Decoding Your Porn Addiction, Lesson 2: Frequency & Triggers

Before I delve into how to interpret specific symbolism in the deviant porn films that you are personally addicted to, I want to teach you some important principles that will help you understand why you watch the videos as often as you do, and why you suddenly experience seasons of “binge” watching when you feel compelled to suddenly increase your watch rate.

The first thing to understand here is which element is demanding the porn in the first place. There are two possibilities here. A biological push for porn tracks the natural ebb and flow of your body’s sex drive. For non-traumatized men who are feeling frustrated by not having any appropriate outlet for their sexual energy, an addiction to regular or “vanilla” porn can develop. The purpose of this kind of addiction is to help the body release what I call “sperm pressure.” The male testicles are amazing little factories which continuously produce sperm. After around three days, it’s as if the factories are feeling like their storage warehouses are full to the brim, and there’s simply no more space to store the new product. In response to this, the body starts pushing for ejaculation. It wants the old sperm moved out to make room for the new. As your body starts complaining to your subconscious about its sperm build-up, your subconscious agrees that a cleanout is needed. Once the subconscious signs off on this, you find yourself suddenly thinking about sex…a lot. Once both your subconscious and body start pushing you to get aroused, climax, and ejaculate, trying to hold them off will only make you feel more crazed. Here is where you either need to woo the wife into the bedroom or masturbate so that your body can get its sperm storage reset.

So why the porn? Well, males are wired to be far more visually stimulated than females. In the sexual arena, this means that visual aids often feel like a necessary aid in helping your body get aroused. Your subconscious will automatically provide the visuals for you, which is where the involuntary sexual fantasies come in. For many men, those self-produced visual fantasies feel sufficient. But some men get caught into the snare of porn videos, and once you get hooked on external visuals, it can be pretty addictive. Just as it often seems a lot easier and even more fun to buy takeout than cook your own meals, relying on porn videos for stimulation can easily seem more arousing at first. The problem is that porn videos are like coffee: sure, the initial stimulation feels a lot more potent, but over time, you acclimate, so you feel a need to start hunting for fresh material. If you’re a man who isn’t addicted to porn yet, but you are reading this article out of curiosity, don’t fall for the lie that porn is harmless and that “everyone’s doing it.” Every man is certainly not chained to some kind of porn in his life, and those that are are being negatively impacted by it. Porn is never harmless–not even the “regular” stuff. All porn conditions your subconscious to form very negative psychological associations about sex–associations that will severely undermine your ability to enjoy healthy sex in real life with a real woman. So don’t think the porn industry is just out to help you “get your natural needs met.” The porn industry is out to destroy you, while making a hefty profit off of your demise.

Now for female porn addicts, things work out a bit differently. For starters, females aren’t visually wired like men are. This isn’t to say that women can’t find visual arousing, because they can. But their different wiring makes regular porn a lot less attractive right from the start. In cases where there is a female who is addicted to porn for solely biological reasons, her craving will follow her body’s natural ovulation cycle. Whenever she drops a new egg, she will experience a sudden increase in her desire to watch a video. The underlying motivation here is that the body wants to experience an orgasm, because it associates orgasms with egg fertilization. Since a woman’s window of fertility is very brief, her spike in arousal is brief as well. Once the fertility window closes, a woman will go back to her normal attitude of sex being a “take it or leave it” kind of issue.

Now what I’ve just explained is how things work when there is only a biological push driving the desire for porn. In these cases, the body is the one pushing for sexual arousal, and it typically won’t calm down until it experiences an orgasm. For men, the orgasm comes with an ejaculation of old sperm, thus resetting the body’s sperm banks. For women, the orgasm makes the body feel that its egg has had a reasonable shot at being fertilized. In both cases, once the body feels its goals have been met, it calms down and stops pushing for sex.

So then, biological pushes result in a pattern of video watching or mental fantasizing that tracks fairly close to the body’s natural fertility rhythm, with spikes of intensity about every 3 days for men, and about once a month for women.

But in cases of deviant porn addictions, we are not dealing with just a biological push. Here we are dealing primarily with a psychological push, and that is an entirely different issue. In biological pushes, we find spikes that track with body stress. Sperm pressure creates stress for men, and ovulation creates stress for women. But when there is a psychological push, our spike pattern will now be dictated by changes in psychological stress. Because deviant porn addictions are initially caused by psychological trauma, and since psychological trauma produces ongoing psychological distress until the trauma is resolved, it is quite common for deviant porn addicts to feel a need to watch porn far more often than their body’s natural rhythm would suggest. For men, this would mean watching videos more often than every three days. For women, this would mean watching videos more often than once a month. The key point to understand here is that psychological stress causes the need to watch the videos to feel more intense and more frequent than in cases of biological stress.

A common fear among deviant porn addicts is that there is something intrinsically wrong with them on a core level. These people often use very derogatory terms to describe themselves–terms like sick, twisted, and monster. But these labels are both unfair and inaccurate. You’re not “messed up” the way that you think you are, nor were you born this way. You are simply dealing with a form of psychological stress.

How you internally experience any craving or addiction largely depends on which of your elements is demanding it. Your subconscious has enormous influence over your body and conscious–far more so than your soul. Your subconscious is also a very powerful element, with many complex and impressive abilities. When your subconscious becomes agitated, its stress has a very strong impact on the rest of your system.

Imagine a house in which there is a mother and two young children. One of the children is throwing a tantrum at the moment because he’s mad about not getting his way. He’s still a toddler, so the best he can do is roll about on the floor, wailing and kicking at the air. If you were to walk in on this scene, you would find the atmosphere unpleasant, but you wouldn’t find it dangerous. The mother looks at you and rolls her eyes in annoyance. The other child looks distressed by her sibling’s tantrum, but she’s trying to distract herself with her toys.

Now in this metaphor, the boy throwing the tantrum represents your body, the quiet child represents your conscious, and the mother represents your soul. It’s not a happy group, due to your body’s current wailing. The atmosphere feels tense. But then, suddenly, the father comes home. He is a tall wall of muscles who towers over his wife and dwarfs his children. He violently throws open the door, slams it closed, storms into the room, and slams his car keys down onto a counter. What has just happened to the atmosphere in the room? It has gone from tense to fearful. The children are now both silent and staring at the father with wide eyes of alarm. The mother looks nervous and on edge. No one dares to speak until the father says something and at the moment, he’s just staring them all down with a stone expression on his face.

The father in this metaphor represents your subconscious. The important principle I want you to glean here is that your subconscious can be a very intense, formidable personality. When it feels upset, your other elements are immediately set on edge. Everyone relies on your subconscious to keep things running smoothly, so if it is in some of crisis, everyone else feels like they’re in danger as well.

Now in our metaphor, what is going to happen if our angry father suddenly barks an order at his children? They will rush to obey it just to pacify him because they feel very intimidated by his dark mood and tense aura. In real life, when your stressed subconscious barks an order at your body and conscious, they rush to obey as well. It is only your soul that dares to protest in such a moment, but its protests are often met with a hostility.

Let’s apply these principles to real life. You’re going along, trying to have a normal, perversion-free day, when suddenly you get hit with an intense desire to watch porn. That sudden desire which wells up from within is the result of your subconscious barking an order at your body and conscious. What makes these cravings feel so intense is that three of your elements are pushing for it. Notice that background voice that is protesting the whole idea, insisting that your addiction is a disgusting, shameful thing. That’s your soul talking. You can hear it talking, but you can also sense that it’s not getting any internal support. Meanwhile, you’re finding it impossible to focus on anything other than porn because your mind is suddenly getting bombarded with nasty imagery. This is a result of your subconscious flooding your conscious with data that your conscious doesn’t dare to ignore. By now you’re feeling pretty desperate to get somewhere private so you can fire up a video and try to quench this tormenting thirst. Typically in these situations, you will not be able to get any mental peace until you achieve sexual climax, and that is usually impossible to do unless you focus on exactly what your subconscious wants you to focus. Since your subconscious is overriding your body as well as your conscious, your body will be unable to climax until your subconscious allows it to.

Once this crisis is past, your subconscious will back off, your body will be able to relax, and your conscious will once again be able to concentrate on something other than porn. But here is where your soul will launch into its own kind of tantrum, as it expresses its disgust and disapproval over what you just did. As your soul rants and raves, your conscious feels stressed, your body feels tired, and your subconscious feels angry. The whole thing is a nasty mess, but what I want you to learn here is that every aspect of your experience has a logical cause. As your different elements get involved, you move through different phases of your addiction cycle. You go from crazed with craving, to desperately searching for material, to trying to climax, to feeling drained and disgusted. Then the whole cycle starts all over again. How long you can go between cravings mainly depends on what’s happening to your subconscious’ stress levels. But what exactly does this mean?

Understanding Stress Load

Right now your subconscious is dealing with two categories of stress: trauma and other. Deviant porn addictions develop as a result of your subconscious trying to understand and resolve its distress over certain life events that have happened to you in the past. These were very negative, upsetting events which you may or may not be able to remember right now. The key thing to understand is that trauma stress is tied to very specific past events which your subconscious is currently obsessing over.

Suppose the boss of your boss has ordered you to meet him in his office on Friday, which is a week away. You have no idea what the meeting is going to be about, but you figure you must be in some serious trouble. As you grind through your days, you are constantly thinking about that meeting in the back of your mind. Because this is something you are dreading, you find it draining to constantly think about it, yet you can’t stop yourself from thinking about it because it worries you so much. Meanwhile, you’re still having to deal with all of the usual hassles of life, only the fact that you have this meeting looming on your calendar is making you a lot more snippy and irritable. Stupid little problems are annoying you a lot more than they usually do because you just don’t have the emotional margin to shrug them away and move on.

To your subconscious, traumatic events from your past are like that meeting you are dreading with the big boss. Your subconscious can’t just push those past memories aside because it feels too threatened by them. To your mind, traumatic events are like disturbing mysteries that it must solve as soon as possible or something terrible could happen to you. The memory files that are related to traumatic events in your life are kept in a special “priority” section of your mental archives and your subconscious is constantly reviewing the contents of those files. Every time it reviews them, it feels distressed, and as it keeps reviewing them, its distress intensifies. This build up of stress is one of the things that causes your subconscious to suddenly demand a way to vent some of its stress, and that triggers the craving for porn.

Now suppose you are working on a really difficult problem for work. It’s not going well. In fact, you feel totally stumped at the moment, but at least you have lots of time before you have to come up with an answer…or so you think. But when your boss calls and announces that the deadline has been moved up and he now needs an answer in three days, what happens to your stress levels? They shoot up. Why? Because now you feel super pressured to accomplish something that currently feels impossible.

As you go through your life, you will sometimes have experiences that feel disturbingly similar to the traumatic things that have happened to you in the past. It doesn’t take much to trigger these kinds of flashbacks. Sometimes it’s just a matter of being in a similar environment, hearing a certain sound, or seeing someone look at you in a certain way. Whenever these disturbing similarities occur, it has the same affect as your boss moving up that deadline: it causes your subconscious to suddenly feel enormous pressure to make sense out of the terrible thing that happened to you in the past. The problem is that your subconscious currently doesn’t know how to do this: it feels stumped, just as you did about your problem for work. So how does your subconscious react to this sudden increase in pressure? It decides to step up its efforts to try and solve the mystery of what happened to you. To do this, it decides that studying a re-enactment of what happened to you is a logical place to start, and here is where you will suddenly feel an overwhelming need to watch porn.

Now in the first scenario I described, normal life hassles slowly mount up the stress on your already stressed out mind, so it calls for a round of porn as a means of lowering its stress levels. In this first scenario, a single porn session is usually enough to get your mind to calm down.

But in the second scenario I described in which some aspect of your current situation suddenly feels disturbingly similar to information that is stored in one of your traumatic memory files, your subconscious’ typically goes into a panic, and a single session of porn isn’t enough to calm it down. Here is where an all-night binge session can occur in which you feel hopelessly glued to your laptop, unable to look away while you run video after video.

The important point I want you to learn from this is that there are logical reasons driving every aspect of your porn addiction. How often you need to watch it, what you need to watch, and how much you need to watch in one setting are all driven by very specific factors. In other words, this is a very rational behaviour. It doesn’t seem rational, I know, because the immorality of what you’re doing grosses your soul out so much that you are quick to right yourself off as some “disgusting pervert.” But here is where you really need to stop with the derogatory labels, because all they are doing is making you feel bad and distracting you from taking a closer look at what’s really going on. As disturbing as your behaviour seems on the surface, it is very logical and strategic. Your mind isn’t going for the porn just for some random kick. It is trying to accomplish some very positive, rational, and respectable goals. The intensity of your cravings reflect the intensity of your mind’s determination to solve what feels like an impossible problem. Here is where we need to give your subconscious due credit for not just tossing up its hands in despair and sitting by the side of the road for session of snivelling. Your subconscious is a fighter and you are the one it’s fighting for. Once you understand how devoted your mind is to helping you, you can see why your soul is being a bit of a jerk to sit around calling your mind a bunch of nasty names. If you want to really help yourself ease out of this addiction, your soul needs to change its attitude towards your mind. We need less insults, and more listening. We also need your soul to stop assuming the worst about your mind and start being receptive to the idea that your mind could have positive motivations for doing what it does. Okay, it’s methods could use to be improved, but your mind is currently doing the best it can with the tools that it has available.

A guy looks pretty ridiculous trying to hammer a nail into some wood using a screwdriver until you realize that the screwdriver is his only tool. At that point he goes from looking foolish to looking like he has some impressive perseverance. He’s not letting his awkward tool stop him from trying to accomplish his goal. This is what’s happening with your mind and the porn. The porn isn’t accomplishing what your mind needs it to accomplish, but instead of giving up, it’s pressing forward, trying to squeeze some use out of this inadequate tool. Having inadequate tools is extremely frustrating to your subconscious, but you don’t see it giving up, even when it has to work amid a constant shower of insults from your condescending soul.

The next time you feel a need to fire up the porn, I want you to see that for what it is: evidence that your mind is refusing to give up on solving its problems. It’s refusing to abandon its Divinely appointed role as your protector and defender. It’s still trying, and it could really use your soul to be a whole lot more supportive than its being. As we progress forward in this series, think about these principles and see if you can start cultivating more respect for your mind’s struggle. In our coming lessons, I will show you how to make more and more sense out of what your mind is trying to do using the porn. The more sense you can make out of your mind’s behaviour, the easier it will be to sincerely respect its motivations, and developing respect for your own mind is an essential step in recovering from any kind of addiction.