20 ways to suck at quitting porn

At NoFap, we often discuss how to quit porn. In this short article, we will give you 20 ways to NOT quit porn.

1) Have an all-or-nothing mentality. This attitude can blind you from the progress that you’re making. A reduction of problematic behavior, instead of a full elimination, is still progress. Going from 7 porn sessions per day down to twice per week is a huge accomplishment, even if you aren’t yet reaching your goal of living life completely porn-free. Everybody has to start somewhere. Your favorite sports star wasn’t simply born with those abilities; they also had to train for years to get where they are today. It is the same thing for recovering porn addicts – it often takes months (or even years!) of consistent work and improvement to kick the habit fully. Don’t let slip-ups turn into give-ups. Keep on moving forward and avoid getting so upset that you completely abandon your recovery goals.

2) Think that quitting porn will fix everything in your life. Yes, overcoming porn addiction or problematic porn use has many potential standalone benefits. But many of the benefits you can experience are likely due to you living your life more fully. For example, quitting porn doesn’t directly result in better fitness; it’s up to you to spend your extra time and energy pursuing healthier habits such as exercise. Quitting porn doesn’t make you super-human but can help you regain the natural capabilities you were born with.

3) Continuing to watch porn if you’re recovering from porn addiction. If you are a recovering porn addict, you almost certainly shouldn’t be using porn. For some reason, we get many messages from people asking us whether or not watching porn “counts,” just so long that they’re aren’t finishing to it. Yes, it still “counts” even if you are not masturbating to orgasm. If you are watching porn, you could still be conditioning your brain to porn rather than a sexual partner.

4) Not trying to improve yourself. A sedentary and unengaging lifestyle creates an environment where problematic porn use can thrive. You want to live a life that is so fulfilling, with a schedule so full, that there’s no room for compulsive porn use to leech its way back in.

5) Not taking quitting porn seriously enough. Recovering from porn addiction is far more than a one-month “challenge,” and recovery is certainly not a “quit overnight with these ten easy tricks” snake-oil scheme. Fully recovering from a severe porn addiction could be the most challenging thing you’ve ever done. We’ve had multiple people with histories of other compulsive behaviors reach out to us to tell us that quitting porn was harder for them than quitting alcohol, smoking, or even hard drugs. Despite how challenging quitting porn might be for some people, it is possible. Thousands of people have done it before – and you can too.

6) Beating yourself up over slip-ups. From our observations, many porn addicts try to quit porn dozens to hundreds of times before finally making significant progress towards kicking the habit for good. Most importantly, you have two options – let a slip-up or relapse set you back even further than needed with toxic shame, or use the slip-up as a learning experience, forgive yourself, and continue forward with a new resolve to pursue self-improvement.

7) Focusing too much on motivation. In reality, people aren’t always motivated, which certainly holds true for recovering porn addicts. You probably aren’t always going to feel motivated to stick to your porn-free goals. You have to learn to stay porn-free, even when you aren’t feeling motivated to do so. While your brain might be screaming at you to use more porn, recovery is a calculated decision to quit because the cons of continued problematic porn use outweigh the short-lived benefits that it brought to your life.

8) Being too focused on recovery. If you are always focusing on recovery, you are always thinking about recovery. If you are always thinking about recovery, you are always thinking about porn. The focus should primarily be on building a new life of positive habits that keep your mind off of porn and on your family, friends, romantic partner or dating life, career goals, or whatever else you may be interested in and care about.

9) Not learning the basics of recovery and how addiction works in the brain. NoFap published an easy guide that runs through the basics of how porn addiction develops and how the recovery process works. Seriously, knowing the mechanics of why our brains get hooked on sexual media is tremendously helpful in recovery. If you learn the science, you will have an explanation for why you experience certain things and always know that recovery is possible.

10) Listening too much to strangers on the Internet. We cringe at some of the misinformation and pseudoscience floating around about porn addiction. If you read something on a random message board, please don’t just assume that it’s a fact. There is some advice circulating around that might be genuinely harmful to recovery. At NoFap, we do our best to consult with real clinical and scientific experts and ensure that our messages are evidence-supported. Do your own research and learn the basics of the addiction brain science, and you’ll be able to spot and even help to correct some of the misinformation that’s out there yourself!

11) Not developing new ways to cope with stress and emotions. Many porn addicts rely on pornography as an emotional crutch to get through the day. You’ll likely need to find replacement activities. If you fail to develop skills to combat other issues in your life, you might fall on your butt whenever you are hit a problem that quitting porn can’t solve.

12) Not taking care of yourself. Maybe you are already doing this – and if so, great. But many addicts neglect their personal health, including not getting enough sleep, not eating well, not exercising, and living high-stress lifestyles. Recovery is a great time to start taking some steps towards living a healthier life.

13) Not relaxing enough. Some people strive a bit too hard for self-improvement during recovery, at the detriment of their wellness. Eventually, they often burn out and slip back into old habits. The goal should be a sustainable recovery. Give yourself some time to relax! Not taking care of yourself and being overloaded leads to feeling stressed out and unhealthy, which can easily lead right back to your old problematic porn habits.

14) Being too reliant on other people. Ultimately, you are the person who needs to quit porn. Your romantic partner can’t quit porn for you, nor can your fellow NoFap community members or a therapist. The same even goes for blocker software. You have to be the one who blocks porn out of your life. Ultimately, you are the decision-maker. You are the one who has to stick to your goals, show up to therapy sessions, participate in accountability relationships, and go through the porn quitting journey.

15) Partaking in your recovery in complete secrecy. Addiction thrives in secrecy. Secrecy is almost a prerequisite for addiction. To escalate into addictive behavior, you often have to hide aspects about it and the consequences of it from your family, community, loved ones, friends, and even coworkers. Secrecy can also lead to shame. By telling somebody about your problematic porn use and your decision to quit porn, you’ll be adding external accountability to push you towards your sexual health goals.

16) Not getting help, if you need it. Whether it is a porn addiction therapist, a good friend, signing up for NoFap, getting an accountability partner, or joining an accountability group, you might be missing out if you don’t get some kind of helping hand during your recovery.

17) Thinking that anyone else’s journey will be yours too. We get these questions all of the time: what happens on day 4? When will my porn-induced erectile dysfunction be cured? How long does it take to quit porn? These are impossible to answer and only serve to set unrealistic expectations for yourself. Every recovery journey is different.

18) Over-complicating the recovery process. There are now 10,000s of pieces of advice circulating online on how to best overcome porn addiction. This could quickly become overwhelming. Keep in mind that quitting porn is as simple as not using porn. There’s only one step. Everything else revolves around that one step. So if you are feeling overwhelmed to the point that you feel like just giving up, keep that in mind.

19) Being overconfident. Just because you are doing well on week one does not mean it will always feel easy. Recovery from porn addiction is not a linear process that gets better and easier every day. It’s usually a twisty, winding road of ups and downs, and you never know what is coming next. Even if you feel confident, which is good, the proper mentality is to take recovery day by day, because you never know what to expect next.

20) Being under-confident in your ability to quit. People lived without Internet porn for many generations before you were born – so living life without it is entirely possible. Thousands of people have successfully quit. If you ever feel like quitting porn is a hopeless endeavor, read the thousands of success stories posted on NoFap. You can quit porn.

14 thoughts on “20 ways to suck at quitting porn”

  1. I suck at it. But I’m on the right path atleast. Hopefully one day in the near future I’ll be able to be 100 percent free of lustful, useless thoughts

  2. I just bumped into this site today and coupled with the information I have seen, I am very positive that my porn watching and masturbating days are over as I embark on this journey of cleanness today. Thank you NoFap

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