True Story: I Watch Porn to Feel Loved and Wanted, But it Just Makes Me Feel Lonelier

By KC

Fortify

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.

Hi FTND team,

This is my story. I grew up in an abusive home where I didn’t know what love was. What my parents shared was not love. So, I went searching for love. Instead of real connection, I found what the world told me was love—sex.

I started by watching late night films in the hope that there would be sex in it. That moved on to going into my aunt’s house when she wasn’t home to watch certain scenes of movies she had which had simulated sex in them. This was all before I had even turned sixteen. When I went to college, I had unlimited and unchecked internet access for the first time ever. I started by watching films in which I knew there would be simulated sex and progressed to soft core pornography. That worked for a while…until it didn’t.

That’s when I searched for the hardcore stuff. I had an external hard drive and for every video I watched, I downloaded two so that I’d have something to watch when I was home for the summer. After a while, the hardcore stuff became boring, scripted, routine.

My “innocent” porn consumption started consuming me

By the time I was finishing my second year of college at twenty-one years old, I was locking the apartment doors and my own bedroom door in the apartment on a Friday when my flatmates left for the weekend at home, closing my curtains and just watching porn non-stop until they got home the Sunday evening again.

When the hardcore stuff stopped doing it for me, I started to search for simulated rape videos. When they ran their course, I tried to find actual rape videos. I would think about porn all the time. When I was in class, all I could think was that I couldn’t wait to go home and go back watching porn. It consumed me completely.

Through it all, the most common words I searched for were “love” and “romantic.” The thought was firmly in my head, that sex was equal to love, and I was desperate to find that love I was searching for. I knew porn was unhealthy but I didn’t know why. I didn’t understand about the value of every human being. I wish I had known.

I wish I had never watched anything like that, because the images I have seen are burned into my brain forever, and they pain me. There are mainstream TV shows and movies that I actually cannot watch because even the suggestion of sex in them is enough to bring images to my mind that make me feel physically sick.

On the other side of an obsession

I haven’t watched porn in just over five years now, but I still struggle. I struggle with the part of me that wants to watch, the part that wants to imagine all of that stuff. Thankfully, that part hasn’t won out and hopefully it won’t, but it doesn’t mean it’s gone away.

Pornography is not a joke or a pastime, it messes up your head completely until you are left in this empty pit of these disgusting images. I don’t know if I’ll ever completely overcome the desire to watch porn, but in the meantime, all I can do is say “no” every time the urges come.

It’s not just a guy issue

Porn is harming women, just like me! This huge and growing public crisis issue is getting attention, but it’s all about men’s porn habits. The fact is, it’s just as prevalent among women, we just don’t feel we can talk about it because porn is seen as a “man’s problem” and there must be something seriously wrong with any woman who watches (or reads or writes) it. Thankfully, I never got to the point of doing anything but watching and I’m so grateful for that at least, but there are so many women out there who suffer with this in silence.

I hear men and women with whom I work refer to porn as normal and natural to the extent that they’re sneaking their phones out to watch together and have a laugh over it without realizing the dangers that come with watching it. I have explained to colleagues the dangers of porn and what it does to the brain (not to mention all the exploitative aspects of the industry) and they laugh it off. Sometimes, I wish I could scream and just tell them that I know from experience how awful the effects are, but I don’t because I’m still embarrassed and ashamed to have had any association with this industry.

Keep fighting—you’re not alone

To any woman out there reading who struggles with this, I would say to keep fighting because it does get easier. You are not this disgusting creature that you might think you are, you are loved! You went down the wrong road for whatever reason but you’re fighting to come back, never stop trying, no matter how many times you fall. Search for genuine, authentic love not this fake promise of pleasure.

Speaking as a woman who has dealt with depression, suicidal inclination, self-harming tendencies, and pornography, the latter is the one that’s left the most lasting mark on me. And that’s why I fight.

T.

Why This Matters

We applaud this Fighter for continuing to recognize the harmful effects of porn even in the midst of a difficult struggle. This woman’s story is a reminder of how important real-life relationships are, and how vital healthy love is to someone’s well-being.

Research is continually showing how porn a huge negative impact on relationships. [1] As humans, we are hard-wired to have real relationships and build connections with others. We need the social interaction and sense of community, not the fake intimacy that pornography provides. The more people become hooked to pornography, the more they start missing out on building those connections.

Also, this true story perfectly illustrates how porn is an escalating habit. In this case, first, it was simulated sex in movies, then she moved on to hardcore porn and eventually sought out real videos of rape. You see, for a porn consumer to get the same excitement and arousal they used to feel when they first started looking at explicit material, many porn consumers need an even larger surge of dopamine than in the beginning; to get it, they have to look at more porn, look at porn more often, or look at more hardcore material. [2]

We fight because we believe people deserve better than the fake connections and escalating habit that porn can provide. To any guy or girl out there, reading this, here’s a message for you: YOU ARE NOT ALONE. We are fighting alongside you against the hollow, damaging love counterfeit that is porn.

Citations

[1] Flisher, C. (2010). Getting Plugged In: An Overview Of Internet Addiction. Journal Of Paediatrics And Child Health 46: 557–9; Layden, M. A. (2010). Pornography And Violence: A New Look At The Research. In J. Stoner And D. Hughes (Eds.) The Social Costs Of Pornography: A Collection Of Papers (Pp. 57–68). Princeton, NJ: Witherspoon Institute; Paul, P. (2007). Pornified: How Pornography Is Transforming Our Lives, Our Relationships, And Our Families. New York: Henry Hold And Co., 82; Kafka, M. P. (2000). The Paraphilia-Related Disorders: Nonparaphilic Hypersexuality And Sexual Compulsivity/Addiction. In S. R. Leiblum And R. C. Rosen (Eds.) Principles And Practice Of Sex Therapy, 3rd Ed. (Pp. 471–503). New York: Guilford Press.
[2] Angres, D. H. And Bettinardi-Angres, K. (2008). The Disease Of Addiction: Origins, Treatment, And Recovery. Disease-A-Month 54: 696–721; Zillmann, D. (2000). Influence Of Unrestrained Access To Erotica On Adolescents’ And Young Adults’ Dispositions Toward Sexuality. Journal Of Adolescent Health 27, 2: 41–44.

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