I’ve been meaning to put this together for about a week now. I’ve been posting fairly frequently on r/NoFap to encourage people to make a list of their triggers and commit to certain actions to replace masturbation as the default response. I thought I should post my full list here as an example of what that might look like. If you struggle getting past the early days of recovery, then you might find this strategy helpful.
The process is simple:
When you are not feeling any urges at all, examine yourself carefully. Think about all of the times you are likely to relapse and what kind of thoughts and feelings usually go along with that. List these. They are your ‘Triggers’.
Once you have a comprehensive list of triggers, think about what an appropriate response to each one might be. For it to be appropriate it needs to be something realistic, a solid distraction, and easy to start immediately. These are your ‘Actions’.
You might find that you don’t come up with every trigger right away. If at a later date you find yourself feeling urges and it was triggered by something you hadn’t thought of, take the opportunity to immediately add it to your list of triggers and add an appropriate action, then do the action instead of relapsing.
So here is mine, I hope it can help some people:
Triggers and actions
See sexy women –
look away immediately. Repeat many times: “we take captive every thought and make it obedient to Christ” (2 Cor 10:5). Start internal dialogue along the lines of why I don’t want to view women as sex objects. (See below)
Alone with Internet access –
If temptation comes, visit http://reddit.com/r/nofap and look at my badge. Then leave encouraging comments for other nofappers. Listen to a worship CD while doing this. If I’m still struggling, write a post for this blog outlining some aspect of why I do not want to relapse. This might include some semi-shameful anecdote to remind me of some of the pathetic mistakes I have made and do not wish to repeat.
Alone and horny, no net access –
Worship CD. Read my Bible and pray. Do some exercise (push ups, sit ups).
Depressed / upset –
If it’s daytime, go for a run. Worship CD, Bible, prayer. Visit NoFap for encouragement.
Sexually frustrated –
Remind myself that I am not entitled to free orgasms! Remind myself there are Nofappers doing it on ‘hard mode’ (no girlfriend/wife and no sex). Exercise. Think of ways to treat my wife and show her I love her. Recognise my own need to feel loved in non-sexual ways.
Police self very carefully. Whenever I’m tempted to view students’ profiles, I must disconnect immediately and visit NoFap. No excuses. Repeat 2 Cor 10:5 (Take captive every thought…)
Casually dressed students –
Take captive every thought…treat the same way as ‘view sexy women’ above (internal dialogue, etc). Police own behaviour over the following days. The chaser effect after this is always strong…
Semi-up skirt view of students in class –
If I can see up a student’s skirt, treat the same way as ‘view sexy women’, and MOVE so that I can’t keep seeing up skirt.
An example of the internal dialogue – why I don’t want to view women as purely sex objects:
“All women are equal with men and were also created in the image of God. They are my sisters in Christ. The world has constructed a false status for women whereby they are completely subservient to men. This has led to a culture in which the desire for male pleasure has surpassed the desire for female dignity. Men have subjugated women and tricked them into taking part in a porn culture. This thinking has also led to sexual slavery taking place in every country around the world and prostitution has become a common relief for poverty.
One day I may have daughters, and I do not want them to live in a world where this kind of thinking is prevalent. I don’t want her boyfriends and husband to view her in this way. If I have sons, I do not want them to be enslaved themselves in the kind of addiction I have developed.
If I continue to view women only as sex objects, I’m am continuing to feed this aspect in society. Instead of perving on women, I should speak up against the over sexualisation of culture and be an advocate for women’s rights and equality.”