Ep. 29 - Podcast Thumbnail

#29 – My Journey Quitting Porn | Kieran Calavan

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Ep. 40 - Podcast Thumbnail

Pornography indeed can be alluring in a sense that it can lead to addiction, anxiety, and changes in behavior. In this episode, Kieran Calavan shared his journey of battling over his sexual desires. This discussion is truly fascinating with its relevance to one of the major dilemmas that youth are facing today.

  • Understanding the essence of sex and the worth of women
  • How do depression, anxiety, and stress take part in porn addiction?
  • How are we powerless over our self-addiction and pleasure?
  • How important it is to have a great support system?
  • Kieran’s journey of fighting over habitual masturbation.
  • What was Kieran’s take to change his habits and overcome porn addiction?
  • How High Noon contributed to Kieran’s success and perspective in life?

Episode Transcript:

Sammy Uyama: Hello, hello ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Love, Life, and Legacy podcast. It’s your boy Sammy Uyama. I’m here with a very amazing guest, Kieran Calavan. I’ll explain a little bit, a little bit about him in a minute. But let’s say hi, first. Hey Kieran. Welcome to the show.

Kieran Calavan: Hey, Sammy, thanks so much. Thanks for having me.

Sammy Uyama: Oh, thank you for being here. I’m just, it’s an honor to have you on the show. You are a superstar it’s great to have you.

Kieran Calavan: Pleasure, pleasure to be here.

Sammy Uyama: If you guys are wondering why, why is Kieran such a superstar? I want to know more about him. Let me tell you a little, let me introduce Kieran Calavan, everybody. So Kieran, is someone that’s been involved with High Noon for a number of years. He first came on as a participant wanting to have victory with his own sexual integrity and his own porn use in his life. And he excelled really quickly and, and took the step of turning around and beginning being someone that helps other people. So he’s acted on our behalf as a facilitator. And then we, there is a need for some back end support. And so Kieran took that on. And for a long time, he’s been helping organize our group support. And he’s just been a really good behind the scenes person that’s allowed High Noon to function and the gears to, to what do you call it, grind, grind, it doesn’t sound smooth at all, but the, you know, the gears all work and everything to make, that doesn’t fall apart. And so I’m really excited to bring him into the spotlight again. And you guys can hear his story. So Kieran, he’s 20 years old, he’s living in the bay, San Francisco, California. He’s working as a, as ope-, as operations, operations management for a consulting firm and that’s about as far as I can comprehend what he does. Just really sophisticated and cool stuff. That’s a little bit about him and we want to bring him on the show because he’s got a great story about his victory over pornography. So that’s we’re going to talk about. Anything else you want to add about yourself, Kieran?

Kieran Calavan: No, you did a fabulous job.

Sammy Uyama: All right, well, you’re a fabulous person. So, it’s the least I can do. So, without much more preamble. No, we’ll do a little bit more preamble. Okay, so before we get into it, how about we go into, what’s, what’s one exciting things going on your life? Just start out, start out with something to celebrate. What’s something worth celebrating in your life, Kieran?

Kieran Calavan: Well, I do make an effort to get some sun. I have a balcony right out my window, which is great. I’d say last weekend, I had my first ever social distance picnic with some friends. We are all sitting around on picnic blankets. You know, six feet apart, sharing some food, getting some sunlight. That’s something that I enjoy. Even yeah, even in this time where many of us around the world are sheltered in place or asked to not leave our homes as often as we’d like too. It’s great that you can still get out and see each other. And even you Sammy, even you’re in Korea, I’m here in the Bay area, that we can have zoom and these video conferencing technologies to stay in touch. I think that’s something I’ve noticed more and more lately, is relationships are any more important and as I add greater depth and greater weight to them because that’s a lot of what we can lean on and rely on right now. If we can’t get out and about as much as we’d like to.

Sammy Uyama: That’s worth celebrating. Beginning creative, finding a way to spend time with friends, that, a social distancing picnic, that’s just, I think that’s, I imagine you guys bringing the tape measure out and getting down to the inch, right?

Kieran Calavan: We weren’t bad. But yeah, we were careful.

Sammy Uyama: I know. Thanks for sharing that with us. Let’s celebrate that with Kieran. Everybody had a fantastic social distancing picnic last weekend with his friends. To the matt- the matter of hand, wanted to talk about porn and your experience with it. It’s something that in the High Noon world, it’s everyday conversations, what we do, but for a lot of people, like you know, it’s not an discussed topic and so I appreciate you coming on to share your story and a lot of people will be really keen to listen in on this and you know, behind closed doors and so, we’ll just start out with, you know, someone that dealt with and struggled porn throughout your youth growing up, and we’ll go through that, that phase of your life up until today. So let’s start out with the from the beginning, how were you first introduced to porn and how it developed from there.

Kieran Calavan: Got it? Yeah. I first stumbled across porn entirely on accident. I was in my family’s living room. We were watching something on Food Network and I remember trying to look up a recipe, online. And I did an image search for this recipe because I wanted to see, I think it was like a muffin. And there was a picture there’s a pornographic image, in that image search, and I remember very vividly, there was a feeling of like a bolt of lightning passing through my spine like, Whoa! And I didn’t know what it was, but I just knew that I really liked it. And I didn’t say anything. I quickly closed out the window on the computer. And I just like, amazed by what I had stumbled across, not knowing exactly what it was, still, not knowing that, that was pornography.

Sammy Uyama: Wait, how old were you?

Kieran Calavan: I was 12 or 13 at the time. Yeah. But just, I think tail end of eighth grade going into freshman year of high school.

Sammy Uyama: Wow. So you, up until that point, you had never seen anything like that before, right? So you, did you know what you’re looking at? Or what was the like to see this?

Kieran Calavan: Yeah, later, later, of course found that out. Yeah, and it was a few months later then I discovered masturbation too. And then so usually then, those two are paired, right? You’re gonna do one, you’re gonna do the other. And that was something all through high school that I struggled with. Freshman year of high school I had a bout of depression. And that meant that I turned to pornography and masturbation habitually. So it became a habit, something I did when I was feeling low, or oftentimes just to help me sleep. I noticed it would help with anxiety or stress. When I felt anxious and stressed, those would be triggers for returning to pornography and acting out. Yeah, and it was high school already, is a time where as a young person, has challenged a lot and didn’t have a great sense of self or belief in who I am, understanding my value. And I realized that my habit of pornography was something to, that contributed to feeling less than I really am, really feeling ashamed of myself, feeling a lot of like, I failed as a person. Just had an incredibly low sense of self esteem. And yeah, it wasn’t something I was ever; it meant that I didn’t feel I couldn’t be loved. It meant that I felt like, you know, I’m, I don’t have inherent value. And I didn’t, because I didn’t believe that for myself, right? I just felt unworthy, ashamed, angry at myself for acting out and returning to porn habitually, but not, not able to break free. It was, yeah, I didn’t know what I was looking at. I didn’t know what you’d call it. Later found out that, that is what, was at different camps? You know the guys night, we talked about struggles in pornography. That’s where I learned that’s what it was. But yeah, I just remember feeling incredibly, incredibly ashamed of having seen it, but also like wanting more. Yeah, so I knew what they were doing. I just didn’t know that it was called porn.

Sammy Uyama: Right. Okay. So, I want to back up a little bit to understand this more, because kind of well, maybe if we, if you have an idea where that came from, because high school boys so, I mean, it’s like so common to look at porn and it’s, people would think it’s weird that you, you are felt bad that you’re looking to porn. And people would think that’s weird. Why? Why you? Why is that make you feel guilty? So, do you have any idea, insight to where that came from? And you just had, you had this desire that it was something you didn’t want to do? Or you ended up going back to it. So why weren’t you like, just everyone else in school?

Kieran Calavan: Right? Well, yeah, I was raised with a particular value system and my faith. My parents’ relationship is one that I really admire and respect, and one that I wanted to emulate. And yeah, born and raised in Unification faith community that was an understanding that sex is sacred, and that, that relationship between a husband and wife is precious. And my viewing pornography was counter to that. Right? I began to realize, I would see women just for a collection of body parts and not for who they were as people, too. So that meant I was viewing half the population as just an object, right? And not as a person. That was something too, where, you know, there’s a, there’s a, there’s a disconnect, right? In really being able to connect to women, where when I was addicted to porn, it was just seeing them for, for their body.

Sammy Uyama: So you had this understanding of this ideal of sex that you wanted to aspire to. And you had this model that you looked up to, in your parents and you wanted that, but then you, you kept coming back to this other thing. So that was very discouraging for you and you didn’t like the way it made you treat women.

Kieran Calavan: Yeah, exactly.

Sammy Uyama: And it just became something you relied on throughout these difficult years of high school and you said that you were, had bout of depression and anxiety. What was causing what was that, was it about something or is it just was like a circumstantial thing or was it a biological thing? What was…

Kieran Calavan: Yeah, it was circumstantial. It was as simple as not making the freshman soccer team. And I felt like I wanted to play soccer, be with my friends, join the team. And I was cut, in, during tryouts. And I took that really hard. And I think it was one of the first times I’d really failed at something. So, it didn’t go over well. And yeah, it was sad to not be able to be out there on the field and to be able to play with my friends. Since a few months there I was really, yeah, quite low and depressed and, and sad, you know, and, and I would turn to pornography. Fortunately, in later freshman year, I had a friend talked me into playing tennis and found a great sport there and friends and community there. But yeah, that, that time definitely fueled the habit, the addiction.

Sammy Uyama: So as it developed, how often did you find yourself viewing pornography and masturbating?

Kieran Calavan: Yeah, in high school, it was something multiple times a week, I would turn to, sometimes almost daily, depending on, on what was happening. You know, if I had lots of exams and essays and stress, it would be something I turned to daily. Yeah, and then I remember from an early age, realizing that I had a problem realizing that was beyond my control, and wanting to stop, but not being able to, or not feeling like I had the power to know just that pornography had this hold that I couldn’t shake.

Sammy Uyama: I think that, that, for many people, that, if anything, even just that feeling that you’re not in control, that’s, that’s not a good experience. Right?

Kieran Calavan: Right, right? You just feel powerless.

Sammy Uyama: So then, so this thing it progressed very quickly over. I actually fairly late looking, do something, 12, 13 I mean, not, not late. Pretty… That’s a typical age, right? But could be much earlier and then, but we’re just going, I guess going into high school sounds late, right? But high school earlier. So anyway and then during this, this time period it escalated very quickly and you said very early on you realized that a problem and you wanted to do so. So what was that first experience where, you were looking back at yourself and you thought, “Oh, I really should do something about this.”

Kieran Calavan: Yeah, I just remember being cognizant of not being in control and realizing that, that was, that was gonna be a problem. Beyond the shame and you know, self loathing I had, it was realizing that I, this is out of control, and there’s, doesn’t feel there’s anything I can do about it. You know, returning to camps each summer or winter workshops where this would come up in the, in the guy’s nights. It was something that was discussed and brought up and talked about, but there wasn’t anything, anything more than essentially being told this is something you shouldn’t do. And so I knew that, but it also didn’t feel like there’s anything I could do about it.

Sammy Uyama: So then, you woke up one day and realize you didn’t want to look at porn anymore. So you stopped and lived happily ever after? That’s…

Kieran Calavan: I wish it were that easy.

Sammy Uyama: Yeah, so tell us about your, your turning point. And did you, you had many false starts? I mean, sounds like you usually went to camp every year and it was like a reignition of desire, but then you’ll return the next year and have to repeat that inspiration again and again.

Kieran Calavan: Right.

Sammy Uyama: And so many false starts and what were the some – did you, was it like two steps forward one step back, you slowly, we found you, yourself moving forward or you just kept going in circles for a number of years?

Kieran Calavan: Yeah, through, through high school is definitely going, going in a circle. Not happening. Post high school, I took a gap year. And during that time, I was able to talk with my parents. Share with them. I remember, specifically like my mom driving and asking and she was smart to have me drive and as I was driving, sharing with her, just crying and all I was left with really was a sense of relief. Like, “Okay, finally, like I can tell someone and have support.” And she loved me, even after I told her what I done, and that meant a lot. It meant a lot to understand that, this was just a part of who I am and what I’m doing. It’s not truly who I am. From there it was a number of years of tapering, I call it. So it doesn’t happen overnight. I didn’t stop cold turkey. But with (inaudible), I’d limit how many times I’m gonna do it this week. And then once every other week, once every three weeks, you know, and it was a very slow process and it is sometimes, it’s two steps forward one step back. But that was my approach to it. I think as a, as a student in college, I studied psychology and, and habits were something that really interested me. And that was where I really began to see that there’s these loops and these cycles, and there’s ways to break that essentially. Usually doesn’t happen overnight, but it’s a slow and steady process of being disciplined and accountable. So yeah, it was, it was another…

Sammy Uyama: I want to dig into the, this process. It sounds like you’re very methodical about it. So, you have a lot of good advice. But I want to, I want to step back to this experience with your mom that, that sounded really pivotal. So, you said that you had this experience of, of you say relief or release.

Kieran Calavan: Relief.

Sammy Uyama: Okay, so that really relieving experience. Someone, someone knowing, was telling your mom the first person that you’d ever confided about this?

Kieran Calavan: First person in my family. Yeah. Well, I guess the, the person I was most afraid to share with, I think my brother knew before then. But yeah, she was certainly the one that needs to hear it, and that I was afraid of her knowing. But her response to it was just loving and understanding. So that, that was where that sense of relief really came from. In that gap year program too, you know, as guys, as men, we would meet and we did talk about this and there was more support around it, some, more support around it. So, there was a sense that I am not alone in it. But I think for her to know and then my dad and to be able to talk to both of them about it was important for me, just to feel like my parents understand where I’m at, what I’m struggling with, and then can offer help.

Sammy Uyama: That’s really beautiful. Yeah, just anything like that. You’re, these, the people, especially your parents and your family, people you most close to and would be the most afraid of them knowing something and then she was embracing and loving towards you, on your part for sharing, having courage to share and then on her, her part for extending grace to you and welcome you in with open arms. And props to your mom.

Kieran Calavan: Yeah. Yeah, she’s great. She’s a great lady.

Sammy Uyama: So then you had this experience and, and into college you studied psychology and began to learn more of the science behind habits. And this was a key point for you. Understanding the mechanics of how pornography use, works. Just looking at it as a habit rather than this big monster that you’re just having to suppress inside of you. So, what are the, what are some things that helped you through that? Like, maybe? What, what did you identify about your porn habit?

Kieran Calavan: Yeah, got it. Yeah. So, seeing it as, seeing it as a habit, an addiction or a habit. It’s more, makes it more manageable. I could break it down into smaller pieces and recognize when am I doing it? What am I feeling when I’m doing it? Where am I doing it? You know, what am I thinking about prior to? Right? I started to become conscious of these triggers, essentially, and then routine behaviors, humans, myself included, actually prefer routine and order. So, I started to notice, yeah, I would do it in the evening before bed. I would do it alone by myself in my bedroom or in the restroom. I would do it when I was feeling lonely or bored or tired, you know, and I just had that, it has to, it meant that I was really confronting myself and looking at this and analyzing it. It also meant that I could remove my own judgment of myself from it. So instead of really feeling like a terrible, horrible person who’s never going to be able to overcome this, I was able to look at it kind of piece by piece and just recognize like the behavior there. There is a spiritual component to, I think there’s, there’s a lot of work that you need to do for your, for your own like well-being and heart, too. And that’s certainly part of it. And that’s where High Noon was incredible for me. But even for myself to just be able to look at, that the behavior, and what I was doing was huge to be able to break it down and then feel like, “Okay, this is something I can chip away at and make progress in and overcome.” I was guidance to my parents gave me as well, they’re like, actually, you know, “Thank you for telling us. And we believe that this will only mean that you can be better, right?” It’s a lesson to learn in an area that can mean that my life can improve, because I can do this intentionally. So that was, that was important as well to keep that in mind. Just understanding like, “Okay, I can actually leverage this. It doesn’t have to mean like, I’m a terrible person I can give me and I can actually be better for it.

Sammy Uyama: So you got scientific about looking around that this surrounding behaviors, like what led up to it, where were you? What were you feeling, prior? And you began to see these patterns? You do it in the evening, do it when you’re feeling lonely, etc. And so what did you do with this information?

Kieran Calavan: Yeah, well, it meant that I needed to change my behavior and change those routines. Largely, I meant I went to bed earlier. I learned that I, I’m better when I’m awake earlier, and when I go to bed earlier. It meant intentionally spending time with people or calling people or, you know, doing what I needed to do, to address the loneliness. Right? I started meditating, which was big for me, too. I use the app called headspace and I started practicing mindfulness meditation. I did that every day, in the morning, in the evening just to ground myself and focus and then keep, keep this in mind, right? Like this is a goal. This is an intention. I have a behavior I don’t want to return to. So rather than just saying like, “Okay, I’m going to get rid of this porn habit,” it actually had to be replaced by another habit that was better for me that could serve me. So meditation was a part of that exercise, going to bed earlier. Diet actually was pretty, pretty big to just learning that there was foods I was eating that had my body feeling stressed or anxious or inflamed. So, it was kind of in retrospect, this was like a holistic approach to it, in my mind. In the moment, it just felt like these are kind of pieces that came together along the way. But I was fortunate,  yeah, to have people I was connected to both at my work and in my faith community and you know from home and friends in High Noon. So, it was a whole process of beginning to understand myself more and where I wanted to focus and also having a vision of like who I wanted to be, right? If I could see myself without a porn habit, then who am I, right? Who can I be? Who I want to be? Just some visualization to, it came together that, yeah, can create sobriety and then recovery in my life.

Sammy Uyama: Hearing what you just said is particularly, it’s really cool for me just knowing you personally. And knowing that who you, like, the person that you are today and hearing the how you intentionally built that for yourself. I would say what, you know, what you’re known for amongst your friends and your peers. One of the things you’re known for is how diligent you are about your routines and about the foods that you put in your body. And I mean, food, I think if people would described some things about Kieran Calavan, it would be a few of those elements amongst more, more than others, that you’re goin- who else, who in their 20s is going to bed at like 9pm, right? And waking up at five. And yeah, so it’s pretty, it’s, you weren’t always like that, but you’re looking at your life. And also, the other thing that you’re well known for is just your clarity for your life. And that you are always, you always know, the reason for why you’re doing what you’re doing and why something is a part of your life and where you’re going towards. So these, these people, many people would be very envious of and that’s just really cool to hear that, these are things you built, like habits and a part of your life that you built for yourself as a, partly in response to, you know, you having this vision for your life and what are the things would help it and also how to break away from this porn habit of yours.

Kieran Calavan: Yeah, yeah. And that’s where I think, the understanding that, actually, because of the porn habit, I can be better. Right? My parents said that from the beginning and I think that was something I took to heart. And yeah, I look back now to and I’m like, “Oh!” like what i, what i want 13 year old me to be, you know, to stumble across porn. No, but like, am I, in the end actually kind of grateful for it or it could have benefited from it like, I absolutely have. I don’t know, you know, I wouldn’t be a different person if I hadn’t, for better and worse, right. So yeah, it’s definitely it’s caused the most suffering and challenge in my life, but it’s also I think, created a lot of blessing and opportunity to grow. So it’s, it’s been both sides.

Sammy Uyama: You played the hand that you’re dealt as they say, you made use of the situation you’re in and use this as an opportunity. And then, I’m excited to hear about how High Noon played into all this, this process you’re going through and then, and then High Noon played a pivotal point. That’s the most gratifying thing for me to be able to hear this evening.

Kieran Calavan: Yeah, High Noon is remarkable in that, there was really a community and a group of people that committed to having sexual integrity. That’s more than just overcoming pornography. Overcoming pornography is a part of that. My experience with High Noon is getting a call from uncle David, I think it was, you know, as the first group to join and be a part of, my peers to grow and learn from and together. It was just understanding that, yeah, to have sexual integrity, overcoming a porn habits part of it. But there was even more work there too, like, how can I grow and develop my heart and my mindset to be the best husband, for my wife in the future, the best father to my kids in the future. A lot of it had to do with working on myself and understanding my other habits, too, that were inhibiting that or limiting my potential. So, those certainly a focus on overcoming pornography. But there’s more than that. It’s, it’s really becoming a whole person, so that you can or so that I could really be a whole person for whoever it is that I’m going to marry in the future. And I see that as the goal for High Noon is really just having those incredible blessed marriages that create incredible families. That create an awesome world and a loving world. And that’s the vision of the Unification Church, in my opinion is, is really loving families that you know, that can be an example for the world. There’s a lot of pain that’s causing the families but there’s so much joy that can be experienced there. And many of us, unfortunately, haven’t had the best families that we could. But you know, similar to this, I feel like one goal I have is to have a great family, because that’s something I can control and want to create. And it’s gonna be hard, but it’s also going to be worth it. Yeah, so High Noon, High Noon was was very much a part of keeping that vision alive and giving me more and giving me tools and giving me a community, brothers and men that I can talk to and share with and learn from and grow with. And yeah, that was, that was big for me to understand, like, who I really want to be, and how I can get there, right? I think in the past that maybe felt like oh, this would be, it would be a lot more work or a lot more difficult and High Noon was just like fasttrack to being who I want to be. And still remembering that there’s always work to do. Right, coming back to that.

Sammy Uyama: Wow, that’s really awesome. And you say, you went in as a participant, and then soon after you turned around and to help other people, you became a facilitator. What, just briefly, what was that experience like for you?

Kieran Calavan: Yeah, it’s to me, it’s giving back, right? That’s, that’s something I’ve felt as important in my life. There’s, there’s been a number of opportunities and experiences I’ve had where I’ve had an incredible breakthrough. And then I’ve wanted to give back and High Noon was just a part of that. So, there was a yeah, group of young guys and another brother and I were, were co-mentors or facilitators for this group. And to see them now too, you know, this is a few years ago, so to see them now to, a number of them are blessed and married and it’s just, that’s it. That’s the goal. It’s just incredibly exciting and wonderful to see that others who have also turned around and become mentors to us. So it’s just this group of support, you know, and, and men who really want to and women out to, who really want to have support and then offer support. I just see it as like that’s, that’s how we need to live, supporting and loving one another.

Sammy Uyama: Yeah, I’m really glad you said that. I mean, because it’s, if anything, is anything I’d wish people would take away from High Noon and, and utilize what we offer is that community. That people can experience and especially hearing from you, someone who was on track on your own, you’re making a lot of effort and making progress. But then, to experience having that jump started by being a community of like-minded men to support each other and paint a really vivid picture of what you want for your future and how that was just like, lighting a fire under your butt.

Kieran Calavan: Yeah.

Sammy Uyama: So then how does, yeah, yeah, one thing I want to emphasize is that, you sharing all this, you make it sound pretty straightforward. And so, you know, people might be listening to this and think like, “Oh, it was just like smooth sailing for Kieran. But, I mean, we’re talking about like a 10 year process that we just covered in, like, 20 or 30 minutes or so, that this is a long thing that you diligently have invested in for a long time.

Kieran Calavan: Right, yeah. Thank you for, thank you for bringing that up. Yeah, it’s true. It’s, I can only present it in this way. Because it’s, you know, I have perspective on it. And it’s the process that I went through. But yeah, it wasn’t like this happened over a period of weeks or months. This was literally like 10 years. So it’s not, yeah, not something that happens overnight. And it’s also there’s certainly times where it doesn’t feel clear. But that’s where I think High Noon is incredible too. There’s a lot of clarity in the work that you do. And there’s a lot of tools that, sure you could learn on your own, but it’s going to take you a lot longer. And then you’re presented with it, you get to practice it, you get to live it and do it in your daily life. And that’s only going to mean that you spend less time suffering.

Sammy Uyama: Where are you at how, how long, you’ve been porn free, how long you’ve been masturbation…

Kieran Calavan: I’ve been porn and masturbation free for over four and a half years. I’m at a point in my life now, we are in 28. So, in my career, I’m really getting settled, getting experience. Personally, in my own life, I feel like a lot of my relationships are, it’s like the most important thing to me, both with brothers and sisters, with men and women. Yeah, I’m in a matching process with a lovely young lady. And things are going very well and at this point, we’re committed and waiting to have a commitment ceremony. But current global circumstances make travel a little difficult at the moment. So from hold, we’re waiting. But yeah, it’s just been an incredible, I’d say journey but it’s also not over, right? Like, this is something still that’s like top of mind for me, you wake up each day, like, how am I going to live and who do I want to be? Right? And that again is where High Noon came in. Like, you literally get to decide who you want to be and how you want to live and, and make that real, you know, and have support around that too and have, yeah, just I think how we need, how we would live in the ideal is that loving support and compassionate support. You’re not bashed over the head and told you’re terrible person. It’s like okay, there’s empathy and understanding. And then there’s, okay, let’s get to work, you know, and do the work and the work is not going to be easy, but it’s totally going to be worth it.

Sammy Uyama: I’m so glad we caught you at this point in your life to do this interview, it’s, it’s such a perfect transition that you’re beginning, this new stage of your life, you’re going in this relationship. It’s so exciting and awesome to hear that. And it’s what you’ve been working for this whole time period of, up your whole life as a single person. And this is one area of many that you’ve been investing into, and one in particularly important one. And it’s just, it’s perfect to catch you here in this moment. And just look at how much you’ve prepared and how how ready you are to go into that next phase. It’s like, I did a podcast episode about this about showing up for the test. Right when, when on test day, when you’re sitting at your desk, and the different feeling you have when you put in the work and you study and you look at the, you look down at your paper and you know what’s going on, versus you’re just BS-ing you’re, you know that you’re just gonna have to BS your way through it and hope for the best and those two very different feelings and so, you’re definitely having a feeling if you put in the work and the test days come and you’re ready for it.

Kieran Calavan: Yeah, yeah. Yeah, exactly. I wouldn’t, I wouldn’t be able to say that five years ago, you know, that wouldn’t be the case. So, it’s great to see that growth for myself. And it’s also great to see that for other people, too. And, yeah, just again, the work that you guys are doing is huge. It’s important. I think this area is one, you know, sexual integrity, I think is one area where, when you invest into it, there’s also other areas of your life that you see benefit from it as well. It’s not just one dislike one realm. It affects other parts and places in your life too.

Sammy Uyama: So how would you say that, particularly in regards to beginning, you’re in a matching process, beginning this relationship with someone, how the work you put into sexual integrity has in, in hindsight that work you did, how that’s prepared you for what you’re facing ahead?

Kieran Calavan: That’s a good question. It’s been on my mind. It’s something I want to share too. But this just, it’s something I would lead with, actually. I’ve been in five matching processes now. The first two, I wasn’t aware of this, the last three, I was and it was something that I would lead with. Okay, here’s who I am. Here’s what I value. Actually, this, this process I’m in now is, the first contact we had was I sent an email with 25 questions and my answers to those questions, you know, some fun questions and also some important questions. And then I also shared, “Hey, I struggled with pornography and masturbation. I want you to know that,” you know, right off the bat, this was what she’s getting. And if that’s a deal-breaker, I totally understand it. I absolutely respect it. And I’ve saved both of us some time. So I would, I would encourage men or women if this is something that they’ve struggled with, to lead with that, you know, I think it’s actually something that you can be proud of that you’re working on. I know for myself, it meant that I became more emotionally intelligent and more aware of myself and how I was feeling and being able to share that. To be vulnerable. To open up a bit more. I tend to be a pretty private person. But yeah, it just, it just, I can be more free to, yeah, really express who I am, what I’ve done, where I’m at, and what I want. And to make that more clear.

Sammy Uyama: Alright, I got it. So, this your ability to share honestly about yourself, and you didn’t say it. So, I’m not going to put the words in your mouth. But I, I think it’s good point to emphasize just even practically, I’m sure the way you view women has changed drastically after going from what you mentioned, how you were in high school and the effect that would have on, when you’re trying to have a partnership with a person. And you look, you know, you’re treating him as a human being not just like, I’m sure it has made an impact in that regard, as well.

Kieran Calavan: Oh, yeah, absolutely. Yeah, in high school, I couldn’t, I had a hard time looking someone in, you know, a woman in the eye, you know? And I just felt so ashamed. And now it’s like, I want to get to know women and I want to especially get to know this, this young lady who will be my wife, you know, and be able to be the person who can really love her and support her, and, you know, invest in her to cherish her.

Sammy Uyama: And that is, is the best. I think that’s all I really wanted to check in with you about and happy for you to share. And it’s great to have the whole picture of the capturing this phase of your life of singlehood. From beginnings of when you were introduced to porn, to your four and a half years, porn masturbation free and going into this amazing new relationship. The future’s bright for you. And for me it’s, feels momentous to have this interview. Capturing this, just months before your, it’s a, it’s all official right?

Kieran Calavan: Yeah.

Sammy Uyama: Yeah. Thank you for sharing, Kieran.

Kieran Calavan: Absolutely, yeah. Thanks, Sammy.

Sammy Uyama: Ladies and gentlemen, Kieran Calavan, porn-free gentlemen, porn-free human. Four and a half years. 28 years old. Let the record show it’s, it’s possible. It is humanly possible for a male in his prime, his mid-20s, to abstain from porn and masturbation and to focus on developing himself and holding himself for this moment that Kieran is now preparing for, to give himself wholly and fully to a single person, his, his wife, his future wife. Acts as a role model and a great example. Thank you, Kieran.

Kieran Calavan: Thanks, Sammy.

 

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