Never been this happy before! Healed from PIED (porn-induced erectile dysfunction)

Today I share an inspiring success story from someone who found porn very early in life (nine years old), developed porn-induced erectile dysfunction (PIED) before he ever had his first kiss, and then struggled for years to recover–but did it. He again shows us that recovery from porn-induced sexual dysfunctions is very possible.

The full text of Anon’s story is below in italics. My comments are in bold.

Dear Noah,

Consider this message as a personal ”thank you” from someone who recovered from PIED after immense trials and errors. I apologize for any grammar and spelling errors, English is my second language after all.

I’m always happy to hear from people who’ve found success with the knowledge I share–or those who are still struggling and have questions. You can always email me at noah@coachchurch.com or find ways to work with me personally here.

Here is my story of discovery, suffering, recovery and ultimately triumph.

Like many who suffered from PIED, my story is not that different. A simple 90s kid who accidentally stumbled upon adult media through the newly invented magic of ”Cable TV” at the ripe age of 9. Little did I know that this false ally that provided distraction from difficulties of life would also rob me of all life pleasures. Indeed, only during my recovery and after a lot of self reflection did I realize it ruined other aspects of my life, not just the romantic ones. Porn, like every other addiction I guess, corrupts ambition and motivation tricking you into thinking all your needs are satisfied, and that is the true damage of this affliction.

I grew up in the 90s as well. We didn’t have the knowledge back then to intelligently educate kids about the real emotional, sexual, and relational health risks of chronic porn use. I’m sure that no one warned you that porn use could rob you of the ability to have satisfying, healthy sex. Nor about how it could twist your desires and your will, such that you lost control of your own behavior and thus, you life. It’s not your fault that you fell into that trap, but I’m glad to see you taking responsibility now for your healing.

A simple representation of the addictive cycle. Does this seem familiar at all to you?

Porn has damaged me for years without me knowing it especially because back then it was considered a harmless, sex-positive thing no? I am willing to bet that all of us heard the sentence: “Dude, it builds experience, so when you need to get laid you will totally know what you are doing!” Yeah right… It’s partially because of porn that I was a late bloomer in almost everything. My first kiss, girlfriend and sexual experience happened when I was 21 years old. My first time was awkward to say the least. Finally I had in front of me all a guy could want, a beautiful naked woman, and yet, my body does not respond. Where is the rush? Why do I feel numb and unnatural? It feels nothing like people described it to me. We managed to have sex but only after an hour and a half of intense foreplay and even then finally semi-erected I lasted 2 minutes tops. I applaud her patience and persistence to this day. Second time failed, third time as well. I desperately searched for answers but all I found was ”it’s probably nerves” answer. This was back in 2013 by the way. I accepted that answer even tho deep down it made no sense to me. I was nervous and horrified because I was impotent, not the other way around.

Fourth attempt was barely a success like the first time, but the fifth and every next attempt ware more successful then the last. It was years later that I realized she had cured me, I was rewiring my brain and I was oblivious to it. It was great and the key was that I was not watching porn while in a relationship with her. That relationship did not end badly, but it ended non the less and I slipped back to my porn watching habits more and more.

You accidentally recovered! I see this sometimes when long-time porn users get into their first long-term relationship. They stop using porn incidentally because now they have a partner, they slowly rewire and become accustomed to sex, and they heal. The problem is that if they aren’t aware of this process happening, when the relationship ends they’re likely to go right back to porn and re-develop PIED.

You’re not the only one whose sex life has suffered due to porn influence. Far from it.

Fast forward four years and three failed attempts at intercourse. No need to describe the pain in detail, but the last failed attempt hurt like hell because it ended what could have been a wonderful relationship with a girl I really liked. Scarred, I went to a doctor only to find that I was physically in perfect health and got the usual “it’s nerves” answer. However, when I turned to the Internet this time, my mind was blown. Hundreds of people just like me, suffering the same way. That’s when I discovered your videos. Not only did I finally understand what was wrong with me but also found out I can fix myself! I felt something I haven’t felt in years. Motivation! I cried tears of joy for finally having an answer and a goal that must be achieved!

It’s an amazing feeling to finally find the answers that you know can actually help you. You see the light at the end of the tunnel for the first time in a long time. That’s why I do what I do!

It proved to be a most difficult trial however. Almost immediately I went into the worst flat-line experienced in the entirety of my recovery, and lasted for two and a half months. Two and a half months of nothing but depression and apathy, but I was determined. It got so bad that my sister, with whom I have been living at the time, noticed and was so worried that she sat me down and practically interrogated an answer out of me. Instead of ridicule and condemnation that my broken and mortally ashamed brain expected, I received support. This only encouraged me further and lifted a terrible weight of my shoulders. I even told the girl I mentioned earlier the same day, as I felt I owed her an explanation at least. We did not get back together, after all that was not my intent, but I gained something perhaps more precious, a friendship that lasts to this day.

When you start opening up and sharing what you’re going through, the burden you carry can lighten exponentially. That conversation almost always goes better than people expect it to. It’s your chance to get real proof that people can still love and accept you for who you really are–flaws, struggles, and all. And it’s a chance to build more authentic relationships.

Also, the flatline can be a grueling period, especially for those who don’t know what to expect from it. Here’s a recent video from my pal Gabe Deem with more about the flatline.

After those two and a half months first signs of libido started showing and morning wood was back. I relapsed not long after that. I lost count how many times I relapsed but each time learned something new and you aided me greatly during this difficult time of minor flatlines, relapses and pain. Perhaps the the most valued lesson was that just willpower alone is not enough. I had to find alternative outlets. I started working out at home and was shocked how weak and pathetic I allowed myself to get, but this only motivated me more and the healthy dopamine rush after workouts were worth the pain. Getting stronger was a bonus. All those years sitting on my ass in front of a screen did me no favors.

Recovering from an addiction is about what you create in your life and what you DO, much more than it is about what you negate and what you don’t do. If you focus most of your energy on NOT using porn, you’re still giving most of your energy to porn. Not using porn gets much easier when you put that energy somewhere else, like working out and pursuing your dreams.

And it still wasn’t. There was always temptation. Its always just one picture, just one video, just one erotic story and just one edging session gone too far that spirals into a relapse. So, I installed a site blocker and with my eyes covered slammed the keyboard so I do not know what the password is. Every time I found a porn site, with a click it would be locked forever.

Trying to recover from a porn addiction with no protections in place on your devices is like trying to recover from alcoholism with a full flask in your pocket at all times. Even when you’re able to resist it most of the time, if it’s so easily accessible then there will be nothing to protect you from yourself in your weakest moments. Blockers/filters have their place in that protection, but I highly recommend using an accountability software like Covenant Eyes.

Covenant Eyes is an Internet accountability tool more so than a content filter, though it does provide that service as well. Covenant Eyes will take a screenshot of whatever is on your screen about every minutes and then use an algorithm to determine if what’s on your screen is erotic or sexual. If it reads it as a positive, then it will alert your chosen accountability partners with a report that includes blurred versions of said screenshots. It doesn’t matter what browser you’re using or even if you’re online. This way you still have the choice of indulging your compulsions, but you will have to explain them later, and your trusted partner can know when you need help getting back on the right track. It really helps to make porn use a non-option in your mind, especially when you have the right accountability partners.

During recovery I managed to cure my other two addictions at the time, which were smoking and nail biting, and I must admit those were easy compared to PIED. I still relapsed a few times but the flatlines were getting shorter and nofap periods were getting longer. The thing that finally helped me achieve my goal was unexpected. After the last relapse ever I started counting days on paper. This was far more effective than I could imagine. Just having physical evidence of progress does so much for the mind! I keep that paper on the computer desk to this day and all the recovery logs I made. When I went out with friends I would put that paper on the computer screen so if I returned tipsy/drunk I would see it and go to sleep instead of risking temptation.

I like that, haha.

With all these techniques put to practice I reached the famed 90 days, then I reached day 100 which was my original goal. My gut feeling told me that it was not enough so I continued my abstinence. Then, something awesome happened. On day 161 I felt that I was better than ever before and decided to reintroduce masturbation to test myself. What was once impossible without porn was now completely possible. It was not a relapse but instead listening to my body. Then it dawned on me that I have no urge for porn and could not remember when was the last time I had a craving.

Healthy pornfree masturbation is possible, even for those who have been addicted to porn. Read more about that here or watch this video I made on the subject.

I used the rest of that day to reflect on my journey and had a ”eureka” moment if you will. A realization that I have nothing to be ashamed of, on the contrary, I was proud of myself but in a good way. It was misguided sense of pride and overwhelming shame that were slowing down my progress in the past. With nothing to hide and cower behind I told multiple of my close friends what I was going through and in so doing made those friendships stronger. I even told this to the girl I liked for a while and with whom I flirted with on occasion. Who would have thought that we would end up kissing that night a mere hour after telling her my story. A few days later she paid me a visit and we made love for a good part of the night without any problems. I have never been this happy before!

Incredible things can happen when you embrace your life courageously, rather than turning away from it. When you accept who you are and live without shame, you allow people to see you and thus to love you and want to be around you.

That concludes my story, sorry for the long read. I hope this message reaches you in good health. Thank you Noah, from the bottom of my heart. Your videos and example played no small part in my recovery and I hope you can perhaps use my story to inspire all those who are still fighting to live life to the fullest. Just like how you inspired me.

Hello world, I am back and stronger than ever!

Forever grateful,

Anon