What happens when people finally quit porn? XXX Church answers

A lot of porn addicts refuse to give up their vice because they do not want to lose their source of "pleasure." According to XXX Church, to the porn addicts quitting is akin to "an amputation, or some kind of offense against our autonomy."

J.S. Park writes on the ministry's website, however, that people who do resolve to quit porn for good are actually doing themselves a favour because porn, despite its pleasures, "has such an insidious, destructive grip on the brain and body that you can always feel the healing when you quit."

Park says four things happen when people decide to quit porn. The first thing they experience is withdrawal. "The first week off porn is usually the most difficult — because your body has grown so used to it, you'll be overwhelmed by your appetite. The influx of images and craving can be almost too much to handle," he notes.

Being a former porn addict himself, Park says he suffered from shakes, sweating, and even fatigue when he decided to quit porn. People might be tempted to revert to their old ways, but Park is strongly suggesting otherwise.

"Most of us who try to quit porn are wholly unprepared for such intense symptoms, and it's often why we relapse so easily," he says. "But that's looking at the wrong normal: withdrawal is actually the fight for a true normal."

The next thing quitters experience is renewed productivity. When people quit porn, they suddenly have "a few dozen hours free every month," and they can use this free time to improve the quality of their work or maybe even learn a new language or two.

The third thing they gain is loss of objectification. "Objectification is about what you do instead of appreciating who you are," explains Park. "Porn turns sex into a dehumanised buffet instead of a sacred, communal gift bound by a promise. When we're bombarded with the cheap imitation of a good thing, we lose authentic connection."

When he was still addicted to porn, Park admitted that he objectified nearly everything. Even a female cartoon character or the shape of a glass would drag his brain into "bad places."

"At times I thought that pornography had completely broken this part of me and I would never get over it. But quitting such excessive intake of indulgent imagery, while never fully erasing that inner-tape, can bring us back to healthy interaction," he assures.

Lastly, Park says that porn quitters get renewed connection and intimacy. Porn offers fake intimacy that is consistent, but Park says that indulging in it makes people fearful of true intimacy.

"When you quit porn, it means you risk the unpredictable maze of the human experience," he says. "While it sounds safe to stay in a cave with a computer all the time, porn only makes you less human, and not more. The goal of faith, of discipline, of intimacy, of connection, is to make you more human."