Don’t let coronavirus “infect” your recovery from porn addiction

Are you jerking off or rubbing the raspberry to porn too much due to being quarantined for coronavirus or to help cope with coronavirus-fueled anxiety? If you’re spending too much time disinfecting your dong, instead of continuing forward on your recovery from porn addiction, this article is for you.

If you’re a human being with access to the Internet, you’ve most definitely heard about the coronavirus outbreak sweeping (recently classified by the World Health Organization as a pandemic) across the entire planet. Due to the ease of transmission and the serious health consequences of the virus, various governments and companies have begun taking measures to slow the spread.

These measures include quarantines for vulnerable populations (people who are older or with underlying health issues, especially those who are immunosuppressed), bans on large gatherings, and social distancing recommendations and requirements. One drastic recent example is in Italy, where Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced sweeping restrictions, requiring most non-essential businesses across the entire country to temporarily close and recommending that people stay at home.

Maybe you are living in a quarantined community right now and are only leaving home for important obligations or groceries. Maybe your place of work, university, or school has closed down, and you suddenly have a lot of time on your hands with nothing to do. Maybe you are self-isolating to prevent yourself from getting the virus and/or to prevent yourself becoming a vector of infection to more vulnerable people.

No matter where you are located on Earth, it is likely in the coming weeks and months that your life will be affected in some way – and for many, even by some form of quarantine or social distancing measures. This means you will likely be spending a lot of time at home – and for many recovering porn addicts, that means spending a lot of time alone, more time online, and more temptation to look at porn.

As a result of quarantines and raising coronavirus-related anxiety, many members of our online community have expressed concerns about how coronavirus is impacting their recoveries from porn addiction, porn overuse, and compulsive sexual behavior.

In one such post, a NoFap user from Italy described that he is living in one of the zones closed because of the virus.

“Here it came my biggest and my greatest challenge of my life: I’m living in one the [sic] zones that the Italian Government defines as ‘Red zones’, and for one months I will not be able to leave my house. During this period, a lot of guys told that will masturbate and use porn in order to have 'fun' in their homes.”
Community Member

Vowing to maintain his resolve, the user stated that it will not defeat his will to recover from porn, despite the challenges that the quarantine will introduce to his recovery. More recently, the forums have been flooded with posts about coronavirus, including:

“I'm in Spain so my university classes are suspended and my part time job is now remote because of coronavirus. I can go out of home but it is not recommended. Now that I'm at home all day, relapsing is much more easy. Today I relapsed 3 times, when in the past normal weeks I used to relapse 1 or 2 times. Need help, this can get much worse if I don't stop it now.”
Another Community Member

Other community members have taken to posting memes.

In another post, a community member posted the following question: “I live in Washington State which is the center of coronavirus in the United States. If I have to stay home for awhile do you guys have helpful and effective tips? Thanks”

So without further ado, here are some tips to maintain your recovery, even while being homebound in quarantine.

Manage your anxiety and avoid “corona-panic.”

COVID-19 (the acronym for Coronavirus Disease 2019) and the impact it is having on people’s lives and the world economy are pretty worrisome. If you’re prone to anxiety you may be finding yourself obsessively searching for content related to coronavirus and spending an inordinate amount of time worrying about whether you will get it, whether there will be anything to buy at the store next week, how your household will cope with the financial burden, and whether the world economy is going into recession.

If you’re excessively stimulating your package to cope with waiting for the incoming governmental stimulus package, it’s a good time to evaluate whether or not you’re properly dealing with stressors in your life. Anxiety is not good for your health – nor is it good for recovery. Many heavy porn users report that anxiety is a trigger for them to turn back to excessive porn use to seek relief.

Here is what you can do:

  • Remember that qualified people are doing their best to mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus – and if you are a member of the general public, that is something you probably can’t do too much to help with, outside of taking basic precautionary measures in your own life.
  • Keep in mind that you don’t have control over a lot of what is happening in the world. If you can’t stop obsessing over every detail of coronavirus, try to refine your thoughts to just actionable things that you could do to keep yourself and your loved ones safe and healthy.
  • Don’t spend so much time excessively consuming content related to coronavirus. While it is important to stay informed, consider limiting your coronavirus-related news to once per day from trusted, non-exaggeratory sources.
  • Consider spending less time on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Reddit, where speculation and anxiety about coronavirus are running rampant.
  • If you are especially anxious about coronavirus to the point where it is significantly disrupting your well being, consider investing in the services of a licensed therapist. Not only can they help you manage your anxiety symptoms, but they can help you to address your problem porn habit as well! There are many therapists that can work with you remotely over the phone or video conferencing software.

If you are quarantined, set up your environment for recovery.

If you are going to be stuck at home or even a hospital for a while, it might be beneficial to make some changes to your immediate environment to be conducive to reaching your sexual health goals. While these changes will vary depending on your individual circumstances, here are some suggestions:

  • If you were constantly on-the-go, it might be easier to get away with leaving porn files on your computer (or still holding on to physical porn). If you are going to be stuck in quarantine, it might be a great opportunity to delete all of your porn and toss out any printed porn or other things that you used to fuel your problem porn habit.
  • Consider relocating your old “masturboratory” to a different place in your residence. If you mostly used porn on a desktop PC, that means moving your computer to another room. For laptop or smartphone users, use your Internet devices in a different place than usual. Some recovery experts believe that environmental cues can lead to cravings to use porn, so mixing up where you use your computer could be beneficial.
  • Make sure your living space is clean and well organized. Maintaining order in your external environment can help you to maintain order in your mind. And if you’re going to be locked down in a particular area for a while, it’s probably a good idea to develop a good cleaning routine – because things can get out of hand quickly!
  • Consider setting up a porn blocker. Make sure you have your blocking software installed on all your home devices or use your router to filter out pornographic traffic.
  • If you are seriously struggling, consider browsing with the images turned off in your browser, or using a browser add-on such as Wizmage to replace all images with neutral content.
  • Set up a daily routine. Wake up at a particular time, go to bed at a particular time, and prepare food at particular times. It’s easy for things to get chaotic and stressful without any routine, especially if you’re stuck in quarantine.
  • Keep busy and set goals for yourself to pursue while in quarantine. A full schedule does wonders to curb problematic porn use.

Don’t forget to stay physically active.

We partnered with a neuroscientist to conduct a survey of people recovering from porn – and by far, exercise was the most beneficial activity associated with successfully staying porn-free. Not only does exercise provide a great foundation for your recovery, it improves your mental and physical health. With quarantines and stress, it’s easy to neglect exercising, especially if you are a gym-goer who no longer has gym access, are advised to no longer run outside, or, in general, have your regular routine thrown off by coronavirus.

  • Be flexible. If you already had an exercise routine, be open to changing it up in reaction to the current circumstances.
  • Be consistent. If you’re in quarantine, it’s easy to get sucked into a routine of excessive video game playing, eating junk food, Internet surfing, and porn. Try to incorporate healthy habits into your routine early on to set the groundwork for your new coronavirus-impacted lifestyle.
  • If you’ve never exercised, quarantine is a great time to start because you’ll likely be even more sedentary than usual, if you’re cooped up in your residence all day every day. Even if it’s a struggle to exercise, start small with just five minutes per day and raise the duration and intensity incrementally.
  • If your local health officials advise that you are still permitted outside of your residence, consider taking advantage of that by going for walks or jogs. If you live in a populated area, don’t get too close to anyone, try not to touch anything, and thoroughly wash your hands when you get home. For further advice on the best practices for preventing coronavirus contraction, see the CDC’s guide here.
  • If you have to stay inside, there are many home workout solutions. If you have exercise equipment, now is a great time to focus on building up your health and fitness. If you don’t have home exercise equipment, plenty of alternatives exist.
  • You can purchase minimal exercise equipment such as resistance bands, home pull-up bars, and adjustable dumbbells. They don’t take up too much space and you can order them online and have them delivered through normal shipping services.
  • Alternatively, you can practice at-home workouts with zero equipment required, including bodyweight training, aerobics, yoga, pilates, and plyometrics. Reddit has a bodyweight fitness subreddit forum which you might find useful.
  • Video games don’t HAVE to involve sitting in a chair for many hours. If you want to have fun while you are staying active, there are various fitness video games for a variety of gaming consoles.

Have a plan in place for when you get urges to return to porn and be consistent in following it through.

Many recovering porn addicts preemptively decide on plans for what to do if they encounter triggers and experience urges. The purpose is to get out of the situation as quickly to make a slip-up less likely.

These relapse-prevention strategies can take many different forms, but with the spread of coronavirus, your options may be more limited than usual if you’re stuck at home and want to use porn. Here are some recommendations:

  • Step away from your computer, turn off your phone, and take a break from whatever you are doing that led you to want porn.
  • If you used to go for a walk outside but can’t, just “go for a walk” around your residence. Or, if you own a treadmill or elliptical or similar exercise equipment, do a quick 10-minute session.
  • Do a quick floor exercise like push-ups or squats.
  • If you’re getting worked up, tense your body and relax it, observing the sensations and grounding yourself in reality. Look up breathing exercises, such as box breathing, to help calm yourself.
  • Some people have been successful in playing a video game instead of using porn, such as a quick match of Call of Duty, Overwatch, or Fortnite.

Utilize the power of the Internet.

There’s almost no getting around it – many of us are going to be stuck indoors for weeks. That probably would have been far more frustrating just a few decades ago. But now, unlike previous generations, we have access to a virtually unlimited amount of information at our fingertips to keep us occupied. The Internet is awesome. With it, we have the ability to learn & connect like never before. While there are potential drawbacks, such as porn addiction and Internet overuse, you can find balance and use the Internet to enhance your life during the coronavirus outbreak.

  • Play that video game you haven’t had time for – most games can now be purchased online. Alternatively, watch your favorite streamer on Twitch or Mixer (just so long as you don’t have a problem with problematic excessive gaming – in that case, you might want to work to reduce the amount of time you spend on video game-related activities).
  • Catch up on your favorite television shows and movies.
  • Do your taxes.
  • Organize your finances.
  • Start to learn a new language.
  • Learn a new skill. There are websites devoted to this, such as Skillshare and Udemy – and even websites where you can take online university classes free of charge such as edX and Coursera.

Don’t spend all your time online.

If you are stuck inside all day, it’s very easy to start using your computer and smartphone for 15 hours per day. The increased time spent online could lead to increased urges to return back to excessive porn use. Here are some ideas:

  • Take frequent breaks from using computers. This is not only good for your well being, but good for your posture and overall health. Many doctors have recommended getting up and stretching, going for a walk, or getting in some kind of physical activity regularly, such as once per hour.
  • Consider taking extra quarantine time to cultivate an artistic skill, such as carpentry, painting, sculpture, learning to play an instrument, or other endeavors.
  • Crochet, knit, or sew something for your family or friends.
  • If you have the space, start a garden. You can also grow your own vegetables, which might come in handy if you have to start rationing perishable foods.
  • Practice your writing, whether it is a novel, poetry, or letters.
  • Deep clean your house or apartment.
  • Learn a new do-it-yourself skill and finally do that home maintenance project that you’ve been putting off.
  • Put more time into eating healthily. While it may be a challenge if there are shortages of essential staple food items in some areas, you can spend your extra time in quarantine to get creative and look up new recipes online.
  • Catch up on some sleep.
  • Invest time into interests and pursuits that you care about, that you’ve been putting off.

Remember to continue to connect with other people.

Quarantine can be a profoundly lonely experience, especially if you are used to being surrounded by people.

  • Use social media to keep in contact with friends and family (but be wary of hyperbolic coronavirus worry expressed on these platforms that you may want to avoid if you’re prone to anxiety).
  • Using video chat apps like WhatsApp, Facetime, or Skype might be a better option. You can also keep connected through email, texting, or “old-fashioned” phone calls.
  • Help others – offer to go shopping for people who are more susceptible to the virus (only if you aren’t at a high risk yourself), leave encouraging messages for individuals who don’t have family, be willing to pitch in and help people who may have run out of essential supplies and, as always, have an encouraging word for whoever you may meet online who is having trouble adapting to the pandemic.
  • If you have any pets, give them extra love and attention. If you are usually gone all day, this is a great opportunity to spend more time with them.
  • Play video games online with friends.
  • Connect with other people on our recovery forums. We even have a section devoted to loneliness.

If you or a loved one gets coronavirus, take care of it.

While most people will be going into quarantine to prevent getting the virus and transmitting it to others, inevitably some people will be contracting coronavirus. This, on top of social isolation, can add a significant hurdle to porn addiction recovery. If you suspect that this has happened to you:

  • Self-quarantine immediately to avoid spreading the virus to others.
  • First and foremost, listen to the recommendations by your government and doctor. Your health – and the health of those around you – comes first. Many recommend calling ahead to your local health clinic or hospital before leaving your self-quarantine, to alert them to prepare the appropriate protective equipment and procedures necessary to safely treat you.
  • Doctors report that symptoms can be quite mild – up to life-threatening. Contracting the sickness will probably drastically decrease your libido and drive to use pornography.
  • Let’s be realistic. Recovery from coronavirus takes precedence to recovery from porn addiction. It’s important to be able to properly prioritize things. While porn addiction should not be discounted, coronavirus can be life-threatening to some people. So we would recommend putting all of your energy into recovering from that – it’s okay to take a temporary break from focusing on porn addiction recovery – emergencies happen. Our website will still be here.
  • If you can’t have sex with your partner due to one of you contracting coronavirus – and you make the personal decision to relieve yourself, keep in mind that porn use is not mandatory for masturbation.

In conclusion, while the 2019-2020 coronavirus outbreak is a situation that needs to be taken seriously, there is no reason to wait until the situation is over to recover from porn addiction and pursue healthier sexual habits. While coronavirus presents some new interesting challenges to recovery, it’s a false rationalization to assume that you cannot start or continue your recovery just because our global community is going through a unique medical challenge right now. There is no need to allow coronavirus to derail your recovery.

Like with porn addiction, where our diverse community from a wide variety of backgrounds and beliefs gather together to pursue a common purpose, the novel coronavirus gives us an opportunity to unite as a global community to fight the pandemic. Wherever you are in the world, we wish you, your family, your friends, and your local community safety and health.

Can you use some additional support right now? Sign up for our newsletter.

Getting Started with NoFap® is completely free for all new NoFap® News newsletter subscribers. We’ll periodically provide you the best information on the recovery lifestyle, the latest news related to our platform, and content to keep you motivated to stick to your sexual health goals.

8 thoughts on “Don’t let coronavirus “infect” your recovery from porn addiction”

  1. Best remedy is to work on your goal which you have set for yourself when you were beginning this no fap journey. Always remember… Your masculinity is bigger than any pleasure.. Never ever compromise on that.

  2. Great article! I do miss some tantric practises as tips to learn to be in full body orgasm and sublimate your energy instead of wasting it. When you feel alive turned on and tapped in porn really isnt that interesting.
    Look me up for such tips.

    Or look up mantak chias book : multi orgasmic man.

    Good luck!

    Love

    Krista Steenbergen

    1. Hello Krista!
      I’m really intereseted in this that you are comenting… What it’s? I’ve heard about it but I can’t manage to find exactly what it’s and how to do it…

      Thank you,
      Cheers, Iago

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *