Pornography has been highly prevalent since the beginning of the internet. Many experts have become concerned about the number of men that have become addicted to pornography. Unfortunately, little attention is being given to the growing prevalence of women that suffer from such addictions.
The Growing Rate of Pornographic Addiction among Women
A number of studies have found that a growing number of women are turning to explicit online content as a sexual outlet. According to a study from the Journal of Adolescent Research, 49% of women felt it was an acceptable form of sexual expression.
The acceptance of pornography isn’t so much of a concern. The frequency that women actually consume it is. About 20% of women look at pornography at least once a week and one in seven have viewed it for over half an hour at a time on multiple occasions.
Some people may not necessarily describe these types of behaviors as an addiction. To a degree, they are correct. The consumption of sexual explicit content is only an addiction when it interferes with someone’s life. However, the Internet Filter Review found that 17% of women admitted to struggling with an addiction.
Identifying an Addiction
How does a woman know whether she is a casual consumer of pornography or actually addicted? There are a number of factors that should be taken into consideration. Here are some warning signs that they should be aware of:
- A loss of interest in other sexual activities.
- Discomfort from their partner.
- Difficulty fulfilling other responsibilities.
- Spending more money on sexual materials than they are comfortable with.
- A yearning desire to take greater risks, such as meeting strangers in public that they met through sexual chatrooms, viewing pornography in other areas or risking their job by sharing sexualized photos of their own.
How does someone cope if they believe they have an addiction?
All of these signs could be an indication that you may be suffering from an Internet sex addiction. It may be necessary to seek help. Here are some things that you will need to do:
- Contact a sex addiction counselor.
- Speak with trusted friends and family about your addiction. Getting it out in the open helps make it more real, which makes it easier to take the next step to recovery. However, you need to make sure that you can trust them not to be judgmental or create gossip, because there is unfortunately still a stigma surrounding pornography addictions, especially with women.
- Take any necessary steps to bar yourself from pornography sites. You can block use apps such as StayFocused to block sites that you access for extended periods of time.
- Do not spend any time looking at pornography if you have an addiction. Think of it like alcoholism. The average person can drink in moderation, but an alcoholic can’t have a single drink without opening the floodgate for new problems.
- Figure out if you are viewing pornography as a way to fill some void in your life, such as an unhappy relationship with your partner. You may find that resolving these issues will make a huge difference.
Having a treatment plan in place will significantly improve your odds of recovering.