Sex & porn addiction counselling

sex abd porn addiction fueled by the internetProblems with porn?

Almost everyone is curious about sex - young and old, men and women, single and married. The internet has created wide availability of sexual opportunities and most people have viewed some internet pornography. They do so for many reasons such as curiosity, entertainment, information, distraction, excitement, sexual arousal or to enhance sexual fantasies.

Research indicates pornography watching may result in three main problems:

  • confusion
  • relationship issues
  • addiction

Confusion

If watching pornography is resulting in confusion or other emotional distress a few counselling sessions with a therapist may be useful to sort through your thoughts and feeling and decide what is, and, what isn't for you. For instance, you may be going through a a period of sexual experimentation, exploring sexual identity or preferences. Or perhaps you want to find a partner but are struggling to form a relationship.

For teens, as they are still developing their moral compass and social skills, pornography's often unrealistic portrayals of sex and sexuality can cause particular confusion and problems.

There is also some evidence that heavy use of internet pornography worsens existing anxiety, depression or social problems, and for some interferes with offline sexual functioning. So if you are struggling emotionally, socially or sexually then watching a lot of porn is not the best way of keeping it together. The good news is that generally people can self-regulate their use if they find it is causing them problems.

 We offer an safe and supportive place to talk through whatever is going on and help find a way through. All of our team have experience with such confusions and difficulties.

General counselling

If you would like to sort out confusions or emotional distress, see any of our General therapy team.

We also have an excellent specialist team of Child, adolescent and family therapists experienced in working with children and teenagers.

Relationship issues

Each relationship has a unique set of agreements, both spoken and silently understood. Breaking a relationship agreement is damaging and unless the damage is repaired this weakens or even endangers the relationship. This potential damage is the reason that secretly watching porn is potentially devastating to relationships.

Relationships work best where the couple share understandings and expectations. However, there is no set recipe; each relationship has it own agreements made to meet the needs of both parties. If porn watching, together or separately, is part of the deal then all well and good, but doing things behind your partner's back that would hurt them is trouble waiting to happen.

Thus, discovering a partner has been secretly watching porn can be as shocking as discovering a partner has been unfaithful. The sexual aspect of watching porn can leave partners feeling variously furious, devastated, confused, revolted, insulted, rejected and unloved - an attack on the foundations of the relationship. It is a sign that the relationship needs some work.

Left addressed there will be an erosion of trust and put the relationship at risk. Such a relationship crisis can be painful and overwhelming for both parties, yet with patience and hard work couples can come through stronger and closer. While some couples can work through this on their own, others will need some help. Most of our team work with couples and are familiar with such difficulties.

Relationship counselling

If you would like to sort out a relationship issue stemming from porn use, see any of our Couples therapists.

Pornography addiction?

For a range of complex reasons, some people may develop an unhealthy relationship with porn. Whether or not this is an addiction remains a debated question amongst researchers. However it appears some people may struggle to manage their porn use, despite that fact that it is causing problems such as:

  • inability to stop or control the behaviors
  • negatively effecting off-line sexual functioning
  • preoccupation, compulsion or dependency
  • endangering relationships, employment or legality
  • consuming considerable time or money
  • increasingly extreme, violent, hardcore or risky
  • affecting mental health or wellbeing

Anyone who feels their porn use is out of control is best to seek help from specialist counsellor. They will listen without judgment, but with appreciation of the courage to face up to such difficulties. They have a deep understanding of sex and sexuality in the addiction process, and their specific training helps with the complexities of recovery.

Specialist addiction therapists

If you would like to sort out a sex or porn addiction issues, see one of our Porn & sex specialists.

For teenagers and young adults. see our Child, adolescent team.

Find a Therapist

Therapy offers an accepting, non-judgmental space in which to explore thoughts and feelings and find acceptance and resolution in these complex issues for both individuals and couples. See our General team or our Sex, Sexuality & Gender specialists.