Posted by: Arden Compton | June 12, 2009

The excitement of pornography

This post assumes you have some knowledge of EFT. For an introduction to EFT, review the tabs at the top of the blog.

I visited with a young man this morning that I have been working for two months now. His last two appointments have been spaced at two week intervals. He had one encounter with pornography in the first week I was working with him, since then he hasn’t viewed any pornography.

Today I reviewed with him the triggers that used to create a craving for pornography, and he said they aren’t a problem any more. Since our last visit two weeks ago there had been two occasions where he felt some pull towards pornography, but nothing so strong he gave in. Once was when he was looking at his netflix account. He recognized a pull towards pornography at maybe a 3 out of 10. He said he leaned back in his chair, used EFT to tap on this trigger, and within a minute the pull was gone, he went about his business on nextflix without any problem.

The other time he felt a pull was when he went into a restaurant, and there was a poster of a girl in short shorts and some kind of a sports bra as a top. As he
reflected on it, he said the short shorts created a pull at a 3. So, we focused on her short shorts and went through the tapping process. He focused on that while tapping through the points. I asked him to focus on it again, and he said the pull was now around a 1. I asked him why he still felt a little pull, he took about 10 seconds to respond, and he indicated there was a feeling of missing the excitement of pornography. So, I had him just say the phrase, “I miss the excitement of pornography,” and he said that had an intensity of about a 4-5. So, we put that into a set-up phrase, “Even though I miss the excitement of pornography, I still love and except myself.” We went through the points repeating the reminder phrase, “missing the excitement.” After going through the points once, I coached him through the points again, bringing in positive reframes like, “even though I haven’t had that excitement, I have had peace of mind. It is better to have this peace of mind. Even though the pleasure center of the brain misses the excitement, I feel better about myself staying in control of me. I ask the pleasure center of the brain to recalibrate for joy vs excitement. The excitement was a mirage, there never were any girls there to get excited about. I would rather live a life with nothing to hide than have that excitement that brings with it guilt, shame and regret.”

Now the phrase, “I miss the excitement” only had an intensity of a 2. I asked him why he still felt something on that phrase, and he indicated he missed the excitement of masturbating while looking at porn. So, we started through the tapping points again focusing on, “I miss the excitement of masturbating while looking at porn.” After going through the points focusing on that, we went through them again with positive statements like, “this was exciting, but it lead to unbearable shame. I’m just deceiving myself by masturbating looking at porn – a part of me thinks I’m having sex with that girl, but I’m not. I’m hard wired for sex to be exciting, but I choose to wait until I am married. Then I can enjoy that excitement with my wife in a healthy way with no shame.” The statement, “I miss the excitement,” no longer had any intensity at all. I asked him to think about the girl with short shorts, and he said there was no trigger there at all.

It was important to address this ‘missing the excitement’ aspect of his problem. If we had not addressed that, eventually it would have surfaced, and could have led him to have a relapse and engage in pornography and masturbation. Sometimes a person will indicate that they have done well for a while, maybe months or years, and suddenly they find themselves looking at pornography, and they can’t seem to explain what happened. I believe that issues like, “missing the excitement,” can fly below the radar of most men undetected, until finally a part of the brain seems to say, “That’s it, times up, we’ve got to have it, we’ve been missing long enough…” and suddenly they have gone to pornography. This can be devastating. As we identify these aspects of the problem, and clear them before they create a problem, the probability of a relapse drops significantly.

I asked him if the phrase, “Fear of a relapse” had any intensity for him. He said it landed at about a 2. Then he spoke of his girlfriend, and the fact that a nephew had recently been named after him, and he was afraid he would disapoint these people by giving in and looking at pornography. The fear of disappointing others by looking at pornography was about a 6. So we went through a round of tapping focusing on that. After tapping on this fear, we continued to tap while I brought in positive statements like, “I see myself making choices. I see myself living with nothing to hide. I choose to live so my new nephew will be proud of that he is named after me. I see myself being completely honest with my girlfriend – pornography has no place in my life.” He said the intensity of ‘fear I will disappoint others by looking at porn,’ had dropped from a 6 to a 2. I asked him why there was still a charge on it, and he said it was a fear of people talking about him they way they had talked about his father (who had had a terrible problem with pornography that ruined his marriage and his life). So, we tapped on this fear, and the entire issue quickly collapsed to a 0.

We ended with him feeling even more hopeful and optimistic. I will check with him in two weeks and see if there is a need for an appointment. Typically at this point I stay in touch with clients, rarely is there a need for another appointment. He knows how to go through the process well enough on his own that he is very empowered to handle triggers as they come up.

If you have any questions or comments about this post or any other, feel free to comment. If you struggle with pornography, or know anyone who does, please contact me, I can help!


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