Porn Addiction Is Real. I Know Because I Lived It.

image - Flickr / Francesco Ungaro
image – Flickr / Francesco Ungaro

My first experience with porn was from a magazine my nanny masturbated to in front of me when I was 8-years-old. I was curious and ashamed to see her do that. I realized it was something taboo and from then onwards, I always sneaked into her room to look at those images. I was thrilled, not sexually, but by the illicit feeling an 8-year-old gets by looking at naked bodies doing these…strange things to each other.

Well, I got addicted to the thrill and it was all fun and games till I hit puberty and discovered masturbation. I was instantly hooked and consumed porn copiously all through my teens.

About nine years ago, as a sophomore in college, I tried quitting pornography and masturbation when I realized that I could only go out on dates and be confident around women when I hadn’t masturbated or watched porn for over a week. Desperately wanting to date more women and get into a relationship, I experimented with abstaining from pornography for longer and longer periods. It worked, till I made a decision to give it up completely.

To my dismay, I could not. Six years later I was still trying. Each time I failed myself, I could feel my low self-esteem digging its roots deeper and deeper into my psyche.

Needless to say, my college dating experience was terrible. Longs nights of striking out ended consistently with me going online for my fix. As I experimented with drugs and alcohol, I got deeper into my addiction, requiring more and more bizarre scenes and niches of porn to satisfy my dulled senses.

Yup.

I read every book I could find on quitting, got counseling, confessed at church(yes,I was a Catholic) . Masturbation and pornography became as common to me as taking a leak. Work, school, church, a friends house, now where was off limits. Whenever I felt stressed or let down, I knew I could count on a quick fap session to set me straight.

When I graduated and got a full-time job at a prestigious communications firm, porn followed me. By this time, I was only sporadically trying to quit and had more or less come to terms with living with porn.

20% of men watch porn at work

Shortly after landing a job, I got into a relationship with a smart, funny and beautiful woman. As sex became routine for me, the true ramifications of my “porn hobby” came to light. I began to see flaws in my girlfriend whom, when I first met was one of the most attractive women I’d ever been with sexually. Little imperfections were regularly under the magnifying glass of my porn trained mind.

Everything snowballed from there and before I knew it, I was in bed with another woman performing the very same acts I had viewed on some website. When I came and the exhilaration of illicit sex had passed, I felt absolutely disgusted with myself.

Nevertheless, I continued with this philandering behavior till I was almost murdered one night while trying to solicit anonymous sex.That was my wake up call. I knew I had crossed the line into full blown addiction and maybe even sex addiction. I resolved there and then to quit pornography for the last time.

There’s a quote floating out there that says “anyone who says pornography addiction does exist, has not tried quitting.” Altogether, it took me eleven years of quitting and relapsing to understand porn addiction, come to terms with it and eliminate it from my life. I discover a I had already lost so much inside me ,that I could not bear to lose those close to me by revealing my debilitating condition. I resolved that I would apply everything I had learned in eleven years of struggling to quit one final time.

Thirty days later, I had quit.I kept a journal at quitporngetgirls.com which evolved into the site that it is today and some forums. Those 30 days laid the foundation for developing many strategies that I used over the next few months to reprogram my porn addled mind, form healthier habits and ultimately move beyond a life of normalcy to achieving some of my most compelling goals.

I am certainly the exception to the rule. Most men will require group work, a 12-step program or therapy.

Sadly, most of society seems to be in denial. When I share some of my posts outside of Quit Porn Get Girls, people usually react with pity, some (usually heavy porn users) react with anger, defensiveness and exasperation- no one likes to be told that one of their favorite indulgences could actually be a legitimate addiction. The most miserable and tortured people in the world are those who strain and struggle continuously to convince themselves that they are something other than what they really are.

Porn Addiction is real. The hundreds of emails I receive each week are testament to this. The thousands of men flocking to forums such asyourbrainrebalanced.com, rebootnation.org, nofap.com and feedtherightwolf.orgor sites like sacredsexualityproject.com and themindfulhabit.com to seek answers to problems such as erectile dysfunction in their 20s, lack of attraction to real life women, loss of motivation and a host of other problems are more than enough proof.

Quitting pornography for a lot of men, in the long run, is a lifestyle decision. Personally, it has been one of the greatest challenges and yet one of the most fulfilling experiences of my life. Perhaps it will be the same for you. I have been porn and masturbation free for five years now and it has by far been the best decision of my young adult life. TC mark

This post originally appeared at Quit Porn Get Girls.

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  • http://joypassiondesire.wordpress.com joypassiondesire

    Thank you for sharing your story – Inspirational!

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