Pornography addiction and your teen. Pornography is readily available in our society today, through smartphones, iPads, Kindles, tablets, or computers, and it is difficult for many parents to keep up with technology in order to monitor and protect their children from pornographic material. Sexual addiction often starts with curiosity about pornography, which leads to watching pornographic videos and online chatting; the list goes on and on. Teens may hear their friends and peers at school talking about sex and showing them pictures or text messages. The challenge is how easily accessible pornography is. They can find so many things on the internet. Anything they can think of they can find it and experience it. Eventually, they get to a point where tolerance to what they are seeing builds up, and in order to continue getting aroused, they have to seek more stimulating sexual material to bring their dopamine levels up. Eventually, it leads to needing contact with a person, sometimes even a stranger, to play out what has been viewed online. It really comes down to exposure, brain chemistry, hormones and opportunity. If a child struggling with pornography is on the spectrum (Autistic Spectrum Disorder) and lacks social skills, they may seek out opportunities and vulnerabilities in others to have access to sexual contact.
Porn Addiction Side Effects
Because of the ease of access to pornography, it can become a replacement for real relationships and intimacy.
For example, If I was interested in a girl, and wanted to date her, yet I lacked the social skills to go up and ask her out or feared rejection (which feeds into shame and embarrassment) the option of pornography would be much more appealing. It is the path of least resistance. With pornography, there are women who aren’t real and yet, they “want” you. There is no shame, no social pressure, no rejection, no insecurities, and your own fantasies can be experienced as a reality. While this creates a false reality, it still makes sense why a young boy would seek out pornography over real social interactions or relationships leading up to a healthy sexual encounter with a female. The interaction with a real person doesn’t compare with those found online, yet the pressure and risk are not there and is more easily available. If parents aren’t aware, they may find their children are viewing pornography right under their nose without realizing it.
One of the biggest challenges kids have with pornography is they don’t realize they are becoming addicted until it’s too late.
It starts off as exciting and arousing. They are hearing about it from their peers in school, and they are learning about new sexual things. The evolution of porn is getting deeper and deeper to where it is more deviant and time-consuming. The actual process of addiction is something most teens are naive too. The reality is kids have smartphones at 12-13, get curious about sex and look up porn. It’s not that they are setting out to be addicted, it is the gradual progression which can be compounded especially if they are Autistic Spectrum Disorder because they are lacking the social skills and knowledge to be accepted by their peer group. Porn also is very egocentric. Rather than meeting our partner’s needs and being concerned about their feelings the focus is on the student’s own needs and gratification. And when you add masturbation to all of this you are chemically reinforcing this pattern. Most people don’t think “ I want to be a porn addict” it just gradually evolves and happens over time.
Porn Addiction Help
At Oxbow Academy we have students who have been so involved in pornography and sexual issues that their grades are dropping, it’s interfering with their social life or sports, and they are isolating more to view pornography and sexually act out.
If the problem has grown from still pictures to videos to web chats to sexting intervention and treatment may be necessary. The power of the Oxbow Academy 90-day evaluation is understanding how they got there and why, what needs they are meeting and begin to teach and model healthy relationships, replacing isolation and deviant behavior with healthy relationships and recreational activities.
Ultimately we all have a need to feel accepted, loved and connected, yet teens don’t have the ability to appropriately meet these needs and they lack the skill, porn is a counterfeit and temporary replacement to that. Since sex and pornography are the easy substitutes to relationships Oxbow Academy provides the foundation, skills, and tools necessary to feel loved, supported and connected in a healthy way with real relationships.