Shame and Excitement: useless


Having learned a bit about behavior-change science and through my experience, I tend to think that both shame (for using porn) and excitement (for starting the rebooting journey) are basically useless, except maybe just at the start.

You may make the decision to stop PMO based on shame (among other things) and the enthusiasm of starting a new chapter ("Never again! I'll be strong") but both negative and positive emotions won't allow us to succeed, and can even be detrimental.

The only life-long behaviors are those that become automatic and require little effort. Reliable behaviors are both things we do and don't do. For instance, I always brush my teeth, and I always NOT smoke cigarettes. There are no emotions attached to these, they simply happen or not happen. Reliable habits are WHO we are: I AM a person who always brushes his teeth and who never smokes cigarettes. It will always be like that, until I die, no question.

So I don't see how the habit of NOT watching porn (for it needs to become a habit) can become ingrained if we rely on strong emotions, negative or positive. Emotions fluctuate. You can't have a resolve and enthusiasm like the one that got you started rebooting for years on end.

Thus the cycle of strong shame, great enthusiasm ("that's it, I used to relapse but this is the last time, I'm committed!"), then shame again for a relapse, and so on in a cycle can continue the rest of your life. Is that what you want? And, as someone else suggested, there is no streak. The language of "streak" is like the language of "diet." Both end, by definition. If you are "on" a streak/diet, you will eventually be "off" that streak/diet.

Remove emotions: no shame, no excitement, just practicality. Don't see yourself as an addict. Rather, you are "someone who has urges to PMO".
What do you do? You have a series of strategies to diffuse the urge when it comes, day in and day out. For instance:
1) Walk outside
2) Meditate
3) Get distracted with a hobby
4) ...[choose your own]

It's a job, to be approach with a deadpan attitude, matter of fact. It's not moral, it's a health issue.
Like you exercise regularly as part of general health (I hope), so you regularly diffuse urges with practical strategies, until it becomes a habit.

Just do it the same way you brush your teeth or NOT smoke cigarettes.
You are someone who does NOT watch porn, period. That's who you are.
It needs to become automatic, without strong emotions, negative or positive.

No drama. It keeps you stuck in the cycle.


Active Member
I think the emotions are very important to let you start (you wouldnt if there werent strong negative emotions from p use, do you?). But you are totally right, that these emotions will wear off with time and then it's crucial to have this internalised believe.

But at the same time I heavily disagree with you on the "dont see yourself as an addict" topic. Don't seeing the addiction can let you become careless. You always have to know and understand that we are addicts and how addiction works in order to be able to combat it. If not, I think the risk of letting oneself be triggered is way higher and it will be harder to understand your needs to get p-free.