After a few months of reading on this site, trying (and retrying) to reboot from PMO, I am coming out to introduce myself and join this community which has given me such hope about reclaiming my life from PMO.
I am a 39 yr old man who has come to the end of the road with pornography and masturbation. Looking back on my life, especially with the clear perspective that this site has given me (thank you SO MUCH Marnia and Gary!!), I see now that I have unknowingly squandered the best years of my life, all because of my addiction to porn.
My story starts late one night about 25 years ago. After watching a sexy, dubbed european soft core flick on one of the (scrambled) cable channels (anyone remember Cinemax?), I was literally drunk with lust and discovered masturbation for the first time.
That was in my mid teens. Since that night, it has been a daily habit. It soon escalated to videos (remember VHS tapes?) and magazines.
At the same time, I found girls increasingly unknowable and inaccessible. I didn’t have a girlfriend in High School. I had porn and masturbation.
Not surprisingly, I was a shy, withdrawn, depressed kid. When I was 21, my parents had had enough of my depressive, moping mood, and took me to a psychiatrist, who diagnosed me a depressive and prescribed anti-depressants. I took them daily for the next 13 years. As most of you know, they had a delightful set of sexual side effects, including inability to orgasm, which fueled my porn use even more as I desperately sought release. That’s when I really started to binge. All nighters with porn was not uncommon. At a time when other guys my age were out partying, meeting girls, having sex, I was lost in the shadows, isolated in a world of pornography and excessive masturbation.
I swear I single handedly (haha) bankrolled a few video stores through the 90s with all the Adult movie I rented. Looking back, the shame of being the young guy who came in daily for 2 - 3 new tapes every day meant little to me. I was an addict. The thrill of the quest cancelled out any reservations or hesitations. I needed my fix.
I barely had sex in my 20s. When I had money, I became a regular at strip clubs, and eventually started paying for sex with call girls -- as you can guess...not the best for my self esteem. This created a lifelong complex about my ability to attract girls. This feeling of inadequacy with meeting and attracting girls continued and grew until it became a constant, unquestioned angst that defines me today as a man. Through it all, I returned to pornography, daily, as my only solace.
Of all the damage pornography has done to me psychologically (isolation, anti-social behavior, misogyny, procrastination) and physically (sluggishness, serious ED issues), I think the greatest damage is how I NEED sexual novelty now to feel sexually fulfilled.
Through the (warped) magic of pornography, I have “been” with thousands of beautiful women. While others move towards the idea of intimacy and love, I have fixated on the idea of harems, of endless one night stands, bedposts with countless notches.
For the last 6 years or so, I have suffered textbook ED. It came to a point where, when I did find myself with a real girl, I would sneak off and take a Viagra or Cialis, and time it out so I knew I would be hard enough when I needed it. Premature Ejaculation has been common (since I’ve been off anti-depressants). It’s not pretty.
But during the last year, I fell in love with a wonderful girl. And with her, I was able to perform. Not always, but very often. Though I didn’t discuss my porn use with her at first, I was so happy that I could feel the love of a woman and have great sex without pills.
But it didn’t last. After a few months, I found myself waiting for her to leave so I could masturbate to porn. And this after a wonderful night or weekend of hot, romantic lovemaking!
To make matters worse, she moved away and we tried to keep it going long distance, with the plan that I would move also and we’d be together again. It was strained and with her gone, I found I was again slave to my need for novelty. I scanned every girl in sight, and if she was hotter than my girlfriend, my stomach stung with the resentful thought that I can’t have her because I am stuck in a relationship with this one woman. It got out of control. This inner turmoil became even more acute when I went to visit my girlfriend. I would see other girls I was more attracted to and my mood would darken and eventually, I just didn’t want sex with her. My moods were black and I pushed her away, despite her unending love and devotion to me.
She and I split up about 3 months ago. She won’t return any emails, texts. She is done with me.
Since then, I have realized more than ever how sick I am. I am an addict and I desperately need to heal. With her out of my life, I realize just how empty my life is. She has so many friends, is so active, so social. I have virtually no friends. I have no passions. My only passion has been collecting pornography. It has left me alone and impotent and hopeless.
So I really have no choice. It really feels like a life or death situation right now. Newly single and lonelier than ever, I realize that if I want even a chance at happiness and love again, I MUST ‘reboot’ and let my brain and my psyche heal.
It’s funny. I don’t even know who I am without porn and masturbation. I hope I am a good man who’s charming, warm, sensitive, social, passionate, driven, loving, sexy, and fun to be with. Anything would be better than who I am now.
So I start on my reboot. In the past few months, I’ve tried in earnest to be clean of pornography. The longest I went was 20 days. By finally starting to post on this wonderful site, I hope I will stay on track this time and go the distance. As I travel through my journey of healing, I hope to continue with posts that are more upbeat and hopeful.
Thanks for reading. And another sincere thanks to Marnia and Gary for their non-judgmental encouragement on this site and YBOP. It’s a lifeline.