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Am I Addicted To Porn and/or Sex?

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Am I Addicted To Porn and/or Sex?

Some people feel they use porn and think about sex too much, but what does ‘too much’ mean? How can this feel? How can someone get help? 

Using porn too much

People say to me that they watch porn too much. To help them work out what this means for them I ask a few questions:

  • are you often late for school/college/work because you’re wanking?
  • do you skip hanging out with your friends lots so you can stay in and watch porn?
  • have you stopped enjoying watching porn (but still watch)?
  • do you feel upset or down or angry about your use of porn?
  • when you aren’t watching porn are you thinking about it a lot?
  • do you feel tired or run down or low or a bit shit about yourself?

If people answer ‘yes’ to a couple of these then they might think that they have a problem with the amount of porn they watch. Some people think that porn is making them upset but actually it could be something else (or a combination of things). If this sounds like it might be you, you should know that you can find a professional to talk to in person.

Your local sexual health services or Brook or young people’s clinics or GUM clinics (more on these here) would be a great first place to go (click here to find your nearest place). You could also see your GP or a counsellor at school. If you are really distressed about it they could offer to refer you to a psychosexual counsellor – this sound scary but they’re lovely people who are used to people talking to them about sex and porn and wanking without being judgemental or embarrassed.

Not too much but a bit worried

Most of the young people I chat with about this are a little bit worried but not that worried. Sometimes when I go through the list of questions they breathe a sigh of relief and realise that they are ok.  I encourage people to think about all the other stuff that’s going on in their lives and to think about what it is they are getting from the porn and what they could get from somewhere else. For instance, lots of people watch porn because they are bored: but are there other ways to relieve boredom?

Check these boxes which I got from this awesome book

squares

It doesn’t really matter what you call your boxes or how many you have, but the idea is that we have various bits of our lives that we put our energy and time into. If we spend too much of that time in one box we could neglect the other important stuff. So if watching porn is your contribution, hobby, leisure, alone time (or even work), then you might not be spending that much time doing other stuff you like too. Have a think about this for you maybe?

What does too much mean anyway?

I don’t set the rules about what is too much and I don’t think anyone else should either.

One person could think that 5 minutes is too much, another could think that 5 hours is completely fine. A lot of this has to do with what you have been taught about sex, porn or wanking. If you’ve been taught that masturbating is wrong, bad for you, makes you lose power, is something only ‘sluts’ do, or makes you a ‘waste-man’ then you might feel like any time you spend wanking is too much.

Did you get the new Grand Theft Auto when it came out the other week? How many hours did you spend playing that in the first week? Are you a fan of Game of Thrones, or Breaking Bad, or TOWIE, or Corrie – how many hours a week do you spend watching those? How much time do you spend on your phone or texting your mates?

So put it into a bit of context. Not everyone is into porn, but those that are can find it very entertaining. There’s so much of it for free and so easily available, so it’s no wonder some people spend a lot of time watching it. If we saw porn as being like any other kind of media would we be as bothered?

‘Addiction’

Lots of people use the word ‘addiction’ when we talk about porn and sex. I don’t talk about ‘porn or sex addiction’ because most research shows that people watching porn too much isn’t like an actual addiction (like cocaine or cigarettes).

‘Porn/Sex Addiction’ isn’t a recognised condition.

This doesn’t mean that I’m dissing people who are really worried about their use of porn. They can feel very upset and this kind of behaviour can be really troubling to them – I’m not trying to make it sound less difficult, I’m just saying it’s different to an addiction.

The reason why I’m saying it is that there is no evidence that the same treatment for addictions works for ‘porn addiction’. However some people use the word addiction to their advantage to try to sell their treatment programmes to people who are really vulnerable and feel like they have no-one to talk to. This really pisses me off (as you might imagine).

Hope you find all this helpful. This is one of those things that the media tends to get all zOMG! about.

© Justin Hancock, 2015

Title: Am I Addicted To Porn and/or Sex?

Category: Porn

Tags: About You Masturbation Porn Porn Addiction

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