Hello. My name is Bridget, and I’m a pornaholic.

My addiction started innocently: hentai. Japanese cartoons. What could be wrong with that? They make Pokémon and Hello Kitty. I’ll tell you what’s wrong – EVERYTHING. It’s some of the most demented stuff I’ve ever seen in my life. Thanks to censorship laws in Japan prohibiting depictions of intercourse and genitalia, I’ve never seen a cartoon penis, but I am now all too familiar with the ins-and-outs of “tentacle sex.”

After growing tired of cartoons and afraid I’d need hardcore octopus to turn me on, it was not long before I craved seeing actual humans doing it. Let’s be real—I’ve lusted after sexual imagery since my Playboy in the woods/“snow people” days. It’s weird being a woman who navigates porn; it’s an emotional rollercoaster. Part of me is curious. Part of me is obviously aroused. Part of me feels guilty. (But I’m Catholic, so I’m turned on by guilt. It’s a vicious cycle.)

The hardest thing for me to ignore as an empowered feminist-type, even harder than some of the videos themselves, are the titles: “Helpless little slut” and “Bitch gets punished” and “Let’s fuck her til she screams.” They make me cringe. There is something so violent about them, despite the fact that they are made – as best I can tell – with consenting, professional women.

It’s not troubling to me that women choose to star in these films. What’s troubling is the fact that men are searching for videos of women being degraded — even if it’s fake.

But I’m an addict. I avoid that uncomfortable feeling in the pit of my stomach that something isn’t right just to get the rush. I’ll overlook the rapey titles like I overlooked the fact that there was rat poison in my speed and baby powder in my blow. Anything for the fix.

While surfing Pornhub looking for a video to settle on, my internal monologue usually goes something like this:

Shit … is she even 18? That girl looks 12! I don’t need the FBI knocking on my door. (scrolls, scrolls, scrolls) This one looks hot. (5 minutes in) I’m pretty sure that Asian girl isn’t feigning fear. Is she locked up in a basement? Dammit. Can I report this? (clicks away, scrolls) She’s hot. Is that guy wearing toe sneakers? Ewwww ass to mouth, how do they not get E. coli? The lighting is terrible. I hate it when these scrawny Eastern Europeans dub English over their video. So unnecessary. French kissing?! No. Offensive. Ooh, a new DP is up…

Like all addictions, it progresses (in my case, rapidly) in terms of quantity and quality. Once an occasional thing, it’s now making me late for work. While soft-core, well-produced missionary was once good enough, I’m now masturbating my way through every category and learning terms like “bukake” and “creampie” along the way. (Which are things that sound a lot more adorable and delicious than they actually are.) Soon I need the works: a dick in every hole, titty-twisting, dirty-talking kink.

Then I find sweet double penetration, the heroin of porn, the only thing that can consistently give me the fix I now need. I can only chalk up my fascination with DP and gang-bangs to animalistic voyeurism; it’s something I don’t want to like, but I find watching it oddly arousing, like that video of turtles mating or all of Game of Thrones.

I’ll never forget my “spiritual awakening.” It’s a Saturday. I call out of work “sick” and proceed to watch 8 STRAIGHT HOURS OF BANGING. I even miss a good friend’s going away party. It never occurs to me that this is affecting my relationships, but at this point I’d rather stay at home than deal with a snoring, drooling man. My computer doesn’t ask questions about my childhood. It doesn’t want a foot rub. It doesn’t want to make eye contact and kiss lovingly. It doesn’t want anything. Except my soul and humanity.

At some point during my marathon, I’m watching an anal video called “Black dick punishment.”

“It’s my first time,” the actress tells the camera. Yeah right. You’re either a liar, or you’ve been in porn for less than 24-hours. Either way—I’m in. So she’s getting into it, and I’m getting into it, and he is DEEP into it, when suddenly, out of NOWHERE, she starts fucking crying. REAL TEARS.

My immediate reaction is Wow, she isn’t lying! My second reaction is more disturbing. BITCH-THIS IS PORN! Take it up the ass, like a porn star! Porn ain’t for sissies!

This is the moment I realize—holy shit—I have a real problem. I’ve officially become a demented weirdo, so detached that I just referred to a woman as “bitch” – a word I absolutely loathe. This poor girl is having a crisis of conscience, and I’m pissed she ruined my sixth orgasm. Who’s really got issues? Her or me? Mind you, none of this mental chatter stops me from continuing to pleasure myself. (It turns out she wasn’t having a life epiphany, by the way. It was something with her eye makeup running.) I finish the video, but I’m never quite the same.

I’m aware that I’m becoming desensitized, numb and soulless. As a former heroin addict, I’m very familiar with this sensation. It can happen with anything—Twitter, Candy Crush, alcohol, Netflix. There are a million attractions pulling us away from the moment, tempting us with the sweet relief of escape from reality. Now, I’m not Russell Brand, whining like a little baby, blaming all the world’s troubles on people who have sex in front of a camera and the people who watch it. I’m a grown woman who can take personal responsibility for her own choices. I don’t blame adult videos for my intimacy issues, but I know it doesn’t help. This isn’t porn’s fault. It’s mine. And it’s time to quit.

Or at least check out the “For Women” category.