Porn & Sex addiction

 

Sex addiction, in particular porn addiction, is a growing concern due to the increasing prevalence and easy access to internet pornography. An addiction is any pattern of behaviour, thinking, compulsion or habit that we subjectively experience as out of our control, without choice, and that has negative consequences to our physical, emotional, mental and spiritual wellbeing (Noel Haarburger, 2015).

All addictions are perceived as a replacement, or substitute, for healthy and authentic contact with our self and other people.   To manage unbearable feelings that arise from sitting with one's self or closely with others, we may turn to addictions to mask, distract or protect us from the pain.   Dopamine is the ‘feel good’ chemical in the brain that is released during sex, exercise, meditation, when we are creative, or listening to music.   If we are isolated and disconnected, and feel a depressed and unmotivated, we often look towards simple alternatives to help us feel better.

Unfortunately simple alternatives often come in the form of self-destructive behaviours, which also gives us the dopamine boost we crave.  Use and abuse of caffeine, alcohol, sugar, drugs, shopping, sex, online porn, power, gambling and excessive internet use are all attempts to create a dopamine boost.  

Porn addiction is an growing concern due to its highly addictive nature and the ease in accessing on-line porn anytime and anywhere. Porn addiction can have a detrimental impact on a person's sexuality, wellbeing, and relationships.  Many individuals and couples will need the support of a non-judgmental and supportive therapist to help them through the  process of breaking the addiction and restoring trust and intimacy within their relationship.  

As a gestalt trained sex therapist, I provide the necessary support, compassion and guidance to help individuals gain a deeper understanding of their addiction process and to help individuals create a more relational way of being in the world.