How To Reverse PIED
If you're not familiar with the word PIED and you just happened to land on this page, you should know that PIED stands for “porn induced erectile dysfunction”.
And so now you say, “Wait, what? …can porn cause ED!?”
Yes, as a matter of fact, it can!
Or to put it more correctly, it depends on the “delivery system”.
It depends on how you consume your porn…
You see, the old fashioned porn that you consumed by reading a dirty magazine or by firing up your old trusty VHS player, was not potent enough to create erection problems.
For the vast majority of cases, it looks like in order to develop PIED we have to be using “modern porn”, as in today's super stimulating high speed internet porn, and that the old fashioned adult magazines or VHS tapes are not potent enough to create PIED.
Why is there a difference?
Today's internet porn gives you the opportunity to click from video to video with endless novelty, having multiple tabs open while perhaps also chatting with some female friends at the same time, all in an attempt to get the maximal amount of dopamine buzz from it…
…and boy does it work.
It can be immensely pleasurable!
This is what's causing PIED…
Doing it like described skyrockets your dopamine to very high levels, but the real problem is that you can then keep the levels high for a very long time.
Far longer than you can in real life.
The problem with keeping your dopamine levels high for a long time is, in this case, two fold…
- You are conditioning your sexual responses to become more aroused by pixels on a screen than by real life people.
- You are desensitizing your reward system.
The first one, happens because dopamine is highly involved with learning. When dopamine is high, it helps form powerful memories in the brain and sometimes even “super memories”.
In addiction terms, this is called “sensitization”.
By doing this on a regular basis, it is like you are training your brain that the most important time to fire up your sexuality, is in front of your computer.
The second one, is a protection mechanism. When you are keeping your dopamine levels super high for such a long time it just becomes too much for your poor brain and in order to protect itself it starts reducing a few dopamine receptors.
To put it in a very simplistic way, think of dopamine like the key and the receptors like the lock. Dopamine has to bind to the receptors in order for it to do its job and with fewer of those receptors, you now have desensitized reward system in your brain.
The combination of those can cause serious problems in the bedroom.
The combination of those two can cause…
- Low libido.
- Delayed / inability to ejaculate (for women it can cause an inability to klimax or to stay lubricated).
- Mild – moderate or severe PIED.
Other problems can arise as well, like for example anxiety, brain fog, concentration problems and a host of other issues, but since this article is about PIED, I will focus only on the sexual problems for now.
Does one have to be a porn addict in order to develop PIED?
One does not have to be an addict in order to develop PIED, however, most guys with PIED have developed a real porn addiction.
There are more guys out there who struggle with PIED, and are truly addicted, than guys with PIED who are not addicted to porn.
But, again, it is indeed possible to condition your sexual responses to become more aroused by pixels on a screen than by real life people, to the degree of casing problems in the bedroom even without being addicted.
If you are wondering if you are truly addicted, you can click here to take the PMO addiction test.
Another important thing to remember is that addiction is not an “on / off switch.
There are several different brain changes that happens when forming an addiction and some of them can be more or less severe. In other words, it's more like a spectrum than an on/ off switch.
In Order To Reverse PIED We Have To “Reboot”
In order to reverse PIED we have to “reboot”.
Rebooting is a term that guys in the porn addiction community started using for more than 10 years ago and it simply refers to the process of quitting porn, letting your brain heal and “fixing” your broken sexuality.
Just staying away from porn, or rather quitting porn, is the key and generally all it takes, but in order to get the best results and to potentially speed up the process the aim should be to do a proper reboot and you should know that…
…there are two parts to a proper reboot!
There Are TWO Phases Of Rebooting
A proper reboot consists of two parts.
Let's take a closer look at them…
Phase 1: Unhooking
During your first phase you should do everything in your power to tear yourself away from the screen and the porn, no matter how hard it is, and stay away from artificial sexual stimulation for a period of time in order for the your brain to regain sensitivity.
The words “a period of time” is perhaps not really accurate, as most men can never go back to watching porn as that would only reactivate the addiction and once more get them in trouble. Granted, there are guys who can go back to it and use it in moderation, but these guys are few and far in-between.
The purpose of unhooking…
The purpose of the first phase is simply to eliminate the source of the problem, i.e. porn, and to overcome your addiction to it, so that the addiction related brain changes will reverse. As the desensitization goes away your pleasure response will, slowly but surely, become less and less “numb”.
The reversal of the addiction related brain changes won't happen if you keep over consuming your beloved adult content.
What you must do during this period…
You should avoid anything that arouses you in an artificial way.
Just looking at some booty shaking videos, or similar seemingly “mild stuff” won't be that harmful for a normal brain that isn't addicted and that isn't trying to reboot, but for a guy that is trying to unhook from his PMO addiction, even mild things like that is actually something that should be avoided.
This is because you want to stop “feeding” the addicted part of your brain so that the “porn pathways” become weaker and eventually die out.
So, you want to avoid doing things that mimics your porn use, where you were clicking from video to video to find the perfect one to “finish” on, even if it's just clicking from one Instagram fitness model to the next.
Can I have sex?
You can have sex during this phase, but if you have to “force” an erection, or if it takes a very long time for you just to get it up, and you then need massive stimulation just to maintain your erection, then it's better for you to wait and give it more time. Wait a few more weeks.
On the other hand, If you fairly easy can get your penis hard enough for penetration, then sex should not be a problem for your recovery…
…you might want to take it easy on the “nut busting” though!
Hold back on orgasms…
If you do have sex during the first phase of your reboot, then you might want to avoid, or hold back on, orgasming until you're about 3 months in or so.
This is because, well, from everything we'e seen so far it looks like guys tend to recover from PIED a bit faster if limiting or avoiding orgasms for the first few months.
If you are wondering, yes, it is possible to have sex without orgasming. I recommend you look into something called karezza. I also recommend you take a look at the book Cupid's Poisoned Arrow (Amazon aff. link)
Since everyone's different this is something that each individual need to monitor and experiment with during his reboot. You need to be flexible and use clear thinking. Try things out and see what works best for you and adjust as you go along.
For example, when you start to introduce orgasms again you might want to space them out and build up slowly instead of all of a sudden go completely wild and start busting 15 times / week.
What you might notice during the first phase…
Every reboot is unique and we all experience things a bit differently, but as your dopamine system starts regaining sensitivity, it is common to notice some, or several of the following…
- You start noticing how music suddenly sounds better.
- Food may start tasting better.
- You suddenly experience more intense feelings and emotions.
- You are suddenly okay / happy without that much stimulation (you need less social media, games, smartphone etc.)
- You start to notice an increased ability to focus and concentrate.
There is one more thing we need to talk about when it come to this phase though…
…the dreaded “flatline”.
It may get worse before it gets better…
There are two reasons why it may actually get worse before it gets better…
- Withdrawal symptoms.
- The flatline.
Often when unhooking from an addiction withdrawal symptoms follows and this is also true when it comes to unhooking from porn.
Some common withdrawal symptoms are
The withdrawals can last a very long time, but many guys start to feel a reduction of those symptoms after about 30 days. This is highly individual though, and the withdrawal symptoms can indeed linger for a much longer time than that.
The flatline is a period of time when it feels like rebooting is actually making everything is getting worse.
Your already low libido plummets even further and you have a very hard time feeling any positive feelings at all.
The flatline may be caused by withdrawals, at least to some degree, however it seems to be pretty unique to quitting porn as this complete loss os libido does not necessarily happen when quitting other addictions.
The combination of the withdrawals and the flatline can really create “the perfect storm”, making the first 30 days of rebooting a complete hell. It's important to be prepared for that and to keep reminding yourself that it's only temporary and that “this too shall pass”.
How long does unhooking take?
After 90 days, most guys have started to see some nice progress and have started to notice the above mentioned benefits related to increased sensitivity. But here too, it's important to note it's different for everyone.
Some guys need less time while others need more…
…that's just how it goes.
It is pretty safe to say, however, that after about 60-180 days, most guys are indeed ready to move on to the second phase of rebooting…
There is an overlap between the phases…
Before we move on the the rewiring phase it's important to point out that the two phases are not distinctly separated like there were cut into to pieces with a razors edge.
Meaning, it's not like you are exactly 90 days in the unhooking phase and then, the next day, you are suddenly in the rewiring phase. No, your brain does not work like that. It does not count days. It just does its thing, healing in its own pace, and in reality the two phases overlap to a great extent. In fact, it's possible to start rewiring form the very first month.
You can still continue to regain sensitivity even though you have started to rewire. And it is possible for your brain to start rewiring before your dopamine system has fully recovered. However, it's still healthy to give yourself a complete break from anything sexual in the beginning.
That complete break also makes it easier to overcome your porn addiction.
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Phase 2: Rewiring
The second phase of rebooting is rewiring.
Perhaps you remember that one of the causes of PIED was that years of fapping to adult sites can condition your sexual responses to become more aroused by pixels on a screen than by real life people?
Well, this phase is all about “re-condition” those sexual responses.
The purpose of rewiring…
In other words, the purpose of the seconds phase is to teach your brain to become aroused by real life people again and by doing so your sexual center in the brain will start sending stronger signals to your penis whenever there is an opportunity for real sex and thus putting an end to your PIED.
What you must do during the rewiring phase…
During this phase you should spend less time on your computer and more time around real life people…
…simple as that.
We'll it's simple, but it's not always easy.
Do I have to have sex?
Rewiring can indeed happen even without being sexual, but it probably happens faster the “closer” (in a physical sense) you are to your partner. However, if you're in a position where you don't have an opportunity for sex, don't worry, proper rewiring will probably take place anyway.
Just talking to and spending time around real life women helps. Even spending time just thinking and fantasizing about hugging, or being intimate in other ways, will also aid in rewiring and further down in this article I'm going to give some more tips about this.
What you might experience during this phase…
What I mean by “It's simple, but it's not always easy” is that sexual problems can be very hard on you mentally, especially things like ED and trying to get the ball rolling again after having been out of the game for a while can be real anxiety provoking…
…and, of course, anxiety can in and of itself be enough to destroy your libido, your erections and any potential warm and cozy feelings.
Yes indeed, any strong negative emotion can put a big dent in your libido.
If things aren't going well, in the beginning, and your penis is not really living up to it's full “potential”, so to speak, it can also be hard to know how much of it is caused by anxiety or of lingering PIED issues.
The important thing to remember here is to take it slow and to try to put as little pressure on you as possible. A wise man once said “as long as a man have a tongue and functioning fingers he is never truly impotent”. Now, while this is not something you might want to hear, it still means that you will be able to please your partner, with or without a rock hard penis.
The point being, if you put your focus on your partner instead of you, you will take a lot of pressure off yourself and while that might sound like cheap “comfort thoughts”, it will actually increase the chances of you working properly.
For more help on this, you can also read my article, NoFap and performance anxiety.
Another related article: PIED recovery with girlfriend
How long does the rewiring phase take and how long does it take to reverse PIED?
This is highly, highly individual.
There are so many factors involved, all playing a part in the recovery game.
Just name a few…
- What age you stared using online adult content.
- How long you have been using it.
- In what way you have been using it.
- How sexually active you were before you became addicted.
- Your lifestyle back when you developed the addiction.
- Your current lifestyle and what you are doing to help speed up your reboot.
As you can see, this is also why we see so many different time frames, when it comes to recovery.
Not to mention that each brain is unique, so even if all other factors were equal, we would still see different rebooting lengths.
In general, however, it is pretty safe to say that many guys see improvements within 90 days, but then continue to see even more improvements for some time after that.
There are, unfortunately, some guys who need much more time and have to keep struggling for a year or even a bit longer than than.
Those are often younger guys.
Or to put it in another way, guys who started watching porn at a very early age.
Younger guys tend to take longer to recover from PIED…
Those who started consuming porn at a very early age tend to take longer to recover, especially if they started escalating to all kinds of weird things even long before they had any physical contact with a real life girl, but again, there are exceptions to this as well.
Older guys, who had sexual experiences in the real world before they became addicted to porn have deeper ingrained sexual responses to real life people and this is probably why they tend to need less time to recover.
It might take some time finding your real libido
For some guys, after having gone through a long reboot, it is almost like their libido has got sutck in “sleeping mode”.
You might be going through a few love making sessions in the beginning where everything feels a bit off, and your libido feels kind of strange or not really there.
This is very normal and most of the time it will improve rapidly.
Some guys, however, remain stuck in a very long flatline and seem to need a very long time before before things start to become brighter. There can be a number of reasons for this, ranging all the way from the fact that we are all different and some just need more time, to having accompanying symptoms of depression, as depression in and of itself can be a real libido killer.
Let's take a look at some helpful things you can do if you have got stuck with a “sleeping libido”, or things that may speed up your whole reboot process and things that may potentially help you in the bedroom…
…especially during the rewiring phase.
Things To Try For Stronger Libido & Harder Boners
Let's take a look at some practical things that can be very helpful for you and might even speed up your reboot a bit and we'll also take a look at some supplements that may help boost both your libido as well as the quality of your erections.
I feel a disclaimer is in place here though.
Disclaimer: You have to understand that the only real cure for PIED is to do a proper reboot. I'm almost a bit hesitant to share the things below, even though they are things that I myself found useful during my own reboot, because I'm afraid guys will start viewing them as “quick fixes” and even start neglecting their reboot. Don't do that!!! Rebooting is the real cure for PIED, everything else is to be considered potential helpful tools only.
Ok, with that said, let's take a closer look at things that may help your bedroom performance…
Tip #1 Heavy squats!
There is no secret that physical exercise can boost your libido and boost your sexual performance in several ways, but if I had to choose only one exercise as the #1 bedroom enhancing exercise it would, without a doubt, be squats.
Squats with heavy weights are most potent, but even just going down in a squat position without any added weight on your back is beneficial.
So, why is that?
Well, there are many reasons.
- Heavy squats increase your testosterone production.
- A squat session increase both dopamine itself and help upregulate your dopamine receptors.
- Squats strengthen and stretches your pelvic floor.
Squats increase testosterone and dopamine
If you have been following my YouTube channel for a while now, you probably already know that dopamine and testosterone are the two biggest players driving your libido…
…well, squats increase both.
But not to the point of being harmful for your receptors, no no no. In fact, heavy squats can actually upregulate your receptors. This is great since PMO addiction, or any addiction for that matter, can really knock out a lot of those poor dopamine receptors.
So it might even help speed up your brain healing. But, this is not something that has been studies, as far as PMO addiction and squats go, so don't quote me on that one.
They strengthen and stretch your pelvic muscles
This is a great benefit because most guys have been whacking off in front of their computer, in a sitting position. This can lead to tight and weak pelvic floor muscles. And that, in turn, can lead to poor blood flow in your nether regions as well as less sensitivity and weaker erections.
Squats help combat this!
Going deep down, with the ass close to the floor, even without any weight added to your back will help.
A word of warning: don't start doing heavy squats if your not used to gym training. Get some coaching from a gym guy first or you will most likely hurt yourself. What you can do right away, however, is the deep squatting without adding any weight on your back.
Do 20-30 super deep and slow squats without weights and you'll get almost all the benefits right there, except perhaps not as much of a boost in testosterone production as if you were to use heavy weights, but it will still be very beneficial.
Some other exercises that are almost as good…
If squats are not your cup of tea, here are some other physical things that are almost as good…
- Heavy interval training in form of sprints.
- Some other form of intensive interval training that works most of your body.
Tip #2 Download My Free “Boner guide”
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Tip#3 Sign Up For Dance Classes
This is a great tip for those who do not have a partner, but still want to rewire.
You have so many things working for you here that it's almost ridiculous how well it works.
- You get to interact with a lot of different girls.
- You get to be very close to them.
- All your senses are involved while your brain is forming new connections.
All you senses are involved when you are dancing and you get to be physically very close to the opposite sex. All the touching, sounds you hear, all the smells and laughter will help your rewiring without you having to have sex.
Not only that, but if you go to dance classes regularly, you will also have memories from then when you get back home. Memories of smiling girls and all the interactions. Unlike porn, this is so incredible healthy for your libido. This is how it's ment to be.
I can think of no other activity that will help you rewire as fast as dance classes, aside from actually dating and being intimate with your date.
So why not try it out?
Who knows, if your'e single, it might even land you that much awaited date that takes you out of your PIED for good.