Why Am I So Addicted to BDSM & Scat Porn?

Let me start by saying you did a fantastic job of supplying a lot of detail in your request. Details are critical to figuring out root causes. To protect your privacy, I’m only going to post a few lines from your request that I want to specifically address.

It is excellent that you are so self-aware and that you were able to so quickly grasp the concept of your soul and subconscious being two separate entities.

Given the complexity of your situation, I would like to set up a (free) phone consultation with you so that I can help you get to the bottom of this. I’m not taking on full time clients right now, but in a case like yours, I should be able to help you make some helpful connections if I could discuss some possibilities with you and rule some things out. If you are interested in setting up a consultation, send me another request with your email address and I’ll contact you directly to arrange the details. I’d recommend that we talk as soon as possible, given the way your mind is behaving.

Now in case you’re not comfortable talking about this over the phone, here are some things to consider…

Your current spike in porn watching indicates rising stress levels in your subconscious. But note the pattern we see here:

Later year April I became a Christian (in the name at least) and for about 5 or 6 months I didn’t watch a single porn video (this I read Christian romance novels) ….. but then something triggered me and I fell back into porn and it’s been a battle since then….. the war between my subconscious and my soul with me caught in the middle.

I would caution you against considering yourself to be a Christian “in name only” just because you’re grappling with this addiction. God does not consider your soul’s interest in Him to be at all invalidated by what your subconscious is doing. If your soul sincerely wants to please Christ, then you’re a real Christian, not just a poser.

Now prior to this April, you were heavy into the porn. Then your soul got excited about starting a relationship with your Creator (plenty to be excited about there), and suddenly the porn stops. Consider what this sudden halt of porn felt like to your subconscious. While your soul felt a huge drop in its stress levels (“Hooray! No more disgusting porn!”), your subconscious had a vital method of venting stress suddenly taken away. So during these 6 months of Christian romance novels and an absence of any dark porn, your subconscious’ stress levels are rapidly rising.

Anytime you slam the brakes on an addiction without dealing with root causes, how long you are able to go before relapsing gives you a helpful indication about the intensity of your stress. For you, 6 months is all that your mind could bear before it forced the porn to start happening again. This pattern indicates a pretty high level of stress. When relapses occur in these situations, it’s quite normal for the addiction to feel stronger than ever as the stressed out element tries to make up for lost time. Remember that to your mind, watching porn is a way to relieve stress. It’s also likely trying to problem solve by searching for videos that help it analyse whatever traumatic thing happened to you in real life.

An important thing to realise about deviant porn is that a lot of it is not primarily focused on sex. For you, we see your mind strongly gravitating towards BDSM and scat porn. Torture is the primary theme of BDSM porn. Degradation is the primary theme of scat porn. This raises a key question: why does your subconscious feel that torture and degradation are such relevant topics? Try to ask yourself this question with an emphasis on respect, not disgust. Your mind is extremely intelligent, loyal, and determined. It is actually trying to help you by obsessing over porn right now, because it has identified what it feels is a major threat to your well-being which it is trying very hard to resolve. So even though its methods are disturbing, we need to appreciate its motivations. The way that your soul is currently responding is rather like a man who starts beating on his dog to punish it for constantly barking when the dog is only barking because it’s trying to warn the man of a threat to his safety. Minds do not respond well to being punished for trying to help. They get understandably angry and that causes them to become even more secretive and unwilling to accept outside help. To help your mind, we need to get your soul to stop bullying it. We calm down your soul by specifically addressing its concerns, which in your case, will likely include concerns about how God views your addiction. These are the kinds of issues I can help you with if we talk, because both elements need a chance to vent their personal concerns in this kind of situation.

Now in deviant porn addictions, your mind is essentially trying to work with subpar material. Videos that were made by other people are never going to feel as helpful as the mental fantasies your mind invents on its own. This is why your mind keeps switching videos–it is constantly trying to find one that is structured “just right” to communicate the things it wants to be communicated. Also realize that your subconscious prefers to communicate using highly symbolic imagery instead of just using words. It is because your subconscious is so creative and metaphorical that you find yourself often struggling to see any direct connections between the stuff you’re watching and things that have happened to you in real life. Take scat porn for example. I’m assuming you’ve never had someone poop on you in real life, yet your mind is clearly obsessed with this kind of imagery. Why? Because it sees it as a fabulous metaphor for something that did happen to you. To identify what that thing was, focus on the emotions that the video triggers for you, not the physical aspects.

Here’s an exercise for you to try. For this exercise to be effective, you need to go into it with an attitude of “I’m trying to look for clues that will help me solve this challenging puzzle.” Try to see this as an intriguing problem that you’re determined to figure out, not as something to be ashamed of.

  • Not all porn videos trigger the same response in you. The ones that give you the strongest emotional and/or sexual reaction are considered the most helpful to your subconscious. Choose three of the videos you’ve seen that gave you very strong reactions. Take a piece of paper and divide it into four columns. Now think about one of those three top videos. In the first column on your paper, write down all of the emotions that you associate with that first video. For example: humiliation, shame, mockery. Also write down other themes that come to mind, such as violence, power, abuse, trapped. Don’t think about what the makers of the video were trying to say. Only focus on your own interpretation of that video. If your mind wants to do this exercise, it will supply you with answers almost immediately.  This isn’t something you sit and mull over for 10 minutes.  Just spend a couple of minutes at most, then move on.
  • In the second column, make the same kind of list, only this time focus on the second video.  Don’t try to compare the first video with the second.  Focus only on the second video.  Don’t worry if your answers vary.  Just write down anything your mind says, then move on.  Don’t focus on this for more than a couple of minutes.
  • In column three, do the same exercise, this time focusing only on the third video.  (If you don’t have three high arousal videos, just do columns for the ones you do have.  If you have more than three, add extra columns).
  • In the final column, forget about porn videos and instead focus on your own mental fantasies. By now you’ll have noticed that when you masturbate, your mind tries to start running a particular sexual fantasy that it has invented itself.  By now your mind will have invented a whole bunch of fantasies, but it will have one or two that it especially likes, and those will give you the strongest arousal.  (Realize that in your case, it’s completely normal to find it impossible to climax unless you let your subconscious run one of its dark fantasies.) Your own mental fantasies may or may not include images that your mind pulled from some of its favourite porn videos. Write out your list of themes, just as you did in the previous columns.
  • After you fill your columns, go back through and look for themes that have moral implications, such as words like wrong, disgusting, shameful. Draw a line through those words because they are probably your soul talking, and we want to focus on your mind right now.
  • After trying to eliminate any obvious soul talk, get a highlighter and look for common themes that show up in multiple columns. Highlight any words that come up in more than one column. Then, on a new sheet of paper, make a list of those words and indicate their frequency. For example: fear x3, humiliation x4, powerless x2.
  • Once you have your list of common themes, think back over your life. Do any real life events come to mind as you read through your common themes? Don’t try to filter out what you’re looking for. It’s quite possible that the original traumatic event was not sexual. It’s also possible that all of this mess has been caused due to very stressful relationship dynamics, such as feeling controlled and frequently humiliated by a dominating personality. In the latter case, the relationship is often one that you couldn’t escape, and one that dragged on for a long time (and possibly still exists in your life today). Remember that the kind of deviant porn you’re watching is not primarily focused on sex, so we need to broaden our search. There are many reasons why your mind links stress to your sex drive. An abnormal sex drive is caused by your subconscious overriding your natural wiring and causes you to crave abnormal sexual stimuli, such as abuse and degradation. Such overrides often happen with no history of sexual assault, especially when we’re dealing with primary themes of torture and humiliation. Notice how in your BDSM videos, the victims are often being physically tortured in many ways, and the anatomy being focused on isn’t just their sexual parts. In those kinds of videos, the major emphasis is on things like emotional humiliation through physical exposure and power being stripped away through physical bindings. Even sex “toys” (which are really just torture devices) are often designed to instantly punish natural responses. There are many non-sexual real life experiences that can result in the victim strongly identifying with one or more of these themes. Since porn is an easy and readily accessible place to find these themes being played out, your mind can easily lock onto porn even though it isn’t primarily on the hunt to relieve sexual stress.

Looking at Timing

Now let’s look at the timeline you’ve provided (excellent details!). You first found yourself getting “hooked” on adult sex scenes in books around age 7. That’s too young to be that fascinated by sex themes unless we already have background stress present. While I have been emphasizing that not all trauma is sexual, it’s too early to rule out a sexual trauma in your case. But the strong pull towards violence and victim vs. sadistic abuser themes indicates that the original trauma likely involved you feeling like the victim of some very degrading experience that was forced on you by others who your mind assumed had malicious motivations. Invasive medical procedures are a common cause of this kind of trauma in young children, and since we see evidence of background stress building for you at such a young age (earlier than 7), medical trauma needs to be ruled out. Here you’d be looking for any kind of medical procedure that you had to undergo which felt scary, invasive, and/or painful at the time. For young children, procedures which involve any kind of private anatomy (for girls this includes the chest, bum, or front privates) can easily be interpreted as a form of sexual assault combined with physical torture, and this can result in the kind of fixation your mind is having. I’m not saying this is definitely your situation, but it’s a possibility that needs to be considered.

Since you are so vulnerable during childhood, your subconscious will often suppress early life traumas in order to help you get through the day.  This kind of memory suppression plays out in different ways. In some cases, you’ll be able to recall the facts about what you went through but not your emotional reaction to it.  When the subject of your traumatic experience comes up, you’ll either feel emotionally numb or mildly stressed, but your subconscious will be blocking your conscious from feeling the full intensity of its terror. 

In the most severe form of memory suppression, you can’t recall the original event at all, but over time, as your subconscious becomes fatigued by trying to maintain its memory blocks, you’ll start exhibiting symptoms of severe psychological distress that become worse and worse.  With you, we’re seeing your stress levels strongly spiking right now, which is why you’re unable to pull yourself away from the porn to the point that important things are being left undone.  Given how young you are, this indicates that the original event caused immense distress which your subconscious has been spending enormous effort trying to corral all of this time, but it’s starting to burn out. 

Imagine that you manage to trap some big scary monster in a small closet.  The monster is now slamming his weight against the door, trying to break out of his temporary cage so he can attack you.  The enormous effort you’re having to spend holding that door closed is similar to the effort your subconscious has to spend on maintaining mental blocks.  These kinds of blocks are major drains on your mind’s resource budget, and it can’t maintain them forever. 

In the closet metaphor, as you find yourself becoming too tired to keep holding that door closed, what happens to your emotions? You become even more scared and stressed, because you’re afraid of what will happen when that monster gets out.  When your subconscious feels that its ability to maintain its blocks are weakening, it also becomes scared and stressed.  The more stressed it gets, the more desperate it gets to try to lower its stress levels, and in your case, that’s where binging porn comes in.  If your mind had latched onto a different coping method, such as drinking alcohol, then right now you’d be drinking around the clock.  The point is that these changes you notice in how often you watch porn and how hard it is to not watch it are giving you a way to track your psychological stress load. 

When your stress levels suddenly spike, compassion for your mind is a far more helpful response than bullying.  Right now your soul is in bully mode, meaning that it starts verbally attacking your mind when your mind starts forcing you into watching porn for hours on end.  Soul bullying increases your mind’s stress even more, and that leads to more porn.  To help you get your life back, one of your top priorities needs to be changing your soul’s reaction from angry to compassionate. When your soul reacts with compassion to your mind’s panic, it helps your mind calm down instead of making it feel even worse.

Now notice how you were first exposed to BDSM around 9 or 10 but you didn’t start searching for it until age 13. At 13, your sex drive is coming fully online, and in cases where the mind is linking trauma with sex, puberty usually triggers a sudden increase in psychological stress. We find that pattern happening with you, as your mind responds to your body’s natural biological changes by demanding a new tool for relieving its stress. Here is where your addiction/fascination with BDSM themes comes into play. But again: why is your mind so focused on torture themes?

If we step back and look at the big picture, we see an abnormal fascination with sex evolving into an intense addiction to BDSM (torture), which has recently become enhanced by a focus on scat porn (degradation). Notice how your mind doesn’t care who the video characters are–it will take gays, lesbians, or straights attacking each other. This indicates that your mind did not lock onto gender as an important aspect of your original trauma. Instead, it focused on the themes of domination and degradation. This gives us another important clue of what to look for: some upsetting event (or series of events) in which you felt dominated and extremely degraded by someone who seemed amused and/or indifferent to your pain.

Here’s another important clue:

 …I’m mostly drawn to videos of a mistress pooping in a male’s mouth….. At first it grossed me out so much I couldn’t watch ANY porn for weeks…… I felt so much pity for the guy in the video….I wondered how the lady could do that….. but now I think I’m getting desensitized to it

Since your mind isn’t flagging gender as an important focus, let’s ignore the genders of these two characters and instead look at what is happening.  One person is making another person feel totally degraded.  Notice your double reaction: shock combined with pity for the victim.

When you watch this kind of porn, the character you focus on tends to be the character that you either identify with or wish you could be.  When your emotional response towards the character is sympathetic, that indicates you identify with the character, and feel they symbolize you in your original trauma.  When instead you feel a sense of admiration towards the character, that indicates that they have a quality you really wish you could acquire because you believe it would protect you from future harm.  Common examples here are when the victim of abuse admires the abusive character in a porn video because she wishes she could somehow become the person with all of the power instead of feeling like other people can easily take her power away.  In other cases, victims of abuse will sometimes become fascinated by porn victims who appear to have abnormally high tolerance for pain.  In these cases, people are wishing they could acquire that kind of tolerance in real life so that they wouldn’t feel they are so easy for others to “break.”  It’s usually passives that admire the exceptional tolerance theme while aggressives tend to admire displays of total domination (see Freezing vs. Fighting: Two Strategic Responses to Assault).

In your case, your mind is looking for a video that will feel like a good symbolic re-enactment of what happened to you in real life.  But remember, your subconscious loves metaphors—so much so that the connections it makes can seem pretty bizarre to your soul.  Your subconscious is the part of you that creates your dreams, and those are so loaded with symbolism that they can often feel impossible to understand.  But when you consider how wild some of your dream imagery is, it shows you what a creative artist your subconscious is. 

It’s important to realize that when your mind is hunting for a good trauma re-enactment video, it is only trying to match a limited number of factors.  In your case, it’s clear that your mind is not trying to match the genders of the people who were originally involved.  Notice how it will sometimes cast your character as a male, other times a female.  You can’t control which factors your mind will choose to focus on when you have an experience in life.  Some minds obsess over gender, others over age, others over ethnicity…the list goes on and on.  In your case, your mind seems to be primarily interested in matching power dynamics and feelings of degradation. It also sounds like there is a major theme of physical exposure involved (which would account for the fascination with adult romance books in which female privates are often being described and fondled in great detail).  We also see your mind being the most attracted to videos in which the degradation themes are extra strong (such as the pooping in the mouth). 

Now while desensitization is a real thing, it’s not the right term to apply here.  Desensitization means you become less emotionally affected by something that initially upset you due to repeated exposure.  What’s happening with you is more complex than that. Notice how you were very upset when you first watched the poop in mouth sequence.  Notice also the pity reaction, because that is an extremely important detail.  The surfacing of sudden, intense pity in cases like yours is often caused by the mind expressing its intense need for someone to express serious sympathy/concern/caring/compassion for the pain that it is in.  In other words, you’re reacting to the character the way that you need someone to react to you in real life due to the terrible things you’ve experienced. 

When your strong initial reaction “wears off” in a case like yours, it’s not so much a case of desensitization as it is your mind reinforcing its suppression efforts. It’s rather like a dolphin who surfaces long enough to get some air, then dives back down again.  When your mind suddenly comes across a video that feels like a very good re-enactment of your original trauma, it will often feel it is able to vent an extra measure of distress, which results in that sudden, strong emotional response.  The venting of that extra stress provides a sense of relief (notice how you were able to avoid watching any porn for a short period after you saw that shocking poop video).  When the stress rebuilds, the mind will then return to its stress relieving tools (watching porn), although by then it often has more solid defences, which is why you don’t keep experiencing a surge of emotion when you return to the video that initially shocked you.

I’ve thrown a lot of information at you in this post because I want to help you see your situation more positively. Sure, the coping method your mind has chosen is pretty gross, but it’s motivations are noble. It’s trying to fix a problem and eliminate what it feels is a threat to your well-being. Once you understand that your very creative Creator (God) intentionally designed your subconscious to be such an imaginative and symbolic thinker who feels that metaphors are a fabulous way to talk about life, you can stop condemning your mind for latching onto gross imagery and instead try to hear what it’s saying through that imagery.  The list exercise I recommended is a way to help you do that. 

Your mind is extremely intelligent, logical, and has an incredible amount of stamina.  Given that you first showed noticeable signs of distress around age 7, how admirable is it that your mind has persisted all this time and still not given up in its search for answers?  The explanation for why your mind is so upset already exists, it’s just a matter of helping your mind feel safe enough to share it.  The way to get there is to help your soul resolve its own concerns about how it might be negatively affected by your mind’s activities.  As for God, no one is more compassionate towards your mind and soul than He is.  God is not at all repulsed by struggles like this because He sees them for what they really are: stressing elements trying to use the tools He’s given them to fix their current problems.  Sometimes our minds and souls get stuck and they need some extra help.  I encourage you to ask God to help you connect with His deep compassion for what you’re going through, and to help you decode what your mind is saying through all of this symbolic imagery.   If you would like to talk to me as well, let me know.  Either way, know that there are always ways to move forward in these situations and you’re trying to deal with your stress much earlier than most people do.  The younger we are when we start resolving trauma, the less of a mess we have to work through, so kudos to you for being so proactive and trying to delve deeper into this issue.

This post was written in response to Linda.