Advice for sex and porn addicts on not relapsing

Staying sober from sex or porn addiction is not easy, especially when there is a dedicated season around Valentines to make people think about love, sex, relationships or meeting that perfect someone.  It can be very tempting to want to log on to your favourite chat rooms, hook up sites, web cams, dating sites to see who is looking for ‘love’ at this time of year.  There is also a lot of adverts on billboards, posters and TV with sexy people in the adverts and generally not wearing very much.  It can feel impossible to navigate around life without being triggered and activating your sex addiction or porn addiction. 

At the Laurel Centre, we understand how hard it is for people with sex addition and porn addiction to stay on their recovery journey, and our team of sex addiction and porn addiction counsellors focus a lot of the therapy on relapse prevention.  This blog looks at some hints taken from Paula Hall’s C.H.O.I.C.E recovery model in her book “Understanding and Treating Sex and Pornography Addiction”.

Acknowledge your sex addiction and porn addiction cravings

The Laurel Centre sex addiction and porn addiction counsellors often hear sex addicts and porn addicts say, “I just ended up on the chat room” or “I went to the strip club with my mates…I could not say no” or “I just could not help myself”.  One of the first steps when a sex addict or porn addict stops acting out, is to recognise their cravings and triggers.  Triggers and cravings are connected to one another.  They form a neural pathway in the brain and work together.  An example: you have had a bad day at work.  Your sex addicted self will already be thinking of how to forget about your bad day.  This thinking could involve a plan to drive through the area of town where you know there are sex workers or a sauna or logging online to have some webcam sex.  Sex addiction and porn addiction counsellors work with sex addicts and porn addicts to recognise these cravings and triggers.

Learn to R.U.N.

So, you are tempted to drive through that part of town where you know you can get a massage.  What do you do?  Many of the Laurel Centre sex addiction and porn addictions clients carry around a card saying RUN.  This means:

R – remove yourself from the situation

Offer to give a work colleague a lift home – so you don’t drive down THAT road or text your partner to say you will be home in 30 minutes.  You then know you can’t be late.

U – undistort your thinking

Tell yourself that acting out will not make your day better.  You will feel worse afterwards.  Remember the times when you woke up the next day saying to yourself “that was the last time” or “never again”

N – never forget what you have to lose

You have made the decision to stop acting out your sexual addiction or porn addiction.  You know what you have to lose.  This could be your job, your children, your home or your partner.  Reminder yourself of what you will lose if you act out.

3 second rule

If you find yourself opposite an attractive person on the tube, or waiting by the bus stop, or on a billboard poster, don’t spend all your time looking at that person.  If you find yourself staring at that person or poster for more than 3 seconds, then look away even if it means staring at a wall!  This helps the brain not fixate on the attractive person and be used as a trigger later on in the day.

Get help

Talking to a trained sex addiction and porn addiction counsellor can help you stay focused on beating the addiction.