Your Brain On Porn: Rebooting Basics

Ever ask yourself these questions?

“How come I can only make it 3 days without looking at porn?”

“How come the most I’ve ever gone is 3 weeks?”

“Every 2 months I seem to relapse.”


Some of you have been saying the same thing to yourself for years.  Or, maybe you know someone who you’ve seen stuck in a relapse rut.  Well, stay tuned.  I think you are going to get an answer to why you and your friends have been stuck in a cycle.

Most importantly, you’ll learn a path to breaking the cycle: rebooting.

Rebooting (learning how to quit porn) is the process people go through who have been addicted to porn but don’t have significant trauma in their background.  (Gary Wilson of Your Brain On Porn spoke about this in last week’s article).

The idea behind rebooting is to get your brain back to it’s original condition.  Like car enthusiasts who love taking an old classic and restoring it, rebooting is about restoring your brain to a place where you once again have self-control.  There’s something cool about a restored classic car.  Imagine doing that for your brain.
Thanks again to the YBOP tribe for dropping their knowledge on recovery from porn addiction.


Rebooting (excerpt from Rebooting Basics: Start Here)

Submitted by Administrator on Sat, 12/04/2010

If an addiction-related brain changes or sexual conditioning are underlying your symptoms, you need to reverse the process by giving your brain a well deserved time-out. Rebooting is our term for recovering from porn addiction and associated symptoms, including erectile dysfunction. We call it’ rebooting’ so you can envision restoring your brain to its original factory settings. Obviously, you cannot go back in time to restore point, or erase all the data as you would when you wipe clean a computer’s hard drive. However, you can heal many of the brain changes that lead to your porn addiction.

It’s very confusing at first because the process is nonlinear, and each brain recovers differently. Some people have intermittent cravings and flat-line periods. Some have their worst cravings in the first two weeks. Some feel good for a short time and then go into a more challenging period. Some feel horribly anxious. Some feel *less* anxious overall, but also have sluggish libido for weeks. Others don’t find out their libido was recovered until they get with a real partner after several months.

The quickest way to reboot is to give your brain a rest from artificial sexual stimulation—porn, porn fantasy, erotica, and for some – masturbation and orgasm. Many guys eliminate or drastically reduce orgasms during their reboot period (and most all of them with sexual performance problems have to do this). On the other hand, sensual contact with a real person can be beneficial, as long as you don’t fantasize about porn. In fact, some guys engage in gentle intercourse, in which they avoid getting close to the edge or orgasming.

“To masturbate, or not to masturbate, that is the question”

If porn use is the cause of your symptoms, you may wonder why it helps to eliminate masturbation and orgasm during the temporary rebooting period. The short answer is – “That’s how most guys have done it.”

As stated, we have only two “rules’: 1) Stop using artificial sexual stimuli, and 2) Do what works for you. Many guys have discovered it is helpful to eliminate or drastically reduce masturbation/orgasm during a reboot. Please educate yourself first with these threads on whether to masturbate or not, the pros & cons of masturbating, a balanced approach/plan and this thread by a nofapper who thinks no masturbation is too restrictive.

Thoughts on whether to drastically reduce or eliminate masturbation during a reboot:

  1. If you have porn-induced ED, your brain is saying: “I can’t do this anymore”. Understand that your urge to masturbate is not true libido – you are addicted to porn, or your sexuality is conditioned to pixels. If you need porn to masturbate, or have a partially erect penis when you do, you are not horny or in need of “release”. You are addicted and seeking a fix: a temporary dopamine high.
  2. The majority of men with porn-induced ED recover faster if they temporarily reduce masturbation and orgasm – at least for a while. When you have a medical condition you usually need to do more than just eliminate the cause – in this case porn use. You don’t generally break a leg by putting weight on it. However, once it’s broken you have to cast it, use crutches and eliminate walking while you heal. With porn-induced ED, you may need to give your brain time to heal, free of intense sexual stimulation.
  3. Masturbation and porn use are tightly wired together. Like Pavlov’s dog that salivated when it heard the bell, you will start drooling for porn when masturbating. Time is needed to weaken the neural connections intertwining wanking and watching.
  4. Recovery may be easier without masturbation/orgasm. Remove masturbation/orgasm from the equation and most guys experience a sharp decline in sexual desire, we call the flat-line.
  5. When you also eliminate orgasm/masturbation, not just porn, it seems to precipitate a more complete and deeper withdrawal, and thus healing.
  6. Masturbation and orgasm strongly reactivate cravings to use porn. It has been surprising to witness that most men have an easier time eliminating masturbation than they do porn. For most guys with porn addiction, masturbation is simply not that interesting without porn, and they are amazed to discover that porn, not their libido, was driving their constant search for relief.

Read More…



After reading this some of you may be pumped about rebooting.  Here’s how you can appify the process.

  1. If you have friends in rTribe (if you don’t read this article) see if they will do a reboot challenge with you.  You can decide what will be in the challenge by reading more at YBOP.
  2. When it’s time to check in on the app send a message to your friends on whether you have followed through on your reboot challenge.  Make sure to include what difficulties you are experiencing in the process.
  3. Whatever items you want to track for your reboot make sure to put them in your to-do’s as repeating tasks.  It will feel good to check those babies off each day!  Remember it’s all about progress, not perfection.