Why You Should Quit Watching Porn

How Watching Porn Can Be Ruining Your Life

I believe the single largest threat to young men in the world today is the abundance of and addiction to internet pornography.

Allow me to explain.

Ever since we all got high speed broadband wired to our homes the internet has become a lot more of a dangerous place.

However, I’m not referring to the drug deals, and the human trafficking that happens on the the dark web that remains unseen by most of us. I’m here to discuss a subject that is all too common, but societal taboo.

The abundance and commonality of internet pornography.

I first discovered the harm of internet porn four years ago. I was about to go to sleep and initiate my pretty regular ritual but instead of that, I typed into the search bar Is porn bad?

That’s all it took for me to begin destroying my porn addiction and since then I’ve helped dozens of close friends overcome theirs.

I had never heard someone discuss how it can be bad for me, and to be fair, no one discusses porn period. It’s not a conversation topic that we feel comfortable with, it’s the societal taboo that everyone does and no one talks about and it’s a shameful act of the type that makes you avoid eye contact with people.

In the beginning

It’s not uncommon for men to begin watching porn at ages as young as 12 years old and with younger children getting smartphones that age is decreasing. We’re young and we discover through friends telling us or during a shower that our bodies have unlocked new powers.

This is a terribly turbulent period of our lives, with puberty, high school and our newfound interest in girls. Because this addiction begins at such a time, we frequently never discover how much it truly affects us.

When you drop a from into boiling water it jumps out. But if drop a frog in cold pot and slowly heat it up, it will boil to death.

We just don’t feel these subtle changes that porn makes on our mind and body, because everything is changing. But if you fast forward 10 years you’re very like to still watch porn. Except now the effects are not as subtle.
You just need to Consider how one 10-minute pornography session each day adds up over ten
years.

When I made that first Google search in 2015 I had never heard someone discuss how it can be bad for me. Well, no one discusses porn period.

It’s not a topic that we feel comfortable with, it’s societal taboo that everyone knows about and no one discusses.

What Addiction to Porn Looks Like

I understand this all might sound intense, but what’s the big deal if you can stop watching whenever you want. Porn doesn’t control you, you control porn.. right?

No, you’re likely addicted to it (I was too).

There are a few signs of porn addiction.

It’s an escape: Next time you’re about to watch porn try to notice what is happening in the moments leading up to the urge. For me, this became obvious when I was studying for finals in college and repeatedly craved an escape to porn every time I’d encounter a difficult piece of material. It’s the same reaction as you picking up your phone at work when stressed, or escape to the bathroom to watch porn.

It took me a lot longer than I would like to admit to kick my addiction, and four years later I can proudly say that it no longer controls me. But the process is rough, most guys fuck up after 2 days of trying to quit and I did too. Because it’s affects you more than you realize.

Rewiring Your Brain

According to scientists watching porn creates neurological connections in your brain.

Think of your brain as a grassy hill, when you start going down that hill for the first time you’re going to start a new path. But if you take pathway down enough times, you’ll create a clear trail.

So, from now on whenever you walk down that hill you’re going to do two things.

1) You’re going to take that same pathway down.
2) That pathway strengthens.

This is the basis of all habit building: If you do something enough times and you’ll create a pathway in your brain that makes that thing easier to do. Unfortunately, this also applies to destructive habits, like alcoholism, smoking, or pornography use.

The creation of new dirt paths in your mind is an example of What fires together wires together. In this case. Here, the paths are connecting together is porn to pleasure and the reward is dopamine.

What the Hell is Dopamine

When we engage in sexual acts our body rewards us with dopamine, and when combined with porn those levels reach peaks that are generally unobtainable through natural means.

Dopamine what makes sugar taste so good, phone notifications feel so good. Unfortunately the doses of artificially invoked dopamine that your brain receives in the act of porn watching are unsustainable, leading to desensitization.

You see, back in the day when our ancestors were living in small tribes, little Joe (or whatever Joe was called 5,000 years ago) was lucky to see one or two naked women in his lifetime. Today during a porn watching session there is no limit. Online porn has turned into a game of opening new tabs with pixelated naked women vying for your attention, each more perfect than the last. You can see hundreds of beautiful women in the space of ten minutes.

Technology has advanced so quickly that our brains could not keep up. We are not neurologically capable of differentiating a real woman in front of you and a pixelated one viewed through a LED screen. When compared to real life this style of sustained dopamine releases is nearly impossible to compete with. Because life is rarely as exciting as the movies. A long porn session with live sexual experience which may not include some long extreme fantasies we become accustomed to.

Now, of course you wouldn’t notice this. Because porn has been slowly desensitizing you.

At one point we’ve all heard jokes about guys gazing at the womens underwear section in the Sears catalog and that was exciting enough.

The more exposed you are the more you need. If you’ve ever looked around a Porn website you’ve like seen hundreds of categories that seem repulsive to you and wondered how people can find those things arousing. Fetishes are common too, and if that’s what you’re into that’s cool – but we’re not talking about people who find feet arousing here.

It may all with looking at women in bikinis, then watching intercourse, then rough sex, and then BDSM. What you start with can get quickly get boring.

Thirty years ago hardcore most pornography would be considered soft core porn today. The industry has been keeping up with the consumers needs, at the expense of porn-stars. Desensitization applies to coffee habits as much as it applies to porn use. Unfortunately to long time porn users the connection is not obvious and many users may feel like they have serious issues.

It Makes You Feel Shame

Have you ever gone on a porn binge and felt good about yourself?

Do you ever masturbate to porn and talk to your friends about it?

Watching porn is a taboo, and even though a majority of young men partake in it daily no one openly talks about it. We’d rather keep it out dirty little secret forget how we’ve become reliant on it for pleasure and escape.

On the Reddit NoFap Thread – Men who start porn diets frequently reports how they feel even after 3 days of not watching porn and refraining from masturbation. They go on and rant about ‘superpowers’, yes superpowers. They make lists of things that they feel better about, ranging from improved posture, to eye contact, to just feeling fucking fantastic.

They feel good for a few reasons.

Number one, because watching porn is can be a shameful act.

Sitting in the dark in your underwear in front of a laptop scrolling through videos of people having sex is not an empowering feeling.

It is living life vicariously. Instead of going out and doing those things yourself you’re watching other people do that and you probably wish you were actually having sex with another individual.

An empowering feeling is to resist the urge to lose yourself in a sea of porn catering to your whims.

I noticed something when I started to talk to my friends about this subject. We would be speaking in a completely normal tone of voice and then whisper the word “porn” – even mentioning the word is embarrassing and we are subconsciously aware of it.

The second reason they feel good after quitting porn is because they are no longer wasting their energy. Instead of getting that massive release of energy they are retaining it, hopefully to use on more productive tasks.

It’s Stopping Your Productivity

The most basic human drive is to reproduce. It is what drives men build empires and it has been used against men to destroy empires. Nothing compares to our desire to reproduce.

In Napoleon Hill’s fascinating book Think and Grow Rich. He has a nearly forgotten chapter called The Mystery of Sex Transmutation. In this chapter, he documents how the some incredibly well-known historical figures have had various practices of Sexual Transmutation (or Sublimation) this is the act of redirecting sexual energy from pure pleasure to more productive things, like getting that body you want or building a business.

These figures, he claims intentionally withheld their sexual energy by not having sex.

An extreme example of sexual energy retention is of athletes who refrain from sex before competition. Now, this is an extreme example of refraining from orgasm altogether.

However, observing this is helpful in creating the spectrum of sexual drive that can help us understand how to effectively use its energy.

On one end we have those that retain their sexual energy for up to six months, and on the other end we have men masturbating daily to porn.

If you’ve a man who’s ever held in the urge to masturbate for seven days, you’ll know what I’m talking about. You’ll remember how energized and how motivated you were. You might have suddenly been waking up more clearheaded, or stopped enjoying video games, or had more energy at the gym.

Our sex drive is like a pressure cooker, the longer it builds the stronger it becomes. But if as soon as the pressure begins to accumulate you open the pot and release all the energy. It will never have enough time to cook your rice (or whatever people use pressure cookers for).
If you want to properly use a pressure cooker you need to allow that pressure to build.

Our sex drive is a human pressure cooker. When we’re not allowing that desire to flourish and instead wasting it on pixels we are wasting that drive that can be used towards productive things.

It’s Not Real

Yes, we know it’s not real. Action movies aren’t real either but that doesn’t stop us from enjoying them right. Because we’re not trying to act them out.

Like any film, pornography is staged. There is a camera crew, a wardrobe crew, and lots of lube. Viagra and stimulants that are needed in order to keep the stars going for 2-8 hours (yes, that’s how long they film for even a short film). There is very little that is real. The actors are really acting and the women are really not that loud or naturally big breasted.

But all this is obvious, we know that it’s not real, in the same way that we know John Wick isn’t real. No action movie is ‘realistic’, but at the same time we’re not trying to act out action movies. We’re not grabbing a pistol and taking on the Russian mob for killing our dog.

But we are having sex, and when the majority of our experienced portrayals of sex are through pornography our expectations rise to thatof porno-level as well.

Real sex is whatever you and your partner decide it is, and you’ll never find out what that is as long as porn is clouding your thoughts.

It’s Easier Than Doing The Real Thing

Men are constantly thinking about sex. Everyone knows the figure that men think about sex seven times an hour. Now, who knows if this is true but as a guy I know that men think about procreation and spreading our seed quite a lot.

This is part of the reason why porn has exploded in popularity over the years, and frankly finding someone to have sex with can be a hassle. Think of all the hoops we have to jump through to meet someone that will have sex with you. You need to meet at the bar/coffee shop/school, go on a date (or 4) and really make sure you guys have the right chemistry. Then you need to find a private spot (tough if you’re 17), and then you have to go through the at first awkward motions of having sex (it gets easier when you’re older).

But Porn?

Na, fuck that noise. Just go to your room, close your door, pop open the computer, and open your browser

The computer never says no. Porn is always there for your instant gratification, and because our primitive brains can barely differentiate between porn and the real thing we have little incentive to go for it.

Porn skews expectations and makes regular love-making seem boring, this can manifest itself in a myriad of ways. From you not being able to maintain an erection, to you literally trying to have sex like a pornstar. Porn is often the first explicit portrayal of sex that people get, and unfortunately it sticks with them as long as the habit of watching it does.

When I first searched for articles on the dangers of porn back in 2015 there were very few. Thankfully, these days the conversation is growing and people are learning how it affects us. I used to try convince all my friends of how bad it was affecting us and now more and more of my friends are learning through third party sources on their own, without my intervention.

I once heard someone say that the porn epidemic is similar to the story of how smoking stopped being “healthy”. Back in the 1920s smoking advertisements weren’t of a roughshod looking cowboy on a horse in the sunset smoking a Marlboro. But unlike porn we discussed smoking openly and engaged in it socially.

They were a lot closer to toothbrush advertisements of today, with five of six doctors recommending Camel Cigarettes. It took until the 1964 for the U.S. Surgeon General to declare smoking hazardous to your health, and the cigarette industry did not go down quietly.

It took over 20 years for smoking to become bad.

Porn is the new smoking, and we’re only 5 years in since the conversation has begun, we have 15 years until everyone learns about it and we can all begin our healing, and the $50 billion porn industry will not take it sitting down.

Join the conversation.

Social Encouragement

This is a society wide phenomenon and too often social conversations promote it in the name of self expression and free sexuality. Societal support for this goes so far that the third result on Google for Is porn healthy? Is this article on The Daily Dot (who I’ve never heard of but is extremely left leaning) listing “11 Unexpected Benefits of Watching Porn”. Reason number 4: Because it’s hilarious.

Watching desperate 19 year olds ruin their bodies and morals for $1000 paychecks before they’re thrown to the wayside due to used up bodies at 20 years old, not hilarious. This article was written by a trio – two guys and a girl. Never mind that 70% of people who regularly watch porn are men (women, unfortunately are evening the odds). Maybe it’s encouraged by society because it drains men of energy and some people would do it anything in the name of equality.

What’s Next?

Realizing there are negative side effects is a first step in healing.  Please take a few minutes to take our Porn Addiction Test to discover how we can help break the patterns and begin living a healed life of fulfillment. 

You are meant to live a life of purpose not one consumed by porn. There is freedom available to you today.