Updated on February 6, 2024
6 min read

How to Stop a Porn Addiction

Key Takeaways

10 Tips for Men to Stop Porn Addiction

Here are some helpful tips for men on how to stop porn addiction. 

1. Understand Why You’re Giving Up Porn

You don’t need to have a porn addiction to decide to give it up. There may be other reasons, such as ethical or religious reasons.

You may also give up porn because it causes issues between you and a romantic partner or simply because you no longer want to view porn.

Coming to terms with why you’re giving up porn helps you remain accountable whenever you’re tempted to watch it.

2. Accept That You Have a Problem

If any of the symptoms of a porn addiction resonate with you, you may be experiencing one. 

Many people keep a porn addiction secret as they feel they’ll be judged by society. However, it’s important to accept that you have a problem and know that you’re not alone.

3. Remove the Porn

If you’re serious about stopping a porn addiction, you must get rid of the porn. This includes any physical or digital evidence of sexual content.

Don’t hold on to any erotic material, even any vintage porn magazines, that may have some sentimental value. Once porn is readily available around you, it’s easy to slip back into old habits.

A good idea is to install filters that block pornographic content and websites on your phone, television, and other devices.

4. Look for an Accountability Buddy

Ask a close friend or family member you trust to help remind you of how far you’ve come in your recovery journey and why you’re quitting porn. 

You can even use an app on your phone if you’re uncomfortable asking a friend or family member.

5. Join a Support Group

Support groups help you remember that you’re not alone in your recovery journey. 

A support group can provide a safe, anonymous, and judgment-free space for you to share your struggles with porn. You can listen to others going through similar experiences.

6. Be Kind to Yourself

Attempting to break an addiction is a journey. Unfortunately, you may find yourself slipping back into old habits.

If you relapse, don’t waste time beating yourself up about it. Do your research, try more treatment options and coping mechanisms, and get back on track with your recovery journey.

7. Replace Viewing Porn with a Healthy Habit

A good way to rid yourself of a bad habit is to replace it with a good one. Whenever you feel the urge to indulge in the bad habit, engage in the good one.

For example, you could go for a run whenever you experience the urge to watch porn to distract yourself.

8. Track your Moods

If you’re trying to beat a porn addiction, track your moods. Check in with yourself often and see how you’re doing emotionally.

You’re stepping back from your emotions by checking in with yourself regularly. You can catch off days early and act before your cravings take over.

9. Have a Plan

Computers can be triggers for porn addiction, as is feeling tired and stressed in the evening. But sometimes, triggers can be more subtle. For example, simply walking through your front door after work.

For some, it may be sitting in front of the computer at home. For others, it could be opening the refrigerator or liquor cabinet.

Having a plan to offset your triggers is key. For example, you may decide to leave your laptop at work. It takes time, but these changes can help you rewire your brain. 

10. Deal with the Underlying Problem

It’s important to address any underlying problems that contribute to porn addiction. For example, you may suffer from depression or anxiety that leads to your porn addiction.

Or perhaps it may be situational. You may struggle with a job or relationship where you feel stressed, trapped, or overwhelmed.

There are various treatment options to help you fix underlying problems. A good place to start is often therapy.

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Treatment for Porn Addiction

There are various treatment options available for porn addiction. 

Therapy

If you believe you’re suffering from porn addiction, it’s worth seeing a therapist for an evaluation. 

This may be particularly useful if you also have:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)

Depending on how porn affects your life, your therapist may suggest individual, group, or family counseling. However, be wary of therapists who claim to ‘specialize’ in diagnosing and treating pornography addiction. 

Porn addiction lacks a professionally agreed-upon definition or uniform diagnostic criteria. Therefore, it’s difficult to ‘specialize’ in this type of disorder.

Counseling sessions should help you understand the underlying cause of porn addiction. Then, your therapist can help you develop and follow effective coping strategies to help you deal with your addiction.

Support Groups

Many people find it helpful to speak with others who’ve experienced the same issue. 

Ask your physician, mental health professional, or local hospital about porn or sexual addiction support groups.

Medication

Treatment for behavioral addictions like porn addiction usually involves talk therapy and cognitive-behavioral therapy. 

However, your doctor may suggest certain medications if you have coexisting conditions, like depression or OCD.

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What is Porn Addiction?

Around 10% of all adults admit to having an addiction to pornographic content on the internet. Approximately 17% of this figure includes women.3

Viewing porn can be a sign of a healthy sexual appetite. However, if you watch it excessively, this may suggest you have a porn addiction.

Common symptoms of porn addiction include:

  • An unsatisfying sex life
  • Dissatisfaction with a partner
  • Engaging in risky behavior to watch porn, such as viewing it at work
  • Ignoring other responsibilities to watch porn
  • Viewing progressively more extreme porn to experience the same release that less extreme porn once offered
  • Feeling frustrated or ashamed after watching porn but continuing to do so
  • Spending a lot of money on porn, sometimes at the expense of daily or family necessities
  • Using porn to deal with depression, anxiety, insomnia, and other mental health issues

People experiencing a porn addiction should work on stopping it to help get their lives back on track. Keep reading to learn how to stop porn addiction.

Is Porn Addiction Bad?

A porn addiction may seem harmless. However, it can be detrimental to your general well-being. 

People with porn addictions often view sexual content as an unhealthy coping strategy to deal with life stressors. Or, they may view porn as a replacement for having a healthy sexual life.

As porn is so accessible, it’s easy for people to become dependent on it. And once they try to quit porn, they may experience uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms.

Pornography use can also lead to changes in the brain. In a study assessing porn’s addictive nature, people that viewed high amounts of sexual material had increased brain reactions when presented with pornographic cues.1

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Summary

  • Watching porn can be a sign of a healthy sexual appetite. However, if you watch it excessively, this may suggest a porn addiction.
  • A porn addiction may seem harmless. However, it can be detrimental to your general well-being. 
  • Some tips on how to stop a porn addiction include getting rid of any sexual material, joining a support group, and having a plan on how to quit porn.
  • Treatment for porn addiction includes therapy, support groups, and medication.

Get matched with an affordable mental health counselor

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Updated on February 6, 2024
6 sources cited
Updated on February 6, 2024
  1. Gola, Mateusz et al. “Can Pornography be Addictive? An fMRI Study of Men Seeking Treatment for Problematic Pornography Use.” Neuropsychopharmacology : official publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology vol. 42,10, 2017
  2. Love, Todd et al. “Neuroscience of Internet Pornography Addiction: A Review and Update.” Behavioral sciences, September 2015
  3. Pornography statistics: Who uses porn?, SAGU: Christian University in Texas, October 2015
  4. Camilleri, Christina et al. “Compulsive Internet Pornography Use and Mental Health: A Cross-Sectional Study in a Sample of University Students in the United States.” Frontiers in psychology vol. 11, January 2021
  5. Kranzler, Henry R, and Ting-Kai Li. “What is addiction?.” Alcohol research & health : the journal of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism vol. 31,2, 2008
  6. Cuesta, Ubaldo et al. “The Neurosciences of Health Communication: An fNIRS Analysis of Prefrontal Cortex and Porn Consumption in Young Women for the Development of Prevention Health Programs.” Frontiers in psychology vol. 11, August 2020

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