I’m going to blow your mind with something today.
Would you like to know the ONE thing which everyone who has been trying to quit porn for over two years misses?
If you haven’t been struggling with this for up to two years- no worries, this will be helpful to you as well.
See, when I was trying to end my habit with porn, I always assumed that a combination of willpower, discipline, spiritual faith, perhaps a filter and my BIG goals would be the solution.
I tried everything because I BADLY wanted out of my porn hell. I was so sick and tired of sexualizing every single woman I came across, tired of feeling like a pervert 24/7, tired of a life that revolved around my next masturbation session.
I was so scared that I would end up being a fuck up in life. It’s so depressing to KNOW that despite what the outside works think of you-you are truly a FRAUD
At one point, on the outside, I was viewed as a charismatic, well-spoken, 21 year old with lots of potential in my career and in college. Inside, I was the guy who spent an entire lecture staring at girls in class and wondering what sort of face they would make if we had anal sex.
The funny thing was- at that point, I was still a virgin.
Well, I tried all of those approaches mentioned for a few years and if you did as well, you can probably relate to some of these results:
Willpower: This could get me through 30 Days, but I’d always end up edging or touching myself and eventually masturbating. A typical example was once when I was so sexually frustrated after 30 Days that I ended up waking up one morning and kinda rubbing myself against my bedsheet until I orgasmed. In my mind, the justification was “You didn’t touch yourself, so you didn’t masturbate”. Of course, I felt really bad as soon as I was done and ended up watching porn a few days later. Have you ever experienced that before?
Discipline: This is pretty good. You have these moments when you are super focused on killing it in your career, and you make sure that NOTHING gets in the way of your progress. Often, you might be too busy to masturbate. Unfortunately, you don’t know how to sustain self-discipline. After all, it’s not a part of your lifestyle just yet. Eventually, you get stressed and feel like you deserve to relax. At that point, you either break a boundary with your diet, some substance or your time management, “chill out” and end up watching porn again.
Filters: Nothing much to say here. We bypass it, use a different device, download another browser, or uninstall it when our “addict” takes over. “The filter sucks” is our excuse every time.
Goals: Ah…. our goals. Whether its dating goals, financial goals, career goals, self-improvement goals or relationship goals…you believe that you want that goal bad enough to quit. You tell yourself over and over again “This is SERIOUS, man! I NEED to achieve this- there is NO TIME for this porn BS!”. All to no avail-your addiction was present in your life BEFORE your goals.
There is only one way for your big goals to bypass your porn habit. That way is ROCK BOTTOM. Totally screwing up your life thanks to porn.
Spiritual Faith: I was raised as a Catholic. Though I am no longer religious, at one point, my porn addiction was so intense that I dropped to my knees and prayed to every saint I could remember to deliver me from my behavior. Some of you do the same thing. Then your promptly binge on rape-themed porn for two hours.
As I told a client this morning: “Jesus only saves 5-9% of addicts. The rest gotta save themselves”. (That’s an actual statistic and there’s a very interesting story behind that. I’ll tell you about it another time.)
O.K- enough foreplay for now, lol.
The ONE thing that every man who’s been trying to quit porn over two years misses in his recovery toolkit is ACCOUNTABILITY.
We don’t use accountability because we are fucking MEN.
We think we’re so damn capable of ending our porn use on our own that we will go for DECADES without ever IMAGINING that someone else knowing about your addiction could be the ONE thing we’re missing.
The dictionary definition of accountability is:
“The obligation of an individual to account for his activities, accept responsibility for them, and to disclose the results in a transparent manner.”
This means to tell people who have invested in you what you have achieved. It is your DUTY to demonstrate your effort, your responsibility, your achievement and your progress.
You don’t HAVE to be accountable.
You GET to be accountable. Its the SUPERHIGHWAY to quitting porn.
Please read those last two statements again.
There are three parts to accountability:
1) Visibility: When others know what you want, you can all appreciate your goal together.
2) Clarity: Know what you want allows you to move towards it with PURPOSE
3) Activity: Others knowing your goal allows for action because when you take a step towards your goal, they get inspired to become better accountability partners!
Here’s the magical thing about having these three parts of accountability present during your journey to quit porn:
Visibility + Clarity = FOCUS. You know what you want and you actually see it become a reality.No more self doubt.
Clarity + Activity= PROGRESS. You are clear about what you are doing and never waste time with useless action.No more browsing forums, reading a ton of books and watching endless videos to put it all together.
Activity + Visibility=ENCOURAGEMENT. Others support you, and give you positive feedback as you move forward.
Author S. J. Scott lists seven benefits of accountability in his book The Accountability Manifesto.( great book!)
Accountability when quitting porn gives you better performance under evaluation.
* Your slips are further and further apart-sometimes you NEVER relapse when you have accountability.
Accountability when quitting porn allows for honest feedback from others.
* You can’t BS yourself any longer.
Accountability expects you follow through on your commitments to quit.
* No more excuses. You told someone clearly that you would do something. So you do it.
Accountability establishes firm deadlines for tasks in your recovery.
* You become a FINISHER. If you’ve been following me for awhile, you know that almost all porn addicts are incapable of finishing long term projects. Your prefrontal cortex which regulates this has been damaged. Accountability gives it a chance to rebuild neural pathways.
Accountability keeps you grounded in reality.
* No more fantasies. No more low self esteem based on false perceptions of yourself.
Accountability helps you learn from the success and failure of others who are trying to quit as well.
* John went on a business trip and didn’t call the hotel front desk and tell them to block the adult channels. Well, I certainly won’t be making THAT mistake!
Accountability prevents little problems from becoming big problems.
* No porn fantasies moving from tube sites to chatrooms to cruising for partners in real life.
Accountability is NOT a “drag”. It is a wonderful opportunity. The missing ingredient in the actions of many men who are on this journey. Finding a good accountability partner is often the ONLY thing you need to quit.
One of my earliest mentors was Mark Manson ( before he became famous).
About 12 years ago in Austin, Texas as we ended our coaching day in a bar ( yes- I literally paid his cash money to get coached in a bar over a few pale ales) he said:
“You know J.K, if you just did three things in order of importance- quit watching so much porn, move to a cooler town, talked to 10 women a week and had someone keep you accountable, you’ll solve 90% of your problems within 3 months.”
He was right. He kept me accountable and I unlocked another level of my recovery.
I truly hope you find the courage to include accountability in your recovery. It just might make the next few months the best of your life.