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Is Porn Consumption Only a “Guy Issue?”

By November 23, 2022No Comments

Episode 83

Is Porn Consumption Only a “Guy Issue?”

A Conversation with Influencer and Recovered Porn Addict Myunique

Myunique is a content creator and influencer. Today she lives a life free from pornography but that hasn’t always been the case. Myunique watched porn for the first time at ten years old, she wasn’t aware how that decision would negatively impact her life for years to come. What started as a natural curiosity about sex eventually escalated into compulsive sexual behavior which left her feeling lonely, and negatively impacted her overall mental health. As a young girl, she didn’t feel comfortable opening up to anyone about her porn consumption because of the misconception that only guys struggled with it. That all changed when she stumbled upon an article by Fight the New Drug.
In this Consider Before Consuming episode, Myunique talks with podcast host Garrett Jonsson about why her porn habit began, how her consumption escalated, and why education about the harmful effects of pornography empowered her to overcome her struggles.

EPISODE TRANSCRIPT

Myunique: You watch one video and it turns into like 10 videos and all of a sudden it’s hours and hours and hours and you’re like, dang, where did my day go? Um, so when I started being able to go, just like even a couple of hours, I was like, ‘This feels good. I’m actually doing work.’ And like even at school I was like, ‘I’m doing my schoolwork or like doing this and that.’ And so I started realizing that it didn’t control me as much, so I was able to do what I would call normal day to day things.

Garrett Jonsson: Yeah.

Myunique: You know, like, cuz there were times where when I was like entrapped in it like deep, I didn’t even wanna hang out with my friends, you know what I mean? I was like, ‘Nope. Because I can’t watch porn around you. So I, I don’t wanna hang out with you, I just wanna be by myself.’

Garrett Jonsson: Oh wow.

Myunique: That way I have access to porn whenever I want.

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Garrett Jonsson: What is up people? My name is Garrett Johnson and you’re listening to Consider Before Consuming a podcast by Fight the New Drug. And in case you’re new here Fight the New Drug is a non-religious and 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. We want these conversations to be educational, uplifting, and hopeful. As we sit down with experts, influencers, activists, and people with personal accounts. We cover a wide variety of topics that may be triggering to some- listener discretion is advised. Today’s episode is with Myunique, she’s a content creator and influencer. Today my unique lives a life free from pornography, but that hasn’t always been the case. When she watched porn for the first time at the age of 10, she wasn’t aware of how that decision would impact her life for years to come.

What started as a natural curiosity about sex eventually escalated into compulsive sexual behavior, which left her feeling lonely and negatively impacted her overall mental health. As a young girl, she didn’t feel comfortable opening up to anyone about her porn consumption because of the misconception that “only guys struggle with it”. That all changed when she stumbled upon an article by Fight the New Drug. During this conversation we talk about why she began turning to porn, how her porn consumption escalated into what she labels an addiction, and how becoming educated about the harmful effects of pornography empowered her to overcome her struggles. With that being said, let’s jump into the conversation. We hope you enjoyed this episode of Consider Before Consuming.

Garrett Jonsson: First of all, from the bottom of our hearts, we wanna say thank you for being with us today.

Myunique: Thank you. Thank you for having me.

Garrett Jonsson: Can you lay a little bit of like the foundational work, my unique and talk about who you are as an individual, maybe where you’re from, some of those family dynamics?

Myunique: Yeah. I come from a big family, so I’m actually one of nine and so I just like grew up very family oriented, kind of what people would say traditional. And so, uh, small town in California. I do a lot of online content creating, um, and just pouring my heart out to like encourage people.

Garrett Jonsson: Wow, I love that. How was it growing up with nine siblings?

Myunique: It was a lot, but it was, I I used to hear people say it all the time, like when you’re mad at one sibling you just go to another

Garrett Jonsson: [laughter]

Myunique: Um, I didn’t really think that that was like a thing, but like now that I look back, like growing up that was actually the, the case. You know what I mean? Yeah. When my brother was getting like annoying, it was just like, okay, I’ll go hang out with my sisters. You know what I mean?

Garrett Jonsson: You have built in friendships right there.

Myunique: Yeah. Yeah. They come with it.

Garrett Jonsson: That’s real Cool. So speaking to why you’re with us today, um, as you know, Myunique, our mission statement at Fight the New Drug is to educate on the harmful effects of pornography using science facts and personal accounts. And that’s where you come in with a personal account. So can we make that abrupt pivot? When was the first time you experienced the harmful effects of pornography?

Myunique: I was probably actually about 10 when I first like got introduced to pornography. So it was like right off the bat about 10 years old. Like at the time, like it was like magazines were like really big, like a thing. And then people also had like the first generation, like iPods, iPods had just released like video on their small, small screens.

Garrett Jonsson: Mmm.

Myunique: And I remember, so it was actually my brother who was like really into porn at the time. And then just me being a curious 10 year old took the iPod one day and watched it for the first time and then it just opened this door to what I felt like was just like a lifelong um, journey with pornography.

Garrett Jonsson: Wow. When you first saw pornography, can you describe that moment of what was happening in your brain and body?

Myunique: Yeah, it was, it was unlike anything I had ever known because at the age I wasn’t supposed to know. You know what I mean?

Garrett Jonsson: Yeah. It’s “adult” content.

Myunique: Right, right. And so I remember just watching it and it was like just my, my mind and my eyes. Like everything just became super fixated and it was like nothing else was around me at that time because it was like, it was the first time and I was like, ‘Whoa, like what is this?’ And so I remember just like everything around me just like stopped because I was so fixated on what was happening on the screen. And so everything just became more curious in me to keep watching.

Garrett Jonsson: Okay. That’s interesting to me. You’ve mentioned two things that I want to pull out from that, that part of your experience. The first thing is curiosity.

Myunique: Yeah.

Garrett Jonsson: You said it increased your curiosity. There was also a phrase that you used that I found intriguing and it was that you said everything else shuts off. I think that’s how you explained it?

Myunique: Yeah. It was just like, cuz I remember never knowing, like it was like I was just alone with the screen. I was just alone with the screen, even though I actively knew that there was other present like people presence available.

Garrett Jonsson: Right.

Myunique: And around me, but it was just like nothing else was in like, even my peripherals, it was just like, what’s on this screen?

Garrett Jonsson: Mhm.

Myunique: nd so I did, I almost probably didn’t hear anyone else talking at the moment. Didn’t see anyone. Even though you’re always mindful, even peripherals, it was just literally just me in this screen, um, for however long it was and that was all it was until it ended.

Garrett Jonsson: Hmm. Yeah. What you’re describing is what scientists would explain as flow, like this hyper focused state.

Myunique: Yeah.
Garrett Jonsson: Where you know, food doesn’t matter at that moment. Time goes by real fast.

Myunique: Right.

Garrett Jonsson: And not only are you focused, but you’re enjoying that focus.

Myunique: Right.

Garrett Jonsson: There’s a level of enjoyment and that’s why people turn to pornography again and again and again. Like of course we, we hate to say it, but that’s, we have to say it, there’s a level of enjoyment there and that’s why people turn to it. So what you’re explaining is, is flow and scientists, they say that that is the state that is going to mold a kid’s brain the quickest.

Myunique: Right.

Garrett Jonsson: So I have two questions, I guess. What were you trying to avoid? Were you, were you trying to avoid anything? Like were you turning to porn for escapism or was it just out of curiosity, like sexual curiosity or were you trying to escape something? And then the other question is what were you learning during those focused, those highly focused states?

Myunique: I don’t, at the time, I don’t think I was escaping anything. I think as I got older, definitely, like I used it as an escape mech mechanism.

Garrett Jonsson: Okay.

Myunique: But I think as I was young as as a child, it was just more so curiosity, you know, of just like, ‘What is that? What are they doing? What’s happening? They like it, I could possibly like it’, you know what I mean? So it was completely curiosity.

Garrett Jonsson: Yeah.

Myunique: Um, as a kid. And then as I got older and I started putting all of these pieces together, um, it became just a method of escape from things, emotions, um, things that I was dealing with like in real life outside of the screen. And so it just from curiosity to actually the escapism happened as I began to get older.

Garrett Jonsson: Hmm. Interesting.

Myunique: Yeah.

Garrett Jonsson: If you don’t mind me asking, and I’m gonna ask it, but if you don’t want to answer it, that’s fine. I’m wondering what you were trying to escape from when you were older?

Myunique: I think it’s more so the emotional, um, toll. Like I was a super introverted kid growing up. I had maybe two friends throughout like that childhood, like even preteen stage. And so I would seek like just the, the comfort of like someone “loving” me if I’m being honest. And then the older I got, I realized it turned into, um, more romantic relationship level of like, I’m not a type of person that kind of dates a lot. I don’t know, like it was, it was like, but there was such comfort in watching porn and even having a creative imagination, um, to think like ‘One day it could be me.’, you know, that someone’s loving that intimately. And so it was more so just emotions and stress of just like wanting or desiring someone to love me. It was that, that emotions of feeling lonely, you know what I mean?

That honestly just started as I got older. It just progressed more and more. Um, and so I think I didn’t even realize that. It just slowly turned into that where I started realizing I was prone to watch porn when I would get rejected by a guy. I was prone to watch porn when I was feeling lonely or feeling like I didn’t have any friends. And so that was the moment that I realized like, hey, these are, these are actually for me as to why. Um, now as I’m growing and becoming more of a young adult, becoming more of like even at preteen stage of it was controlling, um, in my deepest like most vulnerable moments.

Garrett Jonsson: Wow. Thanks for opening up about that.

Myunique: Yeah.

Garrett Jonsson: I’m just letting that sit for a second cuz, man, that’s a lot.

Myunique: Yeah.

Garrett Jonsson: And your name is Myunique, but I don’t think that experience is very unique.

Myunique: Yeah.

Garrett Jonsson: And what I mean by that, I think a lot of people can relate to what you you just said.

Myunique: Right? Right.

Garrett Jonsson: What were you learning during those moments as you turned to pornography?

Myunique: I think most of what I was learning was actually a negative because I was learning like through videos of like watching porn of like, ‘This is how I need to be to get loved. This is how I need to be for, in order for people to like receive me the way that I actually desire.’ When you’re constantly watching these honestly fake imitations of love, you start to think at yourself of like, ‘Oh, maybe I should say that to this guy’, or ‘Maybe I should behave like this’. And in order to get that attention, and then from there it’ll turn into love. And so I think everything I actually learned was actually so negative because I started taking these things and saying, it must be real. It must be real life. This is this, I have to be like this. I have to say these things in order to get what they’re getting. But when you, you’re, you know, watching porn, you don’t see it as something that’s fake. You know what I mean? They don’t, they don’t want you to think that. They want you to think like, ‘This is what it is to be intimate with someone. This is normal.’ and it’s really not.

Garrett Jonsson: Mm. It kinda sounds like you were getting like some type of playbook or like some type of script.

Myunique: Yeah. That’s a safe word to say. Yeah.

Garrett Jonsson: Some type of script through your consumption of porn.

Myunique: Right.

Garrett Jonsson: And it just was a, a negative thing, like you, like you explained.

Myunique: Right.

Garrett Jonsson: Well, how did your porn consumption escalate? Was there escalation in regards to like duration, like time spent with pornography or with frequency or the types of pornography that you were consuming?

Myunique: Um, once I had an iPhone, it was literally game over for me because I knew I could access it at any given time without anyone knowing. All I had to do was clear my search history. Um, and so things started progressing first off when I got more advanced technology in my hands. Um, and because I never used a computer because my mom had access to all of the computer, so everything I did, it was very like subtle. And the sneaky, like, my mom doesn’t touch an iPod. You know what I mean? She’s not that tech savvy. And so once I got an iPhone, though I knew it was game over because it was my phone it was in my hand 24 7. And so as that curiosity began growing with technology, it became, ‘Well, let me search this kind of video. I wonder if this video exists?’

And then I found more comfort in those things because I felt like I was learning how to be intimate with people. And so the more different types of video I liked, it was the trigger of like how my body would respond to these things of like, oh, I think I actually like that. Oh, I like that. You know, because my body started reacting to, you know, the things that I was watching.

Garrett Jonsson: Yeah.

Myunique: And then I found comfort in that of like, ‘Okay, this is good.’ And so it would just turn into hours of searching different types of videos, types of videos that like would trigger my body in response. And so I would learn what I liked and what I didn’t like. And then the more I knew I liked things, the more I just, just kept searching those specific things. And, um, I just found comfort in that of knowing I, my body is responding to this, so I like it, which means I’m okay as long as I like it, it’s fine. And so it just turned into learning what I would like and dislike, um, the things that would excite me and the things that I was just like, ‘Yeah, no, I can keep going.’ And then once I knew those keywords that I could search, it was hours of just searching different kinds of videos with these keywords, um, in order to just feel that comfort all the time.

Garrett Jonsson: Yeah. That makes sense. I have two questions. The one of the questions is regarding the age when you first got your iPhone. When was that?

Myunique: I was, it was right after high school for me.

Garrett Jonsson: Okay. Yeah. So you were considered an adult at that time. Right?

Myunique: Right.

Garrett Jonsson: And so we’re no longer talking about underage consumption, we’re talking about technically we’re talking about legal consumption here.

Myunique: Yeah.

Garrett Jonsson: Okay. That’s good to know. And then the other question that I had was, you mentioned that you had this biological reaction to the porn consumption that you… to the porn you were consuming. I’m wondering if, if like I’m trying to articulate this, basically, I think that sometimes you can’t follow your biological reaction.

Myunique: Mhm.
Garrett Jonsson: I think sometimes biological reactions are unhealthy.

Myunique: Right.

Garrett Jonsson: And just a small example of that would be if someone experiences suicide ideation, I think that’s a biological response that’s unhealthy.

Myunique: Mhm.

Garrett Jonsson: The, the body’s telling you to, to do that. But I don’t think people should follow that. I think people should not follow that biological instinct. And so I’m just trying to create some clarity or not create some clarity. Maybe just get more nuance. Do you feel like it was healthy for you to follow your biological reaction to the porn you were consuming?

Myunique: No, not at all. I think it was completely unhealthy, um, to follow that because there are ways that our body responds to things when it’s done right? And I don’t think it’s ever gonna be done right through a screen of just like watching or consuming porn because it’s all set up for, for for fake. You know, it’s like sometimes people are like, ‘You know, don’t listen, don’t watch too many romantic movies. Like those are all scripted by writers.’, you know what I mean? Like, your life is not gonna end up just like the notebook or whatever. And I think in the same way, it, it’s the same when it comes to porn is like, these are scripted things that are very, like, people pay a lot of money to have it very scripted and set up a certain way. But it’s like, that’s not the reality of life.

You know what I mean? Even when you realize just sex in general, like it’s not meant to be consumed the way that pornography often portrays it. And you don’t know those things until you know those things. And so I think it sets us up because at the time I didn’t realize how my brain was getting triggered to certain things all the time. My brain started getting triggered to certain types of videos, even certain types of people in the videos. Like it started getting triggered to these things where I was like, ‘Oh, I, I like it’ You know what I mean? It’s, it’s my body telling me I like it. But now, like being an adult in the real world, I’m like all of those things that started triggering me don’t exist in the real world. So what do I do with that? You know what I mean? Because here I am on the screen and everything inside me is getting triggered. But in life it doesn’t happen that way. You know, because they have money to produce and really fabricate a lot of the experiences that we’re watching through porn that it just doesn’t exist in real life. And then you’re sitting here like, ‘Why, why isn’t it happening the way it was through the screen in real life?’ And it’s because I started training my body to think that it was healthy, when in reality it was completely unhealthy for me.

Garrett Jonsson: Hmm. Another example, let’s say if someone experiences childhood sexual abuse.

Myunique: Right?

Garrett Jonsson: If, if a child experiences childhood sexual abuse, their body is going to have a reaction oftentimes. And that doesn’t mean that that reaction’s healthy cuz that shouldn’t be happening. It’s child abuse.

Myunique: Right.

Garrett Jonsson: But their, their body reacted a certain way.

Myunique: Right.

Garrett Jonsson: Again, maybe that’s an extreme example, but the reality is, is that, and that can be really confusing…

Myunique: Yeah.

Garrett Jonsson: … as a kid that doesn’t understand those concepts of how biology works. Right. The other thing I wanted you to speak to was regarding your sex. What I mean by that is you’re a, you’re a woman.

Myunique: Yeah.

Garrett Jonsson: And how was it for you as a woman having to struggle with pornography when society, and probably within your own head as well, you thought this was just a “guy’s issue”. Cuz that’s what’s pushed oftentimes.

Myunique: Yeah.

Garrett Jonsson: That, that “women don’t struggle with it.” or “That girls or women don’t struggle with it.”

Myunique: It was super challenging. Um, I always thought that it was literally just something wrong with me because again, our society does push a very male oriented, like pornography culture. So you don’t think about it with women. I don’t think I had even ever heard before, um, before I was probably like, what, 17, 18 until I realized that other women actually struggled with this. And so for, for years, I just kept quiet. I didn’t say anything because I was like, ‘There is no other woman that probably struggles with pornography the way that I am.’ Like, it got to the point where I was literally addicted and I was like, I have never heard a woman share. Um, just guys. You know what I mean? And like I said, even just watching my brother go through a similar like, experience, it was just boys. And so never ever heard it until I reached like, the peak of my adulthood that I realized that this is actually a struggle for women too.

Um, and it changed my, it changed my entire perspective of thinking because then it was like, ‘Okay, other women are actually struggling with this. I’m not just like the bottom of the bottom like scum of the earth because I’m a girl who’s watching porn’. And so it, it literally opened my eyes to like, this is just a real issue. You know what I mean? It’s a real just human issue. And so, um, it was definitely hard. It made me stay quiet for a long time about my own experience and like even wanting to get help if I’m being honest, because I was just like, ‘I’m just a weird girl’. You know what I mean? Like, I don’t, I don’t know what to do. I don’t know who to talk to because that’s just for boys.

Garrett Jonsson: Wow. Yeah. Thanks for speaking to that. That’s a big deal. You just spoke to the emotional distress that you experienced because of your porn consumption and, and how you perceived it. You mentioned a lot there. Um,..

Myunique: Yeah.

Garrett Jonsson: As I as you were talking, I took a couple notes. I was like, ‘Okay, I wanna ask about that and I wanna ask about that…’ cuz you mentioned addiction.\

Myunique: Yeah.

Garrett Jonsson: And I’m wondering if you can speak to that a little bit more. Did you formally get diagnosed with an addiction or do you just label it an addiction? Like is it a, is it a diagnosis from a professional or is it more of like a self-diagnosis?

Myunique: It was a self diagnosis because it was something that happened. What I like growing up, it was like, oh, occasional here, you know, every, every couple of weeks. Like, oh, I’d watch a video, da da da. But the more deeper I got into it, the more I couldn’t be without it. And so I couldn’t, like I remember when I was working at a job, like I couldn’t even go an hour without watching porn. I remember hiding in the bathroom because I just felt so anxious and jittery. And I was like, ‘I just need to watch a video’. Like, ‘I’m fine’. And I would literally hide in the bathroom every at the top of every hour to just watch a video. And I got to the point where I was like, ‘This is unhealthy’. You know what I mean? It started off so small, oh, a video here and there, um, et cetera, et cetera.

But, but the more deeper I got into these things, the more I realized that if I went without it, I was a different person. I became anxious a lot, very jittery, very like closed off. I didn’t wanna talk to anyone because I just wanted to watch videos every second. I was like, I had the opportunity to be by myself, whether that be in a bathroom, like hiding in the bathroom at work to watch a video. Like what? And then being in my car, just like sitting in my car by myself, making sure I’m watching a video. It just became to the point where like, I couldn’t go without it. And the reason that it’s that like self diagnosis is because when I think of people who have addictions, it’s often very similar. If I know someone is struggling with like a drug addiction, it becomes like they are a different person when they are not consuming, um, to the point where like they’re shaking, they’re, they’re anxious.

And I started to realize I had those same things. It was just with the consumption of porn. And so I got to this point where every hour on top of the hour it was finding videos. It was actually downloading these videos and hiding them in a folder on my phone. Like it became to the point where I had to have some kind of consumption and access at all times when I started not feeling like myself when I was starting to feel anxious, when I was starting to feel panicked anytime anything happened. And because it was that, that coping mechanism of escapism, anytime there was like, like someone texted me and, and like, I got upset because of that. I had to go run and watch porn because it was safe at the time for me.

Garrett Jonsson: Oh, wow.

Myunique: And I didn’t realize it. And so I was like, I got to this point where I was like, ‘I’m, I’m addicted. I’m addicted to watching and this is not good.’

Garrett Jonsson: Yeah. I’m not a professional when it comes to, I’m not a mental health professional.

Myunique: Yeah.

Garrett Jonsson: I’m not a therapist. I don’t play one online. But a lot of experts label pornography as a super normal stimulus. And so looking back on your experience, if you were, if you were having to consume pornography on the hour, that is a lot of supernormal stimulus that you had to consume.

Myunique: Yeah.

Garrett Jonsson: Did you notice that you were wanting it more but enjoying it less?

Myunique: Yeah. Yeah. I wanted it. And then once it was done, it was like, ‘Man, like why?’ You know what I mean? And so there it wasn’t enjoyment because I was like, I’m almost like, because I was addicted, I was like, ‘Dang, like I’m like a slave to pornography at this point.’ And so yes, like it was like, watch, watch, watch. But I wasn’t happy because I knew I was basically like a slave to watching porn. It, it, I felt like it controlled me, you know what I mean? And so I felt like I had no control and I was like in my brain like, ‘Just stop. Just stop.’ But it never got to that point until later on. And I just remember always just like, ‘I don’t want to, but I’m going to.’ And so it just felt like I was just controlled, um, by the consumption of it to where I couldn’t even, like in my, my mind I’m like, ‘I wanna stop. I wanna stop.’ But it was like this weird control thing where I was like, ‘I can’t though’. Like I have to, it has to be every hour on the hour even when I’m like, ‘Okay, I’m, I’m good for, I’m I’m doing good, I’m doing good.’ But then it was just like, ‘But it’s been an hour and I have to go.’ And so I…

Garrett Jonsson: Oh wow.

Myunique: … really just felt super controlled by just like, I want to, but I know I’m not gonna enjoy it anymore because I don’t want to feel controlled by it anymore.

Garrett Jonsson: Wow.

Myunique: When I started realizing that it was controlling me, I knew there had to be answers somewhere. And so I did just like turn to Google and start googling like resources, like on a hidden browser. Like there has to be, there has to be something, you know. And then that’s when I actually came across Fight the New Drug is you guys do blog posts and stuff like that. And I remember very specifically reading this blog post on the website and it was like this lady, and she told the story of how, um, when she got married, her husband couldn’t please her because she had trained her body to like certain things in the pleasure of herself in watching porn and how it led to almost destruction in their marriage. And I remember reading that article and it was like, ‘Whoa!’ And that’s when I realized porn actually has a negative side that no one even knows or talks about enough.

Like she did not realize that it would lead to like an effect in her marriage. And I remember reading that and that’s when I was like, ‘Wait, there are harmful effects to this.’ where it’s like you just watch and consume and it’s like, ‘Oh, it’s pleasurable. Like I’m enjoying it, it’s fine’. but you don’t realize the harmful effects that it’ll have a like years from now when you no longer are even like watching porn. But there’s still effects to that. And I remember reading that article and it changed everything for me. Like my mindset was like, ‘Oh no, I need to actually know what’s, what’s going on’. Cause I was like, ‘I have really been doing more damage to myself than good’., and I never realized it. And so that’s when I started getting serious about understanding the harmful effects that porn would have as someone who desires to be married someday.

You know what I mean? I was like, ‘I don’t want this to happen to me’. You know what I mean? And so I started looking up like scientifically what the harmful effects are. Even looking up what, like what porn even was because like as a kid watching it at 10, I was just like, ‘Oh, these are just people that love each other and like they’re being intimate’. But when, you know the, the behind the scenes of what a lot of that actually is, which is like billions of dollars in production, people that don’t even wanna be there and like all these things take place. I became like, I was shocked and I was like, I had been consuming for years and never knew any of this. Like I didn’t, and once I realized it, I realized like, ‘If I don’t get a control of this now, like it’s going to destroy me in the long run’. And so I started looking at resources and looking at, and then I, I even actually like told someone and I was like, ‘Hey, like I’m struggling with, with porn’. And so, um, literally just having a, a solid person that was able to help me through that, understanding the facts because I was like, ‘I’m, I don’t want this to affect my friendships and relationships and even my marriage someday. I would rather get a hold of it now and start walking in that freedom so I’m prepared when it comes’.

Garrett Jonsson: Yeah. Looking back on your journey, are you grateful for your rock bottom moment?

Myunique: Yeah, because I think I needed it. I think it was a wake up call of like, it’s time. You know what I mean? And so definitely took a moment to like process through that. But I mean, I would, I would hope that people get help before rock bottom. But I was thankful because it, I helped me realize like, okay, now is the turning page for me.

Garrett Jonsson: We’re gonna release this episode, like this conversation in November. What would you say to someone that’s currently in that hopeless state trying to do No Porn November, but they don’t know if they can do it?

Myunique: Yeah. So I’ve, I’ve actually participated in no porn November, um, years ago when I was knee deep in things. And I think the encouragement I would give is, is that it’s a baby step process. I think so many people wanna jump from like that mountaintop to mountaintop of like, ‘I wanna wake up and just be free from porn’. Like, that’s it. And I love the enthusiasm behind that, but I don’t know if that’s really real life. And so when I was like starting to walk in freedom, there were days where I would, what I call “relapse”, where I would go weeks and then all of a sudden I, I hit this wall and then I relapsed. And I think that’s where we start to get discouraged and then you’re like, ‘Oh, I can’t do this.’, but I believe in a baby step process. And so I started taking it day by day instead of like, ‘Oh, I’m gonna go six months without watching porn.’

I started breaking it up into these like baby increments of like, let me just take it like ‘Three days. Give me three days and then I’ll pick back up and start three days again’. And so I had to really work in this baby step process before I realized it. It was like gradually growing, like the time spent not watching porn. And so when I would do it before though, it was like, ‘I need to go like X amount of months’. But it was just so unrealistic and I had unrealistic expectations for myself. And then I felt so defeated when I didn’t meet those. And so I think it’s really just working in that baby step process of like, okay, it’s a couple of days if you’re good and you relapse, like just start back over.

Garrett Jonsson: Mm.

Myunique: Um, it’s baby step process.

Garrett Jonsson: I don’t know if there’s better advice. I don’t know if better advice exists because it just, it is pivotal. Like those baby steps, you can’t skip ’em. Those small steps are the most important. What would you say are some actual steps you took speaking of those, those baby steps or the small steps? Like what did you actually do that helped you make it three days?

Myunique: Um, the practical steps that I took was definitely moving my phone cuz I would sleep with my phone like at my bedside. So when it was like, ‘Oh, I can’t sleep, like I’ll just turn on porn, it’ll help me’. Um, it, that was like the biggest, I think step for me is I started plugging it up in the bathroom. Um, because I knew like, I’m not gonna get up. You know what I mean? Like, I started making sure by a certain time obviously that my phone was charging in the bathroom instead of next to my bedside. And then beyond that, I made sure to surround myself with people, um, people that I know I didn’t wanna share my struggle with. So it’s not like I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, like this and that’s going on’. But more so like, ‘I need to go watch a movie with my siblings’. or ‘I need to sit on a call with a friend until I go to sleep’.

So I started placing myself actually with people too. Um, they didn’t know what was going on, but it was like, if I’m by myself, I’m more tempted to watch porn. And so when I started putting people around me in those moments of like feeling urgency of those urges that would come, um, I started removing myself from the situation. So it was like, for me it was always like my bedroom, it’s my sacred space, you know what I mean? And I was like, I need to not be in my bedroom. So I would go in our kitchen and obviously I have like family. So family would be sitting in the kitchen or I would go to our family room and like just watch something and be like, okay, now I can go to bed. But again, it was like a day by day process of like I had to do it this day and this day I had to put my phone this way.

Like, cuz like it was like I started off like, ‘Just turn your phone off. Just turn your phone off’. But I’m like, it was too, it was too hard. I would just turn it back on and start consuming. But when I started removing the access at night, for me it was like the main thing. Um, uh, removing that access and then placing myself outside of that setting that I always was so used to consuming, um, was like the baby steps that I started taking. And then realizing as time progressed, like I would stop spending so much time in our family room. You know what I mean? It was like, no, I think I’m okay. And so it was just like slowly building up my resistance. Um, two wanting to consume and two, wanting to do stuff that actually helped get better and get better and get better.

Garrett Jonsson: Great advice. Love that. Thank you. How did it feel to finally get some days porn free? Because as a person who is currently in the thick of it or currently in their porn consumption, whether it’s an unhealthy habit or it’s a compulsive behavior. It’s tough to get those like first couple days without porn. And once you got those, how did you start feeling?

Myunique: I felt free. Um, my mind was clear. I got more things done cuz it was like I wasn’t just focused on, ‘Oh, when am I gonna watch?’, ‘Oh, when am I gonna watch?’ Um, I started being able to complete like daily normal tasks if I’m being honest. And so realizing that it wasn’t consuming, cuz it’s time consuming. You watch one video and it turns into like 10 videos and all of a sudden it’s hours and hours and hours and you’re like, ‘Dang, where did my day go?’ Um, so when I started being able to go just like even a couple of hours, I was like, this feels good. I’m actually doing work. And like even at school I was like, I’m doing my schoolwork or like doing this and that. And so I started realizing that it didn’t control me as much, so I was able to do what I would call normal day to day things.

Garrett Jonsson: Yeah.

Myunique: You know, like, cuz there were times where when I was like entrapped in it, like deep, I didn’t even want hang out with my friends, you know what I mean? I was like, Nope, because I can’t watch porn around you, so I I don’t wanna hang out with you. I just wanna be myself that way. I have access to porn whenever I want. And so it was like even being able to walk in freedom of those day to day tasks of like, I can hang out with my friends at a normal time and like be okay was like success for me. It was a win. And so I started taking these little wins every single day of like, ‘Oh, I can do this and like, I can actually get eight hours of sleep a night’. You know? So it was like those daily, daily tasks led to little wins in my book and I started celebrating those wins.

Garrett Jonsson: Oh, that’s cool.

Myunique: And I started like, I actually feel good. Like my mind isn’t foggy, like I can actually talk to people. And so like just celebrating the little wins of freedom for me led to like even more freedom and even longer periods of it where it was like, ‘I’m okay’.

Garrett Jonsson: Oh, I love that. So focus on the, the small steps and then celebrate the swan wins.

Myunique: Yep.

Garrett Jonsson: That’s great. Yep. I mentioned that I’m not a therapist, but I did recently have a conversation with a therapist and she said that there’s a part of you that remains healthy. Even at your rock bottom moment, there’s a part of you that remains healthy. Do you think that’s true what the therapist said? Was there a part of you that remained healthy during your most challenging times with porn consumption?

Myunique: I think a part of it’s true for sure. Um, because I started realizing how to fight against these things. You know, like when we were talking about just the, um, those little urges, I started realizing ‘I actually don’t have to give into this’. You know what I mean? And so I think a part of me did actually remain healthy because it’s not healthy to to go off of everything we’re feeling or like even say things that we’re thinking like there, there’s just like morality of just like knowing what’s right and wrong. And so I think the healthy part for me personally was actually realizing I don’t have to just like you were, we were talking about like the suicide. Like you don’t have to do everything you’re thinking. You don’t have to act upon everything you’re even feeling. And so I think that’s healthy because it’s creating boundaries within ourselves and even with relationships with ourselves, if I’m being honest to like, ‘No, this is not okay.

We don’t have to do that’. You know what I mean? Instead of just like running rapid with no rules, no boundaries, no regulations. It creates that healthy boundary of like, ‘Actually I can say no to this actually, I don’t have to do this’. And so I think just in life to have healthy lives, like we’re all about boundaries with friendships, family members, people, like the li like life is better when we have boundaries. And so I think that’s the healthy part is knowing we even have to have boundaries with ourselves.

Garrett Jonsson: Oh, I like that.

Myunique: Um, but if we don’t have those boundaries in place, we’re never gonna experience freedom. And so I think having healthy boundaries for ourselves in these moments is what creates those healthy mindsets and healthy practices, um, that we take with us as we do this thing called “life”. And so, yeah, I believe that there’s a part of helping us that exists in that.

Garrett Jonsson: Wow. Yeah. So I guess freedom doesn’t mean that you just do whatever you want or every urge you don’t, you don’t follow every biological urge you have, or you may have. Freedom is about boundaries. I love that.

Myunique: Yep.

Garrett Jonsson: That’s real wise. Good job. Good job. Myunique.

Myunique: Thank you. [laughter]

Garrett Jonsson: That’s awesome. Do you believe in the phrase once addicted always addicted?

Myunique: No.

Garrett Jonsson: Oh, why not?

Myunique: Because that’s to say that people can’t change. People have to want to change for them. You know what I mean? Like if I think if someone truly wants to change and be different, they can be just like we have the choice. Like it’s all about choices. We can choose to not, and then we can choose to do better. And so I believe that someone can live a lifestyle of choosing addiction, but that they can wake up and decide today’s a day where that ends and I wanna choose something different. And then they can walk in that path for the rest of them, their lives. So I believe that it can be for a season that someone can be addicted, but just like the seasons change, we don’t always live in summer. Like some people want that, but that’s like unhealthy for our environment, you know what I mean? I think it’s a part of life actually. And I think the same is true as someone who struggles with addiction is that they’re changing and they’re growing, but it is a choice. You know? They can stay in that and choose that, but they can choose something different and create a new path and a new life for themselves.

Garrett Jonsson: Yeah. So you kind of perceive that as a self-limiting belief.

Myunique: Right.

Garrett Jonsson: Okay. Yeah. I want to give you the opportunity to have the last word during this conversation. Is there anything on your heart or mind that has been left unsaid or that you wanna reemphasize?

Myunique: I’ll reemphasize that pornography is not normal and I think more people should speak on that, you know what I mean? Because when we’re researching, like, like I said, it took me a while to research these things for myself because I was like, ‘Oh, everyone does it’. Whatever, whatever. And like, that’s such a lie. And so I wish more people understood that before consuming it because I think it would change the way that they think about it, you know? And so knowledge is power. And when people, like, again, growing up when I was consuming, I didn’t know any of these things. It wasn’t until honestly Fight the New Drug educated me, like just reading through the blogs, reading through the website. It wasn’t until I had the education behind it that I started considering what I was doing to myself. And even how watching porn actually supports what they’re doing.

You know what I mean? The reason it is a billion dollar industry is because we give it that people are consuming, people are paying in like all of these things. But if I would’ve known the educational facts behind it and how harmful it was, I probably wouldn’t have started it. And I think if you are listening and you are someone that is educated in it now, share that with people. Use your voice to share that with people so that they understand it. And if you are not educated on it, get educated on it because it is so much more than we think it is. And when we have the actual facts to, to back these things up and prove it, like I believe it will change the way that some people consider before consuming it.

Garrett Jonsson: Yeah. Thank you so much. I wanted to encourage you to keep going and keep being you because you’re awesome.

Myunique: Thank you. I appreciate all that you guys do. Literally probably would not be the same without just like a Google search and Fight the New Drug popped up [laughter]

Garrett Jonsson: [laughter] Good.

Myunique: So I appreciate it.

Garrett Jonsson: Good. I feel the same way about Fight the New Drug. They also helped me, so I feel we’re we’re on the same page there, so…

Myunique: I love it.

Garrett Jonsson: All right, well, we’ll talk to you soon then. We’ll stay in touch. Okay.

Myunique: All right. Thank you so much.

Garrett Jonsson: Yeah. Take care.

Fight the New Drug Ad: If you have a resolution to give charitably in the new year, consider joining Fighter Club. For as little as $10 a month, you can take an active role in helping others recognize how porn can impact them, their relationships, and their communities. As a 501 C3 nonprofit, we rely on Fighter Club members to help us create resources that educate countless individuals on the harms of pornography. Like this podcast, plus, as a member of Fighter Club, you’ll receive exclusive benefits, like 30% off the Fight the New Drug store, access to our Secret Store, regular impact reports, and a fighter club kit. When you join, make a Real Difference in the Movement For Love this year, join Fighter Club for as little as $10 a month at ftnd.org/joinfc. That’s ftnd.org/joinfc. See you in the club!

Garrett Jonsson: Thanks for joining us on this episode of Consider Before Consuming, Consider Before Consuming is brought to you by Fight the New Drug Fight. Fight the New Drug is a non-religious and 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. If you’d like to learn more about today’s guest and the conversation we had, you can check out the links included with this episode. If you’ve found this podcast helpful, consider subscribing and leaving a review. Again, big thanks to you for listening to this conversation as you go about your day, 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.

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