Your Answers To These 14 Questions Can Help Determine If You're Addicted To Pornography

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Signs Of Porn Addiction & How To Stop Watching So Much Pornography

"Do I have a porn addiction?"

Healthline defines addiction as "a chronic dysfunction of the brain system that involves reward, motivation, and memory." Someone with an addiction may be craving a certain substance or behavior and they become obsessed with pursuing it and getting the "rewards". 

The definition of addiction is a hot topic lately, but can someone really be "addicted" to pornography?

RELATED: How To Tell If You're Addicted To Porn (And What To Do About It)

I am not here to argue the definition of addiction, but I am here to help you if you think you think you have a problem with porn.

Only you can tell if you have a porn problem. People who do not have a problem with porn do not usually wonder if they do.

To help you find your answer, here are 14 questions you need to ask yourself to figure out whether or not you have a pornography addiction.

1. Does watching porn have more control over you than you do over it?

2. Do you tell yourself "I am only going to watch for 20 minutes" and it becomes hours or you decide not to watch it today and you do anyway?

3. Do you have an erectile dysfunction, problems becoming aroused, or finishing in real-life experiences? Are you avoiding real-life experience because of this problem? 

4. Do you always have to "finish yourself" when having sex with a partner?

5. Has your viewing content become more extreme?

6. Is your attention span shortening? 

7. Do you not participate in other activities because you are choosing to watch porn?

8. Is work suffering because you are staying up late, leaving early to watch porn? Or even watching at work?

9. Do you feel depressed and unmotivated until you watch porn?

10. Are you lying or being secretive about how much porn you watch and what you are watching?

11. Do you have guilt and shame around sex? 

12. Are you using porn to change your mental and or emotional state?

13. Do you not feel able to communicate your needs and desires?

14. Do you feel not good enough or fear rejection from your partner or potential partner?

If you identify with some of these questions, you may be an addict to pornographic material. At this point, you may want to evaluate your porn usage and take a good look at how it may be affecting your life.

What should you do? Here are the 12 steps to take.

1. Start a journal. When we see it in writing, we become aware, without denial, of what we are doing.

2. Simply observe and record for 7-10 days.

3. Keep track of how long you are watching and how many videos/clips you are watching. Yes, write it all down.

4. Write down how you feel and what you are thinking before you start watching porn.

5. Write down any activities you are skipping to watch: hobbies, family time, time with your partner, dating, work, exercise, and sleep.

6. Write down how you feel after you are done watching.

7. Journal about why you watch porn in the first place. What are you getting from watching/needs that you are trying to fill? 

8. Try to go without watching and see how you feel, what you think, and how long you can go without watching porn.

9. Pay attention to your relationships with a partner or potential partners. Do you become aroused? Do you look at them and only see an opportunity for sex or do you not see them as attractive or desirable?

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10. After the 7-10 days of journaling, take a vacation from porn and masturbation for another 7-10 days. This may be a challenge! 

11. Journal when you think about watching, what mental state and emotions are leading you to reach for porn. Is it simply a habit?

12. Write about how you feel going without watching.  

RELATED: How A Year Without Porn Changed Everything I Knew About Sex And Love

The best thing you can do to be successful at this "porn vacation" is to take a look at the previous weeks journaling. See what activities you have been avoiding or skipping and replace your watching with those activities.

If you do not have a regular exercise regimen, be sure to start one now. This will help replace the endorphin boost you usually get from porn to relieve any depression or irritability. It will also help to get out excess stress and energy, you will sleep better at night. 

Journal about how you see your partner/potential partners. Do you notice a difference in arousal and desire? 

Try meditation. Breathe deeply and imagine your sexual energy coming up through your root chakra to the base of your spine, up your spine, into your neck and head, flowing out the top of your head.

Imagine this is your sexual energy flowing through you, breathe it through without masturbating. 

After the 7-10 days, have an actual in-person, real-life sexual experience! Notice the difference between now vs when you are constantly watching porn. Journal about what you experienced. 

I am not here to rid your life of porn, just encouraging the healthy use of it.

Sexuality should be an experience that is connecting, pleasurable and fulfilling. It should not be used for education, cause guilt or shame or interfere with having a full life and healthy fulfilling relationships. 

RELATED: 6 Awful Ways Porn Is Destroying His Masculinity (And Your Sex Life)

Stacie Ysidro is the founder and CEO of Holistic Progressions and has been coaching individuals and couples about sexuality and sex all over the United States for over 8 years. If you want more information on these types of meditations, email her for a lesson.