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  • Writer's pictureChris Thompson

How To Stop Watching Porn: 5 Tips



Watching porn in your free time is not necessarily an unhealthy habit. Many people use porn to explore their sexual desires and become in touch with what they like.


However, there can become a point where watching porn is no longer a casual thing you do but rather an all-consuming act that can distract you from your everyday needs. Knowing the difference between healthy and unhealthy porn-watching habits can help you to assess whether or not you need help.


If watching porn is getting in the way of your life and responsibilities, you can consider seeking treatment for porn addiction. There are plenty of tips to slow down or stop your porn compulsion. And don’t forget; you are not alone.


Continue reading to learn more about porn addiction and how to recover from it. This is your comeback story!


What Is Porn Addiction?

Porn addiction is not an actual diagnosable addiction because it does not exist in the DSM-V, the diagnostic manual for mental health issues. This makes the compulsion self-diagnosable. An addiction may be at play if you know that you have a problem with controlling yourself and it’s impacting your life.


When you watch porn, dopamine is released into your body. This hormone is the same that is released during sex, taking drugs, drinking alcohol, and experiencing other kinds of thrill. Once you start to get used to getting your dopamine from watching porn, a habit can form.


Addictions usually stem from wanting to drown out negative thoughts and feelings. Likely, a person struggling with an addiction to porn is also negatively impacted elsewhere in their life. And finding healthy ways to soothe those feelings is possible and achievable.


How Do I Know If I Have a Porn Addiction?

Watching porn becomes a problem when it starts to fully consume your life. You might constantly think about porn, watch it several times throughout the day, lose a sense of your responsibilities, and lose relationships.


It can be difficult to admit that you have a problem, especially when it feels like the problem isn’t the worst that you could have. Some may not view porn addiction as seriously as it should be, but that doesn’t take away from the damage it can do to a person’s life.


Signs that you may have an addiction to porn are:

  • You experience intrusive thoughts about porn.

  • You use it as a coping skill for anxiety or depression.

  • You hide your behaviors from people around you.

  • You spend money on porn regularly.

  • You avoid physical and emotional intimacy with your partner.

  • You avoid social settings to engage in your addiction.

  • You watch it during inappropriate times (at work, while out with friends, in the car).

  • You fail at keeping up with your commitments.

  • You simply cannot stop watching. Whenever you get the chance, you watch it.

When Is It Not a Problem?

Porn is consumed in a variety of different ways and has been for decades. Watching porn does not always mean you have an addiction. Some people watch porn and then move on with their day normally.


Watching porn in moderation is key. Many people can understand the appropriate times and places to watch porn. Watching porn is not a problem when it doesn't get in the way of daily functioning, and the person can think about other things throughout the day.


Some studies have even shown that watching porn can benefit some couples by opening up communication and discussing their desires in the relationship.


The Impact of Porn Addiction

To seek out change, understanding the impact that your porn addiction has on you and those around you is essential. When trying to make a change in your porn habits, it can help to weigh the positive outcomes against the negative.


Some of the negative impacts of watching porn that you can experience are:

  • Porn and masturbation addiction.

  • Sexual performance anxiety.

  • A decrease in desire for sex.

  • Decreased self-esteem and an increase in embarrassment.

  • Feeling guilty or out of touch with your values.

  • A decrease in sexual arousal.

  • Issues with sexual arousal and physical pain from incessant masturbation.

  • Building up your tolerance and requiring more to achieve the same dopamine levels.

  • Lack of interest in things that used to bring you pleasure.

  • Reduced quality and quantity of sex in your relationship.

  • Seeking out harmful or dangerous situations to feel pleasure.

  • Urges to watch porn.

  • Needing to watch porn and it interfering with your life.

Porn addiction can feel good at first, like with most addictions, but soon you may even begin to exhaust yourself. You may want to stop but aren’t sure how to do so. Seeking treatment and community for your addiction is likely the best way to see positive results. In fact, we believe connection and empathy are essential to recovery.


How Can I Stop Watching Porn?

Just because you watch porn doesn’t always mean you have an addiction. And people who don’t have addictions might still want to find ways to stop watching it.


For people with porn addiction, the desire to stop is overshadowed by the uncontrollable desire to watch. It can take a lot of effort and clarity to see what changes you need to make to fight back against the addiction.


There are many different techniques that you can try to help stop watching porn. Not everything will work for you, but giving it a go is worth it. You never know what will work until you try it!


1. Understanding and Accepting

To get better, accepting that you have a problem is a great first step. Addictions often stem from negative feelings and thoughts. You may try to avoid dealing with your issues by forming negative habits that give you a dopamine rush. We get it!


Acceptance is the first step in getting better. The next step is to get to the bottom of your porn addiction and why you are struggling. Sometimes joining groups for porn addiction recovery or seeking out therapy can be helpful in getting to the root of your problems.


2. Block Your Access and Delete Any Porn

When you are looking to stop watching porn, you should first delete any porn you have stored on your phone or computer, throw away photos you might have, and block your access to viewing it. This can be really difficult to go ahead and do on your own, but the power that you can harness simply from placing a porn blocker on your electronics should give you hope.


By blocking your own access, you are putting up a physical barrier that will restrain you from finding porn. If you share your concerns with someone you trust, you can even have them put the blocker up to support you.


3. Try Meditation

When you feel the urge to watch porn, consider meditating instead. Mindfulness is powerful when it comes to overcoming addiction. You must be aware of your thoughts and feelings to figure out how to express them appropriately.


Meditation, however, can help you to put the urges you feel on the back burner. You can focus on positive energy and helping yourself rather than being consumed by your addiction.

4. Get Some Physical Exercise

If you feel the urge to watch porn, get up and go outside. You can focus your energy on walking, going on a hike, riding a bike, or going to the gym.


By engaging in physical activity, you are signaling to the same reward center that lights up when you watch porn. Exercise can control the reward impulse and help you to regulate your feelings better.


Find a physical exercise hobby that you like to do and use that as a tool to overcome your urges. Channel that built-up energy into your workout, and you will arrive home feeling just as satisfied.


5. Replace It With a Healthy Habit

Urges are bound to happen throughout the day, especially if you are used to watching a lot of porn. While exercise and meditation can be very helpful, they aren’t the only two ways to get your mind off porn.


When you get an urge, pick up a book and start to read. Do a crossword puzzle. Start working on a puzzle. Learn a new skill. Pick up a musical instrument. Basically, do anything that will enrich your mind!


Build Community With Sober Sidekick

Going through addiction of any kind alone is daunting. Porn addiction can carry a lot of guilt and shame, making it even harder to come forward about.


However, with Sober Sidekick, you can anonymously receive and give support to other members suffering from addiction. Empathy is the key.


Community is so important in addiction recovery, and Sober Sidekick recognizes this. Not only can you attend group meetings on the app, but you can also seek professional support when necessary.


Download the app with Android or iPhone to get started today!


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