Tales of ex-porn addicts

Porn is everywhere. What used to be a big money maker, turned into a free industry available anytime and anywhere thanks to the internet.

Looking back at old movies, it’s always funny to see scenes of a young guy hiding his porn magazines and videotapes from all of his friends. Today, it’s considered as something anybody just kind of looks at one point or another.

Until it goes too far…

“I decided to stop watching porn when I realized I sometimes had to fantasize about porn scenes to get off during sex, says Andrew, a 26-year-old male from Madison, WI. Given that watching porn is pretending to have sex, I was essentially pretending to pretend to have sex while having sex. Pretty silly, right?”

The situation seems silly and even scary, but the reality is there are tons of people just like him.

Browsing through Reddit, one can find supporting groups for porn addicts testifying the extent of the situation. But, why don’t we talk more about it? Why do we know so little about it? What is porn addiction, really?

“Porn addiction is a model that has been created to explain or help people make sense of compulsive sexual behaviors, says Rob Peach, a sex therapist from Toronto, Canada. The concept of porn addiction is NOT a clinically validated evidence-based approach and scientifically proven phenomena. That is not to say that some individuals don’t struggle to regulate or limit their use of porn, however, to label this use as an addiction is not something that we have the evidence to do at this point. As such, we can’t say that someone watching porn for 2 hours a week is addicted.”

If we can’t quantify it, it’s no wonder why so many are confused and ask, “how much porn is too much”.

A second world

And our digital age doesn’t make it easy for Millennials. On the one hand, the internet is a blessing for our generation as it provides us with an instant connection to everything. But it also has a dark side as browsers can quickly lose themselves in a sea of links.

Nowadays, it is easier to text, keep in touch online and to passively consume rather than actively pursue.

It might sound excessive, but in the digital age, the stress and disappointments of life are practically none existent and the convenience of this second world has altered some Millennials’ behavior, both socially and sexually.

“Staying at home, I was shy, had no friends, no female contacts. I was afraid to invite some distant friends to my room because I assumed they would have smelled the stink of old semen. Also, my social abilities didn’t develop very well obviously, staying all day home”, says Charles, 22, when recalling how his porn addiction affected him when growing up in Darmstadt, Germany.

“For me, it wasn’t about crazy, unrealistic sex that I couldn’t get in real life, says Bryan, a 20-year-old man from Fresno, CA. Most of the porn I watched would probably be considered for women and was more romantic. It was a substitute for human intimacy and connection when I wasn’t getting any for real.”

According to the sex therapist, Rob Peach, people who struggle with porn use often have difficulties regulating their emotions and struggle to control their urges and behaviors. Many use porn to cope with anxiety, improve their mood or avoid painful emotions or situations.

“I think that porn was addictive to me because it was a way out of my shitty life, says Jones, a 19-year-old male from Malmö, Sweden. Together with porn, I was addicted to computer games and cannabis. Porn was a pause, a moment of self-fulfilling in an apartment shared with a highly irrational alcoholic father.”

Life as a 50-year-old Millennial…

However, the problem is this escape is temporary and eventually does more harm than good. In 2008, Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare conducted a survey on male-female relations. They found that 11.8 percent of men between the ages of 20-24-year-old had no interest in sex or have an aversion to it. Dr. Kunio Kitamura, an obstetrician and gynecologist, has treated young men who complain of erectile dysfunction, a condition that typically affects males over the age of 50.

Jones knows this situation well. One night, after consuming lots of drugs, he tried to masturbate without watching porn, as he was too high to keep his eyes open. “I started masturbating, but after a couple of minutes I realized, it didn’t work, he remembers. I tried so hard until my arm started hurting. This is when I had a breakdown, I started crying at the thought that I could not achieve an erection.”

Getting out of the situation

Identifying the problem is the first step to getting out of situation, but resisting is the hardest. Each of our interviewees admitted it wasn’t an easy road, but all feel better.

The changes noticed included a better mood, more confidence with people and women (especially for those who are virgin), and a better sex life.

“Quitting has improved my sex life enormously, says Andrew. Sex is more engaging and satisfying. It’s something I share with my girlfriend rather than something I watch other people do.”

Though there is no clear way of identifying porn addiction, Rob Peach says that when porn use is having adverse consequences in one’s life, there might be an issue. While doing it alone and visiting online supporting groups on a platform like Reddit might work for some, others would need a sex therapist who would help them to “develop strategies to cope with thoughts and urges, rather than feel controlled by them”, according to Peach.

Either way, there is a way out and our four interviewees are the proof of that.

Tales of ex-porn addicts

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About The Author
- Erika is a journalist and the founder of MadlyJuicy. After having worked for major media in Europe, the West Indies and Canada, she finally decided to create MadlyJuicy to inspire career-driven Millennials.

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