Porn addiction: Is this a serious problem?

Porn addiction has increased with the emergence of new technologies. It is easily accessible, anonymous and affordable. Believe it or not, its dependence is more common than you might think.

Most people regularly use the Internet as a source of information and as a means of communication and socialization. However, online pornography searches have become increasingly common over the past decade (Mayer, 2011). Today, therefore, we are going to talk about porn addiction.

For most people, watching pornography is entertaining. For others, however, it is a habit that leads to out of control behavior (Gola, 2016). This can result in someone suffering from porn addiction.

Pornography is the audiovisual material that explicitly shows sexual and genital activities between one, two, or more people. Its purpose is to excite the viewer.

With the advent of new technologies, their use has increased. As a result, porn addiction is certainly becoming more common among individuals. This is because we now have much easier, faster and just anonymous access to it.

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According to Joyce (2008), regulating online pornography has been proven to be quite a difficult task for lawmakers and the international community. The reason for this has to do with its volatile nature, as well as the very changing electronic environment in which it resides.

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More details about porn

Peter and Valkenburg (2010) define pornography as the sexually explicit material that is professionally produced, with the main aim of sexually stimulating the viewer.

Those who suffer from porn addiction can spend a long time viewing images, videos and other pornographic material. As a result, it can lead to social isolation, major depression, neurosis, and unpredictable mood swings.

Consumption of online pornography is so widespread in Western society that many boys and girls start doing it around the age of 10. While it doesn’t seem to be a problem in and of itself, several studies show that its misuse has harmful effects on the brain.

First of all, users usually don’t need to log in to a website to access it. This of course makes it easily accessible. At first glance, it seems that there are no drawbacks to porn. However, we can say that it has both positive and negative aspects.

First, it can improve couples’ sexual lives. When it comes to negative aspects, we have to mention relationship problems, family problems, addiction and loss of control.

Online pornography supports voyeurism, the visualization of any type of practice, and the use of real, non-professional models. But not only that, it is possible to spy on the viewer’s behavior through the porn website’s IP codes.

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Websites full of sexual content seem to be powered by the ‘Triple-A engine’ described by Cooper: accessibility, anonymity, affordability.

When do we speak of a porn addiction?

Porn addicts eventually get the desire to do everything they see themselves. This happened, for example, with the American serial killer Ted Bundy (Michaud & Aynesworth, 2000).

Porn addicts who don’t have a sexual partner may find it difficult to connect with people of the opposite sex. They can suffer from major depression, guilt and social isolation.

These people generally find it difficult to accept their addiction, to the point of justifying and hiding their behavior. This, of course, makes it all the more difficult for them to get professional help. After all, they don’t think it’s a serious problem.

On the other hand, porn addicts who do have a partner may find themselves disappointed in a relationship. This may be due to the realization that their partner is not behaving like the actors in the scenes.

A. Velasco and V. Gil (2017) conducted a study in which they concluded that porn addiction could cause physical and psychological problems similar to those caused by addiction to cocaine, marijuana and other psychoactive substances.

Are there any strategies to fight porn addiction?

Some strategies that can help prevent and fight porn addiction in children, teens, and adults include the following:

  • Avoid listening to and viewing explicit sexual content in audiovisual media (including the Internet, radio, magazines, and newspapers).
  • Prevent children and teenagers from accessing the internet in closed areas (install anti-pornography programs on computers and mobile devices).
  • In extreme cases, see a psychotherapist or a professional who specializes in sexual addictions (link in English).
  • Do sports or recreational activities.
  • Lead an active social and spiritual life.
  • Bring a pet either a cat or a bird to our home, choose one of the best bird names, and try to talk to them and spend maximum time with them.
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Whatever the case, the first measure we recommend for people to recover from their porn addiction is to seek help from a professional (psychologist/psychotherapist). This is the best choice for the person in question to find a solution to their problem.

“A widespread taste for pornography means that nature warns us of a threat of extinction.”
– JG Ballard –

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Rosie Harman

Rosie Harman is a Senior Content Strategist, specializing in Technology. She holds a Master's in Business Administration from The University of Texas at Arlington and has spent the majority of her career working in tech giants in Texas. When she's not helping the content team, Rosie enjoys adventuring with her two children around her home town.