Is Masturbation OK in Recovery From Sexually Addictive Behaviors?

Masturbation  can present a problem for people with sexually addictive behaviors.

I would not encourage anyone to see masturbation as inherently bad or a problem, and yet there are some people who would see any sexual activity outside of marital sex, even masturbation as wrong.  If you hold such a view on religious or other  grounds, then you may see masturbation as wrong no matter what.

But since I do not hold such a view I distinguish between those situations in which masturbation is harmless and those in which it can complicate things for someone attempting to recover from sex addiction.

When is masturbation counter-productive?

In the early months (or maybe years) of recovery I believe it is a good idea for sex addicts to abstain from masturbation, regardless of whether compulsive masturbation is one of their sexually addictive behaviors or not.  Here are some situations where Masturbation can reinforce addictive patterns.

  • Masturbation can itself be a compulsion, meaning that it is being used to excess and as a drug.  For some sex addicts masturbation is their primary sexually addictive behavior.  Often it is done in conjunction with porn use but sometimes it is done using fantasy alone.  Compulsive masturbation often starts early in life and continues into adulthood.  The addict will often develop a pattern of masturbating numerous times per day.  In order to be free of this compulsion and lead a more normal sex and relationship life in recovery, the addict will need to “kick” the habit and allow their brain chemistry to return to normal functioning.  This means total abstinence for a period of time during treatment and recovery.
  • Masturbation can be part of a pattern of other sexually addictive behaviors.  Masturbation often accompanies other sexually addictive behaviors built around fantasy such as compulsive cybersex, sexual chat,  voyeurism, and exhibitionism.  The masturbation may be done at the time of the other behavior or it may be done later using the stimulus of the memory of the event.  In this case the behavior of masturbating is tied to whatever pattern of addictive acting out behavior exists and provides the sexual gratification for which the other behavior is the stimulus.  At least initially, the addict cannot quit one behavior without quitting both.
  • Masturbation in early recovery can prevent the process of withdrawal and lead to relapse.  Since the addict’s “arousal template” as it is called, is one of addictive sexual acting out of one type or another, it is likely that any form of sexual stimulation, at least in the beginning of recovery, can lead back to cravings and urges for the addict’s preferred sexually addictive behaviors.  Even if the addict has never masturbated compulsively, masturbating in recovery can bring on cravings for other behaviors, behaviors like anonymous sex, prostitutes, etc.   I takes a long time in treatment for the unhealthy urges and fantasies to subside or at least be less powerful.  Instead of allowing the addictive pattern to weaken, masturbation may be like taking small amounts of the drug, thus prolonging the process of withdrawal.

When is masturbation a useful part of recovery?

After a sex addict has established a period of abstinence from all sexually addictive behaviors, it is possible that masturbation can be engaged in in a normal way that does not threaten their sexual sobriety.  This is very much a subjective and individual decision to be arrived at by the addict and their sponsor or counselor.

  • Masturbation can become a more healthy activity that is not a compulsion and is not tied to another sexually addictive behavior.   It may be that the addict will find it a useful way to explore and check in with the fantasies that have driven their addiction and the memories or traumatic events that have shaped their sexuality in the past.
  • Sometimes addicts can actively change the content of their masturbation fantasies to experiment with different and healthier mental stimuli.  Some addicts masturbate while thinking about their spouse or partner.
  • Or addicts may simply be able to enjoy occasional masturbation as a positive, private experience that is different from their relational sex but is not part of a compulsion or an addictive pattern.

But many times masturbation loses it’s charm for sex addicts once they have given up their sexually addictive behaviors and no longer crave the hyper-arousal that their addictive fantasies provided.

 

How Much Porn Can You Watch Before it’s a Sexual Addiction?

Sexual AddictionThis is a very different question from the standpoint of the person using the porn versus the standpoint of a spouse, partner, boyfriend or girlfriend of the porn user.  Spouses and Partners may be worried about something the person is doing that makes them uncomfortable.  Porn users are worried about whether being a sex addict is something they need to worry about at all.

I know of no hard and fast rule about how much porn viewing makes you an addict.  And it is sometimes confusing because using internet pornography may be the addict’s primary and sometimes even their only behavior, but more often it is part of a pattern or set of behaviors.  Some porn addicts may have other sexually compulsive behaviors like seductiveness, affairs, online sexual hook-ups, use of prostitutes or visiting sexual massage parlors.  Viewing internet porn may exist along side one or more of these as a part of an overall sexual addiction.  Nevertheless is is possible to look at what factors do and don’t make porn an addiction.

It’s not the exact number of hours per week

If a person is a “recreational” porn user and has no other addictive sexual behaviors they may not have any problem at all.  However, this assumes that they can stop if they want to and that they can honor their partner’s feelings if their partner wants them to stop.  It also assumes that they are capable of being honest about what they are doing and are not leading a double life.  Further it assumes that the use of pornography is not interfering with their having a relationship life in the first place.

So searching for an exact number of hours of watching internet porn is difficult.  It is like the question “How many hairs do you have to lose before you are bald?”  But at the extreme end of the scale where the person is watching porn several hours a day or 20 hours a week it is clear that there is some kind of a problem.

It’s not the content

Some people might think that if the content of the pornography being used is especially bizarre or violent or even illegal that this means the person is an addict.  Such people may have problems or fetishes but they may not act them out in an addictive way.  Likewise the fact that a porn addict only looks at “normal” heterosexual scenarios does not mean that he or she is not a sex addict.

It’s how you do it that makes it addiction

  • Addiction has been described as a pathological relationship with a mood altering experience.  The use of porn as an addiction involves the use of sexual arousal and gratification as a way to escape from unpleasant feelings in the same way that using alcohol and other drugs is a way to numb out or escape.
  • Another of the key features of porn as an addiction is that the addict continues to engage in the behavior even though it has negative consequence.  Like a drug addict, a porn addict will take extreme risks such as viewing porn on his work computer even though it may mean losing his job.  And the addict will not stop there but will continue to use porn despite what it costs in terms of the damage it does to his life or livelihood.
  • A distinguishing feature of porn or sex addiction is that it goes against the addict’s basic value system.  If there is no effective intervention the porn or sex addict continues in the addiction regardless of the harm to himself or others he is close to.  The addict does not like what he or she is doing and often feels very bad about it.  The fact that it continues is evidence that an addiction is present.
  • Porn addicts are also people who want to quit at various times and who have every intention of quitting.  Sometimes these are merely cynical ploys but very often they are real intentions.  And yet the fact of doing something despite the intention not to do it is a sign that addiction is present.
  • Lastly, any sex addiction including porn addiction is distinguished by the fact that it involves the avoidance of intimacy.  The addict removes part of himself from the relationship with a significant other and compartmentalizes it in a particular sexual activity.  This is the intimacy “disability” or intimacy avoidance that is present in some form for most sex and porn addicts.

So to sum up:  If the person is not using pornography to medicate anything, is feeling fine about it, is able to be honest and open about it with a partner, is able to maintain an intimate relationship in which he shares all parts of himself, is not taking risks, losing jobs, going into debt or otherwise ruining his life for the sake of porn and is able to make a decision to quit and stick to it when there is good reason to do so then the person is probably not a porn addict.

Find Dr. Hatch on Facebook at Sex Addictions Counseling or Twitter @SAResource

3 Wonderful Life Events That Trigger Porn and Sex Addiction Relapse

Any porn addict will tell you how hard it is to stay away from porn.  In recovery the sex addict will work at identifying his or her most treacherous situations, circumstances and ritual behaviors that can be an engraved invitation to relapse.

Obvious triggers

The obvious triggers might include situations like being alone in a hotel room on a business trip.  There the deck is totally stacked against the addict: he is tired, bored, lonely, under pressure, and there is easy access to porn.  Other common life stressors like having your in-laws move in next door, a major illness or losing your job are also obvious stressors that can lead to cravings for an escape and can weaken the addicts defenses.

However, there are positive life events that are as likely, if not more likely, to trigger sexual acting out.  These are so common that the addict may not see them as posing a danger. Also they are generally so positive that no one would really want to escape form them.

Nevertheless, sex addiction therapists know these situations well and they can anecdotally support the fact that these happy circumstances are correlated with episodes of sexual acting out.

Three positive life events that trigger relapse

Each of the following circumstances can trigger relapse in its own way and for its own reasons.

  • Having children, no matter how much an addict welcomes the event, is a major life change.  It places stress on a relationship or marriage in a way that is challenging for an already intimacy-challenged addict.  Addicts fear they will not get their needs met under the best of circumstances and may be seriously stressed when their partner is less available.  Addicts typically experience abandonment fear due to early relational trauma and this may kick in as well.  And addicts are often quite narcissistic, meaning they may not take well to sharing the spotlight with a child.
  • Getting a promotion, getting a raise or otherwise gaining success and recognition add stress to the addict’s life.  Addicts are insecure to begin with and getting promoted may increase the demands and expectations of their work life.  This means increased fear of failure.  And the way addicts typically cope with insecurity is through escape.  Becoming more involved with work means the addict will have less energy for the relationship with a partner or spouse and may literally be gone more.  The resulting stresses for the couple can lessen the level of intimacy in an already intimacy challenged situation.  The addict may even use the new demands of work as a way to escape the interpersonal demands of relating.
  • Dating, or beginning to date again after engaging in sex addiction treatment is very problematic territory for a sex addict.  Very likely, the addict has never been comfortable with beginning and building a real relationship and may lack confidence and experience in conducting a normal courtship.  Addicts in early recovery will most likely bring their old addictive habits and fantasies with them into this new situation.  They may pick the wrong kind of person, someone who feels familiar but who mirrors their old acting out sexual fantasies.  The early relationships in recovery can become addictive in that they can be obsessive, dishonest or lack any firm basis in mutual caring and shared enjoyment.  They may also lack a future.  These old habits mean that a new dating relationship will also bring with it the addict’s same old fears and distorted thoughts an expectations.  This puts the addict back in an addictive mind set and can lead to further acting out and relapse.

The nature of stress

One definition of stress is: “A loss or the threat of a loss.”  Each of these three happy circumstances carries the potential for loss along with their many rewards.  The threat of a loss is inherent in any big change.  Even in a change for the better something will be given up in the process of change.

Find Dr. Hatch on Facebook at Sex Addictions Counseling or Twitter @SAResource

Does Sex Addiction Lead to Gay Sexual Experiences?

There is no reason to think that sex addiction is inherently gay vs. straight.  Here are the available estimates to date.  Rob Weiss who writes on sex addiction and gay sex addicts reports that 10% of gay men are sex addicts.  Studies and estimates of the number of straight sex addicts in the U.S. are in the range of 6 to 9%, so a conservative estimate would be about 7%.

Given the available recent data, around 3.5% of the U.S. population are gay. So it seems that of the approximately 250 million adults in the U.S. around 16.9 million are straight sex addicts and around 875,000 are gay sex addicts. (The latter number may be a little off as it assumes lesbians are sex addicts in the same proportion as gay men which may not be the case.)

This set of numbers seems to show that there are an awful lot of straight people in the U.S. who are sex addicts and a relatively smaller number of gay sex addicts.  But proportionally speaking, sex addiction is an equal opportunity affliction.

Although there is no reason to think that sex addiction in and of itself does anything to change a person’s sexual orientation there is occasionally some spill over.  On the basis of my own experience with both straight and gay sex addicts I have concluded that there are some reasons why straight addicts, at some point in their addiction, can have experiences with gay sex and possibly the other way around as well.

Sex addiction is progressive

Untreated sex addicts tend to act out more frequently and to seek out new and more exciting sexual activities.  As with all addictions it takes more of the drug or a stronger drug to keep the high going.  Sex addicts who started out with internet porn and strip clubs may progress to sexual massage parlors and prostitutes.  Sometimes the addict will escalate into risky or illicit behaviors like boundary violations with adults or children or voyeurism.

In the search for a new and different high, I have seen many sex addicts who have had experiences with same sex partners.  This is not to say that they are covertly gay, but in this case it is only that they are looking for the next edgy thing.

Denial can dissolve normal restrains

Sex addiction depends on a sort of delusional state in which boundaries around what is unacceptable behavior become weaker.  Denial allows addicts to let go their inner compass.  And denial too is progressive and spreads to other areas of life.  Secrecy and lack of integrity become the norm.  As the denial and addiction take over the addict more and more ignores the consequences of his behavior regardless of whether he is gay or straight.  He may exploit others or allow himself to be in situations which for him are abnormal.  In other words he may lose the sense of control over his life and be less able to self activate.

Porn as the great accelerator

Internet pornography is so varied and intense it its content that it can present the addict with new and highly charged stimuli which trigger a forgotten experience or trauma from childhood.  If the scenario involves gay sex and if the addict acts on it then it can look like a gay-straight issue when in fact it is unconscious imprinting that does not relate to the addicts underlying sexual orientation.

Recovery and sorting out sexual orientation

In the first year or two of recovery, sex addicts are sorting out who they are.  As they let go of their old way of living and understand the experiences that led to their addiction, they will sort out their sexual orientation, possibly in a new way.

The addict who has been repeating childhood trauma with same sex partners may find that in recovery his more integrated and conscious sexual desires fall in a different direction.  I have seen a gay sex addict come to the realization that he may actually be bisexual and so on.

Sometimes the acting out behavior does represent a true underlying orientation and the person acts it out in secret due to shame.  But first the person needs to be evaluated for and possibly treated for sex addiction and their true orientation can become clear.  See also my prior post Can a Straight Man be Addicted to Gay Sex?

Fighting Porn Addiction: Should Porn be Against the Law?

Even if they do not talk about the problem in terms of porn addiction, many countries are concerned about the mushrooming consumption of porn and are making moves in the direction of criminalizing internet pornography.  A number of countries already have.  The concern is not only about child porn but all hardcore online porn.

Whether governments should ban porn or not is a complicated matter that is debated on many levels.  But there is also a debate about whether it is actually possible to stop the flow of porn onto the internet. 

Let’s look at these two questions separately.

Should countries prohibit hardcore adult porn?

A number of countries are either attempting to enforce existing laws against pornography by blocking internet porn sites and/or by prosecuting those responsible for the porn sites.  A number of other countries are in the process of trying to make online porn content illegal.

Hardcore pornographic content is already being blocked in China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Gaza Strip, Indonesia and Pakistan and there is a complicated regulatory structure in Australia.   (See the Wikipedia catalog of countries and their existing porn laws.)

In other countries there is heated debate and movement toward the banning of internet porn, such as India, Egypt and Iceland.  And in the UK and the US there is controversy about and resistance to making or enforcing laws that criminalize the posting or viewing of hardcore adult pornographic content.

Some of the main arguments for making anti-porn laws (or for enforcing laws that may be on the books) are:

-Porn is socially unjust in that it is oppressive toward women (Iceland),

-Porn is causing violence against women (India)

-Porn is socially and morally corrosive (China, Egypt and others)

-Porn addiction is a problem for many adults (US, UK)

-children can be inadvertently exposed to harmful content (US, UK, Iceland and others)

The arguments against criminalizing adult hardcore porn are mainly that such laws would violate freedom of expression, that porn is personal and is something that should not be controlled by governments and that there are legitimate positive uses for pornographic content.

Is it possible to outlaw internet porn?

A 2011 International Herald Tribune headline states: “Over 1,000 porn sites blocked in Pakistan.”  Although at that time Pakistan was continuing to find and block sites, the article goes on to say that there was a list of over 170,000 websites that might be banned.  The article says:

“Blocking 170,000 sites is not feasible for any operator.  The screening time on a per request basis will essentially slow the internet down to make it unusable.”

The International Business Times last month had an article on China’s anti-porn ban which reported that the creator of China’s biggest porn site was convicted and sentenced to life in prison in 2005, and that movie producers and film studios creating erotic films can potentially lose their licenses to make movies.

But the article goes on to state:

“Still, with constantly developing technology, and the demand for pornography, Internet users are still able to access pornographic material.”

Last month the L.A. Times reported that following anti-porn demonstrations, Egypt now has a plan to implement a court-ordered ban on porn websites.  The plan is to target each individual website and will cost about $4 million.  This is a big and controversial expense for a country that is under pressure economically.  This seems like a never ending if not impossible task for any government to attempt.  And if porn cannot be interdicted at the level of the website or the internet service provider it seems like a hard sell to prosecute individuals for watching the material that is currently flooding the web.

I am convinced that porn addiction is a growing problem and that the epidemic of porn consumption around the globe shows no sign of slowing.  The process of getting the product to the customer via the internet is extremely sophisticated and difficult to regulate.

Yet we do regulate some products that are addictive and/or damaging such as cigarettes, alcohol and even the sexual content of movies.  People need to find a way to agree on some basic ideas about what content should be regulated, especially as regards children.  The problem of implement regulations on internet content, like the problem of combating porn addiction, will probably be a long and difficult process combining the efforts of research, technology, public heath and advocacy.

How to Get Your Spouse into Sex Addiction Treatment

As a porn and sex addiction therapist I am often contacted by the spouses looking for sex addiction treatment for their partner.  I will look at the reasons for this and give my views on why the role of the spouse or partner is important in getting treatment for the addiction.

Why partners do the initial reaching out for help

  • The sex addict usually resists treatment for the same reason any addict does—part of them would really like to keep doing what they are doing no matter what the consequences are.  Hence it is easier to let the partner do the leg work of finding help.  At this early crisis stage immediately after disclosure the addict will be inclined to say they want help but will not want to be proactive in seeking out what might actually be an effective intervention.
  • The spouse of partner of the sex addict may be the one who is experiencing more of the distress in the situation.  The addict will surely be feeling shameful and remorseful when the addiction is disclosed, but this is nothing compared to the trauma of the betrayal usually experienced by the partner.  This in turn motivated the partner to go into crisis mode and begin trying to find solutions.
  • The sex addict may resist being the one to reach out for sex addiction treatment because he is too embarrassed to call up and admit to a stranger that he has these problems.  I often hear this discomfort in the voices of addicts who do call me and I hear them groping for a way not to have to state the problem directly.

Why the partner’s role is so important in getting help

Most often a sex addict or porn addict is in the grip of a strong compulsion to “act out” in their addictive behavior, whatever it is; porn, sexual hook-ups, infidelity, prostitutes, online sexual encounters, etc.  They may engage in this behavior frequently or less frequently, but the main point is that they are doing it addictively, meaning they are leading a separate sex life, they cannot stop, it is going to escalate over time, and it will have negative repercussions for their life and relationships.

The untreated sex or porn addict is in a state of denial.  Very often it will take some force from outside to get his attention and to convince him to get some serious treatment.  That force may come in the form of getting in trouble with the law, losing a job, or losing a marriage.  But whatever it is it will exert the necessary pressure on the addict. 

When spouses and partners discover a sex addiction they are in a unique position to use the crisis to force the addict to get help.  Addicts tend to panic at the thought that they will lose their wife and possibly alienate their children.  The spouse needs to recognize that very often they and they alone can lower the boom on the addict and cause an effective intervention.

Spouses should not expect that the therapist, even the most expert therapist, will be able to force treatment on an addict.  In the simplest terms, the therapist has no ammunition compared to the spouse. 

What the spouse needs to do

Spouses and partners seeking sex addiction treatment should be prepared to draw a line in the sand about the need for the addict to get help.  They need to say that they will live with a recovering sex addict but not with a practicing one.  And they need to mean it, in other words they need to be prepared to separate if there is inadequate movement.

Spouses need to be realistic about the kind of help that is required.  Often sex addicts will promise to quit, attend a few 12-step meetings, engage in an online program, install blocking software or get some couple counseling.   Sometimes addicts try to convince their partner that the addiction is really the partner’s fault, which it never is!

These can be ways to diffuse the situation while still having no real motivation to change.   A serious sex addiction requires a serious treatment program, often a one or two week outpatient intensive or a four to six week residential program followed by active12-step participation, and follow up therapy. 

Ultimately the addict will have to become engaged in their own recovery for it to work.  But the initial impetus can often come from the desire to hold on to a partner.  And in the long term, the relationship can get on the right track if both partners are engaged in recovery both separately and as a couple.  Find Dr. Hatch on Facebook at Sex Addictions Counseling or Twitter @SAResource

The One Essential Key to Porn and Sex Addiction Recovery

Some people start recovery for sex addiction at a full gallop and never look back.  But for people who struggle with sex and porn addiction and who have multiple slips or periodic relapses there is one key thing they may be missing.

I’m not talking here about the spiritual enlightenment side of it, the so called “white light moment” or even just the daily spiritual practice.  Those are important elements but there is something much more mundane than that.

A simple idea with big ramifications

It sounds deceptively simple but the thing you need to get your head around in recovery is that your recovery comes first.  Deceptively simple because it is very hard to put this idea into practice.  For one thing although addicts may be selfish and narcissistic, that does not mean that they are any good at getting their priorities straight.

The idea that  recovery literally comes before anything else. 

You might say well what if I am having a heart attack?  Should I go to a Sex Addicts Anonymous meeting or to the emergency room?  Well of course you need to deal with really life threatening situations first.  But in day-to-day life it is important to take the commandment to put recovery first quite literally.

Why is this so important?  Because addicts find excuses to avoid getting sober.  The need for the “drug” leads to rationalizations for putting other things ahead of the addict’s own need to recover.  This is faulty logic.  And it is part of the “cunning baffling and insidious” nature of the addiction talked about in the 12-step literature.

Isn’t spending time with your kids more important than your own recovery?  My addict clients are surprised when I challenge this idea.  Off the top it seems selfish and harmful to their children to disappoint them and undermine the closeness.  But dropping the ball on your recovery work is more harmful in the long run to everyone concerned.

There is a saying in 12-step circles that “Anything you put ahead of your recovery you will lose”.

This is profound  The reason recovery comes first is that addiction is so destructive.  Over time, the un-sober addict will forfeit everything that ever mattered to him.  He will destroy relationships, jobs, money, health, and lose any chance to fulfill his potential in life.

Many addicts get stuck in a pattern of continual relapse even though they are quite diligent about going to treatment, going to meetings and so on.  Making recovery the center of your life, at least until you are well on your way (usually at least a year or two and often longer) means more than just going through the motions of getting help.

Recovering addicts may enter treatment for any number of reasons other than wanting to get over their addiction.  In fact few actually want to stop using porn or sexually addictive behaviors in the beginning.  Most likely they have come to get help because their spouse or partner threatened to leave them, because they lost their job, because they got in trouble with the law, or some other crisis situation.

The crisis motivates the addict to get into recovery in order to hold onto something else: the wife, the career, their freedom.  And yet in the long run the motivation needs to shift, the addict needs to put those things after his recovery or he will stay an addict.  He will lose the very things he came into recovery to keep.

Putting recovery first is very hard.  As if the siren song of sex addiction weren’t enough, life throws numerous other challenges our way.  We get temporarily derailed from what we need to do to stay sober.  But eventually the basic principle applies: be ruthless in your pursuit of your own need to recover.  If you think in this way nothing and no one can stop you.  Find Dr. Hatch on Facebook at Sex Addictions Counseling or Twitter @SAResource

Icelandic Porn Law Will Strike a Blow for Gender Justice

Will Iceland’s proposed ban on violent internet pornography work?  We have heard the arguments that internet porn content is increasingly violent, depicting more sex with children, more abusive acts toward children, and can lead to violent crime.  We have also heard that it traumatizes kids who view it and that it wreaks havoc with marriages, causes erectile dysfunction in men and body image issues in women, and “hijacks” our sexuality.

What I find most interesting about the Icelandic government’s proposed legislation http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/feb/16/iceland-online-pornography is that it is built on another argument as well, one that is seldom cited, namely porn promotes gender inequality.

The question of whether such legislation can “work” must be looked at not only in terms of whether it can decrease crime or other objective measures of social wellbeing.  The Icelandic proposals have the potential to go where no one has gone in a liberal western country.  That is to raise consciousness about the eroticizing of domination and the “comodification” of women.  In other words to bring a focus to what the new feminists see as the underlying woman-hating that saturates pornography and the depiction of maleness as brutal.

The British Prime Minister David Cameron had supported legislation last year which would require internet providers to block access to pornography and put in place an “opt-in” system for users.  When this effort failed to get traction Cameron in December of last year came out is support of a proposal which would leave filtering in the hands of parents and would “require” that parents with children at home provide for filtering when the obtain internet service in their home computers. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/filth-and-fury-david-camerons-uturn-on-online-porn-8426765.html

The argument that we should somehow prevent children from seeing pornography is not wrong.  However it misses an important point.  The point that gets the least attention in the whole porn debate is that pornography sanctions an increasingly cruel and degrading representation of a whole class of society—women.  Such stereotyped and prejudicial images of any other sub-group of society would be seen as intolerable and unjust.

 

Porn And Sexism: Men Are Speaking Out

Men are tackling some tough sexual issues.  Issues like  male sexuality and sex addiction.  For decades there have been men who were for gender equality, against violence and against sex role injustice.  But now men’s liberation seems to be showing strength in the sexualarena.  There are currently a number of male-run websites exploring the myths around “male supremacist sexuality,” and taking a hard look at porn addiction as well.

In what follows I’ll give a few examples of what I’ve recently come across where male-run websites are challenging what they see as an outdated idea of male sexuality based on objectification and domination.

  •   From the website xyonline.net – title: “Men, Masculinities and Gender Politics”

“Porn makes sexism sexy: it makes domination, hierarchy, violence and hate feel like sex.  Sexism is eroticized.  Pornography is also one of the main enforcers of homophobia.”

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Is Porn Addiction the “New Normal?

Judging by the statistics, internet pornography addiction is at least becoming the norm if not the normal.  One question that arises is how we as a society should respond to this phenomenon and why.

23 million porn addicts in the U.S., and that’s just the adults

The article “Pornography: ‘Everybody’s Watching it, Statistics Say” states that 30 percent of all web traffic is porn and that porn sites attract the greatest volume of web traffic.

According to the article “Internet Pornography Statistics”

“A total of 40 million U.S. adults regularly visit pornography websites.  Ten percent of adults admit to an internet sexual addiction (my italics) and 20 percent of men say they access pornography at work.”

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