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Sexpertise: Porn Addiction

Wicked Wanda's Addiction Jean Samick Porn Pornography sexpert sexuality Wicked Wanda's

By: Jean Samick

Porn can be a visual aid for those lacking in imagination or those who just enjoy watching sexual interactions, and masturbation as a whole can have a healthy impact on people’s lives by being an outlet for stress and enhancing sex lives. When Denmark legalized porn in 1969, researchers noted a massive decline in sexual aggression. Watching porn doesn’t guarantee an addiction. However, typically for an addiction to take hold, there needs to be an emotional vulnerability for it to sink its claws into. That small difference can be the line between having an outlet, and having a problem.

Sure, it has the word addiction at the end, but how serious can porn addiction really be, or how common? Addiction doesn’t follow strict guidelines, and isn’t limited to substances. There are several stages to porn addiction that can double for any substance dependency. Exposure, addiction, escalation and desensitization are the most typical and easily noticed. If we were talking about cocaine, the story would start with someone doing a line at a party and then making it a weekend habit before escalating it to a daily dependency. They would then become so reliant on it that the drug itself can’t thrill them like it once did, but they're stuck chasing that feeling it once gave them. The same steps can be applied to porn addiction, where watching it once and awhile could turn into a daily obsession.

Porn addicts don’t typically see a problem with killing a little time with themselves until they start experiencing physical symptoms and find then that they can’t stop. They may start to notice that while they were formally able to enjoy sex and climax with a partner, suddenly it’s more difficult without any pornographic stimulation. Aside from being a coital downer, porn can also lead to a whole other ballpark of problems with a partner or relationship. If they begin to notice you aren’t satisfied sexually, it can open up other issues in the relationship they may not be addressing. Even those without partners will start to notice they would rather stay in and watch porn than go out, or are suddenly moody when they aren’t able to get off when they want. It may sound comical, but these types of behaviours can escalate and be brushed under the rug with initial excuses of boredom or a high libido.

In 2011 two PhD candidates published findings that women who used porn reported higher sexual intimacy in their relationships than men, who experienced lower levels of sexual intimacy in real-life relationships. The explanation for this? That men tend to watch porn solo, as opposed to women who watch it with their partners. This is a generalization of course, but in 2012 the University of Tennessee published findings that women whose partners openly watched porn experienced low self-esteem and poor relationship quality, and in 2013 researchers at Brigham Young University and the University of Missouri found female use of porn to lead to improved sexual experiences for women in heterosexual relationships.

Don’t let the above studies fool you; women are just as capable as men to become addicted to porn or have it negatively affect their lives. There are several questions you can ask yourself to decide whether or not to pump the brakes on the internet time. Do you find yourself going back to it more than once a day? What is your mood like if you can’t make time for porn? Do you find yourself searching for increasingly graphic pornography?

Look, there is nothing wrong with masturbation. It can be a healthy sexual outlet and make you more familiar with what makes your toes curl. Remember, addiction digs out emotional insecurities and vulnerabilities in order to make its nest in your brain. Knowing the signs can put a person at risk on the alert for potential dependency. For those already too deep, make sure to get some Daily Strength from a support group website.

Jean Samick



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