Beating Porn “Addiction”: How to Connect with Your Imagination for Mind-blowing Sexual Experiences

“Am I addicted to porn?” I Googled one evening as the masturbation session came to an end for the fourth time that day.

beating porn addiction

The first thing that popped up of considerable interest was a study by the American Psychological Association (APA) stating that pornography addiction is not recognised or considered a mental health problem or disorder.

Backing this up was another article by DSM-5 (Manual of Mental Disorders), the authoritative global guide on psychological disorders. It also stated that sex and pornography ‘addictions’ are “not a psychological disorder” – both of these sources recognised drugs, alcohol, gambling, and the newest edition, online gaming as addictions.

It didn’t make any sense to me for several reasons why watching porn was omitted from the equation.

Speaking to Senior Therapist Sally Baker, she explained: “Porn addiction has a lot in common with other common compulsive behaviours. Compulsive behaviour is when you feel compelled to do something even when a part of you doesn’t want to.”

“If you don’t comply to the increasingly demanding feelings, it can leave you feeling agitated and overwhelmed until you can’t think of anything else.

“For some people, their compulsive behaviour shows up in an overwhelming desire to watch porn. For others, it might be compulsive online shopping; hours spent scrolling on social media, online gambling or excessive video gaming.”

For years I depended on porn, as tragic as that sounds, to be my ticket to orgasm. But, unfortunately, what I thought was a regular habit quickly turned into what I can only describe as a dependency.

Personally, watching porn was comparable to always having a calorific ready meal instead of cooking something healthy from scratch. It’s there, and it’s easy.

Instead of going out and enjoying my twenties by having sex and exploring my sexuality, I’d spent the last few years getting my best kicks from the likes of PornHub.

Then when the pandemic hit in 2020 and sent us into a global lockdown, many of us turned to porn more than ever before.

During that time, I realised that although the experts argue among themselves if it is an addiction or not, I for sure had a problematic relationship with porn that needed addressing because it had entirely put me off building relationships or having real-life sex.

And I’m not alone, sadly.

According to pornaddictionhelp.co.uk, a self-help website that provides free tools for folk who suspect they may be addicted to porn consumption, it is more common than we think.

During a study run by the organisation, they asked 4,165 respondents under 25 if they had ever told someone about their problematic porn use.

Of those individuals, 80% said they have remained silent and never spoken to anyone about their taxing digital sexual urges.

Most shocking, the same website claimed that 64% of the same respondents said the problem began before turning 16. I, too, started watching porn from my early teens, admittedly as most do.

After my porn consumption left me anxious about having sex due to comparison and destroyed my libido as I could no longer climax without it, I knew enough was enough.

Returning to the Google search bar, I came across award-winning senior therapist, author and speaker Sally Baker.

We had a brief consultation regarding what I perceived as a problematic relationship with porn, and she agreed. I mean, talk about obvious I didn’t even want to touch another human. Porn had taken away any interest in doing so as it itched the scratch.

Porn also made me insecure due to naturally comparing myself and my abilities to those of the talented folk in the sex work industry. Whose gawk gawk 3,000 I respect but may never live up to, to be honest.

A few days later, followed by a two hour intense yet insightful therapy session and I no longer saw the appeal or sexual pleasure from porn.

It’s been over a month since those 120 minutes on Zoom to Baker, and I have not watched porn once after a decade-plus of watching it daily – of course, I still masturbate just now. But, it’s tapping into the wonders of imagination and exploration.

How did Baker do it? And also, how did I do it? Let us both break it down from our angles, experience, and knowledge to see for yourself how to do a mindset 360.

In those two hours, Baker worked two techniques into my mindset: EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) and BWRT (Brain Wave Recursive Therapy), created by Terrence Watts.

EFT works by teaching those struggling with any addiction (not just porn) a compelling way to manage and reduce their uncomfortable compulsive behaviour symptoms.

Baker explains: “The technique is easy to learn as a self-help modality so clients can ultimately work with EFT independent of a therapist.

“EFT can be used to change how someone responds to triggers that would usually see them submerged in hours of online porn or other habits they would like to resolve and change.”

A wonderful thing, EFT. I genuinely would spend an hour plus most days watching porn to scratch that sexual itch – being single does that to a person – but now, with this new coping mechanism, it stirs my mind away from porn being the solution.

To simplify it, EFT is also often referred to as psychological acupressure or tapping.

Unfortunately, I am no therapist, merely a journalist healing some wounds, so articulating how something as simple as tapping sinks in to calm your nervous system is tricky, but it worked for me.

Once mastered, it only takes two hours with Baker’s calm, non-judgemental and empowering energy; the tapping works to balance your energy system and distract you from the urge, aka the compulsive behaviour you want to rid yourself of having or partaking in.

Of course, it’s not just tapping. It’s reminding one’s self mentally, breathing, being present, you get the gist. It’s a mental work of art.  

But that’s not all. As previously stated, Baker also taught me BWRT (Brain Wave Recursive Therapy).

Essentially it is an approach by therapists grounded in science to use natural psychological processes for reconditioning neural pathways in the brain, according to Watts – the leading therapist who developed it.

Explaining better than I can what that entails, Baker said: “Working with BWRT enables a client to take a powerful negative memory from their past when, for instance, they felt utterly overwhelmed and compelled to watch porn and introduce a different outcome.

“This fantastic approach quickly and permanently changes how someone thinks and feels about themselves.”

“BWRT is a therapist guided technique that works with clients to change existing patterns of behaviour in the Reptilian Complex part of the brain commonly known as the Monkey brain.”

“Making changes in this part of the brain is effective for making enduring changes as many habits kick in before conscious awareness has even happened, so just relying on willpower or conscious thought is doomed to be ineffectual for the majority of people.”

To keep one’s personal life personal, this part of the session was emotional nonetheless beautiful. It gave me extreme clarity on many problems I faced and gave me a new outlook and perspective to solve one’s unconscious state of worry.

Basically, I went in to get rid of my toxic porn habit and came out a new woman entirely.

Not only have I used the techniques to beat my unhealthy porn consumption, but I also used it and continue to do for other compulsive behaviours.

I have since been using both on my struggles with binge-eating, smoking cigarettes, and it’s even kicked my ‘it’s okay to have one glass of wine a day’ habit.

I tell you, therapy changes lives. And it gives you better orgasms… who knew!

Want to hear some statistics? Here’s some proof that we need to take the issue of our rising porn consumption seriously so we can form safe and fulfilled sex lives.

In 2013, Cosmopolitan magazine asked 68 top sex therapists in the United Kingdom about their opinions on porn.

Interestingly, 86% felt that porn hurt their relationships, and 90% had seen an increase in relationship troubles due to porn use.

Most sex therapists in the study claimed “porn increases men’s expectations of sex with their partner”, while porn harms women’s sexual confidence.

According to Rehab Recovery, 12% of websites on the internet are pornographic, equating to over 25 million websites.

The BBC carried out a fascinating survey in 2019 commissioned for the BBC Three series Porn Laid Bare.

Discovering the nation’s porn habits, it asked over 1,000 people online, aged 18-25, about their relationship with pornography.

Of men, 55% said porn had been their primary source of sex education.

Only 34% of women said the bulk of their sex education came from adult material, with 50% of female respondents expressing fears that porn dehumanised women instead of being perceived as an educational resource.