I can’t tell you how many times I’ve visited this room again. Even as I wrote that scene for my book this November where the husband finds out his wife has been cheating on him… It was the same room. The same layout. In my mind, I can even feel the carpet.
I walk past Mom and Dad’s TV. I can’t remember where Rachel, our sister, is that day. We’re alone and we’re going to look it up. That older boy, he told us to look it up. He told us what we might see—funny enough in a few years we’ll learn that we’ll be a part of the first generation that has a search engine as great as Google. We’ll type in the site. We were told to type it into Google and not the web bar. We’ll see the warning. “Must be 18 years or older to view this site”. We won’t care even though it causes us pause. Our finger hovers over the left click.
This won’t be the last time we click ‘continue.’
Heh, we’ll write that paper in college on why we like white girls to piss off our parents citing how they raised us, but we forgot to add a crucial part to that paper. Social conditioning. Yeah, we wrote about how the social environment around us causes us to think the way we think…but we used Church, school, the neighborhoods to point out specifics, but we forgot her. When we move that mouse, our heart pacing, our hands sweaty, we click that button feeling our open mouth dry out as we breathe and then we see her. What is going to shape our “ideal” taste forever.
She’s blonde, pink nails, pink full lips. Her breast are massive, well, massive to us at the moment—we’ll see bigger as we go down this road—but the most important thing is she’s naked. We don’t even realize at first how we memorize her face, her areolas, the way the lighting in the picture makes her opal skin flush with pink. She has long blonde hair and it curls slightly as it reaches the tip of her plump round ass.
We’re in love immediately, my friend. And don’t worry we’ll get our own little bombshell one day; but she, the girl in the corner of the screen on Playboy will always be in the back of our mind—even if now we want to forget we ever saw her. We don’t even know her name and as more of the girls show up through their pictures, we can’t even remember their faces years later because who cares, she was our first.
God, I wish you could hear me. I stand here just looking at you, seeing the excitement cross your face as you push up those ugly wire-rim glasses. You’re only ten, my dude. This isn’t for you, this isn’t for us. But we wanted to be cool. He was a thirteen-year-old boy and he told us that we needed to man up and come to know the world better. He wrote down the website on a ripped-up piece of paper and told us it would change our world.
He was right.
He’ll be so proud of us tomorrow and we’ll tell him about her the one in the corner of the screen and he’ll tell us she’s hot but then go into one of his favorites. Every chance we get we’ll head back to that site. God, as I think about it now, this is how we learn how to use Google. We had no idea what Google was until that moment. But it was a gateway, no a key, that opened up a plethora of doors we should have kept locked.
Then the viruses start to show up and our dad with the computer science degree catches where we’ve been.
This is the first of many talks.
We knew about sex, and that God wanted it for marriage only, but we weren’t having sex, they were just pictures. What is wrong with that? Why can’t we look?
I still ask that question to this day as I stand here once again, looking back at you.
Parental controls. Pfft, I’m not even sure how long we go before we mess around with what we can. Dad taught us enough about computers, he got sloppy in wanting us to be just like him—little scientist. We find the control words it’s looking for. And not even sure how the thought crosses our mind—maybe it’s because we remember the scandal about the messed up Teletubbies site Mom and Dad had heard about on the news. We search ‘Teletubbies Porn’… Yeah, we know the word for it now. Porn. Google still brings up the searches, but the controls block the site if it uses all not some of the words. Many of the sites we went to told us what keywords it fit, and it was all the ones Dad had placed.
We hate the Teletubbies, we can thank our little sister for that and yet there we were—watching Tinky Winky and Laa-Laa do some pretty unspeakable acts for characters that I thought were supposed to be siblings. And then there was a link to the site we would love for years to come ‘Tram-parama’. From there the cartoon addiction begins. And we’re smarter in making sure we don’t click any suspicious links.
The cycles continue because they never know about the cartoons. Since we’re not flagging for looking at the keywords, when the new computer comes in, they don’t feel like they need the controls anymore. In fact, Dad even asks us, unbeknownst to Mom, and we lie straight to his face that he has nothing to worry about.
‘Huge Boobs Galore’ and ‘Bubble Butt Bonanza’ these ones show movies, clips, we don’t have to pay for these. Trailers are everything. We don’t need to see the full video. It gives us all the good parts. The subpar plot to keep our inner writer happy, the beautiful women, all the close-ups and the noises…We don’t need much else.
I remember typing these words: “What is the white stuff that comes out of a penis”. Dear God, American sexual education sucks. We had no idea. We just kept stroking that day until we made a mess. We had seen “money shots” over and over and never knew what exactly was happening.
The joy we felt when we realized we could cum. I don’t know. It was weird, but I remember the smile that crossed our face and the joy that trembled within our chest. And we couldn’t wait to do it again.
We screwed up when we tried to order the “Girls Gone Wild” video. You were in the car, in the garage when Mom and Dad opened the package and mom screamed: “Oh my God!” Why they never moved the package after opening it I don’t know. But they confronted us, and we lied through our teeth about it, wondering why they sent it. The lady on the phone could tell we were just a kid—we tried our hardest to sound older—and we remember her saying, “Kid, if you want the DVD just ask your Father to order it for you.”
What!? Do other families do that? Other sons and fathers had that kind of relationship, where they could order porn for one another…could Dad do that for me?
Mom’s cry of shock silenced that dream. And I was fooling myself into thinking that was ever a possibility. A Preacher buying porn for his son? Yeah, okay.
But the DVD was still there and late at night, almost night after night we watched it quietly…
Years, my friend, too many years lost to this broken road.
‘Dirty Penny 1’
The ‘Booty Call’ Game series, as infuriating as they were to play.
The ‘3 Way’ Game series a lot easier and an enjoyable yet kooky storyline that never finished…
Zone Archives introduced us to Hentai.
The first time we typed in “Free Porn” and found RedTube. Then came RawTube, and the longest one to rule them all, Pornhub.
Your first cellphone and the cartoon gifs we downloaded. We didn’t know they were called gifs then.
The countless hours masturbating to everything that flashed across the screen.
All the times we ‘had sex’ with the giant teddy bear, imagining some of the cartoon characters we adored as our wives. Maybe if we just imagined hard enough that we were married it wouldn’t feel…off. Not wrong, just off.
Experiencing gay porn… Our 11th birthday party was a sleepover and we spent time showing the other boys and doing things with the other boys. Misery loves company, right? But I can’t remember us being miserable in our younger years, just excited. The guilt and shame, that comes much later. It also hits us like an 18-wheeler truck.
Using the family video camera to record the videos when you were home alone and putting them on a personal VHS tape. Tripod set up perfectly, the sound up loud on the speakers. Watching that video with Emmanuel, watching it with Matt another time. I can laugh now at how masterful we were with that camera, the king of bootleg porn. And of course, the easy part—covering our tracks by turning the camera on in the bag and leaving it in Mom and Dad’s closet to wipe the tape once it was on the VHS.
Only when in high school did we really start feeling the guilt. We were the Jesus freak kid, we rededicated our lives at 14 or 15, I’m never sure when, and that was to get rid of our anger. We read our Bible more, grew and understood, but we continued to struggle with the sexual stuff. The church began to preach about the dangers of porn and how accessible it was in the age of technology—something we already knew long before we heard a sermon about it—but they lacked in not telling us how to fix our emotions. So we got told we were bad but not any practical ways on how to be good. Because even when we weren’t looking, we still felt these emotions. Maybe there was a girl at school who just smelled right, and we looked too long as she walked past us. Maybe we spent our time fantasizing about the teacher who was younger than the grumpy old lady who gave us an F last week.
Our photographic memory didn’t help.
Case in point—that story we wrote when we were 16. “First Time,” we called it. We knew we wanted to be a writer at that point. Always believed that the best writers can write any genre, so why not sex while still a virgin. And we shared it with all our friends who were experiencing sex. They couldn’t believe we were still a virgin. I wonder if I could find that story. It has to be around in my documents somewhere…off topic.
We decided we are just learning. Once we start having sex, we’ll know what to do and we can stop. When was that going to be?
We played back and forth with it. Wait or not wait.
Lacy, the first nipples we got to feel and see up close.
Tanasha, if her brother hadn’t been so overprotective pretty sure our V card would have been hers.
… Can’t even remember her name now, she was the one that we fingered on the bench at the park for hours. We also ate her out once, but (cough) picking her hair out of our teeth wasn’t the greatest feeling.
And then Shante, she wanted it. We just wanted to see her chest and she was our first blowjob to completion. But she definitely wasn’t the one.
But every one of them made us feel like a king. Only one made us feel like a demi-God and she didn’t even want to kiss us on our first date. Would you believe it if I told you that the one that didn’t throw herself at us was the one we’d marry and cherish with all our heart?
This journey has never been an easy one.
I remember the first night we watched shortly after we began having sex with our girlfriend who would become our wife. We felt so betrayed. We were having sex… Why were we still watching? Then we got married and… We did it again. Why?
Well, there was more we could learn right?
Yeah, there was, about orgies, threesomes, how to convince her that you should watch porn together and you’re still just learning and then you start trying to convince her maybe it can be more than just the two of us in our bed…
The Lord protects us in our foolishness. Because she loves us enough to say yes. Never went down that route but Lord knows we suffer each day with a lack of self-worth.
Are we big enough?
Do we really know what we’re doing?
Is it just because I’m the only one she’s had?
What would another woman think of us?
Could another man do to her what we do?
And now here we are even more confused.
We sat there trying to make ourselves feel better that day and searched “Married porn.” Just liked the teddy bear, maybe if they had rings, it would make us feel just a little bit better…
Because we found Marriage Heat, I think that kept those other thoughts of more than one away. At least until the Swingers category.
Even a message about healing from that sickness turned us on. Then we were told by some of the members that we couldn’t caution anyone else on their sins because of our past, that because our wife likes it rough, we don’t love or respect her…
Why doesn’t it seem anything we do feels right?
The debate on the community sites: Can we have visual stimulation?
That discussion comes up so much and we always caution with the verse about how we can do everything but not everything is beneficial or profitable…because we know not everyone struggles with the sin the way we do.
Some days are good, we see something and all we think about is our Princess, our Queen, our Lover, and Best Friend. Other days are bad, and we wish she would be more like her in bed, or why can’t we have that many, why can’t we last like that or look like that? Maybe that’s why we were always “okay” with the cartoons. They’re imaginary, we don’t compare ourselves to fantasy. I’m not now or ever will be a giant anthropomorphic horse or a tentacle monster. It’s fake…but isn’t it all. Work out more, be more demanding, get better toys and outfits. Do more. Do less. Try that position.
Why can’t we be free like them…?
Why can’t anyone see us for who we are?
Why are these chains so heavy?
Who put these chains on our necks…?
We pray, we fast, we purge… But maybe not that one, and maybe this guy can stay because they also post really nice quotes and these are just drawings, it’s not like I’m lusting after real people… And it’s just this one comic or this one gif or this one video, or two, and her moans sound weird, his dick isn’t circumcised, her tits are plastic, they’re not in cowgirl enough, this one doesn’t show the money shot, this one spends too much time on the foreplay, but it has a story and I don’t want to skip it and… Oh, five hours have gone by… What have we been doing today?
How many times have we hurriedly put the phone down as the kids run up to us laying on the couch?
How many times have we left them watching TV because we need to go handle ourselves…?
How many times have we erased our history in the hopes we’re being better at computers than our Father and they won’t accidentally stumble upon it all, especially not our son. Lord no, please don’t let me pass this curse onto my son.
I’m sorry, little me.
I come back to this room a lot.
I stand there and watch us, you, me… type in that website and God how I wish I could stop you.
And as much as I tried to place the blame on him, the one who told us to look it up, the older boy that clearly was a reflection of what was to come because he was just as messed up as we are now, the boy that should have protected us but instead sent us down a dark path… I can’t.
We still typed in those keywords time, after time, after time. We continued to use socks, and paper towels, and paper plates and our stomach to catch our semen as we stroked ourselves movie after movie. We continued to set up contingency plans. At this point we have so much stuff saved it will take months to literally get it all out of the clouds and system. We still know where our ‘For me’ folder is that houses all the Trama-parama cartoons we saved. It would take too long to get rid of it all. We tried a couple of weeks ago… We still don’t even know what we can and can’t handle and we want to keep it all…
So, we don’t do anything, we get lazy, complacent and soon we are right back where we started…
Here in this room. You typing. Me watching. A broken heart that can’t bring the tears because all those years have ruined your emotional feelings for yourself. Oh, you’re empathetic to everyone around you, but expressing your emotions? Nope. Bottle them up. You’re the happy go lucky guy. You don’t wear a smile, the world comes to an end.
And even if you did want to get it off your chest, how could you? How would they understand?
And I’m still standing in that room again, wishing to God I would have told you to stop. That I could have been there to place my hand on yours and looked you in the eyes with the tears I wish I could cry, hoping you would understand the damage this thing has done to us. We are so confused, we are so broken and every time we think we are okay we get pulled right back in…
We go back to the cross, we get healing and then we turn around to continue on “the path of righteousness” … But the path we take, because we don’t know the right steps, leads us right back into the same vicious cycle…
Is this just going to be our thorn? Can we preach it better than live it? That idea makes me sick; I want to be free. I don’t want these chains. These chains that I put on myself. These chains little me clamped on tight and just kept adding rings every time we visited another site…
I wish to God, as I stand there in that room, I could tell you, ‘Please, don’t do this to us.’
Every single one of us, every incident, I wish I could keep them from adding more to the baggage.
We didn’t deserve these chains…
So why the hell do we keep adding more to these weighted shackles…?
I’m sorry little me. No validation will ever release us from this condemnation.
And I truly don’t know if healing is going to come.
All I know is I don’t want to be this and yet here we are.
In the parent’s bedroom staring at an old computer that is going to change our world…
I’m sorry, younger me, you don’t know the wounds you’re about to inflict on us.
You have an excuse. It’s not sin when you’re ignorant. It’s only sin once you know better and don’t choose to do better.
So what the fuck is wrong with me then?
It’s fake. So I tell myself.
Then I find “Desperate Amateurs”—For when you’re tired of phony porn. That is literally their tag line. Women who just need cash choosing to do porn. The men are professionals, but the girls are just getting one of the best sexual experiences of a lifetime…so they come back, and soon they’re not amateurs anymore.
If that sight hasn’t screwed us up the most, I don’t know what has…yet when the itch comes, when we feel the urge to bleed again…it might as well be bookmarked. The site says to bookmark it every time, but we don’t, because that makes us better than everyone else out there.
Yet, you just got a new credit card the other day. What is your first thought? We could finally subscribe. The Queen wouldn’t need to know…
They do couples sometimes. How many times have you thought about getting you and your wife a gig?
I don’t see a light at the end of the tunnel, younger me. I have no one to talk to. The wife listens but she doesn’t understand. All the men in the church are much older and while they may have struggled with lust, they birthed the millennial generation and generation X…they didn’t experience this struggle for themselves. Support groups? Where would you even look? Would you even have the time to go? Are there any Christian groups where someone won’t know who you are in the “biggest little city in the world”? You’re black. The Black community is small, and your father has been a prominent preacher since you moved out here almost 20 years ago.
Truthfully…I don’t think I come to this room to stop you. I come here to ask you what should I do?
Things were so much simpler then when we could fool ourselves that this was a shackle we could take off whenever we wanted. But the chains are so heavy, and this room is so dark now, I can barely see the key. The only light is the light of that computer screen reflecting off our glasses. Even if we are looking in the right spot, these chains are so weighted could we even lift our arms. We lost the ability to speak way too long ago. We don’t even know how to shout for help.
Don’t do it, little man.
Please don’t. Crumple up that paper. Toss it away. Get up and walk out of this room. Please…or we’re going to be stuck in that chair for many years to come. Different designs, different sites, pants up, sometimes down, lotion but mainly no. Broken hearts or a clean mind. Either way, nothing but chains, they clank and jingle every time we move.
Come on little man, please.
Let’s get out of this room before we lock the door and throw the key out the windows.
We don’t need this.
We don’t need this…
We run away from it all the time…
Then there is a trigger.
Now we’re walking away from it.
Then another trigger.
Now we’re looking back over our shoulder.
Now it looks good. Those chains sure are shiny.
Now we’re walking backwards, our eyes fixed on those shiny looking chains. We’re stumbling over our own feet that are facing the wrong way on the path. We’re still moving in the opposite direction, but we’re not looking at where we are going, we’re looking at those shiny rings…
Then we just stop and place them on our wrist. We just want to try them out, see how much we can lift. How much it’s going to cost us.
Then there is the sharpest tug, the absence of light, time makes no sense here…
Where are we? We don’t want to be here. HELP US! Get us OUT! We don’t want to be like this anymore.
Then the light switches on.
Sitting in a chair in our parents’ bedroom.
About to change our world for the worse.
I come to this room a lot. I walk out of this room each time letting us make the same mistake.
We’ll be back here soon.
It’s only a matter of time.
In that room…that’s where we chose to damage ourselves…
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