Why I gave up porn

Tam Hunt
3 min readJan 2, 2024

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I found it surprisingly easy to give up on it for good

I began using porn as a teenager, back when magazines like Playboy and Penthouse were still the thing. Penthouse letters and Playboy centerfolds got my teenage blood flowing.

In my twenties that shifted to online porn, as it did with the whole world as the Internet became a thing.

Over the years I was a steady porn user, though I’d estimate that on the scale of porn use and addiction I was probably somewhere around a 3 or 4 on a scale of 1–10. I used it until recently probably 4 or 5 times a week.

I don’t remember who suggested it first, but about a year ago my buddy, Daniel and I embarked on a one-month “porn fast,” where we agreed to not use porn and if we did “cheat” to tell the other person. We both made it through with no cheats.

It wasn’t that difficult for me and I felt quite good in being able to overcome the urge to use porn for release and sexual novelty. I was single at the time, so was more liberal in general with my use of porn than if I had been in a relationship.

After the one-month porn fast I quickly lapsed into my normal habits of pretty regular porn use.

I’ve also noticed that as I’ve gotten older it’s harder to become sexually stimulated by real women (as opposed to on-screen women) and also harder to have an orgasm. Recognizing this disturbing trend and considering it in light of my awareness of ethical issues around porn, I decided to do a new two-month porn fast. I invited some other friends to join us and six of us agreed, all men.

The ethics of porn have always bothered me but obviously not enough in itself to lead me to give up porn. After my one-month porn fast I felt much better ethically in a similar way to how I feel when I eat vegan or vegetarian — my impact in the world is lighter and I’m less part of the many many problems that assuage us.

The six of us recently finished our two-month porn fast and apparently no one cheated at all!

For me it was again pretty easy. I wasn’t really tempted to cheat except on a couple of occasions, but I was able to resist the urge.

And here’s the surprising result for me and a couple other guys who did it: we’ve decided to give up porn permanently. The ethics of giving up porn feel really good. And I have noticed already a new sensitivity to real women, in a good way. There’s more of a sexual and sensual spark in my daily life that was dulled by my porn use and desensitization.

It also feels good in terms of simplification of my life. I don’t need that added thing, that acess to porn or the Internet in order to stimulate myself and ‘get off.’ To be clear, I didn’t give up masturbation or sex. If anything I found myself masturbating more than before. And I am feeling a definite improvement in my ability, after just two months, to have an orgasm from sex and masturbation.

Apparently my neurochemistry has already been adjusted by eliminating that highly artificial form of extreme sexual stimulation that comes from easy access to porn and “perfect” looking women.

I also anticipate that my next partner will be pretty happy with me for not “cheating” on her on the side with Internet porn.

All in all, I’m pleasantly surprised by the ease of this transition away from a lifelong activity that always bothered me a little.

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Tam Hunt

Public policy, green energy, climate change, technology, law, philosophy, biology, evolution, physics, cosmology, foreign policy, futurism, spirituality