Student Reveals What It’s Like To Be Addicted to Porn

Aaron* struggled to pass his first year of university due to his debilitating porn addiction. After a three-week binge in which he did nothing but watch porn, Aaron knew it was time to change.

RU Student Life
Apr 6, 2018 · 8 min read

By Jessica Huynh, Storyteller for RU Student Life

Aaron’s Story is Part 1 in the Let’s Talk About Porn Series. The series recounts the stories of four university students and the role pornography has played in their life. How does pornography influence the relationships we form with ourselves and others? Is there something between the sheets we aren’t talking about? Click here to read the other stories.

Content Warning: This article contains mature content and sensitive topics surrounding sex, addition, and pornography.


Like many students at Ryerson University, Aaron spends a lot of time on campus. After class, he hits the gym before heading to his go-to studying spot to tackle assignments. Unlike other students, Aaron doesn’t mind the long hours. The longer he stays on campus the better. He often turns his cellphone off for long periods of time to concentrate. While this method allows Aaron to be more studious, it also distracts him from thinking about other things — things he tries hard to avoid — like porn.

Aaron has been fighting a pornography addiction since early 2016.


During his freshman year, Aaron struggled to keep up with the fast-pace of university. He found himself overwhelmed by the workload and crippled by the pressure to stay on top. Soon, he started skipping classes and missing important deadlines, replacing his responsibilities with porn and video games instead.

“I wouldn’t leave my home for long periods of time,” Aaron recalled of a three-week period in which he did nothing but watch porn. “I didn’t talk to anyone or do any of my homework. That’s pretty fucked up…”

As he consumed more and more porn, Aaron became self-aware that the type of content he was watching was getting more and more fetish-specific. After watching bestiality porn, a feeling of dread washed over him. “That was rock bottom [for me],” Aaron said. “If people are into that then whatever, but that’s not the person I want to be.”

The realization of what he was watching was the wake-up call he needed to evaluate the choices he was making. What started as a something he did to relax had become an all-consuming nightmare.

Pornography had taken over Aaron’s life.


The first time Aaron saw porn was when he was 12 years old. The first video he ever searched was secretary porn. “The video was of a secretary being fucked by her boss. I knew I liked that [genre] even as a 12-year-old,” Aaron noted. “I don’t think it’s normal for 12-year-old to see that kind of stuff.”

According to Tech Addiction, the average age a child sees pornography for the first time is 11 years old. Fight The New Drug, a pornography research and resource website, believes this number will continue to drop as children access smart phones, tablets, and computers at a increasingly younger age.

In a study published in 2008 by Cyber-Psychology and Behaviour, they found that more than 93% of adolescent boys and 62% of adolescent girls had been exposed to adult content. Boys are more likely than girls to continue viewing porn after their initial encounter. Published findings have also shown that teens that watch porn regularly are at a greater risk of developing a porn addiction later on in life as early exposure to sexual content “disrupts normal neurochemical, sexual, and social development in youth.” In America, more than 200,000 people are addicted to porn, which is defined as spending 11+ hours per week consuming it.

Today, it is estimated that 90% of young men watch porn on a regular basis.


Aaron believes pornography robs men of the sexual energy they need to drive themselves in society. After he watches porn, Aaron reports feeling lazier and less motivated to go out and talk to girls. “Before pornography, you had to do all these things to find a mate. Now you can find millions of virtual partners within seconds. I can find the most attractive women in the world and watch them masturbate and have sex; it’s so readily available and socially acceptable. When you have the option of masturbating or leaving the bar blue-balled, pornography is easier,” Aaron said.

“Pornography is easy; it’s too easy.”

Statistics published by Tech Addiction revealed that more than half of people who engage with “sexual internet interactions” lost interest in sexual intercourse afterwards. Aaron admitted that he has, on several occasions, turned down sex with his current girlfriend knowing he would just watch porn later. “Regardless of whatever morals you have there’s something so fundamentally wrong about that,” he reflected.

Pornography has also been found to increase the rate of marital infidelity by more than 300%. Aaron admitted that he craves sex with women outside of his relationship — but he insists his partner is fully aware of this and is not concerned.

Aaron’s grades and attendance dropped as a result of his excessive porn use.

“[Most] people can moderate [their porn use] but I can’t. I think, ‘I’m feeling stressed. Why don’t I watch pornography to relax?’ but it doesn’t make me feel relaxed. It makes me feel worse,” Aaron confessed. “I get so unmotivated and anti-social after [I masturbate] that I stop holding myself accountable. I was falling behind on homework and instead of facing [it], I used porn. The more porn I used, the more I didn’t face my responsibilities.”

Porn addiction is not an official disorder recognized in the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). According to Psychology Today, most studies that look into porn addiction refer to this behaviour as ‘self-perceived pornography addiction’ or ‘self-diagnosed porn addition.’

Regardless if it’s a ‘real’ psychological condition, it’s real to people like Aaron who feel distressed by their porn consumption. “I’ve told older family members about my porn addiction and they say, ‘No way! That’s not the real problem,’ but I truly believe it is,” Aaron said confidently.


Desperate for solutions, Aaron Google-searched ‘Pornography Addiction in Toronto.’ His searches lead him to a sex addiction support group that met once a week. Nervous but determined, he mustered the courage to attend.

“You go into [these meetings] and say your name. I found it interesting you had to introduce yourself as a sex addict. That really hit home,” Aaron said. “People [either] told their story or said how they were doing. That was the general layout. There weren’t any techniques for overcoming the addiction. It was nice to know other people were going through the same thing [as me], but it wasn’t what I needed. I already knew other people felt the same from communities online.”

The online community Aaron frequented for support was NoFap, a moderated Reddit community that comprises of men and women trying to abstain from pornography and masturbation. NoFap provides anonymous support and resources for people who, for one reason or another, are interested in cutting porn and masturbation out of their life.

Aaron attended a sex addiction support group where he was the youngest person in attendance.

Although the in-person support group wasn’t what Aaron needed (he was the youngest person there by a landslide, and it made him uncomfortable), it opened his eyes to the severity of his situation and gave him the push he needed to get his life back in order. “One man walked in looking like a mess,” Aaron observed. “He probably just went on a sex or porn binge, and I knew that’s how I looked 24 hours earlier. I knew I didn’t want to be like that.”

“I knew I didn’t want to be like him.”

In early 2016, Aaron started his ‘no fap’ journey in hopes of changing his life around.


More than anything, attending the support group made Aaron realize that what he needed most was someone his age to talk to, so he confided his struggles to a good friend he met at Ryerson. His friend, whom Aaron truly believes does not watch porn himself, was empathetic. He provided Aaron with encouraging words even though he didn’t understand the extent of the situation.

“My friend admitted [to me after] that he did research to help me. That was one of the most thoughtful things a friend could have said. A friend that is willing to do research to understand me a little more. That’s just…that’s just the most thoughtful thing,” Aaron uttered.

While opening up to his friend has allowed him to feel less isolated, Aaron longs for someone to talk to who can truly relate to what he’s going through — someone who knows what it feels like to relapse as a porn addict.

“I wish there was a Ryerson Group for people fighting [their] pornography usage, but I don’t have the courage to start it. If there were people like me who were going through the same problems and going to school it would be easier to deal with. Talking to your peers is always a little easier than talking to older people,” he noticed.

In addition to checking in with his friend, Aaron uses many other techniques to keep himself on track. He avoids being home alone for extended periods of time, and he uses an app on his phone to log how long he’s gone without using porn. According to a 2015 pornography research report published by Convent Eye, 1 in 5 mobile searches are for pornography and 24% of smartphone owners have pornographic content saved on their phone. To avoid relapsing, Aaron avoids using his phone at all costs, a strategy he believes is effective.

Aaron shuts his phone off long periods of time to avoid the temptation of watching porn.

Despite being unable to cut out porn out his life completely, Aaron has made some progress. On average, he can go five days without using it before relapsing. On the days he does watch porn, he tends to use it multiple times. Still, Aaron is proud of how far he has come. He used to watch porn everyday, multiple times a day.

Aaron makes a conscious decision to abstain from porn every single day. He hopes to reach a point where he doesn’t have to think about porn or think about actively fighting against using it. He hopes to be able to be alone in his home without turning to porn as a crutch.

“I’ve been fighting this addiction for two years [now], but I still feel that it’s possible. I always tell myself one day it will be my last time. I will get my shit together,” he said with determination.

“I always hope that day is here already.”


As other stories in our series show, porn has a variety of influences. If you are concerned about your porn use (or a friend’s porn use), Ryerson University’s Health and Wellness department provides information and resources on sexual health. Counselling is also available for those interested in speaking with a professional.

You are not alone.

* Names have been changed to protect the subject’s identity.


RU Student Life

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