Porn Anonymous

Complete Anonymity

For many, joining a group is a frightening step that raises many concerns: “Who will I meet there? What will happen if people find out that I am part of such a group?”

The thought of walking into a new and unfamiliar environment can trigger serious insecurities.

These fear are absolutely normal. We all had to overcome them, and we understand how hard it can be to get out of our comfort zone and make the jump.

But, our experience has shown that there is nothing real to fear. Once we show up, we find that the groups are a friendly, accepting, non-threatening environment that we easily connect with. For the first time in our lives we can be ourselves without putting on any masks and without hiding. We can share our secrets and get support from people who are in the same boat as us and really understand us.

We discover that the groups are a real safe environment. Whatever is shared in the group, remains in the group. Who attends our groups is never shared with outsiders. It’s unheard of that members leak information about who else is in our fellowship to outsiders. If someone was to share this information with outsiders, they would have to divulge that they themselves attend as well.

The fear of possibly meeting someone you know at a group usually disappears after a few minutes, when we see that no one in the group is a threat. We’ve joined a group of serious people who are all just trying to overcome their porn problem and live life better. In many ways, we feel it’s a real honor to be part of such a special group.

Furthermore, the groups themselves are completely anonymous. We only use our first names in the groups (no one shares their last name).

It’s expected to feel discomfort about joining, but if we weigh the costs and benefits objectively, we see it’s in our best interest.

If we don’t join a group, chances are we’ll just continue to suffer. There are many real dangers in not joining a group.

If we find the courage to walk through our fears, we will find ourselves in a better place and on the path to the recovery and freedom we really want and need.

For those who are not able to attend live meetings, PA’s online meetings provide a second-best option for getting started. Some of us found the phone groups an easier way to start the program. New members sometimes feel they aren’t ready to join a live group and meet others, or they’re not convinced that the program is right for them. A telephone group is a way to try it out. Newcomers are welcome to join and participate, or just listen in or ask questions. For many newcomers the phone group was the first stop before eventually joining a live group.

There is a Solution

In Porn Anonymous we know countless people who had lost all hope but found the solution to their porn addiction problem, recovered and are sober today.

Members of PA come from all kinds of backgrounds and all walks of life. Some of us are younger, some older. Some are married, others single. Some are religious and some aren’t. But, we all face the same problem, and we are all working the same program as a solution to our common problem.

We may not agree on everything, but when it comes to working the program, we don’t mix in any external issues – not politics, not religion. Our program doesn’t interfere with anyone’s private life, faith, or values. We join together only because we have a common problem and we share a common solution. This is the only issue that concerns us as a fellowship.

When porn started to interfere with our lives, and we realized we had lost control, we tried many different ways to stop. We promised many times that “this will be the last time.”  Some of us even smashed our smartphones, in the hope that this desperate act would free us from the obsession. But nothing helped, and we kept going back to porn, despite all the pain that accompanied it.

PA wasn’t the first stop for any of us. We came here after repeated efforts to stop by ourselves or even with the help of others.

Some of us turned to professional therapists for help before coming to PA, but therapy alone seemed ineffective for many of us who tried it. Even professionals in the field of addiction admitted to low success rates in treating our condition.

Some of us who lead a religious lifestyle tried the “traditional” religious solutions like prayer and repentance. Some also took the courageous step of confessing their problem and asking for advice from their religious leaders or mentors. They may have received in response words of support and encouragement, but nothing close to a real solution to their problem.

Another common experience many of us in PA share is the confusion about our condition. This confusion was often caused by the relatively long periods of “remission” we may have had between our heavy porn use, periods when we felt like maybe we had somehow been freed. This breaks came either after a particularly extreme binge or after getting caught or discovered by someone. We felt like we hit a real low point, we made a steadfast promise to ourselves, and we succeeded in abstaining for several days or weeks. We might have even felt for a while as if we’d beaten the temptation for porn altogether.

For all of us, however, all these periods ended with another fall and a return to compulsive porn use, leaving us confused. We were confused about our problem and about ourselves. We wondered how we lost control again after we thought the problem was behind us. We asked ourselves who we really are – the one who wants the porn or the one who wants to quit the porn.

We can all identify with those failed attempts to stop, and with the frustration and pain that comes with it. It is precisely at those moments of despair that we have the best chance of finding the solution that our program offers.

Unlike people who have never been in our position, a new member will never hear from us words like “Just Say No”, or “Just Quit It”, as if it depended on him alone to stop.

We would also never say to a fellow PA member: “What’s the big deal with a little porn to relax or let off steam?” All of us have experienced the pain of compulsive porn use and we know what it feels like to lose control. That would be like asking an alcoholic “What’s the problem with a little drink to make you feel good?”

We all tried many times to stop, but finally, when we hit rock-bottom or when we really understood the nature of our addiction, we came to Porn Anonymous to find a solution that helped so many others who are like us.

Welcome to PA!

From the beginning of time, addicts were considered weak people who simply did not have the moral strength to stop using their drug. The most common addiction is a compulsion to imbibe alcohol in its various forms. As the alcoholics’ condition deteriorates, they inevitably land in mental institutions or die from liver failure/wet brain/other fatal illness. Over the ages, prevailing medical opinion has deemed them incurable. In 1935, by the grace of God, two alcoholics found a solution to their drinking problem, and thus Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) was formed. This was the first 12-step program.

The AA recovery program was based on simple principles but their results were revolutionary. The AA co-founders wrote the “Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous, detailing exactly what actions they took and how they recovered from this “seemingly hopeless state of mind and body.” With time, groups had sprung up in many cities, and the number of recovering addicts had begun to grow exponentially.

Eventually, groups of alcoholics began carrying the message of hope and sobriety to men and women who were suffering from other addictions, such as narcotics. It quickly became apparent that the same 12 step program that saves alcoholics, could also liberate drug addicts. Many drug addicts began to join AA and recovered as the result. But, it became apparent to many of the group members that it might be worthwhile to open a separate fellowship for drug addicts. The main problem was a lack of identification with the exact nature of the problem. It is true that an addict is an addict, and the difference between alcohol and narcotics can seem very small; however, identifying with the exact nature of the problem is crucial for the recovery process, and drug addicts felt that they lacked that in AA. Another concern arose when boundaries became blurred regarding the definition of sobriety when alcoholics who stopped drinking yet started using drugs would come and share that they were “sober” according to AA definitions.

That’s how another fellowship, called “Narcotics Anonymous,” has developed. As the result of the 12-step-fellowship expansion, more people were given a chance of a new life, without their drug, be it alcohol or drugs.

Twelve-step recovery is not limited to alcohol and narcotics. It continues to expand into more and more areas of life, including sex, gambling, and food addictions. Many different fellowships have been pioneered, helping millions of people suffering from the disease of addiction, whatever form it took on for them.

Approximately 40 years ago, folks struggling with compulsions of sexual nature in various forms tried to recover using the principles of A.A. There was more opposition to this approach. “It’s merely a moral failing,” naysayers said. “It’s not substance abuse, it’s just a character flaw; bad choices,” they challenged. But lo and behold, the 12-step recovery model did work and worked well. It kept struggling sexual addicts sober and sane. A few fellowships grew out of this original idea. Sexoholics Anonymous [SA], Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous [SLAA] and Sex Addicts Anonymous [SAA] have been founded. All these fellowships have in common dealing with compulsive sex [in and out of relationships] in one form or another. The differences between these various groups are merely in how they address their “acting out” and the definition of “sexual sobriety.” In recent years, the porn epidemic hit the Western world and turned compulsive porn usage into the world’s fastest-growing addiction.

While many porn addicts have found sobriety and recovery in the existing “S” fellowships, some of us porn addicts have found that we needed something that was geared more specifically for us. The essential “identification” of our specific form of lust, the ability to share with like-minded fellows, and the safe environment necessary to break our DENIAL seems much more powerful and effective with members with similar acting out behaviors.

In the past several months, individual members of various existing S fellowships have taken the exciting steps of establishing the “Porn Anonymous” 12-step fellowship [PA] to cater to the specific niche that our recovery seems to require. Judging from the responses we are receiving, we pray and hope that the fellowship will grow quickly to serve the obvious need and include many newcomers who are in distress. Currently, there are over 10 PA rooms, meeting regularly to carry the PA message of freedom from the tyranny of pornography and lust.

If you think you may be addicted to pornography, please reach out to us. We hope you will find the solution you are looking for. If you are clear that you are not addicted to pornography, please remove yourself from the mailing list by clicking “unsubscribe.” We are not a self-help or morality group.