PornHelp.org turns one year old today. It’s not a huge milestone in the grand scheme of things, but for us it feels nonetheless like a good moment to reflect briefly on what we’ve achieved, lessons we’ve learned, and our goals for PornHelp’s next year(s).
We started PornHelp with a simple mission: to clear, current, create a comprehensive reference for people looking for help quitting porn. That mission was grounded in real and painful experience. Several years ago, we went looking for help quitting porn. But, back then, online resources were scattered, vague and beyond our cultural, geographic, and economic circumstances. Nothing we found collected and explained our options for finding help quitting porn in a clear, neutral, non-judgmental way.
We failed to find the help we needed back then, and as a result our compulsive porn use continued to consume our lives. Our actions caused pain and loss, and hurt everyone we loved. We didn’t want others who were lonely, scared, and desperate to quit porn to encounter the trouble finding help that we did. So, we founded PornHelp in hopes of preventing others from following in our footsteps.
One year on, there’s reason to conclude our mission is on the right track. If our web host’s analytics are accurate, in our first year over 14,000 “unique visitors” accessed PornHelp. Even if only a tiny fraction of those visitors came to the site seeking help for their or someone else’s porn use issues, we count that as a success. (If you’re one of those people, please let us know - we love feedback!) Concurrently, our visibility on the web has grown. We continue to rise in Google results for searches related with quitting porn, helped along by fellow members and organizations in the porn recovery community who have generously linked our site to theirs. We have also grown a healthy following for our Twitter account (@PornHelpdotorg), which tweets current news and issues relevant to our mission. And, we regularly respond to requests for help sent directly to us and via online forums.
There have been growing pains, too. We have found, to our surprise, that there is a vocal minority of mental health professionals who mock the existence of pornography addiction and doubt the legitimacy of people's struggles with porn. This has been disheartening, not just because the evidence of compulsive, destructive porn use is overwhelming and heartbreaking, but also because when examined, these critics’ objections to the “addiction model” tend to be far more nuanced and esoteric than their attention-grabbing proclamations would suggest. We’ve written about the “controversy” these critics have stirred up in some of the blog posts below.
In the year ahead, PornHelp will continue to focus on its primary mission of helping people find the resources they need to address their problem porn use. Our hope remains to someday establish an around-the-clock toll-free hotline or chat feature on our site, so that people struggling can make an instant, anonymous, judgment- free connection with another human being who understands their pain. For now, though, we here at PornHelp remain committed to providing the most helpful resource we can to pornography users who have reached the end of their rope and need reassurance that they are not alone.
Thanks to all who have supported PornHelp’s mission so far. To our second year and beyond!