Porn Addiction: A Force to be Reckoned with

Written by:- Valay Agarawal (valayagarawal@iitb.ac.in)

The hidden power of porn lies not only in its ease of access and compelling styles and formats but also in its ability to produce extremely pleasurable experiences. Some of them are:

  1. Instant Sexual Turn On: Apart from the obvious meaning,  porn has the ability to directly deliver it to the central nervous system
  2. Drug-Like Euphoria: Porn excites the same areas of the brain as alcohol and other narcotic drugs. It releases “feel-good chemicals”. Often porn is combined with masturbation resulting in an orgasm, which as we know has the power to create pleasure, numb pain, and generate a state of deep relaxation.
  3. Power Trip: Porn gives the illusion of being powerful and being in control of the situation. Some types of porn also allow the user to be a voyeur, which is a power trip in itself because it is illegal in real life. 
  4. Slot Machine Excitement: Since the porn is now delivered through devices that allow us to rapidly click through an endless stream, the hope to find a perfect partner or the exact sexual activity, or just the right porn site makes us feel like hoping for a jackpot in a slot machine. 
  5. Love Affair:  Relationship with porn can be take away time and energy from an existing intimate relationship. Porn users often operate with the same secrecy and deception as someone having a sexual affair. They often lie and deceive when confronted. The mental images and scenarios keep playing in the user’s mind even during intimate contact with a real-life partner. 

There are some ways that people prohibit themselves from watching porn. They are:

  1. A personal dislike
  2. Having limited contact with porn
  3. Feeling sexually secure and satisfied
  4. Wanting to experience emotional intimacy

And the lack of same reasons leads people to fall trap to porn

. They can be listed as:

  1. A strong pleasure bond with porn
  2. Having frequent and easy access to porn
  3. Medicating problems with porn
  4. Difficulty with intimacy

Having continued usage of porn can cause multiple problems including irritation, self-isolation, sexually objectifying others, neglecting other important areas, problems with sex, depreciating self -worth, dangerous and risky behaviour, and addiction to porn. Having a porn addiction not only leads to problems with the user but also devastates the people close to the user. The most devastated are usually the romantic partners, who often feel lack of intimacy, lack of being able to provide sexual pleasure and inadequate, loss of trust, respect and love among the many others. 

 Knowing the problems with porn, it is important to quit/ reduce the usage of porn. However, the addiction to porn has a very similar to other addictions. 

The first step in quitting porn is to find the motivation to quit it. The motivation to quit can be gathered from multiple strategies. They are:

  1. Acknowledge how porn use can cause you problems: This will help you to see the dangers that you might face with a porn addiction.
  2. Identify what matters most to you? Understanding choices in life, such as choosing porn over your intimate partner, studies, work, friends, the family helps to reevaluate the cost of porn that you are paying.
  3. Face your Fears
  4. Take your responsibility for your own recovery

The steps of quitting porn are as follows.

  1. Tell someone about the porn problem: Pick a supportive person whom you can trust. It can also be your intimate partner, but there is a strong possibility of getting a strong emotional reaction.
  2. Get involved in a treatment program: Some of the programs are individual, group, counsellor. 
  3. Create a porn-free environment: Includes throwing away your stash of magazines, DVD’s, etc and turn away from the opportunities such as ad flashes and accidental exposure to porn via printed materials
  4. Establish twenty-four-hour support and accountability: A close friend or an intimate partner is great support.
  5. Take care of your physical and emotional health: See a doctor regularly about your health, eat healthy, exercise, get quality sleep of at least 6 hours a night.
  6. Start healing your sexuality: Understand the difference between porn-related sex and healthy sexuality. 

Once one starts to follow these steps, the beginning of healing is going to be very difficult with a considerable amount of desires to go back to porn or use porn as a one-time release to your pent-up sexual energy and to get another shot of ‘feel-good’ chemicals. This is called a relapse and is often the most difficult part to go over when fighting an addiction. 

Understanding and fighting a relapse. The relapses have phases

  1. Trigger Territory: Being vulnerable to relapse
  2. Thinking about using porn
  3. Making sensory contact with porn
  4. Full-scale usage


The steps to get away from the relapse are: 

  • Stop what you are doing
  • Get away from the porn
  • Stay calm emotionally and psychologically
  • Reach out for supportive help ASAP
  • Reaffirm your commitment to recovery. 

Note : This is just a basic guide to help you get started in understanding, preventing and dealing with porn addiction. However, if you feel that you are addicted to porn or need help, you can contact your mentors or the Student Wellness Center. 

Resources

The material provided in the article is taken from the book: Porn Trap, by Wendy Maltz and Larry Maltz.

Reddit thread : http://www.reddit.com/r/NoFap/

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