Reset #pornfree

And they forsook the Lord and served Baal and the Ashtoreths.

Judges 2:13

As predicted (or planned), my wife Sara was away for a week, and I have been worshiping the Ashtoreths. After day 117 of the streak, I reset the counter to zero, where it remained until Sara returned.

In that last blog post I had a few ideas for avoidance techniques — things to do that were “as” attractive as looking at porn. Well I didn’t do any of them. They were never really in the race.

I revisited the old haunt I mentioned, and got up-to-date. I dusted off an old twitter account. I toured a few other old haunts too.

I had set limits and rules, but of course in the heat of the moment such rules are forgotten or abandoned. However, I seemed to stick to the most important ones. I didn’t end up drenched in porn, didn’t have an eye on it during the day (the twitter account I ended up not using at all), or even every evening. I wanted it to be a treat and a relaxation, entertainment, and it has been.

Consequently, I have no feelings of shame or regret. I enjoyed the holiday.

What now? Perhaps now is the real test: how easily can I go back on the wagon? A voice will be telling me I don’t need to — if I can start and stop any time, why stop now? — but watching porn with one eye while the other eye is looking over your shoulder is not really a treat.

Porn and masturbation go back on the shelf, and I develop those other attractions that don’t require me to watch my back.

Assuming re-wagonning goes well, this will be the last post in the #pornfree category.

Counting the days #pornfree

I have stopped counting “days since” — in the sense that I am no longer using length of the “streak” as a motivator. Although I let my eyes linger over certain photos in the press longer than I should, there is no pull from the old ways. The habits are broken.

However, I have noticed that I am counting “days until”. As the lockdown rules are easing, there is now a real prospect of either me or my wife Sara spending a few days away (on business, or family responsibilities) — in other words, of me having a few evenings to myself.

I find myself looking forward to revisiting a particular old haunt. I feel confident that I’ll be able to indulge while S is away without losing self-control once she has returned. I’ll be able to start a new streak!

Who knows? I have surprised myself in the past when I have not taken advantage of this kind of opportunity.

How to avoid? Have other goals that are “as” attractive:

  • creative writing: write a story, or begin one
  • yoga blowout: do morning and evening sessions every day for sensual overload
  • prayer challenge: pray out loud

(I do know the “days since” count ofc, and log it in my diary: it’s 87.)

Day 54 #pornfree

It is now 54 days since I have looked at any porn or masturbated. That’s less than two months, and the new state doesn’t feel entirely secure, but I think this is the longest time I have Gone Without since the late 1980s.

I shan’t crow about this very frequently, but this battle is one of the main points of the blog.

In general, I feel much more clear-headed and directed — though life’s ups and downs are as daunting as ever. Perhaps the biggest change is that I’m more careful that my downtime is nourishing rather than draining.

I’ve never stopped lusting after my wife Sara. The challenges of showing affection, and of encouraging shows of affection, remain.

I have not been good at avoiding pictures of attractive women. Quite the opposite. At times I am leaning heavily on the narrow definition of pornography and going looking. That is a weakness I want to put a stop to. Perhaps find something else mildly attractive, engaging and addictive instead (eg do a quick Duolingo exercise).

The real test will be when either Sara or I go away for a few nights, and I have some evenings alone. I can easily imagine spending some of those evenings “catching up”. … but that day can worry about itself.

In the meantime build my strength and enjoy my freedom.

37/30 #pornfree


I have completed XXXChurch‘s “The 30 Day Porn-Free Challenge”! [emoji here] Day 30 was Tuesday 16th Feb, and I am continuing the porn-free streak making today day 37/30.

The “30 Day Porn-Free Challenge” is based around an ebook of 30 blog posts (let’s not mince words), which were often quite thought-provoking and challenging. I was surprised by that, and I think that helped keep me on the wagon. I also did a “10-day challenge” by XXXChurch’s partner site LiveFree, which was basically the same idea, but

  • delivered as emails: so, that extra nudge. They were also a bit shorter and punchier than the “30 days” blog posts;
  • each concluded with a few pointed questions, prompting me to really interact with and respond to their content.

All highly recommended. I was intending to blog some responses but quite early on all those “urges” seemed a distant memory. Of course 37 days is actually not that long. If I fall back, I’ll come back to these challenges and respond to their challenges more fully.


When I’m not thinking about something specific, my head feels kind of empty. Around day 21, at these times my mind would obsessively fill will sex fantasies. Not entirely unpleasant, but ultimately annoying. I seem to be out of that obsessive phase, but those kind of daydreams are never far away. I need to find something else to occupy my mind when it’s idle.

Avoiding pornography is relatively easy — and breaches are easy to identify. Avoiding pictures of attractive women is not really possible (before the Covid lockdown I would just have said avoiding attractive women is not possible). I’m starting to notice more, and question, my lingering attention when online, or even reading the business press.


The LiveFree site is based around a private social network —, themed around “porn abstention”, which looked very good — as well as the direct use-case, it is a network of male Christians so useful there too. However,

  • subscription is $5/month (fine) and they can only accept credit cards, not paypal (bad). I have contacted them about this but had no response.
  • As with blogging my “porn abstention journey”, I already don’t feel the need any more for this kind of support.

By coincidence, the 30 Days Challenge has led me straight into Lent, giving me an excuse to lengthen, and deepen, the streak. By deepen I mean things like:

  • find new ways to occupy my idle mind and keep sexfantasia at bay
  • be stricter, and more honest, with my attention

Procrastination being what it is, Lent has already started, and I am working on these two.

Day 8/30: Rewire Your Brain #pornfree

I have signed up with XXXChurch and am working through their ebook “The 30 Day Porn-Free Challenge”. More on XXXChurch later. Working through the ebook (reading a chapter a day, and avoiding porn) is going quite well — more on that later too. Each day’s reading has quite good ideas. I was going to review at the end, but the backlog is already burdensome. So:

DAY 8: How To Rewire Your Brain And Body From Addiction

Actually the concrete suggestions in today’s reading (practice and patience, connect daily with a community, turn troubles over to God) are fairly predictable (nothing wrong with them, but no surprises). But the title gave me two ideas.

I am a real creature of habit. The bus driver has the ticket printed for me before I fish out my wallet. At one of the places I like to go for breakfast, one morning the waitress brought me my order before I’d ordered it.

The key is not to much to attack old habits, but to create new habits that can become stronger, more attractive, than the old. I need habits to replace what I get from porn (not so much porn itself as the activity that goes with it).

  1. New source of sensual pleasure

    Establishing a daily yoga practice is one of my Harmony goals for this quarter. I love yoga but when I think, “I must do more yoga!” I think of it as exercise for health and fitness. But while I’m doing it, and afterwards when I can feel the effect, it is a sensual pleasure. It’s not as intense, but it can over-ride tensions and stress, it is enjoyable in its own right, and it can be what I turn to for sensual pleasure. (I don’t rule out turning to my wife for sensual pleasure but I’m not setting that as a target this year.)

  2. New fantasies

    Already after just a week, the sexual fantasies I habitually turn to — or which “pop up” alost unbidden — are less attractive, in that they hold my attention less strongly. But I don’t have anything else so my mind at those times often feels empty, or it can skitter into anxiety/worry fantasies.

    I recently read an article in HBR about someone who would catastrophize. Their coach suggested that, every time they catch themselves doing this, they should give themselves a day drawn in the opposite direction: the interview/demo/launch is wildly successful, the boss is overjoyed, promotions, world game, etc. So I am going to try that.