I remember the first time I ever masturbated. It was in my washroom, just a week before my thirteenth birthday. I had previously ‘edged’—always stopped before climax. But that day was different, for a senior had shown me a stunning, blonde, foreign girl as naked as the day she was born. He’d told me everything about masturbating. The feeling. The rush. So I thought to myself, “I’ll stop right before it happens”. I didn’t stop. I probably couldn’t have stopped if I wanted to. And so, for the very first time in my life, I came.
It was everything he’d described, yet nothing like it. The feeling. The ecstasy. The heat. The thrill. It was scary, yet absolutely exhilarating at the same time. An undiscovered superpower within me. I washed my hands and came out of the washroom. Looking at my face, my mom asked if I was okay.
And so it started. The curiosity. The pleasure. That feeling of instant gratification. But I never went overboard with it. A few times a week, with some light, ‘hot’ YouTube videos. Maybe following a few gorgeous models on Instagram, and so on.
And then, for the first time in my life, it all came crashing down.
When I was 15, my family and I went on a trip to the UK. When I was there, a suggestion came up on my app store. Its name was Skout, and it described itself as an app where you could meet other people. Make “friends or acquaintances,” it said. And so I joined it and met a few really cool people in the first few days. Then I changed my “meet people” settings to women all around the world. From friendship, it went to some light flirting and at times, more. Imagine this situation: a 15-year-old boy from a boys-only school starts messages such as “OMG you’re so cuteeeeee” or being described as “hot AF” by gorgeous girls from all around the world.
I was absolutely, exponentially, and fantastically hooked.
Within the first three weeks of using the app, I received my first nude. I had only asked her for a selfie. Instead, she replied, “I’ve got something even better”, and sent me a picture of her breasts. By this time I had moved on from YouTube and had started using more “traditional” sites. But the adrenaline rush I received when I opened that image was unparalleled. I started getting bolder; my flirting becoming more apparent, more sexual. Sexting became a regular, everyday thing. I became closer to my sexting buddies than my real life friends. I made fake Instagram accounts to talk to the people I met on Skout. And while I was becoming more and more confident in the online world, back in reality, my insecurities became even more pronounced. I became more withdrawn from my parents, my friends, and my teachers. Talking to women in real life made my heart beat faster, and not in a good “romantic” way. And so I swam and ran deeper and deeper into the fake little world I had made for myself that revolved around the internet.
And then, for the second time in my life, it all came crashing down.
Until 15, I was good at one thing—and that studying. In my school, getting into the “Science Stream” was a big deal which, something reserved for ‘the elite’ when it came to academics. And so, in Class XI, unsurprisingly, I got into that stream. But, gradually, I went from being at the top in a class of average students to one of the lowest in a class of intellectuals. My insecurities started becoming even more pronounced. I began to feel that I was good for nothing. I had nothing working for me. I could do nothing. I could be nothing. I couldn’t sing, dance, speak or write. I wasn’t particularly good looking and I couldn’t act. I was as bad at making friends as I was at making jokes. Good for nothing. And these thoughts drove me down a path of depression and anxiety. It was something that I would never wish upon anyone on this planet. Tantrums, breakdowns ,and shouting matches became a common disruptor at home. My poor parents were at a complete loss as to what to do for me. They tried to console me, they did their best not to get angry with me, and they told me, that no matter what, they would always be there for me. And I loved them from the bottom of my heart for that.
There was someone else who also made a similar promise. And I was deeply in love with this person too. But by this time, with the anxiety and tension being mixed into my life, porn and sexting became a habit. It became a part of my life. In certain instances, it became a part of myself. I used to wake up every day early morning, under the guise of “studying”, yet I always used to end up at either Skout or one of my favourite porn sites. Whenever I feel tensed or worried, I always turned to one of the two. I started masturbating four or six times a day, on average. The number always went up during exams. Porn made me feel special. It made me feel like the king of the world. It made me feel nothing else mattered. It pulled me in. It suffocated me, yet, at the same time, it convinced me that I liked the feeling of the breathlessness.
I finally understood I had a problem. It happened a few months ago. I thank my hands for that realisation, for whenever I opened my laptop to look for porn, my hands flew around the keyboard like a chef flies around his kitchen. My fingers perfectly moving from ‘s’ to ‘k’, and from ‘p’ to ‘o’. And so I did what every kid of my age with a problem does. I googled it. And then I got shit scared. I read about dopamine shots. I read about neuroplasticity. And then I read about “#NoFap” and how it works. I decided to give it a try—to abstain from all virtual sexual pleasures for a certain amount of time. And I barely lasted five days. I felt ashamed. I felt embarrassed.
But unlike so many other instances, I decided not to give up this time. I decided to not give in to this addiction. I decided I would not succumb. For I want to be that beautiful boy who made his mother laugh, not cry. I want to be that beautiful boy who used to make his dad proud, not worried. I want to be that beautiful boy who could make friends easily and didn’t keep comparing himself to others or getting so disappointed. And while I may not be that beautiful boy any more, I want him back very dearly, for I have finally realised that I loved him.
And maybe, just maybe, this is my shot at getting him back.