Opening Up The Discussion About Porn Addiction

Terry Crews has built his brand on being a buff former NFL athlete, an actor, and all around funny guy. You may recognize him from popular films like White Chicks, The Expendables, or the hit TV show Everybody Hates Chris.

Crews is most recently known for starring as the “Old Spice Guy” in the deodorant company’s commercials; he plays a macho, shirtless version of himself who tends to do a lot of screaming at the camera.

This persona is what we’ve learned to expect from Crews; it came as a surprise when he posted a somber, 20-minute video to Facebook detailing his lifelong addiction to pornography. 

‘Pornography…really, really messed up my life in a lot of ways,’ Crews said. ‘I believed that I was more valuable than my wife as a human being because I was a man. And when you believe that you are more valuable than another person, you kind of feel like they owe you. And I was wrong.’

Crews stated that he had to go to rehab for his addiction to pornography after it began to compromise his relationship with his wife and children. He finally decided to get help after battling the addiction since the age of 12.

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How Does A Porn Addiction Develop?

Crews continues by saying that his use of porn originated as a response to anxiety, loneliness, and depression that he was feeling.

He wrote in his 2014 memoir, Manhood: How to Be a Better Man-or Just Live with One:

I soon established a pattern where anytime I was dealing with anxiety, I acted out with pornography. On the one hand, I felt bad because I knew I shouldn’t do so, but at the same time, it was exhilarating, a rush, like taking a drug.

Porn addiction occurs when a person loses the ability to choose whether he or she will continue to view pornography.

Individuals addicted to porn try to stop viewing it for a period of time but find themselves returning to it again and again.

This the most common form of sexual addiction.

Like most other forms of addiction, people addicted to porn engage in their behaviors not to feel good or have fun; they’re attempting to escape from painful emotions they are experiencing.

This desire to numb or abandon one’s emotions is particularly common among those with an addiction to gambling, drugs, or alcohol.

Symptoms Of Porn Addiction

Like Crews, individuals who suspect they have a porn addiction might be fearful of the stigma attached to this type of compulsive behavior and hesitate to get help.

There are various signs that indicate a pornography addiction is occurring, such as:

  • Lying or covering up the nature and extent of porn use
  • Loss of interest in sexual relationships with spouse or partner
  • Feeling alone or detached from others
  • Objectifying strangers or viewing them as bodies rather than people
  • Increasing amount of time spent viewing porn
  • Using the Internet to arrange anonymous sexual hookups
  • Anger or irritability if asked to stop

Like anything that can become addictive, porn is utilized as an outlet to expel feelings of discomfort or emotional struggles.

The thing that I found [is] by not telling people, it becomes more powerful. But when you tell, and when you put it out there in the open… it loses it power.

For individuals with an addiction to pornography, it’s important to acknowledge when your behavior has developed into a dependence that you no longer have control over.

Recognizing When You Need Help

By Terry Crews opening up publicly about his stay at rehab to address his addiction to pornography, he showed that this form of addiction needs to become part of the mainstream discussion surrounding dependence, addiction, and substance abuse.

In his viral video, Crews emphasized that he accepted when it was time to get help and wants others struggling with this issue to do the same.

Crews said there was no doubt that he needed help to overcome his addiction.

‘If day turns into night and you are still watching, you probably got a problem,’ he said. ‘And that was me.’

If you or someone you know has an unhealthy, addictive relationship with pornography, the time to get help is now. While the stigma that surrounds porn addiction may be difficult for many to overcome, know that there are therapists and licensed professionals available to help you throughout your treatment journey. If you’re ready to take that first step and discover what online therapy options are available to you, click here.

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