How am I supposed to react when exposed to pornography?
By johnroberts
3/2/2013 8:31:54 PM
I've struggled with pornography since I was 12 or 13 (I'm now 27), and I guess I'm more of the "binge" type compulsive disorder rather than someone with a steady everyday addiction. (Don't worry - I recognize my problem is still dangerous and destructive just like an everyday problem; I'm only classifying my challenge.)

Because I've dealt with this for so long, I've recently realized how desensitized I am. Due to the extreme nature of some of the content I've seen, softer pornography doesn't shock me like I assume "regular" (non-addicted) people are. My question is this: how is a normal person supposed to react when there's a flash of something in an internet video or an inappropriate scene on a TV show? Successfully recovered/recovering people, what do you do?

(Sorry if this sounds kind of childish, but I've spent a lot of time thinking about it this week and would love to hear what you have to say.)



I don't freak out    
"Good question, Your Honor! I want to examine my own answer, so let me take a stab at it.

I can think of three kinds of pornography exposure in my life right now.

I. Out of nowhere clips in movies, advertising on TV or signs, on the computer, on my phone--the kind that pop up into my field of view and within a few seconds they are gone. (Flashes from breastfeeding mothers would fit into this category.) These exposures come on their own and they quickly leave on their own. I don't freak out about these. I don't jerk my head in reaction. I don't yell out, "Disgusting! Terrible! Put it away!" I don't dwell on the thought. I don't get upset if it turns me on momentarily. Considering my past history and my gender, that will happen. I let it go, and I am kind to myself. It wasn't my fault. Then, I go do something else, and the episode goes away. I like to think a non-addict would respond a similar way, but I don't know.

II. Exposure that comes out of nowhere and is likely to stick around for a while unless I do something--like on a TV show, on a movie, or in some other location where I find myself. I act exactly the same way with these exposures as I do with Group I exposures, except that I actually do something about these. I turn them off or get up and walk away. I still don't freak out or worry about my internal chemical reactions. I don't blame myself, because these things aren't my fault. I move on with something more productive and let it go.

III. Exposure that I invite into my life with the click of a button or with a movie I stay for, etc. (It's been a long time since this has happened.) Once I have crossed the line into letting the exposure stay, then I am at fault. As soon as I realize I have done something wrong, I report to my wife (and bishop and sponsor as necessary, etc.) and consider what I can do next time to avoid the same failure. After that, I forgive myself and move on with life. No one is perfect. I wouldn't punish others severely for messing up. I would compassionately forgive them and offer my help. I try to treat myself the same way I would treat others who made a mistake.

Those are my thoughts.

And just teasing with the Your Honor stuff. Welcome to the blog, Mr. Chief Justice. :)"
posted at 22:38:03 on March 2, 2013 by BeClean

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"Strength comes from uplifting music, good books, and feasting from the scriptures. Since the Book of Mormon was to come forth “when there shall be great pollutions upon the face of the earth” (Morm. 8:31), study of that book in particular will fortify us."

— Russell M. Nelson

General Conference, October 1988