Skip to main content

Finding the Light: My Journey from Addiction to Freedom from Pornography

Episode 112

Finding the Light: My Journey from Addiction to Freedom from Pornography

Robert’s porn consumption escalated into an addiction while he was in the military. In this episode, Robert shares how the culture of pornography in the military had a profound impact on his consumption habits. He also talks about how pornography affected his relationships and personal well-being. After realizing the negative effects of his addiction, Robert made the decision to quit pornography and is now well on the path to recovery. He emphasizes the importance of seeking help and support and encourages others to explore their own emotions as a starting point for overcoming addiction.


Introduction (00:00):
Today’s episode is with Robert whose own porn consumption escalated into an addiction while he was in the military, where it was very normalized. In this episode, Robert discusses the culture of pornography in the military and how it influenced his consumption habits. He also talks about the impact of pornography on his relationships and [00:00:30] personal wellbeing. After realizing the negative effects of his addiction, Robert made the decision to quit pornography and has been on the path to recovery for the past seven months. He emphasizes the importance of seeking help and support and encourages others to learn about their own emotions as a starting point for overcoming addiction. With that, let’s jump into the conversation. We hope you enjoy this episode of Consider Before Consuming.

Natale (01:00):
[00:01:00] Robert, thank you so much for joining us on the Consider Before Consuming podcast. I would love to kind of dive in and start back at the beginning of your story reflecting a bit on your childhood. You know, when do you first remember or recall being exposed to pornography? What drove you to seek it out? What were your feelings about that when you had seen it?

Robert (01:25):
Okay. Yeah, so I mean, I was first exposed to the idea [00:01:30] of sexuality in general. Very young kid, ’cause we lived in Australia for a point in time and in Australia they just children are involved in adult stuff a lot quicker. We’ll just say. So I was exposed to the idea of sexuality very young, which kind of shied me away from it. ’cause I thought it was kind of weird coming from the US where like as a second grader, no one talks about that and it’s just foreign. [00:02:00] So it kind of like grossed me out to it. But then myself later on, back in the USA going through puberty and I think just after middle school just having natural sex drives but not knowing what to do with them. ’cause I was too scared of the idea of dating. And dating wasn’t really a thing for me.

So for me, the only place I really turned to discover sexuality was [00:02:30] in listening to any of the lessons or principles that, that people have taught me or just turning to, to media online through pornography. So I think I discovered pornography probably end of middle school or first year of high school. So from and it was pretty gradual from just just pretty pictures of women to, from there going [00:03:00] to like fully cloth, just regular, just pretty pictures and whatever, a magazine or a movie or a book or online. And from there, I guess not progressing, but we’ll say diminishing to less clothed. And then realizing one day it finally clicked, probably like freshman year of high school, it probably clicked. Like I can just go online and search for exactly what I want. And so that’s probably about when I first did and I realized I could just type in whether [00:03:30] or not what I want them to look like, how much clothes I want them, what I want to, like, you can kind of pick and choose.

Even I’m 30, but even freshman in high school, you could still pick and choose what you wanted up With online pornography at least it was still very readily available. So that would’ve been around freshman year of high school discovering it. And it felt a little bit naughty knowing that it was against what I’ve been taught through life, even as a kid. I remember life lessons and being taught principles from [00:04:00] adults, so it felt naughty, but it also felt I wouldn’t say necessary, but it’s, it felt relieving or relaxing in a way to have somewhere to put my sexual curiosities as a high school kid. And I wouldn’t say I ever got addicted in high school, but it’s just a natural way for me. I don’t know how often, once a month, every few months, whenever I could get access to it alone at my house, which is tough [00:04:30] with five siblings, .

Natale (04:33):
So was it pretty easy for you to access pornography? Were there, you know, filtration, was that set up or were there other barriers of entry for you? Or was it pretty easy for you to access when you were able to get that alone time even with five kids?

Robert (04:47):
Yes, it was easy. When I had the alone time, the, I’ve always been computer savvy. Plus my dad had me help him set up our home internet system, . And then, [00:05:00] I mean, he did later go back and add his own parental control, but by then I already knew how to get around him. So yeah, it was, it was easy for a conniving little kid to say, Hey dad, do you want me to help you set up the new router or the new modem?

Natale (05:14):
And that’s a pretty common experience for a lot of teenagers. You mentioned you don’t think you were ever addicted as a teenager, but you did identify as having an addiction a little bit later in life. Can you kind of talk about that escalation and where you were at in life [00:05:30] at that point?

Robert (05:32):
For sure. So the point when I would say I started getting addicted would’ve been right before or during joining the military. So I did four years in the army and then one year as a civilian contractor for the military. And so that for me was around, I think not until like probably 25, [00:06:00] maybe 24, 25, I was living on my own, working and traveling around the USA. So then just as a 20 or something year old kid living on my own, I could do access whatever I want. I still like going out and having friends and partying. But, but like by then it was more and more to weekly, to daily to when I joined the army. I was surrounded by a group of people that [00:06:30] it was very common and very talked about, very accepted, very porn positive type of environment, if you could say. Yeah, yeah. So that when I joined the Army, it fueled my already going flames of using pornography as my personal sexual outlet. And then with, so joining the army and being surrounded by guys that talk about it all the time and do it all the time, it, it was a slippery slope and I fell real [00:07:00] fast on it, like got addicted very fast.

Natale (07:03):
Can you elaborate for anyone who’s unaware of what the culture of porn use is within the military? What that really looks like and how that influenced your own consumption habits?

Robert (07:15):
Yeah. To pull back the curtains, as you’re saying the military has advanced a lot the outside as far as trying to be very politically correct and [00:07:30] have minimal focal pause and just be very socially acceptable. But on the, that change doesn’t really happen until the people’s hearts on the inside have changed. And that’s slowly but surely. But for now for example, I was in the army in the last five years and I’ve seen people’s deployment drives, which when someone gets deployed and they don’t have access to the internet, someone will bring a hard drive or a thumb drive some type of digital memory drive [00:08:00] that has hundreds and hundreds of gigabytes of porn stored on it. I’ve seen people’s terabytes worth of just organized, sorted by category, everything you could think of, of porn, just so that they could pass it to other guys in the area.

Or if anyone does have a magazine or some type of picture they brought from home they’ll all pass it around. Pretty much it, I never would willing to participate in that ’cause people would pass around their own home material. [00:08:30] People they know and that was just crossing a social barrier they never wanted to cross. But it’s, it’s things like being addicted to porn that fuels your desire to be willing to cross those social boundaries. And the culture of porn in the military is just it’s talked about all the time, joked about all the time, just discussed just very, very openly, almost as if you had discussed, what are you eating for lunch? Like not, I guess not as often as that, but as normal [00:09:00] as that, if you were just to talk to somebody about porn it, it, it’s very, very much used, very much talked about, very much passed around and accepted.

So for me, coming from growing up outta high school and in my early twenties where I was trying to avoid it, but found ways to do it every now and then to getting to an environment where I’m surrounded by a bunch of guys who have a similar career, similar mentality as me, and they’re all disgusting and passing it around as well. I [00:09:30] the addict in me was relieved and like, I can finally jump on this porn curiosity. I felt like I could finally dive as deep in as I want, meaning like at some point everybody has a curiosity. They’re not willing to indulge whether or not they know it’s there consciously or subconsciously. But restricting my porn use or not being able to get some access to porn growing up, there were still ideas in my mind of things I would like to have access to that I didn’t. [00:10:00]

And being surrounded by a group of guys that says, just dive in and go for it. In a way it was relieving to just hit after hit after hit to just take that like, almost like an addict taking their hits of whatever they’re addicted to. So for me, porn of just, I can dive right in, I can spend hours if I want days, if I want all weekend, stay up all night, search anything I can get all the consumption in that I’ve been denying myself or that’s been denied to me. And [00:10:30] because it’s, it’s hard to hold back any urges as a human and that’s an urge that I had in life. And I finally in the military was able to just say, screw it. I’m gonna go for it and just look at whatever I wanted. And that was the beginning of military and me becoming addicted to porn.

Natale (10:51):
I’m just curious, obviously you can’t speak necessarily for others, but would you say that a lot of the other people you were in the military with would have [00:11:00] identified as being addicted to porn or that they wouldn’t have considered that an addiction themselves because it was something that was so normalized for all of you?

Robert (11:11):
Yeah, that’s a great question. I can’t, I don’t remember any specific conversations I had with people about that. So I have to say no and to take a guess would just be

Sure unacceptable ’cause I can’t own anyone else’s experiences for them. Yeah. I would [00:11:30] say I, I usually find now that I’m on the end where I’m coming out of or having overcome my porn addiction we’ll say in the process of overcoming, ’cause I’m always scared to say overcome ’cause that’s when I let my, you let yourself slip. But I would say in this end of it, and talking to I’m still in a a, a blue collar working class strong male union worker type environment, which isn’t the military, [00:12:00] but it’s civilian version essentially. So it’s still openly able to be discussed. And having had those conversations with other men, I’ve, I’ve discovered that there are guys that are willing to admit if they’re addicted or not and they’re saying, yeah, this is kind of gross. It’s crossing barriers. I wish we didn’t talk about it as much. So I could assume that there would’ve been if I was in a mentality where I was looking for the positive side of it as opposed to the negative side of it. If I was in the military [00:12:30] right now and looking to fight addiction to porn, I’m sure I could have conversations with other soldiers that they would admit that they’re addicted. They would admit it’s affecting their daily life, that they don’t wanna be addicted to it. I’m sure there are guys like that.

Natale (12:45):
Yeah. Thank you for sharing that perspective. Did you notice the effect that your kind of rampant porn consumption was having on you and on on those around you that their own consumption was having on them? Did you notice the effects of that while you were in the [00:13:00] military?

Robert (13:01):
There’s definitely a bonding. Just any humans doing the same activity, there’s a bonding there. Just kind of a bro mentality. , I guess. As far as noticing it while I was in it, I don’t think I noticed while I was in it how it was affecting my relationships or my brain or my own personal image or positivity. To me it was just running, finally running wild with something I’ve been curious about my whole life.

Natale (13:30):
[00:13:30] Yeah, and I think that that probably speaks to just the power of being in an environment where it was so normalized, right? To have it as something so normalized around you and have everyone else on board with the same thing. It was probably much more difficult to see if there were negative effects because all of the effects were just normalized. So there wasn’t as much space to, to consider that,

Robert (13:55):
That’s a good way to put it. ’cause The, even the effects themselves were normalized. So if the effects were [00:14:00] cheating on your significant other or paying for on the internet or in real life paying for sexual acts, if those were the effects, then they were also normalized, which is a fair way of putting it. And I mean that’s another one of the reasons I wanted to reach out to you guys and share my stories. ’cause I’ve been in, I’ve done really, really tough things throughout my life as far as [00:14:30] service trips, military stuff labor union worker. And I’ve been surrounded by other really strong men in strong communities. And whether it’s been socially acceptable or not, they’ve all at one point in time struggled within their own life. And I know it’s something that somewhere in, on all those men’s brains they wish it was talked about and they wish it would change.

Like you said, do [00:15:00] do I know other men at the time, other soldiers I knew do I know if they would’ve admitted they were addicted? I don’t know if everyone would’ve had the words for that, but I’m sure at some point everyone still felt that kid inside of them and was like, man, I know our culture is just, you’re in the military, you’re a hard working class guy, so just go have sex as much as you can. Watch porn as much as you can cheat if you have to pay for it, if you have to. But I’m sure everyone at some point remembers who they are as a child and wishes that that mentality [00:15:30] would change. And that starts with individuals and a mass movement and with individuals. And for me, that’s something I thought I would never be able to overcome on my own.

I always figured I had to be dating someone at the time in a serious relationship where I was already getting sex in order to avoid going to other sexual acts. But somehow I’ve been able to begin the process of overcoming it on my own with a ton [00:16:00] of outside resources from things like fight the New Drug and you’re consider performing consuming podcast. And I mean that’s, that’s a message I just, I wish all men, no matter where they were at, could hear is it’s okay for you to start telling other people in your environment that you’re no longer comfortable with that and you’d like that environment to change and you’d like the the [00:16:30] view of the negative effects to be viewed as negative, not to be viewed as positive. And maybe most men don’t even have the words to put to it.

I’m sure their significant others do I’m sure their girlfriends or their wives would probably know how to get to them. And this is something that I would hope that they could share with them and say, you know, here’s another strong working class man that can admit he’s been addicted to porn. And later in my life I have realized [00:17:00] how terrible it was for me and how bad all my sexual adventures were. And I, I just know that somewhere in their hearts, even these seemingly strong men that have all this appearance to keep up, we wish we could not always be joking about sex. Not always be, I mean, sometimes men just wanna be men with each other and relax, but a lot of men probably at some point feel the same way and wish they could get out [00:17:30] of it or change their situation.

Natale (17:32):
Yeah, that’s really well said. And I do just wanna go back and commend you, you know, it’s no small feat to start to tackle this issue. And so congratulations on doing that yourself and I’m glad to hear our resources have been able to help you. And I have no that you sharing your story here and saying this here will help hopefully some other men and maybe even women who struggle with pornography to know that they can share their story and that there are [00:18:00] some resources out there that can help them. So thank you for being brave in in sharing this with us. I wanna go to something you had mentioned about you thought maybe this would be something you could overcome if you were in a relationship, but if you were outside of a relationship, maybe not. Can you talk a little bit about how your porn usage was impacting your relationships or has impacted your relationships?

Robert (18:25):
Yeah, certainly I’ve, I’ve had some girlfriends that wanted to [00:18:30] view and use porn together to stimulate sexuality. And to me, even as someone who was addicted to porn at the time, it was just weird I think, ’cause I always knew in my heart that the amount I was using porn was just wrong. And for me, having to use it as a catalyst within a relationship just seemed wrong. And, and that, that I’m speaking for myself personally. I can’t speak for everybody’s situation. But [00:19:00] and then I’ve had other girlfriends that definitely said, I don’t want you watching it at all, . And I’ve had some that were kind of in between or didn’t care or they said, yeah, I use it too. But the impact it has is, as I’ve noticed now being on the other end it end of it, for me it was almost a self, self-righteous feeling of deserving of sex.

Like, I’m owed sex, [00:19:30] I deserve sex, I should have sex. If I see a hot girl in the grocery store, like, oh, she should want me to come up and flirt with her. She should be very positive and receptive of me. And having flip the script now being on the other end of coming out of addicted to porn, I realize that it’s not it’s not as exciting as it seems in a way or it’s not as deserving as it seems like there’s a [00:20:00] lot more intimacy and romantic relationships that can happen without having sex that can occur. And I, and I’m noticing that now on, on this end of it. So while I was in relationships, how porn was in was impacting it is I would still constantly daydream about other women. I would still be willing to hook up with or cheat with whomever if it just happened. And I can [00:20:30] honestly say that a great part of that being unlocked in my brain was because of my addiction to porn. So my brain was just very receptive to the idea of I should be getting sex how I want it, when I want it, and with whom I want it. And now that I’m trying to correct that mentality and step away from porn, I no longer view it as that way. So my relationships can be a lot more like emotionally intimate.

Natale (20:55):
Yeah, I think that’s exactly what we see that porn does, right? Porn teaches [00:21:00] that narrative that especially women are available as objects to be used for sex whenever and however. And I think it’s, it’s interesting to note that you notice that within yourself and also hopefully helpful for people to hear that you’re shifting that narrative now, that that’s not always going to stay permanent. You know, that perception won’t always stay permanent. I’m curious with the amount of work you’ve done in environments that are primarily male dominated environments, the military, the blue [00:21:30] collar environment you’re in now, do you think that the way the kind of collective group of men views women is, is altered because of the, you know, normalization around the culture around pornography and pornography consumption?

Robert (21:45):
Absolutely. Yeah. It’s just from my own experience porn has the ability to unlock these thoughts you wouldn’t normally have or this subconscious that you wouldn’t want to be there. And [00:22:00] and that causes men in these groups just to, to say and be the most horrendous sexual way that they can. And they’re comfortable doing it around other men. ’cause If they do it around their wives or girlfriends, then eventually they get told to knock it off.

Natale (22:20):
So moving, we’ve talked a little bit about your struggle with pornography. What was your first step that you took toward recovery and what has recovery looked like for you over [00:22:30] time?

Robert (22:31):
I’d say over the last year and a half to two years, I’ve really been wishing that I would not be viewing porn as much. When I when I went to the military environment where I just opened up and watched as much as I wanted to, which is not to say that the military has to put that on people, but that’s what happened to me. So I don’t, I don’t wanna like seem like the military’s forcing that on anybody. But that’s my, that’s been my journey. So after I got out [00:23:00] and even in the last six months to a year that I was in, I just was very disgusted with how much I was consuming corn each day. And then, so the first while was just noticing how much I was using it, how often I was using it, even when I didn’t feel like using it.

And then after noticing that, it became noticing in the last year and a half maybe that [00:23:30] I don’t even have control to say no. Like, so first was just finally noticing like, whoa, I’ve been watching so much porn for the last several years and now it’s steamrolled into daily huge of consumption. And then from there it came to a point and now I can’t even tell myself not to how, what has this snowballed into for me? How has this happened? And so from there it got really scary of I’m not in control. [00:24:00] And it was probably another year before I was finally able to stop. And I think it was a culmination of several, several, several failed attempts to date and realizing how much it was affecting my ability to even just begin a romantic relationship and keep one and just act normally and just not feel like I have to be given sex all the [00:24:30] time.

And what do I, how do I get rid of that desire? Well, it’s probably coming from porn ’cause I can’t say no to it right now. So for the last year it’s been crying several times to quit whether I can go a day, a few days, probably only two or three days max. And then somehow I think around seven months ago I noticed it had finally been a, a week. And then I was like, okay, this is great. [00:25:00] Like, and I, I felt like I was in somewhat of a romantic slump, but I was like, I don’t care if I’m feeling like I’m in a slump right now romantically, because whatever I’ve been doing hasn’t been working. Plus I haven’t watched porn for a week, so I’m gonna keep it rolling and just keep seeing how I’m feeling. And then two weeks had gone by and I’m like, holy smokes.

I haven’t watched porn for two weeks. And it’s kind of because I’ve been feeling how [00:25:30] feeling really bad about how bad it’s been impacting my entire mentality. And then it had been a month and then I was like, okay, this is great. I wanna correct, try to correct my, now that I, it had been a month, maybe about seven months ago. I was like, great. I want to try to correct all these negative things that I can now notice that my porn consumption is steamrolled into. ’cause The stuff I wasn’t doing as a high school kid wasn’t doing my early [00:26:00] twenties wasn’t till about 24 when I just got hugely addicted to porn then for a few years and then be turning 30. And I’m like, man, now I can see just being addicted to porn for the last four or five years, how bad it’s been for my mentality, myself image, my ability to have one-on-ones with women and just open up emotionally and converse.

And that had been a month and then my eyes were opening back up again, . And so I was like, [00:26:30] I really need this to mean something. I need this to be, I’m stopping. So I was just forcing myself not to every day, every day, every day. And I think I had one slip up around the two or three month mark. I can’t say for certain, but I think I did. But I’ve just, from there, I think with, I think it’s been about seven months and with maybe one slip up at the two or three months mark, I think

Natale (26:57):
Congratulations. That’s, it’s not a small thing and [00:27:00] it’s, it’s always exciting for us to see people overcoming this and realizing the improvements that your life can have when you start to rewire your brain and, and you know, kind of reject the influence of pornography in your life. I’m curious to know at any point in that, I mean obviously we’re here talking now because you’ve heard of this podcast before, but when you made the choice to quit or to try, you know, starting out this time without pornography, had [00:27:30] you heard about the harmful effects of pornography before that? Did you start to learn about, you know, what research has to say or what other people’s accounts or were of the harms of pornography before that? And what kind of helped you stay motivated throughout this period of time?

Robert (27:46):
So before, let’s say, let’s say before seven months ago, I didn’t really know any research as far as the negative harmful effects of porn. I just knew growing up I was told not to and that it is [00:28:00] bad for your heart, your mind and your body. You’ll just feel dirty. And then, so I’d say I remember

Never really bother trying at first to look for a program or to look for outside help ’cause I never believed in myself that I could [00:28:30] overcome it. And so I think it was about that two or three month mark, if I remember correctly, when I had that slip up or something similar to it. I don’t remember . Around that time when I realized it’s been at least several, several weeks, if not two months since I’ve watched porn. And I was like, I need to make this an official thing. That’s when I started looking [00:29:00] out to, there’s gotta be online programs, there’s gotta be, I was, and I had one good buddy that I’ve, I’ve talked to pretty much every step of the way. That was when I looked for programs online. ’cause Like there’s gotta be like an Alcoholics Anonymous type thing, but for porn as far as overcoming this, ’cause I need this to last, I need this to stick. I can’t go back to what I used to be doing it, it felt too bad. Yeah. So, so yeah, I I I was aware that you guys [00:29:30] existed just because I remember seeing in high school people post some of your artistry work and cool stuff online. ’cause All your posts usually look pretty cool and side catching anyway. I remember one friend in high school, she was posting stuff and then but I’d never read it or looked into what you guys meant or what you were

Natale (29:51):

Robert (29:52):
But you are the first thing I looked up. ’cause I, because I did remember the saying Born Kills love and the fight the new drug [00:30:00] from seeing posts somewhere at some point in time. So when I decided this needs to be permanent, you guys were the first thing I looked up.

Natale (30:07):
Well thank you for sharing that with us. And I think hopefully that’s a good reminder for anyone who’s wondering what they can do to help raise awareness that you never know what might help to share even if it’s, you know, years later for someone. So thanks for sharing that anecdote. What opportunities to connect with others about your struggle have you had since you’ve started this recovery [00:30:30] process? And what have those opportunities been like?

Robert (30:33):
One thing I’ve done is just trying to talk to guys more about it, just to see what everyone’s perspective is. And I found that, I mean, if you’re looking for the light, you can find it . And when I became addicted to porn, when upon entering the military, I was looking for that sexual porn freedom. And that’s what I found. And then realizing how terrible and dirty it did make me feel in my heart, my, [00:31:00] my mind and my body coming out of it and talking to other men, I realized that there are a lot of hardworking men in the same environment I’m in that do agree and that are actively trying to not watch porn and to keep feeling good about themselves. And so for me I bought your guys’ bracelet, the fight, the new drug thing. Because I saw, I, I learned that they give out tokens [00:31:30] at certain steps in other overcoming addiction programs.

And whereas I’m just kind of putting myself through this, I decided that I needed a token. ’cause I thought it had been around six months. And so I bought one of these for myself and I’ve worn it every day for a while. And that’s my token. And I’ve, they come packs a three, which is smart marketing and branding plus. So I was able to give those out. I gave one to my nephew and then I gave one to a friend at work [00:32:00] and he also said he recently quit watching porn and he’s enjoyed the positive effect it’s had and I’ve noticed he’s been wearing this bracelet every day for a few months also.

Natale (32:09):
That’s awesome. I I’ve gotta make sure that we get you your next six, six month token. So James and I will work on that. ,

Robert (32:17):
I have your, your new drop pre-ordered. It should be on its way. look

Natale (32:22):
At you. Amazing true fighter. That’s so exciting to hear that just, you know, [00:32:30] opening up a little bit about your story. I love that you said if you look for the light you can find it because I think that’s true. And I think sometimes with this issue we can get kind of bogged down in the harmful effects or you know, the negative societal impacts. But it is so important to remember that there are so many people out there who have gone through the struggle as well and who can be there to, to support and share their story and kind of motivate through that change. So thank you for sharing that with us.

Robert (32:57):
Can I just comment on that where, [00:33:00] I mean, I felt the worst of it as far as how, how bad it makes you feel and to the point where I don’t even know the exact day I quit. ’cause To me it never seemed worth writing down. I never thought I could go more than 24 hours a week, a month, seven month eight, maybe it’s been eight or nine months. I I never thought I could go that long. So I don’t even, I never wrote it down. ’cause Anytime I had tried, I would break that within 24 hours absolutely within 24 hours. So [00:33:30] I, I’ve been majorly addicted and it wasn’t until I started noticing that it does change your mind, it does change your heart, it does change your subconscious. And you start, and once you notice your subconscious is changing and you think, wow, that might be stuff I do in real life, I need to stop.

So I know there’s, yeah, there’s other men out there that need that in this message. And like, even if it’s just buying a t-shirt or a bracelet and that for themselves [00:34:00] or their spouse or their girlfriend buying it for them or their mom buying or their friend or their brother or their dad. Like, I gave one of these to a coworker and he loves it and he wear it. Is it so, so yeah, I just wanted to speak to that, that it can be really, really dark and I’m, I’m lucky that I noticed how dark it was making me feel and got out before it made me do anything that would be need absolute ears of therapy to recover from. You know, it just, I, I [00:34:30] noticed and then I got out and it is, it is possible. I did it on my own without being in a relationship with somebody at the time.

So I’m dating someone now and she’s great, but for the last seven months or I’ve been fighting on my own, I know there’s other men not in relationships either fighting on their own and I, I felt as bad as they’re feeling about their consumption and guilty and the shame and how dirty it makes them feel. I felt that way. And you can’t quit on your own [00:35:00] and maybe you’ll have to sit with all those negative feelings for a few weeks and really understand how bad you’re feeling about it and then reach out to a program like this and talk to buddies and do all the online stuff and do the 12 steps and, but just replace it with porn instead of alcohol and buy yourself a token. If you do make it any amount of time, even if it’s 24 hours, like it is, it is totally possible and, and you look for the light, you can find it.

Natale (35:27):
Yeah, that’s really beautifully said. Thank you for sharing that. And [00:35:30] also, I am sorry that you had to go through some of those, you know, really dark times and I think for anyone listening who’s maybe going through that as well, I hope they find some hope in the sentiment that you’ve shared that it is possible for them to, to overcome that. Since embarking on your, your recovery journey, in what ways have you noticed your life changing, you know, particularly in terms of your relationships, your personal wellbeing? I know you mentioned you’re dating someone. Tell us about where you’re at now.

Robert (35:59):
Yeah, I [00:36:00] love that question. So being on the other end, end of it, finally continuing to keep myself on this end of it. Even as I mentioned at the beginning, I’ve gotten into what working, like my subconscious creativity has shot up immensely since I’m not constantly holding my breath until the next time I get sexual release , which is what it feels like being addicted to something sexual, like my, my my, my heart, my [00:36:30] body, my mind can relax and think about other things for hours, days, weeks, months. So I, I’ve been getting into wood-burning and working with wood and just my brain has rediscovered its cur curious part. And so that’s something that’s changed for me, which I think has been fun replacing that bad habit with this new good habit. And those thoughts are overpowering the old thoughts .

Natale (36:57):
Yeah, that’s such a beautiful thing to focus on. We don’t often [00:37:00] hear from people focusing so much on how their creativity has been affected negatively, but it is something that, you know, research has, shows can be impacted and I I think it’s so nice to have anecdotal experience to show you can, you can positively rebuild your creativity. That’s so exciting. How about your relationships? Do you, have you noticed with this relationship you’re in currently in particular, do, does anything about it seem different than maybe some of your past relationships that were negatively impacted by pornography?

Robert (37:30):
[00:37:30] I’m a lot more focused on how things are going emotionally rather than just how things are going sexually. Whereas before I would just be romantic enough or good enough on a first date to get a kiss good enough on a second date to get a long kiss, good enough on a third date for ’em to want to come over. And if it happened to turn into a relationship, great. And that’s kind of what guys do in their twenties. And so that’s what I was doing. But now trying to have a good [00:38:00] mature adult relationship, I am a lot more aware of and concerned about the emotions on both sides of it and able to understand and state my own emotions about random things or just discuss things that way to, to have intimacy just emotionally with my partner, which yeah, for me that’s very relieving .

Natale (38:29):
Yeah, that’s great. [00:38:30] And I think that’s such a significant part of relationships, you know sustainable relationships, that’s such a significant part. So I’m excited for you that you’re getting to experience that as you’re on this recovery journey. Is there anything else we haven’t gotten to yet that you wanted to share about your own experience with the harms of pornography or with recovery that you would like our audience to know?

Robert (38:56):
I’ve noticed, like for me, [00:39:00] even just this event right now, the therapeutic ’cause I’m still within my first months of getting over this and realizing how it affected my mid twenties as much as it did. So I just wanna say thank you for having this program and letting me share my story as someone still actively fighting. And so thank you for that. I appreciate that.

Natale (39:24):
Of course. Thank you for being here. And I just wanna add to that you know, we hear a lot from people who think they can’t share [00:39:30] their story until they’re recovered, until you know, it’s a successful event that maybe won’t, you know, have any setbacks. And I just wanna remind anyone who is in the process of recovery, that setbacks don’t mean failures, that you can always keep going and that there’s no better time really to break down that shame and those barriers that can kind of hold you back then while you’re actively in recovery. So thank you for being here and being willing to share your story and experiences with us. [00:40:00] You gave us some hopeful words a moment ago, but I wanna let you, before we wrap up, share any other, you know, words of advice or encouragement for individuals who might be struggling with pornography. Especially those who might be hesitant to seek help or kind of acknowledge, acknowledge that this might be a problem affecting them.

Robert (40:20):
I’d say learn about your own emotions. I, I’m with this kind of stuff, I’m usually a pretty private guy and I’m a pretty [00:40:30] big self motivator and I like to accomplish lots of things in my professional and personal life on my own. So I guess maybe some in a way I’ve been wanting to overcome my addiction of porn on my own, which has made it a lot more difficult. I’ve had to reach out to find programs like yours, even talking to you right now. Things I’ve had to find things outside myself to help overcome this thing that I couldn’t do on my own. So for somebody [00:41:00] who’s like me, who likes to do hard things on their own, you know, I joined the military ’cause I like to do hard things. I like to know I’ve accomplished big stuff. And I know that I have not accomplished this on my own. It’s been through outside resources. So for someone else who’s similar to me, just know that the first step might be acknowledging you have this addiction and you can’t do it on your own.

Reach out [00:41:30] for help, find something, find somebody. And if you don’t know who to talk to, then you don’t know your emotions well enough yet. So for me, I think the very beginning was just literally just learning about emotions, understanding that I come home and use porn ’cause I’m restless or ’cause whatever. ’cause I had a bad day at work and I would think, oh, it’s okay if that bad thing happened because I’ll be able to go home and watch porn and get my release. I had to learn new [00:42:00] ways of de-stressing when I get home because I don’t just come home and use porn. So for somebody who doesn’t know where to start but they’re too embarrassed to fully, fully reach out, I’d say maybe just start learning about your own emotions. Learn about podcasts, about emotions. Learn how to sit with and meditate and relax on your own emotions. And then from there you in a much more human way, you can reach out to someone about your emotions and what’s going on and they might be able to guide you as far as [00:42:30] quitting porn. ’cause Quitting porn for someone very addicted is very difficult. But it’s possible. It’s possible.

Natale (42:38):
It’s very well said. Thank you so much, Robert. We really appreciate your time and we hope all of our listeners have benefited from hearing your experience.

Robert (42:46):
Thank you. Appreciate it. Thank you very much.

Promotion (42:53):
Did you know that as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, your donations to fight the new drug are 100% [00:43:00] tax deductible in the United States? We rely on donations from our fighters to support our efforts and help us create resources that educate countless individuals on the harms of pornography. Like this podcast, make a tax deductible donation to support the Consider Before consuming podcast today at That’s F-T-N-D.O-R-G/support. Decades of studies from respected institutions [00:43:30] have demonstrated the significant impacts of porn consumption on individuals, relationships, and society. Truth about porn is a current ever-growing database dedicated to giving visibility to the research on the harmful effects of pornography, access the latest studies and watch expert interviews to brush up on the research detailing the harms of pornography. Get the facts

Introduction (43:57):
Thanks for joining us on this episode of Consider Before [00:44:00] Consuming. Consider Before Consuming is brought to you by Fight The New Drug. Fight The New Drug is a non-religious and a non-legislative organization that exists to provide individuals the opportunity to make an informed decision regarding pornography by raising awareness on its harmful effects using only science, facts and personal accounts. Check out the episode notes for resources mentioned in this episode. If you find this podcast helpful, consider subscribing and leaving a review. [00:44:30] Consider Before Consuming is made possible by listeners like you. If you’d like to support Consider Before Consuming, you can make a one-time or recurring donation of any amount at That’s F-T-N-D.O-R-G/support. Thanks again for listening. We invite you to increase your self-awareness, look both ways, check your blind spots and consider before consuming.

Fight the New Drug collaborates with a variety of qualified organizations and individuals with varying personal beliefs, affiliations, and political persuasions. As FTND is a non-religious and non-legislative organization, the personal beliefs, affiliations, and persuasions of any of our team members or of those we collaborate with do not reflect or impact the mission of Fight the New Drug.


A three-part documentary about porn’s impacts on consumers, relationships, and society.

Fifteen research-based articles detailing porns negatively impacts.

Tees to support the movement and change the conversation wherever you go.

Successfully navigate conversations about porn with your partner, child, or friend.

A database of the ever-growing body of research on the harmful effects of porn.

An interactive site with short videos highlighting porn’s proven negative effects.