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When Addiction to Porn Becomes a Disease

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When Addiction to Porn Becomes a Disease

Every now and then Max Schmidt is happy to be a “normal man”. That’s what he calls it when he wakes up with an erection. “Finally, I have again the “morning latte”,” says Schmidt. “I’ll be horny if I’m lying next to my wife.”

  

This is a success for Munich’s mid-40s. Because for years, Schmidt has satisfied his desire with while watching porn. The movies were easy to get, uncomplicated and sexy. Over time, it became an addiction.

They disturbed his sexual life and relationship. Today he has to save his marriage. “I messed up my life with it for a long time,” he says. In reality, Schmidt is different. But he wants to enlighten: Thousands of others who are more or less like him.

Nine out of ten sufferers are male

“It’s the same to me as drinking alcohol or nicotine,” says Schmidt. “But I did not recognize the consequences.” With alcohol and cigarettes one thinks immediately of the health, with gambling addiction about the money, he says. “But with porn addiction noone thinks about consequences”

Today he and his wife are in couple and sex therapy with the medical psychotherapist Heike Melzer. “There are estimates of half a million sex and porn addicts in Germany,” she says. Nine out of ten are men. “In addition, there is a similarly high number of indirectly affected partners and family members.”

The World Health Organization (WHO) plans to pass the so-called International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) at the end of May, which includes so-called obsessive-compulsive sexual disorders as impulse control disorders.

When social life suffers, it is a disease

“Then it is easier for those affected to find therapists,” explains Melzer. And it would be easier to research the subject scientifically. Compulsive sexual behavior, according to experts, also includes  among other things, excessive porn consumption and telephone sex.

 

According to the definition of WHO, the diagnosis is appropriate if the person concerned is unable to control intensive, recurring sexual impulses for at least six months and this affects their family or working life or their social behavior.

A moral disapproval of behavior alone is not sufficient for classification, the WHO emphasizes explicitly in its definition.

The partner does not excite anymore

It started early with Schmidt: He always had problems with sex, he says. But a foreskin narrowing was recognized quite late, when he was an adult. In his first marriage, he had watched more and more porn, the longer the relationship lasted.

After the divorce and he had remarried and openly addressed the issue with his second wife. “It did not bother her at first that I watch porn,” says Schmidt. “But she did not know what that would do.”

He describes the consequences with drastic words: “I watched porn and left my wife behind,” he says. And: “After 15 years, I can masturbate again without pornos.” He needed pornography to get aroused.

Porn convey a wrong picture

“Instead of trying new things with my wife, I’ve looked on the net.” That also led to nasty comparisons, Schmidt knows today: “Men in porn are better equipped, women have better bodies.”

His wife woke him up at the beginning of the year, when she told him: “I only love you as a friend, but no more as man.” That shocked him so much that he stopped watching porn.

Today, Schmidt says: “I actually had a great luck. What kind of woman would have stayed with me if I did not touch her for years. “

    
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