Wow! First of all, thanks to Marnia for all your years of research and dedication. Thanks to all that have participated and shared their lives and thoughts in this discussion.
It's amazing how the internet can keep one closed (i.e. porn addiction) or connect with others (i.e. forums like these).
Anyhow, I never realized I was an addict. I just thought this was normal. I use to masturbate on average once a day. It really depended on my mood. I had no idea I was self-medicating myself. But to tell you the truth, I was starting to get sick of porn and finding out this website just gave me more reasons to quit this addiction. I was like a drug addict who hit a wall. I just did it because I knew it would make me feel better. I've been doing this for 20 years now and looking back i realized that all the problems I have now started when I got in to the habit of masturbating daily. I had some social anxiety and never made any real good friends. However, I view myself as a great guy that has lots to offer women, but I just lacked the confidence. Everyday I would feel hopeless and depress. I wanted a girlfriend badly and looked at that as a source of happiness. But I felt it was hopeless because I felt hopeless and insecure about my lack of sexual experience. I am in my mid-30's and never had a girlfriend. I had some great opportunites but my insecurity pushed them away. I regret this.
However, last summer I had a relationship with a girl. We are no longer together because it was a long distance affair. The good thing is that experience allowed me to see how my porn appetite translated into my sexual appetite in bed. The girl I slept with was quite attractive. So I found it unusual that I had a hard time getting hard and having an orgasm. Looking back I noticed I got off with her just like the way I masturbated to porn. All I was concerned with was having an orgasm rather than bonding. I feel ashamed because I don't see myself as that kind of person. But it all makes sense now. That was the only way I knew how to get off. Not that that is an excuse.
I have been abstinent for 6 days and have noticed some positive changes. I feel more happy, I have more energy, I feel much more confident and feel good in general. I felt like a real loser jerking off to porn everyday. But now I feel great because I know I don't need it. I do get the urge some times but not all that much. I think its because I know that I'm going to get better as time goes by just like most people here have mentioned. It actually gets me excited that my life is changing and being aware of those changes gives me more confidence.
The advice here is good. I don't have a girlfriend and had very few sexual relationships. A lot of people here mentioned that they feel lonely and long for a girlfriend. I felt the same way but I've changed my mindset. To me, I don't look at woman as a source of happiness. I have so many other things and people in my life that make me happy. When it comes down to it, my life and my happiness is the most important thing in my life. I'm just going to enjoy the things I like to do. If women want to join me, even better. Because I wholeheartedly believe that if you focus on who you are, people will find that attractive and will want to join you.
I hope everyone here gets better and enjoys the beauty of life.