How to Stop Watching Porn: 5 Steps Men Can Take to Stop Watching Porn

How to Stop Watching Porn: 5 Steps Men Can Take to Stop Watching Porn

Why can’t I stop watching porn? What are the signs of pornography addiction? What are the negative consequences of viewing pornography addictively? Are there effective ways how to stop watching porn? Can I recover from porn addiction? Where can I learn more about porn addiction? If you are looking for answers to these questions, this article is meant 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 other behavioral addictions can have on men and how being part of a support group can help beat the habit and enhance the members’ quality of life.

If you are looking for comprehensive information about porn addiction and how to stop watching porn, this article gives a comprehensive review of porn addiction, including recommendations for the best porn addiction support groups to help you kick the habit.

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?

Porn Addiction

Porn addiction is a term used to describe an emotional dependence on pornographic material. It interferes with day-to-day life, the ability to function, and relationships. While most people may not know this, porn addiction is quite common. It is considered a hypersexual disorder, an umbrella term used to describe different excessive sexual behaviors like excessive masturbation that give a dopamine high.

It is important to note that, while it occurs, porn addiction, like sex addiction, is not recognized as a real condition by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) or Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) and, therefore, cannot be officially diagnosed. This means that there is no official criterion that mental health professionals can use to diagnose the condition.

However, it can be diagnosed as compulsive sexual behavior, an umbrella term used to refer to repetitive sexual activities that become the main focus of a person’s life and interfere with everyday life.

The prevalence of internet porn habits continues to grow thanks to the availability of porn sites on the internet. In 2019, PornHub received over 42 billion visits, meaning at least 115 million visits in a day.

A study done on a group of men seeking treatment for PPU (Problematic Porn Use) showed that the participants’ brain activity responded to sexual images in the same way the brain responds to substance use. The circuits in the brain associated with motivation, memory, and reward are turned on whenever the individual views pornographic material.

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According to mental health professionals, no one specific thing causes porn addiction. For most people, it is caused by a combination of factors, including chemical imbalances in the brain, underlying mental illness, or other mental health conditions.

Mental health professionals also agree that certain factors can make a person more likely to develop an addiction. These include:

Ease of access 

Thanks to advancements in technology, access to the fast internet makes it easier for people to access internet pornography. It is much easier to get porn today than a decade ago.

Unhealthy views on sex 

Developing or growing up with unhealthy ideas of sex can lead to porn addiction.

Unresolved relationship conflicts 

Past relationship conflicts can contribute to developing a porn addiction.

Family issues 

Family or personal drug addiction and physical or sexual abuse can also contribute.

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Signs of Porn Addiction

Porn addiction can be described as a compulsive attraction to porn material. Some of the common signs of porn addiction include:

Intrusive thoughts 

Constantly thinking about watching porn even when doing other activities.

Shame and guilt 

You feel ashamed of the habit and an increased sense of guilt, but you still cannot stop.

Risky consumption 

You may find yourself watching porn at inappropriate settings and times, like when at work.

Increase the use of porn material 

Spending a significant amount of time watching pornography without it ever being enough. This causes you to neglect other responsibilities to dedicate the time to watching more porn.

Hiding 

You try to hide your porn-watching lifestyle from your sexual partners because you imagine they would disagree with the habit.

An increasing urge for more hardcore porn 

You find that you need to watch extreme porn to get the same satisfaction over time.

Sexual dissatisfactio

You cannot feel sexual satisfaction until you watch porn. This affects your sex life and sexual relationship.

Getting into debt 

Spending an increasing amount of resources on porn material and subscriptions.

Unable to quit 

You cannot seem to stop yourself from viewing pornography, no matter how much you try to lead a porn-free lifestyle or suffer the side effects of porn.

Withdrawal symptoms 

You exhibit signs of withdrawal symptoms like mood swings and agitation whenever you try to quit porn.

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Good Reasons to Stop Watching Porn

Signs of Porn Addiction

It is hard for most people to understand the impact viewing pornography has on their lives until they stop the bad habit. With all the adverse effects porn can have in your life, here are good reasons to consider going anti-porn.

Enjoy healthier sex habits

Porn places wildly unrealistic expectations about sex. This can significantly distort your view on sex and what you expect your loved one to deliver. If you want to start enjoying sex in a healthy way, you should consider giving up porn to change your idea of what sex should be.

 You form deeper connections

Viewing porn normalizes sexual objectification, which affects how you view and treat the people around you. When you stop watching porn, it rewires your brain to stop seeing people are commodities for sex, making it easier for you to develop intimate, real-life connections.

You develop a healthy body image

The porn industry supports unrealistic beauty standards that can distort your idea of the perfect partner. When you consume porn, you develop a negative body image about yourself or your partner, which affects your sex life. The best way to rewire your brain, boost your self-esteem and start to be comfortable in your own skin is to quit porn.

You have more time to invest in your relationships

Porn addiction makes it hard for you to create time for your loved ones since you spend a great amount of time viewing pornography. Quitting the habit of porn viewing is the best way to enjoy more quality time with your family members or loved ones.

Reversing sexual dysfunction

Contrary to common belief, watching porn can actually lead to sexual dysfunction. When you become accustomed to porn masturbation, you find it harder to dedicate time to sharing intimate connections with your spouse. In some cases, watching porn can cause erectile dysfunction, which strains your sexual life. Quitting porn can be an ideal way to get rid of arousal difficulties and sexual performance issues.

To enjoy the benefits that come with quitting porn, you need first to quit watching porn. Here is how to stop watching porn forever.

How to Stop Watching Porn

Whether you think you have an addiction to online porn or feel the need to stop watching porn to form healthy habits, you can take steps 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 on how to stop porn addiction is to acknowledge that porn addiction exists and you may have it. Accepting that you have a problem will make your mind consider possible solutions, including finding an accountability partner.

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 websites whenever you are triggered to get the stimuli.

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.

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 form of research supported professional help 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

MensGroup

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.

MensGroup

Men’s Group 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 Mensgroup.com, men can talk about their triggers, shortcoming, and failures in their recovery process.

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, or your loved one, do not have to go through problematic pornography use alone.

Conclusion

Learning how to stop watching porn requires you to learn more to understand the condition better. This article presents relevant and helpful information on porn addiction.

Like any other addiction, porn addiction requires behavioral therapy and guidance for one to recover. If you are a porn addict, joining a men’s group like mensgroup.com is essential to 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. How to stop watching porn
2. ‘Sex isn’t difficult any more’: the men who are quitting watching porn
3. I quit watching porn and this is what happened to my brain
4. How to Quit Watching Porn in 10 Days
5. 6 Ways to Train Yourself to Watch Less Porn, According to Sex Experts

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