Is Porn/Masturbating Addiction A Religious Myth?

I grew up in a very religious, Roman Catholic, household. My parents had six girls, so they never really felt the need to talk to us about porn and masturbation. They grew up in a time when porn wasn't widely available for young women, so they wrote it off.

The church taught us that those types of things were forbidden. I don't know about other churches, but I'm sure that some of them preach the same.

Now that I'm older and have been masturbating and watching porn for half of the years of my life, I don't see anything wrong with it. It's always spiced up my sex  life with my lovers, it's never made me antisocial, and it's actually taught me how to be one with my body and how to enjoy myself.

I've started to wonder if masturbation and porn addiction are just myths made up by religion. (I'm not longer relgious)
  • 38 Commentsby Likes|Date
  • I wouldn't exactly say they were myths - many people have posted on this very forum about their porn addictions. Looking at it isn't wrong though - lots of people do and it's only if it starts to interfere with your day to day life that it becomes a problem. So don't listen to anyone who tells you that watching porn is a one way ticket to hell : )
  • There are porn addicts out there, but watching it and masturbation is not a bad thing. Normal people do it and there's nothing wrong with satisfying a need. It becomes a problem when it starts replacing actual sex and when you feel the urge to do it frequently. 95% of my friends do it as well.
  • @hereiam good point....but just as other things can become addictive, so can watching porn and masturbating....@cguru has a great point in that porn effects levels of dopamine just like a drug high would...and then you need more and more to get that same effect and then....sex with a person might not do the trick...

    in moderation, i don't think it's an issue, as long as it's not affecting your life in a negative way...but there are many porn addicts that do not like the feeling that they HAVE to do this in order to feel good...or they use it to cope with life....

    abstinence would help those addicted...and maybe some therapy.
  • @cguru I go on binges where I will watch it multiple times a day, and other times I'll go without it for months at a time. So I think that might be why I can't see this as an addiction, because I've never personally met someone who watches it but CAN'T stop, and I know a lot of people who watch it on a regular basis.

    Though most of these comments refer to the addiction of porn. What is all of your opinions on masturbation addiction?
  • I've never personally met anyone who was addicted either but I have read some stories and I've seen some videos on youtube of people talking about it. I think it's much like drinking, where people's intake will vary and there are some who just won't be able to stop themselves from binging constantly.
  • The addiction is definitely real. I've watched it for 10 years, and it has been a very destructive part of my life that ends up re-traumatizing me and keeping me stuck reliving my trauma. 

    I like what others have said about how it's a bit like drinking. Some people like drinking and can do so safely. Others can't control their drinking. Others hate drinking and hate how they feel when they drink, but they just do it to self-destruct. Similarly, some people use porn as an escape from intimacy problems or use it to self-abuse after being sexually abused. 
  • Well, I don't think porn, and masturbation are such bad things. A lot of people do that anyway, and it's just normal. However, there should be a limitation in everything we do, and don't let these things keep you from being a productive person.
  • It's definitely something some churches condemn because it is pleasure seeking and self-vanity all in one but I say, go ahead and love yourself. It's not a myth in any sense of the word because it actually is happening so I don't know how to explain that. In any case just don't do it too hard too often because then it becomes an addiction.
  • I don't think it's a myth, but the Church didn't get it right when they wrote it off. I still have great difficulty in identifying porn/masturbation as addictions because I'm not yet satisfied with any one definition of the effects and behaviors of people under these addictions. What are the defining points? Are people who watch more porn or masturbate more often more anti-social than members of the general population who engage in these activities less frequently? Should these activities be consisdered so bad, as outlined by the church, that people should altogether abstain form porn/masturbation?
  • I know the addiction part of it is real. I have known people who had to deal with that addiction and it is a very difficult one to deal with. Just like any other addiction it can ruin relationships and destroy marriages. It gets to the point where the porn and masturbation takes place of the sexual relationship with their partner.

    There is nothing wrong with watching porn and masturbating as long as you are not replacing it for intimate time with your partner. Some people become obsessed with it and that is when it becomes an addiction. I think all churches speak against it and speak of it as if it is evil. That is just their belief.
  • good comments on this post. i do feel for those who are addicted and cannot stop...they are using it to fill a void...or get some sort of dopamine rush and well, then they want more and more and more...and then feel badly....i think it's an individual concern...while one may be fine with regular porn and masterbation, another may not be ok...i have mixed feelings about it all myself...and i'm sure some of it comes from old church dogmas...ingrained in my head... 
  • I've actually spent some time researching this and am starting to understand that it can become a problem at a point for some people, BUT it seems as though a lot of the people I have run into actually do just think it's wrong because of the years they were told so by the church that they attended. Which is very sad.
  • No, I believe porn and masturbation addiction can be quite real, just like food addiction is for me.  You can practically get addicted to anything!   It can happen, of course there are people who can eat  and drink with moderation, but there are people who doesn't.  It pretty much depends on the person, some are not prone to addictions, but others are.
  • Some scientists argue that porn addiction is a myth (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/06/30/porn-addiction-_n_7696448.html), but I disagree completely. Here are links to great articles on the topic:

    I'm 100% against porn for other reasons too, but that's a topic on another conversation (unless someone wants me to elaborate :P).
  • I personally do not think that it is a myth and I do not suffer from this. That being said I believe people binge on it to fill a void in their personal life. 
  • From my experience i can tell you this is  not a myth.
    There is a difference between using porn for having fun on your own from time to time and feel a need to use it and binge watching it.
    Most of the time porn is not the real problem, the problem come from the addict who will use something to release his pressure, stress or other things (could be the results of a past bad deep experience) (that something could be video games, shopping, or here porn).
    When the it's become usual for a person to do so his body notice it and will make a connection between the loss of stress and the product that is used.
    Therefore the body is fuck*d up, the inconscious mind is fuck*d up, fortunately  it can be overcome.
  • As the saying goes "half the population masturbates, and the other half are lying". It is not funny if it is a true addiction and interferes with one's life as it can. Much the same as other drugs. But, yes, the dopamine rush (everything can be broken down to biological cause and effect) is what most people seek, and masturbation and porn are handily (no pun intended.. well maybe). It can be a recreation or an addiction, and there is a blurred line that can be crossed.

    @hereiam not to stir up the pot, but I believe that the teaching that enjoying our own bodies is sinful, is  very harmful to young people. IMO we should not be raised to feel that we are bad because of natural impulses. Better to learn how we are GOOD by nature, in so many ways.

  • There really are a lot of myths that have gotten less and less favor as people have gotten more knowledgable because it isn't practical anymore. I think most people forget that religions are mostly stemming from a very old period where people needed to depend a lot on it more for answers but now that we have more rational ways of getting to those answers we don't need it as much anymore and it is in this transition that sometimes causes a lot of confusion and harm.
  • I think it's like anything else... it affects different people in different ways. Some people become addicted to it, often leading to sexual dysfunction. For others, it's not a big deal. The same could be said of most anything that people become addicted to.
  • @jds i agree with you that we should be taught to love our bodies and accept natural impulses, like sex, as normal....there's enough shaming going on in people's head every day....we don't need to feel bad about sexual urges.....and if addiction is occuring, there's no shame in admitting it and getting some help....
  • I completely agree that we should be taught from the beginning that loving ourselves, understanding our urges, and not feeling bad for them are all things that we should be taught at a young age.
  • Being addicted is one thing, being a once in a while affair is another. The mistake many parents fail at is not addressing the issues their children are likely to face in the future for reasons being, they don't know the answers or they are too shy to talk about sex to their children.

    The funny thing about this life is there are many questions to ask; what is right and what is wrong? I believe what we do that gives our conscience peace and does not harm any one is right and we leave the judgement of our actions to our creator who knows all.
  • The part I worry about is the impact it has on real-world lives - people thinking that some of the things that happen in porn are everyday run of the mill expectations. And that seems to be the case for a lot of people who struggle with porn use. Also, any time that someone is doing something in secrecy from their spouse then I think it can be detrimental to a marriage. It depends on your outlook I guess!
  • Like all other things that give us pleasure and fulfillment, we can also get addicted to porn and masturbation. It's not a myth at all. As with the church, most of their practices are antiquated and not up to the times. Just be good person. That's what matters. So what if you like masturbating? As long as you're not harming yourself and other people, then I guess you're not doing anything wrong.
  • Porn can  be very addictive if you are not careful. And the effects of the addiction can be very unpleasant. I have seen worse cases of porn and masturbation addiction, and I can tell you how serious it is. It can affect the mind and relationship with your partner.
  • I believe that with women, such an addiction may not be that harmful to your own sexual health.  As someone who struggled with a porn addiction starting from a young age, I can confirm that it is something real and that it can be detrimental to your own well-being.  As someone who masturbated for nearly six times a day,  I found myself with no sexual drive and with no desire to associate with girls.  Even if I did manage to find myself with someone, I was plagued with erectile dysfunction.  I can definitely confirm that such an addiction is real.   
  • The church is against anything that doesn't lead to procreation.  The end.  They don't care about healthy exploration, self-expression or anything that doesn't lead directly back to serving god.  I, personally, am not religious though I grew up in a very catholic home.  
    Having said that, addictions to porn and to sex are very real, and not something made up by the church in order to keep people focused on god.  While it's an interesting notion, to me there's no connection at all.
  • I'm a Christian and I'll just share my personal opinion, so take it with a grain of salt. The Bible doesn't say anything specifically regarding masturbation, however, we generally take verses that say you should do all things that are glorifying to His name. So if you think that masturbating is pleasing to Him then by all means, do so. But you will find you tend to fantasize about things which are not very Christian-like. With that aside, by viewing porn, you indirectly support the industry which is another point the church tends to bring up. As we know, not all porn industries are ethical in their treatment of the actors. 
  • Masturbation is natural, the problem is when it becomes compulsive and addictive.
    Porn is a big problem in my opinion, due to the way in which sex acts are portrayed (usually graphic and brutal).
    Combining both masturbation and porn together, and frequently, leads to a powerful connection to graphic and brutal depictions of sex and your own sexuality.
    This in turn can make it difficult to have normal sexual relationships with a partner.
    I honestly wish porn was completely banned..or at least there was a sharp turn in the way porn is portrayed. Its all too clinical and male-orientated.
    I also have deep concerns about the impact of porn on young minds. Porn is often the first view young people (particularly male) get of sexual intercourse. Leading them to grow up with a very disturbed and disjointed view of the sexual act.
  • Not a myth at all, there are many people that actually feel the need and crave for porn. But like any addicting there is a process and you're not going to become addicted just by watching porn to spice up your relationship. I find the worst aspect of the porn addicting is the way it desensitizes us towards real sex, the fantasy becomes a standard no woman can really fulfill, leading to some bigger problems. I'm up for porn banning too, it has given me nothing but problems.
  • It isn't an addiction, but that doesn't have anything to do with religion or myths. There are multiple behaviour problems that this issue could be attributed to, none of which have anything to do with addiction.
  • Porn and masturbation addiction is not a religious myth. People are actually addicted to  porn and masturbation. However, the religious sentiments make the situation worse. Watching porn sometimes and doing masturbation sometimes, can be healthy for a person of adult age who does not have a partner. However, since the religion condemn this, pople take Porn and masturbation as a sin.
  • I was into porn as well.  Almost an addiction but I never let it get the better part of me as I did go to work and took care of my other responsibilities.  This is something that a professional has to address, but from my own experiences, I eventually overcame it with time.  It wasn't a switch that could be turned on and off.  Over time and maturity I don't feel the need to watch porn.
  • Religious and spiritual teaching understand the affects that masturbation has had on humanity for thousand of years. If people spent all their time masturbating, it would have a negative effect on society. Men's testosterone levels and drive drop (although briefly) after masturbation. However, it's impossible for people to not masturbate, especially if they're single or their partner doesn't want to have sex. 
  • I have heard ludicrous myths about  hairy hands and blindness caused by masturbation. But I think that porn masturbation addiction is not a myth. Could not be an addiction by itself but
     associated to another more serious.
  • It's a myth, but not sure if it's a religious one. Sexual addictions have been pretty clearly disproved. It frustrates me to see a section for it when it isn't addiction. I belive that some people have compulsive behaviors in this area and I have no problem with them getting help and support. I just wish people would stop calling it an addiction.

  • I believe it crosses the line into addiction for those that compulsively use it to numb out feelings, those whose lives are being affected negatively by it but they can't stop even though its causing them pain. Those who feel ashamed by it and want to stop but are unable to do so without help. Just as some people can drink in moderation while those with addiction to alcohol are unable to manage and moderate it.
  • Pornography and sexual addiction are real. The World Health Organization just included sexual impulse disorder in its recent ICD (International Classification of Diseases). People who believe its not real are either in denial or trying to sell you something.
    Such as it is a medical condition, there is absolutely nothing wrong with praying for religious guidance or relief, but you generally can't pray away a medical condition. Otherwise there would be no cancer or heart disease.
    The most important thing is to realize that this is no more a failing of moral character than any other illness. It's also important to note that judgment and guilt are usually not roads to recovery.
    If anybody would like to learn more about the reality of porn addiction, I urge you to poke around my website, especially the resources page at http://www.RecoveringPornAddict.com
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