Love Ruined My Porn Habit: A Woman's Story

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A porn-loving woman finds that, after falling in love, her libido just isn't that into porn.

And it was so unfair! I didn't want to have to rely on my boyfriend as my lone source of arousal. I would tell myself, "Come on! We can't put all of our eggs in this guy's basket!" but still nothing. Love's blindness had also somehow made me blind to the pleasures of porn.  Read: Could More Porn Actually Make Us Healthier?

It turns out, however, that there's science behind my stultification. A growing body of research on the biology of love proves just how hardwired we are to fending off attraction to others once we become smitten with someone. Biological anthropologist Dr. Helen Fisher, author of Why Him? Why Her?, explains: "Love evolved to enable you to focus your mating energy on just one person at a time in order to conserve your energy." In other words, love is a shield of chemicals and psychological trickery that helps us stick to our mate, trying to ensure that we make and raise babies with them. "Those people who didn't have an urge to fall in love probably died off," says Fisher.Read: Problems With Intimacy? Retrain Your Brain

 

But if the continuation of our species has ever faced an enemy it couldn't handle, it would be porn.

According to The Porn Trap author Wendy Maltz, our bodies and brains produce many of the same chemicals when we're watching porn that they produce when we're in love. Chief among them are dopamine, which does the job of focusing us on one person, and oxytocin, which help us form attachments. "I've called pornography cupid's rival because the physiological experience of porn competes with romantic love," says Maltz. "It actually jumps in there and in a very easy way competes with it." If you have an orgasm with porn, oxytocin is released, which can emotionally connect you to what you're watching. "So you can actually kind of fall of love, in a way, with your porn," says Maltz.