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I stumbled across this article while removing a virus from my daughters laptop. I am a 49 year old male. I am the founder and director of a 501c3 non profit that deals with addictions. What makes our program somewhat different is that we work with both male and female sex offenders. What we have learned is that watching porn is addictive in the same way that gambling, food, shopping, facebook, and relationships become addictive. Porn becomes an escape from reality. When life becomes unpleasant EVERYBODY seeks some sort of activity or substance to make things a little more tolerable. Porn is especially damaging. It causes an extreme amount of shame and guilt which drives the person further into isolation and denial. Porn causes much of the same behavior as we see in drug addicts and alcoholics. Shame, guilt, denial, blaming others, justifying their actions and avoiding any sort of accountability. Any attempt by spouse, family, or friends to come between the addict and their substance or activity of choice (coping method) will always end badly. The user / addict's brain will kick into self preservation mode and YOU become the enemy. The part of our brain that controls our "auto-pilot" functions also controls our "fight, flight, or freeze" functions. These functions are hard wired into us to ensure survival. When we are faced with a situation our brain makes subconscious decisions that determine which one of those "functions" we must do in order to be okay. We stand and fight or argue, we run (like we saw a bear or spider) to avoid confrontation, or we go into a paralyzed state of fright / shock. This is also refered to as the "i just feel numb" state of being.
I said all of this to set up the following point. When you catch you significant other watching porn, shame and guilt set in, which causes the brain to go into "fight, flight, or freeze" mode, and YOU become the bad guy. How can you expect your significant other to be attracted to you and be truly intimate with you if he or she sees you as the enemy? It has NOTHING to do with you being unattractive or unlovable. This is NOT about YOU. This is an addiction to sex and sexual fanticies. Even if you offered to act out the sexual fanticies and dress / act like a porn star it will never be enough. I compare that to offering an alcoholic alcohol free beer. Porn is especially hard to break free of because in our "anything goes" society we are bombarded with sex from every direction. Parents are allowing their teens to dress like porn stars and then sit in my office, in total bewilderment, as to how little Sally got herself into this mess, or they demand a lynch mob when a man touches their precious angel (who is dressing like a porn star). Porn addiction will be like any other addiction, A life long struggle filled with periods of abstinance followed by periods of relapse for the addict and a life that resembles a wicked rollercoaster ride for the one who is close to the addict. There are programs and support groups for sex addiction. AA also has meetings called SA, and Celebrate Recovery has meetings with small groups specific to porn and sex addiction. Before any hope of recovery there must first be honesty. Failure to admit there is a problem is the biggest hurdle. If the porn watcher in your life refuses to be honest and seek help my suggestion is that you seek a way out of that relationship.

February 2, 2015 - 10:55am


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