This month is November, which means guys around the world are altering their lifestyles. Most people have heard about No Shave November, where guys don’t shave their faces for the month to raise awareness about cancer. A more recent internet challenge, No Nut November, has risen in popularity, where guys refrain from porn and sexual activity–ie total abstinence–for the entire month. Everyone enjoys a good challenge, and so you will see guys participating who otherwise have no interest in changing their grooming or sexual habits. As far as guys who believe in the virtue & benefits of NoFap / Semen Retention / Sexual Integrity, it stands to reason that the challenge/communal element is merely more motivation to do what they already do year-round. After all, if you believe something is good for you, why would you only be serious about it one month of the year?
Today, I want to address 7 toxic beliefs that keep people hooked on pornography. I see these expressed all the time, overtly and covertly. I even believed some of them at one point in my life. If you believe any one or a combination of the following beliefs, you will likely have a very hard time quitting porn; you might not even try. On the flip side, if you take the opposite view on all of these beliefs, you are well on your way to recovery.
7 Toxic Beliefs That Keep People From Quitting Pornography
1. I need porn
This one is arguably the most insidious. Human beings are wired to seek out and satisfy their needs. If you think you need something, you will go out of your way to get it. You will not make sacrifices to avoid something that you think is serving you or benefiting you. The truth is humans need food. Humans need love. Humans need connection. Humans do not need porn. Porn often masks what’s really going on within is, as many people who quit it can attest. It may feel good going down, like alcohol, but we know it always leaves us worse than when it found us.
2. Porn is natural
Natural refers to something that belongs to nature. Sex in the right context, for example, is natural. Watching other people copulate, on the other hand, is very unnatural. I don’t know any societies prior to their internet where that was the norm. In any case, the argument that something is natural, therefore it is good, or advisable to do, is innately flawed. You know what else is natural? Predation. Violence. Infectious disease. Sometimes following our nature produces harmony. Other times, it produces dysfunction.
3. Everyone watches porn
“Everyone does it,” is the oldest slight of hand to avoid owning up to one’s mistakes. ” How do you know what all people do? You realize there are 8 billion in the world, many of who are living in different cultures in places of the world you and I have never been to. When we say “everyone watches porn,” we are typically referring only to ourselves, our friend group, and the perception we get about others from media. I know many guys who do not have a habit of watching porn. The “Semen Retention” and “NoFap” Reddits have hundreds of thousands of member.
At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what other people are doing; our species is highly flawed and engages in self-destructive behavior all the time. Do we want to eat and drug ourselves to death just because the man next to us is doing the same?
4. Something bad will happen if I don’t act on my sexual desires
I can’t remember who I heard this one from, but it sounds simple enough. You ever heard of blue balls? The supposed painful feeling in your testicles after being aroused but not experiencing climax. I’ve never experienced it myself, but many people have a “blue balls” mentality. They are afraid that if their arousal does not result in an outlet, something bad is going to happen. Excruciating pain? A nervous breakdown? Overpowering frustration/misery? Nothing is going to happen. If you have never abstained for any real length of time, you may not realize that your compulsion to take action is not evidence of imminent danger or pressing need. I challenge you to call its bluff. Something bad will happen if you don’t eat. Or if you jump into a busy intersection. Nobody ever died from not watching porn or masturbating.
Nobody ever died from not watching porn or masturbating.
On the other hand, many people experience benefits when they quit watching porn. Have you checked out the testimonies section of this site? You can read other articles on The Powerful Benefits of Semen Retention and Finding Healthy Ways To Transmute Sexual Energy. The sex drive is supposed to energize us to connect with other people and leave our imprint on the world, not to waste it on fruitless, abortive activities.
Absent porn and masturbation, a man’s sexual urges drive him to go out and interact with women. Through these interactions, a man receives feedback on the qualities that women find attractive in a partner. The end result is typically a more sexually attractive man, and a stronger personal overall. Porn and masturbation severely hamstring this process. Unlike women, they demand nothing and communicate nothing of value. Porn and masturbation are an enemy of personal growth.Cultural Quote # 99: Porn And Women
5. Porn won’t negatively affect my life
Despite what most of us know to be true about the physical, mental, emotional, social and spiritual harms of pornography, we often treat ourselves like the exception to the rule. This seems to be a defect in human psychology; perhaps it functions to keep us in a harmonious state of self-justification. After all, if everyone weighed the consequences of their actions, nobody would have any bad habits. I wrote about the human tendency to except oneself in my article about the Biblical Judge Samson, whose indiscipline toward women led to his downfall.
Maybe Samson thought he was immune from the consequences of his actions due to his high calling. Or maybe he failed in the endeavor to discipline his mind. In any case, he did the opposite of Joseph–rather than fleeing temptation, he actively sought it out. . . The English expression, “If you play with fire, you will get burned,” has ancient roots.
Or maybe we look at others who watch porn or have some other bad habit that doesn’t seem to negatively their lives. Reality is that we are not them, and they are not us. And we never know all that is going on inside others. Do you know how many chain smokers die young for every one that makes it to 80?
6. Only religious people need not watch porn
The presence of massive NoFap / Semen Retention communities should be enough to debunk this one, but I get the sense there is still the perception that anti-porn / pro sexual-integrity movements are religious in nature. I happen to be a person of faith, but you don’t need to be a person of faith to discern right from wrong, healthy from unhealthy, resourceful from toxic. The difference between me and a non-person of faith is that my sexual integrity has spiritual implications, in addition to the physical, mental, emotional, and relational ones.. Just as we can all agree that smoking is bad for human health, based on experience and observation, we can arrive at the same rational conclusion about pornography.
7. Porn is a victimless crime
As people, we like to think that we are the only ones affected by our actions. This divests us of responsibility. However, it isn’t true. Our actions influence others, and their actions influence us. That’s what it means to be a member of a species that is highly interdependent. Porn distorts and damages our relationships with friends, family, and romantic partners. It also affects people involved in the porn industry. Human trafficking is a big global problem. And what about the consenting adults who engage in it due to financial hardship — do we not care about them? Some of us are less moved by the moral argument against harming ourselves, but we cannot escape the fact that our actions affect others in a big way.
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