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Guidelines For the Sexual Addict: Renting Movies

March 10, 2010

The Oscars have gotten me on the theme of movies this week.  I love seeing movies and renting movies.  As I have been in recovery, I found I needed to develop some guidelines for watching or renting movies.  These are specific to me and the things that work of me.  Depending on your own recovery needs and your triggers, you’ll need to design your own strategy. 


1.  I don’t see or rent any current movie unless I’ve done some research on it.  – is the main site for me.  I also talk to my recovery buddies about movies.  I’ve found that my friends at work and even church are not always the best judges of movies that are good for me. 

2.  If a movie mentions “nudity, partial nudity or sexual content” on the DVD case, I’m not renting it. 

3.  If the movie has actresses in it that are triggery for me, I don’t rent it. 

4.  Movies are rated R for a reason.  – I am very careful before I rent an R movie to make sure it’s OK.  I may even mention it to my wife beforehand. 

5.  If my motive is “I hope to see something arousing”, I don’t have any business renting it. 

6.  I stay away from horror movies.  – Suspense movies are OK, but I don’t believe anything in the horror or gore genre has any positive things for me. 

7.  I don’t rent movies online. 

8.  If something unanticipated pops up on a DVD I’ve rented, I let my wife or one of my accountability partners know. 

There are many movies of my past that I watched a lot.  But they are no longer in my guidelines.  I have to exile them to the “never be seen again” island.  Honestly, that makes me mad sometimes.  There are a lot of movies I liked watching as a kid that I should not have been exposed to.  But I also don’t want to start slipping again in my sexual addiction recovery 

It’s important to build accountability around your movie watching and rentals.  Design some questions for your wife or accountability partner to ask you.  Don’t go into the video rental store alone.  Let your accountability buddy know when you are planning to rent a movie and talk it out.  Get recommendations from your recovery friends. 

Sometimes I have more trouble in the rental store than I do with the actual movies I rent.  I get in trouble if I start checking out DVD cases and reading descriptions.  My “old nature” wants to look at things that are beyond my boundaries.  I can talk myself into believing that it’s OK to look but not to rent. 

If rental stores are triggery for you, don’t go there alone.  Or call someone before, during or after.  Get in and get out.  Keep your guard up when you are going into the rental stores. 

Related Post:  Are the “Oscar Movies” OK For the Sex Addict to Watch?


I’d love to hear your thoughts on renting movies and how you stay pure in your recovery.  Leave a blog comment or email me at

One Comment
  1. JeffTN62 permalink
    March 10, 2010 8:29 pm

    When in doubt.. Don’t is my rule. I usually always watch movies with my Wife and she is my censor! As you get down the road to recovery you realize things that you just can’t watch or listen too – some morning shows on radio can be down right pornoEARgraphic… unbelievable what the FCC doesn’t ban or care to fine for. Also the 3 letter news web sites have hollywood scandal pics and bikini.. etc.. nothing is safe it seems.

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