i’m addicted to porn. is there something wrong with me?

Question: I’m kind of addicted to porn. I use it to masturbate. Is something wrong with me? Am I the only one? I somehow feel out of place.

Answer: You’re probably not addicted to porn. Some people claim to be sex or porn "addicts." But using porn to masturbate isn’t the same as being dependent on a substance. Most people can handle porn in a healthy way, even if they look at it regularly.

Here’s some information you might find helpful:

  • It is just as normal for women to watch porn as it is for men.
  • Watching porn doesn’t mean that you are perverted, sick or sex-crazed.
  • Porn can be a safe way to explore fantasies.
  • Watching porn and masturbating can be a really healthy way to be sexual because there is no risk of contracting a sexually transmitted infection or getting pregnant.

However, it is important to know that most porn is made with a male audience in mind. As a result, hardly any porn portrays women or sex realistically. So try not to compare yourself to the actors or models in the industry. You should also know that in most states, and in many countries, watching or possessing porn is actually illegal if you are under 18. If this could be an issue for you, it would be wise to check out your local laws.

Of course, plenty of teens see porn before this milestone date. I know I did (though in the pre-internet days of my youth, getting your hands on even just a naked picture was a lot trickier for teens). After my friend Jennifer and I discovered an ancient porno that belonged to the renter in her basement, we told everyone we knew. If I remember correctly, we then had a gaggle of jealous friends clamoring to hear all the details.

On the other hand, the rationale behind age limits isn’t all bad. A lot of teens are disturbed by what they see and don’t have the tools to process it. Plus, it’s important to be extremely cautious when using the internet for anything sex related.

In the end, while you might feel out of place, as long as you’re comfortable, you shouldn’t feel like there is anything wrong with you. In all likelihood, a lot more girls are masturbating (with or without porn) than you may think.

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Posted in: Ask an Expert, Health, Sex & Relationships
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  • Caity

    thank you guys sooooooo much. i thought i was the only one who does this. know i dont feel so alone! 😀