Spending some quality time with your spank blanket and a trashy X-rated flick might be your favorite way to blow off steam (after working out, of course).

And believe us, we're not saying self-pleasure isn't great. There are loads of benefits of, well, blowing a load

But porn can start to cause some serious problems in your life if your casual viewing escalates into a full-blown addiction. For one, porn can keep you from getting an erection during sex. And on a grander scale, it can really start to affect your relationship, career, and quality of life. 

“Many men don’t think about their porn use as being a problem until they start experiencing the physical symptoms of overuse," says Paula Hall, sexologist, sex addiction specialist, and author of Understanding and Treating Sex Addiction. "Then when they try to stop, they can’t."   

But spotting the signs of addiction isn't always cut and dry.  

“Determining whether or not you’re addicted to pornography is not a simple yes-or-no exercise,” says Hall. “Some people have a mild addiction, some severe, and some are at risk but not yet addicted,” she explains. For a proper assessment, Hall recommends making an appointment with a therapist who specializes in the field. You can also do a mini assessment yourself. Hall's designed a quiz to give you some context and insight on whether or not your porn habits need to be dialed back. 

Keep track of your answers and total up your score at the end:

Do you spend more than 11 hours a week viewing porn?

Never: 0
Occasionally: 1
Often: 2
Most of the time: 3

Does your porn viewing have a negative impact on your relationship with your partner?

Never: 0
Occasionally: 1
Often: 2
Most of the time: 3

Does your porn viewing get in the way of your work or seeing friends and family?

Never: 0
Occasionally: 1
Often: 2
Most of the time: 3

Do you ever choose to watch porn over hanging out with friends or family?

Never: 0
Occasionally: 1
Often: 2
Most of the time: 3

How often do you use porn as a way of making yourself feel less depressed or bored?

Never: 0
Occasionally: 1
Often: 2
Most of the time: 3

Do you ever feel like you should try to stop watching porn?

Never: 0
Occasionally: 1
Often: 2
Most of the time: 3

Do you ever have problems getting hard or ejaculating with your partner?

Never: 0
Occasionally: 1
Often: 2
Most of the time: 3

Do you fantasize about what you’ve seen online to get in the mood for sex?

Never: 0
Occasionally: 1
Often: 2
Most of the time: 3

Have you found that you need more and more porn, or that you have to visit increasingly hardcore sites to get the same buzz?

Never: 0
Occasionally: 1
Often: 2
Most of the time: 3

Score

Under 8 — You’re probably not a porn addict. But if you have a family history of addiction, you could still be considered ‘at risk.’ “Make sure you have sexual experiences that are porn-free, and develop a range of strategies for coping with stress and boredom,” says Hall. “And if you feel your porn usage is creeping up, cut back for a while so your dopamine levels can re-calibrate.” Dopamine is the pleasure chemical that's released when people view porn (or have sex, eat food, etc.), but the more you release it, the more you need to get the same buzz, says Hall. “That's why people with porn addiction find their behaviors escalate to spending more and more time online and/or watching harder and harder core porn. Like alcohol, cutting back or quitting for a while will lower your tolerance again.”

9-15 — Your porn habit is bordering on being “problematic”—so use this as a time to get a grip! Cut back a bit. Hall explains “porn is often the easy solution to dealing with life problems, but remember that it often causes the very problems that you’re trying to escape." If you’re having issues with your asshole boss or your high-maintenance girlfriend, try facing them head-on.

16-20 — “You almost definitely have a porn addiction, and it’s likely that you’ve struggled for quite some time to stop it,” says Hall. If you’re already noticing that porn is having a negative impact on your life, your relationships, or your sexual functioning, now is the time to do something about it. Hall recommends seeking out a 12-step group like Sex Addicts Anonymous or making an appointment to see a sex addiction therapist

20+ — “If you’ve scored over 20 and haven’t tried to get help yet, please do so today,” says Hall. “Like many people with a serious addiction, you probably don’t even enjoy porn any more—but for some reason, you just can’t explain why you feel driven to it. What started as a pleasurable pastime turned into a habit and then into a curse.” At this point, Hall says, your addiction is likely robbing you of reaching your goals and enjoying partnered sex. “This is a problem you can beat, and the sooner you take action, the sooner you can get on with your life.”

For further help and advice, go to yourbrainonporn.com