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Porn Myths & Excuses

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If you are a porn user, you will dream up many reasons to keep using. These reasons are myths and excuses.

This is an excellent post which has just appeared on Reddit Porn-free, one of the leading porn recovery websites.

“I’m sure many of you are aware of many of the ways in which our brains/minds and culture make it more difficult for us to quit porn for good. I think it’s important that those of us who really want to quit porn are cognizant of these things, as an awareness of them and their falsity can help people to see through them and overcome this terrible addiction. I will keep this secular; I’m sure some have used their faith to help beat this addiction, and that’s fine, but for the sake of helping more people I’ll keep my post secular. Hopefully this is helpful. I’ve been trying to gain awareness of thought patterns and excuses that’ve helped to enable my addiction over the years.

“Me vs. eternity” – You may think, “well, there’s no way I’m going to be able to quit this forever, so I might as well just accept that I’m probably going to eventually relapse. So I might as well just fap.” This just isn’t true. Your goal absolutely should be to quit forever. That’s not to say you should never masturbate again – maybe you should eventually. But while it’s probably impossible to not run into at least some provocative material online at some point, you have a choice when it comes to how you respond to that material. And you should still try to go as long as you can without porn, for this is the best way to weaken the neural pathways underlying your addiction.

“A healthy release for incels” – I’ve seen a lot to the effect that guys who are incels (involuntarily celibate) need to get a release somehow, and that porn is in some way their best outlet for their sexualities. I disagree. First, many people use this label as a crutch, and if these supposed “incels” are addicted to porn they may well be shells of their best selves. So if they quit porn they might end up getting girlfriends. Second, even if some guys really are doomed to be alone, there are much better ways to deal with that than to just watch and masturbate to a ton of porn all the time. You are doing nothing but making your self-esteem even lower. The shame and the jealousy and entitlement that’ll come from it won’t help matters whatsoever.

“Until/unless I fix (insert personal insecurity), I won’t be getting laid anyway. So I might as well watch porn.” – If you watch porn you will only make it harder for you to improve yourself. So you’ll further distance yourself from desirable, real relationships. And watching porn will probably just make you more insecure.

“It’s normal – everyone’s doing it” – The availability of multiple tube sites with unlimited supplies of high-quality, full-length porn videos shouldn’t ever be regarded as “normal.” And normal from what perspective? People should stop to ask that. Is something normal if a lot of people are doing it? Maybe culturally. But physiologically? No. As Gary Wilson points out, our brains haven’t evolved to handle Internet pornography. Most of us have seen more naked people having sex than our ancestors could’ve ever dreamed of seeing. We’ve wired our brains to get turned on by pixels rather than real sex. Perhaps there was some normality to the 1980s version of using porn, but today’s version of being a porn user isn’t very healthy at all.

“My friends/family do it or say it’s normal” – And your point is? This makes it good? If their lives are good in spite of watching porn, perhaps they’re outliers. For most people, it’s a destructive habit. And my guess is that many older people don’t really realize just how bad it is to be addicted to today’s version of porn. The modern version of using porn regularly is much different than the 1990 version.

“Society is too sexual now, between social media and the way girls dress; it’s impossible to make it without porn/relapses; there’s just too much temptation” – And you’re probably thinking this to yourself with the brain of a porn addict. Get yourself to 90-120 days of no porn and see if you still see it that way. Also, remove the stimuli from your life that is encouraging and tempting you (things like Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, and so on). Try to control your thoughts as much as you can, or simply challenge defeatist thoughts when they arise.

“Porn addiction isn’t even a thing. It’s fine. Gary Wilson is biased and the research isn’t really compelling at this point. Only people with a religious motive would be against porn. Etc.” – Why isn’t it real? Are you going to reject the thousands of testimonials from people who have managed to quit? Or the fact that quality, peer-reviewed research is being done increasingly on the subject, much of which is taking place at some of the best universities in world? Why not at least give it a try before you dismiss it as a problem?

“The people in porn videos aren’t being exploited. They know what they signed up to do and are getting paid for it. I’m not a bad person for watching it.” – That’s probably partially true, but maybe they had nothing else to do, or maybe they got scammed into it/taken advantage of by people in the industry who offered them roles. And, what else can they do now? If people find out about their past they may not be able to make it in other careers.

“I’ve had a bad day. Just this once won’t be too bad. I have made it this far, so I know that if I relapse, I’ll be able to make it this far again.” – Is this really what you want? To give up all of your hard work and commitment to quitting? You could end up binging hard and destroy a lot of the progress you made. If you want to stop starting over, stop quitting. And if you’ve had a bad day, a relapse will probably just make it worse once those few seconds of pleasure are gone.

“Just a few pics won’t hurt. Ah, what’s a peak at a video or two going to hurt? It’s been a while anyway.”– Why play these games at all? Are you really serious about quitting porn? You should know that this isn’t you being honest with yourself; it’s simply you trying to rationalize a relapse. There’s also this defense mechanism where people try to make it seem like the relapse was accidental – maybe they browse Instagram or something and run into some pics or vids that are “worse than what they expected to run into on there,” so they can attribute their relapse to an outside source.

“X big event in my life is a ways away anyway. I’ll quit when it’s getting closer and still reap the rewards of being porn free. OR Y event is going to be over soon; when the stress of Y is gone I’ll be able to quit.” – Keep delaying quitting and see how far it gets you. If you really want to quit, why wait? You already recognize it’s a problem.

“I’ve managed to get by just fine watching and jacking it to porn; I’ve got X, Y, and Z going for me in my life. Why is it such a big problem?” – Just because you’ve managed to do okay while being addicted to porn doesn’t mean it’s not a problem. Who knows what you could accomplish as someone who’s free of a porn addiction? You might get a lot more done – or just not struggle as much in working towards your goals. Either way, it’s worth a shot.

“I’m not religious, so I have no real reason to be against premarital sex or lustful thoughts. I might as well do it.” – Whether or not you’re religious shouldn’t be what decides whether you keep watching porn. Simply wanting to be the best person you can be in life should be a compelling enough reason.

This isn’t an exhaustive list, but I’ve unfortunately struggled with many of these myself and am trying to become more aware of these excuses and myths. I hope this helps some of you with your journeys.”

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