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Do I really need to stop?

by GYE (See all authors)

Question:

I'm breaking free from porn, not masturbation. Does the one affect the other in terms of addiction or not? The 90-day chart for me isn't just a game to follow the rules for. I want to achieve my goal with it. Of course, I will do what is necessary in order to break free, even if that will include complete masturbation stop. But I would really like to know if that's what is necessary.

GYE Responds:

In terms of aveira, masturbation is worse, but in terms of addiction, porn is worse. And since our sages say, Chamira Sakanta Me'issura (danger is more stringent than issur) I actually agree with you that stopping porn should be a higher priority.

However, one feeds on the other, and if you don't stop both together, you are still feeding the monster and the addiction won't go away... Ultimately, I believe the porn will come back as well.

So while I agree with your strategy for starters, I think you need to be ready for the big picture and have a plan for going cold-turkey on the masturbation as well. Masturbation is basically sex-with-self, which is addictive, destructive, and provides only temporary relief. And as our sages also say, the more we feed it, the more we need it. So although stopping may be hard at first, it gets easier over time. We need to truly believe that and just take the jump. Sex really is "optional". We can live without it.

With love, may Hashem give you Hatzlacha.

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