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How To Tell If You're Addicted To Porn

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How To Tell If You're Addicted To Porn

One of the few winners from the pandemic were porn sites. While millions of people around the world were cooped up in their homes, they were raking it in.

Pornhub alone enjoyed a 24.4 percent spike in its global traffic when lockdown began in the UK in March 2020, while in the Great Britain alone traffic rose by 26.9 percent.

This continued throughout the year as people accessed more and more adult content every day.

But experts are now warning that this sudden and prolonged surge has led to a rise in the number of people now suffering from sex addictions.

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And experts are anticipating a wave of referrals for porn related conditions.

Martin Preston is the founder and CEO of Delamere, a residential addiction centre in the UK.

He told LADbible: "It is on the rise. We've seen an uptick in the number of inquiries, number of admissions throughout lockdown, when people were home working and there was more temptation, 'My colleagues not looking over my shoulder, I'm not in an open office'.

Porn sites saw a surge in traffic during the pandemic. Credit: Alamy
Porn sites saw a surge in traffic during the pandemic. Credit: Alamy
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"So home working being on the rise during lockdown, and obviously people spending more time at home, many people turned to pornography out of boredom in the first instance."

He went on: "Throughout lockdown, people were lonely, and often, when we work with somebody for sex addiction or pornography, it tends to be that what they are lacking is intimacy.

"It's not necessarily sexual intimacy, it can be more about relationships that they don't feel, you know, seen or heard in their relationships."

Martin says that most people think of porn as being quite passive.

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It's still a fairly poorly understood phenomenon, and even the term 'porn addiction' doesn't really exist, instead it is often grouped in with more general sex addictions.

Experts are seeing a rise in porn addiction. Credit: Alamy
Experts are seeing a rise in porn addiction. Credit: Alamy

However, Martin warns that it can creep up on a person without them even knowing, before eventually taking over their life.

"People often experience almost a trance-like state, and this is why it can be so compulsive and so powerful," he said.

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"Somebody can be functioning and going about their day, but in the back of their mind, they're planning, 'I'm going to visit those websites tonight', or 'I'm going to act out in such a way'; that trance is really powerful.

"Losing track of time is also a really big one; 'I sat down at 7pm, with every intention of browsing pornography for an hour, and then I intended to go meet a friend, or whatever, and the next thing, it's 3am'."

There's a simple test to see if you're addicted to porn. Credit: Alamy
There's a simple test to see if you're addicted to porn. Credit: Alamy

If you're reading this and are concerned about your porn use, Sean Clifford from Canopy, an internet filter and parental control app, said there's a simple test to see if you could be on the road to addiction.

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He tells us: "One initial test is whether you can successfully quit the activity for 30 days without withdrawal symptoms.  

"If your pornography use is negatively affecting other areas of your life, like your career or relationships, or you feel like you've repeatedly tried to stop but can't, it's possible that you're addicted.

"In addition, if you are spending significant amounts of money or time seeking, consuming, or thinking about pornography, or if you experience sexual dysfunction with no other likely cause, you may want to consult a medical professional or counsellor about the possibility of an addiction."

Martin said it's important you are honest when you analyse your relationship with porn.

"So if you were to track it over time, a year ago, it was once a week, six months ago, it was three times a week, it's two hours a day, etc.," he explained.

"Is it causing problems with schoolwork, with your career, your relationships? Are you neglecting hobbies.

"And the obsession. Are you feeling restless, irritable or discontent, when you can't access the content? Are you preoccupied with the thought of finding ways to go online and acts out?

"In an honest appraisal, is your pornography use starting to impact you negatively?"

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: PornHub, UK News, US News, Coronavirus

Dominic Smithers
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