Pornography Addiction Part II (Is it really an addiction?)

Pornography Addiction Part II (Is it really an addiction?)

Pornography addiction

Part 2:  The effects of pornography and what to do about it




Herein lies the destruction


A man with a pornography problem has many wives.' He is not faithful to his wife alone; he thinks only about himself and must always try to cover up what he is doing.


But there’s more:


  • Because of pornography, men see women as playthings and sex objects. Many writers highlight that the liberalization of pornography led to a rise in rape cases.


  • Furthermore, more than 70% of those who molested children said they were regular users of hardcore pornography. Pedophilia is no accident, and almost all cases of the sexual abuse of children originate from pornography use.


  • It is estimated that up to 200 000 children (some as young as five years old) are used in the pornography trade annually.


  • About 400 Americans are killed yearly by 'recreational killers' – those who do it for fun. Like serial killer Ted Bundy, they feed on porn.  


It is a large pornography iceberg, and the effect of porn often lies under the surface.   In our series on pornography addiction, we now look at some of these effects and then discuss what can be done. 


The consequences of a pornography addiction


Pornography triggers dopamine just like any other addiction. However, Covid 19 and its isolation (and subsequent free time) may have led more people to self-soothing with accessible porn.


Let’s look at some of the influences of pornography in our society.


  • Just like watching too many violent movies can change you over time, the brain begins to change with too much pornography. What is 'normal' and 'acceptable' change, leading to a twisted concept of reality. The performances by pornography actors (typically the women) are not like in real life and can lead to harmful attitudes about bodies, discounting others as people with feelings and dignity, and abnormal aggression and violence. There are now more than 85 studies suggesting a link between poor emotional health and porn use.


A case in point:  The first generation of teenagers 'raised' on the Internet are adults now.   They went through puberty using porn.   These individuals report that they find it hard to relate to actual sex. They cannot achieve arousal during sex with a partner, are not sensitive to pleasure, and find it hard to reach orgasm without porn fantasy to help them.   (Interestingly, when they use less porn, their 'symptoms' can be reduced or reversed.)


  • Erectile dysfunction. The arousal level of porn through extreme content is not matched in real life.   It leads to men becoming disoriented and desensitized to actual sexual stimulation.


  • Relationships suffer. Porn doesn't give romantic context and ignores courtship realities.   Pornography, therefore, robs people of deep companionships and a higher-quality sex life, bolstered by emotional connection.


Within a relationship, people with a pornographic addiction feel embarrassed by their constant use and will often lie to their partner. Actual intercourse participation is low as these people have low sex drives in 'normal' settings.


  • The Internet. The Internet is technically still a baby if compared with our evolutionary timeline. However, every day, pornography producers are thinking up new experiences to feed the need of their growing target market. HD video and virtual reality mean that the audiovisual encouragement is getting more abundant and stimulating.   


  • Pornography at work. Researchers have found that more than 25% of working adults admitted to watching porn at work.    People lose their jobs because of this.


How to stop watching porn and change.


People not motivated to change will not do so.  


As with any addiction, profound behavioral changes can only arise in response to loss, pain, and fear of loss. Porn addiction rehabilitation must address the habit and change the patterns of behavior.


Here are some steps to remedy if you neglect relationships, work, or responsibilities to watch porn.


  • Be honest with yourself. How is pornography affecting your life, and what are the negative consequences?
  • Why are you scared to watch less porn? There is probably a reason. Recognize this and confront it. It is essential for your healing. (Cognitive behavioral therapy can help change habits and address underlying emotional issues.)
  • Formulate an action plan and seek help. For example, it might help to fill your life with more activities such as hobbies, friends, and sports. Seek therapy from a qualified sex therapist or counselor.
  • Get screened for another mental health condition. For example, extreme frustration, anger, or excessive worry might be signs that you may have a mental disorder. An organization such as Mental Health America can help.


Specialized therapy for pornography addiction


The prognosis for pornography addiction is good.   Treatment is usually the same as treatment for other compulsive behaviors.   People with a porn addiction might be reluctant to seek help because of shame and stigma, but they have no choice if a court of law orders them.   Support groups and twelve-step programs can help to identify triggers and maintain abstinence.




None of this will go away if society does not confront that pornography use has real and proven harms.  


In the last seventy years, our society changed.   Previously, pornography was not an issue that affected millions of people. Therefore, it was not a topic to be discussed.   However, those days are long over.


Now, pornography is a pastime and a preferred one for millions of people, even women. Unfortunately, many don't realize what they are doing to themselves or what kind of exploitation they contribute to.  


It is time to change the stats.   If we can stop the demand for porn, we can save relationships and society.   It is no easy feat, but if people quit, re-examine what they are doing, and get educated about the harmful aftereffects of porn, change is possible.







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