I'm here because I admit I have a problem... and I need help

Having anonymity helps I suppose, and I'll give you as much detail as I can, even though as I write this, I feel the shame of it all bearing down on me.

Background (and it's long!)

I grew up in a house with pornography and started looking at it when I was about 9 years old, seeing the magazines my dad would put under his bed, to eventually watching the videos he'd have from time to time into my mid teens...

Because of it, I never really found myself with a girlfriend when I was in school, and looking back, I was caught up more in the fantasy, and I know even now that I've had an unhealthy view of women and sex for the greater part of my life.

When I was 16, I gave my life to Christ, becaame a Christian, wanting to really follow after Jesus - and my dad followed after a year later. It took a lot of time, but my dad did away with it all, but he still felt the struggles, as I have constantly have had to deal with myself.

I even spent a year in a school of ministry (like seminary) and was really enjoying my relationship with the Lord. Temptations were there, but I felt free from the sin that I had been burdened with for so long.

With the internet coming into my life in my early twenties, it became so easy for me to try to look for things in secret - going to sites, seeing things I was ashamed of seeing - even occasionally coming across child porn - though I find myself more averse to it, my curiosity, even now, is piqued at the idea.

I wound up paying for sex when I was 24 (ten years ago), getting a woman to come to my place - not just once for playing around, but twice - losing my virginity - although I found myself overwhelmed with guilt, and unable to complete the act.

I told myself it was the last time, that I would never do that again.

For awhile, I stopped looking at pornography, but with faster internet, and all the content, it became all too easy for me to find more and more - then I'd stop for a time, look at all types of porn again.

I had a friend of mine really wake me up - I wasn't going to church, so I cast things off and started going to church again - this was about three years ago.

A girl from my high school days came into my life and we started dating - she had her own struggles with sex in the past, but I was honest with her, I felt I needed to be and it was a rocky start. I fell in love with her and we got married after just a few months.

She said she was a Christian, that this was what she really wanted - and while I still tried to enjoy pornography in "secret" I felt like being with her was great - and I really didn't want to be with anybody else.

Over time though, she started having less and less interest in sex, not enjoying it, and with my limited experience, not being good at it - I struggled to make things work, but after seven months, she told me she never loved me, insulted my performance in bed, tore me down in every way (how she felt like me being with her was like raping her) she left and within a few weeks, she was with another man (though evidence points that she met him before she left me.)

I was in despair, lonely, distraught - seeing things I didn't want to see, pictures of him kissing her, me pleading with her to come back so we could seek counseling to make things right... that adultery wasn't the way to go, to all fall on deaf ears. with the online social networking, it was clear they were already sharing the same bed, despite the many lies she told me during the divorce.

It left me angry, bitter, devestated, and lonely.

I tell you all this to maybe give some understanding of where I am today. About a year ago, just before the divorce was finalized... I found a place where I could call up and solicit prostitutes in my area - and I started visting them.

In the past year, I've paid for sex somewhere between 15-20 times. I've somewhat lost count... Some experiences were better than others, but as a whole, it's left me miserable and empty inside. I know the intimacy is fake, that there is no love involved, that there is no joy in it... yet the impulses to keep doing it are strong.

I hate the man I've become, professing Christ - and knowing what I genuinely believe, and living a life that is incompatible with repentance and the gospel of salvation from sin.

I need help - I find myself wanting to look for more, I have a good amount of expendable income and I find myself thinking about how much I want to spend for what activity, and so on. I don't want this anymore... I don't want to think about it anymore. I need prayer and I need accountability.

I want to be on the path Christ has called me to be on, to have joy, no matter what my circumstances.

And so I've come here, as open I as can be. I fear telling others, not simply because of what they might think, but because the shame I feel about it all in myself. I'm just not ready to deai with others I know. A group where I'm not known... where progress can be made... and maybe someday, I can come to those I know with a good report, that's what I want.

It's long, but thank you for bearing with me.

do you have a community?

Elaborate on what you mean by community?

Hi SeekHisFace,
Thank you for sharing your most intimate painful experiences. You have come to the right place. People here will not judge you and will offer support and advice.
I am a Christian as well. You know the Lord, so you know all can be done thru Him.
I do not know if I can be much help to you. Other than for you to know you have a friend in me and I will be here for you to listen to and try to give my best advice.
Feel free to click on my name and message me anytime. I will add you to my prayers that you find the peace and strength to overcome this addiction. That God will give you the courage to face your fears and find joy and love for yourself first.
Hope to hear from you soon.
Have a blessed day,
Lily

hey i support you, i was addicted to porn, what i did to prevent me watching it was to block all the sites and if i ever think about trying to trick myself and watch it, i would go do something else if i was on the computer. i am here for you

Send Prayers my way please. Are there any support groups for pornography addiction? I can't find them anywhere. I am suffering because a member was addicted.

Hi, I had a somewhat porn addiction too alot to do with my childhood i assume....its hard but you can overcome it. Just want you to know we are here to listen and support you!

I pray that you hold onto your salvation my friend. The devil is a lie and the father of it! You can overcome this addiction and you have the the desire to do it. What else you need is accountability and faith. Trust God and men of integrity and it will happen.

I want to applaud all you men and women that are confessing your porn addiction. It is very honorable of you. I think confessing is the first step, as with any addiction. And, unless you really want help....you can't begin to confront your addiction. So, thank you to you all. I just my fiance would have confessed it instead of me stumbling upon it. I remember when we started dating and the subject of porn came up....He said he hated porn. Wow!! You know, it's not ven so much the porn anymore. It's the fact that he keeps changing his passcode on his playstation because he has something to hide. Why else block someone out? At least he thinks he blocks me out. Like I said in my other post, It's a network. There are ways to know what is happening on anything that uses your wireless. I really started this to watch my kids and what they downloaded and looked at. I didn't know I'd find he was looking at porn!

Anyway, SeekHisFace, it sounds like you are going through hell. I seriously don't know what to tell you. I'm on the opposite end of your problem. But maybe we could help each other out. You said you looked at porn when you were married? Why was that so? And you still wanted your wife? Did you not wish she was or looked like one of those girls in the porn? Did you ever wish she did to you what those girls do to those men in porn? I'm just asking. Like you said...No one knows you.

Well,thanks all
still dumbfounded

I'm so sorry about what happened between you and your wife. But you have people here to help you and it will get better.

Hi SHF,
First I'd like to say thank you for sharing your problems and I hope you can find some measure of peace by coming here.

I'm fairly certain my response will be a little out of the ordinary. There is nothing wrong with you physically or your desire for a lot of sex and masturbation. That is all natural. You have a distorted view on sex and your own sexuality. This is very common imo. Your problem is insecurity, self esteem, and of course guilt. And I can identify, but since I don't really know you, this is just an assumption based on the information you have provided. So I hope I haven't offended you with my bluntness. I haven't had the same experiences as you but I feel like I understand the emotions behind some of your choices. I won't go into all my theories on why we feel this way but to begin with I'll give you some information that may ease your shame and guilt. Try to see this information outside of your personal morality. Not right or wrong, good or bad just facts.

A 2004 TNS poll reported 15 percent of all men have paid for sex and 30 percent of single men over age 30 have paid
for sex.

The prostitution trade in the United States is estimated to generate $14 billion a year.

So anyway you are not alone. And I don't know how familiar with history you are, but at one time visiting a prostitute was considered the honorable way to appease yourself. Even Christians accepted this behavior. I know it sounds crazy but it's true. But what does this have to do with you? It's all about perception. Your guilt and fascination are derived from your perception of sex. Which you've already admitted is unhealthy, although I'm curious to know what you think is unhealthy. Once you see sex and your urges in a healthy way you will be able to control yourself the way you want to. But more importantly you must increase your self esteem. We could spend all day trying to figure out why you feel the way you do but what does it matter? You want to change and you are able to take the steps to do it whether you know it are not.

What happened with your wife was not your fault either. You say you were not good at sex but that isn't necessarily true. It's all about connection. You sound like a loving and caring guy so I know there are women out there that you would have a healthy chemistry with. :) We've all done things we are ashamed of, but we can't do anything to change the past. All we can do is become the person we want to be. It's just a matter of doing it.I wish you the best and hope to hear more about your progress.