Cybersex and Porn Addiction – Compulsion

  • Do you spend an inordinate amount of time on porn sites, in chat rooms or on dating and sex apps?

  • Have you found that a normal sexual relationship has become challenging?

  • Are you turning away from your partner only to favor the isolation of the internet?

  • Is fantasy sex your predominant form of arousal and orgasm to the exclusion of your partner?

  • Has your use of porn brought about feelings of isolation, sadness, depression and loneliness?

Porn Addiction Is the “Crack Cocaine” of Sex Addiction

Exposure to images that turn us on and make us feel good provides momentary pleasure and relief from pain. Yet the consequences of pornography viewing and subsequent addiction can be devastating. Watching porn for some can be a non-issue. But for others it provides an accelerated and high-speed pathway to addiction. The addiction process with porn is fast and furious—concomitant to it are its consequences.

Secrecy, isolation, depression, chronic feelings of loneliness, betrayal and mistrust are but a few of the resultant emotional residue that are experienced with each image and each click. Beyond the private space between computer and addict, the calamitous sequalae might include but is not limited to infidelity and its residue, family instability and an undermining of relationships, sexual dysfunction and the inability to respond appropriately to real sexual interaction, financial and job loss, legal issues and incarceration and the absence of the privacy of sexual fantasies that we once had when they were on paper and in our head.

Advances in the digital age are invading our space and created openings for those to not only have access to unlimited graphics in which they would not otherwise but also to engage and interact with others outside of our relationship agreement. It has changed what our children consider a normal healthy template of sexual behavior.

Virtual Reality – Infidelity in the Digital Age

Approximately 4.2 million pornographic websites make up 12% of cyberspace and of daily search engine inquiries 25% (68 million) are for cybersex/pornography requests. There are a monthly 107 million visitors to adult internet sites. The incidence of addiction to cybersex and pornography has increased exponentially, even faster than internet growth itself, due to accessibility, affordability and anonymity. There are infinite images, live action videos, chat rooms, applications and access to any type of activity imaginable. Porn has become pervasive—it has invaded the mainstream with images on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and elsewhere.

According to Alexa data, Porn Hub out clicks the NYT, HBO and the Weather Channel, as the 75th most watched site in 2015; elsewhere it is cited that Xvideos is 43rd ahead of Gmail and Netflix.

Not everyone who views online pornography is an addict. For some individuals and couples, it is part of their sexual experience.

Yet approximately two-million people are actually addicted to pornography. For those who struggle, there is no bias to age, gender or nationality; reliance on porn has become commonplace among today’s stressed out teens. It is one thing to explore one’s own sexual fantasies in private; it is another to have it interfere with webcams and rapidly move to real-life encounters; oculus rift is the next virtual sex.

Pornography addiction fosters isolation; the viewing creates an avoidance of reality and real time connection as time passes in the presence of a screen.

Porn Addiction Is Not Always Sex Addiction

Pornography viewing is typically accompanied by masturbation. Viewing of pornography can quickly become an addiction, and so can masturbation. For most—about 60% of cybersex/pornography addicts, where the pre-requisites for an addictive pattern may not be significant in their preexisting makeup, the addiction has born out of this notion—that if it were not so easy to get to they would not be suffering. What may have begun as a distraction or a time filler or a mere curiosity, soon becomes unstoppable.

For others, porn addiction co-exists with sex addiction—they go together; there is often cross addiction with other substances like cocaine. With the intrinsic reinforcement from dopamine, serotonin and pleasure, the pattern continues. Like other addictions cybersex/porn addiction takes on a life of its own: isolation, withdrawal and a removal from intimacy. Tolerance brings with it deeper, more intense, sometimes violent forms or images in order to produce the same initial pleasurable effect. Regardless, for both, these are often rooted in abandonment, abuse, neglect, low self esteem.

Pornography is a fantasy addiction; it is a virtual reality form of infidelity for many. While you can’t stop your thoughts you can turn away from them; then they weaken. Treatment for porn addiction is not simply that but a process that starts with removal of the behaviors and ends with a healthy relationship with sex and intimacy.

Having been trained by and in the methods and task model of Patrick Carnes, PhD, Dr. Winter offers treatment for pornography addiction. She understands the intense shame and sadness that typically accompanies the inability to stop despite persistent attempts. She carries the experience and background as well as the presence as a therapist to help you heal.

Shame Can Be Isolating—Don’t Struggle Alone

Reconstructing a healthy relationship with sex, your body, food and money can be difficult. I understand the pain of addiction and am available to resolve your trauma and guide you through your recovery. Take the first step and reach out via phone or email with any questions or for an initial appointment at my Boca Raton office.

GET CONFIDENTIAL HELP NOW

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