Quitting Porn: How a Year of Celibacy Led to Damn Near Enlightenment

Quitting-Porn-SMALL

What if I told you you could change your life by quitting porn? No porn. No masturbation. Would you do it for a week? What about for a month? What about for an entire year?

Don’t worry, I’m not going to tell you to quit squeezing the salami for a year. That’s a little extreme, and more than a little stupid. I know this, because my junior year of high school, I quit porn and masturbation for a full 365 days.

That’s right. I — at the time a 16-year-old boy with raging pubescent hormones and zero chances of getting laid — made the decision to not touch myself for a full year. No strangling the cobra. No buffing the banana. No tugging the tubesteak. For 365 very long, very hard days.

I’ve told this story to friends before (usually after a couple beers) and they always have the same two questions:

  1. What was I thinking?
  2. Seriously, what the fuck was I thinking?

They’re both valid questions. Telling a teenage boy not to jerk off is like telling a fish not to swim. But while I understand my friends’ confusion, they always fail to ask the more important question:

  1. Was it worth it?

And that’s when things get interesting, because in all honesty, this simple decision to stop jiggling my jimmy permanently altered the course of my life. 

“I never thought I’d miss a hand so much!” — Buster Bluth

No Touching! No Touching!

I’m assuming you have the same questions my friends had, so before we get into how it changed my life, let’s begin with why. Why did I decide to stop changing my own oil?

The answer is not a good one:

Religion.

When we’re children, we’re constantly asked what we want to be when we grow up. Since age 9, I always wanted to be Catholic priest. Most kids want to be firemen, astronauts, or ninjas, but I always saw myself donning a white collar and feeding the masses paper-thin crackers. I was an odd kid.

Before I talk about religion, let me offer you this disclaimer: I do not believe any religion is inherently good or bad. In my opinion, religion is like alcohol. Some people can practice moderation and have a good time. Other people shouldn’t be allowed to go anywhere near the stuff.

If religion was alcohol, I was an alcoholic. And not a functional one.

I was a terrible Catholic — one of those “fire-and-brimstone” dickheads who believes everyone is going to hell because they “sin.” I judged everyone, and I judged them harshly. People say hindsight is 20/20, and looking back, I have a crystal clear, high-definition image of me being a complete asshole.

Of course, I didn’t see it that way at the time. Instead, I believed I was nearly perfect in God’s eyes — I didn’t curse, I didn’t drink, I didn’t smoke, I didn’t do drugs, and I didn’t have premarital sex. I also didn’t have any fun, but that’s beside the point. In my head, I was pure. There was just one teeny-tiny little sin that I couldn’t quite seem to quit:

The devil’s handshake.

I couldn’t stop pulling the python, and this wreaked havoc my tender adolescent psychology (not to mention my tender adolescent boner). Because I believed that jerking the jack-in-the-box was a sin, every day — at least two or three times — I felt a crushing sense of guilt. My body would be in a state of euphoria, but my mind kept thinking about all my dead relatives watching me from heaven and sadly shaking their heads beside a disappointed Jesus.

I couldn’t handle the guilt, so at age 16, I decided I was going to stop bludgeoning the beefsteak for good. I was going to be a priest, and priests can’t marry. If they can’t marry, they can’t have sex. And if they can’t have sex, they shouldn’t be allowed to flog their own bishop. Thus went my ill-fated logic.

Sometimes we do great things for stupid reasons. Believing that any divine being would judge you for playing a game of one man tug-o-war is more than stupid. Nevertheless, going 100% celibate had a profound effect that completely changed my life for the better, and in all honesty, it might be the single most life-changing thing that’s ever happened to me.

Quitting Porn = Power, Freedom, and Damn Near Enlightenment

Interesting things happen when you stop making the bald guy cry cream.

Recovering addicts might call it a “moment of clarity,” but I didn’t consider myself an addict. I considered myself a guilt-ridden teenager who enjoyed a good wank.

Guilt had been an integral part of my life for so long, I didn’t know how to define myself without it. To make matters worse, my concept of “God” was so deeply entangled with guilt (and judgment), that I myself was becoming tied in a massive negativity knot of which there seemed to be no escape.

Clearly the result of too much masturbation.

That’s when something miraculous happened. I realized that I was, in fact, an addict. I wasn’t addicted to polishing my sword; I was addicted to guilt. 

When I quit masturbating, I realized my psyche could finally “breathe.” I stopped judging myself, but more importantly, I stopped judging others. For the first time in my life, I finally felt happy.

But that’s when terror struck, because this newfound happiness actually made me feel further from God. I knew this didn’t make any sense, so I looked inward and made a profound discovery:

I wanted God to be judgmental because I myself was judgmental. Essentially I was worshiping myself, but even worse — I was worshiping the worst parts of myself. Sadly, much of humanity does the same thing.

Judgment. Guilt. Fear. These are the worst parts of humanity. They’re what the weakest among us embrace, because they’re the easiest to embrace. Those qualities destroy, and it’s very easy to destroy. It’s much more difficult to create.

I quit fondling my figs because I thought it’d bring me closer to God, and in a way it did, but only because I realized that my previous definition of a bitter, judgmental God was a stupid, archaic, and destructive lie. 

To the average person, that may not be much, but to angst-ridden, self-loathing teen who almost dedicated his entire life to the priesthood, that was damn near enlightenment!

Although my religious beliefs changed a few months into my experiment, I decided to continue my celibacy for a full year, whereupon I finally “relieved” myself of celibacy duties and gave myself a “dishonorable discharge.”

It was one the best days of my life.

This guy knows what I’m talking about!

The Moral of the Story

Slapping the cyclops is a victimless crime. I know that now. It helps prevent cancer, it releases endorphins, and it improves sleep. It also feels really, really good.

So is there a moral of the story? Yes. But since I buried it under a plethora of dick jokes, I’ll state it simply:

When we change our habits, we redefine our limits. And when we redefine our limits, we expand our definition of self. 

My destructive habits were porn, masturbation, and guilt. Other people’s destructive habits might be food, anger, cigarettes, alcohol, or even apathy.  But if I can quit whacking Willy Wonka into wonderland during the most powerful point in puberty, you can do whatever it takes to redefine yourself and take your life to greater heights.

And isn’t that the entire purpose of existence?

Quitting Porn Unknown Spiral

Author’s Note:

Because I write from personal experience, all my masturbation terminology was wiener-oriented. Since this is the 21st century and equality is important, allow me to offer a few slang terms for female masturbation:

Diddle the skittle, itch the ditch, mash the minge, feeding the sarlacc, stirring the trough, saucing the taco, tickling the tuna, slamming the salmon, buffin’ the muffin, digging for the keys, twisting the third nipple, polishing the pearl, paddling in the pink canoe, shucking the clam, bruising the beaver, and finally, flossing the vertical smile.

Yay, feminism!

Leave a Reply

Be the First to Comment!

Notify of
avatar
wpDiscuz