The Torah teaches that, if you're an unmarried man, watching pornography is harmful to your soul. See, for example, this article by Chabad rabbi Tzvi Freeman. (If you're married and need to watch pornography in order to get aroused, see this responsum instead.)

Many non-Jews agree that pornography is harmful. Pat Fagan, Ph.D., for example, wrote a short article about the matter. There's also Robb Wolf's interview of Gary Wilson (50 minutes; transcript available).

If you already have a habit of watching pornography, how can you quit?


Related: Is one obligated to filter his internet?

  • 5
    Related: How can I curb my sexual desire? – HodofHod Jul 10 '12 at 6:20
  • @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
  • 1
    @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
    I really don't think this question is on-topic. This seems much more a matter of psychology than of religion. – Avi Apr 24 '13 at 7:02
  • 2
    @Yehoshua Actually, that phrase normally means there can sometimes be room for leniency depending on the situation. – Double AA Aug 11 '15 at 3:18
up vote 12 down vote accepted

Here are some ideas. Many are not my own, but are copied or adapted from others.

If you can't or won't quit completely:

  • If you can't or won't quit completely, then you may want to at least reduce your pornography usage gradually. The "StayFocusd" Google Chrome extension, or one of its competitors, may help.

If you'd like to quit completely:

  • You can install filtering and/or monitoring software. If I recall correctly, R' Yisroel Belsky writes on pp. 153-154 of Shulchan Halevi in English that everybody should install both. As of Kislev 5777: Pluckeye or Qustodio are good choices for computers; the free version of Qustodio is probably the most powerful of the unpaid options for Android. If you live in your parents' home, see all three pages of this thread.

    • WebChaver correctly point out [broken link] that filtering smartphones and tablets, in general, is difficult. On Android 4.0 and up, they add [broken link], this is especially true. I agree. Android versions 4.0 (and up) include a gigantic loophole which may be expensive to close completely (a recurring monthly fee for a powerful filter). Perhaps the wisest move is not to buy a smartphone or tablet in the first place. If you must buy one, choose an iPhone or iPad.
  • Keep your computer and tablet within view of a window, preferably facing a street, or else facing a neighbor's window. Before using your device, day or night, open the window blinds so that they're wide open and anyone can see in. (This tip is based on something I heard from a friend, who IIRC heard it from a rabbi. It's helped me.)

  • You can anonymously join the Guard Your Eyes forums or telephone support groups or 90-day journey.

  • You can replace bad habits with good habits. Routines. Work, school, exercise, twelve-step meetings, and/or volunteering.

  • Pornography can be addictive. Consider professional help.

    • If you have insurance, you can see an addiction doctor first of all. They can give you counseling if you want it. They may also be able to prescribe anti-relapse medication, such as naltrexone, if you want that. The "Sinclair Method" may be the safest and cheapest way to use naltrexone. The Sinclair Method works well for alcoholism; I have no idea whether or not it works for pornography addiction.

      • To find one: Go here or here. Choose one who's willing to treat pornography overuse. (Some aren't.) If you have trouble finding one, email me at tealhill at gmail.com and ask me for help.

      • If your insurer demands a referral note, either see your GP or a walk-in clinic. You may not need to say what you're addicted to.

    • Some people can get free counseling through their school or insurance. If you're in a school, ask a guidance counselor or your insurance. If not, contact your insurance. Or make an anonymous phone call to the "employee and family assistance program" which serves your company or your parents' company.

    • Others can get counseling for US$20 per hour or less. Do a Web search for the name of your hometown plus the words [ family services agency ], or contact your country's United Way.

    • Certification is no guarantee of skill. See online reviews, or ask around, to find out who's good.

  • You can also go to twelve-step meetings. Guard Your Eyes runs twelve-step phone meetings. I've tried AA, NA, SA, SAA, and SLAA, and I like all five.

    • Here's what to expect: the short version or the long version.

    • There are various "S-fellowships" for those struggling with sexual acting out: SA, SAA, SLAA, and others. SA insists on complete quitting. The others are also OK with moderation. See the GYE warning page before joining an "S-fellowship".

    • If the GYE warning page has scared you, then you can still go to twelve-step meetings other than the "S-fellowships".

      • You can go to "open meetings" of Alcoholics Anonymous.

      • If you consider yourself a "pornography addict", you can also attend Narcotics Anonymous meetings. (If you read Step 1 carefully, you'll see that you need not be a drug addict. This has been my personal experience as well.) Before or after the meeting, people might ask you what you're addicted to. You don't have to answer.

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

  • Technology Awareness Group (TAG).

    • They're a registered charity. They can install filtering and/or monitoring software on all of your devices, at no charge to you. Please donate. They may be able to do the work using remote-control software (e.g. TeamViewer for computers, or the TeamViewer mobile device support add-on).

    • They have dozens of offices worldwide, but not all their offices have websites. Do a Web search. If you can't find a phone number for an office in your city, phone any other office and ask for your local office's phone number.

    • You can reach them about 20 hours per day. If you phone an office which is closed, your call will be routed to another office which is open.

  • Guard Your Eyes: +1 (646) 600-8100 / +972 (1599) 500-119. They have quite a good website.

  • Atzat Nefesh: +972 (2) 654-1899.


Please edit this answer and add more ideas.


  • Should I move the list of organizations out of this answer and into the question? – tealhill Jul 10 '12 at 6:00
  • 6
    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.

Marry a wife

  1. Pele Yoetz (here) says it helps with sin

  2. Seifer Hachinuch (mitzva 582.2) explains that the reason of the Mitvzah that after the first year of marriage you need to be happy with your wife is that you should (get use to her, since you like what you are use to and) and to make **all other woman disgusting for you ** (I guess this will include pornography)

  3. When you have a wife (in town) even when you can not "use" her (she is a nidda) you have less urges (similar to a man on a fast day who has bread in his home is less hungery (even though it will take him time to go home) then someone who does not)
    See Yona 18b, Yevamot 37b, Ketubot 63b


But until you get married it is very hard, (The harder it is the more the reward לפום צַעֲרָא אַגְרָא)

but you can do it (see Where is it taught that Hashem doesn't give a person test that he can't overcome? )

See Tanya around chapter 25

And when you do the mitzva of saying the shma, do the mitzva (not only for chasidim) to elongate the echod and remember that your love for Hashem is that if you will be asked to convert or get killed you will choose to get killed (and it will be an easy decision for you since at that time you your hidden/sleeping love for Hashem will be revealed) and when you do that you awaken a similar love every day 2 times a day, and then all you need to do is realize that by watching pornography you are seperating yourself from Hashem to the same degree as if you would convert, (since the difference in the punishment is only after the fact to correct the damage, but at the time of the sin, all the sins are equally seperating you from Hashem('s will)). See
Source for Chasidik practice of imagining yourself giving up your life during the first verse of Krias Shma

Good luck if you try you will surely succed!!!

  • Imagining an image of your father , and/or digging your toenails into the ground I heard helps – hazoriz Mar 7 '17 at 10:33
  • +1. Still, let's distinguish between "just struggling a bit" and "truly addicted". If a person is truly addicted to pornography, marrying a wife won't get rid of the addiction. The person may need professional help and/or twelve-step phone meetings; see my answer above. – tealhill Mar 21 '17 at 18:25
  • @tealhill you are right, but often by telling yourself you are addicted you are giving yourself an excuse, – hazoriz Mar 21 '17 at 19:57
  • Maybe. Or maybe I'm reinforcing to myself that I have a serious problem and will need serious outside help if I want to change. I dunno. – tealhill Mar 23 '17 at 20:11
  • @tealhill I do not think that is Judaism's (Chabad's) point of view , by definition you never NEED outside help you can always stop doing any and all sins, but using out side help is never a problem even when you are not officially "addicted' – hazoriz Mar 23 '17 at 20:42

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