How to Stop Watching Porn for Good: A 9-Habit Strategy

How to Stop Watching Porn for Good: A 9-Habit Strategy

It is easy for some people to declare that they’ll stop watching porn. The challenging part is following through with what they say.

In this post, we’re providing nine tips on how to stop watching porn for good.

We understand the importance of ending this personal bad habit, not because we’re moralistic individuals here at DGH, but because we see how a porn habit can negatively impact people’s lives.

With the advent of high-speed Internet, pornography has become more accessible. To date, there are at least 420 million websites dedicated to porn.

Meanwhile, the Coolidge effect, or the tendency to seek novel experiences, including sexual partners, is strongly dominant in males. When easy access to porn and the Coolidge effect combine, it often results in a porn habit, or even porn addiction.

The Negative Effects of Porn

Just how adversely can a porn habit affect your life? The following effects might convince you to spend your free time planting an herb garden rather than in front of your laptop being titillated by pixels.

It becomes addicting.

The Coolidge effect comes into play here. A porn habit can trigger the pleasure centers of the brain the same way addicting drugs do. These parts of the brain are associated with motivation, reward, and memory.

Some people who watch porn show signs of addiction, such as issues controlling their behavior, an inability to stay away from it, a craving to watch it, an inability to see the relationship issues it is causing, and a need to hide it from others.

It causes lower sexual satisfaction.

Studies show that even when you don’t watch porn that much, it still lowers real-life sexual satisfaction. The effect is consistent for people in committed relationships and for those who are not in relationships. Porn rewires your brain to relearn what one should expect from sex.

Watching porn is an escalating behavior in that users can develop a tolerance, meaning the porn that once used to excite them starts to be boring. This also translates to their sex in real life. It can just start to seem boring compared to what they're watching online.

It causes erectile dysfunction.

Watching porn has been identified as one of the factors for erectile dysfunction. If you masturbate often, especially soon before trying to have sex with a partner, your interest in sex and ability to perform may decrease.

Additionally, for men who have gone for long periods of time without having sex, frequently masturbating to porn can also train the brain to sexually respond only to specific kinds of stimuli, meaning your hand and the computer screen become your only sexual triggers.

It is an unhealthy resource for sex education.

A European study reveals that using Internet filters is not an effective way to screen for pornographic material online. This means that children can be exposed to porn at any age.

It also means that a generation is growing up believing that what is depicted in hardcore porn is the way to have sex. When children educate themselves by watching porn, they are not learning about the importance of having safe or consensual sex, which can lead to some risky behaviors at a young age.

If you don't want to succumb to these negative impacts of watching porn, there are things you can do to stop this habit. Let's look at some new habits you can adapt in order to stop watching porn.

9 Habits to Stop Watching Porn for Good

1. Look at porn as junk food.

If you view porn as an addiction, then it will be an uphill battle to get free from it. Change your mindset and view porn as junk food, something unhealthy. And the solution is you do not consume it.

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Look at porn as junk food and try to avoid it.

Sure, junk food can be a tasty indulgence, but you always regret eating it after you're finished. You know junk food causes sluggish behavior, lethargy, weight gain, depression, and can lead to other serious diseases, so it is never worth it.

A regular diet of porn is about as healthy for your sex life as a steady diet of cake and potato chips would be for your body. Eating junk food instead of nutritious food will not create a healthy, vital body. Similarly, a steady diet of porn also won't nourish a healthy, energetic, and integrated sensual human being.

2. Own up to the fact that you watch porn.

And understand that you can do something about it to be someone who does not. You do not have to condemn yourself for this habit. As with any habit, you can stop watching porn when you have the willpower and motivation.

You won't have the motivation to stop watching porn until you admit to yourself that doing so is taking up too much of your time and having a negative impact on your emotional and physical well-being.

It is also important to admit that it is hard for you to stop this habit. It might be hard for anyone to turn off porn in the midst of a steamy scene, but if you start every day by being determined not to watch porn and you don't even last a few hours without turning it on, then you might be addicted.

3. Identify the reasons for watching porn.

Why do you watch porn? You might feel sexually inadequate, or you might feel that you and your partner have started drifting apart, so you turn to porn. Look within to see what’s really going on that causes you to watch porn, as there are several possible reasons that you may engage in this habit.

Some people report to use porn as a temporary escape from the stressors of their everyday lives. These people have an escapist compulsivity that they use as a coping mechanism. Another reason that people look at porn—aside from seeking sexual pleasure—is boredom.

And often, the real reason is a combination of these factors. Additionally, almost any addict of any type, whether they are addicted to drugs, alcohol, gambling, or porn, can tell you that a main trigger for use is some kind of emotional discomfort, including stress, boredom, anxiety, fear, depression, loneliness, etc. Essentially, people often don't turn to their unhealthy habit to feel pleasure, but instead to shy away from emotional discomfort.

This consistent attempt to seek emotional regulation through overly satiating behaviors such as watching porn can develop into a full-blown compulsion or addiction with clear consequences.

With porn specifically, there is a clear connection between multiple attempts at mood regulation and usage that results in negative impacts on one's life, so it is important to find healthy coping mechanisms to take the place of watching porn.

4. Clear out all pornographic material.

Out of sight, out of mind. Once you get rid of all your porn materials by deleting your downloaded videos, browsing history, and bookmarks; emptying your cache; throwing out magazines, etc., you are able to start with a clean slate, and will be less tempted to watch porn.

If you are like many people, you spend most of your days working on a computer. While it may be tempting for you to fall back into the habit of watching porn, there are things you can do to make it harder for yourself to access it.

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Delete all pornographic materials and make it difficult for yourself to access it.

For example, you can install a porn blocker on your computer that will require you to go through a longer process to get to pornography sites. During this process, you may become less motivated to watch porn, or your willpower may kick in, telling you it is an unhealthy idea that you will regret.

While this option does leave some power in your hands, at least making it burdensome for you to access your go-to porn sites could help you tremendously in kicking the habit in the short term. Porn-blocking software could possibly help you stop watching porn altogether, or it could at least help you cut down by blocking porn during certain hours of the day.

Additionally, avoid mindlessly browsing the Internet as much as you can, and use your computer only when other people are around. If possible, turn off the Wi-Fi in your house when you are not using it, and make it difficult or cumbersome to turn back on, such as a long and complex wireless password. Porn addictions are easy to develop due to the fact that porn is so readily available. If you make it difficult for yourself to access it, it may keep you from doing so.

5. Do something enjoyable.

Fill the void that used to be taken up by your porn habit with a new hobby. Try learning something new during your free time. Also, create your schedule for each day as soon as you get up, and try to fill every hour with some kind of activity. This will keep you occupied.

As previously mentioned, one reason people watch porn is because they are bored. Gain control of your life by creating a meaningful routine or a set of personal goals that will reduce the amount of time you have available to watch porn.

Some healthy habits that you could develop include exercising (which will also serve as a stress-buster), painting, photography, or joining a sports team. Do anything that you find to be enjoyable and fulfilling, and that will give your life meaning away from a computer.

It is important to remember that you need to find something that motivates you. Find something you are passionate about or create something that you can be proud of. When you find a hobby that you love, you will be compelled to use your free time to work on that hobby instead of succumbing to boredom and allowing your mind to go to places it shouldn’t.

6. Get an accountability partner.

A lot of people find that sticking to a goal is easier when someone else is counting on you. Finding someone who understands where you’re coming from and who can support you in your goal to stop watching porn will help provide you with some extra motivation.

While it may feel embarrassing to talk about the situation with someone else, you won't regret doing so in the long run. Even if this person isn't able to help you come up with measurable goals or action steps to help you get rid of this habit, just having someone to talk to about your progress can make you feel less alone. Make sure that your accountability partner knows your triggers and your reasons for watching porn so they can help you address and conquer them.

You will want to check in with your accountability partner often. When you first begin working together, this may mean checking in multiple times a day. As time progresses and you are seeing results from your efforts, you may be able to pull back and only check in a few times a week.

However, make sure this person can always be there for you if you need a pep talk or refresher. If you can’t think of anyone in your life who could act as an accountability partner, consider reaching out for help in an online community where people from all over the world come together to help each other achieve a common goal.

7. Join a support group or sign up for group therapy.

Talking about your compulsion to watch porn and listening to others’ experiences as they work to overcome the same habit can give you the support and motivation you need to kick the habit. Many choose to join a 12-step program in their area that provides support to fight this problem.

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Sign up for group therapy and discover how people overcome the same hurdles that you are facing.

Doing this will help you gain invaluable knowledge and learn from other people's experiences. Not only will you feel comforted being around other people who are facing the same struggles as you, but you will also be able to talk to people who are at all different stages in the quitting process.

You can discover how people got through hurdles that you are facing, and eventually you can teach others how to get over these hurdles as well. Often, you will find that you don't truly understand something until you can teach it yourself.

8. Work out.

Watching porn depletes dopamine (the brain chemical responsible for our feelings of pleasure). If your interest in sex has dwindled due to overdoing it on your porn habit, workouts can help replenish and re-charge your dopamine levels in a healthy way.

When you have sufficient levels of dopamine, your motivation, focus, and concentration are all boosted. Dopamine enables you to resist impulses (such as watching porn) so that you can achieve your goals. When your dopamine levels are depleted due to watching porn, it can leave you unfocused, unmotivated, lethargic, and depressed—which are all common triggers for watching porn.

Exercise raises your baseline levels of dopamine by encouraging the new brain cell receptors to grow. Even doing light exercise like going for a walk or doing yoga can help boost your dopamine levels. Plus, excessive sitting can decrease your body's production of dopamine, so simply standing up frequently throughout the day can benefit your fight against watching porn.

9. Sleep.

Perhaps with your porn habit you are unable to get enough sleep. Now is your time to catch up on some zzzz’s. Sometimes the simplest solution is the most effective one—and we often don’t even consider it.

You're probably used to staying up late at night, scrolling through the Internet for hours instead of getting some sleep. However, this leads to fatigue, which can be a trigger to watch porn.

While one benefit to sleeping is that you obviously can't watch porn while doing do, another benefit is that it will help improve your overall health and well-being, and increase your productivity during the day and your motivation to stay on the right path.

You will be motivated to channel the increased energy you will get from sleep into productive endeavors such as the new fulfilling hobbies that you are picking up. Increasing your sleep can also fuel your body to help you work out more and get out of the house to do enjoyable things.

Conclusion

Today, we’ve discovered the negative effects of a porn habit on a person’s life, and on society in general. We’ve also learned that, as with any habit, we can stop watching porn by having the willpower and motivation to do it.

Hopefully, these tips on how to stop watching porn will give you the push you need to be rid of this habit once and for all.

As you build new habits to replace the porn habit you had, remember to reward yourself once you’ve succeeded in your goal.

You deserve a life that keeps you connected to the people you care about. 

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