Do you Believe in Love after Porn?

In the last issue of Dear Boy, I wrote about how online porn use had re-wired my brain such that physical sex was no longer stimulating. That article marked the first few days of remaining abstinent from masturbation and porn use, a decision that has since changed my life.  

The whole point of this experiment was to re-establish my pleasure receivers to be more receptive to physical sex. The rules were simple, no porn was allowed and no masturbation was allowed. The only sexual relief permitted was physically with another guy. This meant that my three year Grindr hiatus had to come to an end.  

In the initial weeks of abstinence, my sex drive would swing wildly from hyper sexuality with intense cravings to a complete lack of sexual drive. My strategy during this time was simply to be distracted with exercise, meditation and work.  

It wasn’t until eight weeks in did I decide to spontaneously meet with a guy from Grindr. Prior to this experiment I had never been interested in meeting for instant casual sex, hence the Grindr hiatus. That afternoon, for the first time I was genuinely enjoying the physicality of sex. Perhaps I enjoyed it a little too much and as soon as it had started, it ended. Embarrassment aside, my problem of never being able to come during physical sex had completely flipped as I had just prematurely ejaculation on his sheets (my humble apologies if you’re reading this!).  

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In the months that followed I strived to reach a balance. I was no longer routinely jerking off each night to pixels on a screen in an effort to get to sleep. Instead I was enjoying actual sex once or twice a week. I learnt about my sexuality, what I truly liked and disliked, more so in those months than I had in the whole a decade prior.  

I now feel changed in other ways too. I am more emotionally tuned. The best way I can describe it is like someone has turned up the brightness and contrast on the image of life. I realise now how dulled and emotionally blunt I felt before. 

There was one evening about five months in, when I felt my balance was off and I couldn’t control my sex drive. So for the first time, I caved. I found new material from my favourite porn star and masturbated, and a funny thing happened. It was so boring. The orgasm was awful and hardly worth the effort. I have never gone back. 

One outcome from this experiment which I certainly did not anticipate was that I met someone, from Grindr of all places. The app I had downloaded at the beginning of this experiment and have since deleted. In our relationship sex is not the most critical part, but it remains an important pillar, and for the first time in my life I match my partner’s sex drive. I feel socially, emotionally and finally physically connected. 

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