Panel Discussion on Addiction to Love, Sex and Porn

Named as Eros, the addiction to love, sex and porn, was an interesting mixed panel discussion, on a topic that is of much relevance in present times. The panel included sexologists Dr. Jagdish and Dr. Wadia and students of the Psychology department Abhilasha Manstana, Anusheela Ghosh and Arushi. The moderator was Dr. Megha Dhillion. 

The speakers discussed three forms of addiction; love, sex and pornography, stating the most common causes as the feeling of emptiness, stress, bad company and early exposure to porn for porn addiction. For love addiction the causes seem to be slightly different —feeling of abandonment, insufficient satisfaction of emotional needs from family, friends or romantic relationships. A lack of sense of purpose and direction has also been cited as plausible causes of love addiction. 

The panelists defined addiction as being trapped in a vicious cycle of telling yourself you won’t do something yet indulging in it again and again. Sex addiction can manifest itself in such cases as having sexual images even while doing most common, everyday things, craving sex or excessive masturbation. It starts out as guilt but soon the person desensitizes to it. And the most common way it gets to people is because of the easy availability and accessibility of porn, especially through the Internet. Porn industries too work like a business and keep injecting porn videos and magazines into the society. Additionally, the sex addict may go through three levels- first, masturbation or phone sex, second, illegal prostitution and last sexual abuse. 

Love addiction was defined as the addiction to or obsession with the euphoria of the initial stages of a relationship. As soon as the euphoria of a relationship starts wearing off, the addict starts looking for another partner. It can manifest itself in a way that the person becomes overly manipulative or overly compliant. He or she may also suffer from low self-esteem and go through bouts of depression when dealing with a break up. It could also lead to self-harm. 

There is no inclusion of such forms of addiction in the DSM, as it does not consider it an addiction, as did our panelist Dr. Wadia. It is only included in the ICD. Possible treatments are yoga and indulging in hobbies and creating an environment of positivity. 

Overall the panel discussion was extremely informative and made the audience think in a very different way about love and sex addiction. Hopefully, such open dialogue will not only de stigmatize sex but also help people identify if they themselves are developing any such addictions and make informed choices. 

By
Tejasvini Kumar

 

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