Porn free…what does it mean to live a life without pornography? If you think about it, it’s probably not such a remarkable thing. Many people do it every day, and they all do it in their own way. To be free of pornography – isn’t it just a matter of doing whatever it is that you’re doing but without any inclusion of pornography along the way? Why dedicate a blog to that?
Well, to me, it has a very specific, positive and decidedly wonderful meaning. It’s like the meaning of “outside prison” to a person who has been locked in prison for years and years. It’s like the meaning of “cancer free” to a person who has been living with cancer for many years. Living porn-free could mean just about anything, and that’s the beauty of it.
Like so many other men there came a time in my life when I learned that there was a hidden world where you could see things that you couldn’t see in your everyday life. When I was a kid I learned that there were magazines and movies to be found that opened a door into another world – a world where women took off their clothes for people to see.
I don’t know what it was about the idea of this hidden world, but from the moment I learned about it, I longed for it. I wanted to find it. I wanted to experience it. I felt a strong compulsion to see it for myself. I don’t know where that eagerness came from, but I do know that once I indulged that curiosity, there was no doubt about why I’d been so eager. Peeking into this world was electric. It gave me pleasure to a degree that I’d never come close to before.
But enjoying pornography came with a lot of other things I didn’t like and didn’t want. Using pornography was not a delight that I could share – not with the people I cared about anyway – not in the circles that mattered to me. The person I aspired to become was not someone who used pornography. I wanted to be a person of strength and love and integrity, and nothing about my use of pornography aligned with that. But to my great frustration, quitting porn has proved and continues to prove to be a very challenging thing.
The incredible difficulties I have had in aligning my behaviour with the person I want to be has baffled me and also fascinated me. It has been both shocking and humbling to be faced with my own weakness time and time again. And that is why the thought of a porn-free life fills me with such hope and why I want to dedicate a blog to writing about it.
To be porn-free means the growing freedom to look ahead and to find the things that bring joy and that bring meaning. It means facing the things that bring anxiety, tension and stress, and learning to live with them, to live through them and even to leave some of them behind.
My body can’t forget porn and there are parts of me that will always want it back. They don’t understand the bigger picture, but as I move further forward into this bigger picture, I am encouraged that porn becomes smaller and smaller in my rear-view mirror. I will certainly touch on it here and there in the coming posts, but what excites me and interests me most is that adventure of discovery in moving forward. More than anything that is why I’m here and why I want to share it with others.