Conscious Porn

Are you afraid that you could be addicted to porn? Do you wish you had more freedom to choose whether to look at it or not? Would you like to understand what compels you to look at sex for hours on end?

My husband and I found a way that helped him like nothing else could. I want to share it with you in hopes that, if you are looking for a way to understand yourself and your relationship to porn, this will help.

I won’t be going down the road of shaming you or trying to convince you that what you are doing is wrong or harmful. If you are anything like my husband, you are in a constant battle with your desires and already have plenty of self-deprecating thoughts. I don’t want to add to those in any way. Actually, the best approach is to be kind to yourself and let go of the shame if you can. Instead, begin to look for what you’re really after when you look at porn.

Everything we do is an attempt to meet needs. Everything! Porn is a strategy you use in an attempt to meet needs of yours. Those needs are precious and important; they are your vital life force seeking expression through your actions. That is why looking at porn has such a powerful grip on you. If you can see the needs clearly, see what it is that you are actually after when you look at porn, you will begin to see yourself more clearly. That clarity will transform your relationship to porn and give you freedom to make other choices to find more fulfilling ways to meet your needs.

Exploring what needs you are meeting may take some time and เย็ดหี but is well worth it. I call it conscious porn because that is what this is about. It is about bringing awareness to what is an unconscious, habitual ritual in your life. You choose to look at porn because you get something out of it-something deeper than quick sexual gratification. If you can identify what that something is, if you can discover what you’re looking for, you will have more choice about how you get it.

When it’s unconscious, the behavior stays locked in place. These dynamics play out over and over again without you even knowing what is happening. When you shine the light of awareness upon your behavior, and see the gift it is trying to give you, then compassion will flow and you will have changed your relationship to pornography. Porn isn’t the only option you have-there is a whole world of alternatives.

The following strategies may help you become more aware of what you’re after when you’re looking at porn.

Acceptance

For most people struggling with porn, there is a fierce internal war going on inside, and this battle is tiring. One way to stop the agony of this constant battle is to accept this is what is going on for you now without judging it as good or bad, it just is. Stop pushing it away; trust that your desire for porn has something important to tell you and welcome it as a chance to learn what that is. This is an invitation to take an honest assessment of where you are and accept this is where you are for now. I truly believe that if you only did one thing for yourself, acceptance is the most important step because it has the power to make enormous shifts.

Ask Questions

Ask yourself questions and be willing to hear the answers without judging them. “What was it about porn that attracted me in the beginning? What am I after now when I sit down at the computer to look at porn? What types of porn are most attractive to me?” Look for clues in the particular kind of porn you like. For example, “Am I attracted to dominance? (Would I like more control in my life?) Do I seek out submission? (Would I like someone else to take control so I can relax and let go?)”

Unearth Your Needs

What needs do you meet when you look at porn? This is a different question from those above, which are about the outer manifestations of your desire. This question goes deeper. You probably don’t often think of your life choices this way, but everything you do is an attempt to meet needs, to get something for yourself. You go to work to make money not to have folding paper in your pocket but because of the basic needs those pieces of paper can help fulfill. Maybe you’re looking for a sense of security and safety, or maybe you want more fun in your life, and money allows you to go places and do things you couldn’t otherwise. Needs in this sense are basic energies of life, expressing themselves through your actions and seeking fulfillment. They are expressions of your inner essence. In one situation you may have a need for honesty; in another you might have a need for intimacy. There are many basic human needs that seek expression.

Looking at porn, like earning money, is just a strategy you employ to get something you want. Here is a list of needs from a survey asking people what needs they were meeting by looking at porn. Check inside as you read each one to see if any resonate with you.

Needs That Porn Could Meet

o Freedom: Are you excited or happy when you’re unrestrained by societies do’s and don’ts around sexuality. Do you want the right to follow your own desires when it comes to sexual choices?
o Choice: Do you enjoy knowing that you have choice about what you do in your life?
o Play: Are you burdened with responsibility and find that porn is the one place that you can let go and have fun?
o Aliveness: Do you love the experience of how you come alive when you look at porn?
o Access to sexual energy: Is porn a place that you can easily connect with your innate sexual energy?
o Relief from misery: Have you made choices for yourself that have you not enjoying your life? Are you experiencing the pain of a dead-end job, a difficult relationship, financial difficulties, etc? When you look at porn, do you feel the relief of temporarily leaving that all behind?
o Intimacy: Do you enjoy the intimacy that porn can provide without the vulnerability that comes with a real relationship?
o Connection: Does the porn world give you the satisfaction of being connected with others?
o Passion: Do you love to experience your own passion and arousal?
o Value: Do you get a sense of value when you look at porn because you can be the center of the party, with all attention on you?
o Shared reality and acceptance: Do you feel like porn is the one place where others have some of the same likes and dislikes you do? Do you feel seen as you are? Do you feel like you don’t have to hide yourself?
o Beauty: Do you enjoy looking at bodies in the same way you might look at sunsets, because it gives you pleasure in admiring the beauty?

Needs That Porn Might Not Meet

You employ an array of strategies to meet your needs, but sometimes when you choose a particular way of meeting them, that very strategy means other needs don’t get met. You may recognize some of the following needs that aren’t met when you look at porn.

o Freedom: Are you sad or frustrated when you find yourself compelled to look at porn? Do you wish you had more freedom around whether you looked at it or not?
o Choice: Are you so compelled to look that you can’t say no and want more choice?
o Awareness: Is porn contributing to your staying unconscious? Are you confused and would like to be more aware of the reasons for what you’re doing?
o Self-respect: Are you sad when you don’t know how to manage your desires? Do you end up doing things that you don’t respect about yourself?
o Authenticity: Is it painful when you feel you can’t be yourself because you hide your desire for porn from others? Are you hiding your true self from others?
o Meaning: Do you yearn for something that has more meaning in your life than porn?
o Contribution: Are you sad or frustrated because porn takes up so much time and energy that your ability to contribute to others is compromised?
o Creativity: With so much of your life focused on porn, are your creative energies not being expressed in other areas as you would like?
o Community: Is the amount of porn you’re looking at creating a sense of isolation from others and your community?
o Understanding/clarity: Are you confused about why you’re so captivated by porn, and would love to understand what is going on?
o Touch: Is your physical contact with others diminishing the more you look at porn?
o Rest: Are you fatigued from so much stimulation and missing sleep?

Notice that these needs are common human needs that don’t carry judgment with them. By understanding the needs you’re trying to meet, you will have more ability to find other, more satisfying ways to meet them.

Mental Chatter

Another important step is to observe your thoughts. What is the ongoing conversation you’re having with yourself about your looking at porn? Are you telling yourself that there’s something wrong with you or that you’re flawed? Does one voice tell you it’s okay to look at porn, and then another voice criticize you for doing so? Are you caught in a cycle of conflicting judgments?

Again, get curious and just notice, without judgment-the mental talk. Don’t try to make your thoughts go away; that would be just one more way to tell yourself that some part of you doesn’t belong. Oftentimes these conflicting voices are different needs seeking expression. See what the needs are behind these voices.

Try these interpretations of needs: When you tell yourself there is something wrong with you, is your underlying need to be loved or valued? Perhaps one way you have learned to be valued is to criticize yourself in an attempt to make yourself better, more valuable to others. When you tell yourself that it doesn’t matter what other family members might think, that looking at porn is your prerogative, is your underlying need the freedom to do as you choose?

Bringing the Hidden to Light

These are a few ways to become more conscious of your actions instead of habitually doing what you do. By inquiring at a deeper level, you will be able to regain control of your life. Once you’ve seen what is motivating you and what you’re really after, then you can weigh the needs you are meeting versus the needs you aren’t. This will help you decide whether, overall, porn is making a positive contribution to your life. If you decide it isn’t, you will have new tools and information to make changes based on what is important to you.

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