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20 Years Of Looking At Porn And I Wouldn’t Wish This On Anyone

By June 7, 2017 No 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.

Dear FTND,

I don’t know what compelled me to do this. No one asked me to, I just wanted to share my story.

I saw my first pornographic image when I was nine. I am 29 now, which means that for the past 20 years, I have battled with porn every day. Looking back on it now, that first image was nothing at all. But for a 9-year-old, it was everything. I didn’t want it and I didn’t search for it. It came in the form of a spam email and I saw a picture of a woman in her underwear. That was all. No nudity, just that. But at 9-years-old, I knew I had stumbled on something exciting, but wrong. My young curiosity overcame me and I continued to try and find more of the same. But even at that age, I knew it was something to hide.

It wasn’t long before I was caught for the first time. My dad talked to me about it, and explained it was wrong, but it was too late. The damage to my young brain was already done. I felt terrible for doing something wrong, but was fascinated by what I had seen. It was all downhill from there. I began to seek it out, and found it everywhere. It wasn’t long before the pictures of women in their underwear turned into pictures of naked women.

Then, around college, I discovered hardcore porn images. The simple nudity wasn’t really enough anymore. That continued on for a while until in my last year of college, I discovered pornographic videos. But that quickly led to me chatting sexually with random girls online. Everything was a spiral downward from that first image when I was nine.

Related: Watch Mark’s Story – “I Was Addicted To Porn At Age 12”

Now, 20 years later, I am an addict. I’ve never been addicted to drugs or anything else, but I imagine that this is what it feels like to have that level of addiction. Sometimes the cravings hit me really hard. Sometimes I watch porn because I’m stressed, or hurt, or lonely. A lot of the time I watch simply because I have created a habit of looking. It has changed the way that I think about women, and lowered my self-esteem. I’ve never had sex before, and, despite how badly I want to, I am terrified to do so now. I don’t think I’m “big” enough. I constantly ask myself questions like, what if I can’t please a woman? What if I can’t climax because I’m so used to doing it by myself? What if my expectations are totally wrong and it messes everything up? (And I’m 99% sure that they are, because I know porn is fake.)

Porn has completely skewed the way I look at women. Even though I try not to, the first thing I notice about any female I see is her body. I’ve become so visually oriented, that other qualities matter less and less. It’s turning me into someone that I never wanted to be, and yet, here I am.

I couldn’t say no to porn. I’ve tried to say no over and over. I’ve tried to fight it before. I’ve been to addiction recovery meetings, I’ve had accountability partners, I’ve read books, I’ve used porn blockers and accountability software. I’ve tried through sheer force of will, I’ve been brought to my knees in tears trying to rid myself of this addiction. Nothing has worked. Nothing has helped. Here I am, worse off than I’ve ever been.

Related: True Story: My Consuming Childhood Addiction To Erotica Stories

I’ve been down this road for so long that I don’t even remember what a normal life looks like anymore. (I’m not trying to imply that victory cannot be found, or that the methods I tried won’t work, but I am just trying to show how lost I am.) Porn looks shallow and harmless in the beginning, but then when you step into it, it’s as deep as the darkest trenches of the ocean. There’s no such thing as “dabbling” or “just a little” or “it’s harmless.” The sweetest poison in the world is still poison. Porn is a poison that doesn’t act quickly. You won’t even know it’s killing you until the damage has been done.

I hope that you share this. Not because I want the recognition, but because after 20 years, I wouldn’t wish this hell on anyone. If my story will help someone else, then it’s worth me telling.

T.

Why This Matters

This story is just one of millions who are ensnared by the highly compulsive nature of pornography. Porn is basically sexual junk food. When a person is looking at porn, their brain thinks they’re seeing a potential mating opportunity, and pumps the brain full of dopamine. And unlike healthy sexual relationships that build up over time with an actual person, porn offers an endless stream of hyper-sexual images that flood the brain with high levels of dopamine every time the user clicks to a new image.

Eventually, as the brain acclimates to the overload of dopamine, users often find that they can’t feel normal without that dopamine high. Little things that used to make them happy, like being with a friend or family member, can’t compete with the dopamine flood that comes with porn, so they’re left feeling anxious or down until they can get back to it.

Related: How The Obsession To Watch Porn Can Be Fought

With young boys growing up with an unlimited access to porn at their fingertips, our society is witnessing a major epidemic with pornography negatively affecting physical, mental, and emotional health of viewers.

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What YOU Can Do

Show support for this brave Fighter for sharing his story. SHARE this article and raise awareness on the real harmful effects of pornography.

Need Help?

For those reading this who feel they are struggling with an compulsion to view pornography, you are not alone. We got your back. Check out the Fortify Program we helped to develop, an affordable online recovery program that will allow you take a step toward freedom. Anyone 20 and younger can apply for a free scholarship to the program. Sign up today and start getting the help you need at your own pace.

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