Lack of sex drive due to porn reboot

Addiction, wrong expectations, habitual masturbation ...
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TJC
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Lack of sex drive due to porn reboot

Postby TJC » Tue Jan 03, 2017 9:48 am

Ok this is kind of complicated, and extremely unfamiliar territory for me. Little background: I've always had a strong drive, until about two weeks ago? I've also had a struggle with porn,since I became a Christian. I used porn since I was 12 or 13, but it wasn't really a struggle until I became a Christian.

Recent events in my marriage prompted me to stop initiating any sexual intimacy with DW, or try to persuade her to be more sex positive. The upside to this is it has helped me to avoid temptations for porn as looking for sex positive messages for her is a trigger for me. The downside is my libido has dropped to next to nothing. I can perform if necessary, but I don't enjoy it like I did before. My thought is that perhaps, the absence of stimulation from porn is the reason for this. I thought I read that somewhere that it's common for libido to drop when giving up porn. The other side is by giving up on pursuing sex with my wife, prompted by feeling like I was beating my head against a wall, and in the process making her feel unloved, did I just shut it down out of feeling hopeless about the situation? Any thoughts or experience with similar situations would be welcome.
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Re: Lack of sex drive due to porn reboot

Postby bgavtek1 » Tue Jan 03, 2017 12:08 pm

This is what I experienced when I gave up porn. I wasn't married at the time however. You need to learn how to be intimate with your wife. This will take time and effort on both your part and your wife. When it happened for my wife and I when it did happen it was like a switch and sex was amazing! Not because we were doing anything differently but because we were "In Love Again" so to speak. True passion in marriage is a two way street of each giving to the other. The best sex is when you are focusing on your spouse.

You are headed in the right direction with your marriage. Don't let your low libido at the moment mess that up. It sounds to me like at the moment that is a good thing. As your relationship with your wife improves and you get over your addiction to porn your libido should return and you should be able to enjoy sex again.

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Re: Lack of sex drive due to porn reboot

Postby sunny-dee » Tue Jan 03, 2017 1:38 pm

Wait, why would your libido drop after stopping porn?

I found out a little over a year ago that my husband was looking at porn a couple of times a week. He told me at the time he would stop, and I did some spot checks of his phone and iPad for a few months after, and it was all clean. So, I believe he did pretty much stop cold turkey. But our already lackluster sex life dwindled to almost nothing after that; for the past year, we've only had sex 1-2 times per month, during the week I'm ovulating to try to conceive.

I assumed that my husband was using porn to "prep" himself to have sex with me, like that was the way to get his motor going since he isn't sexually attracted to me. So ... is that accurate? Without porn, you aren't able to work yourself into being sexual with your wife?

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Re: Lack of sex drive due to porn reboot

Postby SeekingChange » Tue Jan 03, 2017 1:46 pm

I'm not an expert here, but think of porn as a drug. When a drug user first starts using, something fairly "light" will give a pretty good buzz, but the more one uses, the stronger the drug they need to get that same "buzz". The deeper one is into porn, and the more they've used it, the more they need, to feel that "buzz" that something simple once gave them. The body/brain needs to readjust and rid itself of the toxins of the "hard drugs", so that the simplicity and beauty of marriage sex, will give the "buzz" one had in the very beginning. If someone is addicted to meth or cocaine, and they try to smoke a joint, they really aren't going to feel much nor will it fulfill the craving their body desires from the addiction they created.
God can change what people do, behavioral patterns that have been in play for decades. He can change what we do to cope, find comfort, survive conflict, to count. Rahab had done a same old thing for years...then she did something new.

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Re: Lack of sex drive due to porn reboot

Postby bigloop » Tue Jan 03, 2017 10:08 pm

http://www.yourbrainonporn.com

TJC - Go there, learn. It changes, it can get better. It takes a little more than passive waiting, but not much more. 60-90 days at least before a good re-boot takes hold. Some take longer.

Sunny, you could benefit from doing some study there too.

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Re: Lack of sex drive due to porn reboot

Postby TJC » Wed Jan 04, 2017 12:33 am

I had heard this before, but the only reason I question it is because my promise to my wife to not bring up our sex life happened at about the same time. Since that promise I have very intentional about avoiding any contact , or touching that might cause arousal. Also I've gone for a few months at a time before w/o viewing porn, and this has never happened.
This is my beloved and this is my friend. Song of Solomon 5:16

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Re: Lack of sex drive due to porn reboot

Postby TJC » Wed Jan 04, 2017 9:12 am

bigloop , you mentioned it takes more than passive waiting. I checked out the site, but there's a LOT of stuff there. Can you make some specific suggestions, as far as what helped you? My anniversary is coming up at the end of the month, not to mention Valentines Day couple weeks later. Should I expect this malaise to continue throughout those events? That seems a little depressing, even though when I talked to my wife about all this her reaction was something along the lines of it would be a nice break from the pressure, presumably from having to work on our sex life. Kind of hurtful, but whatever.
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Re: Lack of sex drive after giving up pursuing sex with wife.

Postby poetess » Wed Jan 04, 2017 11:26 am

TJC wrote:. . . her reaction was something along the lines of it would be a nice break from the pressure, presumably from having to work on our sex life. Kind of hurtful, but whatever.

May I suggest that both of you might do better at communication if you take what she says at face value rather than working so hard to figure out "what she means by that" and assuming it is negative? When she speaks of "pressure," she is telling you that she was feeling "pressure." You're so focused on your own feelings that you turn her statement of "pressure" into a statement that she doesn't want to have sex with you, and therefore she is insulting you ("hurtful"), but that isn't what she said. Hear what she actually says, and communicate on that level, and it may do wonders for both of you over time.
Marriage--what a wonderful image of Christ's love for His bride!

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Re: Lack of sex drive due to porn reboot

Postby Unfulfilled » Wed Jan 04, 2017 1:12 pm

TJC, take what Poetess says seriously. I have been where you are and sometimes it is extremely hard to see the forest for the trees. Maybe I missed something but there seems to be one thing that seems unclear. The whole idea about the length of time of this "break". A break can be a very useful thing. But what is unclear and I think it is extremely important that needs to be explicitly known is the length of time of this "break".

The Bible says that a sexual break has THREE conditions: 1) is that it is done by MUTUAL consent and 2) that it be ONlY for a time (I assume the time is also mutually agreed to) and 3) for the purposes of prayer and fasting. It then goes on to say or imply that it is ONLY for a time so that the abstinence not lead to temptation. My gross interpretation of this bible passage shows the importance of sex in marriage and without it one or both will be risking temptation of sin (probably in more ways than sexual sin). It also implies clear communication between Both husband and wife.

Your promise and the posts you have written seem to leave the length of time to be open or abstract. Just another example of poor communication. I'm not saying that if your wife after an agreed upon maximum time of says 6 weeks is not enough time that you both can talk again and come up with an amended date. I'm just saying that you MUST be clear and have a firm date. If she wants to end the break sooner that is completely in her control.

Trust me. My wife and I in counseling agreed to a break. It was originally 3 weeks, I then offered as what I thought good will volunteered an additional 3 weeks to 6 weeks. Unbeknownst to me, unilaterally my wife and her counselor (we were both in individual counseling with separate counselors) decided to extend the date of the break. All I can say is when the date of the 6th week came and went and another week, and another week. I finally lost it. My wife never told me about the extension. I was obviously upset. Another example of assuming. My DW took the blame as she ASSUMED that the two counselors talked and I was aware of the extension.

Bottom line. COMMUNICATE, and have a KNOWN date to end, or to mutually agree to a revised date. Do NOT allow the "break" to be open ended or ambiguous!!!! Also it is important that the Bible basically says that this time be used for prayer and fasting. I would submit to you that implies that BOTH people are working on as well as praying to improve the situation.

I often wondered and believed that my wife at least for a time was like you state your wife has said that she was "relieved". But if all this time is only used as a vacation from sex, and NOT used for working on the situation but simply basking in the "relief" and doing nothing. Well, then the break will not be as useful a tool as it could or should be. As always. reading and following the Bible will always lead to the best results. Varying from it decreases the success if not completely making of a disaster.

Just my personal experience and thoughts. Others may have a completely different experience.

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Re: Lack of sex drive due to porn reboot

Postby TJC » Thu Jan 05, 2017 1:09 am

Today, right now, I don't even care what she meant. You're right in that it's open-ended. Right now I'm struggling to care about anything. I just want the pain to stop.
This is my beloved and this is my friend. Song of Solomon 5:16

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Re: Lack of sex drive due to porn reboot

Postby TJC » Thu Jan 05, 2017 8:36 am

In a very dark place this morning..
This is my beloved and this is my friend. Song of Solomon 5:16

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Re: Lack of sex drive due to porn reboot

Postby SeekingChange » Thu Jan 05, 2017 8:44 am

Praying against the darkness so that the Light can come in.
God can change what people do, behavioral patterns that have been in play for decades. He can change what we do to cope, find comfort, survive conflict, to count. Rahab had done a same old thing for years...then she did something new.

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Lack of sex drive due to porn reboot

Postby bigloop » Thu Jan 05, 2017 9:41 pm

TLC - True recovery is a long process. And I think it is just that - a process, a journey. Not a destination. That being said, I'd ask you a couple of questions. First, how long has it been since you've viewed porn and masturbated? It is generally thought that no less than 90 days of absolute sobriety is needed to START getting back to normal. Some say that period should be coupled with complete celibacy. I'll tell you from my experience, the first 40-60 days of that is purely tortuous. It is in fact "withdrawal" symptoms you fight. After that you can experience a feeling of almost disgust or aversion. But it will pass.

The key to the overall success is to spend this whole time working on all the non-sexual aspects of your marriage. By taking the "pressure" of sex off the table, the hope is to allow the base feelings and actions that should be behind building that desire in the first place to be re-found and relearned. As UF correctly illustrated, this should all be done in full knowledge and agreement from the spouse - and full cooperation. DW and I did not excel in this period. But it did help me see things a little differently. Honestly, a lot of our problem was my wife was far too focused on herself. So much so, that before the end, the counselor told me I might as well go have sex with the wife because she wasn't "getting it", she was thinking this was "all about her." But that was us. Even so, it was not a bad thing for us and I know many who have had great success with similar routes.

Secondly I would ask what are you replacing the porn habit with? If you don't replace it with a good habit, you will obsess about sex with the wife - whether you are feeling desire or not. You either obsess about not getting it or obsess about why you don't want it. You have to break that mental part of the addiction. You can't leave a hole vacant, you have to fill it with something good. Whatever you want that to be - bible study, auto mechanics, gun smithing, etc. I've found the more physical the better or the more intense concentration required the better. Find something from which you can get a real sense of accomplishment.

Now - some folks don't do a "reboot" and do OK. YMMV.

ETA: At about our worst time several years ago, we planned a nice trip to a big city for our 20th anniversary. Big deal. My wife made the statement she wanted to take the kids with us. After some talking it was admitted it was because she wouldn't have to worry about sex and all the pitfalls around it if they were there and she'd have more fun on the trip because of that. It was a dark time for us. We're far down a much better road now - Praise The Lord!

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Re: Lack of sex drive after giving up pursuing sex with wife.

Postby TJC » Fri Jan 06, 2017 1:22 am

The last time was a day or so before my first post here, which was on Dec. 19. I've seen a couple popups since, but haven't had any strong urges to follow up on them. I close them right away. I was working out before Christmas, as well as keeping busy with different home projects. Since Christmas I've been working ten hour days so I don't have much time or energy for anything. I plan to start a more rigorous workout routine starting this weekend. I talked to my wife about it, mostly because she was insecure about what was going on with me. I told her what you had said about the whole 90 day thing, and she's actually a little more than fine with that. :roll: As far as our marriage we've been working on all areas or awhile. Talking to my wife she would like to read Boundaries in Marriage together and work on our communication with one another.

So you're saying these feelings of depression are a normal part of the process? I was actually hoping someone would tell me that, because the only other explanation would have been having lost hope in my marriage. I take it you recommend forgetting about our anniversary, or Valentines Day, since 90 days would be towards the end of March. The wife suggested that we wait until our anniversary at the end of the month and see where things are and extend the time if necessary for celibacy. I can deal with the feelings and emotions, as long as I know what's going on. DW is aware and willing to work with me on this. It seems like aa bigger deal to her as far as how it's affecting me than it does to me.
Thanks for your reply, it's been very helpful. God Bless you.
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Re: Lack of sex drive due to porn reboot

Postby bigloop » Fri Jan 06, 2017 5:57 am

Rereading my edit, I see I didn't make clear that the express reason DW wanted to take the kids on that trip was because we wouldn't be able to have sex with them in the same room, she was going to take them for the express reason of avoiding sex with me- on our 20th anniversary. It was devastating to me. -ultimately they did not go (and we did have sex and we did fight about it while there ::cb) but that situation told me a lot. It told me just how negative sex had really become for my wife - despite her best efforts to serve me in that area. It proved to me that I had to do something to change that dynamic. It was an opportunity. Don't take your wife's enthusiasm for a respite from sex as negative. I know that is hard to take. But, you need to find a way to see the positive opportunity this current situation offers to you both. Look inside yourself and find those things NOT sexual that you can work on FOR YOURSELF first, then for your wife. It is also critically important that she does the same. If she just sits back and watches you and does not work on herself in the same ways, your marriage will not get much benefit. That's what my wife did at that time. It stalled out progress. Of course at the time it frustrated me and caused me to be less than enthusiastic about the process myself - and that didn't help us either.

Short answer is it takes 100% engagement and commitment from both sides.

And lots of prayer in faith.

And it won't last forever, things will get better. Keep the faith.

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Re: Lack of sex drive due to porn reboot

Postby TJC » Fri Jan 06, 2017 9:25 am

I appreciate the feed back bigloop. I had a conversation about all this last night with DW. The one thing I did not bring up is how important it is to me that she do something about her work schedule, so that we can have time together to work on our marriage. There are many days that we hardly even see each other, much less spend time together.This may be because of the pressure she feels to work on our sex life. By that I mean she may be using her job to avoid having to work on our sex life in much the same way your wife used the children. As I said knowing these feelings and emotions are part of a process that will get better makes it bearable. God Bless you.

For anyone else reading this, I intend to journal about my journey while I go through this, as I think it would be very helpful to someone else going through this. I really was not prepared for the emotions that hit me yesterday. If I can help someone else be prepared for what they go through during a similar time, it is well worth the time recording my journey.
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Re: Lack of sex drive due to porn reboot

Postby TJC » Sat Jan 07, 2017 2:29 pm

Milder version of Thursday today. DW and I had a good conversation today about this, followed by a excellent day together today. Nagging depression was only fly in the ointment. Found out she did talk to her boss about her work schedule and he agreed to let her switch her hours. Means a lot to me that she followed through with this. I've been talking about his as a problem for awhile. I guess it took my depression to make her realize how important it was to me.
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Re: Lack of sex drive due to porn reboot

Postby TJC » Sat Jan 07, 2017 9:05 pm

DW and I were talking and she was saying that shes not sure how she should be towards me during this season.Specifically she wanted to know if she should try to initiate sex, even though she knows my interest is low. She wants to do all she can to help, and she thought maybe it would help with the depression, but is afraid it may trigger my desire for porn.I had no answers for her, so I told her I would ask here and see what those who have been down this road think.
On a side note, when I talk to her about my triggers for porn during this conversation, she said to me it sounds exactly like her struggle with indulging in food. What do ya'll think, is that possible?
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Re: Lack of sex drive due to porn reboot

Postby OldMarriedLady » Sat Jan 07, 2017 9:17 pm

In this thread I explained how I likened DH's porn use to my overeating.
"When you love them, they drive you crazy - because they know they can."
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Re: Lack of sex drive due to porn reboot

Postby bigloop » Sun Jan 08, 2017 6:44 am

My wife asked the very same question. The answer needs to be agreeable to both parties. I'd say for a little while it does serve a good purpose for there to be absolute celibacy and a concerted effort to work on the other aspects of the relationship. The term is negotiable. One of the problems we faced was the negativity that "forcing it" brought. That was an old habit of which we were both guilty - for different reasons. That needs to be broken and rebuilt from within. After a short time of this, coupled with prayer and other togetherness, then you relax the boundaries.

As a user, we get into a very deep rut of "spectating" ourselves. It's hard to get out of. It's not the normal introspection or self analyzation. It's like we're looking at our sex lives from 10,000 ft and judging it in light of our artificial, and corrupted, standard. Changing that standard and stopping the spectating is important.

Yes, the addiction is very much like a food addiction. You need food to live, so complete abstinence is impossible, so control becomes a constant battle on some level. The key is to find and break the unnatural connections the addiction has to emotion and pain and whatever else. That ain't easy. What you find yourself struggling with is that answer to that very question. Sex is good, porn is bad - yet porn is sex...so is sex bad? Is my inherent, deep felt need and desire for it bad? Am I a better man if I control that and decide I don't need it? Your wife may be having some similar questions.
At some level you have to learn how to literally hate porn, but not hate sex. But then when your having sex one day, some porn memory will come busting in saying "LOOK AT ME! IM BETTER THAN THIS!" It'll happen. You have to separate the two things. Love the one, hate the other. This is part of the purpose of the reboot - separation. And it is actually an ongoing process. When that thought come busting in, you have to have rebuilt the foundation so you can not be moved. You can be in the moment for the right reasons for you both.


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