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Guest DeclanGWB

I think I did this awful thing, but I need to die if I did. Yet, I can't remember the sensation or image.

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Guest DeclanGWB

I've always been quite innocent regarding sex as I discovered pornography quite late, at age 14, and only mainly watched 'soft-core' (breast-fondling, spanking) videos with adults intermittently until the age of 22 (which I am now).

I have Asperger's Syndrome, clinical depression, and very likely OCD so as a result, I was very 'specific' about when/where/how I'd pleasure myself. Usually, I would grind/hump the bed once a week until ejaculation as opposed to the traditional way, as I enjoyed creating elaborate fantasies in my head, and I could 'control' the point of 'cumming'.

Until 17, I mainly humped the bed while watching videos on YouTube of tame things like Karen Gillan/Sarah Chalke in their mid-20s/30s respectively in sexually suggestive sketch scenes, as well as reading erotica and very occasionally 'hentai'. With the latter, it was never weird 'octopus' **** I'd hear about through word-of-mouth, but something tame like some animated adult lady performing fellatio. Just before 18, I discovered 'PornHub'.

I never, ever crossed even the most 'benign' line of 'dark' material; I've never watched grandmother videos/pre-teenagers/bodily fluids and feces/'race' play/'consensual non-consensual' etc. I learnt of the existence of these things via seeing the terms in newspapers/on Wikipedia articles. I never looked at them because they seemed repulsive to me, and I'm happy I didn't. My 'tastes' on the site were incredibly tame between 14-22; fellatio, hair-pulling, humping, etc, and if I was interested, 'anal'.

To be honest, pornography was never an addiction for me and I was often repulsed by it and as early as 16, I found the way people (both men and women) in the videos were dehumanized and fetishized to be quite crude. Especially as a 'mixed'-raced 'Black' man, I loathed how men like myself were reduced to animalistic tropes of 'Big black cocks'. Instead of it being something I turned to compulsively, it was just a bad aphrodisiac for emotional pain that I would VERY occasionally use.

As I got older and developed more of a social conscience, I became engrossed with intersectional feminism, and would routinely feel guilty for objectifying the adult performers through viewing them. I hated how women were called 'sluts', '****-dolls' etc. I increasingly felt that I was hypocritically complicit in this misogyny/wider patriarchy by watching Porn Hub, even when only extremely depressed.

So I intentionally meant to leave porn as recent as 2017, but would routinely relapse once every few months and feel deep guilt for being a 'misogynist' and a 'fake feminist'. Because of loneliness and being ostracized by people at two separate universities, this led me to the night in question that brings me here.

One night after moving back into university halls of residence last September, I basically watched Porn Hub for around about 2-4 hours intermittently when my depression was as its worst height. This was due to my growing disgust with people on my course's ignorant views.

I'd also already experienced false memories by this point all summer; very unusual, irrational obsessive worries about hurting children. This originated from the extreme distress I felt after finding out in April that an ex-teacher is a pedophile. The overbearing empathy and sympathy I feel towards people in general led me to believe that I was somehow to 'blame', unnecessarily.

So on that night, I would go from lying on the front of my chest and humping the bed while watching different bits of the same Porn Hub video on my phone, to then sitting back up and watching random videos on YouTube.

The second to last video I watched was a video of Kurt Cobain and his 18 month-old daughter, that appeared on the homepage after sitting up in bed again. YouTube's algorithm suggested this to me because I'd been listening to In Utero/Nirvana generally throughout 2019's summer in order to deal with a friend's suicide.

At this point, my OCD-like anxieties told me that if I were to watch this video, I shouldn't watch another video afterwards, purely ''because this YouTube video had a baby in it'' - even though I knew deep down that the two videos were entirely separated by tabs on my phone, not to mention obviously by content.

Nevertheless, I watched the interview video, scrolled through the comments and paused at a specific point then went back to the lewd stuff, and only then did I kneel down to hump the bed again, but with the video loaded.

Finally, I remember sitting up again and going back to the YouTube homepage and the first video shown was a slideshow of Cobain's daughter through the years and I remember feeling so much guilt for having wasted my evening watching Porn Hub.

The reason for this guilt is that - as best as I can describe - seeing a baby (the pinnacle of innocence) in the YouTube video made me realise the essential humanity that we all have, including the adult performers I'd been watching. I'd think, ''This is someone's daughter, someone's son''. Once again, I felt heavy guilt for objectifying them, as well as a hypocrite who talks about the importance of feminism. My highly irrational worry was that I'd one day begin to dislike women as a result of watching porn, and that has always scared me to death. I love my female friends, mother, grandmother, aunt etc. with all of my heart. Even though it never, ever morphed my views on/conduct towards women, it was a crippling fear.

Also, even though the videos were obviously different, my mind basically told me that going to watch porn again after watching an unrelated interview video that - just happened - to have a baby in it, somehow made me an ''anti-feminist'', an ''evil person'', and a pedophile.

My closest female friends have told me ''I do it too, don't worry Dec'', but that didn't really help, with all due respect to them. I'm not soap-boxing, and can only speak for myself; I could no longer reconcile proclaiming feminist values while watching women/men being objectified in PornHub videos (even though they were always consenting adults, of course).

Moreover, over the last 3 years, through meeting people who survived this stuff, as well as hearing from very close friends/a family member about their experiences, I became appalled with sexual violence. I was shocked at my own ignorance regarding the extent to which it happens, and just how difficult is to be a woman. An over-burdensome sense of empathy led me to nit-pick my entire history with women and question if I was a danger, and blame myself for these crimes that I hadn't committed. During the occasional watching of PornHub to numb the misplaced guilt, I felt as though I was 'just like' these other men.

Perhaps I overthink the morality of things, I don't know.

At the end of that night, I remember going to the sink afterwards, dry-vomiting because of this guilt, and then eventually calming myself down through talking to myself for an hour step-by-step. The next morning, I wasn't stressed. For the rest of 2019, I had intrusive thoughts of this similar theme, but not about this specifically.

How my brain has twisted all of this is to say I humped the bed to the point of ejaculation while staring at the paused video image of Kurt and his baby.

I have no explicit sensory recall of any of this. But obviously, the more I've obsessively ruminated about it, the more the 'image' in my head has gone from being grainy at best to very detailed. Yet, again, I don't remember the sensations of any of this. I wouldn't have been able to live with myself were this the opposite. Plus, this worry only arrived in May (as far as I can remember).

I literally remember feeling content and happy/making different mental leaps forward at further points towards the rest of 2019. I saw Joker with my brother in October, went home for my birthday in November and Christmas in December. During this time, I wasn't stressed about any of this, but had similar-themed intrusive thoughts. I wouldn't have been able to look at my Mum in the eye if I'd done this. Also on New Year's, I remember not being worried about anything, let alone this. Surely, I couldn't have done this and 'repressed' it?

Yet, I still feel like a liar and fraud who shouldn't live, and has been lying to himself for the last 11 months. My worry is that I 'blacked out', or as a result of being desensitized to women's bodies over 5 hours, humped the bed to the point of ejaculation over the paused image of Kurt and his daughter.

Also: I remember listening to Nirvana the next day and for the rest of 2019, not feeling guilty at all. I also remember having a similar worry in October when seeing a picture of his kid on Reddit and a false memory of masturbating in that moment came up; that went away. Then in December, I was watching an interview with Kurt and his kid as a newborn and an OCD-like worry that my hands slipped from the phone onto my crotch, which didn't happen, appeared in my head. Then another worry about my hands slipping while on the phone looking at a video of his kid came in May, which I was able to dismiss again. Sometimes, this intrusive thought will tell me that these are projections of my guilt, however I'm not sure.

The guilt, stomach pains and sore throat are so painful, and I keep losing sleep. It's gotten so bad that I tried to hang myself a few days ago, but I stopped myself before pushing the chair away.

I'm due to collect a new prescription for mirtazipine (for depression) and propranolol (for this intrusive thought and anxiety) today, hopefully.

First OCD therapist appointment is hopefully soon as I've realized I most likely have POCD, which fits in with my history of obsessive compulsions. Plus, Asperger's makes me obsess a lot over the past too.

At this point though, all the anxieties have left me, through simply forcing myself to do exposure therapy. Through doing it, I realized what I always knew which is that I'm not like my teacher and never will be. Tbh, because I was stressed about other stuff, that's why I obsessed over it for a year and a bit, whereas if I hadn't, I wouldn't have done. Just being out and about in public has made me realise how much I've been worried over nothing for months, as I would never hurt a young person. Now, it's just this one intrusive thought that is preventing me from moving on.

My mum and brother and friends keep telling me I didn't do it, as well as my own inner voice/event recall; though, I'm wary of the addictive nature of being constantly reassured.

Mum said, ''Worst case scenario, you did it; after watching that stuff for 5 hours and being as low as you said you were, you might've made a mistake. That said, I'm pretty certain, because I know you Dec, that you wouldn't do that''.

Since then, I've also learnt that my other avenues to deal with loneliness (such as writing poetry and listening to music) are far more beneficial than porn. I've learnt to accept my true personality, which is highly sensitive and gentle, and not put on airs as this 'dominant Black man' to appease racists on dating sites. I only wish I'd had the confidence to just accept my loneliness last year, because it would've saved time. Ah, well; better late than never.

I've also learnt that not being in constant communication with a new potential lady-friend on Tinder etc. and not having any immediate mates at university is a good thing.

While I understand that my extreme loneliness at the first uni led me to become even more of a people-pleaser at the current one so as to not be alone, some people are just not worth it. Even though I've experienced loneliness for so long, a porn-marathon like this was not the answer, and I knew that deep down, even that night. Being confident as me - despite of how ostracized it makes me from some people my age - is key.

So, at the moment I'm 50/50, but more inclined to think I didn't do it. My brain keeps going from doubting to hopeful, and it's killing me, but I hope things get better. I want to move on with my life so bad, but the niggling voice tells me that I 'ruined' it last September.

What do you think?

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