How kink helps me deal with my porn addiction

Last year, I discovered I’m addicted to porn. Deep down I already knew I had a problem, but I always chose to ignore those deepest feelings, thoughts, and concerns. It was easier to ‘sedate’ myself with more and more porn and to not confront my problem. I have been going to therapy for over six months now, and I have learned many things – and I’m still learning – but something I want to address here is how being kinky and actually embracing that side of myself, helps me deal with some underlying issues of my porn addiction. 

The story behind my addiction is much more extensive than I can put into words in this column. It’s a problem that has been developing within me over many years, and there are important nuances that need to be added in order to tell the complete story. The main nuance is the fact that watching a lot of porn is not necessarily bad for you – unlike alcohol or drugs, it’s not a substance that you put into your body – but the underlying behaviour, and especially the motivation for that behaviour, can be. This was the case in point for me, and I became dependent on porn to feel good, about anything really. And because of that, I developed issues with actual sex and intimacy; I wasn’t able to have that anymore, let alone enjoy it.

Therapy showed me that I stopped using porn for the right reasons – as in sexual pleasure – a looooong time ago. When exactly? That’s hard to tell because a porn addiction doesn’t grow overnight, it becomes rooted within you over a sliding, downward scale. Growing up in my teens and twenties, I was struggling with a lot of feelings and emotions. I was insecure, I had low self-esteem, I couldn’t accept my queerness, I was ashamed of my body and my feminine behaviour, I was struggling with love and intimacy, I felt a lot of loneliness, and there were also periods filled with a lot of stress, anxiety, and panic attacks. Porn became an escape for me, a way to not deal with all these feelings. It was a toxic way for me to be able to feel good about myself and ‘accept’ myself, and most of all, a way to not get hurt by anything or anyone in the real world. The goal of my therapy is to learn how to love myself again and how to not be dependent on porn anymore for me to feel good. And I just recently found out that the world of kink is, for me at least, a very helpful, fun, and exciting tool to work towards this goal!

For those who do not know me, I’m quite new to the fetish and kink scene. I started working for WINGS at the beginning of the year, and before that, I had never set a single foot in the scene. I felt scared and anxious at first, but once I entered this fabulous world, I immediately felt free and accepted for who I actually am. For this issue of WINGS, we did a photo shoot and the results can be seen on one of the last pages, and on these pages for my column. In just a few months, I have gone from being a shy boy wearing horrible and boring H&M clothing for the photo shoot of Issue 12 to a guy proudly wearing his first harness with nothing more than a jock and a pair of gorgeous boots, carried by two gorgeous half-naked men. I felt absolutely beautiful, sexy, and powerful hanging there upside down between my colleagues.

Kink is honestly helping me to embrace myself, my body, my sexuality, and my preferences, and most of all it helps me get rid of my shame and low self-esteem. For this issue of WINGS, I visited Wasteland Summerfest for the first time, and I tried different cockrings for a product review, and this is only the start for me, but with every step I take, I feel more confident about myself, and that is a feeling of liberation I can hardly put into words here. I’m relearning how to enjoy sex and sexuality instead of staying in my ‘safe’ world of porn. It’s definitely the free, accepting, and non-judgmental vibe of the scene that helps me accomplish that; there are no restrictive standards I have to live up to. I know I have a kinky side, but it’s quite hard to find and accept that side when you’re living in a world full of judgement and heteronormative standards – which can also be found within the queer community, unfortunately. From my experiences so far, the kink scene is an openly sex-positive environment in which everyone and everything is accepted. I have realized that it makes me love myself in a way I never thought I could.

Full disclosure, before I entered the scene, I had my prejudices. Especially about people living their lives this way. In my mind, kinky guys wearing leather and rubber were just nasty old men; drugged up all the time and fucking their dicks off for no reason but to have sex. I’m honestly so happy that I know better now, and I feel ashamed that I once had those thoughts. I know I was filled with horrible judgement, and okay, I’m not a psychologist, but I’m sure it had something to do with an underlying fear of my own kinks and preferences, and my resistance to accept them. I was hating myself, and I projected that on people around me. I’m happy I have found a way to step into the light and change my view on things that I didn’t know shit about. I’m here to listen and learn.

I’m truly grateful that the world of kink and fetish has provided a way to discover and accept myself, the real me. I can’t wait to find out what else this scene has to offer, and I can’t wait to fully enjoy myself and other men again in a sexual, and most of all, the real world where porn is not the Holy Grail.

Matthijs is a 31-year-old Dutch writer living in Amsterdam. He is queer, proud, and new to the fetish and kink scene. Next to content editing, he loves nothing more than writing openly about his sexuality, even if the topics are shameful or taboo. Follow his adventures on Instagram @matthijsvanels.
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