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So You Can’t Stop Watching Porn Even Though You’ve Tried—What Do You Do?

If you’re reading this right now, chances are, you’re struggling with porn. Now what? How do you combat something so enticing?

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

Sections of the following post come from an article originally shared by our affiliates at Fortify, a recovery resource. Visit their site for more resources geared toward recovery.

Considering that an estimated 91.5% of men and 60.2% of women consume porn,Solano, I., Eaton, N. R., & O'Leary, K. D. (2020). Pornography Consumption, Modality and Function in a Large Internet Sample. Journal of sex research, 57(1), 92–103. https://doi.org/10.1080/00224499.2018.1532488COPY  if you’re reading this right now, chances are, you’ve come in contact with pornography in some significant way at some point in your life.

Maybe you found it on accident years ago when you were browsing the internet, maybe you found it in your parents’ room. Or, maybe you’re one of the few who has never seen it, but porn has infiltrated your relationships and affected your life, anyway.

Regardless of how much or how little you’ve seen porn, it’s important for everyone to know how porn can impact themselves, their relationships, and our world so they can make an educated decision about whether to consume it.

This includes learning about its addictive potential, too.

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Not everyone is addicted

Let’s get one thing out of the way right up front—even if you habitually view porn, you may not be addicted to it. There’s a spectrum, here. Just like not everyone who abuses alcohol is necessarily an alcoholic, not every habitual porn consumer falls into the “addict” category.

Related5 Signs You Might Be Addicted To Watching Porn

According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine, addiction is “a primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory, and related circuitry.” It’s a disease, not just a problem, so it will be as such, in a specific manner. Just think if every person that had one drink of alcohol were treated as an alcoholic—there would be a serious problem.

This is why it’s important to know where you stand, and from there, you can figure out how best to move forward.

And if you’re not sure where you fall on the spectrum, there are tests you can take and professionals you can talk to. Click here to take a five-minute informal evaluation that might give you a hint as to if how severe your porn habit might be.

Note: diagnosing an addiction to pornography can only be made through in-depth interviews and with a certified counselor or psychologist. This article is not a substitute for therapy or professional help.

Truth About Porn

The spectrum of addiction

Based on available data, the likely age of a child’s first exposure to porn is around tween years. The majority of kids are exposed to porn by age 13, with some exposed as young as seven, according to a 2020 survey.British Board of Film Classification. (2020). Young people, pornography & age-verification. BBFCCOPY 

Many people are completely unaware of the potential harms of pornography and go for years without realizing how it’s affecting them. Like we said before, you may not have even chosen to be exposed to porn in the first place. Statistically, it’s very likely that you fall in that category, and you first discovered it while you were just a kid, and now you’re fighting a habit that you’ve developed over the years.

RelatedTips To Quit: What Sleep, Food, And Exercise Have To Do With Porn Recovery

As our affiliates over at the Fortify Platform have talked about, no matter where you are on the spectrum—from habit to obsession to addiction—if you believe you have some kind of an issue with pornography and you want to ditch it for good, you’ll need an action plan for starting your fight.

You might have heard our organization’s slogan: Porn Kills Love. You might know how much pornography can wreck your self-worth and your relationships, and that it can distort the idea of love and healthy sexuality.

You have probably heard that it feeds the demand for human trafficking, and know the physical and emotional damage you can do to yourself and others because of porn. And with all of that, you may have decided that you don’t want to watch it anymore, which is awesome, but you have no idea how to stop.

RelatedHow The Obsession To Watch Porn Can Be Fought

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Where to begin?

So now what? How do you even get started combating something so common and persistent?

Here are some things you can do right now to get started, if you’re deciding to ditch porn for good:

Breathe. Don’t panic. Try to get rid of the negative, shaming thoughts that will hold you back. Take a deep breath and remember that the fight is a marathon, not a sprint. Slow down, focus, and pace yourself. You can do this.

Evaluate the reasons you watch pornography. Frequently, a porn obsession is not actually about satisfying a sexual need. Instead, it usually has to do with not being able to cope properly with overwhelming negative emotions or pain, and seeing porn as an escape from that.

So, why do you watch it? What emotions are you feeling before you do? Is it loneliness? Depression? Anxiety? Do you feel like there is too much in your life that is out of your control? Figuring what leads you to watch porn can help an incredible amount. When you really understand it, then you can work on coping properly. Read this article for more information on how uncovering what leads you to porn can be a key in defeating the desire.

Believe you can get help. It can be so easy to believe you are beyond help or that you don’t deserve it, but that is so far from reality. There are a ton of ways you can get help, and whole communities with platforms like our affiliates at Fortify that will support you every step of the way. You are worth helping. You are worth living a life you want to live, and becoming the person you want to be.

RelatedWhy Watching Porn Doesn’t Make You A Bad Person

Tell someone you trust. You don’t have to go through this alone. One of the best ways to get help is to turn to someone who you can trust. People might not always respond perfectly, but you are going to need some people who are aware of what’s going on so they can help you. Just talking about these issues can make you feel supported as well as getting rid of some of the burden that comes with carrying this isolating issue.

Get The Facts

Consider therapy and support groups. Just like if you have weak knees, you might consider physical therapy to strengthen them, similarly, if your mind needs strengthening when it comes to resisting pornography, you should consider going to therapy to learn how to condition it. There is even some training you can do to erase porn from your brain over time and rewire your way of thinking. Support groups can also be helpful to know that you aren’t the only one dealing with quitting addictive habits or behaviors. Opening up can be difficult, but keeping it all to yourself can lead you more into loneliness and isolation, which only feeds porn habits.

Join the movement. Signing up to become a Fighter allows you to join millions of other people all over the world that have chosen to be strong, open-minded, accepting, bold, rebellious, real, understanding, and encouraging by choosing real love over porn. Be proud to be part of a community that believes in love. You can rep the movement with some of our awesome merch from our store, and even book an event to help spread the word.

Related: These 4 Studies Show How Recovering From A Porn Habit Is Absolutely Possible

Educate yourself. There are dozens of amazing anti-sexual exploitation and porn-fighting organizations out there. Check out our blog, our Get the Facts articles, or resources like Truth About Porn. You can also watch our three-part documentary series for FREE called Brain, Heart, World. There is hope in education and awareness.

Our affiliates over at Fortify are great resources to find tools and advice to help anyone who struggles. Click here to learn more about this recovery platform.

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Why this matters

We fight because we believe everyone deserves to live their best, healthiest life possible, and that includes being aware and understanding how pornography can take away from real-life experiences and healthy relationships—including the healthy relationship you have with yourself.

RelatedHow Porn Can Become Addictive

In the end, pornography can detract from all the great things life has to offer, and you deserve to know the facts: watching isn’t worth it.

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.

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