You know the feeling all too well. Consumed by guilt and shame, you close your incognito browser for what has to be the hundredth time this year. Thoughts of failure race through your mind.
How did I relapse again?
Why did I peek?
It wasn’t worth it.
Your pornographic tastes are getting more intense, and your sessions are getting more compulsive. You’re worried — and you want help when it comes to kicking your PMO (porn, masturbation, orgasm) habit.
The fact that you’re reading this article is an excellent sign in and of itself. You’ve tackled the first issue — you realize your behavior is problematic.
Most people suffering from chronic masturbation don’t see it as a problem. Rather, they don’t seek help because they don’t see it as a problem.
In this article, we’ll help you understand what chronic masturbation is. This will help you recognize the symptoms, and how to begin seeking help for this condition. Also, we’ll go over some of the consequences of being a routine user.
Disclaimer: We want to help you overcome your masturbation addiction, but we’re not doctors. As a result, we can’t give you specialized advice on treatment options. Be sure to talk to your doctor.
What Is Chronic Masturbation?
Before we get into the nitty-gritty of how to work towards a cure, it’s important to understand what chronic masturbation is.
Contrary to popular belief, chronic masturbation isn’t simply “masturbating x times within a month”. Like other bad habits, there’s no standard amount of doing something that makes it harmful — everyone is different.
For example, a user that masturbates a lot may see an insignificant effect on their life. On the flip side, a user that masturbates a little bit may see their life being overturned.
An accurate definition of chronic masturbation: The practice of repeatedly indulging in masturbation (with or without pornography) to the point of addiction that causes anxiety, sexual performance issues, and disrupts daily life.
A user that struggles with chronic masturbation usually needs an external stimulus (like pornography) to reach orgasm.
Masturbation begins as a stress-reliever for this user but grows into something monstrous. The urges actually become the source of stress itself, and they use PMO to relieve themselves opening an insidious loop.
Little do they know, each session is creating a void, and their previous session fueled the urge for their current session. At this stage, the user develops a psychological, emotional, and physiological dependence on their drug of choice.
When this practice becomes routine, it eventually becomes an addiction that takes away from many aspects of their life. At this point, the user is suffering from chronic masturbation.
Symptoms of Chronic Masturbation
As with any ailment, there are usually signs that bubble to the surface — these signs act as an indicator of a deeper problem.
Keep in mind that these symptoms shouldn’t be treated directly. Attacking the symptoms would be akin to trimming the branches of an unhealthy tree when the roots need to be healed instead.
Viewing pornography is one of the most isolating acts. First, it has to be secretive. On top of this, the user is generally not seeking help, making them more isolated.
This lack of social contact makes the problem even worse. Porn is a supernormal stimulus. In other words, the act is so dopamine-inducing, that it’s hard for other enjoyable activities to compete.
Slowly, you’ll notice that you’d rather stay inside and get off on a PMO session instead of making it out to that summer BBQ.
Shame and guilt about your condition are other social symptoms the user will experience. These are amongst the most damaging symptoms since they keep you from seeking help.
Pain in your genitals or desensitization is a physical symptom of chronic masturbation. If you’re experiencing this, be wary. It could develop into erectile dysfunction.
Additionally, other acquired symptoms include delayed ejaculation. This is when men find it difficult to orgasm or ejaculate.
Premature ejaculation is a symptom that occurs when the user ejaculates with minimal stimulation during intercourse.
Dyspareunia is another symptom, although more common in females, it refers to genital pain during sexual intercourse.
Negative emotions are an important part of life. They can act as a driver to push us toward the correct actions. However, if masturbation is used as a coping mechanism to stave off negative feelings — it’s not healthy.
Another mental symptom is that you find yourself thinking about porn often. All of a sudden, you’ll start fantasizing about situations in your personal life with a pornographic twist.
A coffee with a co-worker isn’t just a coffee anymore. Your mind races through all the sexual possibilities, and you find it hard to focus on the conversation.
On the more extreme end, you could develop a paraphilic disorder. In other words, these are unusual sexual interests such as masochism, sexual sadism, and even pedophilia.
Causes of Chronic Masturbation
Masturbation is often used as a crutch to regulate emotions. With that being said, a person might use masturbation to combat depression or anxiety and elevate their mood.
This isn’t wrong per se, but when chasing the high becomes an obsession, the act of masturbation becomes problematic.
Chronic masturbation can also happen because of neurological reasons. An imbalance of chemicals in the brain or diseases could lead to chronic masturbation.
Consequences of Chronic Masturbation
The definition of chronic masturbation states that the user experiences anxiety, sexual performance issues, and interference with daily life. Let’s take a closer look at these consequences.
A metaphor for masturbation that is likened to depression:
The urge to masturbate is like being thirsty, but instead of drinking water — you start eating salt.
In other words, the user will masturbate in an attempt to feel better. In reality, compulsive masturbation is actually making their depression worse.
Users who start out healthy may develop depression after constant PMO sessions due to a feeling of deprivation without porn. They’ll then turn to porn to alleviate the depression starting a sinister loop that they get stuck in.
Lack of Sexual Desire With Others
Porn trains the brain towards a sexual affinity with pixels on a screen. More specifically, it wires you to find the act of watching others have sex as arousing.
When it comes time to have sex, the user will notice that they have little to no desire for sex. Instead, they’ll be motivated to whip out their device and even encourage their partner to watch with them.
PIED (porn-induced erectile dysfunction) is another consequence of regular PMO indulgence. PIED happens when a man can’t get (or keep) his erection during sex.
ED can also be a result of many other factors such as relationship issues or body image. If you’re a porn user and you’re unsure, try quitting porn for a bit.
Pornography may trigger anxiety during sexual intercourse. This causes decreased satisfaction with the user’s own body and result in performance issues.
If you scour the internet you can easily find relationships that have been shattered due to compulsive porn usage.
On the bright side, you’ll also find relationships that were strengthened by kicking the PMO habit.
Relationship issues often arise as a result of the other consequences. If PIED is affecting your sex life, and your partner knows it’s due to porn — this will cause a rift in your relationship.
Women also tend to feel more insecure about their bodies knowing that you have a harem of digitally doctored women at your disposal. The imagery found in porn isn’t realistic, so you can’t expect your partner to replicate it.
New social research also indicates that married couples who use porn are more likely to get divorced than those who don’t.
How to Stop Chronic Masturbation
We recommend you use this section in tandem with “How to Cope With Chronic Masturbation” below.
Quitting can be tough, and you must overcome the shame of asking for help. In fact, you’ll need all the help you can get.
Your mental health is step zero.
Nothing will stick if you don’t heal the root cause of your addiction. For this reason, we’ll explore treatment centers, therapy, and medication in this section.
Treatment centers are a systemized way of helping you work through your addiction. If your addiction is compulsive, therapists will work with you to discover the root cause of your PMO addiction.
Treatment centers may also implement the 12-step program to help with this discovery.
There are many forms of therapy available ranging from holistic to family therapy.
Holistic therapy focuses on bringing balance into the body, mind, and spirit. This isn’t a replacement for traditional therapy, but it can give you the tools to overcome your PMO habit.
Family therapy focuses on the user interacting with their friends and family during treatment. Again, this is a piece in a more giant puzzle and it doesn’t replace traditional therapy.
Cognitive behavioral therapy is also something to consider when trying to quit PMO. It’s a type of therapy that helps you figure out which thought patterns you need to let go of. It also helps you recognize negative behaviors that contribute to your addiction.
We always tout medication as a last resort. It’s kind of like a band-aid solution that usually snuffs out the symptoms without dealing with the root issue. Of course, everyone’s situation is different and we’re not doctors.
We heavily recommend talking to your doctor for any medical advice.
There is no medication to directly treat chronic masturbation. However, it is common for other diagnoses to be associated with the frequent use of PMO. Using medication to treat depression or OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder) is a way to help you reduce your compulsive porn usage.
But this isn’t to be seen as a cure-all. Medication is more like a stepping stone you use to put yourself in a position that enables progress.
Once you find yourself using porn less, make an effort to spend the extra time and energy to develop healthy habits. Amongst some of the more popular activities to stave off urges is joining a martial arts club. You’ll slowly develop a social circle and the exercise is a remarkable way to keep urges at bay.
How to Cope With Chronic Masturbation
We get it. Treatment can be expensive.
If you’re in a situation where you can’t seek any of the treatment options above — you’ll need to lessen the impact of chronic masturbation on your life. Let’s talk about a few of the methods you can use.
Educating yourself about addiction is one of the first things you should do. It’ll inform you about what steps are appropriate for you.
First, you should educate yourself about the addiction itself. There are many excellent resources online such as Your Brain On Porn or the EasyPeasy method. Other resources include the r/NoFap subreddit if you’re after the community vibe.
Learning about yourself is important here too. Questions you should ask include, “What are my triggers? During what time(s) do I relapse? Is there a pattern?”
This will allow you to set barriers like porn blocking software, or always being around people.
Replacing damaging habits with healthy habits is the name of the game here. As mentioned earlier, your mental health is step zero. If your mental health isn’t in check, you won’t be able to sustain positive habits.
This is why we recommend using this section in tandem with “How to Stop Chronic Masturbation” above. Exercise may help you quit momentarily, but if there’s an underlying issue you need to address, it won’t be long before your PMO habit rears its ugly head. Try to get therapy and work through it.
Remember. You need to heal the roots of the tree first.
Healthy branches and fruit are simply a result of healthy roots.
As mentioned earlier, r/NoFap is great if you need an online community to help you through this time. You could also lean on trusted family members or friends who may be going through the same issue.
Support groups aren’t necessary, but they can be an integral part of getting you started on a path to healing. Eventually, you’ll be able to take the training wheels off.
Rest assured that not every relapse is a failure. Rather, condition yourself to see it through the lens of learning. Every relapse is an opportunity to learn where you slipped in the process.
Chances are, you’ve been stuck in the loop for years — and it’ll take you years to come out of this.
Deep change takes time.
Having a healthy attitude towards healing yourself of this addiction is a make-or-break factor.
Shame and guilt are healthy feelings, without them, you might not feel the desire to quit. However, stewing in these emotions can have a toxic effect. Learn when to let go and forgive yourself. This will allow you to move on and get back on track smoothly.
So the next time you’re staring at your screen in shame and disgust, cut yourself some slack. The fact that you’re educating yourself on your condition means you know you have a problem, and that’s the first step to solving it.