There are plenty of things that are completely safe and healthy in moderation, but harmful and destructive when moderate consumption turns into full-blown addiction. Porn certainly falls into this category. And while porn may not be as addictive as drugs and cigarettes, sexual addictions are still nonetheless harmful. How then do you go about watching pornography and getting the benefits associated with it (because there are indeed benefits) without risking becoming addicted? To do this, consider these three tips:
Set a Limit and Stick to It
One word is crucial in determining how to keep from becoming addicted to porn: moderation. Early on, set a limit to how much porn you will watch, and make yourself stick to it religiously. It may be a more defined limit such as one video every two days, or it may be a more loosely defined limit such as only watching porn occasionally. The important part is that you don’t watch porn so often that it begins to interfere with your life.
Setting limits like this (and keeping them) requires a good deal of self-discipline, but is one of the most important steps in avoiding addiction.
Avoid Watching Porn in HALT Situations
HALT is an acronym for a number of trigger situations that may cause an addict to give in to his or her cravings. The acronym stands for hungry, angry, lonely, and tired. Not only can these situations cause an addict to regress, partaking of addicting material and substances during these situations can lead to addiction as well.
Instead of watching porn in these situations as an escape, only watch it when you are in a positive, aroused mood. Porn is entertainment, and entertainment should be something you enjoy, not just something you do to escape a troublesome situation.
Only Watch Porn When You Masturbate
Porn addicts watch pornography all the time. They watch it because it is a compulsion that they cannot control. People not addicted to porn, however, only watch it as a form a sexual stimulation. One way to ensure you are watching porn as a means of sexual release and not because it is an uncontrollable compulsion is to only view it when you want to masturbate.
Since there are limiting factors on how much a person is able to masturbate, doing this will also put limits on how much porn you consume. More importantly, your desire to view porn and your need for sexual stimulation should always go hand in hand. Once your sexual desires have been satisfied, your desire to watch porn should die down as well.
When watching porn becomes the object of your desire, and not a means to an end, is when it becomes dangerous.