I thought I had this figured out; I planned what to write and how to write it. However, as I began placing my thoughts on paper, I realized that there is no one way to talk about something personal and shameful. Someone is going to judge, doubt, or say they understand when they have no clue. So, why am I memorializing something so scary on paper, and why share it with the world? Because there is a silent addiction that harms an untold amount of men, it is not getting nearly enough attention. I hope that someday while surfing the internet, some young guy will stumble across this paper, letting him know that he is not alone. I hope this paper will help at least one person know that someone else struggles just like them.
It happened with no warning. I had a bad breakup and was feeling a little lonely, so I decided to do what millions of guys do, log onto a website for some entertainment, but this website was different. You see, this website was a place where the hot person on the screen would not only make videos for you but, if you tipped, would send you a personal message. It is nirvana times ten! I kept saying, “you mean I get to talk to this super-hot person, and all I have to do is tip them?” I justified it to myself by falling victim to the argument that if you take someone out on a date, you drop $100.00 quickly, so this is the same thing; that is such a ridiculous argument. But when someone feels trapped in something, you can make any idea that comes to mind make sense. Hell, I could make an argument for why the earth is flat if it would have helped me to justify my otherwise embarrassing behavior. All I knew was the more money I gave to this person on OnlyFans, the more attention they gave me, and for someone who was all alone, that was all I cared about at the time. However, I would eventually have to face a more profound problem brewing under the service.
Some argue that 20% of OnlyFans patrons are suffering from addiction. Because our culture makes light of porn, it’s no wonder that probably 95% of the people who develop an addiction to porn never had any warnings about developing a porn addiction before it happened (Shea, 2020). In other words, unlike other addictions, there isn’t a DUI that grabs your attention. You are not on the corner in a high-crime neighborhood looking for the next hit. Society isn’t looking down on a man for looking at porn and pleasuring himself. Doctors tell us that “masturbation is healthy.” So, unlike other addictions, there isn’t a sign with flashing lights warning of danger. Hence, my decision to put the peddle to the metal towards a black hole of regret.
$500.00. When I saw that number flash across the screen of my credit card statement, I almost had 500 heart attacks. How did I spend $500.00 in one month on an OnlyFans performer? What was I thinking? The first time I did this, notice I said the first time, I chalked it up to a foolish mistake. Remember, I can argue that the earth is flat if needed, as long as it makes me feel better about my actions. I swore I would never do it again. Then the next month came along, and I spent another $500.00. At this point, I began to realize that the earth was not flat, and I had a problem. But how did this happen to me? How did I get to the point where I spent that kind of money on a stranger to have them talk to me? The issue was more profound than I wanted to admit.
“Neuroscientists have compared social media interaction to a syringe of dopamine being injected straight into the system” (Addiction Center, n.d).
When a person consumes a substance that causes the brain to produce large amounts of dopamine, it triggers the brain’s “reward system; after repeated use, the brain cannot produce average amounts of dopamine without help. Addicted people can struggle to find enjoyment in pleasurable activities, like spending time with friends or family, when not consuming that substance (Addiction Center, n.d). For me, and millions of other guys, that substance was OnlyFans.
If I close my eyes and allow my mind to drift, I can still feel the rush I got, the excitement I felt, and the overwhelming feeling of everything being okay at the thought of getting a response from my OnlyFans crush. I know, it is dumb. But I am not writing this paper to convince you that I am smart; the point of this paper is to convince another flat earther that they are not alone and seek help. However, as Hamlet would tell us, “therein lies the rub.”
It’s hard to ask for help when you feel ashamed. I almost think it would be easier to write about being addicted to drugs than to OnlyFans. At least people could understand spending that kind of money on drugs, but OnlyFans? There is no single face of addiction. Anyone can develop patterns of abuse or risky behaviors, no matter their age, culture, or financial status (Addiction Center, n.d.). And that brings me to my point of writing this paper.
I don’t know much about a lot, but I know this: you can’t fix what you refuse to admit. In the famous words of Oliva Pope, “the hardest part about my job is convincing people that they are in a crisis.” When someone admits they are in crisis, for some, that person is admitting they no longer have control. And for some people, that is a bridge too far. If you want to overcome your dependence, you must accept that you are in a crisis.
Also, take some time to ponder how you feel when talking to your OnlyFans crush. There is a reason your brain is releasing large amounts of dopamine. How are you feeling? How can you give that feeling to yourself? Your fight is not about sexual desire. If it was only about sex, you could watch porn for free. Or, you could hire someone to have sex with you for the money you are spending on OnlyFans. I am not suggesting you should. It would help if you found out what you are getting from that stranger; why the opinion of someone you don’t know has such an impact on you. Finally, figure out how you can give that same kind of love to yourself. More than likely, you probably need to speak with a professional.
You do not need the validation of some stranger just because you find them attractive. And more importantly, you are worthy of having someone honest in your life who loves you. I am not saying it is easy, but with the time and money you spend on your fake girlfriend or boyfriend on OnlyFans, you could probably move closer to that real relationship you deserve. Please remember that you are not alone, and you got this. Keep fighting.
Shea, J. (2021, July 18). https://paddictrecovery.com/. TRAUMA & ADDICTIONS COACH -. Retrieved April 2, 2022, from https://paddictrecovery.com/author/joshuashea/page/5/
Social Media Addiction. Addiction Center. (2021, December 17). Retrieved April 2, 2022, from https://www.addictioncenter.com/drugs/social-media-addiction/