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Signs of Addiction to Porn

by Beth Divine 13 Feb 2018

Most people use porn when they’re feeling a little horny or curious; if they want to aid masturbation, or if they, as a couple, want to get themselves in the mood. However, sometimes porn consumption can become addictive.

Hearing the phrase ‘addicted to porn’ often makes people think that the addict is constantly horny, watching porn all the time, and masturbating several times per day. However, addiction to porn has often become disconnected from sex, pleasure and gratification.

It is not for nothing that addictions are increasingly being recognised as mental disorders rather than social problems which can just be controlled by stopping the triggering behaviour. Just as an alcoholic cannot ‘just stop drinking’ – not easily at any rate – nor can a porn addict ‘just stop watching’.

Signs of Addiction to Porn addiction1

Porn addiction usually begins as ‘normal’ consumption of porn: to be titillated, to enjoy the feeling of arousal, and for sexual gratification, but it warps over time into something else. Addiction is triggered by external stressors, such as excessive stress caused by a loved one’s illness, work issues, or even romantic troubles. Porn becomes an escape from these stressors, and the action of logging in and picking a film to watch is soothing. However, it is not a good escape as it more like anaesthetic when sleep is needed – troubles fade away for a short time, but they are there, waiting and worsening when the session finishes. The temptation to stay in the escapee world, or to watch more and more porn, becomes stronger and stronger, until all the addict can think about is logging in as soon as possible, needing more of that hypnotic mindlessness every day…

Signs of Addiction to Porn addiction2

Porn addiction manifests itself in much the same way as other addictions. The addict is aware, consciously, that they have a problem, but they are often in denial about it. They are ashamed of their uncontrollable urges, but don’t want to face them, and can withdraw from family life, spending long hours isolated.

Signs of Addiction to Porn addiction3

When watching porn as an addict, there is usually little in the way of titillation, and sometimes the watcher does not even become aroused any more. The addict does not take any pleasure in watching porn, and those closest to him or her (it can happen to anyone) are often confused as to the attraction to the topic, not realising that porn addiction has little to do with sexual enjoyment. Real life emotional issues can follow, with communication falling away, sexual encounters dwindling away to nothing or very infrequent, unsatisfactory sessions, and increasing issues with whatever it was that triggered the addiction in the first place.

Signs of Addiction to Porn addiction4

Porn addiction can be resolved. Sometimes this happens spontaneously when the trigger issues sort themselves out, and the need for the numbing effects of the addiction are no longer needed. Other people are able to go ‘cold turkey’ and stop watching without any type of intervention, but others might need to consult a doctor for anxiety medications or for therapy sessions to help deal with the root causes of the addiction. Once the addiction is broken, the addict must be careful to avoid a recurrence of the triggers, and must also be extremely wary of watching any porn, for any reason. Fortunately, addictions are relatively rare and most people can continue to enjoy a little light escapism without worrying.