(aka – let’s get uncomfortable for a moment, shall we?)
There I was, in my mid 20’s with a wonderful and very beautiful girlfriend. Our relationship was fantastic but I experienced “failure to launch” in the bedroom. So I did what many self-loving porn addicts would do – I broke up with her and found a new girlfriend so I could be “turned on” again (back then I held a fourth-degree black belt in selfishness). But that didn’t work either and the pattern just repeated itself…I couldn’t seem to keep things going in the bedroom. What the hell was happening?
I decided to visit my Doctor and she ordered some blood tests. My testosterone levels were great so she suggested perhaps the problem was temporary and situational. She then handed me a sample pack of Viagra and said “try this, see if it helps.” I was a young and very fit individual at the time, with great “T” levels. What the hell was happening?
The actual problem was that over the course of the prior decade I had become habituated to watching pornography while masturbating (yep, this part is uncomfortable for me too, but stay with me). When it comes to sex, our brains are wired to release a symphony of hormones and neurochemicals designed to, among other things, attach us to our mate. As I engaged in my addiction hundreds of times strong neural pathways were built attaching me to the images I was seeing on the screen instead of a real-life partner. Put another way, I had inadvertently trained myself to be aroused by, and orgasm with, pornography. There I was with a deep desire for intimacy with a real person and only the capacity for intimacy with pornography.
What the hell did I do about it? I was incredibly Blessed to find myself in the office of a fantastic counsellor who had battled this monster himself and won. Through our work together (and yes, some failure along the way) I found freedom from pornography and the ability to be intimate with a real person again. It takes time, but new neural pathways can be developed and new attachments experienced.
I have now been married to that same wonderful and very beautiful woman for more than a decade and intend on spending the rest of my life attached only to her. My mission is to walk with others experiencing the negative effects of pornography addiction. I know the monster you face.
Hope. Heal. Change.