There was an excellent post recently, at http://yasineou93.wordpress.com on whether sex addiction really exist. Yasinou presented a very balanced perspectives on the two sides of the debate and I would really recommend reading it. My own thoughts on the issue:
As a layperson, I believe we all have activities that stimulate us (sexually and non sexually) and that stimulation is certainly physical. As a mountain biker, I get massive rush when when I do something that is at the very edge of my competence and safety limits. The rush is endorphin-driven and it definitely compels me to do it again and again. Am I addicted. NO. I enjoy and it and it gives me a physical/chemical response that I enjoy.
Yet, I can choose to limit my enjoyment of mountain biking. As much it gives me a high, I can limit the amount I do and the level of risk I take on. This is true of any enjoyable activity. Humans have a near unique ability to delay gratification. We do not always do what feels best in the moment if we think there is a longer term of greater reward in doing something that is not as immediately enjoyable. We exercise restraint. We can do this with Porn.
Like anything else we find pleasurable, but for which there is a downside in over consuming, we can choose to limit consumption. It is not easy, but to call it an addition just because it requires a difficult or uncomfortable choice is taking the easy way out. It is to deny our ability to be disciplined, when discipline is tough.
I will admit that Porn is tougher than many other forms of gratification. I think this is because we went very quickly from an era in which porn was hard to get and very taboo to an era where porn is immediately accessible and not as stigmatized. This has two effects: (i) because porn was so taboo yet naturally appealing, the desire for it is unnaturally intense; and (ii) it is so easy to access now on the internet; my example with mountain biking – it takes real effort to get that high, so I am unlikely to always indulge in it. Porn has become very easy.
So, I guess i think the idea that porn is an addiction is BS. It is a compulsion but one that can be controlled. Calling it an addition, I believe, allows for an absolution of responsibility and accountability, which makes the so called addiction self reinforcing. Bad Move.