One of the reasons so many porn users start to feel ambivalent about their decision to quit porn, and lose motivation to continue the healing journey, is fear. Fear is a common emotion that arises when someone tries to quit porn. The idea of making any kind of major life change and facing the unknown is often initially frightening, even when we are fairly certain the change will improve our lives. In the early stages of porn re­covery, many people feel afraid to give up porn because it has provided them instant pleasure and emotional consolation. Quitting means making significant lifestyle changes, such as saying good-bye to well-established sexual habits, finding new ways to cope with emotional stresses, and learning how to relate to others more openly and honestly. Needless to say, porn users with the strongest emotional and sexual attachments to porn often have the most fear when faced with quitting.

Many human fears lie below our consciousness and are masked by other emotions. For example, many porn users feel anxious and depressed when they begin the process of quitting porn. They don’t realize that fear is actually driving those feelings. When fears are not identified and resolved, they can sabotage your recovery efforts by continually undermining your motivation to quit porn. Like a nail you are unaware of in one of your car’s tires, an unidentified and unaddressed fear can slow your healing journey down without your even realizing what is happening. And the more un­conscious fears you have, the more challenging and difficult it will be to stay on track with effectively dealing with your porn use issues.

Identifying and being able to admit your particular fears about quit­ting porn is an important first step in ultimately resolving those fears. Many of the people we have counseled and interviewed found it benefi­cial to do this as they started out on their healing journeys. Below is a list that includes their responses. You may find this list useful in helping you identify your own fears.