To Quit Porn, You Must First Scratch the Record

The bathroom door was locked, and he knew that he had a good fifteen minutes before anyone would knock. He went into his normal routine. A Google search that brought him closer to the edge before he would dive into the hardcore videos that were calling his name. The clock kept ticking as his fingers moved faster.

Click.

Click.

“Oh yes.” He thought. “This is the one.”

A minute later. Click. Click. Click…

Maybe this isn’t just someone else’s story, but your own. There is a good chance that you can relate to the routine of locking the door and counting down the minutes that you have before someone notices. Maybe it’s in your car on lunch break or early in the morning before anyone gets up or… (fill in your blank).

There is a good chance that you have built a ritual or routine around your porn use. In other words, there is something that happens that triggers the thought in your mind that it is time to look at porn. Whether that is locking the door, clocking out on lunch break, or simply getting out of bed. You have linked something together with the routine of looking at porn.

Now, I want you to know that you are not alone and that there is something that has happened inside of your brain that is causing this routine to control your life. It is worth a study if you’re interested in science, but for the sake of your time now, let me simply say that sometimes one action triggers the next that triggers the next.

Your life is ruled by this kind of triggering. There are countless things that you do each day without even thinking about them. When this first thing happens, it triggers a host of other things that happen, almost unconsciously, in your life. If porn has nestled itself into your normal daily routines, there is a good chance that your brain simply believes that this is the next normal action for you to take. And, no matter how much you want to change, you can’t.

These routines become like a record or a CD. When the record or CD started, it would easily move to the next etched line which would produce the music that we wanted to hear. Like a needle resting on a record, we begin routines each day that lead to the next action and the next action and the next.

If, at any time, we wanted to destroy this record or CD, all we would have to do is scratch it. If someone wanted to destroy your music, they would simply grab a piece of sandpaper and rub it all over the face of that record or CD. Then, the next time that it was placed in the player, the scratches would stop it from playing. It would skip and, if it was scratched enough, it would stop playing all together.

This is the action that I want you to take with your current routines that lead to porn. I want to give you three simple action steps that you can take that will help you scratch the current routines and break porn patterns in your life.

1. Write down the pattern(s) of porn.

Take a piece of paper and honestly look at the patterns that lead to porn. There may be one or more triggers that happen before you look at porn and I want you to write them all down. Look at it closely and be honest with yourself. Don’t leave anything out. An example may look like this:

  • I clock out on my lunch break.
  • I get into my car.
  • I go to a parking spot where no one else is close by
  • I use my phone to look at porn.
  • I finish looking five minutes before I must be back at work.
  • I clock back in and go back to work

This is an example of someone’s routine. Now, it’s your turn. Stop reading this right now and take a step towards freedom. Open a notebook or a fresh page on your laptop or phone and start writing. What does the routine look like for you? Don’t leave anything out. Determine what your porn patterns are.

2. Plan to scratch the record.

Now that we have the current routine, let’s look at how we can mess this routine up by scratching it beyond repair. I need you to throw a wrench in your current cycle and disallow it from ever happening again. Here are some ideas of ways that you can do this.

  • Ask your spouse to keep your phone at night.
  • Take your lunch to work and stay there in a public place during your break.
  • Make a commitment to never take your phone behind closed doors and have someone hold you accountable to this.
  • Leave your phone in the living room when you go to bed.
  • Put Covenant Eyes on your devices.

There are countless other things that you can do, depending on your current porn patterns. Tell me one change that you are going to make in the comment section. Your words may become an inspiration for someone else to take a courageous step towards freedom.

3. Find accountability to stand with you.

This is the most important piece of the puzzle. You have taken some pretty bold steps to determine what your cycles were and to stop those cycles from continuing. But now, you need to invite someone else to come alongside and ask some tough questions about your ability to stay strong in this area.

We all need someone who knows our struggles and is willing to stand with us on the journey of purity. This person needs to be able to handle our worst days with ease and make a commitment to give us honest, hard advice when we need it, not let us ease back into a life of impurity.

Imagine that a lion has escaped from the local zoo. He is traveling the streets in your neighborhood and no one knows where he is. He has the potential to attack you and your children. You lock the doors and don’t let the kids play outside. You are vigilant at the window looking for any sign of this great beast. The TV is on as you are watching the local news to hear what they say about this terrifying creature. Then, the zookeeper comes on and you listen intently to what he has to say.

He says, “The lion which has escaped is a very old lion who has been domesticated. All of his teeth have been pulled and he has been declawed. Do not approach him because you may scare him, but he has absolutely no power to hurt you.”

In that moment you would breathe a huge sigh of relief. You would still be peering out the window, but not in the same state of fear that you once were. You would still be alert to the reality of danger that lurked outside, but not with the same terror that had once gripped you.

When it comes to the lion of pornography, we have the power to do just that. We can strip away a lot of the potential he has to hurt us, but it will require action on our part.

This action is simple. The “secrets” and “routines” are the teeth and claws that have so much potential to harm you. By taking away our ability to live in the secret or employ sneakiness in our lives, we gain some great ground in the battle against porn. And, understanding that technology is the primary vehicle for porn to enter our lives, we need to attack this road the hardest.

If you’re ready for a change, I want to encourage you to take that first step. Scratch the record, invite someone else on the journey with you and allow accountability to be a big part of your life. Consider signing up for Covenant Eyes and watch the lion that once terrorized you, lose the power that he once had to hurt you.

If you need someone to stand with you on your journey, I’m always here.