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The Mask of Deception: The Ultimate Test to My Recovery From Porn Addiction

Illustration by: Katie Kosma

Benjamin Obler | Longreads | August 2016 | 24 minutes (5,908 words)


When we first talked, it was on tenuous terms. That is, both telling implicit lies.

My lie was wearing a leather jacket and smoking cigarettes that night, which cast me as carefree and rebellious. In reality, I was a bookish Senior Editor with an educational publisher, a teacher, and a writer with aspirations. I loved my tennis and workouts—usually kept fit.

Her lie was the exact opposite: she cast herself as more straight-laced and serious than she was, and literary, noting that she was reading a challenging novel in the literary realism vein. But she wasn’t really of a literary disposition. I would learn soon that she was much more visually oriented, a photographer. She liked to go dancing, and to shoot guns at a range just for the thrill.

On the surface, these lies were harmless, but they masked deeper deceptions. She had no idea I was a recovering porn addict. I had no idea she was into taking semi-nude photos of herself and posting them online.

Her name was Franny, and I fell madly in love with her. Read more…