I don't know if this is going to be a journal, or just an opportunity to unload (hence the title). Approximately two weeks ago, the day before my birthday, I decided to give up the consumption of porn. Hopefully, forever. FYI, this post is long, and kind of rambling. But I needed to share my thoughts, and this seemed like the place to do it. I started consuming porn when I was 12, and have probably not gone for more than two weeks since then without it. It started out "innocently", sneaking looks at my friend's father's Penthouse magazines. This progressed into static images on the internet, to short, ~15 seconds videos, and finally, minutes and even hours long videos in college. And, like the literature says, over time I became desensitized to vanilla porn, and looked at more and more extreme stuff. Luckily I never developed an attachment to the extreme stuff, and haven't consumed any of that for several years. About six years ago I moved in with a female friend. After living together for a few months, we realized there was a mutual attraction, and decided to start dating. This relationship, for me, was the first real sign of trouble: when we would fool around, I could barely ever get an erection, and if I got one (a crappy one at that), it withered within minutes. In my defense, my GF took this very personally and said she was repulsed by my inability to get hard. Needless to say, that made getting an erection even more difficult. I started going to a therapist (I was also going through a very difficult time at work), which helped me deal with some anxiety in general, and helped me come to the realization that my ED was PIED. I tried quitting porn at that time, and was successful for a while, until 1) my GF came out as a lesbian, and 2) I quit my job begin a very intense training program to begin a new career. I figured, why quit PMO, since it was my only means of sexual release? I dove right back into consuming porn. Well, that was about 3 years ago. As I've gotten older, I've realized some things. First, if I took the all the hours I've spent consuming porn, and spent that time on something else? I could have a Masters degree, maybe a PhD; I could be in fantastic physical shape; I might be more wealthy because I could have put that time into advancing my career; I might be married. Second, what might be the most important/the worst problem, is that I haven't had a sexual partner (not counting the GF mentioned above) in 20 years. Again, not counting that GF, I haven't even had a ROMANTIC relationship in those 20 years. 20 years of being single, using porn for sexual gratification. I began to wonder if I was aromantic or something, because I no longer even desired to be in a relationship. I mean, why would I? Why go through that pain and trouble, if I can find thousands of women online, beautiful women, more attractive than I'll ever be with IRL? I don't feel shame about this. I don't feel guilt. What I feel is regret. I had a romantic and sexual relationship with a beautiful woman in my early 20s (it ended when she cheated on me), and I figure your 20s are when a man is most virile, most vigorous. Those are the years when I should have been enjoying my ability to have great sex, and to be with different women, and to explore the great pleasures than can only be found with another person. And I squandered that time. A philosophy professor I once had, a tiny Korean man, once gave me great advice: "Don't fuck this up." He was referring to a paper I was writing, but I've thought it was good advice for life in general. Unfortunately, I didn't take his advice to heart, and I'm terrified that I've fucked up beyond repair. So here I am. Approximately 25 years of porn consumption, 20 years without sex, 3 years without a relationship, and incredibly unrealistic expectations for physical attractiveness in women. Something changed over the last year or so, and came to a head on that day before my birthday. I was going to say I don't know what the change was, but that isn't true. My parents are getting older; they turn 70 next year, and none of their parents (my grandparents) made it to 80. So, their mortality is very present in my mind, which in turn has made me think about my own mortality. I don't want to grow old and die alone. So here I am. I believe in myself. I believe I can do this. I NEED to do this. I am strong and will persevere.