The New Narcotic
Pornography is perhaps the world’s most underestimated drug.
It is an addiction rooted in shame and shrouded in secrecy.
No one wants to come out and admit they have a problem. The shame and secrecy actually feed the addiction. Sex Addiction is defined as any sexually related compulsive behavior which interferes with normal living and causes severe stress on family, friends,loved ones, and one’s work environment.
Generally, addicts don’t perceive themselves as worthwhile persons. Nor do they believe that other people will care for them or meet their needs if everything was known about them, including the addiction. They believe sex is their most important need. Sex is what makes isolation bearable. It always does what it promises, but only for a moment. The relationship is with sex, not with people.
- Every second, over R 36 000 is spent on internet pornography.
- Over 28,000 internet users are viewing porn every second.
- 40 million Americans are regular users of porn sites.
- 25% of all search engine requests are pornography related.
- 68 million searches are conducted a day that are pornography related.
- 35% of all internet downloads are pornographic.
- There are 116,000 searches for child pornography daily.
- Although the average age at which a child first sees porn online is 11, children as young as 7 years is being exposed to porn on their cell phones.
- Every 39 minutes a new pornographic video is being created in the USA.
- The number one type of sexual addiction is habitual viewing of pornography.
South African statistics
The bureau of Youth Research at UNISA released the following statistics in 2017:
Exposure to porn of South African learners:
68.7% of male learners and
45.9% of female learners have been exposed to porn.
49.5% encountered porn while surfing the Internet for entertainment
30.8% first reaction was to continue viewing the content
0.8% of learners said they informed adult/showed adult
Although the average age at which a child first sees porn online is 11, children as young as 7 years is being exposed to porn on their cell phones.
The pathway to porn addiction:
1st step – Addiction:
Characterized by repeated return to material. Once the consumer gets hooked, they keep coming back for more, and still more, of this powerful imagery. Once addicted, they cannot get rid of this dependency by themselves.
2nd step – Escalation:
With the passage of time, the addict requires rougher, more explicit, more deviant, and “kinky” sexual material to achieve the same ‘high’. – It is at this stage that, if their wives or partners are involved with them, they eventually push their partners into doing increasingly bizarre and deviant sexual activities. In many cases, this results in a broken relationship when the partner refuses to go further or to participate. This often leads to much conflict, separation and eventually can lead to divorce.
3rd step – Desensitization:
This is when what was previously seen as gross now becomes an acceptable “turn on”. Material that was taboo, repulsive, and even illegal, in time is seen as acceptable. The person really believes that this type of antisocial, or deviant, sexual activity depicted is normal – even if the activity is illegal and contrary to their personal standards and moral beliefs.
4th step: Acting out:
This 4th phase is the increase tendency to act out sexually the behaviours viewed in the pornography. Merely looking no longer satisfies the addict. The fantasies have to be acted out. The addict has been repeatedly exposed to compulsive promiscuity, exhibitionism, group sex, voyeurism, frequenting strip clubs and massage parlours, even having sex with children, rape, and inflicting pain on themselves or a partner during sex.
Compiled by: Clive Human, The Secret in our Pews. http://www.christianaction.org.za/index.php/articles/pornography/39-the-secret-in-our-pews-porn-addiction-and-how-you-can-be-set-free
The Last Interview with Ted Bundy, a serial killer who murdered 35 women. A must watch for any person that still thinks watching pornography is harmless fun.
Two South African teens seeking help for porn addiction:
12 yr old (Afrikaans speaking) girl asking for help on MOBIEG:
‘’Well ek het n superhipermega major probleem met porn. Dis moeilik. Ek gaan elke dag daarop om te kyk. Na ‘n website. Verslaaf. Kan nie sonder dit leef.’’
When asked when she engages in this behaviour, she said: ‘Ek weet nie ek doen dit actually as ek alone time het jy weet’’.
We explained how addictive it is and she replied: ‘’ Is dit soos drugs? O hel!!!! Ek is in groter dinges as wat ek gedink he?’’
An 18 yr boy asked for help on MOBIEG WITH PORN ADDICTION. This is what he said:
‘’Hellow. I been struggle with porn since I was 14. i need help now. I’m 18. I’m addicted to porn and its getting out of hand. Try quitting watching pornography and mastibating. I can’t stop I, its like a drug inside me.
I am scared and lonely I am thinking of killing myself, my life is worthless. Girls always reject me nothing I do or say make the like me. I don’t know how to behave around people. I am used to be alone so the treat me like trash I spent my time watching porn. I am scared. I didn’t pass matric. I failed, my family is disappointed in me.
I started watching pornography when I was 15. It was good at first then I started mastibating . When I was 16 I started to be social isolated. I didn’t want to hang people, I wanted to be alone. I think it was the point depression got to me. When I was 17 I wanted sex so bad I started living in a fantasy inside my head. I did not believe in reality. I lost my friends because they were judgmental about the issue. Also I learn new way to hide pornography in my phone. Then pornography started taking over in my life I lost control. I just wish I could quit this.’’
Why is porn so addictive?
Viewing porn excites the mind and sexually arouses the body. A natural consequence is the carnal desire to act out sexually and relieve the sexual tension. Most often, this is done by masturbation. Pornography is habit-forming and masturbation is habit-forming and the two together become a powerful force for addiction. The self-stimulation to a sexual climax is momentarily pleasurable and it can initially elevate a person’s mood, providing a momentary “high.” That usually results in the temptation to repeatedly replicate these feelings, potentially producing an obsessive- compulsive pattern if not stopped in time by the obvious red flags.
In case you were still doubtful – pornography addiction is real. Considering the symptoms and comparing them to those that we know of from other addictions; the similarities are shocking.
Porn addicts have in fact a range of symptoms which are typical to those that use porn excessively:
- Social anxiety
- Erectile dysfunction
- Lack of interest in real sex
- Lack of interest in anything other than porn
- Relationship & Marital issues
- Employment issues & Jobless
- Poor academic performance
Some consequences of being addicted to pornography are:
1. Sexual addiction using cybersex, once started, escalates quite quickly.
2. Sexual addiction on the internet will extend to non-internet behaviours (like cheating on your partner, visiting strip clubs, having sex with prostitutes, raping women, etc).
3. Sexual addiction magnifies behaviours (feelings of depression and suicide, relationship problems, etc) as well as associated problems (e.g. drugs, alcohol, nicotine, gambling. etc).
4. Sexual addiction will affect your work, relationships, finances, health, etc. in a negative way once it gets out of control. There comes a point where you won’t be able to control your acting-out due to the addition and your compulsive behaviours will eventually destroy you.
How can porn addiction be treated?
Recovery from Internet pornography addiction and any related conditions (such as erectile dysfunction) can be achieved, but it requires willpower, determination and an understanding of just what has been happening. Additionally, a desire to make changes in this and other areas of life is useful to the process that is appropriately termed “rebooting.”
This “cold turkey” style experience is required because the brain has undergone the same changes that it would with any other type of addiction. Rebooting – a term usually used to describe the act of restarting a troublesome computer – is particularly apt, allowing the recovering Internet porn addict to reprogram themselves, staying away from porn, cutting back on masturbation completely during the reboot period and eventually remove the association between the two activities.
Web filters and a change of any porn-related email addresses can help, as can restoring your operating system to factory settings, thereby creating a “clean” computer. Mobile phones and tablets – indeed, any digital device used for the enjoyment of porn – should be also cleaned up and suitable software installed.
It is very difficult to stop porn addiction without help. Once you are addicted to it, you need sexual addiction therapy, as it is treated as an addiction (like drug addiction, alcoholism, etc.), which takes about 2 –3 years to get under control.
Parental guidance: How to protect your kids
1. Begin the conversations early.
*The only thing worse than children seeing graphic porn at a young age is
seeing it and not being able to talk to their parents about it. Ask your
children frequently if they have seen anything that made them
uncomfortable. Have an age-appropriate talk about sex, and make sure
that they are not on sites that potentially have content you have not
discussed with them yet. Talk to them about pornography and
why it is so dangerous.
*Kids learn very early in life that private parts and sex is not openly
discussed in homes. They are therefor not prepared when exposed to
pornography, neither will they tell. This is also a reason why small
children don’t disclose sexual abuse. Teens do fear parents will take
away their cell phones. That is why only 0.8% will tell a parent. Many
parents ask what age is appropriate to talk to kids about porn – even if
your child do not have a phone , their friends might have phones in
primary school. Rather teach your child about sexuality early on – it helps
to create an open forum about difficult issues from the start. Most kids we
talk to in schools, say the subject of pornography is not discussed in their
2. Never give your child a smart phone without explicit rules and safety measures already installed by you – the parent.
A cell phone is not a ‘necessity’, it is a privilege. This goes for laptops, PC’s and tablets too. Set guidelines for how your child uses the computer and discuss those guidelines with your child.
*By safety measures we mean load for example ”Google safe search”.
*Set the phone that it cant access any harmful content. Visit GetNetWise.com. This site is provided as a public service by Internet corporations and public interest organizations. On this site you can find
search engines for kids that don’t bring up unwanted sites, free downloadable filtering software, and information about kid-safe browsers.
*Install a porn blocker with a password that the child don’t have. Take steps to prevent unmonitored YouTube surfing. Your parental controls won’t filter YouTube videos and even a Minecraft search can result in sexual Minecraft content.
*One rule is that you as parent will check the search history on their phones every month. They are not
allowed to delete it. Deletion means immediate phone confiscation.
* No digital devices in bedrooms at night. All cell phones must be charged overnight in the kitchen. You don’t want
your child to be online on social media sites or with friends till the early morning hours. They do need 8-9
hours sleep per night.
3. Make time to talk to kids about other issues they might be struggling with. Don’t just assume they are coping. Many kids use porn as a self-soother when they feel down, or hurt or not in control of their lives.
4. Teach you kids healthy ways to cope with stress. Doing sport or family outings or playing games are wonderful de-stressors and family connectors. That means time without digital screens 🙂
5. Tell your children to come to you immediately if someone sends them messages that they don’t like.
6. Use caution regarding sleepovers. It seems that many first-time porn exposures occur at a friend’s home at a sleepover or play date. We support the “half-over” solution to sleepover invitations allowing kids go to the party, but picking them up at 9:30 p.m. Nothing good happens after 9 p.m. anyway.
Do a self-test quiz to determine if you have a porn addiction. – Pornography Quiz
You can get help by chatting to a facilitator on LIVE CHAT. The service is free and you may stay anonymous.
We are online Sunday : 18h00-20h30 Monday- Thursday : 19h00-21h30.
Level of Addiction Quiz
If you know you have a problem with pornography addiction, you can do the following quiz to determine your level of addiction. Click on the link below. https://www.recoveryzone.com/tests/sex-addiction/SAST/index.php
Support group for porn addicts. The purpose of this group is to offer support and advice to people struggling with pornography addiction. It is essential for people struggling with this problem to attend a support group once a week to maintain and strengthen their recovery. The group is online every Wednesday evening from 20h00-21h30. You can choose an alias for yourself in the group and stay completely anonymous.
You can book counselling sessions for Porn & Sex Addiction with the following therapist: