3 Tips On Breaking A Porn Habit

A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of speaking to a number of students in South Australia. At one of the schools I presented at, I had a really interesting discussion with a young man who came up to me after the seminar.

Now, this gentleman had actually sat through my seminar last year, and he had since written a paper on the effects of pornography on the brain. He had asked to also sit through this year’s seminar for the grade below his, because he was obviously really interested in this stuff.

One of the things that he mentioned was that, even though he is highly aware and highly researched about the impact of internet pornography, there has still been a struggle for him to break this habit.

He relayed how, so often, he would be lying there in bed, trying to drift off to sleep, and then next thing he knew, he was using pornography. What he was really trying to impress upon me, was just how powerful autopilot behaviours can be.

I’ve spoken with so many young people who report having tried to quit using pornography, only to fall back into the habit shortly thereafter. I can’t help but empathise with them – after all, porn is more accessible, more affordable and more anonymous than most, if not all, other habits. I understand how difficult it must be to break this habit, so that’s why in this article, I wanted to offer three simple solutions that young people can put in place to make their porn use a thing of the past.

1) Make Your Bedroom A Device-Free Zone After 10pm

One of the things I hear a lot in young people who are trying to reduce or eliminate their porn exposure, is the consistent exposure to pornography due to ease not intention. It starts with going to bed with the phone beside them. The internet has been left on, and the notifications are left buzzing. They’re scrolling through social media, and an account they follow has posted a highly sexual image, and the desire to consume pornography begins. Like the young man I spoke to a couple of weeks ago, this can literally happen in a matter of seconds, simply because access is high.

Current research reports that the majority of pornography use occurs between 10pm and 2am. And it makes total sense – It’s late, you’re tired, and your decision-making ability has become exhausted for the day. If your phone is in your hand or within reaching distance, it’s a perfect recipe for making a decision you might later regret. That’s why I like to suggest having devices out of rooms by 10pm, to prevent from falling into this 10pm trap. This reduction in easy access will help reduce consumption.

2) Stay Alert To The Emotions 

Guys often share that the most consistent exposure times they choose to watch pornography is when they’re bored, tired, frustrated or feeling lonely. These feelings tend to be associated with low dopamine production in their brain. When dopamine production is low, they’re looking for stimulation, and so their brains encourage them to return to porn. Be on guard when challenging emotions arise – it may not be the best time to be on your phone.

3) Utilise Effective Resources 

An effective tool I’ve often recommended, from an incredible organisation called “Fight The New Drug,” is Fortify. Whilst not stopping or blocking pornography from the device, Fortify gives the user insight into sources of struggle online and how to respond to them. This has helped see a huge reduction in exposure, and allowed participants to create long-term, lasting change.

Our hope at Your Choicez is not only to equip students with an understanding of the risks online, but a practical skill-set of how to best navigate the online space to ensure the safety of themselves and others.

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