We’ve all heard of pornography addiction and how it can destroy marriages by ruining sex drive and intimacy. According to Project Know, porn addiction is a behavioral addiction and is characterized by a growing compulsion to view pornographic content or material. The American Psychological Association states that pornography is consumed by approximately 50-90% of men and 30-86% of women. Michael Shelton, MS LPC and writer for Psychology Today notes that pornography addiction isn’t confirmed as an actual mental health disorder – but that doesn’t mean that it does not exist.
Many people who have this addiction must attend 12 step meetings such as Sex Addicts Anonymous, Sexaholics Anonymous, Sexual Compulsives Anonymous and Sexual Recovery Anonymous. Those who are addicted mainly satisfy their craving for pornographic content by viewing pornographic videos, magazines, and photos. With technology today, pornographic material is even easier to obtain and can be easily hidden from others via deletion of searches or “hidden” browsers. There are several characteristics that can be symptomatic of pornography addiction:
- Being unable to stop using porn or engaging in behaviors associated with porn, despite attempts to quit.
- Experiencing cravings to view porn.
- Becoming angry, defensive, and hostile when asked to stop using porn.
- Keeping pornography habits hidden from loved ones.
- Feeling as though one is living a secret, separate life due to porn use.
- Continue to use porn despite negative consequences in work and home life.
- Losing much time due to spending it using porn.
- Requiring more and more use of porn and more frequently to achieve the same initial “satisfaction” once experienced.
Pornography can be very damaging to one’s sex drive – writer Andrea Downey covered a recent study on Fox News regarding men’s pornography use and sexual tendencies. Researchers in San Diego surveyed more than 300 men between the ages of 20 and 40 and found that while only 3.4% of men claimed they would rather masturbate and watch pornography than have sex, those men showed links between the amount of pornography they watch each week and sexual dysfunction.
Dr. Matthew Christmann, urologist at the Naval Medical Center in San Diego, provided insight into pornography. “Tolerance could explain the sexual dysfunction, and can explain our finding that associated preferences for pornography over partnered sex with statistically higher sexual dysfunction in men,” he stated earlier this year. The concern is that pornography addiction can create disconnection from real-life sexual interactions, making it harder for the person to connect with their partner.
If you are addicted to pornography, you can still recover. Our licensed, dedicated health team here at New Vista Behavioral Health is ready to help you begin your journey to recovery. We have several facilities that can provide you with the support you need to get back control over your life. Begin your journey today by calling 855-517-2669.