When confronted with the daunting task of defeating porn addiction, a lot of users want to know what is on and off limits for reboot. The answer is that no one is holding a gun to your head. You can do whatever you want, feel free to try anything you want, be as restrictive or permissive as you want. There are some things that will definitely help, like cutting out strip clubs, and other less obvious, and more difficult things to accomplish. Things like quitting fantasy. On the one hand, it seems like a relatively obvious element that will hold you back from a complete reboot. If porn is seeing idealized bodies in idealized situations doing idealized things, fantasy is simply imagining the same. The impact *might* be less severe, but it's still reinforcing unrealistic expectations of yourself and all future possible sex partners. It's something you can 'edge' to, or maintain a state of arousal, whether you actually touch yourself or not. More importantly, it keeps that dopamine drip cracked open. It's a less severe form of the same drug, like eating your pot instead of smoking it. It will also tempt you to go further, and succumb to a full PMO cycle. It is my contention that hanging onto fantasy is a definite obstacle to the reboot, if not a full violation of the principle. At best it will make your already difficult journey that much harder (pun intended), at worst, it will obstruct your recovery entirely. This opinion has been formed after personal observance gained over decades of trying to quit porn, and from information gleaned from other recovering addict's journals. I am the poster child for fantasy driven porn addiction. As a kid I spent hours by myself, imagining highly derivative fictional scenarios. In hindsight, I did it more in stressful situations. It's no surprise that my proclivities sometimes picked up a sexual element when I hit puberty. My first orgasm ever was in response to fantasy alone. No exterior stimulation was needed. After that I discovered masturbation and later, weak visual stimuli in the form of underwear ads, mostly. As my addiction progressed I incorporated erotica, harder images, and eventually hardcore porn. The videos, however, never seemed to be as enticing as the captions. I could see through the wooden acting, the unconvincing audio, the cliche dialogue, but my imagination was another thing. In my mind, I could make everything perfectly suited to my own, increasingly unrealistic tastes. Eventually, I learned to hide my inspirations better, and applied my overdeveloped imagination to an English literature degree with an emphasis in creative writing. Fantasy is no longer not only my crutch and my vice, it's my job. If anyone is able to legitimately claim that fantasy is too hard to quit, that would be me. I know how enticing it can be, and how easy it is to reach. You can install porn blockers for your computer, but not your mind. You can use fantasy when you drive, while you work, when you are having a conversation with your wife, and most of all, when you are up at night sweating it out because you are trying to quit porn and your brain is screaming, wailing, conniving and demanding its fix. It's not too hard to quit, though. For me it was quit sexual fantasy or don't bother rebooting at all, and my life was f***ed up enough that I had to go with the former. Don't let my current low counter fool you, I almost hit 90 days and am determined & confident this is my final run (2022 edit: it was not his final run). Here's how it's done. #1. You must learn the difference between your subconscious thoughts, and the ones you control. Your porn starved mind will do anything it can to kick start that PMO cycle, including reminding you of favorite fantasies and even inspiring new ones. You cannot stop the beginnings of these ideas from entering your mind. You can, however, choose to follow them to their conclusions, or think about something else. The good news here is that you don't have to reset every time you have a sexual thought. However, you do need to reset if you let those thoughts continue. #2. Recognize your vulnerabilities, and form contingencies. For me, this is early morning, in that hazy time between sleep and awake. In those moments I usually cannot stop myself from fantasizing while I doze. However, I can choose to get my addicted ass out of bed and start my day. If you fantasize in certain times or places, or in certain scenarios, I don’t necessarily advise avoiding that situation entirely. You want to break the association of that scenario with erotic fantasy, so you can go through that experience in the future without it being a problem. You do want to form a plan for how you are going to get through that time and place without fantasizing. #3. Don't get bored, don't get lazy, always be doing something. If your brain shoots several reminders of porn or fantasy in a short period, that's based in a physiological need for dopamine and a sure sign that you need to get busy with something else, so you can get that dopamine from a good source. Work on a tough problem, have a non sexual conversation with someone, work out, focus on an idea you find worthwhile. Nature abhors a vacuum, you cannot physically think of nothing. You can choose to control what you think about, or float along with the decisions your previous self made. These are the only two options. #4. Disabuse yourself of the lies. I developed and refined a lot of my ideas about sex based on fantasies, and the fantasies of others. I consciously knew porn wasn’t real, that I was getting an idealized version, but without knowing which parts were real and what wasn’t, I picked up a lot of misinformation. Somehow, learning some of the truths about sex (I still don't have a handle on it) has helped dispel the power of those old fantasies, and as long as I don't develop new fantasies adjusted with this new information, I'm safer than I was before. For instance, did you know that not all women want you to last as long as possible? I thought for sure that more time having sex meant more orgasms for her, and who wouldn't want more O? Turns out, my lady wants quality over quantity, and this sentiment has been verified to be shared by others. #5. Learn the difference between taking responsibility, and accepting blame. It is vital for an addict to take responsibility. The addiction wants to survive, so it shifts blame. It wants to continue, so it tells you it’s not your fault and there’s nothing you can do about it, ever, that this is the way it’s going to be, so you need to stop fighting and give up. The antidote is to take responsibility for your actions, so you can use whatever power you have to combat that addiction and build yourself into something better. There is a temptation, however, to over correct and take on more responsibility than you really own. When you do that, you are easily frustrated as things you don’t want to happen keep happening, and you think it’s your fault. That reinforces your addiction’s assertion that you are wasting your time, not to mention it creates negative emotions that we all know serve as triggers to seek cheap dopamine through PMO, or as I’m arguing here, FMO. There are going to be times when erotic thoughts spring into your brain, especially if you’ve trained yourself to fantasize in the past. Your previous self is responsible for this. Your present self is responsible for dealing with how that prompt is handled. It can be difficult to distinguish between those unconscious promptings your current self is not responsible for, and the conscious choices your present self is responsible for. Consequently, it’s easy to be confused about whether you should reset or not. Consult your gut. Reason it out in your journal. Many times some careful introspection will help you decide what to do. Regardless, reset from fantasy is not a failure. It's a victory! It means you are confronting a root cause for your addiction, instead of sweeping it under the rug to fester and rot and doom your recovery.