In full disclosure, I’d like to share with you my story with the utmost sincerity.
I am a student attending university in the United States.
I was first introduced to pornography around 13 years old, similar to most people my age. After this initialization, I looked up images and gifs infrequently. It was natural curiosity about sex and women. I think I heard Megan Fox’s name once thrown around by some friends, so some Google searches ensued. Many of my friends discussed words and experiences that I had never heard before.
At age 15, I’m guessing I hit puberty last of my friends. Upon realizing what masturbation was, I tested it out. I viewed images and gifs of women to get off. Following my sister leaving the house for university that summer, things turned worse. I had the whole upstairs to myself, and I used that time to explore what was out there on the internet. I knew watching porn wasn’t great, but it felt good and masturbation is natural, so I rationalized.
From ages 16-18, I believe I watched porn every day. To satisfy the frequency of my watching, I turned to more violent stuff. My choice of poison was dominatrix porn. Yeah, I felt guilty. But hey, I worked hard in school and I deserve sexual release and this doesn’t hurt anybody, so I rationalized. I figured I would stop watching when I reached college.
I didn’t. I wanted to stop but I couldn’t. I couldn’t miss a day.
Last December, I admitted to myself about having a problem. So, I built up the courage and I told my best friend about it. And he supported me. He checked in on me. He installed a blocker on my computer and didn’t give me the password. He comforted me. Yet, although I admitted about my problem, I personally made no effort to change. I was having a rough semester and I deserved this. I continued watching and I rationalized.
THIS SUMMER, I HIT MY ROCK BOTTOM.
I was watching porn one night and I simply broke down crying.
I was tired of this.
I joined this community.
Today I’m 90 days free, and I’m never going back.
Find out why you watch:
Looking back, I realize that watching porn was a catharsis for my insecurity. I was afraid that because I was small, I was somehow less of a man. Masculinity is an issue that I constantly struggled with growing up, and it is something I wrestle with today. Further, I watched to release sexual frustration. I felt I lost control of my own love life, and porn was a crutch to hide behind.
Find out about why porn causes addiction. I checked out neuroscience articles, TedTalks, YourBrainOnPorn, etc. In understanding why I got hooked, I realized I didn’t want to watch anymore.
Acceptance through role models:
I love watching Terry Crews’s videos on why he stopped watching. Man’s a legend.
Become okay with the fact that you will never watch porn again. It’s tough, but that what makes the fight great.
Today, many of my friends know my story. If they want to listen, I tell them. Although some shamed me, many more were inspired and helped me along. These are the people I am still friends with. I continue with their support.
And with everything else, eating healthy and exercising helps.
I am so thankful to everyone who has helped me along this journey. That being said, my journey is not over.
I am strong. I am proud.
We can do it.