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Chabad rabbi Tzvi Freeman writes that all pornography is bad. If a man already has a habit of watching pornography, how do you quit?

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Related: How can I curb my sexual desire? –  HodofHod Jul 10 '12 at 6:20
Source for "Jewish law tells single men not to view pornography"? (AFAIK, for reasonable definitions of pornography, no Jewish man, single or not, is allowed to view pornography.) –  msh210 Jul 10 '12 at 20:43
@msh210: Chabad rabbi Tzvi Freeman writes that all pornography is bad. RCA rabbi Benjamin Hecht writes that if a wife wants to watch pornography to help with arousal, then the couple should ask their rabbi. I'd like to edit all this into Wikipedia but don't know if I'll ever get to it. Any volunteers? :) –  tealhill Jul 10 '12 at 21:13
@teahill - Referring the couple to their Rabbis is another way of saying it's ossur. No Rabbi would ever be matir such a thing. –  Yehoshua Nov 3 '12 at 20:48
@Yehoshua: if there'd be no other way for the couple to have children, are you sure their rabbi wouldn't find some leniency? P.S. my user ID starts with "teal", not "tea". :) –  tealhill Nov 6 '12 at 16:54

2 Answers 2

up vote 8 down vote accepted

Guard Your Eyes puts out a 75-page-long book called The GYE Handbook. Here are some of the suggestions it discusses:

  • Install both filtering and monitoring software. [If I recall correctly, R' Yisroel Belsky writes on pp. 153-154 of Shulchan Halevi in English that everybody should install both.] Install the software on each of your computers and each of your mobile devices: see http://www.venishmartem.com for great advice. [If you live in your parents' home, see all three pages of this thread.]

  • Find daily activities to fill your time in non-sinful ways.

  • Join the 90 Day Journey.

  • Go to 12-step meetings: SA, SAA, SLAA, SCA, SRA, or PAA. Sexaholics Anonymous is best for frum men, according to R' Avraham J. Twerski.

  • If you can't go cold turkey, at least reduce your pornography usage gradually.

The following organizations may have helpful websites and/or telephone hotlines.

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Should I move the list of organizations out of this answer and into the question? –  tealhill Jul 10 '12 at 6:00
I don't think that would be a good idea. –  Double AA Jul 10 '12 at 6:19

Fine yourself 50 dollars (to be paid to tzedaka) for each time you view pornography, enforced with a neder (vow), and with a maximum of 100 dollars per day. Make a condition that the neder be valid only if you remember it beforehand and that it is valid for one or two weeks only. (You can renew it after.)

You'll squash the habit in no time.

However, this assumes you will not transgress a neder under any circumstance. Otherwise, it wont work, and you'll be worse off in that you'll likely be violating a neder. (see the book Orech Apayim on anger which discusses this technique and suggests not eating anything until the fine is payed)

This technique is extreme but, if you have yiras shamayim, it works and is a gold mine. I've used it successfully to break some deeply ingrained bad habits (not pornography related) that I'm convinced I would never have succeeded in breaking without this method. (although for some things like not getting angry, it wont work since it's too vague and too hard. must be action related things such as not smoking or not hitting your kid.)

Warning: Making a neder/vow is very serious and can incur severe punishments from upstairs. always check with your LOA first.

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Interesting idea. Let me add: The section of The GYE Handbook entitled "Making Fences" discusses vows in more detail. It also suggests some less-extreme vows you can make which may also work. –  tealhill Oct 21 '12 at 18:12
related judaism.stackexchange.com/a/16808/759 –  Double AA Feb 26 '14 at 18:51
@tealhill I doubt any of the above will work unless someone is really determined. The simple answer have something else ready to watch. Any film will do. It will take your mind off it. –  preferred May 25 '14 at 12:47
@preferred it's not for everyone. nedarim are dangerous. always consult your LOA first. if you're rich then up the fine and it will most definitely work –  ray May 25 '14 at 18:09
@ray Not sure why your comment is addressed to me. It is not I who suggested nedarim. –  preferred May 25 '14 at 19:38

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