In this video coaching newsletter I address a YouTube comment from a rebooter who has been off of porn for two months, but now his raging sex drive is threatening the health of his relationship. How can he navigate recovery and not overwhelm his lady?
The full text of Anon’s post is below in italics. My comments are in bold.
Hey Noah! I’m in a bit of a predicament.
I started this process during my current relationship (1 year of relationship and 2 months of no PMO) and I ended up being unable to cope with the amount of desire for sex.
As we quit PMO and find a new balance in our brain chemistry, sexuality, and emotions, everything is going to be out of whack for awhile. This can mean mood swings, anxiety, insomnia, depression, euphoria, and a roller coaster of a libido. That can be difficult to manage within a relationship.
My partner feels pressed on and I feel frustrated for not getting to do it (I started to cry a lot over things lately and this frustration is enough to get me to cry).
That’s the mood swings I mentioned. Years of consistent porn use numbs and desensitizes us, not only to sexual stimuli but also to our every emotion, our connection with others, our ambition. Personally, I didn’t cry from the age of 10 to 24 (the time in which I was using porn). I was only able to get back in touch with my full emotional range, including my ability to cry and love, after quitting porn. Many people have the same experience, and it can feel tumultuous for awhile as you find your new normal.
Ironically, this kind of tension has made sex a source of tension.
That sort of tension borne of expectation and rejection can easily spiral out of control if you don’t have good communication and empathy in your relationship. A woman will often oblige her partner for awhile when he wants sex but she doesn’t, but after a time she’ll grow to resent it and feel used. Then when she turns down her partner’s advances, he’ll usually start to feel rejected and resent her in turn. You don’t want to get caught in that cycle.
She knows I’m going through this but doesn’t approve me getting frustrated over not having sex or inviting her to do it so frequently.
How can I deal with my high libido while protecting my partner of it?
Is this situation something you have experienced? Is it because of no PMO?
Three points for you. I’ll list them from easiest to hardest.
1: Pornfree masturbation is an option. If you find yourself functioning just fine when you do have sex and have an overabundance of sexual energy, pornfree masturbation can allow you an outlet for it. If you do decide to use this, however, always use lubrication and gentle stimulation–keeping the physical sensations as close to real sex as possible. If you fantasize, keep it first-person and realistic: either actual memories or things that could happen in the future. And try to limit yourself to visualizing a single scene, rather than jumping from scene to scene as you might when watching porn online. If you’re not able to easily maintain arousal this way, then it’s a sign that your sex drive isn’t actually that strong right now–you’re just feeling addictive cravings.
2: You’re going to have to learn how to manage your own sexuality. Your inability to control yourself is not your partner’s problem, it’s yours. This journey is about more than just quitting porn and getting your sex drive back. It’s about regaining agency in your life. Porn trains us to be pushed and pulled by our impulses, giving into desire despite our better judgment. Now we must learn to be masters of ourselves, choosing when to express our sexuality and when to channel that energy into other aspects of our lives. It’s not going to kill you to not have an orgasm when you’re horny. Exercise, meditate, play sports, work on a project or hobby, plan a fun date with your partner without the goal of sex. Cherish that feeling of sexual energy without expelling it.
3: Maybe your partner doesn’t want to have sex with you as often as you’d like because she isn’t feeling as in love with you as she should, and you need to work on your relationship and allow her to fall back in love and lust with you. You don’t just want her to consent to having sex when you feel like it, do you? You want her to want you as passionately as you want her. I have a challenge for you. Sit your woman down and ask her to rate your performance as a boyfriend over the last month on a scale of 1-10, and to be very honest. This number should be at 9 or 10. If it’s not, ask her how you can get there, because you want to give her an amazing relationship. If she’s a healthy person and you’re giving her an amazing relationship experience, she’s going to want to give you the same level of joy.
Relationships are about giving, not taking. If you’re giving as much as you should, a healthy partner will want to give just as much or more back. If there’s an imbalance there with one partner giving a lot and the other not, it’s usually because of poor communication. That, or one partner is emotionally unhealthy and doesn’t know how to be in a positive long-term relationship. I recommend reading Corey Wayne’s book, How To Be A 3% Man, Winning The Heart Of The Woman Of Your Dreams. He writes a lot about how to gauge the health of your relationship and keep love, compassion, and communication alive between you.