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How My Porn Obsession Started on YouTube and Facebook

By August 13, 2020No 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.

Hey FTND,

I know you get a lot of these, and so I don’t expect to be one of the lucky ones that get their story featured, but here is a portion of my life.

I consider myself lucky. Not because I never struggled—I wouldn’t be writing this if that were true—but because of some of the ways my story has unfolded.

More than 6 years ago I was a young 13-year-old boy never having been exposed to pornography. That changed one night in 2014. For me, my descent into a porn obsession was slow. It started small on YouTube, believe it or not. It began with hyper-sexualized music videos in my room. If I could go back and talk to myself, speak up about the years to come, I would.

RelatedWhy Watching Porn Doesn’t Make You A Bad Person

Eventually, the music videos bored me. I also had just joined Facebook a few months prior, and that’s where the habit escalated. I began to fantasize about all the women around me. I started keeping track of all the names of the pretty girls I knew. And one day, I volunteered at a sports tournament. There I met this girl named “Sarah” (not her real name). Just a normal girl, about my age, but she was pretty. She was added to the list of girls I would fantasize about occasionally.

Podcast - Terry Crews - Light

From Facebook to porn sites

Things escalated again. Somewhere along the line, a line was crossed. The fantasies and Facebook photos weren’t enough—I started getting into hardcore pornography. And it was all so real, or so I thought. Sure, I knew the acting was bad, but I thought that at least the acts may be accurate. And those sorts of things started to become my fantasies.

Related: Gabe’s Story: How One Man’s Struggle Helped to Destigmatize Porn Addiction (VIDEO)

Two years went by and the only mentionable thing that happened is that my “habit” caused me to burn the only close friendships I had. And then, one day on Facebook, my brother shared a link for an FTND article: “Why Fighting for Real Love means Fighting Against Porn.”

I read that article, and then I read it again. I joined the email list because I knew I needed help, but I wasn’t willing to do the work just then. So the emails started stacking up. I know I was lucky for doing this. Lucky because when it came time to fight, I had a few years of stacked up emails to read through in order to strengthen or distract myself when I was struggling.

A year and a half later, I finally had enough of porn. I was finishing high school, and I was having some seriously depressive episodes. Bad sleep, wasting my life watching endless videos on YouTube and Facebook, apathy towards everything. Yet I think I was most lucky during this time.

Related: Would Pornography Still Be Harmful If It Didn’t Have Addictive Potential?

Around the time the depressive episodes got really bad, I started staying really late at a friend’s house, just talking to them. Eventually, I was able to trust someone else, and I could trust them with the secret that I knew was killing me. Another friend came along a few months later, and when I told her about my struggle, she was unphased by it. She was the first friend my age that was accepting and affirming of me, and who didn’t leave because of it. And I started to heal, though the first steps were not easy.

And then the cycles started. I tried getting out, and would have a few good months, then I would fall flat for a few months. Rinse and repeat. But slowly, I could open up to more people. I dragged my obsession kicking and screaming into the light. I am still not totally over this fight, but right now, I am now in a string of mostly good months.

Brain Heart World

Being brought back to reality

I’m ultimately writing to you, FTND, because today something happened that shocked me.

Sarah came back into my life for a brief moment. I haven’t seen her in over 5 years, but there is no doubt that it was her. I now work in the human resources department of a local company, and today there were several interviews. The very last one was Sarah.

I could hear some of her conversation with my boss for a few minutes after the interview, and I realized something. I had neglected that she was a real person. She mentioned that she had been with her boyfriend for five and a half years, while I had only seen her as a body for sex. For Sarah and so many other young women, some of which were porn performers, they were reduced and flattened, and their personalities ignored because I could only think about them as objects. They ceased to be human and became images in my mind.

Related: Positive Side-Effects From Quitting Porn, As Told By 90 Real Humans

Upon realizing what I had done, and have been doing all these years, I was sickened. Because that’s the truth: porn flattens people into images and ignores their humanity. I have to stop the objectification. And while the cycles might seem never-ending, I know that someday I will be free.

This past February, just before COVID struck, my brother got married. The biggest pick-me-up in this whole fight was seeing him with his bride on a day just for them. Yet they didn’t care about the venue or the crowd. They were just so full of joy at being with each other, loving each other. I cherish my memories of that night. While I am still single, I look to them and see real love. I look forward to the day when I might find someone I can love as he loves her.

I’m choosing to fight for real love. Fight against porn. Be free.

P.

Fortify

Not everyone will become addicted, but there’s hope if you are

The more you tell a story, the less power it can have over you. And the less power it has over you, the more it can become a source of power and hope rather than secrecy and weakness. For passionate Fighters like T, there is nothing more powerful than being open about past struggles, regardless of the situation. His story gives a face to a difficult topic that isn’t easily talked about.

RelatedTips To Quit: Why Setbacks Don’t Mean Failures

Whether it’s for yourself, your loved one, or for the world, ditching porn is worth it.

We fight for real love because we believe everyone deserves to live their best, healthiest life possible, and that includes being aware and understanding how pornography can take away from real-life experiences and healthy relationships—including the healthy relationship you have with yourself.

In the end, pornography can detract from all the great things life has to offer, and viewers deserve to know the truth: watching isn’t worth it.

And for those who do struggle, there is hope.

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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