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17 Characteristics of Porn Addiction that Many of Us Seem to Have in Common

From: Sexual Compulsives Anonymous: A Program of Recovery – 3rd Edition Chapter 17: Pornography, Apps, and Internet Addiction (Pages 211-213)

  1. Pornographic images create fantasies of pleasure far beyond what we can realistically construct in our lives. These fantasies create unrealistic expectations, set us up for disappointment, and damage our ability to connect with others, who can never compete with our fantasies.
     

  2. Because most pornography glorifies youth, many found that our sexual appetite was trained to desire younger bodies, distorting our view of desirable partners.
     

  3. We find euphoric recall in looking at pornography. We tend to remember past experiences positively while overlooking the negative consequences associated with those events.
     

  4. We objectify strangers, fixating on and fetishizing body parts.
     

  5. Because pornography pays homage to the perfect body, we may develop insecurity about our bodies. We may feel embarrassed, ashamed, or anxious about what we perceive as flaws in our appearance: consequently, we avoid face-to-face social situations.
     

  6. We discover that pornography often celebrates anonymous sex, making it seem reasonable, admirable, and aspirational.
     

  7. The vast trove of pornographic images can also provide displays of other forms of sex that have been outside our previous experience, making these behaviors seem exciting and desirable.
     

  8. By posting images of ourselves on websites and apps, we seek to be objectified by others and often see ourselves as mere sex objects. This desire for attention often degrades the respect and dignity we wish to have for ourselves.
     

  9. We seek oblivion in fantasy, lose ourselves in looking at pornography or hunt for sex online.
     

  10. We use pornography to escape from uncomfortable feelings such as anxiety, fear, anger, resentment, guilt, etc.
     

  11. We become emotionally detached from our partner during sex because we are not fully present but lost in our fantasies. This pattern reinforces a disconnection we feel between sex and intimacy.
     

  12. We were readily able to climax with pornography or a stranger, but had trouble getting aroused with a regular partner. Even when aroused, we had trouble climaxing.
     

  13. While we repeatedly try to stop or reduce the amount of time spent looking at pornography, we cannot do so.
     

  14. Many of us suffer from feelings of low self-esteem and turn to apps and webcam rooms as a soothing mechanism, seeking the validation we cannot seem to find elsewhere. However, we find that these activities, eventually take a toll on our physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being.
     

  15. After repeated and intense use of apps, pornography, and the Internet, we find that our lives have become smaller. With the ever present fear of rejection, lost time, and isolation, these “rewards“ often turned into punishments.
     

  16. We find that watching pornography or engaging in digital sexual intrigue with others can easily lead to other forms of compulsive behavior. Most of us realized that these “virtual“ sex encounters undermine our capacity for real connections with others.
     

  17. We isolate ourselves, generate digital intrigue, and engage in anonymous sex when what we want is to create a connection, develop romantic feelings, and build intimate relationships with another human being.

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