Media attention and being aware of coming across as a cult

Discussion in 'Pornography Addiction' started by High_Achiever, Oct 6, 2012.

  1. High_Achiever

    High_Achiever New Member

    I'm starting this thread based on the reddit-thread. It deals with a cult being developed around masturbation being unhealthy. And hating everything that’s even remotedly associated with normal sexuality.

    Now, yourbrainrebalanced is a far cry from that but I've noticed a similar attitude around some posters.

    There was the guy who was a chronic relapser who insisted on doing it without masturbation, religiously defending the 90 day-reboot. Although he would have probably been more successful already if he had chosen the orgasm reboot.

    The comments in fat are the ones that I wanted to draw attention to.

    I have hung around the /r/nofap IRC and the reddit page for 3 months (I have moved here, since it is a safer and warmer environment...reddit has its fair share of trolls). During my time there I have noticed a bit of a pattern. There are those that make it to 90 days with no masturbation and no pornography from the first try, and then they relapse and have an extremely difficult time building that streak again. I'm talking about people who go from making it to 90+ days to being incapable of doing one week. I've seen so many posts asking "what is going on, I did 90 days but I can't get back up... its become impossibly difficult".

    The other group of people are those that relapse often. They keep trying, and they have good months and bad months. Some times they make it a month, other times they relapse after 7-10 days. Slowly and surely, these people do get to 90 days. It takes some of them months to do it...others it takes years to do it, but they eventually do manage it. From my experience with nofap, I managed 15 days during my first real streak (after one false start). After I relapsed, I made it to 7 days. Then slowly that number went down to 3 and 4, and managed to grow back to 7 occasionally. This continued for about two months. For two months I just could not stop myself. It was like my brain would just shut off. And then suddenly in July I make it to 22 days. And then I make it to 12 days, and then 13 days, and then 5 days and now I just relapsed today at 9 days. Recovery is not linear. Gradually I will make it to 90 days. Slow and steady wins this race. You have to change the way your brain functions. This is a gradual process. Either way, regardless of whether or not you build a long streak or don' have to go through this process. If you make it to 90 days during your very first few attempts, you will have trouble if you relapse. This is a very common theme on /r/nofap.

    Here is where the problem comes in though. When your urges are pounding you hard, you don't want to be thinking "oh I'll just give in to my urges, it won't reset my streak". You're just setting yourself up for failure. You're basically justifying giving up. I have come to realize that there is indeed a breaking point...a point where you just can't go any further. A point where your mind just turns off and you masturbate, but the concept of giving up should NEVER enter your rational mind. If you are not ready yet, you will relapse. Your emotional brain will overpower your rational brain and you will lose the battle. But do not help this process by thinking that its ok to relapse. There is no need to. Its going to happen anyway. When you are ready, you will be able to hit that 90 day mark. Your rational mind will prevail over your desires. That does not happen automatically, and it certainly won't happen any faster if you tell yourself its ok to give up.

    No my friends, I do not think that there should be a tolerance for masturbation or porn. Keep those thoughts for your emotional mind. They are the very thoughts and actions that we are trying to defeat. I guarantee you this: if you stick with this, if you never give matter how many times you will make it past 90 days. It is a guarantee. Do not limit yourself. Limits are meant to be broken.

    This is exactly what I mean. He keeps talking about the future tense and about a 90-day reboot as if it is something that’s almost religious to him. Now, I don’t want to come across as if I’m specifically targeting this person, but he serves as a good example of how toxic cult-thinking can be. Which is something we should avoid entirely.

    Another reason I've noticed is that demonizing masturbation seems to go together with demonizing normal sexuality. There were the comments by Laurynas about Underdog's use of prostitutes, even though he's never been more succesfull at leaving porn behind. When people say they'll go into a weekly masturbation schedule, we have people saying "that's a lot", "don't masturbate", "it's unhealthy.” Mostly by the member quoted above…..

    It's strange but it's almost religious.

    We need to realize that rebooting is something temporarily and that in the first place you're doing this FOR YOURSELF. This means that you choose a way that works FOR YOU, and not a way that will impress others the most. So if you want to do it with blockers, then that’s fine, but please leave the “you’re not resisting porn comments” alone. The key here is to have us moving forward and not trying to follow cult guidelines.

    This also means that once past a certain point delaying masturbation simply for showing off how great you are IS USELESS and most of the time quite arrogant.

    I think yourbrainrebalanced is an awesome community, but if we really want to get more media exposure to the problem of porn addiction, then cult-thinking is something that must be avoided at all cost.

    I’ve recently contacted a television show and they said they would report my story to their news channel. So far I havn’t gotten anything back, but it’s also election time so I’m given them some slack.

    Nonetheless I’m really determined to get this problem exposed and the media seems a great channel to do this. But when this happens, the last thing I want to encounter is the problem of porn addiction not getting the attention it deserves because we’re being portrayed as a cult of people who demonize sexuality and everything that’s related around masturbation.

    Let’s not go down that path folks!
  2. High_Achiever

    High_Achiever New Member

    yes I'm just saying that we should keep an eye out for that stuff.
  3. samy

    samy New Member

    you are probably right but let me tell you this it is far from being a cult and a religious one at that it is more of support group that have an over achiever , a perfectionist , pessimistic ,etc.. (and they all have them its just what happens when a group of people come together)

    now i am not saying he is right or wrong but each of us share a point of view and experiences different than other .it is only natural that we will disagree at some point (not disagreeing is what makes a cult a cult)

    lastly the 90 days is a goal some have 100 some have 50 just like the 12 steps a goal as for masturbation being is bad ,it lacks the basic sense of love and human interaction .it is evil but necessarily evil for some (those that don't have girlfriend as my self) but at the end of the day though different experience are what will help us become a better shoulder to lean on for newbies like my self.
  4. High_Achiever

    High_Achiever New Member

    Yes I also said that YBR is far from being a cult, but I got inspired by the reddit thread.

    .it is evil but necessarily evil for some

    That's exactly what I want to avoid! You see if this problem gets more media exposure, the last thing I want is that we'll be portrayed as a group of people who think masturbation is bad.

    And sometimes you hear members saying that about different kinds of sexuality, what you had sex during the reboot?

    I want this to remain as much as possible about porn addiction.
  5. samy

    samy New Member

    you are right to have those concerns after all the media does like to take things outta context though i think all men would a agree at least in most cases that sex is better than masturbation and that one shouldn't replace sex with masturbation when sex is an option ;)
  6. gardenman

    gardenman New Member

    Yes this is very true, and for some people is probably their critical motivation. Once they start these things, they will start to feel better about themselves. Then a few weeks in they will have a very good picture of how much better their life is with no PMO, exercise, meditation, eating healthy, etc. Comparing their life now to previously is definitely a strong motivator.

    Also, there is something to be said about purposely drawing out the frequency of orgasm, especially for many of us who have probably never gone more than 72 hours without one since puberty.. I am not saying you necessarily have to go without forever, or even the typical 90 day goal. However, there is definitely something to be said about the benefits of remaining celibate for a week or so at a time.
  7. Gary Wilson

    Gary Wilson Active Member

    So do I. One problem is poor or vague terminology.

    As you know, threads pop up everyday on nofap debating whether "the problem" is porn or fapping. Most seem to get that Internet porn is a problem. That said, you wouldn't know that by reading a lot of the threads over there.

    One problem is that a lot of guys say "fap" and they really mean masturbation to porn. The inseparability of the terminology creates significant confusion.

    What drives me batty are the debates - with comments such as "there is no science for nofap", which leads to an answer such as "look at YBOP".

    YBOP is about porn addiction, with the science related to such linked to in the start here article, such as the 12 brain studies on Internet addiction (video gaming is separate), proving without a doubt that Internet addiction exists.Or ASAM which declared that sexual behavior addictions exist and involve the same brain changes as drug addiction.

    There's plenty of science for Internet porn addiction, but the way terminology is used - 1) stopping masturbation is equivalent to 2) having a porn addiction.

    So arguments debate two non-equivalent items: 1) a "treatment" 2) a "condition".

    Worse yet, most guys aren't treating porn addiction with nofap, they are treating social anxiety, or virginity, or confidence issues. Other guys are doing nofap for the "challenge".

    It gets utterly confusing as nofappers debate as to whether porn is allowed or not; or what type of visual stimulation or erotic stories are allowed. Rarely is fantasizing about porn mentioned. A lot of guys debate whether edging is a good idea. The list goes on.

    Then we add in orgasm is ok as long as it's with another person..and we have no good data on how orgasm affects rebooting

    So what we end up with is:
    1) One word for both the condition and the treatment - nofap
    2) Some use porn, or read erotica, or surf YouTube, or ??
    3) Some 90-day streaks involve orgasm others don't
    4) Some guys edge a lot and other guys never touch their penis

    For me, this makes using any post from nofap very dicey. But the real problem is that any two nofappers may think they are discussing the same variables, but they are not. Lots of confusion.

    Below is another example from nofap introduction statements, that gain confuses a "condition" with a "treatment", and places YBOP in the middle of it all.

    This first quote suggests that porn addiction is the reason for nofap, because the your brain on porn presentation is only about Internet porn.

    Then they say nofap is pseudo-scientific, which would lead a reader to believe that YBOP is pseudoscience. If YBOP is pseudoscience then the largest addiction organization in America is practicing pseudoscience -

    It's the lack of clarity in terms, and in separating a disorder (porn addiction) from a possible treatment (temporary abstinence) that creates so much confusion and misinformation.
  8. TheUnderdog

    TheUnderdog Active Member Staff Member

    Yes, this is why I made the thread about the Orgasm Reboot.

    We are porn addicts.

    The problem is porn, not orgasm.

    I hate it when someone says he relapsed just because he masturbated without porn.

    I understand the reasons for wanting to quit masturbation permanently (rising above your instincts, having more discipline and self control, being a superior man, forcing yourself to get laid, conserving sexual energy), but please keep it separate from your pornography addiction problem. Have a double counter, one for porn and one for masturbation.

    A reboot doesn't have to be perfect or flawless for it to work. As long as you stay completely away from porn and reduce orgasm as much as you can then you're making a lot of progress.

    You don't kill your progress when you have an orgasm. You kill your progress when you have "porn sessions" that raise your dopamine to very high levels and reinforce the very same neurological pathways that we're trying to weaken.

    Like I've said many times before, I'm not suggesting that you go ahead and masturbate freely as many times as you want. You need to give your brain a rest. All I'm saying is that if you do end up masturbating then it's not the end of the world. You're not killing your progress. You're not back to zero. Stay with your reboot.

    Just don't watch porn, please.
  9. Gary Wilson

    Gary Wilson Active Member

    ME TOO!

    A guy posted on my site today describing his first ever orgasm through oral sex (after a month of no PMO) - then he asked if this was a relapse. "of course not" I say "this is one of the goals - to normalize sexual response."

    And what about guys asking if a wet dream is a relapse? Or seeing a few nude pictures, or....

    I don't believe in the word relapse for this addiction. It works for chemicals but not for this.

    Rebooting is a concept not a set of rules.... other than do not seek out artificial sexual stimuli (my interpretation).

    This is where it gets a little complicated. I agree with the statement, and elimination of porn is the solution. The tricky part is that some guys with chronic porn-induced ED really speed up recovery when the eliminate or drastically reduce masturbation/orgasm.

    What we have is two scenarios where guys stop trying, that are hard to reconcile:
    1) Try to stop masturbation, fail, and say screw it.
    2) Have ED, continue to orgasm, and it takes so long to recover they quit

    The Orgasm Reboot can address number one, but may lead to problems with number two. I have received a lot of emails from guys in the #2 camp. We will have to see how it works for stubborn ED.

    Forget all the above - let's talk reality. The orgasm reboot is really no different than what YBOP has stated - "if you have to masturbate, do not use porn"

    What Underdog has done is re-framed rebooting. It's a great marketing device. It removes the black and white thinking that so often leads to failure. Since nearly every guy "relapses" several times, it could work wonders to prevent the "WTF, I might as well use porn" thinking that usually occurs.
  10. TheUnderdog

    TheUnderdog Active Member Staff Member

    Another thing to consider is that we should all be aiming to quit porn for the rest of our lives.

    How does that fit into the '90 day reboot' idea?

    This is a lifelong journey and we will keep getting urges after 90 days.

    We need to remain focused for many more months and probably even years.

    If on top of that we demonize masturbation then we're making this challenge borderline impossible.
  11. morrowcosom

    morrowcosom New Member

    Sadly, it seems like there are many people doing no fap that are more addicted to not busting a nut than they are to porn.
  12. Gary Wilson

    Gary Wilson Active Member

    Ever since YBOP went online 18 months ago I've read thousands of threads on hundreds of different websites. The take away - most threads blamed masturbation for ED, loss of libido, DE, etc.

    Even those sites that linked to YBOP described the problem and the cure in terms of masturbation, no porn. Many young guys with ED argue with me (emails, threads) that it cannot be porn that causes sexual or other problems. It is an uphill battle.

    Caveat - I'm not saying that masturbation plays no role - especially if it's death grip, or it's many times a day.

    I found this yesterday - Know Your Meme: the origins of the Nofap movement
  13. High_Achiever

    High_Achiever New Member

    Spot on Gary!

    Are you a scientist by the way? Because you come across as very analytical, I don't think anyone could have provided a more clear description of the problem.

    Yes the terminology is very confusing. I’ve also noticed that there are a lot of guys who sign up and who hope to become some sort of superhuman out of this, whereas I don’t think they had a porn problem per se.

    The guys who had ED, that’s really sad. I’ve read stories where these guys still have delayed ejaculation (DE) after rebooting for 160 days. That’s really torture! If you think about it, DE is the level that I started at…

    But even they should reconsider the orgasm reboot. Cause if this can help them stay on track more and be more consistent with their reboots, then it can definetly provide a benefit to them. If they want they can always progressively condition themselves to go longer without masturbation. Cause frankly going for long periods of time without orgasm at our age, when most guys here are the peak of their libido’s can really be torture.

    But confusing the “treatment” with “the condition”, is a huge one. Frankly if none of us would have discovered internet porn and just masturbated, YBOP would have never existed and neither would YBR. It also drives me nuts when I hear guys saying “fuck I’ve watched a picture of a girl in bikini and I got turned on, have I destroyed my reboot?” or “erotic material is still very attractive to me, I think I still need more time to reboot”.

    We shouldn’t fool ourselves, erotic material will always have a strong effect on us. But what’s different with internet porn is the lack of novelty attached to it. If during our youth we would only have masturbated to perhaps 10 bikini pictures or 1 porn movie our entire lives, then there wouldn’t be such a thing as porn addiction. So the guy who watched that picture really shouldn’t panic!

    I noticed this myself, late at night when I watch tv there are always certain “shows” on tv. But it’s the same girl and I always switch the channel. But if you would give me a computer with internet access, I can guarantee you that I’m surfing and clicking endlessly.

    So perhaps we should define reboot as:
    a) Eliminating the novelty factor of internet porn.
    b) Eliminating the fact that porn is a stronger version of a natural reward.

    Now if you think about it, let’s take a look at masturbation, sex between two people or the guy who watched that picture.

    a) Masturbation: does not have a novelty effect (no you’re really not that handsome :D). And it’s definetly not a stronger version of natural reward.
    b) Sex between two people: does have an initial novelty effect, but in real life I cannot see as many women in one hour then I can do with internet porn. If you disagree with me on this, then please tell me your secrets!  This one also has the benefit of rewiring yourself to what you’re supposed to find attractive.
    c) Watching an erotic picture: It has an initial novelty effect, but just like that girl on those late-night tv shows, it fades eventually. It can be a stronger version of a natural reward, because these photos are usually mixed up with photoshop.

    The above will sound like common sense, but I’m doing this so that people can learn how to put things in perspective. Cause as you can see a,b and c get nowhere as close to internet porn. NOWHERE!

    This is very important because in my early stages of the reboot I was also thinking “fuck I’ve masturbated, I just relapsed”. But as you noticed, when reading a), it gets nowhere near as close as internet porn.

    So my main concern when starting this thread wasn’t about letting certain guidelines get in the way of a succesfull reboot, but making the topic of porn addiction more accessible to the public. Do this try and tell 40 16-year olds that porn can be addictive to some people. Now report back and tell 40 16-year olds that porn can be addictive and that they should stop masturbating.

    I think we can safely predict the outcome of this experiment. You see, I think people can have a bit of initial resistance to this topic, but nothing that you can’t overcome. But I feel that the resistance is going to be HUGE and very difficult to overcome when we have all sorts of guidelines. Hence, the reference to a cult being formed.

    So, I was mostly concerned about the accessibility of the topic and not personal achievement (which Underdog covered). Which is funny because I was thinking about the exact same thing at that moment! But he was the first to come up with it, so I’ll have to give him credit, haha.
  14. Gary Wilson

    Gary Wilson Active Member

    Addiction is repeating a pattern of behavior that has negative consequences. You can't apply an all or nothing AA model to "porn". The reward circuitry knows what alcohol is, but knows nothing about porn. Porn use only stimulates the reward circuit through pathways from the higher brain circuits (cortex), and the deeper emotional circuits (amygdala). There is no such thing as porn, only interpretation - one guys favorite porn will make another guy limp. Alcohol acts directly on the reward circuit, elevating dopamine and other neurotransmitters (including oxytocin).

    I'm an example of this, as were my friends. I used some porn pics early on to masturbate, but was soon bored. Porn could not compare to the girls walking the halls, or our girlfriends.

    That's an excellent definition, and that is the goal. We say rebooting is to allow you to experience what you are like without porn - and that takes a while.

    However, we are back to human psychology, and that's why nofap and 90 days is so popular, wheres pornfree/subreddit isn't. Nofap is one rule, black and white- with a very clear goal - 90 days or bust.

    It's important to remember that you and others are examining this from a perspective that is not available to a guy who just found YBOP. That perspective is shaped by not only experience but healing addiction-related brain changes. Many guys arrive in a "fog", where clear black and white rules may be the best solution.....for a while. I really don't know.

    Also important to consider:
    1) Masturbation can lead to binges - no matter the intention
    2) Quitting masturbation allows guys to see if masturbation alone is affecting them - and it is for a good number of guys (that's what I've learned from nofap)

    This points to a problem with YBOP: My two early videos and much of the advice was for either 20-somethings with ED, or older guys with ED or just porn addiction. We didn't have 16 year-olds two years ago when I was thinking about creating YBOP.

    I continue to adjust the main content, to leave a lot of room for "do what works" and "porn is the problem".

    But we are back to what YBOP depends upon - stories from those who have successfully left porn behind or recovered from sexual dysfunctions....and nearly all drastically reduced or eliminated masturbation to get there. So that is what guys read in the rebooting accounts and the ED recovery stories.
    One of the biggest complaints I get about YBOP is that it doesn't have a set of rules. That one FAQ or rebooting account may slightly contradict another. Whether it's masturbation or not. orgasm or not, fantasizing, how much sex, etc. - there's not a solid rule.

    I understand your concern better than anyone. I get to see all the attacks on me, YBOP, YBR, nofap. People will try to paint this "movement" in worst possible light. I don't see a solution as this is a grass roots effort.
  15. gardenman

    gardenman New Member

    Possibly the best definition I have seen so far. Ultra concise, to the point, and can be applied very well to further explanation.

    Cutting out masturbation is most likely a secondary issue. It lowers the chance of the chaser effect taking over. Also once the chaser effect is over, it can be quite liberating knowing that days or weeks, not hours, have gone by without masturbating and its not currently consuming your thoughts.

    It would be quite concerning if an erotic image didn't elicit a response. Its the equivalent of a dieter acting like they do not enjoy salt or fat. Denying this is either lying to yourself or saying that your an evolutionary anomaly.
  16. TheUnderdog

    TheUnderdog Active Member Staff Member

    Remember that the Orgasm Reboot does encourage people to stay away from masturbation as much as possible.

    Like Gary said, I just re-framed the whole thing, but it's pretty much the same approach.

    Here's the main difference:

    In the Orgasm Reboot you separate the porn and masturbation counters, this way you're not "back to zero" if you end up masturbating without porn.

    Let's say Michael uses the conventional black and white approach and Edward uses the Orgasm Reboot approach.

    Both of them start to struggle a lot on day 17 and find themselves late at night full of urges and unable to concentrate and go to sleep. They want to ejaculate badly.

    Michael would most likely end up masturbating to porn, resetting his PMO counter back to zero, and feeling guilty and shameful about the whole thing. And since he is "back to zero", he decides to binge for 2 or 3 more days before starting again his reboot.

    Edward would masturbate without porn, maintain his P counter in 17, and reset his M counter to 0. He will feel a little disappointed, but is still determined on staying porn free.

    Several months later, Michael's counter is something like "Day 15 of no PMO". He's still struggling a lot and feels like this challenge is more difficult than he thought. He has relapsed and binged to porn several times during those months. He feels bad about himself.

    On the other hand, Edward's counter is something like "Day 134 no P, Day 9 no M". Like Michael, he's still struggling with going long periods of time without masturbation, but he's been absolutely free from porn this whole time.

    Edward is in much better shape than Michael.
  17. Gary Wilson

    Gary Wilson Active Member

    Great post Underdog. Too bad for your broken English - you would make a great radio guest.

    My analysis is that guys need to (again no rules) create the "reboot" that matches their psychological make-up and goals.

    For example, some guys with ED are fine with 6-12 months, as long as they are having sex. Others want to be healed yesterday, no matter what.

    Some guys love the idea of 90-day boot camp approach (nofap), others want a masturbation schedule, others want to slowly ween from both masturbation and porn.

    I know this thread is supposed to be about what others will think, but each approach brings with it a certain psychology. NoFap is black & white on masturbation, which can lead to an individual espousing extreme thinking, such as "masturbation is evil" - if only for 90 days.

    As I've seen, many Nofappers complain about YBOP's lack of rules. Rules can be comforting, but they are certainly limiting.
  18. Johnny Rotten

    Johnny Rotten New Member

    Great post, Underdog.

    In the latest days I've experimented both "Edward's" and "Micheal's" experiences.

    When I reach days 17-18 I had huge cravings and I decided to masturbate. This helped me a lot because all the fantasies and the urges to look at porn passed away and I didn't had them for some more days.

    Then I completely relapsed on they 24. Then again today, as Micheal does in your example (your description is really accurate). I had fantasies and instead of M., I had the more stupid idea of PMO directly.

    So I think I'm going to adopt your approach. Of course remembering I should avoid masturbation too as long as I can, and going for it only if the urge is irresistible.
    But I prefer a longer reboot to a set of mini-reboots that always end up with a relapse.

    Also, I think Gary's work on YBOP is great and people should read everything with more attention. It's very well clarified that the reboot process isn't linear and that it is different for everyone.
    And, most important that the problem isn't masturbation but porn.
  19. CULT?!









  20. TheUnderdog

    TheUnderdog Active Member Staff Member

    Masturbating without porn once a week or so is fine.

    I don't see how this can be harmful.

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