Self-love, self-loathing and my porn history

“How are your ejaculations?” This was a question posed by my therapist during my first session. I laughed, not really knowing how to answer. When I came home and thought about it more, I realized just how much I didn’t like myself, to the point that I denied myself even the most natural of urges.

Last fall, I dropped out of school. Diagnosed with a “major depressive episode with moderate anxious features,” I left Sackville unsure that I would ever go back. I was ignoring so many problems and stressors for so long that they all came crashing down at the beginning of my third year.

The catalyst for all of this, however, was the breakup with my long-term, long-distance girlfriend. I cheated on her. I became uncomfortable, even ashamed, of my sexuality. This wasn’t totally limited by the scope of the breakup. Reach: As a biracial Filipino cis male, I’ve realized that I had internalized a lot of racism that had been projected onto me growing up. In North America, Asian men are constantly desexualized, while Asian women are hyper-sexualized. Consider this: How many sex scenes in Hollywood films can you think of that feature Asian men in a non-joking way? Bad example, maybe, but I don’t think Jackie Chan gets any action in all three of the Rush Hour movies.

Masturbation helped me reclaim some of that sexuality. I looked back at my browser history during my depressive episode to see what kind of porn I was into at that given moment. And the results spoke volumes. I apologize if these videos seem pretty tame; I was somebody who eagerly anticipated the annual release of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue until I was well into high school, so my exposure to the zany stuff has been limited. Though I don’t watch much these days, I still look back fondly on these videos for helping me through a particularly difficult time in my life.

“College couple fucks passionately”

Videos like this one characterize my porn consumption during the offset of my depressive episode. It features a couple in a college bedroom (shitty posters and all) who seem to genuinely care about each other and their physical needs. There are even a few tender laughs and jokes shared during intercourse. These homemade XXX vids reflected my insecurities at the time – I was missing physical intimacy and companionship. Sigh. During this time, I was particularly self-vindictive. I didn’t allow myself to use lubrication, as I feared that I might actually enjoy myself. My penis was extremely chafed during the first month of my diagnosis.

“Remy Lacroix fingers her butthole”

‘Solo’ videos were another important aspect of my healing process. As my depressive episode started showing signs of remission, my engagement with online porn became less tied to my emotions. From what I know of the porn industry, it often involves the exploitation of women. I was still upset by how I had treated my partner, and traditional heterosexual porn made me feel like I was deriving pleasure from the mistreatment of someone else. I was looking for something that didn’t have the gendered power dynamic that characterizes a lot of porn. I think that I believed that solo videos were a way of denying the “male gaze.” But c’mon, Remy is wearing tube socks in the video. If there is one thing we know about the male gaze, it’s that there will always be tube socks.

“Girls Do Porn: Episode 104”

The holy grail. Shangri-La. This video isn’t one I’ve actually seen, I’ve only watched a 12-second GIF of its content. The audioless, looped clip depicts a doggy-style scene atop a yoga mat. One of the actors in the film looks a lot like my all-time celebrity crush Jennifer Connelly, so, naturally, I had to find the source. And oh, how I have searched; my quest for Girls Do Porn: Episode 104 has been like trying to find El Dorado. Maybe the video isn’t actually that hot, but I’ve decided that, come hell or high water, I’m gonna find it. Maybe ‘happiness’ is analogous to that lost episode of Girls Do Porn ­‑ I can’t really be sure if it exists or if it’s out there waiting for me. Does it even matter? I find solace and comfort in this search. My belief in ‘happiness’ and Girls Do Porn: Episode 104 proves that I’m human. I’m capable of hope despite feeling so sad and hopeless. I’m somebody worthy of love, friendship and affection.

That said though…anyone got a torrent?

Mark Cruz