Of all the triggers that lead me to PM, sexual fantasy is at the top of the list. It's a phenomenon that all of us experience, but for some, including myself, it's an overwhelming force that pushes me to the very edge of relapse before I finally succumb to its power. How does one deal with fantasy? What techniques can be used to combat it? Is it even something that should be fought? Yes - it absolutely should be fought and is as much a problem as porn itself. The reason is quite logical and simple. Running porn scenarios in our mind produces the exact same effects as watching an actual porn video. If there's no difference to the "drug" itself, we're just talking about different delivery mechanisms. Heroin can be smoked, snorted, or injected. Regardless of which method is the best, heroin is still the drug that is producing the desired high. It's the same with porn and fantasy. Those are 2 different delivery mechanisms for the exact same drug: dopamine. Over the years, I've read a lot about dealing with fantasy and various techniques that can be employed to keep it at a manageable level. It is the goal of this thread to create a consolidated list of those techniques in the hope that it will benefit any who come across it as well as help me as I progress in my own recovery. I encourage anyone to offer ideas and suggestions on how they've overcome fantasy, and as my knowledge and experience grows, so will this list grow and adapt. Techniques for Addressing Fantasy: One of the first techniques I came across is "Flipping Your Gremlin". The gist is we all have gremlins inside us that are there to protect us from uncomfortable feelings. The problem is, the results of that protection are often unhealthy and can lead to fantasy. For example, we have a gremlin that's trying to protect us from the uncomfortable feeling of being horny. The obvious result is for it to give us an artificial solution to that feeling through fantasy. Gremlins aren't inherently bad because their goal is to protect us, but what we need to do is flip the gremlin so that it will protect us in a healthy way that will allow us to grow stronger and not weaker through addiction. The source of this technique does a far better job of explaining than me. Simply google "How to Stop Fantasizing by Flipping Your Gremlin" and the youtube video will come up. There is a technique called "SNAPP" which is a method for controlling anger with regards to children. However, it was given to me as a way of controlling fantasy as well, and it has worked for me in the past: - Stop what you’re doing when you're triggered. - Notice what's going on in your body and mind. - Allow the experience to be just as it is. - Penetrate body sensations with deep breath. - Prompt yourself toward compassionate action. Meditation. This is not for everyone, but if you haven't tried this I would strongly encourage it. Meditation is about increasing mindfulness (related to the SNAPP technique above), and when we are mindful, we are more self-aware of our thoughts and emotions. The more mindful we become, the easier it will be to recognize fantasy as it starts and to then put it in its rightful place. Identify habits that lead to fantasy, and take immediate steps to break them. We are creatures of habit, and we often subconsciously adhere to those habits. For example, I'm in the habit of driving my children to school in the morning and returning home (I work from home). Many times over the years, I've had to run an errand after dropping off the kids, but I find myself pulling in to my garage before I realize I never ran the errand. That's the power of habit and making us "forget". If I'm in the habit of fantasizing every single morning before I get out of bed, that's an easy one to identify and work diligently to change. I just need to immediately get out of bed! If fantasy happens at specific times during the day or during specific activities, take steps to break the habit. If fantasy is prevalent during your commute to work, fill your mind with podcasts or something else that will break the habit. Work on never allowing your brain to become lazy. When our brains are not active, our subconscious wants to fill that void. Fantasy is at the top of the list. Work to fill your brain with something at all times that doesn't involve simply being still and fantasizing. Engage or start an activity that requires concentration. Sometimes it's as easy as doing a puzzle. There are countless things we can do to engage our minds. It's only when we're infected with laziness does it provide the perfect conditions for fantasy to fester. Write down the fantasy and identify the lies found within. Fantasy is and will always be what it is - a fantasy. Oftentimes I've been plagued by the same fantasy over and over, and it consumes my thoughts. The only way I've been able to diffuse or eliminate some of those fantasies are to write about them. I type them out, and then after it's written down, I write about all the reasons why this fantasy is false, what negative consequences will come of it, and how it's leading me to view porn. If I'm fantasizing about an affair, I write about the consequences to my wife and family. If I'm fantasizing about prostitution, I write about the expenses and dangers of STDs. The point is, inject a heavy dose of reality into the fantasy. Reality is fantasy's kryptonite. There are other techniques I'm sure I've not thought of. I intend to keep this thread alive and link to it in my signature. Please provide feedback and offer additional techniques that we can employ against this. If we can win the battle over fantasy, I truly believe we'll win the battle over any of our compulsions, including PM.