My Personal Story

Who is this Jay Manning guy anyway?

I’m a guy in my late 30’s with a pretty typical western upbringing. I’ve had a bunch of different jobs over the years, mostly in education and personal coaching.

I’m into a lot of typical guy stuff – football, cars, fitness, music, socialising and sharing laughs, extreme sports, travel and adventures.

What I’m NOT into any more is porn . . . but I used to be, big time.

This is the story of how I got from there to here, along with some of the things I discovered that might help you in your own situation.

The Frustrating Past
The Awesome Present
The Crucial Future

The Frustrating Past

The Early Days

I had a pretty uneventful exposure to porn when I was growing up.

From time to time, one of my friends would get hold of a naughty magazine somehow, and we’d each take turns in borrowing it for a few days.

Otherwise, there was really just the women’s underwear section of the Kmart catalog, and sometimes an eyeful of boobs in mainstream movies. Revenge of the Nerds was pretty rad for that.

Later, when we got dialup internet (why are you millennials looking at me funny?? haha), I’d check out some sex pictures or read erotic stories every now and then.

Around that time, one or two porn videos would circulate amongst my friends here and there as well.

I always enjoyed it, but it was never enough to get me hooked at that stage.

Loneliness and Lack of Intimacy – the Seeds of My Porn Addiction

Once I was a bit older and moved out into my own place, a few factors came together that led to me using porn more often:

  • I was living alone;
  • I was doing most of my work from home (also alone); and
  • I was single a lot of the time.

Although I deliberately chose this lifestyle because it had a lot of advantages, it also brought some problems as well.

The main one was a chronic loneliness that sat in the background in such a way that I didn’t realise it was affecting me until years later.

This loneliness wasn’t an issue whenever I was out or around other people . . . but it would creep in when I spent longer periods by myself – especially on evenings and weekends when I wasn’t working and my time was less structured.

Since I had internet access and plenty of privacy at these times, I began using porn more often.

Back then, I thought this was just because I was a young man with a natural interest in women and sex.  And of course that was true in part.

But in hindsight, I can see that the main reason I used porn was actually to fill the void in my life caused by loneliness and lack of intimacy.

Using Porn to Escape My Deeper Issues

Porn was basically a way of escaping from problems I didn’t properly realise I had.

People use all kinds of things to (temporarily) escape from their problems and make themselves feel better – alcohol and other drugs, junk food, internet and social media, gambling, shopping, video games, TV, sex, and even work and exercise.

For me, it was junk food and porn.

The junk food actually came first – I would regularly eat (and overeat) pizzas, fast food and heavy carbs for comfort when I was home alone.

With that said, junk food never turned into something I’d call an addiction.

Over time, I took more interest in my diet and overall health, and I gradually stopped eating junk food.

However, the loneliness was still there underneath everything . . .

. . . so as I started eating junk food less often, I started using porn more often.

Since I hadn’t done anything about my loneliness and lack of intimacy (i.e. the underlying cause), when I stopped eating junk food as an escape, I simply filled the gap by replacing it with porn.

From Sex Stories to Porn Videos – The Escape Escalates

My regular porn use started off with me reading sex stories.

At least one or two nights a week, I’d be home alone with nothing in particular to do, so I’d read and masturbate to sex stories for an hour or even more.

Things kicked up a notch when I got broadband internet and I first discovered streaming porn videos. I was amazed at how much was so readily available.

It was all free too . . . but as I discovered later, there was a much greater price to pay than money.

My Porn of Choice

As everyone does, I checked out a whole bunch of different porn genres at different times.

But the ones I always kept going back to were those with romantic / intimate / sensual sexual encounters.

I especially looked for porn with an actual plot surrounding the sex (i.e. something more than “I’m a man, you’re a woman, somehow we’re in a hotel room, let’s fuck!”) – even if the acting sucked.

Now I know why that is – my porn use wasn’t just about getting off, but also vicariously experiencing human connection via the characters.

This kind of porn was the ideal thing for me to get hooked on – not just a distraction from my loneliness, but a distraction that also gave me a (false) taste of the connection and intimacy I was craving.

The First Sign of Trouble

For quite a while, I enjoyed my porn use without feeling bad about it.

But after some time, I eventually realised that it wasn’t taking me where I wanted to go in life. I had things I wanted to achieve, and porn was wasting my time with no value to show for it afterward.

So, for that reason (initially), I decided to stop using porn.  And that’s when I saw the first sign of trouble.

I discovered that porn was unexpectedly hard to give up.

Since my porn use hadn’t caused any significant problems yet (other than wasting my time), it wasn’t a big deal to me that I didn’t succeed right away.

Still, on one level, it did bug me – I had a lot of my life together, and it was uncomfortable that I couldn’t get on top of this area easily.

But not uncomfortable enough for me to take any serious action.

So I kept using porn . . . all the while also acknowledging that it wasn’t serving me . . . so also kinda trying (in a half-assed way) to give it up as well.

Little did I realise that my continued porn use was steadily causing harm under the surface without me even noticing.

The Next Sign of Trouble

With that happening, eventually I encountered my first big consequence of porn use.

I’m not gonna lie here: I reached a point where sometimes I couldn’t keep a proper boner when I was getting busy with a chick.

There, I said it.

It’s easier to admit something like this once the problem is over, but it sure wasn’t easy to face or talk about at the time.

In fact, it’s one of the most painfully embarrassing things imaginable for a man.

If you’re reading this right now, maybe the same thing has happened to you too?

As I’ve learned, it’s very common in men who use porn a lot. There’s even an official term for it – “porn-induced erectile dysfunction” (PIED).

Because this issue just slowly crept in under the radar, I was blind to the cause for a long while.

I remember thinking at times that maybe porn had made me desensitised, but I didn’t know for sure if that was really possible, and I didn’t ever think about it for long.

Basically, I didn’t want to face the idea that using porn was causing erectile dysfunction, especially since it was hard for me to stop using it. Somehow I thought I could bury my head in the sand and the problem would disappear by itself.

Of course, that didn’t happen. The opposite did.

Do You Want More Problems with That?

As I continued using porn regularly, more problems started to appear in my life.

At different times, these included negative effects on my emotions, my self image, my dating life and even the relationship I had with a girlfriend at one point.

By then, it was clear to me that I needed to stop using porn, but it had become more difficult than ever to quit.

The Realisation of Addiction

Sometimes, you don’t realise you’re addicted to something until you try to give it up.

Before my own struggles, I’d never even considered that it was possible to be addicted to porn.

But it is.

Heavy porn use leads to behavioural patterns and physical brain changes that parallel the mechanisms behind addiction to substances such as alcohol and other drugs.

In my case, I was what would be called a “high functioning” porn addict – outside of the times I used porn, my life was normal. I did my work, spent time out with friends and family, and enjoyed recreation and hobbies just like anyone else.

On the surface, you wouldn’t even know there were any issues.

But consistently (anything from once a fortnight to a few times per week and even a couple of times a day/night during a binge), when I was alone in the evenings or on weekends, I kept getting drawn back to porn.

Afterward, I’d feel frustrated or down or beat myself up for the rest of the day . . . and then I’d go back to my normal life.

So, for me, my porn addiction was quite compartmentalised. It didn’t dominate my whole existence, but instead was a constant struggle around the edges.

With that said, I still experienced just about everything that people with all levels of porn addiction go through (as I’ve since learned about in depth through my research and coaching work with Porn Free Power).

Porn addiction was a big enough issue that I wanted it out of my life, but it still wasn’t in my face enough for me to really step up and do what it takes to overcome it.

The Frustrating Quit-Relapse Cycle

Since I wanted to quit porn but wasn’t taking any serious action to do so, I entered a frustrating cycle that lasted a couple of years.

I’d give up pornography for a week or two (sometimes even a few months), then relapse once or twice or three times . . . then feel like shit about it and stop watching porn again for a while . . . then relapse again, over and over and over.

And over.

Stomp your feet and hollah if you can relate to this shit!

The problem was that I had no clue how to stop watching porn for the long term, so I just relied on willpower. That was my entire strategy. And willpower by itself might work for a short time, but it sure doesn’t stop porn addiction in any lasting way.

What I really needed instead were effective strategies and a solid process to act on, but deep down I felt I should be able to beat this challenge without any of that.

I’m a very strong-willed person, so it was hard for me to accept that I needed more than just my resolve to succeed with quitting porn. But I did. Anyone with porn addiction does.

A Lame Band-Aid Solution to Help Me Stop Watching Porn

Eventually I saw that I couldn’t just use willpower alone to resist porn urges.

So I installed website filtering software to block all porn sites and every media site except YouTube. Then I locked it so I couldn’t turn it off or uninstall it without requesting a password reset and waiting a week.

What I didn’t see at the time was that this was just an ineffective, superficial band-aid solution. It was never going to help me overcome porn addiction without me working on a deeper level and getting to the root of my addiction first.

The website blocker stopped me from accessing all the blatantly pornographic sites, but then I just started spending extra time trying to find sites that weren’t blocked.

Even though the software (K9 Web Protection) was very sound, it still wasn’t perfect, and somehow I always found some kind of pornography.

Then, after I’d jerked off to it and was feeling the emotional battering of another relapse, I’d set the software to block that site too. This meant that next time I’d have to search somewhere else to find porn . . . and the cycle continued yet again.

I now know that website blockers are a helpful safety net to support the process of quitting porn, but they aren’t the complete answer.

My Extraordinary Failure Record

I struggled to give up porn for about 4 years in total. I wasn’t counting, but I’d guess I tried and failed at least 80 times over that period (probably even more).

And I’m not talking about how many times I simply relapsed and read porn stories or watched porn videos.

I mean there were at least 80 separate times where I promised myself I was going to stop using porn for good, and genuinely intended to follow through, but then slipped up again (generally because I was relying on just willpower and website blockers).

All this happened in private, in the background of my normal life.

The Critical Turning Point

Finally, one day I hit rock bottom after another relapse (there’s an audio about it in the free subscriber-only resource series). I had a moment where I just totally snapped and said “that’s it – I’ve had enough!”

In a storm of internal rage, disgust and shame, I vowed that I’d do whatever it took to stop watching porn for good. From that moment on, I committed myself to discovering what worked and taking serious action to smash all my porn problems.

Dramatic, huh?

I’d love to say that historic moment was the absolute end to my porn use, but I’ll be honest: I still relapsed many times after that while I was trying to figure everything out.

The difference was that this time, I was totally committed to quitting for good, regardless of any setbacks along the way. And to succeed for good, I knew I needed to get serious about finding strategies that worked and taking action.

This Just In: Porn Addiction is Complicated

Although the main reason I started using porn regularly was loneliness when I was home by myself, overcoming my porn addiction wasn’t just as simple as getting rid of the loneliness (even though this was an essential part).

As with any addiction, there are physical brain changes that occur as the behaviour is repeated. These changes themselves can then perpetuate the addiction, even after removing the original cause of the behaviour.

There are also unpleasant physical, emotional, mental and psychological experiences that can come up when quitting and recovering from porn addiction, and these things make it even more challenging.

The good news is that the brain changes can be reversed and porn addiction can be overcome to a level where it stops being any kind of problem in practice.

Achieving this goal, however, needs a full spectrum approach that addresses everything from the root causes to the daily logistics and behaviours while also navigating all of the recovery challenges and pitfalls that come up along the way.

I know this now, but I didn’t know this at the time until I did a lot more learning.

The Problem with Existing Online Porn Addiction Tips and Resources

Of course, the first place I looked for answers was the same place I’d always looked for porn: the internet. I soon discovered that people with the same problem as me were sharing tips on how to stop watching porn in online forums, blogs and videos.

Although these online tips were well intentioned, most weren’t very effective by themselves.

As I learned from experience, these tips worked only on the surface level, and they didn’t attack the very core of porn addiction. They were also very scattered and didn’t have any kind of structure or process – I didn’t even know the best place to start.

Hence the existing tips and resources were obviously only part of the porn addiction cure, and as I discovered, they wouldn’t lead to lasting results by themselves.

Discovering Exactly How to Stop Porn Addiction

Since I couldn’t find anything already out there on how to stop watching porn permanently that really worked, I started looking in other fields.

I began doing massive research into psychology, other kinds of addictions, brain physiology, behaviour change and personal success (the awesome thing about my addictive personality is that I take beneficial things to the extreme too!).

I’d already been into personal success and psychology for years, but this time I looked at everything in terms of how it could help me to stop watching porn. And this time I got some very powerful answers.

I began discovering more and more strategies for overcoming porn addiction.

This included everything from the core fundamentals and the root causes of my addiction . . . to my inner game and mindset . . . to my views and relationship with porn . . . to a thorough plan for stopping my porn addiction . . . to ongoing practical strategies in my everyday life.

For me, the implementation was pretty haphazard while I was learning and figuring things out (I’ve since come up with a logical process that is much easier to execute). But I just kept taking action on whatever strategies I came across, hammering as many nails as I could into the pornography addiction coffin.

The more I worked on the roots of my addiction, the less I felt like the surface solutions were important. As a result, I soon uninstalled the website blocking software, which had been my safety net for years.

In truth, I actually did this a bit too early before I was fully on top of things, which made my final relapses easier, and that became another learning experience.

But it wasn’t long before the deeper porn addiction strategies I’d discovered really gave me momentum, and I never needed to go back to using a website blocker again.

My Turbulent Ride to Freedom from Porn

I’ll be honest again: even once you’ve quit porn, it still isn’t a smooth ride at first. Quitting is only part of the overall process . . . recovering from porn addiction is a thing all by itself.

Personally, I went through a lot of different porn withdrawal symptoms, along with severe cravings and temptations during recovery.

This was a new experience that nothing had prepared me for. Half the time I didn’t even make the connection that the things I was experiencing were actually porn withdrawal symptoms.

Once I did, there were also times when I felt like I’d made progress in getting past these problems, only for it to seem later like I’d gone backwards. As I learned, the process isn’t linear.

The good news is that all of those challenges were just temporary. For me, it took about 3 months or so before all the porn withdrawal symptoms stopped, and at least 6 continuous months of total porn abstinence before all my porn-related problems went away.

Now I’m happy and proud to say that my porn use and all of its consequences are a thing of the past. Woot woot! :)


The Awesome Present

Looking back, the journey of quitting and recovering from porn addiction was a real turning point in my life that led to a lot of awesome stuff.

I’ve evolved so much, and today my life is the best it’s ever been. Of course things are never perfect, but life is pretty amazing and I feel blessed.

Here are some of the main highlights that I can personally attribute in a significant way to quitting porn:

Emotional Awesomeness

I’m grateful that I’ve always been a fundamentally happy person and have never experienced depression.

However, once I realised that pornography was a problem for me, I used to beat myself up and feel like shit for a few hours or even a day or two after every time I used it.

Not only that, but the brain changes caused by addiction can numb a person’s emotions, and I definitely felt the effects on my overall emotional state.

These things ended as a result of quitting and recovering from porn addiction, leaving me free to feel awesome without any dampeners lurking in the background or on the horizon.

Compared to when I was using porn, my short-term and long-term emotional state is at a whole new level these days :)

Skyrocketing Self Image

My entire self image massively improved as a result of quitting porn. Along with the other negative emotions every time I watched porn, I also used to feel a spike of self loathing and my self image would nosedive.

After I’d stopped watching porn for a while, my self esteem, self respect and sense of self worth all skyrocketed. Plus, being able to finally rise up and crush this gigantic challenge after failing so many times gave me a huge confidence boost.

Ever since, I’ve felt and believed that if I could overcome my pornography addiction, I can do anything. Now, watch me smash through this concrete wall with a single head butt. Booyah!

An Extraordinary Relationship

Within a few months of giving up pornography, I started a relationship with an extraordinary woman. This is something I’d wanted for years and years.

It’s fascinating how if you make room in your life for genuine love and connection by getting rid of the false connection you’re getting from porn, something better fills its place.

My beautiful lady constantly lights me up, and our relationship just keeps getting better over time. We’re now married, growing even closer with time and more in love than ever. Nawww! :)

A Super Satisfying Sex Life

Ever since I recovered from porn addiction, our sex life has always been incredible too. No more floppy boners for me any more – like granite every time, baby! Oh yeah!

I can’t express how incredible it was (and still is) to get over a painful problem like porn-induced erectile dysfunction and to know that I could always perform with no doubts or issues whatsoever. It’s such a free feeling!

Also, I wanted to say that no matter what kind of arousing stuff there is in porn, regular, passionate sex is so much more pleasurable and fulfilling than porn could ever be – there’s just no comparison.

Purity, Congruence and Inner Peace

Since I quit porn, I’ve felt purer, more natural and more congruent with who I really am. I also feel much more honest, like I have nothing to hide any more.

And once I stopped consciously harming myself through my actions, I became free of the internal conflicts that I had when I was using porn, and I’ve felt at peace.

These days, my inner world is like . . . like a pure Scandinavian waterfall. Ahhhh :)


The Crucial Future

I can say with certainty that I will never, ever use pornography again in future – there’s just no way I’m ever going back to all that crap.

I did everything the hard way and it was a long, painful process getting through it all. But I eventually succeeded, and I’ve learned a lot from the journey.

I’ve also seen that there’s a huge need for porn addiction help and resources that really work. So I’ve now committed myself to showing others how to stop watching porn by sharing the strategies and secrets I’ve discovered.

This is a big passion for me now, and my aim is to always be the very best and bring you the very best.

Since I decided on this path, I’ve done a ridiculous amount of extra research and personal development, and I’ve also learned a ton from personally working with people from all over the world to help them overcome their own porn problems.

You can read what some of those people have to say here.

Now It’s Your Turn

Are you ready to step up and do what it takes to stop watching porn and make your life awesome?

If so, subscribe to get your free guide on how to quit porn and we’ll get started right now:

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The Porn Addiction Recovery Guide from Porn Free Power - How to Stop Watching Porn and Overcome Porn Addiction
"Dear Jay

Thank you for your loving, supportive and non judgmental guidance through this hard time. Your regular exercises are a great help in breaking the bonds of this addiction and your weekly check ups are a reminder that I'm not alone in this battle.

After almost 20 years of fighting this addiction on my own, you have given me the tools to break it's chains. I was so close to losing my wife and family but now we are closer than we had ever hoped to be.

All that ugly guilt and shame has been washed away and in its place a sense of humility, forgiveness and lots of love.

I pray for God's continued strength for you as you continue in your mission.

Thank you"
South Africa

"Kia ora Jay,

my name is Sean im from New Zealand I just wanted to send you an email about my experience and how you have helped me regain strength back in this area of my life.

I have been trying to kick porn in the ass for a very long time, feeling alone and frustrated I found your site through Google search about six months ago and signed up to your awesome resources strait away. my back ground with this is one like many before me and has been an ongoing battle for many years, but I'm now definitely on the road too recovery :).

through your site I have learnt some very good tips and strategies to help battle the urges and feelings of this addiction, every bit of information I have received has been very relevant and helpful, thank you so much.

I have started an mens accountability group with a few of my friends and am going to get them to sign up to the site.

Also is it possible to make a small donation somewhere?, as I feel like I would like to contribute in some way.

its so crazy how something like this can be so damaging to your whole life mentally and physicaly, but with people like you who tell it straight up as it is theres hope for men and women around the globe, again thank you!"
Sean, New Zealand

"I used to think that porn was something I couldn't get over, but I was wrong. Once I started using Porn Free Power, I found it easy to jump start my recovery process. Each of Jay's resources is filled with effective steps that helped me break the addictive cycle.

Additionally, his online calls are extremely helpful because they are tailored to my needs. Finally, he has an effective accountability system set up which has helped me get to core of why I used porn in the first place. His accountability system has enabled me to become more transparent with myself and others about my porn use and has motivated me to continue my recovery journey.

I wouldn't be here without Jay's guidance in the process. Thanks for everything you've done with PFP!"
Sam-Oakland, California

"Hi jay.

I just wanna say how its going with me and its really going great took your advice and it felt great. to be honest the support you gave me helped me I feel so free and awesome since porn is out of my life now that I have a vision and a future.

Jay it really means alot that you took the time to write to me. You could have done something else but you chose to help me and I appreciate it.

Jay I open my heart to you and I wanna say that it really means alot that there is someone who I could talk to who doesnt judge or reject me but helps me and walks with me for who im gona be in the future.

In the past I never cared about myself. I always though the problem was with me and that I am a washout but through you I start believing im myself. You helped me see that you can choose to stand back up.

Thank you for understanding my circumstances you made me feel that im not alone what im going through.

If I did not find someone like you to helped me I would never have the courage to stand up. I can say today I learned alot by going through that and now I can say no.

Today its all new looking after myself and my lifestyle. Im still young and my whole life is still in front of me.

Im almost 21 and im a new man and just wanted to say thanks for all the messages you wrote to me when I faced that but its all thanks to you i have left it for good.

Thanks for all your emails and the way you inspire me. Each of us has a calling and you definitely have yours. If I look to you jay I see someone who not only understands but who have a wonderful heart. I believe that you can also help millions more.

So I can say thank you again jay that there was someone like you who are standing by my side and who was willing to help me. Thanks for the part you played in my life."
Peter F, Free State, SA
Compiled with permission from various emails

"Man Im gonna share with you something Ive never told anyone. Ive been waiting for it and todays audio came at a perfect time!

My story is much like yours. And at 31 I became a father. If you have kids you know, if not I will tell you: The moment a newborn enters the room, it is instantly filled with the most extreme love you can imagine! When we had our daughter and I got to hold her, I had the most powerful love-explosion I ever could imagine!

My heart was connecting to my newborn and I was at the deepest level her father, for life. The love was pure. true and so honest!

At that time my brain had it, could not take it! It could not handle it! It had been porn-wired for a long time and thats the anti-love. At first it keep saying fuck fuck, hell hell and stuff like that. Very disturbing to a first time father! I felt only love but my brain something else.

Later on it became even more disgusting, to a level that was hurting me very bad and I was haunted with the most disgusting words whenever I held my child. It took about a year or so to clean out, flush my dirty mind clean(er) I was so ashamed!

2 years later we had another child. I was nervous as hell for that experience to return. It didn't and we had a little boy. I was so relieved! It happened just after me starting to get your mails. So thats my story, and I promise my family to stay clean!

I really appreciate you trying to help your fellow brothers. Mostly brothers I suppose..:) I can't wait to hear from you again, your mails are always appreciate and longed for! Thank you for all that you do man, you save lives!"
Rob, Sweden

Here is an additional follow-up from Rob later:

"Well, I never thought I could stop in six months. Here I am with no big setback! The transformation has been rough at times. My mind is so badly wired from porn. You know theres absolutely no humanity in porn ! Ive gotten married and got a second child since your first mail so the rewards are huge! I still long for the quick fix when im tired or stressed, but my 2yr ord told me I was the worlds strongest yesterday. And thats what I need to be! For My family! Your work is great! Keep it up man! And thank you!"
Rob, Sweden

"I have been doing very well and l can finally say l have quit and haven,t looked back. It was a very long and emotional journey for me but l realized that once l got over the break up that led to depression and then porn l became alive and didn't need to indulge in porn.Some days l felt like going back but l kept reminding myself that there is more to life.

Thank you for all the resources that you provided me with they where of great help to me and l know it will continue helping others like me..

Thank you loads Jay"

"I would definitely recommend this course, it has helped me to turn my life around from almost losing everything that I loved to having my family and my respect back. When I started I never thought I would brake this cycle but with jays help I did it. He is a great guy and he cares about everyone that is on his course, and always there to have a chat if you need some extra guidance and advice."
Dan S, UK

"Hi Jay, I sincerely appreciate the videos you are sending to me, It is really inspiring what you are doing, keep it up, you are doing something truly special"
GM, Vancouver

"With the help of porn free power, I find that as much as it is hard to quit this the is still a choice. You either choose to fall in your desire or use your power to say NO! and follow the guidance to do something else. Thanks Jay!"

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