Why Do I Use Porn? Why Can’t I Stop?



Edit: November 16th, 2014
– There will be an e-book with all the material on quitting porn, updated and edited, in the first week of December 2014. It will be $2.99 on Amazon!


An ongoing discussion about victory over sexual addiction.

The introduction here.

Part One, excuses and myths, here.

Part Two, the science, here.

Part Three, the soul, here.

Part Three and a half, the soul, here.

Part Four: I’m Ready To Cut It Off. Here.

Part Five: Quitting Isn’t Enough. Here.



Unless you’re in denial, you don’t just use porn when you’re “bored.”

A life overwhelmed, a mind undisciplined, and a heart calloused will find the quickest path to escape, and for men that’s usually going to their room with the lights off and pants down and laptop open. In that private dark space where at last you’re in control, that’s when you’ve lost it the most.

There’s a mess of reasons you turn to it and can’t seem to stop, and unless we dig through the cycle together, you’ll only be scratching the surface with behavioral clean-up. Triggers, trauma, upbringing, worldviews, and your sense of self-worth will all play into why you use porn.

It’s never about the porn. Let’s dig deep.



Objectification, Entitlement, Control, and Scar Relief

If you’re using porn — and there’s no such thing as “casual” use — then you’re trying to make up for lost strength. There’s a large gap between who you are and who you want to be.

You can deny that, but what’s at the bottom of clicking through a buffet of flesh? It offers objects for your control, at your disposal, with little effort, and will relieve any scars of perceived weakness that you’ve been carrying since a trauma seeped into your identity. It’s like pressing an Ego Button to puff you up, a Pavlovian response to the uncontrolled world around you.

It probably began in a place you don’t even remember now. A kid in grade school took your balloon. Your dad embarrassed you at your tenth birthday party. Your parents argued constantly, setting up an unpredictable home. A girl in high school stabbed you in the heart. Your boss keeps yelling at you. College deadlines are making you crazy. Being an adult has proved too much for your adolescent mind.

On top of that, we’ve built such a need for control because of our Entitlement Culture. Entitlementism is launched through your computer and TV screen and media and whining celebrities: I deserve this, I need more, It’s my right, With this I’m successful, I’m looking out for me, How could they do this to me, It’s mine. If you’ve seen First World Problems (language warning), then you know what I mean. We’re a bunch of spoiled, self-interested, insufferable, needy little brats. Forty year olds still act four. Piaget was right about egocentrism, but not everyone grows out of it.

What we haven’t quite learned is to let go and move forward, and to recognize that our need for control is not as necessary as we think. When we begin to cross reasonable boundaries of control into manipulation, then we always pay a steep price. The irony of trying to control so hard is that it leads to uncontrollable actions, like a sharp mouth or aggressive hands or a whiny attitude or porn addiction. You know the type: you might be the type.

Consider a list of what’s worth working on and what’s better to let go. Most people are terrible at saying NO because there are no “punishments” for trying to do more. We’re in a culture where “Less Equals Bad.” But the old saying is true: Less is more.

I know you’ve been hurt. I know you need to make up for lost ego. I know you want everything to be exactly in place. Let it go, bro. The perfectionist in you will kill you. Part of you thinks that using porn will put your life at all right angles, and it does not.

Please note that I have not used the word lust, because that’s not the main thing. Lust is only the vehicle for the passenger of Ego. Do violence to those Control Issues and rip out the roots of Entitilementism. They are not real things you can grasp even if you built the safest life around you. Determine what matters and minimize. Breathe out.


Triggers, Shapes, and Visual Playgrounds

You might have to destroy your desk and blankets. And your carpet. And your wardrobe. And your kids.

When someone associates an innocuous object with sexual arousal, we call that a fetish. But there are subtle triggers at play here that lead you down the point of no return, and most of us don’t think about these “silent fetishes.”

If you’ve been addicted for a while, even the shape of your laptop or the color of your sheets can trigger off physical arousal. A billboard with a feminine shape, a woman’s dress, a man’s muscle definition, a tough day at work, when you’re hungry, tired, frustrated, smells, sounds, faces, after working out, a certain time of day — all these can be triggers.

You’ve been connecting a bunch of dots for a while now. If you end up having a daughter (or do have a daughter), then of course you’ll eventually be aroused by her. That’s about the most tragic thing that can happen, since you’ll purposefully distance yourself from her and cause her deep shame, or worse, you’ll let that scenario play out with her or her friends. Don’t be that guy.

While we lay violence against Control Issues and Entitlementism, there are Triggers avast in the Visual Playground of life which will require dismantling. It’s a lifelong process. It requires more than simple avoidance. It’ll need a transformation of the way we view men and women, of relationships, of communication, of porn itself.

We’ve shortcut nearly everything. Men and Women as God-created complementary beings have been perverted into sexual receptacles. The majority of relationships and communication are done by proxy through text, chat, and social media. Pornography — which is equivalent to mentally coerced sex-slave prostitution (much of it actually is) — has been deformed into entertainment. Since we’ve already bombarded and defused much of the critical thinking here, it’ll almost need a whole reboot.

In one of the toughest sermons I’ve ever heard, the pastor told of a man who confessed that he had been addicted to porn for most of his adult life. The pastor asked what made him quit. The man said that one night while perusing through some explicit webcam activity, he saw his own college-age son in one of the live feeds. His son saw his father as well. The father immediately took a flight to his son at the campus, they embraced and wept and admitted their problems, and had quit ever since. Why? Because, of course, they became sober when it came down to family. Their idea of relationships had been instantly redefined and restored. They could no longer objectify.

You’ll need a reboot to make you sober.

In the mean time, an upheaval of your surroundings may help. Avoidance won’t solve the problem but that can help, too. An alcoholic doesn’t wander into a bar; a porn addict shouldn’t wander into a dark room with a computer. When you’re on the computer, then even innocuous things like GIF sites, movie reviews, discussion boards, Facebook, and YouTube will have triggers that trip you up. You’ll catch glimpses of skin, a sensual pose, a provocative look. If you’re constantly running into triggers, then you’re still not serious about quitting porn because 1) they’re not impossible to avoid, 2) part of you wants to find them, and 3) if you’re really letting go, your triggers won’t be as effective as they were.

It can take months. Even up to a year. Get drastic on that. Pray. Ask God to reshape your thinking. Rely on the Holy Spirit at every moment; follow Him. Write out your current triggers, your associations, the areas of likely attack. Don’t make excuses about this “sex-entrenched” culture or “porn calling your name.” I’ve known guys who have thrown their laptop in the trash, have cut off internet at home, have set up so many locks on their computer that Google takes forever. You might think that’s crazy, but so is your stupid addiction.

Much of the Christian life is about destroying lies and rebuilding truth. Destroy, rebuild, dismantle, restore. A porn addict believes about a billion lies. Destroying even one is painful. Take it from me, a guy who was addicted for fifteen years. It’s painful, but taking out the knife of yourself is total freedom. It’s worth that pain. It’s worth the health of your family, your church, your sanity. Examine yourself.



Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.

— Psalm 139:23-24

Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
— Romans 12:1-2


For all parts of this discussion, click here.


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3 thoughts on “Why Do I Use Porn? Why Can’t I Stop?

  1. Hi brother… I´m a brazilian christian, have a wonderful wife, two awsome childrens – a girl with 15 (oh my GOD!) and a 2 y boy. I´m a puppeteer and a pastor too.

    Can I share this material translating it to portuguese?

    I really searching for goodd materials and then God makes me found yours…

    God bless you!

    Like

    1. Hey my friend! Thank you for your kindness and for asking. Yes! Only things I ask are 1) please credit/cite properly, and 2) please don’t use any material out of context. Please show me when you’re finished, I would love to see it. Thank you!
      — J.S.

      Like

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