Love Ruined My Porn Habit: A Woman's Story

By

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

My problem, of course, was the reverse: as much as I liked porn, it wasn't enough to keep me from getting a lover (how many women does it do that for?), and once I had him, I was suddenly less interested in going back to my old, onscreen flame. I had the opposite response of many men; in the rivalry between my porn and my lover, porn was the jilted one, the one I left for the superior neuro-chemical high of a real person.So perhaps it's not a stretch to imagine that love's defense mechanisms would attack virtual love affairs as well.Read: Fall In Or Out Of Love By Taking A Pill

But chemicals might not have been the only things in play; in addition to the drug arsenal of the brain, we also have powerful little cognitive tricks that kick in automatically to protect our romances. In a 2008 study, a group of men and women who were manipulated into thinking about how much they love their partner were able to tear their eyes way from photos of attractive people faster than people who were simply made to think about happiness.

"This stuff happened at a fast enough speed that individuals couldn't have been in conscious control of it," says Gian Gonzaga, senior research scientists for Internet dating site eHarmony.com, who worked on the study. "It was like it was just an automatic process for them to move their attention away—which is really powerful."

Gonzaga pointed me to a similar study in which people in love were asked to recall details about an attractive person's looks. They weren't able to do it. But when asked to recall other, mundane details, like what kind of sweater the hot person was wearing, they had no trouble. Yet, the opposite was true for recalling an average-looking person's looks. The in-loves could remember looks-related details as long as the person in question was not stereotypically good-looking. Depending on your perspective, this study reveals a hiccup in our love-protection system: It appears we're only safeguarded from running off with people who look ripped from the pages of Good Genes magazine.Read: WebMD Explores Falling In Love

GET MORE ARTICLES LIKE THIS IN YOUR INBOX!

Sign up for our daily email and get the stories everyone is talking about.

Must-see Videos
SEE MORE VIDEOS
Stories we love
FROM AROUND THE WEB
  • Men spend, on average, 7.3 seconds fixated on red lipstick, 6.7 seconds on pink lipstick and 2.2 seconds on lips sans lipstick.