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Porn Addiction vs. Porn Consumption

January 9, 2020 Amanda Richardson

I want to talk about porn addiction vs. porn consumption. In my experience, porn addiction is a highly complex and massively misunderstood behavioral addiction that can affect even the most unsuspecting individuals. Some might say that looking at pornography even one time will make you an addict, while others insinuate that watching porn is perfectly normal and socially acceptable. So which one is it? If you ask me, both of these answers contain some aspect of truth. Porn addiction can easily start after just one encounter, however, for a lot of people, porn consumption (maybe even porn addiction) is completely normal depending on your gender, social circle, religion, and more.

My Experience with Pornography Addiction and Consumption

My unhealthy use of sex started when I was in high school, however, I didn't consume pornography in a compulsive manner until my early 20s. Even in my active addiction, I was completely confused by the concept of sex and pornography addiction because there are so many mixed messages out there. My blatant ignorance led to even more foolish choices in my addiction journey and definitely held me back from seeking out help or support.

I heard the paraphrased quote in a recovery meeting one time and it's stuck with me for years now. A man in long-term recovery stated that he wasn't sure if he was born an addict but he knew with certainty that an addict was born the first day he took a sip of alcohol. I feel very similar regarding my experience with pornography. 

I can't say for sure if I was biologically wired to become an addict, but it honestly felt like something in my brain shifted the first time I consumed pornography. My unhealthy dependence on sex was always present, but it didn't feel nearly as amplified until I fell headfirst into the world of pornography.

Is Porn Addiction Inevitable?

Even though my addiction felt completely out of control right from the start, I can also recognize that not everyone has the same experience. Some people can actually consume pornography without letting it control their life.

As I've said before, addiction can be just about anything that provides relief or pleasure, specifically things that are craved despite negative life consequences. So I would venture to say that pornography can be addicting in the same way alcohol can be. For some individuals, alcohol is like poison to their lives and even one taste can make them rethink everything. However, there are others who can drink a glass of wine every night at dinner for 20 years and never once fall into addictive patterns or behaviors

Every single person is different. From our genetic background to our personal childhood traumas and general life experiences, there isn't one set pathway or single predictor of addiction.

Ultimately, I don't believe that every individual who consumes pornography is a porn addict, however, I do believe that the potential is always there. Nearly any behavior or activity can become addicting if we aren't continually monitoring our motives and intentions.

Final Thoughts on Pornography Addiction

I have identified as a porn addict for many years now and even with my growing knowledge of this disease, I still feel continually perplexed by the concept of pornography addiction and the stigma that follows it. Most people would likely be surprised (or possibly uncomfortable) that a happily married woman could speak so freely on a topic that often contains so much shame and disgust.

A lot of people have opinions on both pornography and pornography addiction, but unless you've experienced this addictive monster firsthand it's rather difficult for me to take your opinion too seriously. I've encountered nearly every reaction from friends, family, and strangers alike and, sadly, the general consensus is that people wish to shame and belittle those who suffer from this specific behavioral addiction.

So no matter how you feel about pornography (or the addiction to it) I strongly encourage you to seek scientific truth and complete compassion if someone discloses his or her addiction to you. This addiction is real and it is so powerful. Nobody wants to fight through this alone. Be kind always and remember that addiction can happen to anyone.

Are you a porn addict or porn consumer? In your opinion, what were (or would be) the red flags that lead to addiction? Share your thoughts in the comments.

APA Reference
Richardson, A. (2020, January 9). Porn Addiction vs. Porn Consumption, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2020, February 26 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/debunkingaddiction/2020/1/porn-addiction-vs-porn-consumption



Author: Amanda Richardson

Amanda is a professional health and wellness writer who specializes in creating content tailored to the female audience. She is especially passionate about social injustice, mental health, and addiction recovery.

 

Find Amanda on Facebook, Twitter and her personal blog.

For more information on Amanda's professional writing services, be sure to check her out at Richardson Writing Influence.

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