Aunty Bella is our agony aunt column on BellaNaija. We launched this column in the early days of BN and periodically feature issues sent in by BN readers.
We hope the BN family can offer insightful advice.
How do you stop something that feels so good?
The allure of random naked people having sex feels good. But this cannot be right. I must have resolved to stop viewing pornography more than 10,000 times but how do I find myself back here. You can’t pray away a habit. I know, because I must have done that thousands of times. After each viewing, I feel worse than at the first view. There is something about porn that is just wrong but gives an insatiably good feeling at the same time.
I found out when I tie my stopping of viewing pornography to a time-event, I always fall. In the past decade, I must have said on every December 31st, “In this coming new year, I will never watch porn in Jesus name”. That never held it. As the first generation in history growing up with the ubiquitous availability of internet porn, there is a crazy brain circuitry that pulls you back.
The images and videos I have exposed myself to are cringeworthy and they get worse in progression. You get resistant to the normal then you need something higher to get you to feel normal again. If I watched what I see at present 10 years ago, I would have vomited.
I don’t know how to stop something that feels so good. I have read 3 – 4 different books on freeing myself on pornography. I read articles, I joined NoFap community, I’m with FightTheNewDrug movement and yet I still haven’t freed myself. There’s nothing anyone has told me that made me fully stop. I get high in the spirit for 1.5 months and just resume porn duties. I feel sad typing this but how do you stop it when it feels so good.
I have had accountability partners, I have installed Web filters; and I have broken the filters to get what I want; a temporal high; an escape from reality. I feel bad after each viewing like I have done something terribly wrong but I always feel so good during the process like an ecstatic high. I don’t know if there is anything called a porn addiction; but I swear I am confused with this thing.
It is on my mind when I am not looking at it, I’m teleported to a different world when I look at it, I feel dead when I’m finished looking at it. I become a different person with my family whenever I’m about to view it or I’ve viewed it. Continuous mood swings and I don’t tell anyone about it, they just feel the sadness of my presence. This has nothing to do with having a partner or a spouse. My life feels stagnated when I’ve viewed it, but I still go back. Is this a Village matter. Now I’m sober, I can write and think through. I just wish it can be like this all through.
At least I am here still trying to take a hold on reality and putting a halt on this train. There are so many people who can’t differentiate reality from their virtual desires anymore. It seems that is where the train leads to ultimately if you do not get off on time. The responsibility for halting lies on me alone, I’m just so confused on how to do it.
Before I leave, here is some quick math, in 2017 there were 28.5 billion visits to a popular porn site, that’s 900 visits per second. 68 years of pornographic content was uploaded on this same site in the span of one year. [68 years of video content in one year – who is creating this stuff??].
One of the other most popular porn website ranks number 16 in top sites viewed in Nigeria. Do you know what number 16 is? It means almost everyone that will read this article on BellaNaija also watches Porn in one way or another. It means majority of people who say they do not watch it are lying. It means porn is way prevalent than anybody thought. It means in a congregation, there is a major dose of porn viewers, your spiritual leader, Pastor, Imam probably watches porn, your Commissioners, Ministers, Secondary school students, Lecturers, Fulani herdsmen, anyone with an internet connection too e.t.c. This particular porn site’s ranking is higher than GTBank’s ranking, Konga’s ranking, Interswitch’s ranking, LINDA IKEJI’s ranking!!!!!And this is just ONE SITE, not to mention the other many sites.
Apart from Youtube/SM, this porn site is the heaviest in terms of video and data usage in Nigeria; meaning a heavy part of data revenue accrued to Telcos is from Porn [and they know it]. Simple. Let’s not kid ourselves, something dangerous is going on but the feeling is so good that stopping doesn’t look like an option.
I’m just looking for a way to gradually phase out my hook on pornography. Resolutions, Cold-turkey, Prayers have not worked for me and that’s why I concluded that they are not enough to break habits. If there is any psychologist that has an answer to my title (How do you stop something that feels so good?), Kindly leave a response in comments. If you can, please indicate you are a psychologist.
OK, waiting to read the advices, the insults, the ‘I don’t watch it o’ in the comments. For the other millions of people going through this same issue, I don’t have an answer on how to stop. I am still learning and I have to learn fast before this train leads me somewhere else and my relatives get tired of being patient with me. We are in this together as we are the first generation growing with this ubiquitous access to porn. I think NCC and Telcos may be able to help SLIGHTLY by creating an opt-in strategy [I’m not saying they should restrict people’s freedom to view anything and I’m not saying they are responsible for your own habits/choices], but they can help with safeguards in place. The default service will have porn blocked and If you want porn available from your internet service provider, you need to write an OPT-IN letter, [they activate you and you can watch your porn]. This way the government won’t infringe anyone’s rights and its not available for unsuspecting eyes.
On 2nd thought, Is this a hopeless battle?
Photo Credit: Dreamstime