Can you imagine life without porn? A lot of people can’t–they have been hooked for so long. They either have no interest in breaking the habit or have tried and failed to kick it for good. In this article, I want to help you visualize life post-pornography. If you don’t have a vision for the future, you won’t take the necessary steps to get there. And if that vision is not realistic, you may get there only to experience disappointment.
The first thing to know about porn is that it adds no value to life. It doesn’t strengthen relationships, build character, or increase happiness. In fact, I would argue that it does the opposite. I’ve had this convo with friends who watch porn regularly. They know it isn’t bettering their life in any meaningful way but they are reluctant to give it up since it offers instant gratification. When someone does something they know isn’t good for them, it is usually the result of emotional weakness. Here are some of the most commonly reported effects of quitting porn.
A greater desire to connect with real people. This has certainly been my experience. Real females suddenly became more attractive. And I had a greater interest in socializing with both males and females. Porn is an anti-social activity. I’ve also noticed that a lot of people don’t seek out a life partner because they’re constantly satisfying their sex drive on porn. If the desire to get it in is the only reason you have for entering into a relationship, you’re in trouble. But sex drive has always been a natural, normal, and healthy driving force of marriage. When you misuse it, you change your psychology and the direction of your life in a major way.
An increase in self-respect. This one applies to people who believe porn is morally wrong or unhealthy. Whenever you act against your values, you lose respect for yourself, and self-respect isn’t a game you can cheat. Your brain keeps track of everything you think, say, and do. If you want to improve the way you view yourselves, you can start by doing the things you already know you should be doing.
Greater emotional health. Porn is a numbing behavior for a lot of people. They watch it when they’re feeling angry, sad, or depressed. When you numb emotions, they don’t disappear. They get pushed to a deeper place inside you and affect your life in ways you aren’t conscious of. Being disconnected from emotions takes away the ability to process them into something positive. And when you numb negative emotion, you tend to numb positive emotion as well. When you quit porn, the cloud gets lifted and you start experiencing real life. You experience anger. You experience sadness. And you can deal with that anger and sadness after you learn what it’s trying to teach you. You also experience more positive emotion like happiness and excitement. In the long run, porn improves emotional health. And emotional health is one of the most important things in life.
Life is a challenge with or without porn. Porn just makes things more complicated than they have to be. After you quit porn, you still experience negative emotion. You still have relational challenges. You still have to work hard. You still experience setbacks. You still have serious character flaws that need changed. You’re just better able to deal with these challenges. And these are areas that we should all already be working on every day.
In sum, getting better in the area of sexual purity should be part of a larger process of growth and development (aka sanctification) that involves every area of life. If quitting porn doesn’t positively impact your character beyond this one issue, then something isn’t adding up.
What are some things you have observed after quitting porn?