Review: I’m Reading This Book About Porn Addiction for a Friend

I’m Reading This Book About Porn Addiction for a Friend is Joshua Shea’s fourth book about pornography addiction. He writes, “I’m creating this guide because spending time on TikTok and other social media has made me realize how many people, especially young Americans and people in countries where any sex talk is taboo, don’t have access to any information, much less good information, on how to begin taming their pornography addiction.”

Josh explains that the book isn’t intended to treat or cure anyone; rather, it’s a starting point for people who haven’t felt ready to talk about the issues that they’re having. In terms of what kind of labels to attach to those issues, he encourages readers not to get too caught up in that; if you feel the need to ask if there’s a problem, then there’s probably something going on.

The book includes a blend of information about porn addiction, Josh’s own personal experiences with addiction, treatment (both good and bad), and recovery, and stories adapted from the experiences of clients he’s worked with in his coaching practice. These stories include males and females from a variety of different backgrounds, which gives readers an idea of the diverse experiences people have struggling with pornography use. There’s an exploration of common symptoms that people experience as part of pornography addiction, the kinds of things that can trigger problematic porn use in the first place, and the nature of addiction as something that happens in the brain that’s fundamentally the same issue regardless of what it’s focused on.

Scattered throughout the book are prompts to complete assessments, which cover things like adverse childhood experiences, patterns of pornography use, and prompts for writing your own story.

When it comes to anything mental health-related, I’m a firm believer that one size does not fit all, and I like that this book takes the approach that recovery is a very individual journey and different people will find different things helpful. Josh encourages readers to seek out additional sources of information and to adapt strategies to make them more personally effective. He also emphasizes that it’s important for readers to actually put the various strategies presented into action, and not half-ass it or give up after just one try. And yes, Josh did actually write “half-ass,” and I think it was a great choice to write this book in regular-person-speak rather than professional-speak.

One of the strategies that’s suggested is an alternative to stopping porn and masturbation essentially cold turkey. It’s a creative approach that involves disentangling the too, and I thought it was a great idea.

This book is written in a way that I think is likely to be really effective for the target audience, and I think both the writing style and the kind of information that’s given are likely to be a good fit. In the first chapter, Josh explains that the goal of the book is to act like a surrogate initial session with him. This book isn’t meant to fix anyone; rather, it’s an attempt to break the ice for those people who haven’t felt comfortable talking to anyone about their problems with porn use. For anyone who’s in that particular boat (or cares about someone who is), I think this book would be a great choice.

I’m Reading This Book About Porn Addiction For A Friend is available on Amazon (affiliate link). You can find Josh on his website paddictrecovery.com.

You can find my other reviews on the MH@H book review index or on Goodreads.

I’ve also reviewed Josh’s previous books:

19 thoughts on “Review: I’m Reading This Book About Porn Addiction for a Friend”

  1. Thank you so much for the wonderful review, Ashley. I don’t know if you fear this when you write books, but I always worry it’s not necessarily the information I provide — I know it’s good — I worry about if I’m presenting it in a way that’s effective for the target audience. Do they “get it”? You’re not the target, but it really makes me feel better to see that you got it.

  2. This is a great review for an author /blogger that I’ve followed since the beginning of my journey. I can’t speak for his books but I think he relates well to his website audience, always offering insight from his personal experiences.

  3. That title is magnificent. I think this is an important issue that doesn’t get nearly enough play. The oversexualization of things that children are exposed to from very early is, I think, problematic.

    1. I find it’s a weird split—on one hand, there’s the oversexualization all over the place, but at the same time, there’s very little talk about healthy sexual relationships and consent.

  4. Sounds like an interesting book. Addiction in general and the different forms it takes is often something I take a huge interest in, so it might be a worthwhile read for me. Thanks for making me aware of the book!

    Oh yeah, the title is great.

  5. It’s a great title. I don’t know when a person realises their porn watching is a problem as opposed to a pastime. Perhaps when your significant other has an issue with it? Or when you can’t operate normally in society because you’re itching to get back to the screen?

  6. At hospitals, no one ever said they were addicted to porn. Other than substances, sex was the most common addiction. We wonder if porn was part of it or was the actual addiction for some but they didn’t say so. Given all the addictions of patients in trauma hospitals, it makes complete sense to us that the same part of the brain is at work

    Josh must be very brave

    1. I’m guessing that what’s called sex addiction is sometimes really porn addiction. It seems like pornography is less on people’s radar than sex addiction. Josh has done a great job of using his own experience to do a lot to raise awareness of this form of addiction.

  7. I love this review! Porn addiction is such a taboo topic even in mental health right now, which is why it is rampant; particularly in teens. The bit about a lack of sex ed contributing to the problem is so true!! Here in the US we have virtually no sexual education in many public and private schools, which contributes to a lot of problems that this book seems to cover. Cultural taboos are my favorite things to talk about because I find it interesting that they instigate a lot of problems they are trying to squash. Great review, Ashely 🙂

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