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Compulsive Internet Porn Use

Question:

Ok my friend has been in trouble for awhile. He told me that when he was ten he saw a porn pop-up. He said that every since then hes been looking at the stuff. Hes now 14 and I’m worried. He also said its like smoking.(which he has never done)He said that hes try to stop looking at it but hes having a hard time staying away. I want to try to help him or at least give him advise on what to do.

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Answer:

Nicotine (in cigarettes) is an addictive drug. By making an analogy comparing cigarette smoking to porn usage, your friend is basically saying that he feels addicted to using porn; that he has a hard time staying away from it. This is probably a fair analogy actually. Boys begin puberty (sexual maturation) in their early teens. Sex takes on an ‘addictive’ quality during puberty because with the onset of puberty, orgasms are possible. Orgasms are powerful explosions of pleasure that can occur during sex or masturbation. Orgasms, and the pleasurable feelings and beliefs that become associated with them are fairly addictive. Once you’ve had an orgasm, you tend to want more of them. Even before orgasms are experienced, there is an instinctual attraction to one or more genders that emerges in a predictable way during puberty. The shape of desired sex partners become highly attractive and is more or less capable all by itself (in the absence of orgasm even) to create excitement and arousal. All of this is biology’s way of making sure we don’t forget to have children. By being literally genetically programed to get excited and desirous of having sexual relations with opposite sex partners (most of the time anyway) we become very likely to have babies, and to reproduce the species. Pornography, being a graphic representation of bodies and sexual acts, is naturally able to tap into this biological instinctual arousal because it looks just like a real sex opportunity and our brains get fooled. What ends up happening is that the same intensity we normally put into actual sex can easily get derailed into pornography. There are added layers of why porn is addictive (the shame of it is exciting, etc.), but that is the nutshell. So – there is nothing wrong with your friend really – except that his normal and healthy sexual responses have been derailed in unproductive ways. The real danger associated with porn is that it makes it harder to learn how to have real sexual relationships; that it can cause a developmental delay that can have serious consequences for making adult relationships work.

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p> Quitting porn is probably easier than quitting smoking, but both are hard to quit. There are certain principles that are helpful in quiting any sort of addictive thing. One is to make a public declaration of intention to quit (to tell someone who is interested in helping you to quit) and to check in with that person as to your progress on a regular basis. It’s not a good idea to quit privately, because let’s face it – if you don’t tell anyone it is very easy to lose the incentive to quit (because it is exciting to view porn and in the moment you’ll lose resolve to quit). Another is to put away all ‘materials’ associated with the habit you’re trying to quit. In the case of porn, this might mean turning off the internet for a while, or installing porn-blocking software, or only use the internet in public places.

Porn is a substitute for real sexual activity. If you’re not using porn, you’ll still have sexual urges. Therefore, it is a good idea to pursue age-appropriate dating activities in place of porn. If dating is experienced as anxiety provoking and porn feels safer that is okay; it’s hard to feel confident pursuing dates when you’re young. Pursue dates anyway. Real dating is far more exciting than porn, and, more importantly, far healthier for your future.

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Comments
  • djveed

    Recommending a 14 year old to explore his sexual urges and try teenage sexual activity is an abomination of the will of God and is disgusting advice. Addiction is something that is treated only with proper help and guidance and support - finding a substitute for addiction only cures the symptom, not the illness. And based on your advice, this kid will be laced with STDs and spreading around his seed before he's legally permitted to even buy cigarettes.

  • Anonymous-1

    I dont think he is encouraging the kid to replace porn with compulsive sexual acts. He is simply saying that interaction with the opposite sex (or god forbid the same sex) is more healthy for natural human development. Next time read more carefully before start pushing religious rhetoric.

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