Figured out why I can't seem to quit porn

I have used erotic fantasy, and then porn, for almost all of my life. Many times, I've tried to stop using it. Sometimes, I actually did stop using it, for a month or more, and then I willingly chose to go back.

I have hated myself for this. I have wondered, why do I keep doing it? Why do I do it when I KNOW it's not a good idea? I know very well what the consequences are, every time. I know it won't be "just a few minutes". I know it will cloud my mind for an hour or more afterwards. I know it will likely keep me up late at night. I know that it's slowly degrading my life. So what the frick is wrong with me, and why do I go back?

Here is what I've realized: I don't HAVE anything else. I've NEVER had anything else. I don't just mean that it makes me feel good in some basic, simple way. I mean that it's the only thing which makes my ever-present anxiety go away. No matter how much work I do, it's not enough for security. No matter how much I exercise, it's not enough for confidence. No matter how much discipline I exercise, it won't fill the fat fricking hole in my chest.

Because here's the REAL kicker, the real depressing thing: I don't have anything else that makes me feel loved. I don't even know how to imagine a situation where I'd have a real relationship which satisfied that need. I've been to therapy, twice, and they couldn't solve my problems, and I don't have the money for it anymore. The problem isn't even that I'm a porn addict; It's that I'm depressed and barely have the will to get enough work done to pay rent, and porn is the one bit of light I have to look forward to, the one thing that reliably feels good. And again, I don't mean physically good, I mean emotionally good. Without going into undue detail, the stuff I use has to have a legitimate plot, an actual story with characters, because I've realized that I'm looking for emotional satisfaction and a way to turn off my brain.

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  1. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Porn stories, of course, aren't actually satisfying either. It's endlessly frustrating. I just don't know what to do. Every month that passes, I feel like I have less hope for my life. There is no ideal career; There is no community I belong to; I don't know how to find a compatible woman to be with. I do have friends, and I greatly value those relationships, and they have tried to help me (which I appreciate; I know many people don't even have that level of friendship), but whatever my problem is is something they don't know how to solve

    I guess this is a cry for help. Part of me feels like I'm still missing something important, something I could do which I've missed and would satisfy my emotional needs. I know that it's not sleep schedule, diet, exercise, productivity, or going to meetup groups to try and socialize, because I've done all of those plenty. What is the answer, and how do I acquire it before I actually break and completely lose my shit?

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      That "missing feeling" is the dependence you've gotten from porn. Even if you go a month between occasions using porn, you still are a porn addict. You're no different from a "dry drunk" - the kind of alcoholic that goes weeks or months without drinking, then binges again all at once.
      One thing that's helped me severely reduce my porn consumption is realizing it's a toxic fantasy. Even if you're consuming it for "emotional satisfaction," those feelings are false. You're watching other people frick, who got paid to frick. In the case of porn stories/erotic fantasy, you're just reading a product someone wrote to make money.
      You need real connection. I noticed you didn't mention having a relationship; maybe try seeking one out?
      If you're religious, seek to re-establish your connection to God.

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        This. It's like trying to remove a plant but not removing the roots. OP you're clearly a very smart individual with the ability to reflect and be vulnerable. You have a lot of potential. Start to question why you feel that you NEED porn and why you MUST have it, feeling anxious and deprived if you don't. We weren't born wanting to watch porn, so what is it that makes you feel you need it?

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        >You need real connection.
        Yes.
        >I noticed you didn't mention having a relationship; maybe try seeking one out?
        I don't have a clue how I would find one.
        >One thing that's helped me severely reduce my porn consumption is realizing it's a toxic fantasy. Even if you're consuming it for "emotional satisfaction," those feelings are false.
        That's a fair point. I've skirted around thoughts like that but I think my addiction makes consciously realizing this difficult. Thank you for saying it to me directly. I guess it would be better to feel the real pain than to use a fake solution.
        >If you're religious, seek to re-establish your connection to God.
        Definitely not religious. I wish I could be; things were a lot easier when I was Christian. Being able to place my faith in something helped me immensely. I'm pretty certain God doesn't exist though, or if he does, he's a frickin bastard and not someone I want to rely upon. Giving Christianity up was less a matter of angry rebellion and more a matter of intellectual necessity, and it's been painful ever since.

        This. It's like trying to remove a plant but not removing the roots. OP you're clearly a very smart individual with the ability to reflect and be vulnerable. You have a lot of potential. Start to question why you feel that you NEED porn and why you MUST have it, feeling anxious and deprived if you don't. We weren't born wanting to watch porn, so what is it that makes you feel you need it?

        >OP you're clearly a very smart individual with the ability to reflect and be vulnerable.
        Thank you friend.
        >why you feel that you NEED porn and why you MUST have it, feeling anxious and deprived if you don't. We weren't born wanting to watch porn, so what is it that makes you feel you need it?
        As I said, because I don't feel like I have any alternative that will satisfy me. Maybe I really do just need to dive in though, embrace the suffering and let it fuel me. I'm kind of scared of what I might become if I do that though.

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          NTA but
          >Maybe I really do just need to dive in though, embrace the suffering and let it fuel me. I'm kind of scared of what I might become if I do that though.
          This is the only way forward. Any alternative solution will only be temporary, as stated earlier. Do you have anything you like to work on when alone?

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            >Do you have anything you like to work on when alone?
            Kind of. I research certain topics that interest me, in short bursts of intense obsession. I work on programming projects, since I'm a fairly good programmer, but it's difficult for me to maintain interest in them or think of anything I actually want to make. Honestly if I could freely tackle meaningful intellectual challenges all day I'd probably be pretty happy, though still socially and emotionally unfulfilled. Porn use definitely gets in the way of that since it clouds the mind and is easier than thinking.

            try fighting

            as in combat sports don't be a crashout

            I'm rather averse to anything that might cause me physical damage (or heaven forbid, brain damage), but oddly enough I do actually enjoy combat sports. I don't have the money for martial arts classes right now but when I did that for a while as a teenager I liked it. I've done "boffer battles", which is a combat sport with foam-padded swords, but all the ones around me right now are LARP-focused (and leftist as hell) and I'm only interested in the combat. Haven't found another way to exercise my interest in this kind of thing yet.

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            >Honestly if I could freely tackle meaningful intellectual challenges all day I'd probably be pretty happy
            Haha, just like me.
            >though still socially and emotionally unfulfilled
            Do you think you see your friends/family often enough? Regarding emotional satisfaction and relationships specifically, as much as I try to be optimistic myself, it’s hard to ignore the degenerate state of “modern dating”. The dust will settle eventually, but for now you should learn how to be at ease with your own emotions as they surface.

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            >Do you think you see your friends/family often enough?
            I've intentionally distanced myself from my family, and I feel much better for it. I would love to see my friends more often, but they all live rather far away. Trying to find new people to hang out with in-person has been a goal of mine for a while which I simply don't know how to achieve given my intractably narrow interests.
            >for now you should learn how to be at ease with your own emotions as they surface.
            Yeah I've definitely gotten that vibe. No matter what I do, it doesn't look like there's a quick solution available to me. It really does seem like the only thing to do is to embrace the pain. I've been doing that today and it's surprisingly cathartic.

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          >As I said, because I don't feel like I have any alternative that will satisfy me. Maybe I really do just need to dive in though, embrace the suffering and let it fuel me. I'm kind of scared of what I might become if I do that though.
          You remind me a lot of myself before I quit porn. I used to think of it as a huge battle and struggle too. I'm not gonna press too much, unless you want me to, but the answers are out there and I can point you in the right direction if you want. But one key mistake you made is assuming that porn = satisfaction. You also conflate porn with masturbation when they're actually 2 separate things. You don't need porn to jerk off, it's just somewhere along the line the message trickled down in society that porn is necessary for masturbation. Masturbation isn't inherently bad, people have been doing it for eons. It's not ideal, but it's fine. Porn is the real issue that kneecaps your enjoyment of life, influences your view of women (or men depending on what you look at), hijacks your time, etc...

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            >I'm not gonna press too much, unless you want me to
            Hey, I'm here because I get to be anonymous, ask away.
            >But one key mistake you made is assuming that porn = satisfaction.
            Funny you should mention, I've actually been thinking about that very thing lately. Porn is super pleasurable, but I've started to notice that satisfaction is a different feeling. There are still, like, sexual needs which aren't being met which I don't have another outlet for, and in that sense porn is satisfying, but otherwise yeah you're right.
            >You also conflate porn with masturbation when they're actually 2 separate things. You don't need porn to jerk off
            While this is true, I probably shouldn't do either of them. I used mental fantasies long before I used porn and those were not as bad, but still very distracting. And when I have jerk offd in the shower without porn, it still fricks up my emotional state for a while, just because of whatever gets automatically released from orgasm. That oxytocin hits hard when there isn't another person there for it to point you towards.

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          >I don't have a clue how I would find one.
          How many women do you meet during the week? Where do you go to meet them?

          They aren't just going to appear magically as some monthly friend group get together. You need to go out and meet hundreds of them. Maybe 5% will like you at all and 1% will be both attractive and romantically or sexually interested in you. Staying at home every night is a death sentence. Humans weren't made to spend their free time alone for no reason. Stop doing it.

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            >How many women do you meet during the week? Where do you go to meet them?
            My autistic, socially-traumatized ass? Zero, and nowhere.
            >They aren't just going to appear magically as some monthly friend group get together.
            This has actually happened to me before on multiple occasions. Not monthly, more like weekly, but still. Church and school were great places to encounter attractive girls when I still did those things. It's happened in friend groups as well. I find it strange when people talk about the hyper-extroverted giant net technique as though it's the only way to do it, because my experience has been that there are definitely other ways. The reason I never ended up with a girlfriend was because I was too afraid to ask them out, not because I didn't have the opportunity.
            Now, CURRENTLY, that strategy isn't working for me, when I actually do have the courage to ask a girl out, but that's because I don't have an entry point for my introvert social strategy in the place I'm living. I'd much rather solve that problem, since it will at least get me local friends and probably also a girlfriend, than switch to a completely different strategy which I am uncomfortable with, unskilled in, and genetically (probably, we don't actually know what causes autism yet) disadvantaged for. I have had this conversation with extroverted friends of mine and it's difficult for them to comprehend that other methods exist and work.

  2. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    You are using porn as escapism because your basic needs are not met

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Correct

  3. 3 weeks ago
    jackie

    try fighting

    • 3 weeks ago
      jackie

      as in combat sports don't be a crashout

  4. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Try naltrexone. Its a very simple addiction, same as tobacco and alcohol. But some would say sex is harder to beat because its a natural part of human makeup, whereas alcohol and tobacco are habits that are "picked up"

    Naltrexone is prescribed for all three addictions, and more

  5. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    The solution is always to fall back into the body. Healthy libidinal expression. You have become a detached head, floating around.

    Hit the gym, eat well, and sleep tons. Go outside, dance, jump, run, move. But by god never stop moving. Literally just move.

    For some people libidinal expression also means write, or talk, or something similar. The key is to not stop moving.

  6. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    You need to relax out of urges and impulses. In very patient observation you learn to slip out of that nerve gripping scenario. It helps to be articulate and aware of what is going on in your mind, finding the underpinnings of your dreamy delusions helps in resolving them.

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