Pornography addiction is a highly disputed topic. Advocates of pornography argue that there are no lasting harmful effects on the body or mind, and therefore say that being addicted to pornography does not qualify as a true addiction.
After reading through this article, we challenge you to honestly evaluate your life and pornography’s impact on you, the choices you make, and those who care for you. Can you really agree that it is harmless and has no repercussions?
To better understand our topic, let’s break down the term “pornography addiction” to learn its definition and origins* in order to further understand what we are dealing with.
por·nog·ra·phy – Sexually explicit pictures, writing, or other material whose primary purpose is to cause sexual arousal.
Root: The word comes from the ancient Greek porne (whore) and graphing (write), so pornography literally means ‘writings by or about whores’.
ad·dic·tion – A physical or psychological need for a habit-forming substance, such as a drug or alcohol. In physical addiction, the body adapts to the substance being used and gradually requires increased amounts to reproduce the effects originally produced by smaller doses.
Based on these definitions, if we are to agree that porn qualifies as a true addiction, a porn addict would have to show 3 important characteristics as their addiction progresses:
1) A physical or psychological need for sexually explicit material.
If porn addiction is real, a porn addict would “need” these images in order to achieve sexual arousal. If porn is not an addiction, then people who use porn wouldn’t need to act out or think about the things they viewed in pornography in order to be aroused.
2) A desensitization to material that would have seemed extreme or offensive when they first began viewing pornography.
Over time, this material would no longer seem so disturbing, and as they become more desensitized to it, they continue to seek out things that would have shocked them when they first started viewing pornography. These things are now “normal” to them, and they can’t understand why others would have a problem with them
3) Finally, a need for more and more of their “fix” as they continue down the path of this addiction, to get the same effect that they had when they first started.
If it is like other addictions, it becomes a game of diminishing returns, and they can never quite get enough or be fully satisfied with what they have. They need more stimulation, more extreme, and different stimulation to get their “high” and keep it going. Eventually, the addict would consider anything in life that does not involve their addiction to be inferior, the opinion of anyone who does not support their addiction to be inferior and choose to bypass ordinary life experiences in order to continue to feed their addiction, thereby slowly eroding the relationships, careers and activities that they once enjoyed.
In conclusion, many people, if they were to look honestly at their porn use with regard to the above definitions, would find that they are, in fact, addicted. This may not seem to be a problem to some people; however, to others, it is an addiction that could be insidious – or even obviously – ruining their lives and the lives of those around them.