Close icon
QR code to download the app
Scan with your phone camera to download
Google Play store download button.App Store download button.

How to quit porn with an online support group

How to quit porn with an online support group

Are you wondering how to quit porn? Have you tried working at it on your own, counseling with your church leader, or sharing with your spouse, and still can’t seem to shake the habit? There’s no perfect answer, but an online support group has proven effective for many people, and I’ll discuss why in this article. Here is a general roadmap to quit porn with an online support group:

  1. Join: Join an online group of others who are also working to quit porn
  2. Interact: Interact regularly to build relationships and lay a foundation for trust, honesty, and vulnerability
  3. Be vulnerable: Find a simple way to reach out to your group in moments of loneliness or temptation
  4. Set goals: Set goals for actions you can control, share them with your team, and encourage each other to follow through 
  5. Give support: Turn outwards and give support to others and stay sharp


Let’s walk through each part of the roadmap of how to quit porn with an online support group, and at each point we’ll discuss how this kind of group can be transformational for your porn recovery journey.


1 - Join: Join an online group of others who are also working to quit porn

Working with a group of peers who have the same goal is one of the best ways to accomplish anything. A support group to quit porn is even more impactful than other types of groups, because it harnesses the healing power of connection. Groundbreaking psychology research suggests that “the opposite of addiction isn’t sobriety – it’s connection” (see TED talk here); though you’re likely not clinically addicted, that power of connection to change behavior absolutely applies.

Connection is great, but why specifically an online support group to quit porn? Read the list of alternatives below and see if you can relate:

  • Try on your own – Creates isolation, which perpetuates unwanted pornography habits
  • Share with your spouse or parents — This transparency is helpful, but it can often lead to people overreacting, judging you, and feeling hurt or betrayed
  • Confess to a friend — Friends are great confidants for sensitive issues like this. Only thing is, your friend may not be able to empathize with your struggle, and probably can’t support you 24/7 to be there in moments when you need them
  • Talk to your bishop — Bishops are really important and should be part of your recovery journey. However, they often lack the time and resources to give the constant support you need to quit porn
  • Work with a therapist — Also great and important, but can be expensive, and therapists aren’t always on call when you’re feeling temptation.

A support group to quit porn can succeed where alternative support systems fail because the group members can truly empathize with your situation and share encouragement without judgement. Online support groups are especially powerful because they’re available 24/7 when you need them, not just on Thursdays at 7pm during an in-person meeting.

There are a lot of options to join online support groups, ranging from large free Facebook communities and web forums to $1000 10-month paid therapy groups with a counselor. The Relay app is a great middle ground — it requires a subscription, so everyone in the groups is invested and committed to engage and support, but it’s much cheaper than therapy groups.


2 - Interact: Interact regularly to build relationships and lay a foundation for trust, honesty, and vulnerability

The next part of the “how to quit porn” online support group journey is to interact with the group. To quit porn, you need to be able to get help in moments when you’re tempted or even just when you’re feeling low. To be able to get help, you need to have a relationship with the people you’re relying on for support – the members in your online support group.

To build these relationships, you need to be consistent. You can make a daily a checklist of to-do’s — for example, you could spend at least 5 minutes online messaging others in the group, and you could spend 5 minutes calling someone in the group and getting to know them. 

Pro tip: None of this relationship building has to be about how to quit porn! You can talk about it if you want, but really the key at this step is just to make friends who you can trust and reach out to.


3 - Be vulnerable: Find a simple way to reach out to your group in moments of loneliness or temptation

This is the part when you’ll slowly start to see some results. There’s no perfect answer as to how to quit porn, but vulnerability in moments of temptation, loneliness, or other struggles has proven to be extremely effective at changing behavior. 

The key is to start to rewire your brain – to train yourself to reach outward when unclean thoughts come or when you’re stressed instead of turning inward and isolating yourself. 

To make this happen, it has to be quick and simple. If you have to pick up the “500 pound telephone” and call someone or write out a lengthy text explaining your feelings to your online support group, it’s not going to happen – that’s just too much of an emotional obstacle. Here are a few good ways to keep it simple:


  1. The Relay app uses a “red flag” button; all you have to do is tap it at the bottom of the app and it sends out a notification to the whole team encouraging them to give you support.
  2. If you don’t use Relay, definitely try to create a similar default outreach: A) Write a text that says something like “Hey, I’m not doing super well – could you send some encouragement to stay strong?”; B) Store it in a note on your phone; C) Copy and paste it into your online support group when you feel a crisis moment coming on


4 - Set goals: Set goals for actions you can control, share them with your team, and encourage each other to follow through 

Your "how to quit porn" is unique – it’ll be different for you than anyone else. That’s because to quit porn is not just as simple as stopping a habit; it has to be replaced by other ways to deal with stress, loneliness, boredom, and other underlying triggers that lead to the habit. 

This step is where you create goals of inputs – things you can control, things that are very specific to you – that you can change to replace the role of porn in your life. Here are a few examples of inputs you might track to quit porn and associated goals:

  • Amount of sleep – goal: 7+ hours
  • Exercise – goal: run 3x / week
  • Phone curfew – goal: 10pm
  • Message online support group — goal: 5 minutes / day
  • Journal, scripture study, prayer, etc. – goal: 20 minutes / day

These goals do no good on their own, and that’s exactly why you have your online support group. Every time you set a goal (could be every week or every month, depending on what you need), share it with your team. Periodically share how you’re doing on your goal, too. 

The Relay app has a goal setting and tracking feature that makes goals really simple to set and share with your team, but you can also share through regular text updates, a shared Google doc, etc. No matter what you do, always ask your team to check in on your goals and support you! 


5 - Give support: Give support to others and stay sharp

To quit porn, you need to be a contributing member of your online support group. Of course, that means not just asking for support, but also giving it. Turn outward – message others and ask how they’re doing, even when they haven’t sent a red flag notification. Be the first one to encourage someone else to stay strong when they’re feeling low. Again, the Relay app is pretty helpful with this – you can see the emotions on each group member’s “status” and proactively reach out when they aren’t doing great.

This step continues even after you’ve quit porn for a while. Stay in your online support group, continue to work with others and give back, and that’ll help you prevent future relapses as well.

It's great that you read this helpful guide on how to quit porn with an online support group – now go and start with step 1, join a group! Don’t wait, get it done while you’re motivated and ready!