On my current streak, I’m 56 days clean. Before that, I had a short streak of only a week. And before that, I had a 46-day streak.
When I first joined this subreddit, I looked at porn a lot. If you want to hear the whole story in gruesome detail (but without triggering descriptions, of course), you can click on my username and see my post history. I’m here today to only talk about one specific aspect of my porn viewing habits: Anime. And even then, it’s not the whole story.
I’m a rationalizer. I spend a long time trying to convince myself that the wrong thing I’m doing is actually okay or not as bad as I might think. Sometimes this works, and I see through me. Other times it doesn’t.
I’ve never watched “hardcore” porn. I’ve never gone to any of the big porn sites, or looked for a video of people having sex for real. But I really wanted that dopamine rush. So what’s a rationalizer like me to do? It would take way too long to try to convince myself that hardcore porn was all right. Besides, I had a whole bunch of moral reservations about it. So I found a “solution.”
That “solution” was Anime. I knew that there were tons of drawn or animated images of half-dressed or undressed women on the internet. Sometimes, people were having sex in these images. But none of it was real. So it was fine–right? Right?
(Yes, I know that not all Anime is like this.)
So all of you can imagine where this leads. PMO upon PMO. Wasting time. Becoming a creep. Being ashamed of myself. I also took up looking at “soft” porn images of real women. I told myself that it was okay because there wasn’t any sex.
And I stayed good at rationalizing, too! I continued to justify my habit by telling myself all the things I wasn’t doing, which distracted me from all the things I was doing. I told myself that I was totally fine, because I wasn’t searching for porn. After all, nearly everything I looked at came from actual anime shows, rather than porn-only videos.
Regardless of what I told myself that I wasn’t doing, I was still getting engrossed in finding the “perfect” picture or video of some unrealistic woman. I was drowning in meaningless solitary pleasure. And it was never enough. I kept going back.
Eventually, I stopped rationalizing. I knew it was bad for me, and morally wrong besides. So I went PornFree.
So, my first big streak was 46 days. When I relapsed at the end, my old fondly-remembered Anime images were some of the many things I searched out. They seemed hardly enjoyable. My next streak was only 7 days. Then I went on basically a binge. That time, most of what I relapsed to was “real” women–as much as anything in porn can be real.
Now, with my solid 56-day streak, I still find myself trying to think back to the stuff I used to look at. I’ve reached a point now where as much as I try to think of certain images, they’re not really enjoyable anymore. I’m still not completely rebooted–not by any means. If I were, I wouldn’t even try to recall those images. But now that I’ve spent so long without looking at it, anime “soft porn” is seeming vaguer and vaguer, and I see those images more and more for what they were–drawn images that weren’t real women.
As time goes on, they might fade completely.
The real world is better than drawn pornography. Don’t get taken in by it. If you use it, stop. Just stop. And don’t tell yourself that you’re somehow “better” than other porn users.