The 3 Types of Porn Users

“Not feeling is no replacement for reality. Your problems today are still your problems tomorrow.” – Larry Dredla

The three different types and stages of porn use are the casual user, the at-risk user, and the addict.
The casual user watches porn for fun. It’s an occasional distraction depending on life circumstances but not too extreme nor does it block out important activities. It’s more of an enjoyable distraction, a sporadic form of escape or relaxation that is NOT as satisfying or meaningful as real intimate connections. The frequency of use is driven by life-changing events.
For the casual user, there is no history of neglect or abuse. Porn and online sexual experiences are not sustained because they feel unrealistic, and he’d rather pursue real relationships with women. He doesn’t experience any shame or high levels of guilt after watching porn.

An at-risk user will have periods of intense engagement, and it is a distraction from other life challenges. But he does know how to put a limit on it or stop when he starts to experience more serious consequences.

The at-risk user will typically keep it as a secret in exchange for looking good or being accepted, although he may have a potential history of abuse for recreation, spending, gambling, sex and other high intensity behaviors as a result of reacting to life stressors. The main difference that makes an at-risk user different from an addict is that the at-risk user has the ability to stop when he sees it’s becoming a problem. An addict has lost the ability to choose to stop.

Addicts turn to digital sexual fantasies to fill an emotional void. They cannot stop negative behaviors even when they are not helping their life or even have a desire for change.

They know what they’re doing is hurting them, yet they still keep doing it. They typically are depressed or are experiencing severe emotional challenges or have a history of substance abuse, childhood abuse, neglect, family dysfunction, addiction, mental illness, and lifelong fears of being unwanted or “not enough,” so they use porn and masturbation to replace intimate personal relationships and peer support altogether.

There could also be history of unresolved adult trauma, having short-term infrequent relationships, and being emotionally distant from friendships and family even if they are physically in close proximity.

Addicts find as much intensity, excitement, and distraction in the search for the next sexual thrill as in the sex act itself. Fantasies pull addicts into an emotional state that renders them unable to make better choices or even consider how their behaviors might affect others or themselves.

Questions to ask yourself:

  • Do you find yourself spending increasing amounts of time online looking at porn and/or engaging in sexual or romantic fantasy, even when you have more important things to accomplish in your life that you are putting aside?
  • Have you promised yourself that you would stop viewing certain porn websites or using apps and find yourself back there again?
  • Do you collect porn?
  • Have you had negative consequences at work, in school, or in relationships and other important areas of your life related to porn use?
  • Has your porn use led to a reduction in friends, family, recreational activities?
  • Has your porn use caused you to lose anything or anyone important to you?
  • Do you lie or keep secrets about your porn use?
  • Do you hide your porn use so others won’t discover it?
  • Do you feel like your porn use is interfering with personal goals, relationships, and healthy intimacy?
  • Do you become defensive or extremely ashamed when you look at porn?
  • If you found yourself saying yes to any of the above questions, then I want this to be a slap in the face for you. Wake up! If you continue down this path, it will only be a matter of time before you move from your current stage to the next.
  • So you might be wondering, is it really possible to be addicted to porn?

Let’s dive in…