Why I choose pain over porn

STF AdminFreedom, Healthy Sexuality1 Comment

By Josh Gilman:

When I first heard that pornography was like a drug, I had no problem believing it; the way I used it was exactly like a drug. Pornography was my emotional stabilizer. The numbing effect of the chemicals it released into my brain were how I tried to control the roller coaster of emotions of being a teenager. Feeling too high? Pornography brought me down. Feeling too low? Watch some porn, flood my brain with dopamine, and I suddenly was out of the doldrums.

I used it for everything. Favourite hockey team loses in overtime? Stressed out about a job interview? Just met a girl I really wanted to ask out? No matter the emotion, porn could numb it, mask it or suspend it. That’s what it does. It’s just science.

And that’s why I am okay with pain.

You see pain is real life. Pain means you are a person. There is a reason that people who don’t cry at the end of Old Yeller say they have “a heart of stone” or jokingly refer to themselves as a “tin-man”. To feel, to cry, to have your heart broken, is the very essence of being human. When you catch a salmon, the rest of the school of fish do not hold a moment of silence. Ants do not mourn their comrade you just stepped on. Humans feel pain in an utterly guttural sense that can nearly break us.

And I am totally okay with this.

You see, for years I was afraid to feel; I didn’t think I would be able to handle it. So I chose porn. Porn would numb the emotion and make it go away. But the whole time porn was pushing me deeper into solitude and loneliness. In a way, it was pushing me deeper into the pain I thought I couldn’t handle.

And I was not okay.

Today things are very different; I’m married and being that close to someone always means you’re going to get hurt. And I relish it, because being hurt by a real human is so much better than having a thousand pixelated ones try to make you forget. I have financial stress, and that’s alright. I would rather worry about the stress of taking care of my real flesh and blood family than have hundreds of websites trying to sooth my nerves “for free”. I get disappointed and let down by my friends, which is so much better than having porn numbing my loneliness by offering isolation.

Do you know what I love about my wife? I love that she loves me through the pain we’ve experienced, like the incredibly stressful situations where we felt like we were bent to nearly breaking but didn’t. I love that when she said “for better or worse”, she was talking about this whole crazy life we have been experiencing. In a world where people treat marriage like shoes and decide on a whim they would like a new one, the pain that we have felt together and gotten through is the assurance I have that she truly meant “‘til death do us part”.

Like any addict, I can remember what it was like to “take a hit”. Like an ex-smoker, there are stressful moments in life where my brain reminds me that there is a way to make it go away. “Remember porn?”, it might ask, “porn could make these bad feelings go away.”

But I know better. It’s a lie. Porn is not a sustainable substitution for emotion. Being able to feel pain, hurt, and the joy that is on the other side, is what makes me human. It means that I am living life and I would not trade that for the world.

I will always choose pain over porn.


Fight For Your Own Freedom

 

One Comment on “Why I choose pain over porn”

  1. Pingback: Love Gives Me the Strength to Fight - Strength to Fight

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *