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7 Toxic Beliefs That Keep People From Quitting Pornography

Seven toxic beliefs / lies about porn, no fap, semen retention..
Our lives follow the direction of our beliefs.

This month is November, which means guys around the world are altering their lifestyles. Most people have heard about No Shave November, where guys don’t shave their faces for the month to raise awareness about cancer. A more recent internet challenge, No Nut November, has risen in popularity, where guys refrain from porn and sexual activity–ie total abstinence–for the entire month. Everyone enjoys a good challenge, and so you will see guys participating who otherwise have no interest in changing their grooming or sexual habits. As far as guys who believe in the virtue & benefits of NoFap/ Semen Retention/ Sexual Integrity, it stands to reason that the challenge/communal element is merely more motivation to do what they already do year-round. After all, if you believe something is good for you, why would you only be serious about it one month of the year?

In this article I debunk seven toxic beliefs that keep people enslaved to pornography. I see these expressed all the time, overtly and covertly. I even believed some of them at one point in my life. If you believe any or a combination of the following beliefs, you will likely have a very hard time quitting porn; you might not even try. On the flip side, if you take the opposite view on all of these beliefs, you are a leg up in your pursuit of freedom.

7 Toxic Beliefs That Keep People From Quitting Pornography

1. I need porn

Human beings are wired to seek out and satisfy their needs. If you think you need something, you will go out of your way to get it. You will not make sacrifices to avoid something that you think is serving you or benefiting you. The truth is humans need food. Humans need love. Humans need connection. Humans do not need porn. Porn often masks what’s really going on within is, as many people who quit it can attest. It may feel good in the moment, like a drug, but we know it always leaves us worse than when it found us.

2. Porn is natural

The word natural denotes something that is in conformity with its original condition. I don’t know any human societies prior to the internet where watching other people copulate was the norm. In any case, the argument that something is natural, therefore it is good, or advisable, is flawed. Sometimes following our nature produces harmony; other times, it produces dysfunction.

3. Everyone watches porn

“Everyone does it,” is the oldest sleight of hand to avoid taking responsibility. What basis do we have for such a sweeping statement? There are eight billion in the world, many of whom belong to diverse cultures in places of the world we have never been to. When we say “everyone watches porn,” we are typically referring to ourselves, our immediate friend group, and the perception we have about others from the media. I know many people who do not have a habit of watching porn. Anti-porn online communities boast millions of members.  

At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what everyone does. People are flawed and engage in self-destructive behavior all the time. For the same reason we wouldn’t jump off a bridge if our friends did, there is no rationale for a pornography habit or addiction.      

4. Something bad will happen if I don’t act on my sexual urges

There is the temptation for people to interpret sexual urges as warning signals that something bad will happen if they do not take action. This is especially true for people who have no precedent of ignoring them; they simply do not know how their bodies will react. Consumerist values are another culprit in shaping people’s expectations. Self-control doesn’t sell; neither does it make for good entertainment.

Well, what happened is popular culture, TV, social media, the movies, have given you the impression that whenever people have sexual urges, they do something about it.

J.K. Emezi in What To Do About My Strong Sexual Urges? (Porn Reboot)

Something bad will happen if we don’t eat. Or if we jump into a busy intersection. Nobody ever died from not watching porn or masturbating. On the flip side, there are numerous documented cases of people who died within a short while of sexual activity. The only way to know what will happen if we don’t act on our sexual urges is to ignore them.  

One of the very basic beliefs as a human being is that you don’t have to act on your sexual urges. You’re not going to die. You’re not going to lose your mind. Nothing bad is going to happen to you. Your body is going to react. Your mind is going to react, but after a while, it realizes that, “Oh, it’s not the end of the world. I’m going to be okay. And this is going to pass.”

J.K. Emezi

On the other hand, many people experience benefits when they quit watching porn. Have you checked out the testimonies section of this site? You can read other articles on The Powerful Benefits of Semen Retention and Finding Healthy Ways To Transmute Sexual Energy. On the other hand, many people experience benefits when they quit watching porn. The sex drive motivates us to leave our imprint on the world and is not to be wasted on fruitless activities.

Absent porn and masturbation, a man’s sexual urges drive him to go out and interact with women. Through these interactions, a man receives feedback on the qualities that women find attractive in a partner. The end result is typically a more sexually attractive man, and a stronger personal overall. Porn and masturbation severely hamstring this process. Unlike women, they demand nothing and communicate nothing of value. Porn and masturbation are an enemy of personal growth.

Cultural Quote # 99: Porn And Women

5. Porn won’t negatively affect my life

Despite what we believe to be true about the physical, emotional, and spiritual harms of pornography, we often treat ourselves like the exception to the rule. This double standard enables poor choices while maintaining us in a complacent state of self-justification. In the past I illustrated this tendency in an article about Biblical Samson, whose sexual indiscipline was his downfall. Maybe Samson thought he was immune from the consequences of his actions due to his high calling or personal pride.

There are many equalizers among men. For example, we all get 24 hours in a day. We all need oxygen to live.  We all put our pants on one leg at a time. And we all suffer when we keep a pornography habit or addiction.

Or maybe we look at others who watch porn or have some other bad habit that doesn’t seem to negatively their lives. Reality is that we are not them, and they are not us. And we never know all that is going on inside others. Many chain smokers die young for every one that makes it to 80.

6. Only religious people need not watch porn

One need not be a person of faith to discern right from wrong, healthy from unhealthy, resourceful from toxic. What distinguishes a person of faith is that their sexual integrity has spiritual implications, in addition to the physical, mental, emotional, and relational ones. Just as we can all agree that smoking is bad for human health, based on experience and observation, we can arrive at the same rational conclusion about pornography. It is also of note that the popularity of the secular anti-porn movement has skyrocketed in recent years. This belief simply does not hold water, neither philosophically nor empirically.

7. Porn is a victimless crime

To deny that our actions profoundly affect others and vice-versa is to betray ignorance of human nature. (No man is an island!) In Book I, I expanded at length on the personal detriments of pornography. However, the damage is not limited to self. Sex trafficking is a multibillion-dollar criminal industry, the demand for which pornography fuels. And what about consenting adults who engage in pornography due to personal hardship–shouldn’t we care about them, too? Some of us are unmoved by the moral argument against harming ourselves, but we cannot ignore the harm pornography does to our neighbors.

If you liked this article, check out Wet Dreams, NoFap, Semen Retention And Sexual Transmutation. For the complete archive of articles, click here.

An intellectually curious millennial passionate about seeing people make healthy, informed choices about the moral direction of their lives. When I’m not reading or writing, I enjoy hiking, web-making, learning foreign languages, and watching live sports. Alumnus of Georgetown University (B.S.) and The Ohio State University (M.A.).


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