Fact: 9 out of 10 Internet porn users use free material to access their habit (ie. thumbnails and amateur pornography).
Fact: 2 out of 5 mobile searches have a pornographic headline, and 24 percent of smartphone owners have pornography on their phone.
Fact: Currently, pornographic searches are at 3.9 billion for 2016.
As a sex therapist focused on helping individuals overcome porn and sex addiction, I am often asked "What is the magic formula to help with porn addiction?" The simple answer is talk about it, keep talking about it, and fight for the conversation about pornography and sexual exploitation to be at the for front of our agenda. This is really right up there with the heroin and meth epidemic. We have celebrities such as Pamela Anderson voicing their opinion about how severe this problem is. No one would argue about the huge amount of sexual images in our society today. “Sex sells” and we find erotic images everywhere from lingerie stores in the mall to “swimsuit issue” magazines and beer commercials.
Pornography has been around for centuries, however, it wasn’t until the mid-twentieth century that it became mainstream. It began with magazines like Playboy and Penthouse. As these men’s magazines became more acceptable, so did pornography in our culture. Instead of being shocked by it, people began to joke about it. We are now at a crossroads in which pornography is a multi-billion dollar industry that is just a mobile click away.
5 ways to help with porn addiction
Ask the simple question: Are you ready to stop? This might be an obvious question; and you're right; on the surface it is a basic question. However, when asked directly one would be surprised at the array of answers. From, “I’m not sure.” To “Right now, this instant?” and everything in between. For me this is an opportunity and important place to start conversation. It is also a comfortable way to let the security of porn go away. The ultimate purpose is to give the individual a feeling of what it might be like without porn.
Explore your history of sexuality. It is very beneficial to explore and learn about your sexuality. This is talking frankly and honestly about your sexual experiences, turn-ons and whole history. Think about when and how sex came into your life. Also, think specifically about when and how pornography came into your life.
Understand and reflect upon what interests you about Pornography. At this point it helps people get a perception of their core beliefs. Core beliefs around sexuality regarding pornography can turn to mistaken beliefs. These are interests that are turning us while watching or engaging in porn but can make us uncomfortable outside the context of pornography. A perfect example of this is a person who loves specific pornography genera; although, would never desire or want to act it out in their personal lives.
Use your natural strengths. It's important to regain confidence. One of the ways you can do this is through reflecting on what levers you can pull that has helped you find change and transformation in other areas of your life. I am a positively directed therapist and I see hope in a great deal. Specifically, one would call me solution-oriented. We all have the answer, it’s a matter of uncovering it in a safe therapeutic environment to see what works for other problems. At this point, we then can see if this would translate over to pornography addiction.
Get an accountability coach. The truth is a safe person along with a safe environment is paramount in helping with porn addiction. I insert myself as a person that is used as therapeutic support, a guide and an accountability coach. The significance of having a supportive, yet firm person to hold you accountable is where it all starts. It is in this environment people get a chance to practice sharing their entire story and learn to work with overcoming their relationship with pornography.
Dr. Ryan Westrum is an expert in helping with porn addiction. His practice is designed to help individuals and couples get back what is rightfully theirs. You can contact him at