Psychotherapist at Cork’s Sexual Health Centre, Donal Clifford, who runs the organisation’s Sex and Love Therapy (SALT) group therapy programme, reported a 350% increase in service users presenting with problematic sexual behaviours since the onset of the pandemic.
Mr Clifford said the majority of issues around problematic sexual behaviour they see relate to compulsive pornography consumption. The psychotherapist said that the demographic of people reaching out to them for help has changed dramatically in recent years.
“Eight years ago it would have been middle-aged and older men who were coming to us,” he said.
“Now we are helping people as young as 18 who have had access to pornography from the age of eight years old.
“Some tell us that they have viewed it [for instance on other people’s phones] from the age of 8 but didn’t start [actively] watching it till they were 10.”