My Porn Addiction Started With a Book and a Babysitting Job (Part 2)

Continued from Part 1 of Lacy’s story

Fully breaking free of the compulsive eating, fasting, intricate fantasy worlds, and pornography took many years. But now, it’s been almost 26 years free from anime porn and alcohol. I have 20 years in recovery for anorexia and over 12 years totally free of intentional self-harm through starvation. It’s been 10 years in recovery for sexual fantasy and “love addiction.” I have not brought fantasy or another man into my bedroom for 8 years, and my last fantasy-based emotional affair was ended shortly after that.

Why do I share all of this?

Because it all started with my first lit porn magazine, written for women, in 1990.

I was only 13 years old and had no way to know how to protect myself, or even any idea that what I was engaging in could have such long lasting effects. I am still haunted by some of the stories of fantasy I read so long ago. They created a deep fear of sex and relationships. It has taken decades of marriage to know how to trust my husband fully because of what I read and watched.

None of what I was “into” contained the hard core internet and video pornography of today. It was just stories and teen drama. It was violence, voyeurism, force, rape, coercion, manipulation and torture. But it was just words and cartoons, so it seemed harmless. Maybe. Probably not, given the stories I hear over and over again from other women who have pornography induced PTSD and are terrified of men.

These women are further traumatized and full of self-loathing because now they need porn to climax, and they crave watching other women being raped. They started so young, and they have no idea what their original sexual template was, because all they have ever known is porn, and now they can’t stop.

Not everyone starts with “normal” porn.

What breaks my heart the most, is that many of these women started with literature porn, fan fiction, anime, and teen romance novels. Just like me, they thought it was all harmless. Now, they are full of anxiety, fear, self-hatred, and worry that they can never have a healthy, happy relationship with another person.

All they want is to heal, but their minds are so deeply entrenched in what can be watched and acted out alone. There is no attraction or pull to real relationships anymore, except in the moments of clarity when they realize how miserable they feel long enough to seek help.

It takes a long time and many resources to help them find the strength to begin to live again. The trauma and snit social tendencies have to be dealt with. But when she’s dedicated enough, each of these women find their way steadily back into life without porn. They all worry they will never get it all out of their heads.

That’s a legitimate concern, as even I have upsetting memories now and then. But the trauma response and fear of being harmed or watched has died down. I’ve learned that what I read and saw wasn’t real, and that when people truly love each other, those things don’t happen.

I’ve learned that romantic comedies, fan fiction and romance are harmful to many, many wounded women, and that I was right to begin the journey to fight against easy access to pornography for kids. I’ve also learned that if those of us who know better don’t say something to our girls, they will get trapped in an abyss of isolation their young minds cannot free them from without help. They think its not porn because it’s anime, or “just a story” that everyone is reading.

Parents, start talking to your kids now.

The truth is, young men sneaking into bedrooms to watch young women sleep is undeniably dangerous when seen as sexy and “loving.” Teachers, professors, sports coaches, other teens or young adults pushing the boundaries to have sex with young girls is illegal, horrific, and not normal sexual behavior. These are major consent and boundary issues, but girls are reading about them in books as if they’re normal and encouraged.

When kids are not talked to about pornographic anime or appropriate sexual relationships, they will have no idea that what they see and read is harmful to their developing sexuality. This may even set them up to be abused or exploited in the future.

Possessiveness and seduction of minors by force is not healthy, especially for developing, insecure sexual templates. Did you know that we do not fully develop mentally until around the age of 25? Everything we experience before that can rewire or rewrite natural tendencies for all relationships. Kids don’t know to protect themselves and may not understand how quickly anime or literature can become harmful to their sense of self. So it’s our job to teach them, encourage them to make wise media decisions, and step up as parents.

It is my hope and prayer that my story turns on the light bulb for parents and children alike. Our culture needs to understand the danger of pornography, before young women fall into the trap that I did so long ago. You’ve read about the devastating effect it’s had on my life, now let’s make sure this doesn’t happen to anyone else.


Lacy is a wife, mother of four sons, author, women’s recovery coach, and advocate for female recovery efforts. She advocates for research, new treatment and recovery methods for women, and education of parents. She won’t stop talking and writing until every woman who struggles knows that she’s not the only one.