How to Stop Porn Addiction – One Powerful Technique to Help You Stop Watching Porn

Do you want to know how to stop porn addiction? The answer is simple but not easy.

Before we get started, I want to make sure that you are aware that we provide a Free Recovery Course and a Free Forum. Both are Free as in air that you breath, and are placed there for one reason only – to help you.

Click Here to Start Recovery!

Even if you don’t want to join our forum, make sure to visit it and read through some of our member’s stories. Recovery Journals and Support for Partners could be especially helpful in providing insight into pornography addiction and effects it has on people’s lives.

That being said, lets get back to the article below. It is organized in 8 major parts. In parts 1-3 I share my understanding of the porn craving. In part 4 I share a powerful technique that allowed me to stop porn addiction, at least for the first 30 days. And in parts 5-8 I list some other tips for long term recovery.

A few words about me – founder of this site. My name is Alex and I am a recovering porn addict. I have been in recovery since early 2008, and while my recovery is not perfect, I was able to abstain from watching pornography for over 99% of my time. Additionally, although I do not recommend this for single people, I have not masturbated since January 2009, CHOOSING my wife as the only source for my sexual  experience.

What I am about to share with you does work.  Below is a quote, from one of our readers. You can read more reviews here, if you want.

I never though that porn addiction is real, but after reading the info on this site I now truly understand it. This site is beyond awesome and amazing… it really explains what and why I am going through right now.
Anonymous

I am not here to tell you what you should  or shouldn’t do with your life. But I think that techniques that I used to stop porn addiction, could be used to make lasting change in all areas of our lives.

1. Pornography Is Not Just a Bad Habit!

A first major component in my own recovery was an understanding that pornography viewing was not just a bad habit. It was an obsessive compulsive cycle (see Figure 1 below) from which I was not able to break free. It usually started with an unwanted sexual thought that I would try to avoid for as long as I could.

Figure 1. Obsessive Compulsive Cycle of Pornography Addiction

Unfortunately, trying NOT to think about something never really worked for me, and eventually I would get to a point where thoughts would get so intense that I couldn’t handle the pressure any longer. Then I would go back to the only way that I knew to make sexual thoughts temporarily go away – watching pornography and masturbating.

After sexual acting out I would slowly come back to my senses and realize what have happened. I would feel guilt for being so weak and giving in and I would swear to never do it again!

Unfortunately over time I would find sexual thoughts coming back, and since I didn’t know how to handle them in a healthy way, the whole cycle would repeat itself.

Clearly fighting my sexual desires only made them come back stronger and faster, and I began to rely more on pornography and masturbation to help me get a temporary relieve.

Eventually this cycle got completely out of control to the point where I would have to spending most of my day watching porn. My brain got so used to regular imagery that I would have to seek out really hard core pornography in order to temporary satisfy my desires, and allow me to return to my normal state.

In other words, I found that the more I fed my porn addiction, the stronger it got.

2. No Craving Can Last Forever!

The second component that I learn was an understanding that any human feeling, including cravings, cannot last forever. In actuality any physiological impulse is shaped like a bell curve (see figure 2 below).

At first cravings starts out slow but grow exponentially until they get really intense. Somewhere along this path most of addicts would end up giving in. As the result they get used to an idea that they could never get past their cravings and that their cravings will eventually get so strong, that they will have no choice but to give in.

Figure 2. Craving Curve

In actuality human beings cannot sustain any emotion or feelings indefinitely, and eventually any feeling or craving will decrease.

So the trick to stopping porn addiction is to learn to ride out cravings; to master a skill to stay away long enough for cravings to go away. This of course sounds simple, but as many addicts know it is not as easy to do.

Below I am going to share a technique with you that have helped me do just that. But first let me show you a few simple physiological signals that can be used to measure how strong our craving really is.

3. Physiological Signs of a Strong Craving

It is important to know certain physiological changes that begin to take place in human body when they experience strong desire to watch porn and/or masturbate compressively. Such changes include:

  •     Rapid Pulse
  •     Increased blood pressure
  •     Dilated Eyeballs
  •     Shallow Breath

It is important to know these symptoms because this knowledge can provide us with information needed to help us on our way to recovery from porn addiction. Let me explain.

We can learn our pulse rate during normal state and then use this information to recognize if our pulse is getting too high. Therefore pulse can serve as an easy to measure indicator that we are about to get out of control. At the same time we can use pulse measurement to let us know that we are exiting the danger zone and that the physical craving begins to decrease.

Another very important component that is easy to observe is our breath. Breath is the only subconscious bodily function that we can consciously control. Think about it! You cannot control your blood pressure, you cannot control you pulse, but you can control your breath. You can take slow, deep, controlled breaths, and through that you can have a direct effect on your subconscious mind. This is a very powerful key to stopping porn addiction!

4. Killing the Craving

So let’s move right into action. The technique that I used to help me overcome the craving is called Exposure and Response Prevention or ERP and is generally used for Obsessive Compulsive disorder and other psychological problems. It’s been around for a very long time, tons of people use it, and it is very effective. I’ve originally learned this technique from a book called “Kill the Craving” which uses ERP to help people with alcohol and drug addictions, and I slightly modified the approach to help me overcome porn addiction.

The key idea of this technique is to systematicallyexpose yourself to situations that would usually cause you to feel a strong craving and practice responding to this craving in a healthy way.  This practice allows our subconscious mind to learn a healthy response mechanism by the time we are faced with a real craving.

Over time you will learn that cravings do not rule your life, and that there is a way for you to ride out a craving and return to your normal self without having to act out. And the high that you get from feeling proud of yourself will be much stronger than any high that you could possibly get from porn addiction.

ERP works in the following way. You first identify a trigger, and as soon as you feel the physiological response from your body, you measure your pulse rate, which you would likely find to be a bit higher than your normal pulse. After that you immediately shift into a controlled breathing exercise to calm your subconscious mind. Next you review your personal motivation statements, to remind yourself of all the positive things that you can bring into your life if you were not to act out. Then you measure your pulse again, and note the difference. Last but not least, you follow up with an act of self care. Let’s look at those steps a little more closely.

Step 1 – Identify or imagine the triggering situation.

While ERP is very effective with helping you overcome a real trigger, it will not be as helpful unless you have already practiced it continuously before facing the real danger. Therefore I recommend a commitment of at least 30 days with complete ERP practice being done the first thing in the morning and last thing at night.

A quick note on sources of trigger is due here. The book that I’ve mentioned earlier “Kill the Craving” recommended alcohol and drug addicts to look at photographs of their addictive substances in order to generate an addictive response. This approach, however, did not seem practical for porn addiction, because looking at addictive images was precisely what I was trying to avoid.

I solved this conflict by creating a strong mental image of myself in a triggering situation instead of looking at actual photography. For example I would imagine myself being alone with computer, or passing by a magazine stand at the store.

Our brain is not able to tell the difference between a vivid mental image and a real life situation, and will produce a similar physiological response. That way Exposure and Response Prevention techniques can be practiced in a safe environment, without having to expose yourself to the real danger.

If at any time during the day you begging to feel a strong craving and a desire to act out, follow up with an extra ERP exercise. Personally, at first I found myself doing 3-5 ERP exercises per day, but soon was able to get through most of my days with only 1 or 2 exercises.

Step 2 – Measure your pulse rate as soon as you observe your body begin to change.

It is easier to measure your pulse for 15 seconds and multiply it times four. Follow this link to download a quick reference chart that will help you to quickly convert your pulse rate and keep the record of your progress.

It is likely that measuring your pulse rate may feel like a burden at first, but after a few days of ERP practice you will get used to it and it will become very easy.

Also, after 5 to 10 days of regular ERP practice you may notice that your pulse rate will not change as much as it did at first from you merely imagining a triggering situation. Please do not use this as an excuse to go look for more triggering stuff. After all it is the sole purpose of ERP practice to train your body not to react addictively to triggers. Therefore, take the decrease pulse rate as a sign of progress, and continue your practice for at least 30 days to allow new habit to form. (It takes about 30 days of repeating a certain task for human beings to form a habit)

Step 3 – Perform Controlled Breathing Exercise.

After you record your pulse rate, follow up with a controlled breathing exercise. Simply, breathe in for 10 seconds, hold your breath for 10 seconds, and breathe out for 10 second. Repeat it 10 times.

I use my fingers that I keep resting on my knees to keep the count of my breaths, tapping each finger for one of ten counts. That way I can free up my mind from counting and concentrate on breathing.

Remember that our breathing is the only subconscious function that we can control through our conscious effort. Do not overlook this step.

Step 4 – Review Personal Motivational Statements.

Next you review your personal statements. You will have to do a little homework on this. Just sit down and write down all of the reasons why you want to get sober. Why do you want to stop watching porn? What positive changes would it bring into your life? What negative consequences will you be able to avoid?

Answers to these questions must be able to touch the bottom of your soul. When I read mine I can literally feel the Goosebumps! That is how badly you need to want to stop this addiction and get the good things in your life. If you are not going to feel the Goosebumps and if it is not going to touch your soul, it is just not going to be strong enough to make you choose life instead of porn when you will be faced with real temptation.

Some of the statements that I used were: My dreams of having a wife and a child will come true if I walk away. I will be stronger and more in control if I walk away. I will regain my self-respect and dignity if I walk away. My family will be proud of me if I walk away. I will be able to look into people’s eyes, and feel proud of myself if I walk away. You can download 30 sample stamens here.

I had each of my reasons written on 3 by 5 cards, which I would read out loud to myself during each ERP practice. Cards allowed me to be doing (i.e. moving the cards), reading and hearing the message at the same time. Human beings learn the best by combination of action, seeing and hearing. (We learn even better by teaching something that we already know to somebody else. So when you get a handle on ERP practice yourself, try to teach it to another addict).

Step 5 – Re-measure your pulse rate.

When you first begin your ERP practice, you might notice that your pulse rates remain the same between steps 2 and 5. Sometimes you may even find it going up a little. It is normal. Over time you will learn to decrease your pulse rate, and you will be able to bring yourself back to your normal state. Ideally you should be able to decrease your pulse rate from its highest point by about 4 to 8 bits per minute.

Additionally, as I mentioned earlier, overtime you will notice that your pulse rate in step 2 will not be getting as high as it did at first in reaction to the triggers. This will be a sign of your progress.

Step 6 – Follow up with an act of self care.

This is also a very important step. You have to do something good for yourself. Preferable you need to get out of the house.

For my first 30 days I would go out and jog after my morning practice. And if I felt the craving again during the day, I would do another ERP exercise and follow up with a different act of self care, like cooking a healthy meal, journaling, or taking a nap. After my evening practice my act of self care was simply to go to bed early. You can view a list of 67 healthy things to do for fun.

5. One Technique is Not Enough!

I want to share one short story with you that helped me to put everything together and stop watching porn for good. Exposure and Response Prevention technique is great, but I think it would not have gotten the job done if it was used alone. Anyway, here is the story:

One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside all people. He said, “My son, the battle is between two ‘wolves’ inside us all.

“One is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.”

“The other is Good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf wins?”

The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”

So I thought what can I do to feed the right wolf? The answer was not as obvious as it might seem.

Over time I came to a conclusion that if I took a good care of myself, my good wolf will be stronger, and my bad wolf will be weaker. Therefore in addition to the daily practice of Exposure and Response Prevention, I committed to the following rules:

  • 8 hours of sleep a day
  • Eating Healthy (3 meals, and 2 snacks a day)
  • Drink plenty of water (at least 8 glasses a day)
  • Journaling about my triggers
  • Meditating
  • Morning and Evening Prayer
  • Avoiding Dangerous Situations (think acronym HALT)
    • Hungry
    • Angry
    • Lonely
    • Tired

6. Warning!

Soon after you’ll stop porn addiction, you will become able to get in touch with your true feelings. While this might sound like a good thing, you could find those true feelings to be unpleasant.

Chances are you’ve used your addiction for a very long time to escape discomforts of life, and when you take away this crutch, you might feel the full weight of your past mistakes.

Just realize that this pain is a temporary. Use this pain as a guide to identify what areas of your life need improvements, so you can face them and get the life that you truly deserve.

7. Other Resources to Consider

I used everything that I’ve outlined so far to help me get my first ever 90 days of sobriety from porn and masturbation. In the matter of fact I have not masturbated yet since I did my first 30 days of ERP practice. I did however look at soft core pornography on a few occasions so this method is not perfect. Actually, I have yet to find a perfect method, and when I will I’ll make sure to let you know. But for now I wanted to share a few other resources that I found helpful.

12 step groups

There is a lot of criticism out there in regards to 12 step groups, but I’ll recommend you doing what my sponsor told me to do, “Take what works for you, and leave the rest behind”. The best thing about the 12 step groups is that the infrastructure is already in place.

If you live near a major city, chances are you will have multiple meetings in your area. If you live in a remote location, you can always attend a phone meeting. It is there, it is available, and you can meet people who have similar problems and are looking for similar solutions. And best of all, it will only cost you a 2 dollar donation per meeting. You can view a full list of 12 step meetings here.

I’ve been attending Sex Addicts Anonymous for almost 2 years now (I started right after I lost my first 90 days of sobriety), and it has been a tremendous tool in my own recovery.

Professional Coaching

Professional counseling and coaching is a great tool, but you need to be careful, and pick a person experienced with porn addiction. That is why we are so happy to announce that we have our own coaching team specializing in helping people in recovery, their spouses, and couple’s together to survive and thrive from this addiction.

Craig Michelle_Perra

Additionally we have a Free Recovery Course posted on this site, which provides a lot more of other helpful information.

I am sure there are other good programs available, so make sure to find what works for you.

Accountability Software

Knowing that there is no way to hide my internet history made it much easier for me to make good decision when browsing the internet.

I recommend Covenant Eyes that costs $10 a month. This software does not filter any of the internet content, but it keeps a detailed report of all your internet activity and emails it to your accountability partner.

A free option that I also use is K9 web filter. This filter can block access to certain sites and keep track of all of the internet history. Just make sure that somebody else is in charge of the password.

No software is perfect and there is always a way around it, nevertheless I found those tools to be extremely helpful.

Educate Yourself

Read as much as you can on how to stop porn addiction. This is what I did and continue to do. It will not only help you to stop watching porn, but it will help you with the rest of your life.

Start Your Own Recovery Blog

Seriously! Starting this site was one of the best things that I did for my recovery. It forced me to really internalize everything that I’ve read, put it through my own conscience, and explain it to others. Best way to learn something, is to teach it to somebody else.  On top of that not only do you get to help yourself, but you get to help others too and make the world a better place.

You could try to do it through one of the free sites like blogger or tumbler, but I would highly advise against it. I started this blog on blogger, and a year into it, when it began to get more popular, I had to migrate to my own hosting and it was a nightmare! If I could go back, I would most definitely get my own domain and hosting from start.

I recommend Blue Host as a way to get started, because it is very well respected, very affordable, super easy to use, and it has excellent customer support.

Unlike back in 2008, starting a blog is super easy now and can be done in less that 5 minutes. See how easy it is to get started in the video below.

 

Click Here To Start Your Own Blog Now 

Spiritual Life

Get involved with your spiritual life, and make sure you make room for it.

Journaling

Journaling was one of the most beneficial tools for me. There is something magical about getting your thoughts on paper.

Remember, progress and not perfection!

Don’t try to do it perfectly and don’t try to be perfect. You will make mistakes, we all do. As long as you keep working at it, you will get better. It took you many years to get this far into your addiction, don’t expect to fix it all in 30 days. It will take you some time. Be patient with yourself, keep going, and your life will continue to improve.

If you stumble don’t beat yourself up.

Just learn from your mistakes, and over time you will become a new person. If you keep working at it, there is no other way; you will become a new person!

8. Thank You!

Thank you for carrying, thank you for trying to change yourself, and thank you for continuing to look for solutions. By making changes in yourself you are making this world a much better place!

If you know someone who is looking for ways to stop porn addiction, please share this message with them!

And remember to feed the right wolf :)

9. Join Our Free Recovery Course To Discover…

  1. A chemical process that takes place in your brain causing you to get addicted
  2. The addictive cycle that your body goes through and how to break out of it
  3. How the human brain works and why sometimes you lose control of your actions
  4. Four simple exercises to strengthen your brain
  5. How to create your sexual recovery plan
  6. How to control your cravings
  7. An important strategy to help you beat your addiction once and for all
  8. How your beliefs are causing you to suffer
  9. Seven beliefs that were keeping me trapped
  10. One big lesson that I learned from my relapse and what you can do to avoid my mistakes
  11. Two very important tools that can magnify your recovery
  12. Four things that you CAN do to help you stay sober for the rest of your life

Click Here to Start Recovery!

 

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Links:


Call (916)259-3827 For Professional Help

P.S. Recommended Resources:

  • Sex Addicts Anonymous
    I cannot imagine my recovery without this program.
  • Free Podcast and Mini Course from Candeo Can
    I owe my first 90 days of continuous sobriety to this program and highly recommend it.
  • Internet Accountability Software
    Using this software allowed me to get truly honest with my internet usage for the first time in my life. For some reason knowing that my every step was being observed and reported on, made it really easy to use internet only in a healthy way.
  • Treating Pornography Addiction by Kevin B. Skinner Ph.D.
    I have read over 15 books on Pornography and Sexual addiction and this truly is one of the best books on the subject. The reason is I recommend this particular book is because it is full of excellent actionable steps. Other books do a good job describing the problem, but don’t really offer a realistic solution.
  • Your Sexually Addicted Spouse – How Partners Can Cope and Heal by Barbara Steffens Ph.D.
    I know that about half of visitors to our site are spouses of people who might be suffering with pornography and sex addiction. To the best of my knowledge this book is one of the most helpful books for the partners.
  • Free Consultation from Coach Craig
    Coach Craig has been a good friend and supporter of this site since January 2013. He has worked with people from all over the world, including famous musicians and other high profile individuals. Yet, he is only a phone call away and would be glad to give you a free consultation. Call him anytime, with any question you might have, and I am know he will be extremely happy to help in any way he can.

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Comments

  1. tudor says

    Im a 27 year old porn addict.
    For the past 13 years , pornography has ruined my life.
    It made anxious, depressed , a high level of shame , lack of courage, concentration and other nasty symptoms.
    As i was saying, my career life, educational life, emotional life was destroyed by my addiction.
    Now i feel lonely, helpless, depressed , regretting all the things that i could have done.
    Please help how to escape from this addiction and bring back peace in my life.
    Thank you very much!

    PS:SRY for my english!

    • Anonymous says

      I am not gonna say much! but you can rewind all of that if you start now. I am guessing you were searching for ways to overcome your addiction online! that’s a great sign that you want to change and trust me that is all it takes to change… you r on the right track! have allot of faith and some will power for starters. Peaaaaaace :)

      • tudor says

        Thanks for your encouragement.It really helps , just by the fact that is said by another person .
        You see i didnt tell anyone..about by problem in all this years, so thats why communicating on internet it helps me to realese some preasure on my chest.
        I hope i could stay focus for very long period and solve my problem that “ruined” my dreams and hopes.

        TYVM!

        • Mark says

          Tudor,
          You are not alone, as this site points out. I struggled with a porn addiction for 35 years; it destroyed a marriage, several very good jobs, numerous friendships. I never saw it coming. I was raised by a single mother, schooled in a small private school with very harsh, women teachers, including the principal. I was sexually assaulted by a homosexual teacher at bible school when I was only ten; my grandfather routinely beat me up as a young teenager. I never went looking for porn; it found me. I discovered it as a young boy in magazines I found in the weeds down by the lake, as I was fishing. I still remember the very first images, even the names, of the women pictured there. I was fascinated, not just by the lust being generated but more so, even though I didn’t realize it at the time, by the power I felt over these women. Without the proper tools to defend myself I slipped into the powerful grasp of porn; and then at the age of 14 I discovered how to masturbate. Then began a long, painful road of hiding the acquisition and use of magazines for this addiction. Then along came VCR’s, and yet another avenue opened itself up: live porn. The battle that raged within me was vicious and cruel. There were many times of victory when I would dump all the stuff and cry to God for forgiveness, only to find myself tempted again and seeking a store to purchase another magazine. The seasons of victory were joyful, peaceful and pure; but each time I regressed the pain and grief increased to the point where I knew I was slowly being destroyed from the inside out. Then, along came the internet. Now, I didn’t have to work so hard to conceal the addiction; and yet again, a new avenue of bondage to this terrible affliction developed. I suffered with an internet porn addiction for 6 miserable years, only now I was much older, and a terrible realization began to sink into me which said, “You’re a lifer; you will never overcome this and you will die a stinking, porn-addicted, disgusting pervert”. I was terrified of this eventuality, yet I could not find the power to overcome. But God is a million times stronger; and as it turned out, the very tool which practically ruined my life, (internet) provided me a means to find a way out. I sat down one night and began to search for help, as you have, and I found it. I learned about the lies from Satan about porn, and I completely gave my mind and soul to God for help. I promise you, you can overcome this addiction. But you must continue to search out and find education, help, and understanding, such as this site provides. I found another resource, like this one, that helped ma a great deal. http://www.frontlinemin.org/escaping.asp One thing I have learned about this terrible addiction: the best help comes from others who have suffered through it and by God’s grace have overcome it. We need to help one another. Keep seeking help as you have, and don’t let a weak moment or failure stop you from moving on. Never yield, never submit and never give up on trying to overcome. I promise you, this sin “shall not have dominion over you”. (Romans 6:14) Keep trying; keep talking; you will heal.

          • tudor says

            I read your story and i can say it was very impressive.
            I am happy for your recovering .
            Its stories like yours that give me hopes that i could defeat this satanic habbit.
            With small stepes we shall overcame.

            Btw Today i went to church after a long time and i felt some realive and power .

            I wish you all the best of luck!

          • Mark says

            Tudor,
            Stay with us in this forum. I will (and I’m sure others here will too) partner with you to gain victory over this. Keep posting, and I will keep praying for you.
            Mark

  2. Roberto says

    21 been stuck with this for 8 years now. I want help because I’ve been trying to stop for my now wife. Kills me that I still try looking up porn ect. even now that im married! Already I told her to throw everything away. But now im looking up taboo stuff on the net while she sleeps. I don’t want this to ruin my marriage. What else can I do!

  3. struggling teen says

    I’ve started to give up on life. My dad walked out on my family three years ago. And to cope with it I turned to porn. Soon I was addicted. Now I hate myself…. I feel like I should be stronger than this. I have a girlfriend that I don’t deserve and I don’t know how to love her the way your supposed to anymore. My mind is so destroyed. I don’t feel like I can come out of this addiction anymore. I need help, but am terrified of what others might think about me. Can someone on here help….?

    • struggling teen says

      I didn’t mention I am 16. I feel like such a hrpocrite because I lead music for my church’s youth department and have several christian music colleges looking at me for scholarships. I feel like I’m not good enough to even accept any of them.

      • C says

        I know how you feel!! I am 26 years old, married, and we’re both very religious. I even have some responsibilities in my congregation. At the moment I am seeking help within my congregation to take care of my problem with porn and my wife is very supportive. So I know what you mean when you say you feel like a hypocrite, but don’t beat yourself up with those feelings. Negative emotions lead to negative actions so learn to control those. My problem started when I was 19, April ish 2005. I became very depressed with myself due to perfectionism and because my mom walked out on my dad and I around that time. In that depressed state I had decided to kill myself so I figured it wouldn’t matter if I looked at porn, well I didn’t end my life, thankfully, but I opened a door I wish I had never opened. I looked at porn for a week then stopped. I did well for 6 months or so, but then the night masturbating started (which I mentioned up a few posts) I became so discouraged at not being able to stop that that I fell back into porn again around May of 2006. Then for 2 1/2 years I felt horrible because I couldn’t get control!! I hated myself too! I could have made so much advancement, so many people looked at me as a good example, but I was throwing it away. I wanted to die and prayed often that I wouldn’t wake up in the morning. Looking back I wish I would have talked more about my feelings to someone. They would have been able to help correct my negative thinking. Which is what I do now and something you can do too! Find someone older, perhaps your pastor. It’s emberrising to do, I’m not going to lie, but you will feel better getting it off you chest. It’s possible it could affect your responsibilities in your church and it may not, but believe me it’s better to have a clean conscience than serve with a dirty one!!! (Proverbs 28:13) You’ll feel good about yourself that you had the courage to do it! I’m sure your pastor wont get mad and condemn you. If he does he’s in the wrong!!(Isaiah 32:2) I met my future wife on Dec 21st 2008. From that time till we were married on June 5th 2010 I only looked at porn twice. Which was a huge accomplishment for me! Then I was good for a year and a half or so, but the past 4 months I’ve had a few slip ups. It’s discouraging to me and to my wife, but I’m not gonna give up and neither should you!!

        You mentioned that you feel like your mind is destroyed, it’s not, damaged yes, but not destroyed. The good news is that you can repair it! I have! It is scientifically proven that over time we can rework the “wiring” in our brains if we supply it with wholesome things (Romans 12:2). It’s true you will never forget every image, but they will fade in time and you can re-learn to have a good relationship with your girl friend. Some advice on that, if you plan on getting serious with your girl friend in the future I suggest being honest with her. You don’t want to surprise her with that (if you still have the problem) when you’re married. That would be very unloving. Even if you have it under control it would be good to mention it because it could pop up later in life, that’s just the reality of the problem. I was open to my wife before we were married and she respected me for it ( for being honest) and was supportive. It’s true she may not want to deal with it, but if she does and feels you really want to get it under control you know you really have something special. It’s a choice she deserves. (Side note: remember sex does not erase the desire to look at porn) But don’t stress about that now!!! That’s something to consider in the future. Being 16 you have a lot to look forward too!! I had plans that I couldn’t do because of my problem, but I learned to be happy with my life now. There’s a lot I can do!! Also, and I say this to everyone, be happy with yourself that you realize that this is a problem and want to stop!!!! So many people feel that it is harmless, but its not! A good thing to remember is to stay away from movies that feature nude scenes or women scantily clad. That actually re-ignited the “flame” in me and caused me to fall backwards. IMDB is a good site to use to look ahead at the content of movies so you’re not caught off guard. Be careful of who you choose to hang out with!! People who think porn is ok and offer to show it to you may not be the ones you want as your close friends(Proverbs 13:20) That does not mean you want to look down on anyone, but be careful!

        Keep fighting!! There are so many people like us that have succeeded!! It sucks when parents leave :(… but remember we cant control what other people do only ourselves and don’t (not that you do) hate your father for what he did. That wont help you. Talk to someone about those feelings too. Don’t give up!! You can succeed!!!!

        • struggling teen says

          At my church our youth group averages around a 170 and our church works had to get as many teens in ministry as a teenager being the next generation of the church. so we have a ministry training program that we have I opened up in to a group of guys that i meet with to pray and stay accountable with. And I have to say you were right. It turned out i was not the only one and now we are all fighting together. I was good for about a week and a half then slipped and fell back into it and now have set up an internet blocking system which i recommend looking into. However if your married try to have your spouse make the password because i still slipped up and just typed the password in to get around it. However the block will help you think while you do it.
          Also..
          I broke up with my girlfriend though because i opened up to her and although she didn’t say anything i knew it bothered her. Plus i didn’t want her losing her high school time with a guy who can barly help himself.

          • C says

            WOW! I’m very proud of you!!! What you did took courage and it was the right thing to do!! It’s your first step to recovery.

            Don’t worry too much about your former girl friend. You never know that down the line you may have a chance to get back together again, but this time you will be free of porn!

            I too got an internet blocker and only my wife knows the password. It helps a lot!!! We have the K9 internet blocker. I like it too because it keeps track of what sites you try to look up.

            Be strong! You can succeed. This scripture in Proverbs 24:16 is encouraging. It brings out ‘that a righteous one may fall 7 times, and he will certainly get up.’ So even if we relapse, fall, we don’t want to beat ourselves over and over, but get up and try again. That’s what matters to God, not how many times we fall, but, that we keep getting up! Keep getting up my friend!!

        • Hussein says

          I’m really encouraged by your comment C. Its just good to know there’s another out there who struggles with the same thorn and yet is holding it up.

          Well done.

          I’ve posted on this page before; been sometime now though but i keep reading the comments others have made from time to time.

          i have decided to reply to this very comment because from your choice of words and the composition of your comment including the effective way you have used scriptures to Help our struggling teen…..I have so much conviction that we have much in common and that I will not be able to say here openly.

          Maybe if I refer to you as Brother; you might get the point. I am also a struggling teen with responsibility as well but there’s much about me I wish other’s knew. I need your help personally and I please need you to help.

          I am begging you to try help me cultivate this quality I’ve been dying to posses; Gal. 5:22-23 the last quality to be more precise.

          SELF CONTROL

          You could talk to sister about my request and probably pray about it as well and I’m sure you wont refrain extending some loving kindness to me.

          Alex would get my mail off yet still I’m sure you can reach him so we may get in touch.

          Please help your little one! I need it!

          NOTE:
          I have finished with the course from Feed The Right Wolf!

          zhusseinme@yahoo.co.uk

    • David says

      I’m kind of in your shoes, too. I, too, am giving up on life, though my problems are a little different than yours. And, I don’t have a girlfriend. My mind is also destroyed. That’s why I have the same addiction. I don’t want to do it. And, believe it or not, I actually hate pornography because it got me trapped in it with no way out. That combined with my stresses I have said above in other comments is not helping me escape from it. Like you, I also need help, but I don’t know who to turn to or what to do. I’m afraid I can’t help you since I can’t even help myself. But, I thought I would share what I’m going through because I believe I know how bad it is.

      • Dan says

        Struggling teen, i know where you are coming from and understand how you feel. I myself have never been close to the decision of giving up on life. But i have been very close to mulitiple people who have. I do understand. Suicide is something i never joke about. Because its simply, not fun. I would rather go ride my bike than end my life and leave the pain and suffering for somebody else to carry. I think we all would rather play a game than end our lives if we really thought about it. So, hang in there brother. All the people commenting on this here website support you and i. I forgot to mention, I am an adict to. And i an also 14. We have much in common. Stay strong and enjoy what the Lord has given you. Which is more than most ; )

  4. David says

    I don’t know if I left a comment before or not. But, in case I didn’t, let me tell you all of what’s going on with me.

    I’ve got a split personality. On one side, I’m trying to remain a nudist. That’s the “good wolf”. But, on the other side, I’m a porn addict. That’s the “bad wolf”. Now, what drives me to porn or any kind of sexual thoughts varies, but most of it seems to be stress-related. I get stress on a (nearly) daily basis if that tells you anything.

    However, I’ve recently discovered that it’s my sub-conscious mind that’s the real enemy with this problem. Now, I know stress encourages this kind of action, but occasionally, this happens on its own for no apparent reason at all. And, I always feel bad or guilty about it after I do it, no pun intended.

    I mentioned that I’m trying to remain a nudist. About 3 or 4 years ago, I decided I wanted to be a nudist. Before then, I was also a porn addict, too. I thought maybe being a nudist would kill the cravings of porn or anything sexual. Well…for a while, it seemed to work. However, once people learned of the nude lifestyle, I got criticized and stressed out more than ever. With the exception of very few supporters, I was bombarded with negative reactions from people who assumed nudism was the same as the very thing I’m addicted to.

    That additional stress put many more burdens on my already complicated life I was living. Mix well and what do you get? Back to the porn addictions once again. I should note that I’ve got major health and emotional issues that also keep me down. I don’t have a life…not the life I was living before. I sleep poorly at night and sometimes, during the day, too. So, I’m always tired and my thinking is not at its best when I’m tired.

    I get no exercise…except for masturbation (if that can even be called “exercise”) now on account of all this. And, it’s not always directly linked to pornography that gets this going. Sometimes, these urges can start when seeing a girl wearing any kind of clothes, whether in life, TV, or the internet. Curiously, had the girl been all naked (in ANY situation other than sexual ones), I wouldn’t get the urge to masturbate. In short, nude girls/women do not encourage me to masturbate…unless said nude girls/women are doing sexual stuff with each other. Yet, if those same girls/women are wearing clothes (regardless of what the situation is), it can sometimes (not always) cause the urge to masturbate.

    All this because of:
    1) high stress
    2) health problems
    3) emotional problems
    4) my sub-conscious mind

    I have a name for what happens when masturbation leads to…you know what. I call them “smudges” and, since 2010, I’ve been keeping a record of how many “smudges” I do. Here’s how many “smudges” I did in 2010 and 2011:
    2010 – 266
    2011 – 237

    Now, right away, in 2012, I’ve already got 4 of them. And, it’s only the first 4 days of the year. Funny that the first one occurred in my sleep…which you know what kind of dream I had to make that happen. Somehow, that seemed to be a trigger for making 3 additional ones occur…all while awake from masturbating.

    While it may seem so, I DO NOT want to do these “smudges” and, if I could, I wouldn’t do any at all…at least, while I’m awake anyway. Your techniques on how to stop this problem might work. But, as I’m always tired due to poor sleep, if I don’t do any “smudges” at all, that means I also get no kind of exercise at all. And, I’m already noticing that I’m gaining weight. Between stress, health and emotional problems, my sub-conscious mind, and now the need to do SOME kind of physical activity due to being overweight, is it any wonder I’ve done so many “smudges”?

    It’s the only “activity” I keep coming back to because I’m too tired to do any normal exercise like everyone else. If I didn’t have stress, my health and emotional problems would lessen their grip. That would lead to better sleep, which would lead to feeling better about myself and doing other exercises to keep me from doing these “smudges” (the wakeful ones, anyway). Now, I know I’ve heard that everyone has stress. While that is true, I’ve had too much of it in my life that it’s reached a point where I can’t take even the tiniest amount of stress without feeling frustrated at least…and doing a “smudge” to relieve that frustration if it gets too much.

    To end this, my life is extremely complicated, to say the least.

    • Anonymous says

      you don’t sound like u have a problem with this. I might be wrong! but it seems like you have given your self the excuses you need.

      • David says

        Perhaps, but I really wish I didn’t have to resort to doing these so-called “smudges” of mine. Since I started keeping records of them in 2010, I kept saying that I wouldn’t do so many of them for the next year. My goal for the annual number of “smudges” starts out at 64. When it’s reached before the year is out, the goal increases as necessary. For 2010 and 2011, I had to make the goal shoot up to 300 as both years skyrocketed beyond 200. Although my set goals were different in 2010, I fixed them for 2011. Since then, the goal changes as follows:

        64
        100
        200
        300
        400…(each goal, excluding the first one, rises 100 more if reached)

        When I got 266 “smudges” in 2010, I was hoping 2011 would stay under 100. That failed as I got 237 of them. Now, I’m hoping 2012 stays under 64, even though I suspect that will fail, too, I’m afraid. But, I’m not giving up. Each year, I’ll keep trying until it finally does stay below the first goal, whatever it takes.

        • Anonymous says

          David my man you definitely have a unique approach to this. The i look at it is that why do u have a goal in the first place? If comes year end and you are at 50 and your goal was 75 would you try to catch up? of course you wouldn’t… targets are for positive activities not negative ones… i suggest you make your goal for this year on ZERO! and see how long you can go… i think you will be allot happier.. you are not alone in this! this is how i am approaching this and i am happier since i found this page close to a week ago

          • David says

            A goal for zero is unrealistic for me. I’ve already got 5 now. A new one just happened about a half hour ago. And, I think I know why I’m having a lot of “smudges” in recent days. I’m worried about my dad. Next week, he’s going to get surgery and he’s not a young man anymore. I’m worried that something may go wrong. Doctors are not perfect, you know. They can make mistakes. Once he comes home from surgery and if everything is fine, that will be one weight lifted off from me. That should reduce the frequency of “smudges” for a while. I still have other issues, too, but right now, that’s the big stress on me. I don’t want my dad to die. At least, not until he gets very old and dies naturally. Not now!

          • David says

            A reminder…the first “smudge” hit right away on the second of January. If I made my goal at zero, it would fail on the second day. At least setting a goal for 64 (for now) gives me more time before it is reached. This way, technically, I’ve still passed because my total so far is still less than 64. But, by year’s end, we’ll see how many I wind up with. This is like a pass/fail thing. If I stay below 64 for the entire year, which is my goal, I’ve passed. If I exceed it, then I’ve failed.

            As for why I keep changing the goals from 64 to 100 and so on, it’s to try and reset the goal to avoid going over it. I know it makes no sense to change goals, but I’ve been doing this since 2010. Might as well keep it going this way.

          • David says

            I would love to have a mere 50 of them by year’s end. My goal is not to “catch up” to the actual goal set. It’s to stay below the goal. How happy I’d be if my total “smudges” by December 31st was only 50 of them.

    • Anonymous says

      David it sounds like you masturbate in your sleep. I had this problem myself for a few years(and I say this for anyone out there who has the same problem)and it was VERY distressing to me! I would be half awake and half asleep I would “know” what I was doing, but couldn’t stop. I tried many things like wearing pants, then pants with a belt, gloves, these things would work a few days then it wouldn’t. I realized that I would do it about 45mins after I went to bed so I set my alarm clock for 40mins. I would wake up turn the alarm off and go back to sleep. It worked a few days then it didn’t anymore. I was soooo devastated and would beat myself up! That only left me too weak to fight the urge to look at porn. It was a painful cycle! I wanted to end my life so many times. Then I finally came to realize that at those moments I really could not control it and learned to ignore the self-condeming thoughts. Eventually it went away on its own! Also, what helped me was to do a little research online(carefully though!) and I found that it is a problem others have and that at a particular point in our sleep cycle(I forget the scientific stuff) UNCONTROLLABLE things, like this, can happen. The purpose of me telling you this is to help you see that when it does happen don’t count it as a “smudge” and don’t get discouraged over it. Also try seeing a doctor on sleeping better, that will help. Sleep is so important! Ive gotten rid of my video games and cable because it would keep me up too late. It has helped me. I’m almost 3 weeks “sober” with porn. It helps to talk to someone too when you feel those urges. Don’t give up! Don’t tell yourself you can’t because you can!

      • David says

        You’d have to be here. And, that goes for anyone on here. That’s about all I can say because I’m so tired right now due to extreme lack of sleep.

  5. mwmw says

    I restrained from online pornography for 15 days but i gave it today
    i.e. on the first day of 2012, it feels awful. I was sick and just did to get temporary relief. I am 17. Please help!

    • michael says

      Dont beat yourself up. Its just a day of the year, dont see it as that you ruined the year because you made a mistake on one day.

      • mwmw says

        yeah i gonna study hard and go the right way
        and kill this bad habit of mine.
        thanks michael, feels good to get some help and motivation from friends in this world.
        god will help me and i will be true to myself.

  6. Anonymous says

    i do feel sad of what i have done i hope many more fined this helpful i have no i just hope dident ruin my life before it stared.

  7. Anonymous says

    I love porn. I want to get it off my chest. Im 16 and need to stop. I know this is not how i should be living. Please pray for me. I truly need it. Im a joke to my friends and family. They dont know about this. Please pray.

    • Anonymous says

      You are 16 your whole life is a head of you! focus on the good habits and try to grow them.. that is the best time to stop you are very lucky and mature to seek help now! God bless you!

  8. Anonymous says

    This is a list of some of the things i thought i would personally gain by stopping. Its is worth it!

    1- Pleasing my creator
    2- Feel proud of my self
    3- Increased self confidence
    4- Finally get rid of shame
    5- Finally get rid of cycle of self hate
    6- Get rid of feelings of guilt
    7- A great high through self control
    8- Gain healthy sexual appetite
    9- Gain healthy sexual drive
    10- Get more energy
    11- Free time to do more with my time
    12- Improve the quality of everything I do
    13- Regain my focus
    14- Gain a stronger eye sight
    15- Confidence to start healthy relationships
    16- I will stop feeling like a hypocrite

  9. Anonymous says

    I have a question for you Alex. You say you have not watched porn or masturbated for over 2.5 years.. which i admire tremendously!… What is your thought on love scenes in movies? Is it better to avoid them? As many of them i consider borderline soft porn… i am really interested in your answer on that!

    Thank you

    • Alex says

      I would encourage you to be very careful with them. Personally I have a rule that I do not watch any rated R or sexual movies with any ratings when I am alone. That way it helps me to rule out the possibility of me hunting for something through that.

      • Anonymous says

        Alex. I really want to thank you for this forum! it is great what you are going here. I have been struggling with this for years and i think your site has given me the push i needed to do something about this bad habit. Your site is now on my favorites :)

        Thank you

  10. Anonymous says

    I am 13 and T usedto do it every day. I cant stop. My grades are bad now because of this. Thank you for the tips and procedures. I am only once evry 2 days now. Thank you. Its getting better.

    • Anonymous says

      if you really want to see how its getting better, use microsoft excel to chart it, it really helps to see how you’re doing

    • Anonymous says

      if you really want to see how its getting better, use microsoft excel to chart it, it really helps to see how you’re doing

  11. SUSHEEL says

    One another thing is the state of mind of the person reading this article so better you prefer a state of mind for reading this article
    like it should be read after having guilty in mind which usually comes after number of masturbation. should go to extreme heights of guilty and then read this article!!
    this way it would definitely touch inner soul of reader
    One of the greatest article I’ve ever read however this way still have a problem which will continue for ever
    !! WITHDRAWAL EFFECT!!
    IN THIS WAY WE HAVE TO FIGHT AND FIGHT FOREVER WITH BAD WOLF BUT BAD WOLF WILL NEVER DIE. HE WILL REMAIN WITH GOOD WOLF EVEN WEAK BUT STILL IT WILL BE THERE ALWAYS AND WE WOULD BE TRYING JUST TO MAKING OUR GOOD WOLF STRONGER AND NOT KILLING COMPLETELY OUR BAD WOLF!!
    THE ONE STOP SOLUTION FOR THIS ADDICTION IS JUST TO TAKE A PLEDGE
    NOT A PLEDGE FOR NO MASTURBATE
    BUT A PLEDGE TO AVOID ANY SUCH EXCITEMENT TRIGGER FEELINGS

    “IGNORE ALL SUCH FEELINGS AND PASS AWAY”

    I VE TRIED A LOT TO AVOID ROLLS OF PORNOGRAPHY IN MY LIFE USING VARIOUS TOOLS AND AT LAST WAT I GOT A TOOL WITH CONTENTS WHICH IT SHOULD BLOCK AND WHICH IT SHOULD FOLLOW HOWEVER THE EXISTENCE OF CONTENTS WHICH THAT TOOL SHOULD BLOCK STILL STILL THERE.

    1. BETTER WE FORGET ALL THINGS EVEN STUDY ABOUT THESE TOPICS
    2. READ ONLY MOTIVATIONAL TIP: GET AWAY RIGHT NOW FORCEFULLY LIKE HAVING BATH WITH COLD WATER WHERE ONLY FIRST MUG WOULD BE DIFFICULT.
    3. MOST IMPORTANT: EAT HEALTHY!! WE HAVE A PROVERB IN INDIA
    HEALTHY FROM STOMACH!! HEALTHY FROM MIND
    SO FINALLY TO GET OUT OF THIS GUTTER:

    MAIN THING IS OUR FOOD, WE DON’T HAVE TO WATCH OUR PULSE RATE THIS WAY IT WILL BE CONTROLLED ITSELF AS WE WOULD BE TAKING HEALTHY FOOD

    USE A POSTER ON YOUR WALL JUST TWO MAGICAL WORDS
    “PASS AWAY”
    FOLLOW THAT ALWAYS AND FORGET ALL REST MAKE YOUR MIND EMPTY FOR A WHILE AND START THINKING ABOUT A HEALTHY TOPICS

    ALL THE BEST FOR ALL
    Beside all disregarding the tips and all techniques this is the best and most interesting topic I’ve ever read on internet regarding this topic. writer must have done a lot of practice to keep this blog and must be a very hardworking person who follows his oaths from deep of his heart
    great job
    may god bless you and may this planet becomes a healthier place to live for all which i think would never possible as online pornography would never stop.
    few people like us discussing this topic on internet may start working on healthy lifestyle but lots and lots of people are still there in that gutter cant live productively and they doesn’t even feel it dangerous. they have never searched such topic on Google nor they ever thought about this topic i mean Porn-Free life.
    there are staying as they are and this all because of online pornography business which may never be blocked.
    too sad but we have to live with this!
    there is a practical advice in “QUR’AN” religious text of Islam that to stop evil, stop thinking about it, it will go away itself
    i mean to kill bad wolf stop his fight with good wolf just ignore bad wolf it will go away itself and we don’t have to practice to make our good wolf powerful for years
    as “OSHO” said:
    Darkness doesn’t exist in reality it is just the lack of light
    we can not switch on darkness while we have light in a room
    however in a dark room we can switch on light
    similarly bad wolf doesn’t exist its just the weakness of good wolf

    all the best
    susheel

    • mwmw says

      nice to see i am not the only indian struggling to make my life better
      and for you alex, u r the best wolf in this world.

      • gh says

        Sir i understood my problem
        sterss
        i havv been sober for periods 2months or 1month
        bt when i m stressed or angry i come to porn what can i do to stop it?
        I tried to cut internet but many my works r from internet
        please reply

        • Alex says

          I would recommend just continue doing what you doing, and trying to learn to use internet in a healthy way. Try to set boundaries for yourself. I.e. not to use internet for any entertainment purposes, or not to use it after 10pm.

  12. sagar says

    Thank you very much Alex…i was very tensed and in deep stress to how to curb porn addiction cause its has terribly ruined my life. My grades got down and even my body got under tremendous physiological change.My social life was not less than hell, but after reading your article and coming to know about ERP, its just made not only everything back to normal but also more better than that.And all the credit goes to you

  13. Anonymous says

    Hi,
    A lot of good info. I especially like the bell curve thing, and taking care of oneself. I truly hate pornography, but it has also given me some kind of “comfort” in stressful situations, which is very lame I must admit. What I don’t like about this site is that the after you have watched the video, there are automatic links YouTube video’s with explicit material. Maybe that would be something to adjust.

    • Alex says

      Thank you, I was not aware of this happening on this page. Usually I make sure to disable such suggestions, but I guess I overlooked it. Thank you for pointing it out, and it has now been disabled.

  14. Christopher says

    Dear Alex, Your information is truly effective and inspiring. If one follows these methods sincerely, he can easily get out of porn addiction. No need of professional counselling. Great job, Alex, keep it up, brother. Realization and admitting mistakes go long way, in improving one’s life. God bless you.

  15. Anonymous says

    I m married for a few years and she doesn’t know. I wish I had the guts to say something but here I am on this web page…. Just not sure where to start. Well at least I’m not hiding it from myself anymore, so I guest that’s the beginning. Never thought it would be so hard to kick a habit off that I hate so much. So many other things I seem to be very successful at it mylife that are much harder yet this I can’t seem to leave it behind, so frustrating…

  16. Dylan says

    Thank you but I believe that this is way too hard to grasp and I disbelieve it effectively works. When you get attacked from the enemy it’s constant even if you wanna go forever without doing it you’ll be in the gauge of “about to give in” It’s sickening that you can pray about it and it won’t help.

    • Anonymous says

      It is good that this is where to turn after the fact… so soon after the fact, in fact. I personally justify myself for I know it to be wrong, for a lack in openness in my marriage. I think this addiction is far reaching into a life. It holds many opinions… and it makes it tough to hear women say they “don’t mind as long as he comes home at night to her…”

      I can’t believe they really want that kind of relationship…too many mixed signals.

      I want to just “move on” from it.

    • Anonymous says

      Quite the contrary! I thought it was fairly simple to grasp. Just like smoking when you first quit you will feel that you are constantly in a struggle but as time goes by , you get stronger! and it gets easier for you to win against the urge to do this unhealthy habit!

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