I am a 29 year old male involved in a happy relationship (both sexually and emotionally). As a teenager I used to watch a lot of porn mostly due to my curiosity and my desire to masturbate. As time passed however, I became disgusted by the depiction of sex in pornography and began to realize that there is an ugliness to it, which made me want to reject it. I began searching for images of nude women which I found artistic and erotic, but as I did, I inevitably ended up in areas of the internet filled with hard-core pornographic material, which I tried to avoid without much success. After realizing that any attempt to search for erotic material on the internet eventually leads to hard-core pornography, I decided I needed to stop completely. No erotic photography, nothing. So I installed an internet filter, generated a complex password on the internet and deleted it afterwards, along with the email account used to recover it if I ever wanted to.
However, after a while I found myself taking pleasure in finding loopholes in the filtering, and I developed a bad habit out of searching for adult material which the filter could would not block. This began affecting my life negatively to the point where I am now. I occasionally (approximately once per month), despite my efforts not to, begin by searching the internet for images of nude women which, eventually, leads to watching/downloading some form of hard-core porn (“just for the sound, I won’t watch it” is what I tell myself initially).
As if this were not enough, in the last two years, I have been getting a physical reaction to even THINKING about searching for adult material online. More precisely, I get a stomach ache, my stomach acidity skyrockets and I start feeling sick. My entire body tenses up, my heart starts aching and I haven’t even done anything. Just the thought of searching for adult material online has crossed my mind. The effect on my body is worse if I actually go through with my idea and go online.
I basically suffer a kind of panic attack with lasting effects, as I have been having constant digestion problems ever since. What can I do to completely eliminate this tendency to fulfill my need for visual stimulation online?
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It is now well known that people become addicted to internet pornography. Addictions are difficult to overcome as you have experienced. It is interesting that in every attempt you have made to block the pornograpy, you leave a door open so that you can return to it if you do desire. Like most addictions, the more you do it the more you want to and the more you watch it and masturbate.
One of the mysteries of pornography is why a married person would choose masturbation over sex with their partner. For example, when you are feeling sexy why don’t you turn to you wife rather than pornography? This is a complicated question. Perhaps you feel there is something wrong with you for having sexual fantasies that you feel compelled to hide from your wife? Perhaps you fear that your wife would be alienated if she knew what your hidden sexual thoughts and fantasies are? Perhaps there is some need to have sex in private away from your partner? Perhaps you fear that your wife would not want to have sex as often as you want.
One of the things that some couples do is to watch pornography together and then enjoy sex together. I assume that, at this point, this is something you do alone and secretly. The trouble is that this leaves you feeling isolated and quilty.
Cognitive Behavior Therapy might be a good treatment for you to follow because it helps change your thinking about this habit and involves behavioral changes. In addition, through therapy you might be able to involve your wife in the process of getting over this habitual and addictive behavior. It would be terrific if you could open up to your wife about what you are going through and you would have to really trust her to do this. Hopefully, you have a trusting relationship. However, if you feel too anxious about this, therapy could help.
Best of Luck