The first articles I found on this subject suggest you try two weeks as the timeframe. Old guys are lucky, they say. Old guys (anyone born before, say, 1982) didn’t go through puberty structuring their developing sex drive to respond to streaming videos of unadulterated sex.
Some guys have it worse than others. They say to try two weeks first because sometimes that alone works. Plus, quite honestly, it’s not easy for a guy to go two weeks. It really isn’t.
I’d gone three days and was working on my fourth when I started writing this journal (if that’s what it is). This kind of break from the activity in question has happened often enough for me over the years. You travel, you get sick, you have crunches with work and deadlines, maybe you’re coaching a kids’ baseball team in a long-weekend tournament, or it’s the holidays. It’s never impossible to miss a few days. It happens. Still, something in the brain gets set on fire by Day Four if you are healthy and not unduly depressed or consuming large quantities of alcohol (and/or other drugs) every evening.
I’ve been reading up on it. The science is still quite crude — the data is suspect. A few too many variables come into play when you’re trying to figure out masturbation — and sexual behavior in general. For instance, with people who have been married for a while and maybe have a kid or two, half of them overestimate the numbers of orgasms they have a month. And half probably underestimate. One joke making the rounds these days — and it’s even being used in sitcoms — is that we reach the age and time in marriages where sex with each other just doesn’t enter either spouse’s mind.
On the Internet the other day I found an article quoting famous actresses freely naming things more exciting than orgasms. Food, wine, and designer clothes got a lot of play in that piece. It was not lost on me that men were explicitly not interviewed for the article. One of the women in the article pointed out that there was a difference between the orgasms she gives herself and most of the orgasms her partners give her. She still preferred a good glass of wine along with some cheese and crackers sitting on her back porch with an ocean view as opposed to any orgasm. Not including men in this research was probably an unnecessary bias. I’d bet, to be honest, there are a lot of guys who would pipe up if they were asked and say Monday Night Football, beef and beer, maybe the prospect of making a million dollars doing not much of anything at all. Whatever the case, the distinction had been made in that article — orgasms are not necessarily at the top of a lot of people’s lists (or so they say).
From what I’ve also read on the Internet, women are only now just waking up to masturbation as a source of personal accomplishment. It’s a hot topic. Google Feminism and Masturbation.
It’s possible to split the world into two categories then: those who really like to come, and those who think it’s okay but maybe there’s other stuff that’s more or just as fun. It’s also possible to split the world more definitively into those who enjoy self-pleasure and those who just don’t (for whatever reason) — and maybe those who can take it or leave it.
Still, self-pleasure and the Internet have become game changers for many of us in this country (and the world) — at least half of us. This journal won’t just be about masturbation. It’s also about porn. It’s obvious, but needs to be stated anyway: Pornography typically isn’t something you watch passively the way you do a sit-com or detective show. Everyone’s different though — right?
I like amateur stuff a lot, especially with enthusiastic, uninhibited women — expressive, happy to be screwing, possessing hairy vaginas, good at doing it on top. Sometimes you find videos of multiple female partners where the women have a good time with each other as well as the male.
I need to admit (and this is a bit embarrassing) I tend to skip the blow job parts of things (more on that later) — which is generally at least a third of most clips. In an hour I can go through about 30 video clips while keeping myself highly stimulated. I also like to spend an hour or so hunting down interesting and unique setups to get the whole act underway. This, I have learned, is almost as important as the actual act of stroking my big old cock. You go on safari, hunting for perfect women to fuck. That safari builds up your anticipation immensely.
It is somewhat rare, and you never know if it’s real, but watching and listening to women climax is my favorite single thing about Internet porn. I do not like standard glamor porn, though (more on that later too). In general, porn where men are selfish and dominating is a serious bummer. That’s just me, maybe. But I think I’m a pretty normal guy. That glam stuff is probably mostly for teenagers and simpletons who don’t know any better.
By my calculation, I’ve jacked off over 12,000 times in my life. Some of those times, many when I was younger, were rather quick and at least partially mechanical. It can be kind of like milking a few teaspoons of pleasure into the world (or out of yourself). The act always seemed quite necessary, to the tell the truth. Sexual pleasure stored inside a person can feel dangerous and unnatural (which, maybe, is why there’s a lot of unnatural and dangerous people wandering around making life suck for the rest of us).
Twelve thousand hand-crafted ejaculations. I hope there’s more to come, so to speak. But not the way I’ve been doing it since about 1995. The Internet has changed so many things sexual over the past twenty years. Since 1995 when they started posting hardcore videos and photos online, my bursts of self-pleasure have very likely totaled about 10,000 hours of playing with myself while I watch my computer screen. There are 8,760 hours in a year. Think about that. Imagine if you took a year and a month and did nothing but rub your genitals just back behind the edge of orgasm. Over one year of masturbation non-stop, day and night! That’s kind of what I’ve done. It’s nearly destroyed me. I’ve gone deeper and deeper into this weird form of loneliness where it seems okay because I get to have this fantasy of fucking the shit out of several hundred women every week. The deeper into that world you go, the deeper your ability to fantasize about having this endless orgy — and the more you think about, and seem to really need, the joy that fantasy supposedly brings you.
The Internet is quite an amazing invention, then. It’s kind of like a toilet though, at the same time. Before the toilet, people just eliminated their waste wherever — behind the hut, in a hole, near the creek, behind a shrub on the road. Once the toilet showed up, going to the bathroom eventually became this solitary, kind of comforting act. The privacy of the toilet is so important to the daily affirmation of our individuality and sense of personal worth. Think about that the next time you lock the door and sit down by yourself to take a crap.
It follows that the Internet comes to have the same kind of individuating effect on us. A toilet, of course, is a special hole in the Universe through which we deposit the inevitable biological flow of what the body can’t deal with. The Internet, at least the part that is overrun with naked people (which is the biggest part), is this kind of miasma-like creative space of pleasure-seeking sexual beings. It’s not a hole in the Universe — it’s a screen. A massive pile of meaningful light and sound, a dump in the middle of the Universe for creatives and information managers and beautiful people and for anyone who feels horny.
If there are trash dumps and sewage plants for waste, then the Internet is an electron dump for every kind of meaning and point of view known to Mankind. I could say Archive, I suppose, instead of Dump, but an Archive implies logic, rational structure, mapping, and curated categorization of things. Archives require intelligence and someone with organizational authority making value judgements. The Internet is not like that. It is pure chaos, multiple forms of intelligence all tangled up together, completely incoherent, yet weirdly cohesive (mostly because of hotlinks and other forms of connection). What was one day the most profound and visited page — say, a kitten climbing a Christmas tree, or a group of odd repute breaking into a weird dance (remember the Harlem Shuffle?) — becomes an archaic little bauble of quaint nostalgia a week later, fizzling quite quickly off the screen and down into the underworld of something we have nearly forgotten about.
On the Internet, everything gets piled on top of, going deeper and deeper and deeper into oblivion.
Pornography is such a big part of this electron dump. You can pay for new stuff — or you can just wait for it to come out free on the “tubes” — pure, and equally as stimulating. It’s there for your enjoyment and then it’s gone. And something else equally provocative takes it’s place.
If I had to pay for porn I don’t think I’d be in this predicament. When we were young, not only did you need to pay (mostly for magazines), but you had to buy it publicly at the 7-11 or the neighborhood drugstore. It was all just photographs on glossy paper of course, but it seemed like so much more.
Today every manner of kink and fetish imaginable is available if you have an Internet link, and it’s all videos — many in HD, even re-mastered classics you could at one time only see if you went to an X-Rated Cinema (which was quite an interesting experience).
So, I’ve spent the last 20 years surfing the shit out of this electron dump Internet with a somewhat perpetual boner in my hand. I suppose you can say this journal is a confessional. It is definitely quite personal. The first problem with masturbating all the time is that you really are pretty much all alone with yourself. You use that aloneness to pretend you’re having sex with dozens of women, but you’re also actually totally disconnected from reality and other people. Sexual thoughts in general do that to each of us. One reason that men sometimes whistle at women they find attractive, or hoot and holler, grab their crotches (we are pretty sick aren’t we?), is that we’re trying to get out from under the loneliness of feeling sexually charged and having nothing we can do with that charge.
Writer’s are known for their talent to fantasize and work by themselves. One must be alone to tap into the infinite unconscious mind.
Now, it’s not well-documented, but rather obvious: The Infinite Unconscious Mind loves sex. Let’s just call it The Infinite, though, since once you say The Infinite, you’re talking about pretty much everything — especially the Unconscious Mind.
So, The Infinite is quite enamored with individuals alone in space with lots of time to stimulate themselves sexually. When you stroke your cock or rub your clit, and you are alone, and fantasy is part of the pleasure, The Infinite is there with you. The Infinite is where the fantasy thing comes from. It’s the thing that lets you … no, gives you … the power to look at other naked people having sex (or just pleasuring themselves) and feel crazy with desire and the glorious carnal energy we each carry in us. I’m serious. You feel crazy and glorious like never before (that’s some serious joy).
Writers, then, certainly spend a lot of time behind closed doors in a state of fantasy so that they can come up with their stories. But I assure you, they’re also masturbating a lot. Yup, it’s a fact. If someone tells you they’re a writer, you now know that they’re also a chronic masturbator. This is the real reason that some writers don’t want to have anything to do with Internet hookups when they’re working. It’s probably also the reason that we haven’t seen work close to the level of a Woolf or a Joyce or Borges in the past 50 years. Maybe Pynchon’s Rainbow. I’m sure the dude wasn’t jacking off much as he wrote that book. The writing’s too good. Even DeLillo, Franzen, Hannah, Davis, and Hempel seem like they’re working their swollen selfhoods a good deal on a daily basis before they deliver text to the page. [Note: agents and editors are notorious failed masturbators, of course, but we’re not going to get into that in this journal. That’s just way too sad a story to tell.]
And it gets out of hand. That’s the point with this journal. That’s what happened to me. It takes more and more effort to get truly hard. These days I find myself turning every nude woman I find online into a woman I know in real life. Sometimes a woman I know who is attractive to me gets me so passionately desirous I go hunting for her likeness online. If you get good at that, and convince yourself you are actually having sex with that one person while you masturbate to their likeness online — passionate, uninhibited, full throttle, pornographer’s sex — you will eventually find yourself falling totally in love with that person in the flesh, and so intimately familiar with them you may actually think they feel the same way about you and truly want nothing more than to sit on your face, squirming towards ecstasy because that’s what you do with them in the Infinity of your imagination every day … sometimes twice a day (or more). You bump into them at the grocery or dry cleaners and you look in their eyes and you think you see that spark coming back to you. It’s possible to fuck quickly on the floor of a Honda Odyssey, you think, in a shopping center parking lot. No one will ever know but you two. The wormhole screen shows just how naked and insane the Infinity of pornography has become.
Art of all kinds is the magic of particular Infinities brought into the world. Pornography is the most important version of this. Art is The Infinite happening over and over again. Pornography is the art form that best joins the mind and the body making The Infinite this really potent thing about to happen in the present. But what I am doing here is trying to get myself to stop with the porn and the whacking off. For 14 days. Just 14 days. That’s a tall order if you buy my claim that pornography is the most powerful art form ever conceived, as close to magic as anything human beings have ever discovered.
They say in just 14 days you can change your life, reboot your brain (I’m trying to figure out what that is still). To me it’s about resetting joy. Fantasizing about fucking 30 - 40 women a day is truly a miraculous experience — probably more miraculous than actually living the dream of such an orgy. I’m going to get into that soon enough here. But what I’m trying to accomplish, what I’m recording, is a full reset of what gives me joy. This is important. The joy I feel being truly in love with my spouse is at stake. I’m not going lie about that. The same may be true for you. Maybe not. Sometimes I feel like this problem I have may be very much only mine and the rest of you are doing quite well controlling your desires and addictions.
I want to clear something up that I was confusing about in my first entry. I had in fact enjoyed myself the night before — after going three days without succumbing to my desires. Let it be known that I felt shame and guilt when it was all over. I always feel shame and guilt when I’m done. That lasts about 90 seconds and then I’m ready to do housework or make a phone call or run errands or get to work on a writing project. Sometimes I write fiction. Sometimes I write non-fiction or essays. I almost become a normal person. Although, I do feel lonely and out of sorts for a long while if I let myself think about all of this very much. That loneliness thing is truly a beast. But I’m not normal. I love to jack off and watch video clips of women having sex. The past twenty years or so have been a wild and crazy, exciting time for me.
Some people work out for an hour and a half or more every day. Some people play guitar or the drums four to five hours at a shot and then maybe go out and perform three or four nights a week. Some folks garden or play fantasy sports. Some love to cook or work on their houses. Most people are good at the things they love because they do them regularly. Some are true masters of one thing, or are at least amazingly good at something. For me, that’s been self-pleasure. It is a feral joy that makes me tangy in the mouth and shuts down time. It’s a joy that goes very deep and mixes with my bones and muscles. A simple explanation might be that I’m addicted to the hormonal high of prolonged sexual stimulation. I’m quite aware of the cognitive effects of full-bore fuck consciousness — the limbic (your emotional chemistry) fusion of several dozen chemical rushes and, I believe, the high one gets from dopamine flowing through the brain and nervous system. Do you understand that? I’ve actually come to believe in that power. I depend on it for happiness and a sense of well-being. It has absolutely no value in life at all, but it is a form of power nonetheless. That’s something I’ve gotten really good at. It’s pathetic, I know.
Very important to understand here, though. For years this activity was beyond pleasant. It was an absolute ecstasy that you can’t even dream about because it’s so potent — that feeling of sexual want and desire tuned to the top of the dial, pure human animal soul arrived at this luxurious bliss, all completely realized in the digital presence of beautiful women (women are all beautiful as far as I’m concerned. I apologize before we go any further to those who might wish otherwise that I am heterosexual). These women come near to alive in my mind. There’s an abandonment of any set of social rules along with it all — the utter freedom from strictures of any kind, an imagination set free to fuck like Charles Bukowski himself would have us do.
Yes, it’s true, the stricture of love and tenderness goes away in all of this. That’s part of the morality of romance that you basically let go of. What can I say? It all becomes this viral happiness and an odd kind of blissful centering. Rules and morality of any kind are useless impediments. Remember, by my calculations I’ve jacked off over 12,000 times in my life. I am a fucking cock master.
There are, indeed, dirty, wanton spiritual states to be had in the hallucinogenic world of pornographically enhanced masturbation. It was so exciting discovering that world back in 1995. My excitement just kept growing for about 10 years. I was a kind of horny Underground Man — invisible, pointless, humiliatingly but absurdly happy, unfettered in those moments, electric. God and pleasure spun together up and down my spine. That orgiastic combination of body chemistry and the hard dick in my hand connected to my brain, completely freed of every social requirement ever invented, along with an ignition of imagination fully focused on watching, observing, and acknowledging the beauty and seductiveness of women — hundreds if not thousands of women — and this odd little game of free association that sees elements of women I know in real life ghosting in elements of women on the screen, all creating an orgy of the mind flowing with sexual pleasure of the first order. The real of life is overlaid by the virtual on the screen, and the real of the dick in the hand, engorged and connected way way down there under the table to my brain and my entire life up into that moment, staring, staring, staring at two-dimensional naked bodies on a computer screen, almost real but not quite. And that not quite is, in fact, the poetry of it all, because the imagination just takes over in that virtual environment. You are set the fuck free like never before — although, yes, you’re free in the world of sexual imagination which may or may not count for what matters in real life.
My first intent here, then, is to try to give (or yield) the understanding of the totality and potency of the pornographically enhanced masturbation experience. It is like no other. It is not (NOT!) simple addiction or a mechanical flailing of the flesh. It may be the opposite, in fact. We are, after all, designed to always be able to slightly touch a sexy frame of mind at the drop of a hat. Right? That’s how human evolution proceeded for 2 million years. That is what was at the core of all the crazy shit of our teenage years. And no one really ever escapes their teenage years — or their animal nature.
The rub in this story is that the feelings that drove me to become addicted to pornographic masturbation were not simply a slight touch of sexy. The whole game became a falling away into the oblivion of utter sexual pleasure. And yet, it’s unlike any other addiction I know of. History has seen its fair share of real life orgies for entire packs of sub-groups in our genus (although I’ve never had sex with more than one woman at a time), but this goes beyond the simple reality of groups fucking — porn as an experience is one man or woman, alone, revving themselves into sustained procreative consciousness in the presence of all manner of sexual bodies and faces and voices, desiring them individually, desiring what they imply, and truly desiring, oddly, the ability to see those bodies and faces releasing themselves to joy and the actual passion of their own obvious (or acted) sexual desires on the screen.
What a superb and complicated super power we have created in the privacy of our own desires. They call it onanism sometimes. In the Bible, Onan was the second son of Judah. What a dramatic life they had back there in Old Testament days. Onan was put to death by Yahweh. Good old Yahweh. Apparently Onan was "evil in the sight of the Lord." Rather than follow orders to impregnate his deceased brother's wife, Onan withdrew during coitus and "spilled his seed on the floor." It was a selfish act (of course). If his sister-in-law had a son, Onan would have had to share an inheritance with him once Judah died. Smooth move. You piss off Yahweh, though, and you deal with the consequences. I've looked. The Bible does not indicate that Onan is the inventor of jacking off. Nor does it indicate that he continued to stimulate himself so that his sister-in-law might never bear an heir. Nor, of course, does the Bible talk much about how fucking awesome onanism can be if you do it like an art form and have your sister-in-law to ogle and tease while you are being so creative. It's so difficult to stop yourself once you figure out that kind of forbidden joy. Hell, I would hope Onan taught Tamar how to diddle herself while he was standing in front of her doing the same thing. That's a huge and important turn on that all partners should feel comfortable with. It might actually be part of my problem. Tina has never been comfortable rubbing one out -- whether to be sexy in my presence or for self-gratification while alone.
I’m trying to get to the other side of onanism, though. You must see that and agree. This propensity for too much joy complicates, confuses, and stunts the real sex life I should have with my wife. I love my wife. Truly. Pornographic masturbation salads the things that really matter to me. Real love and passion are eroded, almost forgotten. Physically, you train your dick to slowly get hard when you masturbate for 90 − 180 minutes. You know — or it knows (someone in you) — that full erection means full climax in a matter of seconds. The point of no return. A full erection stage is called “ejaculatory inevitability.”
Yeah, it may seem like a normal erection is all there is in your hand, but no, there’s that last seven or eight-percent. Hit that and it’s just a matter of time. So you learn to live right below it. You slowly build to about 90 to 92%. You also learn to get hard only through stimulation and not implication or promise. That becomes a problem if you train yourself too well.
The first reality, and what I’m trying to fix, is that it is quite difficult for me to stay hard during real sex with my wife. I have unwittingly set up a feedback loop for my cock. It wants to stay below the hard zone. It wants to take its time and enjoy the scenery. I love my wife. But I’ve created a situation where inevitably I feel inadequate and pathetic when I’m with her because it takes so much to get properly hard. And she is not sufficiently comfortable with her own sexuality to understand that I need her help. So, if we do have sex, my cock is only a shadow of its former self.
If, by some token of pure luck, I get erect enough to actually be able to enter her and stay inside her, I am forced to just fuck hard and fast — flailing and scrambling, like body surfing a wave in the middle of the night under a cloud-filled sky. But usually even that is impossible. So we start out with foreplay (I do so love to make her come). She is the most beautiful secret thing in the world that I have ever seen when she is having an orgasm. We try to take that next penetrative step afterwards. It doesn’t work for long. These days we finish with me masturbating in front of her. She has said to me, “I don’t know how to help you properly.” It didn’t used to be that way.
I can’t tell you how pathetic and lost that feels sometimes. She says it’s fine and she loves me. She understands. Not to worry! But it’s not fine and she doesn’t understand. I have done this to myself in secret and alone. I have cheated in many ways on her. I have been grotesquely selfish. And now I’m paying the price for it all.
Two weeks of abstinence, then — at least! We are down to sex maybe once every two months — maybe less often than that come to think of it. What I want is to rediscover that wilderness of joy with her again, and to add my love — my deep, abiding love for her into the equation. We actually had that at one time years ago. It was very special.
I want to be clear here. I am looking to accomplish two fundamental results through this experiment in abstinence:
1) I do indeed want simply to be able to perform nobly for my wife in bed. I love her quite a lot. To be honest, the top woman I look for elements of in pornographic video clips is my wife. There are certain things she does, certain looks she gives me, and her body is so much a part of my soul. I search sometimes for these things in others.
2) I want kind of desperately to escape the daily addicktion I have. I mean, this is every single fucking day! It’s ludicrous for someone my age to want to watch video clips online and fantasize about fucking for two to three hours non-stop. I’d simply like to have real sex on some kind of once a week basis with my one and only instead of daily with several hundred images and voices. Time is slipping away. But I’d honestly take a shorter, more intense masturbation exercise once a week, too. That puts me in the wrong camp, perhaps, but at least I wouldn’t be acting totally insane every single fucking day.
Let me note, finally here, that I have managed to get through three days again without masturbating or looking at pornography. That is a huge accomplishment. And I haven't felt the urge at all. Tomorrow may be different though. Four days of abstinence after so many years may drive me crazy ... or cause me to fail in my quest.