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Exposure: How I Deal with My Addiction

by Tawsif

Warning: This work has been rated 16+.

I wish I never found that folder, or never clicked on it.

It all happened years ago. I was just a little kid. Back then, the computer in our house had a CRT monitor—this alone, I believe, is enough to show how old the computer was. But I loved that computer. I used to type different passages of my English textbook in the computer, and that was how I learned the rudiments of typing.

It was in that computer that I watched the first vulgar video of my life.

I don’t remember the details. I only remember clicking on a new folder that I had suddenly discovered in the computer, and then double-clicking on a video file in that folder. The video was basically a scene from the Hindi movie ‘Murder’ (2004). As I watched the video, for the first time in my life, I felt a strange sort of pleasure. I couldn’t understand why, but I just felt it.

Just like that, without understanding how it started and why it felt so good, I had started masturbating.

It took me five more years to actually understand—from a close friend, who taught me almost everything about human sexuality—what I was doing and why.

My parents never allowed me to have a phone, and back then—when I newly got into the habit—there was no Internet connection in our house either. So, I had to discover newer tricks from time to time to satisfy my wants.

My dad, a scientific officer in Bangladesh Rice Research Institute, used to have a modem which he would fill with monthly 1.5 or 2 GB Internet packages. When I would be alone in the house just after coming from school in the afternoon, I’d finish the modem’s monthly package within hours, watching obscene videos in YouTube one after another. When dad, later at night, would ask me if I used up the modem’s package, I’d deny it. I’d keep lying through my teeth until dad would just give up.

I would often secretly use my mom’s or dad’s phone. Because I would use the Internet on ‘pay as you go’, the balance would soon run out. Then mom and dad would ask me how their phone’s balance ran out so quickly, and I’d again just deny it.

Sometimes, I even took the money that mom would keep under the mattress of the master bedroom—for emergency situations—and used them to top the phones of mom and dad up so I could buy Internet packages. Mom always found out that someone took the money from under the mattress, but she thought it was our housemaid who did it and never asked me anything about it; she simply didn’t expect that I, of all people, could be stealing that money.

Dad had fixed broadband connection in our house a year ago, and then bought a router eight months ago. So we have Wi-Fi now and I don’t have to turn to those old tricks anymore. All I need is dad’s laptop, or dad’s phone, or mom’s phone, and some privacy.

Little by little, the habit has grown more consuming, ruthless, out-of-control.

In the past, watching something vulgar in the Internet would turn me on. But now, even feeling the slightest of random excitement can turn me on. For instance: I’m struggling to write a short story in dad’s laptop, and suddenly, a perfect sentence strikes my mind. As I start typing that sentence, I feel exultant, newly energized. Even that spark of energy, though it isn’t a sensual excitement, is enough to turn me on and make me do it.

There are times when I do it out of physical urges. But there are other times too when I do it without feeling any desperate need. When you are at leisure, you watch TV, read books, or maybe listen to music. But when I find some free time, I start playing with myself. I do it just to kill time, just to have some fun, almost like a pastime. It’s not that something from the outside arouses me; it’s more like I force myself to be aroused initially, and then just go with the flow.

Sometimes, when no one is home and I’m alone, I lose myself in the habit helplessly. I keep doing it persistently, tirelessly, hours after hours, with little intervals after each climax. I forget about everything else in the world. I don’t even eat anything, because I need to maximize the temporary privacy I have and not eating obviously spares some time. In those days, even though I have the sense that it’s getting too much, that I should stop, I simply don’t. I stop only when the call bell of the house rings—that is, someone has come home—and I realize I won’t be alone anymore.

I’m currently a student of a residential school. All my peers in school know about my habit because I’ve been caught doing it a number of times. Regardless, the habit has so powerfully subjugated me that I don’t hesitate to do it in front of them. When I’m in my room with my roommates, I just cover myself with a blanket and start doing it. The blanket obviously doesn’t hide the convulsive movements of my body, and my roommates can see them. Yet, I keep doing it. My peers used to be really uncomfortable with this and they had rebuked me at first, but I guess they have gotten used to it now. I guess they just don’t care anymore.

Other than my peers, members of my family, on numerous occasions, have caught me in the middle of watching porn videos and doing it. It was my sister, Raisa, who was the first ever to expose this habit. I had downloaded a few porn videos in mom’s phone and forgotten to delete them. Raisa found them in the download list and told mom about it. When mom and Raisa started asking questions, I told them that I had downloaded things, but not those videos. I told them that maybe those videos came up as advertisements along with my downloaded videos. They didn’t believe it, of course, but they didn’t force me too much then—probably out of embarrassment.

Every time I face these hugely discomforting moments of exposure, guilt and shame overwhelm me. I stop doing it, but only for a brief period of time. Very soon, I turn back to the habit with the same desperation. The truth is: I only wait for the guilt and shame to fade so I can start doing it again.

The habit has its consequences.

I used to have this really fair and cute face; but my face is now full of greasy, reddish pimples. Every time I do it, I can feel the pimples swelling, and the oil that keeps seeping through them. Besides, the pimples grow faint only when I refrain from the habit. So, though I’ve read a number of articles which explain —scientifically—how masturbation does not cause pimples, I don’t believe them. I am absolutely certain that the habit is the reason behind the pimples.

When I look myself in the mirror and stroke the pimples in my face, it feels as if the pimples are speaking out, screaming the sins I commit every day.

Sometimes, especially when I do it hours after hours, I feel several physical difficulties altogether: My head spins, there’s a sort of queasiness in my abdomen, I don’t feel like eating anything, and at times—when it gets the worst—my penis starts stinging. If that happens, I feel like urinating will ease the pain a bit. But when I go to the toilet and urinate, the pain doubles. In the end, I have to just stomach the pain and resist the need to urinate at the same time.

This habit has, through years of practice, become a part of my life. Nowadays, hardly a single day passes by when I haven’t played with myself. Sometimes I make promises to myself and start resisting it, but the promises never last. Last year, among many of these brief promises, the most lasting one lasted only three days.

As I mentioned earlier, I understood after a long time what this habit actually was; it took even longer to be aware of the fact that the habit was turning into an addiction. Then I realized what it was really doing to my life, that I was just letting myself fall victim to it, that I needed to start facing it.

So, I started looking for tricks again, this time to suppress my needs.

Every time I would open Google Chrome in dad’s laptop, I would sooner or later go into YouTube and eventually start watching obscene videos. So, I knew I had to stop browsing the Internet first to abstain away from the addiction.

When we had broadband connection in the house, I would disconnect the broadband wire of the Internet from the laptop and throw it away and out of sight, so that I could prevent myself from browsing the Internet. Sometimes it worked; sometimes I just lost the resolve and connected the wire.

It’s gotten even tougher now, ever since dad bought the router. Unlike the broadband system, the Wi-Fi connection is automatically on every time I turn on the laptop. Thus, if I want to disable the Internet connection, I have to turn the Wi-Fi off by clicking on the Wi-Fi icon in the network settings. But doing it takes immense determination, because once I know the Internet connection is on, the urge to watch something obscene is simply overwhelming. Even then, I try my best to turn the Wi-Fi off every time I use the laptop.

I have decided that I am not going to buy any Smartphone until I get rid of the addiction once and for all. This could be considered as part of my strategy to encounter the addiction, since having a Smartphone of my own would provide a lot of privacy, and undoubtedly make it easier for me to keep perusing the addiction.

Even if I somehow manage to stay away from the Internet, there is one other thing that gives the addiction enough power to shatter all my resolution: privacy, or being alone. A highly effective way to thwart this addiction, as I have learned, is being in other people’s sight, being not alone.

That is why, every time I use any ICT device to write, or research, or even just for entertainment, I try to do it in someone else’s presence, like my mom, dad, sister—when I’m in my house—or my roommates and teachers—when I’m in my school. Sometimes, even the presence of a second person is not enough because I eventually end up turning the screen of the device in such a position that the second person cannot see what I am doing. So, recently I have started making sure that the screen remains open to everyone’s eyes and not just mine, so that I am unable to hide anything from anyone.

Shamefully, even that amount of transparence does not prove sufficient to keep me from the addiction at times. As I mentioned before, I do it in my room in school covering myself in a blanket right in front of my roommates, knowing that the blanket doesn’t hide it, that my roommates can see it. The awareness is there, but it does not cause enough regret and shame owing to the captivating influence of the addiction. That is why, I keep doing it relentlessly, even after being exposed and insulted awfully.

However, at the end of the day, what weakens the influence of this addiction most is the exposure. Almost every time I have been caught doing it and insulted heavily, I have kept myself away from the addiction for the sake of redemption. Even though I have only waited for the guilt and shame to fade, at least I have stopped submitting myself to the addiction for a while. Those brief periods of abstinence are when my resolve is the strongest, and the addiction the weakest.

So, exposure is what I look for. Even when I surrender to the addiction, I try to keep it as exposed as possible so that someone sees it and starts rebuking me. I wish to face the self-condemnation, the ineffable embarrassment, the guilt, which come after the exposure. Because that, sadly, is what helps me to fight this challenge best. 

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62 Reviews

Points: 1152
Reviews: 62

Tue Mar 31, 2020 12:00 pm
BhavyaMehta123 wrote a review...

Hi!Honestly, I have been reviewing articles, poems today and I did not see this coming.This was intense. I thought it was normal addiction for something or might be some drugs. I am shocked and feel bad how you try your best but still...
What you have accepted that needs guts!Taking the blame on you is a big thing.I would not say much but just say one thing May the Lord bless you and take you out of this!
You are an epitome of courage as you expressed everything. The last parah is just heart breaking.
I wish the best for you!
Talking about your piece it was well-written and I did not find any grammatical errors.So good job that way!

User avatar
186 Reviews

Points: 6498
Reviews: 186

Tue Mar 03, 2020 1:29 am
Honora says...

Very very realistic and true. It’s sad how many people pass this off as a small, “normal” problem when it can turn into something horrible. This is the first piece of work that I have read on this site so far that has even considered this type of topic.
Very well done.

Tawsif says...

Thanks for the review.

User avatar

Points: 54
Reviews: 1

Mon Mar 02, 2020 10:56 pm

This piece is very realistic and also very true for some people because not all addictions are to drugs/opioids. When I started reading I thought the addiction would be adrenaline seeking but this can also be dangerous as well. The sad truth in this writing that not many people have the will stop. Anyway this a very well written piece, have a good day.

Tawsif says...

Thanks very much for the review.

User avatar

Points: 54
Reviews: 1

Mon Mar 02, 2020 10:56 pm
IndigoArmaryllis wrote a review...

This piece is very realistic and also very true for some people because not all addictions are to drugs/opioids. When I started reading I thought the addiction would be adrenaline seeking but this can also be dangerous as well. The sad truth in this writing that not many people have the will stop. Anyway this a very well written piece, have a good day.

Remember the rain that made your corn grow.
— Haitian Proverb