Is Porn Ruining Your Sex Life?
Millions of people view pornography, erotica and sexually themed photography and videos every day, often through the internet.
Pornography has existed for thousands of years, finding its origins as early as the days of cave painting.
But despite the fact that porn has been around since humans began expressing themselves visually, many people are asking today whether it is possible to form an addiction to pornography.
Psychologists believe the answer is yes. But how can filming or watching a natural bodily process become an addiction? Can’t addictions only be formed with substances like alcohol or nicotine?
People have been using erotic art as a sexual aid for thousands of years. But with the advent of the internet, pornography is only a click away. Millions of people log on every day, many downloading terabytes of porn onto their computers for very little cost.
For some, pornography may simply be a pastime. They may view it occasionally, or frequently, without the risk of forming a psychological addiction. For these people, pornography is not a necessity – they are able to function just as well without viewing it.
Many people use pornography to enhance their sex life with their partner. The Kama Sutra, an ancient Indian book which features erotic art and literature, was specifically crafted for the purpose of increasing desire and intimacy between a married couple.
But for individuals who become addicted, a psychological dependence is formed on viewing pornographic images and videos, or participating in cybersex via webcams.
So what is the distinction between pornography as a sexual aid or art form and a pornography addiction? When does a habit become an obsession?
As with any addiction or behavioral disorder the key factor is that your behavior, habits and lifestyle are causing serious negative repercussions which affect you and your loved ones.
Both psychological and substance addictions are formed through a process which takes place in the nucleus accumbens–the brain’s pleasure center. When this portion of the brain is stimulated, it releases a neurotransmitter called dopamine, which is directly associated with feelings of pleasure and satisfaction.
Dopamine release can be triggered not only by natural processes like eating a good meal or having sex, but also the use of drugs. Substances like nicotine and heroine produce a much stronger release of dopamine, creating feelings of euphoria and pleasure which are highly addictive.
Pornography addiction works in the same way. Eventually, as with any addiction, the individual will develop a tolerance to the rush of dopamine brought on by viewing pornographic material. When this happens, addicts will increase viewing time, gradually drawing away from real world social activities.
Sometimes increasing the amount of time spent viewing pornographic material is not enough to overcome tolerance, leading to symptoms of withdrawal.
When this happens, addicts may search out increasingly more graphic, taboo or even violent forms of pornography in order to experience the dopamine release.
In some cases, the addict will continue to build up a tolerance to pornography and may even seek to act out their fantasies in real life. This can be very dangerous, especially in situations where hardcore, violent sex or child pornography are concerned.
If you are spending an increasing amount of time viewing pornographic material, prefer pornography to sexual intercourse with a partner, find that you experience symptoms of withdrawal if you don’t view pornography or participate in cybersex regularly, and find yourself withdrawing from social activity in favor of watching pornography, you may have a pornography addiction.
Psychological dependence on pornography is a medical condition and should be treated with as much seriousness as an addiction to drugs or alcohol.
The origin of an addiction to pornography may be rooted in experiences of abandonment, emotional and physical abuse and/or neglect, and feelings of worthlessness or low self confidence.
In most cases, porn addicts carry deep emotional scarring from their childhood.
Pornography addiction is tied closely with sex addiction, and may co-exist with various other serious psychological conditions.
If you are suffering from an addiction to pornography, it’s vital to seek counseling. We can help you to understand this addiction and the emotionally damaging experiences which may have led to it. By talking about it openly, we can forge a pathway to your release and freedom.
The path to a healthy, happy sex life is only a call away.
Contact us today.