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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.