So far this week, we have discussed the different stages of pornography addiction. These stages are escalating-- meaning, they get progressively worse as time goes on. We have learned that initially, pornography addiction begins as early exposure. Next, that exposure becomes something that the individual continues to return to, in order to get the same relief. Next, the behaviors increase, leading to escalation of behaviors that would have normally disgusted the individual to begin with. Following escalation is the desensitization phase, where the individual becomes numb to the very behaviors that were "exciting" to begin with. After the desensitization phase is:
Acting out sexually.
This is a very pronounced stage of pornography addiction, in that the very behaviors that were initially done in the privacy of the individuals own home, become an "in person" thing.
At this point, it's no longer an internet or video (digital) image that provides the same level of arousal and satisfaction-- it's the need for the actual physical person that is needed to fulfill the individual's need for sexual arousal and fulfillment.
It's at this point that a person (as Natalie addressed in yesterday's blog, it can be female or male) escalates their behavior from using a digital image to needing an actual person to begin acting out sexually. This could range from lap dances at strip clubs, unethical massage parlors that provide sexual stimulation, to escort services or prostitutes. This becomes even more escalated than earlier stages of pornography addiction, in that it puts the individual in even greater danger for arrest (legal problems), as well as greater devastation to personal relationships.
The problem with this? As Emily discussed earlier this week, the chemicals released in the brain during the sexual acting out phase only make it more difficult to break the addictive cycle.
If you are relating to this weeks blog, or if you know of someone that is struggling with pornography or sexual addiction, we encourage you to seek counseling today! Don't allow sexual addiction to ruin your life and relationships.
Joleen Watson, MS, NCC, is a therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. She enjoys doing marriage counseling, relationship counseling, couples counseling, and individual counseling. Imagine Hope also specializes in family, child and adolescent counseling and serves Indianapolis area including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Noblesville, Zionsville, Westfield, and Fishers.