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This woman's porn addiction almost ruined her life

Ally Hirschlag is a producer/actor/writer who lives in Brooklyn, NY and buys way too many toys for her cats. She contributes to several publications, including Bustle, and The Nerve, and enjoys writing about all things woman. In her spar...

She watched porn for 8 hours a night and almost lost everything as a result

Porn addiction is a very real thing and can have just as dire consequences as an addiction to drugs or alcohol. One woman decided to share her struggle with porn to raise awareness of this lesser known illness.

Twenty-nine-year-old Jessie Maegan's interest in porn began harmlessly enough. Her boyfriend at the time encouraged her to start watching it with him to spice up their sex life. She was apprehensive at first, but after trying it out and seeing what great effects it had on their physical relationship, she was hooked.

Maegan told the Daily Mail, "It was really exciting and definitely did the trick. I felt like a naughty schoolgirl. We had sex several times that night and I can honestly say it was the best sex I'd ever had." This initial experience was like a drug in and of itself, of which Maegan and her boyfriend could not seem to get enough. From that night on, they started watching porn together more and more regularly, until it became a nightly fix.

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It began to affect her performance at work. Their late-night porn-watching sessions caused her to sleep less and get lethargic on the job more. She also found herself counting down the minutes until she could return home in the evenings and satisfy her porn cravings. That's when her first loss occurred.

Her boyfriend told her they needed a break because their enabling addiction was interfering with his work as well. Not long after that, she found out he had fallen for someone else. Needless to say, like most addictions, Maegan's was fueled by the loss of her love. She turned to porn for solace like never before.

She had initially been watching free porn clips that she found online, but now that was no longer enough to satisfy her. She started paying for her porn addiction so she could access the more hard-core stuff. "I moved on to group stuff with S&M, and the more I saw, the more I wanted — the edgier the better," she told the Daily Mail.

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At the height of her addiction, she had a £4,000 credit card debt, mostly due to paying for porn, and could barely afford her rent. She started watching porn on her phone at work and was finally fired for falling asleep at her desk because she was staying up until 4 a.m., watching porn at home. When she realized she no longer had any friends and was treating her body so poorly, she finally decided to get help.

According to The Sun, 10 percent of people admit to having a sex addiction, and a third of that number is female. Part of it may have to do with how readily accessible porn is to the average person — 25 million Americans watch porn on cyber-sex sites every week, according to NBC News. While watching porn doesn't necessarily cause an addiction, if you have an addictive personality, it could easily trigger that response.

Maegan found help online through helpaddictions.org, and learned to curb her addiction slowly by using an alarm clock to tell her when she needed to stop watching. Now she has weaned herself off porn entirely and is looking to rebuild a life free of addiction.

An addiction to porn may feel private and embarrassing, but the longer you go not talking about it, the stronger a hold it can take of you. Maegan was surprised how genuinely compassionate her parents were when she came clean about her addiction. The people who truly care about you will not judge your shortcomings, so never feel like you can't be open with them about your problems.

MoreJosh Duggar admits his addiction to pornography and extramarital affairs

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