women addicted to porn

7 Truths About Women Addicted to Porn

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There are women everywhere who struggle every day with pornography—and you might know some of them. This post, which originally appeared on iMOM and was used with permission, explains what you need to know so you can help.

We were eating brunch. I had a waffle and she had eggs benedict. As I took a sip of my coffee, my friend said, “I’m seeing a therapist.” I knew she and her husband were having some troubles, but that’s not what the therapy was for. She told me she had a problem—she’s one of many women addicted to porn.

Even though she wouldn’t look directly at me, I could see tears in her eyes. I put down my mug and thanked her for telling me, and we talked about how alone she’d been feeling. She’s not alone though. There are lots of women addicted to porn. In 2019, there were 42 billion visits to Pornhub, one of the world’s top free porn sites. Over 30 percent of those visits were from women. You do the math. And that’s just one site. As a mother, this scares me. If you struggle with pornography or have a daughter you want to protect from this addiction, here are 7 things you should know.

1. It’s not just a guy thing.

You already saw the 30 percent statistic, but in this study, almost half of the young women surveyed think pornography is acceptable. So women and young girls are not only watching it, but many are also watching it with the understanding that there’s nothing wrong with what they see. We know we need to monitor our sons, but we need to talk to our girls too. We need to acknowledge that there are women addicted to porn. They are the friends we meet for coffee and women in our churches and moms on the PTA.

2. Porn viewing by women now starts at a young age.

Research has found almost 60 percent of 14- to 18-year-old girls have viewed pornography. It stands to reason that as we give access to the internet to children at younger and younger ages, the age range for porn viewing will also start to skew younger. The younger viewing starts, the more likely it will lead to dependence.

3. Women are getting conflicting messages.

Some say it’s empowering for women and girls to view pornography—that they are owning their sexuality. But one out of eight titles shown to first-time users on porn home pages depicts acts of sexual violence. Considering many young people turn to pornography to learn about sex, it’s scary to think about what they are being led to believe sex should be like.

Pornography is changing the way society sees women—and not in a good way.

4. Pornography is changing the way society sees women—and not in a good way.

“Imagine if the world only had porn as a reference for what women are really like. What lies would society believe about them?” When I read that on fightthenewdrug.org, my heart broke for all the girls who think they have to look or talk or behave that way to be desired or loved. I think of the women who have shown me (and the rest of the world) what true womanhood is and I can’t imagine what my self-worth would be like without them.

5. Watching pornography can affect your mental health.

Women who become regular pornography users can suffer from depression and low self-esteem because it can be hard to reconcile their physical enjoyment with their intellectual dislike of seeing women used as sex objects. For women, there is a sense of shame that leads to secrecy. So those women who want to stop watching porn don’t look for help and can spiral downward.

6. Pornography addictions lead to less satisfaction in marriage and dating.

It’s really hard to put effort into something when you can get it with little effort and zero risks somewhere else. Why try to flirt with your husband or accept advances from him if Google can lead you to a site that gives you what you need? And why would girls who are dating risk rejection or heartbreak when they can stay home with their computers?

7. Most importantly, your worth is not defined by your addiction or attraction to porn.

Women addicted to porn, you are worthy of love. You are capable of letting go of this addiction or attraction. You don’t have to keep this a secret. And you are not alone. The friend I brunched with has a counselor, an accountability partner, a happy marriage, and freedom from the darkness she kept finding herself in. So can you.

What do you want your daughters to know about their self-worth and worthiness of real love?

Huddle up with your kids and ask, “What should you do if one of your friends tries to show you inappropriate pictures?”