Pornography – Addicted? or Using?

3 minutes

Many a time we come across this question – “How much porn is too much?”

You might know of few who watch porn once a while and not actively hunting for the content. Also you might know of few who know by heart an exhaustive list of porn website, having a hard disk filled with different genre – named with cheat codes, and having the download folder with few porn files forgotten to delete.

However merely the time spent watching porn will not determine its impact on us. So here is a checklist to understand if we are addicted or merely using porn.

  1. Fantasizing of sexual desires and imagination is natural, however consequential to the porn consumption the thoughts and fantasies are attuned to the content watched. For instance, thinking about ‘How would I do that penetration scene?’, making a story line for your imaginary porn movie. Most of the fantasies here are not just impractical reality, but also tend to be aggressive and conflicting in its content.
  2. Clearing and Suppressing the evidence! Excessive display of abilities and intelligences in hiding the consumption of porn, or atleast the quantity and modes of consumption. Individuals who constantly try to make secret files, subfolders and code names on devices, while the other having secret spaces to hide the porn content are all impacted by their compulsive behaviors.
  3. Double Life: On one hand is a secret life where the sexual drive is fostered and gratified through means like pornography and the associated behaviors, while on the other hand is the authentic regular life of values ideals and morals set by self. Thus, subjecting to constant conflict within our minds.
  4. Absorbed: Being overly involved in watching porn and forgetting/losing the orientation of ourselves and surroundings. Many a time individual tend to forget that they have lost a chunk of time, missed an appointment, not completed an assignment, they are being watched by others or even forgetting that they are thirsty and need to drink water.
  5. On and On: Continuing to watch porn despite noticeable negative consequences. For instance individuals who seek porn despite knowing that they are losing preparation time for exam, seeking porn despite knowing that its affecting the marital and sexual relationship.
  6. Argh! Tending to become excessively angry, hostile and irritable if asked to stop using porn. This could be from a child’s anger who is rebuked by parent for watching porn, to the individual anger that arises when advised by an expert, or the fury arising on knowing about a anti-porn movements and view.
  7. I can’t : Unable to stop the use of pornography and associated behaviors like masturbation, despite repeated attempts made to do so. Relapsing and getting back to pornography after short periods of abstinence that had been initiated after noticing the harmful impacts of it.

There might be a slim line difference between individual who are using and getting addicted to pornography. However, the moment an individual is affected physically, psychologically, socially and spiritually it’s something to be looked upon.


A. Sabu John is your special friend from YourDOST. He is currently pursuing his MPhil in Psychology from Christ University. With teaching and facilitation as his passion, he has experience working with different population as a psychotherapist and also facilitating modules on Sexuality and Addiction.