Part 1 of 3
Jay is just an average guy -- one of the many guys with porn addictions. But Jay didn't realize he had an addiction. He thought other guys were the ones who had addictions to porn, not him. Because porn was just a regular part of his life, but not an addiction.
Porn was just a way to pass time for Jay so he thought that it was harmless. No one got hurt and it wasn’t causing a problem in his marriage that he could see. An addiction to porn wasn’t something an average guy like him would struggle with -- porn addictions were problems that lonely, reclusive guys had. He was married after all! Porn was for fun, to kill time, and relieve some stress.
Here's how routine porn addictions can be: Usually after work Jay would come home, grab a beer, and surf the internet to relax for awhile before Charlene would get home with the kids. Often he'd end up on porn sites. Jay had some favorites that he liked, but buddies would also send him pics and clips from other porn sites too.
Jay and Charlene had different sleep routines. She went to bed early, he stayed up late. Jay liked to watch Sports Center on ESPN after Charlene went to bed, but would also channel surf and could easily find something 'entertaining' on Cinemax or Showtime. And once in a while, the guys at work would go out for a drink after work on Fridays and typically they'd go to a strip club. No big deal, it wasn’t like he was going to go home with one of those girls. In his mind he was totally faithful to Charlene.
He figured his behavior was all pretty normal. And Charlene knew about most of it, although there was some she didn't know about -- that’s normal too, right? She seemed okay with it all and didn’t complain, so maybe she even liked porn a little too he thought.
What Jay didn't recognize was how much he came to rely on porn to relieve stress, escape, and just to be able to relax. He hadn't noticed how regular it had become. What he couldn’t see was that, even as a normal, average guy, he had developed a porn addiction.
Signs Of Porn Addictions
Addictions are sneaky. No one starts anything with the intention of becoming addicted to it. The coke addict doesn’t do his first line hoping to become a junkie and the alcoholic doesn’t take a drink thinking that becoming a drunk is a good idea. The same is true of porn addictions.
Porn seems harmless to most men (and some women). It’s easy to think it’s not cheating, no one is getting hurt, and it you can stop anytime, right? Well, not really. Porn actually causes many problems for the individual and their relationships. So how does the average guy know if he has a porn addiction?
- When you have a need for porn on a regular basis, or dependence on porn for sexual satisfaction, that's one of the signs of porn addictions.
Jay didn't know how porn changed his brain and created an even stronger desire to look at women in sexually explicit ways. He didn't see how the late night cable shows and occasional strip club visit fed his desire to see more women and watch more porn.
- Requiring increasing amounts of porn for stimulation is one of the signs of addiction.
He also couldn't see the effects porn was having on his sex life with Charlene. His sexual appetite had begun to change. He still wanted to have sex with her, but sometimes she couldn’t satisfy him and he needed to spend time watching porn to achieve an orgasm. He had also begun pushing Charlene to have sex in ways he'd seen on porn sites. He told himself it was in effort to keep things fun and interesting, but Charlene didn’t see it that way and she felt uncomfortable with most of it. His actions and requests felt degrading and as though they really had nothing to do with her -- and the truth is, they didn’t.
- When your sex life is affected by viewing porn, that's one of the signs for porn addictions.
Jay and Charlene’s sex life had become awkward. She felt like he was acting like someone else and wanted her to be someone else too. He’d also begun to have issues keeping an erection. This led to additional problems. Charlene couldn’t tell if there was a medical issue or if he just wasn’t attracted to her anymore. What neither of them realized is that porn addiction can actually cause erectile dysfunction.
Porn addictions can often look like what many people would describe as pretty normal guy behavior -- most guys just like to look at girls, right? Yes, but addictions to porn aren’t normal, they're a problem.
Becoming addicted to porn can happen quickly. Since it’s easy to find and seems like normal guy behavior many men can find themselves dealing with an addiction and not even recognize it. Unfortunately, porn addictions often go on for a long time before they’re dealt with and by that point it’s usually already caused many problems, like those Jay is experiencing.
Know that average guys deal with porn addictions too. If you think you may have a porn addiction, or know someone who does, don't struggle alone. Get some help from a counselor experienced in porn addiction.
(Read Part 2 of Jay & Charlene's story - A Guy Confesses He's Addicted to Pornography and Part 3 - Porn Addiction Help for a Wife Who Finds Her Husband's Porn).
Editor's Note: This post was originally published September 13, 2012. It has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
Looking for More? Check Out These Articles
- A Guy Confesses He's Addicted To Porn (Part 2)
- A Wife Finds her Husband's Porn (Part 3)
- Why Men Look At Other Women And How To Make It Stop
- Get More Help with a Porn Addiction