Am I addicted to Porn? - Play Safe
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NSW Government
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The internet has made porn more accessible than ever before. One quick search and you have a host of pornographic material – no matter your taste – available within seconds.

According to one analysis, 30 percent of New South Wales’ visits to one of the world’s major porn sites come from people aged 18-24, and 29% from 25-34 year olds. Australia ranked 9th for visitors — beaten only by larger countries like the US, UK and India — and also had one of the longer average viewing times.

While watching porn can be a normal part of a healthy sex life, with so many people exposed to porn every year, it’s important to know if you’ve gone from entertainment to addiction.

 

Porn is a fantasy, not a ‘How to’ guide

Before we get into the details of what porn addiction might look like, it’s important to remember that porn is never a depiction of reality.

In fact, porn education organisation Reality and Risk estimates that 88% of the most popular porn includes physical aggression and that, in 94% of cases, the aggressive acts were directed at female performers.

Whatever type of porn you’re into, be sure to separate it from your real-life sexual relationships, and seek enthusiastic and ongoing consent for anything you want to try in the bedroom.
There’s other ways porn is different to real life too:

 

How do I know if I’m addicted to porn?

While watching porn in small doses is a normal part of exploring your sexuality, some research suggests that people addicted to porn watch on average 11-12 hours of porn per week. But it can, of course, be much higher than this.

There are also other telltale signs that you might have addictive or compulsive porn viewing habits:

  1. Porn drives your thought process and is the thing you’ll arrange your time around
  2. You’ve lost interest in sex, or your sexual taste has changed to mirror what you see on the screen
  3. You get angry, annoyed or irritable if you’re asked to stop (or need to stop for any other reason)
  4. You’re lying and covering up the extent of your porn use
  5. You have lost long periods of time to watching porn

 

How serious is porn addiction?

If left unaddressed, porn addiction can have a serious impact on your quality of life; it can impact how you spend your time, your ability to connect with others, your romantic, intimate and sexual relationships, and can even impact your career, financial stability, mental health and self-esteem.

 

How can I treat porn addiction?

Porn addiction recovery is possible, and one of the first steps in recognising that you have compulsive behaviours when it comes to your porn watching habits. It’s also important to recognise that – like many other addictions – there is no shame or stigma. You’re not alone.

In terms of treatment options, it is very similar to the treatment offered for other compulsive behaviors. Counseling, and psychotherapy options like Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) are very common treatments.

Are you concerned about your porn habits? Ask Nurse Nettie a question or join the discussion on the Play Safe forum.

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