Starting with porn
So here is a background of what i am going through. I started watching softcore porn on HBO and Showtime when I was around 12 or 13 and the show Real Sex on HBO allowed me see a wide variety of sexual activities. I would watch late night television that had some form of sex but did not start masturbating to internet porn until I was a freshmen in high school. Ever since that first experience I have masturbated more or less everyday for around 8 years. At that time I started out with mostly straight porn but when that got boring I would try something new and novel so I would sometimes turn to gay porn, but only if the people acted straight and looked like models. I often switch off from straight porn to gay porn but because I feel that gay porn is more forbidden and has a certain taboo to it, the mix of shame and guilt along with the fantasy of it usually leads to a heightened experience.
Anxiety Problems and Dating
I first started having panic attacks and social anxiety when I was around 16 (coincidence?) which made it very hard for me to go to school or go out with friends. Because I often felt alone and would have to force myself to be with other people, I usually went to porn to make me feel better and to get a quick rush that would temporarily relieve my anxiety. Of course because this is the age of development where you should try to be chasing girls and learning self-confidence, I did neither and skipped homecoming and prom because I was so nervous about asking anyone out or being in an intimate relationship with anyone. I have always thought about being in relationships with girls and every time I have made out with a girl it has been a pleasurable experience, but my constant self-doubt has always lead me to avoid relationships. Because of this, this made me start to think about going to craigslist for anonomous sex. Because I didnt want to go to prostitution and I already watched gay sex, I thought that maybe I could try it. BAD IDEA. In the RARE event I would email someone on craiglist (once every couple of years when I felt really alone and depressed) it lead to me feeling more depressed and having huge panic attacks about "wow is this really how I want to live my life?" So instead of ever acting out anything sexually, I usually just went back to porn.
Crisis and Deciding to stop my porn addiction
In the past 6 months my anxiety dropped off dramatically and I finally had enough confidence to try to date girls, even though I was still watching porn 1 to 2 times a day. But after getting rejected and feeling depressed and then subsequently going on a family vacation where I couldnt get internet, I finally discovered how bad porn was for me. I started getting HOCD thoughts like "since you arent successful with girls now you must be gay" and anytime I saw a guy who looked like a model my brain would say "wow you think he looks attractive you must be gay". This made my anxiety come back with avengence and I was on the verge of a mental breakdown because being gay was never something that I thought I was. Throughout the whole vacation my HOCD became worse and I usually had 2 to 3 panic attacks a day which lead me to be constantly be checking to see if I was straight or not. Once I finally returned home, I tried masturbating again but this lead to extreme stress. Fortunately I went to sites like brainphysics.com and yourbrainonporn.com which gave me more guideance on what I was going through. So after deciding that I had an addiction to porn, last week I finally decided to stop.
I decided to put web filters on my computers which really helped me to not watch porn, but wow were the first 72 hours horrendous. I got headaches, toothaches, I couldnt eat much, getting 4 hours asleep a night (usually it is 8 hours) was the norm, and I sunk into depression and for a while was the lowest that I have ever been. But after the initial 3 days, I got somewhat better and even had the confidence to ask a girl out that I knew liked me. We went on a couple of dates and even made out, something that I hadnt done in years. Even though my porn addiction is doing quite well after 7 days, my HOCD is still a constant battle. After 6 days of no porn or masturbation, yesterday I had too strong of an urge because I was fantasizing about the girl I am going on dates with and decided to masterbate but without porn. BAD IDEA. The orgasm wasnt great which lead me to think "well it's probably because you thought of a girl instead of a guy" instead of "you are rebooting and probably have a low sex drive now." This lead me to going back to constantly checking to see if I was straight or not which lead to much more stress and anxiety. It felt like I was back to day 1 but still today I feel like it is going to be a battle that I can overcome. I would love to get some advice and I will for sure keep an update on what I am going through in case someone else is going through something similar.