Module 4: Taking Responsibility


Denial is probably best explained in the book Cybersex Unhooked.

Denial is the confused kind of thinking and reasoning used to avoid the reality of behaviour or the consequences of behaviour.

Denial is a way to manage and explain the chaos in your life and an effort to protect the online behaviour you believe you can’t live without.

It is a way to deflect attention and responsibility. Here are some examples of excuses that represent denial. As you read through the list, make a note of any that sound familiar to you. (Delmonico, D.L., Griffin, E., 2001)

  • “It was only once in a while.”
  • “I needed to get my needs met somewhere.”
  • “We are all adults.”
  • “I am just being a man and I have a high sex drive and men are more sexual than women.”
  • “At least I’m not as bad as so-and-so.”
  • “My situation is different from everybody else’s.”
  • “Just this one last time and then stop.”
  • “Just this second time more and then stop.”
  • “Well, I’ve already started so what the hell.”
  • “I’m just looking and not saving anything to my hard drive.”
  • “I’m pretty sure it’s all legal so it’s ok.”
  • “A reward for lasting a certain period without accessing porn, so this time is ok.”
  • “I need to wean myself off rather than quit cold turkey.”
  • “I’m dealing with a lot of stress and need to unwind.”
  • “What she doesn’t know won’t hurt her.”
  • “My wife (husband or partner) isn’t responsive to my sexual needs.”
  • “I deserve this.”
  • “It doesn’t hurt anyone because…”
  • “It’s just my way of relaxing.”
  • “It isn’t real because it is on the computer.”
  • “I only do this in private so it isn’t affecting anybody.”
  • “I can stop any time I want.”

Download printable checklist >

If you identify with the statements in the list then denial could be helping you to keep doing a behaviour that you know is harmful. This, combined with feelings of a loss of control, can be risky for you.

You can take some simple steps to reduce your potential for engaging in risky behaviour.


Delmonico, D. L., Griffin, E. & Moriarity, J. (2001). Cybersex Unhooked: A Workbook for Breaking Free of Compulsive Online Sexual Behaviour. Wickenburg, AZ: Gentle Path Press


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