How to Stop Watching Porn – Action Steps You Can Use TODAY

Every second, more than $3000 is spent on pornography. Watching porn can become an addiction that affects your mental and physical health, job performance, self-esteem and relationships with loved ones.

I’ve personally been addicted to porn for 10 years – and these are the steps I’ve developed myself that actually helped me break free:

1) What makes me addicted?

First, congratulations on even acknowledging you have a problem or addiction. Fully admitting actually gives you more power on the road to quitting porn.

Ask yourself the questions: “what makes me addicted? What are the triggers to my addiction? When do I tend to watch porn and what behaviors surround my addiction?”

Sometimes people don’t see that they watch porn at specific times or after certain events. For example, you may tend to watch porn only late at night, or if there’s nothing to do and you’re really bored – or on the flipside, if there’s work to be done and you’re procrastinating. It’s also common to masturbate to porn as a “reward” or “relief” after handling a tough situation or going through some stress.

Identify these types of situations and start writing a porn journal. Start with an entry on how you got addicted and what the triggers of addiction are. After you’ve watched porn, keep writing entries on the observations you’ve made about yourself. Example: “breathing got heavier, almost couldn’t concentrate on anything else, heart beat faster.”

Trust me, developing self-awareness for this behavior is very crucial.

2) Re-condition your mind

Pornography is just like drugs – studies have shown that porn users tend to watch increasingly hardcore porn. Studies on the brain liken this phenomenon drug addicts using harder drugs such as cocaine or heroine.

Thus, it is critical to condition yourself to “wean” yourself off hardcore porn and use more softcore porn. Start by watching content that is more softcore, and try your best to migrate to looking at pictures. The goal is to decrease both the intensity and time you spend with hardcore media. Finally, strive for a level in which you can read erotic stories and still be stimulated.

3) Self Stimulation is Important

This may be a controversial tip, but it’s done wonders for me. Following your success with the previous step, aim to reach climax on your own, without any visual aid.

Pornography has waged war on individuals’ ability to fantasize and use their own imagination for self-stimulation. Indeed, we have become a generation where we need to turn on the computer in order to turn ourselves on. Don’t let this be you.

Start turning yourself on first – take as long as you need and don’t take it too hard on yourself if you stumble at first. Then document each success in your journal.

4) Create action-oriented goals

Of course other resources are going to tell you to stay busy and active, which is extremely important. But let’s go one step forward: what’s something that you’ve been wanting to do or achieve for a long time? Learn how to play the guitar? Get those six-pack abs? Run a marathon? Make more friends or date more people?

Choose one singular goal to start out with. The more social the goal, the better – surrounding yourself with people while staying involved and active in your community helps a lot.Measure the success of this goal against how well you’re doing quitting porn. And yet again, I’m going to tell you to journalize this.

And there you have it – the 4 fundamental steps I’ve personally used to conquer my decades-long porn addiction. Remember day in which you think to yourself, “naw, I don’t feel like watching porn.” It’s an amazing feeling to get that control back in your life.

Congratulations on reading this, because that means you’re doing something about your addiction.

Change Your Environment If You Are Addicted to Porn

If you are someone who has become concerned about your ever increasing interest and focus on pornography use, you may be able to stop porn addiction by changing your environmentally externally and internally. It will require a great deal of thought and consideration about the external environments, the internal emotional issues that are leading to a negative compulsive behavior, and the setting of some long-term transformative goals.

Externally, one of the first and simplest ways to begin moving away from porn addiction is to eliminate access to pornography – such as removing it from a computer, or relocating the TV to a space which makes viewing the materials uncomfortable or impossible. Further, since your home environment can be almost 24/7, it helps to completely remove any pornographic materials which can trigger certain thoughts. Instead of racy images or anything evocative that promote lust in your immediate environment, it is important to hang artwork or photographs that inspire you towards your goals. For instance, you may hang pictures of friends and family in the areas of love and relationships, physical health, spiritual health and creativity areas too. If you improve this area of a home or room it will often bring balance to individual relationships and help reduce the loneliness or emotional emptiness that leads to unhealthy lust habits.

For someone who suffers from unhealthy lust habits, he may also need to understand first that these are the results of far deeper emotional issues that need to be addressed.

Internally, a porn addiction can be simply an expression of various emotional issues or destructive habits. In other words, an outer manifestation of various symptoms that one’s need to examine the root causes for. The person who views porn on their computer or television may be lonely, stressed out, bored, or even feeling disdainful of others because they lack an intimate connection to another person and finding a quick pleasurable fix. Awareness about the urges that take you to pornographic websites or media can often lead you to an understanding of the areas of your life that need support. By keeping your mind constantly on your long-term passionate goals and core values, they can provide a healthy guidance as a reminder that you’re above your so-called addiction to overcome porn.

Most importantly, it helps to begin to examine your life’s mission and long-term goals. To truly develop inner well-being no matter what external circumstances, it helps to understand you are always in control of how you react to your external situation. While there may be provocative display of pictures out there in society, it’s how you interpret them in your mind. You can view the images from a lower-level lustful way in which you want to achieve selfish gratification or from a higher level calmly in an appreciating way. It puts the focus on looking to appreciate others in a more mentally and emotionally healthy way without being obsessed about it. You shift your attention towards a higher-level loving cause instead of a lower-level instant gratification motive – accessing porn instantly on your computer.

Internet Porn Is Accessible, Affordable, Anonymous, Addictive, and Aggressive

In case you hadn’t noticed, pornography is so popular that practically everyone with a computer has watched it.

Oh, I know you’re thinking, “Nobody in my house would watch that stuff.” But, you’re probably wrong. The average age for a person to first view Internet porn is age 11. That’s when curious youngsters become interested in their developing sexuality and seek information about sex.

And, it gets worse as young people get older. Studies indicate that 20% of male teens in college are watching porn nearly every day. It beings with the freedom they experience being away from home and the availability of broadband Internet in their dorm room. Unsupervised, they can watch porn any time they want. From curiosity to pastime to a regular habit and then to addiction, the progression is well known.

Adults are no better off. Half of the men at a recent Christian Promise Keepers conference admitted to having watched porn in the week before the conference. Surveys indicate that two-thirds of young men and nearly half of young women feel pornography is an acceptable way to express sexuality.

Addiction to porn occurs like any addiction: in the brain. Neurons become wired together and neurotransmitters start exciting the brain’s pleasure center. This produces a strong compulsion to watch porn and masturbate as the primary means of experiencing pleasure. It becomes the main way of soothing stress and disappointment. And, it can become more important than homework, family responsibilities, or a job.

Internet pornography has become a major problem in the last few years because Internet porn is:

Accessible: It’s available on any computer at any time
Affordable: Soft porn is free but the desire for more intense porn typically requires a subscription
Anonymous: You can find lots of porn without creating a log on or giving your name or email address
Additive: It changes the brain to depend on porn for pleasure
Aggressive: Popup ads follow you around the Net enticing you to return to watch more porn

The primary way of keeping porn out of your home is to use filtering software programs. There are a number of programs that can block porn sites as well as sites that involve violence and hatred. Even if a search engine returns links to these sites, they will not be displayed when the links are clicked.

Filtering software is helpful for young people who, out of curiosity, might go to a sexually oriented site. But, older children can easily access Internet porn at a friend’s house or at a library. And, some filtering software programs can be “hacked” to permit access to porn sites even while the software is active.

Help for people already addicted to Internet porn is readily available. There are a number of organizations similar to Alcohol Anonymous with 12-step programs designed for those addicted to porn. Some mental health professions now specialize in helping people addicted to porn with individual sessions or group sessions.

Why Kids Become Porn Addicts

The beginnings of porn addiction start at an early age. Children who are exposed to pornography at an early age are at risk of becoming addicts later in life. Early exposure is the first stage of addiction. Therefore, parents need to do their best to educate their children about the damaging effects of pornography and provide them with a healthy attitude toward sex and a solid foundation of sexual values.

Certainly, there is no way to completely prevent early exposure to pornography, but you can instill basic values with your children that will go a long way towards addiction prevention. Not all children who are exposed to porn at an early age will become addicted. However, children who have emotional vulnerabilities will be at high risk. No matter whether children become addicted or not, viewing pornography leads to negative ideas about women, sex, marriage and children.

So what can you do as parents to help prevent your kids from becoming porn addicts? Understand the five stages of porn addiction. The knowledge and understanding of these stages will provide you with an awareness of why kids become addicted in the first place and how the addiction develops. Once you know the stages, you will be more likely to recognize them in your own children.

According to Gene McConnell and Keith Campbell in their article “The Stages of Pornography Addiction” on Focus on the Family’s website, the five stages of addiction are as follows:

1. Early exposure
2. Addiction
3. Escalation
4. Desensitization
5. Acting out sexually

Parents need to be aware of the dangers of porn and prevent early exposure when possible. Porn is incredibly easy to access on the Internet. Porn sites can even load up accidentally while searching the web. Computers should never be placed in your child’s room. Keep the computers in common areas of your home. Installing filters will help prevent exposure to pornography at home. However, when your children are at friends’ homes or at school, it can be difficult to prevent exposure. Instilling strong values in your children may be the best defense against early exposure. You must also understand that your children are going to be naturally curious about sex.

Emotional health is the main determining factor between early exposure and addiction. Not all children who are exposed to porn at an early age become addicts because they are healthy emotionally. Children who become addicted are filling an emotional void with pornography. They come back to it repeatedly until it is a part of their life. Over time the child is addicted to porn and cannot stop embracing it.

In most cases, parents should be able to identify a porn addiction in their children at the early stages. However, it is a good idea to understand the more advanced stages of addiction as well. Escalation occurs once the addiction has progressed to the point that the addict needs to intensify the experience. The porn addict looks for more graphic porn as the addiction escalates. Porn which the addict may have found offensive or disgusting at the start, can gradually become exciting After a certain point, porn addicts become numb to everything they see. This is desensitization. Desensitization causes addicts to desperately seek out the thrill they once felt from viewing porn. Once addicts reach the desensitization stage, acting out sexually follows, because the only way that they can achieve the desired outcome is to pursue gratification in the real world. This can lead to serious actions such as sexually obscene behavior, assault or even rape.

Can Penis Sensitivity Be Reduced by Too Much Porn?

The vast majority of men on this planet have seen porn in one form or another. Adult films, with their interesting action and the bonus of audio, are often seen as the gold standard for those who like to enjoy a little visual stimulation with their private time. Men that pay attention to excellent penis care might notice that after a marathon or two of porn watching, their penis sensitivity seems to diminish. Is this a real problem, or nothing to worry about?

The answer: It depends.

For most men, there is nothing at all wrong with a little adult film watching from time to time. But occasionally, a man will notice that it becomes much more difficult for him to ‘get things going’ as quickly as usual. He will require longer movies, with more intense scenes, in order to get off. When he is with a partner, he might find that the usual moves that always worked in the past no longer do it for him.

At that point, a man can make the case that yes, he has had far too much of a usually good thing!

Signs of a porn addiction

Many men might jokingly agree that yes, they are addicted to porn and proud of it! But a man who is truly addicted to porn will show a few very clear signs. Over time, those signs will become even more obvious. Here’s what might set off a red flag:

1) Porn is a constant companion. If a man has adult films on his laptop, phone, tablet, and any other device so that he can access it anytime, anywhere, there might be a problem brewing. When he begins to watch porn more often than he does other things – such as begging off that night of poker with the boys to stay at home with his virtual images – it’s a sure bet he has a problem.

2) The virtual world gets in the way. A man who has called in sick to work to stay home with his computer, a guy who has told his wife he wasn’t in the mood but then turned to porn an hour later, or a man who has snuck into the bathroom to get his fix is someone who might have a problem. In other words, a man who is devoting all his time to porn instead of to the things that he used to enjoy has fallen into the hands of addiction.

3) He has started to lie about it. Most adults don’t see the need to lie about things that are healthy and expected. So when a man begins lying about his porn use, that could be a red flag. A man who hides adult films from his significant other might say he is doing so not to hurt her feelings; but what about a man who downplays the issue to his best friend, or who covers up his use when questioned by one of the guys? That’s a problem.

4) Penis sensitivity has lessened. A man who has been masturbating to porn quite often might find that all that handling has sent his penis sensitivity to record-low levels. It might become especially clear when he is with a partner and has trouble performing, simply due to the need to have more visual stimulation – the kind that he can get on a loop in adult films or clips. That loss of sensitivity is serious cause for alarm.

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A Typical Porn Addict’s Day

Masturbation and pornography addiction are intimately related and most addicts of both do not know where masturbation addiction ends and pornography addiction begins. Many addicts get no pleasure from pornography alone. The porn images stimulate masturbation and then masturbation provides the very real high that causes the addiction and so it goes round and around… Science bears this out and is discussed in my article on “The Basic Science of Pornography Addiction”.

The types of pornography that addicts use as their drug to masturbate to are diverse and range from standard photographs and scenes to hentai drawings, anime cartoon porn to webcams and filming themselves doing sexual acts and then masturbating to it – and everything in between.

Addicts can have porn sessions (or are “porning” as many addicts call it) that last up to and beyond 12-24 hours or even days. There is no typical length of a porning session/ porn bender and the length of them very much depends upon where the addict is in relation to how far progressed their addiction is. Some, in the early days of their addiction, can have numerous sessions per week that can last anywhere from between 2 to 8 hours whilst others are porning every day and every chance they can – even at work with “safe for work” (SFW) porn for quick fixes (which are photographic or cartoon porn scenes disguised in things like food stuffs. Websites exist that cater for just this niche.).

Many cannot make it more than 2 days without relapsing again. Some fight the addiction and can go months without a relapse but when overtaken by the compulsion to porn again – following being triggered – do so against their will – or more specifically – against their soul or higher self – and find their addiction begins again where they left off and becomes progressively worse with each relapse. The number of genital orgasms of both sexes varies per session. Some addicts can orgasm up to 15 times a day or more – every day – depending on how escalated they are in their addiction.

Porn addicted youngsters in High School often have to go to the bathroom to masturbate during classes when overtaken by compulsive and obsessive porn thoughts which dominate their minds. Like porn addicts of all ages, remembered pictures and videos run through their minds – often constantly – distracting them from everything else. Equally though, addicts of all ages get overtaken often with the urge to use porn and masturbate even if they are not thinking about porn and cannot settle or function until they do.

The same happens when porn addicts of all ages try and sleep. Porn keeps running through their minds and makes them unable to sleep for often hours at a time. They then have to masturbate again to release the chemicals prolactin and serotonin that will help them fall asleep. Porn addict’s minds become dominated with pornographic thoughts. The scenes and images they have seen are burnt into their memories – often for life. When pornography addicts try and quit porn, porn thoughts of things they have seen roll round their minds like marbles and torment them. Recovering addicts can still remember these images many years after they last used porn as a drug.

Porn addicts often feel forced by their addiction to masturbate in public places – like changing rooms in stores – to relieve the acute angst feeling that builds up in them until they are driven to distraction by it and feel like are going to explode. If they don’t masturbate at these times, they often cannot cope with the irritability and agitation that comes with not having ejaculated regularly. Focusing becomes almost impossible at these times. Sometimes though, addicts will also masturbate in public places to satisfy the escalating ‘acting out’ aspect of their addiction too – i.e.: for the ‘thrill of it’.

When their life situation allows it, porn addicts can spend a whole day or days viewing pornography with the only interruption being to answer the phone or feed an animal etc. Many don’t eat during sessions and some complain of not having eaten properly for weeks at a time. When porning, food is not on their minds. As the addiction escalates, addicts often miss breakfast and are always having to rush to work as they are exhausted from having been up most of the night porning and again after they wake up before work. When they can, and are in the throws of a full on porn and masturbation bender, they can do a full 24 hours plus of porning with no food or water and enter what they describe as a ‘sexual trance’ where they just cannot think or rationalize at all.

During these times addicts describe feeling like ‘zombies’. They try to sleep but have to keep on masturbating all night until it is time to get up to go to work or school (often with pornography on their mobile phones in bed with them – and often, if adult, with their partners in the bed next to them). Afterwards, they are often extremely depressed, have suicidal thoughts, are utterly exhausted, socially phobic and struggle to shave or wash (male and female addicts describe the same symptoms.) They also obsess during these times about how it all got so out of hand. And then the cycle starts again and they are held hostage once more by their addiction. Their lives can go on like this for years. They feel like people can see in their eyes what they have been doing the night/ day before. This can haunt them day after day for years.

Many addicts start porning when they get home from work/ school etc and before they know it, it is 3-4 am and they have not done what they intended to do before the session started. Some spend entire days in and out of various adult chat-rooms and acting out on their webcams as well as looking at pornography and masturbating. Many porn addicts – during the course of their addiction career – can masturbate to the point where they injure themselves or develop painful sores or urethral infections where they feel like they are “urinating razor blades”. (The same is often the case for women addicts too who use unclean sexual implements as a pseudo penis during benders and also develop cystitis related symptoms.) Doctors often mis-diagnose male addicts during these times and believe the health problem is a sexually transmitted disease when it is impossible to be so due to the fact that the men had invariably not had sex with anyone for a long time – if ever.

It is very common for porn addicts to have a pattern during benders of being obsessed with finding very specific types of porn images or scenes and can spend hours or even days searching for them. It becomes utterly frustrating for them after a time trying to get all the boxes ticked which will give the person the super heightened arousal state they need to genitally orgasm and can drive the addict to feeling like they will explode with the frustration at not finding exactly what they have in mind. What they are specifically looking for can change day by day depending upon their mood on any given day or how escalated they are in their addiction. They will jump around from scene to scene, picture to picture frantically trying to find the “perfect” image or scene and can end up hanging on for hours in their search and not genitally orgasm. The experience of being that obsessed can be very frightening to some addicts and they are often left traumatized afterwards. When they do eventually find the “perfect” picture or scene and orgasm, they then collapse in an exhausted heap and often instantly fall asleep then wake up afterwards emotional wrecks.

Another common theme is getting bored with not finding the exact porn they have in mind and go to walk away from the computer – only to come back to it again in seconds and begin the process all over again.

The addiction is a like a parasite which drains them of life. They feel like they are in chains which they cannot break free from. They are under the direction of a brutal compulsion to do porn over which they feel they have no control. Many addicts speak of feeling like they are constantly living life in a boxing ring being beaten black and blue by their addiction to pornography. Some describe it also like being in quick sand; whilst others say it is like drowning.

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