Age 42 - Married: Gave up porn; quit cross-dressing and dangerous masturbation

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make-upI really started seeing the need to kick the PMO habit early in 2013. I'd started to get into some particularly dangerous areas of pornography, which included watching videos that included an element of hypnosis. My behavior started to get riskier. I started buying women's clothing and would dress and make myself up before PMO sessions.

As you might imagine, this was rather time consuming, and in some cases, almost led me to getting caught, if a family member came home earlier than expected or if I forgot to carefully hide something after a session. I began engaging in forms of MO that could have led to major medical problems had anything gone wrong. I began to dread leaving the house for fear my wife might stumble upon one of my hiding places.

After a while, I didn't know if I even wanted to be a man, as mortifying as the thought of my kids having a transsexual for a father was. One day I actually photographed myself and posted the picture to a dating Web site. I looked at the picture and suddenly my image was shattered. I was one UGLY drag queen. No matter what my hypnosis sessions had led me to believe, there was not going to be a line of men waiting to have me, or if there was, it would be comprised of really desperate, ugly men who couldn't do better. I took the picture down immediately and deleted the account.

Had I continued on this path, it was virtually certain I'd have been caught at some point, and it would likely have cost me everything. But I had tried to give up porn many times before and never seemed to be able to let go. I had tried white-knuckling -- just not using and hoping I'd be able to overcome what ever urges emerged. I'd last a week, maybe two, but slip up again.

Finally I made it six weeks or so last spring before slipping up again. Then I thought, "Maybe there's a site out there that offers self-hypnosis to BREAK pornography addictions." If there was, I never found it, but my search did lead me to the YBOP Web site, where I learned about the whole reboot process. I also learned that these questions of sexual identity weren't unique to me, and that they didn't necessarily have much to do with my actual orientation. I read about men who had changed. I had a glimpse of hope that change was possible.

I did the 90-day reboot. The pull of the porn videos, including the hypnotic messages, began to wear off. I began to explore other interests and was re-exploring my religious faith, which I'd never really let go of, but which was obviously very difficult to nourish amidst the habits of daily pornography and secret transvestism. Around late September, I came into contact with someone who would be a major influence in the coming months, mostly indirectly. This person said some things that encouraged me to deepen my prayer life and look for ways to deepen my relationship with God.

Unfortunately, I hadn't figured out how to maintain "custody of the eyes" and was still finding myself lusting after random women I'd encounter. I'd go online and search for images of women with their clothes on, telling myself that it was okay, since it wasn't pornography. Eventually it wasn't just images, but videos. And within a couple of weeks, it was pornography again. This lasted a few weeks, maybe a month, before the momentum of my growing prayer life and my reboot came to a head with the pornography. I couldn't have both, I realized. I had to choose.

I chose my faith. Shortly before Christmas, I went to Confession for the first time in 10 years. In the six months that have past since, I've become far more involved in my Church and even took an extended prayer class. It has been life-changing.

I still struggle at times with the custody of the eyes -- I notice attractive women, which is no sin, but I have to be on guard so that the attraction does not become lust. Occasionally pornographic images pop into my head for no obvious reason, and I quickly focus on something else, usually prayer. I am no longer plagued with worry about my sexual orientation or identity -- I realize now that it was just the effect of pornography drawing me into ever more extreme fantasies as as previous fantasies lost their edge.

My marriage is stronger than ever. I'm more comfortable carrying on conversations. I'm more self-confident. For the first time in my adult life, I feel free from porn addiction.

LINK - My Story: From Hopelesness to Faith

by dlansky