Kicking the habit

What does Tumblr’s ban on x-rated content mean for recovering adult film addicts like this guy?

Tumblr announced this week that it will no longer allow x-rated content on its platform.

In a blog post published Monday, CEO Jeff D’Onofrio wrote:

Over the past several months, and inspired by our storied past, we’ve given serious thought to who we want to be to our community moving forward and have been hard at work laying the foundation for a better Tumblr. We’ve realized that in order to continue to fulfill our promise and place in culture, especially as it evolves, we must change … Today, we’re taking another step by no longer allowing adult content, including explicit sexual content and nudity (with some exceptions).

A public outcry ensued, with many people vowing to delete their Tumblr accounts in protest.

Others are freaking out about where they’re going to get their amateur porn fixes going forward.

Porn addiction can be a serious problem. Just ask Willy Hudson. In a brave new op-ed published by Gay Star NewsHudson writes about his struggles as a sexual being with an addictive personality.

“I started watching porn when I was about 13,” he writes. “Any chance I could get, I was on the family computer with my hands down my pants. It was how I learnt about sex and bodies.”

Sounds like typical gay teenager behavior.

NBD, right?

Wrong.

“It didn’t stop,” Hudson writes. “My consumption was high. When phones launched with internet this gave me an excuse to watch even more, in secret and late into the night. It was escapism. I wasn’t interested in real sex–I was lost in hardcore virtual intercourse.”

Hudson says his obsession with online sex eventually led to a complete inability to have actual sex with real live people when he got older.

“I couldn’t do it,” he writes. “My mind was wired to this 2D virtual sex that I could flick on my screen and skip straight to the climax.”

I couldn’t get an erection when with a real person. I was freaked out, anxious and mortified, and watched more porn to hide the shame, proving to myself I could get hard to a three inch screen. The high was a welcome quick fix.

After doing some research, he learned he wasn’t alone. This is one of the most common side affects of porn addiction.

Hudson eventually kicked his habit by quitting cold turkey, but he says it was “awful.”

“I had cravings, making excuses to myself to see pictures of d*cks. But I stuck with it, flatlined and lost all sexual appetite.”

Eventually, his libido returned. But it took a long time. A very long time.

“After about two years I started getting erections without porn,” he says. “Another year and sex finally happened. My brain was rewiring.”

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me in my dads v-neck in Teignmouth 1 week after Edinburgh Fringe, I've recovered in Devon and now back in London. a huge massive THANK YOU for all the Bottom support – financially, creatively, emotionally, audiences, tweets, likes, shares, hugs and SMILES. I'm overwhelmed by the response. 2 years ago I was struggling with drugs, porn, erectile dysfunction and fucked up gay culture. We've turned it into a show that tries to bring hope and change, and has my whole heart in. Biggest love to Rachel Lemon and @lucyroseadams who stuck it (and me) out for the month. Thank U @summerhallery you dreammakerss. ALSO the whole gang –  @jesstuckerboyd @jrg_91 @bryonykimmings @ticashfield @joe_magowan @tristan.l.bell And my mam and dad, who made the set, drove all the stuff around the country, kept me going, sat through the show loads of times…and still don't mind it's about ket and anal. And of course, my love @parisrabone ?? BUT we haven't quuuite finished…STAY TUNED…keep wiping your bum…

A post shared by Willy Hudson (@willyhudson007) on

Though he’s doing better today, Hudson’s addiction continues to be an ongoing struggle for him.

“I’m not out of the water yet,” he writes. “I may never be completely.”

Last week I relapsed. I was feeling a bit shite and stayed in bed all day, finding porn accounts on Twitter. There are loads. I couldn’t get out of the cycle and made excuses for myself. ‘It’s only this once’. I wanted to be self-destructive, having a quick fix to make myself feel good.

Hudson believes there is “an unhealthy consumption of porn, leading to addiction” in the world.

“This is fueled by its immediacy via technology and is a deeper reflection of mental health,” he writes. “And we need to talk about it. We need to understand the nature and causes of addiction.”

“I’m calling for warnings, support and open discussion. Porn shouldn’t be kept as a dirty joke or secret trapped in our phones.”

Related: Tumblr announces ban on all adult content and people are pissed