I became addicted to viewing porn. The term addiction may seem like a way of letting myself off the hook for my own failings. It may seem like an exaggeration- but I couldn’t stop. I tried to. I found it impossible. The trigger of seeing any pornagraphic image would send me off into obsessive, secretive, out of control viewing again. It was often not about sexual relief it was just a numbing and futile experience. In the end (before I got help through SAA) I was averaging over 6 hours of viewing a day. It was utterly destroying my life. Nothing satisfied and it all became more and extreme and unpleasant. I kept trying to stop but I couldn’t. It was an obsession and values I thought I had were changed by it. The dopamine hit of engaging with porn was so deeply conditioned into my life that it became very difficult to experience joy elsewhere.
I have experienced a huge and welcome change since I stopped looking at any porn. Very soon after I stepped away from it all I began to feel better and also to recognise the terrible harm the industry does to those (often) trapped within it. Women in particular are far too often brutalised not just on camera but across their experience of being in the industry. Many of us look the other way and pretend it’s not causing the dreadful harm it so clearly is.
I am so grateful to have stopped.

TRIGGER WARNING: “Please be mindful when deciding on whether to read these stories that they are emotionally impactful and may be triggering. Within people’s accounts, there is mention of rape, sexual assault, sexual exploitation, child sexual abuse, other forms of abuse and violence, self-harm and suicide. There are various helplines available for support.