As you go through your reboot you may encounter some stumbling blocks along the way. Porn withdrawal can be one of these, so ensure you have support in place as you start your journey into quitting porn. If you have a friend, partner or other person you trust to support you then reach out to them and let them know what you’re doing. Remember that learning to ask for help and support is a skill that everyone needs to develop in their lives. If you have access to a therapist and feel comfortable sharing that you are quitting porn this can also be a great option to get some extra support.

You can also join some supportive online communities – there is an excellent list of resources that you can access on the Your Brain On Porn website here – https://www.yourbrainonporn.com/discussion-board

Factors that might cause you to relapse can include:

  • Insomnia – if you’ve been using porn to help you get to sleep you might have some trouble getting a good night’s rest. Explore some Mindfulness and other ways to help you get ready for bed that don’t involve porn like exercise and reading

  • Porn Triggers – you might encounter things that remind you of porn and trigger craving to use it. Things like TV, Movies, Suggestive Ads, Social Media or even being bored and procrastinating can make you feel like you want to use porn again. Use Brainbuddy and other coping techniques in the ‘How Do I Quit Using Porn’ question below to help you manage these triggers.

  • Using your laptop/computer – This is a tricky one because for most of us computers and laptops are an integral part of day to day life at work/education and at home. Try to limit using your computer alone to begin with, especially if you have been used to using your laptop in your bedroom/bed to use porn. Try to ensure you leave your laptop outside your room in the day and definitely at night.

  • Intermittent porn use. This is when you give up porn for a period of time, but then watch – telling yourself that it won’t make a difference because for most of the time you haven’t been using porn. Unfortunately, having a period of abstinence and then using porn can actually heighten excitement and increase cravings. This is why it’s important to be consistent and learn to replace porn with other habits and lifestyle changes. Remember the aim is to reboot your natural sexuality and enjoyment of real sex and healthy masturbation. 

  • Fantasizing about porn. If you have not chosen to abstain totally from masturbating as you reboot one pitfall to avoid is masturbating to porn fantasies. Your brain activates many of the same circuits when fantasizing about an activity as actually experiencing it – so if you are imagining porn as you masturbate this can cause a relapse. 

It’s important that you try to avoid beating yourself up if you do relapse. Quitting porn is tough for many people and it can be a process that takes time. It’s normal to experience times when you feel cravings and you don’t find it easy to stop. Getting support in place and techniques & tools you can use like brainbuddy to keep motivation up. These all play a vital role in preventing relapse. One of the most powerful tools you can employ is mindfulness, which is an effective way to help you as you rewire your brain back to a healthy sexuality. More on mindfulness next.