How much pornography is too much pornography?
A commonly googled question and one my clients often ask early in therapy but there are no recommended healthy pornography viewing guidelines. It is better to consider what is healthy or unhealthy for you as an individual rather than focusing on duration or quantity of use. There are, in-fact many signs of problematic online pornography use which are not measured specifically by time or quantity alone but are related to behaviours and consequences associated with using it.
This article is part two in a series of articles about Overcoming Pornography and is to help individuals and partners understand a range of possible signs of problematic pornography use. If you identify with one or more of the below sign’s you might have a problem with pornography and should consider seeking professional help. Find out what it is like to be 365 days in recovery from pornography addiction after being a habitual user for over 10 years and what my client wants you to know about giving up porn.
You do not have to be a pornography addict to benefit from counselling. In my practice, clients often come for sex therapy and addiction counselling before it escalates into a more serious problem and just want support changing their behaviours while addressing other problems they are dealing with. Therapy can provide non-judgemental professional support and advice for clients and couples experiencing any signs of problematic pornography use. It is important to spend time finding the right professional therapist for you. Find out about some practical ways to give up online pornography on my blog.
It’s worth mentioning that many people who use pornography do not have difficulty controlling or stopping when they want, and it does not affect them or their relationships in a negative way.
What are the signs that you might have a problem with pornography?
Here are 25 signs that you or your partner might have a problem with pornography and that the problem could be getting worse over time. It includes some links to external sites which readers may find helpful.
- Porn is negatively affecting your physical, mental or emotional health.
- You have tried to stop and give up many times but have failed over and over.
- You no longer enjoy regular natural partner intimacy as you did in the past.
- You are experiencing symptoms of erectile dysfunction with a partner but not alone.
- You are over-sexualising the world around you, including people, places & situations.
- The content you are viewing conflicts with your core values and beliefs as a person.
- You are viewing online pornography compulsively or excessively.
- You believe you couldn’t live without pornography in your life.
- You are experiencing symptoms of compulsive sexual behaviour disorder.
- You choose to view pornography alone over intimate partner sex.
- You have developed performance anxiety and feel fearful or avoidant about real sex.
- When you are having sex with your partner, you think about pornography and are not present or connected with them.
- Relationships have ended because of your pornography use.
- You are hiding your porn use from your partner, feel uncomfortable keeping secrets from them and know that they would see it as a betrayal.
- The content you are viewing is making you feel bad about your behaviour, and your body or making you think that you are not good enough.
- Your porn habit is making your turn away and disconnect from your partner, family and friends.
- It is affecting your sexual health and well-being in a negative way.
- You feel you need to be watching pornography to have good sex.
- You are influencing your partner to watch pornography even though they do not want to.
- You are now watching pornography during working hours or in the workplace.
- You are using work property such as phones and laptops to access sexually explicit content and pornography and as a result, risk losing your job.
- It leads you to view other sexually explicit websites that may end your relationship.
- You are putting your children at risk of being exposed to pornography at home on your devices.
- The content you are viewing borders on illegal material.
- The content you are viewing is illegal.
The problem with pornography is that it can become difficult to differentiate what’s healthy and normal when you are your only reference point, and so few people are talking about it. Problematic pornography use does have different types of consequences, but you can live a happy, healthy life without pornography.