Porn addiction

Unless you’ve been living under a rock you’d know that porn addiction is hot topic right now. One only has to type the word “porn” into a search engine to be immediately directed to an abundance of articles telling you that yes, your porn use is an addiction. In fact, apparently, porn in its entirety, is ruining the world as we know it.

{Insert dramatic doomsday music here……}

Porn has been (and still very much is) one of the most hotly debated topics on the planet. But is porn addiction even real?

Porn is the root of all evil… isn’t it?

The anti porn crusaders and supporters of so-called ‘porn addiction’ are making lots of money telling (and selling) the idea that porn IS the root of all evil, it is ruining our children and making adults (apparently men mostly) unable to be in relationships.

Porn addiction and sex addition therapy is BIG business

But should it be?

What if I told you the DSM5 The Diagnostic Statistical Manual (a kind of “bible” for mental health professionals and the like) does not even have porn addiction (or sex addiction for that matter) included as a diagnosis?

Of course this fact has not stopped people (and professionals) from diagnosing themselves or others, as porn addicts.

Porn use can become problematic

Now, before I go on, one thing I want to make very clear is this: just because the jury is out on porn addiction does not mean I am ignoring the fact that porn use can and does become problematic for some people. That we can all agree on.

Problematic porn use is something I talk to clients about often and usually there are a whole lot of other issues going on in their life that are impacting on their ability to engage in life and their relationships to the fullest.

Porn is often only part of a bigger problem.

Sometimes there are mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, isolation. Other times it is about the inability to actually engage in partnered sexual activity or the sexual activity they do engage in does not actually turn them on at all.

What we also know is that a lot of people (surprise, that also includes women) watch porn for a whole lot of simple and sometimes complex reasons.

What most of them tell me is that they search for a part they like, masturbate, orgasm and then go about the rest of their day (or to sleep if it is bed time).

Porn use will always be a divisive topic

There will always be these polar views: porn is good or porn is bad.

Whilst I absolutely agree, some porn is troubling and we do need to speak about it. I think porn literacy is vital (we do not want porn to be our only sex educator, but hey, that’s for another blog).

Often the arguments for porn addiction are not based on scientific facts rather they are based on sexual shaming and morality.

We also need to acknowledge there is a hell of a lot of porn out there that is just a bunch of people (read: actors) being paid to engage in consensual sexual activity that is often fantasy and role play but I stress is NOT real life.

Porn use in itself is not inherently an addiction

Do you think your porn use has become problematic?

If you do, you can always make an appointment with me to discuss further.

Naomi Hutchings, Clinical Sexologist