Beware The Vampires of Porn
The other day my dad and I were talking (thankfully! You may remember he had a stroke a few weeks ago. His memory is slowly returning) and he asked how I learn how to help people. I said I certainly learned a lot in my graduate program, but that only laid a foundation and that most of my education has been at the feet of my clients, listening and asking and learning. For example, if a client tells me they are doing particularly well or had victory over a big problem, I'll ask what led to the victory. If they stumbled and fell I'll ask what led to the defeat. Over time patterns emerge and I gather some insights. Those insights are the subjects of many of my blogs. So if you learn a helpful idea in these writings here and there you can thank unknown learners and travelers who have generously shared their victories and struggles with me.
One of those insights is the idea of the temptation of pornography being particularly strong at night. Late at night. After midnight late. Many of my clients who struggle with porn do so late at night. It's as if the Vampires of Porn come out when the sun goes down and start prowling around seeking who they can devour. (To see my earlier blog on the Vampire craze click here.)
It's a pretty sad story to hear, as I have way too many times, of an attractive, young wife, telling me in the presence of her husband, that oftentimes she'll be lying awake in bed, even naked, for her husband to come and make love with her, and she's even made that clear that she's waiting for him, only for her to finally get up wondering where he is and she catches him getting his needs met with pixels on a screen. That can be pretty devastating. Pixels over the real deal?
As one young man explained it (and I'm sorry I don't remember the exact quote but it was something like), porn is just easier. "I don't have to relate to porn." YIKES!
What possibly could possess a man to have a fantasy sexual experience when his wife is waiting expectantly, even eagerly, for his involvement?
That would be the Vampires of Porn. They seek whom they may devour when the night get's dark.
I read a sad story a while back of an assistant basketball coach of a Division I Basketball program, who was arrested for child porn. The article said the coach would do porn between 12 and 2 or 3 AM in the morning and then go to work the next day. Try doing that night after night and see how much self-control you have. He got caught because the stuff was on his work computer. My guess is if he hadn't ever done the internet at home after midnight he'd never have done the child porn, period, let alone at work later when he was dead tired in the middle of the day and has absolutely NO self-control.
Fatigue is the devil's playground.
So here's some quick and dirty ways to kick porn out of your life. For good, learned at the feet of successful clients:
-Stay away from flipping channels in the middle of the night, looking, seeking, longing for a pound of flesh. Not very helpful.
-Stay away from the internet in the middle of the night. Don't even turn the computer on. You don't need more stimulation in the middle of the night.
-If you wake up in the middle of the night and can't go back to sleep, as my sleep Dr. Liu says, "Do something boring: boring book or boring movie. 15 minutes. Keep the lights down low. Then go back to bed." You start doing porn in the middle of the night, you are not only missing sleep, you are stimulating yourself so you won't be able to sleep even more and then you'll be tired which will make it difficult to not do porn the next night. Most guys use porn when they are fatigued. Really. Porn is a stimulant (along with a number of other things that aren't helpful). Sleep would be much better. I've had too many guys tell me they do porn to relax to go to sleep. Yeah, right. Porn's pretty deceptive, isn't it? We could count the lies, but that's a big one.
-Instead of staying up late and getting up late, shift your bedtime back a couple of hours and get up earlier. Most guys aren't going to do porn in the AM. And you can cuddle with your wife before you go to bed. That might be good.
Beware the Vampires of Porn. Late night and porn are kin. If you know and live this you've won a major battle in your life.
I've written about porn a bunch. You can find the list of them here.
Dr. Bing Wall is a therapist specializing in marriage and relationships and issues facing single adults with a practice in Ames and Urbandale, Iowa. To set up a time to see Dr. Wall click here or call 888-233-8473. For more information about Dr. Wall click here.