Lamar Odom and Sabrina Parr in a still from a video interview with Covenant Eyes
November 22, 2019

Lamar Odom Admits Porn Addiction: “I Don’t Want to Live Like That Anymore”

Lamar Odom, former NBA player and reality TV star, recently gave a tell-all interview on his battle with pornography addiction. In the interview, he described to Covenant Eyes how his addiction to porn “dominated his life.”

“It’s just like if you’re addicted to drugs, you know, that first time can lead to an addiction,” he explains. “And I was definitely addicted to porn and drugs.”

Odom opened up about how he would even purposely be late for basketball games, making his team wait and incurring thousands of dollars in fines, all so he could watch one more scene.

The way pornography damages the brain is well-recorded in research. Since 2011, there have been 30 peer-reviewed studies that have revealed the detrimental effects pornography use has on an individual’s brain. The connection with addiction is also supported by substantial evidence. In one study, which looked at functional MRI scans of men, found that compulsive pornography use showed similar brain reactions to those addicted to gambling or drugs.

The reward center in the brain is directly impacted by addiction, whether it be to drugs or online pornography. Another study of men with compulsive sexual behavior showed a decreased connectivity between that reward center and the frontal cortex, a major change in brains with substance addiction.

Still image of Kanye West from his Apple Music Beats 1 interview with Zane Lowe
Kanye West: “[Porn addiction] affected almost every choice I made”
Pornography use doesn’t just impact the brain, though. It also negatively impacts relationships. Lamar Odom’s fiancee, Sabrina Parr, described the way Odom’s addiction changed their relationship: “He was reaching for his phone more than reaching for me. And I had a problem with that. Because I’m like, I want to be 100% desired especially if I’m lying right next to you.”

Beyond the anecdotal evidence, research also shows the impact pornography can have on intimacy. Sexual satisfaction tends to decrease with a higher use of pornography. In a study of 405 adults, frequency of porn use directly related to lower sexual satisfaction as well as to frequent users expressing a preference for pornography over partnered sex.

Lamar Odom is not the first celebrity to admit to the harms of pornography. Just recently Kanye West—another prolific celebrity connected to the Kardashians—confessed to his lifelong battle with porn use.

“Playboy was my gateway into full-blown pornography addiction,” West said in October 2019. “My dad had a Playboy left out at age 5 and it’s affected almost every choice I made for the rest of my life. From age 5 to now, having to kick the habit. And it just presents itself in the open like it’s okay. And I stand up and say, you know, it’s not okay.”

Actor Terry Crews has also admitted to his own pornography addiction: “It changes the way you think about people. People become objects. People become body parts; they become things to be used rather than people to be loved.”

Like in Kanye West’s story, pornography exposure at young ages is not rare. One study showed that 93% of boys and 62% of girls had seen Internet pornography during adolescence. And the younger the exposure happens, the more harm and potential for future addiction is possible.

With celebrities and other figures talking openly about their struggles, the truth about the harms of pornography is spreading and gaining greater public acknowledgement. Even Andrew Yang, one of the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates, recently tweeted: “As a parent of young kids I believe rampant access to pornography is a real problem. We need to empower families to be able to moderate what our kids see and when.”

And as the research shows and as celebrities, like Lamar Odom, who continue to come forward are explaining—it’s not just kids who are harmed. Dave Ramsey, national best-selling author and radio host, put it well when he said that “the fastest growing addiction in North America today is online pornography and it is destroying thousands and thousands of households a day…It’s an unbelievable evil industry.”

Research and public awareness continue to converge on this consensus: pornography threatens to the brain, relationships, and society. To learn more about the public health crisis of pornography, visit our page here.

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Sommer Porter

Sommer Porter_Copywriter

Copywriter

Sommer Porter is a recent graduate of Brigham Young University, earning her
bachelor’s degree in Sociology with a minor in International Development. She is
passionate about solving important world issues such as sexual exploitation through
non-profit work and advocacy. She has worked with several non-profits, including
spending three months conducting a program evaluation for an organization based
in Bulgaria. She now works as a copywriter at the National Center on Sexual
Exploitation and hopes to pursue a graduate degree in the future.

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