What Is Porn Addiction?

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What Is Porn Addiction?
Just learned there’s such a thing as “porn addiction?" Feeling confused?

An addictive disorder has three elements:

1. Loss of Control (also known as Compulsivity)
2. Continuation Despite Adverse Consequences
3. Obsession (also known as Preoccupation)

Porn addiction can lead to habits and behaviors destructive to jobs and family life, or to the creation of debilitating shame and guilt– just like substance abuse or pathologic gambling.

Maybe you just learned there’s such a thing as “porn addiction”: Your partner told you he was addicted; You read the definition, and you now believe you’re a porn addict. Either way, you’re probably feeling afraid, angry, sad or confused.

Well, first of all, let me tell you, you’re not alone. According to the Wall Street Journal, “Today 12% of websites are pornographic, and 40 million Americans are regular visitors—including 70% of 18- to 34-year-olds, who look at porn at least once a month…Fully 94% of therapists in another survey reported seeing an increase in people addicted to porn.”

Patrick Carnes–the country’s foremost expert on Sex Addiction, who runs The Gentle Path facility for the treatment of sexual addiction and who founded SASH (Society for the Advancement of Sexual Health)–says that sex addiction is present in 6 percent of the U.S. population and growing.

Some conservative organizations, such as The Witherspoon Institute (which is opposed to same-sex marriage, abortion and stem cell research) would have you believe that it is an “addiction so lethal it has the potential to render an entire generation incapable of forming lasting marriages.”

That’s not my philosophy. I am not in the business of piling more shame on individuals and marriages already strained by a simple compulsive behavior. There are solutions. Many of them. And having a coach greatly increases the likelihood that you will find one.

Know this. Your marriage is not doomed. Your marriage is a great place to find healing.