Sex and the internet
60% of all internet visits involve sex.
Men often seek help, for what they believe is an addiction to masturbation and internet pornography with women increasingly having similar concerns.
For most, their distress is unfounded.Occasional use of internet erotica doesn’t make a sex addict, no more than the occasional use of alcohol makes an alcoholic.
Masturbation is normal. It is a healthy activity practised by the majority of people, including those in sexual relationships. Individuals and couples have enjoyed viewing erotic and pornographic images since humans first began to produce them.But for a few sex on the Net can affect them to the detriment of their other real world relationships.
Lots of people who engage in Cybersex are successful workaholics trying to compensate for the emptiness, boredom, stress or anxiety in their lives.
While the Internet does not create sexual addicts - it does provide opportunities for sexual ‘acting out’ that can lead to sexually addictive behaviours.
People can become obsessed with anything that is pleasurable, exciting, or provides something missing in their lives.
So what can you do if you think you, or your partner, has a problem with Internet pornography or masturbation? First recognise the signs: Here are a few questions to help you think about Internet sexual activity.
- Are you always thinking about your online activities?
- Are you impatient, or irritable when waiting to get back online, or if your time online is interrupted or cut short?
- Are you restless, moody, depressed, or irritable when you think about cutting down or stopping Internet use?
- Do you stay on-line longer than originally intended?
- Have you lied to family members, partners, colleagues or others to conceal your Internet use?
- Do you use the Internet as a way of escaping from problems or of relieving feelings of guilt, anxiety, depression or sexual frustration?
- Have you been involved in multiple online romantic or sexual affairs?
- Are you frequently tired or late due to previous night’s Internet use?
- Do you spend less time with family or partner because of your Internet use?
- Do family or friends complain about the amount of time spent online?
- Is you primary focus of sexual related to computer activity?
- Do you collect Internet pornography?
- Do you engage in fantasy or online acts that you believe your partner would not like?
- Do you lie to your boss and family about the amount of time spent on the computer and what you do while on it?
- Have you got financial problems due to on-line purchases?
- Do you enjoy masturbating using erotic material more than you enjoy sex with your partner?
- Do you find it easier to orgasm when masturbating than when having sex with your partner?
If you answer ‘Yes’ to more than a few of these questions, here are some things you can try to help you break the habit.
- Talk to you partner about what you like (and don’t like) about sex
- Plan daily and weekly sessions for Internet use, gradually reducing the number of times you are online and the length of time you spend online
- Consider taking a technology holiday
- Find other interests and match the time spent online with time spent socialising (face-to-face) and taking part in non-computer related fund activities
- Take some outdoor physical exercise
- Talk to your partner, friends or family about what is happening in your life
- Consider joining a support group that deals with Internet addiction
If you have answered ‘Yes’ to most or all of the questions you should consider seeking a therapist who specialises in addictive behaviours.
Based on an article by Dr Lori Boul. For more on addictive behaviour see other addiction articles on thecoupleconnection.net