Pornography has become incredibly accessible to near-enough everyone through the internet over the last decade or so. However, the negative effects of having an unhealthy addiction to pornography are not widely known. It’s often considered a harmless guilty-pleasure and this is why it has such a profound affect on people’s personal lives without them even realising.
It took us decades to scientifically prove the harmful effects of cigarettes on our lives. We find ourselves in a similar situation with pornography in our current society. But with more and more studies being done on the negative effects of porn on our relationships, sex lives and society as a whole, we can begin to see that it is far from a harmless guilty-pleasure.
1. Lack of Arousal in Relationships
When you start watching porn regularly, your brain begins to associate seeing images and videos on a screen to being aroused. The longer you stay addicted to porn and the more often you watch it, the stronger this connection becomes.
Essentially, this means that you cease to associate arousal with being with another person. Spending all that time being aroused when watching a screen rewires your brain and makes it a lot harder for you to get aroused with a partner. Research has proved a strong connection between regular porn-users and increased levels of erectile dysfunction, low sex-drive and even trouble having orgasms.
These correlations are most common amongst young teenagers and adults when the brains are particularly vulnerable to being rewired in a certain way. At a stage where the brain is still creating important attitudes and expectations, the over-use of porn can be one of the most detrimental things for future relationships.
2. Warps the Way you Perceive Sex
Without pornography, our brain links sex with physical pleasure and having a real feeling of intimacy with your partner. Through the addiction to pornography, the brain continues to form the link from having orgasms to being alone and focusing primarily on the outcome.
A person who watches porn regularly loses the connection between sex and intimacy. Sex becomes nothing to do with being close to the other person and it begins to feel impossible to actually enjoy or experience any intimacy with the partner.
3. Porn can be Addictive
Similar to other forms of online entertainment like video games and gambling, porn has been proven to be addictive. Watching porn regularly forms strong associations with the pleasure you feel and what you’re watching. These connections become stronger and more addictive over time.
Over time, it’s easy to become dependant on porn to achieve that dopamine spike in your body. Desensitisation means that the longer it goes on for, the more extreme your choices of porn become (further damaging the way you perceive sex and relationships) while also making it harder to stop.
Due to the sensitive nature of the topic, porn can be one of the hardest addictions to overcome due to people not wanting to share their problem. With other addictions, people can talk about the issue and rely on others to help them through the situation. In this case, the increased feeling of isolation and dependence on porn leads to a downward spiral of addiction and harmful effects.
This is without a doubt a topic that people are reluctant to talk about but it’s important to know how porn affects our brains and harms our relationships. The aforementioned effects can be long-term and seriously affect your future. The idea that pornography is harmful for our brains and society is becoming increasingly realised through scientific evidence. Being aware of this may help you to avoid the consequences of being addicted to porn.