PORN IS NOT HARMLESS, AND HERE’S WHY

Some people think that watching pornography is harmless. But in the addiction recovery world, we know better.

Sure, for some, watching porn isn’t necessarily an inherently dangerous activity – maybe for those who only view it occasionally, for example.

But even for these folks and for most other people who watch porn regularly, porn has the potential to wreak havoc in lots of different ways…

  • It can create turmoil in a marriage or a relationship if one partner enjoys watching porn and the other doesn’t;
  • It can quickly become a compulsion or an addiction that hinders the person’s social life, sex life and self-confidence;
  • It can lead to feelings of guilt and shame

All of these factors are reason enough to curb the use of porn as an arousal vehicle—but there’s another side effect of excessive porn watching that fewer people expect or recognize: porn-induced erectile dysfunction, also known as P.I.E.D.

Yes, that’s a thing. Really.

It makes sense when you think about it: a man* who regularly watches porn begins to become desensitized to the aggressive sexual behavior he witnesses on-line. As he becomes desensitized, his expectations of real-life sexual interactions become skewed and he finds arousal in normal sexual situations more and more difficult. Eventually, he may find he is unable to get or keep an erection at all. So, what started as a seemingly harmless means of arousal has, in fact, had the absolute opposite effect. And, one study out of Cambridge found that 30% of male youth, from 15 to 25 years of age, are feeling the effects of P.I.E.D; the study determined that pornography is altering the neural pathways of arousal.

(*Note: Some women watch porn, too, of course, and are also susceptible to porn addiction and related performance problems. However, contemporary research indicates a much higher rate of this problem among men.)

In the age of the internet, porn is all around us. In 2015, it was estimated that porn had become a $97 billion industry, according to Kassia Wosick, assistant professor of sociology at New Mexico State University. It doesn’t take more than a few clicks of the mouse to access a veritable sea of pornographic images, films and products. And that’s not going to change anytime soon. What we need to do, then, is to find effective ways to keep porn from ruining healthy relationships and skewing sexual expectations.

For people who are dealing with sexual compulsivity or sex addiction that involves pornography, addiction treatment can help reverse the damage porn has already created in your life.

If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction or compulsivity related to the consumption of pornography, Prescott House can help. Located in picturesque northern Arizona, we are a dual diagnosis treatment and recovery center that offers one of the nation’s only focused sex addiction treatment programs. Contact us today. We can help.

Contact our Admissions Team Today
See how we can help you or your loved one continue their journey in recovery.

Zach Lindley—Admissions Team

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