Problematic pornography use and novel patterns of escalating use: a cross-sectional network analysis with two independent samples

Campbell Ince, Lucy Albertella, Chang Liu, Jeggan Tiego, Leonardo F. Fontenelle, Samuel R. Chamberlain, Murat Yücel, Kristian Rotaru

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Modern internet pornography allows users to harness sexual novelty in numerous ways, which can be used to overcome desensitisation through increasing volume of use (quantitative tolerance), progressing to more stimulating genres (qualitative escalation), skipping between stimuli (tab-jumping), delaying orgasm (‘edging’), and engaging in pornographic binges. However, existing research has not yet evaluated how these potentially reciprocal consumption patterns relate to problematic pornography use (PPU). To this end, we recruited two independent samples of male pornography users (N1 = 1,356, Mage = 36.86, SD = 11.26; N2 = 944, Mage = 38.69, SD = 12.26) and examined the relationships between these behavioural dimensions and self-reported difficulties in controlling one's pornography use. Data were analysed through the network analysis approach (using Gaussian graphical models). As hypothesised, i) quantitative tolerance was centrally placed within the overall network, and ii) acted as a statistical bridge node between other patterns of pornography use (e.g., pornographic binges), and all measured facets of PPU. Our results are consistent with other emerging literature suggesting that tolerance, pornographic binges, tab-jumping, and edging behaviours as relevant features of PPU, and that upscaling overall usage may connect broader patterns of use with problematic engagement. Clinical and theoretical implications, as well as future research directions, are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number108048
Number of pages12
JournalAddictive Behaviors
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2024


  • Behavioral addiction
  • Binge behaviors
  • Network analysis
  • Pornography addiction
  • Problematic pornography use
  • Sexual novelty

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