Defeat Lust & Pornography A young male photographer.
Defeat Lust & Pornography 5 minute read

Fight Fear With Freedom

Last Updated: February 16, 2024

I am going on just shy of a year free from online pornography.

I am in a healthy and happy relationship with the love of my life, and my relationship with my family has never been stronger. I have an accountability group of my peers from my university that lift me up, which I happened to start and led for nine months. I’m also a recent college grad, with plans on starting grad school in the fall. I’m living into my goal for this year, which is this: Porn-Free.

It hasn’t always been like this though. I believe integrity is a learned trait, and it has taken years of struggling and failing to get to where I am today. It was God’s Word and grace, as well as the support of my friends and family, that gave me the tools to overcome my fears and start the journey to sexual freedom. Here is a brief account of this journey.

Tale As Old As Time

My dad and I only had two “sex talks” before college. The first was when I was in 5th Grade, before the porn. We talked about the realities of my changing body, and how important it is to push through the urges and respect women. While it was awkward, I sensed the magnitude of the conversation and left it feeling a strong sense of moral duty. Unfortunately, it was quickly extinguished by the manic urges of my maleness and easy access to sexual content through my Kindle Fire. About a year into my addiction, I was trying to show my dad a YouTube video when I suddenly and painfully realized I hadn’t closed my search tab displaying dozens of pictures of naked women. Cue sex talk number two. I poignantly remember the tears from my mom and the stern, hour-long conversation with my dad. I was grounded from all electronics for three months, and my mom didn’t talk to me for a week.

The 8-Year War

You would have thought I learned my lesson after that extremely eye-opening experience, but as soon as I got my Kindle Fire back, I went right back to searching and masturbating. My fear of getting caught again drove me to get resourceful; I only used incognito mode to get my drug. Long story short, I was on and off of pornography from the summer of seventh grade all the way to the summer before my senior year of college. During this period of 8 years, I had my fair share of half-baked purity discussions from my flakey youth group leaders and peers. I tried numerous times to start accountability groups with those guys, only to see them drop off after about a month.

In the fall of 2019, I started college. “It’ll be different in college, I just know it,” I told myself. And it was! Until Christmas break rolled around. And Covid-19. And all of the other extended periods of solitude. With no accountability group to lift me up, I fell to porn every time I came home for the holidays. I tried connecting to virtual accountability partners from my church and college and even got Covenant Eyes, but that only worked for a month before I gave up on it. The root of the problem wasn’t the loopholes in the software or the lack of consistency with my partners, but rather it was my lack of integrity. I didn’t change because I didn’t want to change. I was afraid of the responsibility of manhood.

An Epiphany

Fast forward to May of 2022. I’m sitting in my Orlando apartment during my Disney College Program. I had been accepted as a PhotoPass Photographer during my junior year of college, and I couldn’t be more excited to live out my childhood dream as a Disney photographer. Yet after eight years I was still watching and masturbating to porn. At that moment, I decided that I’d had enough. I had a life to live, and fear couldn’t hold me captive anymore. That same day I signed up for Disney’s free therapy service, reached out to a trusted friend from college, and set up a Covenant Eyes account. I also called my dad and told him that I was finally confronting the issue after eight years of watching porn behind his back. I had decided that I wanted to change. I wanted porn out of my life.

During this life-changing summer, and for the first time ever, I gained a consistent and driven accountability partner in my trusted friend “Jay”. He agreed to be a partner on my Covenant Eyes account, and he truly challenged me to live a life of integrity in today’s extremely sensual age. He even agreed to read Every Man’s Battle by Fred Stoeker and Stephen Arterburn with me, and we met over the phone each week to talk about what we had read!

Before we made the commitment to each other to become accountability partners, Jay told me that if I continued to watch porn on and off this summer, he would report me to the deans at my school. He worked for my university, and because of the Covenant Eyes screen-sharing software, he was risking his job by having access to potentially porn-ridden images from my failures. This made the stakes much higher than I could have imagined, but I agreed to his terms because of my desire to break completely free from the addiction.

Senior Year and Sexual Freedom

During my last month at Disney, Jay challenged me to start an accountability group at school. He believed I had made enough progress over the summer to start ministering to a group of freshmen, and he suggested that I walk them through the Every Man’s Battle workbook. I did just that, and those weekly meetings were the biggest blessing of my senior year. I learned valuable leadership skills as I mentored those freshmen, and they are still my strongest accountability partners today.

In the last few months of my senior year, I asked my crush out on a date. After the third date, we had a serious discussion about pornography and sexual sin. After I finished telling her my story, she broke down into tears. She told me how she had been physically abused by her ex-boyfriend, which had resulted in two years of therapy and a daily struggle of hating all men because of what he’d done. She had given up on believing that there were men with integrity out there until she heard the lengths I had gone to to kick my habits. Sexual integrity is worth it if you want to be in a relationship.

After years of searching, I found that integrity is the constant sacrifice of immoral pleasures for a godly life, and it is only obtainable through the support of a connected and godly community. To the struggling addict, I say this: it’s never too late to make a change, and Jesus will never give up on you. Get after it, and fight fear with freedom.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related in Defeat Lust & Pornography

Editor's Picks

A teenage girl alone at night on her phone.

Defeat Lust & Pornography

I Clicked on a Link

Living with integrity in this world is quite difficult because our culture…

3 minute read

Read Post

Editor's Picks

A solitary man on a scenic hike.

Defeat Lust & Pornography

My Journey and Liberation from Pornography

Many men and women struggle nowadays with addiction to pornography. Almost all…

3 minute read

Read Post

Editor's Picks

A young man with his friends.

Defeat Lust & Pornography

Transparency: Tough But Always Worth It

Whether I care to admit it or not, porn is a big…

4 minute read

Read Post

Editor's Picks

Young man wearing a hoodie praying.

Defeat Lust & Pornography

From Hopeless Addict to Follower of Christ

The journey I have embarked on to quit porn has been long…

2 minute read

Read Post

Editor's Picks

A young man looking into the distance.

Defeat Lust & Pornography

All You Need for Quitting Porn (And for Everything Else)

What do you need to quit porn? 2 Peter 1:3 says “[God’s]…

6 minute read

Read Post

Editor's Picks

Silhouette of a young engaged couple.

Defeat Lust & Pornography

How I Found Freedom From the Binge and Purge Cycle of Porn

Since the age of 11 years old, I have struggled with pornography…

4 minute read

Read Post

Related in Defeat Lust & Pornography

A teenage girl alone at night on her phone.

Defeat Lust & Pornography

I Clicked on a Link

Living with integrity in this world is quite difficult because our culture…

Living with integrity in this world is quite difficult because our culture is so against it, but as a Christian God has called me to be different, and striving for integrity plays a key role…

3 minute read

0 comments

A solitary man on a scenic hike.

Defeat Lust & Pornography

My Journey and Liberation from Pornography

Many men and women struggle nowadays with addiction to pornography. Almost all…

Many men and women struggle nowadays with addiction to pornography. Almost all were exposed at a young age through no fault of their own and now seek liberation from pornography addiction. I was one of…

3 minute read

0 comments

A young man with his friends.

Defeat Lust & Pornography

Transparency: Tough But Always Worth It

Whether I care to admit it or not, porn is a big…

Whether I care to admit it or not, porn is a big part of my life. It seems shameful, but that’s the reality I live in, for better or worse. I have learned many lessons…

4 minute read

0 comments

Young man wearing a hoodie praying.

Defeat Lust & Pornography

From Hopeless Addict to Follower of Christ

The journey I have embarked on to quit porn has been long…

The journey I have embarked on to quit porn has been long and arduous. In fact, I don’t think it’s over. Covenant Eyes has been a significant part in helping me overcome my addictions and…

2 minute read

0 comments

A young man looking into the distance.

Defeat Lust & Pornography

All You Need for Quitting Porn (And for Everything Else)

What do you need to quit porn? 2 Peter 1:3 says “[God’s]…

What do you need to quit porn? 2 Peter 1:3 says “[God’s] divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness.” That’s a verse that makes me pause for a minute, especially…

6 minute read

0 comments

Silhouette of a young engaged couple.

Defeat Lust & Pornography

How I Found Freedom From the Binge and Purge Cycle of Porn

Since the age of 11 years old, I have struggled with pornography…

Since the age of 11 years old, I have struggled with pornography and purity. I Was Trapped in a “Binge and Purge” Cycle I can still vividly remember the day that my innocence was stripped…

4 minute read

0 comments