Stage 2: Implementing the content block

Today I finally received the text message from my mobile phone provider that I’ve been waiting for for ages… confirming that their server-side adult content block has been activated on my account.

I had hoped that willpower alone would have been enough to beat this thing, but it hasn’t been the case, as I have still been watching porn occasionally. I’m still far improved than when I started this journey, but success means total abstinence so I need to take it a step further, as hinted at in my previous post.

I have implemented porn blocking which works on my mobile and my home internet. I have not yet found a solution to block porn when connected to other people’s wifi, but my current solution addresses the main times that I have failed (i.e. on my mobile or when I’m at home). I have done this in two ways:

  1. Configured my home router to use OpenDNS FamilyShield. This means that any traffic that passes through my home router is filtered automatically and any porn sites I try to access are blocked. This will work on all computers and phones using my home broadband.
  2. Enabled the Content Lock that is offered by my mobile phone service provider EE. This means that, like above, there is a server-side filter in place for all traffic I access over my phone’s 3G/LTE connection.
  3. Enabled the content lock that comes with my iPad’s data connection provided by GiffGaff.

My mobile is provided by my company so I had to ask our helpdesk to enable the block for me. I told them I had young family members using my phone and wanted to hide any adult content. This also makes it very hard for me to disable the lock as I’d have to go through them again.

For the personal 3G account and the home wifi, I had to ensure I couldn’t revert the changes. Therefore I allowed my fiance to set a new password that only she knows on both my home router and on my GiffGaff account.

So now it is significantly harder to watch porn. It is actually quite a fundamental change in the dynamics of dealing with the addiction so we’ll have to see what impact it has. I’m conscious that this is only a plaster; I still need to be addressing the root cause by training myself not to want to watch porn, not just making myself not able to watch it – there is a big difference.

The only bit remaining is when connected to other people’s wifi. You can’t change the DNS settings on other people’s routers so the only way to block porn in those scenarios would be to either a) have some form of system-wide DNS setting on the phone/computer that I couldn’t override, that would apply no matter what wifi I’m using, or b) use a specific porn-blocking browser. A browser would also mean that porn would be blocked regardless of my internet connection, but the problem is that I’d have to restrict my phone so I can only use that browser, which isn’t realistically possible (at the moment). Therefore my fiance and I are agreed that we know this is a weakness and we discuss it before I go somewhere with wifi. A phone-wide DNS setting would be great but I doubt you can do that on iOS. I would consider switching to Android if that was possible.

6 thoughts on “Stage 2: Implementing the content block

  1. Hi there. I’m just wondering how the content blocking has helped or not?
    I’ve considered it, but decided against it as I tend to want what I can’t have more than things that are good and healthy for me and I’m concerned it might actually make me want it more.

    I’m a recovering porn addict myself – take a look at my blog for more info. Maybe we can chat about what’s helped and what we should be avoiding.

    1. Hi there and thanks for commenting. To be honest, it didn’t work out. The problem was that after only a few days I realised I could change the DNS entry in my iPhone settings to Google’s public DNS servers.

      For a while, I changed it on the odd occasion that I gave in, then put it back, but that didn’t last long and I’m effectively back to square one, although the blocks over 3G still work well.

      Your blog looks really interesting, I’ll be sure to check it out. I’m back looking at pornvids again so need to find the energy to try and quit again.

  2. Sorry for the delay. I hadn’t seen your reply.
    I think that’s exactly what I was afraid of. Putting blocks in the way make my brain feel challenged and when I feel challenged I end up ‘solving’ the challenge. I hope you find the strength to live the way you want to. I had a brief relapse myself recently and was so ashamed it took me days to come clean to my girlfriend. I’m treating it as a ‘blip’ and planning on making it exactly that.
    (if you’re interested)

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