With therapists reporting an increased number of clients presenting porn-related problems (case in point: 50% of the divorce cases for 2002 involved porn), the impact of porn has been raising more and more concern. Professionals and lay people alike want to know if there is such a thing as too much porn. If so, what are some of the signs that you or your partner are too into it?
Some indicators that a porn habit is becoming problematic include:
1. You're becoming anti-social. You'd rather lose yourself in porn than be out socializing and meeting other people. You're excusing yourself from all sorts of activities or are becoming known for unexplained absences. Even if you do manage to get out with humans, you find yourself preoccupied with the porn the second you get home. During family and couple obligations, you find yourself concocting strategies for leaving as soon as possible.
2. You have an inability to be intimate with others.
You're becoming increasingly aware that porn is taking precedence over your desire and abilities to develop or cultivate a relationship with another. You're spending more time with pornography than socializing with and meeting other people. Overall, your porn obsession is starting to cause family, work, legal, and/or spiritual problems, especially as you're having more trouble accounting for your time.
3. You're lying to your partner.
While you were once open with your lover, you can now describe your interactions as ones defined by secrecy and dishonesty in trying to hide your passion for porn. Like the other 70% of people who keep their porn use a secret, you're going to great lengths to cover your tracks.
4. You're only getting turned on to porn stars.
As your obsession with fantasy characters grows, you're finding it hard to get turned on to real people, at least beyond wondering what he'd look like naked or how good she'd look in a sexual position or act. If you're involved, you no longer consider your partner attractive — at least not sexually. In fact, you think that there's something "wrong" with your partner for not looking or acting like a porn star.
5. You're becoming increasingly critical of yourself. You've become fixated on how you compare to porn stars. Are you as well hung? Are your breasts as big? Are you, generally, as attractive? You're objectifying yourself and others.
6. You have an inability to find anything outside of porn erotic. Your sexual response and desire cannot be activated unless you're using porn, to the point that you may even be having problems reaching orgasm or attaining erection.
7. You're dissatisfied with your sex life. With your expectations around sex, lovers, and intimacy now warped, you're bored with your own reality. You need more and more stimulationto get sexually excited and experience any kind of release. You're preoccupied with porn and emotionally distant with your lover. Your sole interest is anything that resembles pornography
Turns out you can have too much of a good thing!
You're experiencing psychological and emotional distress because of your porn consumption, whether because it conflicts with your value system or the consequences of its use ultimately have you feeling anger, shame, loneliness, depression, irritability, and unrest.
You're engaging in risky behaviors, like unprotected sex or engaging in illegal activities, e.g., hiring prostitutes.
You're seeking out porn that's harmful, inappropriate, and disturbing, like that involving children, violence and animals.
You're neglecting life's day-to-day demands, like work.
You're having trouble calming down and sleeping, with your moods and interests vastly different, thanks to porn.
You're unable to maintain a healthy relationship because you're so into porn.
The use of porn is causing problems in your relationship, e.g., your partner equates porn use with having an affair.