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  • Katie Korzen

Why Porn isn’t “Just Porn”


I met a woman the other day that told me that she had just filed for divorce. She went on to say that the cause was infidelity and that he had told her, since their parting, that he had slept with over thirty women. I told her that it was probably sex addiction because sleeping with that many women isn’t necessary to finding a partner, its obsessive.

I told her that when men get addicted to pornography they eventually want what they see in porn, so after some time they eventually seek that out. I also told her that if that is the case, especially since its a pandemic right now in our culture, then his addiction doesn’t have anything to do with her. Her only recourse is to set boundaries to protect herself and hope that he finds the help he needs.

She said that she would be fine if it was “just porn” but that it was the infidelity that she couldn’t tolerate. I told her there is no such thing as “just porn” because porn (PMO - Porn, Masturbation, Orgasm Combo) is the fundamental problem concerning sex addiction. Typically, men learn about sex from porn at an early age. Women learn about sex and how to have sex from men. So, essentially all of us are learning how to have sex from porn. As you can see porn is a primary factor in relationship breakdown. More and more divorce is being attributed to porn and sex addiction.

The dynamic group Fight the New Drug has a slogan that says Porn Kills Love. Porn has the ability to do this because the drug PMO often times combined with other sex addiction behaviors highjacks the brain and changes the perception of the needs of the individual. Therefore, relationship can barely stand a chance when PMO and other sex addiction behaviors are present.

Over time dopamine and other receptors in the brain and body shut down, they literally burn out from overuse. Usually, the next thing that happens is the whole frontal lobe ie. frontal cortex of the brain shuts down, which is our gateway to our consciousness. These brain changes are detrimental for relationship because our partners perception of us has now changed. Blame is usually directed at the non-addicted partner. Oftentimes, next the addict experiences Porn Induced Erectile Dysfunction which exasperates his laundry list of inadequacies which, unfortunately, further fuels his insatiable addiction.

When my marriage was coming to an end my beloved told me that he couldn’t stay with me any longer because I knew all his tricks. So I’ve witnessed first hand how addiction puts this altered perception in the drivers seat. It feels like love is dying and it is the saddest thing you’ll probably ever experience.

So as you can see, when I hear someone say that its “just porn” it stops me in my tracks and reminds me that there are many people going through this right now that have no idea what is happening to them. Its unbearably sad to know that a woman could be going through what I did and think that it is her fault. The addiction her spouse has is not her fault! If she is at fault for anything it would be not having set boundaries for herself that honor her intuition and trust she has for herself. She is the only one that can find a path to do this for herself. And without finding out the facts surrounding what has happened to her she can stay traumatized, not understand how to help herself and her children, remain a victim rather than know how she has been victimized, and remain in the dark about this pervasive cultural problem.

Its imperative that children are told appropriately about their fathers addiction so that they can protect themselves with boundaries etc, and also so that they don’t conclude that this is somehow automatically genetically tied to them.

Therapists like John Gottman are now reversing their stance on porn use for couples. They have gone from condoning it as a healthy tool for enhancing libido to proclaiming it as damaging for intimacy between partners.

Lifting the weight of guilt off of yourself from feeling that there must have been something you could do is probably the hardest part. Because addiction stems from early attachment wounding the only way to healing is for the addict to take responsibility for their use of the drug and the suffering they have caused the people around them. Serious recovery is necessary and only they can do it. Further relational healing could take place but only after they have been in active recovery for a good amount of time. Only then is it even possible to engage in healthy relating and intimacy. It is also important to create healthy attachment in adulthood to heal these early attachment woundings and to holistically heal from the addiction.

Your own healing can feel extremely difficult and may even feel impossible at times but believe me it is absolutely possible. You’ll learn how to allow the love for yourself to prevail and when the time is right you’ll either begin anew with your partner committed in active recovery or with a new partner that is conscious and knowledgeable about this pervasive condition.

As an adult woman, at any age, we are being confronted with the realization that sex addiction has crept like a predator into our relationships. Are we going to do something about it or continue to tolerate it until we are so broken we can’t get free?

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