Fashion

I became addicted to porn at 10 years old and it almost ruined my life

WHEN she was just 10-years-old and still at primary school, Courtney Daniella Boateng started watching sex online.

Here, the 23-year-old reveals how her addiction consumed her until she finally confronted it four years ago.


"Staring at the computer screen, I gasped in shock at the video of a man and woman engaging in oral sex. Aged just 10, I knew I shouldn’t be watching this, but I couldn’t stop.

All the grunting and grinding – was this the “sex” that they raved about in films and music? I couldn’t tear my eyes away. It was the first time I’d seen anything like it.

I had always been an inquisitive child, with a constant stream of questions about anything from animals to science, and when my parents were at work or busy, I turned to YouTube to satisfy my curiosity.

So, when I was in my final year of primary school in north London in June 2007 and sex became the focus of our hushed playground whispers, I decided to Google “videos on sex”, thinking I’d get an educational video.

Instead it brought up a link to Pornhub. That Wednesday afternoon, with my parents downstairs and my six-year-old sister playing next door, I got my first glimpse at sex.

It had been all too easy to press the button stating that I was 18. Mum and Dad hadn’t turned on the parental locks because they trusted me, and no sites ever asked for ID.

The video shocked me – it was like nothing I’d seen before and I immediately wanted to see more. I soon got into a routine – a couple of times a month when I knew my parents were working late, I’d pull up Pornhub and search for “first loves” or “married couple”.

WASTING HOURS A WEEK

After a month or so, I could only go a few days without porn – my mind would swirl with the images I’d seen – I was completely hooked.

To cover my tracks, I’d delete my search history, and put my school bag in the way of the door to stop anyone barging in while I watched. I hid my secret pastime from my friends too, as I didn’t want to be the first to broach the subject.

My obsession continued throughout secondary school. By then, I was wasting two or three hours a week watching porn.

I’d mostly watch clips with a romantic story line I could follow, but sometimes I saw aggressive situations I didn’t like. When I saw girls being thrown about, with little choice in what was going on, I’d quickly shut down my browser and try to blank it out of my head.

My relationship with porn changed in 2013, when I was 15. That final year at school is stressful for every teen – you’re juggling academic pressure with raging hormones and worries about whether anyone fancies you.

I began to have intense anxiety a couple of times a month and I’d turn to porn for an escape. I began masturbating too – each orgasm bringing a wave of relief.

However, while it gave me a short-term distraction from stress and anxiety, within minutes I’d want another go. I became addicted to the dopamine rush.

By June 2014, I was masturbating to porn two or three times a week. When friends admitted they sometimes watched porn too, I was relieved – but I didn’t dare confess the extent of my habit.

Still I couldn’t stop, and by the following February, I’d had enough. The stress of applying to university to study political and social science, coupled with raging hormones, meant my anxiety was out of control.

I told my parents and the doctor when my battles with anxiety became a daily occurrence, with both suggesting more sleep and exercise would help, but neither did.

I felt suffocated, and that month I tried to take my own life by overdosing on paracetamol. I locked myself in the bathroom, where my sister found me sprawled unconscious on the floor and called an ambulance.

As the doctors prodded and poked me, my devastated mum asked why I’d done it. Embarrassed, I didn’t mention my porn addiction, but I knew it was a factor. I’d become obsessed with using orgasms to relieve my anxiety, but my addiction was also helping to fuel it.

UNREALISTIC EXPECTATIONS

However, I didn’t realise the impact it was having on me until I had my last relationship with Joe*, in December 2015, when I was 18.

The sex didn’t live up to my unrealistic expectations – it was awkward, messy and boring. There was no passion, and if he wasn’t going to provide the same satisfaction that porn did, why bother?

I ended the relationship after five months, explaining I needed time to work on myself, but I didn’t comment on our sex life as I didn’t want to hurt him.

Because of this, and the fact that I needed to carry out my porn routine three times a week, I realised I had an addiction. When I was stressed and anxious, I couldn’t think of anything else but those 20 minutes alone.

Even when I didn’t feel sexually aroused, I knew it was the only way to make myself feel better. There were other warning signs too, such as how negative my relationship with my body had become.

I couldn’t help but compare myself to the girls on the screen. I started to hate my body when I noticed I had more lumps and bumps than they did and that my boobs weren’t as perky as theirs.

In March 2016, I tried to go cold turkey for the first time in eight years – no porn, no masturbation, no sex. The latter wasn’t hard considering I was still single, but I struggled without the others.

I couldn’t help but compare myself to the girls on the screen, I started to hate my body.

These had been my go-to any time I felt anxiety bubbling inside me. So I turned to yoga and exercise, journalling and friends, as well as going to church.

I also accepted that this would take time, and that I wasn’t going to suddenly feel better.

I still couldn’t be open with my family about it – they’re from a different generation, and I knew it would be hard for them to understand. I didn’t admit that I had an addiction to anyone until I filmed a confessional-style YouTube video in April 2020.

It was the first time I had been truly open about how much I had relied on porn to manage my anxiety. More than 800,000 people watched me open up, and their responses were incredible. Countless shared their similar struggles.

I felt like I’d started a support group – something I wished I’d had all those years ago. And while I was scared of what my friends and family might think, they all commended my strength for confronting the issue.

I threw myself into learning more about the problems within the porn industry, knowing that understanding these would probably limit my attraction to it.

YOU’RE NOT ALONE

EVERY 90 minutes in the UK a life is lost to suicide.

It doesn't discriminate, touching the lives of people in every corner of society – from the homeless and unemployed to builders and doctors, reality stars and footballers.

It's the biggest killer of people under the age of 35, more deadly than cancer and car crashes.

And men are three times more likely to take their own life than women.

Yet it's rarely spoken of, a taboo that threatens to continue its deadly rampage unless we all stop and take notice, now.

That is why The Sun launched the You're Not Alone campaign.

The aim is that by sharing practical advice, raising awareness and breaking down the barriers people face when talking about their mental health, we can all do our bit to help save lives.

Let's all vow to ask for help when we need it, and listen out for others… You're Not Alone.

If you, or anyone you know, needs help dealing with mental health problems, the following organisations provide support:

  • CALM, www.thecalmzone.net, 0800 585 858
  • Heads Together, www.headstogether.org.uk
  • Mind, www.mind.org.uk, 0300 123 3393
  • Papyrus, www.papyrus-uk.org, 0800 068 41 41
  • Samaritans, www.samaritans.org, 116 123

Hearing about the exploitation of women working in porn shocked me – by clicking on those links, I was supporting sex trafficking, under-age work and even violence. I didn’t want to participate in that.

Now, I no longer watch porn and I don’t miss it. I’m not dating anyone, just waiting for the right guy to show me what a healthy relationship is. I’m also throwing myself into my career as a beauty entrepreneur for CDB London Hair, and enjoying time with family.

I don’t feel ashamed of my journey, because it’s helped me learn so much about myself – overcoming my porn addiction has shown me that I’m more resilient than I ever realised."

*Name has been changed

GOT a story? RING The Sun on 0207 782 4104 or WHATSAPP on 07423720250 or EMAIL [email protected]

Source: Read Full Article