Deprogramming How-To

Here’s a little something I posted on Tumblr, but I think I’ll put it here too.  I  have found quitting porn, quitting violent fantasies, and learning attraction to women to be interconnected.  Love women.  Love yourself.

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Want to stop watching porn?  Just stop; that’s the easy part.  I did.  The harder part is quitting masturbating to fantasies of abuse.  And it is super hard when you start this deprogramming.  You and your culture have wired your brain to respond to degradation, and change is not instantaneous.  It takes actual mental effort to imagine people being loving and kind mutually powerful and mentally and physically present…and then convince your brain to find that stuff exciting.  But the good news is, if you’re patient with yourself and keep at it, it really works.  You rewire your brain.  The new pathways replace the old.

Finding yourself going down the same pathways?  As soon as you notice it, before giving yourself a chance to think about it, interrupt whatever you’re doing to break the spell.  Jump out of your chair, sit up in bed.  Start singing a silly song, out loud, to yourself.  Or say “Stop!” out loud.  Or maybe “Fuck patriarchy!” for good measure.  And now that you’ve interrupted, redirect.  Do something physical.  Go get a snack, go to the bathroom.  Play with your cat.  Trim your toenails.  Shoot some hoops.  It gets your brain out of where it was.  You are not trapped there.  You create new possibilities, new pathways.  You are literally building new connections in your brain.  Each time you do it, it makes it a little easier the next time.

Remember, just because something is inside you, doesn’t mean it’s yours, doesn’t make it native.  “We have all been seriously messed with,“ as Carolyn Gage has said.  We don’t have to be ashamed.  We can kick the colonizers out of our heads and still love the heck out of ourselves.  In fact, those things seem pretty compatible to me.

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