How Much Porn Is Too Much?

By

How Much Porn Is Too Much?
Focused on whether porn is right or wrong distracts from helping men who view it.
Focused on whether porn is right or wrong distracts from helping men who view it.

Men looking at pornography on the Internet usually ask how much porn is too much. And if I get really caught up in it, what should I do?

As a sex and relationship therapist, my job is to assess the relationship one has with porn, not the porn itself. Too often people argue whether or not pornography and those who create it are okay. Focused on whether porn is right or wrong distracts from helping men who view it make a decision about whether or not it is helpful for them.

Men looking at pornography on the Internet usually ask how much porn is too much. And if I get really caught up in it, what should I do?

As a sex and relationship therapist, my job is to assess the relationship one has with porn, not the porn itself. Too often people argue whether or not pornography and those who create it are okay. Focused on whether porn is right or wrong distracts from helping men who view it make a decision about whether or not it is helpful for them.

The first thing people call someone compulsively—and even not compulsively!--looking at Internet porn these days is a “sex addict.” That may be true. But there are many other reasons for why men are drawn to looking at porn compulsively.
There are healthy, non-pathological reasons men might be viewing porn compulsively.

Feeling ashamed for watching porn and the type of images enjoyed is one reason for excessive viewing. In our everyday American culture, we don’t talk openly about our sexual fantasies—especially ones that aren’t so common, and more kinky. As a result, both men and women are left to think if they enjoy porn, then something’s inherently wrong with them. Feelings of intense and toxic shame can make the “forbidden” seem more desirable.

The feeling of transgression is itself a thrill and can heighten one’s interest to the point of compulsion. Once the shame is reduced, the compulsion is eased as a result.

Being new to watching porn is another reason that can cause compulsive behaviors and obsessive fantasies. The sheer novelty could be what’s captured men’s interest and attention. A first exposure to pornography can cause obsessive-compulsive sexual behavior for up to one year.

In the 1990s, porn’s increasing availability on the Internet brought many men into therapy offices. Online pornography was eating up so much of their time that it interfered with their lives. Once the novelty of Internet porn wore off, most of these men’s obsessions subsided automatically.

Another reason why men get caught up in watching too much porn is that they’re broadening their sexual repertoire. Over time things men didn’t know they enjoyed now become part of their erotic fantasies and desires. For those who are addicted to porn, it is more of a progression to unhealthy erotic fantasies needing more and more unusual things to turn them on. I will discuss this later in this article.

Article contributed by
Advanced Member

Dr. Joe Kort

Author

Joe Kort, PhD

Relationship and Clinical Sex Therapist

Location: Royal Oak, MI
Credentials: ACSW, LMSW, MA, MSW, PhD
Other Articles/News by Dr. Joe Kort:

I Found Gay Porn On My Husband's Computer

By

What would you do if you found gay porn on your husband's computer? What assumptions would you make? Would it be safe to say he's gay? In this instructional sex video, author, relationship coach and YourTango Expert Dr. Joe Kort explains what it means — and what it doesn't mean — when you learn that your husband has spent time ... Read more

Sex Video: How Often Do Healthy Couples Have Sex?

By

How often do you have sex? Do you ever worry that it isn't enough? The fact is, most couples have no idea how much sex is considered "normal," and many couples worry that their sex life isn't up to par. In this instructional sex video, sex therapist, relationship coach and YourTango Expert Dr. Joe Kort explains that you shouldn't judge ... Read more

How To Tell If Your Wife Is Cheating On You

By

Has your wife been extra preoccupied lately? Do you get the sense that there may be something going on "behind the scenes?" If so, you're in luck. In this video, author, therapist and YourTango Expert Dr. Joe Kort explains that "We're all scared that we're vulnerable to being betrayed and hurt in our relationships." So, how ... Read more

See More

GET MORE ARTICLES LIKE THIS IN YOUR INBOX!

Sign up for our daily email and get the stories everyone is talking about.

Ask The Experts

Have a dating or relationship question?
Visit Ask YourTango and let our experts and community answer.

Stories we love
FROM AROUND THE WEB