Skip to content
🌎 we ship worldwide! 🌏 Free shipping on orders over $100 to Canada and USA!
🌎 we ship worldwide! 🌏 Free shipping on orders over $100 to Canada and USA!
Is Porn Addictive?

Is Porn Addictive?

With the rise of the Internet, so came the rise in viewing adult content. Today, pornography is available to any and everyone with a smartphone, computer or tablet and Internet access, regardless of age. This in itself, can prove to be a major issue, as many adolescents adopt the attitude of, what they see in porn is what real intimacy and sex looks like. 

Porn and the Male Gaze

Now think about all of the adult films that make up the Internet. The majority of it has been made for the male gaze with men being dominant, and sometimes violent, and women seemingly enjoying it. This, of course, paints a grim picture if this is what the youth of today are considering “real sex”. 

On the plus side however, we’re also seeing the rise of ethical porn, which is sometimes referred to as female-centered porn. This adds a touch of sensuality, mutual respect, and softness to the whole idea of intimacy and lust, and is a great starting point to shatter the scenes created solely for the male gaze.

Is Porn Addiction Diagnosable?

These topics aside, and regardless of which kind of porn you’re watching, the ultimate question is: is porn addictive? Well, porn addiction is actually not diagnosable. 

And even though there is a big self-help industry that aims to “cure” porn addiction, is it really the porn itself that we consider to be the problem? Or is it external influences, such as morality and religion? An extensive meta-analysis claims it to be the latter…

Porn Addiction: A Question of Morality?

The aforementioned analysis, conducted by leading researchers Josh Grubbs, Samuel Perry, and Joshua Wilt, looked at data from 15 different studies that included more than 7000 participants from the United States and Europe. 

It found that the driving force when it comes to people admitting to dysregulated, uncontrollable, or problematic porn use, was more of a moral incongruence, such as those who grew up in religious or sexually conservative households. 

The verdict? Shame and guilt, and then anger for continuing to view adult content, were at the forefront of these individuals believing that they had a form of porn addiction.

With that however, comes the question: in order to feel morally conflicted about watching porn, wouldn’t one need to actually watch it? The study found that those who struggled to contain their porn use weren’t actually viewing more porn, they simply felt bad about watching it in general.

The Effects of Self-Diagnosed Porn Addiction 

In essence, those that did view their porn viewing habits as an addiction were merely feeling the effects of a moral dilemma, not porn addiction. 

This moral conflict led them to feel a diminished sense of sexual-well being, religious struggles, and feelings of stress, anxiety, and depression. 

To solidify these results, let’s look at a different study by Perry and Whitehead. This study concluded that depression was prevalent in men who watched porn, but only in those who disapproved of porn use (for moral or religious reasons). 

The shame, guilt, and moral conflict in these men manifested the idea that they were addicted to porn, when in actuality, it was the mere act of them telling themselves that they had a problem which diminished their sense of overall well being.

Treating Porn Addiction

With all of this data, it can be said that in order to ‘treat’ a porn addiction (rather, what one assumes to be an addiction, but which has not been scientifically diagnosable), professionals would not merely look at patterns of porn use but rather, values, moral beliefs, and behaviours. 

In this way, professionals could assist others in becoming conscious of the connection, and help them to become more mindful of this internal conflict. Because at the end of the day, sexuality is actually something that should be embraced, nurtured, and enjoyed.

And while we are seeing a rise in individuals adopting a healthier sexual attitude that includes masturbation, experimentation, and porn usage, there are still those who grew up to believe that self-pleasure and partnered play (before marriage) is wrong. 

These beliefs follow them into adulthood, which could be a reason for so many individuals admitting that they have a porn addiction. Porn, for them, is immoral, and it’s a cycle that’s unhealthy for all involved. 

Instead of teaching the youth that intimacy and sexuality is taboo or ‘dirty’, it’s time to teach them that, in a healthy, safe, and sane environment, accepting and embracing one’s sexuality is actually an excellent form of self-care. 

What’s equally as important, is to teach adolescents today that as long as one’s actions (porn use, masturbation, sexual habits etc.) are not compromising the quality of their life in any way, releasing sexual tension and nurturing their sexual side can be therapeutic, beautiful, and healthy.

 

About the writer

Helena Lorimer

Helena (she/her) is a South African sex-positive writer who loves swimming in the ocean under the full moon, and cheesy 90's pop. She's currently living her best life in Porto, Portugal after scouring different continents to find her happy place. Today, she's dreaming with her eyes open, happily spreading her sexual wellness knowledge far and wide.

Check this out! The Best Small, Medium & Large Dildos
Have you read? Navigating a Fat Hating/Profiting World

Leave a comment

Comments will be reviewed and approved before being published.

* Required