I originally posted this in my journal, but I am reposted here to reach a wider audience in the hopes I maximize other's input. The past week has been a blur. My car troubles required I clear my schedule and fix our backup car so that it would pass inspection. This needed to happen ASAP because this past weekend we needed to drive the whole family a few hours out of town for a funeral. I finally fixed the car on Wednesday and made love to my wife Wednesday (5 days ago) night. Well, the next morning I woke up aroused. For the prior week I had been asking myself... "I know why I don't want to look at porn anymore, but why am I choosing not to masturbate?" And the answer had been... "Because I am doing an experiment to understand the effects of prolonged abstinence both psychologically and physically." Then I thought... "Well, you just had an O last night, and you will probably have one next week with the wife, your experiment is not going so well". That was excuse enough for me to MO. And I have MO'd about 5 times since then. I am not upset about it, but I am unsure about things. Here I sit... confused. Things I am confident about: 1. Porn is bad for me. No more porn. 2. PMO in the past has always gotten out of control. Too much, too often, for too long, at the expense of my sleep, the expense of my family, etc. Things I am unsure about: 1. MO should be stopped. 2. MO should be restricted. 3. MO is bad for my marriage. 4. MO is bad for my life. And... I am not going to stop MOing, unless I have a am sure I want too. My point is this, before I arbitrarily put in effort to stop MOing, I need to first believe it is a worthwhile venture. My ONLY reason for stopping MOing 22 days ago was because I was interested in learning how my mind and body might be different after 90 days without MO. But, if I am still having sex with the wife during those 90 days, that one reason is not compelling, and to be honest that reason was not very compelling in the first place. I sit here typing, trying to drum up reasons to quit MOing, trying to compile a list of valid reasons to stop, a list that I can look back to 5 days from now when my mind and body are urging me to MO. Thoughts on MOing: 1. MOing is a gateway drug to porn. This is probably true. Even during these past 5 MO events, the first 1 was easy, the 2nd one was less easy, the 3rd 4th and 5th required more effort to finish. There is a good chance that if I keep this up, my urge to look at porn will go up in order to make it easier for me to reach an O. In contrast to that statement, It is interesting though how little desire I have had over the past 10 days to look at porn. 2. MOing is a release of sexual energy. If I choose to MO, I am not saving that sexual energy for my wife. This is both a reason to MO and a reason to not MO. Why? Because I find pent up sexual energy to be both a blessing and curse. I love that it helps me remember to dote on my wife all the time, but it also makes rejection by my wife hurt more, it is a double edged sword. I am not sure what to think about this. 3. In my previous journal from 5 years ago, I ran into the same conundrum. I abstained from PMO for about 15 days, then I questioned my reasoning behind quitting MO, so I allowed myself to MO. Well, I don't know if that helped or hurt, but I ended up PMOing on day 25. To be fair, I was a different person back then, I remember constantly being aroused and constantly thinking about sex and wanting to look at porn. I wonder if MOing will have the same effect. 4. I wanted to MO right after having sex. Had I not had sex, I think I would not have MOd. I am not sure what to think about that. It is just a data point. 5. I might find that a valid goal is to limit my MOing to no more often than 4 days. Or something like that. Why? Because I think #1 is true, I think #2 is true, and I think the problems with #1 and #2 go away if MOing is only used as a way to relieve mind numbing built-up sexual tension. 6. Deep down, MOing 5 times in the past 5 days is too much. I am not sure why I know that, I just do. 7. Combining my wife's lower libido, her period, and her difficult work schedule, about once a month there will be a 7 to 10 day stretch of no sex. Do I really want abstain from MO for the rest of my life for those 7 to 10 day stretches? If I do, I better darn sure know why I want to do that. I would appreciate other people's opinions on this topic. Personally, I think if I had good reasons to quit MOing that I strongly believed in, it would be easier for me to stop.