2 thoughts on “Can a Behavior (Like Viewing Porn) Be an Addiction?

  • February 20, 2020 at 4:16 pm

    Um… porn addiction equally as damaging as drug addiction? That is an asinine and ignorant statement. The consequences of drug addiction are much much more severe. Also, drugs involve an actual physical aspect. Porn involves visual stimulation and the rest is a result of natural human physiology. Drugs intruduce artificial substance into the body. The body becomes addicted to the substance, as well as all the mental aspects. Porn addicts DO NOT suffer the same awful horrible consequences that drug addicts do. And drug addicts continue their addiction until death regardless. Walk 10,000 miles in a drug addict’s shoes. Then walk 10,000 miles more. Then 10,000 more. Then tell me all about it.

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  • April 25, 2020 at 12:28 pm

    Quite convincing, thank you! But I have a few of questions:

    1. Regarding the distinction between compulsion and addiction, what about behaviors like comic book fandom, tv/movie watching, gardening, dancing, even novel reading? All of these can (and often are) used to trigger pleasure and escape. All of them are, as behaviors you listed, unremarkable in moderation but frequently become obsessive commitments.

    But we still call them hobbies and past-times even when they have the opportunity and relationship costs you ably identify with addictions. Which makes me wonder how much of that distinction (between hobby/enthusiasm/fan-hood and addiction) is really rooted in projected concepts of vice.

    2. I’m curious about your comment that “porn addicts certainly shoot for total abstinence.” Why should that be so? If other behavioral addictions around food, and shopping, and tv watching, and risk-taking can be managed to a healthier relationship, why not porn use? If the underlying issues that are driving people to turn to the escape/pleasure cycle (whether it be porn or something else) is addressed and there is no chemical dependence as with substances, why the complete life-time ban?

    3. What about the distinction between abuse and addiction, so important when talking about substances? As we all know, people can have unhealthy relationships with food, alcohol, etc. and abuse it at times in their lives—often for periods of months—as exactly the kind of unhealthy coping mechanism you are talking about. (Typically to cope with top stressors like job loss, divorce, bereavement, etc.). But if it isn’t ongoing throughout their life, we don’t tell them hey are addicted or to abstain, we tell them they have a weakness and to be vigilant. Is that distinction relevant for behavior addictions like porn as well?

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