Before delving into the subject, I wanted to open this blog by mentioning life’s hardships. Regularly, we are faced by the stresses that are brought about by work, marriage, family, and finances. Death of loved ones and terminal illnesses can also be added to the list of life stressors. When taking all this into account, it’s no wonder that we seek an escape from life to feel better and cope. Resorting to pornography is one way of escaping from life.

This is very common among males. As a topic, pornography is still very controversial , as some people aren’t interested in it, whilst others are deeply offended by it. Although watching porn is not always a cause for alarm, it can develop in an uncontrollable compulsion and be a cause for concern.

As much as it may be a compulsion, it can also be classified as an addiction. In the case of an addiction, the following might be present:

  • The amount of time you watch porn keeps increasing.
  • The need to watch it to escape from your problems.
  • Feelings of guilt about the consequneces of watching porn.
  • Porn takes over other responsibilities and sleep.
  • Insistence that your partner either watches porn or satisfies your porn fantasies. 
  • Inability to engage in sexual activity without watching porn.
  • Inability to resist watching porn despite the negative consequences.

Due to its addictive nature, it is a real struggle to stop watching porn. Temporarily, porn might provide pleasure and relief from negative emotions as it physically changes and rewires the pathways in the brain. As we, naturally, seek things that give us pleasure and make us feel happy, watching porn really makes sense. The addictive side to it is only one reason why men, in particular, struggle to stop watching porn. Men tend to isolate themselves and they feel ashamed to admit they have a struggle. Moreover, men tend to refrain from seeking help and, instead of admitting their struggle, live in denial and minimize their actions. Another reason is that men tend not to take porn seriously.

They might tell themselves that it is not such a big deal since everybody is doing it.

Gaining control over porn viewing is not always impossible. The following are some tips that migth help:

  • Delete electronic porn on all devices and discard any hard copies of porn.
  • Chose alternative activities to turn to each time that powerful urge hits.
  • Remind yourself how viewing porn has affected your life and, if it helps, write it down.
  • Consider any triggers and try to avoid them.
  • Pick someone who might help you by asking about your porn habit and keeping you accountable.
  • Keep a journal to track how you are doing.

If you try on your own and still don’t manage, you can consider therapy, support groups, and medication. If left untreated, it can become a very destructive force in your life. This is very likely to affect your relationships, in particular romantic and sexual ones, and self-esteem. Finally, viewing porn occasionally doesn’t necessarily mean that you have a problem and it could be just a case of curiosity, having no ill effects.

If you think that you can benefit from professional support on this issue you can reach out here.

Johanna Cutajar is a Master in Counselling graduate from the University of Malta. She works with children and adolescents as a counsellor within the education sector on a variety of issues including relationship issues, trauma, bereavement, transitions, and general mental health.


Everything You Need to Know About Pornography ‘Addiction’ (2019). Healthline. Retrieved from

Harvey, P. (2017). Why Men Can’t Stop Watching Porn. Retrieved from