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When Women Talk About Porn

When I set out to tackle the topic of how women feel about their partner’s porn use, I never could have anticipated the response I would get. So many women, dear, smart, and amazing women, were eager to share their heart-wrenching stories with me. Some stories end with healing, and others end with the destruction of a marriage. No story …

Men: Look to Your Past. Do You Have a “Me Too” Moment?

In the wake of the terrible sexual harassment allegations against Harvey Weinstein, women all over social media are stepping forward to bravely say the words “Me Too” to show that they have also been victims of sexual harassment or sexual assault. The idea behind this movement is to show how widespread and how prevalent this behavior is, and hopefully it’s …

Is Porn Addiction Real?

To a person who struggles with compulsive sexual behavior like using online pornography, there is no such thing as a “little” bit of porn. A little bit becomes a whole lot, really quick. Despite that intimate knowledge of those who have come to realize that they are addicted to such behavior, many people scoff at the idea of the reality …

The Women Behind the Sex Scandals: Why They Need Help Too

Women have been coming forward in droves to share their stories of sexual assault and sexual misconduct perpetrated against them by some of the richest and most powerful men in the world. This is, I think, both a wonderful thing and a very complicated thing, because at the end of the day, there are real live women behind these stories, …

Porn Doc Is In: How Much Do You Need to Disclose?

Dear Porn Doc, I am a 40-plus year old man who has struggled with an addiction to pornography. It played a big part in my divorce. I am now in recovery (seeing a counselor and attending SA meetings) and have begun a new serious relationship and I am uncertain as to if I should share my past and if so, …

4 Steps To Recovery From Porn Addiction: Walk, Don’t Run

Recovery from an addiction to sex or pornography is much more like a marathon rather than a sprint. Much will be required of and from you in your pursuit of sobriety. Recovery demands patience, perseverance, and maybe the most difficult—self-compassion. Many of my clients initially look for the quick sprint to the finish line…seeing the recovery process as a linear …

The “Regular Guy” Sex Addict – More Common Than You Think

Sex addiction can affect anyone, regardless of education, profession, location, religion, background or age. If you think you “can’t” be a sex addict, think again. In my work as a counselor, one of the more common misconceptions I run into is the idea that sex or porn addicts have a certain “look.” Or, if not their appearance, then something about …

Withdrawal

Attempting to stop your compulsive sexual behavior requires a non-simple truth—the need to become comfortable with feeling uncomfortable. Once you have acknowledged you have a sex addiction, and made the decision to get help, you need to prepare yourself for a period of withdrawal. Like any drug or substance, it’s not going to be easy ride. Going through withdrawal from …

Beginning Couple’s Therapy for Sex Addiction: Here’s What You’re In For

  When a sex or porn addiction first comes to light in a relationship, everything feels chaotic. Perhaps your partner was caught in their behavior and is reluctant to admit any wrongdoing. Perhaps they confessed their behavior when either guilt or self-doubt became too unbearable. Either way, your relationship has been shattered, and you are going to need lots of …

If You’re Watching Porn at Work, You Might Have a Big Problem

Recently there was a story in the news about a Rhode Island lawmaker who distributed printouts of a Wikipedia page to his colleagues, without realizing that it clearly showed open tabs from porn sites at the top of the page. This lawmaker has since apologized, and he even went so far as to claim that the printouts did not come …

Sex Addiction in the News – This Isn’t a Joke

While it might seem like the Kardashian family is always in the news, a recent story was of particular importance to me. After being confronted for infidelity on the latest episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians, Scott Disick – longtime boyfriend of Kourtney Kardashian, and father of her 3 children – came out publicly and declared himself a sex …

Dear PornDoc—Journaling, Mindfulness, & Disclosure

Dear PornDoc, I am currently in treatment for pornography addiction. My therapist wants me to journal a lot. My thinking is that this brings up feelings of wanting to act out which seems counterproductive to me. I’d like your thoughts on the importance of writing. First of all, good for you for seeking help. It’s the necessary thing to do …

When The Person Saying “I Told You So,” Is You

This is a message to the woman who got involved with someone she thought she could change. Maybe you met him while he was still involved in another relationship. Perhaps he was a drinker, a gambler, a sex addict, or an abuser. Maybe you knew someone else who was involved with him in the past and had heard stories about …

Dating Apps: Helping Relationships or Normalizing Sex Addiction?

It can be difficult to meet people sometimes. Our multitasking culture demands more of our time than ever before, and that means longer workdays, less vacation, and far fewer opportunities to bump into “the one.” So, in this regard dating apps seem inevitable. If we can’t be out in the real world looking for relationships, we can at least facilitate …

Self Forgiveness Means Accepting Our Own Humanity

To much of the outside world, a relationship that falls apart due to a sex or porn addiction has a very clear bad guy. Everything that happened was due to the destructive behavior on the part of the addict, while their partner is totally innocent. Seems obvious, right? Unless you’re looking at the issue from inside the relationship — the partners …

Depression and Sex Addiction

The old adage, what comes first, the chicken or the egg? When it comes to the symbiotic relationship between addiction and depression, it is often difficult to determine which causes which. When working with people who struggle with compulsive sexual behavior, often depression rides just beneath the surface. One acts out sexually to avoid the depression (subconsciously) and in turn …

Walking On The Edge

When working with my clients who struggle with compulsive sexual behavior, the most common feedback I receive concerns their behavior that just teeters back and forth around their addiction. I refer to this as “edging.” Perhaps they are not looking directly at online pornography or not quite yet acting out sexually with another person…but, they are dangerously close and tend …

Acknowledging His Suffering Isn’t the Same As Letting Him Off the Hook

When working with the heartbroken partners of sex and porn addicts, at a certain point, they tend to come to the realization that their partner is suffering too. It’s not at all uncommon (or unhealthy) for their first thought to be “Well, good!” I work with women whose worlds have been rocked by the discovery of unfaithfulness. Whether this came …

Sex and Intimacy: Are They the Same?

A recently published article opined that the reason fewer and fewer men are interested in marriage or long-term relationships is because they have easy access to sex through text messages, dating apps, and streaming internet porn. In other words, they don’t have to try to win affection by making themselves presentable, having a good education and a good job, showing …

Can I Masturbate During Recovery?

One of the most common questions or concerns for the men I see in recovery for sex and porn addiction centers on masturbation. Can I masturbate during recovery? Will this set me back? How can I tell the difference between a “normal” act and an addictive one? To start, let’s review some working definitions on masturbation, addiction and compulsion: Masturbation: …