30 DAYS WITHOUT PORN
Have you tried ditching porn? This #NoPornovember, we're challenging you to give up porn for 30 days and see what happens. Click here to learn more about this challenge, and click here to check out our friends at Fortify, a free recovery platform for teens and adults.

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.


I was molested as a toddler, though I don’t remember it.

For about two years, in elementary school, I was made fun of daily by the entire class. This left me with a feeling as though I wasn’t wanted. I’ve carried this around for the rest of my life. On the surface, I am a kind, pretty good-looking, and confident guy and you would have no idea that I rarely feel accepted or as an equal.

When I was in high school, I was too afraid to talk to girls even though I knew that some liked me. I couldn’t bear the thought of being judged and rejected. I used porn to cope with my issues. Porn couldn’t reject me.

The beginning of a vicious, toxic, secret cycle

I was introduced to porn via VHS as young as 10 years old. As an adult with internet access, I viewed porn between 2-4 hours every night. At first, I viewed your normal man/woman porn but the more I viewed it the more I looked for unusual stuff: threesomes, gangbang, bondage, rape porn and eventually child porn. I couldn’t believe that I actually looked at that awful stuff. I panicked and downloaded programs to wipe my hard drive.

I wanted to get help but I was scared that if I told anyone that police would show up at my door. I vowed to never look at that stuff again. Months would go by, and I would find myself doing the same thing all over again. This became a cycle.

RelatedViewing Child Abuse Images: Paedophile or Addicted to Porn?

I’m not a pedophile, I’m attracted to adult women. I was just so addicted to porn that the high I was getting could only be achieved by viewing content that was unusual and “taboo.” I’m not gay, but I viewed bisexual and gay porn. I’m not into animals, but I viewed bestiality porn. This is what porn does—it warps your sexual template to be interested in things you would never naturally be into.

I didn’t know what to do, so I ignored it and tried to live as a good person and carry around the guilt. I never felt like a good person even when I’d receive praise from others, I knew that if they knew all about me, they wouldn’t want to know me.

The day I knew it was all over

One morning, I heard a loud bang bang bang on my front door. I looked out of my window and saw 4 police cars and I could hear that some were already inside my house. I grabbed my pistol and tried to convince myself to swallow a bullet. Self-preservation took over and I put the gun down. I told them that I thought I was being robbed.

Related: Letter From A Sex Offender: How I Went From Vanilla Porn To Child Porn

They told me that they had tracked my IP address and had a warrant to search and seize my electronic devices. They read me my rights and asked if I wanted to talk. I told them that I wanted to get a lawyer. They didn’t arrest me at the time. The man in charge asked me if I had suicidal thoughts. I lied to his face and told him that I didn’t but I was planning my suicide while he talked to me.

Fessing up, and accepting responsibility

I drove to my sister’s house and told her everything, I told my friends and family. Some left but to my, surprise, some stayed. I started going to treatment months ago while I wait for charges to be filed.

I’ve learned so much about porn and addiction since all of this started. I thought I was a sex fiend but since I stopped looking at porn, I objectify less and less. For the first time in years, I feel like a wholly good person. It’s ironic because I’ll be viewed as a monster now.

Related: How To Report Child Porn If You Or Someone You Know Sees It Online

I could easily wallow in self-pity but the truth is that I’m thankful that someone intervened. If you are struggling with a porn addiction and don’t know where to turn because you might have viewed something illegal, contact a criminal defense lawyer and talk to them. They can help you get help without fear of going to prison.

As for me, whatever I go through will be less than what those girls on screen have gone through. After that, whatever it may be, I am plan on a new porn-free life full of fishing, hiking, and adventures with my friends and family.

P.

Why this matters

While not every porn consumer will end up turning to illegal content, many do. This is why we raise awareness that porn is anything but harmless, personal entertainment. In too many cases, the porn consumer ends up becoming consumed by their porn.

Dr. Julie Newberry is a psychologist who has worked with patients who have stories like the one above. In an article for PsychReg, she writes: “My therapeutic experience is that a person who views child abuse images, though committing a sexual offense, is not necessarily a paedophile. A paedophile has a primary sexual interest in children. I suggest that for some people, it is porn addiction rather than paedophilia, which is the cause. A person, usually a man, who has no sexual interest in children, can find himself ‘crossing the line’.”

RelatedUnderstanding The Booming Underground Industry Of Child Sexual Exploitation

She continues on to describe her experience, saying, “[My clients] didn’t go onto the internet with the intention of looking at child abuse images, but nevertheless ended up there. They couldn’t understand why they continued to do something that disgusted them and which they knew was illegal. I suggest that each of them became desensitized to mild porn and sensitized to extreme porn. Their higher thinking brain, compromised by addiction, could not win the battle, even when it came to viewing child abuse images. Porn sex was too powerful a need and withdrawal too difficult.”

RelatedHow Child Sexual Exploitation & The Adult Entertainment Industry Are Linked

Thankfully, there’s hope and help for those who want it.

Need help?

For those reading this who feel they are struggling with an obsession or addiction to pornography, you are not alone. Check out our friends at Fortify, a recovery-focused platform that will allow you take a step toward freedom. Anyone 17 years and younger can apply for a free scholarship to the site, and it's an inexpensive fee for anyone 18 and older. There is hope—sign up today to get the help you need and join with an encouraging community.

Get Involved

A porn habit doesn’t stop where it starts. SHARE this post and get the word out that porn is a habit that escalates to dangerous territoriy.

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