by Jixie
For the past five years, I have been an adolescent male at a prestigious, single sex private school in London. I have done well academically, and in most senses have led a fulfilling life. I'm now in my last year of school, and have just applied to university.

Unfortunately, being in a single sex school has left me rather devoid of female contact, and it was only recently that so much as managed to even pull a girl, which by most people's standards is pretty poor when about to turn 18. Emotionally mature, this has not worried me too much, but I found outlet in looking at porn.

I first started when we got an internet connection at home, just typing in 'nude' or 'porn' into the search engine, trawling through spam sites, mainly devoid of content. To my 13 year old mind, these were both shocking, but also titillating - I trawled further, trying to define my tastes.

As 'mainstream' adult porn was still a bit too much for me, I found myself turning towards the underwear pages of clothing magazines, and, more worryingly on reflection, towards the child section. Small, grainy, rather boring images by most standards, of girls aged anywhere between 12 and 17 sent me wild at first, although I didn't discover masturbation until years later.

This developed into me trawling through the underwear sections of many popular clothing catalogues online, gradually searching through children sections of these catalogues. For a long while I believed myself to be gay as well, and boys of my own age held a deep-seated attraction in my mind for a long while - I fantasized about several of them at school, although never told my friends. This led me to discover the boy-love community on the web. These are essentially a well organised group of paedophiles, who rarely (as far as I could tell) commit sexual acts towards boys but who fantasise, post pictures of them in sexual poses, and write a large amount of erotic fiction about them. A lot of it is violent and aggressive in nature, and frequently the author imagines a strong male role model who dominates a series of younger boys. I believe that this reveals a desire for aggressive and sado-masochistic sex with underage boys.

Interestingly, this led me through various channels to - a site that was featured on not so long ago. When I discovered this I practically shook, such was my anticipation at what was contained within. However, I was frequently frustrated by the fact they were largely pay sites, and were very limited in what they offered non-members. Nevertheless, it was at about this time that I started to download images I particularly liked.

Despite various mass deletions of my files caused by computer crashes, and fear of getting caught by parents (which happened at one point), I continued to collect images and videos where I could get them. My desire for this progressed into sites of far more dubious legality - the Lolita section of the net, where underage girls are fully nude and are frequently photographed and filmed in what can only be described as sexually explicit ways. On a few sites, I even came across hardcore child pornography as well, although I never had the nerve to download it, and never found it erotic.

I also started perusing erotic stories, even wrote a couple myself, and found myself looking at specialist section of a site which dealt with underage sadomasochism and bondage. All this time I collected porn on my computer.

Facilitated by having my own computer in my bedroom, and an efficient file sharing program, over about the past year my porn collection progressed from images of boys to images of girls, who were increasingly younger (although pre - pubescent girls rarely had an interest for me, being totally undeveloped). The girls were in nightwear to underwear to being nude, from small, grainy pictures, to enormous high quality ones with 100mb videos. They also became increasingly explicit in the context and nature of their poses, this facilitated by the increasingly explicit nature of Webeweb, which runs most preteen model sites. Over the past few years their girls and models, mostly under 16, have grown more and more confident in wearing obviously sexual clothes - dresses replaced by swimsuits replaced by bikinis replaced by underwear replaced by thongs replaced by lingerie.

Despite knowing that the Lolita sites were largely composed of girls from Eastern Europe, who probably had little choice in their jobs, and knowing that the preteen models who featured so heavily on Webeweb and Maxwells sites were extremely unlikely to become actual models, more likely porn stars, I continued to collect their images and videos. I discovered masturbation only about 6 months back, surprising considering my previous stage, and late for most teenage boys of my upbringing.

Then, as a bit of mild interest while searching for more porn, I typed Webeweb into google, and popped up. It decried, and I read, mildly amused. I had heard this before from other news organisations, and wasn't too shocked. I then looked at the anti-porn section of the page.

I read the quotes on the left hand side, which convinced me to continue reading. Over a period of two hours, the attitudes regarding women, girls and pornography that I had developed over the past 5 years were systematically torn apart and exposed for what they were - the desires of a hypocritical male chauvinist who sought only his sexual satisfaction. The myths section was particularly enlightening - although I had heard these stories before, I had never forced myself to attack my own belief system to such an extent.

I was forced to confront the fact that although I had always believed in the importance of a liberal attitude towards sex, the importance of consent, and a low age when setting it as a legal parameter, I had been systematically and routinely engaging in looking at material that denied and undermined my principles. I had formerly believed, and still do, that having an open and honest attitude towards sexuality actually brings the teenage sex rate, and teenage pregnancy rate down. I had always believed that a right-wing, repressive attitude towards sex is counter-productive and only leads to more of it. I still do.

But what I could not then reconcile with myself, having read almost all of the material on pornography on, was how I was able to look at material that routinely objectified and typified women as sexual objects, and subservient to men.

I am a student of politics, and fortunate to have a teacher who is a strong feminist, but who is never very confrontational about it, preferring rather to engage in discussion than argument. This was enormously helpful in that it allowed me to change my opinion towards pornography in a way that involved no loss of face, no sudden loss of masculinity.

I resolved that my porn habit had to end. It took Norton Wipe, a program that comes with Norton systemworks and is designed to delete files as thoroughly as possible, three and a half hours to delete the 4Gb of porn on my hard drive. I feel the better for it. I do not ascribe to my friends' view that I would 'last a week' before reverting back to my previous habit.

I am incredibly glad I found your site, and incredibly glad that you explained things so thoroughly, with so much emphasis on evidence and argument, rather than hyperbole. I now am truly at rest my conscience about the porn I used to view - I can now truly call myself a feminist, a title I always desired but was afraid and ashamed to label myself as.

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