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Do I Have An Addiction to Porn?

Ease off the PornHub dude. A new study suggests guys with an addiction to porn are less likely to show up when a real sexual opportunity presents itself. They’re also more likely to get erectile dysfunction and be less than thrilled with intercourse.
We’re guessing you can relate to at least some of that. Hey, whatever floats your boat. We’re not here to judge – but porn can be an issue if it affects you’re spending more than, say, 11 hours a week to feed your appetite.
Just as important, how does it make you feel when you’re done?

Study Links Porn to Sex Problems

Guys with an addiction to porn are more likely to go limp. That’s the finding of the study, which surveyed 312 men between 20 and 40. All the men had visited a urology clinic in San Diego for some form of sexual dysatisfaction, be it ED, low sex drive, or something else that made sex unrewarding.
Of these men, just 3.4% said they preferred masturbating to porn vs sexual intercourse, the study said. But there was a statistical relationship between addiction to porn and sexual dysfunction.
Cases of organic (naturally caused) erectile dysfunction among this demographic are typically very low. The study authors think pornography may be a piece of this puzzle – why young men are in a urology clinic in the first place. Although porn is likely just one piece of a bigger issue.
Sexual behavior uses the same ‘reward system’ wiring in the brain as addictive drugs like cocaine and crystal meth, say the researchers. This can lead to self-reinforcing and recurrent behavior. Internet porn in particular seems to light up this circuitry. That may be in part because of how easy it is to ‘self-select’ more arousing images, and how easy it is to do it.

Like a drug, watch too much porn and you may boost your tolerance. You may search for more arousing images, for example, which could make you less responsive to real-life sexual encounters.

Like a drug, watch too much porn and you may boost your tolerance. You may search for more arousing images, for example, which could make you less responsive to real-life sexual encounters. This tolerance may explain sexual dysfunction in younger guys, say the authors, and why many young men seem to prefer internet porn to partnered sex.
Addiction to porn could also be making unrealistic fantasies in these men when their real sexual encounters don’t measure up to what they see on screen. They may think they’re supposed to perform like they see on film and get anxious when they don’t, for example.
Porn use varied widely among men in the study. Roughly 26% said they viewed porn less than once a week. Slightly less, at 25%, did it once or twice weekly. Twenty-one percent said three to five times a week, and, at the high end, 5% looked at porn 6-10 times weekly.
Four percent of the men viewed internet porn 11 times or more on a weekly basis.
The men most often viewed porn on a computer (72%) or smartphone (62%), according to the study.
A separate study of 48 women found no link between porn and sexual dysfunction – even though 40% of them said they watch it regularly.
The findings suggest that young men who view porn regularly illustrate the potential for porn to affect sexuality among teenagers who watch it as well. Conditioning to porn appears to be a factor, say observers, who recommend parents spend time with their kids and watch as their interests develop and, notably, block their access to internet porn.

Do I Have An Addiction to Porn?

Only you can answer that. You can watch for some signs though; porn addiction means you’ve lost control over your porn consumption. Whether you masturbate to it or just get your fix by looking at it, you may have an addiction to porn if you have the following symptoms:

  • Inability to form lasting social or romantic relationships

  • Extreme feelings of shame, isolation and loneliness

  • Breakdown of relationships with friends, family and/or significant other

  • Loss of many hours – even days – to porn

  • Lack of interest in non-porn activities, like work, school, socializing and obligations

  • Problems at work or school, including negligence of duties and use of equipment to access porn

  • Financial problems

  • Legal issues, which may arise from illegal porn use

  • Porn consumption with alcohol and/or drug abuse

  • Physical injury from chronic masturbation (yes, you can injure yourself)

  • Sexual problems with ‘real’ partners, including erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation  and inability to climax

Most importantly, you’ve got an addiction to porn if you feel like garbage after viewing it. How does it make you feel? We all do it sometimes, but it’s a problem when you’re shut in your house for days with your palms glued you-know-where.
Is porn stopping you from meeting real women, if you’re single, or does it affect your sex life if you’re in a relationship? If your answer is yes, then you may have a problem.
Watch how long you’re viewing porn, too. You may find your porn habit has you watching more bizarre or intense sexual content. Are you lying to others about how much porn you watch, or angry if confronted about it? These all point to a porn addiction – and an impediment to a healthy sex life.

What Can I Do About My Porn Addiction?

You can talk with someone. Speak with a counselor – it’s easy to watch porn, we get that, but porn’s not real dude. If you feel it’s stopping you from healthier living, then it’s time to acknowledge what’s going on.
That’s easier said than done, of course. You’ll need to ‘reboot and rewire’ your brain’s circuitry, in the words of Art of Manliness. This is going to take a while, and you’ll need a lot of help beyond this article, but if you’re prepared to put in the effort, and truly desire real, meaningful sex in your life, here’s how you might make that happen:
Don’t Give Porn More Power Than it Deserves
If you call porn an addiction, you insinuate that it’s going to be hard to cut it loose. You’re saying it’s going to be tough and you’ll relapse. But what if you told yourself that porn is like junk food? There’s a simple solution to that – don’t eat it.
Accept That You’re Not Perfect
Right now you’re the guy who looks at porn. Your goal is to see yourself as the guy who doesn’t. You’ve heard it said “we are what we repeatedly do”, correct? Here’s another one: Fake it ‘til you make it. Tell yourself you’re a playboy/awesome boyfriend/husband/whoever you want to be.
Fix What’s Really the Problem
There’s a reason you’ve got an addiction to porn. Your brain’s wiring may be part of it, but there’s more going on here, and porn’s not the answer. Are you bored? Socialize more, and pick up a hobby. Relationship problems? Talk to her about your needs. This is on you, and no one else.
Know You Can Change
You can change mate. This is proven by science – even the most ingrained of habits can be replaced if you want it bad enough. It comes down to belief. Ever noticed how recovering alcoholics often show a higher interest in religion? The power of belief, that things can and will improve, can get you through those trouble spots.
Don’t Beat Yourself Up
Dude, you’re human. You’re going to have rough days, and it’s easy to pull up naked women on Firefox and let biology dictate what happens next. When that happens, step back and look at the big picture. Are you spending less hours jerking it and more time talking with (real!) women? Keep moving forward mate, and consider donating a few bucks to charity every time your hand goes where it shouldn’t.
Heck, donate money to the political party you dislike the most every time you watch porn. That’s sure to stop your addiction to porn cold turkey! Thanks for that, Art of Manliness…
Read this article on how to stop porn addiction. It’s a bit of a read, but worth the effort, and may help you swap your addiction to porn for something better – and real – for a sex life that’s more rewarding and enjoyable.
 

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