by Kevie Simon on Wednesday, March 16th, 2016
Can women really be addicted to porn? I mean, come on. It’s a guy thing, right? The truth is that pornography addiction is not just a guy thing at all. As men and women, we are unique in our gender identities, but that does not make certain issues like sex addiction gender separate. In the online world, there are a plethora of pornography sites solely focused on female viewing. However, women are much less likely to talk about their pornography use due to the social stigma that surrounds this issue for females. It’s time for women who struggle with pornography and sexual addiction to have a voice.
In a blog by our friend and fellow sex addiction therapist, Rob Weiss, he outlines his experience with women who struggle with pornography addiction and gives us some interesting insights. For women, he finds the type of pornography watched typically looks different than for men. As women, we often prefer narratives or stories, like 50 Shades, over body parts (but that’s not universal). Many times, storylines that depict an intimate relationship with another person are preferred by women in pornography viewing. Rob even found that women tend to talk about our sex lives in terms of our relationships, not just the physical act itself. Even though typical female typology of porn looks different than male’s, that does not mean that women cannot become addicted to porn.
It seems in the media today, there has been a shift in the general portrayal of women from the “good housewife” of the Leave It To Beaver days, to a woman who is able to have one night stands with men without any issue or hesitation. Using online apps to hook up with a partner for the night is quickly becoming the norm of the younger generation of males and females (see my blog Swiping for Sex for more information). With these new trends in our media and culture, the stigma for women as sexual beings is decreasing, but the stigma for sexual addiction and other sexual issues among women has not decreased. So how do we address this issue? A great starting point is to talk about these issues amongst those in our closest circles.
This conversation around sex and pornography can be a scary one to begin because we don’t know how to help ourselves or others who have struggles in this area. Although this blog primarily focuses on pornography addiction, there are other ways that sexual addiction manifests itself (more to come on this in a later blog…). What exactly is pornography and sexual addiction, you ask? There are a few indicators that may help you determine if you need to reach out for professional help around your sexual behavior, whether you are male or female:
If you feel like you have an addiction to porn or sex and you are a female, know that you are not alone! At Restorations, we have a group just for female addicts where you can find community and support. We have highly trained therapists who are here to help you begin to ask questions and find sobriety. If you are a therapist reading this, I would encourage you to ask your female clients about their sexual life and pornography use; become a safe place where she can share her struggles. We can begin the conversation so that the social stigma to begins to lower. Sexual addiction is a disorder that affects both genders, and we must accept the men and women who strive to find health and healing.