Porn Addiction Side Effects

Porn Addiction Side Effects

Authored by Claire Cheshire

Edited by Alexander Bentley

Reviewed by Michael Por

Author: Claire Cheshire Editor: Alexander Bentley Reviewed: Michael Por

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Porn Addiction Side Effects

 

The term ‘porn addiction’ is likely to raise a few eyebrows and more than a few giggles from people who hear it. Yet, porn addiction is a real issue that affects millions of people – many of whom are men – around the world. With the availability of pornography on the Internet, illicit sexual images are more available than ever before at the touch of a smartphone or tablet.

 

Porn Addiction Definition

 

Medical professionals consider porn addiction as a manifestation of sex addiction11.T. Love and R. Hajela, Neuroscience of Internet Pornography Addiction: A Review and Update – PMC, PubMed Central (PMC).; Retrieved September 22, 2022, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4600144/. Pornography addiction is a compulsion and an obsession that consumes an individual’s life. Individuals with porn addiction do not talk about it due to the stigma that surrounds it. It is an addiction that is looked down upon, in many ways, more so than sex addiction.

 

Individuals may avoid getting help for their pornography addiction. Their struggle to get help comes from the guilt and shame of the behavior. One of the keystones of porn addiction is secrecy.

 

Many sufferers do not want friends, family, and even perfect strangers to know they have a porn addiction. Addiction to pornography has been the ruin of many romantic relationships. It can also cause financial woe due to individuals buying new pornography or signing up to websites. Mental and physical health can be damaged by porn addicts due to feeling heavy levels of anxiety and depression.

 

Signs of Addiction to Pornography

 

There are signs that a person or partner is addicted to porn, although these aren’t as obvious as addiction to drugs and alcohol.

 

Signs of porn addiction may include:

 

  • A person becomes less satisfied with sex.
  • Pornography causes relationship problems or makes a person feel unsatisfied with their partner.
  • A person engages in risky behavior to watch pornography.
  • A person views pornography in inappropriate situations.
  • A person my ignore other responsibilities to watch pornography.
  • Videos and/or images become progressively more extreme to achieve the same feeling of gratification.
  • They feel frustrated, guilty, or ashamed after viewing porn but continue to watch.
  • They want to stop using porn but feel unable to.
  • They spend large amounts of money on pornography.
  • A person uses pornography to cope with sadness, anxiety, insomnia, or other mental health issues.

 

Identify Porn Addiction

 

When it comes to addictions, pornography is one that is difficult to identify. Individuals addicted to alcohol and drugs show, oftentimes, obvious signs of misuse. However, porn addicts do not have obvious signs. It is an addiction that is done – most of the time – behind closed doors.

 

With the rise of smartphones, tablets, and being connected to the Internet 24/7, porn addiction has become more out in the open. Yet, compared to alcohol and/or drug misuse, pornography addiction is not as visible to see or identify.

 

Addicts to pornography possess a feeling of powerlessness. The compulsion to look at or watch pornography consumes them. Consuming pornography may cause individuals to have major disruptions in their day.

 

The compulsion to watch porn is so high that individuals will consume images or videos at highly inappropriate times. These times include work, school, social gatherings with friends, or during family events. Pornography becomes more important to the addict, and they begin to give up on other areas of their lives.

 

Porn Addiction Side Effects

 

Porn addiction causes more issues in a person’s life than outlined above. One of the biggest porn addiction side effects a man may experience is erectile dysfunction. Studies suggest that watching too much pornography can cause erectile dysfunction in men and other sexual performance issues.

 

A survey performed in Poland considered 28,000 men22.A. D. Dwulit and P. Rzymski, Prevalence, Patterns and Self-Perceived Effects of Pornography Consumption in Polish University Students: A Cross-Sectional Study – PMC, PubMed Central (PMC).; Retrieved September 22, 2022, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6571756/. It discovered that “excessive consumption” of pornography beginning at 14-years-old, and consumed daily into the men’s 20s, desensitized males toward the images. Its proven then that one porn addiction side effects is to lower a man’s libido and prevent them from gaining an erection.

 

Unfortunately for men, despite their being a myriad of erectile dysfunction pills on the market, ED created by watching too much pornography is not treatable by drugs. Medications cannot treat erectile dysfunction created porn addiction as the drugs are not made to address porn addiction side effects. The problem is not in the male penis, rather it is in the brain when it comes to addiction.

 

Further porn addiction side effects happen as a person experiences a shift in their brain chemicals when consuming too much pornography. This leads to an organic case of erectile dysfunction as men grow higher expectations when it comes to sex.

 

Amount and Type of Pornography Play a Role in Side Effects

 

The type or style of pornography a person watches plays a role in their porn addiction side effects. It isn’t just the number of videos or images a person looks at. Modern pornography, the type that is available in abundance for free online, is generally more hardcore and readily available than the more softcore product of classic pornography magazines like Penthouse or Playboy.

 

Individuals can also be consumed at all hours of the day as online pornography is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. The triggers and drivers of porn addiction are similar in nature to those displayed by compulsive sex addicts.

 

However, like any drug or alcohol, an addicted person builds up tolerance over time. An individual needs more sexual stimulation to gain an erection. The stimulation a person gets from their sexual sexual partner may not be enough to perform once they are consumed by porn addiction side effects.

 

Treatment for Porn Related Erectile Dysfunction

 

An individual with porn-related erectile dysfunction cannot be treated with medication designed to enable men to achieve an erection. As previously stated, the problem is not in the male penis, rather in the brain, which prevents the person from gaining an erection.

 

Treatment for porn-related erectile dysfunction comes in a similar form to 12-step recovery programs, beginning pwith a four-to-six-week plan that desensitizes certain brain receptors. Talk therapy helps address some of the underlying problems men experience.

 

Clients are also encouraged to spend more time with their partners, encouraging the partners to touch one another can help reconnect them. Sex addiction rehab may also be an option because porn addiction is not a simple fix.

 

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Next: Addiction in Sport

  • 1
    1.T. Love and R. Hajela, Neuroscience of Internet Pornography Addiction: A Review and Update – PMC, PubMed Central (PMC).; Retrieved September 22, 2022, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4600144/
  • 2
    2.A. D. Dwulit and P. Rzymski, Prevalence, Patterns and Self-Perceived Effects of Pornography Consumption in Polish University Students: A Cross-Sectional Study – PMC, PubMed Central (PMC).; Retrieved September 22, 2022, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6571756/
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