The Truth About Triggers

The Truth About Triggers

There are three main approaches to traditional porn addiction recovery that I like to refer to as the “Big Three.”

They are the religious approach, the 12-step approach, and the therapeutic approach. Each of these works for different people based on personality, background, needs, and so on. However, they also tend to create obstacles where none should actually exist.

I have a hard time with the Big Three because each of them applies archaic and out-of-date methodologies to a very modern problem. For example, problems like alcoholism are relatively predictable. Alcohol has been the same substance for centuries. Flavors and brands may change but the substance itself remains the same.

On the other hand, porn addiction is a modern problem because it’s constantly evolving. What was mostly magazines and VHS tapes a few decades ago is now the most expansive library containing whatever you could possibly want to watch, anytime, anywhere. It’s not the same beast that it was 20 years ago, and it’ll be a completely different beast 20 years from now.

The way that high-speed on-demand pornography has rewired men’s brains is something else entirely. It creates changes that feel as though they’re permanent. Men watch their sexual preferences change as their pornography use progresses. They begin fantasizing about things they would have never imagined themselves attracted to before watching porn.

Applying one of the Big Three methodologies to your porn addiction recovery often neglects this reality. It uses old approaches that don’t take a comprehensive approach that’s required for your recovery. They focus more on porn use and less on the important tools you can use to overcome it.

For example, triggers are a hot topic in these traditional approaches. You’re taught to think that triggers are the main cause of your porn use and compulsive sexual behavior. There’s this belief that if you have a problem with pornography, you need to avoid any potential triggers that could lead you to relapse.

Leaning into this belief about triggers means that if you have a problem with pornography and see a scantily-clad woman that you’ll experience an uncontrollable urge and have no choice but to relapse. Do you realize how ridiculous that is?

I understand that triggers are a real thing and they do create a biochemical reaction that leads to arousal. Men experience a biological response when they see something sexual that falls within their arousal template. But the belief that you have no control once you’re triggered is absolutely unreasonable. 

Accepting this belief means your life becomes a quest to avoid triggers. That’ll make you a wildly useless person, though, because triggers are inevitable. What are you going to do, shut yourself away in your house for the rest of your life?

You have a choice in how you respond to triggers. It might not feel like it at the beginning but you do. You lose control over that choice as you fall deeper into your pornography addiction and compulsive sexual behavior. But you can regain that control if you use the right system and approach.

That’s exactly what the Porn Reboot program is designed to do. It’s built to help you build a solid foundation for recovery and then equips you with the tools and skills needed to maintain what you’ve built. It’s not a program that teaches you that you’re a victim to circumstances and need to spend your time avoiding triggers. It’s a program that empowers you with the ability to recognize that pornography isn’t something you want as part of your life.

I’ve seen it time and time again with men who use our system. Over time they realize that they prefer not to watch pornography. They build a life that is so fulfilling and preferable to the way they were living before that the idea of watching pornography or engaging in those old compulsive behaviors again is abhorrent.

Whether you believe it or not, brother, you have a choice when it comes to your porn addiction symptoms and compulsive sexual behavior. Sure, compulsive behavior with pornography, sex, and masturbation is real but your response to it is one hundred percent your choice. And regaining that choice is the most important thing you could possibly cultivate within our system.

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