By Alyce Collins

 

THIS PHOTOGRAPHER was controlled by his ADDICTION TO PORN which saw him watch it for THREE-HOURS-A-DAY but he is now in recovery after claiming the porn industry ruined his relationship and is responsible for encouraging SEXUAL ASSAULT and OBJECTIFYING SOCIETY.

 

Wedding photographer, Joshua Peters (22) from Massachusetts, USA, spent seven years of his life utterly addicted to watching porn after being introduced to it by his friends when he was just 11 years old.

Josh says his religion helped him to overcome the addiction to porn.
mediadrumworld.com / Joshua Peters

 

When his friends were using terms that Joshua wasn’t aware of, he felt stupid for not understanding what they meant. In an attempt to learn what the terms meant, Joshua looked up the terms online, beginning his journey through porn addiction.

 

After a year or so, what started out as a harmless act soon developed into an addiction as Joshua got into a routine of watching porn every day, for anywhere between an hour and a half to three hours.

Josh is now clean of porn and wants to show others that it is a bad habit and can lead people astray.
MDWfeatures / Joshua Peters

 

Watching porn obsessively affected Joshua’s moods, restricted what he would do with his friends and even caused the breakdown of his first relationship.

 

When he was 18, Joshua decided to regain the control over his life that he’d lost to his addiction, driven by the hope to be more outgoing once again, see his friends and one day start his own family.

Josh when he was 11, when his addiction first developed. MDWfeatures / Joshua Peters

 

Joshua, along with his friend Coleman Anderton, created a poetry video to show people the truth behind porn addiction, which garnered 45K views in just two weeks.

 

“I first became aware of porn when I was 11 years old and my friends were talking about some very explicit terms which I didn’t know about,” said Joshua.

Josh aged 12 when the addiction began to control him. MDWfeatures / Joshua Peters

 

“After hearing them talking about it, I felt dumb for not knowing anything. So, I went online to look up the words and I found out what it was all about. That was the beginning of it all.

 

“Then at around 12 years old it really took off and it became a daily thing I had to do. When I was that young, I knew it was bad in some way, but I didn’t know why. Perhaps it was because of how secretly my friends talked about it or even because of how my family raised me.

Josh with his parents and two younger brothers.
MDWfeatures / Joshua Peters

 

“I was the cute kid who covered his eyes during kissing scenes in films, yet here I was stumbling onto naked people having sex.

 

“At the height of the addiction, I was consuming dozens of times throughout the day, coupled with masturbation as well. I would say I watched porn between an hour and a half to three hours a day.

Josh as a child growing up. MDWfeatures / Joshua Peters

 

“It affected my mood, the way I treated my family and even the things that I chose to do with my friends.

 

“I watched all different types of porn, ranging from regular soft porn to BDSM, which in my opinion, is the type of pornography that inspires sexual assault.

Josh says that his addiction to porn broke up his first relationship because he compared his experiences to what he saw online. MDWfeatures / Joshua Peters

 

“I first came clean when I was 13 because my parents were trying to find something on the computer. I freaked out and I told them what I’d been consuming. If they were going to find out what I was doing then it was going to be from me, not some browsing history.”

 

Joshua knew he had to turn his life around when his addiction to porn was restricting his life, controlling his mind and warping his perception of his relationships.

Josh has been open about his porn addiction after hiding it for so many years.
MDWfeatures / Joshua Peters

 

The key driving forces motivating Joshua’s recovery from addiction were his religion and his dream of starting his own family, like the solid family unit he grew up in.

 

“I love my family very much and my dream is to have a family like my parents made. That goal was, and still is, the driving influence behind my desire to beat porn addiction,” said Joshua.

Josh with his family on a cruise which they do frequently.
MDWfeatures / Joshua Peters

 

“My religious belief has helped me because I participated in a faith-based 12 step program where a lot relies on a higher power. But I do believe that addiction can be beaten through non-faith practices and beliefs, it was just what helped me.

 

“Either way, you have to think bigger than yourself. Whether it’s doing it for religion, a spouse, a family, your kids or even the community you live in. For me it was my future family, God and also myself.

Josh has beaten his addiction to become a wedding photographer.
MDWfeatures / Joshua Peters

 

“The period of seven years had its lows and it had a lot of highs. Those highs came about because of my parents, friends and some very close friends who I made at the Church I went to. The more I went to Church to beat the addiction, the more people I met and got to know.

 

“I figured out that the larger my support network was, the easier it was for me to share the burden and make it lighter on myself.

Josh would sometimes watch porn for three hours in a day when he was addicted.
MDWfeatures / Joshua Peters

 

“Finally, at 18 I made a huge step in my recovery and that was when I created the poem ’11 Years’ which described my journey. It talks about my first relationship which I had when I was 16 and she was amazing and such a wonderful person.

 

“It was cute, and I was able to be romantic for the first time, and we were each other’s first kisses. Unfortunately, she didn’t know I was still watching pornography a lot.

 

“In my poem I describe how sweet kisses soon became nothing unless I felt the same way I felt while watching porn. The relationship fell apart for a variety of reasons but most of the effects were in my own thoughts.

 

“At the end of the day, she didn’t feel special and loved around me, and I attribute her feelings to the problem I had at the time. That really hurt, and I blamed myself for it.

Josh is now speaking openly about his addiction and recovery so others don’t feel ashamed.
MDWfeatures / Joshua Peters

 

“The older I got, the more I began to understand what was happening to my thoughts and the way I was beginning to view women.

 

“The hardest part of my recovery is not relapsing, so I always have to be on my toes and recognise when I have those urges. The urges become less common the longer I stay clean, but they never truly leave.

 

“The addiction is literally done in darkness and when you’re alone. Other addictions might mean you consume around other people, but with porn you are most likely going to be on your own.

 

“There aren’t enough people out there who want to spark the conversation about porn addiction, or who are even aware of it. Proof of that lies in how much money the porn industry brings in.

Josh with his parents after beating the addiction.
MDWfeatures / Joshua Peters

 

“Porn isn’t something that you can justify having in your life. It affects relationships and the industry is messed up. It’s a pointless past time and it engenders an environment that says sexual assault is okay and men and women are merely objects used for physical satisfaction.

 

“Sexual education is okay in a variety of forms, but the pornography industry is only in it for the money and it capitalises on the hormone-inducing emotions we feel.”

 

To see more about Joshua’s story, visit @joshuawarrenpeters or visit fightthenewdrug.org.

 

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