A Therapist Talks About His Addiction to Pornography

One of our colleagues recently published his story in his local newspaper. The goal of Forest Benedict is to reduce the stigma of sexual addiction by speaking frankly about his experience.

My education in the “field” of sexual addiction began at age 12. Raised in a single-parent household, my mother was very protective. Yet, unbeknownst to her, a night at a friend’s house resulted in my first exposure to pornography.

This unexpected incident changed the course of my life for years to come.

I was a kind kid, excelling in school, service and scouting. I was also a prime candidate for addiction, burdened with multiple memories of pain that no child deserves to bear. My new-found interest in pornography first developed into a habit, growing gradually into a self-destructive force that bound me with secrecy and shame.

I mastered sneakiness. Like any addict, I was skilled at finding my “drug” and covering my tracks. My ability to hide my behavior was so perfected that when I finally told my mother about a dominating addiction that required professional treatment, she was shocked. I was 24 years old.

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Image by Lars Ploughmann