I am in my early-mid 20s and am addicted to porn (commercial porn in addition to stuff I’m going to talk about). Though I’ve always felt the need to masturbate a lot and often, I did not become addicted to porn until my last girlfriend dumped me when I was 17 (I have had little to no romance since). I have recently had a lot of free time to reflect on my life and there are a few really creepy things I have done in order to obtain masturbation material I feel horrible about that have sort of compounded into an intense sense of guilt. The first happened while I was a senior in high school when a friend picked up a classmates cell phone and emailed a nude picture she had on it to himself without her knowing and then emailed it to me. I deleted the email immediately but never told her what my friend did and I feel horrible about it (I didn’t even think to at the time only later after I never saw her anymore). The second happened when I was 18 or 19 (can’t remember): a friend offered to send me nude or semi-nude pictures of his ex who was a little older than us. At first I said no and felt really good about it because I thought of her as a friend. A bit later she and I stopped talking (with no ill feelings afaik) and I began to feel desperate to see them and asked him if he’d send them to me. At first he said no, but then offered to send one and I accepted the transfer but I can’t remember for certain if he canceled it, I did, or the pic transferred and I deleted it in shame but I feel horrible for having asked and this has haunted me since I did it. On another occasion during a trip for a college course which required us to bring our cameras for an assignment I took a bunch of creepshots of this woman in the class after getting aroused from looking at her ass. I felt like shit after doing it but masturbated to them when I got home but felt too creepy about it to do so anymore.
More recently, I masturbated to and saved some pics from IsAnyOneUp and other sites like it. I have also browsed through and saved some pics posted in the photoplunder subreddit. I’ve never contacted or harassed any of the people and at the time I thought that was enough to make these actions okay (not great but maybe morally ambiguous). I also rationalized these actions by thinking it was somehow better to masturbate to amateur pictures like this than commercial porn because it allows one to retain an interest in more realistic looking women (something I read some feminist blogger say she thought was good about the spread of amateur porn (I’m sure she didn’t meant revenge porn)). Recently, I’ve been reading articles about how victims of revenge porn or who have their nude photos hacked feel they have been raped and I cannot help but feel by masturbating to pictures like that I am contributing their trauma (though I feel like pointing out the idea that the photos are shared without the person’s consent does not make them more arousing to me, I feel more attracted the idea of seeing ordinary women naked). I also read some articles and comments on Jezebel about Photobucket ripping and revenge porn which make the point that it is a form of rape and that the people may not necessarily be of age (unsettling for obvious reasons). For the past week or so I have tried not to masturbate or look at porn and I have deleted all the pictures from sources mentioned above (including the creepshots I took) and others where I cannot determine if the woman in them consented to it being posted online. I have been feeling very depressed about my behavior, have had panic attacks, and contemplate suicide daily (something I haven’t seriously done before in my life) because I cannot live with myself thinking I am some form of a rapist or so creepy I need to be separated from society. I repeatedly consider these actions and wonder if I actually should be a sex offender for engaging in this behavior. A friend made me feel a little better (though in this state beat myself up for even trying to feel better) a few hours ago after I told him about it by telling me he thought as long as I didn’t harass online or physically harm anyone it was not a form of rape (he believed it trivialized physical rapes to call it that).
I guess I should point out I still live at home and currently have no friends in real life (a few online ones) and haven’t had any serious dating opportunities in years. I generally feel outside of society but before now was usually at least content I thought. I was really happy before this came over me about graduating from college and enrolling in graduate school. Another thing that contributes to my depression about this is that I have always dreamed of dating someone again someday and now I feel like I’m such a creep no one would possibly ever want to date or have sex with me. (sorry if this is all a big mess, I’m not in the most composed state).