This is my first post on this forum. To be honest, I'm not sure that this forum is the right place for me, because I don't think that abstinence from orgasm (through either masturbation or sex) is for me (even though I have read the science info on this site). That's not to take anything away from the people who are trying to give it up.
The reason I wanted to put a message on this forum was just to say that I'm grateful that there are people sharing their experiences of porn, because I've found it very helpful to know that there are others like me who are finding it difficult to give up.
A brief summary of my own experiences:
I've been looking at porn since being a teenager (I'm in my late 20s now). It's been more of an obvious problem for me ever since having the internet, because it's so accessible. Sometimes I feel like throwing my computer out the window, and probably would if I didn't need it for my work...
I've gone through phases of trying to give it up, this current phase of trying to quit has lasted well over two years. I usually manage about a week or maybe two without using porn, before slipping again. I get these overwhelming urges to look at it; I get preoccupied with sexual thoughts and images and eventually I end up giving into these urges.
As soon as I've done it, I feel like complete sh*t. Feelings after doing it include:
- Shame and self-disgust
- Guilt (e.g. if my girlfriend found out about it she would be devastated and it would almost certainly ruin our relationship; I'm a complete scum-bag for continuing to look at this stuff, etc.)
- Angry at myself for not having the strength to resist the urges
- Sometimes I feel low in mood for the whole next day, not really wanting to know anyone or speak to anyone, although sometimes I have mood swings where this low feeling alternates with a kind of 'high'
When I use porn it's like the higher part of my brain (the bit that does all the thinking and reasoning) completely shuts down, and only the part of my brain that's interested in porn is left functioning. Other people on this site have described it as like being a 'zombie.' That's exactly what it's like. If it wasn't for this mental shut-down, I don't think I'd be able to sit there and look at the stuff.
Just for the record, I don't look at any underage images or stuff like that - but I have unexpectedly come across them when using porn sites. When I see stuff like this it sickens me and I report it to the Internet Watch Foundation. I used to work with people who were survivors of child sexual abuse, and I'm very much aware of the effects it has on people throughout their adult lives. So it sickens me that even having coming across these horrific images isn't enough to stop me using porn. But it's like in the moment of using porn, I'm able to tune out all thoughts about why it's bad, so that I can get that temporary 'high,' even though I know how bad I'll feel afterwards.
Anyway, I'm determined to give it up one way or another. I think maybe I've been setting myself up to fail by telling myself (after just having used porn) that I'm never going to use it again, this is for real this time, etc... instead of taking it 'one day at a time.'
Good luck to eveyone on this forum who is also trying to quit.