__ Cancel all subscriptions to porn (Web site, magazine, cable, cell

phone, etc.).

__ Change to a family-oriented Internet service provider.

__ Change your e-mail address.

__ Install cyber controls on your computer.*

__ Move your computer to a public area in your home.

__ Cancel Internet service altogether.

__ Buy a new hard drive or computer.

__ Use the computer only when someone else is nearby and can

see the screen.

__ Subscribe to television programming packages that are com­pletely porn-free.

__ Get rid of your television, VCR, and DVD player altogether.

__ Block out television channels that carry porn.

__ Avoid driving by adult bookstores and strip clubs.

__ Avoid stores that sell porn magazines and other porn products.

__ Avoid video stores that carry X-rated movies.

Avoid anyone who you used to watch porn with or who enabled your porn use.

__ Call ahead when staying at hotels to make sure they don’t sub­scribe to channels with sexual content, and if they do, request that these channels not be available to you in your room when you check in.

__ Tell friends, relatives, and coworkers not to send you porn or links

to porn.

*See "Organizations, Programs, and Web sites" in the Resources section.

Taking steps to block your exposure to porn is something you do to make it easier to quit. “I think of porn as a narcotic,” says Wes. “The more you allow it into your system, the more you want it there. When I did porn it would stay in my head for several days and I’d feel compelled to binge with it. I quit smoking ten years ago and it taught me that the desire to use an addictive substance lessens with time spent away from it. You just have to get the time in. Keeping porn out of all areas of my life has really helped to reduce the cravings.”

Tom found that by changing some of his routines at work, he could keep a healthy distance from porn. “I work in a major drugstore and we have a large magazine section filled with magazines that I find pornographic, like Maxim, FHM, and Cosmopolitan. The magazines are all over the place. They feature half-naked women on the covers. I make sure I distance myself from the racks. My coworkers are some­times there and will grab a copy and start going through it. It would be easy for me to get distracted by that too, so I just stay away and don’t engage with them when they are doing that. I don’t watch TV anymore because of some of the images and the many sexual jokes and innuendos that are involved. I eliminate as much of that stuff from my environment as I can, so it doesn’t trigger me into thoughts of wanting to use porn.”

Turn away from it. It is important to recognize that no matter how dili­gent you are at getting porn out of your environment and taking steps to keep it out, you will still be exposed to it from time to time. You may see a sexually explicit billboard while driving. You may be watching television and click onto a music channel with singers and dancers whose moves remind you of porn stars. You may open your Sunday newspaper and find a women’s lingerie insert that looks like a strip-club advertisement. Then what do you do?

Since it’s impossible to totally avoid all exposure to images that can stimulate your desire for porn, your best bet is to have a strategy to shut it out as quickly as possible. Just because something exists doesn’t mean we have to keep it in our consciousness. Whether we are aware of it or not, every waking moment of every day we make decisions to either pay attention to or ignore hundreds of different things in our environment. You can put porn-oriented images on your “ignore this” list and not give it any energy. You can simply close your eyes, click on another channel, click off a device, or get up and move somewhere else. It’s important to remember that you always have options for actively putting visual and emotional distance between you and porn images.

Hank uses what he calls an “eye bounce” whenever he unexpectedly encounters porn images or materials that remind him of porn. “My mind and my eyes instinctively go to porn because I’ve always gone there and they’re trained to go there,” he said. “So when my eyes see something sexy now, I bounce away. Oh there’s a picture of a sexy girl, BOUNCE, I look elsewhere. If I watch TV I find I bounce my eyes away a lot be­cause practically all of the advertising segments include some form of female body and it’s usually very suggestive. I hear the ad, but I’m not watching it. It felt strange doing this at first, but now looking away has become a new habit. The more I do it the easier it is. For most of my life I walked around with a kind of low-grade sexual fever. But lately, for the first time, it’s starting to diminish and almost disappear because I’m no longer feeding it. It feels like a part of me has been set free to do other things and it’s fabulous.”

Removing porn from your environment and developing your own personal approaches for coping when you are accidentally exposed to it can help you move further and further away from a life dictated by porn. And the more distant porn becomes, the easier it is to live a life that is happier, healthier, and more in tune with your personal values and goals.