I see a lot of guys coming to this website with a strong desire to overcome porn addiction just to fail over and over again. They see that other people have overcome it and they get filled with the hope that they can do it too. Well yes, they also can do it too, but not without a strong preparation. It's similar to seeing someone run a full marathon on TV and then going out and running just to stop after 1km because of exhaustion. With the proper training they would also be able to achieve the same result, but I emphasize that training is necessary. And training is just one tool, along with proper diet, proper sleep and staying away from alcohol. There are several things one athlete needs to do if he wants to be successful. The same way one needs to do several things and avoid other things if he wishes to quit porn. I must warn you that doing what I will tell you won't eliminate relapses completely, but it will make them highly unlikely to happen. Everyone will relapse, and the ones that don't are just the exception rather then the norm. So, considering this, let's move on. Changing a behavior, is extremely difficult, especially if you don't know what you are doing. There are several stages through which one usually goes to successfully change a behavior. They are: 1. Precontemplation - at this stage you won't admit to yourself or anyone that you have a problem. If you are at this stage you will have no intention of quitting pornography anytime soon. You are still not aware of the negative effects that porn has on your life. 2. Contemplation - at this stage you are starting to see the negative impact the porn has on your life but still not feel ready to take action anytime soon. You are not sure *how* and *what* steps are necessary. By now you know that you have an addiction and want to get rid of it, and you have the intention of getting rid of it sometime in the far future 3. Preparation - at this stage you are determined to quit porn and start nofap sometime in the near future. You are reading as much as possible as to what you need to do to be successful and prevent relapses 4. Action - at this stage you are doing the nofap challenge, and are doing everything you can to prevent relapse. It is during this time that you will experience withdrawals 5. Maintenance - at this stage you have overcome your porn addiction, you know what are your triggers and you are confident that as long as you avoid them you won't relapse. I want to focus on the Preparation stage. In my experience there are several things one must ABSOLUTELY do before he even begins starting the nofap challenge. You MUST do them all before starting nofap. If you don't want want to do them then it's fine. But then again don't do nofap, because you are not determined to make the steps towards full commitment. Just come back to this thread when you are ready. However, if you are ready, then read on: 1. Create a decisional balance sheet. This sounds more complicated but in theory is pretty simple. This is more part of the Contemplation stage, but nonetheless is necessary to do it before attempting nofap. Just look at your life and see how porn has affected it. Having a clearly defined reason for quitting porn will make it easier to commit yourself for a long term recovery process. You need to look at your life from different points of view and ask yourself some basic questions. Here are some examples of areas and questions: - Emotionally: What are your emotions before you watch porn? What are your emotions after you end watching porn? - Relationship: You might have a significant other (SO) in your life. How would your SO react if she would find out about your porn use? Or if she found out, what was her reaction? Describe her (possible) feelings. Would she agree and join you in watching porn together? Would it lead to break up? - Family: How do you think that your parents would react if they knew you are a porn addict? - Socially: Did you porn habit have a negative influence on your social life? How (be specific)? - Financially: Did you find yourself spending money on porn? How much in the last month/year/in total? - Work/School: How did porn affect your effectiveness in accomplishing tasks at school or work? - Spiritually: Did you find that porn is an impediment in connecting or your relationship with Divinity? Is pornography use compatible with your spiritual believes? - Sexually: Do you suffer from porn induced delayed ejaculation (DE) or erectile dysfunction (ED)? Have your preferences in women or sexual activities changed since you started watching porn? 2. Get rid of all porn. If you are truly motivated to do this then you will have no objection in doing this. If you don't want to do this step then you are not ready for Action. Don't worry, it will take a little bit more time to realize that you must do all these steps. So listen carefully. Delete any porn videos and images that you might have on your computer/laptop. Install Eraser and delete everything with it. This way you won't be able to recover the files in the future. Don't make the mistake of moving the porn stash to an external HDD. You want to remove porn completely from your life, so why have it around? Also throw away any porn CD/DVD and porn magazines that you might have. Don't just hide them, throw them away in the garbage or, if you like the drama, burn them. 3. Prevent yourself from accessing porn in the future. Install a parental control software that will prevent access to porn sites. I strongly recommend to instal K9. Actually I haven't found a better one. After installing it ask a friend to set an admin password for you so you won't be able to disable it. There is a way to overcome K9 but I will tell you how you can stop it. The only way to disable K9 is to boot from an external USB or optical drive. What you have to do is go into BIOS and disable the options of booting from USB and optical drives and then ask the same friend as above to put a password on BIOS. 4. Get rid of smartphone. If you have a smartphone, I recommend getting a cheap phone that doesn't have internet access and move your SIM card in that one. This is really an important step, as I have seen people relapsing after 45 days because they still had internet on their smartphones. Remember, having K9 and using a cheap phone w/o net access is just for the duration of the reboot, usually 90 days. They are just tools to help you through this difficult period. After you recover, you can and should get rid of them. 5. Read success stories. I cannot emphasize enough how important this is. Go to yourbrainonporn.com and read the stories of people who quit porn addiction. It will fill you with hope to know that other people had this problem, fought it and overcome it. This will give you an extra motivation and the confidence that if they could do it you can also. You will also get to see how their lives have improved and what benefits you can expect in yours after 90 days. 6. Learn about the dopamine and reward system. Again yourbrainonporn.com explains it very well. Understanding how the reward system works, you will understand how you got addicted to porn and why it is so hard to stop it. Once you understand how it works it will be much easier to figure out what to do in order to quit. Remember this, that because of porn your brain is used to really high levels of dopamine. When quitting porn you will have less dopamine in your brain, and it will become dopamine-starved. This will manifest itself in withdrawals. 7. Learn to accept your withdrawals. As mentioned above, while the brain is getting accustomed to lower level of dopamine, you will experience withdrawal symptoms, just like an addict, because you know what, porn is an addiction. These symptoms can vary from person to person, and even in the same person from day to day. Learn what those symptoms might be and be prepared to face them. There is no way to avoid them, but why would you want to avoid them? Facing them head on and overcoming them will make you the better man in the end. It will give you pride and confidence that you have been in hell and survived to tell the story. The best attitude to have is to take one day at a time. Some days will be more difficult than others, but tell yourself that you just need to make it until the end of the day. For each day the purpose is to not watch porn until the end of the day. In this way 90 days will pass like the wind. Quitting an addiction with such a powerful strong grip as pornography is no easy task. And because of its complexity one must fight it from multiple angles. There is no magic bullet, that just one thing that will work. One needs multiple strategies in fighting this addiction. I have given some of them here. The list in by no means complete, but I found it to contain the minimal set of prerequisites for success. The more prepared you are the less likely you will relapse. To conclude with a comparison, imagine building a house with no foundation. That house will collapse sooner or later at smallest earthquake, but if it has a deep foundation then it will stand and not fall over so easily. Your foundation lies in what you do in the Preparation stage. If you prepare thoroughly then you will be able to go for extended periods of time without porn. If you don't prepare accordingly then it will be a matter of hours or days till you will relapse. To learn more about dopamine head over to this thread http://www.nofap.org/forum/showthread.php?2402-Get-educated-get-tools-and-learn-to-love-withdrawals. For more details I recommend checking out the books "Changing for Good" by Prochaska and "Treating pornography addiction" by Skinner. "Those who fail to prepare are preparing to fail"