8 Reasons Why There Are No Happy Endings In Porn and Sexual Addiction
I have never met anyone who did not want to be happy. Our country, America, was founded on the core value that every citizen had the right to pursue happiness.
In the Declaration of Independence, we are told that,
…all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.
While happiness is a worthy pursuit, the way in which we attempt to find happiness will determine the fulfillment of that goal.
In all of my experience helping people who have become addicted to porn and deviant sexual expressions, not one of them has ever told me that they were happy.
Rather, instead of the fulfillment, comfort, and nurture they seek through these sexual experiences, they find themselves surrounded in depression, despair, and hopelessness. Additionally, it’s not long until their marriages, family, jobs, and social status and connection is in jeopardy.
The reality is that porn and sex addiction inevitably leads to emotional, relational, and spiritual crisis.
The lure of deviant sexual behavior is the potential happiness found in experiencing an orgasm, but while there may be temporary fulfillment, the negative long term affects of deviant and unmanageable sexual behavior are many.
There are no happy endings in porn and sexual addiction.
Some of the dire consequences of deviant compulsive sexual behavior are:
- Loss of time
- Loss of money
- Relational disconnection
- Erectile dysfunction
If you are caught in compulsive porn and sexual addiction, then you are most likely experiencing one or more of these 8 outcomes resulting in unhappiness.
Loss Of Time
Think about the wasted time surfing the Internet, cruising, fantasizing, and planning the next hook-up. Think about all of the quality time lost with family, friends, social networks, job, and pursuing personal goals.
Here are some stats about time spent on porn use alone:
- Every second 28,258 users are watching pornography on the internet
- Every second 372 people are typing the word "adult" into search engines
- 35% of all internet downloads are related to pornography
- 25% of all search engine queries are related to pornography, or about 68 million search queries a day
- 2.5 billion emails sent or received every day contain porn
When we factor in all of the other times spent on deviant sexual behaviors, it is obvious that at some point sexual addiction steals our valuable time.
Loss Of Money
There are several direct and indirect costs of porn and sex addiction that cut into our potential for happiness.
- Every second $3,075.64 is being spent on pornography on the internet
- The Internet Porn industry pulls in approximately 150 billion dollars per year
Couple that with the mounting expenditures of hook-ups, prostitutes, strip clubs, and affairs, as well as the costs of separation, divorce, job loss, health problems, and career strains, and it becomes obvious that we have lost a lot of money when we tally the real numbers.
In an article, Depression and Sex Addiction, Dr. Stephen Brockway describes the inevitability of the downward cycle into depression as a result of sexual addiction.
He points out that,
Shame, loneliness, and awareness of lost time spent in active sexual addiction may haunt the addict. When shame rolls in, depression follows the flood.
He goes on to explain that the longer and more intense the addiction becomes over time, the more likely the depression will increase, even leading to suicidal thoughts and attempts.
Depression is also common once the recovery process begins because of the tremendous regret over the extreme loss in every sphere of life due to the consequences of the deviant sexual behavior.
The fear of being caught, along with the reality that the sex addict cannot seem to stop, regardless of the resolve to stop, adds a level of anxiety that becomes debilitating to the pursuit of happiness.
There is never rest for an addict.
Having to lie to spouses, family members, friends, and others can create conscious and underlying anxiety due to guilt. Additionally, the mental energy it takes to continually keep track of the myriad of lies depletes reserves of wellbeing.
The fear of contracting an STD certainly affects the emotional wellbeing of the sex addict.
The cycle of shame, resolve to stop, the urge to act out, the planning to act out, acting out, and the guilt of acting out sexually continually adds to the ongoing anxiety level.
The intimacy that is sought through the use of porn and deviant sexual encounters only add to the disconnection of other relationships, especially the marriage.
Sex and porn addiction is really not about sex.
Sex and porn addiction is a substitute for healthy, life-giving relational connection and intimacy.
Moreover, the all-consuming power of the addiction begins to water down the capacity and desire for healthy connection.
It’s not long before the sex addict looks for ways to sabotage their relationships to give excuse for acting out, or to ease their guilty conscience after acting out.
I have never heard of one sex or porn addict claim that their marital relationship, family life, or friendships were better because of their addiction.
Contrarily, the fate of the sex addict is isolation, ending in disconnection, despondency, depression, and despair.
Many porn and sex addicts have the misconception that their behavior is a private affair; that their behavior only affects themselves. Just because it may take months or years for the sex addict to get caught, doesn’t mean that their relationships are not affected.
According to Marriage.com, the number one reason for divorce is marital infidelity.
Sex and porn addiction hinders us from experiencing healthy connection and intimacy. In time, the marriage will break down to the point of crisis, whether the sexual behavior is discovered or not.
More importantly, the sex addict’s capacity for healthy connection and intimacy was most likely impaired before they began to act out. The only way to have a happy marriage is to develop the capacity for healthy connection and intimacy with one’s spouse.
The American Sexual Health Association (ASHA) published some revealing statistics on common sexually transmitted diseases, many of which come from random sexual encounters. Sexually transmitted infections (STI’s) often develop into sexually transmitted diseases (STD’s). Many of these viruses have no cure, and can lead to death.
Not a happy ending.
The following statistics do not paint a happy ending for those delving into the depths of sexual addiction:
- One in two sexually active persons will contract an STI by age 25.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that nearly 20 million new STIs occur every year in this country.
- Researchers estimate that at least 80% of sexually active people will have an HPV infection at some point in their lifetime.
- HPV is responsible for approximately 31,500 cases of cancer each year, including nearly all cases of cervical and anal cancer, about 75% of vaginal cancer, 70% of oropharyngeal cancer, and 69% of vulvar cancer.
- About 1 in 8 people in the U.S. has genital herpes, about 1 in 2 people are infected with HSV-1, which is the typical cause of oral herpes.
- In 2015, rates of the three most common reportable STIs—chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis—reached a record high level. The approximately 1.5 million reported cases of chlamydia represent the highest number of annual cases of any condition ever reported to CDC.
- During 2014–2015, rates of syphilis in both men and women increased in every region of the country.
- From 2013–2015, the reported gonorrhea infections increased each year. In 2015, a total of 395,216 cases were reported for a rate of 123.9 gonorrhea cases per 100,000 population.
- CDC estimates that approximately 850,000 persons are living with hepatitis B in the U.S., although other studies have estimated this number to be as high as 2.2 million.
- Of the more than 3 million people living with Hepatitis C, 3 out of every 4 are “Baby Boomers,” born from 1945-1965. Baby boomers are five times more likely to have Hepatitis C than other adults.
- According to CDC, 1.1 million people in the US are living with HIV, and 1 in 7 of them don’t know it.
- In 2013, an estimated 42% of Americans living with diagnosed HIV were aged 50 and older, 25% were aged 55 and older, and 6% were aged 65 and older.
Obviously, the threat of STI’s and STD’s are avoided with porn use, but there are other negative physiological affects associated with the use of compulsive porn and masturbation.
The Problem Of ED
Studies have shown that cases of Erectile Dysfunction (ED) are increasing in astounding numbers.
The website Your Brain On Porn cites that,
Erectile dysfunction rates in these recent studies range from 14% to 35%, while rates for low libido (hypo-sexuality) range from 16% to 37%. Some studies involve teens and men 25 and under, while other studies involve men 40 and under.
Prior to the advent of free streaming porn (2006), cross-sectional studies and meta-analysis consistently reported erectile dysfunction rates of 2-5% in men under 40. That's nearly a 1000% increase in youthful ED rates in the last 10-15 years.
These studies do not include men who are able to function sexually within deviant sexual experiences and encounters, but are not able to achieve and maintain an erection with their spouse.
Studies show that when a person becomes used to a specific type of stimulation, whether it is through masturbation or the sex act, they need that same type of stimulation, and more, to achieve erection and/or orgasm the next time they have sex or masturbate.
Moreover, men who masturbate multiple times a day eventually are not able to achieve orgasm with their wife or themselves until they abstain from all sex for an extended period of time.
That is certainly not a happy ending.
A Happy Ending
The good news is that effectively dealing with unhealthy compulsive sexual behavior can lead to the restoration and cultivation of wellbeing in every sphere of life.
When we finally get the help we need to overcome sex and porn addiction, we not only get free, but we can also live well.
It’s not too late to have a happy ending.
Live Free/Live Well