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What is porn addiction?

What is porn addiction?

REDMINUTE No. 3

Dr William Struthers answers the question “What is porn addiction?”

There has been plenty of public debate about whether compulsive viewing of pornography is actually an addiction but first we need to start with a definition for porn addiction.

Neuroscientist and author, Dr William Struthers likens porn addiction to a drug addiction. For example, drinking wine doesn’t make you an alcoholic.  You can also drink wine in an unhealthy way without being an addict.  

A person who suffers from an addiction is someone who has lost their ability to control their intake  which means the drug has power over them. They will have cravings for the drug and often be thinking about how they will get their next fix and they will chase that fix despite the negative effect that might have on their life. If we think about pornography in the same way some signs that someone is struggling with porn addiction will include:

  • cravings for the next opportunity to view porn
  • viewing porn even though their life is falling apart around them
  • they’ve tried to stop viewing pornography but found that they can’t control themselves

The Sexual Addiction Screening Test (SAST) is a test used by professionals to assess the degree that their patient might be struggling with sex or porn addiction. You can take an online version of the SAST test here.

About the Author:

Luke Gibbons
Luke Gibbons is a volunteer with Guilty Pleasure. Luke's struggle with pornography and sex chatting eventually led him to open up to two friends who supported him in seeking professional help and going to rehab, beginning his recovery journey. Luke knows first hand how avoiding this topic and keeping a struggle with porn in the dark can disrupt friendships and destroy someone's character, but he also knows the hope and restoration that comes withe a life free from porn. You can read more of Luke's story right here.

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