The Latest Epidemic: Women Who Are Addicted to Pornography

We’ve heard plenty from men who claim that they have “sexual compulsion” and men who are addicted to pornography, but those stories often left women out of the loop. Yet however, despite its lack of coverage, women apparently aren’t any more exempt from compulsive behavior — like excessive porn viewing — than men are.

A church support group in Kansas claims their aim is to rehabilitate women who are addicted to pornography and have created a peer network of other women who are afflicted by this “disease.” The Westside Family Church organized their group in order to bring awareness to how pornography and sexual compulsion affects women. They currently have a following large enough to hold weekly meetings and call themselves the Victory Over Porn Addiction Group. The leader, Crystal Renaud, states that it’s long overdue in a religion where women are not “intended” to be sexual beings to be able to discuss very real, very sexual topics in a non-threatening environment. Renaud states that she created the group with her own former addiction in mind:

“At school I wanted to go home and look at it more. Then I went online. I’d stay late at the library to look at it. Eventually I got into masturbation, phone sex, cybersex … That was my life for eight years.”

Renaud claims that she was lucky enough to find support in order to help put a stop to her compulsion.

One of the women in the group, a girl who goes by the alias “Michele L. H.,” states that the group has helped her create and maintain a healthy level of intimacy in the sexual aspect of her marriage. Michele states that she was sexually abused at a young age and exposed to pornography. She claims that the exposure desensitized her to a “normal” sexual appetite and stated that she couldn’t achieve orgasm or even arousal without incorporating pornography into her and her husband’s shared sex life. Michele states that she’s “learning the correct way of intimacy and bonds.” She also claims that her basis of this education is to “learn[ing] what your spouse wants, his needs.” Michele states that the crux of her fight against temptation stems from the desire to masturbate.

Renaud states that many women in the group are taking part in its events because they are afraid that they’ll marry a man someday and fear that he won’t be able to please them like they please themselves. ( … And I subsequently ask myself, “Is that really such a bad thing?”)

According to the women who participated in the interview, it appears that most of them suffered an addiction to porn-watching or masturbation — not sexual compulsion on a Tiger- or David Duchovny-like scale where they were headed out to bed every breathing male in a fifteen-mile radius.

While I think that sexual compulsion is just as “real” for women as it is for men (yet I do have my questions on the validity of a “sexual” compulsion; I think there’s compulsive behavior, sex being merely one aspect of it), none of these women are admitting to any wrongdoing. What’s so wrong with masturbation? Why do these women feel that the focus of their sexual experiences has to revolved around their male counterparts satisfaction? Why in God’s name would they put their husband’s sexual needs ahead of their own, for the sake of a little ego-stroking?

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13 thoughts on “The Latest Epidemic: Women Who Are Addicted to Pornography

  1. I felt like the inclusion of their husbands’ sexual needs wasn’t so much putting their husbands’ needs before their own, but rather finding a way to deal with sexuality so they aren’t solely focused on masturbation. No, there isn’t necessarily anything wrong with masturbating, but if it’s all you do every day and all you think about, yeah, it’s a problem. Learning to let your partner make you feel good is a healthy part of a relationship, not letting yourself down sexually.

    I never been much of one for masturbating, I have a far better time with my boyfriend than I do alone, so my ability to empathize with the ladies in the article is a bit low. However, I don’t see the women in the article as letting their own sexuality suffer by not wanting to be addicted to porn.

    • “I never been much of one for masturbating”

      Me neither. It does nothing for me at all. Nothing.

      As for porn–I’m not into it. I find it thoroughly unclassy, and it really has no place in my sex life.

  2. I had a girlfriend that would make collages from the pictures of her playgirl magazines,then give them away at bachelorete parties. She sure was invited to a lot of parties. She sure liked cutting out wankers.

    • Slow news day? I thought it was pretty fascinating that women are forming support groups for pornography and sex addiction. It’s not something you hear a whole lot of at all.

  3. I think there’s a difference between a woman enjoying things alone, and an addiction. Really, anything can become a compulsion, so while I figure this isn’t very common, I have no trouble believing it exists. It becomes ‘addiction’ when a person feels compelled to engage, not just enjoying herself, and when it starts to impact other normal functions and relationships.

    As long as these aren’t groups declaring that to set eyes upon porn, or to touch oneself is a sin and indicative of ‘addiction’ (so not), then it’s good that there’s support for whatever a person might struggle with.

  4. Pingback: Women Addicted To Porn & The Hot Links! | Allie Is Wired

  5. I think religion-imposed guilt might have a lot do do with these women thinking their “addictions” are wrong, and that they need to fix themselves, rather than just admitting they are sexual beings who like to watch porn and masturbate.

    • Yes, this. Also the fact that this support group is religion-based is the likely reason why these women are being trained that their sexuality is for the pleasure of their (male) spouse, and not for their own enjoyment.

      • But in fairness, the religions that teach that also teach that male sexuality is for the pleasure of their (female) spouse, and not for their own enjoyment.

        They tend to teach that masturbation is selfish, and conditions one (male or female) to treat it as less than a sacred gift. They tend to teach both sexes that it should be reserved for a two-part thing within the confines of marriage.

        It may not be a view you (or I) agree with, but it is not sexist.

  6. I never thought that porn could be an addiction. I started watching porn this last year because me and a guy i was with a very long time had split up. I pleasured myself and started watching once twice or even three times a week. I finally met my now fiance and we are expecting. But the thing is is that i’m still watching the porn. When he leaves on my phone again only a couple times a week but now I just feel dirty. Its not like he doesnt pleasure me but sometimes I feel like i need to make myself feel good. I feel like a terrible person and hate admitting that i might have a problem but I think i do. i know a lot of women wont talk about it thats why its not heard of. Now im not a church person so its not a religious issue. its a embarrassment issue with women. I’m glad they are doing something about it for women like me who feel they need help.

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