Week 2 – Tiger Tale goes cold turkey
For those who missed the intro, I am trying to go without porn and masturbation for two months in an attempt to rewire my neural pathways, cleanse my dopamine addiction and rediscover the joys of real-life sex.
Two weeks in, and it’s been a mix of good and bad. I relapsed in a minor way, without thinking really. I was looking at something on TV, then thought, ‘Where do I know that actress from?’ Link followed link and before I knew it I was looking at porn.
Now, I differentiate just seeing nudity from what I consider ‘porn’ by the way I feel when looking at it. I could view the same image at different times and have a completely different response, depending on my frame of mind. In this case, I slipped back into viewing the images as porn, which in turn seemed to trigger cravings. I had thought they were all dissipated but that one weakness kick-started them.
At least I now know there is no such thing as a minor relapse, no amount of justification where you can say, ‘Oh only this one time.’ I guess it’s a bit like being a smoker or an alcoholic who’s only going to have one. You can’t just have one, and once it starts it’s a battle to stop.
I may have taken ten steps forward over the last fortnight, but after this I feel I have taken four back. Not as much progress as I had hoped.
Still, I made progress. I’m no longer seeking porn out when I’m bored; it has stopped being a subconscious coping mechanism, and hopefully I’m finding better ways to deal with things, using both meditation and exercise. The exercise productively burns off energy if I have spent my day desk-bound, and the meditation helps me relax before I sleep.
I also use the meditation to make me stop and consider. Every time I feel like accessing porn I try to take five minutes to pause and relax. Often after the initial urge has passed, that’s it. There’s nothing behind it. Once I beat a craving, I don’t need it, and so the urge dissipates.
The really good news is I’ve started getting morning wood again. Don’t laugh, but you don’t realise you’ve been missing it until it suddenly pops up (pardon the pun). It was only when it happened recently that I realised it had been a while. I’m taking heart from that and feel it’s a return to normality.
So to wrap it all up, two weeks in: one relapse, some serious self-discovery, early morning erections and $90 in the jar.