From Porn to Potential – The Eros Healing Approach

By Avi Zer-Aviv, August 4, 2021

As a Registered Psychotherapist with extensive clinical experience, I created www.eroshealing.com to address the cultural epidemic of pornography compulsion and overuse, and to offer alternatives to purely behaviour-based approaches.

The desire to connect with our sexuality is one of the greatest gifts of being human. It is something to celebrate and revere in. So, why have so many of us turned to porn as a main staple of sexual expression and excitement? 

It is not because we are ‘weak.’ And it is not because we are ‘bad’ or ‘sinful’ or ‘wrong.’ Porn offers the promise of instant access to our aliveness, to our vitality, to the most electric and creative parts of who we are. It is normal to desire connection with people we find beautiful and attractive, even if only in our imagination.

If only porn ‘hit the spot’ and satiated our desire for intimacy, expression and connection, we would not be having this conversation. But, for most, porn does not do the trick. It often just leaves us hungry for more. So, does this mean that consensual porn is harmful? Keep reading.

Porn awakens our aliveness, but does not teach us what to do with that aliveness. We click on that sensual, sexy video: Desire. Desire. Desire. Wow! Wow! Wow! Then what? If you don’t struggle with porn compulsion/overuse, you likely continue to get turned on, may choose to masturbate to the videos, and you move on. Porn may be an occasional indulgence you can live with or without. 

But what about those of us who cannot just move on? What about the many who struggle to stop watching, who get hit by intense cravings for porn, and/or rely on porn to get aroused in life? Again, you are not flawed or wrong if this describes you. In fact, millions of people around the world – from diverse backgrounds – struggle with porn overuse. This is often a state of hyper-arousal that could do with some mentoring about root causes and what you can do about it. Our sex education is limited, so it’s likely nobody taught you these important skills. That’s all about to change.

First thing first, sexual energy is Life Force energy. Our Life Force is the vitality we feel when we are flowing in body/mind. You have probably experienced this energy in moments of feeling connected to yourself, others, and life. It is not some special spiritual state – just who you are, unfiltered and flowing. Our Life Force is called by many names across traditions, including chi, ru’ach, prana, to mention a few.

Our Life Force naturally flows through us from head to toe, awakening our aliveness, humanity, creativity, and most loving and empowered self. To give you a felt sense of this, imagine yourself as a tree for a moment. Your head and upper body as branches reaching up to the sky. Your legs as roots going deep into the earth. And your pelvis/torso/core as a beautiful tree trunk connecting the branches to the roots. Think of your Life Force as the tree sap that flows throughout, feeding all the parts.

Sexual energy is like that tree sap, flowing and energizing our being. But it can easily become ‘stuck’ because we lack the tools to work with its wild, intense nature. The feeling of being sexually stuck usually shows up in two forms.

In the first, we get overwhelmed by our sexuality and ‘shut down’ into repression while tightening up against the natural flow of our desire. We try to push down or even deny our sexual nature and beat ourselves with self-criticism. We put a tight leash on our desires. Sound familiar? 

In the second form of being sexually stuck, we also get overwhelmed by our sexuality but – rather than shut down, we ‘spin out’ into excessive fantasy, sexual acting out, self-destructive behaviors’, and a compulsivity that often includes porn overuse. This is a reactive state, whereas the first form is a repressive state. You may not be surprised to hear that with many sexual issues, including porn overuse, we tend to easily vacillate between both states. They are opposite sides of the same coin. 

The good news is that you need not live in the extremes. You do not need to repress your sexuality, nor do you need to ‘spin out’ and act compulsively either. So, where do we go from here? Before you can learn to ground, channel, and work with your sexual energy, you need to understand what may be causing your seeming insatiable craving for porn. 

As sexual energy gets generated at the genital level, it has a natural desire to flow upwards to our core, connecting its raw desire with our heart and emotions. But many of us have not been taught how to connect our erotic energy with our heart energy and emotions. 

Without the proper tools and resources to navigate this challenge, our sexual energy may by-pass our core and ‘skip’ pre-maturely to our head and eyes (our visual center). This creates an over-charged system that feels more stimulated (hyper-arousal) than alive, which may be at the root of your craving for porn. Think about it like raw electricity (your sexual energy) trying to power a lamp (your embodied aliveness), but not having proper wiring or channels to flow through (by-passing your core). Without integrating the core, sexual energy cannot enliven us and awaken us to true pleasure, so we end up being ‘taken for a ride’ by our sexuality.  Porn compulsion/overuse is one symptom of this dynamic.

Fortunately, it is possible to begin to work with this challenge, in a way that helps us step into our true aliveness. By working with our Life Force and energy system at the level of body/mind, we can begin to integrate our sexuality and go beyond porn. Many have walked this path before, and so we have good roadmaps for how to get there. You can move from porn to potential!

Avi Zer-Aviv, Registered Psychotherapist in Toronto, Canada, is the creator of www.eroshealing.com,a self-help, holistic approach to going beyond porn, consisting of short educational video lessons and related resources. 


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