New here, and figured I'd give the blogging thing a shot. I'm writing this partially for my own benefit and partially for others to comment on.
Anyway, I found this site by way of yourbrainonporn.com, which I found in turn by way of Men's Health magazine.
In short, here's why I'm here and what I'm hoping to gain.
I'm 24 years old and I've never had a healthy relationship. I didn't kiss a girl until I was almost 22 years old. I "lost" my virginity when I was 23 - a friend was visiting, and we tried to have sex, but I didn't finish. I don't know whether it was alcohol (I was drunk), or porn, or some underlying anxiety. I also recently broke up with my first girlfriend - after several months. I'm still wondering whether it was the right thing to do.
I'm worried about my inability to form relationships with women. I've always been great at getting in the "friend zone" but I've never been able to make a deeper connection. This is in spite of the fact that I've had opportunities with a number of women that I considered very attractive at the time.
There was always a combination of two feelings:
First, that I wasn't attractive enough to be in a relationship with them - in spite of the fact that these women didn't seem to think so. The first "relationship" I had was with a lovely girl I met at a college party. We ended up making out on a dance floor, and I called her the next day. We had a two-hour conversation over breakfast a few days later, and things were going swimmingly. I still remember the jolt I felt when I heard what she had said to a mutual friend: "If I hook up with anyone here, it's going to be him." What a rush!
Second, I would spend a lot of time building up a girl in my mind, and getting to know her as a friend. I would have a crush on her in secret, but as soon as a girl reciprocated any interest at all, I would bolt. This happened with the aforementioned girl, too. I had a chance with her, but I worried too much - I'm graduating in a few months, there's no point in hurting her, I don't want to lead her on. She caught on before I did, and I was shocked and hurt when she stopped answering my calls or texts.
I don't know why I always run from girls that I've spent so much time imagining a relationship with. It's maddening, really. I'm hoping that I'll gain some clarity and insight from this.
As an aside: I also smoke and drink regularly - more often than I admit to most people. I realize this is a problem. My goal is to kick this addiction first, and then deal with the others.
Anyway, my tragic narrative: as best I can recall, my introduction to porn began innocuously. I would watch HBO or Cinemax in 6th grade, or look at my parents' book on sex in secret. Eventually, I discovered masturbation. I learned sooner than I was ready to about ejaculation, and began masturbating and trying to ejaculate. It happened at some point. I also discovered the internet, and quickly found stranger types of pornography - anime, or lesbian porn, or any number of things. When I was in high school, I would masturbate multiple times per day - sometimes up to four.
By high school, I was still mainly looking at images - we had dial-up internet. Things got progressively 'weirder' and I found myself wondering about all of the fetishes I developed. The strange thing - perhaps familiar in these parts - was that my fetishes escalated rapidly. What did it for a few months eventually failed to satisfy, and I was onto the next flavor of the month. I didn't discover streaming videos until college.
Throughout college, thanks to the sudden availability of high-speed internet, my porn use continued to escalate. I didn't masturbate every day, and for a few years, I gave up masturbation for Lent (raised in a Christian household). But at the end of the 40 days, I was back to where I started.
At the same time, I never dated. I always assumed that girls were out of my league, and never had enough confidence to approach them at parties. I continued to just be friends with girls that I was attracted to, and hoping vainly that something would develop.
Like I said, I didn't kiss a girl until I was 21 years old. My first "kiss" was something of a joke - me, my roommate, and a girl were in an elevator at the library, having knocked back a few beers, when we decided it would be funny to make out in the elevator. I kissed a girl for the first time. It was a boost, but the artificial setting detracted a bit. A few months later, I kissed another girl, after she basically hit me over the head: we were sitting on a bench, with her straddling me, and me failing to catch the hint. Eventually, we made out for a bit, before I declared "okay, hop off" - and we went back to the bar. Who does that?
A few weeks later, my first real "relationship" popped up. I met a girl at a party and we ended up in my bed fooling around. She said she had no interest in sex, and I was perfectly fine with that. But I got her number, and I tried to "date" her for a few weeks. Something didn't feel right - I was worried about committing to her. She was younger, and I was about to graduate. I began fearing the development of anything further, telling myself that I didn't want to hurt her when I moved on that summer. I made it clear to her that I wasn't interested in commitment, and that she was my first "girlfriend" at about 22. Funny thing: when you vehemently insist to a beautiful girl that you have no intention of dating her long term, she gets the hint and moves on. But I found myself shocked and in the lurch.
I moved on to graduate school. I was still around beautiful women, but I didn't make a move. I told myself that it was a small environment (business school, that is), and that dating these girls was asking for trouble. Still, at the same time, I noticed all sorts of beautiful girls around me, and pined after them, cursing that fate had put me in a place where relationships just weren't meant to be.
In my second year of business school, I had a chance with a girl that I considered one of the most beautiful ones around me. She was a beautiful Mediterranean girl from a big city. I bought her a drink one night, put my hand on hers, and ended up making out in a parking lot. It was more than I ever expected!
A few months later, I bolted. I was nervous around her, and quieter than my usual self. I'm usually pretty chatty, and I make a lot of jokes and puns (I consider them funny; some may disagree). Around her, I was nervous - I always felt like she was anxious to make out and fool around, and I did my level best to preclude that from happening. (Again: WHO DOES THAT?)
An anxious wreck, I broke it off. I told her I didn't see myself in a long-term relationship with her, and I knew that commitment was important to her. I regretted it a few days later. I don't know if I missed the cuddling and making out, or if I just loved the pure, unrivaled ego boost of knowing that such a beautiful girl could ever be interested in me. Either way, I still doubt myself. I think there's a chance to pick it back up, but I'm afraid. I'm afraid that as soon as I know I've "hooked" her, I'll run again. I'm afraid of using a girl that I care about for an ego trip. And I'm afraid that I'll never have a relationship. I can accept, for the sake of argument, that true love isn't a fairy tale. But when I look at all of the people around me, apparently happy with each other, I can't help but wonder what's wrong with me. I really want to feel that connection. I accept that relationships are hard work, and I accept that the initial "spark" might fade, but something keeps all of them going. Why not me?
I'd like to blame it on something. Maybe I'm insecure about my looks. Like I said, I've had multiple chances with women that I objectively considered to be very beautiful, and they've never complained. Or maybe I'm just not "ready" to settle down, given my late start at the dating game.
I just don't know. And that's why I'm here. I figure I'll give this a shot. I've read all of the encouraging accounts of people rebooting and having renewed confidence and interest in the fairer sex. I'm skeptical - I overanalyze things to a fault. But I'm hopeful. I'm hoping that I'll be able to find a deeper relationship, and a longer-lasting fulfillment, than alcohol or tobacco or porn can provide. I figure there's not a whole lot to lose. On the outside, I'm a very successful young professional. I get great grades, and I have a dream job lined up for the summer. But there's something missing. I want to feel good about myself. I want a girl that I'm in love with. I want to know that, no matter what happens with my career, I've got a special someone waiting at home at the end of the day.
So that's my predicament. I'm going to give it a try. If I don't feel better after 90 days, the porn certainly isn't going anywhere.
Man! That all felt good to get out. So, here's a toast - a vodka tonic to the depths of the internet - to a brighter future. Cheers, comrades, and here's hoping it gets better.