I'm Addicted To Porn

I'm Addicted To Porn

By Joshua Laurent 11/10/15

If you're too pathetic to be a sex addict, there's always porn addiction.

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I don’t consider myself a sex addict. I am a porn addict.

Sure, I was treated for sex addiction at an inpatient rehabilitation facility, but I’m just not sure that porn addiction equals sex addiction. Do you have an eating disorder if you eat normally, but crave food all day and watch cooking shows in every spare moment? I don’t think so, and I don’t think porn addiction is sex addiction either.

Sex addiction comes in all shapes and sizes. It may simply be the inability to keep from cheating on one’s spouse or using sex as a tool to fuel other addictions. It can be exhibitionism, voyeurism, sadomasochism and even stray into the illegal, darker stuff. These days, people who are addicted to viewing sexual behavior are lumped in the same group as those participating in it.

You know you’ve crossed a line when you see a traditional porn video and it can’t hold your attention the way it once did. 

I know sex addiction is real. Some of my closest friends are sex addicts and it sounds like a rough road to travel but I would have rather been a sex addict. There just seems to be a higher pay-off on the “risk vs. reward” quotient with sex addiction than porn addiction. I know plenty of sex addicts who have had consensual sex with many, many partners. Yes, it did take a toll on them, just like every addiction does, but at least they got to have real sex.

For some reason, I don’t cheat on my wife, nor do I want us to become swingers. I don’t get off on exposing myself to people or spying on them. The darker side of sex addiction has no place in my life.

I am not a sex addict. I am a porn addict. It is more pathetic than being a sex addict. I could say it is more noble, not as bad and I hurt fewer people than a sex addict, but I look at it as being a wimp. It’s not willing to commit. It’s about knowing what I want and still not being able to go after it. Sex, or at least physical intimacy from many women, was what I wanted, but what I never got.

I don’t know at what point a boy’s fascination with naked women takes a left turn while the average “healthy” boy stays on course. At five years old, I was encouraged by a 20-year-old woman to feel her breasts and I think it’s been the search for that rush of adrenaline—that high—that has made me a porn addict. I have come close at times, usually when I had a first-time sexual experience with someone, but I’ve come even closer pleasuring myself when I strike upon the perfect piece of pornography. With porn, there’s no courting period, no worrying, no rejection.

The problem in real life is, well, it’s real life. I’m an awkward guy who isn’t ugly, but isn’t particularly handsome. I’m neither fat nor thin, tall nor short. I’ve got the wit and mind that women love in their friends, but don’t need in their partners. In my relationships, the pattern has been the same: 1) A period of awkwardness during intercourse, 2) A similar period of comfortability, and 3) Growing weary of the same partner and the same routine. Once I figured out this wash, rinse, repeat cycle, I resigned myself to the fact I wasn’t going to be a particularly virile, nor confident sexual partner because once confidence was established, boredom was just around the corner.

In high school, I had a three foot tall stack of Playboy magazines and was regularly renting porn movies from the local video store, which didn’t seem to care that I was 15 years old. The women in these magazines and the videos weren’t like the girls at school. These were confident, beautiful women. They looked like the kind of woman I wanted to be with and they behaved in a way I wanted to behave.

If you would have told me at 15 that I would have been a sex addict at the age of 40, I would have believed you. If you told me I was going to be a porn addict, I would have wondered what happened that I couldn’t make the transition into actual sex with real girls. It would have seemed pathetic. It still does.

Aside from a very brief fling a year after getting married (which she knows about), I have not cheated on my wife. I have, however, fantasized about it every day that I’ve been married and know that without the ability to look at pornography and masturbate, I would have ended up destroying the marriage with infidelity. 

I have a bit of an obsessive/addictive personality. In my 30s, I became obsessed with work, often putting in 90-100 hours every week, even when I was drinking three times a day. Worst of all, though, was how my porn use skyrocketed.

You know something is starting to go wrong when you see any media with celebrities and wonder if you can find nude pictures of them on the Internet. You know something is further going wrong when you sit and stare at a computer screen at a couple agreeing to perform sexual acts on each other if the viewers would tip more money. You know it’s getting worse when you’re starting to actually pick up Italian and German words because of the amount of 1970s' porn you’re watching on YouTube, and you can identify certain director’s styles. It’s getting worse when you start talking to the women and couples in those cam-site rooms and get to know them to the point that they let you be the moderator.

You know you’ve crossed a line when you see a traditional porn video and it can’t hold your attention the way it once did. You know there’s a problem when you’re trying to figure out how to funnel money from your bank account to Visa Cash Cards so there is no trace should you decide to pay money to certain websites. Something’s gone wrong when you need to sneak a peek of porn at work or at home with other people in the room. It’s further getting away from you when things that would normally make you shudder are needed for any sense of arousal. It’s starting to go off the deep end when you begin fantasizing about finding a partner other than your wife and starting cam-site shows. It’s completely gone off the deep end and it’s time to seek help when you pleasure yourself so much you rub yourself raw and it hurts to masturbate, but you can’t stop.

And the whole time this is going on, nobody knows. Nobody suspects a thing. They just think you’re a workaholic who is an eccentric drunk and can turn anything into a double entendre.

Once my alcoholism got me fired, I went to my first rehab. It was there and through the counsel of two therapists that I came to understand just how out-of-control my porn habit was. If I wasn’t working or drinking, I was online looking at porn. With only 24 hours in the day, I was usually doing two of those things at the same time. I almost lost my family and did lose many friends. I checked into a rehab for sex addiction in Texas and have come out the other side with more knowledge of my issues surrounding porn addiction, but with the realization that it’s harder to beat than my workaholism or alcoholism has been. Maybe it was my worst addiction and I didn’t realize it.

Still, I can’t help but wonder if I had a few affairs along the way, or if I purchased a prostitute now and then, if none of this would have happened. If I’m really a sex addict, why couldn’t I be addicted to sex, like the label says? Nope, I’m not a sex addict. I’m a porn addict.

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