This week we have been discussing the stages of pornography addiction. If you haven't read the first 3 stages; Exposure, Addiction, and Escalation, please take the time to do so before moving forward. It's important to understand that porn addiction is a progression and doesn't happen overnight. Today we are going to discuss Desensitization.
Before we go any further, I just want to mention that although we typically view men as the ones who struggle with pornography, women also struggle with it as well. At times, women struggle even more with it being as secret because it seems to be a "manly addiction". But truly, a woman can struggle with it just as much as a man. We are glad more information is coming out on this so the shame women have in talking about it can be taken away and they feel more open to get help.
Stage 4: Desensitization
Have you ever discovered a new food and absolutely loved it? You wanted to eat it every time there was an opportunity to go out. You order it, love it, and even tell your friends about it. After you eat it 5 or 6 times over a period of 2 weeks it just isn't as special. It loses it affect on you. You're disappointed when you eat it because you don't get that same thrill. Your mouth has grown accustomed to the taste. This is desensitization. You get so used to doing something, seeing something, or experiencing it that it no longer gives you the same affect.
Think of this with pornography. After awhile, someone no longer gets the same thrill as they once did from watching it once a month (as mentioned in our previous blogs). They need it once a week, once a day, or even several times over the day. They have become accustomed to what the porn does and it no longer gives them the same excitement. There is this constant need to get that "high" that was once felt. Addicts go into pursuit of something that will give them a higher high. Or any high at all for that matter.
Unfortunately, escalation usually leads to acting out sexually in ways the person never imagined. A CEO of a company never imagined he would find himself with a prostitute in the back seat of his car. But unfortunately, the porn just wasn't doing it for him anymore. Tomorrow Joleen is going to finish this series and help us understand more about sexually acting out.
I know this is a difficult subject. Thank you for taking the time to learn more. If you are struggling with this, we want to encourage you to get some outside help. Addiction is difficult to break alone. We would love to help. Give us a call at 317-569-0046.
Thank you for reading.
*Natalie Chandler, MA, LMHC, LCAC is a therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. Natalie enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, and couples counseling. We also specialize in family counseling, child, and adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Westfield, and Zionsville.