Expert Blog Compelling advice, stories, and thought-provoking perspectives straight from YourTango's lineup of Experts to you

What's The Relationship Between The Brain & Porn?


Contributor
Sex, Self

Do you understand the relationship between porn and the effect it has on your brain?

The relationship between the brain and porn is a mystery to most. So many people have shared with me how pornography has affected their brain and ultimaltely their relationships. Many women try to understand why their partner seems to be addicted to it? Seems like they just can't get enough of it! And it's NOT just men that enjoy viewing it. It may be they are just more vocal about it. There are many addictions out there that bear similar "symptoms" and sexually-related addictions do exist. What are the signs you may be an addict?

Do you sometimes feel a loss of control over your need to watch explicit material?
Do you find yourself compulsively seeking it out despite negative consequences?
Do you get bored easily of the things you watch and need to find new sources?
Is your tolerance for porn high or low?
Do you experience withdrawal if you haven't watched it in a while?

*PLEASE see the VIDEO by Philip Zimbardo, on Page 2 about the Brain and Porn.

The pornography industry is a billion dollar industry and what was once taboo and difficult to acquire seems to NOW be available at your local convenience store, by the click of a mouse, or the tap of a key on your mobile device. It's so mainstream and the industry is explosive. More explicit material and fetishes and want for different exploitive content is never-ending.

In my research about the effects pornography has on our brain and why it is so addictive; I came across a website called www.yourbrainonporn.com. There was also an interesting and informative video that talks about "The demise of guys" in relation to what is up and an explanation for the obsession for it. You can watch that video below.

"All addictive substances and activities share one thing – the ability to strongly elevate dopamine levels. Watching porn, accumulating money, gaining power over others, gambling, compulsive shopping, video games…if something really boosts your dopamine,then it’s potentially addictive for you."

Your brain on sex, Article by Marnia Robinson and Gary Wilson

My research seems to point to the fact that any activities that INCREASE dopamine production can become quite addictive. What is dopamine?

Dopamine is an excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmitter, depending on the dopamine receptor it binds to. It is derived from the amino acid tyrosine. Dopamine is the precursor to norepinephrine and epinephrine, which are all catecholamines. The function of dopamine is diverse but plays a large role in the pleasure/reward pathway (addiction and thrills), memory, and motor control.

Since dopamine is also released in sexual excitement (masturbation and sex itself), it increases the sex drive in both sexes, it's released in orgasm, and activates the brain's pleasure and reward centers; it CAN be addictive. There are many interesting facts about sex and one of them is there are over 40 million Americans that subscribe to it on a regular basis!

Every time one masturbates and gets sexually aroused they release dopamine which triggers desireable feelings. Orgasm releases dopamine in the brain & one can become just as addicted to porn as you can be to drugs. And similar to drug use, the addiction can intensify. The reward networks grow stronger each time the porn addict indulges with his/her addiction to porn.

Please watch the video below that talks about the "demise of men" as it relates to this topic.

It can be argued that porn may be "bad" for some people. All addictions are not healthy for obvious reasons so be sure to take action and get help if you suspect or recognize that you or someone you know may be an addict. Your brain needs to have the proper amount of stimulation on all levels and any sign of addiction should have you seeking the help you need or taking control of your activities. Pornography will never replace the physical presence of a lover or a wonderful loving partner for those of you in exclusive relationships.

We welcome any questions that you have about this topic and would love to hear your thoughts about this matter in the comments section below. 

This article was originally published at Dating Love and Sex Tips . Reprinted with permission from the author.

Author

Contributor

Explore YourTango