Porn Proofing Your Life

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Porn Proofing Your Life
Can't control your porn addiction? Read these tips on changes you can make that will help you cope.

This guest article from PsychCentral was written by Linda Hatch PhD.

Not everyone who watches internet pornography is a porn or sex addict.  But the highly addictive nature of internet pornography and the harmful effects for those who struggle to break free from a persistent and often escalating habit are very well known to me and to the thousand or so certified sex addiction therapists with whom I share an active listserv.

I have blogged extensively in this column and on my own website about avoiding porn addiction relapse because this struggle is so common and is of concern to so many of my readers.

Who needs to porn proof their life?

Sex addicts need to stay away from pornography.  Most sex addicts have more than one sexual behavior to which they return addictively and with negative consequences.

For some addicts pornography appears to be their primary or only addictive sexual behavior although even they will usually be found to have other ways in which they use sex as a drug such as sexual objectification of people, repeated infidelity or inappropriate sexual behavior at work among others.

For some sex addicts pornography is not their major sexual acting out behavior.  They may compulsively return to sexual massage parlors or spend several evenings a week in strip clubs and only use porn as a second choice or adjunct.

The established techniques may not work

Whether the use of internet pornography is a primary or secondary behavior, dipping into pornography can be a bullet train back into full blown relapse.  Many sex addicts rely heavily on internet porn blocking software programs and services.  These are services that can be installed on all manner of devices to block the use of internet porn on that device such as McAfee Safe Eyes, Net Nanny, CYBERsitter, NetDog and PureSight.   Some have ways of monitoring social media and chat rooms as well. There are also new technologies coming along all the time for sweeping computers and other devices for the presence of pornography.

Many addicts who use these services rely on a sponsor or other person who holds the “password” to the software.  Blocking and filtering services are effective for some and not for others and many addicts find ways to get around them.

Another common technique porn addicts use is to give away their computer or give it to a trusted person for safe keeping.  But in this day and age it is difficult to lead a completely computer free life.  I know one sex addict who did without a computer for several years and did well.  When he thought it was safe to have a computer again he promptly relapsed.  Another addict in treatment resorted to leaving his computer in his car at night in order to put some distance between himself and his computer hoping in this way to provide enough time for his to think it through and decide not to act out.  This is clever but it did not turn out to solve the problem.

Porn proofing yourself and your environment

This article was originally published at PsychCentral. Reprinted with permission.
Article contributed by
Advanced Member

John M. Grohol

Psychologist

Dr. John Grohol is a mental health expert and founder of Psych Central. He has been writing about online behavior, mental health and psychology issues, and the intersection of technology and psychology since 1992.

Location: Newburyport, MA
Credentials: PsyD
Website: PsychCentral
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