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Healthy Flirting vs. Dangerous Fantasizing

Healthy Flirting vs. Dangerous Fantasizing

Today I want to write about a question from one of our brothers.

“Hey, J.K. I’ve been doing great so far with the Porn Reboot program but I want to know how to discern between healthy flirting and dangerous fantasizing. I’m currently talking to a bunch of women but not sure how to pursue things. Getting too sexual over text may cause me to relapse. Sometimes I’m not sure whether I’m leaning too far into the realm of my compulsive behavior or if it’s simply a genuine interest in a woman. How do I navigate those nuances?”

Do you ever find yourself in a situation similar to this? Are you concerned about where the line between healthy flirting and dangerous fantasizing lies? It might not be as complicated as you’re making it out to be, though.

Here’s the thing: I don’t see any nuances here.

This brother mentions that he’s talking to a bunch of women and worried about getting too sexual because of the risk of relapse. If flirting with women over text puts him in a situation that may lead to relapse, that should be a very clear boundary. He shouldn’t be texting sexually with women if he thinks it could result in a slip.

I want to point out two more important things in his question.

  1. What is the purpose of flirting with a ton of women?
  1. Why does flirting over text equate to things getting sexual?

Flirting with A Ton of Women

The first thing I recommend is getting clear about why he’s flirting with a lot of different women. I do want to mention that I see nothing wrong with having casual sexual partners. I went through a phase like that myself. I also think it’s risky to pursue relationships like this too early in your reboot, but there’s a place for it when you have more control over your behavior. 

But it doesn’t sound like that’s what’s going on here. Our brother says he’s talking to a lot of women, not dating a lot of women. What is the purpose of talking with them? Is he trying to learn to become more intimate (the primary priority when rebooting) or is he only looking for sex?

Since he mentioned he’s worried about things getting too sexual I’m guessing that he’s looking for sex.

Again, it’s okay to have casual sex once you’ve rewired your brain. If you’re worried about relapsing because you’re flirting with someone, though, your brain probably hasn’t rewired yet. It might be a better idea for you to focus on building reboot capital in other areas for now instead of flirting with women.

Texting Getting Sexual

This brother also mentions his concerns about texting getting sexual. While texting doesn’t necessarily equate to things getting heated, that is something more common with flirting in today’s world. Sexting and sending explicit pictures have become the norm among men and women today.

This creates a problem for single men who struggle with out-of-control sexual behavior. You can’t conduct yourself like everyone else, brother. It doesn’t matter what everyone else is doing; learning to control your behavior should be your priority. This means that sexting, sending dick pics, and receiving naked pictures from women isn’t an option for you.

I’ve been in a relationship for 13 years and neither of us has ever sent an explicit picture to the other. I assure you it’s not because we’re conservative people but it’s because I set a hard boundary early on that it’s not something for me.

Even if you’ve been in a relationship with your partner for a long time, explicit texts are a slippery slope. Naked pictures and videos of your wife or your girlfriend still count as pornography. It doesn’t matter that you see her naked all the time; it’s the fact that it’s a digital image that gets you stimulated. 

Texting isn’t inherently sexual but oftentimes it crosses the line into that today. If you can’t keep your text conversations conservative then you need to shift your priority to working on yourself some more.

Focus on Building Intimacy

Your porn use and compulsive sexual behavior destroyed your understanding of intimacy. Porn addiction effect is the furthest thing from intimate. It doesn’t portray the true nature of intimate sexual relations. Building intimacy is an important part of the Porn Reboot process and it won’t happen when you’re only focused on sleeping with women in the early stages.

It takes time, energy, and attention to build intimacy. It doesn’t come from a one-night stand. The more you spend time listening to the women you’re talking to and actually hearing what they say, you’ll build a stronger connection and a healthier relationship.

If you don’t feel like you’re able to build intimacy just yet, though, that’s okay. It comes with time and takes practice. You’ll learn to build these kinds of relationships the longer you stick with your porn addiction recovery. For now, spend some time with us in the free Facebook group and let us know what we can do to help.


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Rebooting vs. Recovery: Choosing a Path

I’ve often used the word “recovery” when writing here on the blog, speaking in YouTube videos or podcasts, or other Porn Reboot spaces.

I use the term for ease of communication when I talk about overcoming your porn addiction and compulsive sexual behavior. 

It’s a familiar word that’s now commonly associated with the process of overcoming addictive behavior. This makes it easy for the largest number of people to understand what I’m talking about.

At the same time, I do believe it’s important to distinguish between what happens in traditional recovery approaches and what happens with the Porn Reboot system. What we do here is not the same thing you’ll find in the majority of other recovery modalities.

Recovery takes you back to what is familiar. You’re eliminating your addictions to regain the life you had before. Sure, some might take it further and build a better life than the one they had while using substances. But most people stick within the bounds of what society expects from them.

There’s nothing wrong with this approach. It still leads to a decent life. If you’re not interested in launching yourself to the next level then recovery is the best thing for you. You’re probably well-suited for a traditional rehab program, 12-step group, or religious group.

On the other hand, rebooting is exactly what it sounds like. It’s restarting your entire life. It’s refusing to settle for what you had before and crossing over into a new life. It’s also refusing to limit yourself to what society expects from you but pushing past those confines into what you want to make out of your life instead.

Men who are successful in the Porn Reboot system are men who fall into the second category. They want to step outside the bounds of the traditional. They tend to be high-performing men. These include guys who are artists, business owners, entrepreneurs, and more. They’re men who will not hold themselves back from everything possible.

The porn addiction recovery system requires a lot more from you than a traditional recovery approach does. When you come to the Porn Reboot program we ask you to change your entire life. You’re encouraged to build up areas that you may have never considered pursuing before. We want to trigger a transformation of your entire being, not just one aspect of you.

This means you’re going to have to say yes to the unknown. You must be willing to admit you know much less about yourself than you think you do. You need to be ready to have the truth about yourself revealed and to take action once you discover it.

One of these truths is the understanding that your recovery or your reboot is not part of your identity.

This is something that I see in traditional recovery communities all the time. People embody their recovery as an identity and find themselves wrapped up in something that never ends. 

Once an addict, always an addict, right?

Sure, you have a problem with porn and compulsive sexual behavior. It’s a serious problem, too, otherwise, you wouldn’t be here. But you are not your porn addiction. You are not your out-of-control behavior. It’s a problem you deal with but it is not a part of you.

The Porn Reboot system will never ask you to embody your porn problem as part of yourself. We also see ourselves as a tool for you to use but not a crutch for you to rely on. After you reboot successfully, you do not need Porn Reboot anymore. You don’t need to keep coming back week after week to rehash old problems.  

That’s the point of rebooting – you reboot and you move on, you don’t reboot and stick around forever. And that’s also what separates Porn Reboot from traditional approaches to recovery. We want to get you reconnected with life and back into the world, not sitting in rooms for the rest of your life talking about your identity as an addict.

Recovery may be similar to rebooting, but rebooting is so much more than recovery.

You’re welcome to take whichever avenue seems most suitable for you. You might not want to do all the work that’s required for a successful reboot. But those who do decide their problem is severe enough and are willing to do the work will be rewarded with a life far greater than they ever imagined possible for themselves.

So which avenue will it be for you, brother?

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Porn Reboot Needs vs. Wants: Unveiling Key Priorities

Porn Reboot Needs vs. Wants: Unveiling Key Priorities

Today I want to discuss needs versus wants as they relate to different areas of your reboot capital.

For those who don’t remember, reboot capital refers to the different areas of life in which you need to build up capital to help you end your out-of-control behavior. This includes your physical, emotional, mental, social, and spiritual capital.

I had a conversation with my girlfriend yesterday that made me want to write about this. We’re pretty frugal people for the most part. Each of us picked up these thoughts and behaviors from our parents who are also frugal. It’s a tough mindset to break most of the time.

For example, I’ll go to the store for something like body lotion and see a few options. As I look at both the name-brand body lotion and the generic version, I have a decision to make. If I’m not thinking consciously, I default to my frugal mind and opt for the generic version because it’s cheaper.

I did the same thing for years with my car as well. I’ve owned a 2005 Toyota Camry for many years. It has almost 300,000 miles on it. It’s been with me through both my worst times and my best times. It has been a reliable vehicle that I haven’t wanted to get rid of since it has run for so long. However, even though it was time for an upgrade, I still hesitated to spend the money.

Lots of men come to our program with similar frugal mindsets. Oftentimes they’re a result of driving themselves into financial ruin because of their behavior with porn, sex, and masturbation. Other times it’s because they spent lavishly trying to compensate for the crippling guilt and shame they felt. 

Living within your means is an important skill to acquire. It’s a necessary part of achieving and maintaining financial stability. It’s never a good idea to rely on consumer debt to fund your lifestyle. Taking out loans or purchasing things on credit is a fast track to possible ruin if you find yourself in an emergency.

There’s a line between these two extremes of extravagance and frugality. Neither is useful when it comes to rebooting. You don’t want to spend above your means and continue unhealthy financial habits. At the same time, you don’t want to become so cheap that you avoid spending time with friends or treating your family to enjoyable experiences.

Part of the Porn Addiction Counseling – The Reboot process is developing a healthy relationship with your finances. Freedom from your out-of-control behavior makes you a more engaged and hardworking employee or business owner. You’ll soon find yourself able to escape any troublesome financial situations you found yourself in when you first arrived.

After you get yourself out of any possible debt and back on track financially, the question of needs versus wants becomes very apparent. If you’re anything like me, you’ll likely carry the same fearful and frugal mindset moving forward. It’s not an easy filter to break down and separate from. 

Another part of the Porn Reboot process is learning to enjoy life. You spent so much time hiding from the world, trapped in a deepening spiral of compulsive sexual behavior. Now that you’re free from it, you need to fully engage with the world. This involves some level of spending, whether it’s on some new clothes, a trip for your family, or even some hobbies that you enjoy.

Spending money is simply a part of living a fulfilling life. Money is not something to be loathed or feared, whatever you may have learned when you were young or adopted as you grew older. It’s a useful tool that will help you build a life worth living. There are times when it’s okay to spend a bit outside your means with the understanding that it’s not an every day or all the time thing. 

So long as your needs are taken care of, you’re allowed to fulfill your wants, too. A life filled with only your needs isn’t as enjoyable as it could be. Once you’re in a position where you can afford to splurge now and then, learn to treat yourself, your family, your friends, and even the world around you. You’ll find life to be a much more enjoyable experience when you do.


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