More people than ever before are watching pornography.

With so many of us having easy access to the internet and porn sites being just a click away on our phones, tablets, laptops or computers, it has never been easier to find and to watch this content.

Porn use has often been associated with men and seen as a ‘male problem’, however research shows that 32% of all visitors to the world’s most used porn website were, in fact, women.1

In 2019 there were over 42 billion visits to the world’s biggest porn site, which is an average of 115 million visits per day, and the UK has been shown to have the third highest porn use in the world.1

When it comes to young people, 45% of young Brits say that porn has been their main source of sex education2 and 90% of teens and 96% of young adults are either encouraging, accepting, or neutral when they talk about porn with their friends.3

One consequence of the widespread accessibility of porn is that cases of porn addiction are now more common than ever before. The dictionary definition of the term ‘addicted’ means to be physically and mentally dependent on a particular substance, in this instance, pornography. The organisation Relate explains that as with any other addiction, people who become addicted to porn often start out as casual users and over time watch it more frequently and more compulsively. Porn addiction can have a damaging effect on many areas of someone’s life including:

  • Becoming socially isolated due to prioritising accessing porn over seeing friends and family
  • Interfering with or replacing the desire for intimacy or sex in the ‘real world’
  • Engaging in risky behaviour including watching porn at work or in public4

Porn use can also have a significant impact on couple relationships, even if the issue isn’t deemed to be an addiction.

  1. Pornhub.com/insights
  2. Survey of 1014 GB adults aged 18-25 years old, conducted online by Delta Poll 2019
  3. Josh McDowell Ministry, The Porn Phenomenon: The Impact of Pornography in the Digital Age (Ventura, CA: Barna Group, 2016)
  4. https://www.relate.org.uk/relationship-help/help-sex/sex-common-problems/porn-addiction

Support

If you feel that porn is a problem for you or someone you love, here are some things that might help.

1. Acknowledge that there is a problem

Speak to someone that you trust and commit to doing what it takes to overcome the issue – this could be a spouse, family member, friend or a professional.

2. Recognise your triggers

Triggers can be the key to overcoming an issue. If we understand what prompts us to behave in a certain way then we can take steps to change those patterns. Here are some things that may help you to recognise and then distract from triggers:

  • Keep a two-week diary. This will help to show patterns i.e. if there is a certain time of day when you tend to use porn such as late at night or first thing in the morning. Or is there a certain activity or routine that is a trigger?
  • Practice the ten-second rule. Don’t look at someone and let your mind wander for more than ten seconds. This will help to break any thoughts that may be triggering.
  • The elastic band technique. Often used in counselling, this technique encourages you to flick an elastic band on your wrist each time you feel triggered, with the aim to distract from the trigger itself.
  • Say goodbye to your smartphone. Porn is easily and readily available on our smartphones. If this is hard for you to resist, why not consider buying a basic phone whose only functions are calls and texts? With no internet access, porn cannot be used.
3. Accountability

Being accountable means that we are answerable to someone (or something) for our actions. By letting someone else in, we can be held to account and supported in our journey. Here are some ideas in the area of accountability:

  • Get an accountability buddy. This is a two-way street. You have someone that you can turn to for support and in turn, they have your permission to hold you to account and have unrestricted access to that area of your life. This could involve asking questions at any time about your porn use, having access to your internet browser history or holding the codes for the parental controls on your TV or smartphone. You could regularly meet up or speak on the phone. Accountability looks different for each person and can be very effective – not only when it comes to porn issues but in many areas of our lives.
  • Place parental controls on your phones, computers and TVs. This will restrict what is able to be shown.
  • Download accountability software on to your smartphone. This will not prevent you from accessing online porn, however your browsing history is reported to a trusted friend, even your app history and uninstall attempts.
  • Work through a 12 step programme. This could be by attending an anonymous group in person, accessing one online or working through a programme by yourself.
  • Find a therapist or counsellor. Counselling can take place face-to-face, over the phone or online and there are a whole host of different options and approaches.

Further support can be found through the organisations listed below.

Fight the New Drug

A non-religious US-based organisation, whose aim is to raise awareness and educate people on the damaging effects of porn. Their resource include a documentary, over 1,000 articles, short films, podcast episodes and a conversation guide.

XXX Church

XXX Church grew out of a Christian-based organisation, however their content is not explicitly faith-based and is suitable for all those with or without faith.  They provide a test that can be used to identify addiction, plus recovery programmes, online small groups and workshops and accountability software.

Naked Truth

A Christian-based organisation providing online support groups, books, courses and resources for those wanting to overcome porn use and their partners.

Covenant Eyes

A Christian organisation offering a range of articles, forums and tutorials, as well as a blog, eBook and a screen accountability service.

Share on social media

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on whatsapp

Help us support families today

At Care for the Family we support couples, parents and those who have been bereaved. If you would be able to make a one off donation to support our work, we would be very grateful. Thank you.

Skip to content Skip to content
Donate

__TITLE__

__PRICE__