Screen Addiction Free is an educational guide about the harmful effects of online porn.

People can become addicted to pornography in much the same way they can become addicted to drugs. For some, porn becomes a way to manage emotional pain. Internet porn eventually replaces important relationships and commitments.
— The Ranch Treatment Center


The more one uses pornography, the more lonely one becomes.
— Dr. Gary Brooks, Psychologist


  • Being unable to stop using porn or stop engaging in the behaviors associated with porn, despite repeated attempts to do so. Approximately 9% of viewers reported that they had made unsuccessful attempts to stop.

  • Experiencing cravings to view porn. Much like substance users report feeling strong urges to use drugs, porn addicts can experience strong urges to view porn.

  • Becoming angry, hostile, or irritable when asked to stop using porn. Porn addicts may deny their porn viewing or be upset when loved ones request that they stop.

  • Keeping all or part of one’s porn use secret from loved ones. Porn addiction has been shown to lead to increased secrecy in relationships.

  • Feeling as though one is living a double or secret life because of porn use. A person with a porn addiction may feel guilty or ashamed and work hard to hide his or her porn viewing from others.

  • Continuing to view porn despite negative consequences, such as broken relationships or a job loss. Relationships where one partner is addicted to porn can lead to a reduction in intimacy, emotional distance, reduced sexual satisfaction, and an overall poorer quality of relationship. Being unable to abstain from porn during work hours can lead to disciplinary action or even job loss.

  • Losing track of large chunks of time due to being absorbed in porn use. Porn addicts may spend much of the day viewing pornography. This can lead to porn becoming a priority, with everything else set aside in favor of viewing porn.

  • Requiring increasing amounts or more explicit porn to gain the same satisfaction or thrill, similar to the development of a tolerance.

Contrary to widespread misconceptions, porn addicts (like other addicts) engage in addictive behaviors not to have fun and feel good, but to escape from painful emotions and feel less (i.e., to feel that they are in control of their emotions). These are the exact same reasons that people abuse drugs and alcohol, gamble compulsively and engage in other addictive behaviors.
— Sexualrecovery.com

questions to determine if porn has become a problem for you

  • Do you spend more time viewing porn than you originally intended?

  • Are you unsuccessful in your efforts to stop or limit your consumption of pornography?

  • Has your time spent viewing pornography interfered with, or taken precedence over, other personal and professional commitments, hobbies, and relationships in your life?

  • Do you go out of your way to keep your pornography consumption a secret? (e.g. deleting your web browser history, lying about viewing porn)

  • Has viewing pornography caused significant problems in your intimate relationship(s)?

  • Do you experience a cycle of arousal and enjoyment before and during pornography consumption, followed by feelings of shame, guilt, and remorse after you have viewed pornography?

  • Do you spend a significant amount of time thinking about pornography, even when you are not watching it?

  • Has viewing pornography otherwise caused any other negative consequences in your personal or professional life (missed work, poor performance, neglected relationships, financial problems)?

If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, then your online porn viewing may be problematic. When porn use becomes harmful, you may want to consider seeking help if unable to stop on your own.

There is a growing body of research demonstrating the powerful affect of high-speed porn on the brain. Internet pornography is what’s known as a supernormal stimuli – in other words, rather than providing the brain with the usual reward that visual sexual stimulation can provide, the endless variety and novelty that can be instantaneously enjoyed is a ‘supernormal stimuli’. This stimuli has been called the ‘crack cocaine’ of sex addiction because it can be so powerfully addictive.
— Paula Hall UKCP Accredited Sexual & Relationship Psychotherapist