How Do I Know When I’m Back To Normal? (Rebooting from Porn-Induced ED)

addiction computer

When you start your reboot, the two biggest questions you likely have are: “how long will my reboot take?” and “how will I know when I’m fixed?” The fact is that there is no rock-solid answer to this – at least not yet. That’s because each person’s experience is unique. Each person’s reboot starts off with a different set of goals and timeframes. For many who are suffering porn-induced ED, the “back to normal” goal will be when they can successfully have an erection WITHOUT the aid of porn and enjoy sex with a partner. For others, it may go even deeper.

So, as usual, the first step is to identify what YOUR goals are and then diligently work towards those goals.

How Long Is My Reboot Going To Take?

As for timeframes, your full recovery will certainly depend on the stronghold of your addiction, how well you deal with your anxieties surrounding your addiction, and the positivity you feed yourself. There is a vast amount of information suggesting that rebooting will help you. For many men, it certainly does, but as it’s such a personal issue, there are a number of other considerations when it comes to measuring the success of your reboot.

For example:

  1. Do you know your triggers?

Triggers come in all shapes and sizes, they’re often subconscious and it’s not always clear when you’ve set one off, so you may not even realize that you have. Knowing your triggers can help you steer clear of a relapse, and in turn speed up your recovery.

  1. Do you know WHY you use porn?

For many people, there are underlying problems that are both the cause, and the product, of a porn addiction. Much like many of the other psychological addictions that stimulate the reward system, there may be deeper reasons why you gravitate towards porn. If the cycle is not broken, this can pose as a threat to your recovery and can definitely keep you from feeling the positive effects of your reboot.

  1. Are you able to dedicate your body and mind to the reboot?

Much of your recovery [if not all] depends on your view toward the recovery process. If you set out to reboot but feel discouraged and unmotivated, you may not notice the same success rate as someone who remains motivated and seeks out inspiration along the way. Keep an arsenal of information, and inspirational people around you to keep you going through the toughest times.

  1. Do you fully understand what a reboot is?

I find that knowing all the facts helps me to stay focused and make informed decisions. When it comes to rewiring your brain to love natural sex again as opposed to porn-fantasy-sex, it’s always a good idea to fully understand WHY porn habits aren’t good for you. If you haven’t already, take a look at these five excellent videos that explain just why porn can be harmful, the effects a PMO habit has on your life, what a reboot is, and how to go about it.

  1. Lastly, what are you doing to fill the space that PMO took up in your life

Let’s be honest, I’m definitely not going to tell you that kicking the habit is as easy as letting it go and never looking back. Filling the space that porn once occupied leaves it no room to edge its way back into your life. Let’s use the analogy of renting out your home. If you’ve got tenants that are breaking your property leaving burn marks in your furniture and never cleaning the place, you’ll want to kick them out sooner rather than later. Leaving the place empty, however, opens up the opportunity for vagrants to make a home there. The best thing you can do is to find tenants who will look after your home (ie. replacement habits) and make it even better than it was before.

So with that self-Q&A underway, we can get down to the important questions surrounding the topic of this article. Thankfully there are scores of people who have been through the process of rebooting and their personal experiences can help us to understand how to measure normalcy again.

Now’s the time to jot down your original goal – if you haven’t already and consider that goal as you read through the next section of this article.

Reboot Calmly

Some of the reasons guys choose to reboot are…

  • Eradicating porn-induced ED
  • A Lack of enjoyment of physical intimacy with a partner
  • A Lack of desire towards a partner
  • The inability to enjoy life
  • Feelings of depression
  • Feelings of anxiety (general as well as performance)
  • A desire to take back the control over their own passions and desires

So it’s been established that the success of a complete reboot is dependent on your original goals, and it stands to reason then that you’ll be back to normal when you’ve realized those goals. There are, however, a number of physiological and behavioral signs that clearly show your reboot is working.

Signs you are winning in your reboot

Gabe Deem from rebbotnation.com has a comment thread on Reddit where he describes his reboot experience and helps other NoFappers recognize when they’ve returned back to normal.

Among some of the things mentioned in that thread and from the personal accounts of others along the way, a list of physical signs has been developed.

You know your reboot is reaching success if you experience the following:
  • Wake up regularly with morning wood
  • You no longer experience ED while having sex
  • A stronger sex drive that tends to lean toward natural situations rather than porn or fantasy situations.
  • Less anxiety both socially and generally
  • Less performance anxiety
  • More confidence in yourself in and outside of sexual situations
  • More ability to get through daily tasks with increased motivation
  • Increased energy and drive (both sexually and in general)
  • Enjoy sex on a deeper level. That is to say that the sex is no longer just physical release but that you can connect to your partner on various levels.
  • Enjoy new experiences as opposed to shying away from or shunning them
  • Enjoyment of the smaller things in life
  • A feeling of being more aware
  • Your feelings of guilt, shame or depression are replaced with a new virility
  • You are open to more communication and you no longer feel the need to hide
  • The sex that you have with a partner feels amazing, even when it’s not accompanied by porn or fantasies
  • Your energy levels maintain or spike after an orgasm and don’t diminish.
  • You feel more productive and more capable
  • Sleep issues, if you had any, begin to lessen

While you may not experience all of these things, it’s not uncommon to experience more than one, if not a majority combination of the above. There are more subtle tell-tale signs too that you can note in other areas of your life, that may tell you you’re on the right path.

live

Some related success signs to look out for are:
  • A happier spouse, partner or family

If you’re able to connect on a deeper level and spend more time with your family/partner, then it’s guaranteed they’ll be more contented.

  • Being more effective in your work and personal affairs

Productivity can certainly make you feel better about yourself. Concluding old projects or business does give the feeling of opening up more time for other things. This in turn could spike your feelings of overall efficiency.

  • A general sense of happiness

There are so many changes that take place during a reboot, it’s hard to pinpoint exactly where that feeling of fulfillment actually comes from. But yes, if you’re feeling a little brighter every day, I’d take it as a sign that your reboot is well on its way and your thought patterns are returning back to normal again.

  • Feeling more masculine

This is a fairly interesting point to take note of. Many rebooters mentioned that they received more respect from men and were more comfortable approaching members of the opposite sex after staying clear of PMO.

  • A very different view of women and what is and isn’t attractive

Porn sets an unrealistic view of beauty and sexuality. If something less favorable [attractive] happens, you have the opportunity to quickly switch off the TV, or navigate to a new video, or turn the page. Therein lies the problem. Real sex is often nothing like porn sex. What porn stars are willing [and capable] of doing is mostly far-removed from reality. Your expectations of a natural situation may be much different than what your partner is willing to do.

  • A sudden interest in things that you previously were not interested in

What with having more productive time on your hands, a need to fill a previously occupied space and a general increase in energy, you could find other experiences more attractive. Do you have a friend who’s been begging you to go mountain climbing and you’ve always said no? You may fell more interest in things like this and it’s a good thing. Taking on new experiences not only broadens your horizons, they’re excellent confidence boosters too. Plus, each new experience is an ice-breaker with the ladies. Go for it!

Strikingly the most interesting thing that almost all of these accounts have in common is that there are “on” and “off” periods to every reboot. Some of the accounts are very positive, with people experiencing progressive results as early as three weeks while others find their success at three months or later. What is important to note is that this is an ongoing process. For those of you who are not experiencing your desired results yet, keep pushing forward. It does not mean that there is something wrong with you, or that you’re doing it wrong, but likely has to do with the various factors in your personal porn habit.

For example, a young man of 21 who has been addicted to porn since the age of 13 may find that returning back to normal will take longer than a man of 41 who has been addicted to porn for the same amount of time, but has a solid foundation of healthy sex before his addiction. The type and frequency of your porn use are also deciding factors. If you’re struggling, feel free to comment in the section below, or contact me directly.

Another account from one of our very own readers noticed that only three months into his reboot he could clearly feel his sensitivity coming back.

Conclusion

There are days where you barely have to think of your efforts, and there are days when you will have to make choices to turn away from your urges, the good news is the choice gets easier along the way. As mentioned before, triggers can and do make it a little harder along the way, but as you get to know yours you’ll be able to steer clear, or learn how to successfully deal with your triggers. Overcoming a porn addiction starts by identifying WHY you want to make a change and then keeping that motivation very much alive and well.

Each reboot is in a sense tailored, as is each success. While the guidelines are much the same for everyone, the driving force behind the rewiring process is very much different. If you’re not seeing any clear results, it’s possible that you’re missing something along the way, I encourage you to keep a diary, or a get a buddy who you can rely on as you go through your reboot.

Revisiting your goals every few days can help you track your own progress. Take a look at the accounts of the many people who have been through this before you to give you a good idea of how they’ve dealt with their periods of flatlining and how they’ve celebrated their ultimate success. By the way, that reminds me, celebrating your success is, in fact, a big part of your recovery and in the end you get to do it with a bang. 😉

About Brian

Brian overcame a long-standing addiction to Internet porn and fully recovered from serious porn-induced erectile dysfunction and performance anxiety. For more about Brian, see my story.

Comments

  1. I noticed lower anxiety in general only 2 weeks into my reboot, and it got more and more pronounced as I went on. And the confidence boost with girls and in general has been huge. I’ve even been complimented on it, so it’s not just my imagination. Great article.

Speak Your Mind

*