Quitting Porn – Do Urges Die Down After 90 Days? 

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The 90 Day Challenge might have started off with a lot of difficulties but you would assume the urges die down after the challenge. Well, the short answer is no. Your urges remain the same but it feels different.  

“Don’t fight the urges. Let them in, they’re trying to tell you something and it’s nothing to do with sex. When you let it all in and don’t try to masturbate the urges away, you get to find out what’s really behind them. And that’s great information about yourself to have.”- they’re trying to tell you something and it’s nothing to do with sex.”- Online Forum RJ_McReady 

Before we get into it, let’s understand sexual urges and do a quick recap on the 90-Day Challenge.  

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What are Urges? 

An urge is a strong desire or impulse. When it comes to sexual pleasure, a sexual urge is a strong impulse to indulge in activities that produce sexual arousal and pleasure. These activities could include sexual intercourse, masturbation, and watching pornography. 

For men, having an impulse or urges is a natural part of testosterone running around your body. It’s part of being human and they are natural. The difference is that now you do not have a PMO addiction and that you’re defeating your impulses and you’re defeating your stress. 

Related article: 5 Actionable Tips to Help you Fight the Urges to Watch Porn

What is the 90-Day Challenge? 

The 90-Day No PMO Challenge means no pornography or masturbation for 90 days. This is a kind of challenge that individuals take up to combat their addiction to adult content. The challenge offers many benefits. For this reason, many people take this test for 90 days.  

Why is it 90 days? 

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It takes about 60 days on average to form a habit that you stick to and it can even go anywhere between 18 to 254 days for a person to form a new habit. So, 3 months is a decent amount of time to get the ball rolling.  

This is on a general note of why the challenge is for 90 days. But in terms of watching pornography, when viewers are constantly exposed to porn, they tend to become desensitized. It is widely accepted that it takes about 90 days for the effects of pornography to be reversed and this includes reversing desensitization. 

Related Reddit Post: 90 Day Report – It’s Not What You Think It Is

Now what happens after the 90 days, do the sexual urges die down?  

The answer to this is no, it doesn’t.  

In fact, you’ll experience them in the same fashion that you did before you started out on the challenge.  

What will happen is you’ll find it easier to brush off the urge as just a minor hiccup. You get used to the urges after 30 days! That is correct! You are starting to get used to it and you may even enjoy it! You will also be good at dealing with them and overcoming them.  

What you are actually doing is working towards your masculinity. Your desire to fulfill your obligations and task that you have taken on i.e. is the 90-Day Challenge.  

Retaining or storing all of this energy can be transformed into sexual energy or something like pheromones and it helps you feel more confident when talking to a lady. The fact that you are able to stick to the 90-Day Challenge shows self-control and dedication toward finding a partner in real life. 

How does watching pornography cause desensitization? 

A numbed pleasure response or desensitization is one of the many brain changes induced by porn addiction. Frequently watching porn for extended periods of time can lead to a state where the user does not feel the same excitement they once used to.  

Research shows that desensitization is a result of a decrease in dopamine receptors. Dopamine is a chemical present in our bodies that triggers pleasure and a feeling of being rewarded. Watching porn over and over again causes the body to be unable to detect these pleasure molecules. 

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Desensitization seems to be caused by a number of factors, including: 

Decline in dopamine receptors. Most studies point to a decline in dopamine D2 receptors, which means less sensitivity to available dopamine, leaving the addict less sensitive to normally rewarding experiences. 

Decline in baseline (tonic) dopamine levels. Lower dopamine levels leave an addict “hungry” for dopamine-raising activities/substances of all kinds. 

Blunted dopamine in response (phasic dopamine) to normal rewards. Dopamine normally rises in response to rewarding activities. Once your addiction is the most reliable source of dopamine, cravings arise urging you to use porn. 

Loss of reward circuit grey matter, which means a loss in dendrites. This translates into fewer nerve connections or synapses. A 2014 study on porn users correlated less grey matter with more porn use. 

Too much of anything can become is a bad thing. 

But what started all of this and even the act of watching porn in the first place. 

How do you deal with these urges? 

The enormous momentum that you’ve built up over the 90 days is going to help you with that. Now, keep in mind that your urges are really powerful motivators. 

 Since you have completed 90 Days, what you’ve been doing during this period is what and how you’ll most likely do things as you move forward.  

 In this situation, you’re in a really good position. This is a good time to think deeply and write down the various situations/times during the day when you experience serious urges.   

Alongside the times during the day when you experience these urges, write down how you overcame them. It can be just using willpower to not fall back into old habits or any other trick that you might have adopted to fight the urge.    

Now, make sure to write all of that down, as those will be the data points that will help you decide your ways to deal with future urges.   

Related article: Practical 5 Guide to Combating Sexual Urges During Recovery

Why is a written goal more powerful in terms of resisting urges

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Writing down your urges and how you overcame them means that you can see them visually. This is an important point because when we see something, it affects our behavior. When something is written down on a piece of paper it becomes physical, it becomes real. This affects the way you work towards your urges and how you resist them. When you write it is likely to increase your productivity. 

Writing down your urges, and making progress daily, helps you stay on track and feel motivated. Once you see your achievements of going No PMO for 90 Days you feel even more motivated to continue on. Tracking your urges helps you to stay on track. 

Writing down your goals narrows your focus and aligns your thoughts with your actions. You learn to make conscious decisions to avoid triggers and do everything you can to stay focused. 

Measuring and celebrating your progress is important when you are working towards your goals. 

Written goals give you added reinforcement. 

Fight Stress to Fight Urges 

We must point out that the most common source of urges is stress and frustration which everyone faces.   

That’s going to retrigger and bring back the pathway that you worked hard to push back.   

This is an important factor that most people ignore.  

Sometimes stress can be the No.1 reason that people go back to porn. People see porn as a way to distract themselves but a healthier option would be to be engaged in something more productive. 

It is important to first deal with the stressors in your life to make the No PMO journey a lot easier on you. You may be using porn as a distraction from the underlying stress in your life. Work things out with your home life and make sure you have a good balance between your work life and home life.  

Health is another important factor that you need to maintain whether it be your diet or even your sleeping patterns.  

Are you eating on time? Are you eating healthy and nourishing your body? Are you exercising? These are all questions you can consider to maintain your health. 

Do you have 8 hours of sleep every night? Do you sleep on time? Do you get quality sleep? Now, these are questions that you can answer to understand your sleeping patterns. It is essential to maintain your health during your No PMO journey. Removing external stressors can help you greatly with sticking to the challenge. 

The Benefits/Superpowers of No PMO 

Why did you take up the 90-Day Challenge in the first place?  

Let’s revisit the benefits of No PMO. 

  1. Sex in real life feels better 

You will start to enjoy your partner’s company a lot more. Watching porn destroys your sex life. It creates a rift between you and your partner. This is because it almost seems like you’re bonding with the screen rather than spending time with your partner. 

When you start No PMO, you’ll find that real sex is much better than pornography or masturbation. 

  1. Energy Increases 

When you constantly indulge in super stimuli like porn and even masturbate you end up losing energy, this loss of energy increases when watching porn frequently. The 90-Day Challenge inherently restores your energy levels.  

  1. Intense Sexual Desire 

When you complete a few weeks with No PMO, your libido will increase (real libido) and your sexual desire will increase like crazy.  

Real sex is much better than masturbating to someone you don’t know. More sexual desire means that you desire a woman in real life.  

  1. Self-confidence increases 
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Working hard and accomplishing a task offers your mind added dopamine however it’s a long process, and your mind might not like that. 

Dopamine is like meals to your mind, and your mind continually attempts to discover the areas where you can work in bursts of dopamine. 

The 90-Day Challenge helps to restore your dopamine levels and your confidence. This confidence comes with the added bonus that you have a complete streak of over 90 days. 

  1. You will enjoy every second of your life 

The desensitization as we discussed earlier has also affected your ability to feel happiness in the small things. You slowly start to enjoy every moment and you do so by being fully present and not thinking about porn all the time. 

  1. More Self Control 

Self-control is so difficult these days due to technology, it’s nearly impossible to control ourselves and no longer use our phones or PC.  

During no pmo, you’ll combat urges almost daily, and on every occasion whilst you’ll defeat the urges of looking at porn, your willpower will increase due to the fact the urges of porn are the strongest, and also you aren’t fearing of it alternatively you’re preventing and winning, that’s what is important, you will have greater self-control as a result. 

  1. Not thinking about porn all the time 

Once you start watching porn, you end up having intrusive thoughts and these thoughts can stay in your mind, for hours even. You may still get these thoughts.  Although it does not completely disappear, it decreases greatly. 

  1. Sharp memory 
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When you have a clear mind devoid of sexual thoughts you are able to make wiser decisions and it is also seen that it improves your memory. You are now more equipped to occupy your brain capacity in remembering things. 

  1. More focused 

Your concentration will increase and you will begin to focus on the details. Today, people want everything as soon as possible, they just don’t want to wait, and it’s dangerous because it reduces concentration. The challenge helps you to channel all your sexual energy elsewhere, this includes concentration as well.  

  1.  Better stamina 

Your overall stamina increases, whether that be in bed or outside the bed activities.  

  1.  Improved Body Language 

Body language is very important in all forms of communication.  

People who have completed the 90-Day Challenge have noticed an improvement in their body language. This is because when you stop fapping, you have more mental stability, and less anxiety and you are able to better interact with people.   

  1.  Feeling you can overcome any obstacle 

Every time you overcome the urge to jerk off, you get stronger and stronger, so there is nothing to prevent you from succeeding.  

You will have a strong feeling that you can overcome any obstacles in your life, no one but you can stop you. 

Conclusion: 

The best thing you can do is to accept the fact that there are going to urge, just like there were when you started the 90-day challenge. There will be very little for you to gain, but you’ll have a lot to lose. So, you can see that the situation wasn’t quite different before or after the 90-day challenge. It’s only that you’ve qualified to be able to deal with the challenges in a better way. 

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