Should I Delete My Porn?

So you have enough CDs and DVDs to hold up your coffee table, or enough downloads to warrant buying several new disk drives. You’ve spent hundreds of hours collecting it and hundreds of dollars purchasing it, some videos dating back to before your children were born.

But, you’ve decided to go porn free, no more looking back. You have begun to realize the long hours of obsessing, downloading, and organizing your extensive porn collection was never worth it. You have seen the destructive patterns in your life, seen the suffering it has caused family and friends, and you are thinking- enough is enough. Congratulations, this is a very important and key step in your recovery. It’s important to understand you’ve gone to this collection in times of pain, anxiety, and stress to relieve your suffering for years, sometimes decades. It can be hard to let go and say goodbye, but this crucial step will send a clear message to the inner addict that your ‘foot is down.’ No more games. It’s a message that says “I’m here now, and I’m taking control of my life and my destiny.”

Will I Ever Be Happy Again?
Can I be happy without porn? The inner addict in me screams “NO!” But if I really question myself, I know that I’ve had almost all of my happiest memories while not on a computer watching porn. Sure when you were younger, finding porn for the first time, it was exciting fun and new. But those times are long ago and you are much older now, left habitually following a pattern of porn viewing years after the fun has worn off.

If you can list 3 things, right now, that you find fun and do not involve viewing porn alone in a dark room, then you can safely say there is happiness after porn. Examples include: Playing base ball, dancing, making food, writing a love letter, receiving a love letter, reconnecting with long lost friends, playing foot ball, dressing up for Halloween, entertaining guests, long drives on the highway, volunteering your time to help others, helping a neighbour, going to the movies, playing with your children, flirting, listen to music, watch your favourite movie, taking a bike ride, drawing and painting, calling up a good friend, gardening, ice cream with friends, flying a kite, etc.

Castles in the Sand
Some hesitate and object, they have deleted their porn in the past only to relapse and spend extra hours reconstructing their porno fortress. Searching and recollect all their favourite porn stars and hentai, often several times, takes a considerable amount of time, effort, and sometimes money. Believe me, I know. So why bother deleting if I will just re-download or re-purchase anyway?

This, to me, is all backwards, It’s the wrong question and a terrible excuse. The real excuse should be “I won’t rebuild my porn stash because it takes hours to rebuild.” and the real question should be “Why bother collecting if I will just re-delete it anyway?” Like castles in the sand, they were always doomed to be destroyed, because your life is more important then porn.

Mark this: If you are truly serious about recovering from this addiction, destroying your porn once or a thousand times makes no difference. All that matters is that you delete it every time you start collecting again. Remember, this recovery is a process, not an event, and you will have falls along the way just like the rest of us. Be kind, be patient, every time you delete your stash, you send a strong message to your inner addict that you are serious about your future. The periods between relapses will become longer and longer, and soon, you will never recollect again.

Secure File Deletion
I’ve found myself trying recovery methods on more then one occasion to retrieve deleted porn from my hard disk drive. To make sure your stash is totally deleted, for privacy and for your own sake, use proper software for the job. For Windows, File Shredder is a free and easy-to-use solution that will ensure your data is unrecoverable. There is also an option for Mac OS to permanently delete files beyond recovery. This method may take up to 7 times longer to delete, and it really matters if you have 300GB, but it’s worth it if you are serious about your recovery.

Destroying Physical Porn
CDs & DVDs: Place them in a plastic bag, put some gardening gloves on, and snap them in half one by one, then place that bag into the garbage. DO NOT: Throw them in a lake or river, leave them at a bus stop for someone to find, or put them in the microwave. Believe me, I’ve heard some stories. Magazines and video cassettes could be put into a BLACK plastic bag and put directly into your garbage, preferable the day of or before garbage day.

Is It Really ‘Porn’?
Say you have photos from a photo shoot that you yourself took. Or illustrated art that boarders on NSFW. How about your own art work? What about all those old Sport Illustrated calendars you keep around to remember past dates with. What if you do nude figure drawing as part of your school program? Is lingerie and swimsuit models really porn anyway?

This is a tough question and is up to each individual. Sometimes it’s best to chuck it, sometimes it’s best to keep it in a zip file, with the promise to keep a distance, only accessing them when needed for professional or obligatory purposes. If it’s a part of your job or school program then you may want to re-examine the way you interact with it or minimize your exposure. The bottom line is, if it disturbs you, if it leads you to look at progressively more pornographic material, chuck it. If your vice is feet, chuck it. If your vice is swimsuits, chuck it. Know yourself and know your limits. This is not a time to be making excuses to keep yourself entertained by a smaller collection instead of a large one. If you have one porn, you have all porn, because it’s destructive nature is inherent in each piece.

Health Ways to Transform Stress and Anxiety
Learning healthier alternatives to manage life’s difficulties is key. We go to porn as a way to deal with stress, anxiety, depression, discomfort, and even boredom or fatigue. I will briefly mention a few healthier ways to deal with the stress and anxiety that drive us to pacify ourselves with porn.

Conclusions
In the end, it all comes down to you, and the porn. You must let go, you must say goodbye. Even if you’ve spent thousands of dollars, hundreds of hours each year, and countless late nights, it’s all for not. Because this illusion of pleasure and security will always come back to hurt you. The security blanket you call your porn is nothing more then an attempt to put a band aid over a unhappy life. We must wake up to our lives today, take the warning signs we see seriously, and take control while we can.

Be still and touch those feelings of attachment and desperation, what are they saying? Remember any way your are feeling is OK. Be forgiving, be understanding, let go of the porn, and take back and your life.

8 thoughts on “Should I Delete My Porn?

  1. Tony

    Thank you for this excellent post. Have you been spying on me? I have been dealing with this issues intensely during the last few days. What I like about your post is that you accounted for every rationalization I’ve made about why I should not or cannot delete. I’m not ready now (not that readiness has anything to do with it,) but you’ve blown any cover I could have had. And, honestly, I want to thank you. Your blog and your site is very important to me. Please keep posting.

    Reply
    1. D. Post author

      Hi Tony, I’m really glad to hear that I have touched you and your addiction so deeply. I hope in time you can learn to accept a ‘life after porn.’ It took me at least a year to consider deleting it, and then years of re-downloading too. But, a journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. I hope you have a great day. D.

      Reply
  2. vnla

    Your blog is impressive.

    Unfortunately you convinced me to delete my porn collection only so it will suddenly be important for me to document everything before I delete it (so it will be available if I needed it later on…). The thought proccess is ridiculous… I just laughed at myself

    But seriously, progress is slow but it’s possible. And your blog might help me with that. So thanks!

    Reply
  3. Steve

    Hey. I’d like to thank you for writing this article. It addressed every single question I ever had about deleting my collection and I finally did it. The sentence that struck me the most was “if you have any porn you have all porn”, so I eliminated every form of porn I had. Day 1, so early days, but at least I’m not spending time and money collecting more and more porn.

    Reply

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