When is Sex or Pornography Addiction a Problem?

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When is Sex or Pornography Addiction a Problem?

This question comes up with clients, and especially in group, quite often. If you’re the spouse of a sex or pornography addict, you may not have the answer, but you’ve probably felt it. If you’re an addict you may not be able to see how your addiction is a problem. Let’s investigate…

Some would say, “What’s the big deal? So I look at pornography and masturbate. I’m not hurting anyone.” Others might say, “I’m a single girl and I enjoy sex. I practice safe sex and I don’t sleep with married men. What’s the problem, I’m not hurting anyone am I?”

Both of these statements, although hypothetical, are close to what I’ve heard many times. Unfortunately, people are getting hurt – sometimes it’s not the people you think.

If you’re online viewing porn for a few hours or more a week (or an hour or more a day) you’re hurting yourself, your spouse, your kids (if you have any) and your friends. The time you spend alone is robbing you of friendships and real intimacy. You might think because your viewing time is in the evenings or when you’re alone that there really isn’t an impact. I’d like you to take a serious inventory of your life. What’s happening, what are all the things you could spend that time doing? If you stay up late to watch pornography online, that’s time you could be sleeping – leading to being groggy in the morning or long-term health effects due to less sleep. It may seem small, but the price will be paid later. If you’re spending time in the evening, that’s time you could be with friends or with a real partner enjoying sex and intimacy.

You only have so much time in the day – choosing to spend it staring at pixels on a screen instead of real interaction, feeling, conversation, touching, and engaging is robbing you of real life.

For the sex addict who is compulsive with one-night stands or affairs, even though no one expects anything the next day or the fact that you won’t get caught doesn’t mean your sexual addiction doesn’t impact you. Keeping secrets is hard work. It’s living a double life and lying to people around you. It might have seemed mysterious and exciting at some time, but you’ve felt the shame and regret – if you have, there’s the painful price for your addiction.

Most sex and pornography addicts are using their addiction to try and find balance in their life – relief from unwanted emotions or uncomfortable situations. Not facing those emotions or situations only keeps them in your world – with one solution: more of your addiction.

There is a price to pay. Sex and Pornography Addiction hurts. It hurts you, it hurts those around you, it keeps you stuck.

About the Author:

Dan Gabbert holds a Masters of Science in Counseling Psychology from Avila University in Kansas City, MO. Dan is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and a Certified Sex Addictions Therapist (CSAT), a rigorous certification issued by The International Institute of Trauma and Addiction Professionals (IITAP).