Someone Lied to You
The Deviant Nerd
Brought to you by The Taming School, for when you want curling up with a good book to feel like a good post-coital cuddle.
I look at a lot of porn. More than anyone I know. Am I addicted to it?
– How Much Is Too Much?
Pip: Hey How Much,
Easy answer: No.
Recent studies are showing that porn addiction isn’t real. In fact, it seems our whole concept of porn addiction has less to do with health or science than it does philosophy and beliefs. If a person thinks that consuming porn at all is a moral ill, chances are higher that they’ll view their own viewing habits—no matter how much or how little they actually stack up when compared to statistical averages—as signs of addition.
So, again, the easy answer to your question is no, you are not and clinically cannot be addicted to porn.
However (isn’t there always a “however”), while porn addiction, as a medical diagnosis, may not be a real thing, porn—just like alcohol, caffeine, shopping, food, internet-surfing, and exercise—can be done in excess. If it interferes with you living your life—if it makes it so you can’t hold down a job or you use it as replacement for human contact or you have a hard time separating porn from realistic, real life expectations, interactions, relationships, and sex—than you may have unhealthy porn habits.
Don’t get me wrong; porn is great! I love porn! Under normal circumstances, it’s good and healthy and fun. Experts are finding that there are “no sign that use of pornography is connected to erectile dysfunction, or that it causes any changes to the brains of users. Also, despite great furor over the effects of childhood exposure to pornography, the use of sexually explicit material explains very little of the variance in adolescents’ behaviors.” In fact, it’s been found that porn just may “improve attitudes towards sexuality, increase the quality of life and variety of sexual behaviors and increase pleasure in long-term relationships.”
But it—like alcohol, caffeine, shopping, food, internet-surfing, and exercise—should be a part of your life, not consume the whole of it. If you can maintain a healthy balance with it, if it brings you pleasure and release and satisfaction, then enjoy it! And stop worrying how much porn everyone else is watching.
Chances are, they’re probably lying anyway.
– Pip, Your Resident Deviant Nerd
* If you have a sex, kink, love, or life question for The Deviant Nerd, email Pip at PipJones.DeviantNerd@gmail.com.
And read more about Pip’s story in Brought to You By.