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The Jerk Off List

by Stephen Phillips 30 days ago in taboo

How I forgave myself for hiding from my porn addiction

The Jerk Off List
Photo by Damir Spanic on Unsplash

I recently came across a file on my Google Drive entitled simply, “Masturbation.” There were no videos or photos in it, only dates.

Okay, that’s not true. There were descriptions of things I’d masturbated to over the past few years. The entire thing looked like some kind of erotic bookkeeping entry I was keeping track of for tax deduction purposes.

The entries were short for the most part. A lot of dashes followed by a couple of single words. Lesbian, threesome, the name of a retired starlet or two from the 90s. (What is it about porn that feels like it belongs on a decades-old VHS by the way? Is it the hair and heavy make-up? The acting choices, the intensity of plot twists?)

At some point I went through a beautiful girls skinny dipping and massage phase. Also a hard fuck/squirt fuck/cum squirt phase, which, I guess, is a different kind of relaxation.

I had forgotten how much personal frustration was tied to my masturbating to porn. After a forgettable first date, I went home to watch Peter North blast away onto a blond woman's face. Rejected by a different date, I watched Dyanna Lauren getting railed by two dudes on a haunted mansion staircase.

Things got so convoluted I bought a viewing package on PenisBot.com, a cornucopia of spam ads that advertised itself as “Quality Porn Links.” Yes, ladies and gents, I spent money on porn. After a quick hesitation, I looked it up to find it still exists on international browsers.

Another lesbian phase, some classic gang bangs. The years were flooded with everything I could flood it with. Every session started with hopes of lasting pleasure, but ended with me jerking off into whatever lightly-used shirt I could reach without getting up from the chair. Every time, like punching a clock. It didn't matter what I was looking at so long as it brought a few seconds of something that blocked the pain.

A quick note: sex with yourself is wonderful and should be encouraged, let’s remember. I'll always be pro-masturbation, especially as a product of a conservative, bible-thumping family. It’s just tough sometimes when porn is added to masturbation because imagination is lost. All of a sudden you're watching an intense, violent action flick and there's no guarantee your mind is ready for it.

As the years passed and the list grew, my entries became even more heated when it came to how I felt about myself. FUCK THIS! I wrote. And OVER A WEEK! (of not watching porn and reaching for the shirt).

It reminded me that as my addiction burgeoned beneath the clicks, I wished it could be a different one entirely. I’d make a great drunk, I wrote in my journal. Or perhaps I'd start smoking weed too much, which is so commonplace in L.A. I sometimes forget someone could develop a problem.

But no, mine has always been the secret one. The least social, but most destructive of the group. Essentially Raphael if it were to be a Ninja Turtle. How long, I wondered, would my porn-induced orgasms account for the most memorable parts of my life?

Even though I've since gotten help for my compulsive porn habits and within that, experienced a myriad of positive life changes over the past few years of group therapy, I still look back on this period with more sadness that whimsy. I just wish I’d taken it easier on myself, that’s all. Allowed myself more freedom and less judgement. True, I was spinning wildly through a Rolodex of asses and inflated breasts. Not once, however, did I pause to think about the human watching on the other side.

When I think about him now, he was doing something he didn’t even like that much. He was tying to abstain, but the food was delectable. It was just too easy to digest.

He was trying, in five words, his best at the time. Thankfully, my true, personal best is yet to come.

I don’t have a problem with the porn industry and porn actors and am always quick to alert my audience to this when I share my journey. The only problem I have, as you may find in later articles, is when something like porn begins to replace something else entirely.

Something like feeling so deeply about something or someone that you don’t have to make lists. Feeling something, anything, so you don’t have to sit and stare while the world floats by.

My journey out of porn started when the list ended. The last entry is dated May 11, 2018, just over three years ago.

On that day, I wrote Viewed porn for about 10 min. and really felt the rush of it. The list has since been deleted from my backup drive.

taboo
Stephen Phillips
Stephen Phillips
Read next: Welcome to the Neighborhood
Stephen Phillips

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