4. Escalation. The addict desires greater pleasure, expanded novelty, so he or she ups the dose. They pursue pernicious, indecent images from the Internet. Porn has become their drug of choice, and self-medication rises to new levels. Licentious sexual images, urges and fantasies dominate the thoughts. This over-stimulation interferes with the normal balance of the addict's brain chemicals. They now crave extreme novelty. Most viewing is done in secret.
5. Acting out sexually. Acting out is the next stage of escalation. The addict moves from viewing pornography to seeking a real world experience. It leads to risky behaviors, like stealing from joint bank accounts to pay for prostitutes, binge drinking for heightened courage to act out, unexplained anger or promiscuous sex. The latter may, and does, cause STDs (Sexually Transmitted Diseases). Leaving their boring spouses behind, who long ago failed to fulfill sexual gratification, addicted men and women actively seek other live sex partners. If married, the addict will think nothing of committing adultery to satiate the craving for intense sexual novelty. Men will visit prostitutes, women will pick up men in bars or at the gym, or resort to cyber porn (including email, chat rooms, and social media). Chatting with strangers who vicariously satisfy sexual needs behind closed doors is adultery—ask any spouse who is victim of their partner's porn addiction and has acted out in the cyber world. It's emotional adultery and may lead to acting out with live partners.
Depending on the level of graphic, hardcore porn the addict has viewed in order to spiral to the acting out level, some escalate to the deviant sexual behaviors and perversions of rape, child molestation, incest and even murder. Pornography could be considered a gateway drug to severe criminal behaviors.
In Ted Bundy’s final interview on the day of his execution, James Dobson uncovered the knowledge that the impetus of this serial killer’s criminal rampage began with an addiction to pornography which escalated to acting out.
A pornography addiction is about selfishness—getting, taking—not giving, as it would be in a normal intimate relationship with a spouse. The addiction makes it impossible for any emotional or marital familiarity, closeness or love.
The admission of addiction and desire to be rid of it is the beginning of recovery. It's the beginning of renewal, mending of self and relationships. In a perfect world, the addict will crave freedom from the addiction and seek help.
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