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The Three Stages of Recovery From Pornography Addiction

The Three Stages of Recovery From Pornography Addiction

Addiction recovery is a long and often difficult process that involves several stages. As you move through each stage, you may find that you need to use different strategies to continue on your journey.

There are usually underlying issues that cause pornography addiction. While it’s easy to say that porn addiction is just a result of a high sex drive, that’s almost never true. As you progress through the stages of recovery, you will have to look at what really caused the addiction and make changes to your strategies to address these causes.

Recovery is different for everyone. The process might be completely different from what you expect, or it might take longer than you anticipated. Everyone has a different experience with addiction and recovery, so it’s important to avoid putting pressure on yourself or comparing yourself to someone else. However, many people in recovery from porn addiction go through three main stages.

Stage One: Abstaining From Pornography

The first stage of recovery is all about abstinence. Many people in this phase feel angry, frustrated, or disappointed by how much control pornography has over them. Feeling negative toward yourself doesn’t help the recovery process at all, though. Try to focus on all of your victories, and take everything one day at a time.

Many people find that adding more structure to their lives is helpful in this stage. You can put filters on your phone or computer to prevent you from visiting porn websites. It’s also helpful to take a break from social media or dating apps where you might be exposed to sexual content. Setting daily goals and following a daily schedule can help to steer your focus away from negativity.

Stage Two: Addressing the Deeper Issues

Once you feel more comfortable with abstaining from watching porn, it’s probably time to take a look at the underlying causes of your addiction. You might be starting to experience some setbacks in your recovery journey, and addressing the root cause of your addiction can help push you forward.

Think about what is really driving you to watch porn. Where or when do you usually get urges? Do you have other habits or parts of your daily routine that strengthen your urge to watch porn? What was going on in your life when your addiction developed? It can be very difficult to think about this, but it’s an essential part of recovery.

Stage Three: Maintaining Recovery

Once you’ve broken the habit of watching porn and addressed the cause of your addiction, your focus now is on maintaining recovery. People in this stage often feel the urge to just watch a little porn because they’ve been doing so well. It’s great to be confident and proud of yourself, but saying “just this once” is a slippery slope that can lead back to addiction.

Even in this stage, it’s common for urges or feelings of depression or anxiety to occur. Think about how far you’ve come in your journey, and don’t feel discouraged that you’re not completely “cured.” Take everything one day at a time, and have faith in yourself that you can recover.

Why Stigmas Against Dating Ex-Porn Addicts Are Harmful

Why Stigmas Against Dating Ex-Porn Addicts Are Harmful

In a society that normalizes porn, even encourages others to watch it, it’s unsurprising that there are a lot of people out there who indulge in pornography. When you pair that with the fact that the dangers of looking at porn are pretty well-known, it’s pretty easy to just say that people who watch porn are the problem.

But the true problem is that it’s horribly unfair to judge someone based on their addictions. When you say that an entire person, someone who lives, breathes, eats, enjoys life, has hobbies, who has people who love them, is only equal to their addiction, all you’re doing is adding fuel to the fire.

Just because life is better, healthier, and happier without pornography and that it’s typically unhealthy to indulge in pornography, doesn’t mean that a viewer is evil or bad.

Before you go judging someone for their struggles with porn addiction, maybe you should ask is how they feel about their porn addiction? Are they ashamed? Unhappy? Still struggling to get out from under the weight of it? Are they doing anything to try and stop their unhealthy habits?

Simply by asking a few questions, you give validity to that person as a human being and help to fuel understanding rather than demonizing them.

Don’t Cast Aside, Accept!

When someone is already feeling on the outs due to their addiction to porn, shaming them can only push them further away, and lead them right back to acting out their addictive behaviors. They’re already struggling, or have already struggled in the past.

Chances are that they’re already experiencing some level of self-inflicted shame. It’s a vicious cycle that they’re trapped in.

But if we embrace our porn addicts for the wonderful people they are and encourage them to seek out new, healthy habits, we help them build a solid foundation for themselves. One that lets them know they don’t need porn to feel satisfied or happy.

Encouragement is so much better for someone struggling with addiction than shame.

Seek to Understand, Not Judge!

Dating can already be pretty complicated without a porn addiction. But if you refuse to even try to understand why someone might be partaking of pornography or what the circumstances were when they were first exposed to it, you only make things more difficult.

By addressing these issues with the person you’re dating and bringing the whole thing to light, you can only gain a better, truer understanding of them, and get to know more about them as a person in the process.

Someone’s reason for starting to watch and getting hooked on porn is totally different from person to person. When you choose to gain an understanding of what circumstances led them to their addiction, you choose to gain a better understanding of the person you’re dating.

Too many stories about porn addiction start out with these beautiful, passionate, funny, wonderful, amazing people who are abused, hurt, used, and tossed away. They are left feeling that porn is their only solace, and withdraw from society.

These people are people who are worth getting to know. And their willingness and determination – their choice – to get better and form real relationships only makes them all the better.

What You Can Expect.

If you say that you’ll never date a porn addict, you’re saying that you want to miss out on meeting some truly amazing, wonderful people just because they were human enough to struggle with a problem.

It can be nerve-wracking at times, given that pornography is an ever-present problem that won’t be going away anytime soon. But the fact that it’s that available only ups the chances that you either will meet or already know someone who is or has struggled with porn addiction.

But to say that you don’t even want to know them or understand them is just a prettier way of saying that you’re okay with dehumanizing them. It also tells them that they aren’t deserving of love.

While having open and honest conversations about porn addiction can lead to sometimes awkward or upsetting situations, the fact is that it encourages people struggling with porn addictions to seek help and get better.

And the funny thing is, it might encourage you to find love where you least expect it.

5 Ways To Help Your Partner As They Battle Porn Addiction

5 Ways To Help Your Partner As They Battle Porn Addiction

Research has shown that porn can be a serious detriment to relationships. It is best to confront the issue instead of avoiding it, as that will only make things worse in the long run. Here are some tips to help you support your partner as they deal with their addiction.

Always Remain Compassionate

Avoiding porn is easy if your partner loves you and truly wants to be with you. However, porn is often a hard addiction to break. Multiple studies have shown that the sexual imagery of porn can have a lasting impact on your brain that compares similarly to taking drugs. Many people are exposed to porn at an early age, as they view porn for comfort and arousal. As people begin to mature, they can develop psychological issues from viewing porn. If your partner is struggling with porn, it is important that you try to view the situation from the other person’s perspective.

Always Remain Informed

Everyday, more people learn about the harmful aspects of porn and decide to stop watching it. Both men and women are starting to emerge as advocates for not watching porn due to the damage that porn can do to the brain. There are a number of different support groups and online pages that your partner can contact for help. These tools can help show your partner that they are not alone and that other people struggle whit the same issue and should be able to relate.

Do Not Constantly Monitor Them

Don not constantly check to see if your partner is viewing porn. It isn’t your responsibility to constantly keep track of their behavior. Ask your partner how they are doing and if you can help them. With your comforting words of encouragement, your partner should feel safe speaking and opening up to you. If they relapse, let your partner know that you appreciate being told and that you are not upset with them. Remember, what your partner does depends on their own motivation and self control.

Stay Active With Them

Your partner may be comfortable staying at home, which is when the temptation is at its highest. They can easily surf the internet and find porn if they become bored. While you can’t be with your partner every moment of every day, you are likely aware of certain times and days when your partner just wants some downtime. During these moments, you should try to make plans for you and your partner, such as a date night or maybe even a nice stroll through the park.

Do Not Try To Substitute Yourself For Porn

Do not change tour sex life to act as a substitute for porn. It is tempting to act as a substitute during physical intimacy with your partner. Perhaps they may ask you to do something that is different from what normally happens so that they can avoid being tempted to watch porn. Try to show your partner the benefits of nonsexual intimacy. Hold hands with your partner or give them a nice warm hug.

9 Reasons To Give Up Watching Porn Right Now

9 Reasons To Give Up Watching Porn Right Now

With porn becoming easier and easier to get, research is showing that is having serious negative impacts on human lives. So, if you’re not readily able to get rid of your porn-watching tendencies, here are our top nine reasons to stop today.

1. It Has Drug Like Effects

Believe it or not, watching porn releases the same type of chemicals as doing cocaine. As extreme as this sounds, porn does release chemicals such as dopamine and oxytocin through the brain, which can cause it to become an addiction. However, instead of injecting it in your arm, it is instead injected into your eyes, which makes it easier to delve deeper into the addiction. However, there is plenty of support out there to help repel the idea of watching porn and ease your way out of this addiction.

2. Habits Can Increase While Watching Porn

Since watching porn is highly addictive, the user can often escalate the usage and intensity of watching it in order to reach the sense of feeling they got the first time they watched it. However, over time, overuse can lead to a series of health hazards.

3. You Can Develop Deeper Connections

Since the majority of the porn industry objectifies people and the sex they perform, they can disconnect watchers from reality. Before users realize it, they are reducing contact with other real people and are instead more focused on connecting with porn videos. When you disconnect from porn, you can reconnect with life and real people.

4. Helps People Appreciate What They Have

Often, porn addiction leads to lifestyle changes, surgery, or even photoshop. Instead of opting for unrealistic changes, ditching porn helps you realize what you have is already enough. Plus, it will help you realize any helpful lifestyle changes you need to undergo from long exposures of porn.

5. Reduces Sexual Dysfunction

For men, watching porn can lead to sexual dysfunction. This can even often lead to less sex or the lack of sex at all. Regularly watching porn can affect your brain and reduce the desire to consummate with another human being. The only real cure to prevent this from happening is to quit porn altogether and let your brain heal itself.

6. Give Yourself More Free Time

Just think of all the hours you have wasted by watching pornography. Even a few minutes a day can start to add up quickly. Watching pornography takes up a considerable amount of time that could be better spent doing anything else. Your time is finite and precious. Make sure you spend your time enjoying yourself and making memories, not watching fleeting images on your computer.

7. Cut Down On Spending

Though there is plenty of free pornography out there, the global porn industry takes in about $97 billion a year. Even if you do not spend a dime on porn, you are still spending a lot of time doing so. This time could be better spent making money or working on bettering yourself. By focusing your time, energy, and money on pornography, you are being an unproductive member of society.

8. Protect Your Mental and Emotional Health

Recent studies have shown that watching pornography frequently is actually linked to emotional and mental health issues. Habitual porn viewers often struggled with problems like depression and anxiety. Porn watchers also spent a lot of time alone and often found they lost interest in everyday pleasures like socializing with others. For the benefit of your emotional well-being, quit watching porn today.

9. Save Your Marriage

Porn addiction is though to be one of the major reasons why couples divorce each year. If you are married now or soon wish to be, pornography can seriously damage your relationship. When you value pornography over a real, sexual relationship with your spouse, it can be the root of a number of relationship issues. With the fate of your relationship on the line, it would be in your best interest to take pornography out of the equation.

4 Tips for Going Through the Healing Process

4 Tips for Going Through the Healing Process

We’ve probably all heard the saying “time heals all wounds” at one point or another. That isn’t always true, and you can’t put your faith in time alone. The healing process is a difficult journey, and simply expecting things to improve with time isn’t realistic.

Part of healing is understanding the process and taking the right approach to it. This is true whether the issue affects your mind or your body. If you break a bone or suffer a serious cut, you wouldn’t simply let it be and trust that time will heal you. Your wound would heal much better if you followed the right treatment plan.

The healing process for an emotional wound is a huge challenge. Here’s what you need to know to have an easier time moving through it.

There’s No Set Timeframe for Healing

Understand that while the healing process takes time, there’s no way to know how much time it’s going to take, and that’s fine. Don’t allow yourself to become frustrated because you feel that you’re not progressing quickly enough. This is one area where having people who support you in your healing can come in handy.

Focus on being at peace regarding where you are in your recovery. Be proud of the progress you’ve made, without feeling down about how far you have to go.

Remember that the healing process isn’t a straight line from point A to point B. It will have its peaks and valleys. You may feel you’ve been making great progress, only to feel down in the dumps a day later. This is normal, so even when you get down, know that you won’t feel that way forever.

Triggers Can Keep Coming Back

Everyone has their triggers, and the reality is that you can’t completely rid yourself of these triggers. They’re going to happen. You may not be able to control your triggers, but you can control how you respond to them, ensuring that they don’t throw your healing off course.

When you have a trigger, accept it and then let it go. Let the feelings it causes pass, and then go on with your day. This will be challenging at first, but as you repeat this process, you’ll become much better at it. You’ll reach the point where triggers that once brought you down for a long time have much less of an effect.

Find the Healing Method That Works for You

There are many different ways people can heal their emotion wounds, and no single way is right for everyone or the best option. The key is finding the method that works best for you, and to do that, you need to try them out. Don’t let your preconceived notions stop you from giving something new a try, as you could find that it works much better than you anticipated.

You may find that a mindfulness program that involves daily meditation is just what you need to stay grounded and relieve the stress of your healing. Or maybe talking to a counselor is what you need, so you can have someone impartial listen to you and offer advice. Keep trying out different healing methods until you find the right fit. You’ll know when you’ve found it.

Work on Your Other Relationship Issues

It can be easy to focus all your energy on the most significant issue in your relationship and put the other issues aside, but that’s a mistake. Or, you may find yourself avoiding conversations about other issues out of guilt or just because you’d rather not deal with them.

It’s rarely easy to talk about relationship issues, but part of the problem may be the way you and your partner communicate. You two could be taking an overly negative approach, or going to the opposite end of the spectrum and sweeping issues under the rug to try and “keep the peace.”

The best way to handle relationship issues is to consider yourselves on the same team. Don’t look at conflicts as a bad thing, look at them as something the two of you can work through. This doesn’t mean that you’ll never have another argument, but when you both have a loving attitude with each other, you’ll find issues are much easier to resolve.

Final Thoughts

Going through the healing process can be hard, especially in those low moments and when you’re dealing with triggers. Just know that what you’re going through is making you stronger, and things can always get better. Keep communication with your partner strong, even regarding relationship issues, and find the healing method that feels right for you.

Three Reasons Not to Shame People Who Watch Porn

Three Reasons Not to Shame People Who Watch Porn

Porn is unhealthy for a variety of reasons. It can take a negative toll on relationships, it can affect your brain, and the industry is exploitative and dangerous. However, this doesn’t mean that porn viewers are terrible people. Shaming or demonizing people who watch porn won’t help to end the problem. It’s more helpful to understand why people watch porn and to try to educate them about its dangers. Here are three reasons why porn viewers aren’t bad people and why you should avoid shaming them:

1. Pornography can be an escape.

Some people use porn to cope with negativity, including feelings of depression or anxiety. The uncertainty and unpredictability of life can be overwhelming, and porn offers an escape from that. With Internet porn being so varied and so readily available, the viewer is completely in control of what they watch. Viewers never have to face rejection, so it seems like a helpful coping mechanism.

In reality, watching porn isn’t a successful or sustainable way to avoid negative emotions. It’s a temporary escape, and the enjoyment goes away immediately after you finish watching. Many people don’t realize or accept this, though, so they continue to try to use porn as a source of distraction, happiness, or fulfillment.

2. Many people are unaware of the effects of pornography.

In this day and age, the popular opinion is to accept and support the use of pornography. It’s much more common to see or hear people praising porn than discussing its negative effects. Porn videos don’t include warnings like cigarette packages, so some people may never be exposed to the research or arguments against porn. If someone has never heard all the reasons why porn is dangerous, how could they be expected to realize it’s harmful? Ignorance doesn’t make someone a bad person.

3. Pornography can be an addiction.

Even if someone does realize and understand the dangerous effects of pornography, they may feel powerless and unable to stop watching. Like with drug and alcohol addiction, the brain eventually becomes dependent on the feelings of enjoyment that come with watching porn.

When someone realizes that they’re addicted to porn, it doesn’t help that many people in society don’t believe that porn is harmful or addictive. It can be hard to seek help or support for a problem when everyone around you tells you that your problem isn’t valid. This can make people feel very trapped in their addiction and can prevent people from trying to recover.

People who watch porn aren’t bad people for their habit or addiction. Porn itself is the problem, not the viewers. It’s always better to educate and encourage people to give up pornography than to shame them or insult them.

Don’t Shame the Person or the Addiction

Don’t Shame the Person or the Addiction

The sooner we admit a fault in ourselves, the sooner we are able to fix them. In any situation where the end result is self-improvement, it is best to have a support system. Friends and family are usually the ones chosen for an individual’s support system when going through a crisis, espcially one including addiction, however, harmful advice can misguide and even strengthen addicting behaviors.

With just a quick Google search about porn, you can learn how much money the porn industry makes and even the estimated national use of porn. This topic was given the name of being “the national pastime” for a reason. It is no secret that sexual desire is natural for humans and is even meant to be very fulfilling. Unfortunately, many respond to porn adiction with disgust while some men and women are even labeled as perverts. People have lost jobs, friends, and respect just by sharing this personal behavior with the public. It is best to avoid believing the stereotype that porn, or any form of sexual expression, should be shamed and anything but openly talked about. After realizing this, you can further educate yourself and help friends, family, and community with overcoming their porn addiction.

There are more ways than one to express concern without giving lectures that lead to an individual feeling embarrased or shamed. Even if there is a surrounding judgement on their morality, withold those thoughts by simply listening and offering acceptance. Reward healthy, wanted behaviors by showing acknowledgment when not participating in behavior that keeps an addict in the addictive cycle. These bahviors may include an increase in socialization, experimenting with new hobbies, or choosing to spend time with a health professional to dicsuss and further address reasoning for engaging in their porn addiction.

Besides the assumptions that those who engage in watching porn are predators or that they should be constantly shamed, it can also be thought that porn addiction is an issue that stems from an unhappiness in relationships. It is important to be concerened if someone you care deeply about is disatisfied with something in their life, but this type of thinking should be avoided. While a partner can aggravate intimacy issues in a relationship, this should not allow a pass for destructive behaviors or violating trust. Porn addiction is a choice, being chosen over and over again, even if it is not recognized that the choice exists. Do not enable an individual by making excuses, rather encorage them to embrace their past decisions and take positive action by continuously making the choice to seek help and choose recovery instead.

Ackowledging addicting behaviors is a crucual part of recovery and so is creating healthy distractions from those behaviors. In recovery, a client can focus on their porn addiction without shifting focus to a new reality. Self improvement makes a great life and provides hope for the future but will not be an easy accomplishment if an individual is combining their addiction to their identity. Point a struggling person to their vision for life. Ask about career goals, hobbies, and anything else they might do in their spare time without addiction.

Why Sex Leads To Bad Sex And Low Self-Esteem

Why Sex Leads To Bad Sex And Low Self-Esteem

Many people watch porn because they want to become more confident in the bedroom. However, porn can actually ruin your sex life. Studies have shown that porn can distort people’s thoughts on body image, sexual performance and intimacy.

Researchers have also shown that porn can be unhealthy for your brain. People are starting to realize that porn is more than just harmless entertainment. Pornography affects the brain the same way that drugs do. Not only does porn affect you, but it can also affect your partner and your relationship.

Comparing sex to Porn is not Healthy

Sex is a wonderful part of a loving relationship. There is nothing quite like physically connecting with the person you love. Sex is even better when both of you are able to enjoy it without any problems.

However, porn can ruin this experience. People who watch porn are less likely to connect with their partner emotionally during sex. Porn does not show the real parts of a relationship. The actors are not depicted as real people with real problems.

People who watch porn often have distorted views when it comes to sex. They may also compare their partner to what they see on the screen. Problems can result when the partner does not measure up to porn’s standards.

Not only does porn affect the way that people view their partners, but it can also affect the way that they view themselves. Porn viewers may often feel less attractive after watching porn. They may criticize their personal appearance or sexual organs.

Guys may be Insecure

Porn is an issue that affects everyone regardless of their gender. Men think that viewing porn will make them sexier or cool. Both straight and gay men who view porn are more likely to have body image issues. They are also more likely to have eating disorders.

There was a study done that asked college men about their porn viewing habits. It also asked about relationship satisfaction, body satisfaction and overall well-being. The researchers found that men who viewed porn were more likely to have issues with their body and relationships. It can also have a negative impact on overall well-being.

Porn is not the only thing that affects the way that men look at their bodies. Men often feel self-conscious after they view bodies that are idealized by women in magazines. Both men and women may feel pressured to get plastic surgery so that they can have the ideal body.

Furthermore, people who view porn often pressure their partner to act out what they see in porn. This includes acts that are violent and degrading.

Choose Love Over Porn

No one wants to make themselves or their partner feel inadequate and more insecure. However, that is exactly what porn does. Porn gives people a distorted view of what sex and relationships should look like. That is why you should choose love over porn.

Many people still believe that viewing porn is an activity that does not harm anyone. That is why it is important to share this information with everyone that you know. The knowledge that you share with people may help save their relationship.

Healing The Brain After Porn Addiction

Healing The Brain After Porn Addiction

Many people are addicted to pornography. Having any type of addiction triggers changes in our brain that cause harm. Addiction results because the brain develops habits that are chemically enjoyable. When we receive pleasurable rewards, that process is recorded in our brain. If that reward came from a harmful or negative activity, it is still recorded in the brain. If too much brain memory is devoted to recording the harmful pleasurable activity, than it is hard for the addict to break the cycle of addicted behavior.

Rapid Reward Problem

When engaging in an addicted behavior, usually the natural reward system has been damaged. The addicted behavior encourages over indulgence in a certain activity. With pornography, that certain activity would be sex. Sex itself is a natural reproductive pleasure that the body is designed to register in brain memory to encourage commitment to a life partner. When excessive or overwhelming amounts of sexual activity are registered in brain memory, this disrupts healthy sexual functioning. Curing a pornographic addiction requires moderating the appetite for sexual reward.

Communication

It is important that an addict communicates with their mate when in trouble. Sometimes, the embarrassment of an addiction like pornography hinders communication. This can cause the addiction to become far too large. Mutual trust and accountability are important for limiting the distraction. If you do not have a mate, it is important to get in the dating game and find a partner. The sexual system was designed to function alone. Pornographic addiction often comes because the challenge of finding a normal mate is too hard. While there is some initial struggle with dating, there are some shortcuts that you can take to make it easier. One shortcut is to set up a dating website subscription. Many ladies prefer to have an internet screen before dating a man. Another good route is to get employed. Having some financial stability to offer to a potential life partner makes us a more interesting candidate for commitment. Another way is to go to college. Many healthy couples met while they were attending college. Think about what single people do wrong. Things like demanding perfection, holding resentment, laziness, overworking, selfishness, and talking excessively. Try doing the opposite behaviors in social groups. Things like accepting imperfection, forgiving, working, balance, generosity, and listening kindly. Most potential dates love someone who loves them. Just choose to be the person who loves others unconditionally.

Good Cures For Porn And Other Sex Addiction

Adding healthy pleasure to life can lower the pleasurable craving coming from the excessive accumulation of dopamine chemical in the brain. It is also necessary to remove unhealthy pleasure from the life. Add internet filters to electronic devices. Get rid of relationships that are not helping commitment with a life partner. Cancel subscriptions to pornographic media like magazines and movies. If it is hard to do it alone, have a friend do it for you. Dopamine is the chemical that registers a reward after pleasurable activity. Good healthy pleasures to consider adding during recovery might be exercise, normal sex with partner, food, baths, and sleeping. Exercise that helps the body relax and reorient is more useful than stressful exercise like weightlifting. Exercises like walking, swimming, running, and biking are helpful.

Set Realistic Expectations

WikiHow emphasizes that choosing to stop is up to the individual. However, being able to stop is hard if we have unrealistic expectations. A habit is hard to break without adding good habits. Good habits are reinforced if they are enjoyable. Thankfully, many bad habits actually are painful. Think about the coughing that comes from smoking. Think about the delicious taste of fruit and pleasure of sex with a healthy life partner.

Conclusion

Breaking a porn addiction requires adding healthy and enjoyable habits. Sometimes it seems there are no healthy enjoyable habits. This is not true. There are many things that are enjoyable and healthy. Try to think of them regularly, and then practice them. You will be pleasantly surprised at how your perspective on life improves so rapidly.

Pornography Leaves You Feeling Lonelier

Pornography Leaves You Feeling Lonelier

The porn industry has managed to gather a massive following over the past few years. The product offered by pornographers provides temporary relief from depression, loneliness, and anxiety. In the long run, these emotional problems, thanks to the addictive power of porn, become worse than they were before which means more business for pornographers. While porn may be innocently used to escape from certain situations, it can turn out to be an addictive behavior that ruins your life in many ways. Let us explore how porn becomes an addiction, why it is driven by lust, and how it leaves you lonelier than before.

How Does Porn Become An Addiction?

A research by the Harvard Medical School, internal and external stress can all contribute to a person relapsing into addictive behavior. When you get addicted, your amygdale (which is associated with emotions), your hippocampus (which is associated with memory), the nucleus accumbens (which is associated with high dopamine levels), and the corticotrophin hormone (which is released during stress) are all working together. As a result, your mood, the people around you, and your experiences can all trigger this network and cause the addictive behavior. This is the reason why an addict relapses after smelling a cigarette, experiencing a stressful situation, or after seeing a sexual video image.

When watching porn, dopamine, a feel-good hormone, is released in your body. The brain reacts by reducing dopamine receptors. As a result, you grow immune to things that initially excited you. Your demand for more of those things that excited you grows and the addiction becomes harder to break.

Porn is Driven By Lust and Not Love

People turn to porn not because they love it but because they are driven by lust. Scientific studies have shown that the feelings of love and lust affect different parts of your brain. Love activates the part of your brain linked to habits that are developed gradually. On the other hand, lust which is provoked by displays such as erotic videos or photos activates the part of your brain linked with desire and pleasure. This goes to show that lust is a desire to get rid of loneliness and other negative emotions and replace them with temporary pleasure.

How Porn Leaves You Lonelier Than Before

The more you view pornography, the more your brain gets used to being aroused by the fictional fantasy offered by porn. This makes it harder for you to be in a real relationship or to have feelings for a real person. Many porn viewers end up living their lives alone because they cannot have any deep connection with real people.

Furthermore since most people engage in porn secretly, they are forced to hide this habit from their friends, family, and loved ones. Porn viewers are afraid of their habits and as a result isolate those who can help them solve their innermost problems.

While the porn market is making millions for many pornographers, it is making many people’s lives miserable. Though people turn to porn to escape from a situation or certain emotions, it end ups becoming a problem when they make a habit of it. The first step in ending your addiction to porn is accepting that it only gives you temporary relief and sets you up for future permanent damage.

Brain Changes That Result In Pornography Addiction

Brain Changes That Result In Pornography Addiction

Porn is more accessible then ever and the percentage of those that watch it continue to increase. What the viewers don’t realize is that when watching porn they are changing the layout of their brain to that of a drug addicts.

Within the human brain, the neurotransmitter dopamine is released when an individual encounters pleasure. As a reward to the pleasure stimuli of watching porn, abundant amounts of dopamine are released in the brain. With repeated porn watching, the brain becomes desensitised to the effects of dopamine. According to a 2014 study published by JAMA Psychiatry, repeated porn viewing overtime dulled the response to sexual stimulation. In order for an individual to receive the same flood of dopamine, porn has to be viewed again to feel a similar ‘high.’ Psychology Today found individuals who view porn regularly need increasingly extreme sexual experiences to become aroused. The study stated that dopamine spikes lead to desensitization of ordinary sexual stimulation and encounters.

Pornography viewing has been found to change the structure of the brain. Cambridge University found porn changes the brain’s reward center, similar to an individual addicted to drugs or alcohol. In the study, porn users and drug/alcohol users had similar brain activity. But as porn users wanted to view porn more as a response to increased dopamine, porn was enjoyed less. Cambridge University also discovered that regions in the brain were effected in people with compulsive sexual behavior like pornography. All three regions of the ventral striatum, the amygdala and the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex were activated during porn use. These same brain regions were also activated when drug addicts were shown their drug of choice. For the human brain these regions of the frontal control regions are not fully developed till an individuals mid-20s. As a result of porn use, younger individuals develop an imbalance in the frontal control regions. Brain activity imbalance leads to increased impulsiveness and risk-taking behavior for younger porn viewers.

In the same area of the striatum, researchers found grey matter volume decreased overtime with porn viewing. According to Psychological Counseling Services (PCS) the striatum area of the brain responsible for motivation and reward response shrinks in size with increased porn viewing. These changes to the brain due to porn use are similar to brain changes in persons addicted to cocaine. This is the first research published that has linked porn viewing with physical harm.

While studies show pornography changes the size and function of the brain, it does heal itself. The International Journal of Neuropsychopharmocology found that while porn changes the brain, frontal lobes are able to regrow. This can result in a healthy ordinary response to sexual encounters, returning dopamine to regular levels. In order to rebuild brain function and structure porn usage has to diminish to allow the brain to heal itself.

Duty and Honor: Pornography, Addiction, and the Military

Duty and Honor: Pornography, Addiction, and the Military

The United States military has recently found itself combating a serious problem among its service members. With thousands of sexual assaults having been committed since 2012, analysts have placed increased emphasis on the link between pornography and violent behavior. Four out of every five women in the military, in fact, have reported being harassed in a sexual manner during their time in the service. While sexual assault is not unique to the military, there is growing consensus that the rigorous daily regimens associated with common military duty can cause an uptick in pornography use.

Alpha-Male Behavior and Addiction

womanThough pornography has long been prevalent in most cultures, male consumers have assumed that all other members of their sex will be equally aroused by adult pictures and videos. The ubiquity of pornography within the military often means that it becomes a fact of daily life. Male service members typically do not think twice about sharing posters, videos, magazines, and even amateur photography with others. Nutrition, exercise, and finances are all rigorously regulated, but pornography is generally allowed. In fact, some service members become addicted to porn, which can ultimately harm their performance and get them in trouble with their superior officers.

The Negative Effect on Love

Military service members who view pornography while on deployment often return to the United States with a warped sense of what it means to be in love. In fact, many individuals may come to think that violent sexual behavior toward women is the societal norm. Men may even feel that they deserve to have sex when they want, and that their wives and girlfriends should submit to intercourse even when they are not particularly interested. This ultimately leads to badly broken relationships in which one partner is subordinate to the other. Healthy romantic relationships, in fact, are best developed without porn. Military service members who avoid porn for the duration of their duty will be better able to foster relationships that will stand the test of time. Rampant porn use within the barracks will inevitably spill over into civilian life whether soldiers want it to or not.

After the Military

Individuals may experience porn-related problems once they leave the military. In fact, many men find that the freedom that comes with returning to civilian life may lead to the following problems:

  • help8Depression and anxiety
  • Loneliness
  • Substance abuse
  • Lowering of productivity at work

In fact, heavy use of pornography may trigger many of the above issues, and the eventual consequences may be sexual assault or sexual harassment. Psychologists are increasingly finding that pornography can trigger both primary and secondary effects that are wide-ranging. The best solution is to avoid porn altogether.

Standing Up For Women

Porn is ultimately one of the most painfully addictive activities. It activates primal areas of the brain and forces men to focus on short-term goals instead of long-term goals. By avoiding pornography, individuals will not only be protecting themselves but also standing up for women and girls. Men will, in effect, be telling other men that women are not to be viewed as mere sex objects. Addictive behavior, especially one as negative as pornography, can thus be avoided before it causes harm to military families and their loved ones.

How Porn Destroys Relationships and Intimacy

How Porn Destroys Relationships and Intimacy

Porn has emerged into the mainstream due to advances in communications, 24/7 cellphone access and digital libraries that cater to every taste. Digital communication enables anyone–even children–to view porn on demand. Unfortunately, brown paper wrappers, sketchy porn theaters and adult video arcades no longer have the power to limit widespread porn access, and the $97-billion-dollar industry flourishes on smartphones, tablets, virtual reality headsets and larger-than-life screens with Surround Sound speakers. The false expectations and easy accessibility of porn increasingly destroy normal sexual relationships by insulating viewers from reality and fostering impossible performance standards. Many viewers become addicted to “virtual sex” and lose interest in normal relationships.

Clinical Findings on the Effects of Pornography

Porn has become the latest designer drug that each viewer can customize to his or her own taste. Watching porn often replaces normal sexual activities in much the same way that gaming prevents people from getting essential exercise, outdoor play and social interaction. This kind of solitary activity fosters behavior that mimics drug addiction–people become shifty, secretive and cool to normal relationship activities. Everyone indulges in escapist behavior occasionally, but porn can become utterly addictive as porno lovers gaze increasingly deeper into the abyss.

how-porn-destroys-relationships-and-intimacy-2Some viewers advance into fetishes, violence and illegal porn subjects–such as child porn–and viewing this material is far from harmless. Porn can affect students, housewives, professionals, self-employed, people who work from home and captains of industry with equal fervor. Addictive porn viewing damages relationships, limits working hours and dominates free time. A wide body of clinical evidence has emerged that chronicles some of the dangers of porn addiction. One clinical study found the following effects that resulted directly from watching porn: [1]

  • Married men who watch porn excessively express reduced satisfaction with conjugal relations.
  • Both spouses tend to view watching pornography as forms of infidelity.
  • Porn is highly addictive, and scientists are beginning to map the biological and psychological effects of addictive porn.
  • Regular viewers–just as drug addicts need stronger doses–opt for increasingly abnormal sexual scenes as they become acclimatized.
  • Watching porn correlates with greater sexual permissiveness, out-of-wedlock pregnancies and contraction of STDs.
  • Many men–and some women–tend to view sexual partners as sex objects instead of as lovers and individuals.

Increased Sexual Aggression Comes from Viewing False Sexual Situations

help5Specifically, the studies uncovered the following insights:

  • Exposure to porn increases sexual aggression including rape, violence and abnormal practices.
  • Porn viewing accounts for a 20 percent decrease in intimacy.
  • 31 percent of viewers believe rape myths as perpetuated in porn.
  • 75 percent of women who leave abusive relationships admit that they were forced to re-enact porn scenes or view them.
  • 64 percent of these women had scenes described to them and were asked to attempt the acts.

Porn Can Ruin Relationships in Many Ways

how-porn-destroys-relationships-and-intimacy-4Healthy and romantic relationships depend of intellectual, emotional and physical intimacy, but porn only concentrates on the physical aspects of relationships in ways that are unrealistic. Watching porn most often encourages violent behavior towards women because that’s what happens in 88 percent of porn, and 73 percent of men are likely to view porn while only 32 percent of women are likely to watch pornography regularly. [3] Porn addicts often begin to search for other partners to fulfill their sexual fantasies when their regular partners don’t measure up to the latest porn session even though it’s a futile effort.

References:
[1] Marri.us: The Effects of Pornography on Individuals, Marriage, Family and Community
www.marri.us/get.cfm?i=RS09K0

[2] Aurora.umn.edu: Research on Poronography
aurora.umn.edu/pdf/ResearchOnPornography.pdf

[3] Relevantmagazine.com: 5 Ways Porn Ruins Relationships
www.relevantmagazine.com/life/relationships/5-ways-porn-ruins-relationships

Overcoming The Lure Of Pornography And Finding Love

Overcoming The Lure Of Pornography And Finding Love

In today’s society, it is easy to confuse love, sex and pornography. With the ready availability of pornography on the internet, people are able to watch erotica with the click of a button. This has led to problems for many people as some have become addicted to watching porn. When they do, they may suffer from several deleterious effects. Porn is not the same as love or a healthy sexual relationship. Instead, it can be very damaging, destroying relationships and leading to co-occurring mental health issues, including depression.

How Porn Differs From Love And Healthy Sexual Relationships

help2People who watch a lot of porn become more focused on what they want rather than the needs of their partners. Porn may take over their lives as they gradually begin to prefer watching porn over interacting with their loved ones. A healthy sexual relationship is built on trust and getting to know a partner on a deeper, emotionally connected and committed level. Porn does not encourage loyalty to a partner. Rather, sex is treated as if it is meaningless and as if a sexual partner is someone that can be easily discarded. True love and healthy sex does not involve viewing lovers in that way.

What Love Involves Vs. Porn

porn-3When two people are in love, they want to learn more about each other and grow together. A person who is in love is unafraid to put the needs of his or her partner above his or her own. True commitment and devotion between partners are beautiful. Pornography is the opposite of all of these things. In pornography, the people have no interest in getting to know each other or to grow together. They are self-focused and do not care about the needs of their sexual partners. There is no commitment involved with porn, and people move from partner to partner, and women are treated as sexual objects rather than as the beautiful people that they are.

Early Research And Neural Addiction Pathways

With pornography being almost ubiquitous in today’s culture, an increasing number of people are becoming addicted to it. According to the American Psychological Association, early results from a study that is underway at the University of Cambridge and is being conducted by a neuropsychiatrist, Dr. Valerie Voon, the brain MRIs of compulsive porn viewers show similar activation pathways as do the brains of alcoholics when viewing advertisements for beer and liquor.

The APA reports that compulsive porn users report higher levels of depression and tend to withdraw emotionally from the relationships that they are in. Psychologists have also made anecdotal reports about people who watched porn so compulsively that they lost their jobs because of watching porn at work. It is clear that porn consumption can be damaging to a person’s relationships as well as other aspects of their lives.

Turning From Pornography

help1Refocusing how a person views love and relationships may help him or her to conquer his or her compulsion to watch pornography. When people understand the meaning of love and what makes up a healthy relationship, they may be better able to stop watching porn. Others may need help to combat their porn consumption problems. If a person’s porn consumption is to the point at which it is harming his or her relationships and life, he or she may need to seek out help from a counselor. It is possible to break free from porn and to move forward living a richer and more fulfilling life.

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