The following post was a comment response from Healing My Brain (https://healingmybrain.com). The response is to a post we created about sex addiction, that zoomed in on the IBM employee who was caught watching porn at work twice and eventually fired. The employee turned around and sue IBM on the basis that his addiction to sex is a sickness that should have been handled with compassion rather than firing him. Read the original post here: https://18karatreggae.com/2015/02/20/is-porn-addiction-different-than-other-addictions/
So to answer your question, yes, porn addiction is real. It falls under the broader category of sex addiction, which can include use of strippers, prostitutes, anonymous sex etc. Sex addicts tend to have found a way to medicate their own feelings of isolation, disconnection and pain through sex.
If you can empathize with the struggles of an addict, you may be able to at least understand how the addiction can spread to other areas of the addict’s life, e.g. outside of the safety of the home. This is not desirable, and the addict will usually regret his actions, but acting against your own values, at the expense of other areas of your life is the very nature of an addiction. A guy looking at porn at work is probably a MILD symptom of sex addiction – some people sleep with prostitutes while married with kids, and often they will lose everyone close to them. That is the price of addictions that are not addressed and left to run amuck.
So, as an employer you are at a minimum expected to treat your employees with respect. If they have broken company policy, of course the company is within its right to release that employee of their employment. But it is not unreasonable for the addict to at least have the chance to explain his situation, just in case the company is sympathetic and able to see past the actions themselves to the struggles of the person. I’m not saying that company should do anything with that information, but I’m writing this just so maybe you can see the other side of the perspective.
I myself have used my work’s VPN to look at porn when it became the only way I could circumvent the blocks I had put in place on my laptop. I knew it was a risk, I knew I was risking my job, but I still did it, as the urge to satisfy my addiction was too strong. These days I’m sober and not doing that anymore, which has been really hard work, and no one person’s story is the same. If my employer ever actually checks the logs and questions me about this, what choice do I have than to explain my situation? “I was addicted to porn.
Yes it is a real thing. I knew I shouldn’t have done it but I was suffering from an addiction. I like my job. I would like to still work here. Would you be able to find a way to allow me to stay? This could be the kick I need to get clean.” I’m guessing if I was having that conversation with you, I would not receive a particularly sympathetic response?