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The Difference Between Sex and Porn Addictions

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Despite their differences, many people are not aware of the differences between sex and porn addictions. Because sex and pornography both consist of sexual acts, some individuals confuse them to be the same when it comes to addiction. However, these are two different addictions with different symptoms and measures for treatment and management. 

It can be easy to associate sex and porn with one another to the point of labeling them the same. However, the fact of the matter is that they are not. They can take place in the same setting or moment. However, understanding their differences can help you navigate managing an addiction to either if one is developed. 

Porn Addiction

An addiction to pornography is the addition to the instant gratification that one can gain by watching sexual acts. Porn is merely the visual portrayal of sex. It can lead to or coincide with an addiction to sex, but they are two separate addictions. 

Signs of porn addiction include:

  • Preference for porn versus sex or neglecting your partner sexually
  • Often irritable
  • Find it impossible to stop
  • Constantly thinking about porn
  • Spending an excessive amount of money on porn 
  • Spending hours watching porn
  • Unrealistic sexual requests or desires
  • Physical pain 

Sex Addiction

Although people have different sex drives and desires, when the urge or desire for sex is overtaking your mind and life, it is a problem. Addiction to sex is when you desire the instant gratification of physical pleasure. This addiction is the obsession with the act of being engaged in the activity of sex. 

Some symptoms of sex addiction are:

  • An obsession with thoughts of sex
  • Depression
  • Feelings of shame
  • Excessive masturbation 
  • Cheating on partners
  • Sex interfering with responsibilities

Recognizing these symptoms can help you gain an understanding of what you are experiencing and make a plan for addiction treatment

Sex and Porn Addictions

While an addiction to sex is physical, porn addiction has more to do with consuming sexual content. This content can be in the form of magazines, the internet, or others. Yes, both have a sexual foundation but a sex addiction is more individuals that cannot fight sexual impulses and will seek gratification wherever they can receive it. 

Both sex and porn addiction can be seen as mental health disorders. At the core of just about any addiction is the mind. Within the human body, the mind consists of parts with interconnected circuits. These circuits all serve a purpose in how you think, move, and operate. When there is a breakdown in any of those parts, it can cause a disruption to the brain altogether. 

When something begins to negatively affect your mind, it will, in turn, negatively affect your life if it is not immediately addressed. Porn can cause relationship issues if you prefer it to your partner or cannot perform due to overstimulation. However, outside of physical pain from constant masturbation, strained vision, or cramped hands, porn addiction does not pose the same physical threats as sex addiction. 

“Psychologically, sexual behaviors serve to escape emotional or physical pain or are a way of dealing with life stressors. The irony is that the sexual behaviors becomes the primary way of coping and handling problems that, in turn, creates a cycle of more problems and increasing desperation, shame, and preoccupation.” (Understanding and Managing Compulsive Sexual Behaviors, Timothy W. Fong, 2006)

Sex addiction can cause one to be reckless in pursuit of the desire for pleasure. Sometimes that recklessness can be a lack of protection or having multiple partners. Combining the two opens you up to the risk of disease. Many do not know the specifics and how vaginal, oral, and anal sex are all ways in which a sexually transmitted disease can be passed. 

The Difference Between Sex and Porn Addictions

Treatment for Sexual Oriented Addictions

Just as treatment exists for other addictions, sexual-oriented addictions can be treated as well. All addiction seems to have a negative connotation and stigma, but certain ones are more severely judged. However, it is important to know that you are not alone in feeling that the weight of living with your addiction is overwhelming and lonely.  

Some do not seek resources for treatment for addiction solely due to shame. You do not have to suffer in silence. Lantana Recovery can be the resource that you are looking for. Redemption is available to you the same way it is to any addicted human being. There are group therapy settings if that is a preference for feeling supported and a sense of community. However, there are also more private options, such as talk therapy in a one-on-one setting. 

Whatever your treatment needs may be, we can help you. At Lantana Recovery, we can help you find your path to healing. You do not have to live with a constant risk of your life being interrupted.

If you think you may have a sex addiction or even an addiction to porn we can provide you with the help that you need. Here we have a team that will be specific to you and your treatment plan. Tomorrow gets better when you seek help today. 

Sex is an experience that should be full of pleasure. Porn can be educational and a fun addition to the bedroom. However, when either starts to impact your life in a negative manner, it can become unhealthy. As they are two separate things, they are separate addictions as well. However, this is not a reality that everyone is privy to. When you are not sure what kind of addiction you have or what all it entails, it can be confusing. Yes, an addiction to both sex and porn can cause many issues in your life, but knowing what each entails can help you properly address what you are dealing with. Call Lantana Recovery for help at (866) 997-2870.

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Charleston South Carolina

Charleston South Carolina

Located on the historic peninsula of Charleston, South Carolina, Lantana Recovery takes a modern approach to Substance Use Disorder treatment, offering intensive clinical care while also immersing our clients in local Charleston culture.