An addiction to pornography doesn’t develop overnight; it’s a gradual process that worsens with each step. Whether you struggle with pornography or are concerned about the wellbeing of a loved one, we encourage you to be aware of the five steps of a pornography addiction:
– Early exposure: Many individuals encounter pornography, or are exposed to situations that could lead to an interest in pornography, at a young age. This is not a step that all pornography addicts take; some don’t view pornography for the first time until well into their adult years.
– Addiction: Pornography is designed to be compelling—that’s how it builds its audience. Individuals who stumble upon pornography or seek it out in a moment of curiosity find themselves returning again and again.
– Escalation: Eventually, the images and words become familiar, even boring, but the desire remains. Pornography addicts seek new, more graphic material, even exploring content that they used to find disgusting.
– Desensitization: Long-term exposure can numb the conscience to even the most graphic material. This leaves pornography addicts with an overwhelming desire they can no longer fulfill.
– Acting out sexually: When pornography becomes the core of your existence, it can be difficult to keep reality separated from what you see online, on screen, or on print. At this point, many addicts bridge the gap and begin to act out the images and scenarios that have surrounded them for so long. Again, this is not a step that everyone takes, but it is a possibility that you sign up for when you become involved with pornography.
If you have found yourself ensnared in any of these steps, or suspect someone you love is grappling with addiction, please contact Desert Solace at 435-228-5011 to learn which steps can free you of your situation.