How to Stop Porn Addiction: The Ultimate Guide for Men

How to Stop Porn Addiction: The Ultimate Guide for Men

What causes porn addiction? Is there a guide on how to stop porn addiction? Is it possible to permanently quit porn? How do I stop my addiction to watching porn? How do I get out of my addiction to porn? How do I stop watching porn? What are the best ways to quit porn? What can I do to stop watching porn? If you struggle with one or all of these questions, this article is for you.

My name is Sean Galla, and I am an online support group facilitator with more than ten years of experience. Part of my work involves working with porn addicts in porn addiction support groups. This gives me a firsthand view of the effects porn addiction and how one can beat the habit and enhance their quality of life. 

If you are looking for information about overcoming porn addiction and how to get help, this article will cover everything you need to know about porn addiction and how to stop porn addiction.

Written by

Sean Galla

An experienced facilitator, community builder and Peer Support Specialist, Sean has been running men's groups for 10+ years. Read Sean's Full Author Bio.

What is Porn Addiction?

What is Porn Addiction

Pornography addiction can be described as a compulsive need to watch porn despite it negatively affecting your life. Unlike other forms of addiction, compulsive porn viewing is not considered a true addiction by health and psychiatric professionals and mental health organizations. However, the signs and symptoms are strikingly similar to those of other forms of behavioral addictions.

Not everyone who watches porn is an addict. Porn addiction can be separated from having a keen porn habit based on the negative consequences of the behavior. When you are a porn addict, you spend a great amount of time viewing pornographic material. This affects your social, personal and professional life. You find it hard to quit porn even when it harms your relationships, career, and well-being.

Ultimately, porn addiction affects different individuals differently. According to the American Psychological Association (APA), most mental health professionals disagree about the effects of porn addiction. Some believe that porn can benefit people’s sex life while offering a safe outlet for their sexual desires. Others believe that porn addiction damages relationships can lead to unhealthy, destructive behavior, and contributes to sexual aggression.

Porn addiction is a highly controversial topic, especially when trying to validate whether it is a real type of addiction. Skeptical experts cite that porn addiction cannot be an addiction since the Diagnostic Statistical Manual for Psychiatric Disorders (DSM-5) under the American Psychiatric Association does not list sex addiction or porn addiction as a disorder.

Considered by most people as a type of behavioral addiction, porn addiction is characterized by obsessiveness with watching porn material. According to some experts, the functionality of a porn addict is different from that of a drug addict, while others cite it as the same, so it is controversial when it comes to validating it as an addiction.

Some porn addicts compare porn addiction to nicotine addiction. This is because porn addiction causes an obsession with sexual thoughts and habits and a dopamine high when the need is met. The same way a nicotine addict gets cravings for a cigarette. Many men and women have lost control over their sexual addiction and identify as porn addicts.

You can also read our article Porn Addiction and follow mensgroup.com now!

Signs of Porn Addiction

In a 2014 study by the University of Cambridge, it was found that watching porn has the same effect on the brand as drug addiction or any other addiction when they come across their drug of choice. Porn addicts working n quit experience the same withdrawal symptoms as drug users and alcoholics. According to another study, 9% of addicts have tried to stop unsuccessfully.

Common symptoms of porn addiction include:

  • Inability to stop using porn or compulsive behaviors associated with porn, despite repeated attempts
  • Getting into other forms of substance abuse or increased substance use as coping mechanisms
  • Spending a lot of time visiting porn sites
  • Anger and hostility when asked to stop using porn
  • Cravings to view porn
  • Lack of self-control even in porn-free places like work
  • Sexual Dysfunction in relationships
  • Development of mental health disorders like anxiety or depression
  • Abandoning real-life social activities to use porn
  • Keeping all or part of one’s porn use secret from loved ones

Effects of Porn Addiction

Porn addiction can hurt an addict’s life. It ruins personal and sexual relationships, making the addict dependent on porn for sexual satisfaction.

Most people living with porn addiction feel embarrassed about their sexual behavior, making it hard for them to seek professional help and treatment options. They lie to their partners and lie about their whereabouts when indulging in addictive behavior.

People with porn addiction experience reduces sex drive or desire and prefer masturbation while watching porn content. This is mainly because porn addicts have unrealistic sexual urges that are difficult for their partners to meet.

Most women lose their self-esteem when their partner is addicted to porn. The quality of the relationship deteriorates and often causes low sexual satisfaction for the affected parties. In some cases, porn addicts develop erectile dysfunction from the habit.

If you are thinking about giving up porn, there are some factors you need to keep in mind when trying to kick the habit. In theory, giving up porn is easy, but it is harder to accomplish in practice and thus calls for mental preparedness for your effort to pay off.

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Tips on How to Stop Porn Addiction and Get Into Addiction Recovery

How to Stop Porn Addiction and Get Into Addiction Recovery

Whether you think you have an addiction to online porn or feel the need to stop watching porn for other reasons, there are steps you can take to stop indulging in self-destructive behavior. These steps include reframing your self-talk, prioritizing your values, and accepting change as a difficult but necessary step for your well-being.

Acknowledge that you may be addicted to porn

The first step how to stopping porn addiction is to acknowledge that porn addiction exists and you may have it. Most addicts, whether for drugs, alcohol or other behavioral addictions, adamantly deny the existence of the addiction. Accepting that you have a problem will make your mind consider possible solutions.

Tell someone

Once you have accepted that you may be watching too much pornography, you need to share the struggle with someone you trust. Sharing the issue with someone is a powerful way of breaking the shame that kept you trapped in the habit. You can choose to tell a friend, your spouse, a mentor, or a counselor as a way of seeking help.

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Make it harder to access porn content

Even after opening up to someone you trust, you have to put the deliberate effort into ensuring you successfully give up porn. While you may not be able to get rid of your gadgets or disconnect from the internet, you have to make it harder to access internet porn content for yourself.

Installing a porn blocker on all your devices can offer a little barrier to stop you from giving in to moments of intense urges. While you can still bypass the blocker, it will give you time to reconsider giving in to the cravings to watch internet pornography.

Making it harder for you to access porn facilitates your need to take committed action to achieve your goal of quitting porn.

Take up Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)

ACT is a form of CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) that focuses on accepting thoughts and urges while committing to stick to actions that align more with values that are important to you. Through ACT, you learn how to stop denying, avoiding, or struggling with your inner thoughts and urges and instead learn to build a better relationship with them. This makes it easier for you to acknowledge when the urge to watch porn starts and discover a better way to divert the thoughts.

ACT is a research-supported treatment plan for problematic pornography viewing that can be used to reduce the use of porn material by up to 90% over a 12 sessions period

Join a local 12-step program

For most people learning how to stop porn addiction, having an in-person community is essential for the recovery journey. Most 12-step programs are based on the foundations of anonymity and are readily available and open to new members in different states and cities through social media or offline. These in-person communities provide a non-judgmental environment to connect with other people just like you. Going through the 12-step program can go a long way in helping you overcome your battle with porn addiction.

Joining an online support group

If you are not comfortable joining an in-person 12-step program, you should consider joining an online support group. There are numerous online programs for porn addicts. These online spaces offer a community to meet other like-minded individuals going through the same struggles as you.

If you are a man looking for a reliable online support group for porn addiction, MensGroup can offer all the help you need.

You can also read our article Porn Addicts and follow mensgroup.com now!

About MensGroup

MensGroup is a men-only online support group that offers peer support to any male looking to connect with others as they fight various issues, including porn addiction. At Men’s Group, men can talk about their triggers, shortcoming, and failures in their recovery process.

MensGroup is also a place where you can find peer support groups for different physical health and mental health issues. This is a forum for mutual acceptance, self-discovery, and understanding amongst peers. Participants can join chat rooms or meet with other porn addicts through video calls. With MensGroup, you do not have to go through life alone.

Conclusion

Like any other addiction, porn addiction requires behavioral therapy and guidance for one to recover. If you are a man who is a porn addict, joining a men’s group like Men’s Group is an important step towards finding healing and recovery from this addiction. Doing it with others like you calls you to be accountable, which improves your chances of making the change you seek.

*Sources:
1. Everything You Need to Know About Pornography 'Addiction
2. 7 Ways to Stop Watching Porn
3. Science Stopped Believing in Porn Addiction. You Should, Too
4. How To Overcome Pornography Addiction In Today's Internet Age 
5. 4 Ways to Break a Porn Addiction with Technology.

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