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When most people think about addiction, their minds go towards substance abuse such as alcohol, tobacco, and drugs. These substances are what people typically equate to an addiction. However, in today’s age, addiction can occur with almost any activity and to any person. For example, many kids today are addicted to various technology such as phones, tablets, and gaming consoles. They are introduced to these technologies at an early age and really are never able to break the habit which slowly forms into a debilitating addiction.
Another common addiction, is the addiction to pornography. Many children as young as nine years old are exposed to pornography in some way, shape, or form. They may come across images or videos on the web either by accident, on purpose, or through a computer virus that serves them inappropriate advertising. Regardless of how one comes across porn, there is the chance that they can form an addiction to it that can severely impact their lives and the loves of those around them. Many people may watch porn and feel like they are simply “indulging” once in a while, but how can you differentiate indulging versus addiction?
Equate Porn to Real Life
One of the signs that you might be addicted to pornography is how you see it verus real life. This can occur in a couple of ways. The first is losing interest in your partner, not because of anything they did, but rather due to your comparison of them to your favorite pornstar. It is common for porn addicts to lose attraction to their partners because they are trying to compare them to their virtual counterparts.
Another way you might be trying to compare porn to real life is in the acts that are actually performed. It is probably no mystery that your sex life isn’t quite the same as the millions of videos at your disposal. That doesn’t mean it is any less exciting, intimate, or pleasurable. It is just different. Unfortunately too many addicts believe that their real sex life should replicate what they see on screen.
Loss of Sex Life
One of the most telling signs of your addiction to pornography is the loss of your sex life. This is especially true if you once had a healthy sex life with your partner. Slowly you begin to prefer pornography and masterbation to sexual intercourse with your partner. Eventually it may be your substitute. The only problem is that in your real sex life, two people are involved. So the sexual needs of your partner are being put on hold which can be frustrating or even depressing to them. They may feel that they no longer hold your interest or appeal which can have serious consequences for your relationship.
Lose Track of Time
Another telling sign of pornography addiction, is loss of time when you are engaged with it. Whether it is flipping through photos or browsing through videos, a few minutes turns into an hour, a few hours turns into half a day. While that time loss may seem extreme, even losing track of time for an hour can be a sign that you have an addiction.
This is similar to the addiction many youths have with the internet. The internet, while an extremely useful tool, can also be a deep web that takes visitors further down the rabbit hole. Watching one YouTube video may lead them to a meme, which may lead them to a Reddit forum, which may lead them to any number of blogs. Similarly, a porn addict may be scouring porn videos trying to find something that they find appealing, and eventually losing track of time.
Keeping it a Secret
Porn addicts typically will keep their addiction to porn a secret. Obviously porn is not something you go around shouting from the top of roofs. It is not as publicly accepted like people’s addiction to sports, TV, or video games. It has a sort of sinful connotation to it. However, a porn addict may even keep their secret from their partner.
Generally, two close partners share the vast majority of their doings and secrets. If you are addicting to porn, however, this might be something that you do in the secret of your own time. Whether you wait for your partner to go to sleep or while they are away, it is something you simply won’t share with them. Most drug addicts act in the same way. They attempt to hide their addiction from their loved ones in order to not expose acts they may be ashamed of or they feel that their loved ones wouldn’t approve of.
Finally, another sign of addiction to pornography may come in the form of antisocial behaviors. Just as porn addicts wouldn’t share their secret with partners, younger porn addicts without partners may become antisocial. Hanging out with friends or socializing with family just isn’t a priority anymore. They would rather be locked in their room with as much privacy as they can get.