Porn addiction is, in theory, when you can’t stop looking at porn, even if you want to. And the obsession gets to the point that it interferes with work, relationships, and other parts of daily life.
It’s easy to understand how this could be a problem with the widespread availability of internet porn today.
In 2019, for example, the popular site PornHub recorded 42 billion visits — that’s 115 million a day.
Whether or not behavioral addictions, such as porn addiction, are actual addictions is highly debated in the psychiatric and treatment communities. While some of these addictions, like gambling addiction, are much more accepted than others, like sex addiction, there is still a great deal of controversy from medical professionals on where addictions end and compulsions begin.
Regardless, there are people suffering. So, whether it is an addiction or compulsion, people should still need help. One of the most reported addictions is porn addiction. That is, people who feel a compulsion to watch porn and cannot stop. Like any addiction, though, there are signs that someone may be having a problem. If you are wondering whether excessive pornography use has reached an addiction level, it is important to watch out for the top 10 signs of porn addiction.
1. You Can’t Stop
You are unable to stop using or viewing pornography, despite trying to do so. If your partner can’t stop, you may notice that they are spending more and more time on the internet despite your attempts to communicate with them.
2. You Want More
People addicted to porn report that they do experience cravings to view more. Similar to how someone can be addicted to heroin, people who suffer from porn addiction will feel cravings if they have gone without it for any amount of time. If your partner is craving porn, you may notice them sneaking away from you to another room. It’s possible that they’ll make an excuse or get defensive when you question them about it.
3. You’ve Lost Time
People suffering from porn addiction can lose large periods of time to viewing porn, wasting most of the day without accomplishing anything. You could notice that someone addicted to porn is lethargic and not accomplishing much as of late. They might seem like they don’t care or are very uninterested in anything else.
4. You’ve Lost Interest in Sex
When someone becomes addicted to porn, they actually lose interest in real sex. Not only that, but they actually find their partner less attractive when compared to the people seen in porn. People who suffer from porn addiction may lose interest in the advances of their partner. This makes them seem distant or even uninterested when you try to engage with them sexually. They may require more stimulation than they needed before to become aroused.
5. You’re More Demanding
People suffering from porn addiction develop unrealistic ideas about sex. This can make them more demanding in the bedroom, easily frustrated, and alienate their partner. When this happens, their partner can feel physically and emotionally uncomfortable.
6. You’ve Lost Attraction
Porn addiction can give the afflicted unrealistic expectations of beauty for their partner. This can make their partner feel hurt about their appearance and create a greater problem for their self-esteem.
7. You’re in Physical Pain
Someone suffering from porn addiction can actually begin to experience physical pain. Be it from the physical movements involved when viewing porn, or the strain that comes with excessive computer use, people addicted to porn frequently complain about wrist, back, and neck pain and headaches.
8. You’re Losing Money
Some people who suffer from porn addiction start spending money for what they consider higher-quality content. When this happens, they can quickly begin falling into some kind of financial hardship. This appears as them complaining more about money problems, but unwilling to disclose the exact nature of these problems.
9. You’re Distracted
When people are addicted to porn, they can become distracted from different aspects of life. Their mind drifts to porn when they are with friends, family, or at work. It could actually impact their work and relationships. This makes them distant from their partner and their attempts to connect with them.
10. You’re Angry
Like any addiction, someone suffering from porn addiction will become easily irritable if they go without porn. They may have less patience in certain acts if they see them as delaying watching porn. This can also make it easier to lash out at their partner. They’ll be more irritable, agitated, or even erratic. Their partner could notice major changes in their personality and don’t feel that they are the same person they loved before.
Talking About Porn Addiction
Like any addiction, the person suffering may feel ashamed about what they are doing. It is important to be able to speak openly if you believe that you, or your partner, are exhibiting any of the top 10 signs of porn addiction. Only by opening up to the idea of help can anyone get better.
Difference between sex addiction and porn addiction?
Sex and porn addictions can have many of the same symptoms and characteristics, such as feeling like your thoughts are always focused on something sexual, or a near-constant state of arousal.
While someone with either a sex or porn addiction may watch, listen to, or read pornography whilst masturbating – often at a higher than would be considered typical rate – someone who is struggling with a sex addiction may also pursue other forms of sexual gratification. This can vary from person to person but can include intercourse with a partner or strangers, seeking out sex workers, or taking part in risky sexual behaviours.
Enjoying or regularly using pornography does not necessarily mean you or your partner are addicted.