guest

    I endorse this post ^ and would like to add something about the abbreviation PMO.
    I posit that the definition is misleading and ultimately unhelpful. The part of it I refer to is the phrase, "come together". Most people infer from this that the abbreviation means that as a criteria for reset, you would have to masturbate to porn and ejaculate during an orgasm. In other words, P+M+O. This belief leads many members to conclude that unless these three things "come together" - no pun intended with the word come :rolleyes: - they are not required to reset.

    This mistaken belief (in my opinion) means that the following scenarios occur. A member can: watch porn, even for hours and not regard it as a relapse or a reset; have an orgasm from masturbating and not reset their counter; watch p/subs and masturbate and orgasm and continue their streak; edge for hours with or without p/subs or even porn and tell themselves that their reboot is unaffected because they didn't cum during an orgasm. This cannot be right/helpful.

    My conclusions. a great many members are under the illusion (some unwittingly) that their brain is healing, rewiring and they are or have rebooted. Sadly, for the ones that have this mistaken belief (in my opinion), none of that is true. In good faith, some of them are quite literally wasting their time because of the misleading message and beliefs around this PMO abbreviation.

    I suggest, therefore, that the definition of PMO should read: Porn or Masturbation or Orgasm. Indulging in any of these would mean a relapse, requiring a reset of the period of abstinence.

    Finally, I would like to see PMO replaced with PEMO. I suggest, therefore, that the definition of PEMO should read: Porn or Edging or Masturbation or Orgasm. Indulging in any of these would mean a relapse, requiring a reset of the period of abstinence.
  3. flame0

    flame0 Fapstronaut

    Agreed. I have had to carefully read posts and counters to find out what was going on in member's reboots. When I first joined the sigte I had a mistaken impression of the success rate. A number of members have a long "no PMO" streak even though (according to the wording) they could be watching P and edging many times everyday.
  4. Yesodi

    Yesodi Distinguished Fapstronaut

    I too would like to add something about the abbreviation PMO.

    IMHO, the "O" component is ambiguous in that it does not distinguish between "P- or M-related O" (of which "MO" is a specific case) and "legitimate O" (with a partner).

    I do not yet have a proposal for how these two very different forms of "O" might be distinguished, and I invite your suggestions.

    BTW, I agree with @IGY's clarification that the definition of PMO should read: P or M or O. Indeed, I was sure that this was already implicitly understood. However, I wasn't quite sure why there is a need to define an additional component for "E" = "Edging" -- unless one also views the "M" component as ambiguous. There can indeed be confusion between "standalone M" (= "Edging") and "M" that is part of "MO." But if the first ambiguity that i raised will be properly dealt with, perhaps giving us a new way to denote "MO," then "M" by itself will necessarily and unambiguously already mean "Edging."
    DogDaysOfLife likes this.
  5. IGY

    IGY Guest

    Thank you for highlighting another confusing anomaly @Yesodi.
    Yesodi likes this.
  6. flame0

    flame0 Fapstronaut

    If you set the counter to hard mode it defaults to P/P subs and E, because you have to engage in one of those before you MO. That is kind of confusing as well, but reprogramming that is a lesser concern.
  7. IGY

    IGY Guest

    If you read it, it says I have not intentionally watched P or P substitutes or M'd or edged.

    To edge is to masturbate without orgasm, ergo, to masturbate is to masturbate with orgasm. It is implicit. Why ask?
  8. Wow, I agree with everything said here! :)

    In my opinion, the idea of PMO does mess with people and how they define "relapse". I do not believe that they need to come together in order to be considered a relapse, it's more like something that most people usually end up doing. If you watch porn (P), edge/masturbate (M) or masturbate to orgasm (MO), you have relapsed

    With porn substitutes, it's also considered a relapse if you intentionally search for them in order to get that dopamine kick, that's a behavior related to how we consume porn. Of course, living in this sexualised world, it's very easy to encounter triggers on the Internet, you can end up seeing something arousing when all you're doing is scrolling through Google for the desired resources for a project. Click those triggers and get yourself high and you have relapsed.

    But in the end, this is regarding what's known as "hard mode", I still believe that people should set their own level of strictness for themselves that suit their goals and philosophies. Of course, I'm working on being as strict as possible for the best recovery, since it also fits in with my personal philosophies.
  9. @nfprogress, I guess this thread hinges on your definition of "release". To me that means masturbation and edging. Complete abstinence, or chastity, you might say. I can see why people would think "release" means orgasm, but to me it means any sexual activity at all.

    @IGY, I think PMO works together well as a conceptual unit. After all, porn is not much fun without MO, and MO is not much fun without P. And, as far as porn-induced brain changes and addiction is concerned, it is the MO along with the P that releases the Delta FosB and creates the association between porn and your sexuality. So I'm kind of leery about breaking PMO up into its constituent parts. It just works too well analytically.

    But then again, P and MO (especially if it is FMO), are dangerous in of themselves, and to be avoided. I completely agree with you there (although I do not see why you emphasize edging, is that not included in masturbation?). I don't think we need to break up PMO to emphasize this, however. We can just highlight the separate dangers of P and MO. Maybe even include it in the glossary definition. Or think of it as P and/or MO (I definitely do not think there is any use separating M from O, because O always involves M unless it is a legitimate O).
  10. RE:covery

    RE:covery Fapstronaut

    I hate to sound crude here but having intercourse with the wife is ok because there you have an honest and genuine outlet for release, right.
    Yesodi likes this.
  11. Yes, but it is not technically hardmode. We call it softmode.
  12. RE:covery

    RE:covery Fapstronaut

    Oh, well in that case seeing as I don't have a chain and ball I got no excuse not to go hardmode lol
  13. IGY

    IGY Guest

    No edging and masturbation MUST be separated for the addict because edging is considerably worse than masturbation. FYI: Gary Wilson gives this advice (bold text in red highlighted by me):

    Some men attempting the rebooting process believe that as long as they avoid ejaculation, they are successfully rebooting. This bizarre logic leads to a practice common to Internet porn users, called edging. This is masturbating up to the edge of orgasm, then stopping to cool things down, then revving up again. Three common versions of edging:
    1. Watching porn without masturbating
    2. Masturbating while viewing porn, but not ejaculating
    3. Masturbating without porn and without ejaculating
    Since a reboot is defined as no porn or porn substitutes 1 & 2 make no sense. Edging while viewing porn (or fantasizing about porn) is far worse than simply having an orgasm and getting it over with. Why is that? It all comes down to dopamine.

    Addiction-related brain changes and sexual (Pavlovian) conditioning are initiated by:

    1. Dopamine levels which are higher than levels attained through natural means (drugs, for example)
    2. Moderate dopamine levels that remain elevated for long periods
    3. Combo of 1 & 2
    If you are edging to porn you are combining naturally high dopamine levels of masturbation with the dopamine raising abilities of 1) exciting, novel visuals 2) searching the net for porn 3) finding surprising or shocking genres. Edging can keep dopamine levels elevated for hours, and train the brain to require constant visual stimulation, rapid-fire novelty, clicking from scene to scene, and your own hand. None of this matches real sex.

    High dopamine tells the reward circuit that "This activity is really, really important, and you should do it again and again.” Forget the possibility of addiction-related brain changes. Chronically high dopamine is conditioning your sexual arousal to everything associated Internet porn use. You are now training for the wrong sport. It's like spending your time hitting golf balls in order to become great basketball player.

    Worse than training for the wrong sport, you may be taking yourself out of the game all together. Dopamine is odd. It really shoots up when something is better than expected, but drops when expectations are not met. Rewiring your sexuality to Internet porn means you unconsciously expect to be a voyeur controlling your dopamine with a mouse. When real sex doesn't match porn, dopamine plummets - along with your excitement and erections.

    What about edging without using porn? Depends on your goals I guess. Keep in mind that YBOP is about Internet porn, not masturbation (hello nofap/reddit). Is it similar to simply staying close to the edge with a partner? Not exactly, because you are wiring your sexual response to your own hand. Having sex means you are wiring your sexual response to another person. This may be significant to visitors who are are dealing with sexual dysfunctions.

    It's important to realize that sexual stimulation is by far the highest level of dopamine naturally produced. Dopamine is at its peak when on the verge of orgasming (edging). In the pre-Internet days, guys would usually masturbate, orgasm and be done with it - it might take 10 minutes or so. At orgasm, prolactin rises, which drops dopamine to baseline levels and inhibits its release. That normally spells some relief.

    Placing your foot on the dopamine gas, without ever hitting the brake (prolactin) results in a continuous state of cravings without satisfaction. This practice of edging calls to mind the earliest experiments on the reward circuitry of the brain in which animals would stimulate themselves over and over, braving electrical shocks and ignoring willing mates.

    In the end, chronically high levels of dopamine (in conjunction with a specific stimulus) are the trigger for addiction, as over-stimulation of the reward circuit leads to the accumulation of DeltaFosB, activation of genes, and specific brain changes. As the sustained molecular switch for addiction, DeltaFosB initiates both behavioral and chemical addictions. Yet one of its evolutionary purposes is sexual conditioning. It rewires the reward circuit to sexual cues in the environment and makes "sex" even more enticing. If your sexual environment is Internet porn, that's what your reward circuit expects....and craves.
  14. quagmire

    quagmire Fapstronaut

    If it feels good. It's dopamine, so if looking at P makes you feel good, you gotta stop doing that so your brain can rewire back to a normal baseline setting. The trigger for a "happy activity" is a far more powerful dopamine trigger than the actual reward such as the O. So if you are looking at P and triggering that "ooohhhh that's neat" sensation in your brain, you are not succeeding you are rationalizing that's it's OK.
    If you are looking at porn and not MOing, congrats, but all you are doing is shooting an arrow than painting a target around it after it lands and calling it a win. Sorry, I know it sucks, but that's the nature of addiction, it sucks.
    RE:covery likes this.
  15. g2stop

    g2stop Fapstronaut

    This post has been very useful for me, I am going to change my counter as I think I have looked at porn subs during my reboot and think it would be useful to cut them out also
  16. CL555

    CL555 Fapstronaut

    This thread is really decent and the opening two posts are gold! - I too agree that the glossary might want revising. Seeing PMO as P or M or O would really help new members in understanding that NONE of them are acceptable during a reboot, and they don't need to be combined in order to constitute a reset. (O is okay with a partner, so long as it's not 'too' frequent, in my opinion)
    As for the #13 post by @IGY , this is pretty much NoFap/YBOP in a nutshell. I may post this to my desktop so I can see it easily!
    Peace! C x
  17. IGY

    IGY Guest

    I am pleased this information about P/subs has been helpful to you @g2stop, and about edging & PMO for you @CL555.
    flame0 likes this.
  18. Demon Shark

    Demon Shark Fapstronaut

    I'm 26 days hard mode. Have not noticed any attention from women yet. When does it happen?
  19. fixmenow

    fixmenow Fapstronaut

    What about Monk Mode? I thought I was in that but what is difference with Monk and Hard Modes?
  20. Veritech

    Veritech Fapstronaut

    Why do we need to get so caught up in acronyms?

    P: Porn. Not allowed. Period.
    M: Masturbation. Not allowed if porn induced.
    O: Orgasm. Not allowed if induced by masturbation to porn.

    Psubs are subjective, some are unavoidable; but there can be some control such as changing the channel or walking away.

    I personally cannot masturbate without thinking of porn or wanting to return to porn. So I avoid masturbation altogether.

    With respect to orgasm, it should always be allowed if it is induced during sex with a partner. My goal is to have a healthy sex life with my wife.

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