Journal Entry 1 I am a 26 year old full-time American college student. I have been aware of my addiction for 4 years now. I grew up as a fundamental Christian with very strict rules on socializing with the opposite sex. I was not allowed to date and was often discouraged from socializing with girls. When I was maybe 14 years of age, my youth pastor began preaching on the moralities of sexual behavior and pornography. He mistakenly increased my curiosity into the female body. One night, I waited for all of my family to fall asleep and used the family computer to search for pornography. After I had seen the images, I turned off the computer and went to bed feeling extremely guilty for what I had done. Unfortunately, This was the start of my voyeurism. That first night, I only sought still images of women not actually engaged in any sexual acts. The content from then on escalated quickly as you can imagine. After I graduated high school and left the house, my beliefs were challenged greatly and my beliefs became so much more liberal. The guilt from using porn left me completely and I was encouraged by my peers to seek it. I continued this habit for years. I have, including to the present, never been in a relationship. My peers always just said it was because I was shy and that it'll happen when it happens or they would try to give me advice that just didn't work for me. I eventually succumbed to peer pressure and took on the hookup culture that was so counter to my values. I still never had any success with women. At the age of 21, I decided that I needed to lose my virginity. I was living in Nevada at the time and went to a legal brothel where I paid a woman to sleep with me. My experience was disappointing. The woman was beautiful. She didn't look like a pornstar which fortunately didn't detract me. What was disappointing was that the sex just didn't feel that great. I was expecting something to feel much greater given how all my peers talked about sex. I couldn't orgasm inside her, and at her suggestion, I finished by fapping. She asked me if I fapped frequently and then told me to wear a condom for now on when I do believing that I was not accustomed to wearing a condem hence the inability to O. After that, I began attempting to date more women. I still did very poorly, but I brought one girl home with me. She was overweight, but still pretty. I met her through a dating app, the only way I have been able to setup dates. We fooled around for almost two hours, but I could not get a lasting erection. I told myself that it was obvious that I was not attracted to her because of her weight. I never called her again. In 2015, I came across a buzzfeed video on the topic that porn could be harming sexual lives. I watched the video and began traveling down the rabbit hole. I read Gary Wilson's book Your Brain on Porn and became convinced that I needed to give up porn. I kept trying to date, but I still was having poor luck. I went on a date with one girl who was gorgeous, but she was a little overweight and I never called her back. That is a decision I regret greatly. You should note that I was still of the mindset of the hookup culture at the time though that was beginning to change for me. I went on dates with three other girls. I went on a date with one girl, and called her the next day to apologize that I had been merely attempting to get in her pants. I went on two dates with another girl while simultaneously going on dates with another. At this point, I knew that I was moving far away and that I was likely not seeing them again so I began to wane in my efforts to court one of the girls. How I chose between the two, I don't remember. I did put more effort into creating a relationship with the other woman than I ever have before. This is when I was realizing how much porn was effecting my views of women. Unfortunately, she began to withdraw which hurt my self-esteem at the time. That was the last girl I dated back in the beginning of 2016. I kept battling my porn addiction never having a lasting streak. After a year living in my new residence, I finally made it to three weeks. I have never felt better about my sexuality and confidence. I had a set back because I was going back to Nevada for a visit and decided I was going back to the brothel. I visited the website to get certain info and ended up fapping gently. Even so, I was still feeling more confident than ever. I went to the brothel and slept with a girl. No problems getting erect and I O'ed inside her without taking very long at all. What was disappointing still is that the sex itself just didn't feel as good as fapping. Since then, I have not attempted to date anyone and my battle with porn has continued. I have never reached three weeks since then. For a year, I became depressed with my use of porn and gave up on trying to stop. Only recently have I taken up the battle once again. My views have changed a lot since I stopped dating, and I now know that I do not want to just hookup with women. Because of my strict religious background, it is no wonder how I became an addict. With no other place to do so, I could only explore my sexuality through porn. I used porn before I ever dated and before even fapping. Given all that, I see now more clearly than ever that I struggle to connect with women because of the porn, and I believe I am sensitized to deathgrip fapping becuase sex with women hasn't felt nearly as good as fapping. I have been sober for three days now. For me sober is not seeking/using any artificial stimulus (pornography, suggestive content, prostitutes, strippers, or anything else that is not a human physically present) and, for the time being, masturbation. I seem to have trouble around the one week time frame more recently. I have installed Pluckeye on my computer which seems to be promising and have ordered an android phone so that I can use Pluckeye on it also. I am nearly read though the second edition of YBOP and will finish The Porn Trap by Wendy Maltz after. If you have not read those books, I highly recommend them both. I also plan on beginning psychotherapy with a SASH-certified sex therapist. I would like to start a family within the next few years which means I would also like to start dating again. I can't seem to bring myself to dating again, however, because my confidence is shot in that area now that I have realized that porn has prohibited me from connecting emotionally with women and also because I am afraid that I will hurt someone emotionally. I now realize that dating for me will be an important part for recovery, but I still cannot get over the before-mentioned hurtle. That is something I hope to address in therapy. I am also not sure if I want to return to online dating, but I fear that I do possess neither the environment nor the social skills to meet and setup dates with women. Two unrelated things: 1. My username is a reference to a concept of the philosopher Nietzsche. It is not a reference to willpower, the strength to carry out decisions, desires, goals, etc. 2. The title of my journal is the same as the title to a song by the band Demon Hunter. The song speaks to me personally in respect to my battle with porn. It is a beautiful song. I appreciate the time you took to read this. I welcome any support, constructive criticism, or tips that you have to offer. I wish you success!