Here’s How I Became Addicted to Porn

The first time I watched porn was when I was 18 years old, during sex with my then-boyfriend, because we wanted to experiment with something new. The second time I watched porn was the start of my porn addiction — because my boyfriend would no longer have sex with me.

At the start of our five-year relationship, we were having sex daily, sometimes even multiple times a day. But somewhere along the way something went wrong, and by year three our sex life was non-existent.

I’m not sure what happened, nor why it happened, but for some reason my boyfriend no longer wanted to have sex with me. I would try to initiate things, but he would push my hand away and say no. It got to the point where I became scared to touch him or to try to initiate things, because I had been rejected so many times that it had become humiliating. This led me to suggesting sex instead. I thought maybe it would be easier or less embarrassing. “We should have sex this weekend,” I’d say, fully aware that we most likely wouldn’t.

After months of no sex, it got to the point where I would straight up ask for it. It crushed my self-esteem. “Can we have sex tonight?” I would ask. He would tell me no, and then tell me how embarrassing it was that I would have to ask, and that it made him uncomfortable.

In the last two years of our relationship, we had sex twice a year — on Valentine’s Day and on our anniversary. It felt forced and was never special or spontaneous. I was very unhappy in my relationship but I didn’t have the strength to leave — and I don’t have it in me to cheat — and so to get some sexual relief, I turned to porn.

The first time I turned to porn while in a relationship felt weird. It felt wrong that I was in the next room watching strangers have sex while my boyfriend was in the other online gaming. It was strange. It made me feel ashamed.

At first I started watching it a couple of times a week, but it soon turned to more, and I realized that the more I did it, the less I wanted to have sex, which in turn stopped me asking and therefore humiliating myself. My boyfriend was just as happy as I was that I was no longer asking. The uncomfortable conversations stopped, but I still felt unattractive, undesired and unwanted.

A couple of times a week turned to daily porn videos. I was watching it every night, going through video after video — sometimes more than one at a time. It became a nightly routine for me.

I stopped wanting sex at all. Instead, I knew I could rely on porn and therefore that was all I needed. But having been in a sexless relationship for a long time, it was as if I needed to watch it more than ever. I felt I had so much sexual frustration built up inside me that I needed to get it all out.

I went on for months this way, and I only realized it was a problem when our anniversary came around, and we felt compelled to have sex.

Due to the sex feeling forced, I was unable to enjoy it anymore. But not only that, since watching porn, I was no longer able to orgasm without visual stimulation. I no longer got anything from sex. The intimacy had disappeared because of the disconnection in our sexual relationship, and the benefits of sex — aka an orgasm — had gone because watching other people having sex was the only way I could get off.

But it wasn’t only not being able to orgasm that was the problem with my viewing of porn — it was the way it made me feel about myself and sex itself. It made me feel ashamed. Not of watching porn, because I am a firm believer that women are entitled to enjoy porn just as much as men, but more so because instead of facing up to the fact that my sex life was dead, and leaving the relationship and discovering new sexual relationships, I made excuses for my partner and shut myself away. It was detrimental to my own mental health. I turned to porn because I wasn’t getting any sexual satisfaction elsewhere — I wasn’t watching it as an add-on to having a great sex life.

It made me feel completely disconnected from sex itself. It was as if I got more feeling from watching two people on camera having sex than I did from actually doing it myself. It was more exciting. More spontaneous. More physical. More intimate. And then I realized: That was everything I was missing from my relationship.

I wouldn’t say my porn habit got completely out of control to the point where I couldn’t live without it, but it most certainly was an addiction. It was something that I needed to do, because I didn’t have the strength to leave my relationship.

I also refer to it as an addiction due to how difficult it was to get over it — it took time and determination to explore my body and enjoy sex again.

My partner and I split up at the end of 2018, and at the beginning of 2019 I found myself in a new relationship. The sex was amazing — everything I had been missing, but I was still in the mindset that I couldn’t orgasm without visual stimulation. When I masturbated to it alone, I could get off in minutes — but no matter how hard I tried during sex, it just wouldn’t happen.

And so, I made it my mission to cut porn completely, if I ever wanted to properly enjoy sex again. I treated it like I was quitting cigarettes — I went cold turkey, and the first few weeks were hard, but over time it got easier. I started by exploring my body alone without porn, but I just couldn’t reach climax. I was angry at myself and I wanted to put on a video to help me get there — much like when you’re desperate for a smoke — but I told myself no, and that I’d try again the next day. And the next day. And the next.

After a few tries, I was finally able to get myself off without porn at all. Instead of focusing on one spot, I explored my body to find out what made me tick. It was liberating, and it gave me more confidence to be able to do so during sex.

I laid down with my new partner and I was honest with him — something I’d never been with my ex. I told him what I liked, where I wanted to be touched, and how I could reach orgasm — all new things I’d just learnt about myself — and he listened, took his time, understood that it wouldn’t happen straight away, and, lying there in a super relaxing environment, I had my first orgasm with a man in over three years. It was incredible.

The more I have been able to do it, the less I worry about not being able to do it. And I now haven’t watched porn in five months.

I don’t see there being anything wrong with watching porn, but I just wish people knew how unhealthy it can be for people in toxic relationships. It’s not only men who suffer with porn addictions, but women too. But once you deal with it head-on, and rediscover your body and its ticks without visual stimulation, it’s freeing.

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