Warning: Contents May Be Hot

Is Porn Addiction Real?

Salon put out a really interesting article recently that discussed the idea of porn addiction and how it may be misrepresented in the media and social consciousness.  The best thing about the article is that it dispels many of the notions that we may have about pornography use, and does so in a clear and scientific way.

The article is a discussion with psychologist David Ley, who runs through many of the most common ideas surrounding porn addiction.  The key fact is that there is little to no empirical data or evidence to back up many theories of porn addiction – most of the research lacks scientific grounding and therefore can’t be used conclusively one way or another.

People who push the notion of heavy pornography use as a cause of depression, anxiety and relationship problems are making a mistake. Though heavy porn consumption might be seen as a potential symptom of these issues, there is nothing to support the claim that it is the cause. 

In addition, many of the physical side effects commonly associated with heavy porn usage (for example erectile dysfunction/reduced sex drive) don’t have any true scientific support.  In fact, masturbation seems to lend itself to positive health benefits, the same health benefits that might be associated with sex.

So in the end, it seems like porn addiction is something that has been blown out of proportion and has become an ‘it-diagnosis’ in our current society.  I agree with the article that likely there isn’t any physical or mental damage that can come directly as a result of over-doing it with the porn watching. On the other hand, this article ignores some of the other ways that porn might affect its watchers, something that I would potentially lump in as an ‘addiction’ of sorts.

Source: theundiedrawer.wordpress.com via GilPowers on Sex.com

I believe that pornography can have a negative impact on peoples’ perceptions of sex, and of women.  I believe that people who watch too much porn end up blurring the lines between pornography and sexual intimacy, which can often lead to a disconnect between two partners in the bedroom.  People might expect to perform the acts they watch in porn, which oftentimes isn’t a realistic expectation. Additionally, given that pornography often portrays women as objects, I believe that watching too much of it might negatively impact one’s perception women in real life.  Of course, like the Salon article states, I don’t have any empirical evidence to back my opinions up.

So, having said that, you’re safe!  Porn isn’t dangerous.  Enjoy yourself, but make sure you have some real-life sex too!

For the full article, which is extremely detailed and highly worth a read, please visit Salon. 

9 Responses to “Is Porn Addiction Real?”

  1. mik1999

    I agree that the evidence for porn as an ‘addiction’ seems quite weak. As a ‘compulsion’ though, I can see it, and I do think there are some people who spend unhealthy amounts of time consuming porn. Before the ‘addiction’ debate, I think there was a healthy discussion around porn, and wise warnings that if your porn habit was: causing you to miss work, preventing you from embarking on outside social functions, distorting your view of relationships, then porn was likely too prominent in your life

    Reply
    • theundiedrawer

      I didn’t mean to come off that way if I did =/

      I’m totally not anti-porn and in fact I watch a lot of porn myself and get off on it. My issue is that the article in question only examines potential scientific/physical ramifications for heavy porn-watching, but somewhat ignores any social repercussions.

      I am against pornography in the sense that I think its extremely anti-feminist and subjugates women and morphs our perceptions of sex and sexuality. But those are social issues that are not covered in the study, yet I think they are just as important. I am not against porn as a theoretical concept, or even in practice if done correctly. I just think that much of the pornography that is created is socially backward.

      Reply
      • naivenancyblogs

        Doesn’t the “hollywood” culture morph our perceptions of sex and sexuality just as much? Or is that too much into the feminine ideal concept and moving away from sex and sexuality? I personally think they’re tied. At least porn doesn’t shy away from what it is. Doesn’ t deny it.

      • theundiedrawer

        That’s actually a good point, and I agree with you, in a way. I had overlooked that some of our more mainstream forms of media might have a similar/same effect on the perceptions of sex/sexuality. On the other hand, I disagree with you in your statement that porn doesn’t shy away with it. While I think that the sex in porn is obviously more overtly displayed, I don’t think that pornography approaches its own social problems in an objective way, and in fact, I think the industry IGNORES these issues more than Hollywood. I think this is because a) there are far less woman making porn (i mean directing/producing) than there are in Hollywood, and b) since Hollywood is obviously more mainstream, it gets more attention when it comes to social and political issues.

      • naivenancyblogs

        Good point on the women making (directing/producing) porn. I see an opening in the market. Maybe we should team up. 🙂

  2. funloveandrew

    This topic is getting a lot of attention, so, whether there is truth to the idea of porn “addiction”, there are a lot of people who feel negatively about the amount of porn they use and find it hard to stop using it.

    I also agree with what you say about porn being a bad influence to our perception of women. – The more porn guys use, generally, the harder core porn they view and that generally means more violence depicted towards woman and the women treated much worse. It’s hard to stop letting what we watch and read affecting how we think.

    Reply
    • Music

      If you read Ley’s artical it clearly states that the religiosity not amount of use have to do with negetive feelings about porn.

      Reply

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