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Autumn’s Story: How My Porn Habit Sabotaged My Relationships

By October 15, 2019 No 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.

FTND note: The aim of this post is to challenge the shaming narrative that can happen in this fight against porn, and offer up an alternative narrative via exploring actual, real-life experiences. It is not our intention to imply that anyone is obligated to date/marry someone with a porn struggle, if they do not want to. This person has a story that may look differently from many other former partners of porn consumers, and that’s okay. In the end, it is up to every individual to decide what is best for them—even if that means staying with a significant other who is working through a porn issue, or deciding to leave for the benefit of both partners.

Hello! My name is Autumn and I wanted to share my story in hopes that it helps someone else!

I got into pornography when I was 11 years old. I was homeschooled and had constant access to the computer. There were so many ads and pop-ups, and I wasn’t supervised very much. One day, my curiosity piqued, and I clicked on one.

At first, I knew it wasn’t a good idea, but I wanted to understand what I was looking at, so I researched and dug deeper into what I was watching. There I was, an 11-year-old girl hiding in the office watching horrible images that I was too young to even understand on our family desktop. Eventually, I got hooked.

Related: New Study Suggests Women Are Just As Visually Stimulated By Porn As Men

The desktop turned into my father’s laptop and me locking myself in the bathroom with the computer watching alone and afraid of being caught. That 11-year-old girl didn’t know what damage she would cause herself down the line.

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Telling the world but not finding help

When I was 14 (the summer before my freshman year) the first boy to ever take interest in me entered my life. The problem was that he was 19.

He was not a “boy” at all anymore, he was a “man,” but I didn’t know better. I snuck around to see him and within a couple of months, I thought I had my first love.

Related: Survey Finds More Than 1 In 3 Women Watch Porn At Least Once A Week

He discovered the porn on my iPod touch and thought that it gave him the right to take advantage of me. Even though I wasn’t ready and he knew that, he felt he could take what he wanted because of my big secret—and my years of pornography had taught me that I couldn’t say no. So I didn’t fight him because I thought I deserved it.

From that moment on, the porn industry had helped me spiral down into years of never knowing if I was good enough for a good guy. It led me to years of sneaking around, years of breaking down into tears because my secrets were eating at me, and years of letting guys use me because I constantly felt worthless and dirty.

Related: Think Women Who Watch Porn Enjoy Sex More? This New Study Shows The Opposite

When I was 16, I discovered FTND and I started seeking help in my community. At age 16, I stood up in front of hundreds of high school students at a youth retreat and as tears rolled down my eyes I uttered the words, “I am fighting a pornography addiction.”

To my surprise, tons of the girls my age were coming up to me after and telling me I wasn’t alone. I knew it was a problem for boys but I had no idea that so many girls would be right there with me.

Unfortunately, though, I was unable to get the help I needed and I stayed stuck in a rut.

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Saying “I love you” without secrets

When I was 18, I moved in with my boyfriend. One year into our very serious relationship, he discovered my secret. It broke him, and in turn, he broke up with me because pornography taught me to hide better than anything.

I moved back home and told my parents (who have known since I was 16 when I told my youth group because I told them as well) that I was still struggling. I took a break from everything else and drowned myself into my work until I met Dylan.

Related: What Kind Of Porn Do Women Watch?

The day I looked at him I KNEW that I was going to marry him one day. It really did feel like love at first sight. Dylan and I have spent a successful 9 months together that have been filled with raw, real love, and most importantly, honesty. He was able to show me the importance of LOVE. Not just what I saw on the screen.

Since him, I have found it so effortlessly easy to put away the porn. I realized the damaging effects it was having on my life and after years of struggling I broke down and confessed to myself that it was time to be stronger than ever and put down the lies, the sneaking around, and the porn industry’s falsified version of love. I have since then found myself in my first healthy relationship where I have been able to say “I love you” without secrets.

Related: Can Women Get Addicted To Watching Porn?

Breaking my chains to porn has been the best thing that’s happened to me and my 16-year-old self who had discovered FTND and stayed up reading so many stories and hoped that one day I would be able to send my own in one day.

Well, now I have. And if you’re fighting, maybe one day you will, too.

Autumn

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For partners who both want to fight

This story shows a few different important things.

Firstly, Autum’s experience is a reminder that whether you’re the partner, or the one who struggles, you are not alone.

We love to hear stories of hope from people who refuse to let porn tear them apart, and choose to fight for their love and relationships. Anyone who struggles with porn has to decide to stop watching for themselves, first, but encouragement from a partner can make a world of difference. Not all couples are equipped or healthy enough to stay together through a porn issue, like we saw in Autumn’s story, and that’s okay, too.

Only you can know what’s best for you and your relationship, in the long run, whether that’s going separate ways or staying to fight.

Related: How These Women Supported Their Partners Through Compulsive Porn Habits

We continually encourage couples to make decisions about their relationship that’s best for them as individuals. Sometimes, that choice is to end the relationship, and sometimes, that mutual choice is to stay and support each other through the struggles porn brings. It all depends on the couple, and we respect the decisions people make for themselves. There’s no “correct” answer because every relationship is different.

Whether you’re in a relationship or not, and you’re currently struggling with porn, there is hope for healing. Being able to say “I love you” without secrets is worth the fight.

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For women who struggle

When it comes to porn, there are two lies that are often believed: it’s normal for guys to watch porn, and girls don’t have any interest in porn.

The other thing Autumn’s story shows is that women are human beings hardwired with sexual desire, and they struggle with porn as well. After all, if you’re attracted to porn, that means you’re human, because it appeals to every human’s hardwired sexual desire. And this includes women, too.

Recently, a brand new study found that “at least at the level of neural activity… the brains of men and women respond the same way to porn.” Basically, sexual arousal at the neuron level is no different between males and females, though it was found to be related to sexual orientation.

Click here to read more about how men and women are wired very similarly when it comes to visual arousal.

Need help?

For those reading this who feel they are struggling with pornography, you are not alone. Check out our friends at 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 compulsive behavior, and track your recovery journey. There is hope—sign up today.

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