As a teenager, you are experiencing many exciting things for the first time: A first date, a first car, the first day of high school, a first kiss, a first sexual experience, etc. These, along many other experiences, are exciting and memorable. You should be experiencing these things and learning from each of them. Among the most impactful things you will experience as a teenager are the effects that hormones and sex have on you and your body. As a teen, sexuality and sex are usually at the forefront of your everyday experience. This is natural and good. However, this is the reason that pornography and sexual compulsive behaviors (sexual acts that become uncontrollable like continual masturbation and looking at porn) can become a problem and can become an addiction.
Do any of these questions apply to you?
- Are you looking at inappropriate material on the computer or on your phone that you know you shouldn’t?
- Are you masturbating a lot (a lot is more than 2 or 3 times per week)?
- Do you find yourself constantly thinking about sex and looking for the next opportunity to look at porn?
- Have your parents found internet searches on the computer about sex that you have denied were yours?
- Are you confused about sex or sexuality?
- Does sex scare you?
- Have you had a sexual encounter that you have questions about but have no where to turn?
- You can’t talk to your parents or any adults about sex?
- Do you feel bad about sexual thoughts or sexual things you have done?
- You know you have a problem looking at too much pornography and want help.
Many of these topics can be difficult to talk about. We encourage you to talk with a parent, guardian, or an adult you trust. The decisions and habits you form now will affect you for the rest of your life. If you think you might have a problem with pornography, click here to learn what you can do!
Are you concerned that your teen might have a problem with pornography or other sexual compulsive behaviors? Here are some indicators that your teen might have a problem:
Severe mood swings
- Become reclusive and secretive
- Extreme amount of time at the computer and alone
- Hyper-sensitivety to discussions about sex
- You’ve found pornographic bookmarks and/or inappropriate sites in the history of your web browser
- History of inappropriate behavior with social media – Facebook, Instagram, etc.
Many of these behaviors can be normal for teens and may not be specific signs that they are struggling with possible sexual addiction problems. However, with the average exposure to explicit materials on the internet of 9 years of age, and because of the vulnerability of the teenage mind and hormones, your hunch that your teen may be experiencing problematic sexual behaviors is probably accurate!