The Destructive Path of Pornography Addiction

Many people don’t want to talk about pornography addiction. In fact, our society is beginning to embrace pornography as a normal way of life. What used to be a behind the alley shop is now a billboard promoting the “Largest Adult Bookstore” in town. What the heck is going on? Don’t people care?

The destructive path associated with pornography is clear. Marital relationships are at risk. Children are at risk. No child should be exposed to pornographic images, yet the average age children are being exposed in America is age 11. What eleven-year-old understands pornography? Not one of them understands why such images make them feel the way they do. Yet, this is the average age.

The pornography industry understands this. They target young children. They know that the earlier someone gets exposed to such images the more likely they are to develop an addiction. Did you know that researchers have found that the earlier someone is exposed to an addictive substance the more likely they are to become addicted to it? So what, is going to happen when a full generation of children have been exposed to pornography? Scary thought.

We are about fifteen years into the Internet generation. We are starting to see the societal ramifications of such easy access. While I don’t want to scare you, please go to Google and type in “pornography in the news” and follow some of the links to see what is happening around the country. Just read the headlines and you’ll get a feel for where our society is headed if we don’t start doing something about easy access to pornography.

If you followed some of the links you will see how pornography is moving into your neighborhood. There are more and more legal cases involving pornography.

Now let’s look at how pornography is influencing individuals and families. Below you will find three cases from people who have taken my online assessment “Assessing Pornography Addiction.” Below I have posted the question and the participants’ response.

July 10th, 2008-Married Man

Question: Please explain how pornography has impacted your life?

Answer: My wife is always angry

Question: Do you feel like you are addicted to pornography? Please explain your answer.

Answer: Sometimes. Other times I feel like it’s my wife’s fault.

My Comments:

This man indicates that his wife is always angry. Is it because of his pornography consumption? What do you think this marriage is like? Is this couple having any fun? No! Does he feel that he is addicted? Sometimes, but he is blaming his relationship with his wife for part of why he views pornography.

What would happen if he stopped viewing pornography? Would his wife become less angry? It sounds like this couple needs additional help. I don’t believe her anger is just about his consumption of pornography. However, we wouldn’t know that unless he was willing to seek help and work to overcome his pornography addiction.

His wife’s anger is easy to blame on his pornography use. However, she needs to figure out why she is so angry. Her anger will never bring them closer together. She does need to take a stand against his pornography use, but anger is not the best way to do so.

July 9th, 2008-Man in a serious relationship

Question: Please explain how pornography has impacted your life?

Answer: It has been my greatest down-fall. I’ve been addicted for a long time. I have tried to quit countless times and continue to struggle with it. I was able to quit once for a year and half which was awesome. It has impacted my life in relationships. I don’t really have any relationship with my parents. I’m currently in a relationship with a girl I love more than anything and because of pornography I realize how cold and desensitized I have become, and what a closed-up emotionally person I am. It has affected me physically in that I have battled depression for the past year since the pornography addiction has returned to my life. I also am unable to get an erection from proper stimulation — only when viewing pornography do I get an erection, so it has a big impact there on the physical side of my relationship.

Question: Do you feel like you are addicted to pornography? Please explain your answer.

Answer: Yes, I feel like I am very addicted to pornography. I keep telling myself that this time is the last. And I keep coming back. Sometimes I’m able to quit for a month, sometimes 2 or 3, but I keep falling back. I hate it but I can’t stop it.

My Comments:

How has pornography influenced this person’s life? He has a limited relationship with his parents. He feels that he is cold and desensitized in his relationships. He is more closed. He feels depressed because of pornography and it is influencing his sexual functioning. Pornography is having a significant impact on this man.

It is sad that someone who hates pornography so much feels like he cannot stop viewing it. I would want to know what this guy is doing to stop viewing pornography. Many people feel like they cannot stop. To such individuals I say you can stop. I have met with more than 200 individuals who have attempted to stop viewing pornography. While not all of them have succeeded, many of them are making great progress. I have seen many of them reclaim their identity. They no longer feel helpless and hopeless.

So we understand that this isn’t just a man’s issue here’s what one woman wrote.

July 5th, 2008

Question: Please explain how pornography has impacted your life?

Answer: I believe it has taken away some of my ability to feel emotionally.

Question: Do you feel like you are addicted to pornography? Please explain your answer.

Answer: Yes. Because I know I can’t stop.

My Comment:

I have talked with hundreds of people who have told me that pornography influences their emotions. Many feel that pornography influences their emotions (e.g. depression, shame, guilt). I often wonder why people feel guilty and shame when they view pornography. Some would say that society brings this negative feeling to individuals. However, I do not believe this is the case. I believe that intuitively we know that pornography is not good for us. Pornography creates a chemical high in individuals that changes how they think and feel.

Notice this woman’s response to the question do you feel that you are addicted, “Yes. Because I know I can’t stop.” How sad. During the past two years I have had around 5000 people take this test. As I have reviewed their responses, I have come to the conclusion that pornography is carving out a deep hole from the character of our society.