Porn Addiction: It’s Not Just a Guy Thing

Porn addiction is on the rise for men, according to many publications—but what about women? It’s not like we use a different internet than guys or find sexy imagery less appealing. (If that last bit surprises you, check out my Huffington Post article, 3 Myths About Female Sexuality.)

I knew when porn addiction began cropping up readily in my work that more women had to be experiencing it than the masses realize. I can also see why women’s dependencies are less recognized or discussed. Here are some of the reasons:

  • Women are more prone to shame about sexual behaviors; shame makes it difficult to discuss them.
  • Historically, porn has been geared toward a straight male audience, which only increases the shame factor when women indulge. (What’s often considered “normal” for men, is seen as “dirty” for women.)
  • Many people assume that women aren’t relying on porn, so it’s less studied.

After interviewing Gabe Deem, a former porn addict turned counselor, and Rachel Khona, whose ex-boyfriend experienced porn-related sexual dysfunction, I began seeking women with similar issues to interview. The few I connected were too fearful to share their experiences, even anonymously. I certainly don’t blame them. One told me the dependency was ruining her life. Another revealed that her adolescent daughter shared her addiction—which is how she recognized her own.

Finally, I found a woman willing to share her story. In fact, she’d already done so beautifully before. The accomplished writer from Los Angeles, Erica Garza, joined me in the studio to share her journey through porn addiction, its impact on her life and how she’s begun to turn it all around. Her insight is some of the most poignant and important I’ve had the chance to share yet.

To download or stream our chat visit this link on iTunes:

Porn Addiction: Not Just a “Guy Thing” on Girl Boner Radio

August McLaughlin_Girl Boner Radio

To learn more about Erica’s work, visit EricaGarza.com and follow her on Twitter: @ericadgarza.

For more resources and support regarding porn addiction, visit Gabe Deem’s brainchild, Reboot Nation.

Your Brain on Porn: 10 Common Signs of Addiction

“If a man or woman ejaculates to pornography on a regular basis they will actually attach to sex as object relationships as opposed to intimate relationships.” — Douglas Weiss, psychologist and executive director of Colorado’s Heart to Heart Counseling Center

What do you look at or imagine most during sex? What about just before you climax? If your answer has anything to do with a XXX website, photograph or movie, you’re at high risk for porn addiction, a condition that reportedly affects 10 percent of adults, according to Brigham Young University. Yikes, right?

Here’s why:

Whatever we envision, real or imaginary, during arousal and orgasm, when our levels of feel-good “I’m so turned on!” brain chemicals are at their highest, imprints on our brains. So the more often we watch or imagine porn during sex, the more likely we become to only experience turn-on and orgasm via porn, versus a lover. This is a definite setup for addiction. Once it develops, porn addiction can greatly detract from a person’s life.

The more porn the brain perceives during arousal, the more it wants.

The more porn the brain perceives during arousal, the more it wants.

10 Signs of Porn Addiction

Porn addiction affects people differently, but here are some of the common signs:

  • Needing to use porn for arousal or orgasm
  • Needing to use porn to relax, think straight or function normally
  • Reduced interest in normal sex
  • Using porn frequently and routinely (such as daily or more)
  • An inability to go a week, a month or longer without porn use
  • Defensiveness about porn habits
  • Secrecy about porn habits
  • Using porn instead of socializing or tending to work or family obligations
  • A strong desire for extreme sex or porn-like body types
  • Feeling generally withdrawn and having difficulty focusing

Thanks to folks like Rachel Khona, a writer whose ex-boyfriend’s porn addiction compelled her to speak up about the seriousness of the dependency, conversations are taking place, bringing light to this growing epidemic and help to those affected.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Rachel on Girl Boner Radio on Monday. To learn more about her experience and what to do if you suspect that you or your partner is struggling with addiction, listen to our chat via iTunes:

Porn Addiction: A True Story

Rachel Khona, Writer

Rachel Khona

Related links and resources:

The Washington Times: More Women Lured to Pornography Addiction,
Brigham Young University: Pornography Statistics
Sexual Recovery Institute: 10 Signs Your Partner Might Be a Sex or Porn Addict

Have you or a loved one been affected by porn addiction? How do you keep sexual intimacy going strong, with or without porn? What did you think of our interview? As always, I love hearing your thoughts! ♥

To learn more about Rachel and her work, visit RachelKhona.com and connect with her on Twitter: @RachelKhona.