10 Methods to Help Stop Porn Addiction

10 Methods to Help Stop Porn Addiction

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Being addicted to anything is generally not ideal. After all, experiencing uncontrollable compulsion to do just about anything can be bothersome. If you have an uncontrollable urge to view porn, this article will help:

Is Porn the Problem?

porn addiction

Pornography has existed for centuries, and choosing to view it is a matter of individual preference. Choosing to view porn at your leisure occasionally is not inherently problematic. In fact, the pornography industry provides jobs for many people; however, the porn is disrupting your life, it is time to stop.

Red Flags

Here are a few red flags to be aware of when it comes to porn:

  • Increased viewing time
  • Watching porn instead of doing important daily activities such as work, hygiene, or sleep
  • Not being able to be aroused without watching porn
  • Feeling antsy between porn viewings or feeling like you need a fix
  • Thinking about porn throughout the day on multiple occasions

Addiction vs. Compulsion

While porn addiction is not a recognized medical disorder, some people report the constant need to view pornography, which is defined as more of a compulsion. So, which is it? Research is pretty sparse and not entirely conclusive. While the problem is not defined or recognized, anything that detrimentally affects your ability to function- such as constantly wanting to watch porn- is considered problematic and should be addressed.

How to Stop

how to stop porn addiction

Now that we’ve talked a little bit about porn addiction, it’s time to learn how to get that under control, and if necessary, quit altogether.

1) Decide to Stop

The first step in stopping any harmful behavior is deciding to stop. Choosing to ‘maybe’ stop or ‘probably’ stop is not the same as deciding to stop. You need to be resolute and firm in your decision. If you’re considering stopping porn, you’ll want to think of all of the reasons why you need to stop.

Are you at risk of losing your job because you’re distracted by thoughts of porn? Are you unable to have a sexual relationship with your significant other because your brain is focused on porn? It can help to figure out why you should quit porn before stopping and will continue to be helpful during times when you ‘crave’ porn.

2) Demystify

Porn is not some terrifying monster or some all-powerful force that has caught you in its clutches. Thinking of your porn addiction as some grand battle to be fought can put extra stress on you and gives porn more credit than it probably deserves. After all, porn is a form of entertainment, not a cult.

Instead, consider porn a form of entertainment that you simply choose not to enjoy, like certain types of jokes. Alternatively, you can think of porn as junk food that is fun to eat but can be bad for you when consumed in large quantities, so you simply don’t eat the junk food.

3) Believe

Whether you’re quitting porn or starting a healthier routine that happens to be porn-free, believing that you’ll succeed is a big part of the equation. You should try to think of porn as an option that you no longer want and give yourself credit for believing that you can achieve your goal.

4) Reset

Some who have studied the effects of porn on the brain and the compulsion experienced by some to constantly watch porn recommend doing a reset. This means nothing remotely pornographic for several weeks to several months. This means no internet porn, no magazine porn, no sexy catalogs, no thinking of porn, and erotic novels. Simply giving your brain a break from porn can be helpful.

Some suggest doing a complete reset of your sex drive, which would include no porn of any kind, no masturbation, and no sex. Others say that masturbation and sex are ok, as long as you’re fantasizing about real-life scenarios and not about porn during masturbation or sex.

During any reset, it is always helpful to clear all porn materials from your surroundings. This includes deleting any saved tabs on your browser, clearing your history, throwing out any ‘suggestive’ magazines in your possession, and even locking away tempting books.

5) Identify Your Triggers and Avoid Them

Figure out when you’re most tempted to seek out porn. Is it when you’re alone at your computer, after a stressful day, or after dinner? Identifying the things that you associate with ‘porn time’ and restructuring these activities can be immensely helpful. For instance, if you want to look at porn every time you’re alone on your laptop, consider moving to a crowded room or sitting by a window. If you seek out porn when you’re stressed, consider planning another activity instead.

6) Look for Associations

Your porn addiction may actually be part of a bigger problem. If you’ve found that you’re experiencing increased levels of sadness, anxiety, or stress, the problem may have an underlying cause that needs to be addressed and may require professional help.

On the other hand, maybe you’re turning to porn because you’re not satisfied with your sexual relationship. If this is the case and you’re single, consider finding a partner. If you’re in a relationship, speak honestly to your partner to address the problem. Remember, your partner may or may not be comfortable with your desires in bed, but it’s better to know sooner rather than later.

7) Write it Down

Once you’ve decided to quit, write down the reasons why you are quitting, and keep a record of your triggers, slip-ups, and successes. Having it written down not only makes it feel like a bigger commitment, but it also helps you look back to see how far you’ve come in case you think of ‘slipping.

8) Do Something Else

Many experts recommend replacing compulsive behaviors with different, more beneficial behaviors. So, when you feel the urge to watch porn, consider doing another activity such as exercise. For instance, you can do a set number of push-ups and sit-ups every time you feel the desire to search for porn on your computer or pull out a suggestive magazine.

The new behavior will not only provide a distraction but will often ultimately be beneficial. For instance, if you choose to exercise, you’ll be improving your health. You can also choose activities such as cleaning or playing video games, and you definitely don’t have to stick with a single ‘replacement’ activity if you find yourself getting bored.

9) Recruit an Accountability Buddy

If you feel comfortable sharing your problem with someone, consider recruiting them as your accountability buddy. Let them know that you’re trying to quit porn, and ask them to hold you accountable. If you’re uncomfortable admitting that you have a porn problem, consider doing it as a challenge to quit porn for an extended amount of time or consider reaching out through DailyStrength.org, which is a group for porn and sex addicts.

10) Seek Professional Help if Needed

While porn addiction is not recognized as a disorder, speaking to a licensed therapist might help you identify the root of the problem. For instance, if your porn addiction stems from depression or anxiety, your therapist can give you better coping tools.

Takeaways:

  • If porn is taking the time and mental space from important activities, it’s a problem.
  • Resolving to quit is the first step
  • Write down your reasons and progress.
  • Remove temptation and avoid triggers.
  • Figure out underlying issues.
  • Seek help if needed.

 

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