Hi Everyone from NoFap, I'm writing this because I needed somewhere to write all of the things that I have been going through over the past few months, if not years and perhaps the majority of my life. I have looked into this phenomenon generally categorized under sex addiction. Today, I relapsed. I've been relapsing for the past few months actually. NoFap was something that my friend and I had actually come up with an idea for when we were as early as 15. We are both almost 30 now. I need to use this forum as a place to write down and reflect on everything that has happened to me and, where I am at. I've looked at my addiction from many different angles. I've looked at it from a sociological, economic, spiritual, philosophical, psychological, intellectual, cultural, mathematical, statistical, sexual, religious, technological, physical, and of course, emotional perspective. Here's my story. I'm a 29 year old, half Japanese, half American, working in the financial industry, living in Japan. That narrows it down to about, maybe 10 people in the country. I've been addicted to internet pornography since I was about 13. And I'm really ashamed of my addiction. It's caused me to be depressed, anxious, lonely, suicidal, pathetic, unhappy, numb, neglected, bullied, annoyed, scattered, secretive, confused, disempowered, tired, guilty, dreaded, isolated, harassed, and the list goes on. Over the past 2/3 of my life since I became sexually active, I have harmed many women. My first exposure to anything sexual was online pornography. I walked in on my Father watching internet pornography and, this led me to repeat his actions, being a curious teenager. I was immediately affected by it and, instantly became addicted. Naturally, I was not able to tell anyone, and my Father was likely the only one that knew. Before I got a lock on my door, he walked in on me replicating his shameful behavior, and I still remember distinctly - he did not say a word about it. I inherited his shameful act and, it was my secret to keep. Growing up in the 90s, I am sure that many of you on NoFap can relate to this story. I'll be spending a lot of time from now on reading about people's recovery, but I'm here to at least share my own story and my perspective on the whole issue that is masturbation. I have been obsessing about this issue for the past several months, it has caused me to lose employment, become broke, have a psychotic break with reality, end up abusing drugs, travel to Peru to do an Ayahuasca ceremony with an Amazonian Shaman, punch a friend, sleep with a prostitute, have unprotected sex, sleep with a minor, sleep with rape victims, deal with incest, meet a sexual healer, see a psychotherapist, attend addiction rehab, hire a life coach, confront my parents, confront my friends, and finally, here. It's been a long, long journey. I've looked at this from many perspectives. And I need to find a solution. I'm looking for other people that have been similarly hurt and someone that will be present for me to see through my recovery, and for the sake of my own entertainment, would be happy to contribute their views. So I have compiled an analysis on all of the different aspects of this addiction and how I have interpreted my experience after 15 years of being exposed to the world of online pornography and sexuality in the 21st century. Sociological We are in a time of great change in human history. Never has there ever been more access to information, abundance of resources, rapid exchange of knowledge, and problems in society apparent than today. This pertains to our sexuality as well. Being born and raised in Japan, arguably one of the most controversial countries in the world when it comes to sexuality, I had a very unique perspective on human sexuality. Being half Japanese and half American, I was exposed to both the Japanese and American perspective of sexuality in the 21st century. From child porn to incest, orgies and homosexuality, animation and virtual reality, the wide array of options to satisfy literally any kind of sexual desire you can possibly ever imagine is now available at our fingertips. Is it any surprise that our country has not only a declining birthrate but a virtually non-existent birth rate? There are so many problems that our country faces in the presence of the internet, digital technologies, and other factors influencing our environment. Without a doubt, this will manifest in our human sexuality. However, when we objectively look at human sexuality in the 21st century, it is no doubt questionable whether our current sexual habits are sustainable for the future. Japan's statistics certainly seem to indicate not. More on this later. Economic The economic impact of online pornography and the abundance of sexual content now available online is an obvious one - it has not only commodified the sexual experience but, has also provided easy access to any type of sexual material for virtually free (no pun intended). There is a vested interest to keep things this way because, there is so much money to be made in the porn industry. This is not surprising, as it is making money off of the human life force itself. However, what is the affect of doing this? What is it doing to our culture, our society, and our future? The affects are probably multifaceted, in that it can drive people to neuroses but can also liberate the mind from its attachments to sexual orientation and identification. Spiritual From a spiritual perspective, the affect that pornography has on us is also multifaceted. It is liberating in fact to have human sexuality be so openly expressed in its multitude of forms. From violent to romantic, the human sexual experience is incredibly diverse. Getting in touch with our own sexuality through the exploration of fantasy in the virtual world has its positive and negative consequences. On one hand, it can cause us to become addicted, on the other hand it can shed light on our own sexual and instinctual impulses. Philosophical From a philosophical perspective, pornography is nothing new. For virtually all of recorded human history, there has been some kind of reference to human sexuality and hence, pornographic material. Some of the best novels and writings center around human sexuality and pornographic material. Sex sells! It's an innate part of our identity as human beings and living organisms. Again, there are many ways that porn addiction can manifest in the human experience, as neuroses or spiritual liberation. So it ultimately seems that what we decide to do with this is up to us. It is not good to label things or generalize too much, as there are many positive and negative experiences that can come from masturbation, and the main reason why many of us get addicted in the first place is because there is some kind of tension being relieved, whether it be emotional, spiritual, psychological, mental or emotional. Psychological What are the psychological costs and benefits of masturbation? This should be quite evident to the reader. The cost is obviously a loss in "life force energy", but the benefits is to be able to get close and intimate with ourselves and our own sexuality. Many of us experience cognitive dissonance when we masturbate, where we feel pleasure but an immense feeling of guilt after masturbating. On the other hand, sometimes we have none of these things. So it can perhaps be said that again, the psychological affect that masturbation has on the individual is purely up to the individual themselves. Intellectual From an intellectual perspective, it's clear that it is easy to intellectualize our masturbatory habits. In fact this is perhaps the primary function of this forum, we want to think about and contemplate what it is that makes masturbation so compelling and addictive to most people. Is it bad? Is it good? The answers are endless, just like life itself is. Life and hence pornography manifests in infinite varieties and quite literally provides any kind of intellectual stimulation that once can conceive of. This is exactly the reason why it makes it such a compelling subject to discuss. Cultural Different cultures, as we know, have different interpretations of sexuality. From the shaman that masturbates to raise his kundalini energy, to the neurotic Japanese salary man, the Emperor with a hundred mistresses to the child suffering from PTSD due to early childhood exposure to pornography, different cultures truly have different ways of interpreting sexual behavior. Shameful acts of masturbation in one culture could be seen perhaps as a incredible act and gesture of generosity and adoration for an individual in other cultures. Therefore we cannot exclude the cultural impact that exists on our sexual habits and the emotions that follow. Mathematical From a mathematical perspective, the fractal nature of the human experience and infinite nature of the cosmos and the universe would seem to suggest that all manifestations of sexual behavior including masturbation are created equal. The divine nature of the universe points out to how every and any sexual act has equal weight and therefore, creates a dichotomy where nothing is bad and nothing is good, it simply just is the way it is. Statistical From a statistical perspective, most men on the planet with access to high speed internet has, at least at one point in their lives, seen and viewed pornography. This statistic is powerful - and the fact that our focus is on men seems to show how much of our world is in fact predominantly driven by the male psyche itself, driven in fact by the receptive nature of the female psyche. Men demand porn, women provide porn. This is how the world works, according to statistics. This also seems to invalidate all preconceived notions of what is good or bad when it comes to sex and pornography. It puts into question - is this even a problem to begin with? And if it is, what is the true nature of the problem that pornography and masturbation is? Sexual The wide array of sexual expressions proven and observable in internet pornography should make it clear that the internet is perhaps, one of THE most powerful technologies available to mankind when it comes to the liberation of human sexuality on planet earth. Whether this will end in the demise of humanity or the liberation of humanity seems to be, ultimately, up to us, as individuals and as a collective. Religious The deconstruction of religious barriers that pornography represents is clear evidence that religion in and of itself is simply a singular interpretation of the human experience and human sexuality. I am sure many people have been disenchanted by their own religious upbringing after exposure to online pornography. Technological From a technological perspective, online pornography is the ultimate tool for the liberation and castration of human sexuality. It has caused an explosion in the human sexual experience, yet put into question the fundamental nature of our lives as a result of it. This brings to question - what will happen of the future of the human race as technology continues to upgrade and change the human experience? With virtual reality, cloning, robots and genetic engineering, what is going to happen to human sexuality? Is online pornography just the beginning? Physical The physical affects that online pornography has on the individual is also multifaceted. It can be detrimental to one's health, or it can be a positive force in one's health. Masturbating causes a loss in life force, but through liberating oneself sexually from a culture of shame, as perpetrated by many different institutions, may cause an explosion of life force energy as well. So, it seems that again, this has a potential for both positive and negative affects. Emotional What is human emotion, anyway? Most of these insights from the above would seem to indicate that, human emotion is simply a construct of the human mind. One can celebrate online pornography for all the glory and pleasure it has provided for all of humanity, or one can become depressed by the horrors that it seems to perpetrate as well. That's it for now. Please feel free to add to this analysis, as it is simply a first draft. Where I am in my life right now is that, there is a woman that I have known since I was 5 years old and I had a breakdown and spiritual awakening. After smoking a lot of weed, dropping ecstacy, several hits of acid, a few mushroom trips, taking ketamine, a DMT experience, an Ayahuasca journey, the conclusion I came to was that I have unconditional love for her and myself. I am facing my porn and sex addiction by being vulnerable and honest about it, and I have decided to have a healthy relationship with online pornography, masturbation, and my own sexuality. I think there is so much to be explored there and I would like to hear more from my fellow Fapstronauts. What do you think about human sexuality in the Digital Age? What is it that is so bad about pornography and masturbation? What makes it so addictive and compelling that we are willing to sacrifice physical intimacy with those close to us? What is the nature of cultural tabboos, that through pornography is exposed as just another story that we as a collective have created? What is the future of sex? What is "LOVE"?