I can still remember the feeling I got when I first saw porn. It was like someone shot electricity through my body, I couldn’t believe how amazing it felt. It all came from looking at something on a screen and I loved it. Just after that first experience, I remember hearing a joke on a popular TV show I watched. A girl had found her boyfriend's secret porn stash, and called him out on it. After some argument, they decided that it was it was his genetic right as a man to look at porn. It wasn’t his fault, it was evolution.
A lightbulb went off in my head.
This was awesome. I had found this thing that gave me the most incredible rush and it was perfectly fine. I had evolved this way and as a growing boy, I was supposed to look at this stuff. I even decided it was good for me. So I went on my merry way and dove headfirst into porn.
At first, things were fine. At least, I didn’t notice anything negative. Then the electricity started to fade. I spent more time watching porn, always searching for something new. The latest and greatest, bigger, better, sexier. I would find a new thing, a new site, a new star, a new type, a new fetish, a new anything, and the rush would come back.
Yes! I thought. I found it. This is my thing. This is what I’m “into”.
Every single time, the rush would fade and I would go back to searching. Turns out, my thing was newness and novelty. I literally only wanted what I didn’t have. I could never hold on to it and it would slip through my fingers.
Eventually I started to notice changes in the rest of my life as well. I started to care less about my old hobbies, I was less motivated in school, I spent less time with my friends. I even stopped dating. Which I remember thinking was so weird. I started watching porn because I thought it would make me this irresistible masculine bachelor. Like, it would teach me all the “tricks”. Mostly, I just became disinterested and uninstersing.
It was like all the colour and taste got sucked out of my life. That’s is when I realized I was getting really depressed.
I’m not sure which came first, the depression or the anxiety but they often feel like two heads on the same monster. It didn’t take very long before I started a very destructive cycle.
Anytime pressure, stress or negativity came into my life I wouldn’t know how to handle it. I would get lost and anxious. Instead of dealing with my problems I would go to porn to try to find that warm electric glow till it pulsed through my veins and let me forget. But even that stopped working. I needed more to shut out all the pain but my well was running dry. It was like I was trying to plug into an empty battery.
The crazy thing is, this entire time I never thought the problem could be porn. I started going to counselors and taking medication. They helped a little but I never realized that I had started self medicating years ago.
I even remember seeing a buddy post a picture in a “Porn Kills Love” T-shirt and thinking he was an idiot. He was just fighting evolution. I almost unfollowed him. I’m really glad I didn’t.
Then that same friend posted a video where an actor, Terry Crews, talked about his “Dirty Little Secret”. The first thing I thought was “Has Terry Crews done porn”? I remember getting ready to scour the internet to find it. Of course, my pornified brain looked for porn in everything. Then I watched the video. It was not what I expected. Terry Crews talked about how his porn addiction had impacted his life and relationships.
The lightbulb I had been using to illuminate my view of the world flickered and went out. I knew porn was ruining me.
Now, trying to stop has not been easy. That was another huge wakeup call, I realised the intense hold porn had on me. Now when I hear guys say it isn’t a big deal I tell them to try and go 30 days without watching and then get back to me. I’m on my way though. Thanks to Fortify and Fight The New Drug.
Youssef’s story is not unique. Anyone who has dealt with some level of dependency to pornography has noticed that their usage and tastes have escalated. Not only does porn portray totally unrealistic expectations for sex and relationships, it fuels our need for new content. Unlike a relationship that can support you and reciprocate your feelings, porn leaves you empty. The only way to keep the fire burning is to seek more and more. This is a deadly combination as it is completely unsustainable in real life.
Sure, trying new things is great, but healthy positivity and connection can never be based on what you don’t have. Balance and recovery are found in learning to enjoy the simple things again.