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August 3, 2015

How To Stop Watching Porn

help stopping looking at a porn addiction

About my life long struggle with Porn:

My struggle started pre-teen. I was at a friend’s house and my friend’s parents had left the house. That’s when it started and without any adult supervision, it was easy for my friend to show me something no child should see.

As I got older, I wasn’t always exposed or able to view porn, but the desire to look at it never went away. As an adult, I gained more freedom, and fell deeper into the grips of porn. I feared that I would never stop viewing pornography unless I became too old to care. This made me believe I would never get to experience the joy of being free of my porn addiction during the better years of my life.

The biggest thing I learned during this struggle was that I would never stop watching porn, by simply not looking at it. It is my goal to share the mindset and actual steps that I used to combat this monster in my life. If you struggle with a porn addiction or know somebody that does, I pray my testimony and personal story will help you find a way to break the chains of porn and experience the true joy of freedom from such a horrible addiction.


Understanding Our Addictions and Behaviors

The Brain: Our mind likes to do things efficiently. When you first learn something, for instance walking, you mind has to be fully engaged. However, over time walking no longer becomes an active thought.

It all happens subconsciously. This is often called “muscle memory”. Once your brain does something so many times, it stores that thought, behavior, or action for quick access. This eliminates the need for spend the energy learning that thought, behavior or action all over again.

For example, when one first learns to swing a golf club, one has to focus on multiple things: the grip, the stance, trajectory, breathing, actually hitting the ball and aiming at the target. After plenty of practice, all these things get rolled into one fluid motion, allowing the golfer to focus on just hitting the ball to their target.

It’s also important to notice that only bad things are called addictions. We are actually addicted to many good things as well, but we call them behaviors simply because we aren’t trying to stop them. You would never say, “I’m addicted to running” but rather “I love running”. However, if you say “I love porn” as opposed to “I’m addicted to porn” you may get some negative reactions.


So why the heck does any of this BS I’m talking about matter?

As I stated earlier, hitting a golf ball takes about 7 steps just to do one thing: hit the ball. I want to show you how I worked backwards from watching porn, to actually discover that I was doing seven things that actually led up to me watching porn.

As I stated earlier, It is very hard to stop your porn addiction, but if you become aware of your destructive patterns, you will have the ability to eliminate these behaviors and the triggers causing you to feel the need for porn in your life.


My Patterns that Kept Me in the Porn Addiction Cycle

As you read below, you will discover the ongoing patterns taking hold in my life. These patterns may have led to short-term pleasure, but they also caused a huge emotional/spiritual/physical deficit in my life. As each action left me feeling negative, I would use the next action as a “pick me up”, which would eventually turn into an even larger deficit.

Masturbation: I believed that masturbating actually relieves your sexual tension. I also believed that it has no negative affect on you as long as you keep it in check. These are both untrue.

A friend once told me that if you see an attractive woman and begin lusting, you have less than 3 seconds before your body secretes a chemical. Once that chemical is released, it is much harder for you to stop whatever you want to do.

This led me to be more aware of how I am feeling, what I think, and what I do. Soon I began noticing the 2-3 days after I masturbated, the more I “needed” to check out women, think about porn, or even masturbate some more. But if I went a week without masturbating, it was easier to be a gentleman and not masturbate to begin with, since the chemical was out of my system.

Exercise: Anyone that has exercised for a long time knows that when you exercise, you feel great, but when you don’t exercise, you start to feel lethargic. People that don’t exercise don’t even know they don’t feel as good as they should. Exercise gives you a clean slate, erases your mind, and gives you a short term freedom from anxiety, addiction and other negative effects.

Eating Habbits: The same as exercise, if you eat right, you feel better. If you don’t, you leave yourself at a deficit.

Drinking Drinking obviously is a fun experience, but it is actually a depressant. When drinking, especially drinking multiple days in a row, you will actually leave yourself feeling worse off than the day before you started drinking. I’m not necessarily talking about hangovers, but rather a sense of being less happy than before, whether it be physical, spiritual, mental, or emotional. Most likely it is all four.

Caffeine As American’s, we believe coffee is a need, but in all actuality, you only need it once you start drinking it.

I would drink coffee all day, have ups and downs every few hours, and then not be able to sleep at night. Once I stopped drinking coffee, I noticed I got more work done, could stay awake and alert longer (even late at night during my Xbox playing days), and that I only became tired once I started drinking coffee again. The need for coffee is a lie that is believed more, the more you drink it. Again, drinking coffee and other caffeinated beverages will leave you at a deficit.

Sleep: This is obvious, but if you don’t get sleep, you are more likely to do anything to give yourself an unhealthy “pick me up”. No good comes from this. It only leaves you with a deficit.

Spending time Outside: If we, as humans, don’t go outside in nature, don’t break up our routines, don’t hang out with friends and family, and don’t experience life, we end up becoming unbalanced, which leaves us with a deficit.


Porn: The Ultimate Pick Me Up

Here is an actual example of how my addiction would manifest itself in my life:

  • I wouldn’t exercise. This leaves me feeling crappy, so I eat junk food.
  • Eating junk food leave me feeling even worse and how I’m sleepy, so I drink caffeine.
  • Too much caffeine causes me to sleep less and feel crappy in general, so I masturbate.
  • Masturbating places the “lust chemical” in my body, this remains in my body for a few days.
  • I also end up not going outside and hanging out with people. This would all come to an epic conclusion of wanting to relax and enjoy myself.
  • So I would stay up late, get junk food, drink beer, have caffeine and play with some friends on Xbox live.

All these things would compound and leave me at an even greater deficit. Over the next few days I would want the ultimate pick me up, so I would watch porn.


The Key for Breaking the Porn Watching Cycle

Once you are already addicted, and cannot resist looking at pornography, you need to identify what leads up to you watching porn and eliminate each part of your addictive cycle.

I saw the biggest changes in my addiction when I sold my Xbox. My favorite possession in life was my Xbox. It took me a year to finally get rid of it. But once I got rid of it, giving up other things weren’t so difficult.

Now I exercise more, go to sleep and wake up earlier, drink less caffeine, eat better, don’t masturbate and I am starting to drink less. All in all, after eliminating each of the “pick me ups” I ended up being more balanced, which caused me not to “need” to look at porn.

Everyone one of us is different. Learn from my patterns and try to understand your own patterns. Once you identify your patterns, focus your energy on eliminating them from your life. Until you do this, chances are you won’t be able to quit your porn addiction.


A Christian Perspective on Quitting Porn

God gave us his law not to make our lives difficult, but to free us from harm. If we obeyed God’s law there would be no broken families, no fatherless kids, no debt, no disease, and his people would prosper physically, mentally, and financially. However, since we disobey we become cursed. Whenever we carry out our sin, we are literally asking God to not be involved in our lives.

The church, as a whole, also doesn’t speak out much about sin. God loves you so much, so how could he not forgive you? I would agree that God does love us and is always willing to forgive a repentant person, more than we can imagine, but this is only one side of the coin.

God is a jealous, wrathful and righteous God. He hates sin (rejecting God and his ways) so much that he will punish it for all eternity, yet he loves us so much that he needed someone to pay the price for our sin, Jesus. So his son had to take the righteous punishment for us.

Christ’s sacrifice does not give us a “sin free” card, but rather a “freedom from sin” card. Through his grace we are forgiven, and through his grace we are given the power to turn from our sin and addictions.

Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. – 1 Corinthians 6:8-10

The verse above says adulterers don’t inherit the kingdom of God. Jesus said, “If any man lusts after a woman, then he has already committed adultery in his heart.” This includes watching porn.

Let’s read that verse again… Those who have lives that are characterized by porn, drinking, homosexuality, etc… do not inherit the kingdom of God. This included me.

When I was addicted to porn, it was the hardest struggle of my life. Sin can create pleasure for a short season, but it’s never fulfilling. It robs you of peace, joy, meaning and life itself.

I was afraid that it would go on forever. I would go to church, listen to sermons online, listen to audio books, etc., but nothing helped. Luckily I never stopped reading my Bible and fervently praying to be set free of this burden. What I learned was that so much of churchianity preaches God is love, he is forgiving, and don’t worry about sin, Jesus died for that.

“Thanks Mr. Pastor. I feel better now, even though I am still sinning. Maybe better luck next week… (I’m being sarcastic here)”

It wasn’t until I started watching a few pastors online that truly believed and preached the entire Bible: every single word. I would listen to Mark Driscol. He would literally yell for Christians to stop looking at porn. I would listen to Rick Wiles, Johnathan Cahn, 119 Ministries and learned the God of the Old Testament still exists, hasn’t changed, and neither has his laws.

I learned how God judges people and nations. I learned how God still judges nations (read Revelation). I also learned how God warns nations, before he judges them, and always calls each nation to repentance. I learned how the Pre-tribulation rapture doesn’t exist in the Bible and that Christians need to be ready for persecution, by growing in faith and obedience.

John Bevere taught me how all Christians will sit before God, and give an account for ALL the good and bad they have done. I also learned how there is no “sinner’s prayer” in the Bible. There is no, “Believe in me, and don’t change anything about your life, and everything will turn out OK prayer”. I never found a verse that says “once saved, always saved” but rather, “many will turn from the faith”, “many who did awesome things” for God will be turned away and be sent to hell. I also learned that the path to salvation is narrow and all the prophets, judges, disciples, and yes, Jesus, all preached repentance, repentance, repentance, and then some more repentance.

This scared the crap out of me, but it was also refreshing. Everything started to add up. Jesus of the New Testament and God of the Old Testament were two sides of the same coin. You couldn’t separate them.

I started to learn a few things. We need to both LOVE and FEAR God. I always “loved God”, but I never feared him. Consequently, the Bible says:

Those who love God, obey his commandments. Those that say they love God, but do not obey, they are liars. – John 2:3 & 14:15

Did I really love God? Or was my definition of love skewed?

I also learned that God is love, but He is also Holy, Holy, Holy. That is Jewish for, “He is the most holy”.

We have no idea as sinful humans what it is to be holy. Many great and righteous men of the Bible experienced God’s presence, fell, became afraid, and “came undone”. They felt the difference between themselves and God. Keep that in mind and understand we, as humans, may be accepting of sin, but God is not!

As a result of listening to the wise counsel of pastors willing to speak the entire bible, I began to fear God. When I started fearing him, I began to obey his commandments, which is how you actually begin loving God.

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom. – Proverbs 9:10

We must fear God and obey his commandments, if we truly love him. The fear of the Lord is a great tool when choosing to quit such an addictive sin as viewing pornography.


Other things to consider

Crazy, raging prayer: On one specific occasion I prayed for God to give me freedom from pornography. I prayed for about 30 minutes straight. I was yelling at God, begging God, and humbling myself, telling him that I needed him to take it away completely.

He answered my prayer. It was like hitting the red “easy button” on the Staples commercials. All of a sudden I wasn’t addicted.

This went on for six months until I became upset about something, and defiantly looked at porn. I do not recommend this. The second time around always is worse than the first.

Flee from sexual immorality. – 1 Corinthians 6:18

Fasting: Unknowingly, when I gave up my Xbox, junk food, beer, excessive caffeine and other unhealthy triggers, I was fasting. Often, when we are truly repentant and asking God to forgive us and transform us, we need to consider fasting. When fasting, especially from food, our sin becomes less and less relevant in our lives. When we fast from things that are easier to control (bad sleeping habits, caffeine, not eating junk food) we build up our “resistance muscles”. Eventually you will be able to withstand the harder temptations. Fasting for a long period of time is like going to boot camp. It will strengthen your self control and act as a spiritual reservoir when experience temptation later.

Speaking openly about it: There is a reason people in AA meetings talk about their issues. When you speak to others about it, you take ownership of it. It is no longer a secret, but a reality. It a huge amount of the burden off of you.

“He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.” – Proverbs 28:13

“Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.” – James 5:16

Humble yourself: Don’t try to figure it all out on your own. Pray and ask God to fight alongside you. I tried for years to quit. Eventually we need to all give up and allow ourselves to be healed with God, and not through our own power.

Ask God to Punish You: This is extremely effective for getting the fear of God back in your life. This will bring heavy problems in your life, problems which you can only rely on God for.

You will hate it, but you will learn to be thankful for it, since it brings you closer to God. Once you learn your lesson, ask God to gracefully restore you. Chances are you are already being corrected; you just are unaware of it. In my life God would punish me through set backs at work, in my marriage, or even with my dog. The difference between me and others, is that I was aware of the reasons for my calamities and now they can be used to get me where God wants me to be.

The chemical break down of your addiction: Say you check out a woman. You have less than 3 seconds to stop thinking anything sexual before your body releases a chemical that makes it much harder to stop.

Over time your cells actually crave the chemical that is produced in your body. Not only do they crave it, they get rid of other nutrient receptors, so that they can take more of the “lust” chemical in when released in the future. Not only are your cells becoming more and more addicted, but you are also slowly killing yourself, due to your cells getting less and less nutrients.

Facebook: You MUST unfollow anyone on Facebook that shares links, photos or videos of anything that can be a temptation. This includes women. Women have no idea how there photos of celebrity gossip or even a good thing, working out with their family, can be unnecessary. Chances are your guy friends don’t have any problems with looking at explicit photos, so what should keep them from sharing them with the world?

Facebook is a doorway to your mind. Be the gatekeeper.

Learn to love God’s law: As a less mature Christian, I knew there were things that I had to give up, but I didn’t want to. As I matured, often through my stubborn experiences, I learned why we need to give up unhealthy things as well as the blessing that comes with sacrificing things you don’t need. The more you grow, the more you understand and love God’s laws. David was a man after God’s own heart. Why? Because he loved God’s law. Read Psalms 119 to get a better picture.


The Benefits of not Watching Porn

Now, I enjoy life much more. I have joy. Joy is not situational. It simply is. It is inside of you. Your car can break down, and you can still enjoy joy. Sin, on the other hand, creates short term pleasure. Joy and happiness are not the same. Happiness is external and situation. Joy is internal and not situational.

What Christ brings is freedom from sin. All of a sudden you get to make your choices, instead of your choices making you. You get to experience peace, and know that you are living in God’s will. This also means God will have your back.

I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Luckily, I found people either through books or friends that truly knew what it meant to love through corrective truth. Now, I get to experience a life without the imprisonment of the sin that destroys all that God had planned for me, from the little things to the great.

I hope the insight from my journey helps you in the fight to quit your porn addiction and any other addictions you struggle with. Feel free to share what your porn watching patterns are below. Chances are you are not the only one.

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Comments

  1. per aspera ad astra

    Thank you for this article, I’m a female who’s trying to stop and have been addicted for a long time. I shall follow the points that you’ve stated and hopefully, with God’s help, I shall overcome.

  2. The best post ever! I forwarded this article to many of my friends even though I’m not Christian the description of God and His relationship to us is so beautifully explained.

    • getversed

      Thanks for the kind words Anna. This whole thing is a beast. We need more people speaking out.

  3. Shay Adams

    I really loved your article on porn , it really helped me. Im addicted and i sincerely wont to stop.

  4. Lav

    Thank you, Pray for me ! Lav

  5. Jeff

    Great information. I can relate and will take what works for me. Thank you not starting with religion.

    • getversed

      Glad to help Jeff. 🙂

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