My Story: How I Got Hooked On Porn

From what I can tell, the way I first saw pornography is a little unusual.  When I was eight years old, my father came up from the basement with a box of magazines.  My stepmother had bought him a year’s subscription to Playboy, and after the subscription expired he tucked them away.

When he handed me the box, the message was something like “here son, you’re a man now.”  By that age I had seen some R rated sex, but nothing like this deluge of nudity and provocative content.  I was the only child of a single mother (I visited dad a few weeks out of the year) and for several reasons I was very lonely.  By eight, I understood society’s message very clearly that boys were not supposed to be close to other boys or men (because that meant you were gay and being gay was a bad thing) and that you could be close to girls and women, but only through sex.  The magazines connected head on with my desperation for closeness, to feel like a “real man”, to feel liked and wanted.

Within a few years the magazines turned from “soft” to “hardcore” (passed down from friends) and a few years after that it was explicit VHS tapes.  The internet exploded as I was leaving high school and within a few years I was lost in the endless expanse of online porn.  Year after year, internet porn seemed to become more violent, more extreme, more about men dominating women.  I did my best to avoid the worst of it but I became desensitized nonetheless.  I began to be aroused by things I wouldn’t have the year before.  It was hard to get sex off my mind and conversely it was getting harder to enjoy the parts of life that weren’t about sex (i.e. almost all of my life.)

In my early teens I started to suspect porn was bad for me.  I felt like it was warping my conception of sex and closeness, of love and the wonders of the human heart.  I spent from about fifteen to thirty-five years old trying to stop watching porn, and I successfully stopped about two years ago.  So just to reiterate – through most of the time I was looking at porn, I was actively trying to stop.  I made the decision to quit and then failed several hundred times.  The birth of my son helped to cement my resolve, to not stand by and allow his sexuality, (and the sexualities of other girls and boys) to also be hijacked by porn.  In 2014 I attended a conference on pornography and prostitution and decided to start this blog as a way to participate in creating an alternative to “porn culture” on the internet, and as a way to join the anti-porn movement more officially.

If you are a man who is struggling with porn – if you want to stop filling your mind with the sexist, violent, degrading messages of pornography, then I want to be in touch with you.  Wherever you are on the spectrum, whether you’re just starting to think about quitting porn and taking a stand or you’ve already been doing this for years, I want to have contact with you.  Men are the primary consumers of porn.  The industry and culture of pornography flourish mainly because we support it.  We need to let the world (and especially other men) hear our voices, our protest, our REFUSAL to allow this to continue.  The sex industry is a cunning PR machine and it has convinced hundreds of millions of us that porn is harmless entertainment, that it’s sexually liberating and that it is an important part of a person’s healthy sexuality.  I want to live through the era where we expose these ridiculous lies and take charge of the production and consumption of pornography as a society.  Please join me.

You can start by sharing your story with me, I may share parts of it on my blog (anonymously, of course).  Your story will help other men think about how and why they started watching porn and the effect it had on their life.

You can also join my mailing list (which I will never share with anyone).  As we grow in number, I will use this list to organize us and make our voices heard as men speaking out against porn.

Here’s a great video by Ran Gavrieli on why he stopped watching porn.

And here are some other men’s and women’s stories about porn addiction from AntiPornography.org.

To share your story with me, click here.

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