6 Signs You're Totally Addicted To Porn (And Need Help)

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porn addiction treatment
Heartbreak, Sex

Is your dirty little secret hurting you and your relationships?

Is a little porn use harmless? When does a "little" porn use turn into a problem? Watching porn regularly might seem like no big deal, but how do you recognize when it's impacting your sex life and your relationship with your partner? When is it time to look for porn addiction treatment?

Many men start out masturbating occasionally to porn, then find they need it more and more to cope with anxiety or other uncomfortable feelings. Gradually, the fantasy world overtakes reality. 

Before they realize it, they believe they can't live without porn. Many lose interest in sex with a real woman. Their relationships at home and at work suffer. Yet, most men deny they have a problem.

If you look at porn and know your friends watch porn, it might take you a long time to even consider that you could be addicted. When you do eventually admit to yourself that you're spending way too much valuable time on porn sites, you most likely already have a problem with addiction.

Your behavior can gradually increase to the point where, before you realize it, you have a problem that's interfering with your life and your relationships and it's time to seek porn addiction treatment. How do you know for sure? What are the signs?

1. Isolation And Time Management Issues

An individual with a porn addiction issue may spend more and more time on the computer. He may need to "work late" more frequently, which gives him additional alone time to look at porn.

The porn-watching behavior may become such a preoccupation that he loses track of time. Such porn-watching behavior typically results in increasing isolation as well as lack of availability for fun activities with loved ones or friends or for social events in general.

2. Living A Secret Life

Some compulsive behavior patterns, such as alcohol, food, or gambling, are more difficult to hide than porn use.

For example, a porn addict's partner is in bed reading a novel on her Kindle while her husband is on the other side of the bed with his cell phone or iPad tilted away while he's looking at porn. Clues to such secretive behavior are lying, cover-ups, denial and defensiveness.

If you're in a relationship with a sex addict or a porn addict, you may wonder if your partner still desires you. You may wonder if he's in another relationship. In fact, he is in another relationship, a secret relationship—with porn.

3. Changes In Sex Life

For the porn addict, the online fantasy world gradually becomes the "norm." He may become desensitized to being aroused by a real woman in real life. He might want a more unusual type of sex that mirrors what he's seen online.

Regular porn use is typically accompanied by frequent masturbation, leaving the porn addict less physically available for sexual relations.

George Collins, MA, president and chairman of the board of Neulia.com, an online video course for porn and sexual addiction, has seen how often men become so desensitized by porn that they lose the ability and desire to have sex with their partner. He's heard men with porn addiction problems say, "Sex with a real woman is like bad porn."

4. Life Seems Out Of Control

The individual needing pornography addiction help may feel that he no longer has "a grip" on life. It's as if the part of him that must watch porn is now in control. He may logically know that he's spending too much time, and often money, on his porn addiction.

The porn addict part of his personality is like a voice in his head offering continual excuses and rationalizations. After a porn "session" on the computer, he may feel ashamed and more alone than ever. So his life becomes like an amusement park Ferris wheel that goes round and round, with extreme high and low pointsand he can't stop.

5. A Need For More And More Stimulation

As is the case with most addictions, compulsive behaviors involving porn typically mask deeper issues, such as low self-esteem, fear of intimacy, and belief of "not good enough." 

Regular porn watching is a way to numb oneself against such uncomfortable feelings. Like alcohol or drugs, porn usage may require increasingly greater "dosages" to provide the numbness.

6. Living More In Sexual Fantasy Than Reality

The porn addict may need to fantasize extensively during sex and gradually lose the ability for intimacy with his wife or partner. There is a documented epidemic of young men who have lost the ability, with a real woman, to sustain an erection.

Rather than real-world intimate relationships, living in the fantasy world of porn is like being in a video game where all your relationships are with objects or "avatars"and it's a game that you NEVER leave.

How To Stop A Porn Addiction

If you conclude that you or your partner needs porn addiction therapy, it's time to seek out treatment methods such as counseling, groups, and books.

One of the newest, most affordable, and arguably most effective treatments is Neulia.com, an online video course of 10 sessions with clearly defined explanations and next-step actions. Along with the course, groups for men and online forums are available.

If you're wondering if you or your partner has a porn addiction problem, take this online Porn Addiction Quiz.

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