The internet makes accessing sexually explicit content and conversation easier to access and keep discreet than it ever has been before. Pornography and Cybersex addiction are arguably the two most prevalent forms of sexual addiction in the modern age, but are so easy to hide that knowing the true numbers is nearly impossible.
Most do not know when they are suffering from an unhealthy relationship with pornography, or that their use of dating and sex platforms constitutes a problem. The internet makes it so easy to establish a problem that we aren’t even aware when we’ve passed the threshold into an unhealthy pattern. Learn the nature of this problem, and steps you can take to rectify it, with Whitestone Sexual Addiction Clinic.
It’s estimated that 13% of the internet is pornography, and that approximately 25% of search results are porn-related. Today platforms like Tinder make it easier than ever to fabricate a false identity and live out your sexual fantasies through a fictional self.
The internet makes the transition from sexual compulsion to addiction so easy that rarely does a person ever recognize that they’ve crossed it. The fact that hiding ones porn usage or online chat history is so effortless, and that the nature of this behavior causes intense feelings of shame, makes this a problem that loved ones rarely ever become aware of.
If you’re struggling with an unpleasant relationship with internet pornography or cybersex, and are wondering if your problem constitutes an addiction; ask yourself these questions:
Questions To Ask Yourself About Your Relationship With Online Sexual Material:
Do I Do This To Escape Stress?
A healthy person, when they are viewing the occasional dirty movie, or who healthily engages with sexual communities online, will feel a degree of pleasure from the experience.
Someone with an addictive relationship to porn, or online sexual communities, will think they are experiencing pleasure; but are actually just subtracting stress and anxiety, temporarily, from their life.
A similar story can be told with concerning all addictions. Regardless of what a person is addicted to, a major reason why they’re addicted is because they lack healthy means to cope with suffering.
Does My Behavior Affect My Moods?
Someone with a healthy relationship to online sexual experiences will enjoy when they have access to those things, but not be particularly upset after using them, or if denied access to them.
The same cannot be said of addicts. Like a drug addict suffering withdrawal when denied access to their drugs, or an alcoholic suffering guilt after a night binging; pornography and cyber-sex used by addicts is necessary to control moods.
Does being denied the opportunity to engage with these things cause you discomfort, stress, or anxiety? Do you find that you are unusually irritable, or ‘foggy’ after a day spent absorbed in them? If you are interrupted, does this cause you frustration?
If you’ve said yes to any of these, there is a good chance you ought to seriously consider reaching out for an evaluation of your thoughts, behavior’s, and feelings as they concern to your internet use.
Would Trusted Loved Ones Consider My Use a Problem?
Online addictions are easy to hide. So easy that sometimes we don’t even know we’re doing it.
Those closest to you, presuming they are healthy sexual adults, understand that occasional porn/online dating use is something that healthy sexual adults do.
If you were to describe with full honesty the way you interact with online pornography, communities, chat, etc; how do you think they would respond?
If you were to tell your partner, do you think they would consider your actions infidelity?
If you can honestly say that they would not think your behavior outside the norm, then chances are you’re OK. But if you can’t, this is an indication that you might have a problem.
What To Do If You Have a Problem
If these questions have revealed that you have an unhealthy sexual relationship with online material, the first thing you need to do is:
Sex is intimate and taboo. When we find we’ve got a problem with our sexual thoughts, feelings, and behaviors; we’re hit with a powerful realization that runs deep to the core of who we are, and the desire to hide it from everybody.
This is a recipe for stress and anxiety, which can exacerbate the problem your dealing with. Learning you might have a serious problem is an intense experience, but be careful of the desire to deny yourself the thing you need to fix it: help.
Working up the courage to jumping into a cold lake is the hardest part. Once you’re in there, it’s never as much of a shock as your imagination told you it would be, and every jump thereafter is easy.
If you think you might be struggling with how you express your sexual desires online, the best thing you can do to ease the stress and anxiety that leads you down bad paths is to take the first step down a good one.
Reaching out for help with problems of this nature can be a frightening, and deeply uncomfortable thought; but so can a life spent in the grips of an addiction. By putting yourself through the temporary discomfort of reaching out to Whitestone, you will come to the realization, as all our clients do, that talking about your problem is easier than you ever thought.
If you’re struggling with the prospect of getting in touch, feel free to ask your questions anonymously! If you aren’t ready to engage with sessions face to face, we are more than willing to accommodate anything you might need to feel comfortable in order to talk openly about your problems.
The road to peace of mind seems a lot more difficult than it is. Start to walk it with Whitestone.