Part 1 of 2
Are you a little curious about pornography addiction?
If you're a woman, "curious" may not be the right way to describe it. Desperate for answers and in need of help may be a better way to put things. You could be searching for all the information you can get your hands on so you can try to understand why your partner has a pornography addiction.
If you're a man, you may be the one who's curious about how your addiction to pornography compares to others and if it really qualifies as an addiction at all. After all, don’t most average guys look at porn? Yes, but that doesn’t mean it’s good for them or doesn’t cause problems. Maybe you just want to know how other men deal with pornography.
At Guy Stuff we work with men who are addicted to porn every day. We help men overcome porn addiction and help women learn to deal with it. Just for clarification, women can struggle with addiction to pornography, too, but as you'll see below it looks a lot different for most women than it does for men (check out Do Women Like Porn?).
What's Pornography Addiction Look Like?
Good question. Let's start to look inside pornography addiction with a couple of real-life examples of behaviors associated with an addiction to porn. The excerpts that follow are from the article Porn Addiction:
- A 50-year-old married physician views internet pornography for hours at home, masturbating five to seven times a day, then begins surfing porn sites at the office and risks destroying his career.
- A woman spends four to six hours a day in internet chat rooms and having cybersex, and eventually starts arranging to meet online strangers for casual sex in the real world.
- A man spends many hours a day downloading porn, filling multiple hard drives, and devotes a separate computer just to pornography.
- A married couple view pornographic movies together as part of their loving relationship, but the husband starts spending more time watching and less time with his wife, who feels left behind and rejected.
You can see from these examples that pornography addiction doesn't just involve men. Also, like any addiction it can start innocently enough, such as the couple trying to improve their sex life, but it can quickly get out of control.
Is Looking At Pornography Really An Addiction Though?
There are many people who don’t think looking at pornography on a regular basis qualifies as an addiction -- especially those that are actually addicted.
An addiction to alcohol or drugs can be easier to define and identify. Pornography addiction is a bit more difficult. But when someone spends time watching porn at work, instead of socializing with friends, or needs to watch porn in order to have sex with their partner, there’s a problem.
A lot of people, usually men, think that looking at porn is nothing more than something to pass the time or a way to relieve some stress. It can seem harmless because it’s not actually physically cheating and no one is visibly getting hurt. Unfortunately, neither one of these perceptions is true.
Looking at porn actually causes many problems, and not just for the viewer, but for their relationships as well. And while it isn't the same as meeting someone in a hotel room, many experts and certainly many spouses will tell you that a regular porn habit is actually a form of cheating, or at least micro-cheating.
How Many People Have A Pornography Addiction?
Specific numbers are hard to come by, but here are some statistics that can give some us idea:
- The National Council on Sexual Addiction and Compulsivity estimates that 6 to 8 percent of Americans - or 18 million to 24 million people - are sex addicts. And 70 percent of sex addicts report having a problem with online sexual behavior.
- ComScore Media Metrix, a company that measures internet usage, reports that more than 70 percent of men age 18 to 34 visit a pornographic site in a typical month.
- In 2008, Nielsen Online reported that one-fourth of employees use the internet to visit porn sites during their workday. Online porn sites report that highest usage is between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.
As you can see, addiction to porn affects a lot of people and is quite problematic.
Hopefully, this begins to give you a little bit of a look inside pornography addiction. Obviously, there's much more to it than this. In Part 2 of this series we'll look deeper into understanding the causes of addiction to porn.
Editor's Note: This post was originally published August 15, 2012. It has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
Looking for More? Check Out These Articles
- Top Causes of Porn Addiction (Part 2)
- Why It Feels Like Betrayal When Your Partner Watches Porn
- Is Our Marriage Okay Since He Has Checked Out Of It?
- Get More Help with a Porn Addiction