If you suspect you are a pornography addict, or if you are concerned that someone you know may be a porn addict, here is information that will help.
About Pornography AddictionPornography addiction has its roots in the viewing and hoarding of magazine and video pornography. However, these days porn addicts have new and frighteningly powerful enablers: the Internet, Smartphones, and social media.
Porn addicts today can feed their Internet porn problem by viewing online still photos, downloading porn videos, or by having webcam sex (paid and unpaid). Some use the Internet to simply view images while others eventually end up using the Internet as a vehicle to meet with anonymous sexual partners. The ‘new media’ of smartphones offers some addicts instant phone-based porn downloads along with wherever/whenever live video streaming of sexual activities, while Facebook can leave some cruising images and profiles for hours on end.
What is porn addiction?
Similar to someone with a chemical or substance addiction, porn addicts tend to replace important relationships and commitments with their “drug” of choice: pornography. Non-Internet porn addicts can be found in places like strip clubs and adult bookstores, but it is unlikely that they have a strip club addiction or an adult bookstore addiction, but rather that they have consistent and compulsive sexual problems that manifest in different ways.
Pornography addicts tend to isolate themselves when engaging in their sexual acting out. They can typically spend many hours or even days lost in two-dimensional images and experiences. Some also lose time to Internet addictions such as online fantasy games and/or gambling sites.
Nonsexual Internet addiction can also be painfully isolating, causing real life consequences for the person addicted to online gambling or fantasy games, but Internet porn addiction also carries a moral stigma and the likelihood that important love and sex relationships will be negatively affected.
While some sex and porn addicts use compulsive masturbation as a part of their acting out, others engage only minimally in the sex act itself but nonetheless end up lose themselves to the endless sexual images and sites found online.
Some signs of porn addiction can include:• An inability to stop the behavior(s) and porn use despite previous attempts to do so
• Anger or irritability if asked to stop
• Hiding or attempting to keep secret all or a part of the porn use
• Living a double or secret life related to porn
• Continuing the behavior despite obvious consequences, such as a relationship or job loss
• Getting lost in the problem porn use (i.e., spending more time than intended, losing time)
Getting BetterRecovery from porn addiction requires honesty and outreach. For those addicted to porn and sexual acting out, honesty begins by finding someone knowledgeable working with sexual addiction and admitting entire the problem to them without omitting the embarrassing or humiliating parts. Such people can be found in the 12-step sexual recovery meetings and through professional organizations such as SASH and IITAP, which have listings of sexual addiction specialists. The Sexual Recovery Institute specializes in the treatment of pornography addiction, and we offer a confidential assessment to help you move to the next step.
Getting help with porn addiction can feel shameful, embarrassing, or humiliating, but those feelings have to be tolerated when the greater concern is that the pornography addictions will significantly interfere in the life of the sex addict or in the lives of those they love.
The sex addict involved in internet porn addiction often has to arrive at to his or her own conclusion to make a change, a decision that often comes a lot later than their partners would like or can tolerate.
Porn addiction help tipsBelow are listed a few tips for dealing with porn addiction:
• Talking about the issues in detail with a trusted friend or therapist who will be as honest with you as you are honest with them.
• Making an addiction prevention plan to carry out when tempted (see Sexual Sobriety)
• Putting tracking devices on your smartphone and computer so others (best not a spouse) can monitor your online behavior
• Knowing the signs of porn addiction, both the general signs and those specific to you
• Knowing the stages of porn addiction
• Making good use of porn addiction resources such as 12-step meetings, sex addiction professionals, and online recovery support groups