Sarah’s journey to hell and back (part 3)

Here, thanks to ForHerAddicts, is part 3 of Sarah’s personal journey with pornography in which She discovers the ‘toxic world of online porn’.

I didn’t realise how much my past had affected my sex life, unconsciously dominating how I acted and the roles I played. I faked every orgasm I ever said I had. No man ever knew otherwise; they all believed me. Why wouldn’t they? I was just like the women they watched, their ideal ‘fantasy image’. I knew this wasn’t the way it should be but I didn’t know anything else and many of my peers were in exactly the same position. The older I got the more disconnected I was from my sexuality, the more porn helped to substitute something missing, and the more sex and love were overtaken by my co-dependent nature and the artificial world of porn. I ran from one manipulative man to another. The more I faked it, the more I compensated with masturbation and the more I acted like a pornstar to keep them happy. It was a cycle of self-loathing. What I was getting off to was not what I wanted in my life or from my sex life. I began to compartmentalise my sexuality and I ended up loving men that did exactly the same.  Men whose sexual ideal was the prostitute. Men who idolised women who sold themselves. Men who made me feel all the pain of being objectified and paid for the acts I performed as a child. My real addiction was to these toxic relationship patterns. I was also led to believe that I was the abnormal one for not supporting this. I was the one with a problem, not them; and I just had to get over it. This did nothing but reinforce my co-dependent nature.

My battle with all of this came to its peak in my last relationship. I didn’t really know anything about the toxic world of online porn, but it didn’t take long for that to change. I entered a relationship with a pro-porner. Underneath I knew he was addicted but I pushed it aside and told myself it would change if he was with me. He needed me and I needed him to need me. Partly, I was unconsciously attracted to him for this reason, part of me was attracted to the porn in a twisted, self-sabotaging way.  Of course his love of porn didn’t change, I was just lying to myself, like I had most my life. I gave him the pornstar of his dreams for a while. But the longer it went on the less he was addicted to the newness of me, the less I got off on the artificial sexual attention and the more I lost anything I had left of myself and my sexuality. In turn the more my controlling, obsessive, caretaking behaviour patterns came out. I felt guilty for not wanting him to use porn, using porn myself and then  feeling inadequate because I couldn’t compete with the product these women were selling. I wanted to be close to him. All I was craving underneath everything was real human connection, respect, acceptance, unconditional love and a fully integrated sex life but those were the last things I got or allowed myself to get from any of my relationships.  I kept huge parts of myself hidden for fear they wouldn’t be accepted or appreciated and the sad reality was at the time, they weren’t. It all came to a head about two years into the relationship. What I discovered after one of his binges while I was away for a week – the intricacies, the specifics, the lies, the covering up, the women my partner was addicted to in both fantasy land and in real life – destroyed anything I had left of myself. I had tried to talk to him about porn several times during the relationship and raised my concerns about his addiction, but it all fell on deaf ears and I was fobbed off with lies and the same old excuses I’d heard a thousand times before.

Sarah’s story concludes in part 4.

COPYRIGHT ForHerAddicts and Porn Recovery UK 2012

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