How to beat porn. (Parental Advisory)


On Facebook, someone asked for advice on how to stop looking at porn. I started writing... and writing... and writing. After about an hour I hit enter. Facebook informed me that they do not allow comments longer than 8000 characters. I guess I have a lot to say, but facebook won't let me say it. That's probably for the best anyway. This post may not be appropriate for just anyone. The following is the comment that facebook would not let me post. I hope it helps.

I've been able to overcome porn through a few habits and methods. I'm going to be a little bit graphic in this comment, so proceed with some caution. I'm going to share 10 methods for overcoming porn. These are primarily directed at married men and women, though I expect some of them could help single men and women as well. Shawn if these are too graphic I understand. If you need to delete this comment I get it. I'll post it on my own site, so it won't be lost.

1. 

It's time to tell the wife. My wife is my biggest ally in the fight against porn. My wife is very understanding and has been willing to help from the beginning. Many men who are engaged in porn, are lying to their wives about it. This is one of the main excuses: "My wife thought I quit a long time ago, if I tell her now, she'll know I've been lying to her for years." Here's the problem though, our wives are our one shot at beating, beating off. Seriously, it's how God designed us, and we have to lean heavily on the help of our wives. (I never was able to overcome porn and masturbation while I was single, so you'd have to talk to someone else for that.) You need to begin talks (not one talk but many) with your wife about porn. I know, she doesn't get it. That's why you need to talk. I know the stakes are high. Proceed with caution. I know there are people that will tell you not to talk to your wife, but I'm convinced that your wife is your best chance of beating this thing. My wife has been very understanding, I know not all are. I don't envy you for having to tell her. It's going to be hard. There are two sins being committed, porn and lying to your wife. You can stop one of those almost immediately. Once you stop lying to your wife about it, or at least being completely silent, you can begin to talk about how you're going to fix it. I say this with one caveat. Talk to your wife about it when you are actually ready to fix it. It's not fair to tell her if you aren't ready to do something drastic about it.

2. 

Drastic you say? Yeah. I did, and it worked. Once I got serious about beating porn, I realized I needed my wife's help. I had my wife set passwords and parental controls on my devices. All. Of. Them. This is the biggest help I've ever had. It eliminated probably 95% of the temptation. The 5% of temptation that comes up, I prepare for with prayer and a steady diet of setting my mind on things above. You may say, "That would be so inconvenient." That's garbage. That mentality is valuing your own right to look at whatever you want over the health of your family. You need to win, or your family is going to lose. When you're ready, have your wife set up passwords on all your stuff. She'll be around to put in the password when needed. This is why it needs to be your wife. She's available when you need her to unblock a site. When she's not available, you probably don't need to be looking at a blocked site anyway... am I right?

3. 

So this eliminated about 95% of my temptation. The extra 5% can be combated with prayer, a healthy sex life, and setting my mind on higher things. What I mean by that is, remember eternal rewards. A married man once told me that he used to think, "I'm saved, so why should I stop looking at porn?" He thought that until he heard about eternal rewards. Once he realized that he's got some skin in the game, (figuratively) He was able to begin having some measured success. Here's a practical example. The last time, (which it's been a while now) I was tempted to masturbait, I was literally reaching for the lotion as I was praying. Lord help me overcome this temptation. With the lotion in my hand I said, "Lord I believe you will reward me if I put this lotion down." Guess what, it worked. I put down the lotion and have maintained a good track record since. What was running through my mind in that moment was the literal reward that Jesus will give me at the judgement seat for overcoming sin. It worked. Since my wife helped me overcome 95% of the temptation by putting parental controls on my devices, I can combat most of that extra 5% with prayer and a healthy thought life. That doesn't mean my performance is perfect, but I can say, I'm doing well because of these things.

4. 

When I do fail, I confess very specifically to God, and less specific to my wife and close male friends. As far as confessing to God I speak aloud the gritty details in prayer. Hearing myself say it to God is embarrassing and hard to do. Now that I'm no longer looking at porn, I do this with specific lusts and fantasies I've fallen prey to. I confess to God the details of what I imagined, down to what I was doing in the lustful imagination. "Lord, I'm sorry, I envisioned unbuttoning her pants and..." well you get the idea. I've literally hung my head in shame after speaking these kinds of things out loud to the Lord. It helps me realize how serious they are. In addition, I confess to my wife and to my close male friends, but I don't confess in such detail. I tell them that I've messed up and give some generalizations. This helps as well because it allows me to stay in good fellowship with my wife, (which is vital to having a healthy sex life) and keeps guilt from building up. The build-up of guilt leads to more sin usually.

5. 

I've set my aim at getting 100% sexual gratification from my wife. In the first few years of marriage, this would have been unimaginable to me. I probably was at a 60% self-gratification 40% intimacy with my wife. This was fueled by porn for some time. Even after I stopped looking at porn, for about a year I still was strongly tempted to gratify myself without her being involved. This was because I had trained my body to want self-gratification. It was a many-years habit. I liked sex ok, but I preferred doing it my way by myself. Weird, I know. What I noticed is that over time, the longer I went without porn the less I desired to self-gratify and the more I desired to have intimacy with my wife. Once that began happening, the fight against porn became easier. A married man's best bet to overcoming porn is to have sex with his wife... often. More than he "needs." You need to be having sex more often than you feel physical need for it, because by the time you let the libido build-up, the temptation will be stronger. It's like eating regular meals. If you eat a normal portion more often, then you won't become starved and be tempted to overeat. Same concept, have sex with your wife more often than the minimum and it's like armor against porn.

6. 

Put yourself in situations where there is raised expectation. Many men I've talked to decide not to volunteer in their church, or take spiritual leadership because they know they are living with a porn habit. They feel like they need to clean up their lives before they are worthy to do anything valuable. I take the opposite approach. Put yourself in a situation where there is raised expectations for you to excel. Lead a Bible study, start a prayer group, share the gospel on a regular basis, volunteer at church. Inject yourself into a situation where there is a higher standard of expectation. This alone probably won't fix the problem, but it helps take care of a small percentage of the temptation. Minor temptations can be brushed away by thinking, I can't be looking at porn, What would my Bible study group think if they found out? This can help, though don't rely on this method completely. For me, I'd say this has helped me maybe one out of ten times I've been tempted. it's part of a winning plan, but it certainly isn't the knockout punch.

7. 

Insist on sex before your wife goes out of town. My wife and I call it, 100% optimized. That means that I have not looked at porn or masturbated since the last time we had sex. My goal is to stay 100% optimized and I have for quite some time now. We both know that I'm most tempted when she and the kids are out of town visiting her family, and I'm at the house alone. We do a few things. First I make sure and log out of any TV services on our TV that aren't blocked by parental controls. It's important to do this before she leaves town because once she's gone my hormones are in a full-court press. Secondly, we try to make sure and have sex the night before she leaves. I need every advantage I can get. I usually am set for a few days after sex. I'm least tempted if I'm most recently satisfied.

8. 

Get good at sex with your wife. I was a virgin when I got married. In addition to being a virgin, I'd been masturbating for years. The goal of masturbation is very different than the goal of sex. Masturbation is about getting pleasure as quickly as possible. If I could reach pleasure town in 15 seconds, then great. Though, that doesn't work well for actual sex with a real person. 15 seconds is a pretty crummy Friday night. So, there was a steep learning curve for me and my wife, who was also a virgin. I had to figure out ways, and am still trying to figure out ways, to make the whole thing last longer than a yellow traffic light. We've figured out a few things that really help this. I'm not going to tell you what they are, because I think that's too much information for this location. Here's why I'm telling you at all though. I was so embarrassed at my crummy performance in bed for the first seven or eight years of our marriage. Men don't like being embarrassed. I, therefore, didn't look forward to being shamed so I avoided regular sex. This made my porn problem worse. Here's the fix though: figure it out. Get good at sex. Ask her what she likes, and do it. Make it your goal to give her the best time of her life, and you will enjoy it more as well. My wife and I are much more satisfied with our performance in the last two years. We're nearly to our ten year anniversary and it finally seems like we're getting the hang of it. Now that I don't feel embarrassed, I'm more likely to want to do it. this makes me 98.2% less likely to want to look at porn.

9. 

Get off of Instagram. Instagram was the last hold out for me. I told myself I wanted to keep it around to keep up with my friends. Though the last few times I was even tempted was through Instagram. Instagram is officially against porn being on their site, but they do virtually nothing to stop it. Tumblr is the same. Get them out of your life. Facebook is much better at filtering, and Twitter is fair to middling. Facebook seems to be the safest, though for good measure I've removed Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, actually all social media from my phone. I do social media on a desktop or laptop exclusively now. It would be weird for me to go into the bathroom with my 15" MacBook Pro. The phone is much more discrete, which is why it's the preferred porn delivery system. So I decided to remove all of it. You're probably thinking, but what will I do on my phone while I'm on the toilet? I've been really pleased with the NEWS app on iPhone. It gives me, basically the same things I like about Facebook, (a scrolling news feed) but what's in the feed is actually news. So it's been a good replacement, and I haven't really missed my phone-social media. All social media that needs to be done, I can do during the day on my computer when there are other eyes of colleagues present.

10. 

Finally, face your screen toward the door. In your office, make sure that people passing by can see your screen. Set your screens up in ways that someone can happen in on you. I give a buddy free office space at my home office for this very reason. He can see my screen all day long, and I can see his. It's helped us stay wholesome. It's worth it to me to have someone else around to keep me honest. Another example is, my TV in my living room can be viewed through security cameras set up in my house. My wife can log in and see what I'm watching at any time. In fact, she could be watching me right now and I wouldn't know it. That's the point. We behave better when we are being watched. The more hours of the day you can put yourself in situations where you are being watched, the better you will behave. This will help you build solid habits that strengthen your tolerance for avoiding porn.

Now let me tell you why you want to do all this. Your sex life with your wife will be better. Not right away, but after the poisonous porn residue begins to leach from your body and mind you will begin to feel more desire for a natural intimate relationship with your wife.

This affects the whole family. Parents with an improved sex life, treat their kids better. Their home is more loving and peaceful, when Mom and Dad not only are committed to monogamy but living a romantic existence.

Your relationship with God will change. You have dark corners when you're living with a porn habit. It's like visiting the temple of Zeus. Sure, you can do it while being a Christian, but it's a dark secret that you wish God didn't know. Come into the light, and you'll feel a freedom.

My life, my family life, and my spiritual life is richer since I let my wife help me quit looking at porn. It is so much better.


Hope this helps.