Understanding Porn Addiction Side Effects

Updated August 28, 2020

Medically Reviewed By: Debra Halseth, LCSW

Have you or someone that you love become addicted to pornography? You might be surprised by how many people struggle with porn addiction. Porn is something that many people are able to watch purely for entertainment or pleasure. Others have a hard time enjoying porn in moderation and it winds up consuming their thoughts at all times. Porn addiction occurs when someone starts to crave pornography like a drug. It stops being something that they enjoy sometimes and it becomes something that they seek out even at inopportune times.

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Various studies have been done on porn addiction and it has shown that it is indeed a very serious problem. While some people will laugh it off and not think that porn addiction is very serious, it’s important to note that it has ruined the lives of certain individuals. There are those who wind up dealing with porn addiction side effects that completely throw their lives off-course. This article is all about understanding porn addiction side effects and how you can get well.

Watching Porn At Work

Your porn addiction might cause you to feel a strong urge to watch porn even when you know you aren’t supposed to. For instance, many people have been caught watching porn at work and this has gotten them in deep trouble. If you are so addicted to internet pornography that you can’t wait to watch it until you are in your house, then that could be very problematic. You could be put in a position where you could lose your job and this could make it tough to keep a roof over your head. This is an extreme example, but there are cases of porn addiction being this severe.

Procrastination

Porn addiction can also cause people to procrastinate to a high degree. You might need to get things done for your job or you could need to finish an important paper for college. The deadline for completion could be looming but you might choose to focus on porn instead of your responsibilities. Many people who are addicted to porn make poor decisions like this and it can cause them to lose out in life. People who are addicted to porn might fail out of college for not being able to focus and others might lose their jobs because of poor performance.

Social Problems

Social problems can arise from watching too much porn as well. For example, you might make a decision to stay at home and watch porn instead of spending time with your friends or family. If the urge to watch porn is that strong, then your relationships are going to start to suffer. Those who are addicted to porn will sometimes not realize how bad it is until things start to change for the worse. Porn shouldn’t ever be a deciding factor when you’re making your plans for the evening if you want to maintain healthy relationships with those close to you.

It’s also important to note that some people become less socially capable due to watching too much porn. Porn paints an unrealistic picture of the world and it also objectifies people in many ways. A young man who watches a lot of porn might not know how to treat women with respect if he really is that addicted to internet pornography. This is usually only an issue for those with extreme addictions, but it can be problematic to suffer socially due to porn addiction.

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Compulsive Masturbation Issues

Compulsive masturbation and porn addiction also seem to be related. Studies have shown that porn binges are very much related to compulsive sexual behaviors. This includes seeking out sex in unsafe ways and compulsively masturbating. If you have a bad porn addiction, then you might feel the urge to watch porn and then masturbate. Some people have urges so strong that they make poor choices and decide to masturbate at improper times and locations.

You might find someone with a pornography addiction who gets into trouble for masturbating in public. It’s also true that compulsive masturbators might lose sleep due to feeling the urge to masturbate instead of doing what they need to do for their health. Masturbation can be a perfectly healthy activity for people of any gender. However, compulsive masturbation is different because you’re going to start doing this when you feel the urge. Not everyone with a porn addiction has issues with compulsive masturbation, but the two problems are certainly intrinsically linked.

Relationship Problems

It’s also true that many people have had relationship problems due to having a porn addiction. If you have a porn addiction, then your spouse or partner might feel slighted in many ways. Some individuals get addicted to internet pornography to such a degree that they will start to ignore their significant others in favor of watching porn. The porn might be more interesting to them than the prospect of actually having a romantic encounter with someone that they love. This might seem very strange to someone who isn’t suffering from porn addiction, but this scenario has happened to many people.

Also, it’s very common for the significant others of people suffering from porn addictions to feel jealous. If someone that you love is enamored with a porn actress or actor, then how does that make you feel? It might make you feel bad to know that your lover is focusing so much attention on other people. It can make spouses and partners feel undesirable and this can lead to many problems within a relationship. People suffering from porn addiction often wind up losing their relationships.

Even celebrities have dealt with porn addiction and spoken about how it has negatively impacted their lives. Actor Terry Crews has gone through pornography addiction issues in the past and he stated that it “screwed up his life.” Crews specifically recalled how it harmed his relationship with his wife and how he tried to keep his porn addiction a secret. This is just one of many examples of how porn addiction can cause serious relationship problems.

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Inability To Enjoy Normal Sexual Encounters

Another side effect of pornography addiction is that traditional sexual encounters might seem tame to you. Porn videos have the potential to get pretty wild and they cater to a wide variety of different fetishes. Porn actors and actresses are consenting professionals who perform various sex acts that most people will likely not try during their lifetime. Some of the situations that you might encounter in a porn movie, such as sex with multiple partners, might not be practical in your situation. You might also watch porn movies about various sexual fetishes that won’t be appealing to your romantic partner.

Your pornography addiction could then make it so that you are unable to enjoy normal sexual encounters. A traditional or “vanilla” sexual encounter might seem too tame for you to truly become aroused. It’s fine to want to experiment sexually and seek out greater sexual satisfaction, but porn might be painting an unrealistic picture of sex that is not obtainable for most individuals. If you start to see sex through the lens of an internet pornography film, then you can’t appreciate the beauty of real sex. Sex isn’t always perfect like it is in porn movies but someone with a porn addiction might not be able to differentiate between fantasy and reality.

Financial Hardships

Financial hardships could be another side effect of pornography addiction and this is something that needs attention. You see, some people who are addicted to internet pornography will struggle financially because of spending an inordinate sum of money on pornography. It’s easy to find adult content for free in modern times, but there are also many pornographic websites that cost money. Some people also like to spend money on specific sex workers or adult models. This could cause someone with porn addiction to exhaust his funds fast. The need to watch porn feels so strong that you might not think twice about spending money that should be saved.

Some people even avoid paying important bills just to have enough to buy more porn or to tip their favorite porn model on a webcam site. Some people are able to enjoy adult entertainment like this responsibly while others will struggle with a porn addiction that is too strong to contain. It’s important for you to be honest with yourself about whether or not you have a porn addiction so that you can make the decision to get help.

Getting Treatment For Porn Addiction

Getting treatment for porn addiction is in your best interests. There are a few treatment options and the most common one that people rely on is therapy. You can speak to a therapist about what you’re going through so that you can get on a better path. People who are dealing with porn addictions have issues getting their lives back to normal. Some of them even struggle with certain mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. There could also be underlying causes of why a person is addicted to porn.

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Being able to talk things out with a professional helps people to put things in perspective. There are many therapists who specialize in helping people with sexual problems. If your porn addiction is causing too many side effects in your life, then it’s a good idea to seek out help whenever you’re ready. This isn’t something that you need to go through alone and a therapist will be happy to help.

There are multiple options for therapy available to you as well. Many choose to seek out local therapists that they can talk to in person. Others will be keener to try out online therapy options such as BetterHelp. Online therapy can be great for those who want to get help with porn addiction as discreetly as possible. Know that help is available and that people care about doing what it takes to get you through this tough time.


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