Reasons to stop looking at pornography…and how to do it

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I’ve shared in depth my personal battle with pornography.  I know the effects it has on a person, as well as on their families, marriages, relationships, and friendships.  If you’re still looking at porn, it’s time to stop.  Here’s why:

  • It changes the way you look at all women (and/or men).  Porn teaches you that women are only their breasts, legs, etc.  It dehumanizes them.  So when you see women in real life, you only see their breasts, legs, etc.  This is a huge problem.  Every man or woman you see is only 0.05% their body parts and are 99.5% their vulnerabilities, hurts, fears, insecurities, personalities, strengths, weaknesses, flaws, pasts, family roles (daughter, mother, wife), jobs, likes, dislikes, etc.  How can you be in healthy community with women when you are focused on their body parts?  How am I going to let you be in community with my wife or daughter when you are focused on their body parts?  And stop lying to yourself about this.  You do this, and it’s automatic.  Porn has trained you like its pet dog to think this way.
  • Porn changes the way you view sex.  Dr. Gary Wilson of YourBrainOnPorn.com says, “Internet porn is as different from real sex as today’s video games are from checkers.”  Imagine someone (your spouse) wants to sit down to play checkers with you, but you think you are sitting down to play online Halo.  This isn’t going to end well.  And neither is your marriage.
  • Porn physiologically changes your brain chemistry.  That’s pretty scary.  I don’t know about you, but my brain is something I value.
  • Porn causes erectile dysfunction.  Also pretty scary.  I don’t know about you, but erectile function is something I value.
  • Porn depresses you.
  • Porn demotivates you.
  • Porn removes your confidence in interacting with the opposite sex.
  • Porn wastes hours of your time, at a time.  Imagine all of the productive things you could do with the time you’ve wasted in your past looking at porn.
  • If you’re a Christian, porn creates a double life.  You have to keep it secret.  You go to church and feel distance in your relationship with God.  You wonder if your spouse will find you out.  You wonder what your pastor would think if he found out.  You are constantly looking behind you.
  • Porn will destroy your marriage.  And/or your future marriage.
  • If you think you will be able to stop looking at porn once you get married, because “you’ll be able to have all the sex you want” and won’t have a need for porn, you are so incredibly mistaken.  Every married person reading this just laughed at you.  And every person, like myself, who thought marriage would cure porn addiction, feels sorrow for you.  Marriage actually makes porn addition worse.  One, because there’s so much more on the line so the ramifications are much worse.  And two, because it’s your outlet from the difficulties of married life.  So the temptation doesn’t lessen, it heightens, because porn will always be easier than working on your marriage.
  • Porn funds, supports, and perpetuates the abusive, evil, heinous sex-trafficking industry.
  • How will you teach your kids to not look at porn, when you are still looking at porn?

I fully understand the feeling of wanting to stop looking at porn, but being unable to.  I lived most of my life under that enslavement.  I’ve met many people who tell me they want to stop looking at porn.  But when I talk to them about how to do it, the reality is they don’t want to stop, because they aren’t willing to do the practical steps of what is necessary.  Here is how you stop looking at porn:

  • You cannot do this alone.  If you think you can stop looking at porn by making a good-hearted decision to do so, or by making a private commitment to God, you are flat out lying to yourself.  You won’t stop.  Period.  You’ll fall again, tell yourself it will be the last time, and the cycle will just continue.  Talk to trusted people about your porn problem.  Talk to them regularly and include them in all of your action steps.  Refusal to do so is simple stubborn pride, cowardice, and foolishness.  And I do advise that you eventually bring your spouse into this conversation, but follow these (click this link) instructions first.
  • It starts with eliminating online porn.  Online porn is the most accessible type of porn available and is the primary culprit of feeding porn addictions.  If you have a person in authority in your life, buy Spector Pro and eBlaster Mobile (for your smartphone), and set them up asap.  You need something comprehensive like the Spector Pro products (rather than traditional filters), otherwise you will continue to use Facebook to find lustful images, or visit sites like the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition, which don’t show up on most filters. If you think the products are an “invasion of your privacy” or are a waste of your money, you obviously aren’t ready to quit looking at porn yet.  You obviously still love it more than you love your spouse, your family, and your relationship with God.  (You also need to cut off any other access points to porn you have.  Confess these access points to the people you are sharing your action steps with and have them walk alongside you to cut these things off…e.g. cable TV, on-demand services movie services, etc.).
  • Can you still find porn that isn’t online or via your television?  Sure.  But the more you talk about your porn problems with those around, the more these issues are exposed to the light, and the less likely you’ll be to pile in the car, drive to your access-point, look a human being in the eye, and purchase more porn.  Temptation for porn is like a bonfire.  Every time you look at online porn, you are throwing more wood on the fire.  Once you eliminate online porn, your body’s addictive thirst for porn in general will curb itself.
  • There needs to be a retraining of how your brain processes the opposite sex.  This is where the real solution comes in.  This is the dismantling of the tank.

For the sake of brevity of one blog post, if you talk to people with authority in your life about your porn problem, and you get Spector Pro on your computer and eBlaster Mobile on your smartphone, you will definitely be on the right path.

The rest of the path is simply learning how to stop living in fantasy and learn to embrace reality.  You’ve been given one reality, embrace it.  The opposite of “life” is “death”, but it is also “fantasy”.  You cannot live on fantasy food, fantasy air, or fantasy water, so why do we think we can live on fantasy sex and fantasy relationships?

The grass is not greenest on the other side, it’s greenest where you water it.

Embrace the grass you’ve been given.  Invest in it.  And be amazed at what happens.

Here’s a sermon I preached in the fall that will guide you down this path of relearning how to embrace your reality, rather than being continually enslaved to fantasy.  A fantasy that only sucks the actual life out of you:

10.28.12 Life of Jesus series: God’s Design For Sex – Noah Filipiak from Lansing Crossroads Church on Vimeo.

 

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23 responses to Reasons to stop looking at pornography…and how to do it


  1. Noah, thanks for being honest and upfront. It takes guts to admit this in public. Nice to see another brother out there fighting against porn.


    • Thanks for the encouragement! I think the more we talk about this and are honest about it, the more it is going to encourage more brothers and sisters to also find help and talk about it. I’ve found one of Satan’s biggest deceptions is to try to convince us we are the only person who has done this or who struggles with it. Meanwhile the person next to them who looks like they have it all together is also struggling. Thanks for the encouragement QUP, and keep up the good work yourself!


  2. As expected, very few people have posted comments here. Par for the course: they are too ashamed.

    Noah, this was one of the single best articles on fighting porn that I have seen and I have read many. Great job. My only suggestion: the reality that porn helps feed Sex Trafficking needs to at the top of the list. The rape-for-profit industry would not exist without the sex industry to hide behind and porn is an integral part of that. The utterly shattered lives of the women and girls (and sometimes boys) who suffer as a consequence of our selfishness makes all the other harms of porn look mild by comparison. Anyone who has watched Nefarious: Merchant of Souls or read books like Not For Sale will understand what I mean.

    My advice to the sex addict is to take a hard long look at the grotesque suffering that their “naughty” behavior makes possible. Once they connect in their minds (as I did) that using porn is an integral part of the system that enables the unspeakable abuse of human lives, they will perhaps finally realize that using porn is just not conscionable.


    • Thanks for the encouragement Brian and this is a great emphasis added. It’s so true. The same can be said for sexual molestation and rape. The stats are off the charts for sex offenders who began with porn and continue to be addicted to it, and how porn shaped them to do what they did. It’s typical of Satan: “hey here’s a pretty picture to look at, there’s no harm in it…” meanwhile our brains are literally being warped to consume and destroy.


      • Thanks for pointing out how porn also spirals into the issues of sexual molestation and rape outside of the trafficking sphere. Very, very good point. “there’s no harm in it” is indeed a horrible lie: one espoused most recently by Duke University’s Miriam Weeks (aka Bella Knox). Very sad story of a self-deceived woman there who is enabling the harm of so many. But she had a very insightful point: the people who rail against her are often using her porn! Utterly hypocritical and shameful!


  3. I and my husband have been separated for a long period of time, I came across different spell caster and they were all unable to bring my lover back. I was so sad and almost gave up on him when i met a man called DR Lawrence who helped me get my lover back. Ever since then i have been so happy and couldn’t believe it would happen. He also helped me with success spell, I have been living happily with my lover now and will be getting married soon.Thank you drlawrencespelltemple@hotmail.com


  4. Noah, thanks for running this again . . . needed and timely as long as we have eyes. Another reason to give up porn is what it does to your faith. Hardest thing when you’re losing the battle with porn is to go to the Lord. Knowing/loving Jesus, when the heart’s all in with porn, betraying him is tough to get past. Knowing it’s wrong, in one act it tests, resists, grieves, quenchs and outrages the Spirit. Scary how easy afterwards to think that God is thru with you. In that place tho, find that grace is really undeserved and forgiveness is freely given and Jesus’ love is because of Jesus. Filters are good but they’re like triage that stop the bleeding. . . for the heart issues need faith in Jesus and in his blood to cleanse and in his power working within to change you.


    • That’s well said Alan. Ya Satan’s trick is definitely to get us to give up / to feel shame from this sin. I love Romans 8:1 here: there is NO condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus!! Amen for us grace and mercy and renewal.


      • Think the lesson that I’m learning is to look to the Lord immediately in faith, confessing, rather than wallowing, wretching over how bad I am. In that place looking to myself, the hardest thing is to act faith and truly believe all that Jesus is and has done. . . living in the flesh makes the reality of Jesus seem distant.
        Have you heard of NoFap. . . it’s an online community of mostly guys who take the challenge and pledge to give up porn and masturbation for a certain amount of time. . . they go by the name Fapstronauts. The main community has over 100,000+ members but there’s also NoFapChristians, 1200+ guys who encourage and hold each other accountable. The forums are moderated and nothing sexual or tempting is ever allowed. . . and there’s no charge or selling stuff. If you want to check it out: http://www.reddit.com/r/NoFapChristians/
        Mentioning this only as a resource that you could suggest if you agree. . . if it’s inappropriate, delete this.


  5. Posted above but an image from the bible has helped. Porn is an issue of the heart. . . my flesh moving my heart to embrace porn. When the heart’s given to porn my mind doesn’t have arguments that have power. The Passion of the Christ brutally depicts the nailing of Jesus to the cross. Seeing that, I read in Hebrews that deliberate willful sin is like trampling underfoot the Son of God and what comes to mind as I’m about to click that link is me stomping on Jesus as he’s nailed to the cross and laying on the ground before they raise him up. And I wonder if my heart is prepared to go there. . . to have my boots be covered in his blood. Is my love for Jesus that small? And Jesus’ words comes like a weight, If you love Me, you’ll keep My. words. And doing porn becomes more than what it’s doing to me. . . It’s what it’s doing to him, as his brother.
    Don’t mean this to be salacious but do mean it to be brutal. . . Intentional sin is brutal. It’s not just porn, all willful sin by believers is like this, it’s just that porn is such a matter of images and when I get the image of trampling Jesus it helps to flee porn and for my heart to remember that I love him more. Hebrews also mentions profaning Jesus’ blood and outraging the Spirit of grace. How bad is willful deliberate sin in God’s eyes that it outrages grace? What is it to outrage grace?


    • I think it’s very helpful, whatever the sin is, to try to see sin the way Jesus sees it. We often will be aghast when we hear about “severe” sins that other people have done, but we think the sins we struggle with aren’t as big of deals. I find that the greater I realize my depravity, the more depths of God’s grace I am able to realize and absorb. The mindset you bring up Alan is actually why I encourage guys to tell their wives about their porn problem. Not to tell her right away, but to tell her after the guy has a plan of change and accountability in place. But to tell her because it makes it real. She is most likely going to see the sin of porn the way Jesus does, with disgust, which is very motivating to not do it again because we have to taste the pain that it brings in real time. Which I wrote about here.


      • Always appreciate that your words/counsel is really practical and spot on. Love your phrase “the freedom of reality.” A headsup if it’s helpful. . . think your link to your book is outdated.


  6. In present i feel this porn is the worst part on net coz once your into it there’s neva a way out But thankx to uh Noah fo been a help at such times…. Realy ur doin a great work man …. God Bless uh to d fullest


    • Thank you Sandra. There is a way out, I know that from experience, but you are right in that it is an addiction and it takes a lot of strengthening over time to get out.


  7. I am a girl. I’m only 12. I’m scared. I just learned that porn ruins your sex life. I want to be committed to one person. Please. I don’t want to talk to my parents. They would KILL ME. NEVER TRUST MY. I’M A CHRISTAN. PLEASE. I’M LOST.

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