faq

Is Porn Addiction Real? How can I get help?

FAQs

Is Porn Addiction Real? How can I get help?

A lot of people are interested in porn! Lots of them watch porn as part of happy and healthy lives. Some people are afraid of getting addicted to porn. There’s not enough research to say whether porn addiction is real. But watching so much porn that it hurts your life can be a scary and serious problem.

When doctors think of addiction, they usually think of substances like alcohol or drugs. Treatment for addiction usually means depending less on that substance. Because of this, many doctors don’t call watching too much porn an addiction. They look at it as a compulsion instead.

Whatever you call it, porn can hurt some people’s lives. There are a lot of people you can ask for help to change how much porn you watch!

Am I watching too much porn?

Watching lots of porn is completely okay when it isn’t harming your life or taking up too much time. In fact, masturbating is great for your health! There’s no right amount of watching porn or masturbating. Some people like masturbating more than others.

Watching porn can be a problem if you don’t have control over when you watch it. It can also be a problem if it gets in the way of your daily life.

Porn might be a problem if you…

  • Can’t stop thinking about porn
  • Skip school or work to watch porn
  • Cancel plans to watch porn
  • Turn to porn after stressful situations

A healthy amount of porn depends on the person and how they balance their life. “Too much” can mean different things to different people.

Where can I get help for porn addiction?

You can do a few things to help if porn is getting in the way of important things.

  • Talk about it with someone you trust and feel comfortable with
  • Talk to a counsellor or join a support group.
  • Call Kids Help Phone: 514-600-1002
  • Get low-cost therapy at places like the Argyle Institute: 514-931-5629
  • Read about more options below

What will happen if I get therapy?

Therapy can help you understand and manage your urges. Many people deal with different kinds of addiction and compulsion. You’re not alone and therapy is a place to talk without shame. No one will judge you.

At the same time, many therapists aren’t trained to treat porn addiction. But you can find someone with the right experience. It might take a few tries to find a therapist you work well with.

What you say to a therapist is private. They aren’t allowed to tell anyone except in rare and important cases. They’ll need to tell someone if someone under 18 is being sexually abused. They’ll also need to say something if you want to hurt yourself or someone else. You can ask them about these and other cases where they might need to tell someone.

What else should I know about porn?

Remember that porn doesn’t show how most people have sex in real life. People barely ever look or act the way they do in porn. It’s not ok to expect people to do things they’re not excited about because it’s in porn.

People under 18 can’t legally watch porn in Canada. It’s also against the law to own, watch, or share porn with people under 18 years old in it. Either of these have some legal risks.

Porn can hurt some people’s relationships if they don’t see it the same way as their partners. Compulsively watching porn sometimes makes sex with partners harder.

At the same time, most adults have watched porn in their life. Having porn addiction or compulsion is rare. Porn can be a part of a happy and healthy sex life! If it does become an issue, there are lots of things that can help.

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