Not Hurting Anyone?
“Boys will be boys.” That’s the common response when someone – usually a male – has been caught looking at pornography. Every man does it, right? There’s no harm in it, right? But what happens when your use of pornography begins to spiral out of control? What happens when a boy grows up, becomes a man, and pornography begins to impact his marriage? When do you know if you should be concerned with your own use of pornography? When should you seek the help of an experienced professional in order to get over the habitual use of pornography? Ultimately, how do you know if your habit has grown to an addiction?
Patrick Carnes is one of the leading researchers on the topic of Sexual Addiction. Through his research, Carnes has created a framework to help us understand sexual addiction. The items below can help you determine the level of concern you should have regarding your own sexual behavior – especially where it involves pornography use.
As you read the questions below, the key is to be brutally honest with yourself. If you would answer “yes” to three or more of these items, there may be cause for you to be concerned. It would be a good idea to speak with a trained, professional counselor about your use of pornography.
- Have you tried to resist the impulses and urges to view pornography and found yourself doing it anyway?
- Have you noticed your use of pornography happening more frequently or over a longer period of time than intended?
- Do you have a persistent desire to view pornography or have you made unsuccessful efforts to stop, reduce, or control the use of pornography?
- Have you spent excessive amounts of time in obtaining sex, being sexual, or recovering from sexual experiences?
- Do you find yourself preoccupied with pornography or preparing to access pornography?
- Do you find yourself engaging in the behavior when you are expected instead to fulfill other occupational, academic, domestic, or social obligations?
- Do you find yourself continuing to use pornography despite having a persistent or recurrent social, financial, psychological or physical problem that is caused or made worse by the use of the pornography?
- Have you noticed a need to increase the intensity, frequency, number, or risk level of pornography achieve the desired effect; or have you noticed a diminished effect with continued use of pornography at the same level of intensity, frequency, number, or risk level?
- Do you find yourself giving up or limiting social, occupational, or recreational activities because of pornography use?
- Do you find yourself experiencing distress, anxiety, restlessness, or irritability when you are unable to engage in pornography use?
If you answered “yes” to three or more of these questions, it’s very important for you to know that you are not alone. You are just one of the rare individuals who actually has the courage to be honest about it and to look for help! Change is possible!
Christian Counseling is an excellent place to start the process of getting over sexual addiction or addiction to pornography. With the help of a good Christian counselor, you can begin to begin to find the solutions you are seeking. If you wish to explore more about the counseling process, please do not hesitate to contact me. I would be delighted to partner with you as you enter this challenging and important healing process.