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What Drove This U.S. Marine to Decide to Stop Watching Porn

By June 5, 2019 No Comments
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We sat down with an active duty Marine to hear his journey of heavy porn consumption, completely ditching it, and the changes he has seen in himself throughout his experience.

Preferring to go by the name “Clark Kent,” he expressed how he wanted to have people hear his story. “My journey has been rough, but I’m in such a good place now. I absolutely love my life, and I want everyone to feel this way and find this freedom.”

Kent’s unique story inspires us and speaks to many people’s situations—first experiencing failed attempts at quitting porn, he finally discovered the key ingredients, he says, to stopping and never looking back.

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It all started on the school bus.

“It started with Playboy mags in 5th grade,” Kent explains. “My friend brought his dad’s subscription issues on the school bus. It turned digital about a year after that. I began searching for Playboy pictures on our computer at home when I was alone. I printed images off and hid them to look at in my room at night.”

“As time went on, it escalated from pics to videos and increased in regularity. I would also search for skimpy material on the television like MTV, but have the History Channel at the ready so I could switch to it as soon as my parents came in,” he confessed. “By late middle school, it was a constant, regular part of my life routine.”

Related: Marines Investigated For Sharing Explicit Photos Of Female Soldiers In Facebook Group

“From middle school all the way into my early military career, from age 12 to about 25, I never consciously thought it was [unhealthy], but I was always embarrassed about it. I felt like I was hiding something.”

Porn’s real-life effects.
FTND: How did porn affect the way you related to women?

Clark Kent: “I mean, you start looking at women and the first thing you see is their breasts and vaginas…even though they are fully clothed. Every woman is that kind of object. I compartmentalized women into 1) women I should respect, and 2) women who were like porn. So girls I tried to hook up with, I justified objectifying them by treating them in my mind as the same thing as porn. But girls I wasn’t trying to get with—they deserved respect. I always thought ‘yeah, I respect women,’ but it was only those I didn’t lump in with porn as sex objects.”

Related: U.S. Military Veterans Join The Fight Against Child Sexual Abuse Images

FTND: How did porn consumption affect the way you viewed yourself?

CK: “I had so much bad training on what intimacy is—I never saw my parents be intimate in any way. And then all the porn trained me to see intimacy (my understanding of it at the time) as digitized and transactional. So my expectations for a real, lasting relationship that would end in marrying somebody were that sex wouldn’t really be part of it. Like sex and ‘intimacy’ happen in porn and cheap sex and flings, then you give it up for marriage.”

The mental middle ground.

“Early in my Marine Corps days, my thoughts about porn started to shift,” Clark explained. “When I got to a place in life where I wanted a real, legit relationship—things got difficult. I was trying to have a relationship, but none of them were working out. Honestly, I was really, really lonely. I tried smothering the loneliness with porn, but that did not help. Not at all. I realized something had to change, that a girl worth keeping wouldn’t want this in my life, and I didn’t want it anymore either.”

“I wanted to quit and tried quitting porn for about two years. I sometimes went a while without PornHub but would supplement with mature music videos and objectifying women I saw,” he said.

Related: Porn In The U.S. Armed Forces: How Explicit Content May Be Influencing Military Culture

“The relationships I had during that period of time all failed. I was even engaged at one point, and it got broken off.”

FTND: So you had a long stretch of time when you were trying to quit porn. When did you quit for good?

CK: “I met the girl who is now my wife. I knew I wanted to be with her forever. She was hanging out at my house and saw a video on my YouTube stream on my iPad with girls in really skimpy clothes. When she brought it up, I was so embarrassed and realized that stuff put a barrier between me and the girl I loved. That was it. I knew I had to make a choice between those porn girls and the girl I wanted.”

Normalizing Abuse Isnt Normal

The secret ingredients.

“Two things made the difference for me,” Clark said.

“First, love. People say you have to make changes for yourself. And that’s true, but I think the most powerful incentive is real love. When you really love another person, you’ll do anything to not lose her, and to not hurt her. Love brings someone else into your journey—you aren’t doing it alone anymore.

Second, honesty with myself. I feel like deep down everybody knows porn isn’t a good thing, really. The difference between acting on that and keeping it buried is the motivation to be honest with yourself, the decision to take an honest look and do what’s best for your life and for those you love.”

RelatedDoes Porn Really Decrease Rates Of Sexual Assault?

FTND: How do you keep your motivation to stay porn-free?

CK: “The proof is in the carnage on the battlefield when porn is in your life and the victory you experience when you ditch it. Sorry, gotta throw a military analogy in there. It’s honesty again. In that moment of thinking porn would feel nice, you look honestly at the big picture of then vs. now. I have a very healthy, wonderful marriage now. I am very in love with my wife. I’m not lonely anymore. And there is more and better sex than I thought would be part of marriage. My life is so much better now with a woman I adore and who loves me back than when I turned to porn for ‘intimacy.’ Of course, now I see that wasn’t intimacy at all. So it just is not worth going back.”

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FTND: What would you say to guys or girls trying to figure out what they think about porn?

CK: “Groupthink makes it seem cool, and that appeals to the weakness in all of us, which enables us to side with the internal voice that says it’s fine and ignore the part of us that knows it’s wrong. So be honest with yourself and don’t give into that groupthink.

Related: This Disturbing Porn Site Fantasizes The Real Rape Problem Among Central American Migrants

If you’re reading this, there is part of you that thinks porn isn’t what sex is about. You probably have both voices inside you. Take a minute and honestly think about who is influencing each voice. If society is influencing the porn-is-fine voice—well, society has thought many things over human history that have been proven wrong. I would be willing to bet that if you thought hard about the ditch-porn voice, it’s influenced by people you respect and want to become more like.”

FTND: Thanks, Clark Kent.

CK: “No problem… This isn’t a superhero story. Anything is possible if you set your mind to it and let love drive you. You can be Clark Kent or Bruce Wayne or Kathy Kane, or whatever. You got this.”

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