Choosing Intimacy Over Porn

I started my journey to recovery almost 2 years ago. I used to watch porn every day multiple times a day. My girlfriend would wonder why I didn't want to have sex. I mean here I am with a beautiful woman in my bed but all I could think about is pixels. I was stubborn and denied having an addiction. "All guys watch porn, what I'm doing is normal." I would say. Porn was in my life since I was 11, by 15 I was already a heavy user. Eventually I began to realize this was an issue. I began my fight summer of 2019.

My first attempt I went three months, but eventually I began to seriously miss it. I would get FOMO and relapse. "What if I'm missing out?" I'd think. There was so many triggers, Instagram and Twitter being some of them. I couldn't escape sexual imagery, even on TV and advertisements! After a few spouts of sobriety, lasting one to three months, relapsing every time I began to realize that although I was porn free I would play in that middle circle territory ie. looking at pretty girls instagrams and twitter accounts. Although not technically pornography, I wasn't giving myself the proper release from sexually charged imagery that I needed. So of course, I bought a flip phone. The flip phone helped but I still had an iPhone laying around, all I needed was a wifi connection. Eventually I deleted my instagram account and began being less of a smart phone addict. Thats when I switched to watching porn on my laptop. 

In the beginning of the pandemic I had a job which kept me mostly distracted. I would go a month or so without watching it before relapsing which wasn't too bad for a user of 10 plus years. Around September I got laid off. This is where the true struggle began. I would start off relapsing once a month but having a lot more time on my hands that became twice a month. I made it a New Years resolution to not watch porn but this year has been the hardest. My latest struggle is getting past the 2 week mark. It has been a week and a half since my last relapse, and my girlfriend still thinks I've gone all year without it. My sex drive was lower than usual although sex never ceased to be amazing. After my last relapse I realized I craved intimacy although I was stuck in a loop. My porn use created a low sex drive, my low sex drive pushed me to seek porn. "How do I stop this cycle?" I thought. By replacing this bad habit with a better one.

My new habit is being a thoughtful, giving and better lover. Since this realization we have made love five out of the seven days this past week. I have not felt a single urge since replacing porn with intimacy. Love will get me through this, love will always conquer. I am so lucky to have the support of a loving and caring woman. When she met me I a porn addicted boy with an obsession for his phone. She has made me a man, freeing me from the grips of indulgence.

Although this story doesn't have an ending, it sure has hope.
Today is the two week mark for me. I am starting to feel slight cravings which scares me because its only been two weeks. I keep remembering how hard it was to get to the 3 month mark before caving.
The reason I want to quit is because I want to master my lower self. I wan't to be in control and when I watch porn I am not in control. I know I want to quit, yet I indulge.
I am lucky to not have a severe problem, no PIED, no extreme tastes, just a bad habit. I really enjoyed it and the reason I go back to it is FOMO. "Whats new online? What videos or models am I missing out on?" It almost kills me inside to not indulge. But I remind myself I am a man now, not a boy. My ancestors survived hundreds of years without the access to porn and my days of over indulgence are over.
I am a master over my lower instincts and I'm proud to be here two weeks porn free.

I want to someday help young men free themselves from the grips of porn. I want to be a role model and a good example to my future son and daughter.
Last night I had a porn dream. Those always seem to trigger me. In my dream I went to my favorite sites. Wanting to indulge I resisted and exited the site. In my head I knew it would feel bad to have to start over.
Mondays are usually the days I'd relapse. Although it has only been two weeks, I feel urges. I really enjoyed pornography, I just know its a slippery slope. Sometimes I wish I had a normal relationship with porn, but then again what does that look like? Most men I know watch porn at least once or twice a week. Is that normal or acceptable? I am striving to be better than my friends when it comes to porn. I keep wondering if the urges will ever go away, right now it feels like I will always need strength to fight this battle.
For me the thought of nature quells my urges. The awe of nature and life don't go hand and hand with porn. I just need to figure out a way to replace porn use with curiosity and wonder.
I am proud of the steps I've taken in the past two years and I look forward to overcoming this compulsion.
Found myself in that dangerous middle circle. Looking at girls instagram and twitter accounts, almost seeing a naked person but blocking it with my hand. I had to pull myself out of this. Not too long after I received "Breaking the Cycle" by George N. Collins. I need inspiration. I can't help but feel sad and hopeless. Will I always be a porn addict? Will this ruin my relationship?
I see so many men struggle with this and partners who leave their husbands because of this. I never thought porn use was worthy of divorce but now I do. Something I thought was harmless led me down this rabbit hole. It is so hard to not feel FOMO. Is this possible to overcome? Is it inevitable that I will relapse? Why is this so diificult?
Working on combatting those cravings and learning to recognize that inner voice. Where does my desire to watch porn come from? I keep looking back at the child I was when I discovered porn. Girls my age had no interest in me and I was bullied for dressing different. I feel my issues with anger and pornography come from the same place. I would lust all day in school, I remember it would be unbearable. I'd have plans to hang out with a girl and maybe fool around but I would always be stood up.
My first sexual experiences were filled with shame but porn was safe. No one would know I watched porn, no one would make fun of me. With a real person, word would always spread throughout the school and I would be shamed for being sexual. Porn was my go to even though I hated it and felt little satisfaction. I wanted to experience sex with a person, a person I could never have, out of my league one could say.
Did I use porn as a coping method? I am not sure, it brought me lust and pleasure but left me empty and unsatisfied.
Once I began to attract women I went overboard. I had sex with over 30 different women in one year. I thought this is what makes me a man. Women loved me and it validated my insecurities. This is a time period I regret to this day. I wasn't being careful and would still chase after women knowing this sex was unhealthy. When I started dating my current girlfriend the porn use kicked in.
Porn gave me variety. I didn't think one woman was enough for me, I wanted a different partner every night while also longing to find love like the relationship I was starting. Basically I wanted to have my cake and eat it too. It pained me to think I wasn't being satisfied by this perfect woman, one who I could spend my life with. I kept avoiding that thought and used porn to compensate my desire for multiple sex partners.
Now I know porn puts thoughts in my head that aren't naturally mine. I hated women for rejecting me, I hated that I was spoilt by my mother. I romanticized partners that don't exist and objectified women by lusting after them and viewing them as sex objects. My period of chauvinism brought me pain and regret. My days of womanizing, although physically pleasurable, were the worst days of my life.
I am still learning to love and forgive myself but somedays these memories of shame come back and haunt me. Why was I such a whore and why didn't I think about my future self, my future wife and kids. The struggles of today are a response to the actions of yesterday.
Still learning what it means to be a man.
intimacyoverporn said:
Still learning what it means to be a man.

I like this quote and it's something I can relate to. Porn use is so prevalent and deeply rooted in society that I believe it is the right-of-passage for the modern young man. After reading through your post I can tell that we have different situations and problems, but the tying factor for all of us here is our addiction to porn. I feel ashamed to even type it. As I write to you in my room alone I still feel embarrassed, even under the cloud of anonymity. The shame I felt after PMOing is different from the shame I feel when I write about my problems here, and I can tell you for certainty that I prefer to be ashamed of having an addiction than the shame of privately denying and hiding my problem. At the same time, however, I feel fucking great for saying that I have a problem. The relief of coming back on this board and having something to look forward to is exciting.

We're both relatively new in our current streaks, and I think it's a good idea for us to keep writing on here. It keeps us accountable and gives us something to look forward to. Best of luck.
Thank you for your words of encouragement. As a young man I had craved a sort of initiation into manhood. For some people it?s a fishing trip, for others it?s a bar mitzvah. Not having one of those passages into manhood I thought sex and porn was my initiation. Now I know, the amount of orgasms and sexual partners does not make the man. Very excited to be 3 weeks porn free. I haven?t went this long in a few months having caved around the two week period.

Wishing you the best on your journey my friend! If you ever want an accountability partner let me know! I?ve been told it?s really helpful to have someone who understands the dangers and draw of porn. Just shoot me a message sometime!
It will be one month Friday since I last indulged in porn. I've had a few close calls and moments of temptation but I feel strong and encouraged. My longest streak was just about 3 months. I remember it feeling relatively easy with a few moments of strong cravings until eventually I caved. I had read Your Brain On Porn and that's what got me to the 3 month mark, but I lacked the resources that I have now.
I am feeling encouraged. I haven't been one month free since late last year.
I look forward to the future being porn free.
Feeling positive because I have the resources to beat this addiction. I am not alone in this. Today I reached out to sex addicts anonymous and I'm planning to attend their weekly meetings.
I am investing in my future. Writing here, seeing a personal sex therapist once a month, and now joining meetings. One month porn free feels good. I am more passionate about other things and have felt more fulfilled with my relationship. Like I've said in past posts, this is not the longest I've went porn free. The big difference is I am seeking help from professionals and journaling on here. I want to be a success story.
Somewhere in my head there's a person who wants to watch porn. A person who is waiting for enough time to pass by in order to not feel guilty about indulging. I will be easier to convince in 3 months because its been so long since I last indulged. I will try to say, "Whats the harm? You aren't addicted, its been months. Treat yourself." During these moments I must stay strong and remember why I am doing this. I must also remember my porn use is a slippery slope. Just one act of indulgence will lead to another and another until I can't go two weeks without indulging.
I am staying strong and hopeful of my progress.
How does Porn impact my life?

Porn has made a negative impact on my life. For years it had prevented me from going out and dating a real person. Worst of all it encouraged fetishizing peoples bodies. When I was young I would day dream all day about objectifying sex. As an adult it has had some consequences. It put a strain on my relationship. I didn't want to have sex with my partner and would watch porn three to four times a day. This was before I realized it was an issue. Porn has put desire and lust into my head, it makes me want things I can't have. It makes me want more and exercises the deviant in me. When I was watching a lot of porn I treated women differently. I thought my sexual energy controlled everything, and I thought that it was ultimate truth. I believed that my horniness was a more accurate portrayal of myself than my feelings. I thought I'd want to be in an open relationship because I craved variety, I thought one woman wasn't enough.
When I watched porn I would lust like crazy. I would think of how lucky the guys are who have sex with these women and that I would do anything to sleep with them. All this would go through my head while watching porn.
Recently when I cave in it feels so good, its like I'm eating at a buffet of fried food and sweets. In that moment I think I love it and that I wish I could watch it all the time. I would become jealous of the single mans ability to watch porn without any relationship issues or consequences. It's like "Oh yea, this is the stuff I need." In that moment I would give up anything to be able to have sex with these women and become an actor in porn. Crazy not myself thoughts appear in my head and my logic is distorted. So, I would say porn plays with my head and feelings. It makes me feel like I need it, that it's better than water.
I had a lot of partners before this relationship and I know it was never enough. When I had that I craved true intimacy and commitment with a partner. Porn throws that all in to question. The reason why I know this isn't my true self is because after it's done I'm miserable and the only cure to my pain is more porn. When I watch porn it becomes a serious habit which has other side effects such as laziness, anger, shame and loneliness. I look at women on the street differently and I wan't women of all shapes and sizes. I become a bottomless pit of lust and desire, truly succumbing to my lower instincts and desires. In these moments of indulgence I would give it all up to be able to watch porn.
How can something that feels so good really feel so bad?
Here is list of the short term benefits vs the long term costs of porn use.

Short Term Benefits
1) Feels good in the moment
2) I get to indulge
3) I get excited
4) Boredom Killer
5) I see naked people I wouldn't normally see
6) That short term feeling of pleasure and giving into my desires

Long Term Costs
1) My relationship
2) Potential PIED
3) Less intimacy
4) Guilt and shame
5) Time waster
6) Flexing that muscle of indulgence
7) Self hatred and anger
8) Discontent with real people
9) Endless shame cycle

I find myself wanting to indulge. Tomorrow will be a month porn free, although I have peeked at porn substitutes (no nudity and no masturbation).
I just want the cravings to go away. My brain really thinks porn is good for me.
Its been over a month since I last indulged but I really want to. Today was the closest I've gotten to wanting to fully indulge. I just need to remember why I am doing this and the look on my girlfriends face when she says she loves me. I want to get through this. I will get through this.
Had a brief moment of weakness. Went on a site for less than 10 seconds while blurring my eyes so I didn't see much. Really wanting to cave in today.
Ok, so I think I can mark today Monday May 3rd as a slight mishap. Like I said earlier I have had moments of weakness but yet not fully indulging. I really want to but I have to stay strong. Will the cravings ever go away?
Last night I had a sex dream which is why I am struggling today.
Talking to my addict self

Who are you?
I am you.
No you aren't, who are you?
I am M****. I am a version of you. I have been hurt and need to self medicate with pleasure.
Why do you need to do this?
Because it feels good and I can't stand being bored.
Why are you bored?
Because I am stuck at home and have nothing to do.
Why do you think you have nothing to do?
I don't know.
How old are you?
Is this porn habit based out of boredom?
Kind of?
What else is causing this?
But I have a girlfriend, I am happy.
Yes but I am wounded, I am hurt and angry with the world. I have been rejected and made fun of. Porn is how I cope with this pain.
Is that true?
I don't know. I don't know why I want to watch porn.
How does porn make you feel?
It makes me forget about the real world and my rejection.
I am an adult now, I don't need your opinions and pain. I am happy and I am no longer rejected.
Yes, but just one more look. For old times sake? People watch more porn than you do. You are only quitting because of your girlfriend.
Yes, she made me realize I had a problem but there are many reasons why I want to quit. I am lucky to not have ruined my life over it.
I just want to look, I won't partake just let me peek.
No, I won't. You do not make the calls here. This is my body, my life and I choose to live porn free.
So I caved a little, went back to the site and looked. But for some reason I can't get motivated to give up and cave in. I keep thinking "Thats not real" and "I have a real girlfriend". I went to the sites but didn't indulge like I used to. It shows that I've come a long way.

Phineas 808

Staff member
Hi, intimacy!

Yeah, when it goes that far, if one can at least distract themselves, disrupt the habitual patterns, heck, I've even set a 3 minute timer to undermine the use.

Sounds like you have an amazing gf, and a perfect opportunity to rewire.

What you fighting with now is the habit-pattern itself. Think of it this way, the more you react (for or against) the urges, the more stronger the habit becomes. The more you ignore and dismiss the urges, the weaker the habit becomes. To get out of it, you have no choice but to not react to the urges.

'Triggers' or cues remind us of our habit pattern, that's all. One sees a sexy billboard, it serves as a cue, and then the urges come which are the lower brain demanding its dopamine hit.

At that point, become like an outside observer, and nonjudgmentally notice, become aware of your reactions. Breathe deeply and slowly until the urges pass. Repeat this as often as needed. You will weaken the habit, and learn that you have power, and not the addiction.

Be well!
I think its safe to say I relapsed. I watched a few videos, not completely, but still saw what I was looking for. No MO but I still feel a bit disappointed. I have too much time on my hands and feel it would be easier with a job. I am going to continue my journey of becoming porn free. I feel a little less guilty because I saw triggering images and didn't react. In fact I didn't even get a hard on. I can't help but feel bored with porn. Maybe that's me trying to equate porn with boredom but I am becoming more aware that it doesn't do anything for me. A good quote I heard was "You can never get enough of what you don't need."
So I am not going to restart my counter, I will make note that I had a little fumble and continue with this momentum. There will be ups and tones but my goal is to be porn free. By 2022 I hope to fully kick this nasty habit.