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What is Porn Addiction?

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Porn addiction is a subset of sex addiction but sometimes has very different roots to other forms of sex addiction – especially for younger people who have grown up with easy access to Internet porn.

There is a growing body of research demonstrating the powerful affect of high-speed porn on the brain. Internet pornography is what’s known as a supernormal stimuli – in other words, rather than providing the brain with the usual reward that visual sexual stimulation can provide, the endless variety and novelty that can be instantaneously enjoyed is a ‘supernormal stimuli’. This stimuli has been called the ‘crack cocaine’ of sex addiction because it can be so powerfully addictive. This means that unlike other forms of sex addiction, which may have roots in childhood trauma, you can become hooked on porn simply because of its easy availability and lack of educational resources about the potential risks.

Many people are not aware they’re hooked on porn until it escalates to the point of affecting other areas of life such as relationships, friendships or work. Or until they notice that they can no longer get an erection without using pornography and sex with a partner no longer holds any appeal. For some the escalation has gone into cybersex, hook ups and visiting sex workers which may be crossing personal boundaries and breaching fidelity contracts with a partner.

The treatment program for recovering from porn is the same as sex addiction but with additional emphasis on relapse prevention strategies and building a chosen sexual lifestyle.

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