Should I Be Passive With Urges?

Discussion in 'Rebooting - Porn Addiction Recovery' started by nature_boi007, Mar 8, 2021.

How Effective Is My Current Strategy?

  1. It's good

    3 vote(s)
  2. It's too strict

    0 vote(s)
  3. It's too leniant

    3 vote(s)
  4. No opinion

    0 vote(s)
  1. nature_boi007

    nature_boi007 Fapstronaut

    Hey all,

    I'm on day 6 of a new streak, and I've been thinking about the best way to go about NoFap in terms of dealing with thoughts and urges.

    I should give some context to my situation: I'm an 18-year-old male. I have been a heavy porn addict for at least 8 years or so; I started when I was around 10 years of age. I started off with the regular vanilla male/female stuff (I was heterosexual for all of my life). After this, I escalated to furry porn exclusively. My tastes changed during the final parts of my addiction in early August, where I noticed that only the male/male furry porn started to interest me (keep in mind that I'm not attracted to gay stuff in real life, only furry porn). I am currently doing NoFap to get my attraction to women back, to revive my interest in my hobbies (I was a really avid outdoorsman), and to regain a healthy life, free of PMO. I suffer from the following porn-induced conditions: HOCD, PIED, anxiety, depression, anhedonia, and a fear of becoming a furry.

    In my previous streaks, I was strict when it came to how I went about dealing with thoughts and urges. Whenever I got a thought, I tried to force it out of my head and think of something else. And while it wasn't very reliable for me, the distraction aspect seemed to help.

    It should be noted that I also do exercise and distract myself by speaking with family as a part of my current strategy.

    During this new streak, I saw some suggestions on how to properly deal with urges and thoughts. Many posts suggested that you should acknowledge that you are having an urge, but you shouldn't engage the thought/urge and distract yourself.

    My new strategy goes something like this: I get an urge, I tell myself: "I am having an urge/thought. It's just a thought/urge, it doesn't define me. It's totally allowed to be there. But I won't act on it", and I invite the urge/thought to be in my head, but I restrict myself from doing anything that I would consider "acting on it" (this includes PMO, as well as fantasizing, peeking, edging, taking off my pants, bending over, etc.). If I have an erection, I will allow it to be there and go away on its own, like it would with thoughts and urges.

    My problem is that I feel as if I am becoming a lot more lenient in terms of how I am dealing with thoughts and urges. I remember earlier today, where I was particularly horny. I was having some erections, and so because my pants would rub against my erection, I took out my penis and I just let it be until the erections would go away, all while using the strategy mentioned above. However, as my genitals were out, just looking at them seemed to turn me on even more, which caused me to be more horny, and I could see pre-semen coming out just by being horny (I did not touch my penis at all). I feel like I am enjoying these thoughts and urges because I'm allowing them to be in my head, even though I know that I'm not acting on them. I realize that the harder and longer you have to fight an urge thought for, the quicker recovery will be, but when I'm really aroused, I'm not thinking normally and I can let a thought or two slip or something. And after an urge passes, I usually feel bad knowing that I could have subconsciously been enjoying a part of the urge without even knowing it.

    My question is: Am I approaching this correctly? Am I being too lenient? Or am I doing well?

    Thoughts and comments would be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks, and I wish everyone out there a speedy and successful recovery!


    P.S: I am a part of a discord server that specifically caters to ex-furry porn addicts. If you fit that description and are interested, send me a message on NoFap and I'll send you the invite link!
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2021
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  2. I can tell by your writing style that you're an exceptionally intelligent person, and this is a very thought-provoking post. I've also wrestled with this issue myself, though I don't really have a definitive answer at this time.

    One strategy I developed last year was similar to yours - every time I had an urge I would acknowledge it verbally or non-verbally, sometimes even writing it down or counting the urges throughout the day. I'm not sure if this worked, but it couldn't have hurt. I think it is very important to be conscientious about your mental state throughout the day. The more aware you are of your thoughts and emotions, the more likely you will be able to deal with them in a rational way. I would keep doing this, but don't be too strict.

    Also, I'm not sure if taking your dick out is a good idea. Nothing good has ever happened when I've done that. Of course, I can't speak for everyone.

    One thing I always recommend (and what I feel has worked for me) is that if the urge doesn't go away after a few seconds, physically move to another location. This is to reinforce the habit of disengaging from urges rather than tolerating them or resisting them. At first you will be doing this physically, but after a while your brain might learn to disengage without your body having to do anything. Sometimes even moving your eyes around and rapidly looking at random objects is enough, because you are forcing yourself to process new information.

    I recently developed a systematic method for dealing with impulses. This is mostly to keep me from procrastinating, but it might work for sexual urges as well. Perhaps you could give it a try.

    Whenever I feel the urge to do something which would distract me from the task at hand or otherwise compromise my routine, I will follow this procedure:

    1) Write down WHAT the activity is and WHEN, if at all, I should do it, in two separate columns.

    2) If I shouldn’t do that activity at all, then I will immediately cross it out.
    [urges related to PMO would obviously be crossed out]

    3) At the time specified in the WHEN column, I will complete the activity and cross it out.

    4) For any given activity, I may edit the WHEN column as necessary.

    That's interesting - I usually feel like it's the opposite. To me it seems like the more quickly you disengage from an urge, the less likely it is to affect you immediately or later on. However, I also believe based on experience that more you expose yourself to withdrawal symptoms (not necessarily urges) and the stronger these symptoms are, the faster you will become accustomed to them, and the faster you will recover. This has led me to the approach of depriving myself of as many stimulating activities as possible in order to induce a heavy initial withdrawal phase. This is usually marked by lethargy, emotional numbness/apathy, and even depression, but reduces the dependency on my addictive behaviors far more rapidly than other methods. I allow myself to engage with hobbies and productive activities, but deprive myself of all digital entertainment, and stay away from my devices as much as possible. You can give this a try as well. Other people have used similar methods.
    I've never heard of this before, but I can understand why you might feel this way. I wonder if OCD or perfectionism might be responsible for these thoughts.

    Finally I will say that while it is possible to be too lenient with yourself, it is also possible to be too strict. I tend to struggle with the latter, since I happen to be a perfectionist, and often force myself to adhere to extreme expectations. Try to be as honest and realistic as possible, but don't be afraid to experiment. You have all the time in the world to find a strategy that works for you, and at the end of the day, there is not necessarily a right or wrong answer as long as you recover.

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  3. nature_boi007

    nature_boi007 Fapstronaut

    Thank you. The post was by no means my best work. I am a perfectionist after all!
    I agree. Your emotional and psychological conditions tend to provide insight into your overall mental and even physical states.
    Yeah, I realized that after the urge has passed me. It seemed logical in the moment (it was done so that my dick wouldn't rub against the fabric of my underwear, thereby preventing involuntary sexual stimulation) , but your brain doesn't function logically in the midst of consistent sexual arousal.
    Interesting. I will incorporate this into my current routine. The theory aspect of it definitely makes sense. I have done this before whenever I had an urge (and it did work), but I will have to practice it regularly.
    I also have a big problem with procrastination. I will definitely look into this...
    I guess that I should have been more direct. By "a better recovery", I meant that if you are subjected to a lot of withdrawal symptoms, you become more accustomed to them, as you mentioned.
    I'm sure I might have a very mild for of OCD. Asmentioned above, I am a helplesss perfectionist!
    I was very strict with myself when I started NoFap. I've learned that I can't be successful if I'm being extreme about this.

    Thanks for your help @FellatiousD !
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2021
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  4. RiverBlue

    RiverBlue Fapstronaut

    This is interesting. There is a technique in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy where you are instructed to keep a log of each time during the day you have an automatic negative thought (for example, I'm not smart enough, I can't accomplish this, etc.). That's all you do. You just make a note of the thought and then go on with the rest of your day. For whatever reason, this is enough. Overtime one will experience fewer and fewer automatic negative thoughts. It's theorized that the act of noting the thought, not dwelling on it, and moving on takes some of the power of the thought away. Otherwise someone who is depressed normally spends some time on the thought, maybe fretting over it, and it sort of reinforces it and makes it more likely to recur.

    It would seem to me this same technique might just work for thoughts about porn too. Just note you have them and move on. I would be interesting to experiment with it anyway.
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  5. nature_boi007

    nature_boi007 Fapstronaut

    I am actively participating in CBT therapy. The log-keeping strategy is a great way to reflect on your feelings and thoughts.
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  6. Yeah. Maybe you could try snapping your fingers every time you realize you are experiencing an urge. Then, immediately after snapping your fingers, you count 3 objects in the room and describe them to yourself. When the urge has subsided, continue what you were doing before.

    That's just a random example of something you could do. I might try this myself, actually.
    I'm just starting to learn about these things too. It's hard to figure something like this out on your own. Since we are very similar, maybe it would be a good idea for us to deal with our perfectionism while rebooting. I'm sure you sometimes feel like you force yourself to be unhappy by only noticing your failures. Maybe we need to focus more on rewarding ourselves for our victories, even if they are only "partial" victories.

    Here's another strategy I just thought of. At the end of each day we could take a couple minutes to write down all of the "failures" of that day. (That list won't be hard for us to make, I'm sure.) Maybe try writing down 5-10 things. After the list is complete, we will have X failures. Then, we must make another list with X successes, so that there will be as many successes as failures. This could be modified by writing the list throughout the day instead of at the end, or by having the number of successes be greater than the number of failures.

    Nevermind, there are actually a couple threads on this site which follow that same principle. I will link them below. Maybe try posting in one of these every day. I used to do it pretty regularly, and I was having a lot of success during that time.
    Counting 3 wins
    Write 3 positive things a day
  7. AtomicTango

    AtomicTango Fapstronaut

    What everyone else has listed definitely works, as I used to do it earlier in my time on here. What I do now however is quite different. When I get urges I dont try to fight them, nor do I try to embrace them. I just let them be, and found that they go away by themselves. I do think that this depends on how strong your urges are however. For exceptionally strong urges I find something to do that occupies my brain so completely I forget I was urged.
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  8. pump20

    pump20 Fapstronaut

    There are some good urges and bad urges.
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  9. nature_boi007

    nature_boi007 Fapstronaut

  10. Yeah I think you're talking about mindfulness, which is also a great strategy for some people. I have a very high level of impulsivity so I naturally default to embracing my urges. This is why I feel I have to be a bit more extreme when dealing with them.
  11. AtomicTango

    AtomicTango Fapstronaut

    Thats fair enough. I'm also pretty impulsive but I've found that with enough time on a streak my rational brain gets stronger and makes my impulsiveness less likely to overcome me completely.
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  12. Hugogabs

    Hugogabs Fapstronaut

    Man, when I have urges, I try to focus this energy, this will, on something productive, or something that does me good. For example, instead of masturbating, I will study, bodybuilding, run, socialize. This will, when it is transmuted, makes us 1000x more efficient, decisive and correct.
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  13. nature_boi007

    nature_boi007 Fapstronaut

    I have always had a hard time wrapping my head around sexual transmutation. I am able to distract myself when I'm having an urge, however, I'm not sure how to "convert" sexual impulse into channel-able energy.

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