I don't want to look anymore.
April 24, 2010 6:46 AM   Subscribe

I would like to hear about some more resources for dealing with my porn addiction.

I have struggled with an addiction to porn for years. You know the guy that goes into a bar for "just one drink" and ends up blacking out and waking up in a shipping container bound for Portugal with a Persian rug draped around him? Yeah, that's me, but with porn.
I currently have a fantastic counselor and have worked with him for a while, but financial circumstances don't permit counseling at the moment. I am in a twelve step group, and have attended them before. I have a solid block on my computer that keeps me from viewing it at home. What I am really looking for are other resources to help me. What would be really helpful, I think, is an accountability with other like-minded men who also struggle with this addiction. I am in the San Fernando Valley (CA) area. But any other resources that I have not thought of yet would be greatly appreciated.
I am a Christian man, and I think that my sexuality belongs inside my relationship with my wife. We are not interested in looking at porn together. I just want to get to a place where I do not feel compelled to look at pornography. At work, at home, or anywhere. Besides twelve step and counseling, are there any other things I can do? Please help. Throwaway email is hammerheadsharkboy@hotmail.com. Thanks so much.
posted by anonymous to Grab Bag (14 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

You can go to your GP and see if an SSRI could help - compulsions can often be associated with anxiety and depression.
posted by By The Grace of God at 6:57 AM on April 24, 2010 [1 favorite]

Can your counselor recommend you to any off or online assistance? He might be the best person to suggest where to go next, if you can't afford his services.

Try to find activities that keep your mind occupied, even if it's a mindless video game or one of those hand-held electronic solitaire games. When you're addicted to something, trying to not think about it can be about as useful and trying to not think of a pink elephant. You have to work hard to channel your mind toward something else; try to pick a hobby or something that you can immerse yourself into and do daily. Even better, find something non-sexual related that you and your wife can do together.

If your wife is aware of your addiction and you are able to talk about it together, do this and frequently. Find a buddy that you can talk to when you're having a rough time. Good luck.
posted by Wuggie Norple at 7:16 AM on April 24, 2010

I don't know if you've seen it, but XXXchurch.com
is a Christian ministry specifically set up
to help people with porn addictions. I read an article about them a while ago and checked it out, and while it isn't my cup of tea, this might be what you're looking for. They also have accountability software that will send a list of any inappropriate sites you might visit to an accountability partner.

Good luck!
posted by SNWidget at 7:37 AM on April 24, 2010

I don't know how helpful it is to conceive of it as an addiction, or to try to fight it with non-sexual thoughts and activities. There's two forces at play here, horniness and how you choose to express it. In my understanding of the human body, there's not much you can do about the horny part, and while pitching this as an epic struggle between man and his penis certainly is noble, it's more than likely doomed to failure.
The problem is the porn, so focus on that. Without knowing the particulars of your faith, I would say that it would probably be easier and healthier to find ways to express your sexuality that fit in better with your relationship, rather than throw the baby out with the porn water (that's not a good image, I know). The thing about porn is that it can create a disconnect between your solo sexuality and what you enjoy with your partner, so you need to find ways to bring her back in your sexy thoughts. I'm not saying you need to watch porn with her, but you can certainly make her star in your fantasies (or your own homemade productions).
posted by Freyja at 7:56 AM on April 24, 2010

This is a very good online accountability group.
posted by theKik at 8:17 AM on April 24, 2010

The topic of porn addiction was the subject of one chapter of the fascinating neuroplasticity book The Brain that Changes Itself, if you're interested in understanding what's going on better.
posted by richyoung at 8:21 AM on April 24, 2010 [2 favorites]

If you believe that your sexuality must not be expressed in any way except with your wife, I think you are fighting a losing battle unless your sex life with her really rocks. If you are not getting sex frequently enough or what you do get is lackluster, then that would be something you both need to work on. Is she aware of your problem with porn, supportive, and willing to do her part to make sure that your sex life is varied and satisfying enough for both of you? If not, then the two of you really need to talk, possibly with the support of a sex-positive Christian counselor. It's not just "your" problem... if you have a problem then the marriage has a problem and she needs to be involved in its solution.

Some things you might want to read for inspiration on how to spice things up between you, if that is what is needed:

The Sexually Confident Wife by Shannon Etheridge. Written by a Christian author.

Kosher Sex and Kosher Adultery by Schmuley Boteach (he's a rabbi who believes, as you do, that sex belongs solely in the marriage. The "adultery" in the second title refers to having an affair with your wife.) He's also written The Kosher Sutra (which I have not read yet, but it's in my "to read" pile.)

The website Christian Nymphos also has some good thoughts and ideas on spicing up married Christian sex. Don't let the name put you off, they seem fairly sexually conservative as far as I can tell and don't believe in pornography at all.

Are you interested in erotic stories at all, if they depict only married sex? The site Christian Married Romance has lots of reader contributed stories that are rated by level of spiciness (so it's easy to avoid those that you might find offensive... but even the spicy ones are pretty tame by most standards.) It's 9.99 a month for a subscription, or you can get a free one-month subscription by sharing a story of your own.

Speaking of which, maybe you and your wife would enjoy writing erotica together of your own fantasies and experiences. You can tailor the stories to your own preferences, or even describe in detail the hot experiences you've shared together in reality. This can be quite a turn-on.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 8:27 AM on April 24, 2010 [2 favorites]

I think that directing the questioner to erotica is probably not a good idea to put it mildly.
posted by euphorb at 9:04 AM on April 24, 2010 [2 favorites]

Many men have found that being accountable for your Internet use to a trusted friend is the only way they could stop. The Covenant Eyes program is hands-down the best way to do this. Here are some excellent Christian blogs and resources:
posted by davcoo at 9:38 AM on April 24, 2010

Your biggest enemy here is shame. You have to get yourself to the point where you aren't ashamed of having indulged yourself.

Often, increasing the amount of sex you have can help. Talk to your wife about this.
posted by koeselitz at 3:13 PM on April 24, 2010 [3 favorites]

"I think that my sexuality belongs inside my relationship with my wife. We are not interested in looking at porn together."

What about using a video camera to MAKE your own private collection of "porn" together? Then when you want to watch people having sex, you can watch video of you and your wife having sex.
posted by Jacqueline at 8:55 PM on April 24, 2010 [1 favorite]

SMART Recovery has great online message boards and online meetings, as well as in-person meetings.

The book Sex Drugs Gambling and Chocolate is an excellent resource.
posted by acridrabbit at 9:16 PM on April 24, 2010

Have you talked to your pastor? Many provide counseling on this sort of thing for free. I bet they might know of support groups too.
posted by eleanna at 10:07 AM on April 25, 2010

I think it would help a lot to ask yourself "Why am I so driven to eradicate porn from my life?" I mean, really ask yourself WHY? I'm not saying that I recommend porn in any way, but you have to uncover your own motives here. Is it that you are *addicted* to it and it is cutting into your daily life and functions (like substance abuse) and it's cutting you off from your friends, family, work responsibilities? Or, is this a deep-rooted shame based on your religion? Or, do you feel that you are disrespecting your wife in some way for doing this? And, if so, why do you feel this disrespects her? You're not cheating on her. In fact, in your own words, you have a problem and want to solve it. It sounds like you're dealing with a lot of shame and failure in this area. It may do you well to first let the shame go. Embrace your humanness and understand that there are very real biological reasons for lusting and craving sexual stimulation. That's totally normal. Start with that, and build from there as to where that normal desire is building into something you don't want. Again, I think it's good for you to know WHY you want to eradicate this behavior. Start with a deep soul-searching and introspection, and I think that could help a lot. Good luck!
posted by sharingideas at 10:20 AM on May 2, 2010

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