I discovered pornography at 11 — or, at least, that’s when I found Internet porn. I had previously discovered certain TV stations with programming about sex when I was only 9. Not pay-per-view stations — I mean MTV, VH1, or whatever networks showed Maury and Jerry Springer.

I got immediately addicted to the images of the men on the screen. I spent all the time I could at the TV watching shows that exposed men’s bodies or sexual situations. It enraptured me.

One random afternoon talk show featured some “musical” guests: a group of guys who sang while wearing towels. Their group had a website.

This was the turning point for me.

Internet was still new to me. Google had just begun. I decided to take it on a test spin. I typed a single phrase for what I wanted to see and —

SITE BLOCKED DUE TO ILLICIT CONTENT.

My parents’ Internet blocker kicked in. It did its job and did it well, preventing me from viewing those men I so longed to see.

A piece of software was not about to outsmart me, though. I had a sudden thought —

Perhaps if I misspell a word, the filter won’t catch it, but the search engine will.

I retyped my desired phrase, this time upsetting the perfectly typed words by just a smidge.

Eureka. Early-days programming meant the filter only looked for words, not actual content.

I was greeted by more images than my 11-year-old mind could comprehend. I drank it all in. For three whole minutes.

Then I shut it all down. Not out of guilt — out of fear for being caught. I remembered I wasn’t alone at home.

I’d have to wait to peruse it all longer.

What started that night was three years of an unchecked porn addiction. I never felt guilty. I don’t know why. Perhaps because I felt like I wasn’t hurting anyone?

No one knew. The guys on the screen didn’t know — or at least didn’t care. I did always mind sites that said: “18 or over to view.”

Yes, indeed, I figured I would obey that rule. I was such a rule-follower.

Then when I was 14, my parents discovered my addiction. Needless to say, their “intervention” lasted only a year before I was back in porn full-time again.

Not until my early 20s would I start to find victory against my porn addiction. Until then, I was a slave to the screen . . .

How did you discover pornography? Were you ever caught? How do you find small (and large) victories over pornography years later?

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