Like many behaviours, the compulsive use of pornography often begins as escapism. For many people pornography provides a sexual outlet, but along side this function, it also provides a mask for painful feelings and can provide the user with a temporary high. Unfortunately like many compulsive behaviours, these feelings don't last for long, and often leave the individual with feelings of;
Lack of Control
In the long term the individual gets stuck in a vicious cycle of shame and dependancy. There is a deadlock of negative emotions from which it is hard to escape.
The key to breaking the cycle of dependancy is to target the underlying emotions that give rise to the compulsive behaviour. Admitting the problem is the first step and can be exceptionally difficult. Many individuals caught up in a pornography addiction find it hard to believe that there are practical steps that can help them regain a sense of autonomy free from their compulsion.
With counselling you can learn to deal with underlying emotions, that drive the behaviour, and break the dependancy. Winning back control of your life, and gaining a greater insight in to your emotional needs, will lead to you experiencing a greater sense of wellbeing. Together we will identify the triggers that are best avoided, and think of alternative ways, to respond to difficult feelings. You might, for example, need to consider the times you are most susceptible to using pornography, and find other ways to occupy your time.
Porn and Masturbation
The use of pornography is usually associated with a compulsive masturbation. Of course masturbation can be a natural and healthy part of an enjoyable sex life whether single or in a relationship. But when used in conjunction with pornography, masturbation can lead to an individual feeling isolated and powerless.
If you're in a relationship, your partner may feel hurt and threatened by your compulsive behaviour, leading to feelings of anger and hostility on both sides. In the most extreme cases, the individual may feel pornography offers a level of satisfaction that can't be found in a loving and supportive relationship. This is not only damaging for your personal sense of wellbeing, and self esteem, but may have potential consequences for your development and capacity for intimacy.