Posted .

Although there is constant dispute about whether or not pornography is damaging or simply a taboo created by modern Christian morality, there is increasing scientific evidence to prove that pornography is damaging to an individual both physically and emotionally. Aside from changing the perception of women from people to body parts or objects, pornography alters the ability to respond in a healthy way to normal sexual situations as greater stimulus is required to satisfy. Pornography creates divisions in relationships as a double life is created and addicts can waste hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars in pursuit of the habit. Additionally, support of the pornography industry also equates to direct support of the abusive, sex trafficking industry. There are numerous reasons to stop looking at porn, however, once an addiction is established, it is easier said than done. It is important to understand that a pornography addiction can be as severe as a drug or alcohol addiction. Although it is crucial to seek professional help, implementing a few rules can help you control your habits.

 

  1. Find someone to talk to. Preferably, you should seek out a professional therapist or counselor who has experience working with pornography or sex addiction. However, advice and discussion with someone who is familiar with the pitfalls of pornography is helpful too. Pornography thrives on secrecy and isolation. Bringing the problem into the light is essential for continued recovery.
  2. Create a Plan. Unlike drug or alcohol addiction, it is difficult to determine a first day of “sobriety” since it is not reasonable to abstain from all sexual activity forever. However, individuals struggling with a pornography addiction should create a plan with specific boundaries for behaviors and actions that they can refer to when confronted with a choice. Adhering to this plan removes the temptation to make a decision ‘in the moment.’
  3. Maintain Accountability. Good intentions are not enough to control a pornography habit. Because it is an actual addiction, self-control is not strong enough. Individuals should place themselves in a situation where they are required to be accountable for their “sobriety”. This can be anything from open discussion with a spouse or religious leader to participation in a group 12 step program.
  4.  Reduce Your Access. The pornography industry thrives on the ease and convenience of the internet. Although it might not be reasonable to cut off access from the internet entirely, there are a variety of security blocks and filters that can be put into place to eliminate access to adult sites or chat rooms. Although this isn’t a final solution, it can be very helpful in terms of removing temptation while you work on your accountability plan.
  5. Engage yourself in your religious beliefs, if applicable. Most religions decry the use of pornography and have counsel in place for those who struggle with it. Those who participate in organized religion may find comfort and strength in renewing their adherence to their beliefs and values.
  6. Take a break to reset. It is not healthy or reasonable to abstain from all sexual activity, however, a hiatus can be helpful in resetting the brain and re-regulating the body’s dopamine levels. This particular step should be undertaken with the counsel and advice of a professional who can make sure you are getting the most out of the break. The ultimate goal involves creating a healthy attitude about sex and intimacy.
  7. Attend family counseling. Pornography addiction is very hard on relationships, with many spouses or partners feeling as though they have been cheated on. While an individual is overcoming a pornography addiction, it is important for partners to understand the nature of it and how to be supportive, while doing what needs to be done to repair the relationship.
  8. Be kind to yourself. Addictions are extremely difficult to overcome. Relapses lead to shame cycles and discouragement. Understand that although you will be fighting a battle with this addiction all your life, the rewards are worth the times and effort it takes. Despite setbacks, every day that you fight the addiction strengthens your ability to control your impulses. If you or someone you know struggles with a pornography addiction, please contact us at Desert Solace to discuss treatment options.