The Best Thing You Can Do Today For Your Sexual Recovery

By now, you should have completed you personal sexual recovery plan.

Now you know what behaviors you want to stop, why you want to stop, and what behaviors to watch out for.

I also hope that you had a chance to read our introductory article titled “How to Stop Pornography Addiction“.

Please do not continue reading until you have finished your sexual recovery plan and you’ve read through the introductory article.

Now please download and print the ERP checklist. If you don’t have a printer, simple re-create a first row by hand.

Also make sure that you have your sexual recovery plan handy.

Now take a few minutes to identify a triggering situation. Chances are you can use one of the warning signs from your sexual recovery plan. Make sure to create a vivid mental image of a situation where you are most likely to act out (i.e. home alone with a computer) and observe the physiological response from your body.

© by Diane S Murphy

Note: Please do not try to look at pornography and other sexually explicit material in order to trigger yourself, this will only have a counterproductive effect. Concentrate instead on a challenging situation where you tend to lose control.

Measure your pulse rate as soon as you feel the response. Record it into the table.

Now immediately follow through with breathing exercise. Breathe in for 10 seconds, hold your breath for 10 seconds, breathe out for 10 seconds. Repeat it 10 times.

Now read out loud to yourself all of the positive rewards for staying sober from you sexual recovery plan. Make sure to take your time to imagine each of the positive rewards. Imagine how it would feel to be that person. Try to create a very vivid and colorful image.

Once you are done, measure your pulse rate again. Record the difference in the table. Be aware that there are no right and wrong results; you are simply observing your body to gain a better understanding of how it functions.

I want to congratulate you! You just finished your first ERP exercise!

Well, you’ve almost finished it, except for the most important part.

I want you to shut off your computer and go for a walk. Drop everything that you are doing, and just go. And if it is too late at night, shut off your computer and go to bed. Trust me, this will be the best thing you can do for yourself.

In the next chapter, we are going to revisit the ERP techniques, and look into why it is so important for our recovery.

P.S. If you chose not to do the exercise, I highly advise you to find some time to do it before the end of the day, so you can better understand our next discussion.

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Call (916)259-3827 For Professional Help

P.S. Recommended Resources:

  • Sex Addicts Anonymous
    I cannot imagine my recovery without this program.
  • Mindful Habit Course by Coach Craig
    Great advice from a great person.
  • 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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  1. David says

    I am currently 13. The first time I watched porn was just over three years ago. I got caught by my parents a few times so that stopped me for a short time. About a year ago I found a new technique that would let me watch porn and not get caught at all, (unless I left it open on the computer or smomething like that). After I discorvered this new technique I found myself watching porn nearly every second day. Even when I was a quater of the way through this course I still watched pornography and masturbated a lot. No-one knows I am addicted. I really need help. My friedns are starting to leave me because my addiction is affecting my attitude and decision making. I feel alone on this issue. Is there anyone that could give me any specific advice?

    • Alex says

      Hi David,

      I am not convinced that watching porn every other day for a 13 year old boy is an “addiction”. This site was mainly created for adults, and while I do want to help teenagers, I also want to be very careful to not introduce obsessive thinking into your head.

      I would encourage you to talk to an adult in your life that you can trust to help you sorting things out, but I would not worry too much. I am glad that you are being careful and honest with your behaviors, that is a good thing, but don’t be too hard on yourself, you are not an addict, you are just a teenager boy.

      It also might be a good idea to sign up for our forum, and ask for some advise from other men there.


      • David says

        I’m back. It’s been a year since this I’ve been here. As you can tell, I’m now 14, and over this year I haven’t perfected anything, but I’m better. I have someone that I talk to regularly. I guess I never realized how much someone would care about me that through my addiction they still love me. I’m thankful that I can now say I don’t watch half as much porn as I used to. I’ve still a long way to go, and you were right. I don’t have to think so hard. I just need to live life and try my best to be my best. Thank you

        • xyz1234 says

          Hey David, i am also 14 year old and i am for new sources to recover my brain. I got an habit of this thing. But now, i want to stop this thing its a very bad and having a very negative impact on brain sometimes i feel that its an very dirty addiction which will never leave me, but now i am going to change because in this site i have got one boy if my age. I don’t have any believe in god please help me alex and david. I only want to remove this thing forever and not to think again even i stopped using my computer in my bed room i bring it in my living room to not think of watching it. Please help me give me some short advice which will help me!!

  2. Anonymous says

    Hey Alex,
    I’m really worried about getting a girlfriend, because this porn addiction thing has caused all kinds of problems like ED, and low libido. I’m not sure what to do. I gave up porn for 4 months, but kept masturbating every 3 days or so. But everything still felt wrong. I didn’t enjoy anything sexual. Like my body just wanted to get off. It wasn’t fun. Recently I watched porn again. But I didn’t enjoy it. I can’t find any triggers either. Just the BLASTed thing. I can be alone on a computer all day and not even think of watching porn. So how can I do ERP when I can’t trigger myself? I’m not even sure I’m addicted. If I had a girl and a libido I might be fine. I just want to feel better and for my brain and penis to work properly. Sorry this was so long. I’m just desperate and confused. Thanks Alex

    • Anonymous says

      My worst trigger is instructional porn. Like two “experts” will explain concepts and such, then demonstrate. For example; Kama sutra positions. I really want to learn this stuff and watch these videos, but I worry about it bringing back my old porn habit.

  3. Anonymous says

    Hi Alex,

    I also have difficulty imagining a triggering situation. My method is to do the jelqing exercise. I am now 35 years old and I started masturbating at the age of 12. So when I do the jelqing exercise that itself becomes a trigger, sexual fantasies pop up, images of porn pop up, of course there is an urge to masturbate and then I am able to do ERP properly. Besides jelqing is said to be good for the penis especially to recover from the habit of long hand practice.

    I am very new to sobriety and this recovery program, so I am not quite sure. Please help.

    • Anonymous says

      Hi, its me again, the author of the question above.:) I haven’t had a relapse yet but I realize that the practice of ERP while doing jelqing does not work. Now I am trying my best to do the ERP suggested by Alex. To my mind, jelqing is not worth the time spend and I quit doing it.

  4. Anonymous says

    Hi, I have a question about ERP practice. I’m having trouble triggering myself with mental images, isthere any other way for me to trigger myself for ERP practice? -Anon

  5. IWHN says

    Hey the ERP Checklist link doesn’t seem to be working. It takes me back to the main homepage. Is there another link that works??

    By the way, this website is really helping me. I’ve gone nine days without…and, I’m working on day 10.

    • Mikel says


      firstly thank you for this site and THANK YOU so much for your tools.

      I just wanted to say that i have a similar problem as the person above i am redirected to the first article when it says ‘ERP checklist” is there anyway of getting this/ correcting this? Thank you

  6. skck02 says

    This is my fifth day doing ERP exercise, but I found no difference of the pulse rate before & after the exercise. Is there anything I missed not mentioned in this page?

  7. Maestro says

    Where is the “video” mentioned in the fourth paragraph on this post? I don’t know where or what video this post is referring to. Please help me…

  8. zack says

    thanx may god bless u 4 sharing with us this knowledge. The world would be a much better place if every1 was aware of this

  9. anonymous 14 says

    im 14 i looked up this and it helps it really does’ i can go for three days days without doing it ‘which is good for me, i read the horrible stories that masturbation has caused them and i really dont want that to be me i always feel a lack of confidence but that changes i feel like iv more energy and i can do more once you make the decision that you wont to stop your on the right control your body its not the other way around after doing this i dint masturbate,so far so good i am happy with myself and i feel clean and fresh,i dont feel stressed anymore and that helps my acne i really feel i can change

    • Alex says

      Well… I don’t have a black and white opinion on masturbation, especially when it comes to young adults… My experience started in my mid 20’s and I was in a committed relationship, so it is very different for me. I know people who engage in what they call healthy masturbation (1-2 times a week, with no visual stimulation, and definitely no pornography). I also know men who go on 0-1 masturbatory per year, so I know it is possible too, but not sure if it is healthy. If I were to give an advice to my younger brother or a son if I were to have one, I think I would encourage healthy masturbation, while at the same time strongly advising him to avoid any forms of pornography or other sorts of abuses of human sexuality.

    • Jesse says

      Healthy masturbation is good for a lot of people. In your case, though, I would advise you not to think about healthy masturbation, as that would give you an excuse to continue. Your message was very positive and it sounds like you should just keep moving forward. Every time you start masturbating, imagine a loved one walks in. Imagine the shock on their face as they see you masturbating. Do not imagine what they say, however, for to our reptilian and mammalian brains images are stronger than words. What this is doing, in theory, is punishing you with negative emotions for your behavior. If you feel the temptation to masturbate, do this. If you create a habit of it, your brain will start to link the masturbation with negative emotions. Your mammalian brain can be trained, if you work at it.

  10. Determined says

    One other thing, if you as a partner would like support and help which can be beneficial, there is a partners area in the forum above.

  11. Determined says

    To anonymous Dec 19 above.
    Sex addiction is very much psychological and in the brain. I don’t feel tempted to indulge in alcohol, but some people do. It doesnt mean that their addiction isnt real to them.
    Trust me, this is real. It causes us to lose control, and we cant stop it without help.
    Its not about self control, its about breaking a psychological cycle in the brain. I have self control in other things, this I cant control without help.

  12. anonymous says

    Im a wife and im glad for those it helped but I still don’t see how its all psychological and in the brain… for the woman going through it, the heart is what’s mainly involved, love e respect and self control things that I practice regardless of temptation

  13. Edward says

    I cnt thank u enuf
    u r a blessing frm God
    i have not yet fully recovered but i am on the right road and i know i will make it…i have grwn tired of the pain and sorrow that porn and mustarbation hv brought to my life and i know that soon everything will be okay

    i cnt thank u enuf

  14. Anonymous says

    How is it possible to thank you enough? … It really isn’t. It’s not, but thank you so very much, anyway. Very very powerful!

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