Can a porn addict wean off using porn over time?

Is “weaning off” over some time, instead of going “cold turkey” from day one, a valid strategy for overcoming porn addiction? Some people pursuing recovery from problem porn use have found success in this method.

What is the “wean-off method”:

Weaning off from pornography is gradually reducing the number of times you use porn or reducing the amount of time you spend using porn. People who employ this method for recovery often set themselves weekly limits on the amounts of time they spend using porn or the number of times they look at porn. Gradually they reduce that until, eventually, they cut out porn entirely. For example, a person may set a goal of using porn only two times a week for 30 minutes or less. They may set that goal for themselves for around a month, after which they reduce it to one 15-minute weekly session for a month, following which they reduce it to zero.

While the type of porn that you use isn’t necessarily a reliable marker for porn addiction (which is more focused on the amount of porn that you use, how you use it, and how it impacts your life), within certain communities, weaning off can also include changing the kind of sexual media you use. Some people may go from watching “hardcore” porn videos, to only viewing “softcore” images or reading erotic literature.

Benefits of the “wean-off method”:

Tapering off porn use over time, rather than eliminating porn use entirely from day one, can be less intimidating. For beginners, tapering off is a more accessible, lower-pressure way to get started with recovery.

You will likely experience benefits from reducing porn use. While a porn addict might not experience all of the benefits of a porn-free life until they are entirely porn-free, many problem porn users report significant benefits from reducing their porn use. Think about it this way – is it better to smoke two packs of cigarettes per day or just one cigarette per week? A reduction of porn use can possibly reduce many of the adverse effects that you may be experiencing.

This method appears to be helpful for the most excessive porn users. If you are going from using porn many times per day down to zero times per month – this abrupt lifestyle change could be challenging to navigate. Tapering off porn use over time could help you concurrently adjust your lifestyle over time, which could raise your odds of a successful long-term recovery. While you are gradually removing porn from your life, you can gradually add self-care activities such as stress management, exercising, social time, and healthy eating.

It’s a myth that you lose all of your porn addiction recovery progress every time you use porn. As long as you don’t give up and continually try to make improvements in your life and recovery, you are headed in the right direction. The wean-off method has reportedly worked well for many people. Many success stories posted within our community mention a gradual reduction of porn use over time – eventually down to zero pornography use.

The wean-off method can help to eliminate some of the shame sometimes associated with slipping up. Addicts of all types – substances, gambling, porn, etc. – sometimes experience shame for failing to reach their recovery goals. Such shame is usually counter-productive and could slow down progress. By adopting the wean-off method and acknowledging that you might “slip up” a bit in recovery, you might be setting yourself up for long-term success.

It might be a more realistic view of recovery for many people. Even people who aspire to go entirely porn-free from day one, unfortunately, often don’t. Many to most porn addicts slip up numerous times before finally kicking the habit. By adopting the wean-off method, you might be setting more realistic and achievable expectations for yourself.

Negatives of the “wean-off method”:

You are still using porn with the wean-off method, which for a porn addict, could prolong the potential brain changes and harmful effects associated with porn overuse (compared to if you went cold-turkey entirely). 

The wean-off method can be used to justify continued problem porn use. Some people might just label continued problem porn use as “weaning off” indefinitely, using it as an excuse to continue using porn for a long time. To combat this, be sure to continue to reevaluate your porn use consistently – and push yourself to make incremental improvements with your recovery goals.

What about masturbation?

An excessive masturbation habit can be heavily tied to porn addiction. Many porn addicts only masturbate in conjunction with using pornography, never to memory or sensation-alone. Some younger people have said that they have never masturbated without using pornography. In the absence of pornography, many porn addicts report that they “replay” porn scenes in their minds instead of masturbating to sensation, non-porn fantasy, or memories. As such, many porn addicts believe that temporarily abstaining from masturbation (generally from 7-90 days) or at least reducing masturbation is beneficial. If you are masturbating excessively, you might want to consider weaning that off to more moderate levels, especially during a “reboot.” If you struggle with severe porn addiction or porn-induced sexual dysfunction (such as PIED), many porn addicts would recommend a temporary 7-90 day break from masturbation.

Can a porn addict use porn in moderation?

Some people, particularly non-addicts who don’t have any issues with the concept of using porn, might desire to reduce instead of eliminate their porn use. NoFap® doesn’t dictate anyone’s sexual health goals, and community member goals widely vary. Reducing porn use, rather than cutting it out entirely, is a personal choice, and you choose your own sexual health goals.

With that in mind, most addicts have trouble moderately engaging in the behavior or substance that they’ve struggled with. We’ve seen countless people pursue moderation to only slip back into excess. So if you’re addicted to porn, it’s probably a good idea to set an eventual goal of being entirely porn-free for the foreseeable future. If you need help determining the best path forward, you can consider meeting with a porn addiction therapist in your area.

There are many paths to recovery from porn addiction.

Going cold-turkey is probably the most technically efficient path to recovery – whether for gambling addicts, tobacco smokers, alcoholics, or porn addicts – but going cold-turkey from day one might not be the most realistic or practical path for many people.

A reduction of problem porn use is a victory to be celebrated – and if you’re a porn addict, you might experience a reduction in negative effects as you gradually reduce your porn use over time. You can always start by weaning off, then eventually work towards the point of going entirely porn-free. Just make sure that you aren’t using this method as a rationalization to stay hooked on porn – keep trying to push yourself to make progress towards your goals. Porn addiction recovery has its ups and downs, and “weaning off” before “cutting off” might be the best path for you. Both the cold-turkey and wean-off methods have success stories, so do whatever you find works best for you!

2 thoughts on “Can a porn addict wean off using porn over time?”

  1. Hola tengo un hijo que le gusta ver pornografia mi hijo tiene 15 años a 4 meses de cumplir 15. Quisiera que me dieran un consejo como puedo ayudarlo a salir de esto como madre es un poco agoviante y creanme q nesesito un consejo ojala me lean grasias

    1. Hola
      Esto de la pornografía es un gran problema que afecta mucho a la gente joven estos dias. El proceso de recuperacion inicia con una decision personal, que la persona en cuestion debe hacer. claro que usted puede ayudar advirtiendo de los efectos negativos que esto tiene en la vida y convencerlo de alguna forma.
      De todas formas, si quiere puede participar en el foro en español donde muchos que estan en recuperacion comparten sus experiencias y talvez pueden darle una mejor respuesta:
      https://forum.nofap.com/index.php?forums/reinicio-y-adicci%C3%B3n-a-la-pornograf%C3%ADa.156/

Leave a Comment

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