Connect with us

Community Discussions

How To Quit Pornography: Experts Comment

Last Update:

We are compiling comments that experts familiar with pornography addiction have sent us on how you can quit pornography for good, and have got some excellent input so far. Below you’ll find comments from clinical psychologists, sex therapists, addiction coaches, sexologists and more, many of whom have treated many people on pornography addiction during their professional lives. This piece is related to our articles on the benefits of ‘NoFap’ and the dangers of pornography, so have a read through those too if you are looking for more information on the potentially destructive qualities of pornography and why it may be in your interest to reduce the amount of pornography you consume.

If you have input to share on how to quit pornography that you believe would be useful to others, you’re very welcome to add a comment here. We’ll publish any good ideas from both qualified professionals in relevant areas, as well as personal stories from people who have successfully overcome a pornography addiction.

Watching porn leads to a surge of dopamine in the brain. This can lead to severe and distressing addiction-like behavior. Porn use can and has ruined lives, leading to destroyed relationships, debt and work difficulties. What does the science say? While the jury is not yet out as to whether porn use should be considered an addiction, in the same way that drug or alcohol use is, there is a lot of evidence to suggest that porn affects the brain in the same way that illicit drugs do.

For this reason, it’s important to have a strategy for addressing addictive behavior related to porn. Here are some pointers:

1. Get the right support. While some people are able to kick the habit easily, others simply can’t stop using without the right support. If you have repeatedly tried to stop using porn without success, it may be worth consulting with a clinical psychologist or addiction specialist.

2. Learn to identify your triggers. What situations are most likely to trigger your porn use? Does it happen at a particular time of day? In a particular environment? In response to a specific thought? Learning to identify the triggers that fuel the compulsion is vital in order to take back control.

3. Sweat it out. Exercise daily. Ideally, try to do something that you enjoy: walking with a friend or group sports are great options. Exercise is important because of the impact that it has on the brain and body. After exercise, your body is flushed with mood-boosting hormones (including dopamine) which help you stay positive and focussed.

4. Fill your life with positivity. If you are truly addicted, you can’t simply remove that source of pleasure and comfort without replacing it. Make sure that you’re replacing porn with healthy and enjoyable behaviors.

5. Talk about it. Porn use is incredibly common. Many people develop behaviors which resemble addiction. Porn is designed in order to elicit precisely this response. This is not at all unusual and it is nothing to be ashamed of! The more open you’re able to be about your difficulty with those who you trust, the better supported you will be in your recovery.

6. Know the risks: in order to stay motivated, it’s important that you stay focussed on the risks associated with porn use. For some, porn use destroys relationships. Some people end up spending huge amounts of money on porn; and others get into trouble at work because they’re not sufficiently focussed. Porn is often unethical; and many are ashamed of their addiction. Excessive porn use can also lead to sexual problems, such as Porn-Induced Erectile Dysfunction.

7. Try cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). This is an effective, evidence based form of therapy. It works by training you to identify and reprogram unhelpful beliefs and thoughts which fuel porn use (and other difficulties that you may be having). Speak to a licensed mental health practitioner in order to get started.

--Daniel Sher, Clinical Psychologist, Between Us Clinic

PERMALINK: https://outwittrade.com/how-to-quit-porn#daniel

I specialize in sex addiction/porn addiction. Porn addiction can be one of the most difficult to break because it is a process addiction,meaning no external stimulus enters the bloodstream. It uses the bodies own dopamine to reward the neural pathways.

So here is my tip: do squats. Yes, squats, exercise boosts dopamine just like viewing porn and when I am having my clients cut back on viewing time, I have them do 25 to 50 squats to get the same dopamine rush (it is the exact same) to the brain. You can also gamble (but that may open a new can of worms), it has the same natural dopamine effect.

--Dr. Cali Estes, the addictions coach

PERMALINK: https://outwittrade.com/how-to-quit-porn#cali

In my early college days as I started staying alone for the first time I got the addiction of pornography. I tried to get rid of it as well but I was not able to do that. Then, just like any other addiction I applied two simple things in my lifestyle to get rid of it-

1. Stop thinking about quitting it: The more we think about quitting it, the more we train our mind to do that. So, taking it as normal as any other thing is the primary part. If we keep thinking it is not good, we have to get rid of it, the chance of failing gets more and more.

2. Learn new things daily and sleep early: Learning new things everyday keeps our mind busy and active. Thus, making it hard to revert back to any sort of other negative things like pornography. And,in most of the cases we tend to watch porn in the late nights. So making a lifestyle of sleeping early we certainly help quitting pornography.

With these two tips I have managed to quit watching porn for life time.My lifestyle is better now. And, most importantly I have stopped sexualizing people and this feels great.

--Koushik Biswas, Yours Truly Koushik

PERMALINK: https://outwittrade.com/how-to-quit-porn#koushik

Successfully and sustainably quitting your use of pornography requires you to re-sensitise your body and re-wire your brain away from a dependence on visual stimulation for arousal. This means you need to teach your body how to FEEL, to enable you to dial in to relaxed arousal through touch, connection and sensation rather than the high-octane visual current that streaming porn delivers. Learning how to touch yourself mindfully, to explore sensation, to give yourself massage, to receive massage, how to breathe properly and relax your habitual tension patterns will give you other, more direct, neural pathways to pleasure. Quitting cold turkey is one thing, but if you aren’t also re-wiring your body and brain for a new experience of arousal and pleasure, you are likely to fall back into the old habits. It works for some people, but for most it is like cutting the parachute mid-jump with no clue how to deploy the reserve parachute!

In terms of sticking to your commitment to not watch any porn, having a ‘buddy’ is extremely beneficial: someone you are accountable to, someone you can report in to or reach out to when you need a boost of motivation to stick to your new habits. If your intimate/romantic partner is supportive that’s a good place to start, or get vulnerable and honest with a friend, or seek out a therapist or coach with experience in the field. Alternatively you can reach out to virtual communities such as the ‘yourbrainonporn.com' site, the ‘nofap.com' community or ‘21daychallenge.com'. The problem with these, on some level, is that they are also online and therefore hold you quite close to the setting and triggers of diving into online porn. Connecting with a real person, where possible, is always preferable. Ultimately, adjusting the behaviours will solve the ‘problem’ on one level, but as with most addictions, if the underlying emotional and psychological issues are not at least acknowledged and ideally addressed, they will ‘leak’ out in other ways and through other channels.

--Libby Sheppard, masseuse, sex coach, Touch of Happiness Massage

PERMALINK: https://outwittrade.com/how-to-quit-porn#libby

If you want to quit pornography (great decision, btw), the best first step is to tell someone that you trust. Someone who won't shame you or give you advice but will respond compassionately and with empathy. In my experience working with men who have had a long standing struggle with porn, the biggest shift is when they tell their partners. Without the secret holding you in a cycle of shame, you can now move forward with the next step.

You want to give yourself the best chances of success by figuring out:

1) When are your triggering moments? (for example: being alone with your phone in an empty house)

2) What need is porn fulfilling for you? (for example: it helps me relax when I've had a stressful day)

Then you give yourself the support you need during the triggering moments and provide alternatives for the needs you have. For example, not being alone in the house with your phone and taking up swimming to de-stress.

The last crucial step that most professionals miss is that porn addiction is usually orgasm addiction. In the beginning, you'll have to wean yourself off of the urge to orgasm frequently because you've artificially raised your sex drive. If you truly want to quit, I suggest asking your partner to be your support and being there when you masturbate. This will feel uncomfortable and strange but I've not only see this work marvelously in my own marriage but also in scores of other couples. Your partner can choose whether they participate or not.

I commend you for wanting to quit! The results are tremendous including a boost in your mood, an easier time sleeping, more connection with your partner, stronger erections, increased secure attachment in your relationship and more sexual sensitivity.

--Janna Denton-Howes, sex coach, Jannadentonhowes.com

PERMALINK: https://outwittrade.com/how-to-quit-porn#janna

To help you stop watching porn, it’s a good idea to firstly identify the times/scenes when your craving starts. You’re likely not aware of these triggers at all, but when you start knowingly observing your actions, you’ll definitely notice some patterns. Some more common triggers may be discussing sex/porn with your friends, stressful situations, and even erotic undertone tv ads.

Something to keep you from watching porn is to keep in mind that it just isn’t real life. Sex in everyday lives is completely different to what is going on in porn. Oftentimes, the men and women appearing in porn movies don’t really appreciate the things that the movie scenarios require of them. Thus, look at porn movies just as scripted pieces - try to see the reality of porn, instead of focusing on it as a fantasy. I recommend watching a documentary about the porn industry - this will surely give some food for thought.

Additionally, watching excess porn will definitely alter your expectations and experience for real-life sex, usually making it less satisfying. Even if you want to stop watching porn, you definitely don’t have to give up masturbation - it’s a perfectly normal, healthy thing to do.

--Robert Thomas, certified sex therapist, Sextopedia

PERMALINK: https://outwittrade.com/how-to-quit-porn#robert

If you're having trouble quitting pornogaphy, don't quit everything all at once. Begin by limiting yourself to just one pornstar and only watch videos that feature them. Once you're only watching one porn star, switch from videos to still images. By titrating, you help your nervous system to slowly adjust to a new reality.

It's important to keep in mind that watching porn and masturbating releases several powerful feel-good chemicals, known as neurotransmitters, in your brain and body. When you stop watching porn, or even adjust your porn viewing, you are going to go through a period of withdrawal while you're making less of those feel-good chemicals. Have a game plan in place to purposefully replace porn with other activities that release those same chemicals (such as exercise, learning new things, and completing small projects).

--Caitlin V. Neal, M.P.H., Clinical Sexologist, alwaysberoyal.com

PERMALINK: https://outwittrade.com/how-to-quit-porn#caitlin

Katie Holmes

I am the lead editor of OutwitTrade and an accomplished writer and internet marketer. These days I spend a lot of my time organizing community discussions here, writing content, and outreaching to different people.

Author disclaimer

Latest posts by Katie Holmes (see all)

Copyright © 2020 OutwitTrade