Clinicians who treat sex addiction have noticed more individuals and couples coming into treatment where compulsive viewing or pornography has led to psychological issues necessitating treatment. And herein lies the rub, or so we will argue. As in most cases where there is a secret in the marriage , when discovered the partner can feel deceived and betrayed and this is obviously corrosive to the marriage. By continuing to draw off that ambivalent faith, techno-sex and the many other practices of disembodying interaction contribute to a changing and increasingly abstracted dominant ontology of embodiment. He acknowledges that his compulsion has hurt his relationship and his sex life.
As such, it poses a significant threat to the relationship. The common link in these cases is that the client or spouse is spending time chasing sexual images on the easily available and often free porn sites on the internet. There are very strong feelings at work and this need to be validated by each partner if disconnection and disruption is to be avoided. He has a history of alcohol addiction and cyber- porn addiction. The viewing becomes compulsive, immediately gratifying and soothing of anxiety states. She did not know how much time he spends visiting porn sites but had a list of the particular sites he visits. It is often called mudsex or netsex in MUDs. Also, it can allow partners to work out problems that they have in their sex life that they feel uncomfortable bringing up otherwise. In other words, it seems the better strategy in the onset of the discussion about the issue to emphasize the emotional and relational costs and consequences of the viewing. Those vulnerable to this form of addiction no longer have to leave the safety of their own homes and confront embarrassment and shame about buying porn; they simply surf from their home computer of hand-held device. What is so attractive, compelling, and reinforcing is that this alternative universe of sexuality can be accessed from any computer where users can safely and anonymously fantasize, flirt , and get intimate. If the issue cannot be discussed in a calm and respectful manner, professional help may be needed. Typically, there is an emotional disconnection between partners, a "walling-off" in the relationship leading to a reduction in sexual contact and intimacy. While not acting out his sexual desire, he has been secretly spending hours per week hunting images of young girls on the internet. The scenarios above are recent cases in my practice where the compulsion to view pornographic images on the internet is a crucial aspect of the presenting problem. Sex addicts gradually increase the amount of sexual activity because the current level of activity is no longer sufficiently satisfying. It is in the process of managing the conflict that will determine the degree of relationship dysfunction. Instead of directly and honestly attending to the breach, there is escape into the easily available and non-demanding world of cyber-sex and self-stimulation. This being said, there is a discernable boundary between healthy viewing of erotica and secretive and compulsive use as there is a difference between moderate or recreational drinking and excessive use of alcohol. This involves acting out a pattern of out-of-control sexual behavior e. There are powerful feelings of shock, fear , loss, and worry on the part of the spouse who discovers her partner's predilection. She would like help sorting her feelings out and developing a plan about dealing with this with Frank. Compulsive viewing of cyber-pornography, a sub-group of sexual addiction, appears to have a recognizable behavior pattern similar to other addictions Carnes, She confronted him and he became outraged, defensive and accused her of violating his privacy. He is a writer and has taught English at a variety of local colleges.
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