Ways my brain tries to get me to start using porn

This post will be updated consistently

My brain is constantly thinking of ways to look at something sexual without maybe crossing the line of using porn. I know deep down that I shouldn’t be them, but sometimes my brain provides some kind of rationale that tricks me in the moment.

This post is a list of all of the ways my brain tries to get me to view porn or something sexual. I need a place to record them. I need to get them out into the universe and outside of my head. I think that will help me from acting on them.

WARNING: This post WILL contain triggers, and please do not use this to get ideas. All of these are terrible ideas, and should not be pursued.

Search a porn stars name I can remember.

This one is sooooo dumb. I don’t know why this one enters my head so often. It’s almost like, well I didn’t search for porn, just a name. My brain says to me, “Search it, it is fine, just to see what her face looks like because you haven’t seen it in so long.”

I don’t think I really need to explain why this one is a bad idea. You don’t need to see that porn star ever again. Don’t search for him/her in any way. That means no Google, Yahoo, Youtube, Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, or anything. I don’t care if the site has all the adult filters on, just don’t do it.

Go find some sexual videos on YouTube

This one has gotten me multiple times as well. “YouTube doesn’t allow porn, you are fine!” Well, the thing is, that YouTube has some very sexual stuff. Maybe hardcore porn isn’t allowed, and even then you can find it if you look hard enough, but very sexual things exist.

Here are some of the things you can find, and are 100% not allowed:

  • Wet T-Shirt contests
  • Girls wearing thongs
  • Twerking videos
  • Girls making out
  • Topless protestors
  • People having orgasms with clothes on
  • Bodypainting
  • Breast surgery before/afters
  • Nude runway models
  • Sex tips/instructional sex videos
  • Cosplay with lots of skin showing
  • Any video of a porn actor/actress
  • Anything that involves nudity (usually some kind of art)
  • Sex scenes from movies
  • Videos of real dolls or other sex toys
  • Strippers or strip teases
  • Bikini models
  • Piercing, Tattooing, or waxing private parts
  • People with transparent clothing
  • Really anything sexual
Search Yelp for strip clubs

This one got me recently. The more apps I delete or website I block, the more desperate “that part of my brain” gets.

Don’t try this, but if you search for strip clubs on yelp, you can find some have a few picture of the strippers, usually in lingerie. Come on man! This is porn! Don’t even think about it.

Find porn or scantily clad women on social media (Reddit, facebook, twitter)

This one was my crux. It was impossible for me to make progress at this and still use Reddit, facebook, and twitter.

Porn is too accessible on these. I don’t care what filter you put on, porn is right around the corner.

Reddit
Probably 1/4 of reddit is porn… Don’t go on it. This one hurt me a lot. I used to go on reddit 2-4 hours a day. I did not see any progress until I cut it out. I highly advise anyone trying to quit porn to do the same.

Facebook
While Facebook has some filters, they are not enough for a struggling porn addict. Before I removed access to Facebook, a few times I found myself on pages I shouldn’t be on. People create these pages to get followers so they can hopefully make money off of them. They title the page or group something like “People Who Like Big Boobs” and then post images and videos which just barely meet facebook’s nudity/sexual content limits. This of course, get them the highest amount of likes. It also makes it really bad for those with a porn addiction.

Twitter
Porn is allowed on twitter. And if you have a porn addiction, you will find it. I did. I do not allow myself on Twitter anymore. There are too many pornstars trying to gain a following on Twitter. And if you are tempted to see if your favorite pornstar has a Twitter page with nudes, the answer is yes. Don’t even look.

Snapchat and Instagram
Both of these allow you to follow posts of specific people. You can easily follow and get updates from pornstars or even just view their profile.

In addition, they both have a discover page. In snapchat they have stories you can view of events that often have provocative images. In Instagram, you can find profiles of scantily clad women with a few button taps. Stay away from Instagram and Snapchat.

Ben’s Journal Entry 3 – Two Tips That Helped Me To 14 Days Porn Free

Hello! I haven’t updated in awhile, but once I make it through today, without porn, I will be at 14 days porn free. This is one of the longest streaks I’ve ever had. Here are the things I learned that have helped me these two weeks.

1. Avoid browsing

Cassie and I found out early that browsing is my downfall. I absent mindedly view content. This includes news articles, Facebook, YouTube, Reddit, Quora, even Amazon. I just feel a constant impulse to fill all of my idle time with media. I know I am not alone in this, in fact, Cassie has even been catching herself browsing all the time now that she is aware.

Desperate times call for desperate measures. Reluctantly, I began giving these things up.

First, I gave up Reddit

Reddit was first, and hardest. My life basically revolved around Reddit. I had no idea what to do to fill my time. I actually got anxious when I was bored and couldn’t check Reddit. I miss the communities at /r/nofap and /r/pornfree, but Reddit as a whole was my biggest problem with leading me down a bad path. And bear in mind, this took a lot of pleading by Cassie to get me to leave it. Only now, months later, do I realize that I can not go on Reddit right now. Maybe later in life, once I have a better handle on my porn addiction, but not now. It is simply too easy to “stumble on” porn on Reddit.

Then others had to go

As I removed media outlets from what I allowed myself to view, others filled the void. After I blocked Reddit, I began frequenting Facebook, and then found myself on Facebook pages that were overtly sexual. Facebook had to go.

This same pattern repeated with many sites.

  1. Block a website
  2. Find a new website to occupy my idle time
  3. Find porn or sexual content on the new site
  4. Confess to Cassie
  5. Block the website
  6. Repeat
The cycle had to end

At some point Cassie and I realized that “browsing” is not something I can do right now. I can not have content placed in front of me. For some reason, this triggers my dopamine pathways in a similar way as porn and get me moving toward it. So I outlawed myself from browsing. My definition for browsing is: Content that I did not explicitly search for. If I could give up the internet, I would. It would make it all much easier, just for 90 days so my brain can reset a little. However, I am a programmer, and I need Google to do my job.

So, how did I do it? Well, I installed a couple blockers. the main one being K9. I set the filters for what made most sense for me. Then, I blocked all of my trouble websites. I also added url keywords for every pornographic term I know.

Blocking is a great reminder, but it’s really about how you act

Blocking can only do so much. I found that if you treat the blocker like the police, you will just find a way around it. You have to really not want to view porn, deep down. Which leads me to my next point.

2. Choose to not view porn

Well, duh, right? Actually, it’s not so simple.

When you are of a clear mind, and nothing is tempting you, this is obvious. You don’t want to be addicted to porn, it is hurting your life in some way; you choose to not watch porn. It is when you are tempted to use porn that you must choose whether you want to or not.

The reason it is so hard to say no when you are in the grips of an urge is due to your brain. Your brain has been conditioned to seek porn. Porn makes your brain release feel-good chemicals. The more it releases these chemicals, the more your brain seeks out whatever you were doing when these chemicals were released, in this case, porn. To a great extent, this is reversible.

The way to reverse this brain “pathway” is to essentially starve it to death. I usually see the 90 day number thrown around as to how long starving the pathway takes, but I haven’t seen proof of this. No matter how long it takes, this is what you must do to finally escape your porn addiction.

So, when your brain tells you to look at something sexual, really ask yourself if viewing it is worth feeding that pathway again. Every time you give in, you are strengthening it, and prolonging your battle. By no means does this knowledge make the fight easier, but to me, it makes the fight more worthwhile.


I have been able to be porn free for two weeks now, and I attribute it to the two points I made above. Try them for yourself and let me know what you think. And like always, if there is anything at all that you want to talk to me about, please use the contact page, and I will get back to you as fast as I can.

Ben’s Journal Entry 2

I slipped up. Here is how it happened and what I learned.

This past week, I had been feeling great. I had been feeling in control of my urges. Every time I came upon a questionable link or had easy access to porn, I was able to turn away. This whole time, however, my brain was cataloguing all of these different ways to sneakily access porn. Almost planning a heist against the will of my rational brain.

Then, two days ago, after a long day at work, the “heist” happened. I was on my computer, working on somethings for work, my roommates were in the room with me, and without even thinking I navigated to amazon and typed in “thong”. Please, if you are reading this, do not following in my footsteps here. You will be met with many images that are essentially porn.

What I learned

Every time I have a setback, I make it a point to learn something. In this case, after talking with my counselor, have learned two things about my porn addiction.

Zero Tolerance

“Any action, or even thought, that is intended to sexually stimulate me is not allowed. Cassie is the exception.”

This is the exact quote I wrote in my journal right after my setback happened. It seems to me that if I let one action (viewing something questionable, starting to type a nsfw search term, etc.) or one thought (remembering a scene, fantasizing in general, etc) then I am much more susceptible to triggers in the future. I also want you to know that many thoughts happen without even trying, like noticing an attractive person. What I am saying is that dwelling on, or encouraging sexual thoughts, is not allowed.

Only bad things come from sexual thoughts unrelated to your partner. The more you allow your addiction in, in any form, then the more power it accrues.

I am going to focus on mindfulness. Mindfulness, at least my definition, is the ability to be fully aware of one’s self and thoughts. If I can be fully aware of these sexual thoughts, then I can allow them no weight and let them pass by. This is my plan, I will update in future journal entries.

Choosing to not view porn

This one is a mindset that I wish to develop. I was talking with my counselor and he says that he knows sober alcoholics that work in bars. They are able to do this because they recognize that alcohol is no longer for them. Yes, maybe they had some fantastic times on it, but they see that alcohol had a control over them, and no longer wish to be in it’s grasp.

This is not easy by any means, but this is my goal mentality. Rather than “giving up porn” or “not being able to watch porn,” I choose not to watch porn.

Yes, I could go watch porn right now, but I choose not to. I recognize that porn is harmful to me. I wish to be a man who is not controlled by porn. Every victory over my urges is one step closer to this mentality being real.

My steps going forward

I plan to focus on the two things above: having a mindset of choosing to not watch porn and practicing mindfulness.

In addition, Cassie, my counselor, and I agree that I need to be more social. My social life in my teens was robbed from by my porn and video game addiction. I developed some social anxiety due to withdrawing myself from social situations. I have come a long way since then. I can do well in social situations, but I never have the motivation to seek them out.

However, I need to. I need to get out of the house, leave my computer behind, and meet people. I need to form a social group that can support me, whether they know it or not. So this will be one of my focuses. Maybe I will join a class, or a board game meetup. I don’t know, but I will find something.

Ok, that’s it for me today. Thanks for reading, and like always, if you want to reach out to me for anything at all, please do via the contact page.

Ben’s Journal Entry 1

Here we go, starting the new blog. I’m going to start from the beginning.

My first interactions with porn

I first stumbled on porn when I was in elementary school, when I was around 8 years old. One of the earliest times I saw porn was when a friend found his dad’s stash of dirty magazines and brought one to school. All of the guys huddled around and oogled. My mind was fixated on it for days.

Around the same age, maybe a couple years later, I began searching the internet for porn. I would wait until I had the house to myself and then rush to the computer. My google searches mostly consisted of terms like “boobs” or “butts” or “sex”.  At this age, I don’t remember if I was getting erections, but I certainly wasn’t masturbating. The thrill of it all is what had me so excited.

As time went on, my porn viewing grew more constant. We soon got better internet and I didn’t have to wait minutes for an image to load. As I got older (11-13), I was left alone more. I discovered masturbation and that became a recurring habit. I printed pages of pictures of naked women and hid them in my bathroom to use during “shower” time.

Escaping my feelings through porn

My mother and father divorced when I was 12. I didn’t comprehend it at the time, but I think this gave me a lot of negative emotions. Porn became my escape. I was able to feel good, and not feel any of my negative emotions. My porn use skyrocketed in my early teens.

By the time I was 15, I was using porn almost every day. I now know that this is when my porn addiction first took hold. I began to shut myself off from friends and family. My friends at school began referring to me as “the hermit” who stay in his “dungeon” all day. They wanted to hang out with me and I essentially refused.

At this point, video games also took ahold of my life. I started playing a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) and a first person shooter (FPS). Within months I was playing 4-12 hours a day. I used video games in the same way as porn, to hide from my emotions and feelings. Escapism seems to be a constant theme in my porn addiction and other parts of my life.

These two addictions continued until I went to college. In college, I had a Mac, and there were not the same addictive games available for the Mac operating system. I think I was very lucky this was the case.

My interactions with real women

Prior to college I had only kissed a couple girls. I attribute them to pure luck and alcohol. I had social anxiety during my teenage years, most likely brought on by avoiding real social situations and consistent porn use. I used alcohol in my later teenage years to overcome this social anxiety. This allowed the few brief encounters with women. These encounters felt cheap and meaningless to me, even then.

Around the start of college (age 18) my only female friend and I became romantic. Many months later, we had sex. The sex felt alien to me. My body had grown accustomed to a certain type of visual and physical stimulation, and real sex was nothing like that. It felt mundane. It felt wrong. These are not the feelings one should be having the first time they have sex.

I struggled to ejaculate the first 5 to 7 times having sex with my girlfriend. I was expecting close up shots. I was expecting her to be in instant ecstasy. I was expecting fantastic lighting. I was expecting the feeling to be like porn times 10. But it wasn’t. It was worse. I felt embarrassed that I couldn’t cum. It made her feel self conscious, especially because I was her first partner as well. I researched non stop and believed there was something wrong with my penis. I thought I had a medical problem.

Eventually I was able to ejaculate with relative consistency. It still took 20 or more minutes of intense stimulation, but I could do it. At this point, I was expecting my porn use to subside. I had been using porn because I didn’t have anyone to have sex with, right? Wrong. At this point, my porn use jumped. Once a day was an average, but often I was watch porn and masturbate two or three times a day.

My girlfriend at the time lived an hour away, so I had plenty of alone time to indulge in porn. But even when she would visit for a weekend, I would watch porn, masturbate, and hide it from her.

My interactions with the next couple women in my life were very similar stories. We meet, become friends, become romantic/sexual, I can not get hard or ejaculate for the first few sex sessions, eventually we work through it, and I continue to watch porn and hide it from them.

Realizing I am addicted to porn

At some point in my very early 20s, I stumbled upon a forum of guys quitting masturbation. I had just started using Reddit. Reddit is a website were users from all over the world gather and discuss everything ranging from funny cat videos to world news. It is broken down into subreddits, which are essentially categories that people wish to view and post relevant content to. The subreddit I stumbled upon was called NoFap. Fap being an internet term for masturbation.

At first I viewed the guys in NoFap as delusional. Masturbating is good for you. Yet every post was filled with guys discussing the numerous benefits of quitting masturbating. These guys were saying that their social anxiety was gone, they have more energy, they have more time, and even things like their hair was shinier. I was skeptical, but I had to see if it was true.

I didn’t masturbate for about a month, but I did continue to watch porn. I didn’t really see any of the benefits that I was promised. I continued reading and stumbled upon another, smaller subreddit called PornFree. These people claimed that porn was the problem and not necessarily masturbation. I tried their 90 day challenge and made it about 2 days. I tried again, not even 1 day.

After coming back to the forum disheartened, I found a checklist to determine if I was addicted to porn. The list included things like: Do you watch more than 4 hours of porn a week? Have you tried and failed to stop using porn? Do you lie to hide your porn use from friends and family? Nearly every single point described me. Am I addicted??

It took many months, even years, to grasp the idea that I was addicted to porn. I tried so many times, and failed so many times at quitting. I was struggling alone, too afraid and embarrassed to tell anyone. I assumed I would be stuck in this forever-quitting phase.

Then I met Cassie

My relationship with Cassie was much different from my previous girlfriends, but the same in regards to porn. The first time we made out I was flaccid as cooked spaghetti. Luckily, we were just making out. I figured my same porn induced erectile dysfunction was back.

I was lucky with Cassie because the second time we were intimate, I was able to get and maintain an erection. I did not cum until our third or fourth encounter, however. I thought that maybe things were looking up. I continued to watch porn nearly every day.

Cassie and I fell in love and eventually moved in together. Happy days! At this point, I am almost living a dual life. I am in love with this woman and am sexually attracted to her, but often I get a surge of excitement when I will have alone time so I can watch porn and masturbate. I even at times traded the opportunity to have sex with Cassie sometimes, to go into the bathroom, turn the shower on, and masturbate to porn.

Cassie discovers my addiction

One day, after work, Cassie went to yoga. In the clutches of my addiction, I saw this as the perfect time enjoy some porn. I lost track of time and Cassie came back to a locked bedroom door. I made excuse after excuse to cover up what I was doing. I could see the pain in her eyes. She knew that either she was crazy or that she couldn’t trust what I was saying.

Slowly, she pulled the truth out of me (she is really good at that), and eventually I said, “I should probably talk to someone about it.” I could tell that something changed in her when I said that. I wasn’t just watching porn, I had a problem. At this point, she had no idea how deep it went, but she knew there was more to it than just a one-off porn session.

I told her as much as I could bare in the moment. It was not everything, or even close. I had never told anyone and it scared the living crap out of me to do it. I was trembling, she was in shock. She felt lied to, like she didn’t know who I was at all.

Healing

One of Cassie’s requirements for even attempting to make our relationship work was to get counseling. We found a couple’s counselor and eventually our own individual counselors as well. This is where the healing began and where we are now.

We are devouring information and trying to move past this. The Fortify Program has been immensely helpful in learning and tracking my progress. It gives quick lessons and tasks to better understand what porn addiction is about and how you can start to control it. I am also reading Your Brain on Porn. It is teaching me what effects porn has on the brain, why it is so addictive, and what happens when you quit. Outside of counseling, which is the biggest help, these are my two main resources.

I honestly couldn’t have done any of this without Cassie. She is my most trusted ally in this fight. I will love her forever for it.

That is where I am at now.