Things you can do to stop using Internet pornography

Tell a trusted person about the problem. This may be your pastor, home group leader, or another mature Christian. Ask this person to enquire regularly about your Internet use.

Use an Internet accountability programme. You will be asked to name a number of people who will receive regular emails telling them what sites you have accessed. Try typing ‘Accountability software’ into your search engine and see what is available.

Think carefully about the people you name for your accountability programme. Ideally, they should be people with whom you have regular contact and who you respect.

Make sure the people you use for your accountability programme check their inboxes thoroughly.

Have an accountability programme operating on every computer to which you have access.

Ask your Internet provider what sites they can block you from accessing.

If possible, place your computer somewhere that others can see the screen. (Unless you are working with material that is confidential.)

Take extra care if you are hungry or tired. Self-control is more difficult when blood glucose level is low or when you are lacking energy.

Do not ‘go to the edge’ e.g. Use your search engine to find pornographic sites but not access them. (Doing this still feeds the addiction.)

If you are tempted to use pornography, try nurturing yourself in a way that is acceptable. Maybe listen to music or call a supportive friend.

If you feel the urge to use pornography is irresistible, try putting it off until some time later. Maybe go for a walk. (Leave your phone at home if you are using it to access pornography.) You may find that after a while the urge to use pornography has gone or is at a level you can resist.

Things to think about

Ask yourself what need pornography is filling in your life. Is there a need for greater intimacy? More excitement or adventure? Do you just have too much idle time?

You may find yourself thinking,
‘Just a little bit will not do any harm.’
‘I need to know what is out there so I can inform others.’ ‘Everyone does something wrong. This is just my particular failing.’ ‘This is not what I find most titillating.’
‘Looking at this might help my sex life’, or something similar.

These are rationalizations. You need to focus on something else. (See Philippians 4:8)

If you fail, do not punish yourself. Ask God’s forgiveness. Maybe tell a trusted friend and do something useful. (Maybe make a list of useful things to do and have them to hand.)

If you go for even a short time without viewing pornography, tell yourself ‘Well done!’

Remember. Most addictive problems do not go away easily. You will probably need to persevere for some time – until not using Internet pornography becomes a lifestyle. Give yourself regular encouragement and tell yourself the goal is worth it.