Stories of Men

More p*rn talk…

More p*rn talk…

One mate of mine was watching p*rn every single day, often twice a day. He’d got used to watching p*rn so regularly and he was finding it tough to break the habit.

He actually joined a p*rn accountability app to help him break the habit. Hank or Larry from, a fellow sufferer from Omaha, Nebraska or some other nondescript place in the midwest of the US would tell him ‘hey man, we’re all with you, you can do it! BE brave. Don’t put your hand down your pants!”

Jokes aside, these apps are helping a lot of men to curb the habit.

As with all addiction-forming behaviours, p*rn can be really tough to move on from. Listen to Alan talking about his struggles with gambling addiction for example.

If you haven’t read part 1 yet, click this link before reading part 2 displayed below.

Going back to p*rn, one of the reasons so many of us keep going back to it is that it’s right there on our phones, ready to be accessed whenever we like. There are all these free sites that we know are just a few clicks away.

It’s so hard to avoid something when there is such easy access. 

Clicking on these sites also generates reward systems in the brain. We get that dopamine response which makes us want to keep returning so we can get that p*rn hit. I also talked about the dopamine response in an article I wrote about social media, have a read of it here.

One useful avenue that exists that has helped some men with their p*rn addictions is Nofap. This is an online community of men who abstain from both p*rn and masturbation.

Becoming a part of this community can help to generate accountability between men who want to reduce their dependence on p*rn. 

Read this article, and this one, for more information on how having an accountability buddy can really help with making important life changes.

Another way of reducing our dependence on p*rn is to stay occupied. That mate I was talking about who had been watching p*rn on a daily basis told me that he was able to reduce his habit by taking the dog for a walk whenever he had the urge to give it a watch. This stopped the devil from making work for his idle hands.

On a personal level, I’ve stopped watching p*rn completely. In fact, I haven’t watched a video in over 2 years. I haven’t really watched it regularly in nearly 15 years and I feel better for it.

To some of you, I’d say around at least 50% of you, that might seem strange but I honestly don’t miss it.

My energy levels have improved so much since I stopped watching p*rn. I’m also now much more motivated to make a connection with an actual person rather than choosing the easy route of watching p*rn videos.

Let’s be honest, it’s very rare to feel satisfied after watching p*rn. When I’d watch it, I’d often have an empty feeling once I’d finished (pun kinda intended).

I think a big part of the reason for that emptiness was because I wasn’t really looking for sexual relief so much as intimacy, you know what I mean, kissing, cuddling, pillow talk, the things that generate a real romantic connection between two people. 

And although there are many things p*rn can replicate, that kind of intimacy is definitely not one of them.

P*rn and masturbation are actually very isolating experiences. You are doing something extremely intimate all by yourself. There’s no connection. You don’t get the serotonin and oxytocin boosts that you would get from being around other people. 

This, in some ways, represents how many of us now live our lives. Whether we’re working from home or living our lives through the internet, we’re less connected with each other. And masturbating alone at the end of the day just intensifies that isolation.

As I reflect on it now, I can’t help thinking that I’m lucky. There are many men I know who still struggle with their p*rn addictions.

I also feel sorry for the kids of today who are being exposed to much more graphic p*rn at a very early age, things that are much worse than a naked female on a playing card.

In fact, let’s take some time to talk about this. Kids now are able to access p*rn in ways that are so much easier than I was able to at a young age. They don’t need to wait until their parents are asleep to try and find something to watch. They have thousands of times more content, and much more graphic content, than I ever had access to.

Kids these days would laugh at that playing card and think “a playing card? Haha, that’s nothing compared to what I can see now!”.

This is changing the way that young people’s brains work. It’s rewiring neural pathways and creating a warped perspective on women, sex and relationships at such a vulnerable age.

Research indicates that boys typically start watching p*rn surprisingly young. On average, boys are first exposed to p*rn around the age of 11. In some cases, children as young as 10 or even younger make up 22% of online p*rn use among those under 18!

So what are we doing to protect today’s kids from the negative experiences of p*rn? Surely this is something we need to spend much more time seriously thinking about?!

On the topic of how important it is that we help to guide the kids of today, listen to this episode where Tim, a social worker, talks about the important guidance he provided to a young man who was on the brink of falling into a life of crime and antisocial behaviour.

Anyway, I started, now it’s over to you: What are your thoughts on p*rn? Is there any part of you that is uncomfortable with how popular it’s become? If so, what can we do to control our p*rn obsession?

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Laura is the mix engineer for the Stories of Men podcast. She has a BA in Music from Nottingham University and an Advanced Diploma in Music Production and Sound Engineering from Abbey Road Institute. Alongside working for Our Voices she is a freelance sound designer and technician. Her highlights include sound design for JK Rowling audiobook ‘The Christmas Pig’, and sound effects editing on The Outlaws, on the BBC.

For the Stories of Men podcast, Laura is typically provided with a Voice Over and interview. She then cleans the dialogue, integrates the podcast intro and outros, chooses the music that will add to the storytelling and pacing of the episode, then bring all the elements together in the mix, followed by mastering and then delivering the final edit.

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I’m the community manager at Stories of Men. I spend most of my time focusing on the implementation of our marketing strategy, achieving goals and KPIs, and the rest of the time listening to the amazing stories of our guests. What I love most about working for Stories of men is the impact it has on peoples’ lives. It requires a lot of courage to tell your story out loud so I make sure these stories are heard by as many people as possible.

I was born and raised in Pakistan and I’ve been living in Hungary for over two years now. I have a Master’s degree in Marketing and I live for mastering the art of digital marketing.

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Favourite Movie: Harry Potter – The only movie I can watch over and over again!

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Hobby: Netflix, Travelling, and Eating- I want to try different cuisines from every country once in my lifetime!

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I run Fascinate Productions, the production company behind the Stories of Men podcast. I’ve had a wide variety of roles in media, from underwater videography, to live televised sporting events around the world. But since listening to my first audiobook in 2016, I’ve been all about audio and jumped in with two feet. Podcasts are enabling the world to democratise its most valuable information. They’re about spreading messages, and sharing ideas, and it’s my mission to help those holding the knowledge, to distribute it far and wide.

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Richard Willan is the CEO of Fascinate productions, a podcast production and promotion company. Before starting Fascinate, he worked an audio engineer, mastering tracks for artists on major and independent labels.

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I’m the Editor of Stories of men. I craft compelling narratives from the stories of our fantastic guests, editing their interviews and scripting the episodes. I’m a freelance journalist and audio producer from Northern Ireland, currently based in California. I cover social issues, health and gender – with reporting in The Guardian, Vice, NPR, Cosmopolitan and many others. My focus is shining a light on the communities and initiatives that improve people’s lives. I have a background in the nonprofit space, having worked in communications for a mental health charity, as well as an education start-up. I mentor young female writers and sit on the board of an NGO that empowers women in global supply chains. 
 
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I am the host of Stories of Men. I help to find men that have a powerful voice to share and then I speak to them and help to tease the stories out of them that will have a positive impact on the listener. 
 

While running Swoosh English, an online English school from 2013 – 2021, I had the opportunity to meet men from all walks of life and many of these guys had incredible stories. This inspired me to start ‘Stories of Men’ because I wanted to give these men a platform to share their stories with the world.

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Favourite Book: Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts – a book about an incredible journey.