FEELING
STUCK?

Anger Problems Take our FREE Husband Rater Quiz! Take a Quiz

follow Guy Stuff

Guy Stuff's Counseling Men Blog shares real stories from our counseling sessions, giving practical solutions and answers to the challenges men and women face.

subscribeSubscribe by Email

Your email:

Got a Question

Have a question you'd like to Ask a Marriage Counselor? 
Submit your question here and we'll try to answer it in an up coming post. Please keep in mind that we get a lot of questions and are limited in how many we can answer. (Be sure to Sign Up by Email or RSS Feed above so you'll get our answer as soon as it's published.)

Blog Privacy Notice

All the stories, people, and quotes described in this blog are real.  However, people's names and biographical details have been changed to conceal their identity and protect their privacy.

Counseling Men Blog
Advice for men – and the women who love them!

Current Articles | RSS Feed RSS Feed

Top 3 Causes of Addiction to Porn

  
  
  
  

addiction to porn causesPart 2 of 2

For men, three things drive addiction to porn more than anything else:

  1. Visual Stimulation
  2. Need to Relax, Feel Pleasure, and Escape
  3. Addictive Aspects of Pornography

In the first article on this topic, Inside Look at Pornography Addiction, we answered the question what's addiction to porn look like and how many people struggle with it.  Now let's see what we can learn about the causes for addiction to porn.

The following bulleted excerpts are from the article Porn Addiction Destroys Relationships, Lives from the San Francisco Chronicle.

#1 -- Visual Stimulation

Probably not much of a surprise here for anyone who knows much about us men.

    • "For 90 percent of men, images are a big source of stimulation," he says, whereas women - an estimated 25 to 30 percent of online porn users - tend to prefer interactive chat rooms.

The way men's brains are wired sets us up for porn addiction being a huge problem for us.

#2 -- Need to Relax, Feel Pleasure, and Escape

Most of us men aren't very good at relaxing.  Many of us struggle with turning off our brains.  We often don't use good stress management techniques.  Not any different from women, we can struggle with negative thoughts about ourselves and low self-esteem.

We want a quick and easy solution to these problems.  Isn't there a pill I can take for this?  Sure, look at a little porn.

    • If people want to escape feelings of low self-esteem, shame, isolation or the pressures of life, work or relationships, pornography is a place to get lost and feel wanted, imagining the perfect partners who always desires them - and whom they can always satisfy.
    • "Like with any addiction, it's a predictable way to soothe," says San Francisco psychotherapist Gregory Rowe. "I've talked to soldiers back from Iraq who say the Internet centers there are jammed with soldiers masturbating to porn. It's a way to manage their anxiety.

#3 -- Addictive Aspects of Porn

There are some unique aspects about pornography that make it easily addictive.  It's so readily available online; sex is a wired in desire for all men and not one very easily done without; Internet porn sites are designed to get us to want more and more, which feeds a key ingredient of addictions.

    • San Francisco marriage and family therapist Julian Redwood, who specializes in treating patients with pornography addiction, says the biggest problem is that there is a physiologically addictive nature to porn and all sexually addictive behavior. People build up a tolerance and need more and more stimulation to achieve the same high. "So someone might start by looking at images of a normal heterosexual couple having sex and then move on to watching bestiality or sex with children. People push their edge."
    • "Online porn is so much about the hunt," Redwood adds, which is part of why people spend so many hours at it, at the expense of their jobs, family, social life and sleep. They keep searching for the image or video that is going to turn them on. It's similar to the drug addict going out to score the drug, or someone into prostitutes cruising the red-light district. "But there are lots of people who would never go to a prostitute who engage in Internet porn."

The biggest question for each of us men to answer is what are we going to do about our susceptibility to addiction to porn.  If you don't have a plan to protect yourself from porn addiction, seriously consider meeting with an expert to get one. (Read Part 1 of this series - Inside Look at Pornography Addiction

Related Posts:

Comments

It sounds like you just made up these "causes" of porn "addiction" yourself without doing any research whatsoever. Heavy porn use and masturbation is caused by the following: 
 
childhood trauma 
various psychological disorders like anxiety, depression, avoidant personality disorder, social phobia. It is also caused by men suffering from sexual dysfunctions using porn to escape the shame of sexual difficulties with a real life partner. Sexual boredom in marriage. The inability to find a real life sexual partner. According to the American Psychiatric Association there is no such thing as "porn addiction" rather heavy porn use and compulsive masturbation, raise the level of dopamine in the brain which causes the user to temporarily feel better. Like booze, drugs, gambling etc porn and masturbation are most often used as a tool to self medication.
Posted @ Monday, November 21, 2011 7:46 PM by
The reasons in the post are not "made up," but you list some good additional potential causes. You're correct that porn is often used as an easy way to self medicate -- as Cause #2 points out. -Kurt
Posted @ Tuesday, March 06, 2012 12:18 PM by Kurt Smith, MFT, AFC
In recovery for years now, I still know what was written here is true. The root of all my dysfuction was codependency. In time once I began to address it... all my dysfuctions got better. Today life is good! jaes
Posted @ Thursday, September 13, 2012 10:28 AM by James
Why does my man stare at other woman and also watch porn?
Posted @ Sunday, November 18, 2012 1:52 AM by Jennifer
There was this spell caster that i contacted last month his name is UBIATO after i had a misunderstanding with my mother in law and she want me out of my husband house and my husband was not saying anything to stop her because there was a lady they want him to get married to But one day Sandra my co-worker told me about this man UBIATO ubiatowhitemagicspell@yahoo.com so i contacted him for help and he told me all that was going on in my family and after 1day of casting the spell i was getting set for work when my mother in law call me and was asking me to forgive her for what she has done and ask me to get her something sweet to eat it was like a dream to me i really thank him for everything.
Posted @ Tuesday, December 11, 2012 4:20 AM by amelia
My husband is addicted to porn. 
But it go's beyond that.  
His addiction is ruining our marriage. 
I am sex addict. But I refuse to look outside our marriage for release. 
His porn will be the end of us if it continues. 
I would do ANYTHING he wants. 
But he still turns to porn. 
I will not keep punishing myself by staying with someone who would rather take care of himself and leave me wanting for weeks.
Posted @ Tuesday, January 15, 2013 6:50 PM by Cheryl Renea t.
I have a problem with this article (not having read it through all the way, I apologize). Women make up 1/3 of porn viewers. It's time that this is looked at not from a man's perspective, but from everyone's perspective. It's unfair.
Posted @ Monday, January 28, 2013 8:47 PM by Michelle
Do. All. Men. Addicted. To. Porn. Masterbate. My bf. Is. On. Porn. Most. Of. Day. Like. Every. Hour. Even. Fore. He. Comes. Home. To. Me. N. Sitting. Right. Next. To. Me. Or. Just. Whenever. I. Leave. His. Side. I. Told. Him. Why. To. Try. Myself. To. Understand. I. Don't. He. Says. He. Doesn't. Masturbate. N. He. Doesn't. Know. Why. He. Looks. I. Caught. Him. Chatting. With. Women. Took. He. Still. Denies. It. I. Haven't. Found. Evidence. Of. Masturbation but. He. Has. A. Hard. Time. Keeping. Erection. During sex. I. Feel. Unwanted. N. Cheated. On. Help
Posted @ Sunday, July 28, 2013 6:10 AM by joyce
I'm struggling between acceptance that he's done this in his past...supposedly in a sexless marriage , and the fact that we've been together for 7 yrs, and I'm an incredibly sexual person, done the outfits, role play,not much I won't explore.Yet we recently got cell phones ,which he's been talking about for months and within 2 wks he wasn't using it to call me ,but sitting up late on Sunday nights ,surfing,jerking off and then come to bed heaving breathing like nothing happened.I found 4-5 pages of porn on his cell phone that week.Is that the behavior of an addict?After I confronted him and viewed what he viewed(painful)I took the phone charger away.Didn't matter, I bought him an ereader for Xmas because he's 46 and his eyesight is going.He never used the damn thing it sat in the living room for 6 months and then one day it made it up to the second bedroom.Didn't know why until I heasrd him come down stairs late at night to look for the charger.Heard him twice that night get up and go to my son's bathroom heaving breathing and jerking off.Came home early from work the next day because he was tired...up til 1 am surfing porn and jerking off.It was all I could do not to punch him in the face 
Posted @ Thursday, September 05, 2013 7:11 PM by L
How dumb to read people saying porn addiction isn't real only to describe exactly what it is right after. If people are self medicating and doing it the same way drug users use drugs then you would think that was pretty damn self explanatory. I like the other women am very sexual and VERY fed up with feeling passed over for porn. It's going to break up my marriage if my husband doesn't quit.  
Posted @ Saturday, February 22, 2014 2:05 AM by Wanda
I completely agree with Wands. I have stayed 100% faithful in every aspect of the sanctuary of my marriage vows. I'm am hurt that my husband not only turned to porn(I tollerated it) but the boundrys I thought we both agreed to where dismissed like the truth didn't count when it came to porn. The lies. The money spent. The instent messages. Come on now. I can only pretend that I was dying inside for so long.
Posted @ Saturday, June 07, 2014 4:26 AM by targa
Targa, It's important that we all take responsibility for our actions -- your husband for his porn viewing, lying, etc. and you for tolerating it. It takes strength to admit that. Congrats. -Kurt
Posted @ Saturday, June 07, 2014 8:54 AM by Kurt Smith, LMFT, LPCC, AFC
Okay. My boyfriend is 23 years old. We have been having issues in our relation ship to begin with. Been together 3 years and 2 kids later. When he wants sex, he gets it. He doesn't have to ask. And I have never turned him down. With that being said, he watches porn every single day. And that's not exaggerating. We have explored numerous things. Out sex life I know isn't boring. But sometimes he will not touch me or look at me and it will go one for nearly 2 months. And the history on his phone or iPad is LOADED DOWN with porn. Is this an addiction? Or is he just young? Or what? I don't think personally it's normal to watch that much porn. He'll I watch it. But not every single day. Help here!
Posted @ Saturday, July 19, 2014 11:05 PM by LAS
Post Comment
Name
 *
Email
 *
Website (optional)
Comment
 *

Allowed tags: <a> link, <b> bold, <i> italics