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From Playboy to Pornhub: Confessions of a 71-Year-Old Porn Addict

“It all began when my father brought home the first issue of Playboy magazine in 1953… By the time I graduated from high school and went away to college, I was seriously addicted.”

By November 18, 2021No Comments

Many people contact Fight the New Drug to share their personal stories about how porn has affected their life or the life of a loved one. We consider these personal accounts very valuable because, while the science and research is powerful within its own right, personal accounts from real people seem to really hit home about the damage that pornography does to real lives.

This true story we received from a guy who has struggled with a porn obsession for the last 65 years. His experience shows that porn can drive a wedge between partners in a relationship, and that marriage won't stop a porn obsession.

Dear FTND Staff,

I would like to tell you my porn addiction story. Please publish this on your website after editing and revising it. Also, please keep my name anonymous. Thank you!

It all began when my father brought home the first issue of Playboy magazine in 1953. I was six years old at the time. My mother had been a member of the WAC (Women’s Army Corp) during WWII, so she was not offended in the least by Playboy or any other men’s magazines.

Related: How My Obsessive Porn Habit Spiraled Out Of Control

My parents just had a good laugh over it, but as far as I know, my father never bought any further porn magazines or ever watched adult films after that time. I, however, became very curious about Marilyn Monroe’s centerfold photo shoot.

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My next exposure to explicit content was in 1959 at the age of 12. My mother, while grocery shopping, would pick up the currently popular pocket magazine called Pageant at the checkout stand each month. It was actually the for-runner of Cosmopolitan magazine.

One issue had the story about how the film “Breakfast At Tiffany’s” was being created. One set of photos in the article showed the European (uncensored) version of the beginning scene where George Peppard meets Audrey Hepburn in a strip club in NYC. The photos showed a stripper as she took off each article of clothing. The last photo, where she was fully nude is the one that totally hooked me.

Related: Playboy To Pornhub: 4 Figures That Made The Porn Industry What It Is Today

From that moment on, I couldn’t get enough of the men’s magazines, which became available at a neighborhood grocery store.

I did tell my mother about my problem, but she simply answered that all young men feel this kind of stimulation before marriage and that it was part of puberty.

An escalating habit

By the time I graduated from high school and went away to college, I was seriously addicted.

I strategically hid my collection of porn photos from my roommates and was alone with them quite frequently as a release mechanism from stress at school.

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When I finally married at age 23, I swore that I would never look at porn images or movies again. Unfortunately, shortly after my wife and I were married, the addiction surfaced again. I never spoke to my dear wife about my problem, trying very hard to keep it a big dark secret.

Related: How Porn Can Hurt a Consumer’s Partner

When she finally discovered the photos and that I had secretly gone to movie theaters to view more porn, she became enraged and wouldn’t talk to me for weeks at a time. She never knew how to handle my addiction, although we did meet with counselors and community leaders quite frequently. We never told our six children about my addiction until after they were married.

Finally, after dealing with my occasional relapses for almost 40 years, she decided that divorce was the only solution for her. She had decided to wait until our last child got married. I fought her very hard not to go through with this action, but in the end, I couldn’t stop her.

Learning to live on my own

Two years ago, I felt that I needed to move away from her and the area where we lived. I have never regretted doing so.

I have been attending recovery meetings almost every week since then and I also have an accountability partner I work with to keep me away from internet porn on my PC. However, after 58 years, I still struggle every day with my porn addiction and the terrible results of it.

I’m very glad to be a part of this organization and sincerely hope that my story will change the hearts and minds of those who may become or are now addicted to this horrible, love-destroying monster.

G.

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Not alone in his experience

Can you imagine feeling like you can’t break away from porn after almost 60 years of your life?

Think of how many hours a porn consumer has spent looking at images and videos depicting impossible sexual fantasy, at that point. Not every person who sees porn will become hooked, obsessed, or addicted. Even so, many do, and there’s no way to know ahead of time the kind of long-term impact porn can have on relationships and sex expectations.

When it comes to the topic of porn, one of the most common questions is whether porn can actually be addictive. The short answer is yes—it absolutely can be.

Related: Why Porn Can Be Difficult to Quit

While it’s important to remember that most porn consumers—even many who may find it very difficult to quit porn—do not qualify as “addicts” in a clinically diagnosable sense,Willoughby, B. J., Young-Petersen, B., & Leonhardt, N. D. (2018). Exploring Trajectories of Pornography Use Through Adolescence and Emerging Adulthood. Journal of sex research, 55(3), 297–309. https://doi.org/10.1080/00224499.2017.1368977COPY  many addiction experts and specialists agree that pornography addiction is, in fact, very real.Love, T., Laier, C., Brand, M., Hatch, L., & Hajela, R. (2015). Neuroscience of Internet Pornography Addiction: A Review and Update. Behavioral sciences (Basel, Switzerland), 5(3), 388–433. https://doi.org/10.3390/bs5030388COPY Stark R., Klucken T. (2017) Neuroscientific Approaches to (Online) Pornography Addiction. In: Montag C., Reuter M. (eds) Internet Addiction. Studies in Neuroscience, Psychology and Behavioral Economics. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-46276-9_7COPY De Sousa, A., & Lodha, P. (2017). Neurobiology of Pornography Addiction - A clinical review. Telangana Journal of Psychiatry, 3(2), 66-70. doi:10.18231/2455-8559.2017.0016COPY 

Did you notice how G’s tastes escalated over time, moving from images in Playboy and Pageant to more extreme porn found online? That’s because a porn habit doesn’t usually stop where it starts.

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Research shows that porn consumers can become desensitized to porn, often needing to consume more porn, more extreme forms of porn, or consume porn more often in order to get the same response they once did.Albery, I. P., Lowry, J., Frings, D., Johnson, H. L., Hogan, C., & Moss, A. C. (2017). Exploring the Relationship between Sexual Compulsivity and Attentional Bias to Sex-Related Words in a Cohort of Sexually Active Individuals. European addiction research, 23(1), 1–6. https://doi.org/10.1159/000448732COPY Banca, P., Morris, L. S., Mitchell, S., Harrison, N. A., Potenza, M. N., & Voon, V. (2016). Novelty, conditioning and attentional bias to sexual rewards. Journal of psychiatric research, 72, 91–101. doi: 10.1016/j.jpsychires.2015.10.017COPY 

Related: How Porn Can Become an Escalating Behavior

In fact, according to one 2016 study, researchers found that 46.9% of respondents reported that, over time, they began watching pornography that had previously disinterested or even disgusted them.Wéry, A., & Billieux, J. (2016). Online sexual activities: An exploratory study of problematic and non-problematic usage patterns in a sample of men. Computers in Human Behavior, 56, 257-266. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2015.11.046COPY 

If you or know someone who is being pulled into more and more porn, it’s never too late to get support in a journey to becoming porn-free. It’s possible to quit porn and replace it with healthy habits.

Need help?

For those reading this who feel they are struggling with pornography, you are not alone. Check out Fortify, a science-based recovery platform dedicated to helping you find lasting freedom from pornography. Fortify now offers a free experience for both teens and adults. Connect with others, learn about your unwanted porn habit, and track your recovery journey. There is hope—sign up today.

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