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How My Porn Habit Cost Me My Job and Relationship

"I lost my job. I got arrested for being with an escort. And now, I have a record and it’s harder to find a job...it's a never ending cycle."

By January 18, 2019No Comments
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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.

We received a short story from a Fighter who wants the world to know how harmful porn really is.

It all started when I was 13. I remember that day, because it changed my life forever.

My 15-year-old-brother came into my room like he always did when he wanted to show me something. That day, he showed me a porn video. It was interesting to watch, and I felt weird watching it at the time. But it seemed to be okay, because he said it was good. So I believed him.

Related: Is it True that Everyone Watches Porn?

But it didn’t stop there—that was just the beginning. At the ripe age of 14, my brother came into my room with his girlfriend, and they started showing a video to me that had two guys and one girl doing things to each other.

I was confused, but intrigued. He said, “We should all do it!” She and I didn’t want to but, he insisted and said it would be fun just like the video.

So we did. She was unhappy, felt used, and later broke up with him.

Fast Facts

Time moved on, but I was stuck in obsession

Time passed after those formative years. I got older and had a good job. I thought my life was in a good place, but I was still watching porn every night. When I got married, I tried to be intimate with my wife, but when she refused, I would just go to porn. I even bought sex with a prostituted person.

Porn was my life now. I joined fetish clubs, and just indulged in everything thrown in front of me with no question. Why would I? It felt good, and it didn’t seem to be harming anyone so what was the problem?

Little did I know that my “harmless” habit really was harming someone: me.

When the fun and games ended

For the moment, and in the moment, it was fun. But then, everything started deteriorating. My wife left me because we weren’t connecting. I lost my job for wanting porn more than work. I got arrested for being with an escort.

And now, I have a record and it’s harder to find a job…it’s a never-ending cycle.

Related: How Porn Can Harm Consumers’ Sex Lives

I’m in therapy now to get the help I need, because I know that I need help. And I always think back to that one day that changed my life. Is this really me, is this really what I wanted, or did porn warp my mind at 13?

I honestly hope you share my story so more and more people know the risks of porn. It isn’t worth it.

T.

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Why This Matters

Porn is primarily produced for entertainment purposes, not education, but the ideas porn sells are not conducive to a healthy understanding of sex, sexuality, or mutual pleasure.

In fact, research confirms that women are the targets of aggression or violence in porn about 97% of the time,Fritz, N., Malic, V., Paul, B., & Zhou, Y. (2020). A Descriptive Analysis of the Types, Targets, and Relative Frequency of Aggression in Mainstream Pornography. Archives of sexual behavior, 49(8), 3041–3053. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10508-020-01773-0Copy  and that only 18.3% of women in popular porn videos (compared to 78% of men) were shown to reach climax.Séguin, L. J., Rodrigue, C., & Lavigne, J. (2018). Consuming Ecstasy: Representations of Male and Female Orgasm in Mainstream Pornography. Journal of sex research, 55(3), 348–356. https://doi.org/10.1080/00224499.2017.1332152Copy 

Related: How Porn Can Promote Sexual Violence

Research shows that porn’s influence can and does find its way into young people’s sexual expectations and behaviors.Koletić G. (2017). Longitudinal associations between the use of sexually explicit material and adolescents' attitudes and behaviors: A narrative review of studies. Journal of adolescence, 57, 119–133. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.adolescence.2017.04.006Copy Peter, J., & Valkenburg, P. M. (2016). Adolescents and pornography: A review of 20 years of research.53(4-5), 509-531. doi:10.1080/00224499.2016.1143441Copy 

For example, a recent poll found that the more porn a man consumes, the more likely he is to be dissatisfied with his penis size. And the same goes for women with male partners—the more porn they consume, the less satisfied they are with their partner’s penis size.International Andrology London. (2017). The porn hypothesis – findings prove porn consumption fuels the desire for penis enlargement surgery in the UK. Retrieved from https://london-andrology.co.uk/news/the-porn-hypothesis-findings-prove-porn-consumption-fuels-the-desire-for-penis-enlargement-surgery-in-the-uk/Copy  Research also consistently demonstrates that porn consumption is a significant predictor of sexual aggression.Wright, P. J., Tokunaga, R. S., & Kraus, A. (2016). A meta-analysis of pornography consumption and actual acts of sexual aggression in general population studies. Journal of Communication, 66(1), 183-205. doi:https://doi.org/10.1111/jcom.12201Copy Peter, J., & Valkenburg, P. M. (2016). Adolescents and pornography: A review of 20 years of research.53(4-5), 509-531. doi:10.1080/00224499.2016.1143441Copy Wright, P. J., Paul, B., & Herbenick, D. (2021). Preliminary Insights from a U.S. Probability Sample on Adolescents' Pornography Exposure, Media Psychology, and Sexual Aggression. Journal of health communication, 1–8. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1080/10810730.2021.1887980Copy Goodson, A., Franklin, C. A., & Bouffard, L. A. (2021). Male peer support and sexual assault: The relation between high-profile, high school sports participation and sexually predatory behaviour. 27(1), 64-80. doi:10.1080/13552600.2020.1733111Copy 

Related: How Porn Can Normalize Sexual Objectification

Studies also suggest that increased pornography consumption is associated with the enjoyment of degrading, uncommon, or aggressive sexual behaviors.Ezzell, M. B., Johnson, J. A., Bridges, A. J., & Sun, C. F. (2020). I (dis)like it like that: Gender, pornography, and liking sex. J.Sex Marital Ther., 46(5), 460-473. doi:10.1080/0092623X.2020.1758860Copy 

Fortify

The good news is, change is possible! Research and the experiences of thousands of people have demonstrated that the effects of desensitization can be managed and largely reversed.Young K. S. (2013). Treatment outcomes using CBT-IA with Internet-addicted patients. Journal of behavioral addictions, 2(4), 209–215. https://doi.org/10.1556/JBA.2.2013.4.3Copy Nathanson, A. (2021). Psychotherapy with young people addicted to internet pornography. Psychoanal.Study Child, 74(1), 160-173. doi:10.1080/00797308.2020.1859286Copy  In fact, even in cases of serious substance and other addictions, research shows that the brain can heal over time with sustained effort.Pfefferbaum, A., Rosenbloom, M. J., Chu, W., Sassoon, S. A., Rohlfing, T., Pohl, K. M., Zahr, N. M., & Sullivan, E. V. (2014). White matter microstructural recovery with abstinence and decline with relapse in alcohol dependence interacts with normal ageing: a controlled longitudinal DTI study. The lancet. Psychiatry, 1(3), 202–212. https://doi.org/10.1016/S2215-0366(14)70301-3Copy Yau, Y. H., & Potenza, M. N. (2015). Gambling disorder and other behavioral addictions: recognition and treatment. Harvard review of psychiatry, 23(2), 134–146. https://doi.org/10.1097/HRP.0000000000000051Copy Rullmann, M., Preusser, S., Poppitz, S., Heba, S., Gousias, K., Hoyer, J., Schütz, T., Dietrich, A., Müller, K., Hankir, M. K., & Pleger, B. (2019). Adiposity Related Brain Plasticity Induced by Bariatric Surgery. Frontiers in human neuroscience, 13, 290. https://doi.org/10.3389/fnhum.2019.00290Copy 

Research also indicates that, while guilt can motivate healthy change, shame actually fuels problematic porn habits.Gilliland, R., South, M., Carpenter, B. N., & Hardy, S. A. (2011). The roles of shame and guilt in hypersexual behavior.18(1), 12-29. doi:10.1080/10720162.2011.551182Copy  So if you’re trying to give up porn, be kind to yourself and be patient with your progress.

Like anything, it takes time for the brain to recover, but daily efforts make a big difference in the long run. Think of it like a muscle that gets bigger and stronger the more you use it—the longer you stay away from porn, the easier it is to do so. All it takes is practice.

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.

Fortify

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