What Is Porn Addiction?

Porn addiction is a behavioral disorder where an individual compulsively watches porn. People battling the illness are emotionally dependent on pornography and have a difficult time not consuming the media. The disease is debilitating and interferes with a person’s relationships, responsibilities, and ability to function. According to a study published by the U.S. National Library of Medicine, between 3–6% of Americans are battling porn addiction.

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How To Know If A Loved One Has A Porn Addiction

Do you suspect your loved one has a porn addiction? It is difficult to know whether your spouse or partner is dependent on pornography. As of now, the disorder is not clinically recognized by the DSM-5. The DSM-5, also known as the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, is a handbook used by medical professionals to diagnose mental health conditions. Since porn addiction is not included in the DSM-5, there is no official way of identifying the problem.

Still, the issue is considered widespread. According to Forbes, more than 120 million people habitually (daily) visit PornHub, the biggest pornography website in the United States, and that number continues to grow. To understand the phenomenon, researchers have done their best to classify and rate the disorder. Below are a few research-based ways you can identify whether your loved one has a porn addiction.

You Have Caught Them Watching Porn Multiple Times

Have you caught your partner or loved one watching pornography multiple times? Was it during odd hours, like right before dinner or while working (if they work from home)? If so, that may be a sign that they are developing a disorder. If your loved one is spending excessive time-consuming media engaging with sexual urges, they may have a porn addiction. Repeatedly responding to irresistible cravings is a sign of addiction. Wanting and seeking X-rated screen time even when it could jeopardize their marriage, relationships, or job is a red flag.

When You Bring Up The Subject, They Lash Out Or Hide It

When you’ve tried to discuss your concerns with your significant other, how did they respond? Did they lash out or brush it aside? Getting angry, denying, or avoiding a subject is a sign of a problem. It is common for people battling behavioral and substance use disorders to refrain from talking about their disorder. Others just flat-out deny it. Some become irritable and annoyed. Anger, denial, and avoidance are defense mechanisms used to prevent uncomfortable emotions from entering our conscious thoughts. By admitting that they may have a problem, the user acknowledges and accepts that their behavior is not ok and needs to stop. This can cause much stress, pain, and anxiety; feelings most people hate to face.

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They Seem To Have Lost Their Sex Drive Or Sense Of Attraction

One of the most common signs of porn addiction is a loss of sex drive. Overexposure to x-rated videos can lead to unrealistic expectations of beauty and sex. Individuals consuming the media expect their partners to be as “hot” and “experienced” as the actors they watch through their devices. When they realize that what they have in “real life” does not meet their unrealistic standards, they lose interest. Instead of engaging with their partners or others, they return to their screens. The thing about pornography is that most of it is staged. The script, actors, and settings are pre-selected like in the movies. Though the videos may seem natural, it is essential to remember that porn is a $97 billion industry that relies on making sure its viewers continue coming back for more.

Your Loved One Is More Demanding In The Bedroom

Have you noticed a change in what they expect from sex? Does it seem like they are trying to live out a fantasy from a dominatrix romance novel? If the shift is sudden and you have also seen a combination of the signs listed above, it may be a red flag. People battling porn addiction find their “regular” sex life unfulfilling. They crave adventure in the bedroom, even at the cost of the comfort of their partner. They are easily frustrated if things they want don’t go their way and can come off as downright demanding. If you feel physically and emotionally uncomfortable, stop right away.

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They Are Falling Behind On Their Responsibilities

Is your partner falling behind at work? Do they forget chores or responsibilities that used to come quickly to them? Do they seem distracted? If so, that’s a sign that something is off. A lack of personal hygiene or disassociation from the demands of work and home are common signs of addiction.

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Figuring out if a partner is battling porn addiction is no easy feat. Addiction is pervasive and takes many forms. It is important to note that since there is no clinical way of determining whether or not an individual has a porn addiction, it is always best to seek advice from a trained professional. Still, if you have noticed that your partner has a combination of the listed symptoms above, they could be battling the disorder.

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Addictions that are left untreated worsen with time and can even deteriorate an individual’s life. If you would like to discover treatment options for your significant other, learn more here.

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Suzette Gomez

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  • Suzette Gomez earned her Bachelor of Science from the University of Central Florida. Her desire to help others led her to a Pre-medical track with a focus on psychological and social development. After graduation, she pursued her passion for writing and began working as a Digital Content Writer at Recovery Worldwide LLC. With her background in medicine, Suzette uses both science and the arts to serve the public through her writing.

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