InternetAddiction

by Mr. Right – June 15th, 2013.

Porn. Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past decade, you’ve heard of it. It’s now a common and accepted part of the digital culture we live in. We see highly sexual or suggestive ads everywhere we go and porn is often the source of jokes and leisure for a lot of men and some women.

In fact, porn has become so common in our society that, if you’re a man, it’s unlikely you HAVEN’T sought out or encountered porn at some point in your life.

Studies show that now that internet access is prevalent, most boys seek out porn from the age of 10. With that being the case, it’s no wonder that porn is much more accepted today.

Oddly, in some ways this is good. Men are no longer ashamed of enjoying porn, so no longer have to hide an old shoebox that says “socks” under their beds. Not that I ever did that… *cough* However, despite some benefits, it’s a very bad thing in a lot of ways. In a talk on TED, Philip Zimbardo refers to the proliferation of easy access to all kinds of porn as “the demise of guys”.

According to Zimbardo,

young boys now watch an average of 50 porn videos a week and this is linked to a decline of real intimacy and a rise in diagnosis of various disorders amongst these men.

Is this really a problem though? I hear some of you argue that these are just common problems with being a man today. Porn isn’t necessarily the problem and at least porn allows some sort of outlet. For a majority of guys it isn’t a problem… yet…

But studies point out that those who have had access to high speed internet porn since their early teens often experience major problems later in life – most notably erectile dysfunction. One recent study pegs the erectile dysfunction rate of males between 18-25 at ~30%.

For those unfamiliar, erectile dysfunction is the inability for a guy’s penis to get hard and, lesser known, the inability to reach orgasm or taking great time or difficulty to do so.

I never realized that I suffered from ED until I spoke to my friends about troubles in the sack. Apparently, taking 2+ hours to unload during sex isn’t normal or desirable. It was awhile longer until I discovered that porn was my problem.

Why does this happen to begin with? It has to do with something called “arousal addiction”. Arousal addiction is a form of addiction like that seen in addicts of drugs, alcohol, smoking, and most other poor life habits. But while those other addictions desire more of the same thing, arousal addiction desires constant novelty, something new and different.

maria ozawa

The ability to see something new every time creates an addiction to view something new EVERY time. This used to be an evolutionary advantage.

The human brain is conditioned to being in a constant struggle for survival, so when it believes you’re in a position to procreate with innumerable willing women, it believes you’ve hit the jackpot and will continually excite you at the site of every new girl and situation until you’re exhausted. This is called the “Coolidge Effect” and without it, the porn industry would not exist  because we wouldn’t feel the constant desire for new porn.

When you view porn, your brain perceives it as good and releases feel good chemicals so you’ll keep doing that. When this happens too often though, the senses become dulled and require newer and more exciting stimulation to create the same feelings of pleasure.

This is where we become addicted to constantly seeking out newer and more exciting porn. And although ED is the most obvious problem, it is by no means the only one.

For years doctors believed that conditions like depression, anxiety, and other disorders led to ED and increased porn use. But new research is starting to show that porn use may actually be the cause of those disorders.

Most troubling are consistent signs of lack of excitement or motivation to go out and try to meet real girls. Sound familiar?

Kirara Asuka

So should you quit porn? Will it solve your problems?

There’s a lot of evidence coming out that quitting porn produces a lot of physical and mental benefits for guys but it’s really a case by case thing. A lot of guys report increased libido, better performance in bed, better and more pleasurable sex, no signs of ED, better memory, stronger motivation, increased confidence, and even a general feelings of happiness, just to name a few.

But quitting porn is certainly not easy. Withdrawal from any addiction is hard on the body and a lot of guys actually get scared, so quit their abstinence right when they’re starting to recover. This is likely due to their inability to get an erection and depression – two of the most common withdrawal symptoms – but these usually resolve within a few weeks (with greater benefits afterwards).

You don’t have to fight your battle alone, though. It’s a long and difficult path, but there are communities springing up on internet forums everywhere offering support and guidance for guys looking to wean themselves off porn. I’ve personally had trouble staying off porn for longer than 2 months and have found that the best way to curb my addiction is to eliminate my access to porn; and snoop through the site YourBrainOnPorn.com to see the devastating effects of porn. The site also has great support.

Think you may have a problem with porn? If you’ve always felt like there’s been something missing with your interactions with women, this could be the reboot your brain has been looking for.

Have an experience with trying to quit porn that might help others? Share in the comments below. And check out the sources of this article for more information.

Sources:

Nauert, Rick. 2 December 2009. Pornography’s Effect on Men Under Study. http://psychcentral.com/news/2009/12/02/pornographys-effect-on-men-under-study/9884.html [24 May 2013].

Zimbardo, Philip. March 2011. The Demise of Guys. http://www.ted.com/talks/zimchallenge.html [24 May 2013].

Mialon, Anais. July 2012. Sexual Dysfunctions Among Young Men: Prevalence and Associated Factors. Journal of Adolescent Health Volume 51, Issue 1 , Pages 25-31.

Wilson, Gary. 8 August 2011. Porn, Novelty and the Coolidge Effect. http://yourbrainonporn.com/porn-novelty-and-the-coolidge-effect [24 May 2013].

Skinner, Kevin. 3 November 2011. Inside Porn Addiction. http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-heart-porn-addiction/201111/can-pornography-trigger-depression [24 May 2013].

[Author listed as Admin]. 14 December 2012. No Porn, Better Working Memory? http://yourbrainonporn.com/no-porn-better-working-memory [24 May 2013].

Wilson, Gary. 5 January 2011. Your Brain On Porn Series: Porn Addiction: Part 6. http://yourbrainonporn.com/your-brain-on-porn-series [24 May 2013].


  • James

    Thanks