I discovered porn at age 7 when I stopped in a gas station with my grandmother. I opened a magazine and saw a fully nude woman on a bed. It was like getting hit with a bolt of electricity. I closed the magazine immediately feeling a sense of shame, like I had done something wrong. My head was spinning and yet I was immediately hooked.
For the next several years I would look for it at stores or at friends’ houses. By the time I was 12 I started stealing magazines or finding them in neighbor’s garbage cans. When I discovered masturbation at 13 the PMO (Porn-Masturbation-Orgasm) habit became cemented in my life. I never felt like it was right for me and the sense of shame just intensified the more I did it.
As I grew older, I never told anyone. When I was in college I started buying magazines and renting porn videos. At that point, I did make a few attempts to reach out but my shame kept me hidden. When I told people I either got the feeling they were struggling themselves or it was too much for them to hear. Many times I told people only to never be asked about it again. It didn’t go away.
I was a master. If there was porn I could find it
In 1994, I got my first modem and started getting online. It took about 5 minutes to find porn, a skill which I had developed offline. I was a master. If there was porn I could find it. The porn I began exploring online became darker and more intense.
There were times I had some success– letting my neighbor borrow my VCR indefinitely or putting Net Nanny on my computer. But it didn’t last. I always went back to it.
When I started dating my now wife, I had that hope that almost every guy with a porn addiction has; if I just get into the right relationship my need for porn will go away. But it didn’t. In fact, in the first 2 years of marriage I kept seeking out porn. At the time my wife was going through a transition in her career and needed a lot of support. Ironically, we referred to me as the “strong” one in the relationship which reinforced my need to hide my problem.
That all changed in June 2001 when my wife discovered me downloading pornography on our home computer. My secret was exposed. My wife in the days that followed was hurt but incredibly gracious. She told me that she knew this wasn’t about her but I needed to get help.
I joined a support group that year and my journey to being pornfree began. Even though I wasn’t perfect in those early years I started making real progress. The growth came when I started a group of my own to help others who were struggling. There is nothing more motivating to stay clean than helping others.
To be transparent– I just past 4 years being 100% pornfree this past January. It would be much longer but I made a bad choice with my iPhone traveling in 2010. That being said, I am proud of my current streak. From age 12-31, I could not go more that a few weeks without masturbation and porn. But now I count my pornfree days in years not weeks. You too can get free.
I’m Here To Help
If you are anything like I was, you are desperate to get out from under the shame and crap that goes along with a porn habit. I think back to when I first needed help there were not many good resources. I want to encourage you on your journey. Whether your goal is improving your marriage, your business, or just making you a better dad- getting rid of the porn will free you to make it happen.
I help motivated guys who want to quit looking at porn in 2 ways:
- Pornfree Radio
My free weekly podcast.
Get my 10 best tips from season 1 here.
- Sprint Coaching for Porn Addiction
My 1-on-1 coaching program for men.
Take hope and take action,