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- January 15, 2004 /
- by Stonebriar Counseling Associates /
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Pornography is any written or visual material that depicts nudity and/or sexually explicit activity for the purpose of causing sexual arousal. What makes material pornographic is its calculated intent to cause sexual arousal. Three basic things to consider in the definition of sexual addiction: Do I have a sense that I have lost control over whether or not I engage in my specific out-of-control sexual behavior? Am I experiencing significant consequences because of my specific out-of-control sexual behavior? Do I feel like I am constantly thinking about my specific out-of-control sexual behavior, even when I don’t want to? It is these three “signposts” that help to define sexual addiction and compulsivity. The range of behaviors can include masturbation and pornography through sexual exploitation of others.Men with an addiction to pornography will identify with one or more of the following statements:>I regularly seek out pornography.>I often spend parts of the day looking forward to viewing pornography.>I feel out of control and unable to stop.>I often compare my wife or girlfriend to the women in pornography.>I often choose to look at pornography rather than be sexually intimate with my wife.>I refuse to tell others that I struggle with pornography.>I tell lies to cover my struggle.Looking at pornography has led to serious problems in their life (suchas a threat to or loss of jobor marriage, financial debt, promiscuous or criminal behavior).Testing for sexual addictionDr. Patrick Carnes was one of first professionals to work with sexually addicted people and he designed the Sex Addiction Screening Test (SAST) to help figure out who has sexual addiction problems and who doesn’t. To help understand sexual addiction and determine if the problem exists, I have included a sample test in this article (see p.5).