Low Libido After Quitting Porn (How To Regain Your Libido)

Low Libido After Quitting Porn

So, you have lost your libido after quitting porn and now you're a bit worried, huh? Well, you've come to the right place, because in this article I'm going to be talking about how this happens, what to do about it and how long it may take to fix.

There are two things you need to consider…

  • You may be experiencing the so called ‘flatline'
  • Your libido may have gotten stuck in ‘sleeping mode' even after you emerged from the flatline.

If you don't know what the flatline is, then keep on reading as I will start by explaining that.

If you, on the other hand, already know everything about the flatline, but you're worried that you're either stuck in a seemingly never ending flatline, or that you've just never regained your libido after the flatline, you may want to jump to the part where it says “How to wake your sleeping libido”.

There is Something Called The “Flatline” That Kills Your Libido After You've Stopped Watching Porn…

Let's start by talking about the so called ‘flatline'.

The flatline is a scary, but common, phase that many guys who quit using porn will experience. According to a poll I made on my YouTube channel Project Stronger Self, more than 60% of men who quit will have to face the dreaded flatline.

The flatline is a period of time where the ‘rebooter' (rebooting is a term used for unhooking from porn) experience a complete lack of libido. But that's not always the only symptom…

The flatline is characterized by…

  • A complete lack of libido
  • Penis feels cold and lifeless
  • A sense of detachment from genitals and your libido
    (You can objectively notice that a woman is attractive, but there is a complete lack of physical response in your body)
  • Less or no morning woods
  • Penis can shrivel up and even shrink a bit (only temporary)
  • Depression or lower in general (not always the case, but still pretty common)

Not everyone will experience lower mood or depression, but the first pointers regarding libido is seen in almost everyone who flatlines.

And, as crazy as it sounds, during the flatline it's even pretty normal that the penis shrivels up and shrinks a bit, probably due to the fact that the brain has shut down it's sexuality for a while and it is not sending any arousal signals to your genitals at the moment.

Perhaps needless to say, this is often a very scary place to be in, as many guys feel like they are completely broken. The flaltine can even drive some guys back to porn again simply because they just can't stand being in this no libido land. Which is unfortunate, of course, since porn is what caused the problem in the first place.

The flatline is a sign of addiction related brain changes…

You see, the flatline doesn't happen if you just stop masturbating and you've hardly used any porn at all. It's not the quitting in and of itself that is causing the flatline.

In other words, it is the porn that is causing the flatline. However, this, normally, shows itself only after you quit.

This is the process…

  1. You're masturbating to porn on a regular basis…
  2. You develop either mild or sever addiction related brain changes. I.e. you become addicted to the porn.
    (This can actually happen with a failry modest amount of porn use, often without you even knowing it)
  3. You try to quit the porn and the addicted brain respond by throwing you into a deep flatline, temporary, killing your libido.

So, again, the flatline is not something that happens because you have a use it or lose it mechanism on your sexuality. Although such a mechanism may actually exist, it has nothing to do with the flatline. At least not in the initial phase. The ‘use it or lose it' concept is rather something to consider later on, if your libido has remained sleeping, even far beyond when the flatline, normally, should have ended.

The Drop in Libido After Quitting Porn is Only Temporary

As scary as the flatline can be, keep reminding yourself of the fact that the flatline is only a temporary phase and that your libido will return.

During this phase it can be helpful to read porn rebooting success stories from guys who have successfully managed to quit using porn. Read about how it improved their lives and how they've been rewarded with a new, strong and healthy libido…

…a libido that is now responding to real life people, instead of to pixels on a screen.

When does the flatline start?

It varies from individual to individual, but the flatline normally starts somewhere in the second week after quitting. Some guys descend into a flatline the very first week, others a bit later on.

The flatline typically starts somewhere in the second week, but this varies greatly from person to person.

Some actually face the flatline even before they quit. This is probably the brain's way of protecting itself, by shutting everything down. It's been hammered so hard with all that super stimuli that it desperately needs a break from all things sexual.

It is, however, more common that the flatline happens after quitting.

How Long Does it Take To Regain Libido After Quitting Porn?

So, now you are probably wondering how long the flatline lasts?

That's the million dollar question, right there.

Again, it's highly individual, but the flatline typically lasts anywhere between 10-70 days.

The flatline typically lasts anywhere between 10-70 days…

As you can see, that's a pretty big, simply because each guy, every circumstance and each brain is unique.

In fact, I made a poll in the community section of my YouTube channel, asking my subscribers how long it took them to regain libido after quitting porn.

This is how they answered…

How long did it take for you to regain libido after quitting porn?

As you can see, more than 1100 people participated in the poll and the length of the flatline varies greatly between guys.

To regain libido after quitting porn, it took the guys…

  • 57% say that it took them less than a month to reagin libido
  • 19% say that it took them between 1-2 months
  • 7% say that it took them between 2-3 months
  • 3% say it took them between 2-4 months
  • 13% say it took them more than 4 months

So, the last two there really belong to the unlucky few how need a lot of time to get their libido back after stopping porn. Especially the last 13% group there.

It's possible to have several flatlines…

You should also know that it is possible to have several flatlines. Some guys have two, three or even four flatlines during their reboot process.

However, the first one is almost always the longest, so if you happen to belong in the group of guys who will have to face multiple flatlines, know that the ones happening later on will most likely be much shorter…

…sometimes only lasting a few days, instead of weeks (although, as always, there are exceptions).

When the flatline is about to end – your libido can come and go for a few weeks on end…

Finally, you need to know that progress in not linear.

When you finally start to emerge from the flatline, and you start to notice some life ‘down there', don't be scared if you seemingly lost it again a couple of days later.

The process of getting out of the flatline typically looks something like this…

Signs of recovery…

  • You start regaining morning wood…
  • Same with night time erections…
    (Sometimes you notice more frequent and harder night time and morning erections – then they can disappear again for a while, only to come back stronger and even more frequent after a coupld of days…and on and off)
  • You start noticing your libido showing signs of life during the day…
    (This too comes and goes. One day you can feel some libido, the next day it can be gone, only to return again in a day or two. After a while it will start returning more and more frequently)
  • The brain-body-penis connection starts to return again…
    (That feeling of physical detachment between your sexual thoughts and your body is slowly but surely starting to dissipate)
  • You sometimes feel a physical response in your body when you have some sexual fantasies about a real life person, instead of piexels of a screen…
    ( This one may take a while to develop (due to the rewiring process) and is not always felt right after the flatline has ended)
  • You feel tingly sensations in your body again…
    (Simply put, you feel alive again and not so “broken”)

In addition to the non-linear progress, if you've been suffering from porn indeuced ED, you should know that the rewiring of your sexual responses might take a while (weeks to months). And that, even though your flatline is over, and you feel excitement in your body again, it may take some time to get your penis to respond to real life people again.

I.e. for guys suffering from porn induced ED (PIED), the point where the flatline ends is not necessarily going to be the same as the ending of their PIED.

For more info on this, see the article: how to cure PIED

WHY Do Libido Go Away After Quitting Porn?

Before we move on to what you can do to potentially speed up the flatline process or what to do if you're afraid that you may have become stuck in ‘no libido land', some of you may be curious, asking…

“why does the flatline happen in the frist place?”

That, is a very good question, and the truth is that, even though high speed porn addiction has been around for about 16 years now, no one knows the exact answer to how the flatline happens.

I personally believe that the flatlie is an extended version of the “B-process” in something called Richard Solomon's opponent process theory of emotions.

Now, I'm not going to go into detail about that in this article, as that would make the article way too long, but to put it as short and simplistic as possible…

After quitting: the opposite side of pleasure = darkness

The flatline may perhaps be a prolonged version of the “B-process” in Richard Solomon's opponent process theory of emotions…

The opponent process theory dictates that there there is a direct opposite phase of the initial stimuli. This is the “B- process” in the theory, while the initial stimuli is the “A-process”.

For example, if you go out partying while drinking quite a lot of alcohol during the evening, then you'll be sure to feel quite a lot of pleasure (A-process). However, when the following day roles around, now the pleasure is no longer to be found at all. In fact, now you're just feeling pain and perhaps you're even feeling slightly depressed (“B-process”).

It works the other way around as well: if you engage in some painful activity, like going for a run, you feel pain in the moment (A-process), but after you quit, you start feeling great (B-process).

So, again, the B-process is always the exact opposite of what you've felt during your stimuli.

Here's the deal…

It has long been common knowledge in the addiction literature that the withdrawal period you phase after quitting your drug of choice is gong to present the exact opposite symptoms of whatever feeling you enjoyed during your high.

In other words, if you've been addicted to anxiety drugs, or some other drug that are characterized by giving you a deep sense of calm, then the period you'll face after quitting is going to be characterized feelings of intense anxiety and unease.

Considering the above, might then the porn addict, since his feeling during stimulation is one of intense sexual arousal, face a B-process characterized by a complete lack of libido? I think it's not far fetched at all and I personally believe that this period is what is commonly know in the porn reboot community as the dreaded ‘flatline'

You don't even need to be addicted in order for the opponent process theory to work…

Again, no one knows exactly what the flatline is, as in the exact mechanism behind it, but I personally find the above explanation very logical.

One thing to keep in mind here, also, is that the opponent process theory can happen -in your day to day life- on many levels, and that you don't even need to be an addict in order for it to run its process.

  • Just ponder the example of feeling pain during your jogging session (A), while feeling great after your done (B).
  • Or feeling great while eating a bag of potato chips while watching your favorite serie on Netflix (A), only to feel sluggish and slight depressed two hours later (B).
  • Or feeling excited getting dragged into binge watching YouTube videos (A) – only to feel drained after you're done (B).

No matter what the exact mechanics behind the flatline are, one thing is pretty obvious, the flatline happens because your brain feels its sexual circuits need a rest from all that sexual super stimuli (porn). And so, it temporary pulls the plug on whatever machinery is driving your libido.

Now that we've been talking about the flatline, how it works, and why it happens, let's move on to what you can do to potentially help speed up the healing process.

And what to do if your libido has gotten stuck in “sleeping mode” even long after you suspect your flatline should be over.

How To Wake Your Sleeping Libido…

First things first, if you've lost your libido and you're only in your very first month after quitting porn, then you should not feel any pressure whatsoever to try to wake your sleeping libido.

Remember, the normal length of the flatline is between 10-70 days and if you're humming along nicely, on say week 3, albeit with a dead libido, realize that your complete lack of libido is in fact, at this stage, a sing of recovery and that your brain is now in ‘healing mode'.

In other words, if you're in the beginning of your porn reboot, pursue patience and know that your brain is just doing its thing, by temporary shutting everything down.

Even so, there are indeed some things you could try that may potentially shorten the process. And these are things you should definitely consider if you've remained stuck in no libido land, even months after quitting.

So, let's take a closer look at what they are…

Find a way to spend more time physically close to the opposite sex (Example: dance classes – dating – massages etc)

The subheading says ‘opposite sex', but just to make it clear, if your orientation is homosexual, then naturally you should spend more time with the same sex.

For the sake of simplicity, I will refer to this process as just ‘spending more time around real life people' from here on out.

The reason for why you want to increase your amount of time around real life people in order to quicker get your libido back is simple…

Porn has ‘hijacked' your libido and you need to rewire your sexual responses back to where it's meant to be functioning in the first place, with real life people.

How to rewire your brain…

This is done by spending as much time as possible being, physically, very close to real life people.

It doesn't have to mean sex (although it can), but just interacting and being close will help your brain to start shifting gears.

Even though you don't have to fool around, or have sex in order to rewire, it is probably safe to say; the closer you can be (physically) with some form of regularity, the faster your libido will come back.

The fastest way to get your libido back would then be…

  • Kissing, cuddling and hugging…
  • Fooling around, touching and playing…
  • Slow, gentle sex, with limited amounts of ejaculations (if you can get an erection hard enough for penetration -that is)…

The limited amounts of ejaculations is not something you have to stick with for the rest of your life. But it has been shown that guys tend to recover faster if they go easy on orgasms during the recovery phase. At least in the beginning of it.

Kickstarting the libido…

On the other hand, if libido has remained sleeping for months after the flatline should have ended, some guys find that they need to have an orgasm or two in order to ‘kickstart', or wake up, the sleeping libido.

However, here I need to point out that, any attempt to kickstart the libido should either be done with a real life person, or with porn-free masturbation, and not by resorting to porn again. You do not want to reactivate the old porn pathways in your brain.

How to rewire the brain if kissing, cuddling or sex is not an option…

As I already said, the closer you can be on a somewhat regular basis (physically) then the quicker your libido will return. But if kissing and cuddling is not an option for you…

…then consider some of the following…

  • Sign up for dance classes
  • Go on a dates
  • Spend a lot of time, sitting down, and talking to people
  • Go get massages
  • Go get your hair / hands / face done
  • Or just talk to a lot of people in general

…I.e. be creative and figure out clever ways in which you can be physically close to the opposite sex, in a non-creepy way, of course.

Consider this: the more of your senses that can be engaged during the interaction, the better for rewiring the brain.

For example, taking dance classes would be a phenomenal way to rewire the brain, since you are using so many of your senses while dancing. Touch, smell, hearing, sight etc. Then when you get home, your brain is going to start processing the day that happened, and the more senses involved during the interaction, the more pathways your brain has to start forming your new libido…

…which leads me to the next point…

Even fantasizing can be helpful…

Let's say you've spent some time with attractive, real life people, during the day. Maybe you went on a date, or even just took a cooking class where you talked to someone you found attractive.

Well, then when you get home, deliberately start recalling the interaction and perhaps spice it up by adding some touching, hugging – and perhaps even sex – in your mind. All this, combined with the sensory input and memories your brain has to work with, will help you rewire faster.

Obviously, this fantasizing is a normal part of our libido and is something that humans have been doing throughout the history of time. Today, however, we somehow seemingly forgot how to do so, simply because our libido became corrupted and hijacked by all the adult entertainment online.

Wake your libido by trying any of these two supplements…

Another thing you can try if you want to wake your libido is any of these two libido supplements…

These are both over the counter products that I personally used during my own porn reboot. They significantly increased my confidence during my rewiring phase, when I started going for sex, as they boosted both my libido as well as erection quality.

Now, don't use both at the same time, as that would definitely be overkill.

If you want to give them a try, I recommend you try VigRx, first, as AlphaViril is more potent and needs to be used in cycles.

Then is VigRx is not working well enough for you, you can try to go for the more potent, AlphaViril.

How effective are they?

Well, it's probably different for everyone. But I can tell you that I personally tried everything I could get my hands on, back when I was struggling. I even tried prescription ED drugs, but none of that worked as well as these two supplements. Probably because these two supplements target several areas of your sexual mechanism, while also, on top of that, significantly increase blod flow to your nether regions.

Wake your libido with cold showers…

Another thing I found helpful for boosting my libido was taking cold showers.

Nothing shakes up your system like an icy cold shower. And the fact that they also increase your body's own dopamine production probably plays a big part in their libido boosting capabilities.

However, if taking  cold showers is something new to you, you need to be aware of the fact that they are indeed very painful. And you will probably only be able to go for a few seconds on your very first try.

This is ok. Build it up slowly, until you can go 3-4 minutes at a time, on the coldest setting.

How effective are they?

Some of my YouTube followers swear by them, others say that they did nothing for their libido. Personally I can say that cold showers make me feel great, and that they do indeed boost my sex drive. That siad, for me, they are nowhere near as effective as the supplements I talked about above.

Losing Libido After Quitting Porn
Final Words

In conclusion we can sum it up by saying, losing libido for a period of time after quitting porn is very normal.

In fact, according to polls I've made, this phase of descending into a flatline is actually now more normal than not. Simply because most guys who are masturbating to porn on a regular basis have developed at least some form of addiction related brain changes.

This scary, but seemingly needed period of rest for the brain, will subside and you will emerge with a new, strong and healthy libido for real life people, feeling better than every.

F.A.Q's About Libido And Quitting Porn

Question: Is it possible for the flatline to start even before you quit porn? Is it common?

Answer: It is possible yes. I have seen it many times, and during one of my own rebooting years, when I was stuck in some really nasty relapse cycles, I actually experienced it myself. So, yes, it is possible. I believe it's the brain's way of saying, enough already, and so it simply shuts down your libido completely in order to protect itself from all the over-stimulation. I don't have any exact numbers on how many experience this ‘pre-quitting flatline', all I can say is that I see it happen pretty often, but that it is still not as common as falling into a flatline after quitting.

Question: I'm having a lot of wet dreams during my reboot. Will they prevent me from recovering from PIED?

Answer: No, they will not. Wet dreams are neither a relapse, nor will they prevent your recovery. Don't worry about them.

Question: I was deep into a flatline for 1,5 months, got out of it and everything was great with me having a strong libido for about 10 days, but now I lost it again (I didn't relapse to porn) what happened?

Answer: This is normal. Recovery is not linear and most people will experience ups and downs like this. Eventually the dips will subside and the libido will remain strong and steady.

Question: Do you think peeking on porn for just a few minutes now and then could slow down my PIED recovery?

Answer: While peeking is certainly not as bad as those long relapsing sessions, it can definitely hold you back. Try to stay away from peeking as much as you possible can.


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Low Libido After Quitting Porn (How To Regain Your Libido)
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