,

9 Warning Signs of Porn Addiction

Here are some red flags to look for.
By John Daum
March 11, 2022
porn addiction

If you or someone you know might be addicted to porn, you’ve come to the right place. But first, a quick quiz. 

I’ll give you a choice between two websites, and you guess which website gets more clicks. Ready?

  1. Netflix.com or Porn Website 1?
  2. ESPN.com or Porn Website 2?
  3. Twitter.com or Porn Website 3?
  4. CNN.com or Porn Website 4?
  5. WebMD.com or Porn Website 5?

If you guessed “Porn Website,” you were right every time. In fact, if we combine the top five porn websites, porn ranks fourth for all internet traffic… with 2.8 billion visits per month.1

Remember, that’s just the top five porn websites. If we combined them all, one could argue that the internet is mainly a pornography delivery service.

2.8 billion ranks porn behind only Google, YouTube, and Facebook in monthly visits.

(About 90% of these visits are on mobile devices.)

Why am I telling you all this? To encourage you. That’s right. I want you to know that if you, a partner, or a family member is struggling with pornography, you’re 100% not alone. Pornography addiction is an epidemic.

Everyone is (obviously) so private about their pornography use. If you feel like you need to stop and you can’t, it’s easy to feel like it’s just you. Like there’s something about you that’s defective. You’re not defective.

Along with millions of other people, you cranked up what researchers refer to as the Triple-A Engine Effect (Accessibility, Affordability, and Anonymity.)2 Now, you want to turn that engine off. And you definitely can. There’s help, too.

If you’ve discovered that your partner uses pornography or is addicted to it, you might be wondering what’s wrong with them, or even if it’s you. (Short Answer: This is your partner’s issue. They may be succumbing to a porn addiction along with millions of other ordinary people.) Don’t waste energy thinking about how you’re part of the problem. Think about how you can be part of the solution.

Understand the dynamics and pathology of porn addiction.

Porn use has become incredibly normalized and trivialized.

It’s not just accepted. There’s a sense of entitlement. Mobile devices have opened up a free, bountiful Pornicopia. This has led to widespread addiction.

Public opinion about pornography has cooled down as technology has heated up. One Gallup poll indicated that 58% of respondents believed pornography is “morally wrong.” 40% believed it is “morally acceptable.”3 This is a tectonic shift from only two decades ago.

SIDEBAR: I frankly don’t care if you think pornography is morally wrong or not. I’m not here to moralize. I’d rather philosophize. This is what’s up. Pornography kills something important inside you. At the same time, it’s killing your ability to experience and enjoy genuine sexual intimacy. You’re cheating yourself out of one of the single best things in life. You’re creating a fantasy world. And reality will never be able to keep up. Plus, any addiction or compulsion you can’t control should make you stop and think.

Addiction to pornography might seem less complicated than real human relationships. So, maybe you avoid the risks of emotional vulnerability, relational availability, and personal accountability. But your life will also be devoid of the rewards embedded in those risks.

Sexual gratification via pornography is free, convenient, and anonymous.

It’s like grabbing some drive-thru instead of preparing and enjoying a gourmet sit-down dinner. Porn is low-effort, depersonalized, you-pick-the-menu sex. It doesn’t expect engaging dinner conversation. Porn won’t judge your poor table manners or that you don’t help with the dishes.

But. Porn. Is. Just. Empty. Calories.

There’s an ongoing debate among clinicians and researchers surrounding pornography. Is it really an addiction? Based on some recent research4, some professionals prefer the term compulsion.

This should give you hope. We aren’t talking about chemical dependence.

This is a habit. You can break a habit and/or replace it with a healthier one.What do clinicians and researchers agree on? Pornography can be destructive… to yourself, your partner, and your relationship. I’ll let them explain how.

But I Can Stop Whenever I Want To.

Porn addiction refers to a person becoming emotionally dependent on pornography to the point that it interferes with their daily life, relationships, and ability to function.”5

Here are the signs:

  1. Porn becomes a central part of your life.
  2. Pornography causes relationship issues or makes you feel less satisfied with your partner. Your sex life becomes less satisfying.
  3. You engage in risky behavior to view pornography, like viewing it at work.
  4. You ignore other responsibilities to view pornography.
  5. To get the same release that less extreme porn once offered, you view progressively more extreme pornography .
  6. You’re frustrated or ashamed after viewing porn but continue to do so.
  7. You want to stop using pornography but feel unable to do so.
  8. You cause yourself physical pain or begin to experience erectile dysfunction.
  9. You’re using pornography to cope with sadness, anxiety, insomnia, or other mental health issues.

Remember the 2.8 billion monthly visits to the top five pornographic websites in the U.S? That’s over 1,000 visits per second. In the time it takes you to read this sentence, that’s over 7,000 visits to porn websites.

People clicked on pornography of all kinds… Women being degraded and abused. Sexual exploitation. Rape fantasies. And even child pornography.

You’re here at the moment.

I believe your next click will be the right one.

Sources:

1Semrush. (December 2021). Top 100: The most visited websites in the U.S.https://www.semrush.com/blog/most-visited-websites/ 

2Cooper, & Mcloughlin, I. P. (2001). What clinicians need to know about internet sexuality. https://doi.org/10.1080/14681990126947 

3Gallup. (n.d.). Moral issues. https://news.gallup.com/poll/1681/moral-issues.aspx 

 4Weir, K. (2014, April). Is pornography addictive? American Psychological Association. https://www.apa.org/monitor/2014/04/pornography 

5Villines, Z. (2021, February 25). What to know about porn addiction. Medical News Today. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/porn-addiction 

FTF Resources:

What To Do When You Catch Your Husband Watching Porn – First Things First

Why Does My Husband Watch Porn? – First Things First

Should I Be Upset That My Husband Watches Porn? – First Things First

Resources for Dealing with Porn Addiction – First Things First

***If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, contact the National Hotline for Domestic Abuse. At this link, you can access a private chat with someone who can help you 24/7. If you fear that someone is monitoring your computer or device, call the hotline 24/7 at: 1−800−799−7233. For a clear understanding of what defines an abusive relationship, click here.***

Image from Unsplash.com

Was This Helpful?

Thoughts? Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.