Some Thoughts on the Nature of Porn Addiction

Discussion in 'Porn Addiction' started by Fallacious D, Feb 1, 2021.

  1. Porn vs. our Goals: as Cognitions
    It is far easier to conceptualize the things we have experienced than those we have not. Porn surrounds us and is rooted firmly within us - we have all seen it and do not require much effort to form a clear picture of it. We can choose from a number of scenes that we have memorized and play them in our minds at will. And should we briefly forget, we are swiftly reminded of them.

    Compare the tangibility of porn to the intangibility of traits we hope to gain through quitting porn - confidence, empathy, discipline, self-esteem. The ability to not see attractive people as objects, for example, is an abstract idea or a state of mind, and one which many of us haven't experienced since we were children. All we know about this state is that we desire it and have the potential to experience it. But we cannot point to it in the world or summon it to our prefrontal cortex as effortlessly as we can with even the faintest sexual fantasies.

    This reveals much about the struggle of NoFap. Every day we are confronted with the choice between pursuing porn or forsaking it. Porn is cognitively accessible, as described above. The mental state that comes from having a 90 day streak is inaccessible as a concept if we have never experienced it. We cannot reach out and grasp it as we can the multitude of fleeting sexual desires that the moment finds us distracted by. It must be discovered. In that sense, NoFap is a blind journey. This is why we often choose porn when we are tested - because we know porn. The alternative, although much better for us, is an unknown, which makes its pursuit an understandably difficult task.

    Porn vs. our Goals: as Actions
    Our discussion so far has mainly focused on the difficulty of thinking about our desires, with no mention of achieving them. What makes the latter difficult is the following: watching porn is a single and immediate action, whereas abstinence is a continuous process of many actions over an indefinite period of time. We may find relative ease in the initial decision to disengage from porn, but when we wake up the next day we will unquestionably be tempted anew. Temptation has an infinite number of opportunities to win us over.

    What many of us know is that some days seem impossible and some days require no effort at all. This complication makes the job of strategizing an approach to abstinence very difficult. Maybe some people are able to find a set of actions that will make their journey consistently easier. But for most, watching porn is more favorable to all other actions in terms of perceived reward. By sheer mathematics, it only makes sense that we prioritize watching porn. But this is clearly not what we want.

    I raise the question then: is there a way to somehow manipulate our own psyche such that we may find watching porn less favorable than other actions? I believe there is, which is why I propose that we should investigate the psychological states that lead to our behavior with great scrutiny, instead of focusing solely on the behavior itself. What makes me confident? What makes me want to achieve? What makes me want to watch porn? I contend that these are the questions each of us should explore to the fullest extent.

    A Case for Introspection
    Porn is simple: "do the thing until good stuff happens". It might be tempting to view abstinence in the same light, but I find this insufficient. We are not machines, but very emotional, volatile, and complex animals. Is willpower a "muscle" that can be strengthened with brute force? Perhaps it is, but perhaps also we can find a more clever and efficient way of easing our burden in this long-winded and brutal process.

    On that note I will mention myself. For the last year, I have struggled greatly with adhering to NoFap. Recently I have begun to think this is mainly because I relied on a mechanistic approach rather than trying to conceptualize what I want to gain from quitting PMO. It's hard to chase something that you cannot see, after all. So maybe it would benefit us all if we tried our best to list our goals in as much detail as possible, until we have a clear image of what our lives will look like without porn. That image - and not some vague, unknown future - is what we must pursue, until our desire for it overpowers our desire for porn.

    To go one step further, let's embody that image. If we wan't confidence, let's act with confidence - not by waiting for it to happen or wondering how many days of NoFap it will take before we suddenly have it. And not by faking it either, but by reaching deep within our psyche and pulling it out. The person we want to be isn't someone inside us waiting to be found, or someone that was torn apart from us long ago. We are that person. We are the achiever we strive to be, and always have been. All that remains is to demonstrate it.

    I hope you enjoyed this little rant.




    YA BOI
    @FellatiousD
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2021
  2. AtomicTango

    AtomicTango Fapstronaut

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    Great post, completely agree. Good shit.
     
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  3. WHMvsPMO

    WHMvsPMO Fapstronaut

    Appreciate it. I would just add psychological and physiological approach together can be very powerful.
     
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  4. Thanks man. I was fantasizing about my two favorite waifus Candace Owens and AOC this morning, when a weird thought hit me: "Why does this seem so real and so believable, as if these girls were right in bed with me, but getting up on time seems so distant and unachievable?" Because I never say no to the fantasies - they are always right there waiting to be embraced - and I always give myself more time to sleep. I keep hammering this paradigm into my reality, and never challenge it. I don't remember the last time I woke up and stayed up, so I avoid it at all costs. Because the alternative, staying in bed and fantasizing, is what I did yesterday and the day before, and I liked it all those times. So if I like something, why would I change it? It's incredibly rational and incredibly harmful.
    Yeah, there are many ways people here deal with addiction. I actually considered giving credit to the many physiological approaches popularized here - cold showers, meditation, etc. Combining those with self-reflection and psychoanalysis could be very powerful indeed. And perhaps, what is powerful about the cold showers and stuff is not the physical aspect, but the fact that it can radically and rapidly change our state of mind. There is no desire to jerk off when you are in shock from the cold. But what I'm dying to know is - can we find a more permanent way of doing that?
     
  5. WHMvsPMO

    WHMvsPMO Fapstronaut

    I haven't read the studies directly but just the fact that Hof has rhe ability to stand the cold in extremes like ice baths for so long, as well as now many who practice the method is very telling. They have also measured his blood chemistry and orhee things. Sure he's most experienced woth decades of practice but it seems when people give it a fair shot they get results in how they perform real quick - days.
     
  6. Yeah I think it's basically an intense form of meditation where you remove your mind/identity from your body and all the trivial stuff like wanting to watch porn evaporates. I should honestly try it now that you've reminded me of it.
     
  7. Gmork 2

    Gmork 2 Fapstronaut

    Considered and far-reaching post, @FellatiousD
    Thanks a million for putting this together.
     
  8. AtomicTango

    AtomicTango Fapstronaut

    Is this the power of radical centrism?

    I think a lot of this is that as humans we sort of collectively delude ourselves into thinking we are much more than just really smart apes, who are EXTREMELY susceptible to being conditioned by even the most basic of shit. We arent biologically used to sugar, fat, and salt in the same foods, so we become addicted to eating fast food that has all those things in it. We want stimulation, so we become addicted to playing "games as a service" trash that feeds on our free time, money, and makes us miserable. We crave sexual release so we become dependent on the exact thing that prevents us from actually having a relationship with a real person. Humans are really smart, but our brains are also extremely stupid and primitive. Thankfully, it is possible to condition yourself into doing positive things, it just takes some initial drive and momentum. I managed to successfully fool my brain into making me feel bad if I dont exercise every day, for example, just by doing it often enough that it felt weird when I didn't.
     
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  9. Happy to find another Fapstronaut doing Wim Hof. I do the breathing before every daily meditation session and then do a cold shower. The method is great and the studies fascinating
     
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  10. WHMvsPMO

    WHMvsPMO Fapstronaut

    Yeah I'm just starting with the breathing, in the process of reading the book and realized because empty stomach - and I guess intestines - is ideal the order is probably get up, go to the bathroom, do the breathing then shower..
     
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  11. Yes. Centrist revolution now!
    Exactly. There is no invisible force that makes us jerk off, it's all psychology. You just have to get monke brain to do difficult thing.
     
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  12. HelperX

    HelperX Fapstronaut

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    Great post, you said very right things!
     
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  13. OhWhenThe

    OhWhenThe Fapstronaut

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    People say that every streak makes you stronger, my own personal findings since starting nofap 18 months ago though is that actually, every relapse makes me weaker. I still have the same desire and reason to quit as I did when I started but I just have no fight left, I'm so tired.
     
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  14. AtomicTango

    AtomicTango Fapstronaut

    As someone who had a similar crisis of faith, I can tell you that it took me hitting rock bottom and practically giving up before I finally got my act together and got to where I am now. I dont recommend you taking the long way round like I did, it sucks, so heed my advice.

    You only feel this way because you allow yourself to. It sounds harsh but its true. Like OP even said, its easier to live in a porn induced delusion than in reality, but its only that way because PMO is right there in front of you and your goals are nebulous and abstract. You need to be willing to conceptualise what you actually want from this, and then take every step possible to actualise it. Individual relapses dont matter, patterns of behaviour matter, and its positive patterns of behaviour that replace your PMO addiction that will steer you to success. If you manage to accomplish this then natural momentum will take over, you can shift your attention to other goals, which will in turn make you forget about PMO even more. You are only being hurt partially by relapsing a lot, a good amount of the pain comes from your own reaction to the relapses.

    Start by changing the way you view this problem. Acknowledge that things are hard, but you are strong enough to overcome it. Do things that make you mentally and even physically stronger, gain confidence, and with it the awareness that you are more than capable of doing this. Change your inner monologue about it. Dont say "Relapses make me weaker" say "Relapses are a blip on my path to success, they may suck but I can handle them." Dont say "I have no fight left, I'm so tired," say "I may feel bad now, but if I weather them things will improve, I'm feeling like this now so I can feel better in the future." Dont scare yourself into abstaining, motivate yourself and keep motivating yourself by making practical, meaningful goals, and working towards them. Simply desiring something isnt enough, you need to actively strive for it.
     
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  15. WHMvsPMO

    WHMvsPMO Fapstronaut

    I think what makes the difference is whether you learn more about it and yourself. I don't mean a contrived 'moral of the story' but continued improvement of what you do. It's hard when you're in that negative mind state, I can definitely relate but we are truly not helpless.
     
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  16. YAYYYYYYYYYYY

    YAYYYYYYYYYYY Fapstronaut

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    I tried it once.
    First attempts were nice but then didn't make any difference at all.
     
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  17. WHMvsPMO

    WHMvsPMO Fapstronaut

    I don't know how long you did it for but I'd imagine it's about continuing to increase and there are other exercises besides the basic breathing. The whole point is to strech yourself.
     
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  18. YAYYYYYYYYYYY

    YAYYYYYYYYYYY Fapstronaut

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    yeah, i started to read his book, actually
     
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  19. cassius900

    cassius900 Fapstronaut

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    Brother, I know exactly the feeling of being so tired and having no fight left. I've been there and it's soul crushing. I want you to know that you're not alone in this fight against addiction, we're right there with you. Lean on us and we'll help. I would also like to suggest reading Easy_Peasy. It's a free book that you can found by Googling Easy_Peasy Addiction. It talks about what is going on in your brain, the difficulty in quitting and provides some excellent help and advice to help you quit for good. Give it an honest read while taking notes. I believe in you man.
     
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  20. PanteriMauzer

    PanteriMauzer Fapstronaut

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    I dont care about the nature of porn addiction i just want to not watch any more time porn
     

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