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August 1, 2011 | by  | in Opinion |
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Ask Constance

Sup Connie,

Generalisations aside, guys (and probs girls) like porn. No biggie. It’s human nature I reckon. What’s sorta bugging me though is whether it can get dangerously addictive? There’s smokoholics, alcoholics and drugoholics out there, there must be pornoholics too?

Chur girl,

Potench pornoholic

Hey PP,

Firstly, yes girls do like porn. Many of us would also like to see the mainstream porn industry and free internet porn spaces recognise this (and I’m not talking about the new ‘female friendly’ categories on a couple of sites which just include videos where the actresses don’t get fucked quite so roughly and there are some sandy beach Mills and Boon senarios. Bo-ring).

I do genuinely think that porn addiction is a reality for many people. I’m not a therapist (but if I was I would be Dr Cravings and that’s awesome) but in my humble opinion it’s easy to see how it could become a problematic habit.

Orgasms are nature’s ecstasy. Porn, and the often accompanying masturbation-to-orgasm, trigger the pleasure parts in your brain which results in you feeling like you’re on top of the world (even for a split second). Also, having easy access to a visual aid which makes achieving orgasm even easier, and allows you to choose from hundreds of thousands of kinds, is kind of like a free ice cream stand with every flavour you could ever want. I can see how people might get hooked on the ease of the whole thing, the control over your stimulation and the nice feeling it creates.

I think it’s important to remember that for most people (and I do think that most people watch porn) it’s a bit of fun which means they don’t have to rely on their spankbank creativity. It’s also an effective release of tension, and for some people, the only way they can explore their sexual preferences. But if you start feeling that you need to feel that way every single day, or you can’t function properly without that release, then it’s impeding on your daily life. And for me that’s the distinction between hobby and addiction.

I don’t think that problematic and healthy porn use is black and white, I think it’s more likely that your use can and will fluctuate for a lot of reasons: boredom, stress, hornyness etc. For instance, if you’re on holiday and you spend a decent amount of time in bed watching porn and having a good time with your fun bits, I don’t think you’ve suddenly crossed the line between good use and bad use. If, however, that becomes what you need every single day to feel good then that’s an issue. If you’re unsure if your porn use is problematic, then maybe start to view it as (for example) alcohol. Most people like to drink, but we don’t do it every day; It’s usually reserved for weekends and special occasions. Perhaps a way to get a sense of control and measure of your porn use and its impact on you would be to try and save it for the weekends and be strict on yourself with that.

However, if your attempts to cut down don’t work, or if you already feel that your porn use is becoming problematic, then I don’t think there should be any taboo around going to see a counsellor at Student Health. Personally, I view it in same vein as going to see a physio because you’re really sick of taking Nurofen every day. No biggy. It’s self-care and everyone who needs help figuring stuff out should feel comfortable with exploring their options.

I hope that helps x

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