Is Porn An Addiction?

“Psst… he has porn addiction.” She whispered.

“Did you hear they got divorced due to a porn addiction?” He gossiped. 

“Addiction” to porn has not been proven yet, but there are people who have reported to me the compulsions that porn has given them in their lives. 

Pornography is defined as “any sexually explicit material that is intended to, or is used as, a sexual outlet.” (The Porn Trap, 2008).

Porn use is individualized. We cannot lump it into one category, even though it would be easier!

I know people who literally have skipped out on dates, their job, and family functions due to their desire to masturbate and self-pleasure as a coping skill. 

Not everyone has a “porn addiction” or compulsive porn use though. Honestly, the AASECT Sex Therapy board doesn’t even believe there is enough evidence to prove that it exists! 

Fun fact… some pornography sometimes can awaken desire and paint fantasies in the psyche. 

My Quick Tips For Using Pornography while self-pleasuring: 

  • Still photos are always better.
  • It is better to read erotica than watch it. 
  • If you can, mute the sound.
  • It is better to see a GIF than it is a movie. 

Why do people say they have porn addiction though? 

Self-diagnosis of porn addiction usually comes when people say they are escape into fantasies rather than dealing with their realities. 

People believe “porn addiction” is real because it is similar to other addictions:

  • Immediate reward – masturbation leads to orgasm. 
  • It can be repeated as many times as you want. It is mostly free and private.
  • You start with a small dose. By seeing light scenes, enough for the stimulation and the release of dopamine. Some people will say that they travel down the path of kinkier scenes because they need greater stimulus and more “raw” footage. Others DO NOT report this. It really seems that this depends on a person’s sexual appetites. 

Is there such a thing as porn addiction?

Not yet. Researchers all over are debating if excessive use of pornography is considered a porn addiction in the scientific sense of the word.

However, many people come to therapy due to their fears and sexual dysfunctions that they believe are caused by porn use. 

“Pornography…really, really messed up my life in a lot of ways,” Crew said. “I believed that I was more valuable than my wife as a human being because I was a man. And when you believe that you are more valuable than another person, you kind of feel like they owe you. And I was wrong.” -Terry Crew.

I have seen pornography ruin marriages, families, and people’s careers. I have had clients that have been caught and the shame causes a rippling effect into their home. 

 

So… what can you do?! 

  • 12-Step Programs 

A community of others who are struggling with a similar experience and come together just to get over this particular issue. 

  • Individual Therapy

Individual therapy with a qualified mental health professional usually consists of 45-60 minute sessions, focusing on the behaviors related to the “porn addiction.”

CBT often focus on negative thoughts about oneself and the world to change these into more positive and less-intrusive thoughts.

Couples counseling can be important for partners when one, or both, feel porn and masturbation are being used in unhealthy ways.

This type of counseling focuses on both resolving individual behaviors, improving communication, and bridging the barriers between the two partners when it comes to sexual functioning and conversation. 

If you feel you have a porn addiction and can’t stop “using,” consider contacting a mental health professional experienced in treating compulsions and sexual dysfunction.

A trained therapist can help you overcome unhealthy behaviors and improve your quality of life TODAY! 

 

 

Our team of compassionate, licensed therapists and certified sex therapists help Millennials and Baby Boomers alike who visit us for a variety of relationship, intimacy and sex problems. 

Life Coaching and Therapy (LCAT) is a relationship coaching and sex therapy practice that transforms our clients lives through our flexible, multi-technique approach and pleasure-skills training provided by systemically-trained and licensed therapists!

Learn more about how LCAT can help improve your relationship and ignite your sex life at What We Do. Call or text us at 203-733-9600, or make an appointment.