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Why is Porn So Addictive? An Introduction to the Science Behind the Habit

#need a link to all the website content, instead?

Written by Phenom

I decided to write an article on the aspects of the human mind that makes us so susceptible to addictive substances and practices.

Learning positive coping mechanisms, awareness and practicing daily meditation are all very important for creating a new lifestyle going forward, however, I have always been someone who has benefited from understanding the root causes of problems and the natural progression they take.

Anything we consume, from a cup of coffee to a footlong sub, causes chemical changes in our brain that release pleasure.

The dopamine and resultant kick from caffeine causes us to keep coming back for more. Sure, the byproduct of this is the mental alertness, but this is not the primary factor in our continued consumption.

Dopamine is widely known as the greatest human motivator, the feeling of happiness and fulfilment that results is something that keeps us chasing our most far out of reach goals.

The complexity of dopamine is that it is a double edged sword. The old adage of the two wolves, and feeding the one you want to win, applies most strikingly here.

Human beings can get a surge of dopamine from a long-distance run that brings us to our knees in terms of difficulty. The benefits are many: improved cardiovascular health, endurance, performance, and many others.

The exact same dopamine surge will occur from a blast of nicotine or caffeine, but can you list as many benefits? The answer most likely will be no.

The point being here is that there are good and bad forms of habit making, and we must be able to distinguish the two in order to recover.

If you are reading this article you most likely understand the bad habit pornography consumption has formed in your life.

You understand the drawbacks and negative effects. What you might not understand however, is the pure chemical and neurological basis for this addiction. I believe if this is better understood, the problem can be more adequately addressed.

A good background on the neurochemistry involving pornography can be seen in this video: The Great Porn Experiment Within, Gary Wilson describes the evolution of the human mind, and makes the argument that we are not advanced enough to withstand the constant novelty that pornography brings.

It is a basic argument that makes a lot of sense upon first analysis. Think about human beings 200 years ago.

We had to walk to get where we wanted to go, people were generally more modestly clothed in most areas of the world, religion greatly reinforced the social fabric of modesty and monogamy (again not everywhere, but in large areas) and people followed ritualistic ideas of how to live established by centuries of human existence.

Now fast forward to the current day. Technology has taken over every aspect of human life, creating a multitude of dopamine sources that tug and pull at each of us every day.

The most consuming of these is pornography, because it takes the very fundamental human needs of love and sexuality and commodifies it, putting it in an accessible package to be consumed over and over. The allure of pornography is that it fills one of the highest orders of our needs, and so easily.

Except this isn’t true, it is an illusion of fulfilment that needs to be constantly maintained in order to set a standard of happiness.

This is why we get so sad when we are away from our addiction, because the flimsy nature of its appeal only lasts when we are inside its grasp.

This is why it is so important to quit pornography, or any other damaging psychological habits for that matter, and start to establish proper self-sustaining relationships.

These will grow by themselves over time, and will reciprocate the value you put into them. Pornography does no such thing, and instead saps you of all your money, energy, and time, giving nothing in return.

Except this isn’t true, it is an illusion of fulfilment that needs to be constantly maintained in order to set a standard of happiness.

This is why we get so sad when we are away from our addiction, because the flimsy nature of its appeal only lasts when we are inside its grasp.

This is why it is so important to quit pornography, or any other damaging psychological habits for that matter, and start to establish proper self-sustaining relationships.

These will grow by themselves over time, and will reciprocate the value you put into them. Pornography does no such thing, and instead saps you of all your money, energy, and time, giving nothing in return.

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