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Alternatives to Porn: Things You Can Do Instead of Watching

Dr R. Y. Langham

Aug 01, 2022

You’re bored. There is a pandemic looming. You just broke up with your partner. You recently got laid off or fired from your job. You feel terrible and restless. You just need something to do! So, you turn to porn. Porn is entertaining, right? Yes, but it is also harmful and dangerous, in some cases (i.e., child porn). There must be something else you can do instead of watching porn all day. But, what? Although in the past, porn was (or still is) your go-to form of stress relief and/or entertainment, there are much healthier things you could be doing that would fulfill your need for stimulation. At the end of the day, porn isn’t all it’s cut out to be. Don’t believe me? Keep reading and I guarantee you will be blown away by the suggestions in this article.

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Am I a Porn Addict?

Possibly. 

If your “porn use” has taken over your life (literally), then yes, you may be addicted to porn. Porn addiction involves an inability to stop watching porn, despite a desire or effort to. A porn addict struggles with a compulsion to keep using porn despite the consequences, such as a breakup or divorce, strained family relations, lost friendships, social isolation, job loss, debt, and/or low self-esteem and self-confidence. Thus, “heavy porn use” can destroy your life, if left unaddressed. 

Understand, however, that porn addicts do not want to use porn all day long – they just cannot help it. In other words, they are unable to stop using porn. Porn addicts become “backseat drivers” in their own lives. Porn becomes their ruler. One thing to understand is that porn addiction is just like any other behavioral addiction – i.e., compulsive shopping, eating, gambling, video game playing, etc. 

It may start innocently, but over time, it could morph into something far more nefarious – addiction. The truth is most people do not place much thought in “porn use,” chucking it up as an innocent adult pastime. The problem is porn may not be an innocent adult pastime for some people, especially children and teens, who are exposed to it in one way or the other. For these individuals, and those, who are predisposed to addiction, it can be devastating and life-altering. 

Thankfully, there are various porn addiction treatments available, so you can get the porn addiction help you need to kick this bad habit to the curb. Porn addiction treatments typically involve porn addiction therapy like cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and/or acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), although it could also involve other therapies, such as addiction counseling, individual therapy, couples counseling, family therapy, and/or TMS or EDMR “trauma” therapies.

When therapy is ineffective alone, medication may be added to the treatment plan. The most common medication is SSRI antidepressants, especially if anxiety or depression is also present. Other medications that are sometimes used to treat porn addiction are SNRIs, tricyclic antidepressants, antipsychotics, MAOIs, etc. Natural remedies and self-help tools are also sometimes used to provide you with added porn addiction support. These natural remedies and self-help tools may include mindfulness meditation, vitamin supplements, a healthy diet, proper sleep, regular exercise, acupuncture, app, yoga, books, support groups, forums, hypnosis, and/or online porn addiction recovery programs, like Stop Together.

What If I Am Not Ready to Seek Formal Porn Addiction Treatment – Then What?

Well, if you are not quite ready to seek formal treatment for your “heavy porn use” or porn addiction, there are other things you can do to reduce or stop “porn use.”

Listed below are things you can do instead of watching porn:

Use Your Imagination

Yes, I said it. A healthy alternative to porn is your mind. You do not have to be hunkered down at a computer desk or glued to your electronic device to become sexually aroused. Your imagination can spark all of those good feelings instead. And, guess what? You can use those sexy images in your mind with a flesh-and-blood partner, making foreplay and sexual intercourse 10x better. So, do yourself a favor and turn off the porn and become the creator of your own personal porn video. Let your imagination run wild. You will not regret it. 

Go on Dates

Although dating can be a little nerve-wracking, it can also be a lot of fun. Let’s face it, dating can be exciting – so exciting that it sparks those same (or similar) sexy feelings that porn elicits in your body. The butterflies in your stomach, the tingly feelings in your nether regions, and the rapidly beating heart are all signs that you can get the same “high” from watching porn in the real world. You just have to gather your courage and jump into the dating pool. Dating is a healthy alternative to watching porn and it could even lead to a partner or even a spouse! 

Rekindle the Spark Between You and Your Real-Life Partner

One of the best ways to curb your “porn use” or quit watching porn altogether is to rekindle the spark between you and your partner. How? Well, you could start spending more time together, talking, cuddling, having sex, and going on dates. Maybe, you could try out roleplay scenarios in the bedroom, recreate your first dates, add sex toys into your sex romps, learn more things about each other (you never know everything about your partner), cuddle, kiss, and compliment each other more, etc. Find things to love about your real-life partner – the things that used to spark your desire. Perhaps, you and your partner can “act” out the things you saw on porn videos in real-life? How sexy would that be? 

Practice Yoga

Yoga is a great way to clear your mind, so you are not thinking about and using porn all day and all night. Yoga is a good way to block out the “external noise,” which in this case is porn, so you can focus on completing tasks, and getting through your day porn-free. 

Meditate

Believe it or not, meditation can help you stop using porn. Whenever the urge to use porn arises, meditate. In other words, close your eyes, take a couple of deep breaths and think of something (not related to porn) that brings you joy. Imagine you doing something that makes you laugh, smile, and feel good. 

Envision a place, scenario, or person that makes you feel calm, relaxed, and at peace. If that does not work, try repeating positive affirmations or mantras (positive phrases) to yourself, like “I do not need porn because I am better and stronger than porn.” Or, “Porn is trash.” Repeating something along these lines can help you combat your urge to use porn. Meditating can prevent you from being impulsive, and help you stay centered and focused. 

Take a Class

In other words, learn something new. If you are engrossed in a class, you are less likely to turn to porn to occupy your time. Invest all of your “porn energy” into your class (the material), and porn will lose its power. Plus, you may learn something really interesting, something that can help you in various areas of your life, such as with your job opportunities, and self-esteem and self-confidence. 

Get a Job

More specifically, get a full-time job – one that does not provide you with computer access or allow you to use your phone while at work, such as a warehouse job. If you are busy at work, especially if lots of overtime is required, you have little-to-no time to spend on porn sites. No, once you finally get home, you will probably be too tired to do anything besides eating and go to bed. So, get a full-time job that tires you out. If you already have a job but it does not tire you out – get a second one. The more tired, the better. 

Exercise

A healthy alternative to watching porn is to exercise – regularly not just every once in a while. Exercising boosts your endorphins and serotonin, “the happy hormone,” so you are bound to feel good (and energetic) after working out. Exercising can also take your mind off porn and put it on doing something productive with your time – like spending quality time with your partner, family, children, and/or friends. 

Get Enough Sleep

Insomnia or inadequate sleep can trigger or worsen stress, which, in turn, can cause you to be impulsive and reckless, and make poor choices, like using porn. However, with adequate rest, you are more likely to be focused, balanced, and stronger. You are also likely to think more rationally and have better judgment.

Dance

Yes, if you start to have urges to watch porn, get up and dance. In other words, grab your MP3 player, turn on your favorite playlist of songs, ramp up the volume, and get moving. Dance until the urge to view porn leaves – or until you pass out from exhaustion. Dancing is a form of exercise, so I promise you will be feeling good and “high” once you finish. And, porn? Well, that will be a distant memory. 

Create Something Amazing

In other words, channel the inner artist and create a masterpiece. Create several masterpieces. Paint, sculpt, draw, and photograph to your heart’s desire. Find a niche, and invest all of the energy you put into watching porn into that. This will take up a lot of your time and remove all of the “clutter” in your mind, so porn takes the 100th place in your life. If your masterpieces may even garner you some money. And, even better? You could fashion a career around artistic skills. 

Join a Sports Team

What’s a healthier and more stimulating alternative to watching porn than joining a sports team. Sports take a lot out of a person, between practices and games, there is little time for indulging in porn. Being an active member of one or preferably more than one sports team can be quite tiring, which is perfect for someone, who wants to kick a porn habit. 

Sharpen Your Coping Skills

It does not matter if you have a porn addiction or not, we could all stand to sharpen our coping skills. Things happen, right? But how we deal with them makes all the difference. We could choose to deal with them by doing maladaptive things, like using porn, gambling, overeating, excessively shopping, using drugs or alcohol, fighting or being violent, shutting down and withdrawing from others, lashing out, etc. 

Or, we could choose to cope in healthier ways, such as calling a friend or loved one, going for a walk or run, deep breathing, meditating, practicing yoga, talking it out, exercising, counting to 10, taking a nap, forgiving, etc. 

Take a Porn-Free Vacation

If possible, go somewhere. In other words, take a vacation somewhere where it is impossible to view porn, like in a foreign country. If you cannot access porn, because you do not have internet access, you will be unable to view porn – even on your electronic devices. The alternative? You will be “forced” to chill and relax. You will have no other choice but to be present with your partner, friends, or family. Without porn in your life, you will be able to take in the sights and create lifelong memories. Perhaps, by the time you return home, you will be more invested in real-life than the virtual world of porn.

Help Someone in Need

Helping someone in need is always a healthy alternative to watching porn. Helping others not only makes others feel better but also yourself. Helping others also causes you to experience a “natural “high,” which can replace the artificial “high” that comes from viewing porn. 

Write a Book

Writing can be self-soothing and time-consuming, which is what you need if you are trying to quit using porn. The more writing, the better. Writing a book or even a series of books is a good way to distract you from urges to view porn. If you have had an interesting life, you could write an autobiography. Or, if you are an expert in a field or multiple fields, you could write a book or a series of books on that. Still, if you have a vivid imagination, you could create a series of sci-fi, romance, or thriller/horror books. 

Perhaps, you could document in a journal what triggers your “porn use,” how you feel while watching porn, and how you feel after you have finished watching it. You could also add in how porn is affecting your mental, physical, sexual, and spiritual health, relationships, finances, self-esteem and self-confidence. If the idea of writing a full-fledged book or journaling seems daunting, you could always start a blog or write freelance articles. Remember, the goal is to occupy your time so you do not watch porn. 

Clean

There is always something that needs cleaning, right? Your clothes, sheets, bedspread, towels, undies, kitchen countertops, bathtub, toilet, etc. You get my drift. So, when the urge to power up your electronic device and click on a porn site arises, start cleaning! Clean, dust, and sanitize whatever you can until the urge passes. Liven up the cleaning episode by cranking up your favorite songs and dancing while cleaning. Have fun with it! Can you imagine the payoff? No porn and a clean house with clean clothes. That has to be just as good as watching porn, and more fulfilling. 

Eat

Do I think you should eat large amounts of food each time you get an urge to watch porn? Absolutely not? That would be unhealthy and could lead to another addiction – a food one. So, no, I do not mean that. But what I am suggesting is that you graze on healthy foods, like fresh fruits and veggies, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, lean meats, fatty fish, a handful of nuts or seeds, and/or water. Eating healthy foods will not only be beneficial for your body but also for your mind. It will also occupy your hands, so you are not feeling an impulse to do something with them like click on a porn site. 

Get Some ZZZ

Sleeping is so underrated. Seriously. While you are asleep your mind and body repair themselves, so you awaken feeling refreshed, revitalized, and prepared for the day. Sleeping also helps you make better choices (like not watching porn) the next day. So, if you start getting the “itch” to watch porn, take a nap, or go to bed – even if it is early.

Note: Most porn addicts are sleep-deprived because they are up all night viewing porn. This creates an endless cycle of “porn use,” fatigue, poor productivity, more “porn use,” fatigue, and poor productivity.

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