Friday, July 9, 2010

I Always Just Wanted to Be Loved

Why do I watch porn?

I used to ask myself that a lot when I was younger. I even used to try forcing myself to stop with various methods, ultimately leading to me self mutilating myself whenever I masturbated; even that didn't work.

I'm not particularly ugly, nor am I unintelligent or dull, but I've always been kind of socially awkward. I've always felt like I wasn't wanted, like some kind of intruder in social situations, and I could never make any kind of honest meaningful connection with women. The girl I lost my virginity to didn't even enjoy sex, she just lay there, and kind of complained about it after. There were several other disappointing encounters, and at some point I think I subconsciously decided that it was better to be alone than to be disappointed all the time. Pornography was my last refuge I guess; I can get the sexual urges out of my system with a minimum of time and money and effort and go back to being a good little zombie at my job. In porn I like seeing women who are enjoying themselves, it doesn't even matter how attractive they are, as long as they can portray an honest appearance of true sexual joy on screen, and I can pretend that I am there with them and they enjoy my company.

I always just wanted to be loved, and yet I could never break through the wall of mistrust surrounding me. Porn at least gives me a semi-satisfying illusion.

Perhaps I should see a counselor, or sex therapist, or even a prostitute, but instead I just muddle through life with porn, which, as I slowly get older, is losing its attraction (or maybe I'm just losing my libido.) I am envious of couples walking hand-in-hand in the park, and wonder why that great romantic vision is so unattainable for me.

Friday, June 25, 2010

I Know That Only Through Jesus I Am Saved

I'm currently 20 but my history with pornography is complicated. It began when I was 11 or 12, I was attending a relative's 21st party and a stripper had been hired to perform, of course all the children were put in a separate room but I sat behind a partition wall where I could watch without it being obvious that I could see. This is the first time I was exposed to sexual images and the first time I was interested in them. Although I had discovered sexual arousal I still did not fully understand how it worked, fortunately the sex education classes at primary school informed me in that regard.  It wasn't until the next year in high school when I first had access to sexually explicit images through the internet (during the time of dial-up), the site I most often frequented was all about women covered in mud (although not strictly pornographic) and I printed out a whole bunch of pictures from this site and left them in my bottom drawer (I still can't believe I was that stupid).

At this time I still hadn't ejaculated yet and I mostly just looked at the pictures out of interest. Of course my parents eventually found the ones in my drawer and warned me about pornography (my parents are christian so it is expected) and my dad mainly told me that he didn't want me to think of women as objects. I still continued to view pornography more stealthily and eventually discovered the "end result" while veiwing some relatively tame bikini-pictures. From then on I would often stay up late and download explicit pictures on Kazza when everyone had gone to bed (it was a family computer). I remember being quite addicted to self-satisfaction during these years and for a while I would do it once a day. However during the summer when Year 9 had just started I stopped for some reason.

But after a while I stumbled across some arousing images of comic book characters on a counter-strike website and I went back to viewing pornography. Although this time was different, first of all I began collecting images but I was also uninterested in anything explicit, most of my collection was erotic fantasy artwork.  That collection has been continued by until today and but for the hentai section, I would say it's largely not pornographic.  

I only really seem to find depictions of sex attractive in an illustrated form and even then I only view pictures that are not extremely explicit, which is rare in the hentai genre, I remember once sorting through and saving about 70mb of 2Gb of hentai images I had downloaded, because my taste is so particular. The problem I have with most hentai is that after a while it simply becomes a jumble of limbs and orifices and it realy dehumanizes (asthetically as well as morally) the women involved. Also it often verges on a medical diagram which just isn't attractive at all. This is the same problem I have with actual pornography, the explicitness seems more gross than anything and the pleasure felt by participants isn't really obvious, whereas because in hentai you have to create narrative of sexual arousal in one image, it is more evident and relies more on facial expression than genital contact.

In general like to view pictures of women who are happy in exposing themselves and I like the accentuation of the curved female form and the artistic merits of the setting, costume and makeup which pornography at large mostly destroys. Because of my particular taste, I don't see women as objects, rather I adore their physical beauty in a context that is natural. This mainly is how I reconcile my desire to view these images with my Christianity.

Everything else in my life is still exactly as it would be, I don't even drink or swear and I still wish to remain a virgin until marriage. I still believe that sex is the ultimate form of intimacy and should not be entered into without genuine love. I have never yet had a girlfriend mainly because I'm very shy and polite but I want nothing more than to hold hands with a girl and I intend to stop viewing my collection the minute I find a partner.

This is because I place love over lust and although my sexual urges are satisfied by the images I view I still feel a yearning to connect emotionally with a woman and I know that having sex with a woman I love will be infinitley more fulfilling then self-satisfaction. I see sex as a shared experience that benefits a loving relationship and I know that the way I satisfy my self now is only a shadow of that. After being satisfied sexually I often feel the strong urge to have someone beside me and I imagine cuddling up to a future wife in bed after-wards and that is the true pleasure of sex.

Also I keep my collection completely private and I find it acceptable to view alone but I still find fault with the increased amount of sexual images in the mainstream media. I sill believe sex is a private matter between two people (I fully accept homosexual relationships).

Mostly however I know that only through Jesus I am saved and that viewing erotic images and self-satisfaction are simply sins like any other, after all Jesus came to heal the sick not the healthy. For all these reasons I draw a line between myself and the majority of people who view pornography, however pretentious that may seem. 

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

I Started to Use Porn as a Tool to Test Myself

Being a healthy 30 year old guy, I thought that the answer to this question was pretty simple. I was originally going to say that I use it to come to climax, but there have been many times that I have been able to do that without the use of porn. As I thought about it some more, I thought that I use/view it in order to fantasize, which is half true. Initially, I would use magazines like Playboy, Hustler, Penthouse, or Glamour. I would imagine myself having sex with the women, as I'm sure most men do at these times. Being young at the time, I knew only the basic mechanics of sex, so it was never anything to adventurous. Then I began to imagine the females in my life were these women. Not in any kind of stalker way, but I would imagine their faces on these beautiful, naked women, posing erotically just for me. These fantasies then evolved into the women I knew personally, engaged in the mundane sex I was having with the women in the magazines (in my head, obviously).

Then I "graduated" to soft-core pornographic movies like the ones that are on most cable channels late at night. Something about actually seeing these women "in action" was like discovering Playboys all over again. It was exhilarating. Plus, I was able to expand my extremely limited, mental playbook as I thought about having sex with the women in the magazines and movies that I would never meet, and the women I was surrounded by, that I would probably never be able to "have" sexually. Still, these movies, despite their "insert tab a into slot b" narratives, never fully allowed me to realize what happens during sex (physically) between two people.

My brother was the one that actually introduced me to hard-core porn. This seemed like the holy grail to me. FINALLY, I saw, and heard, what was going on. This allowed me to open my mind to so many different things. Now the mental picture I had in my head wasn't missing anything. I actually began to tell myself erotic stories as I masturbated. It seems like that would be self defeating, since I knew what was going to happen, but it wasn't. Some of these stories involved me, others didn't. Some were about specific people, others were merely descriptions of people that never existed (as far as I know, anyway).

Eventually, I stopped "writing" these stories, and opted instead to just watch people have sex, instead of imagine it. At this point in my life, I was dating, and I discovered a whole new way to use this fantasy part of my brain. As I would watch a porno, I would imagine myself and my girlfriend doing the things on the screen. It doesn't sound like that much of a difference from before, but it kind of made the whole process easier. Instead of inventing the scenario, it was there. Instead of imagining the positions, they were there. All I had to do was substitute in my mind's eye who it was, doing it. It got to the point where I had to ask my girlfriend if she would watch it with me, which surprised me when she said yes. On these nights, we would try to match what the actors on the screen were doing, which I'm happy to admit I was able to do most of the time. Almost as if everything up to that point had been practice. We didn't use porn every time we had sex, but when we did, it made it much better for me because, now the mental images I had in my head, of all of the women I had ever pretended to have sex with over the years, could be taken from the pretending part of my mind, to the memory part.

Then I started to use porn as a tool to test myself. I didn't really know where I was going sexually. For a short period of time, I found myself focusing on the men in the images and movies, and thought that perhaps I was gay or bisexual. But I tried masturbating to homosexual pornography, and it just never really did anything for me. So although I knew my sexual appetites were more advanced than just switching positions, I didn't really know how to go about expanding my knowledge about my sexual self. As my "library" of porn grew, I started to discover that I was more turned on by some of the weirder aspects of the sexual fringe. Nothing too extreme though. For instance, I knew for a fact that I was not interested in anything that involved urine or feces, although I did try to watch 2 girls one cup, just to see the perversion in it. I didn't make it past the first 10 seconds.

This experimentation led me to a few interesting things. I never would have thought that anal sex would be something I would be interested in, and yet when I watched it on video, I had an almost immediate reaction to it. This was yet another activity that I asked my girlfriend to take part in (both watching and doing), and once again she said yes. As I said, I never would have imagined that it would be something I would do, and yet without seeing it, I never would have known I enjoyed it. With this particular experience, I was the one performing the act on her, it wouldn't be until years later that a different girlfriend would attempt a similar act on me. Once again, I never would have imagined it would be as enjoyable as it was. Another time, I found myself watching a lot of group scenes involving anywhere up to 15 people. Something about this seemed so enticing to me, and yet I never was able to bring myself to pursue it. I did find my self in a few situations involving myself, my girlfriend, and another friend (sometimes male, sometimes female). Another thing I learned from watching porn was that I was apparently into light S&M. I found myself asking to be bitten, scratched, slapped, and choked. At first I thought it was purely masochistic behavior, but when I was asked to reciprocate, I did happily. The reason I know my interest stops at light S&M was because I was asked to take part in a rape fantasy, and as my girlfriend and I were attempting it, I just found my self getting nauseas. The most recent discovery I have made about myself was an intense interest in lesbians having sex with each other using strap on dildos. Like a lot of men, I have always found multiple women having sex thrilling, but the addition of this particular sex toy sparked in me a behavior that I was concerned might become a full blown fetish. I was so taken with the thought of a woman with a penis that I watched a few shemale/hermaphrodite pornos and I am still currently on the fence. I do not enjoy watching men performing with shemale/hermaphrodite actresses, but I can enjoy watching a woman having sex with a shemale/hermaphrodite.

So, basically I would have to say that my reasons for watching pornography are the fantasy aspect, but at this point in my life, it is all in regard to my own sexual experiences. The other reason is to learn more about myself and where my sexual desires lay.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

I'm Never Full

I've never had a problem meeting woman or getting sex. I consider myself pretty normal. I've held good jobs, dated lots of women, married, raising a decent child, and I'm genuinely proud of my life w/ the gross exception of the vice of porn. 

Somewhere along the line I, and I believe my generation, grew to include porn as a gateway to sex in our daily lives. I don't think I'm different from most young men, we learned from our male role models that porn is o.k as long as its a secret. Dad's and men kept closets full of porn magazines, VHS, DVD's and now movie files. Our friends with access to their Daddy's smut also reinforced this idea. As long as its in a box, under the bed, in the back of the closet, etc its kinda OK. It's no wonder that the 'closeted' acceptance has created such conflict for society. Long kept secrets have a way of sneaking out. 

Now that porn is so main stream the sentiment that still lingers with it in society, and for individuals is the sensation that it should somehow still have an association of 'dirty little secret' even though its out in the open. Porn is no longer 'secret', is hardly 'little' anymore and the sentence is still out on whether it's 'dirty' or not.

I've got a very healthy appetite for porn. I could "eat' all day if I really wanted to. The thing about it though is I'm never full after the meals and the more I consume the more I want. If that's not classic addiction I don't know what is.

I go through periods of binging and purging, just like a bulimic, hoarding gigs upon gigs of filth and deleting them with the resolve to " be better about the collecting" 

The powerful need for fulfillment is what porn offers and what I have embraced over the years. It offers a sense of accomplishment- found porn, got hard, stroked, ejaculated/climaxed! "Wow that felt so good. So why do I feel so empty? Let's try that again with something nastier this time!"

The truth about porn is that for all the moral issues that surround it in society, it works. It provides release for the frustrated, a forum for the exhibitionist, a catalyst for the inhibited, a sanctuary for the shy, a stage for the theatrical. It embraces our fetishes and makes them acceptable, giving us a right to do or say just about everything. It can be artistic, commercial or amateurish and still offer value. Its a mirror that holds so many facets of humanity up and dares to say, "Judge me as you would judge yourself!" and in that fatal hour of judgement we categorically exclaim…we're not worthy!

The feelings I have after I've jerked off to 'insert fetish here' are more about me wishing I was better as a person then actually feeling bad for what I've done. Thinking that if I was better, stronger, more capable and confident I wouldn't need this temporary fix. Hoping that some how I will arrive at a place in life where I won't need to look outside myself for satisfaction.

The reasons to obsess over porn are just so myriad. It's a rich juxtaposition of scorn for the totally "sickos" who I feel at least I'm not them. Then there's the envy for at "lucky ones" who get to have the things that I want. Except I don't know that I'd want some of those things had I not seen them. 

I'll probably always be a customer at the porn counter. There are just so many things to sample. The important thing for me is to learn how to 'eat right'. Only consume the things that are good for me, nothing to indulgent. To try and stay in the "organic" isle and get the less processed variety, things that focus on self esteem and not so much on gluttony or excess. 

I feel that education would go a long way in dispelling some of the societal taboos that surround sex and porn. That as a people we could do worse than to explore our pornographic tendencies. The hyper-sexualized world we live in is just a bubble. It will burst just like the dot-com and housing bubbles and we'll all return to a more educated and reasoned acceptance of what porn is and what its values are.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

I Don't Think It's Because It Necessarily Makes You a Misogynist

A friend of mine describes pornography as "cigarettes for the brain" -- a kind of high that makes that you feel good at the time, even though you know that long-term, it's not something entirely healthy for you. As for why it's not healthy, I don't think it's because it necessarily makes you a misogynist (How then would we reconcile gay porn?), it's more that while having sexual fantasies is normal and healthy, having unlimited access to people enacting these fantasies (or what you think are your fantasies) for you dulls you to sexual reality because you will expect something from these real encounters that they cannot provide, instead of being interested in what they do provide, meaning that you will be constantly disappointed with the imperfection of reality.

I wouldn't say that I have an addition to pornography, just an unhealthy attraction to it. It's been part of my life ever since a buddy of mine showed me his collection of Playboys back in junior high. These days I'd have to say that I view pornography 2 to 3 times a week, which is much less than it used to be. Part of it is that I've got less time and my chances to masturbate are usually after everybody else has gone to bed. Like cigarettes, I view it as something that I should avoid if I can and if I can't, to keep my exposure to a relative minimum so as to maintain my mental "health".

I never really talked about pornography in my personal therapy, even though my relationships with women played a huge role in those conversations, probably because viewing pornography is really a poor relation of those deeper psychological issues. My mother was a clinical depressive and as part of dealing with this, isolated herself from us both physically and mentally. My therapist is a Freudian and her analysis is that this lack of female attention/intimacy in my childhood is the root cause for why I've struggled with an obsession of needing myself to be wanted sexually by women as a form of self-validation as a sexual adult. Pornography is be a natural partner in this as women are relegated to the role of being in desire to the point of being handicapped by it. And it wouldn't really alleviate the situation as I'm perfectly aware of the artifice involved, none of these women would give me a second glance in terms of raw sexual attraction (or at least that's what I believe).

The most disturbing aspect of my enjoyment of pornography is when I find myself enjoying the fact that the woman involved in the scene is not enjoying herself, yet must pretend that she is, in order to provide me pleasure. It's sadistic and cruel and thoroughly enjoyable in only the way that those who feel powerless feel when they find
themselves with power over others. Recently I've tried to prevent this from happening by avoiding mainstream porn and sticking to higher-quality niche bondage pornography, in which I feel power issues are addressed more honestly and I feel less like a cog in the machine of exploitation.

My wife has sometimes said that we should watch pornography together, although it's never happened. I think it's never happened far more because of me than because of her; it's difficult to tell her that I would, every time, much rather have sex with her and that pornography is mainly a masturbation aid, it's hard to find it actually sexy because so much of it so painfully forced and ridiculous. Watching it with anybody else, especially my wife, would be painfully embarrassing. Most of my time spent watching pornography is scrubbing through a movie or clicking through endless free image sets trying to find that one moment that I actually find sexually appealing. One thing I find particularly strange is the endless amount of time devoted to monotonous thrusting with forced dialogue. Does anybody actually watch that, especially when it's just two sets of genitals interfacing for what feels like an eternity?

Pornography is a crutch, something I lean on in times of need, in dry spells, in times of wanting to feel better about myself, to take my mind off my worries of sexual inadequacy. A lot of the time I resent it and feel like it's something I should take out of my life. When I'm more reflective, I feel like it's healthier to treat it as a cheap indulgence that I can engage in from time to time without feeling too guilty afterwards.