Are you afraid that you could be addicted to porn? Do you wish you had more freedom to choose whether to look at it or not? Would you like to understand what compels you to look at sex for hours on end?
My husband and I found a way that helped him like nothing else could. I want to share it with you in hopes that, if you are looking for a way to understand yourself and your relationship to porn, this will help.
I won't be going down the road of shaming you or trying to convince you that what you are doing is wrong or harmful. If you are anything like my husband, you are in a constant battle with your desires and already have plenty of self-deprecating thoughts. I don't want to add to those in any way. Actually, the best approach is to be kind to yourself and let go of the shame if you can. Instead, begin to look for what you're really after when you look at porn.
Everything we do is an attempt to meet needs. Everything! Porn is a strategy you use in an attempt to meet needs of yours. Those needs are precious and important; they are your vital life force seeking expression through your actions. That is why looking at porn has such a powerful grip on you. If you can see the needs clearly, see what it is that you are actually after when you look at porn, you will begin to see yourself more clearly. That clarity will transform your relationship to porn and give you freedom to make other choices to find more fulfilling ways to meet your needs.
Exploring what needs you are meeting may take some time and effort but is well worth it. I call it conscious porn because that is what this is about. It is about bringing awareness to what is an unconscious, habitual ritual in your life. You choose to look at porn because you get something out of it-something deeper than quick sexual gratification. If you can identify what that something is, if you can discover what you're looking for, you will have more choice about how you get it.
When it's unconscious, the behavior stays locked in place. These dynamics play out over and over again without you even knowing what is happening. When you shine the light of awareness upon your behavior, and see the gift it is trying to give you, then compassion will flow and you will have changed your relationship to pornography. Porn isn't the only option you have-there is a whole world of alternatives.
The following strategies may help you become more aware of what you're after when you're looking at porn.
For most people struggling with porn, there is a fierce internal war going on inside, and this battle is tiring. One way to stop the agony of this constant battle is to accept this is what is going on for you now without judging it as good or bad, it just is. Stop pushing it away; trust that your desire for porn has something important to tell you and welcome it as a chance to learn what that is. This is an invitation to take an honest assessment of where you are and accept this is where you are for now. I truly believe that if you only did one thing for yourself, acceptance is the most important step because it has the power to make enormous shifts.
Ask yourself questions and be willing to hear the answers without judging them. "What was it about porn that attracted me in the beginning? What am I after now when I sit down at the computer to look at porn? What types of porn are most attractive Choti to me?" Look for clues in the particular kind of porn you like. For example, "Am I attracted to dominance? (Would I like more control in my life?) Do I seek out submission? (Would I like someone else to take control so I can relax and let go?)"
Unearth Your Needs
What needs do you meet when you look at porn? This is a different question from those above, which are about the outer manifestations of your desire. This question goes deeper. You probably don't often think of your life choices this way, but everything you do is an attempt to meet needs, to get something for yourself. You go to work to make money not to have folding paper in your pocket but because of the basic needs those pieces of paper can help fulfill. Maybe you're looking for a sense of security and safety, or maybe you want more fun in your life, and money allows you to go places and do things you couldn't otherwise. Needs in this sense are basic energies of life, expressing themselves through your actions and seeking fulfillment. They are expressions of your inner essence. In one situation you may have a need for honesty; in another you might have a need for intimacy. There are many basic human needs that seek expression.