If you suspect you are an adult material addict, or if you are concerned that someone you know may be an adult material addict, here is information that will help. Cornerstone Christian Counseling has professional counselors who can help you or your loved one – call 269-375-4363 to make an appointment.
About Adult Material Addiction
Adult material addiction has its roots in the viewing and hoarding of magazine and video. However, these days adult material addicts have new and frighteningly powerful enablers: the Internet, Smartphones, and social media.
Adult material addicts today can feed their Internet problem by viewing online still photos, downloading videos, or by having webcam sex (paid and unpaid). Some use the Internet to simply view images while others eventually end up using the Internet as a vehicle to meet with anonymous sexual partners. The ‘new media’ of smartphones offers some addicts instant phone-based adult material downloads along with wherever/whenever live video streaming of sexual activities, while Facebook can leave some cruising images and profiles for hours on end.
What Is Adult Material Addiction?
Similar to someone with a chemical or substance addiction, adult material addicts tend to replace important relationships and commitments with their “drug” of choice: adult material. Non-Internet addicts can be found in places like strip clubs and adult bookstores, but it is unlikely that they have a strip club addiction or an adult bookstore addiction, but rather that they have consistent and compulsive sexual problems that manifest in different ways.
Adult material addicts tend to isolate themselves when engaging in their sexual acting out. They can typically spend many hours or even days lost in two-dimensional images and experiences. Some also lose time to Internet addictions such as online fantasy games and/or gambling sites.
Nonsexual Internet addiction can also be painfully isolating, causing real life consequences for the person addicted to online gambling or fantasy games, but Internet adult material addiction also carries a moral stigma and the likelihood that important love and sex relationships will be negatively affected.
While some sex and adult material addicts use compulsive masturbation as a part of their acting out, others engage only minimally in the sex act itself but nonetheless end up lose themselves to the endless sexual images and sites found online.
Some signs of adult material addiction can include:
• An inability to stop the behavior(s) and adult material use despite previous attempts to do so
• Anger or irritability if asked to stop
• Hiding or attempting to keep secret all or a part of the adult material use
• Living a double or secret life related to adult material
• Continuing the behavior despite obvious consequences, such as a relationship or job loss
• Getting lost in the problem adult material use (i.e., spending more time than intended, losing time)
Recovery from adult material addiction requires honesty and outreach. For those addicted to adult material and sexual acting out, honesty begins by finding someone knowledgeable working with sexual addiction and admitting entire the problem to them without omitting the embarrassing or humiliating parts. Such people can be found in the 12-step sexual recovery meetings and through professional organizations such as SASH and IITAP, which have listings of sexual addiction specialists. The Sexual Recovery Institute specializes in the treatment of adult material addiction, and we offer a confidential assessment to help you move to the next step.
Getting help with adult material addiction can feel shameful, embarrassing, or humiliating, but those feelings have to be tolerated when the greater concern is that the adult material addictions will significantly interfere in the life of the sex addict or in the lives of those they love.
The sex addict involved in internet adult material addiction often has to arrive at to his or her own conclusion to make a change, a decision that often comes a lot later than their partners would like or can tolerate.
Adult Material Addiction Help Tips
Below are listed a few tips for dealing with adult material addiction:
• Talking about the issues in detail with a trusted friend or therapist who will be as honest with you as you are honest with them.
• Making an addiction prevention plan to carry out when tempted (see Sexual Sobriety)
• Putting tracking devices on your smartphone and computer so others (best not a spouse) can monitor your online behavior
• Knowing the signs of adult material addiction, both the general signs and those specific to you
• Knowing the stages of adult material addiction
• Making good use of adult material addiction resources such as 12-step meetings, sex addiction professionals, and online recovery support groups.