Rated XXX: Waseca man shares his struggles with Internet pornography addiction

Smith, a 53-year-old factory worker from Waseca, is addicted to Internet pornography — an addiction that led his wife of 22 years to file for divorce, his teenage sons to question why and him to search for answers.

“I wish I could take it all back,” he said. “I wish I could take all the hurt and place it on me. I’d do it in a heartbeat.”

With his wife gone, he currently lives with his sons and uses an Internet blocker to keep him from looking at pornography. His older son keeps the password to the blocker and monitors all of his father’s online activity.

Smith — an assumed name given to him to protect the identity of his family — said the question most commonly asked by his family is, “Why can’t you just say no?”

“I thought about that over and over and over and over and over and over and over again,” he said. “My kids have asked me that many times and that hurts. The only thing I can compare it to is, I said, ‘Well, ask a smoker why can’t they just stop. Ask an alcoholic why can’t they just say no.’ I said, ‘If it was that easy I would have stopped a long time ago.’ If it was that easy I would’ve said no. And I have said no, only to find out that I wasn’t strong enough.”

How it started
Smith said his problems started about a dozen years ago when he was working at a Mankato car dealership. There, he heard coworkers talking about some of the things they had seen online and got curious.

He said at the time, it seemed “really innocent.” But what started as a bout of curiosity started to become a habit before Smith even realized it. He admitted some guys are able to look at a picture of a naked woman and, although they think it looks nice, are not affected by it or driven to see more.

“Then there are some of us that we see it and we’re driven by it and want to see more,” he said. “It’s just how we are. It’s like if you have diabetes. If you have it, you have it. You can’t blame anything. It’s just a fact of life. You live with it and you learn to control it. Some guys see that first image and they’re drawn in. I’m one of those unlucky guys, I guess. When I saw it, I was lured in more than a normal person.”

In time, Smith said the addiction continued to grow. He admitted there were days when he missed work without pay because of his addiction, saying he would miss five or six days a year. Although he said some of the days he was legitimately sick, he added, “75 percent of the time that was the driving force,” referring to his addiction.

Aware that his habit was no longer “innocent,” he began to seek help.

“I’ve met with my pastor many times. He said, ‘You’re on the middle line of good and bad and slowly, slowly, slowly you get pulled over to the bad and you don’t even know you’re getting pulled over until you’re so far. All of a sudden, boom, you realize it.’ That’s sort of what happened to me I guess,” Smith said.

A growing problem
Smith is not alone in the way Internet pornography has damaged his life. Counselors say the accessibility to pornography online has caused a large rise in problems associated with it.

“It’s rampant,” said Dan C. Loe, a licensed professional clinical counselor at Cornerstone Christian Counseling in New Ulm. “It’s frightful the number of men and even women who are struggling with this. They spend a huge amount of time viewing pornography to the point it’s interfering with their work performance and relationships. It’s an epidemic.”
Loe estimates that in an average year he sees eight to 12 clients whose primary problem is an addiction to Internet pornography.

Among his clients is Smith.

The use of Internet pornography, however, may just be a symptom of a larger problem — what clinicians at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester call “compulsive sexual behavior.”

“Compulsive sexual behavior — sometimes called hypersexuality, nymphomania or sexual addiction — may involve a normally enjoyable sexual experience that becomes an obsession,” according to the article “Compulsive Sexual Behavior” found on Mayo Clinic’s website. “Or compulsive sexual behavior may involve fantasies or activities outside the bounds of culturally, legally or morally accepted sexual behavior.”

To read the full article…Click here.

To learn how to get a handle on porn addiction and stop the madness try…Saavi Accountability.

This entry was posted in Addiction, Pornography, Relationships and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply