What is pornography addiction?
Pornography has been a part of human sexual fantasy since the dawn of time. Expression of sexual fantasy and sexual curiosity is a fundamental human desire and continues to this day. Most people in western culture normalise watching porn on occasions. They may see porn as a form of entertainment, or extension to their sexuality however if this behaviour begins to impact one’s life negatively it may have become a pornography addiction.
In the 21stcentury however, internet pornography has changed the landscape of porn by using explicit and almost unlimited, still or moving, sexual imaging with a purpose of increasing consumer engagement and frequency and intensity of pornographic expression.
An almost unavoidable side effect of pornography overconsumption is visible in many porn consumers’ changing sexual desires, sexual expectations, and sexual behaviours. Internet pornography is breaking through boundaries for hundreds of thousands of porn consumers around the world. Soft and hard core pornography is streaming endlessly online and has contributed to an unacceptably high number of users addicted to porn, who now require treatment from sex addiction specialists.
Porn addiction, which is a subset of sex addiction, can refer to a range of behaviours that are done in excess and negatively impact one’s life. Porn addiction is not an official diagnosis in the latest edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, which doctors use to diagnose mental disorders.
Most addicts of porn resort to compulsive masturbation as a form of sexual gratification while others indulge minimally in sexual activities and spend the act engrossed in viewing the endless sexual images.
Signs of porn addiction
The criteria for classifying a person as a pornography addict involves the degree to which this problem affects the quality of their daily life.
Porn addiction is characterised by cravings and compulsion to consume more porn, or by compulsively acting out porn motivated sexual acts with real life partners. Addiction to pornography may develop fast. Watching porn might start out as a harmless sexual curiosity and can develop into an unforeseen harmful sexual addiction.
Most porn addicts exhibit typical signs and symptoms that can point out their addiction. They are no different from any other form of addiction. A few of them are as follows:
- Inability to stop porn using behaviour despite repeated attempts to stop
- Exhibiting anger or irritability if asked to stop porn use
- Making efforts to keep the porn use a secret and attempting to hide the habit
- Living a double life in secrecy related to porn
- Continuing the behaviour despite the consequences, such as job loss and relationship breakdown.
It should be recognised that pornography like any other addictive habit will eventually build a tolerance. This can result in the addicts looking for more aggressive and deviant porn or hard-core images to satisfy their increasing urges. Porn addiction can weaken the sufferer morally thus affect the foundation of serious love and sexual relationships.
Most porn addicts continue seeking sexual gratification from pornography in intensely private conditions. Often underlying the addictive behaviour is hidden depression and anxiety that has not been addressed in the individual.
Seeking help for overcoming pornography addiction
Those who feel their pornography habits are causing problems can get help. Many pornography addicts are getting help from online support groups.
Self-help approaches, motivational techniques, and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) have treated behaviour that results from watching too much porn.
Cottesloe Counselling Centre has a number of practitioners and therapists who can assist individuals in dealing with a porn addiction.
If you would like to seek help relating to pornography addiction but you are anxious about being judged, or if feeling shameful is getting in the way of getting help, perhaps establishing initial contact through email may help you feel more at ease about making an appointment.
If you would like to speak to someone regarding pornography or sex addiction, We are available for contact by telephone or email.
Cottesloe Counselling Centre
11 Brixton Street Cottesloe, 6011
For further information call Cottesloe Counselling Centre (08) 9278 6578
Or email us [email protected]
The use, production, and/or transmission of CHILD PORNOGRAPHIC material is against the law and Mandatory Reporting applies.