A Note About Porn Blocks

I’ve written extensively about porn blocks on this blog. For a time I thought they were the answer – a way of physically preventing me from watching porn, and therefore achieving the abstinence that it is of course the goal of this whole thing.

Unfortunately, for me at least, porn blocks have done more harm than good, in the following ways:

  1. They are not fool-proof, and I am very good at computers. Whatever solution I found, I found a workaround for. I would then figure out a technical way of preventing that workaround next time, but I would quickly find another. You would be amazed at some of the convoluted and complex steps that I went through to get even a single porn image to load.
  2. They divert focus from what matters. Instead of concentrating on improving my mindfulness and willpower and other mental exercises to strengthen myself against temptation, I simply sat back and relied on the porn blocks. This meant that not only was I not improving my mental stance at all, but as soon as I found a workaround, I would instantly relapse, as I had no mental strength to withstand it.
  3. I spent my whole time trying to break them. When you’ve given in and are looking for porn, it is already too late – you’ve lost that particular battle. The battle against porn needs to be fought at the temptation stage, not later. But with blocks in place, the process of finding porn became almost a game. I would spend hours trying to find loopholes and workarounds, which was almost more exhilarating than the actual payoff.
  4. They gave a false sense of security. Each time I plugged a workaround, I genuinely believed I had ‘found the last loophole’, and I would tell me wife this. But each time I found a way to act out, it caused additional stress on my wife and I as we went through the technical process of evaluating the loophole and her relying on me to block it. The blocks made me think like I was ‘beating’ the addiction, but I wasn’t, I was simply postponing, or diverting, it.
  5. It was too onerous on my wife. My wife held the keys to my digital life. I had set her up as the admin on my PC. I had installed blocking software which only she knew the password to. I had prevented myself from installing apps on my phone without her approval. All of this required her to enter a password, which she would do 10 times a night while I went about my normal computing activities. She didn’t enjoy it, and the continued relapsing made her feel it wasn’t worth it anyway.

So, in the end, we gave up and removed all the blocks. On the basis that I was always going to find some kind of workaround, the additional stress involved in managing the blocks, and the distraction they were causing by preventing me from focussing on mindfulness, wasn’t worth it.

I now have no blocks installed. For the first week I have succumbed quite a lot to times on my own due to the new-found novelty, but things are coming to a head and that now needs to change.

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