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Article written by Maya Vukovska

In the 2013 rom-com Don Jon, Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays the New Jersey bartender Jon Montello - a young man dedicated to his family, his friends, his church, and… his porn. Actually, Jon has never had a genuine relationship because of his obsession with porn and the unreal sexual fantasies it has planted into his head. One can easily relate to Jon if they, too, cannot go even a day without porn. Although to some, watching (and masturbating) to hardcore for hours every day may seem a harmless pastime, it’s actually an addiction called problematic pornography use (PPU), and like any addiction, it should, too, be taken seriously. If you’re sensing that your obsession is taking control over your everyday life, then it’s time to break the cycle. These are a few solutions to help to solve the problem.

Filter your electronic devices

As we don’t expect you to throw all the ‘evil’ sources of your guilty pleasure away, the next best thing is to filter the usage of your laptop and smartphone. You know how people install parental control filters on their computers to prevent the kids in the family from getting access to inappropriate content? Filters can be great helpers in your battle with porn addiction. Although there are some great software programs that will monitor each website and search words, they are not the ultimate solution. Until your brain reprograms, it’ll still be working like the brain of a meth addict, and won’t stop looking for other ways to get the “stuff.”

Unfollow your bad influences

Many recovering addicts often make one fundamental mistake that makes them swerve from the right track of sobriety. They keep hanging around their dealers or drug-abusing friends. That’s why it’s important that you not only filter your laptop but also your life from people who nurture your obsession. If some of your acquaintances on social media constantly post images and videos that act as triggers for you, or something in the way you communicate with them makes you crave your porn fit, don’t hesitate to click the unfollow button.

Acknowledge your triggers

Contrary to what you may think, the need to look at porn stuff is not triggered ONLY by the feeling of being horny. The triggers can vary and you need to dig deep into your head to hunt for those nasty bastards. If you ask the psychologists how the ‘porn brain’ works, they’ll tell you that loneliness, the feeling of helplessness, and depression are among the most powerful triggers. However, there can be many other emotional reasons why a person turns to pornography. For one, it can be some sort of sexual dysfunction, i.e. one cannot get an erection with real-life partners. Self-soothing is another trigger. After a bad or stressful day at work, you just need your “medication” to find relief and feel better again. Once you’ve acknowledged the exact trigger, you move it from the reptilian, that is the primal part of your brain, to the more complex logical processing system that allows you to have more control over it.

Build coping skills

If your addiction is your way to cope with negative emotions, then it’s vital that you find a substitute coping mechanism. Stuffing yourself with food, or doing other unhealthy stuff is, of course, out of the question. Your new copying skills should be enough pleasurable, yet productive so that they can distract you from thinking about porn. Doing sports or other physical activities, meditation, and yoga are some good suggestions.

Your last resort

This solution may sound a little drastic but it’s also very effective. There is an app the basic concept of which is to notify trusted people of your choice (family members, partners, friends, etc.) whenever you are on sites you are not supposed to be. The software detects all questionable sites, takes snapshots of your screen, and includes them in the activity report for your ‘partner in crime’. The embarrassment of the fact that someone else is seeing what you’ve been watching can work as a motivation to restrain yourself from visiting your favorite porn sites. Or... you might find that too to be kinky AF!!

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