We are all familiar with many addictions such as alcoholism, drug addictions, and of course Pornography; however not many of us truly understands the causes behind pornography addiction and its ramifications.
First let’s start by making sure we all understand the difference between sexual addiction and pornography addiction.
Addiction to porn is considered a type of addiction which can manifest itself differently than other types of sex addiction. It is worth mentioning both addictions are not an official diagnostic in the DSM-5; regardless of this, what is important is to remember an addiction to pornography can lead to distress and have severe consequences in many facets of one’s life.
Let’s start by clarifying this article is in no way a condemnation of sexuality as I do not believe on any extreme. I chose to write this article in order to explore how pornography addiction works at a neurological, physiological, and spiritual level. I hope by doing this to re-educate those of us who are holding onto the old belief system that our brain is hardwire and that there is no real way out.
To me the whole world permeates with sexual energy; it is a compliment to our spiritual nature; therefore one should embrace it not negate it. Pornography on the other hand deals with fantasy, therefore creating a negative impact on our lives. Pornography takes everything to the extreme and makes it bigger and more animal alluring than it actually is.
It has been estimated that about 37-47% of the content found in the internet is pornographic material. There is a big debate on the numbers, with some stating the numbers are hugely exaggerated by the porn industry, to others stating the numbers are not even close to what the real figures are. The bottom line is the above numbers are an average estimate (let’s not forget it is only a reflection of the pages which are used, however each page host huge archives).
When talking of pornography addiction it is important to clarify not only men tend to have a tendency to becoming addicted to porn. Reality is both men and women are both capable of developing such addiction. Now days 1 in 5 women who use the internet for sexual purposes has an addiction to pornography. This is no shock; a study published in the Cyber Psychology and Behavior exposed a few years back that 62% of women have seen pornography by the age of 18. Shocking?….shouldn’t be, specially when 52% of young women today are exposed to sexually explicit images by the age of 14.
Now let’s talk about the science behind the addiction: We all have a chemical called Dopamine; a neuro chemical; which is in charge of your brain’s pleasure reward system. Let me give you an example: When you achieve a goal or a desire, the brain releases Dopamine. Dopamine makes you feel good; it is what makes just about any of us feel better after we exercise; in other words it is what keeps us motivated!.
So what happens when one is watching pornography?…the result is an overstimulation of dopamine, which reinforces the addictive behavior, creating more desire which causes a vicious cycle. The more dopamine we have in our bodies the more we cause a chemical imbalance within our body. Just like too little dopamine can contribute to depression, high dopamine levels can be very destructive because one will need more dopamine to get the same feeling or “high”.
Through Pornography the neurons in our bodies become so desensitized, resulting in the need for stronger triggers to get the release of dopamine..
I hope you are starting to understand what am getting to… It is not the images which turn one into an addict, it is the result of the brain’s neurons having loss its natural trigger and needing stronger triggers to produce dopamine. That is why the more porn one sees the more porn one needs. It explains scientifically why one starts with what is called “soft porn” and it escalates to “hard core porn”. One is not addicted to the pornography one sees, rather to the chemicals the brain releases.
So why then isn’t everyone addicted?…usually because an addict is a person who has a poor lifestyle; stress being the major contributor but no the only cause. There usually is a combination of stress and poor self esteem.
Stress which is tough on the brain can cause a chemical imbalance, add to that poor self esteem and you have a recipe for a negative cycle where the person starts to like the high of Dopamine. Living within that vicious cycle could turn someone into an addict to pornography; spending countless hours on it to the point of losing sleep which results in feeling even more stressed.
That is why when healing pornography addiction it is not as simple as to give someone a prescription. One first has to deal with the self esteem issues. The negative sides of high dopamine include but are not limited to: mood disorders, loss of memory and focus, premature aging and more.
In the past it was believed our brain was hard wired, as a result very little hope was seen for addicts or victims of serious traumas. The support groups and treatments out there had very little success because they were seeing addiction as a permanent illness; then came Neuroplasticity.
Neuroplasticity is the science which deals with the neurons in our brain; scientists discovered our brain is not hard wired but wired. What does this mean?… It means our brain can heal and change itself!. Talk about a huge discovery and even a major positive factor in the new treatment of addictions. Neuroplasticity explains how our brain can change as a result of mental experience.
Neuroplasticity explains pornography addiction as the result of continuous exposing of the mind to a destructive pattern. If one addresses the low self esteem issues and the subject is removed from destructive/toxic atmospheres and instead is exposed to different/healthier experiences, the brain will rewire the old neurological paths once created from the over use of pornography and it will readjust dopamine levels. Isn’t that amazing?. …Think about it, no need for drugs and cloudy judgement. Drugs only mask the problem, Neuroplasticity offers the individual the opportunity to be “reborn again” by giving him the ability to recreate himself each and every day.
Pornography addiction destroys lives; not only the lives of the person who is using but also the lives of those that surround them.
The person who uses pornography is already hurting but chooses to seek momentary pleasure. If that person was taught self love, the less he or she will need the addiction. Obviously at times it will be hard but the reward is permanent as the person reclaims his/her self and is no longer subjugated to abuse.
Sometimes those who surround them may or not contribute to the addiction. However, let us not forget that at the end it is a personal choice. It is hard for a person with low self esteem to make a beneficial personal choice, regardless it wouldn’t be right to blame others for their actions. In order to overcome the addiction one has to start taking control of life.
We should all have compassion for those suffering of addiction but also for the innocent ones who may have to deal with the repercussions of it. Many addicts end up going to pornography because they feel tied down; in their mind there is no way out. Again it all comes down to self esteem. Neuroplasticity helps those who suffer of addictions to see a new light. They no longer need to hang onto to the idea of hope but actually experience it, as Neuroplasticity scientifically explains to them that change is possible and not just a dream!.
With pornography we are exhausting our energy. Esoteric science teaches us how the seed is the life force, and when we throw that away there is a high price to pay. Our bodies consist of 7 glands, when we abuse ourselves sexually we block those glands, resulting in mental problems, spiritual and physiological problems such as prostate cancer, bipolar, early Alzheimer’s, early loss of libido, frequent infections, etc.
Esoterics/Tantrics believe in the channeling of such energy. It is not about denying but fulfilling our passion in a way that promotes balance and creates energy and bonding.
The world we live in is filled with beautiful people, THAT is NOT the problem. The problem lies in how we look at them and what we do with that admiration/passion. Do we abuse ourselves and our partners by imposing on them the image of someone else? or do we channel that passion to enhance and to loose our inhibitions with our partners.
When watching pornography one needs to bring it to a personal level. What do I mean by this?…we should look at things from another angle, example:
What if that person was my husband? my wife? my sister/brother? my son/daughter?. When we bring it down to a personal level, those who are not extremely lost to their pain, will stop to think about it. Most of us wouldn’t want to see our loved ones being abused…
Many of us forget many those who work in the pornography industry come from a dysfunctional background. They have experienced abuse, are reliving abuse, are doing what they think they deserve and/or are being forced to be there.
Would you like your child to be forced to do something against his or her will?
To be controlled by having their wounds used against them?.
Most porn actresses and actors end up in bankruptcy, why? because nothing belongs to them!.
When it comes to shooting pornographic scenes, each scene can take many hours to produce. It takes an average of 4-8 hrs work in order to produce a 4-6 minute video?. Doesn’t sound so alluring now does it?. They are not simply “enjoying” themselves as one may think. It may take 14-20hrs of work in order to produce a 15 minute video; so it’s not as glamorous as one may think.
In the film and modelling industry there is a saying, “anyone can look beautiful or alluring under the right lighting” No shocker there if you think how much the average man or woman can change appearance by the use of makeup and clothing alone; take that and multiply it ten fold (This is not an exaggeration; when I used to do photography, it took countless hours to get things right).
The pornography industry spends millions on the best equipment an make up artists out there to create an alluring man or woman.
We need to realize NONE OF THAT IS REAL!
Ask yourself what is missing within. Many turn to pornography because they are afraid of intimacy in the real world , with a real person, in a real relationship.
It may seem porn actors and actresses accept them but reality is those actors aren’t at all aware or concern with the existence of those on the other side of the screen.
You need to truly ask yourself the following: Do I really believe that person would want to know me as I am now in real life? Do they even know I am watching them? how then is this acceptance? Don’t I deserve more? When did I start believing the lie I was told growing up; whether by words or experiences; that this is all I deserve?. When one abuses one self, one chooses to say to those who hurt you that they were right, that there is nothing better your soul can offer, that you don’t deserve better because you see yourself as less than an animal; NONE OF THAT IS TRUTH; just because your eyesight is sketchy doesn’t mean you are correct. You are beautiful and have all you need inside of you to turn your life around.
We may think porn actors and actresses love to have sex but reality is they don’t.
They are coming from abusive backgrounds, therefore we need to re-change our focus and realize behind the act is a real person with real emotions. We need to learn to honour and change how we see women and men; putting our compassion before our desire. Desire between consenting mentally mature adults isn’t wrong, animal desire is!. Do we want to contribute to abuse?. .. Embrace your sexuality but never at the expense of another soul!.
For those of you who may seldom deal with pornography, ask yourself whether or not you are doing it to enhance your life or to escape it. Is it creating energy and flow in your life or is it depleting you by bringing lies and secrecy?. Ask yourself what is missing within yourself as many turn to pornography because they are afraid of intimacy in the real world, with a real person.
If you are looking to enhance your life there are many beautiful ways to do so sexually. It requires being open about your sexuality, what your likes and dislikes are; giving yourself permission to express your desires without feeling ashamed. It may mean role playing, introduction of toys, lingerie, new places, new positions, tantra, tantric videos with your partner. All of these will ultimately bring you closer and will not exaggerate nor violate your soul. All of these things can help you get closer physically but in order to have a superior sexual life it will require the combination of the above and the mental and spiritual connection which are the result of a nurturing relationship where one grows, where you can help each other to grow as human beings and make the choice to have more fun in a healthy way which can increases intimacy.
To me fun healthy things plus the ability to grow in a relationship bring me peace and help me feel more connected. When you feel connected and you add to your sexual life, you are in for a beautiful experience, an intense experience, a NEW experience, depending of where the two of you take it.