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6 Things that Motivate People to Stop Watching Porn

According to credible research and personal accounts, let's explore just a few of the many reasons why people are often motivated to give up porn for good.

By February 25, 2022No Comments

This article contains affiliate links. Fight the New Drug may receive financial support from purchases made using affiliate links.

There are many logical arguments, personal reasons, and researched-based facts that could motivate someone to stop consuming porn.

Any of these reasons to give it up might make sense, but in the end, what actually drives people to change their behavior and remove porn from their lives?

According to credible research and personal accounts, let’s explore just a few of the many reasons why people are often motivated to give up porn for good.

Related: 10 Reasons Why Porn Is Trash And You Deserve Better

1. Heal disconnection from intimate relationships.

As human beings, we are hardwired for connection. These important connections with others, however, can be undermined when porn comes into the picture. Many porn consumers keep their habit a secret from their partners and report habitually lying to hide their behavior. This cycle of secrecy can make them withdraw emotionally from their significant other.

Research indicates that consuming porn can normalize sexual objectification, which can have profound consequences in the ways porn consumers view and treat others.Zhou, Y., Liu, T., Yan, Y., & Paul, B. (2021). Pornography use, two forms of dehumanization, and sexual aggression: Attitudes vs. behaviors. Null, 1-20. https://doi.org/10.1080/0092623X.2021.1923598Copy  The porn industry objectifies people and commoditizes sex, which can make it more difficult to develop intimate connections with real people.

Some even complain about losing sexual interest in their partner the more they consume novel, exaggerated pornographic fantasies.

Related: Want To Improve Your Dating Potential? Consider Giving Up Porn

But quitting porn can bring partners closer together, like the woman who told us this about her husband’s porn issue: “Now that we both have come to the strong realization that pornography is a problem, we have been able to reach a whole different level in our relationship.”

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2. Reverse sexual dysfunction or lack of romance in their relationship.

Eventually, these feelings of disconnection can evolve into significant dysfunctions in a relationship.

Interestingly enough, porn often leads to less sex and less satisfying sex. Research routinely shows that compulsive pornography consumption is associated with sexual dysfunction for both men and women,Bőthe, B., Tóth-Király, I., Griffiths, M. D., Potenza, M. N., Orosz, G., & Demetrovics, Z. (2021). Are sexual functioning problems associated with frequent pornography use and/or problematic pornography use? results from a large community survey including males and females. Addictive Behaviors, 112, 106603. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.addbeh.2020.106603Copy  difficulties with arousal and sexual performance,Sun, C., Bridges, A., Johnson, J. A., & Ezzell, M. B. (2016). Pornography and the male sexual script: An analysis of consumption and sexual relations. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 45(4), 983-994. doi:10.1007/s10508-014-0391-2Copy  and decreased sexual satisfaction. Szymanski, D. M., & Stewart-Richardson, D. N. (2014). Psychological, Relational, and Sexual Correlates of Pornography Use on Young Adult Heterosexual Men in Romantic Relationships. The Journal of Men’s Studies, 22(1), 64–82. https://doi.org/10.3149/jms.2201.64Copy 

Related: Tips To Quit Porn: Why Setbacks Don’t Automatically Mean Failures

Porn-induced erectile dysfunction is also a motivating factor for many to stop consuming porn, like Gabe Deem who shared his story with us.

Watch it below.

3. Seek forgiveness from a partner hurt by porn consumption.

Many consumers conceal from their partner how much and what types of porn they are viewing.

When a couple has pre-established relationships boundaries or the non-consuming partner has objections to porn, continued porn consumption can be a form of betrayal.

According to a 2017 study, women tend to significantly underestimate how much porn their male partners consume.Carroll, J. S., Busby, D. M., Willoughby, B. J., & Brown, C. C. (2017). The porn gap: Differences in men's and women's pornography patterns in couple relationships. Journal of Couple & Relationship Therapy, 16(2), 146–163. https://doi.org/10.1080/15332691.2016.1238796Copy  In fact, in this study none of the casually dating women—zero—reported that their partner consumed pornography daily or every other day, but 43% of casually dating men in the study reported this level of heavy porn consumption.Carroll, J. S., Busby, D. M., Willoughby, B. J., & Brown, C. C. (2017). The porn gap: Differences in men's and women's pornography patterns in couple relationships. Journal of Couple & Relationship Therapy, 16(2), 146–163. https://doi.org/10.1080/15332691.2016.1238796Copy 

Related: Positive Side-Effects Of Quitting Porn According To 90 Real People

Scholars have also noted that pornography concealment may influence the partners’ sense of trustworthiness and security in the relationship.Carroll, J. S., Busby, D. M., Willoughby, B. J., & Brown, C. C. (2017). The porn gap: Differences in men's and women's pornography patterns in couple relationships. Journal of Couple & Relationship Therapy, 16(2), 146–163. https://doi.org/10.1080/15332691.2016.1238796Copy  Healthy relationships are built on honesty and communication, so hiding a porn habit definitely doesn’t help. And hey—you don’t have to clear porn from your browser history if you don’t watch porn.

Betrayal trauma in partners of those who consume porn is real, and seeing the pain porn use can inflict on a partner is often a significant motivating factor for consumers to stop.

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4. Reject toxic, damaging behaviors normalized in porn.

Some people feel profoundly conflicted by consuming porn fantasies that are against their core values or promote attitudes and behaviors that are harmful to society.

Mainstream porn is filled with themes like violence or degradation toward women, violence as an indicator of power, male dominance, objectification, racist stereotypes, and emotional disconnection during sex.

RelatedWhy Watching Porn Doesn’t Make You A Bad Person

These harmful attitudes—and many others normalized in porn—are often contrary to what a consumer views as acceptable, yet they may notice themselves becoming desensitized, numb, or aroused by things that once disturbed them. This inner conflict can motivate consumers to remove porn from their lives.

But for some, like this man who sent his story to us, the normalization of extreme porn is a dealbreaker. “Eight years ago I made the decision to stop viewing pornography,” he said. “I chose to do so, in part, because of the growing trend of offering up extreme and disturbing sexual content to web visitors. Today, it’s no longer a trend. This extreme form of pornography is here to stay.”

5. Stop compulsive behavior or addiction.

Sex addiction/compulsivity—or Compulsive Sexual Behavior Disorder as coded in the ICD-11—is an increasingly common behavioral concern in today’s digital era.

Many porn consumers are surprised to find that porn can be incredibly difficult to quit. While most porn consumers are not addicts in a clinically diagnosable sense,Willoughby, B. J., Young-Petersen, B., & Leonhardt, N. D. (2018). Exploring Trajectories of Pornography Use Through Adolescence and Emerging Adulthood. Journal of sex research, 55(3), 297–309. https://doi.org/10.1080/00224499.2017.1368977Copy  many experts agree that pornography consumption is a behavior that can, in fact, qualify as an addiction in serious cases.Love, T., Laier, C., Brand, M., Hatch, L., & Hajela, R. (2015). Neuroscience of Internet Pornography Addiction: A Review and Update. Behavioral sciences (Basel, Switzerland), 5(3), 388–433. https://doi.org/10.3390/bs5030388Copy Stark R., Klucken T. (2017) Neuroscientific Approaches to (Online) Pornography Addiction. In: Montag C., Reuter M. (eds) Internet Addiction. Studies in Neuroscience, Psychology and Behavioral Economics. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-46276-9_7Copy De Sousa, A., & Lodha, P. (2017). Neurobiology of Pornography Addiction - A clinical review. Telangana Journal of Psychiatry, 3(2), 66-70. doi:10.18231/2455-8559.2017.0016Copy  

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Many report preoccupation or obsession with porn, loss of control over their sexual behavior, multiple failed attempts to cut back or quit, a lack of interest or experience with dating, intimacy, or romance, erectile dysfunction, inability to feel pleasure, trouble at school or work, an inability to form or maintain intimate relationships, social and emotional isolation, financial issues, depression, or anxiety.

Related: 50 Good Reasons To Stop Watching Porn Forever

Regardless of whether someone’s porn consumption is classified as an addiction, compulsion, or simply an unhealthy habit, quitting porn can be a difficult process. Even if it feels daunting, there is support out there, making quitting more possible than ever!

6. A desire to end their contribution to sex trafficking.

It’s becoming more widely understood that the porn industry profits from nonconsensual content and abuse, so avoiding porn is an effective and meaningful way to support the countless survivors of image-based sexual abuse, sex trafficking, and child sexual abuse material.

For many people, a powerful motivating factor to quit consuming porn is learning about the corruption within the porn industry and the direct links porn has to sex trafficking.

Related: 8 Simple Tips To Help You Quit Porn

Not only are porn consumers more likely to victim-blame survivors of sexual assaultFoubert, J. D., Brosi, M. W., & Bannon, R. S. (2011). Pornography viewing among fraternity men: Effects on bystander intervention, rape myth acceptance and behavioral intent to commit sexual assault.18(4), 212-231. doi:10.1080/10720162.2011.625552Copy Foubert, J. D., & Bridges, A. J. (2017). What Is the Attraction? Pornography Use Motives in Relation to Bystander Intervention. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 32(20), 3071–3089. https://doi.org/10.1177/0886260515596538Copy  and more likely to support violence against women,Wright, P. J., & Tokunaga, R. S. (2016). Men's Objectifying Media Consumption, Objectification of Women, and Attitudes Supportive of Violence Against Women. Archives of sexual behavior, 45(4), 955–964. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10508-015-0644-8Copy Seabrook, R. C., Ward, L. M., & Giaccardi, S. (2019). Less than human? Media use, objectification of women, and men’s acceptance of sexual aggression. Psychology of Violence, 9(5), 536-545. doi:10.1037/vio0000198Copy  but it’s virtually impossible to guarantee that the porn consumers watch is ethically, consensually, or even legally made. It can be a huge motivatiing factor to listen to survivors, and stand with them in solidarity.

Once individuals understand that not all of the porn they consume is consensual and children and adults are exploited in the industry every day, many no longer want to fuel the demand for sex trafficking and commit to stopping.

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Hope for recovery

Whatever the reason “why” someone ultimately chooses to walk away from porn, the end result has proven to be a happier, better connected, more fulfilling life.

Related: 5 Tips To Help You Stay Strong While You Quit Porn

Those ready to take on this journey don’t have to do it alone. Our affiliates with the Fortify community connect tens of thousands of users across the world who are using their platform to experience freedom from pornography.

Watching isn’t worth it, but quitting definitely is.

Need help?

For those reading this who feel they are struggling with pornography, you are not alone. Check out Fortify, a science-based recovery platform dedicated to helping you find lasting freedom from pornography. Fortify now offers a free experience for both teens and adults. Connect with others, learn about your unwanted porn habit, and track your recovery journey. There is hope—sign up today.

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Fight the New Drug may receive financial support from purchases made using affiliate links.