I use K9 Web Protection, and last night in order to download Gary’s series on Your Brain on Porn I had to disable YouTube’s “Safe Mode” (which also means having to disable K9’s “Force Safe Search” feature). DO NOT DO THIS. While there’s never any full blown porn on YouTube, there’s certainly overtly sexual and nude content available. I was faced with thumbnails of all sorts of temptation! I managed to avoid it (I actually clicked one but immediately closed the window), but this morning I unfortunately did something equally stupid, maybe because I now had porn on the brain.
I decided that I would “test” the limits of K9 in terms of being able to successfully view porn with it enabled, “just to see if it works properly”, my brain tells me. Well, I’m happy to report that I couldn’t actually view any hard porn, the only thing I could get access to was forum topics focused on collecting images of women in bikinis, or that focused on certain features or poses, etc. I didn’t actually find any nudes, now that I think of it. So while it wasn’t a full-blown relapse (I masturbated only a little bit, and no orgasm), I know it’s all my brain was looking for, so I’ll consider this a “soft relapse” and will start again immediately.
I think what also triggered it was that I fell into an old porn-viewing routine. I woke up, turned on the PC, went to the bathroom, came back, sat down, and started playing with myself (after this step was usually porn-vieiwing). But instead of visiting usual sites, my brain said “let’s see how far I can go without getting tempted”. Turns out, not very far.
I mustn’t fall for this. It’s a trick my brain has used many times before and in various forms:
- Come on, you’ve lasted so long without porn, it’s time to reward yourself
- Let’s just look at some porn, no masturbation, and see how much progress you’ve made
- You feel miserable, porn will make you feel better
- Porn isn’t that bad, every guy views it at some stage, you’re a drop in the ocean, etc
- OK, no hard porn, just nudes, that’s not so bad
- Right, make that no nudes either, just bikini models
- Come on, one more video, the last one ever!
- You relapsed yesterday, a Tuesday in the middle of the month. Let’s watch porn either until Sunday or the end of the month, so you can start recovery on a fresh week/month, that’s how all successful recoveries start
- Etc, etc…
They all basically boil down to “let’s watch one more, one last time”, and it’s never, ever the last one. Now that K9 prevents blatant porn viewing, my brain switched to “let’s test it until it breaks, and then we’ll stop immediately”. Uh huh.
Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.