We’re no longer living in the dark ages, and as such the world has become more and more open minded – especially when it comes to sex. Many couples enjoy watching pornography together as part of a normal, and healthy, sexual relationship. But how much is too much? And when does it become a problem?
Is porn addictive?
The first question many people ask – whether they are thinking of themselves, or worried about a loved one – is “Is porn really addictive?”
Well, the simple answer is yes. Any activity that feels good can be addictive, when it becomes a compulsive way of numbing unpleasant emotions and avoiding facing problems head on. Excessive use of pornography is just one of many ways that addiction can manifest.
What is porn addiction?
Porn addiction is closely linked to sex addiction however for a porn addict, the ‘turn on’ is not the sex itself, but rather pornographic materials such as pictures, magazines and videos.
Lots of people use pornography to spice up their sex life, and they are not addicts – so what is it that sets porn addiction apart?
As with all types of addiction, pornography addiction is driven by excessive use that damages relationships and generally makes life unmanageable. Rather than using pornography to enhance their sex life, a porn addict will use their behaviour as a means of mental ‘escape’; and as they fall deeper into active addiction, using pornography will become more important than the intimacy of sex with their partners.
Some behaviours and symptoms of porn addiction include:
- Sexual arousal becomes impossible without using porn.
- Refusing to have sex without using porn.
- Frequently isolating and watching porn alone.
- Lying about, minimising or justifying their porn related activities.
- Secretly watching pornography at inappropriate places, such as at work or family gatherings.
- Compulsive behaviours such as buying porn, signing up for videos, or watching porn even when promises have been made to themselves and others, that they will stop.
Over a period of time, the effects of watching pornography in a way that is excessive is extremely toxic and impacts many areas of life, especially romantic relationships where trust can be destroyed. Porn addiction can even have consequences at work, if an addict is caught out engaging in inappropriate behaviour.
Find treatment for porn addiction
If you think that you, or someone you care about, might have a problem with pornography, it is essential to get help. Addiction counseling or even a treatment program in a rehab center can help an addict understand why they use porn compulsively.
Porn addiction recovery is not an easy road, but through treatment, addicts learn healthier coping mechanisms and skills, so that they can deal with their overwhelming feelings, begin to repair damaged relationships and enjoy a life free from addiction.