Your Brain on Porn

Many of us can still remember rifling through cardboard boxes in the garage for Dad’s hidden stash of Playboy magazines where we might get a tantalizing glimpse at the female form. The thrill and excitement of the flesh was so novel that even the static images of a model draped exotically over a palm tree was enough to get a teenage boy fired up. Compare that with today’s lightning fast video loading capabilities and the endless libraries of gratuitous sex and the long halls of hardcore depravity available with the click of a mouse or the slide of the thumb. The world has changed rapidly and we’re now finding that our mammalian brain structure is not evolved to handle this level of constant and intense sexual stimulation happening in the world of internet porn.

Scientists and researchers from a variety of universities have put their findings together over at Your Brain on Porn where they demonstrate the effects that today’s onslaught of digital naughty bits are having on a whole generation of Millennials, mostly young men. 

If you look at the science of arousal and stimulation, when a young man sees a naked woman or witnesses sexual activity, the brain fires up its reward centers which thrive on dopamine and serotonin. This rush creates fluctuations in the brain and a constant barrage of this kind of stimulus can actually rewire the brain itself. Combine this visual stimulation with actual masturbation, which releases a flood of dopamine (the main chemical involved in a heroin bender) that washes the reward centers in a false sense of accomplishment. 

While this doesn’t seem harmful (and it isn’t at first), over time, if this is done habitually, the brain develops a kind of immunity to the response and as with any addiction, the patient requires more intense and more extreme stimulation to achieve similar levels of satisfaction. This is part of the reason you find yourself straying from those naked models to the more perverse and extreme corners of the hardcore porn web. The regular stuff just doesn’t do it for you after a while. 

These patterns of pornography and masturbation can have highly damaging effects on not only the psychology of your sexuality and intimacy (altering the way we approach sex with one another) but also the actual physical performance. Porn and masturbation addicts often report decreases in satisfaction and less intense orgasms, as well as erectile dysfunction and performance issues. More and more guys are learning how damaging this stuff can be on their physical, sexual, emotional, and mental wellbeing and have found that abstaining from porn, masturbation (see the “no-fap challenge”), and sexual obsession actually grants them more energy, vitality, and performance during real sex. Try abstaining for 30 days and see if you notice a difference in your drive and ambition compared to the days of sitting around watching other people have sex and releasing a less than satisfying genital sneeze a few times a day.

The results speak for themselves.

Published on Wed, 12/10/2014 - 17:59
By Addiction Recovery