How Porn Addiction Is Negatively Affecting You | Private Therapy Clinic
Thursday, 19 Sep 2019

How Porn Addiction Is Negatively Affecting You

By Dr Becky Spelman
How Porn Addiction Is Negatively Affecting You | Private Therapy Clinic

The 5 Ways Your Porn Addiction Is Negatively Affecting Your Life

Pornographic material has been with us for a very long time. It’s certainly not a modern concept. What has changed in recent generations is the way that’s it accessed. A mere twenty 25 years ago, if you wanted to ‘indulge’ in pornography, it meant taking a trip out of your way to buy it in either print or video format. Now, all it requires is an average internet connection and the motivation to use it. And this is the problem that people who’ve been diagnosed as suffering from a porn addiction face. It is how easily accessible this material is, making it incredibly hard to break the habit.

Porn addiction has been written off by some as not being a valid condition, with those who suffer from it simply not being able to control themselves. But that in itself is the very nature of addiction. It is the inability to self-regulate one’s urges and keep behaviours within a moderate level of frequency. It is being compelled repeatedly towards a behaviour, despite knowing the consequences that creates the addict.

In the clinical sense, addiction to pornography shows many of the same markers as in those who suffer from alcohol or drug addictions. The American Psychiatric Association even went as far as proposing that porn addiction be given its own category within the Diagnostic and Statistic Manual of Mental Health Disorders (DSM-5). The move was rejected on the grounds of there not being ‘enough evidence’ to substantiate the claim. However, the big take away from all of this is that the discussion is taking place, and porn addiction is not a problem that is going away quietly.

Let’s break down some of the most common ways in which addiction to pornography can negatively affect your life. Some of them may surprise you; others may be obvious, while others might cause you to look at your habit a little harder.

It is Overly Self-Gratifying

There is a certain sense of anticipation that comes with the holding and release of sexual tension. When it’s done with the right partner at the right time, it can be an incredibly uplifting experience. However, if every sexual thought that occurs is satisfied with pornography and masturbatory energy, it breeds a sense of gratification that is opposite to the one we would usually practise to derive true pleasure from an experience. There is nothing quite like having to wait for the thing we desire most. Pornography takes all that away from us.

It Erodes Your Moral Code and Perception of the Opposite Sex

Pornography doesn’t represent the actual experience of love-making for the vast majority of people. It’s a hyper-realised version of the sexual experience that often places the female within compromising and overly submissive situations. For someone young who’s only sexual experience has been with pornography, this seeds an unhealthy idea that females are ‘playthings’ for males to use as they please. It objectifies the opposite sex and can make the boundaries of initiating sexual contact extremely grey.

It Can Lead to Erectile Dysfunction in Men

 As with all addictions, the engagement with pornography tends to be mild and infrequent at the beginning. But over time, the same arousal that was derived from a current source may not be present any more. This leads to the classic escalation of seeking greater and greater highs, which in the case of pornography, means seeking out more ‘hardcore’ materials. The effect this has is that the mind becomes so desensitised to what it’s seeing that no emotional response can be gained from ‘normal sexual encounters.’ Erectile dysfunction can set in, making sex without first using porn as an aid a difficult and joyless experience.

It Can Become a Time Vacuum

There are only so many hours in the day, with the vast majority of them being given over to work commitments. The precise little time we do have can be whittled away quite easily if we lose ourselves in a task or hobby. This is all well and good for pursuits that give us some kind of long-term satisfaction; porn doesn’t provide this and simply asks the individual to give more of themselves towards an end that never truly comes. Pornography is a huge time-killer and serves only as a distraction to other, more enriching experiences that can add real value to our lives.

It Can Damage Your Relationships

Unless you have an understanding with your partner whereby you watch pornography together to gain ideas for your own experimentation, having your partner find out that you’re watching it in secret can be extremely off-putting. It sends the message that you don’t find them attractive and have to find pleasure from other sources to fulfil your sexual urges. It can lead to jealousy, anger, resentment and ultimately separation if it creates such a divide that it makes the relationship no longer worth maintaining.

***If you feel as though you have a compulsion towards pornography that you can no longer manage yourself and ifs negatively affecting your life, we offer a FREE 15-MINUTE CONSULTATION where we can help you decide the best way to move forward. You can book yours here.

 References

Psych Guides. Porn Addiction. Retrieved on 19th August, 2019 from, https://www.psychguides.com/behavioral-disorders/porn-addiction/

National Center for Biotechnology Information. (15th Jan 2015). Online Porn Addiction: What We Know and What We Don’t – A Systematic Review. Retrieved on 19th August, 2019 from, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6352245/

National Center for Biotechnology Information. (18th Sep 2015). Neuroscience of internet Pornography Addiction: A Review and Update. Retrieved on 19th August, 2019 from, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4600144/

Addiction Resource. (5th Dec 2018). Pornography Addiction and Its Effects. Retrieved on 19th August, 2019 from, https://addictionresource.com/addiction/pornography-addiction/

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