I Was Addicted To Porn

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I grew up in an Orthodox Catholic household where private parts weren’t even mentioned, let alone discussed. It wasn't until my late teens that I stopped feeling like a criminal for saying words like penis or vagina.

Sex was never discussed in my house, so I didn't know anything about it. I discovered what sex was while reading Michael Crichton’s novel Jurassic World in third grade, and even then it was talking about alligators. So, instead of developing a healthy relationship with sex, I was taught to fear the very thing that drives our existence.

My first ideas about sex came from a horn-ball teenage cousin named Nick during a family vacation. He told me about how much fun porn was, how good it felt, and what I should do when I watched it. I was 12 years old, curious, and couldn't wait to see more of the women in my cousin's magazines.

After that vacation, I became obsessed with Internet pornography, devoting at least five hours a week to my new hobby. I started looking forward to when my family left the house so that I could be alone on the computer. And when I didn't have access to porn, I'd focus my imagination on re-creating what I'd seen in the movies. I didn’t realize that all of the energy I was putting into porn was energy that I could have been investing in my future. I wasn’t thinking about a future because I was so focused on getting sexual fixes.

Another area of my life that suffered was my ability to relate to women. When I watched porn, I had unlimited access to beautiful women, but I had trained myself to become bored with their beauty in a matter of minutes. Not shockingly, that same behavior manifested in real life.

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I cheated on beautiful girlfriends because I was too bored and afraid to commit to anything meaningful. Another frightening side effect of my porn habit is that, at age 17, I battled erectile dysfunction, which has been linked to porn.

By the time I was 21, and after another relationship had crashed and burned, I decided to stop doing everything that was holding me back. I quit porn cold turkey. I even quit casual sex because I didn’t want to risk fathering a child until I was sure I'd be a great dad.

But even though I stopped some unhealthy habits, I hadn’t filled my life with positivity. Think about how boring it would be to go to a party and meet someone who described himself by who he wasn't and what he didn’t do. Well, that joker was me!

Without healthy outlets for sexual desire, my energy stagnated. I lost my health, and even had trouble controlling my thoughts about sex. Instead of being open and vulnerable about sexuality, I had come to despise it for the pain I experienced, so I repressed it.

Instead of looking for the right woman, I focused on becoming the right man.
 

After so many months of repression, I realize that we humans wouldn’t be alive without sex, and that sex was in fact a good thing. (Novel idea, huh?) Then I started to take full responsibility for how I responded to my sexual desire. After coming across a Zig Ziglar motivational CD, I learned about how our lives are mostly controlled by thoughts we don't know we have — and many of these keep us stuck with limiting beliefs.

After only a few weeks of practicing affirmations and meditation, I became conscious of the limiting beliefs that had kept me from achieving my best. When I learned to control my thoughts, I became empowered to channel my energy productively. I focused on my career and my future. Instead of looking for the right woman, I focused on becoming the right man.

Through consistent journaling I opened myself up to the most rapid growth I had ever known. This process enabled me to share my thoughts and feelings, and to track how those were contributing to my goals.

When I saw a pretty girl, I thought about how lucky I was to have the beautiful wife I had yet to meet. Instead of thinking about what I couldn’t do with gorgeous women, I thought about what I could do to bring out the man I wanted to give to my wife. I was so busy living my life that I didn’t have time to think of what I wasn’t doing, like consuming porn or having casual sex.

I began writing articles and books on self-improvement. I took up rock climbing and beach volleyball. When I paid attention to my inner world, I discovered so many hopes, dreams, and interests that I never knew I had. Three years into my transformation, I even built a coaching career to help others thrive in their relationships.

When I learned how to respond positively to my sexual desire, I began the adventure of a lifetime and haven't regretted a day since. I don't take a single day for granted, because having value is not easy; I had to struggle hard to become a man I was happy to share.

If you’ve struggled with sexual desire and have felt hopeless in relationships, think about how you can give back to the community through your talents and passions. Think about the type of person you’d like to be and the relationship you'd like to have. Take charge of your thoughts and put your desire toward the life of your dreams. Affirmations and daily journaling have been so valuable to me that I recommend them to anybody.

What are some of the ways you have achieved personal fulfillment? How have you improved your relationships? I'm always learning, so I'd love to hear about your experiences in the comments section.

Ready to channel your energy more productively? Start here:

Photo Credit: Getty Images


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