I like to find or make funny memes and post them in the Porn Addiction Counseling – Reboot Facebook group about once a week. Like a lot of others, I find that humor is a great way to cope with topics and experiences that can be difficult and painful at times. So our weekly memes are something that brothers in the group often look forward to.
A couple of weeks ago I made a meme that I thought was pretty funny. It was a picture of Mr. Clean, that bald white mascot for a cleaning company, wringing water out a sponge. The caption on the image said, “Your wife’s panties after hearing you decided to quit pornography and join Porn Reboot.”
It was pretty hilarious if I do say so myself, and lots of guys in the group thought it was great, too. We spent so many years more interested in porn than sex with our wives or partners. Lots of us struggled with porn-induced erectile dysfunction, too. No wonder our spouse is excited when we’re finally ready to quit porn. And any man with the same experience can relate.
But some brothers had some choice words in response.
“Bad. Just bad.”
“What little interest I had in joining your program is gone now.”
“Do you wanna be taken seriously?”
“You charge folks for porn reboot coaching and you post this crap?”
“Apologize to the group and take it down right now.”
I was astounded at how many people were offended by a simple joke. I didn’t think it would cause that much of a problem. But it also got me thinking about what being offended by things means at a deeper level.
It reminds me of when I was a confused Catholic guy in my 20s. During my freshman year of college, I remember watching drunk girls come home with a guy and judging them. Night after night I sat with my friends calling these women all sorts of names, but then went back to my dorm room and angrily jerked off at the same girls I judged.
I judged women I couldn’t be with. I judged comedians who made vulgar jokes on late-night television about different actresses and celebrities. And then I would masturbate while thinking of whatever woman made me angry earlier.
Over time I realized that I wasn’t actually angry at these women or those jokes.
I was really just angry at myself.
I was upset at my lack of sexual control and how quickly I betrayed my perceived values. Those things that I thought made me angry really just aroused shame, guilt, and jealousy. It wasn’t the world that had the problem, it was me. I was the one with a messed-up view of the world, looking at everything through the lens of my porn-addled brain.
Lots of the men in the Porn Reboot program grew up in households held together by Catholicism or Christianity. We weren’t taught that sexual jokes are okay. And then our closet porn addiction stunted our ability to relate with women, but we believed our lack of sexual experience was their problem.
I spent so much time placing blame on others that I never bothered to consider the common denominator every time I was offended: me. I was the one finding fault in everything when really I was the one at fault.
I imagine the brothers who lashed out at the simple, silly meme I posted are dealing with something similar. Many of us share similar experiences and they’re probably dealing with underlying self-loathing, shame, and guilt. They haven’t yet employed the tools we use in the Porn Reboot program to determine the source of these feelings.
Instead, they lash out at perceived offenses or injustices. They allow external circumstances to dictate their internal condition. And I know from experience because I did the same thing. Thankfully, I learned to respond to situations and circumstances, not react. It isn’t an overnight process but it’s possible.
If you’re struggling with finding offense in everything around you, then your reboot will help. Porn Reboot is about so much more than pornography. Sure, porn addiction is what gets you in the door but you’ll find more than that waiting for you once you commit to the process. Freeing yourself from the need to feel offended is one of the most important things you can do. Join us today and find out for yourself just how incredible that freedom can be.