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Cameron: Stories of Recovery

Updated: Sep 30, 2020

I was 9 years old when I was first showed pornography. Even though I didn’t go looking for pornography until I was eleven, That first image would come back to me. It would come back when i would listen to music that mentioned breasts, or when I saw something stimulating on T.V. It would come back with a feeling of excitement and almost a longing. 

Years after having these feelings over and over again I was alone one night in my room with my dad’s laptop. I searched google for “girls boobs”.  There was instant excitement, only enhanced by the secrecy. 

Soon the fear of being caught led me to close the internet browser and return my dad’s laptop. I thought about these images over and over for the next few days. Looking for an opportunity to see them again. This opportunity was whenever there was a babysitter around. The babysitter would have us watch a movie, I would watch a different movie, in my room with my dad’s laptop. I came to really look forward to when my parents would have their date night.  This went on for the next few months, until one day instead of a picture it was a video. The video was so exciting. Pictures paled in comparison to the video. Almost a year latter I was sitting at lunch with my friends. One of my friends started talking about “jacking of”. He talked about watching T.V. late at night and stroking himself. This peaked my interest. The next time there was a babysitter I masturbated to pornography for the first time. Mixing the physical pleasure with the images that I watched. My pornography use went on pretty much unaltered through my teenage years. I used quite frequently, especially as my access to the internet increased. I felt guilty about watching the videos and did not want anyone to find out about my usage, but I did not know why. My friends all talked about watching things on PornHub, It was just what guys do. Even TV shows like Friends talked about using pornography.  I was 15 years old when we first started hanging out. Ashlee was her name. I did not notice in the moment but once I met her my pornography usage dropped.  We started to date, about a month in I used pornography for the first time. I felt more shame than I had ever felt before. I immediately knew I needed to keep it secret from Ashlee.   I was only able to keep it a secret for a few months. One day Ashlee went to use my phone and when she opened my browser it was on a pornography site. I felt so shameful. Instantly it changed the way she viewed me. Wondering why I was watching some of the things I was. At this point I was watching some pornography that was level 4 (non-consensual). This freaked her out and led to the undoing of our relationship.  The fear of the reputation attached to this level of pornography i was commuted to stop watching this level of pornography. This battle went off and  on for nearly a year. I would go for a few weeks without using and then binge. Soon the time away became shorter then the binges. Eventually I just accepted that pornography use was natural. I was 19 and in college when I met someone new. She was amazing. I was so excited to be in the first stages of a relationship. Our relationship progressed over the next few months. Being in a relationship increased the guilt I felt for watching pornography. My use decreased significantly.  Four months into our relationship we tried to have sex for the first time. I was unable to get an erection. It was so embarrassing. She was obviously confused, and disappointed. Immediately she took it personally, like I just wasn’t attracted to her.  When I got home that day I opened my computer and immediately I had an erection. I found an article online in Time Magazine talking about young men experiencing Pornography Induced Erectile Dysfunction. I learned about the NoFap movement. I was ready. I sought help from a Pornography Addiction Counselor. I learned about how pornography use has shaped my view of sex. These few months have been the turn around for me. I felt ready to reevaluate what I thought about sex and subsequently relationships. This has not been an easy fight. I am changing the way I see people. My counselor helped me to see that this was much bigger than just my use of pornography.  I could not just avoid pornography and hope for a change. I had to consciously work on the way that I see others.

This conscious effort eventually became natural. Freedom from pornography has increased my confidence. I am so proud of the efforts that I made to overcome something that was very difficult to me.  This confidence has carried into my social life as well. I have much more confidence as I talk to women that I am interested in. 

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