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Reflections By a Former Pornography Addict
Table of Contents Charter
Preface + Resources
The Importance of Disclosure
Do Not Compromise
The Warfare is Mental The Misconception of “Counter-Brainwashing” The Importance of Rest
Road to Recovery Discernment On “Relapsing” On Erotica
How to Live
10 11 12 13 15 16 18 20
Charter RESOLVED: That pornography is a vile sin, evil in its effects, and damaging to all peoples in civil society.
RESOLVED: That, in the wake of the psychological addiction, human trafficking, rapes, and dehumanization that pornography is directly responsible for, the only acceptable action regarding pornography is to oppose it.
THEREFORE: Responding to the emergent and imminent threat of pornography is of the utmost importance in order to prevent and fight the injury and descration of the physical, psychological, and spiritual constitution of all humankind.
LET IT BE FURTHER RESOLVED: That the duty of every person is to stop the usage and demand of pornography in order to prevent further harm to the collective wellbeing of humanity, and to facilitate the healing and restitution of the damaging effects that pornography has already caused.
Foreword First and foremost, this work is inspired by the original “Meditations of an ex-porn addict,” as posted in the Resources section of EasyPeasy Method. It would be pertinent to mention that this work is a series of short pieces, originally written for myself, written over the span of multiple months. As such, many of these pieces are self-contained. The EasyPeasy Method is the only reason why I can call myself a former porn addict. It is the only successful method I’ve ever encountered. I cannot rate it highly enough, and I encourage everyone who is struggling with porn addiction to read it. I believe it is so great that even if you were to stop reading this right now, and click off to read EasyPeasy, I would still be happy. I wrote this book as a psychological release for all the reflecting I did while and after quitting porn. It kept my mind busy, and seeing it fleshed out provided a lot of satisfaction. A type of satisfaction that I knew porn would never bring. I encourage everyone to also find some release in the form of something tangible - something you can see being built up, and take pride in. As a fair warning, this book is written from the perspective of a devout Christian. However, this should not dissuade any reader, for the reasons why I oppose pornography are not entirely religious in nature. I genuinely believe that pornography is a great source of tangible harm and trauma in today’s society. In other words, a sin. I address this because while my language may be colored by my faith, and while I may use some religious imagery, I do not want to give the impression that I am being against pornography just because my religion said so. Rather, this book documents my realizations about the horrid nature of pornography, and how to combat it. I do not seek to convert you with this book. I only seek to provide another resource for people to identify with, and hopefully something that they can find support from. After all, the porn industry does not care what demographic you are.
Preface + Resources It is true that EasyPeasy gives you all the knowledge and advice you need to escape porn addiction forever. However, I feel that this view of freeing oneself from porn addiction is flat and one-note, which makes it limiting and unhelpful. Certainly there are people who can just read EasyPeasy cover-to-cover and walk away truly freed from porn, never using ever again. Good on these people. I have no intention to make them feel like they haven’t “earned it” or that it wasn’t “hard enough” for them. They reclaimed their lives, and I am happy for them. However, I was most definitely not one of those people. I struggled to keep pornography out of my life for nearly a month and a half after reading. I hadn’t understood it enough, and that was my problem. You can have all the knowledge in the world, but it won’t make a difference if you don’t understand it. I struggled, mostly because of my already shitty personal and professional life being wrecked by the COVID quarantine. Most of everything that made my life worth living was taken away from me. This was of course the time that I tried to quit my porn addiction. Suffice to say, such a person like moi might need a bit more advice and guidance to quit such an easy source of dopamine. In such a scenario, it is very easy to see how addicts fool themselves into thinking that porn is a crutch or a “pick-me-up.” I certainly did. This of course runs inherently contradictory to one of the precepts of EasyPeasy Method. There’s even a whole chapter dedicated to dispelling it. This leads to one point that I found particularly useful in reshaping the way I thought about porn use and addiction - repetition. By that I mean repeated readings of EasyPeasy. Not necessarily the whole book but specific passages and chapters. If you have relapsed, pick yourself up and reread Chapters 5, 6, 7, 13 & 23. If you are having “urges,” reread Chapter 6 & 22. And do more than simply read it, you must absorb it. Meditate and contemplate on its precepts and try to get at how it applies to you. Hell, print it out and write notes on it. Rest assured, repeated readings is a
very good tool to stamp out any doubt and brainwashing. Anyone who has ever done inductive Bible study (or Quran or Torah or etc.) can attest to this. Additionally, it is a good mental practice to read and know as much as you can about the harms of pornography. Not just on an individual, medical & psychological focused view, but also its impact on society. Read about the dozens of papers that link porn to the development of more disgusting fetishes, the abuse and mistreatment of porn actors, and the direct link between porn and sex slavery. Porn has absolutely ruined lives, families, and societies. Some resources I recommend are: ● ● ● ● ● ● ●
The Porn Paradox - Megan Johnson (Sources for this video) Fight The New Drug - Get The Facts Articles Why I Stopped Watching Porn - Ran Gavrieli Escaping Porn Addiction - Eli Nash Consider Before Consuming Truth About Porn - Philip Zimbardo, PhD. (Website with more sources) This anime shitpost video (no really, it’s full of sources)
And the list of sources that give insight on the very grave implications that porn has on society just keeps expanding. Porn addicts will squeal and shout about correlation ≠ causation. And this is true. But do not forget that many of these studies are pointing out a causation. A causation between porn and erectile dysfunction. A causation between porn and hypofrontality. A causation between porn and blunted dopamine receptors. A causation between porn and human trafficking. A causation between porn and the abuse and objectification of women. A causation between porn and the deaths of thousands of women a year. And the list goes on. To hammer home the negative aspects of porn, I suggest one further thought experiment: For every one of these sources that you have read or watched, take a moment to reflect upon if any of those findings apply to you. Have your views of others been warped? Did porn (mis)inform you about the nature of sex and what people find attractive? If you are reading this, changes are you
are or have been realizing that you are addicted to pornography. Don’t let any defensive coomer try to undermine and invalidate the true phenomena that you have experienced. Hold onto them, and let these aspects be a guide and reference to your recovery. When reading the list of harms of pornography, the only response that you should have is anger and sorrow at what porn is doing to the world, as well as gratitude of knowing that you have realized this, and are actively trying to better yourself.
The Importance of Disclosure After I grasped the fundamental precepts of EasyPeasy, I started my new porn-free life by doing something that I thought I would never be in a position to do. I admitted that I had struggled with porn addiction to a close friend of mine. He checked up on me; the opportunity presented itself, and I took it. It feels good to confess. Most of all, it feels good to be free of this wretched evil. I believe that this is a step that is often not mentioned when discussing pornography addiction, mostly because of the shame. It really is humiliating to admit that you have a problem with pornography, and you may even fear the judgement that might come. However, it is necessary to bring it up. Choose someone whom you know to be trustworthy. Someone who won’t admonish you or scorn you, but who wants you to live to your fullest potential. But you should tell someone. More than just admitting to yourself that you have a problem (you’ve hopefully known that before starting EasyPeasy,) you admit to the world. What good does this bring you? Well, that first admission is like a foot in the door; the understanding between you and your confidant should be a starting place for discussion - even internal discussion within yourself. By finding the words to convey what porn has done to you and why you are reclaiming your life back from it, you will be more firm in your conviction. Having someone you can trust, and who won’t judge you is a very good support. If they permit, have an ongoing discussion for a while about your recovery from pornography. How you feel, and especially any nags you have about the process. Having a friend really makes all the difference in the world. In a time when you can feel disgusted even with yourself, the words of a good friend cut through any shame. Additionally, by telling one person, or even a couple people anonymously online, you are starting a conversation which draws attention to the epidemic of pornography addiction. By speaking up for the first time, you permit others to know of a solution, as well as realize the harm that pornography does to everyone, especially the ones around them.
Do Not Compromise I am reminded of part of a parable told by the Christian monk Father Anthony, who said “Those who renounce the world, but want to keep something for themselves are torn in this way by the demons, who make war on them.” This is most definitely true. Those who wish to quit porn, but still believe that there is pleasure to be had in it will always fail. That is why I have always failed every time I tried to quit. I kept entertaining the notion that there was something to be desired, something to be tucked away to be “enjoyed” later. I kept making half-hearted attempts, and that is precisely why I failed so many times. This applies not only in the sense of physical desire, but psychological desire as well. I believe that, too often, we (pornography addicts) are afraid of what we “leave behind” when we quit porn. Yeah, we miss out on satiating an urge, but we forget that this urge is caused by porn, not relieved by it. As EasyPeasy writes, it is like someone bashing their head against a wall to relish in the relief when they stop. It only feels pleasurable because we have been entitled and conditioned to have access to pornography. Before our first viewing, we wouldn’t have even considered talking - thinking - about pornography as something pleasurable. Simply put, we all implicitly know that it isn’t pleasure, but abuse and addiction. So we must stop thinking that we are missing out on quitting porn. Porn has never filled a gap in my life - It was the gap in my life! Instead, we must focus on what we have to gain by quitting! Remember, you don’t like watching porn, you like getting that little monster that is your dopamine receptors to stop screaming at you. But that is an unending cycle of mental entrapment. If you want to be clear of this vice, and the psychological hell that it forces your head into, you only need to cease this mindset. After only a couple of days, an unending peace will wash over you. We have so much to gain that we must always keep it in focus. The energy, the drive, the satisfaction of being free, the comfort of knowing that you are not benefitting or contributing to the exploitation of the vulnerable, the fortitude that you gain, and the safety that your presence
engenders is worth it. To throw all of it away in order to be addicted to lust and the abuse of your fellow sisters and brothers is not only a waste - it is a shame. We cannot afford to delude ourselves any longer on the vice that is pornography. Society must reject this great evil. We should see it as a great opportunity to leverage our voices and take control of our lives to contribute to the reduction of harm that pornography has and will cause.
The Warfare is Mental The warfare is mental. The warfare is mental. The warfare is mental. The addition is psychological. As such, the act of stopping yourself from watching porn is one of the easiest things you can do. You don’t have to do anything at all. Keep it up for long enough, and you can feel the brainwashing fade away. There are countless things that you could be doing. But know that what you are doing, right now as you read this, is infinitely more enjoyable than sustaining your porn addiction. Take a deep breath and enjoy that fact. Smile freely, knowing that at this present moment, you are not contributing to the degradation of women, that you are not rotting your brain and reducing your grey matter, and that you are not warping your perception of others or disgracing your body. Smiling gains a whole other happiness when you can finally do so without the guilt. This enjoyment of life is only possible if you break the brainwashing - only possible if you give up pornography. With the addiction being psychological, it is pertinent to know some mantras to repeat to yourself, to drown out and kill that little monster. ● You are not your urges! ● It feels good to not be crushed with guilt! ● It feels good to be free of shame! Something along these lines. Again, EasyPeasy and the original Meditations book have some great material to ingrain in your mind. Once you do, it will be easier to recognize the benefits of quitting pornography, past the vain acknowledgement of orgasm. Know that the contraction of muscle and the spilling of fluid is not worth the degradation of your fellow sisters and brothers, nor the defilement of your body and spirit.
The Misconception of “Counter-Brainwashing” A point about the mantras - the act of reminding yourself about what porn doesn’t bring: peace, content, happiness, safety. The mantras are not brainwashing, nor are they attempts at “counter-brainwashing.” There is no cognitive dissonance when repeating the peace and content that being free from porn has allowed one to enjoy. There is no contradiction; the mantras are merely true. There is no guilt lurking around the corner, no horrific crash, no need to endlessly justify or rationalize your actions. Happiness without porn is just inherently true! The real danger is the psychological factor of addiction. It is here when one will realize how useful the mantras are. Your dopamine receptors will try their damndest to draw your mind towards porn, to get you to submit once again. It is here where whatever mantra you come up with will shatter the true cognitive dissonance: The false pleasure and hidden torment that the farce of porn hides becomes plain and pathetic once you remember even one of these truths. After all, they work because they are true.
The Importance of Rest Always remember that physical health leads to mental health. With that in mind, I implore you to prioritize a health sleep schedule in order to ensure your success at ditching pornography. If you have or had a long-term addiction to pornography, then porn is going to be the first souce of dopamine that your prefrontal cortex screams for, particularly if you are in a bad mood, and especially if you are exhausted from sleep deprivation. At times, the little monster will scream so loudly that your weary mind will barely be able to concentrate on anything other than PMOing. I have experienced this many times during my addiction. Being a student studying engineering means that I barely got a full night’s sleep during the semester. Add on top of that a years-long porn addiction, and there I would be, PMOing just to get the brain fog out of my head. Of course, the cravings would always persist, sometimes coming back the same day, and I hated the fact that I was doing it at all. You may be tempted to dismiss this outright. Yes, being mindful and reflecting on your happiness without porn should be enough to get through all the periods of temptation. But you must remember that this is an addiction you are dealing with. Your own brain will be screaming for the easiest source of dopamine there is, and much louder than any other desire for in your mind. Of course, it is all psychological, and I do not want to instill the defeatist notion that you’ll crumble if the slightest disruption occurs in your life. Just realize it will be harder, and you don’t want to stack the odds against yourself. So get some rest, friends. You’ll need it.
Road to Recovery In the first few days and potentially weeks after you quit porn, you have to expect that porn will still pop-up in your thoughts. Not just popping up as in wanting to go back, which is easy to counter, but also as in visually flashing in your thought process, like intrusive, vivid, and involuntary recollections. It is easy to counter the cravings, as I have detailed before: Take a deep breath, be glad that you aren’t feeding your addiction, and realize that you are not your urges. As for the intrusive thoughts, I can attest to how distressing they can be. You may have, just like I had, flashes of the porn you have watched just appear in your head with no provocation. You may even have these visions of sexual abuse whenever you look at a woman in real life or in other media. These may be discouraging, but I invite you to embrace it and recognize it, so that you can use it to your advantage. First, as always, take a moment to congratulate yourself for breaking away from pornography. Never forget how much progress you have made. Second, consider again that the addiction is psychological. Meaning that it has impacted your way of thinking, especially in regards to women (and/or men) and sex. Porn has shaped your very perspective on others, and has normalized a nonstop visualization of itself. By breaking away from it, your brain still wants that dopamine rush, and forces you to visualize porn in order to compensate. This is purely neuroplasticity at work. To have ingrained porn in your routine, your brain has come to expect it, so by removing it from your life, your brain will want to rush right back. The good thing is that neuroplasticity works in both ways. The longer to stick to EasyPeasy and stop watching porn, the less your brain will hold onto normalizing porn, and cease bringing it up.
And remember that it isn’t your fault. The flashes are just that: flashes of what the brain has seen for so long. You may think that these flashes mean that you will never be free. Deep breath. Realize that you don’t choose to visualize these things, and that they will cease over time. You may think that you hate women. But as was written in the original Meditations, “You cannot hate women more than the pornography industry.” By choosing to stop porn use, you show more compassion and empathy for women than many others in society. By being aware and informed of the pornography industry and the harm that it is directly responsible for, you demonstrate more mercy and good-hearted love than most people would wrap their heads around. I invite you to use these intrusive thoughts as fuel to keep pushing onwards. Afterall, they’ll go away on their own, so why not use them for your long-term recovery while they’re around? Every time you find yourself beset by these flashes, think about how much good you are doing by actively resisting the abuse that is appearing in your mind right now. Get angry at it - at the damage that porn does and is doing to people. You don’t want to return to that; it would entail giving up a life without the guilt that porn brings. It is my belief that it is best to realize that this is a normal part of the healing process. Like with the regular little monster that makes you want to return to porn, use these thoughts as a reminder to be happy without porn. Respond to these thoughts with meditation and contemplation of how much of your life you have gained by cutting out porn.
Discernment It is important to be rejoiceful; rejoicing in the fact that you are a non-PMOer. However, it is important to discern any rationale for comfort, especially if you are in a tentative or vulnerable position. The reason for this is because it is easy to slide -not fall- into pornography use again. I say slide because every use (or reused) of porn comes from a lack of mindfulness, and takes place over the course of hours, days, weeks, months. Hackauthor2 masterfully describes it as a waterslide, not a hole in the ground that one suddenly falls into. One adage that you must be careful to not buy into is the notion that all men struggle with pornography useage or sex addiction. That is blatantly false. Do all computer owners or smartphone owners suffer from internet addiction or social media addiction? Do all people over the drinking or smoking age suffer from a liquor or cigarette addiction? No, the word they are looking for is temptation. All people suffer from temptation of all kinds. Most likely, you (and I, at the time of writing) are struggling with pornography temptation. But certainly, not everyone suffers from sex addiction or other such ills. We, as men and women, will be tempted to our last breaths, but to say that no one will never truly be able to break free of sexual immorality and pornography use is a defeatist and unhelpful mindset. In believing this, you are anticipating your own failure.
On “Relapsing” If you understand EasyPeasy, you will not relapse. Of course, there are limitations to how much of the book we absorb or understand the significance of. To combat this, read the book often, and try to understand the “why” whenever the book states to do or not do something. Will you “relapse?” Who knows, that’s up to you, and you alone. But first, I believe that it is beneficial to define what a relapse is. The Oxford English Dictionary defines relapse as “a deterioration in someone’s state of health after a temporary improvement.” This is a very beautiful definition because it encapsulates the slippery nature of porn addiction, use, and reuse. This definition mentions nothing about addiction, but rather a health issue. A mental health issue. Let’s say someone masturbates to pornography after a substantial period of being free from it. When exactly did this person’s “relapse” occur? Was it right at the time of PMO? I would not say so. The person whose mind slips back into wanting porn and is not corrected seems to fester for a couple of hours, even days, before the point of PMO. It is a continual process of having a lack of mindfulness. The little monster comes back, and if one is not careful in kicking it right out again, those thoughts of lust will only fester until PMOing is inevitable. I hope that this illustrates the point about sliding (not falling) back into pornography use. The real relapse will probably happen a couple days, weeks even, before the PMO. The moment you start to doubt yourself and still think that you “need” porn, or worse, still think that there is any value in it, you have already relapsed. For your mind has gone from a healthy state of being free from it, to wandering back into the cage that is the urge for dopamine. In the moment that one does not resist this, that is a relapse. My intent is not to make you feel like a defeatist, but rather warn you about the insidious nature of pornography addiction. After all, your goal is to live as a non-user, so any thought about using is automatically antithetical to your goal. Rather, I want you to be vigilant about your thoughts, impulses, and urges. If you watch for these thoughts and know the amount of hell that they will inevitably drag you through, then you will know that you must do something about them. Remember that you are not your urges, and be vigilant to break the brainwashing.
If you see relapsing as the act of masturbating to pornography, then it will sneak up and slam into you like a truck. But if you see relapse as the admission of any doubt about yourself or doubt about the harm of pornography, then first of all, pat yourself on the back for being honest with yourself, and second of all, know that you will be far more mindful about any counterproductive thoughts or behaviors, and be able to keep yourself free from addiction. However, if you have still PMOed and you find yourself asking the inevitable questions of “Why did I do that? Why did it happen so quickly?” then I want you to do a couple things. First, pick yourself up and don’t feel sorry for yourself (your subconscious will be hard at work making you hate yourself for the next few days; no need to add more self-hatred) and second, really ponder upon those questions. Why did you relapse - that is, what exactly did your lack of mindfulness manifest as? This, not guilt, is the path to recovery after a stumble. Recognize what you did or what you failed to do, and keep these thoughts in your head. Then, go forward and live your life as a non-PMOer. Remember to care for yourself, and this means mentally as well. Stopping your own self-doubt is key to enjoying life again.
On Erotica If you ever end up browsing forums revolving around porn addiction and recovery, (first, make sure to blast EasyPeasy to as many people as possible, no matter the consequences) you may find people saying something along the lines of: “Yeah I’ve been free from porn for [time,] but occasionally I use erotica to smooth out the rough patches.” This is fucking terrible advice. Erotica is just softcore pornography, plain and simple. Whoever types this drivel is not free of porn addiction, they just have a softcore porn addiction. Also, this type of comment perpetuates the myth of porn being a crutch. What this type of person is better off doing is quitting all types of porn, so that the “rough patches” will cease entirely. Do not fall into the same trap, my friends. Erotica will not help you one bit. Do not be deluded by people saying it’s more ethical (as if there is an ethical way to fry your prefrontal cortex and perpetuate an addiction.) The solution to pornography addiction is not to PMO to softcore or even things that are borderline pornography. The solution is to stop using any and all pornography. To do otherwise is simple to change what you are addicted to. You are still bashing your head against a wall to find relief in stopping, you are still sexualizing and objectifying people; it’s still addictive, maladaptive behavior. Worst of all, there is no better way to grease the waterslide back into porn addiction than to use erotica. It’s basically the same thing, usually hosted on the same sites as regular pornography, and have the same goal of making the viewer masturbate to it. So drop the blinders and just know that erotica addiction is the same as porn addiction, and you endeavor to be free from every addiction. It is you who should take control of your life, not your little monster. Additionally, speaking from experience, I can say that erotica will inevitably lead back into using hardcore pornograpgy again. The addict’s brain is so fried and wanting dopamine that it will, without thinking, click off of erotica and onto porn (again, they are hosted on the same sites.)
And just like that, I was right back to where I was, knocked on my ass and having to get back up. Back to needing to kick out the brainwashing and starving the little monster all over again. And pay very close attention to my choice of words. “Without thinking.” That’s how you can imagine the waterslide metaphor. You can’t really stop yourself once you’ve gotten in, and even less so if the waterslide has been greased by erotica. And I am indeed saying that it is impossible to climb out of the waterslide - you’ve gotten in and already shot right out the otherside once you’ve watched any amount of porn/erotica. Would you not say that people who only do “a little” cocaine everyday are still addicts? Would you also not say that someone who swaps out their heroine in favor of morphine still has an opiate addiction? Such is the case with erotica. Avoid it like the plague, just as you will do with porn. Stop yourself from falling into the waterslide of porn by not greasing the entrance. Better yet, don’t fall in by simply not approaching the waterslide at all; do not make life harder by tempting yourself and pretending like you get enjoyment out of the thing that’s keeping you hostage.
How to Live So, you’re starting to live free from pornography, whether you have had your last session or you have lapsed and are starting anew. To progress in your life, it is important to be in a serene state of mind. Being irritable on its own can be triggering, and this is because your brain will be screaming for that easy dopamine, and the little monster will be tempted to use any pretext of being stressed or bored or any negative state as being an excuse to go right back to PMOing. All addictions, after all, sabotage one’s ability to cope in any other way. Addiction forces the addict into a self-perpetuating cycle of self-abuse. So if you are walking away from addiction, it is pertinent to take some time to identify some of your genuine coping mechanisms. I emphasize the “genuine” part because porn is the furthest thing from an actual coping mechanism. Remember that porn is the pain and stress in your life, not a relief or respite from it. Also, I do not mean replacing porn addiction with another addiction. By “coping mechanism,” don’t envision the maladaptive and negative techniques like denial or self-hatred; separate the word “cope” from the negative connotations of desperation or negation that the word has unfortunately gained from internet memes. No, your coping mechanisms should be activities that leave you satisfied and fulfilled, not shameful and drained. It can take a while to discover a hobby that suits you, especially if porn has left you feeling dejected recently. As some examples, you could journal, or research a topic you’re interested in, or go get some fresh air, or socialize, or read a book, or write, or you could simply take a nap and see what interests you when you wake up refreshed. Be kind to yourself, and allow as much time as possible to engage in whatever mechanism you pick. Personally, writing has been my main strategy, which is why you are reading my silly little words in the first place. During this time, be aware that your dopamine receptors are recovering, and you will be able to sense the brainwashing leave your head. In these couple of days, you may think to yourself that you shouldn’t have it so easy, especially if you have PMOed recently. You may fall into the terrible mindset that you should only let
yourself be happy once you’ve built up a long enough “streak.” This is a very harmful mentality. You have already decided to give up porn forever, you must live like it! What point is there in delaying the enjoyment of your life? You must realize by now that, since porn addiction presents such an awful problem in the anxiety, stress, and mental anguish that it causes, your goal is to live free of these torments! So don’t delay to truly live. I believe living with this mindset is so important because at some point, you’re going to have to stop defining yourself in terms of your addiction. Sure, you have overcome it, but that means leaving it behind. Being a former addict means that you have broken the addiction, and are now free to live on your own terms. Once the brainwashing has left, that’s it! You’re free! Of course, this does not mean to be overly lax in your thinking, just that now you are free to live as you want to live, and spend all that time towards things that make you fulfilled. You may not be able to diminish the impact that porn had on your life, but you can make your life bigger than the damage, and flourish in spite of it.