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11 years of addiction, need change


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I have been addicted to porn since I was 12 years old. Im 23 now and I dont feel like I can be happy with myself until I stop.

Up until I was 20 it never really bothered me as I wasn't in an intimate relationship until then. Since discovering it, for the majority of the time I've visited it either daily or every other day and masturbated. The categories have changed over the years gradually getting more extreme one way or another. 

Since meeting my current girlfriend of 3 years I'd say it definitely has had an effect on my sex life in a very negative way. If I have masturbated in the same day and try and have sex later on I struggle to keep an erection or I struggle to climax. 

Last year I decided to try and get on top of it by gradually stopping. I used an app to track how often I did it and gradually tried to increase the gap in between. This worked a little bit but I kept relapsing so after a few months I was no further forward. 

It has changed my behavior in a very negative way and has recently led to some forms of voyeurism and I'm worried its going to escalate to points where I could get into trouble

I dont really know what to do to help fix this problem. 

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Hi Matt

Well coming onto this Forum is a good first step.  You can't recover unless you realise its a problem.  It sounds like you are realising it is, so that is good.  Speaking for myself, one of the reasons I started to look for help was that I realised that the road of addiction only led into increasingly dark stuff, and I really didn't want to go further.  It scared me.  I also hated the deception and sense of disintegration of what I can only describe as my soul.

There is a lot of good stuff on here that can help.  

I would commend two things in particular.  One is to get Paula's book on sex addiction.  It is very helpful. 

The other is to find a twelve step group.  There are 3 such 12 step programmes for sex addiction in the UK  - sexaholics anonymous, sex addicts anonymous and sex and love addicts anonymous.  Each programme is v. slightly different in approach although they all follow the AA 12 steps.  Not only that but groups vary even within the same programme.  They also take a few weeks to getting used to.  So I would recommend trying one out for a few weeks, if it doesn't work for you, then try another group if there is one near enough.  I go to SAA and it works well for me.

Please come back and tell us how you are getting on.


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Hey Matt,

What you're probably realizing now is that all of the time you didn't think it was a big deal before you were 20, it was about far more than a moment of sexual gratification. After all, if it's just about "getting off" you wouldn't need it once you had a girlfriend, right? Since addiction is usually a coping mechanism system of a larger issue, you may want to find some help in figuring out what that larger issue is. If you can define and begin to work on that problem, you'll probably find that it's a little easier dealing with the addiction. It doesn't cure it, but it helps to put it in perspective...at least it did for me.

Be careful of the escalation into more extreme content. That's a major red-flag, as is the inability to function with your girlfriend. Unless something is physically wrong, you should be able to climax multiple times a day if you want. And if it's not a physical block, it's a mental block.

You said, "Im 23 now and I dont feel like I can be happy with myself until I stop." Something tells me even if you stopped right now, you'd still not be happy with yourself, and again, that takes some work with a professional to figure out.

Like PJ said, see if the 12-step thing works for you. Even if you can't get on board with it, it will at least introduce you to people who are struggling with similar issues. Since you're a decent writer, I'd also go urge you to look at the world of blogging. You'll find many people in various states of addiction and recovery through things like Wordpress blogs. I've been doing it now for seven months and love it.

Good luck, man.



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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks for the advice guys! You're spot on Joshua, I always thought it was just getting off but then couldn't stop when I wanted to. Its been nearly 2 weeks since i made this post. After doing so I felt really positive and tried one more time to see if I can do it myself. After 6 days I failed and to me that was the worst I have felt about it ever. The next day I looked online for 12 step support groups near me and attended one tonight for the first time. It was interesting and it was eye opening to hear other people talk about what they have been going through and I was suprised at how relatable their stories were. I now have people I can talk to when I feel like im struggling and to anyone reading this who like me had no idea what to do, I urge you to look for help because its there you just have to find it. I know its very early doors but from what I've heard about the 12 step program I'm very optimistic about sorting the issue. I'll try and post on here with my progress.

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  • 4 weeks later...

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