Addicted to Porn?

addicted to porn?

For many couples, porn may be used as part of foreplay – a way to enhance desire and sexual gratification.

However, for individuals addicted to porn, it becomes a problem when it is their only source of sexual gratification. This can lead to isolation from others, and the inability to form consensual relationships and have real life experiences.

The reliance on pornography for sexual gratification and the pleasure received can also lead individuals to prioritise pornography use over other social interactions, expectations or commitments.

When Porn becomes a Problem

Like any addiction, more is required over time to provide the same thrill or high, meaning that the addict is forever seeking out different, more exciting, forms of pornography.

This quest for new experiences can lead to trouble, particularly if it includes images of a child, animals or harm coming to individuals.

Pornography can also lead to unhealthy sexual expectations of self – or others. Individuals viewing pornography can negatively evaluate themselves against the physical characteristics of porn actors, their sexual ability or the actors’ apparent pleasure in sexual acts that the viewer may not personally enjoy.

One of the problems with being addicted to porn, is that the individual can feel that their sexual partner should react the same way as porn actors – to enjoy the same range of sexual acts as depicted in porn, or to react with the same amount of pleasure and enjoyment that porn actors do.

It is important to remember that when watching porn, we are viewing actors and while they may seem to be experiencing pleasure and enjoyment – it might not be true. The expectations people can have around sex following viewing porn, can lead to difficulty in being able to explore sexual acts with partners, and learning to identify appropriate sexual responses from others.

Not surprisingly, it can also lead to relationship conflict.

Porn can also lead to the false expectation that everyone is happy for sex at any time, and individuals can fail to respect the need to gain consent for each and every sexual act with another.

What to Do if You Are Addicted to Porn

Everyone should be able to experience a healthy sexual life. When this gets out of balance it can be embarrassing, lead to dissatisfaction and potentially a mental health disorder (for example depression), sexual dysfunction and relationship issues.

A psychologist can help with identifying and treating any underlying mental health disorders, and provide treatment for sexual dysfunction (potentially in conjunction with a medical expert).

In addition, a psychologist can help the individual addicted to porn to:

  • manage their porn use so that it no longer has a negative impact on their life;
  • identify healthy sexual goals;
  • and, learn new skills to interact with others in intimate relationships.

If the individual is in a relationship that is experiencing difficulties, then relationship counselling is also available and may be beneficial.

Laura Fleming Psychologist BrisbaneAuthor: Laura Fleming, BA, BSc, Grad Dip Psych, M Psych (Forensic).

Laura Fleming is a Brisbane Psychologist, experienced in providing treatment and assessment reports for clients across the life span. Her goal is to assist her clients to gain an understanding of why problem behaviour is occurring currently in respect to their life story, and to help them to develop goals to live a full life.

To make an appointment with Brisbane Psychologist Laura Fleming, try Online Booking – Loganholme or call M1 Psychology (Loganholme) on (07) 3067 9129.