Top
Search TNTML

<editorsnote> Hi, I'm Jen Friel, and we here at TNTML examine the lives of nerds outside of the basements and into the social media, and dating world.  We have over 75 peeps that write about their life in real time. (Real nerds, real time, real deal.) Sit back, relax, and enjoy some of the stories!! </editorsnote>

 

 

Powered by Squarespace
« #YayLife: I'm having a white trash weekend at a winery!! | Main | Facebook Status O'El Dia »
Friday
Apr132012

#RealDeal: I am addicted to porn (one nerd's journey through digital temptation)

<editorsnote> Nerds, meet by buddy Jeff. We met on twitter a little while back, and then over Christmas I helped him revamp his OKC profile. He's now here to talk to you about his life outside of the programming world. I only have one more thing left to say ... HIT IT JEFF!!! </editorsnote>

#TalkNerdyToMeLover's @Jtwebman

Warning if you know me personally and can’t handle your (son, father, uncle, brother, co-worker, or friend) talking about porn and masturbation please stop reading now as I am going to openly talk about it here.

It has been almost a month since I have written a blog post, sorry about that. I have been in a slump the last month having a hard time motivating myself to do anything, in other words, depressed. I have had big swings depression throughout my life but really haven’t talked about them much besides with my ex-girlfriend of six years. Partly because I am ashamed of them and partly because I rather not bring down anyone else.

Now you might be thinking why am I writing about depression when I titled this post that I am addicted to porn? Well as I am starting to swing back up from my slump I ran into this site the other day called YourBrainOnPorn.com, while researching something else, and my mind was blown away. I watched all the videos on there including this little intro one The Great Porn Experiment and read almost the whole site over the last few days.

In the videos they go into that most boys start watching porn at around 10 years old. Yep that was me though for me it was 11 and it was VHS tapes I found and animated gifs and pictures that I downloaded from my BBS (Bulletin Board System - Pre-Internet where you called up other computers with a modem) not high speed internet porn.

They also talk about why people flock to porn and how it can be a bigger dopamine surge to actually keep switching scenes (creating novelty) and why we end up with multiple tabs open because each new scene is just another surge of dopamine.

They says a guy watching porn can see more hot women in 10 minutes then a man only a few 100 years ago would have seen in several lifetimes but our brain is still wired the old way with old systems. So some of the problems with this is it wires the mind and sexual response to:

  1. Being Alone
  2. Voyeurism
  3. Clicking
  4. Searching
  5. Multiple Tabs
  6. Constant Novelty
  7. Shock and Surprise


In contrast real sex wires the mind and sexual response to:

  1. Courtship
  2. Touching
  3. Being Touched
  4. Smells
  5. Pheromones
  6. Emotional Connection


So as you can see if you are 11 years old and wiring your brain with the wrong thing how it can be a bad thing as those are very different items. Actually here is a list of some of the side effects of wiring it wrong.

  1. ADHD - I would say I am borderline sometimes.
  2. Concentration Problems - Definitely have had problems with this.
  3. Social Anxiety - Yep have that big time.
  4. Depression - Yes definitely have that issue.
  5. Performance Anxiety - I have had in the past.
  6. OCD - Few at least I don’t have all of them.

They go on to state that most doctors treat these separately and don’t think of them as causes but the main issue. The problem with that thinking is that the men on the site that had stop using porn had seen all of these issues go away.

The videos go into more detail about how our reward center in the brain is part of the primitive brain and that it runs on a organic chemical called dopamine. Now it has evolved over time to reward us for food, sex, and bonding with others. It has been the driving force in us evolving the way we have over the last 50,000 years.

What it does though is when we get extreme versions of these rewards it makes them even more valuable. It’s why the thought of eating cake is more rewarding then eating broccoli, though I still like broccoli. We also get it from seeing a woman that we think is extra hot as well. Which is our brain saying she has good genes. Now for the most part this hasn't been an issue with with a huge population of humans till now with high speed internet and fast food.

When we get to much extra dopamine, like we do with porn or overeating, it messes with our dopamine receptors making what would normally be a good reward like seeing a beautiful sunset or having a wonderful days with a women you really connected with much less of a reward.

These behavioral addictions like Food, Porn, Video Games, and Internet are a little different then the addiction some people get from alcohol and drugs. First only 10 to 15 percent of people are susceptible to alcohol and drug addictions. Second  alcohol and drugs are outside influences to dopamine production but in the end they have the same effect on the brain as a behavioral addiction. The scary part is that with behavioral addictions every mammal on the planet is susceptible to them

So since all addictions are really the same when it comes to changes in behavior he gave a quick test that addiction specialists use to see if someone is addicted to something. He called it the four C’s:

  1. Inability to Control use
  2. Compulsion to use
  3. Continued use despite adverse Consequences
  4. Craving - Physical and psychological


I have to admit I exhibit all 4 of these with porn.

He goes on to talk about an even worse issue with overuse of porn and that is it leads to Erectile Dysfunction or ED. I don’t think I have this, thank god, but I have come close a few times in my life and have had a hard time with real partners especially if I had used porn with-in the same day.

<sidenote>Sorry past partners if you are reading this. It’s not your fault and I hope you never think it was. I messed myself up when I was younger and take full responsibility.</sidenote>

So as you can see I am addicted to porn and as hard as that is to write I need to fix it. The good thing is the brain can be reprogrammed, it’s not set in stone.

I am setting the goal of no internet porn or masturbation for the next 6 months. Now you might be wondering why I included masturbation as well. Well then guys on the site think it really does help out with the healing process as they found that masturbating made a lot of them slip up and start using porn again. So instead of making the same mistakes I will learn from them and withhold that as well.

The good news is I have read a bunch of the testimonials from the site and guys are having awakenings and shedding their depression and social anxiety and to me that would be the biggest miracle of all as I can be very motivated and have tons of great ideas but some wave of depression or social anxiety has always gotten in the way. I am not making excuses as I know there will always be something but I have made it harder then it has to be.

In the end I need to fix myself. I don’t want to throw away another long relationship because I am broken.

I know putting myself out there like this so publicly could backfire one day but I think we need to start talking about these issues more publicly as they are real issues. We need to stop making it so voodo to talk about and hope that me making this public will help others to reach out and try to get help as well knowing that there are others out there going through the same thing you are.

If you have any questions feel free to tweet me or leave a comment below and we can take the conversation offline or you can also visit the site YourBrainOnPorn.com  as they have a ton more information then I can talk about in a single post. There is also a reddit group talking about this as well at http://www.reddit.com/r/nofap.

I’ll leave you with a song that expresses how I feel now that I have this off my chest and I am fixing it. Who doesn’t like a little Tom Petty...

#thatisall

click here to follow Jeff on twitter!

References (1)

References allow you to track sources for this article, as well as articles that were written in response to this article.

Reader Comments (5)

Really interesting post and topic. Thanks for putting yourself out there. It definitely takes guts to discuss any addiction.


@moids

April 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMoids

I give you great kudos for broaching this subject and being totally honest. I have helped a few friends over the past couple of years with this and there are some great sites out there for helping everyone along. Don't know if you know about XXXChurch but if not check it out. Craig Gross is a friend and a great speaker and confidant. Doesn't matter your beliefs as much as getting help.

Most importantly is keep up the great work and being honest.

Mark

April 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMark-John Clifford

Thanks for having the courage to write this. Having suffered from the same addiction, I can relate. It's tragic that our culture is so determined to bury all things sexual under a layer of shame that this subject can't be discussed openly the way alcohol and drug addiction are, or even eating disorders. People laugh it off or treat it as creepy or immoral behavior. I hoped that some pretty clear public examples like Bill Clinton, Tiger Woods, etc. might be enough to raise awareness but I think most people still just view them as morally flawed or sleazy. If you've been there yourself, though, you get it. The Four C's are right on target.

I have to disagree on one point, which is that I don't think all people are necessarily susceptible, or at least not to the same degree. I know guys who get bored after watching porn for a little while. Then there are people who are consumed by it to the point that it is truly an addiction, every bit as destructive and debilitating as drugs, gambling, compulsive overeating or spending, or other so-called "process addictions," and a whole range in between. Sometimes people just lose hours or days of their lives lost in fantasy, but with addiction being a progressive disease, it tends to lead to worse and worse consequences: Getting fired, spending crazy amounts of money, losing a family, even going to jail. In the worst days of AIDS, compulsively having anonymous sex could be a death sentence.

I actually went to an intensive treatment program for my own problem and learned among other things that people who suffer from porn or sexual addiction (broadly defined) are VERY likely to have addiction in their family. Check. (At least three of my relatives are alcoholics.) There are other risk factors, such as having a "shame-based personality" shaped in childhood (usually by trauma). For whatever reason the wires in our brains get crossed such that sexual experiences become our primary self-soothing mechanism (vs. alcohol or drugs or food for many others). Check out Dr. Patrick Carnes (whose clinic treated Tiger) and Robert Weiss in LA, among others. It's fascinating, sobering, and ultimately teaches us a lot about our inner workings as human beings. Weiss's treatment program, as well as 12-step fellowship (SAA), turned my life around.

April 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJLA

Jeff you got courage to admit publicly that you have a porn addiction.
Do you have an update on what happened with your addiction? Have you managed to get over it?

December 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTim

I realized it's new to me. Nonetheless, I'm definitely happy I found it and I'll be bookmarking and checking back often!

July 23, 2015 | Unregistered Commenterxnxx

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Post:
 
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>