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Porn is re-entering mainstream conversations of late, what with Stormy Daniels inescapable presence on cable news and explosive revelations about that story’s potential ties to the Mueller investigation. But, of course, pornography has never really been off America’s brain.

In fact, it’s far more popular than you might think.

According to website popularity ranker SimilarWeb, three porn sites are more popular than media giants like Wikipedia, eBay, Craigslist, Instagram, Twitter and even Netflix. In fact, xvideo, Pornhub and xnxx are the sixth, seventh and eighth most popular websites on the whole entire internet when it comes to U.S. web traffic in the U.S.

Google, Facebook and YouTube take up the top three spots, with Amazon and Yahoo(?) close behind.

Because there is no official definition of what constitutes “porn addiction,” actual statistics on how many Americans might have a real addiction are difficult to come by. But over 28,000 people are looking at pornography every second, so it’s safe to say that America’s relationship with pornography is troubling. If you feel like you can’t stop looking at pornography, here are a few things to keep in mind.

1. You’re Not Alone

The biggest obstacle to talking about this or any addiction is the shame. This is understandable, but it’s not an excuse. For starters, there’s the simple fact that almost everyone you know also struggles with sexual temptation, and they’re likely feeling the same way you are: like nobody could possibly understand. The simple freedom and relief that comes from opening up about stuff like this is difficult to overstate. Take the chance of reaching out to a trusted confidante or, failing that, a counselor or pastor — someone who can speak with you honestly about what you’re dealing with. There is literally no better step you can take.

2. You’re Not Alone If You’re a Woman

Nobody struggling with porn addiction is free from a stigma, but it’s particularly difficult for women, many of whom were raised to believe that pornography is a problem for boys and if they’re wrestling with it, something is deeply wrong with them and they should be committed, locked up, or perhaps deported.

Here’s the truth. One in three porn viewers are women, and thirteen percent of women have admitted to watching porn while at work. These numbers are lower than men (20 percent of men say they’ve watched porn at work) but they certainly fly in the face of a certain stereotype. If you’re a woman and you’re struggling with a porn addiction, you’re not a psychopath and if you’re willing to open up about your struggle, you might find that the community ready to walk with you is larger than you think.

3. It’s Not Going to Just Go Away

There’s a temptation to treat porn addiction like a bad cold, and if you just sort of ignore it then it’ll eventually fizzle out on its own accord. Unfortunately, very few things in life work like this. If you’re addicted to anything, you’re going to have to be proactive about breaking that habit. If you want to be physically healthy, you have to change your diet and go to the gym. If you want to be spiritually healthy, you have explore your faith in a healthy, growing community. And if you want to be free of a meddlesome porn habit, you’re going to have to talk to someone who has the resources to help you. Addiction is bigger than just one person so if you really want to change, you’re going to have to take some concrete steps.

 

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