Pornography - love it or loathe it ??!?

Torres

Registrant
I was always told as a lad growing up that 98% of people look at porn at some point in their lives, and the other 2% are lying .

What is your experience with porn ? Do you like looking at it ?? Do you love it ? Do you loathe it ?

Since opening the door on my recovery and facing up to my CSA at the hands of my dad (its only been 8 weeks since I started seeking counselling and help), I've come to the conclusion that I really hate porn and I dont like it any more. However, I cant stop looking at it. Not that it was ever fulfilling, but it filled a need. It increased the drive, the desire, the turn on, and it allowed me to live out thoughts in an environment that was inside and not out there, do you know what I mean ?

I grew up in a household where faith was present, and I remember being told by my mum that looking at pictures of naked women were wrong, and not the right thing a lad of faith should be looking at with his time. However, growing up in a household with 3 females, and no father (we fled after the abuse), and no one to ask the "male questions" to at early times in my development, no one ever actually said to me as a kid that looking at male pornography was wrong. Now, I learned v quickly in a household of faith that looking at either wasnt right however I always remember the guilt over woman, but there wasnt any over guys.

(for a detailed history where I discuss my Bisexuality growing up read my other post https://forum.malesurvivor.org/thre...-spiderman-that-made-me-bi.82060/#post-583464

So, a young Bi lad discovering himself, and discovering pornography, I have pretty much seen it all. All shapes, all sizes and discovered more fetishes out there than I ever knew there was. 25+ years of looking at porn and, as I mentioned at the start, I dont have a love for it any more, not even a like of it. But its something I struggle to walk away from.

I am trying to heal, to grow, and for my recovery, I feel I need to walk away from it but its a struggle. I've always liked the more risqué side of things, with some scenarios maybe relating back to my csa. I've liked restraints, bdsm, fetish, power play and pup play (if we are looking for details) and the whole environment that each of them entertain, however afterwards, I've just felt empty and unfulfilled. With never looking at my healing and recovery from the abuse I went through until recently, I have never really paralleled everything closely but I have been thinking, how can I go through recovery if my preferences of online entertainment are possibly rooted in what I went through. as a child. How do you heal and grow from that?

Intimacy is a major thing for me, and I dont like being touched unless I initiate it first (or know where it's going), however, through pornography, I dont have to have that fear. It's gone. However, either way, I am left feeling empty at the end of it. Would love to know your thoughts on pornography. Is this something you can navigate successfully while dealing with your (c)sa, or is it something youve felt right to walk away from?

I have tried, and do try to walk away from it, but cant say I've ever had more than a few weeks success at any one time

How are you getting on with it?
 
I loathe it. My abuse left me sexually repressed for a long time, and I didn't look into finding any sexual content of any kind because of that. Now I know a couple of fellow survivors who were forced into porn at young ages, and the entire industry doesn't sit well with me because of it. I understand that there is "clean" porn, with people who are choosing to do it, but I just can't get my survivor friends out of my mind to consider watching it. Yeah, I'm a blast at bachelor parties.
 
Loathe.
I was a "star" in many such films and photos since the age of two. It colours my view of porn immensely.
 

Torres

Registrant
Hey, I know it might not be much but wanted to say to someone that I've made it through the weekend totally porn-free. It's been a very long time since I have managed it but just wanted to share with someone. Feeling really low at the moment with everything, and reading through "Victims no more" - a guide for male recovery from childhood sexual abuse by Mile Lew is draining, but ive managed the weekend porn-free - thats something
 
Hey, I know it might not be much but wanted to say to someone that I've made it through the weekend totally porn-free. It's been a very long time since I have managed it but just wanted to share with someone. Feeling really low at the moment with everything, and reading through "Victims no more" - a guide for male recovery from childhood sexual abuse by Mile Lew is draining, but ive managed the weekend porn-free - thats something
as they often say baby steps. Congrats.
 

Torres

Registrant
as they often say baby steps. Congrats.
Thanks. It's not holding the attraction it once had but havent been able to stop myself. Been trying to make a real effort not to and have been able to this weekend. Just trying to get through each day
 
I love pornography ... too much. I know that I use it as a coping strategy when I'm stressed, which isn't the most healthy strategy for me, since I would rather expend my sexual energy on my partner instead of by myself. A lot of my porn use also centers around similar themes as my abuse, which I also know isn't helpful.

A few years ago I managed to cut down on the porn use and use only vanilla porn when I did, but then a series of stressful life events plus the pandemic put me right back to using the bad stuff, and using it several times a day. Now I'm slowly getting back to where I used to be - where I control my porn viewing instead of the porn controlling me.

I know that porn use is my acting out behavior, and I have definitely used that fact to justify viewing it. At least I'm not cheating on my wife or using hard drugs or something, right? But I had to stop with the porn recently because we went on vacation, and that showed me how much more connected I could be with my wife without using the porn multiple times a day. I have nothing against porn, but for me life is sometimes better without it.
 

Guss

Registrant
I loathe it. It objectives all of us as people to be used for pleasure, and tossed to the side. So many peeps who commit csa were heavy into child porn.
Adult porn, same thing. We are more than just sexual human beings. Every single day we have to put up with rude people, jerks, and somewhat abusive people. I refuse to mistreat myself by lowering myself down to fantasizing about people I don't know, and I don't love.
 

AlexBoyd

Registrant
Is it not possible to fall somewhere in the middle between loving it and loathing it?
Is it not possible to love some porn and loathe other porn?
Is it not possible to love it sometimes and loathe it at other times?
Is it not possible to loathe something because you love it...do both at the same time?

Yes. Yes. Yes. And yes. At least for me. That's why porn is such a complicated thing for many of us.
 

Steve12rb

Registrant
I think porn can be good or bad, it all depends on the content and the creators. I only watch porn that uplifts and doesn’t degrade the people in it, and I personally find this porn very positive in that it shows me the kind of sexuality, expression, and relationships that I want in my life. It’s a mix of erotica and relationship-heavy porn, and it excludes the cheaper trashy porn that’s out there, but it has a positive impact on my life. Up until the last few years there’s been little positive representation of LGBT characters in any media. Certain kinds of porn can help fill in that gap to some extent.
 

Harry

Registrant
I like it. I'm not obsessed. It can be a groovy vice, but it's all dependent on the media and on the viewer. It can also destroy lives; so, like, yeah, beware, yo.
 

Wharf_Rat

Registrant
My abuse prevented me from having a love life or having intimacy of any kind with anyone. I tried watching porn once out of curiosity - it was also recommended so that I could see what physical intimacy looked like - and I was repelled by it. Never could stand it. Don't want to see it.
 
My abominable mother made me watch porn with her so that I could "learn to touch a woman" (by woman meaning her or her daughters as incest is "the thing" in the family). I watch gay porn, and I like it. I don't watch any bdsm or other than "regular" intercourse and I actually enjoy "romantic" porn even if there are women involved. My sexual life was almost inexistent before pandemic and now it's totally gone. I barely remember how to talk to other people
 

brother2none

Staff member
it might not be much but wanted to say to someone that I've made it through the weekend totally porn-free.
No no, it is a big deal that you made it through the weekend. It proves that you can cope without it for a period of time. Celebrate this accomplishment. I'm proud of you for having the courage to try. I'd offer that the porn has become a way that you are relating to men (possibly the only way) and if you can replace the attempt to connect and relate with new, affirming ways (like join a MeetUp group or using the MaleSurvivor Chat) you might feel it easier to cope with daily life without relying on porn.
 

Greybeard

Registrant
This is such an interesting question, I've never much thought about it. I was shown porn as a kid, by my abusers. I suppose that made me a bit numb to it. I also had pictures taken of me when I was young. As I got older, I was more interested in the set-ups in porn films than in the action itself, and would usually fast forward through the actual sex parts. I rarely watch porn films now, but I do enjoy looking at naked pictures of guys, but mostly just guys all on their own, and not necessarily erect or anything. Just the beauty of the human body.
 
TRIGGERS here folks... you may want to avert your eyes.

It is a rare sexual trauma survivor who hasn't been drawn to porn at some time along the way. My first encounter with it was decades before the internet in the form of dirty books I stole from the back of a newstand in the heart of downtown. I stole hundreds of them over the years, masturbating for hours on end. I was married at the time to a beautiful women who was happy to make love, but I had other things on my mind. Then I encountered a very early arcade with cubicles separated by curtains showing softcore FILMS. We've come a long way baby.

Having been introduced to compulsive sexual behavior while a young boy set the stage. Sex was never a simple matter of sharing pleasure with another person... it was driven and obsessive. Porn is the PERFECT way to engage in one's sexuality. I don't need to take care of another person, though anonymous sex in a video arcade is a turn on but it really is an extension of the porn, not a replacement.

I know that indulging in porn, especially if I lose myself in it, is not a very kind way to treat myself. I perpetuate the trauma when I do that, but the reality is, this is the only way I know to be sexual. I'm much too frightened to maintain a healthy, intimate relationship. Yes, I've been adept at seducing women, but once I caught them I ran like hell and invariably I ran toward some form of sexual acting out.

Alex says it well... it is complicated. I've been working for years on releasing the shame I always carried about how I express myself sexually. Now I give myself permission to simply be right here with whatever strikes my fancy. It IS complicated for all of us. The roots of trauma go deep and all we're trying to do is survive in a world filled with triggers. I wish us well.
 

LRD

Registrant
I’ve seeked or used porn, for years and years.
It’s a double edged sword! Compulsive behaviors are very difficult to overcome. It does seem though that as I’ve healed some,
It has lessened. But, it will cycle if I’m stressed or troubled. I think for me, there
was a great deal of shame wrapped around it.
Reading Joe Kort, I told my wife ( who is truly a saint for being so understanding and putting up with me) that I still used porn and
why, what I looked at, She was ok with it.
That probably helped me the most and lessened my use. But, I think will always
have the desire at times, I’m just not going to
beat myself about it anymore. LRD
 
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